Working on a new project!

I’ve been ignoring my poor blog lately so it’s time for some more updating. I have a new project for the new year!

There is an enormous aviation industry here in Portland both commercial and private, and since I’ve been here I’ve been approached by several private owners to do some nose or tail art for them. One of my biggest inspirations is old school cheesecake Pin Up art, so this is feeling very “full circle” for me! There are a lot of details still to work through, but I’ve already started beefing up my portfolio a bit, so here’s one of the first girls in progress.



I’ll post more of her as I work a bit more.


Cricket – Kirkpatrick Family Crest

So we had this funny looking little dog





You know that expression”you learn something new everyday”? Well today I’ve learned about 20! The most interesting has got to be this technique to create a really nice bokeh effect. Bokeh is the term for those bubbles of color that appear in photos when the background is super out of focus and their surprisingly easy to duplicate. Here’s the background I’ve been working on, and it only took me about 10 minutes (most of that was just creating the new brush tool)

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 11.05.50 PM


I’m considering whipping up a quick “how to” for this. It’s so cool, and way easier than it looks!

Skull Man Progress 3

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Starting to work in some color/form now… I think I’ve decided to go with a little bit more of a painterly style, but with a very restricted color palette.


Skull Man Progress 2

Part 1

Part 2

The line work is finally just about done! It’s been a while since I did anything so textural, so doing his guy’s hair and beard was pretty fun. The next step will be the smoke, then color… I’m still not sure how I want to color it. Either something flat and stark, or maybe more painterly… I’ll figure it out as I go.


This guy’s got one helluvah jaw.

Skull Man

Something I worked up real quick in between work today. I was going in a very different direction when I started sketching, but I like how it’s turning out. I think I may ink him tomorrow!


I always try to give myself at least a day in between sketching and inking… After a few hours away, it’s a lot easier to pick out all those mistakes that were hard to see with my nose glued to the screen.

Color Sketching

I took a few days off for the Holidays and I’ve been using some of my spare time to work on digital painting. Here’s one that I was working on a couple days ago. There are no high or low lights in it yet, so she has a very flat, dead tone. I was just messing around with using a single layer and keeping to the sketch without relying too much on it.


WIP Skin Tones

It’s been years since I did any real painterly painting, which is awful, and I’ve never done any digital painting so I decided it’s time to remedy that. I’ve been playing around with brushes and color palettes, and practicing skin tones: adding reds, blues, greens to the high and low lights… It’s tough to keep them from looking dead lol

Here’s one of the faces I was working on earlier. I’ve just barely worked in the base colors. The form of the rest of the face is sill pretty off, but I spent most of my time on the nose, trying to get the shape and color to work together.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 11.43.23 PM

Inspirations… stagnation

These past few weeks have been all about the art going up around The Bay area for Festival Anonymous and I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of the artists and watch them work. It’s been pretty inspiring! Tomorrow I’ll have a photo to post of a little tweaking I did on the mural I did this summer… lol… and I’m also starting a new digital painting project. I’ve been pretty comfortable with my technique lately and I can’t help but feel like it’s gotten a little too stagnant. So it’s time to change it up and try something totally new! For inspiration I’ve been browsing through art by Jason Chan and Charlie Bowater. Two totally amazing digital artists.

Kokoro Cafe Winter Banner

A few months ago I did a banner set for the Otome gaming forum “Kokoro Cafe” which has been blowing up. Who knew girly games were so popular??



This is one of the reasons I use layers so so so much. Since just about every element of the original image above is on its own layer, it was easy to go in and make small adjustments to create several Special Occasion versions: a 1000th member kiriban, spring time “Hanami” (turning the green trees into pink sakuras) and a winter “Happy Holidays”.




The winter one was a little more involved and actually required quite a bit of re-drawing/adjustments, but it was fun and turned out pretty nice. It went live on the site just a little while ago! I didn’t have enough time to do one for this past season, but I’m also planning on doing an Autumn/Halloween version for next year. Plus, at the rate the site is growing, I’m sure I’ll have to do another kiriban soon!

If you’d like to see the beginning to end process of how I created the original image, I posted a pretty detailed description of the process a couple of months ago. Thought process, scans, digital images, even a bit about the texturing that I used for the setting! Check it out here.