Monday, December 23, 2013

Lando Calrissian WIP #01

For my next digital-painting piece, I decided to try out a Star Wars theme!  I'm also taking a more regimented approach than last time; having reminded myself with the John Carter piece that I'm not yet experienced-enough as a painter to slap down some shapes and trust it to work, I'm focusing more on the underdrawing this time around.  Here's the rough idea as I have it so far..

Those blue lines are my attempt to take a cue from this Muddy Colors blog-post by Howard Lyon analyzing Baroque compositions, trying to hook compositional elements onto the diagonals and the subject matter inside of the diamond around the center.  I won't be able to touch on it much during the holidays, but we'll see what develops ~!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

John Carter Final

I've used about as much time as I dare to, so I'm callin' it done at this --  There are still so many things I could keep finessing/correcting, but I really need to call it a day on this one to move onto other projects.  I've learned a lot while I chipped away at this piece, which hopefully will help out the next time I try something like it!

Hope you've enjoyed watching it come together!

..Just putting it out there -- Is anyone interested in seeing it as a convention-print?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

John Carter WIP, 11/26

As I was working I caught that his right arm was matching that of the Thark's again, so I pulled it up into a straight-ahead, "about to fire" pose, which actually is for the best because now the angle of his leg directs the eye toward it.  I'll need to watch my saturation as I start refining details.

Monday, November 25, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP 7

We'll see where this goes.

Austin Wizard World was a lot of fun!  To all those who came out and those who helped as volunteers and staffers, thanks very much -- The show was all the better for your being there!  I really hope it works out that we can make it happen next year :D  In the meantime, the next opportunity to catch me at a show will be at Space City Con in Galveston, TX!  Should be good times!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP 6 + Wizard World Austin!

Sorry it's been awhile since the last update.  I had to put this aside for a bit due to hectic times at work, conventions and other events; a commission (which I'll be able to share soon); and being just plain disillusioned.  I'll show why.. This is how it was looking up til this evening:

...And somethin' about it just kept bothering me.  After I ran it by one of my coworkers I realized JC's pose was too passive & static, his sword wasn't helping his silhouette, he was too centered, his anatomy just wasn't going to resolve, and his pose was too similar to the Thark's.  To help illustrate:

Only one thing to be done for it -- Total teardown!  The original drawing was drawn/painted over with an all-new pose...

By the time I had to go home I'd found a way to have nearly the same pose, but facing the viewer.  

There's still a lot about the pose that I need to resolve before I really get into detail, and of course now I'll need to paint in everything behind him -- But ultimately it should end up as a better starting point than the first.  Sometimes when you've hit a wall, the wisest solution to a problem is to scrap it and start over -- And the next time, addressing the new ideas you've had since.

Now, to put the piece to bed again until after Wizard World :\  Remember -- I'll be drawing there all weekend, whether at the Powerhouse Animation booth or my own or at the Digital Painting instruction-panel on Sunday!  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wizard World Austin, here we come!

Join Powerhouse Animation staff-artist Chris Beaver for an introduction on how to create a digital painting in Photoshop. In this session we’ll touch on the tools of the trade, learn valuable Photoshop tips & tricks, discover useful techniques, discuss time-honored painting theories and how to apply them to new media, and watch a piece of artwork unfold from its earliest sketches to its final execution! (MEETING ROOM 12)

Should be fun :D  It'd be a cool show if that alone were what I was up to, but I'll also have a half-table of my own and be helping out at the Powerhouse Animation booth!  Gonna be crazy.  Please, swing by and say hi when you're in Artist's Alley!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP4

Sorry for missing the past couple of days -- I haven't had much chance to work on this piece.  Getting back onto it!

With this update, in addition to refining more details I've also added a bunch of texture and smoke/dust effects to give it a stronger sense of atmosphere.  Still a ways to go, but things are starting to take shape..

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP3

Don't really have much to say about this update.  Still tidying things up, but unfortunately I wasn't able to make too much time for it tonight.

On another note, I finished reading The Gods of Mars the other night!  Onto Warlord of Mars.  Kinda hoping Dejah Thoris actually gets to do something in this one, after being absent all throughout The Gods of Mars and being written depending on the circumstances as either the grief-stricken damsel or as the football the Men need to chase after.

Monday, October 14, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP 2

More painting.  Things are starting to tighten up here and there, but mostly I feel like I'm just sliding paint around and hoping it resolves something.  Looking forward to the day 20 years from now when this might come more naturally :\

This is being painted in Photoshop CC.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

John Carter of Mars WIP 1

Painting another print-piece!  Not sure that this one's going to be done in time for Alamo City, but a guy can try...  I'll keep posting WIPs every evening 'til it's done!

I've been reading from the John Carter of Mars series lately, which is what got me into the spirit.  I'm currently nearing the end of The Gods of Mars -- every page is more epic than the last, which you'd think Burroughs would eventually run outta steam on but it just keeps ramping up.  It's also becoming clear though where the Mario Bros. "The Princess is in another castle" storytelling-device got its inspiration.  Not sure this book would've gotten quite the same traction in a modern social-climate.

Anyways -- Hope you'll enjoy watching this piece come together!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dapper Sasquatch

Howdy all,

Here's a sneak peek at an all-new print I'll have out at Alamo City Comic Con!  It'll also hopefully be appearing in Mark Nasso's Doom Ranch 5000 in some future installment :D

You may remember the rough sketches from a couple'a weeks ago.  I feel like I accidentally demonstrated one of the perks of the doodling process -- This piece ended up being far simpler (and yet quirkier) than the original concept because I let my mind wander with the possibilities and happened to hit on something very different along the way that intrigued me.  Nice when that works out!

Again, you'll find this and other prints (and me!) at table A-94in Artists' Blvd  :)  Hope to see you there!

(By the way -- Space is still open for pre-commissions leading up to the show!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

TED-Ed tackles the Higgs Field

The thought struck me last night that even though I spend at least 8 hours a day at Powerhouse Animation, I rarely really get to talk about what I do there on my blog.  Mostly that's because of NDA's but also it's because I rarely get to show and tell, since a project might not come out for months after completion or might not ever even see a public audience.  Well, here's my chance!

We've done a couple of projects for TED-Ed, but this was the first to post.  PHA collaborated with FermiLab scientist Don Lincoln (who provides the narration) to produce an introduction to the Higgs Field theory, which outlines how mass may be assigned to particles.  The trick was that we only had a brief window in our work-schedule to produce it -- so it was decided to make it in a retro-1950's UPA'esque design style (which the character-designer Kellan Stover kinda knows his way around) which can be drawn, animated, and re-used very easily.  I painted most of the backgrounds and much of the incidental artwork (the trophies, the projecter, etc.)  Fun stuff!  My favorite part though is that the video ends basically saying "this could win somebody the Nobel Prize one day", and in fact only a few days ago it was indeed awarded to Profs. Fran├žois Englert and Peter Higgs!  Congratulations to them!

Check out the full lesson at TED-Ed!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prepping for Alamo City Comic Con!

Howdy all,

It's pretty busy times around here.  I'm getting ready for Alamo City Comic Con at the end of October, where I'll be at Table A-94 with prints on hand, sketchbooks, and paper for sketching!  The next two weeks will be kind of a mad dash to finish up what I can to have on display, but I'll also be taking a limited number of pre-commissions up until then.  If you're interested then send me an e-mail for inquiries -- You can have a funky piece of Chris Beaver artwork waiting for when you find me, and help me afford to eat while I'm there!  Everybody wins :D

For now, I have a couple'a things to show ya -- One is a Hellboy sketchbook drawing that I did as a free sketch in the grand opening of Capstone Comics' new store here in Austin, and one is a sneak-preview of an illustration I'm currently working on.  You'll be able to see the final piece at Alamo City (and maybe other, future shows), but only there until I can get my scanner working!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bigfoots? Bigfeet?

For the past while I've been tasked with drawing a sasquatch for a Texas Cryptids compendium-comic.  While planning the creature design I decided to have fun with it and try out a variety of styles, sorta hoping that the spitballing-process would unlock some sort of attitude or features that I might not have thought of otherwise.  I feel like the design still has a few things yet to be resolved before it's a final product, but it is at least pretty unique as sasquatches go -- And some of the cartoonier designs, while not appropriate for the task, are kinda going somewhere.

I'd still like to have more control over my technique.  As a line-artist in a service studio I'm supposed to pride myself on versatility -- And all the drawings, however different they are, still came from the same school of thought.  A real challenge of artistic range would be to identify your hallmarks and learn to break them. The question for me is, where do you start?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dr. Sketchy's ATX -- Faeries And Demons!

Howdy all,

So, this is an experiment day.  I'm typing this up at 9 PM Monday night -- But thanks to my use of the Blogger Scheduling System it should post at 9:30 AM Tuesday morning (Pacific), just in time to brighten your morning!  The miracles of technology!

Anyways.  Dr. Sketchy's.  As always, a great time had!  Thank you to the organizers, to the models Ruby Lamb of the Jigglewatts Burlesque troupe and Sarah Sparkle of Brass Ovaries, and to the Spiderhouse Ballroom who until yesterday I didn't realize had resumed hosting live-art events.  Good Times!

Hope you enjoy the sketches!  By the way, if you notice any black spots dotting the paper, that was glitter (which was ALL OVER THE PLACE by the end of this session, and which it turns out that my printer/scanner doesn't know what to do with).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Life Drawing sketches -- AVAA, 9/16

Sorry about the photo quality.  My scanner and I are still arguing :\
1-minute warmups.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Random Sketches -- 9/19

Weee, still drawin'~!  I have sketches to scan from a life-drawing session I'd hit this past week as well; hope to have those scanned this weekend.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nerd Poker!

Probably my favorite podcast to listen to is Earwolf's Nerd Poker, starring Brian Posehn and Friends. The premise? A gang of buddies, actors, comedians, and comedy writers sits down in front of a tableful of mics and plays D&D for an hour, and the results are some of the most hilarious audio ever captured. I've never even played D&D -- But because it sounded so fun, I did recently get into a Shadowrun game with some of
my buddies. Good Times :D

Out of love for the show, and needing a subject to practice on traditional inking-media, I sketched up my take on the characters.  These are all drawn with crowquill pen and sable-brush.

(Sorry the last one's a photograph; I had my HD crash on me this past week and I haven't been able to get my scanner to cooperate ever since.)

Sir Richard of Glinishmore, played by Gerry Duggan (writer of Deadpool)

Brian Posehn's character, Amarth Amon!

Ken's Dragonborn, Barthoset Bu'rall!

Blaine's Blackie Green, with pet/R2/spatial singularity Stargoyle!

Mildred Maxxton, Dwarf Fighter!

Monday, May 13, 2013


AvP fan-art!  By gum, it's been awhile.

Prints will be available at my table in Comicpalooza and Denver Comic Con!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Tried something a little different this time; rather than coloring over ink-lines I tried painting over a rough sketch.

Prints will be available at ComicPalooza and Denver Comic Con!