Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blizzcon was awesome!

Another kick ass Blizzcon in the books. This was the first year we tried doing artist demos on stage. Besides some technical difficulties with the Cintiqu (that I had never used before going on stage) and some microphone stuff, it went pretty well. Being up there with my fellow D3 artists Oliver and Trent made fielding questions from the audience a lot of fun. All the artists had a great time and produced some sweet sketches. We auctioned off the sketches for charity to the fans. Its crazy how little you can get done in 1 hr. By the time I got comfortable on the first day, the time was up. Overall it was a successful test, so Im sure we will get a bunch more artists to do it next year... Im calling you out Richie! =)

Here are the sketches I did at the show. (after an hr. of clean up and polish)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Congrats Christi and Mandel!

My sisters wedding was last weekend. Of course it had to be in Vegas. It was a beautiful, sunny 108 degrees of the driest heat I have ever witnessed. I lived through 2 army tours in the desert and it wasn't this dry. I swear the city is creating an electrical field that pulls all of the moisture out of the air to make you come inside the nice air conditioned casinos. Once your inside, they hand you a free refreshing drink of whatever makes you want to gamble all your money away. I really don't like Vegas. Sadly ALL of my family lives there including my new inlaws who are the coolest people in the world. So I forsee many trips to hell in the coming years. Regardless of location, the wedding was great. The Rasta preacher was amazing and had us all laughing. The reception was also fantastic. We have a new DJ in the family and he is awesome. Lots of great food and dancing. I got a ton of incriminating photos and video as well. To everyone's surprise, my father actually managed to stay sober long enough to give a toast to the bride and groom. Bravo dad!

Congrats to my sister Christi and her new husband Mandel. May your previously troubled souls be forever joined to cleanse the wounded hearts and minds which make us proud to witness your adventurous conquest to become one with the perceived prospect of holy matramonial bliss from the heavens above... tacos for everyone!

Let me just add an appropriate image to commemorate this special occasion.

Shadow Dragon Ninja Octopus! (sketch group theme)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Percy Jackson is my hero

So... Sunday night is normally family movie night where we order pizza or we make something that we can all eat in the living room and hang out. We have been talking about making a short film using our flip cams so we have been watching the Pixar shorts to get some cool ideas flowing. Since we were already on the Pixar kick, tonight I (that is myself) suggested we watch Finding Nemo for family movie night. The wife (that is Liz) says "wait a sec! We have some free pay per veiw coupons that are expiring soon so we can watch something for free." Then I say, "We own Nemo so that is also free... and we know it doesn't suck." I'm not one to avoid checking for new things so we flip through the amazing PPV family section. We soon realize it consists of 12 bad movies that we have already seen and something new called Percy Jackson and The Olympians. None of us have seen it and its from the director of the first Harry Potter so we decide to check it out...

Needless to say, my life is forever changed by this unparaleled experience. I don't think I will ever be able to enjoy other movies quite the same way again. Uma Thurman as Medusa, Pierce Brosnan as a centar, Rosario Dawson with hell hounds! Need I go on? If you or anyone you know have not witnessed the relentless barrage upon the senses that is Percy Jackson, run don't walk to your couch and perchase this pay per view enigma before its too late!

1920s Time Traveling Walrus

This is just absurd... These themes are so insane but damn they are fun. I didn't realize before this that I had no idea what a walrus really looks like. Their hands... or... flipper things are so odd. I still don't understand how the hell they can even move. Then trying to come up with a time machine that his big ass would fit in brought back memories of me squeezing into a Bradley back in my Army days. It turned out more like a Fisher Price wagon, but whatever. 

This was the other sketch I did for this theme:

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August already?

I haven't updated in a while. I swear its not because everything I have sketched in the past month has been facing left... well... at least thats not the only reason. I got sick, then Deathspank came out, then the kids with their playing, then Limbo came out, then the wife and her more time together thing, then Starcraft came out, then I had to get a haircut, etc. It was a busy July... I guess I should post something.

The theme for this sketch group was Organic Biplane with a Rhino bonus creature... obviously.  =)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Left face!

With this post I have come to the realization that I default to drawing characters facing left... I swear the next thing I draw will be facing right! (or I will just mirror it before posting) =)

Well this is a 'Desert Gatorman'. This was probably the most successful sketch group so far. There were a lot of people with great ideas that turned out fantastic. I was surprised to see so much variety in gator styles. We will be setting up the site for the sketch group this week so people can check out the different craziness.

Cloudizle attack!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ravenous Peace Keeper

This was the theme for sketch group last week. I couldn't think of a good idea so I decided to make him a 'keeper of pieces'. I had so much fun drawing him, I decided to ink him afterwards. I have become such a digital drone, I almost forgot how fun it is to work with a real pen on... whats that rectangle white stuff... ah yes, paper.

On an unrelated note, check out 3D Dot Game Heroes for the PS3. Its an amazing throw back to classic 8 bit action games like the first Zelda. If your an old school gamer you will love its style and sense of humor and you can make your own 3D sprite...ish characters! Awesome stuff!


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Amphibias Cowboy

This was the random topic for sketch group last week. This was a lot of fun to draw because we spent the whole time laughing at the cowboy reference pictures we had to work from. The best one was an Asian guy wearing what looked like a Canadian Mounty hat and some spiked leather arm bands... WTF!? Then we found some crazy pics of monster salamanders. Google 'giant salamander' if you want to see what I'm talking about. Scary and... home how cute at the same time. :)

Frogs have such crazy hands. I tried to imagine what it would look like to see one holding a gun. I was going to draw one of those stick horse pole things but Haga was sitting directly across from me mumbling off the most random absurd comments about 'Edison who invented spac so I ran out of time due to multiple histerical laugh attacks. He is so out of control... in a good way.  =)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prehistoric Circus

This was the theme of our regular Monday evening sketch group. KKG is doing an awesome job changing up the topics. Its great to see artists that I work with evey day coming up with ideas that are way out of their comfort zone. Im trying to avoid erasing or undoing in Photoshop so I want to get in the same mindset with a pencil. Keep it loose and incorporate your mistakes into the sketch. Its a challenge, but its always fun and it keeps me out of detail mode.

Sketch groups are fun and great practice. If your not in one, start it up! Or if you have access to a sketch group and just refuse to use it, you suk! Thats right, I'm calling you out Platinum Pat!  =)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

timed speed painting... fail

I'm getting back into speed painting for practice. For this one I referenced some mountain pics I took from our snow trip last month. The focus was shapes, values and time management. I set the timer for 1 hr. Once I had a blockout with nice clear shapes and decent composition, I looked up at the clock and it says 20 min. "Sweet! I still have 40 min to make it look cool!" says me. So I start pushing around diagonal snow shapes to break up the vertical stones and trees, pushing contrast in the foreground, etc. All good stuff. But at some point the detail switch in my head flips on and speed paintings arch nemesis, noodler guy shows up to crash the party. I hear the BEEP! and instantly snap out of the zone. "Oh shit, times up..." I hesitate for a moment and then struggle to put the pen down. I take a deep breath then zoom out... FAIL. The shapes and values started blending back together. I got hung up on details and ran out of time which ended up hurting the final image. In retrospect I should have saved an iteration at 20 min to show the difference. With another 10 min, I could greatly improve this image with a lighting and base snow fixing pass. Sometimes its just better to fail and leave it to remind yourself what not to do next time.  =)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Heading out to GDC this morning. Hope to see you there!  =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sketch group randomness

Here are a couple of sketches from our Monday night sketch group which has started with just 8 D3 artists. We started with a reference image of a 4 winged chicken that we randomly stumbled upon. So we all started drawing birds which turned into pure of chaos within a few minutes. Guys riding giant chickens shooting arrows, flying demons, giant tick monsters, etc. With our sketch group, I don't think staying on topic will ever be possible. hehe.  =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Samus is always fun to sketch. She has such a strong iconic form that has stuck since the first classic NES version. Most lead game characters are too similar in silhouette so you have to get into the details to set them apart. With Samus you can throw down a few circles and an impossibly thin waist and most gamers will know who your sketching. Any programmer could draw a recognizable Samus... well... ok, that might be a stretch. Any 5 year old with a crayon.  =)

I love the Metroid Prime series and I think it may be the only title that properly utilizes the Wii-mote controls. It doesn't make me shake, juggle or break dance to jump or attack. All other developers take notes. With the new Metroid leaving Retros very capable hands, I'm a little (or a lot) concerned with the idea of Team Ninja developing the new title. Not that I dont like Ninja Gaiden or DOA, I just don't really know if I want the Smash Bros version of her in a fully realized action adventure game. Well there has never really been a bad Metroid game (the DS version does not exist in my mind) so lets just keep our fingers crossed for more Metroid goodness later this year.  =)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Boring guy fixed!

After uploading him, I realized boring guy needed a few quick adjustments. Now hes got a little character!  =)

Boring guy

When I sketch its always stylized or cartoony stuff so I figured I should try a few more realistic sketches since this life drawing stuff is the hip artsy thing to do. This guy took me about 15 min... well its a guy... with a face... yeah. It was incredibly hard to not draw a silly mustache, scars, warts, clown nose, etc. I guess 15 min of serious sketching is a long time for me. =)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Math sucks

"Do you do math at work, Dad?" says a small voice from behind my chair as I'm sketching. "No way, I hate math!" says the dumb artist before the parent part of the brain kicks in. "What I mean is I prefer to leave the math stuff to the people who are good at it like the programers... and your mom."

I have 2 children who are straight A students that easily excel in every subject. In this regard, the 3rd apple fell very close to the tree. Like myself, my daughter Jaz loves art and hates math. Luckily she is only in the 2nd grade, so I'm still smart enough to help her. She only has about a 20 min attention span though. After that she just starts going completely blank and throwing out random nonsensical answers. "12-9=... fish?" Yup, she definitely takes after her dad.  =)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GizmoDuck rework

I refuse to let my childhood memories of cool characters be destroyed by... well... what they really looked like! So I decided to do some Gizmo Duck rework sketches. I still cant figure out what the symbol on his chest is supposed to be. =)

The surprisingly best game of all time

Last night I had a conversation with my brother about what games were surprisingly good. There are always the great games that you expect to be good, but this was about games that you had no expectations and they blew you away. Infamous was a surprise to me since I'm not a fan of gray city, sandbox crap. I gave it a chance because its the Sly Cooper guys and I loved it. The biggest surprise I have had this generation is My Sims Kingdom. We rented it because we rent every lame ass Wii game in hopes of finding anything decent for the kids to play on that horrible platform. I was shocked by fantastic writing, great characters and incredibly fun and varied game mechanics. Nintendo take notes.

Thats some recent goods but we both agreed that the surprisingly best game of all time is Duck Tales for the NES. When I heard you play as old man, Scrooge McDuck using his cane as a pogo stick... needless to say, that did not sound like a fun game. I cant remember how the hell someone convinced me to try it, but I'm glad they did because its a brilliant game. I do remember that I ended up liking the show because of how amazing the game was. Lauchpad was hilarious and Gizmo Duck was awesome! I ended up looking up some images from back then and as always, my memory of this sweet robotic badass is a lie. Old Gizmo Duck is not so hot.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2 great games on the same day!

I wish these big companies or marketing departments would get together and agree to avoid this crap. Flip a coin or something then the other guys can come out 2 weeks later. Darksiders and Bayonetta look to be the 2 best God of War style action adventure games to come out in years. Both have a dark, high fantasy vibe with amazing visuals, epic hack and slash combo driven gameplay, over the top enemy encounters and boss battles. Both are coming out this Tuesday for the 360 and PS3. I strongly feel like both of these games are catering to EXACTLY the same group of gamers so they are cutting their initial sales (which for most games is about %90) in half. Why does this happen so often? Does everyone think their game is so good that it doesn't have to worry about what else its competing with? Ah well. Personally I will be picking up Darksiders first. I prefer the art style Vigil pulled off and the exploration element the game offers. The preorder bonus being a sweet art book doesn't hurt either. =)

I added a few more random images and I'm going to be updating my links tonight. See ya!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Welcome to my new blog! I promised I would get my site up by the new year so here it is! I should be able to get a gallery up and running soon along with all my links, bio etc. Unlike my old site, this is supposed to be incredibly simple to maintain, so I (should be able to) update regularly. Werb nurba!  =)