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Monday, February 28, 2011

Creepin Baba.

Continuing with my infatuation of the Russian hag, I've been compelled to keep playing with the design and feel of Baba herself. This piece was part experimentation in atmosphere and texture, part development of character. Honestly, I wanted to paint a creepy piece.

I had an idea in mind of an image of Baba Yaga, out in the woods in the snow (NYC had quite a bit recently, I was in the mood) in overcast conditions. I wanted to capture the feeling you get when you realize you aren't alone in a room and someone has been looking at you the whole time you've been there.
Some of the more coherent thumbnails I generated.
Rough value study and tightened drawing

The final painting was a blast. I think I did more variations in texture than any previous painting, and had no idea I'd enjoy it that much. Messed up dried brushes, salt, lifts, the works. I'm pretty stoked to do more of its like.
Oh, didn't see you there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Godzilla and Jeopardy - Jason Raish

Washington Post Sunday Outlook cover. Article is about human brains vs. computers, knowing things vs. just looking it up online, etc... It asks how important is knowing things now that its a click away on your iphone/ipad/smart phone/computer? IBM's super computer Watson went up against two human Jeopardy contestants and blew them away. It did get some questions wrong. Watson was the only contestant to miss the Final Jeopardy! response in the category U.S. CITIES ("Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle"). Rutter and Jennings gave the correct response of Chicago, but Watson's response was "What is Toronto?????

Boston's Weekly Dig cover. they used my Japanese new year's card image for that week's cover.

Network world spot about next generation firewalls that can monitor employees computer actions.

Network world lead image about flattening your servers in the new year and starting from scratch.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Greetings and some Fortune Cards

Hello All!
This will be my first posting on Illostop. Thank you to Chris for inviting me to participate.

I recently did some illustrations for D&D's Fortune Cards game Shadow of Nentir Vale. They were really fun small illustrations and they ended up using one of the Dwarf Slayer pieces on the box art which is great. This was a character named Fargrim who I had developed for D&D'sHeroes of the Fallen Lands. It was great to get another opportunity to illustrate him.
These small cards can be a bit of a challenge, considering the tiny window you have to work the art into. It really made be think about how to maintain dynamic, exciting compositions in such a small space.

I am currently working on a some more which should be out in a few months. Here is a link to the current Nentir Vale set. The art director was Mari Kolkowsky who is always a pleasure to work with.

Here are a few of the pieces I did as well as a shot of the box and some of the actual cards.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Leading off 2011 - Jason Raish

....were a bunch of other illustrations but here is what i have for now.

full page illustration for strategic finance about knowing your IT stuff and spotting your weak points.

spot for Emory Magazine about the evolution of man and how humans aren't the only ones that have caring and empathy just because we have morality and religion.

Monday, February 14, 2011


This is the new full page illustration for RIDES Magazine. This time the focus was on Tupac Shakur (as the Toyota MR-2) and R-Kelly (as the Nissan GT-R). This one was my personal favorite from the series and it was a blast to draw Tupac for two jobs in a row.

In other news, The Spark graphic novel is back in development.  The project was on hold for quite some time now. Between being super busy with the freelancing and not too satisfied with my first few pages of the comic, I decided to research old European and American comics a bit more, looking at my favorites Will Eisner, Georges Rem (Herge),Max Bunker and many others.

What you see below is the new, slightly different direction I am taking and the revision of the original page 2. The lines are a bit bolder and looser. Hopefully, I can have more updates soon, but let me know what you guys think of it so far.

Thanks for reading guys, 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

X-citing work

Hey everyone,
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to Chris and everyone for having me here!
For my first post I wanted to post my latest cover for Marvel's
Wolverine and Jubilee series, with a little bit of the process as well.

Based on a discussion with my editor about the story and overall
tone of the issue, I worked up a few thumbnails to send her. We
wanted the main focus of this cover to be Jubilee, and the pull
her new transformation is having on her. For anyone who hasn't been
keeping up with the X-men Universe, Jubilee was recently turned
into a Vampire, and lost her mutant powers (this happened way before that though)
and now she's trying to deal with these new abilities and urges.
She's been having regular blood transfusions of Wolverines blood to try and keep the vampire cravings under control, and maintain some semblance of humanity.

It's a really great series so far, beautifully illustrated by Phil Noto, and amazing writting by Kathryn Immonen.

Once we decided which direction to go in, I worked up a revised
pencil, and we went to final.

These covers have been a mix of excitement and nervousness to work on; I feel really fortunate to be able to draw these great characters...but at the same time it feels like a lot of pressure, I want to make sure to do them justice...they're more or less my childhood heroes!

Jeanine and Jody were amazing through out this whole process, offering a lot of really helpful advice.

Here's some of the process for the first issue.

The first issue has gone into 2nd printing and the new one should be out this coming Wednesday, so please go out and grab one if you have a chance.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

My first "Big Head" and Cover illo

(cover)(interior spread)(final sketch)

Hello all, thank you for having me here!
Soooo, here is my first cover illo for PLANSPONSOR Feb 2011 issue.
It's also one of the most difficult illustrations I have done so far.

First, it took me a few rounds of sketches to nail the idea this time. (I was stressed out and having brain freeze because it's my FIRST COVER, also the concept was very abstract yet specific: "Finding the right adviser/partner/help")

Second, my computer monitor started dying and fading when I was almost done with the illo, so the colors that I thought was right was actually very off...

SooJin has being really patient and helpful with me the whole time. And we are both happy with the outcome of the final illo. It was also one of the pieces selected into Communication Arts Illustration annual 2011.

It's always great working with an AD who trusts you.

Here are some of the rejects...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I finally got some time in between projects to enjoy some PS3 gaming. Resident Evil 5 was my most recent adventure and I absolutely love that game. I decided to do a 3-4 page comic based on the gameplay and the image above is the first of the set. 

I also recently acquired the Wacom Intuos 4 tablet.  While it took me half a day to get used to the new, more textured and natural feeling of the surface, it's a huge improvement despite the quick tip wear. The drawing feels so much more natural and the texture truly feels like paper at times, especially after using the slicker surface of older models for so many years. 

Below is a panel showing the inks using my new favorite custom chisel brush. It really feels like drawing with a marker. :) I highly recommend the new tablet if you do most of your work digitally.

I have also been illustrating these half page, three-panel comics for Boy's Life Magazine each month and here is an example of this long running series that will be out in the next issue.

Thanks for reading guys, 

The "Young Guns" Tour

(please click for a much larger view!)

Coming to a city near you! "Ska Is Dead" Presents: The "Young Guns" Tour, featuringWe Are The Union and The Forthrights! Find more info HERE! and don't forget to buy some cool new shirt designs HERE (or on tour)....

The Silence of Eggs

A while back I was contacted by Sagoma Editore to do the cover and back cover for their upcoming book "The Silence of Eggs" or "Il Silenzio Dell'uovo" for those of you in Italy.  I received a brief, in awesome broken English, describing a fictional biography of a 19th century poet obsessed with the silence of things. They wanted to push the bizarrely humorous nature of a person stubbornly preoccupied with an egg's silence... as if the egg was holding out on the poet and the poet wasn't buying it. Oh, and another goal was to have the feel of high class literature. But,  you know... with an quiet egg.

I sent a couple ideas to see if I was in the ballpark of what they were looking for and quickly found out they really had no clue what they were looking for. Through a series of some of the most baffling art direction I've ever received, I produced a number of very loose sketches. 
The interrogation chair and the duct tape make me stupidly happy.
Of course they picked the only one I was sure they would not.
So... I was to paint an egg for the front cover, with a monochromatic background. Before I could moan about the mind-numbing boredom of such a choice, the client sent a request for the back cover. He wanted the same egg, but now crushed by a frustrated poet's fist. Somehow, without knowing it, they asked me to create a rollover like I'd done many times before.
Of course, just the right flavor of angry/desperate/insane took a couple tries to nail down.
And despite all the struggle I'm pretty satisfied with the final. Maybe it's my narcissism since that poet is basically me with a mustache.