Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Melting Of An Iron Heart

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Holidays. Thank you so much for keeping up with the blog this year and leaving such supportive comments. I look forward to sharing more with you in the new year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Apology

Saying that you are sorry isn't usually an easy thing to do. It forces you to admit wrongdoing, and generally lets people know that you aren't perfect. In this particular case however... it's easy.

I am SO SORRY for the ridiculous drawing that I posted yesterday. It has to go down as one of the worst pieces of poo that I have ever posted to this blog. I have been busy here at work, and I rushed to get something posted yesterday. Huge mistake. I think that my eyeballs were on break when I decided that the sketch was "post-worthy in any way. Blech, blech, blech... ptooey! I am a professional? (Cough... cough... hack!... cough)

The composition is terrible. The tangents that are created by the characters overlapping make my brain hurt. The line work makes my eye twitch. I could go on and on. Whew... breathe. I actually feel so much better now. Thank you for letting me yell at myself.

And while this is by no means a great drawing, I feel it is in some way a valid re-interpretation of my original intent. I offer it up to you as a slightly better offering for today.

I will now go practice drawing circles and straight lines.

thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Quick Color

I have been really busy here at work, and my mornings have been really short... so I am cheating and throwing some color on an old drawing. I am very tired. Just saying.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's That Time Again

Hello and howdy! Back to the drawing board!

Now that December is upon us, it is time for me to start sketching a Christmas themed drawing or two. My usual method involves many roughs, then a few that go through to a painted piece. Some may even involve robots. Go figure.

On a side note, my holiday blogging will be cut short this year, since I am taking some time off to enjoy the birth of my son! Christmas Eve is the day the baby is set to arrive... but my last day here in the studio is December 18th. I will be off for almost a month, staying close to home and spending some quality time with my amazing family. My hope is that I will be posting several times over that stretch... and I apologize in advance for the baby pictures I am sure to include.

When I return, I will move into the "clean-up" stage on the Wizard of Oz art I have been working on. No worries, it hasn't been forgotten.

Thanks so much for checking the blog, and lets draw a bunch of Christmas art before the holidays!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thinking In The Chamber

The Wizard's chamber is slowly growing. I didn't have much time this morning, so there is not a tremendous amount of progress to show.

Going forward, I think that I will be taking more time to develop these concepts before I throw them at you. I am still more than likely going to post bits each day, but it may not be the whole piece until I feel the drawing is in a better place. I love sharing my in-between scribbles with you guys at a fast pace, but I also realize that I need to do good work. Sometimes that takes more than a single morning.

Be patient with me!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pay No Attention...

In the movie "The Wizard of Oz", the wizard's chamber scared the crap out of me as a kid. In my version of the story, the Wizard is still a fairly normal, mild mannered guy... who creates this huge persona using what he knows. Gadgets and steam! I think I will use this as a start for something truly huge... need more smoke and mirrors.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Hey everybody! I hope that all of you had a good week! My Thanksgiving was great, and allowed me to spend time with my family as well as just plain relax. Always a good thing.

A bit of a break from the "Wizard of Oz" for today with a drawing for my friend Mike over at "Boldtman Studios." He has created a fantastic book for kids called "The Gophers in Farmer Burrows’ Field" and it totally rocks. Mike was kind enough to ask me to take place in a little activity he is calling "Stacktastic" where he lets other artists draw up a stack of things that the farmer might discover out on the farm. He provided a cool template that features the farmer and his dog... and I scribbled all over it!

I hope you dig it Mike!

Back tomorrow with some "Oz" goodness...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Wizard

I am pretty sure I have bigger plans for this guy, but you have to start somewhere. I do know that somewhere along the way he became part machine. I may be detecting a theme...

I am out of the studio for the rest of the week, and I will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. If I get a chance I may post something small, but if not... I will be back next Tuesday! Thanks to each and every one of you for checking my blog and I hope you have a good week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

If The Wizard Should Fly...

If you are going to keep up your image as a "Wizard" you really need a nice ride.

Thanks to "foolsfitness" for commenting and getting my mind racing on this one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My apologies to Ursula... I like the idea that the Wicked Witch of the West might be more machine than human. Powered by evil of course. It's a start!

I thank everyone so much for checking the blog! I love getting your comments and emails!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Tin Man

... a gentle giant, lumbering through forests to collect only the finest of trees. He is a master of his craft, yet all he wants is a heart...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taking A Few Days Off

I am taking a few mornings off... but thought I would throw up some old character design. Hey, it's good for a laugh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Lion

A fairly weak concept this morning. I have a long way to go on this guy. I pictured him as a larger than life warrior, who is really just a coward. Maybe he has great stories about his bravery in the "big war" that are all made up. It's a start, and it will evolve. Happy Monday.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Scarecrow Scribbles

This was just a little exploration on my part. I prefer the first option in many ways, but I think there are a few things here I can use. Progress!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


What if it wasn't "magic" that allowed the Scarecrow to hop around? What if it was a delicate "steam assist suit" with thousands of tiny gears and pistons? Man, that would be cool...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Toto Beginning

So, I started scribbling these ideas for Dorothy's faithful canine companion. I am certainly not there yet, but I think I am closing in on something. I want him to be a small machine, but I also would like him to be expressive. A bit of work to do on this little guy.

Each of these concepts I do will more than likely go through several rounds of changes. Dorothy is an example of a concept hitting in an area that I like... but after I sketch out a few more characters I will most certainly visit her design again. I like to keep moving so I may jump around a bit.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


A simple girl, with a love for grease. Wait till you see her dog...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's A Start

I ran out of time this morning before I could really flesh out a decent color job. My goal will be to make it read a bit better, and clean things up in general. For now, I will probably put the penciled version in the corner of my upcoming concepts. Speaking of that...

Thanks to everyone who voted in the "What Theme Should He Choose" poll! It looks as if next week I will start out re-imagining the "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" story with a "Steampunk" theme! It may be slow going, but I promise to stick with it until we have a cast of characters. (I may take a Christmas break if things go that long.) I also understand that many many things have been done as "Steampunk" so I will do my best to bring something new to the table.

Have a great weekend, and thanks again!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Many Moving Parts

I have a lot of work to do if I want this to actually be readable, but for now it is at least fun.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yippee Aye Aye

Tis Monday once again!

I want to thank everybody for voting in the poll over the weekend! Very very cool of you to do so. There are a few days left, but it looks like we may either have a tie, or at least a very close finish. If we do have a tie, I will probably decide to combine the two themes... Three way tie? I guess I would have to combine the THREE themes! Western Steam Punk in Space! Whooo. Either way, I look forward to it.

Thanks again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Now For Something Completely Different...

Happy Friday to all!

Today I thought I would kick off a little project that I have wanted to do for a while now. I kept putting it off with excuses like "I have no time" or "I'm not quite ready." Well, no more excuses.

Doing this blog has been great for me. It gives me a reason to draw every day, and it also makes me available for questions and comments. One of the most frequent comments that I get from art students around the globe is "What should I put in my portfolio?" While there are many different answers that all depend on your desired position within the art field, I do have several stock responses:

1. Throw away your school work.
2. Don't rip anybody off.
3. Take a well known story, and "re-design" it.

For today's post, I will focus on point number three. In my opinion, the best thing you can do as a prospective character designer/illustrator/concept artist is to take a story that the Art Director is familiar with, and put your spin on it. Push it as far as you want, but be sure you keep things clear and easily explainable. (Because believe me, you will be explaining them.) Character design is an obvious choice, but you could also explore environment and prop design.

Also, if you wanted to get extra bonus points, you could push things even further. Set the story in a completely different location or time period. Make all of the characters squirrels. Perhaps your version of Robin Hood takes place in the refrigerator. You never know...

So why am I talking about this? Well, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is, and do this myself. It may take a while, but each morning I will sit down and push toward my goal. the story I have chosen is "The Wizard of Oz." Why that story? I like the possibilities. Varied characters with very unique personalities. Fantastic locations. Magic. Fantasy. Good. Evil.

Here is the twist. I am going to let you (my loyal blog readers) decide what direction I go with this. I have chosen three different settings for this re-telling, and you get to pick where you want me to go. I have set up a poll over on the right, and you can vote.

Setting 1: The Wild West

Setting 2: Space

Setting 3: Steam Punk

Sound good? I will set the poll to run for a week, and after that I will get started. Please pick something good. (In all reality, any of the three would make me happy.) So vote!!!

This should be a lot of fun, and I look forward to getting started. Thank you all for humoring me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spooky Ballinger

This morning, I took a shot at doing a piece of fan art for my friend Bryan Ballinger. His characters "Frank and Stein" inspired me to draw something up. Unfortunately, I feel I have sucked all of the life and style right out of Bryan's poor characters. His line weights and energy are things of beauty, and hard to capture in my sloppy style.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flapjack TKO

The face smashing robot version of Flapjack!

And a bit of "behind the scenes" with some of my first "blue sky" concepts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Carver

I would like to finish this one out a bit more.
I think this guy might have a story...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Dee Dee Bleep

Moving fast today! A quick sketch of what Dexter might look like as a TKO Bot. I actually have a much cooler idea for him... but I am holding out hope that he might eventually sneak into the game, so I will keep that one under wraps for now.

Have a great weekend, and thanks so much to everyone for checking out the blog.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just so you know...

I have been out of the office for a couple of days due to my wife having strep throat. I got to play Mr. Mom and take care of the kids. I discovered that Candy Corn is a terrific motivator.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Robot Wishlist

I must start out by stressing that what you are seeing will never happen. (Which is why you are able to view it on my blog.) I have thrown the challenge out to the studio here to mock up characters that they WISH were in TKO. A "wishlist" of sorts. So no, don't expect Aku.

But he makes a great robot.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bot Buddy

Every kid needs a robot. It makes homework a lot easier.

Also, the post yesterday marked 500 posts on this blog! Wow.
I really appreciate all of you who have checked out my scribbles and made this so much fun.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Glowy Bit

My default warm up when I need to relax, is a robotic thingy holding something that is glowing. Quick, messy, and now I feel better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smashy McGee

Rough concepts for a game idea that stalled out.
Very fun to draw though.