Wednesday, August 31, 2016


10 years to the day since his first airplane ride.

Wonder where he was going. Wonder what he was thinking.

Wonder what he's doing.

Wonder if he's ok.

Wonder wonder wonder.


Monday, August 29, 2016


I loved going to see A's games when I was tiny. It was an all-day affair, necessitating a roadtrip that went on seemingly forever, but only in the most invigorating way. It was an adventure.

Oakland's yellow-green color scheme has always resonated with me and I try to use it whenever I can.

So I saw these old lines sitting around one day and thought I'd give them some Oaklanding.

The tones alone look pretty neat.

Bonus, this is the version I did for Twitter.


Friday, August 26, 2016


A new Magic T shirt design featuring a jostled salt shaker flipping a table of colorful rectangles, decrying a foul twist of luck.

I sketched this for a pitch from long ago and knew I would ink it digitally, but it's still just easier roughing things out traditionally.

This was the pencil sketch I pitched. I loved the flow of it. The idea was to embody a salty table-flipper getting as near to shrieking an F-bomb as possible, while still staying family-friendly. Fun little design challenge.

Here's a mock-up of what it might look like on Didi. I originally envisioned this over a teal-ish background, but later felt a version for each Magic color would be fair, if only just to see what that might look like. Unfortunately, Threadless doesn't have quite the colors I was thinking of, but they still have handsome options in the ballpark of each color.

I would want a black shirt, of course, so that's the one I'll shop around, but the darker Temur colors look great, too. One downside is that I had to tweak the line colors a little for the pure black shirt, though, which wasn't ideal, so I settled on the riddled black "heather" color above for the actual pitch color.

Just for fun, here are the concepts for the other colors, most of which look pretty good on Threadless's closest corresponding colors.

Salt for all.

Salt for me.

Salt for hypothesis.

Salt for whomever.

Salt for health.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Man, it's been raining insanely lately. Like, this is exactly where "raining buckets" comes from. It's raining that loudly and intensely, like someone's on the roof literally throwing buckets of water at my window.

I love the rain, so I wanted to draw something rainy real quick. The background has my name as the puddle reflection dealio.

Fun Facts: Every time it rains, I listen to Motion City Soundtrack while eating ice cream, ideally Chocolate Monaka.

Easter Eggs: Umbrella Academy logo. I happened to put my UA shirt on today and it's raining like crazy, and as I headed out for brunner, listening to my MCS, I thought I'd like to draw a girl in a UA shirt in the rain.


Monday, August 22, 2016


Some fan art for The Black Tapes Podcast, pretty scary at times, but unsettling just about wire to wire. It helps that while catching up, I marathoned these from 1am to 5am in this big, empty, old-timey mini-mansion out in the middle of Nowheremura, Japan.

I figure fellow Yalie Dr. Richard Strand's a little older, and is actually pretty much how I picture speaking-voice Steve Blum. In any case, this is not quite my first idea of what he looks like, but a nice starting point all the same. I should say, it's actually a bit annoying how podcasts tend to hate describing main characters. Always with the flowery descriptions of people main characters are talking to, but nothing to hang your hat on for the main homies.

I wanted to make this image look something like a pulp cover or something, you know, plenty of blank space for dressing. The top would be the series title of course, but for the bottom right, I thought it might be neat to include some kind of text, too. The full quote I was working from was:
I like the idea of “going down in,” and everybody is like that, everybody is a detective. The unknown is a magnet, and you can learn many, many things by going down in there. But it doesn’t negate a bright road, either...We love mysteries, life is filled with them, some of them are very abstract.

David Lynch
This came from an interview I was listening to while making this (usually listen to music and a podcast while working), and it felt quite appropriate for this series. And no, I'm not a Charlie Rose fan...the guy just interrupts and suggests to a frustrating degree, though I was actually impressed with his interview of that fraud "running" for President, wherein he actually calls that turd on his idiotic claims, though doesn't push as hard as he certainly could. Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, The Black Tapes Podcast.

I came across The Black Tapes via this listing of good podcasts, which I'm still making my way through. While some from that list were misses for me, The Black Tapes is definitely worth a listen. The first two episodes alone are a satisfying enough experience if you don't want to hang in for the at-present two full seasons, makes me feel like Ben 10 season 1 did, with the travel around and meet the freak of the week presentation style, and then it takes a much darker, more continuity-reliant turn soon enough, putting it in a trajectory all its own.

For this piece, I knew I wanted to draw Dr. Strand over top some scary, mysterious figure. But then I thought I'd drop some blood from his ears to symbolize the particularly pernicious nature audio takes in this series. I noticed the blood might make a neat shape, so it's kinda Alex Reeeegan hanging out in an alert pose in the upper left, I suppose. I didn't want to fully draw out either since I'm actually drawing a more straightforward piece of them right now, so I figured getting a little abstract in general would be ok here.

As for the background, we have a keyboard, since the series has a heavy musical element, plus a mysterious figure in a keyboard-playing position interlaced with a Golden Ratio diagram for kicks. The texture I used is one of my favorites since it has such a neat ring and drop of liquid, which I captured from a piece of paper I used to absorb the splash damage from a cold glass of water. But the way it rings around Strand's head hints at the supernatural qualities of the series, meanwhile it conveniently slices through his neck as well, hinting at some of the apparent danger he may be in. While I try to avoid using reds too heavily, the overall reddish wash felt necessary for the series' more sinister tones.

This was a fun little change of pace. I listen to a bunch of audio while drawing away, so I'm quite glad to have discovered the audio drama scene, since it was hitherto just music and/or interview podcasts. Want to do some more fan art of stuff...well, I mean, I have, but nothing feels good enough to post. I'm only posting this because I told myself the next one would go up. And so it is.


Friday, August 19, 2016


This started as a pocket sketch from my live-ink run, which I knew I wanted to color it at some point, and this is that point.

Here's where I might have stopped and been satisfied before, no particular bells and whistles. The room is based on my current place, though the wall scroll's text has mysteriously become lyrics from a Perfume song.

Before I reached that phase, I might have stopped here a few years ago.

By the way, though a bit indirect, the shirt is inspired by one of my all-time favorite Gorillaz songs, Qué Pasa Contigo. The text is a blend of the Spanish "quieres," and the Japanese "ね," plus a stylized capital R to make it a littler harder to read. But "Quieresね?" might mean something like, "You want this, right?" in regards to the food (or her company). I do like ね for its softening effect, actually; I hate sounding rude in Japanese...or any language, for that matter.

These are the flats, which I rarely ever stop at, but are always a hoot to check oot.

The bilingual phrase is a play on how both Spanish and JP, unlike English, regularly function quite truncated in text form, with a lot of implied meaning--what you would likely need body language to help convey in English if writing at the same length. For instance, I could say "want?" in English and mean the same thing with a gentle jab towards the remaining food in front of you that you may or may not want to finish off, but it would be really hard to get that across if I just wrote it versus spoke and gestured or looked at the listener so they understand the implied "do you want this?" Japanese just cuts off most pronouns, as it's generally understood who's talking to who and about what, and Spanish, as much as I am reluctant to embrace my ancestral tongue, does a neat function of imbuing verbs with pronouns off the bat.

These are the lines, modified, though, but we'll get to that in a second. I don't recall if that was supposed to be her tongue or something like tonkatsu, but just went with tongue for a hopefully more playful effect.

First, here are the nightmarish colors without lines. I colored this using almost exclusively Loish's Oil Pastel Brush, which kinda resembles KNKL's Chalk Brush, but a little, I dunno, "thicker?"

Now this goofy girl is the actual inks from the sketchbook, every bit live-inked.

This is even a little GIF I made. Also, no particular reason why this has sushi in the name, I imagine they're eating katsu curry or similar. Well, maybe new years' sushilings...


Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I have a really hard time saying no to people...long story short, I ended up going to a dinner Monday night. I rarely eat with people...probably once or twice a year, always under duress. I tend to turtle-up considerably in group settings. I need an "objective" like playing Magic or drawing in order to be able to handle being around people.

But on the plus side, there were some kids with us so I offered to draw them a torn alter token since I happened to have brought my portable art kit with me (what luck!). They were down and asked me to draw a zombie.

I peeled the spare OGW token as carefully as I could during the infinitely long night-time stroll to the restaurant, and drew during most of dinner. There was no dessert. The brothers, maybe 10 and 8 at most, also did some sketches, too; we all drew zombies. One kid tried mimicking my construction circles, but I'm pretty sure he didn't quite understand what that was about, haha! He drew some bubbly zombies! Stuff like that makes me happy, just making people happy with art, just like the old days.

Didn't get a chance to snap anything more than the final image, unfortunately, but I did pencil this first. Other than that, I used the usual process of ballpoint inks to Copic colors (just had grays on me), though my T-7 randomly exploded...I don't get why Copic explosions keep happening...I was going to go in with white Signo anyway, so no real harm, just a little alarming. I also got to use my shiny silver glitter pen on the zombie's head, so it sparkles a little when you move it around.

They didn't realize I was drawing this literally for them, so they were so happy when I gave them the card! They don't play card games at the moment, it seems, but hopefully they give it a shot some day.

The food was a tough chew--cold spaghetti?! Why would you do that?--but fortunately Japanese french fries remain fantastic as usual. I just wish there weren't that everybody-shove-your-hands-into-communal-serving-dishes culture in JP dining, though. The water was excellent. Decor, top notch.


Monday, August 15, 2016


A concept I drew a while ago, colored up to a vintage magazine or book cover type deal. The name just sounds funny.

The flats. I wanted to try something quite different stylistically, something I have in my head as "Cartoon Network"y. I made a point to stick to Steve Ahn's sketching brush for everything, with the only diversion being the slight blur I gave the shadow behind the figure.

Lines. I'm not sure how successful the experiment was.

The sketch that started it all, drawn some time ago, actually.


Friday, August 12, 2016


I wanted to try coloring some old lines for my daily Twitter post, and decided to push it a little further for a Friday Removal post, too.

This is the Twitter version, which I managed to do in under an hour or so (notable because I'm pretty slow). The image, as I recall, came from a study of a slime-monster-based helmet that a character was wearing in a drawing I saw online. I'd been trying to make that same kind of concept for a while, and finally gave it a shot with this drawing, and now at long last, we get to see what it might look like in living color.

This is what it looks like before all the blurring.

And this is just the background photo, which I took in the outskirts of Tokyo, as unmodified as possible, though I had adjusted the photo itself more greenward.

Here is what the colors look like devoid of lines. I wanted to make it look like she's in the slime creature's mouth, so her shirt, while originally blue, got modified to a more tongue-like deep red. I wonder if I should have continued the slime-green down the front, so instead of extended gums, we get a more closed-mouth look to the slime gear.

This is just the flat colors, no additives. I flat each color group on a separate layer, roughly in order of externality, and then I modify those layers as I wish and then clip them all back onto the base mask, which is usually the skin color. I tried to go with cel-shading on this, to break me from my habit of getting too carried away with the painting, but I kinda only semi-met that goal. I started with basic two tones on each, but then it went to three on a couple early layers, and then I ended up doing a little more painting for the face in particular. Fortunately, I didn't get too swept up in painting too much beyond that.

One part I did end up making a point to paint a little was the "lines" layer, which was the layer that had the drawing itself. The paper texture on that layer was quite heavy (I drew it on paper and captured it with my camera), so I went in and clipped some softening colors back onto this layer with the drawing to ease the grit of the piece. This necessarily takes some amount of painting, otherwise it's too brutal a transition from papery texture to smooth digital colors.

This is what the lines look like blocked in. With clipping, I can modify the colors on the inside of the drawing area, and then with masking, I can modify the background as I wish, say by adding in a photo. I used adjustment layers, too, to brighten and harmonize everything up a little more, as the Twitter version seemed just a little dark. I seem to enjoy making images a little darker than they should be, at least as compared to my phone. Images look fine on my computer, but my phone tends to show them a little darker than I'd intend...

All right, I feel like I learned a little on this one.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016


The final postcard from my Summer Card Project set, with previous entries starting here.

The inks, done in G-Pen, which only sometimes smears...for this set, I made sure to let them dry over night...

I've mainly been drawing with a pen since last October, so this project was kind of my first real go at returning to pencils.

I did a couple thumbnails for this shot...I could see it in my head, but it was not as easily translatable. The goal was to be peppy and summery, so she's like giving the viewer sunglasses to be extra cool.

Anyway, here's the "dramatic" version, which was just with more high-brightness layers piled on.


Monday, August 8, 2016


Pro Tour Eldritch Moon was this past weekend and I saw a really neat photo of Nakashu I wanted to try.

I got to Draft with him once, and he's a deadly serious dude when he's playing. If I can be perfectly honest with you, it wasn't an enjoyable experience. I am fine with losing, I am fine with getting my teeth knocked in by a pro player, but I don't like it when players do that death-silence makes you feel like you're not even human.

Anyway, he's holding that mythical Fartimon card, with art by the greatest Magic artist that has