Monthly Archives: February 2015

Process: Creature from the Black Lagoon


As a kid, I lived for “The Creature Double Feature”, a 4 hour block of horror movie programming on Channel 56 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was this program that introduced me to a myriad of horror characters, including the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and, of course, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Having never really drawn this character before, I was eager to sink my teeth into it. I wanted to something different with the composition. Instead of the Creature carrying off a helpless damsel in distress, I chose a different route altogether. Pencils for the creature and his gal, […]

Haunted House: Box Art


The original box art: My take, with some noticeable tweaks to crop the image into a square. And a vintage “well used” version of the same cartridge box.

Process: Pencils, Inks and Colors for Haunted House


The layout from my previous blog post was used as an underdrawing for my pencils. Pencils and inks were both created in Manga Studio. Colors and text were added in using Photoshop. It was important for me to pick a typeface that would add context to the game. I needed a typeface that would evoke the feeling of “Haunted House”. Using size and line height, I modified the “House” text to keep it aligned with the word “Haunted” above it. The red rings were added at the very end to reinforce the focal point and create movement around the composition. […]

Process: Haunted House: Mind Map and Composition Layout Planning


Imagine that Atari was bringing back the classic 2600 console, with a retro format (cartridges) but enhanced graphics and gameplay. That’s the premise for a project I assigned to my Concept Art and Design class this quarter. Each student was randomly assigned one of 18 classic Atari 2600 games. I opted to participate in this activity with my students, selecting Haunted House from the draw. First off, here is the original box art. As was the practice that time, the cover art was a very broad design meant to evoke what the game *should* have been like. Given the limited […]

Process: VW “Punchbuggy”


Modern vehicles may have all the tech, but the cars of old have a certain distinct look that makes them beautiful in my eyes. (They don’t make cars like they used to.) For as long as I can remember, I have always dug the Volkswagen Beetle. Maybe because its shape is so friendly. Or that I saw “Herbie the Love Bug” movie as a kid. In any event, Volkswagen Beetle die-cast cars were among my top picks. I was a Matchbox kid all the way, but in later years warmed up to the flashy Hot Wheels cars. Here’s my attempt […]

Character Design: Pap Finn: Working with Silhouettes


I approach character design with research followed by a series of shape explorations. Photoshop’s lasso tool is my tool of choice for shape exploration. Below is my process work for Pap Finn, taken from the book Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain. These were created about a year ago for a Character Object and Design course I taught. First, I start with a series of silhouette explorations, keeping in mind the text description of the character. Next, I flesh out the silhouettes by adding volumetric shapes to the silhouettes, giving the drawings some depth. Also included are design notes articulating my […]

Process: El Muerto


Imagine that your own comic creation gets turned into a movie. That’s exactly what happened with El Muerto, created by my pal Javier Hernandez. El Muerto, also known as the Aztec Zombie, was debuted on the screen in 2007, and starred Wilmer Valderrama. The film went on to win the Best Feature Film award at the first annual Whittier Film Festival in 2008. Here’s my take on Javier’s character. Sketch: Inks on pencils: Here’s the fills, which I keep on a separate layer under my Inks layer. And, here’s the final, with a splash of red thrown in as an […]

Process: Giant Size PC Weenies


Though I only started reading Marvel comics in the mid ’80’s, I have a special affinity for the Marvel comics from the decade before. As a tribute of sorts, I spoofed the cover design of Giant Size X-Men #1 – which introduced the world to the likes of Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus. Below are the pencils. There were three iterations beforehand that didn’t make the final cut. The pencils were created in a program called Mischief. Next, the inks, created in Manga Studio. The illustration was brought into Photoshop, where it was married with the comic book cover trade […]

Fighting Illustration Stagnation with Animal Celebrity Mashup


Sometimes you want to draw something but you’re just not sure where to begin. One of my favorite warm-up exercises is to take a famous celebrity (or interesting person) and mash him or her up with a random animal. Here I’ve taken Jim Carey and crossed him over with a walrus. The goal here is to come up with an unusual character, and not necessarily make the character “look” like the celebrity. This is another tool in my character design brainstorming process. For this particular sketch, I used a program called Mischief for pencils, with inks in Manga Studio and […]

Process: Fresh of the Boat’s Eddie Huang


This is a quick piece I drew of one of the main characters (Eddie Huang) from the new ABC television series Fresh off the Boat. I was given the opportunity to watch an early screening of the show and found it to be relatable in many ways. Rough pencils: Final art: -Krishna

Process: On the Prairie


Color has a tendency to fool the eye into thinking that the contrast levels are okay. The best method I’ve found to insure that there is sufficient contrast is to take an existing image and convert to grayscale. By looking at the tonal values alone, without the distraction of color, I can see if the range of dark to light shades provide sufficient contrast. A poor tonal range will yield grayscale values that are very close to one another. A good tonal range will have areas of high and low contrast to balance the composition’s midtone grayscale values. Below is […]