Illustrating a Coloring Book Page for Pittsburgh City Paper

Look at this mess right here.

This is a coloring page I illustrated for the Pittsburgh City Paper Coloring Book. It’s a fund-raising effort to keep the lights on at one of our local alt-weekly newspapers after the financial havoc the pandemic has wrought. I did the whole piece digitally, in Clip Studio Paint, from blue pencil to final inks.

In the video below, you can watch me put the page together, and learn a little bit about some Pittsburgh traditions (like Picklesburgh) as I discuss it all with Run Red Run. You can also learn where to pick up one of these coloring books if you’re so inclined.

It’s loaded with art from 34 Pittsburgh illustrators and cartoonists, and each page is dedicated to some Pittsburgh-related lore or tradition. And even if you’re not in the market for a coloring book, you can still take 7 minutes out of your busy day to goof off and watch a doodle video. Have fun, stay safe.

Inking King Kong

If you thought I was picking a favorite in the Godzilla vs Kong debate when I inked Godzilla last week, you were — well, you were right, actually. I picked Godzilla. But Run Red Run insists King Kong’s gonna win.

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So, instead of agreeing to disagree, we dredge up the subject one more time while I ink Kong. Let them fight. -v

Inking Ratigan (from The Great Mouse Detective) and Talking About Vincent Price

The title pretty much covers it. I inked another Disney Villain — this time, the insidious Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective.

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And, if you’ve seen the movie, you’re well aware the character is voiced by the amazing Vincent Price, one of the great horror actors of the 20th Century.

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So Run Red Run and I used my inking practice as an excuse to talk about our favorite Vincent Price movies. Here you go:

 

Inking Godzilla

I’ve always preferred human-sized monsters to giant, building-sized monsters, but…whatever. To each his own. I still had fun inking this Godzilla.

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Michelle (Run Red Run) and I talked about Godzilla movies, the old Godzilla cartoon, and some other Godzilla-adjacent subjects during this very short process video.

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It’s a quick illustration done with the Pilot Shinpitsu Pocket Brush Pen and inkwash. Nothing too elaborate, and it kind of explains itself but, basically, I inked in the basic linework with the Pilot Shinpitsu, then slopped on an ink/water mix with a brush.

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If you feel like killing five minutes, here’s the video:

Illustrating a Twilight Zone Gag (for Jim Horwitz’s WATSON)

My friend, cartoonist Jim Horwitz, had a Twilight Zone gag in mind for his 3-times-weekly strip, Watson, and he wanted me to illustrate it. I accomplished this entire project in Clip Studio Paint. From roughs, to inks, to toning. Below I’ve posted some of the process steps. I also recorded the whole thing on video.

Watson_Process01Based on Jim’s initial rough, I sent him my own rough. He approved this, so I moved on to the tight pencils stage.

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At this point, even with tight pencils done and approved, Jim was still working out which direction he wanted to go with the gag. He had a few ideas and wasn’t sure which way to go. But that was his job. Mine was drawing. So I moved on to inks.

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Now the inks are done and I’m about to move to the greyscale tones. The goal was to make it feel/look like an original Twilight Zone. The props and items you see scattered about the room are all from key episodes of the Twilight Zone.

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This is what the final piece looks like, right before Jim sent me the final version of his gag. The entire thing, start to finish, completed in Clip Studio Paint. This was a fun project and I got to re-watch some of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes for reference. If you wanna hear Michelle (Run Red Run) and I discuss the Twilight Zone, Jim Horwitz, and the collaboration process, you can watch the video below. -v

Inking (& Needle Felting) The Penguin

Another process video. This time Run Red Run and I talk about Danny DeVito movies while I ink a comic book style Oswald Cobblepot.

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Here’s the video for that.

And if you just can’t get enough of Cobblepot — and who really can — Run Red Run and I posted a video a while ago where she needle-felted The Penguin and we discussed ’60s TV Penguin, Burgess Meredith.

Inking The Phantom of the Opera

I forgot Run Red Run and I made this video! I use the very-new-to-me ink wash technique to ink up this sketch of Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera.

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But, like I said, this video was made months ago — before the pandemic, before social distancing and quarantine. And before I had a chance to practice a lot of ink wash. So at one point in the video I almost blow the whole thing by spattering ink all over the place and panicking (as seen below).

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I think, in the end, I pulled it all together and got a decent result. But you can judge for yourself. In the video, Run Red Run and I discuss ink wash and Lon Chaney. -v

Happy Star Wars Day! Here’s a video of me inking a Baby Yoda.

Yes, I finally caved. Inked a Baby Yoda at a client’s request. My first one. I have nothing against the little guy. I was just kind of seeing how long I could keep the streak going.

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I also thought it’d be a nice opportunity to hone my ink wash skills. I’m told the Baby Yoda commission was a gift and the gift recipient liked it, so I guess I didn’t screw it up too terribly.

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And, side benefit, the gig got me to finally pull the trigger on that Disney Plus free trial (so I could watch the Mandalorian and see what this baby was all about). And I watched a few other fun things on there too. But I cancelled the trial before I had to start paying for it. What? I’m not made of money. Anyway, here’s the video. Happy Star Wars Day and May the 4th Be With You! -v

 

Inking Spider-Man

Some people think comic books are mindless fun. But I actually learned a lot of vocabulary words reading comic books back when I was just a kid. I talk about that this week with RunRedRun while I ink this Spider-Man.

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Full disclosure: I may have embellished the story a bit, but the point still stands. Comic books can be valuable learning tools. Hope you have a nice stack of comics to keep you busy during the quarantine. -v

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Haunted Mansion Bride (and Hatbox Ghost Bonus) Process Video

Yikes, what a weird week. I’m quarantined in my home studio, my friend RunRedRun is quarantined elsewhere, so we haven’t been able to work on any new videos. Here’s one of the handful we got in the can before the quarantine: The Haunted Mansion’s Black Widow Bride, with a bonus backup of her pal, the Hatbox Ghost. Hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy.