indiana jones

indiana jones

I must have seen The Raiders of the Lost Ark about a dozen times in the theater, the year it came out. It remains one of my favorite films. This portrait is a reworking of an earlier spot illustration from last year. As I work on my technique, I revisit some old concepts while working on new ideas to keep up my hand skills. 

you’ll shoot your eye out!

you’ll shoot your eye out!

Ralph in his bunny suit from "A Christmas Story"

Another holiday favorite in our household is the classic A Christmas Story. Although it did not perform well on its theatrical release, it has become a staple of holiday film viewing all over the country.

This is a spot illustration of Ralphie in his Easter Bunny suit that he gets on Christmas morning. Like most of these representative illustrations recently, it begins in vector and then is painted in bitmaps using a variety of brushes and channel operations.

christmas vacation

Caricature of Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

This time of year, I try to leave some space for relaxing with my family and enjoying the holidays. Invariably, we spend a lot of time watching Christmas movies and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is always on the watch list. 

This is a doodle of Chevy Chase, as Clark Griswold, when he sees the house all lit up with a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights!

I have been playing around with caricature and transposing some of my traditional skills to digital. Although, there is still much to work through to get to a place where I am happy, this little sketch has a couple of nuggets in the right places. 

Regardless, it is a time to be thankful, peaceful, and joyous. Happy holidays and a Happy New Year. 

50 Years of Pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean

Here’s to one of the iconic attractions from the Walt Disney Imagineers and the very hand of Walt himself as it celebrates 50 years in Disney’s Parks, Resorts, and now Films. The original Disneyland attraction was the last ride Walt personally participated in developing before his death in 1966.

The piece above is an older illustration, and one in a series of the “Carry On” memes requested, I did for the Disney Parks and Resorts Social media team for their Facebook page ad other outlets. The illustrations proved very popular with the campaign gathering well over 35,000 likes on Disney’s posts.

Although not an original attraction when the Magic Kingdom opened the Pirates of the Caribbean quickly became one of the most popular attractions when it opened on December 15, 1973. The reason why this ride was not in place for the grand opening of Walt Disney World, was due to Florida’s proximity to the actual Caribbean. Walt’s team thought being so close to the historic origins of these pirates, the audience would have no interest in the ride; a Western themed cowboys and Indians attraction was slated for the park.

The Imagineers changed their plans, however, when word got out that there were no pirates at this park. They quickly drew up the plans, based on the original design. Although not as extensive and immersive as the original ride in California, the Pirates of the Caribbean maintained the same story line and major features of the original.

The attraction has gone through some refurbishment over the years. The first, and most controversial, was eliminating the lusty rapaciousness of pirates. No more chasing women, only food and drink. This lead to a lot of criticism from longtime fans even from Imagineers themselves.

The second major refurbishment came in 2006 when the ride that inspired a movie was now being updated to include that film’s characters in the story-line. Including all new characters from the film in the ride: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Hector Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) and Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). These new parts are all voiced by the original actors from the films.

Fun fact: the position of the pieces on the chess board were carefully arranged by Marc Davis so that any move results in a never-ending game.



I have always found the sketching, or doodling, during the day helps me process problems I am working on at work. It allows my mind to wander a bit, taking focus off of the immediate issue at hand and gets me flexing some other parts of my brain as I ruminate on solutions to the work of the day.

Sometimes these sketches are part of a larger concept or sometimes they are just random themes that surface as I let the pen take over the page. I am rarely without a trusty moleskine sketchbook and my folio of drawing tools; I usually have several types of pencils, pens, and brushes ready to tackle any creative block while I am on the go.

Typically, over lunch, I will spend a brief bit of time concentrating on some specific sketch that is in service to a larger project that I am working on at the time. But throughout the day, in meetings, breaking from a task, or just waiting for others to arrive, I can usually be found passing those micro-moments with my head down sketching.

iron trooper

Here is an updated video on the Iron Trooper project I have been working on these past few weeks. Part of the process is allowing the paint to dry sufficiently in between colors while the other is a complete muck-up on my part in repainting the helmet.

I had to sand the gold paint down after an unfortunate accident with some of the masking for the eyes of the trooper; the tape left some residue that could not be cleaned off the helmet so I opted to go back to the beginning. Unfortunately, I did not sand down far enough on the gold parts and that led to the crackling you see I believe.

So the next step is a full complement of battle damage that I will showcase once the project page is completed and posted in the coming days.