Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mad Alex is Mad

This is a lesson in being careful what you ask for. When my friend Alex said, "Art blog me like one of your French girls" I couldn't resist. There's nothing girlish about Alex, but he has been art-blogged none-the-less.

Happy Leap Day, everybody!

Alien Godfather 3

Alien 3 hit the theaters in 1992 and The Godfather Part III was just coming to home video, so this unlikely pairing happened. I've always been in love with H.R. Giger's designs for the now legendary Alien and have drawn it several times, once even for a birth announcement!

Coloring this drawing was extremely low maintenance. I broke the Alien gangster from a solid black background in Photoshop and replaced my original, hand-drawn typography.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


At the time I drew these illustrations for my boss, Anime was exploding in home video. Among them was several series of Robotech, although I can't remember which series I borrowed from for this drawing. Of all the movie and video parodies that I did in August 1992, this one was probably the most timely and topical from a retail point of view.

Coloring was fairly straightforward after undrawing and redrawing key elements. I replaced my original typography with ROBO.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indiana Bones

This is another drawing done for my boss's presentation. This is one that he came up with during our brainstorming session and I thought it was oh, so very dumb at the time. But it turned out so well, that I was a convert to the idea. However, I did have to "rotoscope" DeForest Kelly's face to get a decent likeness.

Coloring was blissfully easy on this one, even though I took the time to undraw and redraw several elements in Photoshop.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Little Barmaid

I guess all Hollywood actors have to start somewhere, even the animated ones.

"The Little Barmaid" was drawn for a presentation that my boss at Musicland was giving to district and store managers. It was afterward that the terror began...

I was told at the time that Disney was notoriously protective of their properties (which is undoubtedly still true). Since the drawing was never intended to be published, I didn't figure that I'd ever be at risk for trouble -- until the head movie buyer for the Suncoast division (for which I worked at the time) decided to show it to his Disney representative. I was told that the rep laughed when he saw it, thankfully. I was also shown several parody video covers for the "Spot" video series done by the Disney artists (e.g., "Spot Bites the Big One"). At the time, the series had been a huge disappointment, sales wise.

Coloring this image was very straightforward. This time I liked my own typography, amazingly enough!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ptero Tarot: The Magician

I've always envisioned "The Magician" as "The Juggler" and have done alternate illustrations that show the vision more succinctly than this version did. I've always been enamored of the idea of this card, but was woefully disappointed by it's realization. With my skill at the time, I just couldn't bring what I saw in my head to the paper. Not in black and white anyway.

The colored version of "The Magician" represents the most "undrawing" I've done on any single illustration so far. The elements reside on no less than six layers in the Photoshop file and 30 in Illustrator. I extracted the suit elements (Torch, Sword, Pentacle, and Cup), lightning, feather, and lemniscate first. After working on those parts for a while, I realized that I also needed the turban and it's highlights, as well as the brim (of which I had to draw a good portion). Then I realized that I needed the background as a separate element, and then the head and and neck. In all, I spent about 12 hours undrawing and drawing new elements, and coloring this drawing. The original was probably sketched and inked in less than two hours.

Once I had all of the components created and colored in Illustrator, I "turned off" the suit elements and realized that the drawing was finished. I have not been so impressed with the difference that 20 years can make as I have with "The Magician." It's been a very satisfying journey to finish this drawing at last.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Ten of Pentacles

I associated the suit of Pentacles with the ancient element of Earth. The cards of the suit were to always portray that in some way: standing stones, pennies on a figure's eyes representing burial, etc. For the ultimate expression of the suit, I figured the Earth itself would do nicely.

Coloring the image was fairly straight forward. The only element that had to be created was the shadow on the earth. The hatching in the clouds of the original just didn't darken them enough.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Queen of Cups

Everyone who has ever seen this drawing who knows me at all has asked me, "Who is Gloria?"

When I started drawing the Tarot, I set Cups and Swords as opposites and used bits of Latin in their designs. Many of the Swords are inscribed with quotations from the Requiem, or Mass for the Dead. The Requiem doesn't usually contain celebratory elements, so I employed the term "Gloria" on some of the Cups.

In coloring this drawing, I replaced the original hand-drawn typography with the Omnia typeface since it was extremely close to the original. I also moved some elements in the Queen's face (notably her lips and chin and a slight shortening of her nose). I finished coloring this many days ago but had to let it rest while I decided what color her hair should be: blond or black, but I settled on blond to keep with the lightness of the suit of Cups.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Argyle the Barbarian

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Three of Pentacles

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Beauty & the Beak

Back in the early 1990s, I worked for Musicland. I had the dubious habit of drawing quick cartoons and posting them on my peers' walls when they weren't looking.  This was the origin of "Pork Shadows" and this drawing. Eventually, it led to my boss asking for a number of movie poster parodies for a presentation that he was to give to District and Store Managers.

Alas, Musicland is defunct, but my drawings remain. The original was drawn and put on Kathy's wall, but I was so enamored of the idea that I redrew a final version. This is another of those drawings where I was happy with everything but my hand drawn typography. I made two stabs at a "logo" and neither worked out.

I took the time to "undraw" the original typographic elements and replaced them with a real typeface and, of course, added color to the original pen and ink. I'm very, very happy with the result.

Kathy, if you're out there somewhere, this drawing is still for you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dali's Dragon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Golden Dragon

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Queen of Swords

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ace of Spades

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ptero Tarot: The Devil

Some of my older artwork is troublesome. I used to feel strongly about some things that I am no longer impassioned about, and I used my artwork to express those whims. "The Devil" is one of those drawings.

Here is the unedited image: "The Devil."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Three of Swords

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Clawed Sconce

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ptero Poker: King of Hammers

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Three of Cups

Friday, February 10, 2012


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Five of Swords

Among the many drawings I've done are some that are somewhat, well, naked. I've decided to create a spur off of this blog for those drawings. If you want to see the full illustrations, you'll have to follow a link and click through an adult consent warning.

There really isn't anything spectacularly naughty about these illustrations, but I think it's only fair that one is not confronted with nudity unexpectedly, especially if it is undesired.

That said, here is the Five of Swords.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Broken Wings

Monday, February 6, 2012


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl 2112

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Page of Swords

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blood Sisters

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ptero Tarot: The Scales

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ptero Tarot: Page of Pentacles