Saturday, August 25, 2012

Macho Man : Warm up

Still getting used to these new brushes, I think I'm adapting.. and digging the outcome. Here is another quickie I did before starting client work.  Can you guess? My client work is cartoon related. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sad Raven

Just got some new brushes tonight and took them for a spin. this is what happened.  I spent about an hour in Photoshop.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Well! The show is over but the party is still going! In honor of Mr. Lovecraft's Birthday today, I have managed to get most of the posters and things up in my webstore for sale! and even better.. 20% off EVERYTHING! All you gotta do is at checkout, type in discount code "LOVECRAFT"


or see some cool things we got waiting for you on the other side......

What about now? See anything you need? GET IT NOW BEFORE IT'S ALL GONE!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Hey guys! The big day is tomorrow! I'm still busting my ass to get prepared (typical) But I wanted to share with you a really cool article that the Nashville Scene did about our group show!

Read it here now!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Due to an alarming amount of interest in people who have mentioned they could not come to the show but wanted to buy a poster. I have added the show poster on my web store in PRE-SALE mode. which means they WILL NOT be shipped until AFTER the show August 19th.  But at least you get them on the cheap!

Two options to choose from!

  • 24x36 - 100# natural cougar stock - $25 bucks!
  • 12x18 - 100# natural cougar stock - $15 bucks!


After Sunday August 19th 11:59pm (cst) these posters will GO UP IN PRICE!
So get it now while you can! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

HE IS CALLING - Pt.2 - The Color Study

When I was in art school, my instructor ALWAYS insisted on doing color comps and studies of our paintings. It took awhile for that to really sink in with me, I always thought it was unnecessary extra work and that I could just jump right into the final painting because I "knew" what it was going to look like when I was finished.  But after a few dozen of crap paintings where I get to a certain point and say to myself, "okay, now what?"  I'd always find myself in a rut, with a painting that looks like somebody did not  know what they were doing and you could tell when my paintings looked like it was worked and re-worked to death only because I had no idea what direction to take it.... if only I had a map. OH! So THATS what those are for!?  Now, depending on the project, I sometime do my color studies digitally, this has it's ups and downs.  It's handy to do quick digital color comps because you can adjust overall color schemes immediately and fix issues very quickly. But the downside to that is if you plan to use traditional paints on the final, if you are like me, find yourself trying to figure out how to mix certain colors to get it the way you have it on you comp.  So anytime I am able to do a REAL PAINTED color comp I will leap at the chance.  All you are doing is creating a guide for the final painting. In this particular case, I knew I would be painting a 24x48 painting so laid out my pencil sketch on a 12x24 gessoed masonite board.

Remember last post where I mentioned a BIG little advantage I have? Well this is where it comes into play. My full time day job consists of designing things, but not super awesome Cthulhu creatures and half naked sea-girls. Nope, I am a graphic designer and large format print specialist here in Nashville at a place called ProGraphics. We have two flat-bed printers that will allow me to print on pretty much ANY flat surface up to 1.75" inches in thickness and 4'x8' in size.

Here are a few shots of this process:
(these shots are from the actual 24x48 painting, not the color study from this post)




SO! As you can see I have developed a nice little technique I like to use on larger paintings. I will draw my pencils at a more comfortable size for me (normally around an 11x14ish size area)  then scan in my pencils and fix any blunders in Photoshop and then enlarge my drawing to the desired size and just print my pencil sketch directly to my masonite board.  Call me lazy if you will, I like to think of it as being time efficient.  Doing this method allows me to cut out the light table or  projector  or however else I used to get my sketches to the board.  Sometimes, I'll print the sketch at around 10-20% opacity and go back and re-draw a much finer detailed render. But in this painting's particular case, I knew it would be loaded with paint so I decided I could just use my original sketch as my pencils and jump right into painting.

On to the fun part, the PAINT! I'll spare you the play-by-play, I'm using acrylics and this was painted over a span of about 2.5 hours.

Below is the final color comp scan, if you noticed, I switched his hand from the original drawing, but before I started the final, i went and had a friend pose his hands for me so I could a good exact idea how the hand would be gripping the top of that rock. (see the first pic where I digitally fixed the hand, and on the pencils as well for the final.)

So below is what the color study looked like sitting beside my ready-to-paint final image.
I may post another quick post of some of the progress shots on here before the show, but if you follow my on twitter, instagram, or we are friends on Facebook then you can catch up to date action as it unveils. :)

ALSO!  I'd like to point out again that the above COLOR STUDY FOR THIS PAINTING, a 12x24 acrylic painting will be up for grabs the night of the show, all you gotta do is order your tickets in advance here. It's only $10 a ticket with no added fees and this will ensure your name gets into the random drawing to win this piece!

As, always, thanks for viewing the posts and I hope you've enjoyed this little endeavor!

*** UP NEXT ***

I will be posting a few of the sweet Lovecraftian swag items I designed for the show. Political  yard signs just in time for the elections as well as a fun little homage (ripoff) of a pretty popular poster design.

Also a sweet little keepsake for my own selfish reasons but which will be fitting for the show.

See you next time!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

HE IS CALLING - Pt.1 - The Sketches

I'd like to share a few process shots of my latest painting "He is Calling" which will be on display at the CTHULHU CALLING art show, an H.P. Lovecraft inspired show I am hosting on August 18th here in Nashville at the CULT FICTION UNDERGROUND at LOGUE'S BLACK RAVEN EMPORIUM.

So, first things first. Sketches. 
I made about a dozen or so sketches of different layouts and ideas for this piece and finally came to one I really liked and ran with it. Below are a few of the rough sketches that made my personal cut for certain reasons for each.

Once I was happy with how Cthulhu would be posed, It was time for me to work on my border design, I had an Art Nouveau kind of theme going on in the event poster, so I wanted to make sure I kept the same flavor here. (For the keen eye, take note of the lovely ladies donning the top corners of the design, look familiar?)  This is where the computer is my friend. I know lots of artists who would cringe at the sheer thought of only drawing one side and then duplicating it over for the other side. But in my defense, I'm only doing it to the pencils to speed up the process, once I start to actually paint this, the symmetry looks more natural and not as "exact" from left to right. It's just one of the many short tricks I sometimes use when I'm in a tight deadline (I'll show you another BIG little trick that I use for speed purposes a bit later as well! There are hints on the pics that bookend this post.)

We got our Sketch all laid out in photoshop, have all the parts fixed up for the rough painting of the color study! Which we will cover in the next post!  

ALSO!  I'd like to point out that the COLOR STUDY FOR THIS PAINTING, a 12x24 acrylic painting will be up for grabs the night of the show, all you gotta do is order your tickets in advance here. It's only $10 a ticket with no added fees and this will ensure your name gets into the random drawing to win this piece! 

That about wraps this post up, stay tuned as I will literally post pictures from start to finish.. mostly, of the color study to this painting (which again, will be given away at the show, all you gotta do is buy your ticket online and just be there around nine o'clock pm)

Thanks again for checking out my post. I hope to see you all at the show! Come say hello and tell me how much you hate it when artist's cheat by using computers only to be lazy.  :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

CTHULHU CALLING: the poster process

I have a few blog posts coming down the pipeline about our upcoming show Cthulhu Calling : A night of Art inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  (psst... TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE HERE!) So first things first... the event poster I just recently posted, I'd like to share a few of the steps involved in creating this piece. Now let it be known, I'm a huge fan of the amazing Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha, so in his honor I wanted to do a poster that would maybe resemble something that would have been around when he was making art. (note: I did not say "a piece that would look like something HE would make... cause let's be honest, there is only one Mucha!)

It all starts with a few rough thumbnail sketches in the ol sketchbook. Here you can see the one I thought was the most interesting.

Once I find a rough design I like I jump to a little larger sized paper and go to town by sketching out the design and making sure the composition will still work on a larger scale. notice the face and feet.. they are terrible, I know, I'll fix that stuff next!

OKAY! we got us a good design going, lots of things to fix here so this is where I normally do one of two things.... either scan the sketch in and enlarge it to the final drawing size, print out and basically re-draw it agin, with much cleaner lines. OR take it into photoshop and digitally start drawing the final layout.  With this particular case I had just acquired a super duper sweet Wacom Cintiq so naturally, I wanted to test this bad boy out!  So to photoshop we go!

Below are the final inks for the poster. Not bad for the very first thing to come out of using a cintq.
As you can see here, I fixed my anatomy issues and drew a new face. Another great plus doing this digitally, I drew about 10 faces before settling on one that I liked, believe it or not, it's pretty tricky to get a subject as this to teeter on the verge of beautiful and creepy at the same time.

So, now that the hard part is finished we get to the fun stuff!! COLORS! Keeping with the art nouveau theme I chose to go with colors that were a standard i printing back at the turn of the century, with a few rule benders in there for the tentacles of course. :)

That about wraps this post up! Again, be sure to grab your tickets for the show here! It's August 18th at Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville. We have about a dozen artists all representing different aspects of Lovecraft. We will have original art as well as limited runs of prints, woodblock prints, sculptures, original independent films and many other fun things as well!  Not to mention we will be giving away art and have fun Lovcraftian trivia! So bring your Lovcraftian knowledge A-game as well as your wallets! Most of the art will be for sell ranging from "super cheap" to "totally worth it!" Cash bar and food too! See you there! :)

ALSO!! If you pre-order your tickets before the night of the show, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a very special treat from me! (It has paint involved, FYI)



********* UP NEXT********

HE IS CALLING. - Join me as we step into the world of madness as we journey through the steps of my latest piece for the show!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CTHULHU CALLING: A Lovecraftian Art show!

Well. As promised, You can now purchase your tickets for the LOVECRAFT ART SHOW! I will attempt to add a few posts of progress leading up to this show. but in the meantime please purchase your tickets as this is a VERY limited engagement. ONLY 100 TICKETS available online! this will guarantee your entry into the show.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Put a Bird on it!

WOW! what a great response I had from the Fiddlers' Jamboree last weekend! There is nothing more motivating than 20k+ people admiring your work and being able to hear immediate feedback about your work.  We sold out of ALL of our shirts I designed as well as took orders for a about 100 more!  I also printed up 100 posters (see previous post) that I signed and numbered.  I left with only 16 in hand!
I'm beside myself at the response I had from this year's designs.  I want to thank each and every person who came over to the booth and said hello and an even bigger thank you to all who purchased something! You guys are what keeps me wanting to continue this what sometimes feels like a  never ending up-hill struggle we like to call freelance art.

I've finally done it! I've got the gears in motion to have the ThinkBaker web store back up and running! It's not what the final product will be by far, but it's baby steps, right?

Either way, first thing in the store will be the remaining posters from the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree. So stay tuned as I get the supplies needed to start shipping these bad boys out. I should have it all live By the beginning of next week.

Now, as the title of this blog says... PUT A BIRD ON IT! I actually ended up putting two birds on this years poster. But I drew quite a few as I did not really know which ones I'd like best and which would have the best flow for the poster....

And here a few other items I drew separately for the poster. I like to do this sometimes when I have a rough idea in my noggin' but not a clear picture as to how I'd like to see it laid out. (Plus, now if I need to use a bird, or fiddle, or banjo, or a jug of the ole White Lightin'  for another quick design layout, I have a few good Hi- Res scans that I can choose from!)

Thanks again for viewing!

On my next post,  CTHULHU CALLING: A Lovecraftian Art show hosted by yours truly! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree Poster 2012

I was asked once again to create this year's official poster as well as other merchandise for the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree.  It is held this weekend July 6th and 7th in Smithville, TN.

We are only making 100 of these bad boys so get them quick as I'm sure they will go fast.  They are 12x24 - 2 color on 100# French's Kraft Paper and will have variations of gold to blue to teal in color, I'll post a few pics of the final printed posters later this week. If some odd chance I have any left I'll find a way to get them online for sell. Otherwise they will go on sell this friday at the Jamboree. 

********* OTHER NEWS*******
As you can see below it's been quite awhile since I've bothered with this blog. Reason is.. I'm attempting to make a new site and with all the work I've been doing (both art related and Just moving into a new house related) I've managed to neglect posting things... again.   But let's be honest, I'm terrible at this whole blog posting thing anyways.  I've been doing lots of stuff I can't really post just yet but I'm also in the midst of a super fun project that will be loads of fun and I will attempt to document the shenanigans on here throughout the next two months.  Just be aware.. there will be lots of tentacles, fish people and Old Ones and Elder Gods.  But all of that in just  a bit. :)

Thanks for looking.