Stone ink

Well, the actual drawing part of this is finished- I'm just down to the mind numbing, overly tedious job of applying the tones.

I hate the computer process with any sort of art. To me, it's the least interesting part. I tend to speed through it as fast as I can because I hate it so much. I also hate that I'm in the decline of real, physical illustration.

Nowadays, it seems like nearly everyone does almost everything digitally- penciling, painting, line work, inking... everything. And it's funny to me, because the best looking digital stuff imitates a 'real life' process. Like, something looks good because it looks like it was made with pastel, or oil, or chalk, but was all digitally rendered.

I do appreciate the irony in using a computer, photoshop and a tablet (and whatever else electronic eccentricities- which combined could literally cost thousands) to imitate a $3 box of pastels.

But anyway, it’s frustrating to have to use a computer to imitate what was a real, physical thing*. I hate that I have to use a computer to tone drawings, because I’d love to have an actual, completed physical drawing, but there’s no way around it. They don’t exist anymore and I have to use the fake kind. Well, it still exists, but not for real, actual professional work. A couple Japanese companies make, like, a super expensive version for yuppie hobbyists to buy, but for an American comic book, or any real life application, they’re ridiculous. A $8-$12 sheet is almost half the size of a sheet of typing paper. It’d cost $30-$50 per page to actually use that.

Also, apparently, a GIANT pet peeve of mine is when someone doesn’t (who should) know or understand what halftones are. Example- Staci and I were at a show in Ohio, I think, and there was someone young college kid who was acting like a know-it-all and making a real ass of himself (he kept talking about his really crappy Warhol knockoff of a halftoned Marlyn Monroe photograph and about being such a great graphic designer), kept calling it ‘pixelation’ to anyone that would listen to him. I just wanted to beat him in the face with a history book. Or, ask him what kind of computers they used in the early 1900’s to get that neat pixelation on their drawings.

And I would LOVE to get hold of some of this stuff-


They sold this chemically treated paper in bundles along with two bottles of clear ink. You'd draw on the paper like normal, then, when one of the inks was brushed on, one set of lines appeared, and a second set of lines with the other ink.


Eastman and Laird used it for the original turtle comics. Some people, who still have some squirreled away, still use it, but they stopped making it and selling it a while ago.

It’s just frustrating that to get these looks, you have to imitate this stuff, instead of just using it. I mean, could you imagine being an oil painter, but they stopped making oil paints 15 years ago? Because that’s kind of what it feels like.


*for those who don’t know, halftones, until fairly recently, had absolutely nothing to do with computers. Tones were sold in sheets that were rubbed onto the physical drawing.

Second and third illustrations by Sean Phillips and Eastman/Laird, respectively.

Drawing Table Tuesday

(Sort of...)

Ok, so I noticed that I don't really post very often lately and I was trying to think of ways to make more posts that won't take up too much of my time. This is what I came up with-

Every Tuesday, I take a picture of whatever's on the drawing table the way it was left the night before. (since most of my drawing time is on my main one day off -Monday)

The only problem with getting this started is this-

I finished what I was working on yesterday and hung them up, so... there's nothing there.

The very last thing I worked on last night were some cards that I threw over on my lightbox before I went to bed. So here's a picture of my lightbox/cutting table-

I'm in the middle of drawing cards of all of the X-men from the 90's cartoon. No reason really, other than they're quick and I thought they'd be fun to draw. I'll probably post them when I've finished them.

So, in conclusion, here's to the beginning of maybe more than a dozen posts a year.

Stone pencil

I think I'm in the final stretch for this drawing- at least the pencil drawing part of it. Maybe just another good sit down or two with it and it should be finished.

I'm completely unsure how long it'll take to finish it with pen and ink. I'm sure it's either way more time, or way less time than I think.

Stone thumbnail


Staci was asked a while ago if she wanted to be in an exhibit in Huntington. They said they were still looking for some work, Staci asked me if I would want to do something for it and I told her sure.

I could've just put in whatever I had sitting around that I had already finished for something else, like some of those sketchbook drawings, but I think that's kind of cheap. I think it's kind of crappy when artists show the same 2 drawings over and over again. I wanted to do something just for that show that wasn't used for anything else before.

So, I dusted off my doodle book I usually tote around with me and flipped through it. I always have about 50 things planned to draw ahead of time that are already thumbnailed out, or at least have been planned to some degree.

This was one of them. Up top is a tiny thumbnail of part of the drawing I'm doing for the show. It's something I've had plans to draw for just about two years now, but never had a reason to draw it and so I couldn't justify the time needed for it.

I will say though, I'm maybe about 75% finished with the drawing part of it, and it's probably been the most intimidating drawing I've ever done. Not because it's particularly hard or difficult to draw, but because of it's sheer size. And knowing what has to go in all that space. The main finished piece is going to be 11x17. But that's full bleed, so the size of the drawing is 13x19. I didn't have ANY paper that big, I had to make a special trip to buy paper that big. Thanks to that sketchbook, I've grown accustomed(spoiled) to the tiny 4x7 drawing area.

...But then again, I don't know... when I first went from drawing on 8.5x11 printer paper to full sized 11x17 pages, that was pretty intimidating too.

I'm looking forward to finishing it with the ink though, even though retracing the drawing is probably gonna take days. And it has more black than I normally use.

I'll probably post again soon, after I finished all the pencil part.