Sunday, December 23, 2007


so here is that room wish the lighting effects added- its really amazing the difference (if you scroll down to the previous post you can see the change) I also included a shot of what the room would look like in 'red alert' mode.

I also included a shot of a show I did with some other peoples work in Italy- I got a lot of good reception, especially considering I was the center dish-washer, and my art was leaps better than almost anyone elses- it sounds ego-centric, but they weren't very serious about working on their fine-arts.


I hope everyone has a great holidays- im gonna simply not draw for a week, or worry about it. It is a healthy thing. SO when the new year comes expect a sick-ass large-large format watercolor piece and hopefully this year will be a breakout year.

DERF see you all.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

finished another watercolor- getting ready for gttin back to the USA

Well here is another in-progress shot of the watercolor I finished today. The methodology behind the coloring was to unify the coloring a bit- I felt the last one was a little too seperated. One way of going about this is to use a unified under-painting. It should be a somewhat neutral tone (to dull it down... altho a bright under-painting could have an interesting effect... but then again this tonal work is meant to be shadow... so a bright color may not bring about the desired shadows/instead it would simply saturate the darker areas). The unified shadow does three htings... it unifies the overcoat of colors, it defines the source of light- which is important to defining a realistic/interesting space... although dramaticizing this space should also be a focus, and finally it creates otherwise challenging-to-mix colors. The interesting aspect of watercolors is that a red on top of a yellow, is different than a yellow and red mixed- one of the interests of watercolor-style painting.

here is the final piece.

this is another shot-in-progress of the VGA room I am currently designing for a concept space game Jordan and I are considering undertaking... while I know a game is a random idea to try- we have always had an interest in doing something of this nature... and technology seems to appreciate retro more than ever before- so we will see how far it goes.

Monday, November 26, 2007


so this is the latest of my large-format comics that are trying to question fine-arts and also the role of comics and general media in society. They use a lot of different methods to garner our attention and money- and some of these are subversive to our well-being. I thin violence, and the triviality of it is part of it. And such is the theme of this one- how comics (and media at large) trivializes violence.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Dream of Making a Video Game

Wouldn't it be great to design a videogame? Well Jordan and I always are tossing around the idea. It more involves finding time, and getting a good programmer- and keeping at it. We have been playing video-games forever, and board-games as well. Obviously 3d games, with rediculous graphics is completely unfeasible- but that doesn't mean the game is not fun. X-COM is still one of the best games ever, as is Tie Fighter or Super Mario World. Games age well indeed, and the reasoning behind most of the graphics on systems of old-wasn't that the technology didn't exist-so much as large development teams didn't exist yet. During those years a group of four or five guys could make a smash hit )look at Myst, or X-Com or Civilization or any number of titles.

here is a little concept design for a game we are thinking about. it was a fun way to spend a Saturday. Now, sadly, I have to go wash dishes for 4 hours. UGH. the life of broke artist.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Using My Art Degree Part 2

here I add a general wash to setup the different colors and hues I am going to eventually use. I like to use a layering of color, so I get some neat shades- different from just the 8 base-colors that I start with.

Wala. I try and use translucent (versus opaque) washes to bring out the main colors- I had to differentiate the metal panels from the sky, so I threw on a green. I am not sure about the 'out of frame' effect on this one- but whatever... you win and lose.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Utilizing that art degree part 1

Well I think that a significant key to being productive in art involves having many different projects so you don't get burnt out with any specific one. They even have to be very diverse. (although oddly, at this moment I am dealing with the inking of all 3 of these projects- a testament to the slow process that inking can be... nonetheless a very graphically rewarding process)

So you're sitting around and want to make another cool watercolor drawing. Well the theme is already set- perhaps futuristic or alternative-contemporary human inventions... I have made a tank, a rocket and a submarine... now imagine a futuristic highway.

Why a highway? Well originally I had envisioned putting humans in an insignificant scale in relation to a big shiny train- but a highway if quite similar, if not larger in scale. So this creates a visually fun. interesting an often awe-inspiring visual effect. I like how concept art posits small interdicting humans in a massive environment. Because that is essentially what we are everyday- but i digress. Take this idea and apply it to several thumbnail sketches and pick one that grabs your attention- for whatever reason- and run with it. There are no right answers- this is explorative sketching- the uglier the better (because you are supposed to be challenging yourself, not impressing philistines!)

So here I sketch several thumbnails... and refine one of them. Perspective is a big elements- as is composition. this is with a hand-sharpened pencil and I do about 6 sketches or so in 30 minutes.

Once I have a general idea of the layout I choose what size the piece will be- the robot one went so well I've chosen a similar size). I then sketch the biggest shapes first, while keeping in mind foreground and background, I am also thinking of how big the humans will be in relation and also making sure the complexity is only added once I have everything in perspective. I Also choose my vanishing point,which is just below the lower right corner. All major shapes are based on this vanishing point.

I refine the blue drawing even further...

Finally one I am satisfied I start to ink directly over the blue drawing. At this point I have to be sure to understand fully what will be in the foreground and what will be behind these objects- I tend to draw in that order... up close first, then things behind after. I also like to take risks by being as lose as I can when possible... but this one is pretty tight.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


well ya work and work and work at this stuff. I make almost no money on any of it- but hopefully someday, with enough care and patience, it will blossom to be something big. Anyways- that is the underlying hope in all this as I continue making various works. The watercolors got great reviews on the couple of blogs I posted them on... so I might have to give them a bit more thought... maybe even get a bigger brush and do some huge ones- but for now this will do. GO ROBOTS

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Grad School?! YOU BASTARDS!

well- in the eternal pursuit (it feels like) of trying to make 'fine art' I am continuing with the larger-format comic style drawings- to summarize my problems with graduate school:

Are comics considered 'fine art'?
What is the difference between fine art and illustration?
At what point do comics become fine art?
What processes and imagery ca I make to portray this fine art to impress admissions boards?

here is the newest one- the process it is taking. In addition the whole idea behind this- is it is one of a series that glorifies or at least portrays a theme that media companies use to grab our emotions and get us to enjoy their media. This one is violence. but perhaps they don't need to be that limiting- and I should just throw in generic imagery, but then I run a risk of the art being mis-read... so for now ill try and limit the scope to generalities and obvious messages.

I work like 12 hours today-that is dishwashing and bartending- NOT drawing- so hopefully I'll be able to work some more on this- and perhaps show you all the blue-pencil work for my next water-color style piece (see a couple posts below).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

the other work

yet another 2 projects i was/am working on are a comic book for myself and a map for Dingo Brew Tours in Fort Collins. I thought I'd throw them up here because they are fun to show off.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Process

Well these little things are taking up way too much of my time, so this is going to be the last one for a little while. (plus I kinda wanna do a really big one now...) anyways, I love when artists show their process so here is mine in the creation of this little painting.

First I sketch out a rough- the big things here are shape, scale, and perspective- details are not important.

I reference the sketch and then draw, free-hand, with a blue pencil. This is again starting in shape and perspective and only at the very end am I even thinking about details somewhat.

At this step I ink directly over the blue, I start with a very light inking, more guidelines, and then I draw in everything- piece by piece.

At this stage I throw in the lightest colors, and start the tonal work. I use very light washes. This shows my cautious side that I should stop- if I wanna start finishing these more quickly.

and after 1 hour of drawing, 1 hour of inking and 3 hours of painting- WALA the schmoob is completed. I'd charge about $70 for this drawing with frame... any takers?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New project/style/coolness

London and Ireland and Rome were a blast. It was good to take a vacation from everything- work and art. So I am back in the seat now, and eyeing graduate school- uh oh, better get busy.

Well long ago Jordan and I had an idea for a videogame, and who knows, someday we may still do it. But it is similar in idea to these two watercolors I did, and will probably continue to do in my free-time. They are purely based in fun. I believe they are also very marketable. And thirdly they don't take long to do- prolly about 3 hours or so apiece. So I am busy with other things- albeit more serious things- but these will do. This is what art is really about for me, doing something I look at and think- damn that is cool.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Off to England DERP!


Well I am off to London for a two week vacation, so I thought that I wouldn't leave my blog empty-handed. I am including an artists statement and the pictures that it applies to. Enjoy!

Imagine a comic that is trying to show that the act of killing a human is wrong. So the artist would have a madman destroy a human. It is horrendous. But what if instead of portraying murder as being wrong, perhaps we change the message to murder is subjective, even warranted at times. Then you would conventionally have the first panel as the action- then the responding panels more representative of this more un-conventional message. While the message may differ, the act of relaying information is always present.
Comics are a product of our morality- and this linear based chronological pictorial depiction is dependent upon our definitions and symbolisms of morality. Comics are symbolic of our lives and ideas - it is symbolic storytelling. Perhaps certain issues or problems or stories can be best expressed by breaking the conventional methods comics relay information. One idea is of displaying something different than what is to be expected from comics. This expectation is biased towards simplicity, mass-culture, economic viability, or any number of various factors- yet there is a convention. By changing convention I inject novelty and thereby adds to the images' level of interest.

Another level worth noting is how comics are viewed in the lens of art as artifact. I am already changing the conventional expectation of comics indirectly by presenting them in a gallery or coffee shop or framed behind glass. This escalates the value, it focuses concentration and requires a renewed methodology of viewing, as does all ‘elevated’ art. Yet in addition to paintings or drawings, comics’ rich history of inexpensive production, mass-market readership target audience, and various demographic niches they fill (political cartoons, Sunday funnies, Spiderman, Manga etc.) already modifies the viewers pre-conceived expectation of what a comic should be. This ideal comic, which tends to be quite frugal for most comics- seeing as they are so mass-consumer, is an element in itself to be dealt with. But again, there exists a convention, and comics are particularly demagogic.

Pushing conventions is in-line with Dada or pop art, but it is also a resounding theme throughout all movements. Change what is expected- and thereby give the viewer a new outlook. I am now considering extending not only the art as artifact aspect of comics, and conventional messages depicted, but even perhaps how you actually read comics. Yet again we are confronted with the comic convention of how to relay information. Linearly, chronologically, and in order.

So for example, If I have an unconventional opinion. I decide to show how religion is completely ridiculous- and that the very idea of faith as a vessel of progress or answers is ridiculous. What is the best chronological or visual method for depicting said message... Should I show the bible literally in an ad absurdum (god resting on the 7th day, or Noah actual herding all species into a boat). Perhaps I should tell a little story about a character enveloped in an every-day conundrum and try and relate my method this way.

The practicalities and realities (time constraints) of making these oversized images will undoubtedly limit my ability to depict a multitude of scenes. Inevitably the formalistic principles are important as well- I want my art to be impressive to grab the viewer- but beyond this my message is the key factor- because it is by this idea that I am choosing my themes and am finding ideas and material to utilize for producing imagery. So I need to be aware of my message and how best to depict this message formalistically and through comics. I am thinking of the properties of art as artifact- and art as being displayed (in relation to comics)- and I am also concerned with the ability to depict ideas on a 2-dimensional surface- the dilemmas all modern artists deal with.
Nowadays there are many genres of comic art, from pornography to humor to action to graphic novels to political satire- many artists are now diversifying and changing previous definitions of what a comic is- even forays into the pop-art movement have led to more questioning of what comics, imagery, and art really is. Previous artists have asked many of these questions before- Over sizing imagery is a formalistically exciting area- particularly comic imagery, previously visited by Lichtenstein among other artists. imagine a Dick Tracy scaled and removed from its accompanying pictures- what is this new image representing as separated and enlarged/ iconisized/ en-valued?

My leaning or pre-disposition to explore this art-form came primarily from comics being a vessel that drew me to art. I enjoyed comics when I was younger, and have since utilized them for inspiration. Art for fun has given rise to so many famous artists- that surely comics being a media-form for inspiration is by no means unique to me. Coupled with my interest in actually producing comics (and thereby elevating my technique to be equal with comics-artists) I have a clearly defined challenge that is missing from many artists (albeit admittedly this defined ideal can breakdown under any anti-formalistic/ anti-classicistic l argument). My skill at drawing this media form and also my interest in the human form, particularly activated and in-motion, has led to my fantastic productivity in this area (and my continued interest in art). Regardless of all of these- perhaps removing my history and predisposition- is defining comics a worthwhile endeavor to continue for art in general?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

comics continue... and I am working on a few other things too...

but for now here are the two comics pages I did last week.

as far as productivity goes the story is much the same... never enough. I am washing far too many dihes- but outside of that I should be working a bit harder on all of this stuff- so hopefully I can wrap this comic up within a couple months...

I am also working on a whole series of large-format comic-style images. I am quesitoning a lot of things as I progress with these. Lots of art questions. What are comics? What kind of effect do various alteraitons (like scale/composition/content) have on the image? Where does this genre fall in? wtc.

I will hlopefully get soem bearing on both of these as I have today and tommorow off, so i should get some solid work done.


Sunday, September 30, 2007


so this is page 1 of a new short story im doing... werd

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Computer and art are alive today.

well I am trying to come up with whatever biger body of work it is that I should be producing for graduate school the trick is to have a cohesive, yet open tangible idea. Something thought out- and professional- but still having the spark that students tend to lose. novelty with avant garde professionalism is the ideal graduate portfolio (this can be faked...and often is by a shit-load of people... I'm looking at you graphic designers...wink)

anyways, here is a shot of the first image that i did while here in Italy. It is fun stuff, and was kind of a very experimental piece, in that I wasn't sure what the characters should be, or should be doing, or why I even have him in the image. You have to put pencil and ink to paper eventually though, and so this was created in the spirit that I should just get something completed. It has a great effect in-person and the scale lends well to it.

SO, in addition I got my computer finally up again (the radio-shack surge protector burnt out my power-supply) and so I can finally show you all my studio.

I think that over the months that I was working on I kind of found myself reminiscing about the days of old art-for-fun. It seems that we often become branded by our teachers or cohorts and this makes you follow a specific function- but I would more like to reset back to the days of old- and make art for arts sake- this mainly means that I wanna retract those parts of my work that are following some outside influence- and try and find the source of why I really started doing all this.

I ramble... but it is for my own purposes to define what I have been spending these days in Castiglion Fiorentino doing. I am nebulous but I think I can find a central element to run with.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Italy... ugh

While life here has definitely improved (I am working significantly less than I was the first two weeks), my laptop's power adaptor has burnt out. I believe it was the piece of shit radio-schack voltage converter that I had it going through- but regardless my mac is down, and so I have not had the ability to update this blog until i can get my camera working with this PC... which is in Italian so it isn't easy. Anyways, Wednesday I should have a new power adaptor, so the updates will ocne again start being regular.

I have some great updates, starting with a few larger comic-style pieces and the announcement of a new comicbook im doing for fun. should be a hoot (im gonna have to make room for a new button on which btw is getting a lot of good reviews from most people that I show it to.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


go now,

it doesnt all work... I am missing my design photos so I dont have links functional, but it is damned close- and 90% is there.

jesus its beena long time, I am already excited to add to it. and im sorry if you have as bad a conneciton as I, it will take a bit

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

back from the dead

well here are the pieces I have done in Italy over the brief period I haven't been washing dishes in the kitchen. The job sucks, but I am finding time to get stuff done, nonetheless.


and as usual, I am taking longer than anticipated with v.3

but for now here are a couple new things. mostly testing new media.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Hey everyone- I am now back in the groove. I have arrived in Italy, from my hiatus in America and am getting to work immediately. I will have my revised website up very very soon. stay tuned this week for it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Super Adjustment Mode

I am still alive, I will have a post very soon- thanks for keeping reading! woot woot

Monday, July 30, 2007


off to america!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Photoshop is a beast

this file has about 300 or so layers. Yet it is at a very low resolution (675 x 900). When I run it on my macbook pro is feels like a 10 year old computer. It is amazing how these files can make a brand-new computer bog down like it is crying. It is positively frustrating waiting for everything. There are ways to work around huge files- one way is to do it in pieces. So you have a 100 layer piece to the pie- and you flatten- and convert it to a .jpg- then you import that image and work on another piece of the pie (because a flattened .jpg file consumes very little, instead of the 100-later beast it is representing). But you eventually have to slice it, compile it, and animate the gifs- these all have to be done at full-res with all layers activated. It is truly frustrating waiting 5-10 minutes every save-state. perhaps it is time to upgrade to 2gb of memory?

anyways, with frustrations aside I am happy with the final product, and these will hopefully all be compiled- and activated/uploaded within the next month and ill have a new version 3. YAY!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Doing art while leaving a country..

it doesn't work very well- but I haven't been doing nothing.

Justin Coombs Art continues to progress, I am super-excited once this thing launches, and is all put together, but it is a beast, so I will continue to trudge on it. I have about 2 more full- design pages to do, and then I should be good to go- WOOT,

Another last-step will be ensuring the pages match color- across the whole website- I want the lighting to be similar, etc.

and heres is a random dude running with a gun as well...

Sunday, July 22, 2007


just wanted to get this up before I go out.

gonna see harry potter 5.

im trying to wind down as well.

Monday, July 16, 2007

smoi blavin!

yay a new page of the 5- things are starting to heat up- snerp!

they are fun to do when I can sit down and do em. It is a balance between everything and drawing. Drawing is what I want to do, so naturally it should take up a lot of my time- so I am always trying to draw more and more. But it works sometimes, and doesn't... its a struggle.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another 5


Letting go of being super tight is always great. Sometimes it can be destructive, but I think that in this situation It turned for the best.

I threw together a little cartoon (one second worth...) for a little side-project as well. super lame, but still something different to do. imagine telling avant-garde artists to animate something useful.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


well not much has been happening. I was gone all last weekend, and kind of got sidetracked these last two days with random happenings related to moving back to America.

hopefully tomorrow night will be productive. At this point I am hoping to get one or two more Large-format ink posters done, Another couple pages of the 5 and hopefully another piece of the never-ending story that is

Friday, July 06, 2007


go to it and love thy design!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Must... Finish... Webpage!

here is 25 hours of design work.


but it is badass.

basically I get off of work, check my blogs,websites,play nintendo DS for an hour. Munch on food for 30 min and clean a little, jog for an hour, and eat dinner. then I work on art for 2-3 hours.

It is hard when you spend your time doing it- but your day-job gets in the way. Although I have 6 days off coming up, perhaps I can use em to get some seirous work done.

I still need ot get another wall-sized comic picture done. Work on The 5, and also do concept work for a new comic my brother and I are working on. All while still getting Justin Coombs Art up. That is my life right now- but this only happens about 3-4 nights a week. The rest kind of gets lost between other stuff.

so 12-15 hours of work on art a week. not enough. not enough.

*also just added the sketch work for this new comic. just a cool dude.

Sunday, July 01, 2007




well here is the finished d-day invasion poster/drawing. Very cool indeed- the thing looks great in real life- so to give it justice I composed a big picture from 3 images. It isn't as clean as the real thing- but darn close. is becoming a pet project. it is taking a good bit of work- but I love doing photoshop work. It feels good to do some graphic design.

Well these two pieces both took me 2 weeks. Thats isnt enough. I need to simply work more than I have been. WERD.