Friday, October 15, 2010

Portraits of Gomez Addams and Julie Newmar

So my wife and I recently moved in to a new apartment and we decided to spruce the place up with a few cool vintage pictures to give it more of an artsy kinda feel. Then I thought, why not do my own pictures and paint them in ArtRage? :D  I quickly collected some reference photos and began. Here are the first two I have done so far.

Gomez Addams: I love the Addams Family. The TV series and the movies. When it came to decide which one I would paint, I had to go with the John Astin Gomez. I do like the Raul Julia version but I feel the original is more iconic and fun. I mean come on, look at the crazy face.

I couldn't find any one picture I was really happy with, so I based the painting on two pictures.

I love the crazy face he makes in the first episode and in the opening credits of the TV series, so I went with that face and the body of a pic I found online of him holding a cigar.

I had a lot of fun painting him in my own style while trying to stay true to the images. One problem I did have was the greys I was working with tended to sometimes mix into a light blue. This problem was easily remedied by just importing the painting in to Photoshop and bringing the saturation to 0.

Speaking of Photoshop, I did cheat a little at times, importing the painting into Photoshop and adjusting things I couldn't seem to correct in ArtRage. For example his nose was really a pain to get right.  I took the painting into PS and messed with it using the "smudge" tool. Then I took it back into ArtRage and touched it up. If things didn't look right, I just switched back and forth from Photoshop to ArtRage until I liked the way it looked.

However this might have caused some problems because after a while, ArtRage claimed that the file was "corrupted or didn't exist." Luckily all I had to do was "save as" one of the Photoshop files, and then ArtRage was able to recognize it. WHEW! Freaked out a couple of times when that happened.

And for the 2nd painting...

Julie Newmar as Catwoman: I ran across a few vintage pics of Julie Newmar as Catwoman and I had to paint one.

I love the picture I decided to use but I wanted to make a little bit more vintage looking, so I added a red tone in Photoshop and ended up with the pic below.

Then I just picked up the colors with the "eyedropper" tool and started in ArtRage.

This painting was a lot harder than the first. Julie Newmar has very sharp, distinct features and when I couldn't get them even close, she ended up looking very very strange.

Her forehead was another problem I had. Each time I painted and tried to fix it, her forehead always seemed way too large. So I just took into Photoshop and re-sized it.

Her hair is something else that came out way too large. I had intentionally exaggerated it to capture the hairstyle as a focal point. But I had made it way too big. So I, again, imported it into Photoshop, selected it with the "lasso" tool, copied and pasted, and shrunk it down a bit.

I did try to create the sparkles on her suit by actually creating tiny dots...yeah, that didn't work. I just went  over them with the "Palette knife" tool in ArtRage" and smoothed them out.

The one thing I would change in my process is doing the backgrounds on separate layers. The texture transferred over to the main images and kind of hid the cool paint textures I made on those.

It was a lot of fun doing these paintings and I even used them as a warm up before starting the day on other projects. I'm really looking forward to doing more, so be on the look out for some updates.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Issue 2 Page 32 Pencils & Inks!!

Finally a new blog post. A lot of things have been going on and I've been keeping myself really busy with working on new character designs for all the Nightmare Pro Wrestling characters. My style has changed a lot since I first started drawing NPW about a year and a half ago so I want the characters to reflect those changes.

I've also been working on some new images for the new NPW website my wonderful wife Nicole is putting together. Speaking of my Wonder wife, she too is working on a project of here own. Check it out on her blog: The Minted Mouse.

So here are the Pencils and Inks for Issue 2 Page 32. Lately I've been trying to be a little more creative with the panels of my pages. After reading a blog about advanced panel layouts, I thought I'd give it a try. I don't think I'm there yet but I do like that my thought process for paneling has incorporated some of the concepts I'd read.

I also recently noticed that I've started to be able to draw my characters more expressively. Not that I'm saying 'My drawing ability is amazing, PRAISE ME, PRAISE ME!' I'm just saying that it's nice to be able to look back on my older pages and see that there's a big change. I hope I can keep growing as an artist and cartoonist/storyteller.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Issue 2 Page 25 Pencils and Inks

Page 25 of Issue 2!!! WOW! I never thought I'd be saying that. Finally on the last pages of NPW Issue 2. The big showdown between Nightmare Pro Wrestling Champion, Grim and Mr. Hyde. At this point, I'm still at Grim's intro. I wanted it to be so epic so you know how important he is in this world and to the NPW fans.

I pictured Grim with a bit of a Triple H kinda entrance, as this intimidating force with a cool ring entrance. I've actually had this page in my head for a while -- fire breath and all. It's nice to finally see it on paper/computer. 

I'm really happy with the way the inks came out on this page. I was a little worried about how the pyro on the last panel was gonna come out but I think it looks good. I think all of that will look a lot better once its colored though. 

I changed the fire coming out of Grim's mouth so it looked more like a controlled burst. The original sketch in pencils was a lot smaller and less intense. I want there to be the idea that if Grim wants to breath fire on you he can control its severity.

I also took off a lot of the motion lines from his arms. I think it was too much. It almost made the original drawing look like he was going to clap his fists together (or in Nicole's opinion, made him look hairy) which I didn't want. I'm also not sure if I need the "BOOM" sound effect. I think the images creates the sound all in itself, but I'll test it out and see how it looks.

Alright, hope the pencils and inks got you excited to see the colored page. Check it out on Monday at


Friday, July 9, 2010

Issue 2 Page 24 Pencils and Inks

Here are the Inks for page 24 of Nightmare Pro Wrestling. Something that I've started doing on the pages is creating the backgrounds and characters differently. For the characters I sketch them out on paper then scan them in but for the backgrounds I've usually been drawing them directly on the computer. It's been saving some time and allowing me to still get the perspective I want.

Page 24 is pretty much the beginning of Grim's entrance into the arena. I really wanted to get the mood right on this page. What I wanted the reader to feel was the the excitement of and anticipation of Grim's entrance, along with the knowledge of how popular he is with the fans. When a big star comes into the ring his entrance music gets the fans cheering and then the star pumps up the crowd and the fans get louder. Then the star's music stops and then suddenly the bigger star's music plays. And the crowd goes WILD.

I hope I can get this moment across to wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike.

I plan on putting in some cheering for Mr. Hyde in panel 1 in a big font. Panel 3 is the moment I imagine Grim's music starting. I'm going to use a bigger font for his cheers to establish that the crowd really loves this guy.

In this page I'm also playing around with a special insert panel for the announcers. I like the idea of a smaller panel with the announcers in it to remind you where the commentary in the caption boxes are coming from. I'll test out throwing these panels in every other page during a match.

The last panel is the one that took me the longest but it's also the one that I had the most fun with. The biggest obstacle was drawing each monster in a way that has  them doing something without covering up the other monsters too much.

What I ended up doing was separately drawing all the main monsters first, scan them in, cobble them together in Photoshop. Then just filled the spaces with other random monsters. I had a lot of fun designing the monsters and it was great to finally have the Nightmare Night Creatures in a crowd shot. If you look closely you can also see a few celebrity monsters in there, including the Strange Kids Club puppet.  I'm not really sure what to put on there signs yet. I'll think of something.
Now to do paints....ugh...that last panel is going to take a while.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Page 22 Pencils & Inks

Here are the pencils and inks for Page 22 of Nightmare Pro Wrestling. With this page I wanted to get across that Grim doesn't play well with others. He's a more action, less talk sorta monster. I also wanted to show that Grave thinks Grim is a cool guy and tries to be his friend. And I wanted too include what Grave's dad is like...all in one page!?

Yeah I wasn't really sure how I was gonna work it out but Nicole and I sat down and talked the whole page through. I think we accomplished making the points we wanted without slowing the pace or making things feel too rushed. Let me know if it works.

Alright, well you can check out the finished page on the site


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sketches for a new Vampire Comic

So here are a few sketches for a new project I have stewing on the back burner. It's a Vampire comic and no, there will not be any teen angst or sparkling -- I want to bring Vampires back to their Monster origins. You know, Vampires that carry  the plaque of death with them, control nocturnal creatures, change into bats, look like monsters...that sorta thing. I don't have the story ironed out all the way yet but I'm hoping to soon.

These sketches are just ideas right now and the designs will probably change as I work more on the various monsters and characters in the story. I'll be sure post updates on the story, inspiration, and any new concept sketches I do. Take these as an appetizer of things to come.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

NPW Comic Issue 2 Page 19 Inks

So I'm finally getting back to blogging and I'm going to try even harder to do more posts and more often. Here are the pencils and inks for page 19 of Nightmare Pro Wrestling.

I took a lot of things into consideration on this page. For one, I tried to make sure everything that the characters were doing was clear. I also tried to push the poses as much as possible to get some dynamic acting from the main characters on the page.

I don't know how many times I've heard that I should be doing those things but it never really sunk in until I found these drawing tip tutorials by Sherm Cohen. Maybe I'm just a visual learner or maybe it's that the tutorials had images of Spongebob, but things finally clicked for me. You can find the Tips here and here if you want to have a look.

I discovered his Artrage tutorials and Adobe Illustrator inking tutorials about a year ago. They helped me to evolve the inking style and look of Nightmare Pro Wrestling. I don't want to sound like too much of a fanboy but I have to thank him for that. He's a got a really great site with a lot of information and inspiration on there, plus he's a cool guy and is happy to share his knowledge of cartooning. Lately his storyboard tutorials have been inspiring me and I try to work those concepts into my comic pages.

On this comic page I also messed around with my approach for doing speedlines. I'm now using a little less of them and focusing more on creating a sense of movement with the lines I already have on the page. For example, on the last panel of page 19, I made the outline of Devastator Dragon's arm into speedlines to make it look like it was moving fast. I did the same with Grave's body on that same panel. I guess you can say I'm trying to convey movement with the lines on the characters which is something I've been studying from anime and manga.

Finally, I think the biggest difference in this page compared to some of the earlier pages is I've been using more blacks in my backgrounds. I think it makes it look spookier and adds more interest to the panels that don't have backgrounds.

Alright, well be sure to check out the completed page over on

See you Ghouls next time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sketches & Inks for NPW Comic Page 13

Wow...I really haven't posted on the blog in a long time. Nicole and I were talking about it this morning and we had the idea of not just posting Inks and Pencils of pages but some of the things that get me inspired to work on the comic so hopefully I'll be posting more often.

Here's Page 13 Pencils and Inks of Nightmare Pro Wrestling. I really had a lot of fun doing this page. I think I'm finally getting the right look for the backgrounds and the fans.
If you look closely you can see some old school movie monsters in the crowd.

I made a few adjustments from the penciled page to inks like making Baby Face's arm a bit long and bulgier. I also added where I wanted the arena lights and camera flashes on the penciled page just for reference when I do the colors.

Make sure to check out the finished page on Monday!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sketches and Inks for Page 6 of Issue 2

Here are the sketches and Inks of Page 6. I finished this page pretty quick and even messed with some line styles in the inking phase. I'm hoping I can finish the pages faster now that I have a sense of how long things will take with each page.

For those of you who are worried that all of Issue 2 is going to be just wrestling, it's not. There will be a lot of added story along with the fights. I plan to have a new format of telling the story, starting with this issue. The format will be more like a wrestling show with little stories in between each of the wrestling matches to help develop characters and plot lines.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Issue 2 Page 4 Inks

Here's Page 4 of Nightmare Pro Wrestling Issue 2. The page came together really quickly during thumb nailing the whole fight. Pretty fun action here on this page. My favorite has to be panel 5, with the Jolly Roger elbow dropping Chickgan. I hope the whole fight sequence in the next few pages comes out as well as I think it will. Alright, well check back on Friday, I should have the inks and rough sketches up for page 5.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Issue 1 is done.

I'm finally done with Issue 1 of Nightmare Pro Wrestling! The first issue has been a great learning experience for me. When I read through all of the pages I saw a lot of ways that I had grown as an artist and I'm proud to have something tangible to show for all my effort.

I have to give a quick thank you to the guys over at Art and Story, Chris Oatley, and the guys at Big Illustration Party Time. Without their influence and inspiration I would have never taken that big step to just go for it and do the comic.

And I also want to say thank you to everyone who reads Nightmare Pro Wrestling. The comic was just an idea in my head for such a long time that it's really great to know that there are people out there reading and enjoying it.

Maybe it doesn't seem like much but finishing this issue is a really big deal for me. To anyone out there who has something that they want to do but are afraid to take that next step, just jump in. It feels great.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Issue 2 Page 1 Inks.

So this is my second and I feel better try at Page 1 of Issue 2. Unfortunately, I was unhappy with my first design of the this page and was in such a hurry to correct it, I forgot to save the original design and the roughs of both. Won't happen again.

The original image on panel 1 had the Nightmare Tortoise turned a lot more to the right. It looked way too ordinary and being the biggest panel on the page, I wanted something a bit more dynamic. So I turned him a bit and did a upshot of him, with the results looking a lot better.

The concept of the Nightmare Tortoise is that he carries Nightmare Castle to the next location that Nightmare Pro Wrestling is supposed to have a show. He tends to destroy cities and things along his journey but the monsters in this world don't really care because Nightmare Pro Wrestling is such a big and important part of life here in this world.

Alright, I will hopefully have the roughs and Inks up of Page 2 up on Friday. I should be starting them today.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Page 32

Page 32 sketches and Inks. I've been finding that sketching out the page on the computer also has the benefit of me feeling more free with my sketches. This allows me to be looser and I think my final inks benefit from that. I don't know that it would work for everyone but it's really working well for me.

I was a little worried about how this page was going to come out, due to lack of sleep the night before. I did get a little frustrated when some panels didn't come out the way I wanted. So I stopped what I was doing and took another stab at the page the next day. When I tackled the page in the morning, things just came together. I erased what I didn't like and I ended up with another page that I'm very happy with.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NPW Comic Page 30 sketches & inks

Page 30!! Oh wow, it feels nice to say that. Not that I hate doing the comic or anything, it will just be nice to be done with Issue #1 and moving on. I'm excited about the story lines I have planed for the first story arc. Take Issue one as a pilot episode, since I was still developing what I wanted during its creation.

Page 30: I've had the idea for this page in my head for a while now. It's nice to finally see it as a page. I took a quick short cut in panel 1. I couldn't get Milky Roach to look right, so I just scanned in an image I already had of him and touched it up. Saved a lot of time.

You will also notice no real speed lines yet. Lately I've been adding those in after the paints, so I have a better idea of how they will look when the image is completed.

Alright gotta get started on painting. Check back Friday to see page 31 Sketches and Inks.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nightmare Pro Wrestling Webcomic Page 28 roughs and Inks

So you might have noticed that the "pencil" page doesn't actually look like I did it with pencils. I ran out of pages in my sketchbook and decided to try sketching out the page straight onto the computer and I had an epiphany. Sketching straight into the computer saves me from having to draw out each panel, scan the pencils into my laptop and fit the page together.

Maybe that doesn't sound like a very long process, but it is for me anyway. This way is a big time saver and I really like the way it looks. I think I've finally perfected the line style I want for the comic.

I have also started finishing one page entirely, from roughs to paints and then continuing on to the next page. This has been a lot more efficient for me instead of penciling two pages, then inking both pages, then coloring both pages.

With the last few pages I've been experimenting a lot with different inking and coloring styles and methods so now that I've made these discoveries I'm hoping I'll be able to update a lot more often.

Thanks to all for reading,


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Masked Mummy 2

Here's some more of one of the new characters I'm designing for Nightmare Pro Wrestling webcomic. The Masked Mummy!! I did end up changing a few things from the original design,

1. The left arm in the pencils, as I stated in my last Masked Mummy post, was a bit off. I changed his arm slightly and ended up with something I was really happy with. subtle but noticeable.

2. Added a few more bandages and tore them up a bit.

3. Stretched out the image a bit to make him wider than I originally had him.

The colors are not done yet and I'm just messing with colors to see how they look. I ended up with this color scheme and like it so far. Not completely set on it, still gonna mess with some other color ideas.

Alright, hope you all enjoy the beginning stages of the Masked Mummy.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Masked Mummy

Here is the beginning sketch of one of several new characters I plan on adding to the roster of my Nightmare Pro Wrestling web comic.

I did this sketch early on in the development of the Nightmare Pro Wrestling comic. Not sure how happy I am with it yet. The left arm bothers me a bit. Before I put it up I'll probably tweak it a bit till I'm happy with it.

Anyway I plan to post blogs about the development and proccess of this character all the way from beginning sketch to finished and painted image. So check back often! I also plan on posting up some more characters soon.


Nightmare Pro Wrestling Webcomic Page 24 and 25 Inks

Well here are the Inks for Nightmare Pro Wrestling webcomic pages 24 & 25.
Talk about posting something late, lol.

Well I have developed an inking process that I feel suits the comic better. What I do now is go over my pencils again loosely and add a bit more detail. After that I scan in the pencils and put it through a couple of filters. I use the poster edges & cut out filters to get the pencils where I want them. I then touch them up a bit until I feel they look right.

Once I'm happy with the way they look I bring them into photoshop and put them through Livetrace and TA DA!

The new Inks look a little grittier and hand touched which I think adds to the whole atmosphere of Nightmare Pro Wrestling's world of monsters.