Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rehab Sugar Cookie

Did you ever expect to see Amy Winehouse in cookie form? She was one of my contributions to a cookie decorating event by my wonderful friends, the Muza Family.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Project White House

Here is a cover illustration I did for the Tucson Weekly. It ran the week of Thanksgiving. Illustration by me, typography by the staff at TW.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How many, how man boys are crazy, how many boys are raw?

Here's a sneak into my next portrait... It's M.I.A. She's one cool chick and I can't get enough of her. Watch her "Boyz" video here.

Anyway, I think I just need to give this piece some air as I realize that I've forgotten how to paint efficiently and successfully in the last couple months. Between working on distortion and meaningful portraiture, I don't think my brain can wrap itself around anything else at the present moment. Well, that and a full time job managing a gigantic beginning-of-season design project :) Cheers for cash, jeers for forgetfulness and crappy paintings!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jem and the Holograms vs. The Misfits

Here is a project that I started a year and a half ago and just never finished... The goal was to revamp Jem and the Holgrams for modern audience as a cross promotional media property (i.e. television cartoon, music CDs, fashion line, etc). I spent a couple weeks researching fashion trends and applying them to the ladies of the Holograms and the Misfits... all I ever really finished was these character studies and preliminary logo design. I think that if I were to do it again today, I would push the stylization even further... perhaps like some of Disney's newer shows like The Replacements or Kim Possible. Maybe I'll come back to this project one day...

At any rate, I think that these 7 character designs do present a nice time capsule to what I saw in fashion Spring/Summer 2006.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I'm working on revamping my whole website... and have been delving into Flash as a means of adding that extra wow factor... I was thinking about JUST doing a flash "Welcome Page", but the one I've designed takes so long to load, that it's simply not worth it for functionality.

Since this project is dead, at least in this incarnation, I figured I'd post it here, because it is kind of cool. Any thoughts on gallery websites made in HTML vs. Flash?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stefano Pilati

Well, as you can see a couple posts down, I love Stefano Pilati. So, here is my tribute to him in paint form. (Well, Photoshop paint, at least :) I've also included several grabs showing the process of the pieces. I think painting processes are so interesting, and I love seeing the progression in other artist's work. I'm always amazed, actually, at how different the end product is in my paintings from my initial scratches... since my pieces are built so gradually, I don't ever notice how naive they look in the beginning. It's kind of like growing up... You are physically changing, but since you are with yourself at all moments, how could you possibly notice those changes?

A little info on my thoughts and processes: I started with a warm orange base because I wanted this piece to showcase his lovely tanned skin and the contrast of that against the clean, fresh colors in his shirt and background. This image should convey the same crisp modernity as his work for Yves St. Laurent.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

50th Post Celebration!

Here are three fabulous red-heads to celebrate my 50th post with me! This is the second part of my fall fashion trend book. It will present a concise and distilled version of what I'm seeing in 2007's fall collections. (If you like the middle girl's lovely printed jersey dress, you'll have to check out Chloé who provided the inspiration)

While I'm here I'd also like to say that I've grown a WHOLE lot since I started this blog, and I can't believe that it's almost been a whole year. I was thinking about that today at work where I've figured out my calendar all the way up to December. Last year in December I did a portrait (almost) every day of a male figure... Maybe I'll do something like that again.?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sneaky Peak

A piece of the next bit.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fall Trends

Here are the first three designs from a personal project I'm doing. The whole unit is a gathering and distilling of fall 2007 trends in women's fashion. It's a lot of fun so far!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I love...

Stefano Pilati!
There is an article about him in the new NY Times fashion magazine and I just couldn't help but oggle everything from his sheer black socks to his gaudy pinky ring. He is style!
(photo from

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sector X

Here is the finished version of SECTOR X. Between yesterday and today I merely added some more fine details (and decided to nix the textures that I'd been overlaying and paint my own crackly finish--I like the way that turned out). It's a fun little illustration... continuing on my journey into distortion and emphatic color usage. I also _specifically_ set him in a place, vague as it is, because I think I often overlook location. I like how it becomes more symbolic than real.

Also of note, this is a portrait of a handsome gentleman that I found pictures of online on one of those myspace type friend networks. I used three photos from his album to collage this piece together, so thank you to "Sector X" for the lovely source material.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Small Preview

Here is a tiny window into what I've been working on in my spare time (and do I mean spare!! I don't think I've ever let a personal project spread out so long. Maybe the first time I just don't have energy to finish it up really quick? Probably a good thing and a sign of maturity).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hugh Dancy

August 1, 2007: I updated this painting tonight after looking at some more pics of Hugh Dancy. I thought his hair looked too perfect and wanted to lighten his eyes (among a few other small changes). I think it looks a little more like him now.

Here's a new one that I did today. It's Hugh Dancy--a gentleman that was most recently in the film "Evening." While Mr. Dancy may be alarming, the film is not. Anyway, this was fun, and I feel like I'm really getting to where I want to be. I'm most happy with the how I'm getting more expressive with brush strokes and willing to let that show in my work. (I'd still like to let it show more, but I think that will come with time)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Madge II

I was so inspired by Madge that I gave her another go--this time with intention of success, and not just fun. I'm really happy with the turn out, and I combined an effect that I use in my line art (separating and recombining the CMYK channels) to unify the colors as well as give a slightly offset-print feel.f

This is probably a little more Philip Burke than it is me, but that's all right. I think that the best way to learn how to do something is to copy a success story, and then use that knowledge next time. So that's what I'll do!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Classic Madge

It's not very good, but that's okay because I was playing around and having fun! The whole story is that...
  1. I've been listening to Madonna's full record collection on loop for the past week.
  2. I went and saw a Phillip Burke art show. He does rock-star portraits and is very famous.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day Job

Here's a drawing that is an expansion on something I drew for my day job where I design cute things to be made into metal. Everything has to be very simple and take into account different metal finishes and other production values, so you can see how the finished drawing is changed from the original sketch. She's kind of ugly, but fun anyway!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Piazza Sempione

Here's a little sketch I did based off of one of Piazza Sempione's 2007 Spring/Summer ads. I think it was in Vogue. This shows the new direction that I'm trying to move in with my stylization. Something about the wide-eyed, squash-headed female is really speaking to me right now. I'm enjoying the play with exaggeration. The sketch was done with some micron pens and then I threw some quick photoshop on it just for fun.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fashion Chickadee

Here's a portion of a painting that I did of one of my fashion designs. I didn't finish it, and don't think I will, but I really liked how the face came along and how the rest of the piece was starting to become "3D". I've since decided that it would be anti-fashion illustration to be so laborious with a single design, so I'm going to try something else for what this project was meant to be.

Oh, and here's another one that I had started.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This should be getting easier...

...But it's not! Here is my portrait of my friend Maggie, which may conclude this series of elemental portraits (I suppose I could still add earth and/or wind, but I'll have to wait until I find something inspiring to run with on that one.)

As I'm teaching myself to paint with Photoshop, I'm trying to learn from all of the mistakes and missteps that I took on my last project, but it seems that rather than doing that I'm just trying to find shortcuts. With the past two pieces I've painted and repainted areas with numerous glaze-like layers and a lot of complete redo's and rethinks. With this one I wanted to get straight to the source with a more "direct application" approach. Unfortuneatly I spent more time trying to fix my errors from this approach than I did really enjoying the painting process. Perhaps my method is long and tedious, but maybe that is the road that I have to ride to achieve the level of success that I want. I guess I'll have to see how the next project I do turns out!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Self-Portraits are convenient.

I wanted to do a sketch and play with the oil-paint look in photoshop (because the last couple times I've tried to, I end up using the chalk tools and mess up the whole illusion.) I really enjoy smearing the paint around, it's a lot of fun to play around. I'd still like to get even more expressive, but I'm afraid to make mistakes. For shame.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Copycat Photoshop Wizard

I was bored (which is amazing since I really have 5,000 things I should be doing) and saw that Havana Street Retro Clip Art had a logo that seemed like it would be a fairy simple but satisfying Photoshop exercise. And thusly I created this logo. PLEASE look at Havana because they did all the design work. I just did the technical magic to reproduce it. I was thinking about using this on this page, but it's a little tacky. And not me. Also you can see a drawing I did that no one has really seen from a Jem and the Holograms revival that I was working on last summer. I should whip that out....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Amy Winehouse

Here's something that I've been wanting to do for a while--a portrait of Amy Winehouse. Everytime I see a photo of her gaunt frame and big hair I just think, wow, she was born to be illustrated. And, please do not misinterpret me becuase I didn't make her a vision of lovliness, because I love Amy Winehouse and think she is an incredible artist.

Artistically this is another step forward for me and I'm excited about the road I'm going in. Here is also a little sequence showing my process. (The first part is certainly the most amusing!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


First off, this is so directly lifted from this month's Vogue that I don't want to take any credit for it. Just another sketch to develop my ability and speed at Photoshop painting. I liked the photo I did this from for two reasons: The first is that the model had lip enamel dabbed into the center of her lips and I thought it would be fun to capture that. The second is that the photoshoot is an homage to the fashion designer, Paul Poiret, who I did a project on (here).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Oh yeah, here's my celebrity portrait for the Art Challenge. The deal was a half-page of a silver screen celeb matched with a quote. Here's a little piece of trivia: she was only 5 ft. tall in real life!
View the challenge here.

Ms. Stefani if you're nasty.

Here's a little sketch that I spent just a little bit too much time on. The pose is directly lifted from a delightful photoshoot in this month's Harper's Bazaar. I'm trying to gain speed and paint more expressively, so it would probably be a good idea to do a lot of quick sketches. Like 30-second poses in life drawing class...

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I've been wanting to do a self-portrait for a long time to put on my website in the "about" section, and I finally got the motivation to do it! I'm so excited about this distorted oil-paint thing that I just started doing. After some though from the way "Sage Man" turned out, I decided that I didn't like the way a borrowed color palette looked on my work. (although I do think that the academic purposes of using a master painting's color palette are extremely valid). Maybe I'll experiment with that some more. Who knows.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Quick Study

Here's a new study that I did to see what it would be like to take the color palette from a painting that I liked and apply it towards a completely new subject. I think that next time I'll be more careful about the color palette that I borrow, because it seems too dark for the subject matter. I used the same brush at different sizes for this whole piece, and it's a brush that I haven't used before. I like it--very oily.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Because Teal Girl just wasn't cool enough.

So yeah, I need to work on her hands yet, but I'm really excited to have taken another step forward. This time I used photo reference, however I used it only for lighting situation and created the pose and character entirely on my own. I also distorted the figure without much trouble which is something I haven't really done successfully anytime in my recent memory.

The direction that I'm going in with this is towards a much different style than anything I've been working on, but I think that it is also a direction that I've wanted to go in for a couple years, but just didn't know how. I'm glad to be exploring, but at the same time a little scared to be opening yet another door, when I already have so many open.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something different.

I was playing around tonight and I came up with this. There's more on the canvas, and I might finish it sometime soon. The distortion and rendering in the piece are two things that I've been wanting to do for a while. I also made this all up with no reference (which I suppose is a third thing). I want to give her a hand, though, and I think I might need a photo for that...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flying Rhino!

The entry for the Kid Kreatures Art Challenge. View the rest of the challenge here!

Friday, April 13, 2007

My new Wacom Tablet

I've been working hard at my day job and with my freelance work and decided to reward myself with a new Intuos 3 Wacom Tablet. I have been using a Graphire for about 6 years now and didn't really think that upgrading was going to do anything for me, but I was wrong! I think the bigger tablet and extra sensitivity is going to change my life, and I'm really excited about computer art again. (and to think I just about went back to painting in acrylic) I did a quick little fashion sketch that would have been impossible on the Graphire with the limited space for stroke. It's not terribly impressive, but I think it bears a remarkable resemblence to traditional sketch without me trying really hard with layers and masks and overlays to get it to look traditional.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dick Tracy

Here's my final piece for the MIAD 2006 Challenge: Movie Poster. Check out the other entries!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lesbian Koalas

Here's my entry for the MIAD 2006 Art Challenge! It's a bi-weekly project I started with several illustrators that I went to school with. Take a look!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Harlem Girl FINAL Artwork

Well, I took my time with this one. Ended up incorporating some flowery pattern in it (which is something I've been using a lot in the graphic design I do for my 9-5 job). I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, although I don't know that I'll ever do a total painting in Photoshop again. As I've been working these last few months and experimenting, I can truly see that my work will be better if I start on a piece of real paper. So we'll see where that road takes me!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Harlem Girl Revision

I've been cleaning up that Harlem Girl painting, basically just going everything very in-depth and making it a lot tighter. One thing I've been doing in particular is paying attention to the way the light falls on the model's skin in the photo I'm working from. I still want to run over this one more time and brighten it up a bit and tighten up a few more things.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Harlem Girl

Here's a picture that's inspired from a fashion story in this month's Interview Magazine. The girl is almost all from one photo, but I didn't want her in a turban (even though Muccia Prada and Polo think it's a good idea, I'm not sure that I do). So, I gave her a little hairstyle instead. I'm not done with this. Like "Red Haired Girl" I'm going to have to make a return to refine her arms, legs, and hands.

The biggest challenge for this is capturing the African features without seeming stereotypical, or just drawing a white girl with black skin (like I did here). I also think that darker skin tones can be a lot more challenging because you can't get to a bright white on highlights without creating a chalky appearance. I still think she could be a little more "luminent" and less yellow, but maybe that's a different painting because the colors seem to be working pretty well in this.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Return of Red Haired Girl

I was so happy with the Red Haired Girl Sketch that I did (I think I only spent about an hour on it) that I wanted to keep going with it. My original intention was merely to finish her hand so that all of her skin was well developed and the abstractness would come in her surroundings, but I ended up doing a major overhaul on her face and hair (as well as defining her dress). So basically, I spent a whole lot of time fine tuning this little sketch. Perhaps her hair could get a little brighter and more out of control? Maybe some time this weekend after I finish my pile of Freelance work!!!

(A side note: I listened to Peaches the whole time that I was working on it, which is probably the most opposite type of music I possibly could have chosen)

Also for your viewing pleasure is the photo that I was working off of. I think what I did to the piece in these revisions has made it a lot more "mine," but still I give full credit to the stylists, photographers, and the pretty young thing responsible for this ad (which, again, is Fall 2006 MaxStudio)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Red Haired Girl

Here's a quick little drawing that I did tonight. It's based so closely off of a gorgeous MaxStudio ad from fall 2006 that I don't deserve any credit beyond the media application (which this was intended to practice). I've been wanting to do something really high contrast like this for a while and also have wanted to portray fair, youthful, and glowing sking. I think I've finally figured out how to use red in the skin efficiently (well, for this drawing at least) so I'm pretty happy about it.

I'm also pretty happy to point out that this is the first female portrait that I've done during the last two months of having an art blog. I've kind of been avoiding that because women are so delicate that they really require a lot of extra care. (for instance, it would be a very bad idea to use a lot of heavy brushstrokes in a woman's face because it appears blotchy in a way that wouldn't register on a male portrait). I think I'll do some more women.

Next step: come up with some ORIGINAL artwork!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Forest Ranger

Here is my latest entry to He-Man.Org's bi-weekly redesign competition. This week the contest called for a redesign on a concept character that never made it off the drawing board at the toy company, referred to only as "Female Forest Figure."

I wanted her emblem to be an owl to link her to the forest and I imagine her as a mysterious and speedy character, origins unknown. Artistically I'm trying to develop a way of stylizaing my Masters of the Universe drawings in a way that would lend itself to model sheets for a cartoon. She could potentially live in the same world as the Sea Hawk I did a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A man from the Urban Outiftter's Catalog

I had the urge to do a little "drawing" tonight, so I tried another male portrait. It accidentally ended up with almost the exact color scheme and "technique" as the Steve House portrait I did last month, so I made it a little bluer. Now it kind of reminds me of one of those paintings that were done for the Star Wars prequels--probably because the figure glows out of a cold-looking environment.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Sea Hawk

Another She-Ra post--this was done for a redesign contest at I wanted to capture the spirit of the original character as well as show him in my style of cartooning. Errol Flynn provided some good inspiration for this.

This is also the first thing I've done in at least a month that started with traditional media (penciled, inked, scanned, then colored). I'd like to find a better way to merge my two ways of working, but it seems that right now I can do some serious cartooning or serious painting, but I don't have the control with my Wacom tablet to be able to do both at the same time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


This is my interpretation of Catra from the "She-Ra: Princess of Power" universe. When I was a kid, I always thought that the chick that played Cassandra in Wayne's World would be a great casting choice if a live action She-Ra movies was ever made, and I think that ever since then I've had a place in my heart for an Asian Catra. Actually, though, this image is based off of a gorgeous Anna Molinari ad that was so much Catra already, I couldn't resist pushing it a little further (and the moral of the story is that the model in the ad was of Asian decent).

After leaving this piece rest for about a month and returning to it today, I think that I'm finally done with it. I'm not absolutely in love with it, but I really put the finishing touches on it today and don't know that I'd be interested in returning.

Additionally, this piece came before all of the lads that I'd been drawing in early December and was the first time that I made something with Photoshop with the sole intention of making it appear to be a traditional drawing or painting. Revisiting it today made me realize that I've figured a lot out in the past month, so I'm pretty happy about that.