Monday, June 29, 2009


This piece was originally for a book project, but that fell through so I finally get to show it off here!

One of the more ambitious pieces I've attempted, I usually don't go for all that realistic background detail (preferring a more abstract look), but in this case it was necessary--and after it was all done, I was really happy with it.

While this version of Frankenstein doesn't rely on any previous version as its source (the Universal version, the Hammer Films one, etc.), its unmistakably the Monster, the one we all know and love.

I stayed away from my typical color schemes (bright red! bright yellow! bright green!),
instead going for an oppressive moodiness that I thought looked pretty cool.

Friday, June 26, 2009

From The Vault: Errol Flynn - 2004

Around this time I doing a bunch of Classic Hollywood-era portraits, most of them in black and white, since that seemed most evocative of the period.

But when I did this portrait of the swashbuckling Errol Flynn, I realized it would only be appropriate to do it in deep, rich color, since the film he's most famous for (The Adventures of Robin Hood) is in color. And even though this shot isn't of Flynn as Robin Hood, it still felt like the way to go.

Looking back over it, I like how the colors of the sky are all blended together and a little pastel-y, it reminds me a bit of that classic Technicolor look.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time Out New York: Julia Allison

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was gossip/romance columnist Julia Allison.

Not being familiar with Ms. Allison, I had to go by the pics the magazine sent me to get some sense of who she is and her style.

This would have been the third portrait in a row where using hearts as some sort of background element would've been appropriate, but like I did last week, I stayed away from that and instead just went for something very flirty and girly, hence the pink top and flowery background.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Visit Orion!

Having seen (and loved!) the new Star Trek movie, I've been in a real Star Trek-y mood of late. I've been renting DVDs of the original series, and watching episode after episode while working.

As a kid, one of my favorite little parts of the series was, over the end credits, how they would show stills from previous episodes. Having not seen all the Treks, I marveled at seeing these little glimpses of adventures, and it made the show's universe seem so big.

One of the stills was of the Orion Slave Girl, which ended up becoming one of the more iconic images from Star Trek. So I got this idea, what if the planet Orion was a Vegas-type vacation spot, and the Orion Slave Girls were used as a selling point?

Once I had that idea, I was off to the races, and the result was this very silly poster.

I had, like, a thousand different Funny Drink Name jokes ("The Mutara Nebula", "The Kobiashi Maru", "The Cloud Minder"), but finally settled on "The Genesis Torpedo", probably because I was watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at the time.

All the elements make for a very busy image, but that's partly what I was going for. It was a lot of fun putting this together.

Rob Out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time Out New York: Lauren Conrad

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was Hills star (and now author) Lauren Conrad. OMG!

Conrad was promoting a book she wrote, L.A. Candy. On the cover, there's a picture of some candied hearts, and I initially thought I'd fill the background with pink and red heart shapes.

But then I remembered I had a similar motif just the week before, for my Anna Paquin portrait. And while I like to treat each piece as an independent entity (in that if a certain color, background element, or visual approach works for a subject, I shouldn't worry if its similar to one I did previously), I also don't like it to look as though I just have two or three ideas that I keep recycling, over and over. So I dropped the hearts idea.

Then I went with this--the glittery parade of snowflake-like shapes, emanating from behind Ms. Conrad, which I thought was a nice way of conveying what life around her--and in Los Angeles in general--must be like.

I thought that worked really well, and this turned out to be one of my recent favorite Hot Seats.

Friday, June 12, 2009

From The Vault: Mego Green Arrow - 2005

For whatever reason, sometime back in 2005 I got an idea to do some "still lifes", since I so rarely ever had the chance to draw simple (or not so simple) objects.

I looked around my studio for something to draw, and sitting on my bookshelf was my beloved Mego brand Green Arrow action figure (ok, doll). I had it as a kid, it was one of my favorite Megos (I had a ton of 'em), and a few years earlier I had bought one of them on eBay. With his hat, bow, quiver, and unusual beard, its one of Mego's best figures, a perfect likeness of the character (also one of my favorites).

So I ended up with this, and while I thought it came out just fine, it didn't spark me to do further still lifes, so I just sort of dropped the whole idea. Little did I know, that soon after I this I'd be doing some ad agency work where I had to draw lots of objects, so maybe this was good practice after all!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time Out New York: Anna Paquin

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was actress Anna Paquin, promoting the new season of her Showtime shows True Blood.

Not having ever seen the show but knowing what its about (vampires!), I knew I wanted to have some sort of element that referenced the setting without being too on the nose (blood splatters, fangs, etc.).

So I thought a cracked blood red heart, with Ms. Paquin glaring out from front of it, was a good way to go. It took me a while to get the exact details right (should her dress be white? Black? A different color?), all told this piece came together rather quickly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Windstream Backround #3

The (so far) last of the background illustrations I did for the internet company known as Windstream.

This one was similar to the first, so I felt like I knew where I was going here, and of all three this one was the most easily produced, and the one that came back with the least amount of changes requested.

Looking back over these three, I'm sort of amazed at how many sheer man hours went into these, and while they're not especially creative (on my end), I have a different appreciation for them, simply because they're so involved.

It's not the kind of work I normally do (or thought I could do by most clients), but I'm Concept Farm asked me to do them. They were a real challenge, and I was happy to take it on.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Windstream Backround #2

The second of three background illustrations for the Windstream company.

Originally, the area on the right was just an empty field, but when I finished the first round on this piece, it was requested I add some sort of park (bench, walkway, lamp posts, trees) to help fill the space.

At first, I groaned at the thought of adding so much, since this one had been much harder to do than the first, and the idea of going back in was not that appealing.

But I did it, and looking back at it now, I see how much better and complete the piece is with all those added features.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Windstream Backround #1

This is one of (so far) three highly-detailed backgrounds I've been creating for an ad campaign for an internet company known as Windstream.

Like the Capital G portraits, I was commissioned by the Concept Farm agency to produce the illustrations, and they're always a lot of fun to work with.

The backgrounds will get dropped in behind photos of different kinds of people in their business roles (chefs, seamstresses, etc.) and the various text and logos. They'll be both print ads and on billboards.

Friday, June 5, 2009

From The Vault: Scary Tiki - 2006

Booga booga!

I have no idea why I did this, or what the inspiration for it was, but looking back over it, I like it!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Time Out New York: Edie Falco

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was actress Edie Falco, most famous from The Sopranos, but is now in a new Showtime series, Nurse Jackie.

Not wanting Falco in anything too close to being a nurse's outfit, I went for a plain white blouse, with a sort of hospital-y looking background color. Simple and dignified.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spygirl - 2009

I was just fiddling around yesterday--I have a couple of bigger projects on the horizon that I have to do some research for, but I wanted to create something; what I ended up with was this.

I swapped out all kinds of different backgrounds, until finally setting on a super up-close halftone; it gave the piece a real Modesty Blaise-ish, 60s-spy movie feel which I liked.

I feel like if this was a spy movie character, her handle would be Snow Angel, or something like that.