Work In Progress Wednesday : Robot

Initial sketch, final design and design prepped for the block.

Initial sketch, final design and design prepped for the block.

This robot print has given me a bit of trouble. I hadn't really anticipated how fiddly all that shading on the design was going to be to carve into linoleum. Combine that with an early mistake that made things more difficult down the line.

You'd think I'd have noticed that wasn't tracing paper.

You'd think I'd have noticed that wasn't tracing paper.

Slashed right through that arm.

Slashed right through that arm.

I started with a sketch I had made a few months ago of a kind of lonely looking one-eyed robot. My orginal plan had been to scan the sketch and print it out at the appropriate size. Sadly my printer heads are clogged and there isn't enough ink to clean them. Grrr printers. So I just redrew it using the sketch as reference. I'm glad I did because I think the new design looks pretty good. Even if it doesn't quite capture the 'sad robot' of the original. Also I was able to design it with carving in mind.

This leads us to my first mistake. I used the wrong paper to transfer the image to the block. I've taken to using tracing paper to make a copy of the design. Then I glue the tracing paper face down to the block with tacky glue. I've experimented with a couple types of glue with varying success but have finally settled on tacky glue. I used it on another design I did last week with great success. So I charged ahead confidant in my process...and used the wrong paper. This is where things went wrong.

The thick paper bunched up and pealed off when I needed to do a detailed cut leading to a much messier look than I had been intending. Things were going wrong. Then, while cleaning up the lines, I cut straight through the arm. The block was ruined.

Taking my time and being careful with the new block.

Taking my time and being careful with the new block.

Latest proof for the new block. I'm fairly pleased.

Latest proof for the new block. I'm fairly pleased.

It was a relief in a way. Things had been going badly and I didn't really feel good about the whole thing so having an excuse to abandon that block was kind of welcome. I went down to the art store, bought some more blocks, fresh blades, and TRACING PAPER. Retraced the design with a bit more care thought and pasted it down. I was ready to start carving again. Only this time much more carefully and methodically.

It seems to be paying off.



I know things have been pretty quiet around here for a while. I've been doing a lot of thinking and reconsidering about approach this working artist thing I'm trying to do.

One idea I'm working on is getting a booth together for flea markets and art shows. That's a ways off still though - so in the meantime I've started a Patreon!

I even have different tiers with cutesy names and rewards. There's Paper (thanks for the help), Ink (thanks for the help and have a couple prints), Brayer (thanks for the help, have a couple prints and help me pick my next subject), and Baren. (thanks for the help, have a couple prints and help me pick my next subject, and here have another print.). So if you like the things I do and would like me to be able to do more of it go on over there and throw me a buck.

I'm also going to be getting back to my Etsy store so keep an eye out for that. I threw a few odds and ends up on Zazzle a little while back so maybe poke your head in there and see if there's anything that strikes your fancy.

I think that's it. Have fun.




Crazy Pictures

I databent a bunch more pictures when I got home from work last night.

It is absolutely my new favorite thing.

A drawing I did years ago

Some robot picture I found online

Trump Tower Mountain View

Trump Tower Mountain View

Also a picture I found online. Inception?

Going down another level



It turns out there's this thing called databending. It involves taking image files and running them through audio editing software, applying some filters and then seeing what you get. I've been playing around with it for an hour or two and I think I've worked out the technical details.

Here's one of of my drawings after being processed through Audacity. You can find the orignal here.

I'm going to keep playing with this and see what I can do.



New Book Day : Day of the Triffids

'Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham

Cover art by R. Courtney

Copyright Del Rey 1986

This one is for a friend who has recently had some spooky plant experiences. That is plants that are spooky.

If you somehow don't know "Day of the Triffids" is a cheesy sci-fi movie from 1962. Mostly remembered for the shot of a pair of woman's shoes being spit out by a killer plant.

But before a shambling rubber plant monster chowed down on a scream queen "Day of the Triffids" was anovel by John Wyndham published in 1951.

This is the Del Rey edition first published in 1986. The cover art is by R. Courtney and shows that, unlike the 1962 movie, the triffids do not gulp down people whole. In the novel the triffids would kill you with poison and then wait for you to die so they could sink their roots into your rotting carcass. 

If you simply must see a dramatic production of "Day of the Triffids" I would recommend the BBC miniseries from 1981. Or the 1962 movie if you just want to watch something fun and silly.

New Book Day : 1984

Too soon?

'1984' by George Orwell - Signet Classics Edition copyright 1985

I can't believe I haven't done this one already. I suppose the cover itself doesn't really have much to recommend it. It doesn't communicate anything about the story inside. The lettering is simplistic and almost cartoony.

On the other hand, the stark simplicity of the mostly white cover and simple titles does fit with the stark tone of a story that begins with "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks the clocks were striking thirteen."

If you want to see all the faces that this story has worn over the years take a look at Emily Temple's 'George Orwell's 1984 : A Visual History'


New Store

I opened up a new store the the other day. If you are following over on the FB page you would have seen a small storm of products that went up the other day. The store is on Zazzle which seems to be a pretty low-impact way of getting designs on objects. It's mostly t-shirts right now but I'm going to be adding stuff pretty actively for the next while.

If there is some specific combination of design and object you'd like to see put it in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

I haven't given up on Etsy but it has a more hoops to jump through and I really just wanted to get something up and running.

I haven't been updating this site very actively. However I am going to be updating here more regularly. Also I have been posting sketches and photos over on the Instagrams which mirror on the Book of Faces.


Cover of the Week : The Traveler In Black

I don't really have a lot to say about this book. I read part of it several years ago and don't remember much other than it is a strange fantasy story about a guy in black who travels. I love this cover though. The art is by Leo Dillon who in addition to his book cover work is known for children's books such as "Why Mosquito Buzzes In Your Ear"

Well that's all I've got for now.



Black Pudding

"The black pudding is a monster composed of groups of single cells...The body structure of a black pudding is such that it can pass (flow) through narrow openings..." AD&D Monster Manual

Do not eat the black pudding!

This warning brought to you by the Monster Manual Project



Behold the Beholder!

"The beholder (eye tyrant, sphere of many eyes) is most frequently found underground, although it infrequently will alir in deslate wildnernesses."  -AD&D Monster Manual

This turned out to be trickier than I had thought it would be since I was trying to copy the original not make up my own. You know, even though the beholder is one of the most iconic D&D monsters I've never actually used one as a GM or encuontered one as a player.


Beetle, giant

As a part of the Monster Manual Project I proudly present to you Beetle Comma Giant.

I don't think I ever really noticed the person hiding behind the tree before.  I made them a little more obvious in my version.


"All beetles are basically unintelligent and always hungry"  AD&D Monster Manual


"The basalisk is a reptilian monster.  Although it has eight legs, its slow metabolic process allows it only slow movement...the basilisk's major weapon is its gaze by means of which it is able to turn to stone any fleshly creature which meets its glance."  -AD&D Monster Manual

Next up on the Monster Manual parade is the Basalisk.  Just make sure not to meet it's gaze.

Oops....I only have one more picture banked and it isn't even inked yet.  Best get crackin'.



Next up in the Monster Manual is the baluchitherium.  Maybe you didn't know but in addition to dragons and demons and monster of myth in Dungeons and Dragons has always featured a host of prehistoric critters.  There's a whole bunch of dinosaurs coming up in the D's.\


"This creature is a prehistoric anscestor of the rhinioceros.  It is a huge hervivorous mammal with a tendency to charge anything nearby in order to trample it." -AD&D Monster Manual

Axe Beak

The Monster Manual Project v.2 is proud to present for your viewing pleasure, the Axe Beak!

"Axe beaks are prehistoric, carnivorous, flightless birds...An axe beak resembles an ostrich in its lower portions, with a strong neck and a heavy, sharp beak." -AD&D Monster Manual

This was always one of my favorite illustrations in the Monster Manual and it was fun to do my own version.

This is the last of the drawings from Monster Manual Project v.1.  From here on out it's all new work.


Ape, carnivorous

"The carnivorous ape is a larger, stronger and very aggressive relative of the gorilla...It hunger particularly for human flesh."  AD&D Monster Manual

Next up on the Monster Manual Project - Ape, carnivorous.  

Basically it's the sort of gorilla you would see in a Tarzan movie.



"The anhkheg burrows through the earth like an earthworm preferring soil rich in minerals and organic matter." -AD&D Monster Manual

To (re)start the Monster Manual project I present to you the anhkheg!  Scourge of farmers.  Really, they love farmers.  It's a problem for the farmers but an opportunity an enterprising young adventurer.


Monster Manual Redux

A while back I started a project of drawing all the portraits from the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual.  I got as far as Axebeak.  I'm going to take another crack at it.

Since I didn't get very far I'm going to start at the beginning again.



I've created some new galleries in What and added a bunch of my recent projects.  Take a look.

More to come.

I really have to stop getting inspired to work on the site right before work.


Vendetta In Gotham

I was going through my boxes and boxes of comics the one night last week and came across this gem.

It's Batman vs. Judge Dredd in what I believe was the second crossover special they did.  This time Judge Dredd crosses the dimensional barrier to come to Gotham.  His mission, to arrest Batman for the crime of vigilantism comitted during the Dark Knight's previous visit to MegaCity One.  I mean sure, Batman helped to stop Judge Death but rules are rules.

It's Batman and Judge Dredd drawn by Mike Mignola!

I'll be in my bunk.