lady knight 02

Taking another stab at one of these, the last one was almost a year ago HERE


Heroes of ComicCon, Part I

Salt Lake Comic Con is coming up soon. Unfortunately I won't be there this time. I do still have a few of last years sketchbooks if anyone is interesting, just email me.

But what I'm getting at is, I love going to Comic-Con. Not for the merch or celeb spotting, but for the fans! That is what makes the whole thing possible. (*Yes, the fans could have their very own convention sans artists, writers, etc. As much as it pains me to confess.)

It's the endless parade of fanaticism that makes the Con great! The infinite variety of creation, appropriation, and interpretation is astounding. Every brand is richer for it. It never ceases to amaze me. I have loved every minute I get to sit behind a table and watch and watch. I sit in awe with respect, and a good laugh, but with respect, for anyone who steps into the shoes of their heroes to any degree. 

So I've started this ongoing series that I'm calling the "Heroes of Comic Con." Fan art is a staple of Artist Alley, homages to our favorite characters. But this is my fan art of the fans. These aren't specific individuals, any likeness to anyone living or dead is pure coincidence. Let's just call them 'archetypes,' or amalgamations of an experience at large.


plantar boxes

more of these. they're just so fun to doodle in the sketchbook


morning inspiration

As a quick morning study I came across this cool illustration and was inspired to do a mod. I don't know how it's supposed to work, just went for cool. 



more of this kind of thing


lunch paint

getting out during lunch to work in analog. quick studies, mostly still trying to get a handle on watercolor


atmospheric perspective

a simplified study of sorts. I wanted to illustrate how I understand atmospheric perspective. Using this quick abstracted mountain peak shape I tried to boil it down to the simplest concepts. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see and have been guilty of is thinking of depth in terms of depth-of-field, or what is in focus and what's blurry. The trick has it's place, but it's something we understand because of cameras; it's not how our eyes and brains compose what we see. There are other things that happen that tell the viewer there is depth in an image.

True, our eyes only see little focused patches, no bigger than your thumbnail at arm's length. But as our eyes scan a scene our brains composite all those little pieces into a large image that we understand to be in focus everywhere.  

So taking depth-of-field out of the equation, what else can we use?

The big image is all of these tools combined. Below are each tool that could stylistically be used all by itself.

'Fade to atmosphere'
Really simple, looks like fog. The object appears to recede as more atmosphere is put in front of it, the color of the sky. By atmosphere, that usually means water vapor. Water molecules absorb red wave lengths of light, leaving more blue wave length light to travel about; that's why the sky is blue. 

'Fade lights'
More like a spotlighting effect, dramatic. It appears as though there's something above and out of sight that is blocking the overhead light; the stuff far away is under it, the stuff nearer isn't. Coupled with interesting cloud cover, this effect can be really striking. And it can be reversed. 

'Compress contrast'
As you put more atmosphere between you and distant things, light scatters. This means the lights get darker and the darks get lighter. As the light from the lights travels to you it scatters into the space between you and the darks. A lot like 'fade to atmosphere,' but without introducing the color of the sky.

'Fade to light' 
The opposite reasoning of 'fade to atmosphere.' At high and dry locations, like Utah, the mountains look really close because there is very little water vapor in the air, so they don't fade out very much at all. But a lot like 'compress contrast' in the scattering of light, this can introduce the color as well as the value of that scattering. 


Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi

I was asked to contribute to Sketching from the Imagination's next book 'Sci-fi.' The book is chock full of amazing artists, and somehow I was able to pose in their midst. Working with 3D Total's team was a great experience. 

You can pre-order the book HERE till June 8th, and get a free sketchbook!