Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Askari, King's African Rifles

Another one of those drawings I mentioned, this one of an Askari from the 3rd Battalion of the King's African Rifles, just prior to WWI. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

King's African Rifles Officer, 1912

I've been doing nothing but inking Crogan's Loyalty (for which I now know the release date: June 6th) and teaching for the past few weeks, so I've had very little to post on here.  Yesterday during Penny's nap Liz and I watched some TV, and I drew a handful of pictures - just-for-fun drawings of folks in uniforms, based on reference pics that I had in books.  I figured I should post them over the next few days. First up: An officer of the King's African Rifles, 3rd Battalion, circa 1912: 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dad's New Book

My dad's newest book is out today!

It's a period (1940s) mystery set in Chicago in which a giant cop (and ex-Bears lineman) named Merl tries to catch a killer who is sure to strike again.  I enjoyed the heck out of it.  And pop let me try my hand at a cover - my first for one of his novels.  Anyway, YOU SHOULD GIVE IT A READ.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CAS Postcard

Well, Dragon Con was a LOT of fun.  I did far better moving books than I expected - I sold out of all of my Crogan books (which means I'm out for the rest of the year, though YOU can still get them) and about a case of sketchbooks.  And though there were quite a few folks who had, say, read the books at a library, there were a LOT of first-time readers, and in both instances most of these people were folks who I'd not met at cons before, with a few exceptions. A lot of times I'll find the same people at a lot of shows.  This was an almost entirely different crowd than the one I find at Heroes, SDCC, NYCC, etc.  Anyway, it was great to meet so many new readers!  Plus I got to see Janet Lee's amazing original art again, which is always a treat.  For those who don't know, she does her pages on inch-thick pieces of wood. I also tried my hand at a new type of art yesterday, that digital painting that looks like mid-century kid's books, or posters.  I may make a postcard of this.  Does it look okay, or should I keep at it? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jungle River Packet

Before explaining the pictures below, I want to remind everyone that I'll be at Dragon Con this weekend. I'll be in the comic section (not sure where that is yet, but I'm sure your program will tell you if you're going) doing sketches, commissions, and I'll have plenty of sketchbooks and Crogan Adventures to sell, so please come by! I'm also on a few panels. Here's the info: Friday, 11:30am: The New Age of Comic Strips Hanover Room F @ the Hyatt Friday, 1pm: Graphic Novels and Young Adults Room A707 @ the Marriot Sunday, 4pm: Brigands and Buccaneers: Myth and Reality of Pirates International Room (BC) @ the Westin The other day, my colleague Nolan Woodard had a baby (well, his wife did) and I subbed for his concept design class. They were finishing up maquettes, and I thought "hey, I've been wanting to make a paddle wheeler for some time now" and so I stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way and picked up a couple of pieces of balsa. During the class I built the deck, and that night built a boiler, engine, and paddle. I haven't taken a day off from doing comics in quite a while, so it was fun to do a hobby project.

I made the deck from three pieces of foamcore, topped by a thin-ish piece of balsa wood. I "drew" in the planking and wood grain with a bamboo skewer. The sides were done the same way.
I made the boiler itself out of one of those little wooden barrels. The rivets were added with puff-paint, the pressure gauge is the inside of a brad, the whistle a couple of pieces of plastic tubing, and the smokestack is a faber-castell PITT pen with the top cut off. The valves are the backs of sewing snaps. The engine is two more (though smaller) wooden barrels, some plastic piping, and more balsa. The paddle wheel was a round needlepoint pattern (two, actually), cut to look like the metal part, and balsa for the planks. If you look next to the boiler, I added firewood, some old coal leavings, and a stack of replacement boiler tubes.
Here's the thing with the cabins on it, and the upper deck. It's still not finished - I need to add the bridge (which I expect will take longer to build than I presently have time for, as I want it to be open-windowed with a visible interior) and the stairs to the upper deck, which I have but forgot to paint and put on. I'll do that later.
I wanted the boiler visible, but wanted the area to feel like it could be enclosed. Hence the hanging canvas, made from "green stuff," a type of sculptable epoxy.
The railing is just chicken wire, with dabbs of puff-paint put on the cut edges to keep it from being sharp (which, believe me, it IS when left uncovered). You can see where the stairs will go on the upper deck, in the middle and on the back, where the rails open up. There will be four staircases total.
The whole thing was painted black, and then I added colors in successive layers, drybrushing on really cheap acrylic with a bristle brush. Since this is supposed to be a jungle paddler, I decided to show algae growing on the paddle and around the bottom of the visible hull. I tried to let it show that it would've splashed up around the wheel and the back of the engine, too. These kind of boats are prettiest when they look their worst.
The whole thing measures in at about sixteen inches long. I don't have a story in mind for this one right now - it really was a hobby, something I could turn to finishing this afternoon when my back started to hurt from being stooped over the drawing desk all day - but I'll find one for it eventually. Since I've got it (mostly) done, it'd be a shame to not use it for reference. One more note about Dragon Con - I'll be bringing most of the drawings in the store section, so if you've had your eye on a piece and want to guarantee that you get it before somebody else does, I'd say get it now. Have a great weekend!