Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This is the End

Well, kind of.

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately, and feel like I need to simplify things. Partly this is because I'm super busy doing freelance work, dealing with business obligations, trying to get some personal work done, house maintenance, and of course spending time with my family. This leaves a finite amount of time for blogging. Which I love to do, but having multiple blogs leads to a situation where I end up not writing for any of them. So while Penny Candy & Shady Characters is my first blog, it's not the one with my most important branding attached to it. I've come to the decision that this will be my last post here.

Where can you find me then? I've got a new website with an integrated blog,, or if you prefer blogger, I mirror those posts here. Also, I do a weekly post on the Fusion blog, about the indie-craft community and the art co-op that I'm a member of. I post every Sunday or Monday on the Fusion blog, and will have a photo-roundup every Monday on the Handmade Family blog and an art-roundup every Friday. Plus some sporadic rambling as I get a minute. Also, I'm reviving the Daily Life illustrations, as I've missed them.

As a sort of send off, here's the latest cover for Hex Games, Hobomancer. Available soon for the QAGS game system. Seems sort of fitting that my last image before setting off for other parts is a magical hobo. Ha-ha-ha!

Thank you all for your support and kindness over the last couple of years. It's meant a lot to me, and I've truly enjoyed getting to know you. Until next time then, take care and be good.
Your friend,

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Handmade Family Calendar

The 2012 Handmade Family Calendar is finally here!

Featuring scenes from Akira, Empire Strikes Back, Firefly: Serenity, Ghostbusters, The Legend of Zelda, Megaman, My Neighbor Totoro, Sesame Street, Spiderman, Star Wars, Tron, and Where the Wild Things Are.

The concept behind this years calendars is movies and dress up. Mr Handmade chose 12 of his favorite movies shows and video games, and illustrated them...with a twist. He came up with a set of rules. The kids would be the main protagonists, and would get accurate, high quality costumes for their scenes. Adults would take supporting roles, and their costumes would be thrown together. The settings for the scenes would also be things from around the house, We wanted them to be plausible, but also obvious what it is supposed to be.

We're really excited about this one, and love how well it all printed! Something that I planned for this year is the reusability of the images. I wanted all the pictures to be able to be removed from the calendar as a whole and be used as pictures for the kids rooms, without there being holes visible on them.

Calendars are available in our Online Store at, at Fusion in Chesterfield mall, at E.L. Riley in downtown Kirkwood, or at I Am What I Am On Mainstreet in mainsteet Saint Charles.

Until next time, take care and be good!

Your friend,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Handmade Family Drawing giveaway.

My Wife and I are long time Muppet fans. We enjoy them as much today as we did when we were kids, and we are all looking forward to the new movie coming out on November 23. In his speech to Doc Hopper at the end of the original Muppet movie, Kermit says:

“I’ve got a dream too. But it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And…well…I’ve found a whole bunch of friends that share the same dream, and that makes us kind of like a family.”

We take a lot of joy in what we do, and with sharing it with you all. In that spirit, from now until when I manage to check our FB page on November 23, we will be having a giveaway drawing for this marker sketch of Kermit and his banjo. All you have to do is leave a comment on the photo thread on our fan page telling us who your favorite Muppet is.

And like kermit says, it gets better the more people you share it with, so let your friends know too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All Stars: Vice Squad

Cover art for the All Stars vice squad game supplement coming soon from Hex Games.

This is actually the second cover in the All Stars series, the first one was by the super talented Lindsay Hornsby. I didn't try to match her art style, but did use her color palette. It was strange seeing the color choices that another artist used and thinking about how I would have done it differently. The two biggest differences are that her skin tone is very yellow while mine leans more toward reddish orange. And the over all tone is purple, where I usually go with a dark blue or red.

Like I said, the differences are interesting to me. Hope you like it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Costumes from last weeks convention

I know you've all been just dying to see some of the costumes from Archon last week. I took a lot more photos than I realized, ha-ha-ha! One of these days, I'll get around to writing more in my posts again, but not today. I'm leaning toward the idea that maybe it's better to do more posts with fewer words than sporadic posts with a lot of rambling thoughts anyway.

Over all, I was really impressed with the costumes this year.
The girl in the brown dress was actually a vendor, and was really caught off guard when I asked for her picture. Ha-ha-ha!
That little girl Captain America was super cute. Her mom said that she was getting frustrated because everyone kept calling her Wonder Woman. She was looking all over for the adult Captain America so she could get her picture with him. I wish I'd been there for that meeting! :)
The Twilight Zone costume was really cool.
Lot's of Dr Who's this year. The white mage from final fantasy was also really nice.

The girl Cosplaying as Kaylee from Firefly was a dead ringer. And check out that awesome Ghostbusters costume!
A couple more Avatar characters, the greatest nintendo controller ever, and... r2-d2?

It was a great con, I sold some drawings got to meet a great local comic group that hopefully I'll be doing some work with soon, picked up a couple of commissions, and go to drink free beer with my friends. Not too shabby.
Until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Archon Con-Sketches

The upside of working for yourself, is that you can leave the office for a couple of days and meet new people and do new art. The downside is that you come back and there's work that needs to be done and your only employee wasn't there to do it. Ha-ha-ha!

Soooo... Archon was a lot of fun, but I'm still catching up on work so this is gonna be short. Mostly pictures. I still haven't processed most of the photos I took, so I'll get to that in the next couple of days. For now, I'm focusing on what I did while I was there. I had a table in Artists Alley this year, and spent my weekend talking to peoples and drawing pictures.

Here's my table set up on the first day of the con. We were told that we'd have 8ft tables, but only got 6 footers. Sometimes you just have to make do, but fortunately the person next to me never showed up so I ended up expanding onto his table.

The first commission on Friday. She had a printout to use as reference, and pretty much told me to do what I wanted...

This girl's ferret had just died, so she wanted a picture of him with angel wings and a halo. I always hope that what I make comes close to what's in peoples heads, because this stuff is kind of important to them.

There were a couple of drawings that I did just to kill time...
Peter Venkman from the Ghostbusters.

Chunk from the Goonies.

Mal from Firefly. I'm glad that this one ended up finding a home before the weekend was over.

I apparently have a slight obsession with superheros eating hamburgers. I think there's just something about people who are action oriented doing normal things.

Right before closing up on Sunday, three girls from the St Louis Science Center who were there promoting the new Star Trek Exhibit came and commissioned 3 drawings of themselves...

As Star Trek characters,


and riding dinosaurs. I had a lot of fun working on these.

That's it for now, so until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Hate It When This Happens

So, I was working on an design for work this weekend.  I got the illustration drawn, and most of the design set up, and then went to put the logo into it... It wasn't supposed to be a soccer design. Oh, man, I was not happy.  Ha-ha-ha!  But that's what I get for not checking all of my elements before getting started.

So I started over.  Amy mentioned the other night that she doesn't know where I get new ideas for stuff everyday.  This one came from Donald Duck playing golf. There's really no huge secret to where ideas come from, mostly it's just watching a lot of stuff, and remembering it later.  Ha-ha-ha!
Until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Fall!

It's been a super busy work week, and until tonite I haven't had more than a minute to think. Still, I'll be lucky to get to bed before midnite.  Ha-ha-ha!

At any rate, I don't have much time for a "real" post, but thought I'd share some of the drawings I've been working on for my day (nite...late nite) job, celebrating the end of that aweful summer heat..
A jack-o-lantern...
and a turkey playing soccer.
That's it for now. Until next time, take care and be good!
Your friend,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More Sprites

I'd meant to have these up here a couple of days ago, but have been experiencing some technical difficulties the past few days. Three more of the Sprite Illustrations I did last month. All six of these watercolor illustrations are available to purchase in my etsy shop Handmade Family. There are also a lot of other really cool items there made my my wife, like superhero capes and masks, key chains and baby blankets. Go check it out!
"The Mason Jar"
"Hat Shopping"
"Three Little Birds"

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