Archive for the 'Illustration (Comic or otherwise)' Category

Technical question for you Photoshop heads

So, here’s a question for you Photoshop gurus. How would you try to emulate this type of shading, where there’s this grainy texture? It’s often seen in vintage Art Deco illustrations.
My example is more modern, but it’s the same idea.

As you can see, it’s not a simple matter of the textured shading fading away, the grain gets more sparse.

Thoughts? By the way, I would very likely create my artwork in Illustrator, then bring it into Photoshop to try to fashion this type of shading.

Sienckiewicz Dungeons & Dragons

Holy Shit! That’s all that came to mind.

Bob Peak Coffee Table Book

Hey guys,
Just wanted to point your attention to this 6lb. beauty. I think this may be the first time his career defining works have been collected in a single book. If you pre-order direct, it’s 20% off. Only 250 will be offered at this price. I’ve already ordered mine. Find a description and link to purchase here:

Bob Peak Book [Coffee Table Book] – $52.00

My comic book (sort of)

Well, I can’t believe it’s actually happened, but an interactive comic book that I recently worked on has been officially launched today:

It’s been an interesting journey leading up to this. Eric Dallaire, past colleague from Presto Studios, contacted me last year to do some freelance for his startup company, Impish Studios. Most of the freelance was for supplying graphics for existing iPhone app games. I initially wanted to pass on it because, to be honest, I just didn’t want to work. But I felt having extra money can help my costs of living abroad.

Along the way, Eric wanted to start working on creating new licenses and had an idea for an iPhone game. The idea was to make it black and white with graphic images to minimize asset creation. Somehow, he began talking with the folks at Amazon and they talked about possibly making an interactive graphic novel, much like the original “Choose Your Own Adventures” series. Since the Amazon Kindle device only displays shades of gray, we felt it would be suitable to adapt a film noir feel to it.

Now, I’ve never drawn a comic book before, but Eric had full confidence that I could pull it off. The main plot was laid out by Eric while I collaborated with the story. I supplied most of the art, but because of deadline constraints, Ron Lemen was able to help out.

I admit, I’m not entirely happy with the quality of my work, but it’s been such an awarding experience. It’s forced me to consider how to illustrate things that I wouldn’t normally be interested in (especially environments) and to explore different techniques (like making rough layouts in 3D to help with perspective).

Golden Books

These are pretty great.

vector art

So I’ve had the urge to do some vector illustrations for some time. Here’s a few that I generated recently while I had some free time. Just for reference, everything was done in Illustrator. The first one (the girl made with brush strokes), I had the idea of using brush strokes to generate the imagery. After finishing it, I felt it was too gimicky and was displeased.


The second one (man’s upper torso), I wanted to use a series of gradients to make the illustration. Again, I wasn’t happy with it, but I felt it was a good exercise for me.


The third one I was more satisfied with, not necessarily because of the final result, but because of the techniques I developed along the way. I had an idea about how to approach this illustration, and it took me a while to get the desired look. Although it came out quite different than from what I originally had in mind, I think I was partially successful in achieving the look I was striving for. I wouldn’t consider this finished, but at the same time, I didn’t want to over render it.


One of the most difficult aspects of creating vector art is to not make your images look so flat. That’s not to say to make it look photographic, or 3D, but to give it some “depth”. I think the failure of the first illustration was due to me trying to hide Illustrator’s very polished and smooth look, instead of working with those aesthetics. Anyway, comments, good and bad, are always welcome. Although most of you don’t use Illustrator, if anyone’s curious about how I rendered my images, feel free to ask.



Via Eric Tan.

Good Art, Good Cause


Click the image to see some great art on display by some prominent illustrators and artists, including many from the Pixar fold. If you’re feeling truly altruistic, you might consider buying a piece. The site is also quite well-designed. I might consider getting the book if they offer it up online. Tokyo can certainly use more green, that’s for sure.

Fresh 007 Covers
Fresh 007 Covers

You Only Live Twice

Penguin is releasing a new set of hardcover Bond books, later this month, with amazing new cover art.  Check out the rest here.

Nerd Out!


During conventions I rarely get to nerd out. But this year my convention role has been diminished (thankfully) and I was able to actually do stuff at SakuraCon (the modest Pacific Northwest anime show). To my astonishment, Nobuteru Yuuki was signing. He is my favorite Japanese character designer and I have been collecting his rare independent (doujinshi) book releases for years. It just so happens that he was the character designer for my favorite series, to which he produced a doujinshi release for – and I was fortunate enough to acquire. I had to get him to sign it. Mission accomplished (with a nifty photo too).



Found a great Flickr gallery focused on the packaging of classic Atari games from the late 70s to early 80s. Not only is it a great sampling of that era’s graphic design and illustrative conventions, it’s also just a plain, old, good walk down memory lane. A lot more can be found here:

Shirow MMO designs

Shirow RF Online skin
Though I can’t say that I “appreciate” Shirow’s current work, the idea of bringing guest artists to produce special bonus sets for MMOs is an intriguing idea – and dare I say, not a bad one.

Cool DS app

Now it’s a sketchbook.


Soul Calibur 4 Artwork

Some nice stuff as usual. And Cheap-surugi!