Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Been busy fighting work and a cold. Here are a few things I've been able to knock out. Hoping to get a few more done quickly to send all off for sticker(ing?)


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

A few more of these characters. Hoping to start posting more vector work of them next week.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Sunday! I spent most of my day rearranging my studio. Pretty happy with the set up. Maybe I'll be less distracted by my usual cluttered, hoarding life. Now that I'm finished, I'm sitting down with a cold one and catching up on some TV time.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Baby Pills: Sketch to Vector

I should really title this A BUNCH OF MY STUPID STEPS. The fact that I still work in analog is pretty dumb sometimes (this time definitely) but that's the way I know, so I select DEFAULT SETTINGS and get going...  AND sometimes there's nothing like grabbing a brush and pulling a big, fat, black ink line to a perfect taper.

I am moving more and more to digital; even for sketching, but I think it's good to have a balance in working with all mediums.

Also, before you read further, you should know, I am being lazy and do not cover all my steps along the way. This is just an overview of each stage. Someday I'll be more organized about posting.

Here goes...

This little guy was the start of an idea for a sticker collection I'm working on. This first doodle is about 1x1.5 inches. Just something I jotted down on a legal pad while taking notes during a phone call.

Later, I grabbed a random sketch pad from the pile and did a larger sketch in bic pen. I used pen for this to try and keep the energy of the small sketch. It didn't work in this case, as you'll see; I make several adjustments to get back some of the proportions from the small sketch.

Things like: this guy's head is too narrow, his eye is too far back, etc.

This is where I sort of came up with his back story for his slogan. Not much of a back story. Just a drug addled baby.

Here's where my stages get increasingly dumb. I could have just scanned the larger sketch and messed around with it in Photoshop or Illustator, but instead I pull out my trusty tracing paper (I have stacks of this stuff pilfered from some previous employer and look for any reason to use it. Too rough for toilet paper.) You can see here that I'm making adjustments to compensate for my inability to enlarge properly. 

Also, at this stage I started thinking about how the text will work. Always loved traditional tattoo so that makes it easy.

Here's the finished trace.

Technically, this is not the next sketch, but I don't have a picture of what's next because I ink over my pencil on bristol. So technically, before this I lightbox and trace this image again onto bristol. Yes, I'm an idiot. I probably adjusted a few things you wouldn't even notice in the tracing.

Next, I pull out my trusty Winsor Newton brushes and ink and get sloppy. This is a REALLY sloppy ink job. I felt bad about it, but I knew I would clean it up later.

Now we're skipping ahead again.

To fill in the gaps, I scanned the image at 300dpi grayscale. I usually scan at a higher dpi if the final will be printed from raster artwork, but since this is going to vector I could do a smaller scan.

I probably had to do some compositing and manipulation of this in Photoshop because it's bigger than my tiny scanner (RIP large Cannon, I remember you fondly.) Pretty much did the basics; adjusting levels and getting my blacks; black, my whites; white and mixing my peanut butter with my chocolate. Then lower the dpi, command A, command C, open Illustrator, command V, lower that opacity and lock that layer, son!

I prefer to copy and paste (instead of placing the image) because I hate losing placed files. Prompts annoy me and I move my files on and off my desktop A LOT. Hate having to find where I moved a missing linked file.

Fast forward again. Here's the "finished" vector illustration over top the sketch. You can see some more adjustments and changes (adding and deleting details because the final is 4x4 inches). 

Told you I didn't have all the answers you wanted. Ask me later, I may have an answer. 

I'm sure one of the questions is: "Do you use Image Trace?" I do use Image Trace sometimes. It's handy, but I don't use it for precision stuff. For stuff like this I draw it one point at a time with a couple of quick tricks for getting smooth lines.

Here's the "finished" piece (for now). I'm still adjusting the colors and will do some custom stuff to the font. If you want to know more about my process or materials (or just call me an ass cocking douchebag) have at it. The comments field is all yours.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014


So excited for the this weekend's sugar storm I was running around in costume and I whipped out this little bad boy (assume gesture). Then the neighbors called the cops, so I ran inside and drew up this adrenaline junked piece. Think I lost a little something between the sketch and the inks. Maybe I'll give it another go before I do final vector work. Cheers, -j.

Original sketch.

 Cleaned up tracing.

Inks. Done with Micron. I was being lazy about cleaning brushes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Faster than Dead


I bought some Windsor "fig" Newton inks a while back and hadn't really found a use for them. Pulled 'em out for this little baby. These tiny canvases are fun to work on. Need to buy a few more.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Carving out some Sunday

I spent most of the day producing these goodies...

I'll be back to inky nail beds and cracking finger tips tomorrow night.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gettin' Hip to Halloween.

A quick sketch while I catch up on my TV time. Thinking about what I might do with my pumpkin carving tomorrow night. Prepare for posts. Perhaps process posts...


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scooby Doo Kaiju Doo Doo

The three words that came to mind when drawing this. It's like a monster but also an uncomfortable remembrance of a night of Freudian slips while watching Saturday morning cartoons. I can't wait to see what happens when I start to color this.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Faster Babycakes, Pills, Pills!

Speed sketching yields results. I've got more like this on the way. Maybe a series of something at some point. Gotta get through Inktober and onto Color-vember(?)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Something with a skull

Here's something with a skull. Is it for Halloween? What does 1975 mean? You tell me. And while you're at it, can you tell me how to pinstripe? Man, I need to work on my brush control.


Sunday, October 19, 2014


This guy is my favorite Boxtroll. I love that movie. Probably draw the rest of them at some point.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

WTF 1986: My Pet Monster

It's hard to believe this toy line warranted a cartoon and movie in the late 80's. Seems like anything could be licensed back then. Can't remember much about the cartoon, but the movie hides in the dark recesses of my memory.

Watch the trailer. How can you not love this?!? The animation for the opening credits is so GREAT!

'Nuff said,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mad Monster Party

Yep, it's a couple more monster sketches for Inktober. Trying to make up for missing the first half of the month. Dracula was done with Bic pen, Pentel correction pen and Col-Erase red pencil. More fun tomorrow.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Zombies ate my sketchbook.

A quick sketchbook zombie for today's Inktober entry. This was done with a Bic pen and colored pencil. I'll pick my brushes back up tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Pet Monster

I really love drawing Frankenstein's monster (or Frankenstein, as some think). I don't know that he's my favorite monster, but he's my go to guy from the classics. Since it's Inktober and we're closing in on Halloween, I'll be drawing more and more horror themed pieces. Maybe even something with this guy...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Mungo Jerry?

I wouldn't call myself a big fan of Mungo Jerry, but I woke up with "In the Summertime" stuck in my head and needed a subject for today's Inktober sketch. Bam! Mungo Jerry is fun to draw.

I'll probably get around to coloring this at some point. Mainly to get cover up the giant black blob I made of his sideburn. Sometime the ink just keeps flowing...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Late to everything...

Seems like I'm always late to everything: blogs, websites (I swear it's coming.) and now Inktober?!? So, let's shake off all the dust at once.

This is not supposed to be Johnny, but I will admit to listening to The Ramones while drawing. I rushed the inking, but what're ya gonna do? I'm trying to catch up. Maybe I'll get around to coloring this at some point. You'd be so lucky.

Inktober and Drinktober. I love this month.