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!