This blog...

...was initially for pieces done on a computer, but has since become a free-for-all. Here you'll find process work (digital and otherwise), sketch pages and studies, sometimes with commentary.

You can see the rest of my work here.

Remember kids : if you can't make pretty designs, at least make pretty lines!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Autodestruct Playlist - Best of 2011

As 2011's turntable lid slams shut, I'd like to extend a special thanks to those caring individuals who brought exceptional music into my life this year.  Most notably...

* Daniel Chavez -- You're Blizzard's trump card, and they don't even know it.  Not surprisingly, your artwork is as experimental, sophisticated and far-reaching as your taste in music. You tipped me off to so much great shit this year. You and Stacy are a joy to hang out and draw with.

+ Nathan Andrew Bissett -- You're my West Coast doppelganger! You do concept art, have awesome taste in music and women, and sport a shaved head! We have the same middle name! So nice meeting you and Beata this year.

# Headphone Commute // What can I say? You're my constant, my curator. Musically, we grew up together. I suspect we'll grow old together in the same way.  Everlasting!

Hecq "Avenger"
*Plaid "Scintilli"
#Tycho "Dive"
Kryptic Minds "Can't Sleep"
*Siriusmo "Mosaik"
#Jacaszek "Glimmer"
#Submotion Orchestra "Finest Hour"
*John Tejada "Parabolas"
Eye D & DJ Hidden "Peer To Peer Pressure"
Amon Tobin "ISAM"
Mobthrow "Mobthrow"
Amit "9 Times"
+The Flashbulb "Love As a Dark Hallway"
#Tripswitch "Geometry"
#Aes Dana "Perimeters"
*Machinedrum "Rooms"
+Nils Frahm "Felt"
Grails "Deep Politics"
Explosions In The Sky "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care"
Wolves In The Throne Room "Celestial Lineage"
*The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble "From The Stairwell"
Winterlight "Hope Dies Last"
#Stormloop "Snowbound"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Page Purge -- pre-holiday

I was trying to see if I could make a chick with a unicorn horn look badass. Helps if you can turn her into a creepy fish alien.

Monday, December 19, 2011

lifedrawing log - 12.17.11 / 12.18.11

This is from a Karl Gnass workshop I recently attended.  The focus : two figure composition.  Guy's a master, and I don't use the term lightly. If you get a chance to go to one of his classes, DO IT.

...and some Dr. Sketchy's stuff.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

lifedrawing log - 12.13.11

Someone asked about my aforementioned rig. It's nothing special : smooth newsprint, china marker and a big ol' wooden clipboard thingie. When I'm feeling movie director-ish, I bring my own collapsible chair. Those "horses" you're supposed to draw on are bullshit.  If there's an academic reason to use them, it's probably to make you as uncomfortable as possible, because art is supposed to be HARD, not ENJOYABLE.   THE CLOCK IS TICKING!  QUICK, GET THOSE CORE SHADOWS IN!  Awww no, you failed!  Better luck next year!  That'll be $24,000.

Monday, December 12, 2011

more technique

I have a lot of trouble obscuring elements in my drawings, and just draw-through in general, so I decided to try this new method of construction :

1) Loose underdrawing comprised of several multicolored, overlapping groups. I find I'm less distracted by the stuff behind when drawing in a different color, and can just focus on whatever new color I've picked. You'd think this would bug your eyes out, but it's not that bad. In fact, it makes you bolder when adding things (like hardons). I've just used really dramatic colors here so you can see the effect.
2) Final line composite of all groups (with underdrawing at low opacity underneath)
3) Paint that mutha!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

coffeeshop sketches 12.10.11

I brought my lifedrawing rig along with me to a coffeehouse and did my typical draw-a-bunch-of-heads shtick.  (I was with friends who were also drawing, so this didn't look like a needy ploy for attention.)  Rather than put all of these into a giant image like I usually do, I'm just posting the raw, un-leveled photos.  It's realer.

This barista had rockstar hair.  I'm sure every guy she served fell in love with her at least a little.

Here's some monster-y ones.  You can tell when I start getting into a drawing, because I press harder.

Don't ask...

Oh, and here's where I made Daniel Chavez into a rapist.

Also saw quite a few of what I call "real men."  These are the guys who look in NO WAY boyish, or simply "adult male."  They're the big, thick-necked, thick-browed beasts who live to eat, fuck and, I dunno, drag race.  The cute barista you have a crush on?  She goes out with one of THOSE.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More painting practice...

Trying to get more color/solidity/contrast into my work...things'll stop looking so flat once I have the good sense to ditch gradients. Gotta get cast shadows into the mix, too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Next Five

Here's a challenging exercise I'm doing with my always-astute cousin Rebecca Zomchek : "The Next Five."

You find a random photo from the web, then come up with the next five shots, the way a storyboard artist might.  You wind up with a six panel sequence.

More pro examples of this

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Annie + Amumu

Inspired by my good friend Josh Singh, I tried my hand at some League of Legends fan art.

Left : Annie, The Dark Child
Right : Amumu, The Sad Mummy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Washy washes!

Got some pro painting tips from concept cohorts Joshua James Shaw, Sean McNally and Tara Rueping. My kung fu is still weak compared to theirs, but it's a step in the right direction.  More painty, less digital-y.

full res

Used some sketches from my earlier post to paint over -- will definitely need to spend 50% more time at this stage.  My desire is to arrive at a "fresh" color style that's presentable and relatively unlabored, because rendering is boring.  More to come!

Heads + figure invention

Realized I can't draw women with their legs crossed, which is a pretty essential thing to know.  Gonna get right on that.  I suspect it has something to do with drawing them as a single unit, then "clipping" their geometry slightly so the fat mashes together pleasingly.

full res

Oh, and Blogger -- you can switch back to your old image viewing format any fucking time now...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

lifedrawing log - 11.16.11

Stacy E. Walker is such a great model.  We've plans to do a live workshop in the Babe Lab vein of things in January 2012.  The venue is booked and very, VERY legit.  More announcements to follow!

full res

Sunday, November 13, 2011


The short story : A month ago I quit Blizzard after one year of service.  This wasn't exactly my plan, but my hand was more or less forced.  That's as far as I can discuss it publicly.  I've a few promising leads -- have been interviewing here and there -- but want to see what posting this does.  Call it an experiment.

If anyone's got a suggestion/contact, I'm currently seeking a full-time position doing concept art*, and would love to hear from you personally at the following address :


(I, however, only speak and understand English.)

lifedrawing log - 11.12.11

Seattle session. Different venue. Different model. Same me.

full res

Thursday, November 10, 2011

lifedrawing log - 11.10.11

This model manages/performs in a plus-size burlesque troop, and said there was such a thing as "male burlesque." Not sure I'd be a fan of either.

full res

<---bonus squid girl

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Babe Lab Update - Crossed Wires

Hop over to Babe Lab to check out this new thingie I did...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

lifedrawing log - 11.05.11

Yesterday I was privileged to attend a day-long Dr. Sketchy's lifedrawing function called "Nerdgasm" -- chosen because of the various "nerdy" costumes the models wore, and because all us "nerdy" artists were meant to cream ourselves as we drew.

We're talking "high brow" here.

Output (full res) :

Observations :

-Glenn Arthur is the most enthusiastic moderator of any lifedrawing function ever. He's also quite the draftsman. Go to the Anaheim chapter any 2nd or 4th Sunday and experience his charisma firsthand!

-The models got progressively inventive/attractive throughout the day, culminating with a girl who went by "Phoebe L'amour." Several of you who were there probably heard me gushing about her over-the-top "zingy"ness. It's ironic how so few lifedrawing models possess such liveliness. ((Side note : my favorite moment of the entire day was seeing her nibble the tip of a magic wand.)))

-The places I wanted to draw the model from were often the same places people needed to be walking back and forth between to reach the booze and/or bathroom.

-Lots of effort was made to *photograph* the models, less to actually draw them into pleasing pictures. The function needed to be documented for some upcoming magazine spread, so this made more sense than usual. Plus, most of the models were simply wearing more than could be drawn, even in the longer poses. I severly doubt the people painting in the 3 hour outdoor session were able to depict a fraction of the steampunk junk piled onto "Apoca-lips."

-btw, don't you love all these fake, Roller Derby-styled names? "Hi I'm Krystal. KRYSTAL X CHAOS."

-Amateurs go for the incidentals -- the "stuff" on the costumes, irrelevant shadows -- and forget they're supposed to be drawing a beautiful woman. The result is labored and dead. Makes me think of that line in Napoleon Dynamite "It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done."

-Pros (or at least people who know how to make the best use of their time) go for gesture and get their girls looking cute right away. The result is direct and fresh. Look at Shane Glines, Otto Schmidt or Bill Presing. Their drawings are all hot, five lines in. There were a few people at this session who understood this, but most were FAR AWAY from this critical realization. You can argue with me all you want, but "beautiful" should really be the end goal.

-All that said, it wasn't supposed to be art school. It's the self-proclaimed "anti-art school" -- no rules, no pressure. Drink a beer, eat a brownie. I'm sure everyone got something beautiful out the experience, even if it was only a memory to "nerdgasm" to at a later time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

hand practice -- pt. 1

Teaching myself how to draw (still)...

I had a little breakthrough the other night on the subject of hand drawing that came from this book.  Peck, in one of his many useful diagrams, suggests that the hand be broken down into 3 parts :

-the 3 middle fingers running parallel to the arm (aligned with the wrist)
-the thumb wedge (and its pad)
-the pinky (and its pad)

Thinking of it this way helps me construct a bit faster out of my imagination, without resorting to looking at pictures, or even my own hand.

Following exercises will plant the hand on a greater variety of surfaces. Seems like a good idea to draw out some plane, curvature or object to map the hand onto/around. Or some trinket to have it grasp.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

lifedrawing log - 11.02.11

Helped this model get a gig at Blizzard, where she was warmly received. Felt good.

Oliver Chipping and I had some good art talk, which is surprisingly hard to come by in lifedrawing sessions. While I was flapping my jaw, he was getting a lot more done. Above are the few drawings I felt were fit to reproduce.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

yesterday's movie doodles

I learned a few Australian phrases, "bloody oath" being my favorite.  It's used to agree with another's statement stongly.

Guy 1 : Jesus, the girl by the blue Subaru has nice legs.
Guy 2 : Bloody oath!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

incomplete sentences

Me draw lots. Think not so much.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

lifedrawing log - 10.26.11

The guy next to me had his headphones at max volume and was whimpering like a Skeksi. There was really no polite way of bringing that to his attention, other than maybe saying "That's quite a tune you're carrying. Been lobotomized recently?"

Model was great, though. I'd drawn her before.

I asked the group what they considered their lifedrawing "sweet spot" to be, as far as duration. I told them mine was 15 minutes, because it's short enough to keep me focused, but not so long that I fuck everything up. Was surprised to hear two people say "5 hours", the explanation being "We're painters." 5 hours! Guess that's why I'm not a painter...

I realized that I do lifedrawing the way some people do yoga. It's this meditative thing that simplifies my world, relieves tension and keeps me fit. Ommmmmmm....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

lifedrawing log - 10.22.11

In this morning's session I had a moderator challenge my stance on tangents being a bad thing, saying that, in the case of surrealist painters, planned tangents can actually lead the eye though a composition. The thinking was also, "If you're going to have one tangent, have a WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM." Balthus was used as an example. I still don't quite see the merit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

lifedrawing log - 10.19.11 / 10.20.11

Don't bother clicking on these. They don't get any bigger.

Here's an amusing anecdote from last night's session (below): It was the model's first time modeling so everything was new for her. About an hour in she mentioned that, whenever she'd make eye contact with an artist, their gaze would instantly drop -- a sea of heads bobbing up and down, up and down, and she had the power to control them. "It's like playing whac-a-mole!"

I can't speak for every person who attends these, but I suspect the main reason we shyly disengage from such intimate encounters is that we feel it's a little overindulgent. The less we avert our eyes, the better results we get, but there's always this knee-jerk sense of propriety and reverence that prevents us from being blatant oglers. I like this, actually. I like that I still feel as if I'm in the presence of divinity. That I'm not quite worthy. The moment I become clinical about this is the moment I should give it up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Find The Design

A few months ago I was asked to do a talk at a local concept art workshop. My last talk, "Thumb War", dealt with the iterative process one goes though at the beginning of a project, using little pictures to communicate big ideas. I felt my new talk should pick up where "Thumb War" left off, discussing what happens AFTER a thumbnail is selected -- the fleshing out part. More than a year had passed, so I also felt I should incorporate new things I'd learned, new philosophies I'd embraced.

What follows are the notes and crude visual aids I created to give this talk, which I titled "Find The Design." I hope you like it!


Every company I've worked for has had a buzz word -- some catch phrase to describe the things they wanted done, and how to go about doing them. At Raven it was "Bluesky up some ideas." i.e "The sky is the limit, so go nuts." At Vigil it was "Make it diesel." Everything needed to be crackling with energy; nothing could be weak or second-rate. At Blizzard I constantly heard the phrase "Let's chase that." Everything was chasing, chasing, chasing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a trap!

Firstkeeper, bless her Russian-ness, graced me with a matreshka of her own. It doesn't have Admiral Akbar on it, but it has the next best thing : boobs! I think the artist is trying to warn me that, though pretty, women are in fact dangerous alien predators bent on devouring the souls of men. Was that it, Tamara?

Look for Tamara at BlizzCon this year...she'll be the one hunting demons with twin crossbows.  <--Not even making that up.

lifedrawing log - 10.15.11

Scroll for pumpkins!

I like this new vertical format...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hicham Habchi, aka Pyroow, stitched together this amazingly high quality video of our collective adventures in Morocco. What a tremendous gift. Thanks to all!

Tangier-Chaouen Drawing TRIP from pyroow on Vimeo.

Hicham is the guy chillin' in the lower left corner of this photo. Sunglasses.  Cigarette.  Hat.  You don't see him in the video 'cuz he was shooting it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

travelogue - Chefchaouen, Morocco

I took oodles of pictures here, but this one neatly sums it up.

This trip would not have been possible had it not been for my gracious host Kalen Chock [top, center], his flatmates Edgar Cardona [right, arms outstretched] and Daniel Garcia [left, rear] and his friends through the Deviant Art community, who came all the way from Ubisoft Casablanca to help us around Tangier and this amazing mountain city.

Here's a bonus shot from Madrid, just prove I was there...

...along with the oddest thing I saw in Plaza Mayor.

People I've seen recently...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

lifedrawing log - 09.24.11

...and earlier.

The Dr. Sketchy model last night was some world famous bellydancer who couldn't hold still for shit.  The girl we had on Saturday morning was the real deal.  She understood what made for a dramatic pose, and never once duplicated herself.  What a joy to draw!

More blather...GOTTA GET IT OUT OF MY LIFE!!!

lifedrawing log - 09.25.11

I had a more competent run yesterday (post pending). Tonight I was feeling experimental.*  The non-sketchbook ones were done in Sai, using a mix of the x-shape arrow brush and rough/vertical sketch tool.  I felt like a doucebag with that laptop, but it was kinda fun fumbling around in a program I don't know very well.

*read : sloppy