Thursday, September 24, 2009


JAMES - Another oversize illustration, this one originated almost exactly two years ago. At the time I was keeping a personal mini-sketchbook, a real free-form experimental type of book, and every once in awhile, I wound up with a good idea or two that have translated into future illustrations (one of them became my Henry Rollins poster).
Anyway, this particular one always stuck in my mind, and I finally took the opportunity to bring it to life.
Similar to The Pill, this one is 22" x 30". I really like working this large, cuz it's more of my whole arm moving across the paper, as opposed to just my wrist and fingers controlling my strokes.

original ink drawing

I started with taking some photos for reference and then made this sketch, done with marker on 8.5" x 5.5" copy paper. I scanned it, and blew it up to the size I would need it, then printed it out onto 12 sheets of paper. I assembled those to make one large blueprint of the artwork to use for the final piece.

color study

Then I did a little color study on a little piece of 5" x 7" paper, just to get a handle on the colors and layers before I attacked the actual illustration.

process photos

This time I used Somerset paper, which is very similar to Rives BFK, and was great to work with. I started with a light pencil outline, and went layer-by-layer with my colors - almost approaching it like a screenprint. All the colors are acrylic, and the outline is an ink wash. After the main color and outline, I covered the entire painting in a layer of translucent metallic gold acrylic, which I kept messing with to warp the coverage. Finally, I added the lettering, which took awhile to keep my hand really steady for it all.

finished detail shot

I had a specific reason for using the metallic gold, even though it is kind of subtle in the end. I feel like most of the art I make is all done with the idea of it being reproduced faithfully in different ways: screenprint, photocopy, digital jpegs, etc etc. But metallic colors are really hard to reproduce, which gives the original piece of artwork greater importance and uniqueness. The only way to get the full effect of the illustration is to see it in person - and in contrast to my usual work, that just seems like a cool idea to me.
Anyway, I had a good time with this, and I'm planning on doing a bunch more like this. One thing, though, is that I think it would be better to use an easel - I'll have to look into that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


TOM - Here are some strips I did way back in the winter time. Either one, or both of these will be published in the next Dapper Chaps Quarterly. The theme for the issue was 'strips', we were free to interprete that word any way we liked. I decided to go with a couple strips about strips.
Check out the new Dapper Chaps website for info about the upcoming issue or if your interested in purchasing past issues. Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Salt Of The Earth

JAMES - I was contacted by a local promoter to do this poster for the roots-reggae band Groundation. Joel was a great guy to work with, and after doing some research on the band, he and I found common ground on a concept for this poster rather quickly.

original sketch

This was the keeper of the two sketches I submitted. We knew right off the bat that these would be a two-color screen print, so I decided to use varying degrees of each of the two colors to create a more dynamic illustration.

The main drawing was done at about 1/3 the actual size of the final poster - india ink, with a #2 brush on bristol paper. I drew the rest of the figure (the upper arms, neckline, and dreadlocks) on a separate sheet of paper using some markers that were almost out of ink. This was on purpose, to give the dreads texture and to kind-of "blur" the background elements to create depth against the sharpness of the line drawing.

detail shot

The varying shades of each of the two colors was done in photoshop, and gets represented as halftone on the final print.

2-color screenprint, full-bleed 18"x24", on 100lb. Cougar Natural paper, edition of 55

As always, these were printed by Nick at The Half and Half - they look fantastic in person. Joel mentioned how successfull the show was, and he sold out the posters that he brought to the show with him. Awesome! I have 5 remaining prints up for sale at or through my website - these are the last 5, so get them while you can. Click here to buy.

All things red

TOM- My last post was strawberries and roses, this one is hearts, what's next, unicorns and bunnies? Man, I'm gettin' soft. Anyway, here's a new one that I worked on little by little over some time. As I was coloring this one, I realized it shares a very similar composition to my last 'strawberry' post. Maybe it's an unconscious attempt at creating a series, or maybe it's just me being a lazy artists...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


JAMES - so the other day, i was buzzing my hair, and as i got real close to the skin i revealed a black spot on my head. i spent the rest of the day trying to strategically arrange double mirrors to try and see what the hell it was. was it a tick? dried blood? or maybe that microchip they inserted when i was on that spaceshi.... well, if it was a tick, it was long gone. and i have no symptoms of anything remotely serious (i spent alot of time that day looking at google links to tick stuff). it was probably just a regular insect bite. my head looks like an apple with a worm hole - nice! (don't laugh)
anyway, i've been working furiously on a ton of new projects - none of which i can start posting till next week (thus, the lack of posts recently).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

TOM - Here's a new one I've recently finished. Those strawberries keep finding their way into my drawings, don't know what that's all about...
Hope everyone's having a great Labor Day Weekend, I sure am. It feels great to still have a tan in September!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


TOM - I dissapeared from this blog for a little while, but hopefully I will get back to some more regular posting soon! Keep checkin' in!