Monster Monday- September 15, 2014

Goblin_Green_Paper This week's monster is a goblin on green paper. A while back I sketched out the idea for this goblin for Goblin Guild. But I was not happy with how the soldier ended up. As a way to relax between preparing for Illuxcon, I worked on this drawing on and off. This version will replace the older design in reprints of Goblin Guild.

On Wednesday I'll be driving to Allentown for Illuxcon. I'll be exhibiting my work at the showcase on Friday and Saturday. Original drawings, prints, and books will be available at my table. Make sure to stop by .

Radagast the Brown



A while ago I posted the toned paper drawing of Gandalf the gray, to continue the series of Middle Earth Wizards is Radagast the brown, wizard of nature and animals. For his staff, it's made of twisted vines from the forest that he constructed himself. His clothing is made of durable fabrics and furs for long journeys into the deep woods. For his hat, I wanted it to have a wizard feel with out being cliche. With the addition of the straps, berries, feathers, and stitching it strays away from a pointy wizard hat. Though Radagast doesn't play a large role in Tolkien's books, it's easier to design him since he doesn't have a standard classic look like Gandalf does.

Next up is Saruman the White. 

Goblin Rocketeer


A new 11x14 tone paper drawing of Goblin Rocketeer. This was recently completed after sitting on my desk for a while. The first drawing became to busy and dark, needing more contrast and less confusion. I took time before starting the image to study the first drawing to see what worked and what didn't. Which led to the finished drawing. The idea of the Goblin Rocketeer started in my sketchbook, pretty much like everything else I create. I'll have to do another sketchbook post again soon since I am nearly done with my current book.

The Goblin Rocketeer drawing will be traveling with me to the Illuxcon Showcase Friday and Saturday night were I will be displaying my work along with other illustrators. 

Monster Monday- August 4, 2014

orc spell caster


This week's monster is a spell caster orc. It's been a while since I've experimented with color on toned paper. Instead of using marker and color pencil, I just used marker to try and replicate techniques I use when coloring digital. This piece was inked with FW Burnt Umber and white then colored with sharpies (I can't afford some of those fancy copic markers.) Over all, I liked the result and plan to continue experimenting with color on toned paper.

Remember if you want your character drawn, head over to my store for private commissions. 

Gandalf the Gray




For the past few days I've been listening to the Lord of The Rings audio books while drawing. It didn't take long for me to start sketching some of the characters in my sketchbook. Gandalf was the first to be drawn followed by other wizards of Middle Earth. Which is going to be a small series of Gandalf, Radagast, and Saruman. Each one will be drawn on a different color of toned paper to make the color that is associated with the color of each wizard. I may even draw each dwarf from the Hobbit, but that's in the future. 

Monster Monday- July 7, 2014



This week's monster is a goblin mechanic. It's a revisit of an idea from a while back and thought the idea would fit well into the Goblin Guild. It's done similarly with inks and a little clean up digitally after it was scanned. Next week, I will post another requested monster. Just have to work on bird anatomy first. 

Mountain Giant Toned Paper

ImageThis drawing was an experiment with texture. I added more texture then usual and different techniques in the rocks, armor, and cloth of the giant. The results turned out well and it adds more to the piece with space being added to besides adding the black or white to give it interest. Currently there's another piece using a similar technique on the desk using what I learned from the Mountain Giant to help the next piece.

As for the Mountain Giant, I sketched the character in my sketchbook then scaled the thumbnail into photoshop to clean up areas to create the basic shapes in the composition. Then I scanned the sketch of the character in and laid it on top of the thumbnail to see how the drafted figure would work. After all is put together, the frankensteined thumbnail was printed out at full size to create the foundation of the drawing.

Monster Monday- June 16, 2014


A few days ago on my tumblr, I asked for requests of monsters people were interested in seeing drawn in my style. There were a bunch of great creatures, some I never heard of. So in the next few weeks for Monster Monday, I will be drawing some of the monsters. The first requested monster was a cyclops from Greek Mythology. The cyclops' design is more on the traditional side but with less greek influence on the armor design. Had a good time creating the drawing over the weekend as a way to relax after shifts at work. This week I will be posting a large toned paper drawing I have been working on in the past two weeks. I was going to post it over the weekend but after scanning I realized I need to add more texture to parts of the illustration. And I'll be showing a new process I've started to use to streamline my process.

Toned Paper Experiments

For a while now, I've been using the toned paper with ink. I saw some illustrators using color pencils and markers on the toned paper getting interesting results. I decided to give it a try.


My first successful attempt was the Eye Squid. It took a few tries to figure out what worked. Inking the piece first gave a clear drawing. Then I used some markers and colored inks to lay a base color. I applied some of the techniques I used in photoshop like using a flat base to render on top of. Then I tested each color pencil on a random piece of toned paper to see how the results of each color. After I began to add the pencil on the drawing and created the final image.


Since the technique of ink/markers with color pencil was a result I liked. I drew a larger creature, a Fate Warrior, and used the same process to create the drawing. The creature was designed in my sketchbook and decided it would be a good character to experiment the color technique on the toned paper.



I've only drawn Quillkins a few times and thought it would be another creature to use as practice. This time I used other colors to help enhance the base colors. For example, the belly was colored with a muted yellow then I used a bright yellow color pencil then an orange pencil to add more interest. 

The toned paper, ink/marker, and color pencil technique has been an interesting experiment, there are many drawings I started that turned in technicolor nightmares. But it was worth the time in order to create a basis of how I plan to use color on toned paper in the future. 

Monster Monday- May 12, 2014

Sorry for posting Monster Monday a day late. Yesterday I had a chance to spend the day with friends and took advantage of it.  This week's drawing is a green man that I drew for my Mom for mother's day/ her birthday. 


Like the other green man I posted a while back, I created the face using different types of leaves. I didn't want it to appear too human and keep it's creature quality. The green paper is a card stock and the ink is FW burnt umber and white. 

Monster Monday- May 5, 2014


When in doubt, draw an ice giant. Drew this over the weekend to have a smaller toned paper drawing to sell while displaying my work for free comic book day. The drawing is 5 inches by 8 inches. The giant has different horns then I would usually draw, gave the giant deer antlers. And other details set the look that I currently use for Ice Giant designs. Over all was fun practice piece. 

Monster Monday- April 21, 2014


With a busy weekend, I didn't have too much time between family gatherings, hanging out with fellow illustrators, and attending an art show, to draw for monster monday. I drew the orc last night and inked it today. Orcs are fun to experiment with design and the black, white, and green paper are one of my favorite combinations to create a drawing on. Now it's time to get back to work.

Gothmog toned paper drawing


For a while now, well since December, I've been working on a drawing of Gothmog from J.R.R. Tolkien's the Silmarillion. It took a few tries at creating completed drawing before I created the image I liked. While listening to the Silmarillion audiobook, I was inspired to draw Gothmog. Balrogs tend to be tricky because of the details of the monster is more descriptive of the fear it created and a few details of how it physically looks. I created my own version of Gothmog the Balrog that is not similar to the portrayal in the Fellowship of the Ring film but based on how I imagined Gothmog as I listened to the book.


Monster Monday- March 3, 2014



Ice Giants are one of those monsters that I could draw day in and day out because of the variety of designs I am able to create. This Ice Giant is of a high rank due to having more sophisticated clothing of the leather chest plate, cape, and tattoos.

I drew this Ice Giant a while back to include into my new book Conjured Thoughts: Volume 1. Conjured Thoughts is a collection of ink drawing, toned paper drawings, and full color digital pieces compiled into a 32 page book. I'll have copies of the book at MoCCA Fest in NYC in April as well as Asbury Park Comic Con. The book includes never before seen drawings like the one above that have never been posted or published on the internet. 


Monster Monday- February 10, 2014

It's been 1 year of Monster Mondays. I only missed two Mondays is a whole year (i think) and plan to draw a monster for every Monday of 2014. It's been a great exercise in character design and well as holding accountability to create and post drawings. A lot of the drawings are going to be published in my 32 page full color sketchbook I'm printing for convention season as well as some never before seen monsters and illustrations. 



As celebration for a full year of Monster Mondays I drew a portrait of a tree folk. I have drawn many tree folk in the past year and can't help that they are a joy to draw. There is something about looking at a tree that creates strange anatomy. There are tree folk in Orbis but I haven't decided if they travel or are planted to the ground or both. And like Goblin Guild, I will be creating a small book of just tree folk for convention season and finish my book of wizards. Lots to get done for April (MoCCA Fest, Asbury Park Comic Con) and then Illuxcon in September, where my work will be displayed on Friday and Saturday night.

Thanks for all the support for Monster Monday as well as my other illustrations.

Monster Monday- February 3, 2014



A Tarasque is a dragon of the swamps. It does not resemble the common image of what a dragon usually is. It spends it's time on the ground, hiding in large bodies of muddy water. Camouflage is the technique the creature uses in order to hide it's massive body from armies that could take it down. It prefers to snap out of the water, grabbing it's pretty then drags it into the water to both drown and eat. The large club at the end of it's tail is it's defense from being attacked from behind and it's horns can pierce the best armor. Legend tells of the Tarasque slicing a knight in half with the power of it's jaws. 

In Orbis, only one Tarasque remains in the bogs of the North. All others have been killed and kingdoms displays the horns and shells as relics of battle. That last Tarasque has not been seen in hundreds of years. Lots of people believe that none are left, but few believe that the harsh stench of the bogs is the Tarasque breath and don't venture into the swamps.




A few days ago I was struggling with ideas for new illustrations. I couldn't come up with a good composition for a piece and had to take a break. I pulled out some toned paper and just started drawing. I haven't drawn a troll in a while, not even in my sketchbook. I let my hand guide the drawing instead of over thinking of what I was doing. Over thinking tends to be a killer and creates doubt before pencil even hits paper. This drawing really helped crush the art block I was having. And now I have 4 illustrations in the works all at different stages.

Monster Monday- January 6, 2014

First Monster Monday of the new year. 



I haven't drawn a Gnoll is maybe 2 years. It's not a creature I often think about, but I was browsing through the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual 4.0 edition and thought it was time to draw a Gnoll again. Instead of being more hyena like I made it look more wolfish, though a hyena crest was added to the gnoll's back. Added some armor and gave the gnoll a dagger, gnolls tend to not have the best armor and tools since weapon smithing isn't an important part of their life. 

That's it for Monster Monday. This week I will post the last illustration I made for my undergrad.

Happy Birthday J.R.R Tolkien



Today is J.R.R Tolkien's birthday and in his honor I made a toned paper drawing of Fingolfin from the Silmarillion. Fingolfin faced off with Morgoth and was the second high king of the Noldor. Tolkien's books have been a huge influence on my childhood and now my adulthood.

As a kid, I always wondered who J.R.R Tolkien was because he was often mentioned with Narnia creator C.S. Lewis. In sixth grade, my mom purchased me a copy of The Fellowship of the Ring. I carried it to school everyday and it took me all year to read the book (that was clearly above my reading level). Also in sixth grade I did a report on J.R.R Tolkien for my English class. The next year in my English class I did a book report of The Hobbit. I created an illuminated book of the scenes and characters of the book (which ended up inspiring my thesis). In High school, I continued to read Tolkien's works of the Last Tales and other texts. Many of the characters and creatures were drawn in my sketch book while sitting in class. 

In college, Tolkien no doubt was inspired my work. I focussed on character design and fantasy illustration. I did an independent study of watercolors for the Hobbit. And created two digital illustrations in another independent study for my final semester. And I am still continuing to sketch new illustrations for Middle Earth. It's hard for me to think of what direction my work and life would be like with out reading Tolkien.