Tag Archives: methodology


Hi guys!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately! I’ve been working on a couple of side projects, and dealing with some family drama. Always fun when that interferes! But I haven’t stopped working. I’m tooling around with an idea for a web comic. Something fun and adventurous….


I can’t go into much right now as it’s all still heavily in development, but it’s coming along quickly. I hope to start posting things soon! Don’t worry, I’m still working on Sancte! This is a spare time kinda thing :D

In OTHER news, I’m doing a podcast with my good buddy Stephen Wittmaak (www.theswitt.com) called The Naked Nerdcast. We’re hitting the good old pop-culture review wagon to talk about some of the things that we’re excited about as nerds, but most of the show is dedicated to working as an artist, getting better, con tactics, etc. much like this blog. We’ll also be interviewing some really cool up and coming indie folks about their work in the comics industry. It’s really going to be a lot of fun! Check it out here http://nakednerdcast.aarpieart.com

Stay tuned for new updates coming soon, guys! Thanks for all the love and support.


Dreams that Drive You.

      You can’t dream too big. You can’t.

You. Can’t.

Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big or unattainable. They might be the most pie in the sky out there dreams in the world, but that’s the point of dreams! But what if you don’t succeed? Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. Even if you don’t hit that pinnacle, that perfect ideal in your mind, you will still find yourself in an equally amazing place just by trying to get there. Sometimes failing to attain your ultimate dream isn’t failure at all.

But what do you do with you dream once you have it? Let’s talk about my dream jobs: I want to be a conceptual design artist for Blizzard Entertainment, and do freelance Illustration for DC comics in my spare time.


Blizzard Offices


DC’s New California Location

That’s an insane amount of work, right? It sure is! Maybe even more than I could actually handle, but it does give me a specific set of skills (many of which are overlapping) to focus in on: Illustration and Digital Painting.

These are pie in the sky, oh my god amazing jobs that I may never get. But what I can do is start focusing on the skills that it would take for me to get there. I can start working on my illustration skills, my inking, my sequential art because whether I work for DC or not, I love doing comic book illustration. So maybe I wind up working for Boom! or Dynamite… who cares? I’ll be happy, and I’ll have the skills developed for it.

I can start working on my digital painting and conceptual design work. Maybe I work for an indie game company locally. Either way, I’m doing what I love.

And maybe, just maybe, I get noticed by Blizzard and start working for DC. But I will never – NEVER – get that dream if I’m not working for it. I can’t stress enough how important this is, whether your focus is art or any other field. Never stop dreaming, never stop wanting your dreams. Even if you find yourself somewhere that you’re happy, keep trying for that dream!

Motivate yourself to keep learning, keep growing, keep getting better. Keep sending in applications or portfolios. Keep that dream alive, it’s what will help you grow and flourish, even if it never comes to fruition.

And that’s the important part: Don’t let the dream get you down. Find happiness where you are, find contentment. Let them motivate you and inspire you, but never let them discourage you. That’s not what dreams or for.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. 

Shoot for the moon, guys :)

The Art Pyramid

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: THE ART PYRAMID!


Huzzah for fancy graphics, eh? Made it myself. Yessir, it’s like I’m an artist or something! So what is this marvel of modern graphic design? It’s a key that I think is lost on most artists coming along these days. This pyramid gets flipped on its head.

Artists, especially those in the comic art or conceptual design fields, are generally inspired by the vivid, deeply detailed and stylized creators that they know and love. They see the soot of dirt, the glare neon, or the smooth lines of ink that professionals do and immediately go to try and emulate that style, rather than stopping to understand why their heroes are capable of executing that style.

While it is tempting to go right for the stylized, recognizable art and start drawing the deep, sooty cityscapes of your favorite Superhero, it’s not the right place to start. Focus on the basics: Anatomy, Perspective, and Image Composition. Without a firm understanding of these principles, you’ll never develop a style that is anything beyond flash and flare. You won’t create the solid characters that Greg Capullo or JR Jr. do. You pages won’t flow like water (be the sequential or individual works of art). There will always be a level of “wrong” to your drawings. Your art will be flashy and pretty, but people won’t be drawn in like they could be because there’s a level of unbelievability to your creations. Get those foundations down before you move on. It’s a lot of hard work, grunt work, learning anatomy, vanishing points, the rule of thirds and all the other good stuff, but it’s work it in the end when you see your “unfinished” art starting to have impact.

That’s when you can work on finesse. Once you have your foundation built, and you have something strong to stand on, then you start making it stand out. You develop your sense of lighting and line weight, you start learning to add atmosphere to your art. You start making scenes turn into worlds and you can draw people into those worlds because the accuracy is there. They’re not snagged by broken perspective or wrong anatomy on the way in, you’re not breaking their suspended belief. This is the where you start to shine.

Finally, once the first two levels are solid, you start making those worlds you’re crafting your own. You’re making it your vision, and you’re doing it on a solid foundation so that it can stand on its own with no problem.

And guys, this applies to both realism and cartoon style art as well! Remember, in many ways cartooning is harder than realism. You have to know what to leave out and what to put in to convey your message in as few lines as possible. One line too many or too few and you’re dead in the water!

I hope this makes sense! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Talk to you soon, guys!