December 2010

Comic Book Tattoo and Digital Watercolors

Here’s a character design for a story I did with writer Sara Ryan. The comic was part of the Comic Book Tattoo anthology that came out a couple years ago. I’ve always liked rough watercolor fills- I’m doing my best to replicate them in a digital process.

A while back I had a job for the Addams Family Broadway Musical where I needed to precisely emulate a Charles Addams cartoon in a digital, multi-layered format. In the process, I discovered the wonderful Nagel series brushes for Photoshop… They do a good job of emulating natural watercolor washes. Here’s one of the more splattery examples:

…And here’s the original Addams cartoon, plus my hi-res, all-digital copy. The original here isn’t the copy I worked off of, so the contrast levels differ, but it’s still fairly close:

So there’s my first counterfeit job, approved by the Charles Addams estate itself!

Definitely give the Nagel series brushes a spin if you’re looking to emulate real world watercolor effects. They’re free, there’s lots of them to try out, and it saves you the time of engineering your own brushes from scratch (which is admittedly fun too).

Hotlanta Goes to New Zealand

We’re well into our time here in the lower half of the earth, and tempers are riding high. Just kidding. The Kiwis are, of course, as delightful as you’ve heard. Hotlanta agrees. He decided he needed to tag along on this trip, and everyone’s been having a better vacation as a result, I’d say. Here he is with our new friend Luke, who, incredibly enough, knew everyone’s favorite acorn-headed warrior on sight. That was a thrill. Luke spent some time introducing the big H to his lambs, one of many kooky adventures caught on video for the next installment of Acorn Minutes… in fact, there are enough kooky adventures being had that we may just need multiple installments for this one. We’ll see.

New Zealand

This coming Monday, Sarah and I are heading to New Zealand to visit my folks. I plan to get a good bit of writing done for my next book on the 48 hours of plane/airport time, and a few sessions while we’re in country. The spectacular landscapes should be a source of inspiration. I’m looking to incorporate a lot more study of the natural world into this next project, so the ecological diversity of NZ will be fun to explore.

The plane time is rough, no doubt about it. The last time I was on a plane for that long was my honeymoon… I sat next to a drunken Aussie-American loon who literally thrashed and bellowed through 7 of the 11 hours from LA to Fiji. On a red-eye. The last 4 hours were dedicated to my recovering from being sleepily groped between the legs by the same out-of-his-mind co-passenger. At any rate, I have that to reference whenever I take a trip anywhere, and thereby feel at ease with my slim chances of going through something worse.

No more down-notes though. Bring on the merino wool, colossal squids, and venison!

Advent Illustrations

Here are the completed advent illustrations. In order: Zechariah’s prophesy over his son, John (the Baptist), the Magnificat with Mary and Elizabeth, John the Baptist doing his thing, and the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

[nggallery id=8]