Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ahab Entwistle

I recently worked on a fun, small comic book project for Syrastar Productions. This was a small, eight-page story to introduce the character, Ahab Entwistle, to the world. This was produced as a teaser for more Ahab Entwistle stories (and a potential animated film) to come. Ahab Entwistle could be described as an 18th Century James Bond type of character. This short story is a prequel, of sorts, that depicts Ahab as a young teenager that endures a terrible, life-changing ordeal. However, the majority of Ahab's stories will be told in his adult years. Ahab is the creation of the late drummer for The WHO, John Entwistle.

I thought I'd share the cover and few of the pages...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hammer Poster #2

This is a second poster that I illustrated recently for Hammer Bowling. Again, this was produced in conjuction with Firecracker Studios. After producing the Hammer poster with the big guy (see last post), the client decided to commission a second poster depicting a young woman holding the hammer and looking mean.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hammer Time

Wow. It's been awhile.

This is an illustration I painted recently for a large point-of-sale poster. The company is Hammer Bowling and I like their style. They project an image like no other bowling company. Nuff said.

The text and logo were added by Firecracker Studios, the agency that hired me for this project.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Star Wars Clone Wars Sketch Cards

Here are a handful of the sketch cards that I recently sketched for the Topps 2009 Clone Wars Widevision card set. Sketch cards are little pieces of hand-produced original art that Topps randomly inserts into the packs of photo cards. So, if you bought a pack of these, you might just get one of my cards! Now, with that being said, don't let that deter you from buying a pack or two. They are in stores now.

For better or worse, I like my images on these sketch cards to be just that...sketches. I like to see stray pencil lines and the way that the image was built up from a simple framework of lines.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I recently illustrated a series of posters for Propaganda Games. Propaganda Games is a division of Disney that produces videogames for consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Propaganda was looking for illustrations for posters to promote the company's core values. This particular poster promotes the idea of having the courage to stand up for beliefs and to succeed.

The initial sketch for the poster is presented below.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Painting Sketch

This is a sketch for a small painting I'm working on. It's nothing special but thought I'd post it since I haven't been able to post in a little while. I'll try to do better...

I've been busy working on a series of posters for Disney/Propaganda Games. I finished about a week ago or so. I hope to be able to show some work from this series in the future.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kids these days...

Here are a couple of drawings that were drawn by two talented young artists.

The Batman art was drawn by my son, Paul.  Great job, Paul!

The Hulk was drawn by Paul's buddy, Eli.  Eli presented this great drawing to me at a school talent show.  Great drawing, Eli!  Thanks very much!! 


This is one of my favorite things.  Some good friends made this for me when I was leaving a job 10 years ago to begin a large freelance project.  We had a tradition of making an action figure for any person that was leaving our department... complete with accessories that reflected the person's interests and that, also, represented "inside" jokes.

Here's the one they made for me...of me.  It's complete with custom packaging and most of the accessories are handmade and painted.  I was blown away when I received it and am constantly amazed at this little work of art whenever I see it.

Complete with:

Bat Sketch book - everyone needs one of these, especially a Bat fan like myself. (Thanks, Mark)

A Bat T-shirt that was a parody of one of my t-shirt designs I produced for the company. (That little sucker is a complete hand sewn t-shirt...and so is the shirt the figure is wearing.  Nancy, you're a genius.)

A mini Art Request form

A Pizza (without onions, I might add, compliments of Jenyva) because... I like pizza.  Don't we all?

Can of Mountain can't have pizza without Mountain Dew.  Right?

An art book on the Artist Gustav Von Steiger.  Never heard of him?  We hadn't either but it didn't stop us from talking incessantly about him as if we had.  His most famous painting?  "Windmills in the Abyss," of course.

A Jar of Clay... because I must have been listening to a lot of Jars of Clay...the band. (Thanks, Heather!)

A sewing machine ...because someone (looking at you, Mark) thought it was pretty hilarious that I was sewing some costume pieces for a model that I was going to use for photo reference on a project.  Hey, sewing can be manly.  Right?  Anyone?

Toaster (not seen, fallen in package) and popcorn.  My friend, Mark, and I had a constant feud over whether it was possible or not to pop popcorn in a toaster.  Mark = anti-Toaster.  Me = It's gonna happen someday one way or another.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Warm Glow of Nostalgia

Here's a post that's somewhat unrelated to art.  I may do some non-art posts more often.  Why?  Because I think they are fun.

I've been archiving all of my parents' old photographs and slides over the past few weeks when I've had a little spare time.  While going through slides, I discovered a batch of photos that I've never seen before.  The slides were very dark and needed some photoshop work to "pull out" the images to a viewable state.  I was blown away by what I found.  Until now, I've only had memories of this time just before my family moved away from Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1974.  

The bottom two photos show my buddies and myself goofing around in some old costumes.  I was wearing the Ben Cooper Batman costume (you other "old-timers" remember these), Pat Fauth is wearing the Superman costume, my brother Mike is wearing the clown costume.  That's Chris Eslinger tormenting the poor snake.

The photo on top is Pat and I unmasked (I'm on the left wearing the sweet white belt) with little Todd in the middle.  Good times.  Wow, I'm getting old.

...and, yes, Virginia, the grass really was that green and the sky that blue.  Everything was perfect in 1974...or maybe that's just the under exposed slides talkin.'

Friday, December 19, 2008

Random Sketch of the... Quarter

Wow.  Time flies but I don't need to tell you that.  Here's a sketch I did for a friend in Germany (Hi, Guenter).  This is his son, Meik, all decked out in firefighting gear.  Meik is in training to be a firefighter/hero.  You can do it, Meik!

Hope everyone has a very, Merry Christmas!!  Christ's birthday = the greatest time of the year!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strange Twist of Providence

I painted the above image a long, long time ago in a studio not so far away...

This is an OLD, OLD image. Actually, it's an image I painted about 15 years ago in 1993. This image was for a card set for Topps called Star Wars Galaxy 2. The idea behind the set was to let artists depict events from the Star Wars saga that didn't necessarily happen onscreen. This led to many imaginative ideas from many different artists.

My concept was to depict a younger, pre-Vader Anakin Skywalker brooding over the shoulder of his wife and the mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Presumably, only Leia had been hidden from Anakin and that is why this image is sans baby Leia. This was to be my first nationally published illustration and I waited on pins and needles for the card set to be released. It was like being 5 years old and waiting for Christmas to arrive. When the cards were released, I got a big, kick-in-the-teeth image was not part of the set. I called my editor at Topps immediately. He explained that George Lucas, himself, had pulled some images from the set because they depicted events from the, yet unknown, prequel trilogy. Happy day.

There are a couple things that I find interesting about the image. First, my depiction of Padme (I had no idea of her name at the time...this was 6 years before Episode 1) looks a bit like Natalie Portman. Second, Anakin's shadow on the wall is in the shape of Darth Vader. I've always wondered if this image might have influenced Lucas even just a little tiny bit in his casting of Natalie Portman or even the decision to have little Anakin's shadow be in the shape of Darth Vader in an early Episode 1 promo poster. Probably not, but I can dream. Can't I?

Fast forward to this morning. I got an e-mail from Topps this morning letting me know that they were dusting off this old image and including it in the new, soon to be released, set of Star Wars Galaxy cards (with beautiful box art from my buddy and artist extraordinaire, Russell Walks). Apparently, Lucasfilm approved it for inclusion and they are printing it after 15 or so years. I don't know the context of the use, however. I sure hope they include info letting folks know how old this image is. I don't necessarily want people to assume this is a new image from me. I hope my work has progressed and changed a bit since painting this (notice all the grainy colored pencil?). I would approach this image so differently today in terms of painting technique, lighting, camera angle, body positioning, and composition. I find this image to be pretty ugly, these days.

At any rate, this is fun news and it's kind of cool to see something come full-circle like this.

Point to ponder: Does the printing of this image make it the first official depiction of Padme?

image copyright Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Topps, Inc.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Painting Small

Here's a small 5" X 7" painting that is one of a series of small paintings I'm working on.  The series may end up for sale in a gallery exhibit of small paintings from many different artists.  I've included the original sketch that was completed prior to producing the small painting.  I'm going to try and "loosen up" a bit more for the subsequent paintings in the set.  It's tough to paint loose and least it is for me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Anatomy of an Illustration

The above images show the progression from initial sketch to finished illustration (or series of illustrations) for a piece I painted for National Geographic Magazine.  The two-page spread told the true story of Bruce Means, a scientist that was bitten by a rattlesnake while alone in the wild.  He was far away from help and had to fight to stay alive while making the long trek back to civilization and medical help.

  1. The first sketch served as a thumbnail sketch for the project.  It's a little more finished than my thumbnails tend to be but there was a lot of information to convey in a fairly small space.  At this point I'm mainly setting up composition and figure placement.
  2. The second sketch is a more finished sketch that was produced a little larger and is beginning to show more detail.  It also begins to use Bruce Mean's likeness that was pulled from video screenshots and combined with posing a model in the studio for drawing reference.  The foreground panels are also beginning to take shape and show the process of cell degradation that is happening within Mean's body.  The panel composition also needed to change at this stage to allow for the spine of the magazine.  Otherwise, an important piece of the illustration could get lost in the binding.
  3. The third image is a color rough.  If time and budget allow, a color rough can help a client better envision the finished piece and show the color palette the illustrator is planning to incorporate into the piece.  Both this stage and the final illustration were produced in watercolor.
  4. The fourth image is the finished illustration.  Notice how a panel has been dropped to open space for a block of text on the right.  Also, notice how the foreground panels' content changes throughout the process.  Working through the sketch and rough process with a client can help them to "nail down" exactly what they want the final illustration to depict.  

all images copyright National Geographic magazine

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm very happy to announce that my new website is now "live!"  So, feel free to head on over and poke around a bit.  There's lots of info and even a few "easter eggs" if you can find them.  Over time, there will be new content added and new images in the Gallery section.

I'm very, very grateful to my buddy, Mark Johnson, for taking my designs for the site and making them actually work.  Mark constantly took my ideas and added his own twist and expertise, making them so much better than I could have dreamed.  Mark is an amazing artist and web designer and I'm so glad he agreed to help me by putting this monster together.  Thank you, Mark!!!

Mark has also been the model for many of my characters over the years.  If you go to the Projects: Batman section of the site, you can see Mark and his lovely wife, Cammie, in reference photos from Batman: Absolution several years ago.

Click the link below to check out the new site:


Friday, September 5, 2008

Random Sketch

Here's fairly quick watercolor sketch that was done as a commission a few years ago.  It's a portrait of the writer, Aldous Huxley.  Huxley wrote the classic novel Brave New World among other works.