Salvador Dali warmup sketch

This was about 45 minutes this morning in Photoshop.

I was contemplating his mustache and decided to omit it from this sketch. I like the mystery of it... the humanity, rather than a 'character' that he always put on. He was so eccentric and character-like, and a large part of that was his 'costume', props, poses, expressions and his trademark mustache. I liked the idea of showing the human. Not hiding the expression though. He's so pensive, surely, while painting, I didn't want it to be mistaken for an 'artist' pose. This is somewhere in between, and I enjoy the simplicity of taking away his mustache.

This could almost be a death mask.



Sketch hour

I've been working hard on an animated short film lately, handling character and prop design, so in between work and life I try to still give myself at least a couple hours a week to just sketch for fun and practice. This is my time to relax, watch television and just let my brain wander... sort of stretching my sketch-muscles.

Here a sketchbook page from one such session a couple weeks ago:

(these are Prismacolor markers and Prismacolor colored pencils on paper)



A local friend is opening a new bar soon, which is promising to be a good time, and something artsy and new for the city... called CITY BAR. The design was done by my pals
Bill, Adam, and I. We painted the mural at roughly 13' x 5', designed specifically for this space.

After a couple months and dozens of sessions pushing and pulling the colors, we are happy to say it is finished! You can check it out (if you're in the Shreveport area) this week, when CITY BAR opens its doors.

Also, drop in soon on a Wednesday night when they will be hosting an INDIE-NITE, with good indie rock and alt rock to dance to.



Here are some recent sketches from my sketchy von bookus. I am enjoying the errant line of the pen and how charming it can be on its own. Sometimes small areas are nice in their simplicity:



30 minute cool-down sketch

I didn't get a chance to do a warmup sketch this morning, so after work (before heading home) I decided to paint the birthday sketch subject over at the ISCA members forum, Neil Young.

This is a 30 minute digital sketch. Again, trying to get loose with brushes, edges, and color:


Illustratioin Friday: blur

The I.F. word this week is "blur" and that reminded me of softer edges, blurry edges, so I tried to spruce up my textures, edges and soft lights here with Photoshop in this 30 min. warmup painting.

You could also say that this is someone who moves in a blur... or at least he thinks he does.


ISCA convention

Every year I forget what an amazing group of people this is, and what an inspiring event the convention is... and then I go and am reminded in a big way. So many friends and so much inspiration. It's an injection that lasts 10 months, and this past week in Sandusky, OH was no exception. Over 250 people gathering, drawing thousands of caricatures and paintings, sculptures and other art. I cannot recommend this group gathering enough to an artist even remotely interested in art of the figure and face.

Here are a few of the pieces I completed over the course of 3 days. I don't have good photos of all the drawings, but I am most interested in painting, and these were sort of a milestone for me. The photos aren't all that great, and I'll get more of them soon:


This is a cool cat Canadian who makes this face all the time (10"x10", acrylic).

Illustrator Ed Steckley is one of my best friends... and he wears these boots (10"x10", acrylic).

Friends Andy and Nate on one canvas

Marlo Meekins. Those that know her... well, I hope you see it (24"x18", acrylic).



Skinny Jeans

I've been a bit slacky on Illustration Friday's assignments. Great practice group, and very inspiring while being challenging. Even if I'm reviving a sketch or old illustration that is fitting, it makes me think about how I can better sell that concept.

This week's word is "skinny" - I pulled a recent sketch from my sketchbook and refined it. This is called "skinny jeans". Coming from New York City, you see a lot of this fashion, and most likely will for years. Hope you dig.


Draw Sam Sellers

That was the note in my "to do" list for quite some time, and finally it's done. Sam is a very talented artist, and I plan on drawing him again, just for good measure and practice, but here's what I came up with for now (11x14", Markette marker, Prismacolor Art Stixx):

This also got me quite excited for the ISCA caricature convention coming up next week. It will be a blast of art and fun, hope you will be there! It's not too late to buy tickets and show up!


Halloweeeeen busy

I'd love to share more of what I've been working on for the last 7 months, but that will come in time, when it is appropriate. It's safe to say that it is exciting and you will enjoy it and the art it took to produce it.

In the meantime, I'll be sharing what art I can: sketchbook pages, caricatures, doodles, warm-up pieces, etc... but it's been so busy with so many different things that I'm just trying to keep caught up-- there is an art auction at the local gallery here in Shreveport, engulfed by a ZOMBIE PROM tonight, and we have been working on decorating skeletons for that. There is a new bar opening soon that should be pretty hip, and we've been painting a 13' mural there on and off, and we're also working on getting a new fun figure drawing session going at a good central Shreveport Location for all the students, artists and creative minglers here. On top of that, there are no 8 hr work days here, so we're keeping ourselves busy.

In the "news" department, I will be attending the ISCA caricature convention in Sandusky in a couple weeks. Thanks to all of those who donated, you have no idea how much it means to me. If you wrote me a note attached to your donation, I will reply soon, and if you have commissioned a caricature from me in the last year (or two, for some of you), I promise I will get to it very soon.


Another Moleskine scan

Here are some sketches from a popular reference book for fun clothing and outfits, called "FRUITS", containing photos of Japanese fashionistas in the streets. It's really fun to look at simple gestures and poses with interesting fabrics and try to capture some of it.


PS, Thanks to those who have tossed a few dollars my way to help me get to the ISCA convention. I can't express how grateful I am.


More Sketchbook scans

If you dig these, feed the monkey and grab my cheap-yet-top-quality sketchbook collection, HERE.

UPDATE: I also hope my buddy Dan doesn't mind, but he is REALLY GOOD, so I had to share this:


Caricature from Comic Con

You can see more caricatures done at the San Diego Comic Con on my Facebook album, but here's one of a nice chap and artist named Nate:


Sketch Site

This is a cool site where you sketch RIGHT in the browser and it records it... some nice brushes, too. Odosketch.

(note: to play video again, refresh your browser)


Free book & sketching

First, just a reminder that Art Squared is having a book giveaway through Monday. All you have to do is TWEET about the Moving Sale with a link (if you don't use Twitter, this may be french to you), send a link to your tweet along with your shipping address via email, through the contact page at Art2Books.com - and you get a FREE hardcover art book... for real. So go do that, you only have 'til Monday night. The Moving Sale goes through this week, so check that out as well-- free books and discounts.

...Next, here's a warmup drawing I did, to get inspired for a potential new project here at work. I'm very excited about the possibilities on this one, but we'll have to see if it fleshes out. Just having fun with pose and line:


warmups 2

Here's today's 30 minute, no reference warmup digital sketch. The topic is "X-Men"...l earning a lot, feeling good:





Comic Con and Siggraph post to come, I promise...

But for now, here's a 20 minute warmup sketch done at the studio today. Adam and I are forcing ourselves to do more practice and warmup drills, so we stay fresh. Today's theme was from a buddy's doodle blog: '60s FBI agent.

I was trying hard to employ some methods and styles pulled from Adam and the world he's into, and I think this will help me grow in my process and style as an artist... lots to think about there, lately.


Comic Con, Book Sale

I'll post more about the recent (and amazingly crazy) Comic Con in San Diego, very soon -- but for now, there's a sweet sale going on for a couple weeks over at Art2Books.com. They are apparently moving storage location and see an opportunity to unload some books at a great price:

Anyway, it appears you can get a FREE hardcover art book... check it out.


Flattery will get you Everywhere

I received a 'love letter' yesterday, in the form of a blog comment:

I guess I will be the one to state the obvious.. this blog is dead. R.I.P. joe's blog. Lets all try to remember the great times we had.. the laughs we share.. seems like just yesterday we were watching a tom cruise podcast.. where has the time gone. Frankily, I blame michael jackson's doctors for the death.. apparently joe's blog had a little known drug problem that all started when traffic first began to slow on the blog.. Lets all just try to remember the good times and pray that its gone to a better place.. and maybe one day a podcast will pop up or a new post and we will all just smile and think about what could have been.


This is motivating, aggrevating, flattering, annoying, and caring... all at once. I think I get the cute intention here, but every joke has honesty, and I think there's more honesty here than anything.

First off, it looks like I've been posting drawings and such here, several times each month... seems needy to want more. But that's not the point. So what is the point? Lemme tell ya.

For the last 7+ years I've been focusing primarily on caricature and caricature illustration. Hm. it's fun, yes? Yes. But after a while the mind races and moves to other things. I gained interest in character design and animation. I've been painting more and yet not painting enough for my own desires. I've launched a small art book publishing company and had an increasing desire to edit and direct almost anything I touch. And most time-consuming of all, I've been working in animation and am completing (among several comic/art/animation conventions) a strenuous life-changing move to another part of the Country.

My brain tells me to try new things. My talents are behind my critical mind, so I am practicing different techniques and still trying to find even time to sketch, between work and obligations.

I have a little freelance work that takes up my time, and I even owe a distant friend a caricature from over a year ago! Time is tight and my ambitions are changing. I want to paint. I want to direct. I am doing new work that is exciting and very time-consuming. I am finding my place in a new town in a new state, and am helping my girlfriend find solace in this new little journey. I am making new inspiring friends and am meeting new people who change my interests and shape my tastes... as well as old friends who are opening my eyes to their methods and practices, ever-enlightening my own perspective.

This all takes time. I love updating a blog and I know that from time to time I like to say "I'll update here every month/day/week/minute" with all sincerity, but I (and you) know that it's not realistic. My favorite bloggers will update daily and sometimes yearly...

...and I understand.

So hey, I'm not mad about this comment, I'm actually motivated.

I'm still in San Diego, unwinding from the International Comic Con. Some of the most encouraging comments were those from fans wanting more podcasts, tutorials, online classes, and even just new sketches on the blog(s). It has energized me to do more of this and focus harder in my free time. I will perhaps work on some new books (mine and others), paintings, art exhibitions, blogs, classes and podcasts, websites, styles of art and illustration, and maybe even some bigger projects.

But this takes time. I will share what is on my mind here, in the art rhealm. I will share sketches and paintings and illustration. I will also let you know what's going on in my professional life, as much as I can. However, if you need a personality fix, I've got a new online journal for ranting, rating and commenting on life, movies, events, and people in general.

And life is important, outside of art. I like to think that it's the top-dog in my mind, but sometimes relationships become more important. Old and new... fitness is important as I get older, and I take more time to care about eating right and exercising... I care more about my family and my girlfriend... I care about other forms of art, as I was getting at earlier, and sometimes actually drawing caricatures becomes less interesting to me, so I can use that time to explore other techniques, styles, subjects and materials (DON'T FRET, I'll keep doing caricatures at conventions, parties and in my spare time... that's one stain I can't wash off, and I don't mind it... it's a part of me).

Well, this post may be more appropriate for my LiveJournal blog... or maybe it's fitting here, I don't really care. I just hope that everyone who reads this is understanding and patient. I think it's SO DAMN COOL that you actually check out what I'm up to, and I'm flattered. But I'm also humbled on a daily basis by what I see online and what I'm around in real life.

So there are times when we work and need to explore, and if you see a pause here for a week or a month... consider it that. I'm not going anywhere, even if I move around the country or around the world. I'll update on my travels, my work, my opinions, and my art.

I hope you can dig.


More Sketching

Thanks for the great responses to the new post, and my sketches. If you like these at all, then my new book is something you will love. It's much more than a sketchbook, it's advice and inspiration from MANY artists that I respect. You can check it out here.

Here's a sketch done of two guys playing chess (cheezy '70s/'80s collage layout) in the local Shreveport, LA Barnes & Noble cafe. I originally observed this two months ago, but was inspired to resurrect and share it after I bumped into the [lower] guy at a coffee shop reading a really sexually driven poem during an open-mic night. Egad!


Sketching with the Hanzo

Once again, using the Pentel Pocket brush pen. It's a nice simple tool for exercises in contrast, ink, decisions, etc. This is just a colorized version of a study while at dinner with my buddy Adam. Nothing special, but it was scanned with some other sketches for work, and I was mildly charmed by it. :)


Superdrag break...

I've been storyboarding and working my ass off lately, and I'm really happy with this project and where I'm currently at. The downside to having a salaried or 'full-time' art job is that I can't share as much with you through the process, but it's great and you'll soon see what we're cooking! I'll also make an effort to take on personal projects and try new things, which I'll share with you all here.

For now, here's something that's been exciting me lately:

This band has been on break for a while and they've finally regrouped and released their new album, "Industry Giants" You can get it and other Superdrag albums HERE.

I've been a huge fan of these guys since the late '90s and to put it simply (quoting a music critic), "If you don't like Superdrag, you don't like ROCK." I couldn't agree more. There's something for everyone there and you should check it out. I recommend Last Call for Vitriol, Head Trip in Every Key, Regretfully Yours and In the Valley of Dying Stars. They're all amazing in their own right and all very rocking with some lighter ballads and anthems.

Here is a way for you to get up to speed and see how they are now. Click the link halfway down the page to watch Superdrag interview, backstage...

Here's their latest video release, Aspartame:


Karma & William Joyce

William Joyce is a seasoned illustrator, writer, director, producer, and designer who lives in Shreveport, Louisiana. Joyce has done a ton of work which you may have heard of, like Rolie Polie Olie, Meet the Robinsons, Robots, George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob, and the upcoming Dreamworks film, The Guardians of Childhood. I found this little video series on a great website promoting illustrators and writers called Reading Rockets. Joyce has a great outlook and puts out good karma, and I think he sees great returns because of his fun attitude and open way of imparting knowledge and technique.

You can catch the entire series of videos (well worth your time) by clicking HERE.



My good buddy Brendan is having a release party for his new edition to the SYNCOPATED anthology comic line. His and other artists' work and stories are included in this very cool collection, which he will have available this coming weekend for MoCCA. I'll be in NY for the festival (see two posts below), so I'll definitely be congratulating my buddy with a free beer... for me. Come join us!


Sketchbook, brush pen

I've been finally back to sketching as much as I can, lately. My buddies at work are inspiring and motivating in this avenue, so I'm trying to keep focused. I'm trying to keep my facebook album for "daily sketches" at least updated weekly.

I recently purchased a Pentel Pocket brush pen which has a great sumi-style brush with replacement ink capsules, so you just have to keep buying ink. The ink is pure India ink and flows wonderfully.

My friends jokingly call it the "Hanzo" (as in Hatori Hanzo) for its master-samurai-blade-like qualities and cutting lines on the paper. It can also be pushed heavily on the page to create wonderful bits of chaos. Below are some drawings I've done with the Hanzo, with a detail from one of the sketches. The people are drawn from a great photo book called "Nylon Streets", similar to the line of "Fruits" books, but a bit more anchored to realistic-looking clothes in the US and Europe.