Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This one's just a playful little sketch I did up earlier this week. As most of my friends know, and as I've mentioned in previous posts, I just love drawing big-headed (or "super-deformed") super-heroes.

And I know the powers-that-be at Marvel Comics have "ret-conned" Wolverine so that he's not Canadian anymore, but to me, he'll always be a short, hairy canuck.

Note: Ok, ok, looks like I was a bit premature about my scorn for wolvie not being a Canadian. Turns out several people have pointed out that he was born in Alberta, so he's still a canuck. But that still doesn't make up for him being named "James Howlett" me that's kinda like naming him "Fangs Wolvington" or something.

Thanks to everyone who sent in the correct info! Glad to see Canadians still love their unofficial super-hero mascot.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Kirby's OMAC

OMAC actually stands for One Man Army Corps, but to me he's just One More Awesome Character created by Jack Kirby. Really, you can't go wrong with a superhero who wears a mohawk and sideburns!

I penciled this one during an afternoon as a warmup, put it in a drawer, then pulled it out and inked it one evening when I had some spare time. As you might tell, I was doing my best to unleash my "inner Kirby" while working on it. And since I don't work much in full colour anymore, I thought it might be fun to take a crack at colouring it and adding some tones in photoshop. As with a lot of my recent posts, you can see the original pencil drawing for it below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Little Portrait

Here's a portrait I painted recently of me and my lovely wife Claudia. Its been cold and rainy here in Toronto, so I drew this one up in anticipation of the coming spring weather. We often go walking through the alley ways in Toronto together while I look for reference for my paintings and I thought it'd make a nice scene for a portrait of the two of us. As with most of the other two-tone pieces I've posted here, I painted this one up with coloured ink markers on watercolour paper.

For this drawing, in answer to the occasional emails I get asking about my process, I thought I'd scan the painting during various stages to give an idea of how I go about working in two-tone with markers. So for those interested, I've compiled the various scans and made a few notes to explain how I work, which you can see on the right. You can also see the pencil drawing I did the painting from at the bottom.

And of course, I have to thank Claudia for scanning and colour correcting this one for me. Being a designer and art-director herself, she's a photoshop whiz and often scans and cleans up my work for me...and she did a great job on this one!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beware of Bee-bot!

What is this drawing, you ask? Well, it was to be my entry to Sam Hiti's fist-a-cuffs event where drawings square off against each other (check it out for yourself, if you aren't familiar with it). Since the current round of matches were to be tag-team, my good buddy Nick Derington contacted me (at the very very last minute) and suggested we link up for it. We quickly decided on a robot/cyborg theme for our entries. After some furious scribbling, this was my result! I called her Bee-Bot 2000 and she was designed to eliminate the opposition from a distance, since Nick's robot was designed for close-quarters combat. I'll leave it to others to try and guess all the various armaments she may or many not have.

Unfortunately, we totally missed the deadline for entries, so our super-awesome team will, sadly, not be wiping the drawingboards with the other contestants. Bummer! Though, to be honest, some of those other entries looked way awesomely indestructable with atomic-laser eyes and claws and stuff like that...

Still, I liked this drawing enough to post it here. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Toronto Back Alleys pt. 14

Winter seems to be finally over, and we haven't had any snow on the ground in Toronto for a few weeks now, but I thought I'd post one more back-alley painting that I did over the winter-time. I went for a walk in the early evening today, just to get out of the studio a bit, and I definitely got that "spring is coming" feeling in the air.

Friday, April 06, 2007

That's Amare!

Here's another basketball related pen and ink portrait, this one of Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns -- one of my favourite NBA players. I was a bit more warmed up and confident in my pen technique by the time I got to this one, so I was fairly satisfied with the results. Again, as with the last one, this one was also photo-referenced from a cover of Slam Magazine.

For those who emailed and asked, I usually use a hunt 102 nib when I draw with pens, but these last two were drawn with the slightly thicker hunt 108 with a few of the darker areas done with the more flexible 103 nib. I used the 108 because I couldn't find any 102s around my studio at all -- I usually have a box of them lying around, but didn't realize I'd run out months ago. I turned my whole studio over looking for one but, sadly, there wasn't even a rusty one lying around. I think it worked out for the best though, as the thinner nib sometimes creates lines that are so fine that they don't even show up on my scanner. Anyway, enough pen-geekery!

If you're interested, you can also check out my rough pencil sketch/underdrawing on the right. I usually make a rough tonal study in pencil before I do any penwork just to map out the various values. I often think that pen and ink work is very close to painting -- the pen strokes are used to model and build up tones, with line spacing determining value and the direction of the strokes used to model the form.

Geez...I geeked out again...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pen and Ink (and Basketball)

Those who know me, know I am a totally obsessive NBA basketball nut (see? Its not comics and Kirby all the time!) so here's a pen and ink portrait of Toronto Raptors forward, Chris Bosh. After a few losing seasons, the Raptors finally made the playoffs recently and I think I had that in mind when I was doodling tonight after work.

As you might be able to tell, this one was drawn in pen and ink -- a medium I enjoy but don't work in often. I usually prefer to do most of my work with a brush, but every once in a while I break out the pens and try to work out the kinks just for variety's sake. Since I don't use them enough, I've never been very confident about my pen technique and it was about two-thirds of the way through this drawing before I felt I was getting into a rhythm with it, but I thought I'd post it here anyway. Of course, I referened a photo for this one, specifically from a cover of Slam Magazine.

If you're interested in seeing more of my very rare attempts with pen and ink, I've posted some other portraits of basketball players in an older blog entry here.