Tag Archives: process


Bob and the T-Rex


Here’s an analysis of this composition, with notes. Below is the grayscale version to check for highlights, midtones and dark values within the composition.

Space Port


Working through designs in an iterative fashion is part of a good designer’s workflow. Why stop with one quick sketch? Spend some time exploring the possibilities. Use references to assist. In the thumbnails below, I found some really interesting shapes in a few photos I took while traveling to Italy last year. You don’t have to go to Italy to find great shapes, though. They are all around you. Many students rush past the exploration phase to move towards the final design. In my view, the most important part of any artistic endeavor is in the sketching phase. Sketches are […]

Process: Mad Max Goon


I still have the Mad Max movie on my brain. After a much needed time to recharge and catch up on all things (including sleep), I wanted to try my hand at one of the many goons featured in the recent Mad Max film. Pencils, Inks and Tones were created using a mix of Manga Studio and Photoshop. Enjoy! Of course, how you present your work is just as important as your work itself (at least it does, in my humble opinion). Below I’ve documented my process work, neatly labeling the parts of the process as well as employing visual […]

Art Process: Jimi Hendrix Gig Poster


It’s always a good idea to never settle for your first design. Below is my first attempt at a Hendrix poster – created for a client who commissioned the piece. The first take wasn’t bad, but it was just an exploration. I started working on it late last night and decided it would be best to sleep on the idea. Below is a totally different take that I created this morning. Obviously, sleeping on the idea created a much more interesting concept. Many student designers stop at their first attempt. Resist that temptation and train your brain to come up […]

Art Process: Space Terror


Design is an iterative process. It should be malleable. It should be fluid. Below is a composition, with three different “takes”. Initially, I started the first version as a quick painting demo in class. I wanted to go back and ink it. The results, in my view, were too stiff and the poses were devoid of energy. I really didn’t like this version at all, but I liked the overall composition from the initial painted version. Not satisfied, I scrapped version 1 completely. I restarted the illustration from scratch, exaggerating the character’s bodies and pushing their poses. As a result, […]

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, […]

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: Modern Day Medusa


This evening, as a wind-down sketch, I drew a modern spin on the classic Greek villainess Medusa. A modern day interpretation of the pantheon of of Greek gods is something I would like to tackle soon. Pencils: Inks over pencils: Inks by themselves: Final!

Process: Er’mli Colors and Final


I opted to go with a more painterly approach when finalizing the look for this character. The process began by taking the pencil sketch and applying a flat color approach, using Photoshop’s lasso tool. From there, I used a few custom Photoshop brushes to add in shading. Next, I applied a paper texture to give the robe a different material feel. I’ve used this technique plenty of times for illustrating background layouts, but this is the first time I’ve applied the same techniques towards character design. It was definitely an enjoyable experience, and I hope to create new character design […]

Process: Another Egyptian Interior: Color Flats and Final


I wrapped up another ancient Egyptian background this evening. I debated as to whether or not to leave the broken pot from the pencils (below) in the final piece. In the end, I decided against it because it would draw too much attention from the eerie mood I am trying to establish. Is an illustration ever “complete”? For me, it is. Onward to the next adventure!

Process: Er’mli Rough Pencils


Working from the silhouettes I developed last week, I expanded upon a few of them to arrive at the rough pencil drawings you see below. The description of forest shrines led me towards looking at robes of the Far East for the character’s outfit. Er’mli is stated to be a God, donned in formal attire, so the long flowing robe makes a good fit, I think. My research of Mu (referenced as Er’mli’s father in the text description of the character) led me to incorporate the Chinese symbol of “Mu” into the character’s robe. In each of the designs, I […]

Process: Egyptian Interior Pencils


A week back, I documented my thumbnail process for an Egyptian tomb interior. This week, I selected two of the thumbnail images and developed them further. During this phase of the process, I add more details, including elements of a visual narrative. Basic shading was added to give the illustrations more clarity and depth.

Process: Wooden Truck


One of the first assignments in my Character and Object Design course is the Wooden Vehicle Project. The purpose of this project is to give the students the opportunity to visualize and draw objects as three dimensional structures. Using a wooden vehicle of their choice, students work from a 3/4 front or 3/4 back view of their reference photo. The goal of this exercise isn’t to copy the photo – but to use it as a guide for establishing proportions. Students are asked to show their process work from beginning to end. Often times, when time allows, I like to […]

Process: The Yardbirds


Unless you are an aficionado of 1960’s music, you may not have heard of The Yardbirds. But many people recognize Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Each of these guitarists played in The Yardbirds at an early point in their careers. Here’s a process breakdown for the central figure of this piece, Keith Relf.

Process: Staypuft Marshmallow Ghostbuster Man


I saw Ghostbusters in the theater when I was in 7th grade. It made an indelible impression on me back then. The theme song was anthemic, and the story had a fun mix of sci-fi and crass humor. By the ending credits of the film, my gang of friends and I had already made plans to become neighborhood Ghostbusters, placing flyers around our apartment complex. Good times. In my view, no character embodies that movie more than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Today’s sketch pays tribute to the Man, the Marshmallow Man, and the Myth. Adding a twist, I opted […]

Process: Studded Head Dude


My wind down sketch for the evening features another portrait. The more unusual the subject, the more interested I am in capturing it. Pencils: Inks: Colors:

Process: Creaturitis


Never underestimate the power of the symmetry tool when it comes to brainstorming character designs. Programs like Sketchbook and Manga Studio offer these tools (providing both X and Y symmetry). Draw one side and your sketch is mirrored simultaneously on the other side. I use this technique quite a bit when I’m developing a series of quick thumbnails for concept work. Pencils: Inks: This is where I add some small variations in texture and some asymmetry to the design. Colors: -Krishna

Process: G.Y.R.O.


My first illustration for 2015 started on New Year’s Eve. Flying gadgetry has always been the stuff of fascination for me, so when I ran across a contraption developed by Thomas Bird (involving an outboard motor and a ceiling fan!), my creative juices were firing on all cylinders. Below is my ink layer, overlapped ontop of my pencil layer. I thought it would be neat to show the pencils overplayed onto of the final piece. There weren’t any major modifications from the pencils in this particular illustration. I took it one step further and added the pencils and inks as […]

Process: Revolutionaries


Below is a breakdown of a vehicle piece I started working on last week. I’m particularly enamored with older cars, and that’s how I came across the Datsun 510. The diminutive boxy frame needed an over-sized, cobbled-together motor, so I happily obliged. Growing up on shows like “Dukes of Hazard” and “The A-Team” fuels a lot of my fascination with vehicles. I’m drawn to bright, vibrant (intense) color palettes in my work. Here I used green and orange as main colors to provide some balance. The background is intense, and the illustrated elements have a more desaturated look, giving it […]

Process: African Warrior


The pencils for this particular illustration were created using Autodesk Sketchbook 7 Pro, and I worked from a reference image on Pinterest. After penciling the drawing, I used the Perspective tool in Photoshop to give the warrior a slightly more stylized look. From there, I brought the drawing into Manga Studio 5EX for inking, using a slightly modified variant of the Lando Calbrusshian custom brush developed by Ray Frenden. Lastly, I added colors and textures using Adobe Photoshop. It’s perfectly normal for me to mix and match between tools. Each of the tools listed above export out to a Photoshop […]

Art Process: Mermaid


In my view, drawing outside of your comfort zone is not only a good way to challenge yourself, it’s also a necessary component for growth as an artist. Face it, there may be subjects you’re less than thrilled to draw – but being a professional in this field means we have to put aside our own biases and look at the task at hand as another opportunity to creatively problem solve. I’ve never drawn a mermaid before last night but that didn’t stop me from giving it my best go at it. Below are the rough pencils. In comparing the […]

Process: The Smiling Lady


Tools used: Manga Studio 5EX Adobe Photoshop CC Yiynova MSP19u tablet monitor I work digitally 99% of the time. My tools of choice are Manga Studio and Photoshop. After collecting and studying references, I start off with a rough sketch using a light color with a custom brush I developed for use in Manga Studio. My digital drawings are created using a Yiynova MSP19u tablet monitor, which I’ve had for nearly two years. Digital inking is performed on the layer above the pencils, after reducing the opacity of the pencil layer to 20%. Colors and final tweaks are performed using […]