Inking The Addams Family: Traditional vs Digital

If you watch my YouTube channel at all, you know I’ve been working on improving my traditional inking skills. This week I tried a little test with my favorite family of kooks, The Addams Family.

I did a sketch of the Addams clan and tried inking it traditionally — with pens, brush pens, and brushes. I thought the results weren’t too bad. Definitely better than they would’ve been had I not been practicing inking for the last year or so.

But I also wanted to pull the sketch into the computer and ink it digitally. I’m more comfortable with that process, and I figured I could compare and contrast afterward, to see what I needed to work on.

Both the traditional and digital versions are in this video. As well as some pics from a LIFE Magazine photospread featuring actors who DIDN’T get roles in the Addams Family after auditioning for them.

Inking Daredevil

Did a quick video where I practiced my spot blacks with a Daredevil piece. (First image digitally colored)

Most of the time, when I’m doing comic-style work, I go light on the inks, leaving the image open for color.

But I know that even a heavily-inked piece with big patches of black in the right places looks great once the color is added….and has the further benefit of looking amazing as a black-and-white illustration.

So, in this video, I’m practicing dropping more ink into an image than I’m used to. And I’m having fun talking with Run Red Run about inking, commissions, and Daredevil:

An Informal Chat About Needle Felting with Run Red Run.

You all know my friend Run Red Run. She’s here at the studio all the time sculpting and building our joint projects with me, learning new skills alongside me, making our YouTube videos, and (every once in a while) she’ll step out of her comfort zone and do an “Ink It or Stink It” video with me. In addition to all that, she enjoys needle felting wool into cute, fiber sculptures.

She was finishing up this commission recently — a client’s pets — and I figured I’d catch some of her process on video and talk to her about it. What else have I got to do besides pester her while she works?

While the video shows some of the basic steps of needling a feltie into shape, it also focuses on her choice of plastic/glass eyes for these particular sculptures. So we had a little fun talking about all the different ways you could use materials other than wool in your wool felties.

If you’ve ever thought about trying out needle felting, you might pick up some tips or tricks in the video. If nothing else, it’s six minutes of two doofuses discussing an art form we have fun with:

Inking Grogu (Baby Yoda) Plus: Ink It or Stink It!

I know. I inked a Baby Yoda last year. But this one’s better. And it’s all done with brush, no pens (not even brush pens)!

The primary reason I drew this little cutie again is because Run Red Run and I both got Disney Plus (finally) and we’re really enjoying The Mandalorian.

In this week’s video I ink Grogu but, as a special bonus, Run Red Run also plays a round of “Ink It or Stink It” and inks her own Grogu. How’d she do? Gotta watch the video.

This is the way:

Fairy Commission (inspired by my Morels Game Art)

A few years ago I did the card/box art for a card game called Morels. It’s a 2-player game wherein you ‘forage’ for mushrooms and your score depends on the type of mushrooms you find in the forest. A fan of the game contacted me about doing a commission inspired by my game art. It a little bit “Shiitake Night Card” and “Fairy Ring Night Card” and it was a lot of fun to work on.

This was an actual ink-on-paper commission and the face of the fairy was small and delicate, so I pulled out the ol’ magnifying glass while I was inking so I wouldn’t muck it up too much.

I also used a masking fluid to mask off the full moon behind the fairy while I ink washed the night sky. I go over my whole process with my friend  RunRedRun in this week’s YouTube process video.

The link to the video is down below. And, honestly, if you’re into two-player card games of strategy that don’t take all night to play, look into Morels. It’s got a pretty strong following of supporters.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Toned Paper Drawing

I haven’t attempted a toned paper drawing since it was forced upon me in tenth grade. The teacher was trying to teach us about the three values (dark, midtone, light) but I used it as an excuse to goof off and phone in the assignment. I regret nothing.

But I did think it was about time I revisited the toned paper. So I picked up a pad of Strathmore tan toned paper, grabbed some soft lead pencils and a white charcoal pencil and tried to figure out what my high school art teacher had been patiently trying to convey to me all those years ago.

For my subject matter, I picked characters from one of my favorite horror books, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (the fact that I just bought a Mr Hyde action figure might have also figured into my decision). And I talked to my friend  RunRedRun about Jekyll and Hyde, toned paper drawing, and my awful tenth grade art.

All in all, for only my second time with this medium, it didn’t turn out too bad. Here’s the video. No rest for the wicked.

Sesame Street’s Count Von Count! (My First Mini-Painting)

Most of the time, when I’m working on art, I’m either sitting behind my computer working on something digital, or sitting on the couch, sketching with a pencil. Bottom line, there’s a lot of sitting going on, and that’s not gonna change anytime soon.

But what WILL change is the medium I’m working in. I found an old mini-canvas in the ArtBin I used during my college painting class eons ago. It was still sealed in plastic because I’ve never done a mini-painting. Until now.

This week, I finally broke open some old acrylics (and that mini-canvas) and decided to try my hand at a mini-portrait of one of my favorite Muppets, Count Von Count. You can watch the video down below to see how it went, and listen to me talk to RunRedRun about Sesame Street, vampires, and my college painting course.

Anyway, here’s the video. One! One painting video! Ah Ah Ah Ahhhhh!

Building My First Haunted House

Figured out what to do with all the extra foam and cardboard lying around my studio. Built my first haunted house.

Yeah, I know we already built a witch house. But this is a haunted house. Totally different. And I did it on my own while Run Red Run was busy working on her own projects.

It’s not a long video, but I do take you through my entire process (at breakneck speed) from the rough sketch to the finished house. And since it was my first, I was kind of learning as I went along.

Enjoy the vid and don’t let it spook you.

How I Illustrated My Holiday Card This Year

And we’re back from break! I sent out New Year’s cards this year. Not many. Just enough to make sure all the people who sent me Christmas cards didn’t think I was a complete jerk.

But while I was making the card, I also took the opportunity to record my process and talk about it with my friend, RunRedRun. I might not be a complete jerk, but I’m also not gonna pass up the opportunity to generate some fresh content for my YouTube channel.

So we uploaded a video where I discussed not only my illustration process for this cute little hamster, but also name-dropped the many various tools and materials I used to create the card — from the sketch stage right on up to me dropping it in the mailbox.

Enjoy the video. And Happy New Year!

My Illustrated Christmas Tale About Starsky and Hutch Action Figures

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I figured I’d post our latest, holiday-themed video to the process blog. I recently told a story to Run Red Run (on our YouTube channel) about a coveted toy from my childhood: a Starsky & Hutch Action Figure.

The tale begins with a grade school Holiday Gift Exchange and ends in heartbreak (as any story worth its sale often does). I illustrated this miserable memory with some digital illustrations. And, since I’m all about process, I also included some footage of the drawings being created in Clip Studio Paint.

Maybe this story will trigger some pleasant memories of your own childhood Christmases. Or maybe you’ll just enjoy joining in my misery. Either way, the video link is below.

Happy Holidays, everybody!