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So it looks like we are in the midst of a storm day here in the Great White North. Might be able to sneak in some sketching today. It hasn't been a very productive few months on the art side, as it seems work and home life are trumping that stuff right now. I am feeling the urge to get back to the drawing table though, so hopefully some more stuff in the next while. I got a new drafting table (actually, my FIRST drafting table) recently and it is pretty cool. It has a glass surface so it can double as a lightbox as well, which is kinda neat. My young daughter has taken to using it for her projects as well, which I don't mind at all. She was asking about doing some more formal art lessons with me, so that'll be kinda fun to do together. Little does she know that I am have no idea what I am doing! I got a Google Nexus 7 recently as well, which is fantastic for reading comics on. I've been working my through the Civil War series from Marvel, and I have a steady little library building up. So easy to sample stuff that you wouldn't normally. I love it!

Here we are in the middle of the Canadian summer. It has been really nice recently, and I have spent more time outside running and going to the beach with the kids than drawing. A few pieces here and there, but so far none of my really big projects have come together. I have a request from my daughter for an awesome Poison Ivy, so I may break out the markers and some large bristol if I get some time. This spring/summer has been great for comic book geeks, with the latest Superman, Iron Man, and Wolverine movies. All were very good. Can't wait for Thor to come out in the fall.

My weapon of choice recently has definitely been my Copic markers. For a long time, I was working almost exclusively digitally, but then went back to more conventional methods. I would say I produce crisper artwork via Photoshop, but I just enjoy working with markers and paper so much. On one hand they are fast and easy, but on the other hand you have to learn to use them well (which I still am). And if you ever do decide to get some Copics, definitely get the ink refills as well. So economical!

The New Year has just rolled over, leaving behind 2012. I don't make New Year's resolutions, but there is something to be said for the start of the calendar year.

The last couple of months have been really busy, so not as much happening on the art front. I got a whole bunch of new books over the holidays as presents, so they are certainly providing heaps of inspiration. I just need to find the time to let some of that inspiration out! I picked up Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes, Apes and Babes: The Art of Frank Cho, and Alex Ross: Mythology. I also snuck in a few volumes of the Dark Horse Conan trade paperbacks as well (featuring Cary Nord's brilliant work).  All awesome stuff, that I'd highly recommend. And yeah, it's pretty heavily slanted in the comic book direction, but that's the junk I love.

I am hoping this year I will be able to get some more larger art projects completed. I enjoy sketching, but I want to do some more complete pieces with my paints and markers. Keep an eye on the gallery and see if I can fulfil my objectives!
It has been a busy summer, but I've managed to get some sketching in over the last little while. I am alternating between digital and traditional works pretty regularly, as I am trying to keep my skills semi-sharp in both. For a time during my university days I stopped drawing altogether. There was no particular reason for doing so; it just seemed like I didn't have the time or interest. So for probably five years I didn't draw anything, stopped collecting comics and art books, and focussed on other stuff. Then I got hired by a company that actually had a graphic design team. I was hired as a programmer, so there was no formal reason to be fraternizing with the art folks, but I did anyways. Within short order a sketch group had been created and I started submitting stuff just for giggles. At that point I felt really rusty with my artwork, to the point where I didn't even understand how I had drawn some of the stuff I did years earlier. I didn't like that feeling, so promised myself I'd keep my art skills a little fresher, even if it was just for my own personal enjoyment. So even today with a job, wife, two kids, and the craziness that accompanies all that, I still make time to draw. It clears my mind and exercises a part of my brain that doesn't get a workout in other aspects of my life.

I recently got some ink refills for my Copic markers, as some of my colours have run dry. Re-filling one of those bad boys is super easy, and it is way cheaper to get refills than to get a new marker. So if you use markers a lot, do yourself a favour and get a decent refillable set. I don't care if they are Copics or not (even though I swear by them), just as long as you don't throw cash away at buying new sets all the time.
Well, with my Prismacolor markers getting kinda dry, I decided to get a full set of Copic warm and cool grays. I scored them on sale, which was excellent, although they still cost a pretty penny. Not like going out and getting a new set of Crayola markers for my four-year-old! I like them a lot better than the Prismacolor markers, especially because of the brush nib (I got the Copic Sketch type). They lay down much more like watercolours, or at least how I imagine watercolours lay down, since I only paint with acrylics. I haven't found the perfect paper for using them on yet, as the cardstock I am using right now bleeds a little too much for my liking. I have a Wonder Woman image in my head that I want to try and do in a larger format (like 11x14), so I may start that soon. I needed to get a feel for the Copics before I endeavoured to do something like that. So far they are awesome!
Not much in the line of art going on nowadays. Work is really busy, and I have been lacking the energy at home to get much drawing or painting done. I have a few pieces on the go, but can't quite get them seamed up. One of my cool gray Prismacolor markers is going dead (the 30% one), which kinda sucks. Oh well, I guess its time to start investing in a few replacement Copics! I recently got a set of fine line markers as well (I was using Sharpies for lineart before) and wow, what a difference. The 005 one is awesome for teeny tiny lines, and I generally use the 01 as the workhorse. Still not that great with the markers, but it's fun to play with them!
The summer is moving along, and we've finally had some nice days to spend at the beach. But I've also spent some evenings in the cool basement doing some doodling. I am still into the tonal markers that I got earlier this year. They are the Prismacolor cool gray set, and I love working with them. My only complaint is that some of them are already starting to dry out, especially some of the lighter colours that I use quite a bit for laying down background textures and stuff. My local art shop now carries Copic markers, so I may start swapping them out one-by-one as the Prismacolor's dry out. Still doing some digital work as well when the mood strikes me. I'd love to get a new Wacom tablet, as mine is starting to show its age. All the nice toys that we could have... if they all weren't so expensive!
Working extra long hours these nights, so not much sketching going on. We have giant deadline we are working towards, and it's all hands on deck for a few weeks. Been playing around with marker sketches mainly over the last little while. I have a set of cool gray Prismacolor and I really like them. I've spent so much time over the last couple of years working digitally that it's nice to monkey around with stuff on paper. Now if I can just find the "Undo" button!
A week away from Christmas, and closing in fast. Have managed to get a few new pieces out over the last few months, especially for the X-Men United sketch group. Beside my paid work, I am also mired in the latest expansion for World of Warcraft. It's like a new game and has sucked me in all over again.

My wife has gotten me some proper canvases and asked me to do some larger format paintings for around the house. Not entirely sure what I'll do, but it'll probably be a bit different from my usual fantasy/superhero fair. Unless of course I can convince her to go with Red Sonja or something! Anyways, if anything interesting comes out of it, I'll scan them and put a few up.

Have a happy holidays!
So I just got another shipment of Invincible Ultimate Edition trades, and I can't wait to get through them. I love getting stuff in graphic novel format, since you can bing-read a title. I just finished re-reading the original Ghost in the Shell, and I swear I almost understood it this time. I just don't appreciate manga as much as my silly North American superhero books. Have managed to keep up with the X-Men Unlimited Mutant of the Month sketch group, but haven't been able to produce much else. I keep having a hankering to do something that's completely analogue; no digital elements. We'll see.
So we're in the middle of summer here in snowy old Canada. Although today it certainly wasn't snowy, and tomorrow should be near 30C! I am taking a little break from contract work tonight, hoping that I'll be able to get a sketch of Beast up for the X-Men United mutant of the month theme. I'd still like to continue my Wolverine series, but there never seems to be the time. I've been reading through the Invincible series from Image comics recently. All I gotta say is that it is one of the best superhero series I have ever read. So if you're missing it, ya gotta check it out. And hey, I think Ryan Ottley has a deviantart page around here somewhere if you can find it.
With work being so busy, it's been hard to get extra time carved out for some drawing. But I've been trying to at least sneak in the "Mutant of the Month" stuff from the X-Men United sketch group. I gotta admit, I always really enjoy having a group that does themes. It's cool to see how people interpret the same subject matter. This month is Iceman, so I'm hoping to get a speedpaint out of old Bobby before the week is done.
So I am nearing the end of the run of the original Wolverine series. Lienil Yu is drawing the main man at this point in the series, and it is such a treat to see even his early work. His style has become a lot grittier in more recent days, but he still draws a rocking Wolverine. Check him out at leinilyu.deviantart.com if you haven't already. Got my second piece of the Wolvy series up a while ago; a scene from Weapon X. Not sure which one I'll do next, but it'll come to me.
As I mentioned before, I am working my way through the original Wolverine series (the regular, not the limited). I'm up to the storyline where he loses his adamantium to Magneto and starts to turn all feral. Not my favourite part of the series, and the advent of that horrible costume where he wears the bandana. All respect to Adam Kubert and Larry Hama, but the glories days these stories are not.

I want to do a little series of Wolverine and his various costumes, and I started out by doing up Patch not too long ago. I hope I can get some more done. I think I'll aim for his original Hulk appearance one next.
Seems like I've been favouring the comic book art recently. I have to admit that I every so often I grab a stack of older comics from my collection and stash them beside the bed to read before going to sleep. I'm currently going through the Wolverine V2 series. Ahh Madripoor, how we miss you. And Hama and Silvestri on their run -- awesome!
We've just had quite a shot from Old Man Winter up here in the Canadian north, so the landscape is white and the wind is cold. I've been working on a few digital pieces in my spare time, but can't quite get a critical mass on them. Hoping to have some new stuff rolling along soon!
A few days ago I had the joy of welcoming my second child into the world! He's a bouncing baby boy who joins my amazing two-year-old daughter. Could be some long nights ahead... which might not be so bad. Could get some nice early-hours sketching done!
I haven't really leveraged my deviant gallery, but I figure it is time to put some stuff up here. I am a web developer by day, so most of my published creative work comes in the form of interfaces, logos, and interactions. Nice to have a different creative outlet for sure. Sketching has always kept me sane, and certainly helps pass the time in some of those long meetings!
Well, the summer has arrived after an extremely busy spring. Might even get a few days off in the next month or so! Have gotten a few sketches in over the last little while, and I'm feeling the hankering to back to some marker stuff. Although I probably work better in the digital environment, there is something about working directly with ink on paper. My wife recently joined a roller derby league, so I think I may do a few marker pinups to help her pick her derby charater name. Hot pants and helmets, here I come! Wait... that didn't sound weird, did it?