Monday, May 30, 2011


(They're playing Bruce Springsteen at the café; it reminds me of being six.)

Today was kind of an up and down sort of day. I mention this mostly because it's ending quite nicely, thanks to a conference call with my sister and bro (the next two eldest after me) and then another phone call with one of my younger sisters. These guys are great. I need to talk to them more; they're all smart and funny and we like a lot of the same things without even knowing it. They're all into nerdy stuff without being too weird about it (the first conversation was Star Wars/Star Trek/Thor themed). My younger sister has just read Huck Finn* and gave me her analysis of it and it was wonderful.

I finished up this while talking with those guys:

Another DQ piece! This one feels a lot different than the first two, but I kept the same sort of "guideline": try new Painter media!

Here are some patterns from the Daily Pattern project:

Easter egg

treasure hunt

There are tons more by myself and a few artists I really look up to on the Paper Bicycle blog.

*favorite book ever

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Today's sketchpage has a view over a beverage in Minneapolis in the upper left (I was drinking an orange smoothie) and a view over a beverage in NYC (I was drinking a milk tea), some other observational stuff, a non-observational drawing of E the cat, and the non-obligatory One Piece brothers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

mouse painting

I finished that painting for my grandma. Unfortunately, I forgot to take progress shots, so you get to jump straight to the finished version. As a recap, though, I can tell you a little bit about how it was finished.

watercolor, ink and goauche on 300 lb cold press paper

After main values and colors are blocked in comes the "boring" detail part. It's fun to do, but really not as much fun to watch, since it's just a lot of layers upon layers of watercolor tints to achieve just the right amount of each color. I'm a rather impatient painter, so there is less of this in my process than with some other, much more skilled painters' work.

The last thing I added is some gouache detailing. I like gouache a lot more now that I've figured a way to use it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a page of sketches

Yeah, I still do these! Now I've got a stock pile again. This one features some Avatar: The Last Airbender drawings, Doctor Who (Nine!) in the middle, some observational stuff and one incredible one-armed pirate in the upper left corner.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Girly Patterns

The past few Daily Patterns at Paper Bicycle's project have been sort of girly. Here are the last couple, "Spa" and "French Pastries":



In contrast, working on a manly sort of digital painting. There's some branches and rope and what will be plaid shirts in there. Masculine. I feel pretty balanced.

Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 4.38.39 PM

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Pattern: Tulip

Yesterday's daily pattern! I had to finish it very early this morning. Pulled out several of the stops for this one: Ink, Photoshop and Painter. Creating it in watercolor would have been nice. One day.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New York again

Last year on this very day I was at New York, drawing a subway monster. This year the Stationery show was a little earlier, so I'm back in the best city in the world, posting some annual NYC illustration. The Subway monster makes another appearance.


I don't think I'm done with this piece yet. I'd like to add some tone and/or color and make it a print.

You can see some vintage Subway monster over here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Daily Pattern: Fishing


A thing I've been noticing more and more as we make these patterns is that half the magic doesn't happen until you put them together. I'm developing a newfound appreciation for the art of pattern-making.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Painting Process

I'm working on a (belated) birthday watercolor painting for my grandma. Here's a little bit of process:
The inked drawing on 300 lb watercolor paper. I use a nib to ink–it's definitely my favorite inking tool.

A quick, loose underpainting, to figure out value. My watercolor paintings don't have heavy tonal contrast, but it's still nice to try.

Blocking in some local color.

I'll post more process as I continue working on it!

Daily Pattern: Books

Today's daily pattern is a tribute to my parents, who not only passed on an eager appreciation of reading and books, but passed on an appreciation of a certain genre of literature: the mystery.
Nearly every Thursday my parents' have a date night. I remember when I was little we'd have a babysitter if they went to eat, or they'd stay home and watch an A&E's murder mystery. They'd actively theorize about motives and culprits of the cases, and I'd sneak down and listen to the program. I don't doubt this is where my love of TV theories comes from.
When I was old enough to read something that didn't have pictures on every page, I read through my parent's entire collection of classic murder mystery novels. I love them to this day; there is nothing more romantic than a locked room mystery.

A part of the Daily Pattern project.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Daily Pattern: Mirrors

The best part of working on this one was coloring it, for sure. I took my palette from a photograph and let Corel Painter's watercolor brushes do the rest. This is one of the first times I've achieved something I like with digital watercolor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A New Project.

I wish I could define what that header means. You people know. You like making stuff.
We're starting a new Paper Bicycle project: a pattern a day. I will be writing more about this once we've collected our thoughts about it, but for now, pattern number one: gym class.


(Here is Lindsay's!)