Saturday, December 31, 2011

One More Before the End of the Year...

I said I would get at least one more in and by gum, I will! Even if it is completely random and strange. So here (in not quite finished form) is an idea I had for a Genghis Khan bobblehead.

I will explain the reasoning for it later.

Have a great New Year's and I will see you all...well, probably tomorrow. I've got another Bulldog to post! Have fun tonight everybody!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Commission Work and Exercises

Finally I am posting! I'm not kidding when I say I'm working. I really am! And I know I have not been a faithful blogging Paintmonkey this year, but I think I've done pretty well all things considered.

Here is the commission I did for a Christmas gift (thereby precluding me from posting it last week).

I had a lot of fun with this one. I did it the same way I did the gorilla this summer and I like the way it turned out. It was a gift for the client's mom and according to the client "she loved it!". So, mission accomplished!

And here is what I do when I'm watching the Falcons get beat on Monday Night Football while Drew Brees makes NFL history...

I imagine what Johnny Cash would look like as Wolverine...apparently.

I'm not done with 2011 though! More to come before the New Year!

UPDATE: I MADE IT!!! I just noticed the archive numbers and I have posted 52 updates for the year 2011! Okay so technically I didn't post one every single week but I'll take the average! Paintmonkey for the win!!! (And again, I still have one or two more so I will (again...technically) have more than met my New Year's Resolution! Woohoo!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just A Little Something

I'm trying to post things every week but a lot of what I'm doing is not for public consumption just yet. So I guess I can fall back to my faithful sketchbook. Here's a happy fish mounted to the wall.

And yes, I find those singing fish hilarious...well, for about a minute and a half. Then they have to die.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Time...

It's time for Georgia to play for SEC championship. It's time to shut up all those idiot sports pundits who keep harping on and on about Georgia's "easy" schedule. It's time to prove that Georgia is always a team to be feared.

Can UGA take down the unstoppable behemoth LSU? I think they can. I originally designed this week's cartoon with Harry holding the SEC championship trophy. But I realized that went against what I had drawn up all season. I never actually guaranteed a victory (which is what that would be doing in essence). I just promise that the other teams know they got hit in the mouth. THAT I guarantee...LSU will know they got hit in the mouth whether my beloved Bulldogs win or lose.

But I think they're gonna win.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ending On A High Note

The regular season came to an end yesterday and our Bulldogs ended it well with a win over Georgia Tech.

Bravo to Mark Richt and the boys for turning around their season in a fine manner. On to the SEC championship next week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sad Day to Be a Bulldog...

...or a sports fan in general. We've lost another of the greats. Larry Munson, the voice of the Bulldogs for over four decades has passed away. No one in the Bulldog nation is unaware of this but I still felt like I had to put down a tribute to the man who meant so much to all of us.

There's nothing else to say except we'll all miss you a lot, Mr. Munson. Thank you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Some Things Aren't Pretty... today's victory over Kentucky. Not pretty but it did cinch up the SEC East so we'll take it.

Something that I do think is pretty though is my continuing usage and mastery of the brush as my main instrument of inking. For many, many years I only used pens and made my own line variation. I love the control that gives me but it is time consuming and makes your hand cramp eventually. So here is this week's installment...

I also switched up the background to purple. Don't want to become stale with my toon-ing.

See you next week for Georgia Tech!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homecoming and Old Friends

This past weekend was Young Harris College's homecoming. I was not able to attend but one of the most favorable and positive changes that Young Harris has made in recent years was to move homecoming from the miserable and oppressive heat of summer to the fall. That is/was/always will be my favorite time to be in Young Harris. The leaves are changing, the air is cool and crisp, and there is just a feeling of joy that comes over me being there.

I wanted to take this time to let all of my friends from this time know that they are the most important and influential group in my life second only to actual family. My time with you continues to influence the way I look at the world and dictates how I react to same. There are those that are still among my closest friends on this planet. And even those that I was not that close with still gave me reason to think and look at things differently.

I don't agree with a lot of what they are doing at Young Harris these days. I think it is too developed and I think they are trying to do too much to change what made our little school special. But time marches on, I suppose. I have what made Young Harris special to me safe and sound. And I want to thank each and every one of you for that.

Go Mountain Lions!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oldest Rivalry in the South

Georgia vs. Auburn. Plain and simple. Big rewards and big risks. Lots of fun.

But COME ON! Pick a mascot! You can't call yourself the tigers and scream "War Eagle!" all the time. That's just greedy. And confusing. Figure out who you are, Auburn. On the inside. We'll wait.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guest Writer

So this week's Bulldog cartoon has a guest writer...Lady Paintmonkey! (Or to be exact: Sugarmonkey. Visit her facebook page or blog.) This week is UGA's homecoming so they are playing the WAC division powerhouse New Mexico State. And by "powerhouse" I mean, of course, "oh my god, Georgia is beating them 49-3 in THE FIRST HALF".

I found out who the NM State Aggies were and what their mascot was but I was having a devil of a time coming up with a gag. Enter the Sugarmonkey. She suggested the hog-tying of their mascot which is much cleaner and more socially acceptable than her usual suggestions.

So here is this week's offering.

Honestly, I quit watching the game. I've got the radio broadcast going in the background but I'm not paying too much attention. That was ugly.

Be sure to be here next week! Exciting fun stuff from the Paintmonkey!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Tidings

Happy Halloween from the Paintmonkey! May everyone have a safe and sugar filled holiday!

More football fun this weekend! (And maybe a surprise or two in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dares and Marching Bands

This week's cartoon was done as bet/dare/challenge from a friend who didn't think I could work the Redcoat marching band into one of my cartoons. Challenge accepted! I also decided to do it on the most important one of the year since the Florida game (years ago) she had a scary experience and needed a boost in cartoon form.

So without further adieu:

My only concern is that Florida fans will think I'm being super insulting about their team by saying the marching band could beat them up. I am not. The Florida Gators are my beloved Bulldogs most hated rivals. And they are struggling this year. But that's what makes watching the SEC so darned entertaining. ANY given Saturday EVERY possibility is there. You do not look past a team like Florida. Ever.

Lawdy, I love football in the south!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doodles and Bye Weeks

Should have had this put up sooner, but alas the world is a busy place and I am but one procrastinating member of it.

Last week was a bye week for Georgia and I actually was "gone huntin'" as the sign proclaims...

I've touched on this before but I like seeing drawings. I like to see the way artists work out their assorted and sundry compositional problems. It's why I share some of my drawings. Drawings, I feel, represent the artist at their most vulnerable and exposed. Through trial and error it is where they try to compress their thoughts and feelings into that one image that will express the innermost workings of their brain.

So here's a doodle I did of a cartoon mammoth while on hold with a vendor at my day job.

Enjoy! (Coming up this weekend: Georgia/Florida!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quick One After the Game

I'm working this weekend so I'm having to fit these updates in when I can. Georgia played Vanderbilt and won (barely) 33-28. Here's this week's cartoon.

I did make one little fix in the computer version. On the Georgia "G" on the swami hat (turban? I don't know. Tired and not looking it up.) I had accidentally painted the entire thing red. I just made it white with paint software. Sometimes technology is not horrible...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sketches Are Almost ALWAYS Better...

So my Bulldog tests continue. Seriously, these are mostly just a weekly test of new mediums, papers, and styles to see what works best for me and for other projects. But they are fun to do so we venture on, fearless illustration lovers!

This week UGA plays the University of Tennessee. Should be an excellent game. (Although I may not be able to watch it. The Paintmonkey has an informal class reunion to go to. Ah well...) But here is this week's entry:

Getting happier with them.

So here is where today's post title comes from. Almost every artist will tell you that the sketches done for almost any piece of art whether it be illustration, painting, or cartoon are almost always better than the final version. Whether it is the pose that you just can't get right again, or the composition is just a LITTLE off, or whatever other tiny little imperfection that does not allow you to get it just exactly the way you liked in that first impromptu sketch, it is just NEVER the same. It is...maddening, quite frankly. Compare the finished cartoon up above to the sketch here:

See? Looser, more dynamic, just a more fun representation. But I am not TOO upset at it this week. I had to fit the new Dawg into a drawing I had already started. I just wasn't happy with the way the legs looked in my first drafts. Then, while at work, and for entirely unknown reasons the way the legs SHOULD look just hit me. Out of nowhere. It happens that way sometimes.

So that is why finished drawings are almost never as good as the sketches which spawned them.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mythology and Sports

I'm feeling very literal tonight. Mostly because I spent most of the day with a splitting headache brought on by change in the barometric pressure. (Seriously, I woke up and felt like my head had been spiked to the pillow.)

Nope, I just have two things to put up today and they happen to be about...mythology and sports. Get it? First the mythology.

My comic book store is named Odin's in Lilburn. I first went in there about 5 years ago and reawakened my love of reading funny books. But this wasn't the comic book store of my youth. This one was well lit and the people in it were friendly and seemed to know what customer service was. I'm not saying I don't miss the ambiance of Wuxtry II on Baxter Street in Athens. There was a definite charm to the dank, musty air, the boxes of comics next to boxes and boxes of old LP's (ask your grandparents, kids) and the "will he or won't he speak to me today" tension of dealing with whatever burnout was behind the register reading some obscure French novelist. I'm just saying it was refreshing to walk into a brightly lit store and be warmly greeted almost as if you were welcome to be there.

On their website and now their Facebook page they had portraits of Odin done by guest artists. I am not in the same fame category as most of these guys but I always like to show my appreciation for the businesses I frequent so I did my take on Odin.

Next up is this week's installment of my Bulldog cartoons.

I got a set of markers this weeks and I'm trying them out. These are the first two experiments. Hope you like them.

UPDATE: I thought of a teensy little way to tweak the Bulldog cartoon. Can you spot the difference?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Addition To Last Week...

Unfortunately I don't have a lot to put up this week but here is the latest in my Bulldog sports 'toon theme.

I liked this one. It worked out well from a compositional standpoint and I am improving on the coloring. Plus...I got to use the word "giblets" in a punchline.

I'm off this week so I am going to attempt to get a couple of new things put up before I have to go back to the grind of a regular job.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cartoon Sports Mayhem

One of my many and numerous idols in the world of art and illustration is the brilliant Jack Davis. His work on Mad magazine and EC comics and pretty much every other major magazine in the world that has used his work on a cover is recognized as nothing short of amazing. For me though, his best work came in the mail every game day Saturday in the fall in the form of his Harry Dawg cartoons in the Athens paper.

Mr. Davis was a UGA graduate and still to this day supports his alma mater with drawings of his beloved Bulldogs. I love Mr. Davis's work so much that as a teenager when I first became conscious of having to apply a signature to my work, there was only one man whose signature I wanted to steal...Jack Davis.

Which brings me to today's installment. I love doing these types of drawings. I mostly love them for college sports. Professional sports don't inspire the same passion in me as college athletics do. But here are a few examples...

This first one I did DURING last week's ill-fated meeting with the South Carolina Gamecocks...unfortunately it didn't make sense to post it afterwards. So here it is for the first time.

A little rough but it was done sitting on the couch, in a sketchbook. Next I did one for the Falcons. Again, I don't care for professional sports as much, but I still enjoyed the process.

So then I did the one for UGA's game THIS week. As I had never heard of the team they were facing I had to run to the old internet for some info. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Don't know if I have ever heard of a university using a Canterbury Tales reference as a mascot before but, hey...whatever works for ya.

Still not where I would like to be coloring-wise but I am getting there. (And posting it on facebook with some very helpful friends and family re-posting it may have gotten me a freelance gig. So...bonus!)

And finally in keeping with my sports theme, I went with an old friend and his son to see an amateur boxing tournament in Doraville yesterday. Here are the first sketches with very likely some paintings or illustrations of some sort to follow. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Story...Less Slice of Life

I finished my latest Prehistoric Times submission last night. Two utahraptors attacking a gastonia. See what you think...

I'm starting to put a little more thought to the story behind the pictures. A lot of them were just pictures of the creature out in it's habitat just wandering around. Conflict is needed!

I think that is what was intended by Discovery Channel's new program, Dinosaur Revolution. Some of the people who posted on the Prehistoric Times facebook page were quite annoyed by it. (Mostly it was this one guy who seemed personally offended by it.) A lot of the people who have contributed to the magazine and been interviewed in it were involved in the making of this show. The main complaint was that it was too "cutesy" and "Disney-fied" (That is a paraphrase of that one guy who was so annoyed.) Was some of it unlikely? Sure. But overall it was an entertaining and informative show.

When Walking With Dinosaurs debuted nearly a decade ago (has it been that long? Geez, I'm getting old.) it was a breakthrough in dinosaur animation technology and was beautiful to look at. was also kind of slow. It was basically an all too real documentary...meaning that 95% of the time it was BORING. So then they made Walking With Prehistoric Beasts which was about prehistoric mammals. They learned from Dinosaurs and made it with more story involved. Much more engaging. Dinosaur Revolution is the next step. I give much praise to all those involved and hope we see more from them on this subject. I highly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who wants to see a good show about these amazing prehistoric chickens.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Paintmonkey Has Painted!

I told you those wacky zoo animals had inspired me. I pulled out some old acrylic paints and started throwing it down on a piece of masonite and this is what happened. I am pleased with the result.

This is the big silverback at Zoo Atlanta (not Ivan). I don't remember what his name is. Taz, maybe? Big scary thing anyways. He did the "beat his chest" thing and I ducked like someone being shot at. (Mostly because I thought I WAS being shot at.)

And unfortunately I didn't have any natural light to take the photo of my painting. Hopefully my next one will be shot in natural light like I am supposed to.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back in the Saddle...Again

Had a couple of bad weeks creatively. Due to complications and annoyances from a bureaucratic standpoint I did not feel like doing ANYTHING. I didn't work on any children's book pages, I didn't do any cartoons, I couldn't even draw in a sketchbook. Well, enough was enough. On Monday night I grabbed up the old sketchbook and some photos I took at Zoo Atlanta and started sketching again. Here are the results...

First I am putting up the original drawings I did...


And now I am going to show what it looks like when I play with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Meerkat revised.

Tiger (Sumatran, I believe. If anyone knows for sure what tiger they have at Zoo Atlanta tell me in the comments.)

Tiger revised.


Kangaroo revised.


Turtle revised.

And my all time favorite...the warthog.

And warthog revised.

Now I am not a HUGE fan of the revised versions. They are certainly not the way I would have inked the drawings. But it is interesting to me in the way of seeing someone else finish a drawing I started. We had an exercise in college where we would work on a painting and halfway through switch with another student and let them finish it. It was interesting to see where they took it after you and to see where they started from.

Technology will never replace a good old fashioned brush though.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hard At Work

I really am! Unfortunately, it doesn't leave me with much time to put up stuff on ye olde blog. Again, everything I'm working on is top secret. (Actually, that's a lie. it's not top secret. I'm working on a children's book with an old friend. But I can't show you any of it because that would be cheating.)

I CAN show more sketchbook goodies though including one to be used in said children's book. And this is that sketch...

It's a happy trout. The reason I can show you that little guy is because he has nothing to do with the story! He is only ambient decoration!

And by all rules of sketchbook logic, he is on the same page as...

...Marvel comics Daredevil! Sure, why not?

I will keep trying my best to update but I am getting into the meat of this project so it may take me away from blogotorial duties. Apologies in advance!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sketch Book Surprise

I've actually gotten a lot of stuff done on my week o'vacation. A lot of character designs for one project and a few layouts on another. A lot of accomplishment for a week where I also napped quite a bit.

But this week marks the beginning of DC comics bringing back one of their more interesting characters, the Swamp Thing. I read the new comic tonight and I'm not sure if I like where they are heading or not. If you are not familiar with the story, Swamp Thing was created in the 1970's by the creative team of Len Wein (writer) and Berni Wrightson (genius artist). It was a tale of Gothic horror and was supremely unnerving for a child of the 70's (me). However I grew to adore the artwork of Mr. Wrightson and the horror genre in comics became one of my favorites (oddly enough I cannot STAND the horror movie genre).

Fast forward to the 80's. Sagging sales prompted DC (or rather their "adult" line Vertigo) to bring in comic god Alan Moore along with artists like Stephen Bissette and John Totlebein. Moore completely re-wrote the mythos of the Swamp Thing while keeping it exactly the same. Instead of being Dr. Alec Holland changed into the Swamp Thing it was actually a Swamp Thing that THINKS it is Dr. Alec Holland but is actually an earth elemental. (It's very complicated and strange but believe me, it is AMAZING.) It was one of my very first forays into "adult themed" comics and I loved it.

Full of nostalgia tonight, I whipped this up in the old sketchbook.

Now DC is bringing the two myths together in their new incarnation. Alec Holland is brought back to life during the "Brightest Day" aftermath. I think. It seems as if new management at DC is trying to systematically do away with anything Alan Moore did for them in the 80's. (In the Killing Joke, the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in the spine leaving her in a wheelchair. They're apparently doing away with that as well, even though as her new character "Oracle" she became very much a part of the DC universe during the last twenty years.) Whatever. Moore only made it that your company put out some of the most iconic and brilliant and thought provoking books of the last three decades. Just brush them aside.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tattoo Improvements

It's been awhile and I HAVE been working. (Mostly on the "Giggy" cartoons so hopefully they will be up soon on the Giggy facebook account. Go and "like" it now for your updates!) But I wanted to give you a little something I have been working on lately.

I was waiting on a final okay from the client but she was waiting on the okay from her husband so I'm gonna go ahead and put up what I've gotten done.

A while back, an old friend emailed me wanting to know if I could update a tattoo for her. I said sure, I'd have a go and she should send me a picture of the tattoo. It was a blurry picture but I finally got photoshop software and I put it through that and cleaned it up to this image:

At the the time she got it, it was exactly what she wanted. A primitive rock art depiction of a horse. (She raises horses so it makes even more sense for her to have this.) As a huge fan of cave art myself I thought it was a neat idea. But people being people, everyone has apparently given her grief over it. "It doesn't have a full nose", and "Why is it missing legs?" and "I don't get it" in the best whiny malcontented voices you can think of. So I gave it the old college try to improve it for her.

This was the first version:

She wanted more of a "flame" look than before. (I believe one of her horses was named "Wildfire".) So I extended the mane and tail and tapered the lines as well as the legs and threw in a couple of extra little flourishes to help with the overall look.

The first verdict was "We like it but the ears kind of look like a tulip". Which I understand because I, too, thought the ears looked like a tulip. So back to the drawing board. Looking closer at the original I saw that there is actually two separate lines for the original ears. BUT...they were so close together it was going to be difficult to do anything without putting them together. So I came up with this:

It still put the original lines of the ears together but it stays more with the "flame" theme we were shooting for. I also couldn't go up TOO much because it would have ceased to be "flame horse" and become more of a "ride-able fire bunny".

I hope she likes it. If not, I'll have another update for everyone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Time!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I teased at something coming from Paintmonkey Studios. Well, today is the day. Along with Fernbank Museum, Paintmonkey Studios is proud to present the new and improved (unofficial) mascot, Giggy the dinosaur.

This is, of course, Giggy in his superhero disguise for "Superhero Day" coming up soon. See Fernbank's website for details.

Giggy started as a simple and inexpensive way for the museum to show off parts of the museum and involve kids in the process. They took one of the stuffed dinos from the store and started dragging him all over the building. For some reason a couple of months ago, I was looking at these pictures and I thought "you know, I could make Giggy go anywhere in the universe if I wanted". So I worked out how I wanted him to look (in line with the plush) and did a couple of preview sketches and took them to the marketing folks.

Here is the first one that I did but we weren't able to get the page up soon enough. So this is my first "This Day in Science" starring Giggy.

To be perfectly honest...this is one of my better ideas. I hope it works out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Prehistoric Submission

This is a brontotherium (or megacerops, or whatever else the thing has been named as it has been "discovered" numerous times). Anyways, this is the Paintmonkey's latest submission to the fine publication of Prehistoric Times magazine. The new issue will be out in July. Look for it in fine shops everywhere!

I will also have a neat little side project I did last week pending approval of the client's spouse!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I know it's not much but there is big news coming from Paintmonkey Studios very soon. I can't divulge much but it does involve this little guy from the last post.

I've also figured out how to clean up a little in Photoshop and Illustrator. More to come soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's A Planning Stages Kind of Month...

So I've got LOTS of sketches but not much finished product. Here's a couple of practice pages I did from my trip tot he zoo in preparation for my upcoming children's book project...

And here's a little guy I designed for work...(even though I know I will not be paid for this one in any way)...

Sometimes you just have to keep giving YOURSELF work to keep the old art chops up.