Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Mini Paintings

This year I said to myself that I would do "hand-made" gifts for everyone. Well as it turns out, that takes a lot of time and planning , which I neglected to do around my work schedule. Therefore I was only able to hand- make 2 people's gifts. Next year I'm shooting for the whole group.

The olive branch was for my sister, we recently patched up our relationship after a very long rift. And the landscape was made for my cousin, who's favorite place is Orange County, California.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Holidays Friends!

Holiday mailer 2013! Poking a bit of fun at these "hipster" types you see so often in urban settings...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sketches and other random stuff

And here are some 5,10 and 20 minute sketches from the final SVA drawing workshop of the year. I'm not gonna lie, our model was pretty dreamy. There was actually one hilarious moment where a friend walked in late and was chatting with us during the break and suddenly the model stepped up and disrobed and our friend actually stopped talking mid sentence and was like "god damn...!" standing there all slack jawed. I had to laugh at his reaction but then felt bad about it afterward, not wanting to be disrespectful to the model. To be fair we weren't laughing at the model per se, just our friend's reaction to the model. The model was indeed sculpted like a greek god! It's not often you see that in New York where most of us get pretty fluffy/pasty during the winter months.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

More Subway Sketches

I started 2 sketchbooks in November, one small and one large. The smaller one is definitely stealthier and more ideal for drawing people on the train, whereas the larger one tends to attract more attention. These are from the smaller one. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to finish both by the end of November but I guess technically I'm still sticking to my goal of a sketchbook a month if I get 2 done for Nov and Dec.

Stylish granny

Bruce Campbell*
A crowded train
The cutest boy I've ever seen

*I did not see Bruce Campbell on the subway, lol. That one is from my head..

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pony Express

Here’s me in 1860 riding cross country to deliver mail for the Pony express, fighting outlaws and bandits by day and sleeping under the stars by night. I realize the bg is kind of a cop-out/hack (its actually a photo I took when we visited Arches national park in Utah) but it kinda fit the style i was going for.

Below is the actual recruitment poster for the Pony express. I like how honest they are: "must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred” Damn, dude that is no joke. You might die, but if you don’t die you will get 25 dollars a week. Was that even a lot of money back then? I have to believe that anyone that took this job was a stone cold badass. Also, these people had to make it from Misourri to San Fran in 10 days or less on a horse! That’s some serious haul-assery!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My hair is like my security blanket and source of power. I'm trying to force myself to work in color and get used to the idea of creating lighting from my head. I think to do this really effectively you must have done enough still life and portrait studies that you are comfortable with color theory and can easily pull from your mind. Definitely out of my comfort zone...Well my new gouache set arrived today, I guess we'll see what I end up making with it! Fun times ahead!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cat logo

Properly remade the logo to my site hi-res for my business cards. Cat branding, it's the way of the future..

I mean, who doesn't love a slightly wall-eyed striped fat cat with tiny toothpick legs??

A lot of people?


Thursday, November 21, 2013


I wanted to do Robin from Batman the Animated Series in a creepy jamie hewlett-ish style. I always had a thing for Robin when I was younger. Now that I'm older I see its because he’s the full package,




-obsessed with revenge personality disorder

..wait a minute.. Oh well …

Typical New Yorker

Doing 2 things at once.. Just funny. I finally picked up a w9 marker so now my sketches can get those darkest darks. Hurrah! I realized its my dream to one day have every color of copic marker.. I'm dead serious. Like just casually stroll into Blick and be like, yeah I'll take that whole rack.. KThanksbai...


That is all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today's Paintover

Today I took an old marker sketch and spiced it up in photoshop, adding some dramatic lighting. Here's a before and after..

I thought the moon was competing with the jack o lantern too much so I scaled it  back quite a bit. Definitely need more animal anatomy, and trees are also a challenge for me.

New Portfolio Site

Friends! I've been busy lately putting together a portfolio site for myself! Come have a look and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Space Shuttle

I always loved space shuttles, the idea that we could launch ourselves with rockets into outer space always captivated me. I was imagining what it must have been like to be in a space shuttle during launch. I can barely handle taking off in a plane, so I feel like the astronauts are some of the most valiant and brave folks around.


Ask any Italian about Scylla and they’ll tell you she’s the terrifying sea monster that inhabits the rock of Scylla in the narrow strait between Italy and Sicily. Across the Channel from Scylla is Charybdi, a demon of the tides who can swallow entire ships in her whirlpool. Here is a passage about Scylla and Charybdis from Homer’s Odyssey , one of my favorite books..

In Homer's Odyssey XII, Odysseus is given advice by Circe to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship: “Hug Scylla’s crag—sail on past her—top speed! Better by far to lose six men and keep your ship than lose your entire crew.” Odysseus then successfully sails his ship past Scylla and Charybdis, but Scylla manages to catch six of his men, devouring them alive.

"…they writhed
gasping as Scylla swung them up her cliff and there
at her cavern’s mouth she bolted them down raw—
screaming out, flinging their arms toward me,
lost in that mortal struggle.”[7]

When I visited Sicily with my family we actually saw the rock of Scylla. I think its interesting how Greek mythology is part of the local culture there, and that a story that’s over 1000 years old still survives today.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"The road to success is always under construction.."

Probably the weirdest drawing ive ever made. From the SVA drawing workshop. I accidentally gave him disney eyes by making his pupils too large. He looked kind of cute that way though so I left it. I guess I've come a long way since earlier this year when I was totally afraid to draw in pen. Now I try to sketch in pen every day. Still a long way to go.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Full Metal Jacket


(strange voice)
Hi, Joker.

JOKER stares at PYLE for a few

PYLE has clearly snapped.

Are those ... live rounds?

Seven-six-two millimeter,
full metal jacket.

PYLE smiles grotesquely. 

FULL METAL JACKET! My favorite movie of all time. I really appreciate the eerie lighting on private Pyle’s face in this scene. You can tell he’s totally lost it. I love that Kubrick totally jumps the line in this scene—ON PURPOSE— in order to throw the audience. Brilliant filmmaking!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

I always found the headless horseman terrifying. He throws his flaming pumpkin head at you doesn't he? I mean... a person could get seriously hurt like that. And then he rides off into the night like a badass. Definitely a villain's villain. That's for sure..

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the bus..

Going over the GW bridge, for a moment you can see a brilliant sparkling glimpse of the NYC skyline. The magic has clearly worn off for this seasoned NYer..Need to stop by Blick all of  my supplies are running out at once. But I also think there's something good about being forced to improvise and leave your comfort zone when the pen you normally reach for runs out. I started drawing with these calligraphy pens I found lying around house and its actually kind of silly/fun.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A very modest start

Bear with me as I cautiously venture outside of my comfort zone. As part of my efforts to begin working in color, here is a quick still life I did using this cheapo watercolor set I bought at dick blick (pictured below). I like watercolor and gouache because the cleanup is a snap, and theres no toxins to inhale, but just doing this little guy made me realize I'm a bit short on resources. For one thing- I could use an actual palette (instead of just using the  back of the plastic case, lol), and of course, I could always use more brushes. Also, I think having an opaque water color set in a plastic dried out pan like this sort of defeats the purpose of opaque watercolor, because you have to moisten the color in order to get it to go on your brush. However, the water sort of cuts the saturation, so it can be a bit of an uphill battle to get really bright, saturated colors. It made we want to pick up a real set of gouache tubes in the future. All in all, I really like the end result of gouache. You can get really bright saturated images that are very quick and inexpensive to make. That and it reminds me of some of the classic disney animation backgrounds painted in the old days before computers and photoshop.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

More Figures from Jack's Class

Each time I sit down to draw I'm totally humbled by how much there is to learn. Jack gave me some great comments this time. He told me to concentrate on the planes, and make sure that the shadow pattern is unified into one shape for the entire figure. Connect the bits and pieces of shadow into a whole.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another late night sketch...

Figure Drawing Marker Sketches

I'm trying to get used to breaking down what I see into 3-4 values. I think seeing what I'm drawing in this way will help me when I begin painting, which is hopefully very soon.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

James Dean Type Character

Playing around with gradient mapping in PS, thanks for the tip Nate!  Still not really sure how this is supposed to work but I'm sure in time I'll figure it out.


Free Life Drawing at the Alma Mater

SVA has a free workshop every wed night from 7-10pm. Awesome! Plus, I got to catch up with some friends and swap leads, which is always good.

A card for my friends...

Who just got engaged. This didn't turn out how I pictured it in my head. Course it didn't help that my markers were running out...Course that's no excuse for it not turning out how I wanted. Need more life drawing!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wall Street Dude

One of those wall street types you see so often in NY. He was hunched over fretting about a big meeting or something.... which somehow translated to me drawing him no neck. Fail. Oh well! Better luck next time!

Jack Faragasso's Class

I forgot my portfolio at home on this day, so I bought a toned sketchbook at the school store and drew in there while everyone else was painting.. This happens to be my favorite model. I think the fact that she's my favorite model is precisely what makes her so hard to draw. I really wanted to do her features justice so I was struggling extra hard, but somehow no matter how hard I tried she didn't come out as striking or gorgeous on paper as she is in real life. Not by a long shot. I dont want to seem like a creepy stalker or anything but I think she might be the prettiest person I've ever seen!

A Card for a Dear Friend

A belated birthday card for a dear friend. Maleficent from Sleeping beauty was the inspiration but unfortunately I made this on the go so my biggest regret was not being able to pull up reference as I was working...