Sunday, December 19, 2010

Henrietta Skullclucker

This summer, I started going to grad school at FIT again. I graduated with an MA in Illustration from FIT in 2007, but they have since expanded the program to be an MFA. Past graduates were given the chance to complete the extra courses during a bridge year, and I jumped at the opportunity. One of the classes this fall that just finished was a character design course. This is a character of my own devising named Henrietta Skullclucker, and, naturally, she is a rough and tumble chicken on a human roller derby team.

These thumbnails were the start of the character. From here, I did the scratchboard illustrations, where I really started to get a feel for her.

These initial illustrations provided a point of departure to start thinking about the character in 3D. To start this process, a clay maquette was made from tinfoil, wire, mesh, and super sculpey. I had never done anything like this before, and though it was a struggle, seeing things in 3D helped me to start thinking about the structure of her face. It's far from perfect, but it provided enough of a foundation for the next step.

And that next step was to build a 3D model in ZBrush. I sculpted this in zbrush from 5 spheres (her head/neck, each eye, helmet, and chinstrap) that were then pushed, pulled, added to and subtracted from until it got to what you see here. I really
enjoyed ZBrush -- it was easier and much faster than working with clay, probably because we had an incredible instructor (thanks, Michael!). Here is a video of the sculpt on a turntable.

I'd love to go back now and make some new illustrations of Henrietta that reflect some of the things I was able to resolve in 3D.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Horsing Around

One of my favorite things to draw are my family's quarter horses. They have quite a herd (nearly 40 horses), so I always have plenty of models when I go back to visit Oklahoma. Here are a few of the horses: Brandy, Sooner, Chance, and Beau.

These are ink drawings I did for a solo show I'm having at the moment in my hometown at the Ponca City Art Center. All of these drawings are on 18x24" paper. There were many family friends at the opening who have spent time out at the ranch, and I loved that they were able to recognize who was who in my drawings. I also did 13 large scratchboard panels of animals for the show -- I'll post those soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gaga for Gaga

So, I have a confession to make -- I love Lady Gaga. She is both fantastic and fascinating. I think it's great that there is a pop star who challenges our preconceptions and who brings theatricality to a whole new level. There is something so inclusive about Gaga's attitude, and she is consistently sticking up for all the little monsters out there who believe in what she does.

This portrait was inspired by the "Telephone" video -- like her other videos, it is visually incredible with style in spades. Definitely check it out if you haven't seen it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Jazz Sketch Night

I went out to the Society last night for Jazz Sketch Night, and it was a great time. I always love these evenings, and I know I am not alone. The crowd of sketchers last night even included Tony Bennett (yes, that Tony Bennett). I wish I had gotten a peek at his drawings.

Kudos go out to my ever-awesome friend Stephen Gardner. It was his first time running the sketch night (which will soon become a weekly occurrence) and he kept us all in line. Thanks, Steve!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday on the Water

I spent my Sunday on various waterfronts in the city, starting at noon at the South Street Seaport where I met up with my dear friend Steve, and we both sketched the above ship off of Pier 17. From there, we ended up walking down the Westside Highway along the water and made our way to the Frying Pan (well, actually the Fireboat) at Pier 66, where we got in a bit more sketching while hanging out on a really cool old, rusty boat. After I tried the covertly draw the gentlemen below, they ended up buying the sketch from me (and they were really nice guys to boot). It was a really fun day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Green Party

This illustration is for a poster for another event later this month that has been put together by FrockOn. This party is in Ohio and has a green theme in more ways than one. The event is focusing on raising awareness for recycling. There will be a fashion show put together by a NYC designer styled completely from a local thrift store. Attendees are asked to bring an article of clothing to donate to the thrift store as well. To bring the green theme one step further, green ice cream will be served to all the guests. There will also be live music and a jewelry and art show by local artists.

For more details on the event, you can check out the facebook page here.

Thanks again to the ladies of FrockOn for always being such a pleasure to work with.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This is an illustration I did for a charity event in Brooklyn on May 15th. There will be an afternoon of cocktails and a performance by Perceptions Contemporary Dance Company. The event promises to be a very special performance where fashion and movement collide to benefit the Park Slope Safe Homes Project. This organization is now in its 28th year, and it raises awareness, provides services, and advocates for victims of domestic violence and their children. This is just a sampling of what they do for the community, but they provide shelter, counseling, legal advocacy and a support group for battered women.

Obviously, this is an excellent cause to support, and the event itself sounds like it will be fantastic. This has been organized by the amazing ladies from, a fashion website that loves to give back, and it has been wonderful to work with them again to help yet another amazing charity. Thanks to Melanie and Jacqueline from FrockOn for being so great to work with.

Here are the details:
May 15th, 2010 2-5PM
TERMiNAL Art & Event Space
343 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door, and can be purchased here. You can also RSVP for the performance on the Facebook page for the event.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

ABA National Solo & Small Firm Conference

I did this illustration for the American Bar Association's annual National Solo & Small Firm Conference. This year, the conference is being held in Austin, so they wanted an image that had a bit of western flair. Special thanks to Joe DeWoskin, Chair-Elect of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, for getting me involved with this project. I hope this conference, which is being held in October, is a great one.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Website

I've been working hard to build a new website in my free time over the past few months, and I am happy to announce that it is finally finished. I've added some new things, too, like a mailing list, a Facebook fan page, and some updated RSS features. Those of you who already read my blog through RSS readers or e-mail updates, make sure to check out the site at

For anyone out there who is as nerdy as I am, my site was built using Drupal (a Content Management System like Wordpress or Joomla) with lots of extra modules (several that I customized myself), some custom php, and css theming. This theming was then translated into css for Blogger so that I could keep all of my old blog content while still having a blog that matches the look and feel of the rest of the site. Using a CMS gives me a lot of control behind the scenes, so I am really glad that I made the jump to Drupal.

I hope you all like the new look!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blue Party

This illustration is for an event in Youngstown, Ohio. The party has a blue theme; blue drinks, a Blues Brothers tribute band, a denim fashion show, and everyone must wear blue. It sounds like a great time, and it is also a benefit for the Mahoning Valley Rescue Mission. Thanks go out to Melanie from FrockOn -- she's a pleasure to work with and she organizes really incredible events.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

sketch crawl

Yesterday, I went on my first sketch crawl, and it was a total blast. We had a nice group of six, which seemed to be the perfect size, and spent a good chunk of the day at Vazac's horseshoe bar, later making our way to the Sidewalk Cafe. Our group included Steve, Peter, Mel, the other Steve, and Juliane, and I think we all had a great time. Here's to doing it again soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This illustration was created for a Valentine's Day themed party in TriBeCa this weekend. There's a fashion show and a dance party with multiple DJs, but, to make this event even better, it is a benefit for the charity God's Love We Deliver, an organization that provides meals to people living with debilitating illnesses. If you'd like to join in on the fun and support a great charity, check out the Facebook page for the event.

A little about the illustration -- I know I'm mixing my saints together a bit, but Saint Sebastian has always been a favorite of mine, so it was a lot of fun to do this piece. On top of that, my very dear friend Robert is one of the organizers for this event, and he was kind enough to both involve me and allow me to twist his arm to pose for the piece. Thanks, Robert!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Three for the Price of Two

I made it back to the Society last night with my favorite Englishman, Stephen Gardner. On Thursdays, the two models wear costumes (like the mermaids below), and on Tuesdays, they pose nude. One of the models last night had an extra accessory.

Friday, January 29, 2010

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

I went to sketch night at the Society of Illustrators last night with the ever-delightful Stephen Gardner. The models were dressed as mermaids, and it was a great way to spend the evening.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

CQ17 & Illustration West 48

This crow is in the new issue of Creative Quarterly(#17) on newsstands now. They've also included a photo I took in Scotland in their inspiration section, which brought back a lot of fond memories of bundling up in to go hiking in August.

I also just got word that the illustration below has been accepted into the Society of Illustrators of LA's Illustration West 48. Thanks go out to my horse, Sam, for always being a perfect model and a great buddy for over 15 years.