Wednesday, October 31, 2007


A slightly bigger post than usual cos I want to finish this off rather than drag it out.

So even though I've only posted about 20 pictures, I did do around 55 that day. Possibly more. In fact, I got back from lunch (40minutes today! I spoilt myself) I counted that there were 20 people in the queue waiting for me. I announced to the crowd, that if you're not in the queue now, you're not getting a picture. My arm was getting sore, and I didn't want to push it too far. Hell, I had a whole week of drawing ahead of me. I sent a list numbered from 1 to 20 and got people to put their name and their desired sketch on it.

In some ways it was a mistake as people left and then came back for their sketch. While it was more time efficient for them, it was really draining for me. One of the things that keeps me going is the rapport I get with people. I love chatting to people and hearing or telling stories while I draw. It keeps me pumped. And I managed to stay pumped for all of Saturday. I waned on Sunday because the people whose sketches I was drawing wandered off and came back. Hence why there's a lot of pictures of me holding up sketches.

PETER: In two cases, people never came back. And being an idiot, I forgot to charge them. Fortunately, two people saw the sketches and liked them and bought them at the end of the day. I believe this is one of the sketches. This one has grown on me, it has something very "Peter" about it.

PETER2: While it doesn't have a full body Peter, it is a nice Peter-esque sorta picture. It's bugging me I got his lip wrong. It goes down, not up! You Peter-philes know what I'm talking about.

SYLAR: This lovely lady hung out and chatted for ages waiting for her sketch to be drawn. While others had wandered off, she stayed around to chat. I was really grateful for her company, as it was towards the end of the day and we were both pretty tired. It's a very cartoony Sylar.

PETER3: I liked the angle of the last Peter so much, I basically did it again. It was a good call by this dude to ask for the Helix symbol. By this stage I could draw it off the top of my head. Previous attempts I had to refer to my necklace. But seriously, how much like Turtle (from Entourage) does this guy look like? The resemblance is even stronger when he smiles.

CLAIRE: Another battle damaged Claire. These are fun. I don't know if you can make it out, but she's kinda scowling at the smoke coming from the side of her head. One of the things that sells a Claire likeness is her hair. Having it messed up like this really affected any resemblance. Weird, huh?

SHADOWGIRL: This cool lady and her partner also kept me company for ages, which was great (Hi, Sahara and Andrew!). She looked through my portfolio and saw this picture I did for mX magazine of the 12th Hero for a competition they ran. I will explain all next post. It was such a fun picture to draw! It was great to get away from the likenesses. They can be so tough.

HIRO: I have no idea why this is a pencil sketch. I know there were a bunch of people who were working other booths that weren't able to make it over to see me. Whenever they did come over I did tend to squeeze them in with a 2minute pencil sketch like this. Hey, I figure these people are the lifeblood of the con. They deserve the special attention!

ROGUE: This is Lyn's partner, and good friend of mine, Chris. I think this was the first picture for the day. Hahahaha, I like her huge 80's hair.

WOLVERINE: For all her help, I asked Lyn what else she would like sketched, as her and Chris had lined up early that morning. She deliberated a while and then asked for a Wolverine. What fun! She didn't have to rush off, and as the last person in my line I took a little extra time on this to thank her for all her great work.

Thanks Lyn!

Ok, I will show you guys the mX article and picture next...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Onto day 2.

Let's see. If I remember correctly the con started around 9am. I figured no one would be waiting for me so around 9:30am I was still wandering around a newsagents looking for sketchbooks for Nicola and I. The day before I had borrowed a sketchbook off Nicola and finished it!

So anyway, I'm wandering around this newsagent when I get a call from Carissa (the guest wrangler and all-round champion) telling me that I already had a queue!

I turned up and there was already a mass of people. Not wanting to strain my arm with two days of insane sketching, I informed everybody that I was charging $10 for sketches. I hoped that would settle the line down. Amazingly it didn't!

You can also see in this photo that I managed to get some more sketchbooks, but they cost me a lot more, so I had to put the price up.

In the background of this shot you can see Nicola to my left, then her husband Crag (sitting in Gail's chair) then Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner up the back.

All the sketch photos are by Lyn Rose from RAWRIMAGES. In my rush out the door, I had forgotten my camera! Poor Lyn was helping out both Amanda and myself. Thanks again, Lynn!

CLAIRE: A picture for a lovely cosplayer. I think she had been waiting since the day before. I hammered out a quick pencil sketch of Claire and it was fun and loosened me up for the onslaught.

NIKI: With new supplies, I wanted to go back to pen and inks. I really wanted to play with my new pens! So here we go with Niki. I really like the composition and I like the idea of the shadow Jessica in the mirror. It's not a great likeness, but I think it captures the spirit of the character and her little upturned lip.

NIKI2: Well, this guy musta liked what he saw because he asked for Niki again! As I mentioned, I liked the composition, but I wanted to explore a different aspect to the character. A grinning shadow helped Jessica pop forward.

HIRO NAKAMURA: I like this. It's simple and it kicks a bit of booty. You can even make out the checker pattern (plaid?) on Hiro's shirt. Yataa!

HIRO AND BATMAN: I have no idea where the recipients of these sketches had gone. Anyway, here's me holding up the sketches. Hiro is ok (again, with that hand!!) but I really dig the Batman one. I always do the yellow symbol as Miller in the Dark Knight rationalised that it's a target for his body armour. I always liked that idea.

CLAIRE: Here's a big inked close up of Claire. Eh, it's not a perfect likeness, but it's a nice picture! Again, where the hell is everybody? Why am I holding up my own pictures? God. It looks like my grande latte has really kicked in here.

CLAIRE2: This lovely lady wanted a torn up Claire. It takes a little longer, but what an interesting idea. I think that's her left clavicle sticking out there. If I had red, I would have spotted some red.

PETER: Totally cartoony Emo Peter with his hair totally out of hand. I was listening to a commentary and apparently Milo couldn't wait to cut his hair as the cast had a whole set of running jokes going as he played with his hair. I liked his hair. It was distinctive. And it saved me drawing his right eye. =)

MATT and HIRO: I hadn't drawn a sketch of Matt before. I think this is one of my best spontaneous likenesses. I was really happy with how this turned out. The Hiro is ok, I like his stupid grin, but his hair is a bit too big. Maybe he's just got back from feudal Japan and hasn't had a chance to get it cut? C'mon! Work with me here, people!

SYLAR: I like the mood of this picture, and the lighting, but it's definitely not Zachary Quinto. Ah well. I'm sure I will get better as the day rolls on. It's still a nice picture though!

I should be able to finish Sunday's picture's off tomorrow. Then, let's get onto some art! I have plenty to show you guys.

Monday, October 29, 2007


So what did I do with all my "hard earned cash" from the convention?

I blew it all buying all my friends and some guests dinner (we call large displays of generosity towards each other, "Vince-ing" from Entourage). I also decided to support the local comic scene and buy a frak-load of comic books.

I picked up Witchking by my previous publisher, Phospherescent comics. You should be able to see it on the main page. I'm sure I plugged it last year, but THIS is the link to all three issues of the Watch: Cathexes. Talented superdude (and Australia's sexiest comic book artist) Paul Abstruse did the first issue, Nicola Scott (DC's Birds of Prey) did the second issue and I did the last issue. Uber-colourist Annette Kwok coloured it all. Christian Read wrote the series. If you haven't read it, it's a fun read. Paul and Nicola pulled out some brilliant work. I think it's one of the best Aussie miniseries you will find and it's FREE at their website!

I also grabbed every issue of HELIOS and SMALL GODS that Jason Rand had on him. I'm up to issue 7 right now, and enjoying the hell out of it. SMALL GODS is about a world where psychics are real. The art is beautiful. Jas, gimme something to link to and I will do so.

My last big pick up was the first three issues of VIENNA. Written by Monin Sak from a concept by Jason Chung and drawn by the prolific Vito Leo. Vienna is a four issue full colour, prestige miniseries about a group of teenage juvenile delinquents trapped in a series of caves in the Australian outback. As they bond and begin to work together, one of them is hunting the others in the darkness. Here's my review for them:

"Vienna is a refreshing departure from the genre quagmire of most comic books. It's a passionate story from brave first-timers who deserve a wide audience. It's a thrill watching the creators and the characters grow with every page. I can't wait for the fourth concluding part."

I enjoyed what they did on VIENNA so much that I also drew a pinup for them. For anyone who knows me, time is my most valuable commodity. So to do this is the most generous gift I can give. Not bad for about three hours work. I think I'm getting pretty damn fast.

Oh, and "Hi" to Justin from Vienna. I hope your hang-over wasn't so bad, mate. =)

Friday, October 26, 2007


It's been mentioned to that you can watch these photos like some sort of animation. You can see the people crawling up from the back to the front of the line. The start as specks off in the distance until they eventually make it to the foreground, picture in hand.

HIRO NAKAMURA: well, the likeness is ok, but what's up with that hand?! I think I'm starting to get really tired here. =)

PORTRAIT: This guy was a really good friend of Scott (the crazy friend of mine who waited 2 hours to give me something). I couldn't turn down his request for a portrait. Or maybe I was just too tired to say, "No?" Who knows?

SYLAR: Now check out this Sylar action. This is what I'd been awn warming up to all day. Not bad for a man on the verge of collapse. But I finally figured out the dramatic lighting that works for him. Why does it work? Probably cos it's the same lighting that Tim Sale uses on the big picture of him before he gets stabbed by Hiro in the future 9th Wonders comic.

SYLAR: I reckon this guy saw the last guy's Sylar sketch and wanted some of that action. So I panned back and drew some BOOM hands on Sylar. Nawt bad. I'm really struggling with hands about this time of the day. =)

PORTRAIT: I remember this lady was second last, but wanted a portrait. I mentioned to her that it's not fair that everyone has waited so long, for me to take twice as long on her picture. I did say that if she let the last Sylar gentleman go first that I'd do her portrait. I put a little extra effort in, as it was my last picture of the day. It turned out quite well.

NEXT UP: I'm going to interrupt the sketch-fest with some actual art next. Then, onto Sunday's sketches.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Almost there! One more for Saturday after this one. Man, ten people per post. When I look back on it like this, it's insane. What's wrong with me? =)

PETER PETRELLI: Another Peter. I think the structure on this one is a bit better. I've just re-watched season one and his lip goes down, not up! Oops!

SYLAR: As you can see here I'm starting to play with angles and lighting. I know that lighting is the key to these sketches, but I hadn't quite figure out WHAT lighting yet.

SYLAR: Do I mean the picture or the guy? The photo doesn't do him justice, but I may as well just have drawn this guy. His friends pressured him into getting a "self portrait". As you can see, I've figured out the dramatic lighting that's going to work with pencils. I was pretty happy with this sketch.

PETER PETRELLI: So this is "Sylar's" friend. Lovely aspiring actress. She had a hilarious t-shirt: Mr Tea. Well, maybe I was delirious, but I thought it was funny. This was my favourite Peter so far. I loved the lighting and the drama of it. I'd really figured out what I wanted to do from here on in.

HIRO NAKAMURA: I was getting so fast at drawing Hiro's that I could do him with sword in hand in the same time it took me to draw the moody Sylars and Peters.

ANDO: Ok, this made me laugh. You've seen how many sketches I'd drawn already. My brain was at it's absolute limit. This gentleman asked for Ando. I replied that I had no reference and that I can't remember what James Kyson Lee looked like. He said, that doesn't matter and to just draw what I could. I warned him that he'd waited 2.5 hours for what is very likely going to be my worst likeness of the day. He said he didn't mind.

I think his expression says it all here. My Ando looks like an extra from the old Michael Douglas movie, Black Rain. Terrible. Just terrible. All I could remember was that he had big hair. =)

HIRO: I think this gentleman asked for two, one for him and one for a friend. I regretfully asked him to choose one or the other. I said it's not fair that everyone else has waited so long that I should do for anyone.

Back to Hiro. So nice to re-affirm my confidence and do something I knew I could draw. After the last debacle this was exactly what I needed. I really like this one. Looks like this guy did too.

PETER WITH BOOM HANDS: The lighting is all dramatic, but incredibly wrong. I mean, his boom hands should be lighting the right side of his face, not darkening it.

I think I got cocky here with my last Peter and thought I could whip up the body no problem. I remember struggling as valuable neurochemicals were no longer able to be produced by my brain.

5 YEARS LATER PETER: What a cool idea. It did create a debate as to what the scar looked like and which way it ran. Having just watched the episode, I'm glad that I was correct.

NIKI/JESSICA: Wanted an image similar to the Tim Sale/Isaac Mendez painting. It's ok, but if I had to do it again, I've got a better idea.

That's my good friend Scott Pollard grinning like a maniac behind her. He stood in my line for 2.5 hours to dump a bag of comics on my table and go, "Chris wanted me to give you these."

I bolted upright, "Are you telling me you waited 2.5 hours for that?!!"

He flashed a grin, "Yup."

Then he span on his heels and disappeared.

I have unusual friends.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I think it's important for an artist at a con to make sure that you're - if not entertaining, at the very least, watchable. What I mean is that the people who watch you sketch can enjoy watching the drawing appear before them. I've been told that there's something almost magical about watching a picture appear. I've seen some artists go so far at conventions to set up an easel with their back facing the line so that people can watch them draw. I think that's incredibly cool.

What I try and do is at least leave the page flat on the table so people can watch the drawing appear in front of them - upside down (Ms Jane!) at the very least. There's a real tendency to hold the sketchbook on an angle on the edge of the table away from the audience. I only use this pose while doing portraits. I don't like commentary while I draw portraits. It throws me off my game.

Anyway. Onto the sketches:

STEF: Hi Stef. Stef commented on the blog a while back. I also remember her name as I specifically mis-spelled it when I signed it to her. So sorry Stef, but hey - it's a way to make an impression. And no I won't be on LJ, Myspace, Facebook or any other timesink the internet comes up with. This thing is bad enough. =)

HIRO NAKAMURA: A slightly different pose and I decided to go playing around. I wanted something a bit looser after all the portraits that I'd just drawn. I needed something to relax me a bit. Hiro is perfect for this.

LOGAN: This is one of my favourite Wolverine poses. It needs some work, but I like the idea of it. I think I come back to it again later.

PORTRAIT: After Stef's portrait I made the announcement to the line that I wasn't doing any more portraits. This gentleman let out a rebuttal. I told him he could try and plead his case when he got to the front. And plead he did. He needed an illustration for his 21st Birthday invite. Both him and his girlfriend (below) pleaded passionately. So this was my last portrait, and I think it came out a treat. He was really happy with it. I included all these instructions for his girlfriend on the back as to how best to scan it and reproduce it in Photoshop.

WONDERWOMAN: Boy, I don't get to draw her often. She's a tough one. Like Superman, she has so many facets to her character that interest me. But when in doubt - draw grumpy!

WITCHBLADE: Such a visually powerful character that I just don't do justice. I really like the look of the character (especially when they put more clothes on her - I don't mind naked women, but it just didn't wash with me).

ANGEL: As I mentioned, I don't like drawing photos. What's the point of a picture of a photo? I do like Angel, and wouldn't mind another smack at the title. I think I might do a more stylistic one next time.

HIRO NAKAMURA: I'm still playing with him and the sword. After I drew the last one, I wanted the next one to have a little more dynamism. I found the pose a little awkward with the last one.

CLAIRE BENNET: A nice, fun sketch of Claire. It's very important to me to not draw as some skinny stick. I love her figure, it's distinctive, has character and is much healthier for a young woman.

SYLAR: Remember I said I was going to play with the last Sylar sketch? Well black is my friend. Here I tried him with side lighting, and I didn't mind it too much. But it definitely triggered something in my brain. Pencil sketches need black!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Crikey! We're still on Saturday! Hahahah, I never say, "Crikey." But while we were in the US the guys and I developed a bad habit of not only using every Aussie stereotypical saying we could think of, but also made up a few. My favourite was, "I'm so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a low flying wombat."

When asked what a wombat was, I replied that it was a large predatory bird that feeds on kangaroos.

People's expressions were priceless.

Anyway, after my 20min lunch beak, I decided to only do pencil sketches. Before lunch I had a line which was waa-aay too long, so I gave 12 people numbers and told them they could jump the line after lunch. Probably not the best idea, but it's what I did.

First up, were two portraits by these two brothers. Really nice guys. It's all so light. I hope you can make these out.

A pencil sketch of Hiro Nakamura. I'm pretty sure that this took me all of 2 min, and it looks cool! I just re-watched the season one episode where Simone can't believe that it's Hiro in the comic. He says that it is indeed him, but his head is not as round.

Poor Masi, suffers from uber-round head in my sketches.

Can you make out this Nightcrawler? I don't think I'd ever drawn Kurt Wagner before. It was a buzz, and I'm really happy with it! I loved that sketch.

Ace from KISS. Luckily the reference was on this guy's tshirt and not on his skin. There was enough man-skin seen that day for my little ol' heart. Any more and I would have keeled over.

A pencil Sylar. I finished this, using the technique I had used for all the pen and ink stuff. I looked at it and realised that it wasn't quite right. It was an ok drawing, I wasn't playing to the strengths of the medium.

I looked forward to my next Sylar as I had an idea.

Same with this Emo Petrelli. I had a good look at this too and again realised that the pen and ink technique wasn't the strongest when transferred to pencil. The copic marker for the shading was adding a lot of depth that I wasn't getting with just the outlines in the pencil.

Back to the drawing board for Peter, too.

This is an old mutimedia student of mine. Hi, Amanda!

She let me draw anything I wanted. So again, we end up with a slightly too chunky-headed angry Superman.

This little guy's request for the Joker was great. What a fun idea. While I loved the request, I didn't do it justice. I've got the best idea for another pencil Joker sketch. Any takers, anyone?

Another portrait. He wanted himself as Batman. It was actually one of the best portraits I did all day. I remember it getting a lot of "oohs" and "ahs" from the crowd when I showed everyone.