Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bonus Spookiness!

Here are a couple sketches I did while trying to come up with ideas for last week's Illustration Friday topic of "spooky":

A spooky raven

A spooky raven and a spooky vulture have a "spook-off" to determine which bird is spookiest. (The winner, in a surprise upset, was owls.)

The ghost of Professor Von Spookington explains spooky action at a distance in a spooky haunted house full of mummies (I might have gotten carried away with the spookiness on this one.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

IF: Spooky

This illustration is super late, and I still wish I had more time to work on it, but for once it's not because it was hard coming up with an idea, but because it was hard narrowing down my choices. Should I draw a spooky ghost? A spooky haunted house? Spooky action at a distance? It was hard to decide. Finally, I realized I should draw one of history's spookiest people: writer, poet, celebrity absinthe endorser, and international monkey detective Edgar Allan Poe.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Punwich Horror

Sorry, I had to get it out of my system.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Here is the colored-in Mi-go from the last post. Unfortunately I didn't have as much time to work on it as I would have liked. But I did get a title with a horrible almost semi-pun, which is the important thing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Indescribable Horrors And How To Describe Them

I am a big fan of drawin' weird monsters and there are no monsters weirder than those created by H.P. Lovecraft. So I was interested in participating in this challenge on the blog Art Order to draw a creature based on Lovecraft's writing.


So far, I have this sketch of the Mi-go, the Fungi from Yuggoth, which Lovecraft describes as:

“They were pinkish things about five feet long; with crustaceous bodies bearing vast pairs of dorsal fins or membraneous wings and several sets of articulated limbs, and with a sort of convoluted ellipsoid, covered with multitudes of very short antennae, where a head would ordinarily be.... As it was, nearly all the rumours had several points in common; averring that the creatures were a sort of huge, light-red crab with many pairs of legs and with two great bat-like wings in the middle of their back. They sometimes walked on all their legs, and sometimes on the hindmost pair only, using the others to convey large objects of indeterminate nature."

And here are some other sketches of Lovecraft creatures:

And one from the story, "The Color Out of Space"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hey Kids, Puppets!

The video I posted the other day of Jim Henson making puppets reminded me that a long time ago I made some puppets for an environmental education center where I once interned. I thought they might be worth putting up to share:


Friday, September 24, 2010

IF: Old-fashioned

Speaking of birthdays, here is a quick self-portrait for this week's Illustration Friday topic, which is "Old-fashioned." Dang, Illustration Friday, that was cold. You didn't have to rub it in!

Your Newest Favorite Superhero!

Today is Jim Henson's birthday, so I am posting this old drawing of one of my favorite muppets, Captain Vegetable.

Clip here.

(Other birthdays today include F. Scott Fitzgerald and also me, which I mention because it's a good sign for my secret plan to produce "The Great Muppet Gatsby")

Update: Jim Henson teaches you how to make puppets!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Important Things I Saw On The Internet, Part 2

As you know, I always try and keep you informed of the latest videos of animals riding backwards on other animals, so when I saw this, I had to do a quick sketch.

Update: Related

Update to update: It's like a week later and I still have this song stuck in my head, so consider yourself warned.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Anniversablog!

Wow, so one year ago I started this blog with this picture of Christopher Walken. In retrospect, it seems like a hilariously bad way to start a blog, but you have to start somewhere, I guess. Anyway, here's hoping next year will be even better!

Monday, August 30, 2010

IF: Immovable

For Illustration Friday. Sometimes a creative block can be as immovable as a real one.

UPDATE: Edited to more accurately reflect my own personal creative block:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

IF: Caged

Hi Illustration Friday, just a little drawing of a shark cage in honor of Shark Week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

RIP, Car

I made this little drawing as a memorial to my old car, which broke down a few weeks ago. It's *sniff* in a better place now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the Free Movie Tickets

Did this little Scott Pilgrim fanart for a contest at Geekadelphia. It didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but it was fun to draw. Also, it won me free tickets to an advance screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World! The movie was pretty great, I definitely recommend it.

(Also recommended: Geekadelphia, for all your geeky-things-happening-in-Philadelphia-needs. Thanks guys!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Escape From Illustration Island

I am a big fan of illustrator Thomas James' website, Escape From Illustration Island. Finally, a website that combines my interests in illustration and escaping from islands! It has great podcasts of interviews with illustrators and a ton of illustration resources.

Periodically, there is a "Share Your Illustration" thread, and I did this quick scribble of an image that always pops up in my head whenever I see the title.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

IF: Ripple

Hi everyone! Been a while. This week's Illustration Friday topic is a special one, the theme is "ripple" and it being tied in to a fundraiser started by illustrator Kelly Light to help with the Gulf Spill. Participants are donating sketchcards which you can purchase by giving $10 to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies or the International Bird Research Rescue Center.

More information and all the other cards are available here.

Here are mine - I got pretty depressed drawing oil-soaked birds and turtles, so I tried some more inspiring images, which somehow turned into a series of propaganda posters for birds:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Hoopiest of Froods

Super late on this one, but I just learned that today (the 25th) was Towel Day to mark the passing of Douglas Adams and I whipped up this quick sketch.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Zero 2 Illo - Week 5

I think we're on week six or seven already, but I finally got around to my next set of illustrations - things have still been a little hectic around here. And these are still pretty rough, but I thought I would put them up and hopefully get a little feedback.

Anyway, this first one is based on a folk tale called "How the Squirrel Became A Bat" Long story short, the sun gets caught on a branch, all the animals look for it, but the squirrel climbs the tallest tree, finds the sun, and chews off the branches holding the sun. In the process, his fur gets singed, the skin on his arms melts into wings, and he loses his eyesight. I think the moral was, "Never do any favors for the sun."

The second one is just another one of the things I draw when I can't think of anything else - wizards. So, uh, here is a wizard eating a sandwich.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I think I'm pretty much finished with this griffin picture, geez, finally

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Benthic Bushido!

Oh! And also, a few days ago, Warwick Johnson Cadwell drew this cool picture of a deep-sea-diving samurai duel and even though I have, like, fifty other things I need to be doing, I had to try drawing one as well.

I had him fighting a giant samurai crab, because it seemed appropriate.

The Latest Puffin-Related News

I redid my first puffin piece, it is a little more stylized but hopefully not as stiff as some of my first attempts. I don't know if it's worth putting in a background, though.

Secondly, while I was working on my griffin piece, below, things got mixed up in my head, and I made a puffin-griffin.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Illustration 2

Still super-behind on my Zero2Illo challenges, I am reworking the puffin one based on some feedback I got, and here is the rough sketch for the second one.

If you slogged through my earlier post about the kinds of things I wanted to illustrate, then a) why did you do that, seriously, and b) you would have seen that I was thinking about focusing on editorial illustration. However, a few upcoming conferences have caused me to change my plan, I am going to try and get in a few more children's illustrations for my portfolio, and maybe one or two science illustrations if I get the time.

Thanks again for looking!

Sketchbook Science

Another quick doodle based on this article about the artistic choices involved in producing the images from the Hubble Telescope

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zero 2 Illo - Week 4

Whew, had a rough week this week, plus I had a bad case of creative block and all of the ideas for illustrations I thought I would do suddenly seemed like they were either stupid or too hard to pull off. So I did what I usually do when I can't think of anything else to draw: I drew some birds.

Specifically, I drew a puffin.

It actually started out as this drawing, which I did about a year ago as something to possibly put on a business card. See, it's supposed to be clever because he caught art supplies instead of fish.

So then I drew this, adding a body and a little background (He did have feet at one point)

But it seemed pretty stiff, so I redrew it. I obviously have more work to do, but hopefully this will make a better composition.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not So Much With The Science

On a different subject, I am a fan of the webcomic Awesome Hospital and did this fanart of one of the characters, Dr. Space Baby.

More Science!

Viruses Harnessed to Split Water

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Science Experiment

Here is something I have been kicking around in my head lately: I try and keep up on science news, and every once in a while I see an article or headline that gives me an idea for an illustration.

Unfortunately, most of these ideas come in the form of goofy doodles that have nothing to do with the actual article. For example:

Ventriloquist Birds Call to Warn Friends and Enemies


Moray Eels: The Most Cosmopolitan of Reef Fish, But Why?

Anyway, I had a couple of these, so I thought I might as well post them here to see what people thought of them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ink Wash

Just experimenting with ink washes...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too Much Information

For the first week of the twelve week challenge I just joined (see previous post), we were given the seemingly innocuous question "what do you want to illustrate?" But it is a question I have struggle with a lot as I try and pin down my personal style. To try and answer it, I have kind of been thinking over where I was headed in the past and what that was pointing towards in the future.

(Like I said in the title, this kind of rambles on and is probably pretty boring for anyone who isn't me- feel free to skip it if you want.)

So, first of all, I had graduated from college with a degree in biology. I had started to take a few art classes for fun, and I had the vague idea I could combine the two interests by going into scientific or medical illustration. I was lucky enough to live near a college that offered a major in scientific illustration and I was able to take some of the classes they offered.

Here are some of the pictures I did:

I really enjoyed the classes and would still like to do this kind of work (although I abandoned medical illustration partly because I lacked some of the requisite classes and partly because, ew, cadavers). However, I was sort of struggling to find work and make it a full-time career.

While I was figuring this out, I met a woman who was working on a children's book. So I ended up illustrating a children's book, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. People seemed to enjoy seeing funny cartoon animals more than they enjoyed seeing, for example, a drawing of a spleen, so I headed in that direction for a while.

Here are some children's book illustrations:

Finally, most recently, I took an illustration class which focused on print illustration for newspapers and magazines and the like. It was a bit of a shift in subject matter, for instance, here is a series of illustrations for an article about a brother with schizophrenia who fell through the cracks of the health care system:

I really enjoy the process of coming up with ideas for these stories (finishing them is another matter of course), so for the 12-week challenge I think I am going to to try and push myself to do some more editorial-type illustrations do develop that section of my portfolio.

Whew! That was way longer than it needed to be. Thanks for bearing with me!