Monday, October 25, 2010

Frat Boys Interior and cover inks

I know what you're probably saying... "More frat boys?! Geesh!" Almost done, I promise. This week, I got one last archetype, and finally the inks for the cover. Hope you like 'em!
The final archetype I have for you is the ring leader. This character archetype can vary wildly, but the constant is that he's charismatic, and perhaps a bit mischievous, but above all, he holds everything together. Examples include Anthony Edwards character in "Revenge of the Nerds", Val Kilmer in "Real Genius", and Ryan Reynolds in "Van Wilder". I based mine in part on Jeremy Piven in "PCU", and Bill Murray's unforgettable Peter Venkman in "Ghostbusters". Cast as Justin Bateman, I think he'd be charming, strong, and capable of being sardonic when the situation required it of him.
I have never liked "Scooby-Doo". There... I said it. I've always thought it was a cool idea, but ultimately, it was the same old show over and over again, and honestly it wasn't that entertaining the first time. I did like the intro, however... THAT was cool. Four kids and their dog on an adventure, being chased by monsters. Cool. So, that's what I had in mind when I was drawing the cover art for Frat Boys -Versus-. What would Scooby-Doo be like if it was cool. It's got everything from redneck truckers, to ostriches, to zombie girl-scouts, and even an astronaut with a sword!

Okay, so maybe my idea of cool and everybody elses is different. At any rate, I'm pretty excited about how it's coming along.

Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daily Life Calendar pages

Running a little behind on posts this week, apparently. So, here's the pencil drawings for January and February of the Daily Life calendar. I decided to go ahead and post the pencils, so that there wouldn't be any (more) gaps in the Daily Life schedule. I thought about going ahead and putting the story for each one with the images as well, but I think I'll wait on that until they're all done and the Calendar put together. I will go ahead and do some commentary on the drawings, though.
I have a very large backyard with a fire-pit on the edge of the property. Being a "Man of the North" as I am, this is pretty typical dress for me in January (Sweatshirt and scarf ensemble with jeans and a hat). Especially when I'm working a bonfire up to full-on AWESOME. The funny thing about this drawing, is that (With the exception of Abby and I) these are not people who would be at this particular event. I haven't spoken to Andrew "The Fat Kid" in a couple of years, and the woman is really just a representation of what girls look like to me in the winter. Maybe when it's all done, I'll add some peoples who might actually be there. Ha-ha-ha!

My friend Justin has two basic haircuts. This one and long hair. I prefer his hair short. I don't care if me having a preference of what my guy friends hair looks like says about me either. So there. I have noticed lately that Abby stands like this with her hands on her hips. That's also something I do, and I think of "Forest Gump" every time I do it. It's funny seeing bits of you in your children... I've never seen my wife run in her GIANT winter coat, but I imagine it would look something like this. She takes winter more seriously than I do, but notice that by the time February rolls around, I finally admit that maybe I do need to put a "real" coat on over my sweatshirt. There are a couple of things I need to edit in this picture, mainly that Justin's head is too big, and that his son looks a little too old... Also, I might move the window up a little bit.

Okay, then. That's all for now. I have a pretty awesome picture to show you on Monday, so be sure to check back in. Until then, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Frat Boys Interiors

So, I was going to post about something else tonight, but I really have too much other work on my desk, and didn't manage to get all the artwork for that post done. There's always next week though, right?

I figured that instead I would share with you a couple more of the character archetypes for the "Frat Boys -Versus-" supplement for the QAGS game system that is due out before the end of October.

First up is the Party Animal. Most often, when I think of the party animal archetype, I think of John Belushi in "Animal House". I thought it would be kind of funny to cast him as Seth Rogan, and strap a keg on his back as his zombie-killing weapon-of-choice.

When I think of the Outsider, honestly I think of the black running-back in "Varsity Blues". At any rate, I thought it would be cool to have the person who was different from all the other pledge brothers be... A girl. Not just any girl would do though, so I cast Rosario Dawson. Steve said something to the effect of "I don't know what she's going to do with the beer-bong, but I have a feeling it'll be awesome."

Finally, on a semi-related note... RPGnow is offering $700.00 worth of gaming PDFs for $25 dollars. All the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. So if you like games, and you like saving a lot of dollars, and you like helping others save lives, go check it out! One of the pdfs in the offer is American Artifacts, by Hex Games.

Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Daily Life... News

As I mentioned the other day. No day life today... sort of.

My friend Nance suggested that I make a Daily Life calendar for the new year. Not something I'd thought of before, but wow! Wat a great IDEA! (So great that I apparently forgot how to spell the word "What".) Super excited, I told my wife about it, and we spent the rest of our thirty minute car ride brainstorming ideas for the illustration to go with each month

Then I sat down with my little notebook and sketched out tiny drawings of my ideas.

Pencils come next. Here's January, its a little different from the original sketch, but I think it holds up pretty well.

As I work my way through the ideas, sometimes the original thumbnail doesn't work as well as I would like. Here's my second attempt at working out the logistics of the character placement for February. I did it in pen so that I could just work out the ideas quickly and not worry so much about whether it looked "right". Showed this one to Amy, and she laughed but said I should put her in it too, because that's part of the point of the joke... Every so often, she's right, that's why I show stuff to her while I work on it.

So that's my big personal project (besides the dining room floor and the kitchen, but that's another story alltogether). Be looking for it mid to late November. It's a pretty tight deadline, but I'm reasonably sure I can make it. As another aside, I think I'm going to try to post the pencils as I finish them along with their accompanying stories. Yes? No? Anybody...?

Until next week, take care and be good!
Your friend

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New items in the shop

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I have a shop on Etsy:Your place to buy and sell all things handmade. If you're looking to pick up some cool art and craft stuff, you should definitely check the site out. My shop is located under RedHerringJeff, and I have several hand-printed items, as well as original drawings and digital prints for sale.

I'd been holding off on putting my most recent originals up for sale until after the Archon convention, but now that that show is out of the way, I'm posting them to the shop a little at a time. Here's a couple of the things from this week.

The original inked version of the art for the West Canaan Wizards.
The Original Inked artwork for the Frat Boys Versus:Party Animal
A high quality digital print of the Pytheus Club cover.

Been SUPER busy this week. I'm finishing up the inks on the cover of the Frat Boys -Versus- cover for Hex, and I've got some work done on a surprise project. You'll get a preview of that on Friday instead of the "usual" Daily Life post.

Until then, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Daily Life 023: Drawing

A couple of months ago, we gave Abby a spiral notebook to use as a journal. She likes to draw her name, her hands elaborate, multicolored, scribbly compositions... We gave her a sheet of stickers which she happily used to fill the pages of her journal with a fascination combination of neat rows and layered smiley faces, stars and dogs saying "GOOD JOB!". The point is, she draws in the book, and (usually) not on the walls or bills.

Sometimes when shes sitting at the table drawing, I'll get my book out and draw too. Abby will lean over the table, balancing precariously on one foot and ask "What you drawing, daddy?" in her little voice. This particular time I was drawing her, drawing. "You drawing Abby drawing... daddy?" Yes, most answers are repeated as new questions. This is a sign that she will soon be shoving her journal toward me and demanding drawings of cars, or animals, or Shrek. Which results in a mad dash to get down a passable likeness before she turns the page and demands something different.

And you complain that your boss wants stuff done fast?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anybody Can Draw 002: Shape

After doing the last anybody can draw post, I got to thinking more about that hypothetical class room. How would it go from there? I think looking at the elements of design is a good place. In my head, design is all about how we assimilate and represent visual information. Being able to break down that information and form an educated plan of attack is what allows us to make a drawing that actually looks like something. I thought about where to start, and shape seemed like a good place because so much of what we see and interpret in an image is based on that initial silhouette. In a movie you can usually tell the good guy from the bad guy simply by interpreting body language, and the way the shapes he or she was designed from. Curves=Good, Pointy Bits=Bad.

The sample image above are some examples of what are called "Primitive" shapes. Most things able to be created usine one or other of these shapes. Just think about those old "How to draw..." fill in the blank with dinosaurs, cartoon characters, jets or animals. While those books showed us how to make some passable little drawings using a formula. They did it by demonstrating how to break down the shapes.

Shapes can also be used to break up the space in your pictures, like in the "vases and Faces" image to the right. This is an old example of using shapes to define the space surrounding it, or using the surrounding space to define the shape, depending on how you look at it. Is it two faces looking at each other, or an elaborate vase? When working on drawings, it's always worthwhile to consider how shapes effect everything around them, and vice-versa.

Finally, on the left here is an example of something recognizable drawn using only shape. Specifically using the shapes in all of the darks to put together an illustration that is both familiar and dramatic.

I hope that all of this made sense, and wasn't too dry. This is really a huge, complicated topic that people have devoted whole sections of books to... So a blog post is naturally... missing something. The main points that I was trying to get across is that shapes are the building blocks of pretty much everything in our world. Shapes define and are defined by the container they are put in. Finally that while when we think of shapes, we think "Rectangle", "Circle", or "Star" but the reality is that they are so much more complex and rewarding than that.

Okay. Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Archon 34 (Or My Weekend With Hex, Dice, and Video Game Geeks)

Okay, saying "Video Game Geeks" is a little misleading. While being a role-playing gamer and a video gamer are not mutually exclusive, neither are they necessarily the same thing. I really just wanted a clever title for once. Ha-ha-ha!

Archon 34 was a blast. I got to meet a lot of really cool people (Like Steve Dixon here, in his incredible Jek Porkins Costume) as well as hang out with some older friends. Archon is a science-fiction and fantasy convention that centers around the gaming aspect of the hobby. 3000(ish) gamers and fans take over a portion of the Saint Louis (This year it was West Port) area for the weekend and play games, talk, wear costumes and drink and dance. What's not to love?

Aside from the gaming aspects of the convention, there is also an art show, providing an opportunity to showcase some really fantastic artwork, as well as maybe sell some of it.

This is the reason I missed two posts last week. I was proud of myself for working ahead (and am glad for the head start it gave me) but still ended up scrambling on Wednesday and Thursday to finish getting everything together. I'm really pleased with the spread of work that I was able to present, but think that next year I'll try to have more color images to show. Hopefully next year they'll have the artists alley again as well, and I'll get a table to talk to interested peoples from behind. And maybe sell a thing or two as well.

And finally there were the guys from Hex games. Had a great time hanging out with them and playing their games. I got to sit as a panelist on a couple of their panels (World Building, and Magic: You're doing it wrong) which was both fun and informative. I'm excited about some of the upcoming projects we discussed for the upcoming year as well.

So. To sum up. Archon 34 was great. The Art Show looked really good, and while I didn't sell anything directly through it I am glad that I did it and hope that the publicity will send some work my way. Made some new friends and contacts, as well as got to see some old ones. Oh yeah, and got to play some AWESOME games by the guys at Hex using the QAGS system, available at as well as Go buy and play them today, and have some fun yourselves!

Who needs high school reunions anyway?
Until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend