Saturday, July 6, 2013


When I saw the call for Bartkira artists, I lunged to sign up. My pages were 106-110 in volume one. It was so much playing with classic Simpsons colors and drawing these great characters. (Bart and Nelson were a great challenge.) Much love to Ryan Humphrey for his original comics, James Harvey for organizing this behemoth of a project (and being very forgiving when I got bogged down with work), and of course Katsuhiro Otomo for his magnum opus, Akira, and to Matt Groening and company for The Simpsons. From what I've seen of the finished pages, this is going to be a pretty spectacular zine. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Luna's Ghibli Bedroom - Her Neighbor Totoro

After seeing the massive open space on Luna's wall, there's just no way we weren't going to paint a life-size Totoro. When I was a kid, I attempted a Sailor Neptune with poster paints on my wall, which I think is now hidden behind a bookcase. (It's been awhile). Fortunately, we planned a little better for this adventure.

 I sketched Totoro out on a grid. (Although to be fair, this is the final drawing.)

 I got some excellent reference and placement from Luna's mom. :)

 Painting the entire grid meant I had to deal with leftover pencil marks on the wall, but all part of the learnding process. I drew Totoro on the wall and got to work. I didn't have enough paint to mix, so I swung by Home Depot and picked up a sample of Behr Premium Plus Ultra (Color: Distant Thunder) for Totoro's fluffy body. The 8 oz pot was just the right amount.

Before I flew out west on a two week trip, I stopped by the apartment to add Totoro's fluffy belly. I used the mop brush to spot white fluff in rows, similar to how I painted the susuwatari. When I got back to New York, lil Luna was born.

I finally got back to work on Totoro in January. I added eyes, whiskers, and filled out his girth since he needed some fluff and was looking a bit trim and Totoro has a prosperous figure, as my mother would put it.

The umbrella was a tricky part to figure out, especially the value distribution so the umbrella wasn't one  large, dark mass. 

And here we are with the final awesome work and the happy mom's new neighbor!

I added some susuwatari along the top for Totoro's umbrella.

And here's Luna's bedroom all put together by her mama.

It was probably best if I stopped there before I used the other wall to paint a cursed Okkoto screaming at Totoro. I'm not sure how long they'll be staying at their current place, but I'm glad I got to welcome Luna with a new friend. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Luna's Ghibli Bedroom - The Littlest Critters

Last summer, I embarked on a mission of making the coolest bedroom for my friend Nikhol's little wee one. Nikhol is one of my closest friends from high school, and she's one of the last of our graduating class to have a kid. She and her husband Shige are easily the cutest couple I've ever seen, she's one of the most adventurous people I've ever met, and they're wonderful parents to lil Luna and their two kitties. 

When she was still pregnant, we got to talking on Facebook when I found a picture of susuwatari someone painted in the corner of their bedroom. "Wouldn't that be cool for the baby's bedroom." Half an hour conversation later and I was over at her place with acrylic paint and my old brushes. As I was sketching out little sprites, I asked what she thought about adding lil Totoros. And away we went. (Over a period of several months due to my schedule being all over the place, and getting distracted with food, tea and Netflix when I would visit her.) :)

I used black and white acrylic paint for the susuwatari and the chu-Totoro. Instead of trying to create smooth straight lines for the susuwatari, I used an old mop brush with rough bristles to give the critters some texture. I started in one corner and painted them around Luna's bedroom window.


When I was almost done painting, I was wondering what would make the susuwatari chase after the chu-Totoro. A quick stop home for my gouache paints and the critters had some konpeito to chase after.

The other side of the room called to me and I added a Jiji on top of the phone jack.

I also drew some kodama, but they spooked Shige when he was a kid, so we opted to leave them out. :)

As I was wrapping up painting the smaller creatures, I took a look at the wall opposite the door and wondered to Nikhol, "you know what'd be really cool?"

To be continued... :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Der Rosenkavalier

Reader, it has been quite a year so far and there is much work to upload, but for now I want to share the  second part of a diptych (way too long in the process). It's a poster for Der Rosenkavalier, a beautiful opera written by Richard Strauss and drawn in the style of Josef Fenneker's gorgeous lithographs for Marmorhaus. There is a poster for Salome you can find on my portfolio site ( I could go on about what I would have liked to change, but I'm happy with it. Onwards!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Drawn Out

I've been completely addicted to The Simpsons' game for iPhone and iPad, Tapped Out. In my loopy state between awake and asleep (and while watching American Dad) I decided to play with contour some more. Think I might keep doing that. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My New Year's Resolution is...

(Micron pen on Canson drawing paper)

This appears to be the year of the contour for me. When the New Year started, I needed to go to figure drawing at least once a week (essentially my version of going to the gym). I showed up at the Society of Illustrators' Sketch Night on Tuesday and that seemed to be everyone else's idea too. It was stuffed butt to gut and one of the few seats available was at the bar (which wound up being an ace spot to park and draw.) More people came in as the night went on and at one point the gentlemen working the door quipped, "this must be like people's New Year's resolutions to go to the gym." Bless. :) It's possible the crowds could thin out as the month goes on, but I like that there was such a large turn-out.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with a friend about The Hobbit and how it's a bit Long. While I felt it was nice to see the White Council, all the business with the Necromancer, and an appearance from Radegast, these were all moments that could easily have gone on the DVD. However I understand the filmmakers needed to explain why Gandalf would vanish periodically. I hadn't seen the Bakshi movie in awhile, but he said he didn't mind that Gandalf would just up and disappear in the cartoon since Gandalf would usually get tired of the dwarves' crap and go off to "wizard some shit". The thought unfolded in my head and I grabbed my scratch pad for a quick doodle. :)