Recent Posts

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Magic Cards for Ravnica and Gatecrash

Here are a few new Magic the Gathering illustrations that were recently released in Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash.

Aurelia's Fury

Chaos Imps

Domri Rade - Planeswalker

Firefist Striker
Gyre Sage

Martial Law

Thrill-Kill Assassin

Vizkopa Guildmage


Out with 2012 in with 2013 - Jason Raish

spot for the wall street journal sunday juggle about a couple fighting over buying a house.

spot for golf magazine's weekly rules guy column.  this one is about a guy pushing a fence back to hit his ball.

spot for the wall street journal about retirement  pitfalls.

spot for radio times in the UK about a british vs. scottish writer's football match

spot for radio times in the uk about a woman who appears bubbly and outgoing on the outside but inside her apartment she has a horrible secret.  she tries to deal with her depression by shopping

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Failing my way to a new website.

Go check out the brand spankin new!  My site, because of hectic schedule of work and a hatred of HTML, was about a year and a half out of date.  It is now up to date and reformatted to a new clean design.

The most difficult part, aside from deciphering the "easy" methods of wordpress, was trying to figure out what tiny icon represented me perfectly and deserved to sit in the coveted sidebar. I am not lying when I say that one little detail occupied the lion's share of thoughts for the last couple weeks.

The first idea I had was the emblem seen above. While that was a blast to paint it was obviously too detailed and attention grabbing to sit quietly and let people navigate my galleries. Here are some of the other failed attempts of me trying to define me...
Everything from abstract to chimp. And, obviously more chimps.
I think I settled on a more elegant solution for the time being, and what's nice about the new site is that it's easy to change if I wanna go in another direction (likely a chimp, apparently).

Speaking of chimps, I also have a tumblr blog now. This will be my repository for doodles and quick images that wouldn't normally have a home otherwise. As you may have guessed, there are a LOT of chimp drawings there. Take a peek:

Thanks for reading!

PS. Big thanks to my generous friends Marc Scheff and Andre Laboy for giving me many free hours of tech support. Reimbursement in the form of backrubs is on its way. 

P.P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been burying my head in the sand, or more accurately, graphite for the last bunch of months. Can't show all that work at the moment, but soon!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Playboy magazine - Raul Allen

Harmony Korine
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Jeffrey Eugenides
Gus Van Sant
Lauren Nakadate

During the last few months I have been lucky enough to illustrate the monthly interview that James Franco does for Playboy Magazine. In these pieces I get to work with two of my favorite things to do, portraits and environments. James Franco introduces us to the many personalities he collaborates with in his multifaceted career, from contemporary artists such as Lauren Nakadate, Middlesex or The virgin suicides writer Jeffrey Eugenides, cult directors such as Gus Van Sant and Harmony Korine, or fellow actors like Seth Rogen or Mila Kunis. These interviews are often conducted in a very coloquial way so along with AD Cristela Tschumy and Mac Lewis we decided to set for a very urban and moody tone for the column. Definitely one of the most fun jobs I have done lately.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sketchbook Pages 7- Chris Whetzel

Sorry I haven't posted much sketchbook stuff lately. Honestly, its because I've been pretty unsatisfied with everything going on in there. So that makes me sketch less, and then its a vicious cycle...

Anyway, here's some recent stuff I don't completely hate. I've been inspired to get back into the books since that's where the real work takes place.

Sometimes I mess around in Sketchbook on the ipad. It can be fun to draw digitally, but it doesn't replace the feel of an actual sketchbook:

Next is some stuff from figure drawing. Decided to not show more visible nudes after a fellow artist had his blog censored. So here's another sketcher from class drawing the model and a foray into using the brush pen for life drawing:

 And here's stuff from the regular sketchbook where I kind of let go of the reins and let things just happen:

Thanks for reading, folks. I hope to share more sketches on a new tumblr for the experimental and observational imagery. Stay tuned.

Enjoy the Day,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RIDES CarToon of Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez- Chris Whetzel

To start off, this assignment had nothing to do with Jesus. It was a request from the wonderful Ivylise that I combine football player personalities with cars reflecting their names for an article titled "CarToons;" here's an example: Mark Sanchez (Jets quarterback) + Lincoln Mark LT (a pickup truck) = Lincoln Mark LT Sanchez. Being a Jets-themed article, the other car was based on Jets QB Tim Tebow (Jeep Liberty + Tim Tebow = Jeep Libertebow). Ivylise granted freedom to sketch whatever I wanted, but to avoid a previous illustrator's "dated" technique of putting faces, jewelry, etc on the cars.

This was a tough assignment. Everything I drew felt obvious and non-conceptual. While I was enjoying drawing the vehicles and trying to make them a bit chunky/cartoony, I was having trouble fitting elements into the cars and background that didn't feel forced. I should let you know that Tim Tebow is a very zealous Christian, and Mark Sanchez is of Mexican descent and loves Broadway theatre. So yeah, applying those to cars is an interesting exercise if you want to avoid cliches like Jesus-fish and little Mexican car-flags :)

After three sketches, while hating my ideas and being jealous of Spider-Man in the poster above my drawing space, I was running random thoughts through my head when I started playing with the word "cartoon" and seeing "cart" in there. This made me thing of go-karts and soapbox racers. Working this idea into a sketch, I was able to add in figures to represent aspects of the personalities that I was initially exploring in cliche reflections/backgrounds; doing so allowed the environment of a football field to represent the overall "football" theme. I guess, you could say my final (and favorite) sketch combined elements of others sketches with a more creative concept where the cars aren't really cars anymore...


Luckily, Ivylise and the editors didn't think my Mexican wrestler-Sanchez was racist, and my favorite sketch was selected! They requested a sketch revision of removing JC's wings and putting him in a "Tebow pose" which made sense.

Plus, its not like Jesus would need to actually steer as his car would be guided by divine forces, right?

I should note this is much more caricatured and "cartoony" than my usual work as I felt it would fit the silliness of the mash-ups. Also, I remembered the words of Mr. Tocchet, my professor at UArts: "Businessmen see businessmen all the time; they don't want to see businessmen doing things in an illustration." Now, that isn't always the case with publications in this field; but I thought it made sense to move away from realism for this assignment as people reading this automobile magazine are flipping thought 100 pages of car-photos.


Folks say "green doesn't make for a good illustration." But sometimes it is whats you have to work with, especially when the Jets color is green and the football filed archetype is grass. Its a good exercise to work outside the comfort zone, and as an experiment I also prohibited myself from using red since it seems to dominate my portfolio (by request, I swear!) Ivylise didn't seem to mind, and I enjoy the result.



And that's as close as I will ever get to holiday-related art. Thanks for reading, and I wish everyone a joyful vacation. Hope to see you after the world ends!

Enjoy the Day,

Popular Science's Materials of the Future-Chris Whetzel

I was recently quite fortunate to create two images for Popular Science's "Materials of the Future" article. I enjoy the magazine, and it was great to hear Todd the AD ask for mock propaganda/WPA posters with a contemporary feel. Working from short descriptive blurbs, I let my mind turn to the future...

We'll start off with the smaller image sketches for shoes that will produce electricity:

I really enjoyed this sketch of the shoes powering the mp3 player. Granted, the runner wouldn't literally have wires running over him, but they would have been transparent. Hmmm, maybe that should have been noted in the sketch, Whetzel.

Also, I should note that I was in charge of the taglines, so don't be too harsh on me for such unclever phrases. Gimme a break; I'm not on Mad Men.

I also liked this idea of the shoes showing their charge capacity, but again the wires may have been a deciding factor. Curse you, bluetooth and wireless technology; you make for difficult or absent visuals! 

This sketch is a bit more surreal in that tis probably doesn't actually happen (although I would totally wear them if it did). It is a more simplified concept focusing on producing power rather than using it.

And here are sketches for the larger image about how human ligaments and tendons will be replaced with spider-silk when injured or faulty:

So for the idea of this replacement material, I wanted to find a way to show its strength correcting a weakness. I also wanted to stay away from "x-ray" type images that you are always seeing when something internal to the body is discussed. After a bit of doodle-thinking, I found myself wanting to chop up the figure's limbs. What can I say? Concepting can be frustrating. But then I re-connected them with replacement ligaments, and this became the core concept of two sketches while focusing on silk properties. This sketch focused on spider-silk ligaments being 100x stronger than human versions.

Sketch #2 focused more on the healing aspect of the materials and less on its properties. It didn't really  fit my theme of invisible joints, but I was not sure what the article's focus would be so I figured I better include something more realistic and focused on recovery.

With this sketch, I was trying to find a situation to emphasize the "stretchiness" of the replacement materials (20x more stretchy!). I thought a soccer player contorting for a kick made for an interesting poster, and the blurb I worked from mentioned the probable use of these silks to correct sports injuries.

Here are the final images. There was an addition of the spider in the corner of the full-page opener, and I believe it was used elsewhere in the article as a little spot-illo of sorts. 

Full-page opening image

Half-page image

It was ablast to see this published in a magazine of which I am a reader. Thanks to Todd for a great assignment. Also, thanks to Li'l Petey Wonsowski for helping me get this project completed during a time-crunch!

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Enjoy the Day,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year of the Snake 2013 - Jason Raish

Happy New Year, here is a peek into my annual new year's card painting.  acrylic painting process.  this is the one time of year that i do a 100% non digital painting with acrylic, colored pencils, pens, whatever.  Here are a few process shots.

looks so much better in person with the gold paint.  is it even possible to capture gold in a reproduction accurately?

I lived in Tokyo for a year and a half until the big earthquake and during that time I took to the Japanese tradition of sending out a new years postcard with that year's asian zodiac animal.  The post office there holds all of these new years postcards and magically delivers them all on January 1st.  2013 is the year of the snake.  red snakes are good luck and white snakes are the embodiments of gods.  The bottom left says "Happy New Year", the single character at the top is "snake" but this character is special and only used to refer to the year of the snake and different one is used in everyday language.  On the right it says 2013 (with a complex Japan specific year numbering system).  The bad thing about gold paint is that it doesn't reproduce well at all.  the good thing is that the real painting looks awesome with gold paint.  Happy New Year!