WiP Wednesday - A bit of this and that

Behold my immaculately maintained work table!

You might have noticed that there was no Work In Progress Wednesday last week. That's because I was on vacation and pretty much just completely checked out. Now I'm back and feeling recharged.

Here are a few of the things I've been working on this week. I labeled a bunch of bottles, most of which were donated by my friend R, I started painting a toy dinosaur for a planned diorama, and then there's the subscriber prints I need to get back to.

I think that's it for now.


WIP Wednesday - Recutting Jericho

I'm just about done recutting Jericho. The going has been slow. I lost some momentum with the napping sickness. Also I think I made a mistake around one of the eyes pretty early on. I'm hoping it doesn't look too bad when I proof it. I'm not looking forward to doing it a third time. But if that's what it takes to get it right then, third time's the charm.

This is my last linoleum block guess I'll be heading to the art store to get more.

I've also been going through and ol sketch book and I'm posting some of my favorites over the teh instagrams.

That's about it for now.


WIP Wednesday - Or not so much

I ended up having a fairly mild cold that absolutely drained me of energy. I have dubbed it the Napping Sickness since it meant I spent the majority of the past five days sleeping at all sorts of odd times.

I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking, and I'll be getting back to work on new Jericho block this week. In the meantime here is an old sketch I found.


WIP Wednesday - Jericho

I've begun work on the subscription prints. You can check out both designs for the Autumn/Winter prints over on the Patreon.

I started on the monster, his name is Jericho by the way. This one has been really challenging. The transfer image I finally used was my fourth attempt to make a version of the original I could actually carve into linoleum. I started carefully carving it out. There were a few mishaps, the mouth didn't survive, but I was feeling pretty good about it over all.

It wasn't until I made my first proof that I realized I had screwed up the left hand. All that work! My coworker, Loren, said it looked fine, you don't even notice. That was very nice of him but I notice and it's not good enough.

So, it's back to the beginning. I did use tracing paper for the proof so I'm hoping to use that as my transfer this time and save a step.


WIP Wednesday - Robots and monsters and stuff

I finished up the block for Robot. I'll be getting to printing up a bunch sometime soon.

In the meantime I've started on the image transfers for the first subscription print set. I think I've set myself quite a task with the monster, Jericho. I thought Robot was complex to carve but this one is going to take some patience. Simple as the Cabin looks I think I've left myself a few traps there as well.

That's all for now.


A bit of news


I've decided on the designs for the Autumn/Winter subscriber print set. You can check them out over on the Patreon page.

I've also decided to do some prints based on old sketches I like and think will work. I've settled on a few I need to pick from. So far I've settled on a chibi batman I did years ago and a picture I Homeless Guy.



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