More sketch cards

I was able to find pens more suitable to inking on cards and the improvement was rather drastic. Lesson learned. Don’t try to draw with a Sharpie.

These are more what I was thinking of when I decided to start putting together a collection of sketch cards. I still have a lot of room to grow as I get better at drawing mainstream superhero characters but these are a pretty good start. I’m particularly happy with the Deadpool card, which does a good job of catching the personality of the character in just a facial expression (under a mask, no less).

I inked two more of these last night and while I’m going to keep drawing them when I get the free time, I’m done spending entire days putting together a half-dozen at a time. Time to move on to a new project, which I think will be a quite large compilation of various women from sci-fi and comics (Princess Leia, Starbuck, Wonder Woman, Samus Aran, etc.). Look for it sometime next week.

Sketch cards

It’s already mid-February. Hmmm. This year, I plan to attend a few comic book conventions (first time with my own table!) and I haven’t drawn that many superheroes in the past year or so. I’ve done a lot of work on my own comic, Variables, but I haven’t drawn much from either DC or Marvel. And that’s what people want. They don’t care about my own characters, they want a $20 Spider-Man sketch. So I best get to drawin’ Spidey. Over the next few months, I will devote more time to practicing different techniques and different characters. In the past two weeks, I’ve been practicing ink washes. I’ll continue to do those but yesterday, I decided to practice using markers. Here is the first set of cards I finished.

Giant MEH. I couldn’t find the markers I wanted to use for inking so I resorted to a Sharpie. Sharpies, while great for coloring big black spaces, really suck for fine line work. So then I moved to ink Rapidograph pens for the Catwoman pic. The inking was pretty okay but then everything when to hell when the ink started smearing when I applied color using a marker. Later on in the night I found a set of Prismacolor inking pens but I haven’t colored those yet so they’re not posted here.

I’ll keep posting these as I finish ’em so you can see the progression. Given this first set of cards, I expect that progression to be rapid and extensive.

Ghost Rider

I’m still playing around with ink washes and I learn a bit more about the process with every piece. In the case of this Ghost Rider example, I learned that one should never apply quite this much ink to a single piece of paper. At one point, I nearly scrapped the wash before deciding to stick with it and attempting to salvage the work.

Definitely not my finest work. I don’t have much to say about it past that.

Anime Princess Leia

I don’t get many opportunities to draw in different styles so I’m taking advantage of my current fascination with ink washes to use styles that I haven’t used in years. When I was in my late teens, I drew in a hybrid manga/American style a lot. At the time, anime/manga were just breaking into the American mainstream and having been a big fan of Robotech, Fist of the North Star, and other anime during my childhood, the Japanese influenced my art style for many years (as it did many artists of my generation). As everybody started to draw in a manga hybrid style, it lost some of its luster for me. Now, I generally avoid the stuff because it’s so prevalent. But in the case of this piece, I thought it would be fun to revisit that style a bit and see if I could still do it. It’s easier than I remember it being, to be honest. While I’d definitely do a few things differently the second time around, this piece only took me a little over an hour from start to finish. Not much time considering that ink washes are still kind of a new concept. I like it, though. It reminds me a lot of what I was doing in the mid-90s.

Kitty & Lockheed

I was flipping through Tumblr this morning and came across a conversation about ink washes. I realized that despite my many years of inking, I hadn’t tried to paint an ink wash drawing in almost 20 years. So, I decided I was due. I rushed to the art store, bought a few more supplies that are kind of redundant and could have been filled by other things I already own (need more stuff!), and came back home to start. I did a quick ten minute Batman wash and after thoroughly disgusting myself with it, decided it was time to try something more complex. I rarely draw characters that aren’t my own anymore and I’ve always had a soft spot for Kitty Pryde and her pet dragon, Lockheed. So I penciled this piece, scanned it to make sure I could go back and digitally ink it should I completely fail at painting an adequate wash, and then started into the wash. I was surprised at how quickly brushwork came back to me and while I definitely need some more practice, I’m happy with how this turned out.

And as usual with this kind of work, it looks a lot better in hand than it does on screen. Oh well.

A background drawing

This drawing is to be used as the background for a small blog based in the Twin Cities. It’s a simple graphite drawing done on bristol board. I cleaned up the white areas and left it pretty much at that. I spent a fair amount of time cleaning it up while I was working so very little post work was needed to transition it to digital. The pose and idea were based on a 1960s Hanes pantyhose advertisement, of all things.

Another house warming invite

Since my girlfriend moved (again) and this time me along with her, another house warming invitation was in order. The theme this time around is Breakfast at Tiffany’s so I quickly drew a vector illustration of Ms. Hepburn and then designed a minimalist invitation around it to give it an early 1960s feel. I’m pretty happy with the results considering that from start to finish, I spent about 2 1/2 hours on the entire project.


I’ve been burning out on Variables over the past few weeks and decided it was time for me to draw some other stuff for awhile to clear my head. I wanted to draw it more in the style of a comic I’ve been bouncing around in my head for the past few months and it’s a departure from the more superhero-y style I use for Variables. So, I mulled over drawing a few female characters from my youth and after quickly sketching out a Wonder Girl picture that didn’t quite live up to my standards (but I enjoyed the pose so it may be revisited), I settled on drawing She-Ra. I have no idea what ultimately possessed me to choose She-Ra, Princess of Power, but here it is anyway. It may get a color treatment if I find the time.


I spent the weekend hanging out with several creators over at DigiCon and after reading this story, many of us agreed that it would be a nice gesture to send the poor fellow some Superman drawings to ease the loss of his own collection. It sounded like a lot of fun and then I realized something…

I hadn’t really drawn superheroes in years. Like, at all. After deciding to do this digitally, I spent almost an entire morning working on revision after revision before settling on the pose you see here. Then I started to ink the drawing. An hour later, I had less than 1/4 of it inked. I printed out what I had, taped the printed sheet to the back of a piece of bristol, and re-drew everything in less than 90 minutes. Then I tossed it in Photoshop and gave it a quick once-over of color and called it a day. Overall, it was a fun little experiment, one that reminded me to brush up on some of my superhero drawing skills before they’re gone completely.

CONvergence poster

Here is a poster I did for Connie’s Space Lounge at CONvergence, a sci-fi convention in the Minneapolis area. It was a lot of fun to do and while I generally like the piece, it would have been so much better if I had been able to dedicate more than two nights to completing the entire painting. Originally slated to look more like a movie poster, I had to trim down the idea a lot because the comic took up nearly all of my free time in June, leaving me roughly 48 hours to finish this 11×17 painting. I wanted to add far more detail to her space suit, the robot, and just about everything else (especially the background).

Overall though, I can’t complain too much. I think it looks kind of neat and it’s the first time I’ve ever tried painting entirely in Photoshop. This piece was conceived, sketched, drawn, and painted entirely digitally, a first for me.