Thursday, 27 December 2012

*insert epic rant in Elvish here*

Second weekly post for Nerd Invasion is up here.

Just noticed that so far I picked the most obvious heavy metal choice of each week's theme. God Im so awfully predictable.


Thursday, 20 December 2012


I am now part of an illustration blog called Nerd Invasion, with 3 other amazing artists.

Go on, check them out. I'll wait.

Every week we'll choose a topic, and each of out will create a piece on a specific day. Mine's Thursday.

This first week's topic was Ninja Turtles, and you can check my contribution here.

Thanx again to Chris Duffy for the opportunity!


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

"Come closer, kids, and I'll tell you more about my process..."

So, another rather big gap of updates...

Though I havent been slacking around, your honour, I swear.

Im in the process of drawing a short story written by the REALLY cool Dave Hendrick

Really fun and open script, a pleasure to work on, seriously.

Anyway, I thought Id take the chance to talk more about my process to those 2 or 3 chronic insomniacs who probably follow this blog (IF anyone does, that is).

After I read the script I do my thumbnails, usually on templates I saved on photoshop or even on the edges of the script papers, if Im struck by sudden enlightenment (it almost NEVER happens). At this point the focus is on making choices about how to tell the story in terms of camera angles and shots, and the drawing itself is little more than stick figures, probably only fully comprehensible to me. But I heard thats pretty standard, so I dont worry too much. Theyre around 5cm x 7,5cm for now. Anyway, for example the layouts for the first 4 pages for this story looked like this:

Once Ive sent them to the writer/editor and got approval, I go back to them and "fix" them: add digital panel borders, appropriate photo refs or 3D SketchUp models that I either make myself (for simpler things) or snatch off their AMAZING library, perspective grids when needed, bla, bla and fucking bla.

From here I used to simply print them to A3 and lightbox them for the penciling stage, but lately I slightly changed approach: since at this early stage of my career I really wanna keep ALL my pencils to show on my portfolio it's important that theyre pretty clean and tight, so I added an intermediate stage of pre-penciling (or roughs, or prelims) in which I just go loosely to block the shapes and get anatomy and gestures right, so that Im free to erase and properly ABUSE the paper to a pulp until Im happy, without having to worry about how the page is gonna look to posterity. These are A4 coz I found out that at this stage, still working out the balance and "elegance" of figures and postures, the smaller is STILL the better for me. The roughs for these 4 pages look like this:

Once Im happy with these (and Im usually NEVER happy with them, but OK) I scan them again, blow them up to full artwork size and print them on A3 paper. Then I lightbox them AGAIN, but this time free to focus on nuances and details like textures, facial expressions and having proper, nice graphite marks overall.

Because dealing with deadlines is ALL about creating unnecessary, redundant steps in the workflow, isnt it?

Also, OF COURSE this post is incomplete for now, coz Im still not finished with the roughs stage so I have no pencils whatsoever to show, but theyre coming. I swear.

And thats it. Thanx for watching and all that ;)


Monday, 19 November 2012

Portfolio pages - X-Force

Also, just came back from a really cool weekend at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds, in which I -among other things- managed to score a portfolio review with Marvel Comics editor Stephen Wacker, so I spent the previous week preparing smthing to show. Doesnt matter how much stuff Ive got going on, doing superhero pages is always fun and a VERY welcome break from day-to-day projects.


Heres the results: a 4-pages short of a completely made-up roster of one of my fav X-books "X-Force". Since these were just to showcase my art and didnt need to be in continuity, I decided to have fun redesigning some of my fav mutants to make my own all-star team ;)

Wolverine is a staple, OF COURSE, and Ive always been fascinated by the cool Errol Flynn-like version of Nightcrawler in the Warren Ellis/Carlos Pacheco BEAUTIFUL Excalibur run. And Domino is just TOO cool.

So, here they are.

Thats it. At least 3 different pencils on Bristol boards.


"Finally: American Vampire! Now with more blood!"

After a STUPIDLY long absence from this blog, due to working on several little things at the same time, I can finally breathe a bit and catch up with posting up here.

So, I can finally show some test pages that I did for the REALLY cool Vertigo editor Mark Doyle after meeting him at DICE con in Dublin. Mark sent me the script of an early issue of one of my fav books, go figure -American Vampire- and asked me to do a couple of pages from there. Again, just the fact that he found some time in his (I can only imagine) uber-busy schedule to write an AMAZINGLY detailed feedback email was astonishing, and of course hugely helpful for me to understand how some things I had never considered before can be added (or removed) to make for a better page.

Well, so here are the pages, in pencils...

...and inks (again, W&N 7 no.2 brush and a couple of small nibs):

Obviously, had a GREAT time with these. Hope to do some more soon, its great for the ego ;)


Friday, 9 November 2012

WIP #1

Panel from ONE of the things Im doing at the moment. Basically halfway between thumbnails and (VERY) loose pencils, coz adding redundant, time-consuming, absolutely USELESS steps to the creative process is what drawing professionally is all about, no?

For a 2000AD competition thats gonna be held at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds next week basically. Very fun script.


Monday, 5 November 2012


To appease the masses (???), here's an half-assedly-colored Nightcrawler morning quickie. If they ever make a cocktail with that name, I said it first here, uh?

And yes, theres half a Wolverine on there too, and smthing else I had to remove.

Now, to the inkcave!

Pencils, brushpen and 5 mins of photoshop.

Good morning, btw.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Excuses, excuses...

Yes, I've been a very bad blogger lately.

In my defense, I've been pretty swamped with several things, one of which Im not even allowed to mention... Again, nothing that made me go "yeah, I MADE it!", but there have been definite steps forward.

People following this blog (that is, if there's anyone following) may recognize a recurring pattern of being really busy for what are technically NOT job, i.e. little or no money.

The things we wouldnt do for fame...

Oh well, so as an apology for having been away, here's a couple of 2-or-3-months-old usual morning quickies (heh) just to fool you into thinking this is a real, functioning blog.

Again, blue pencils and brushpen on Bristol, plus Photoshop embellishments.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

D.I.C.E. updates and some inked pages

Its been a while, I know.

Ive been to Dublin at the end of the month, to the DICE convention. Had an amazing weekend, met some truly incredible people, some of them fans, some of them fellow aspiring artists, some of them established creators.

Most importantly, had a truly OVERWHELMING feedback. Seriously, nothing I was even remotely prepared for. The sheer enthusiasm towards my stuff was utterly contagious, to the point that even I now dont hate those pages anymore. Not that much at least.

What now? In a perfect world some of the things that were discussed with the many people there during the portfolio interviews will happen, most likely won't. Been waiting for emails for most of the last week, decided that I couldnt possibly go on like that, started drawing again and catching up wth whatever I was doing before DICE, then went back to waiting again.

Lets see.

Oh, and here are the last batch of stuff I had prepared for the convention; didnt have time to put it here before leaving for Dublin, so here they are.

In case you were wondering, theyre the first 4 pages from a personal project mixing 2000AD-style sci-fi, Lovecraft mythos and sleazy '70s flicks, topped with a definite Buscema/Colan flair.

Who knows, if Ill like it enough maybe Ill even self-publish the bastard.

Oh, Windsor and Newton series 7 no. 2 and at least 3 different cheap dip pens on Bristol, for what its worth ;)


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Portfolio pages - JSA

...and here's the DC team I chose for the second sequence of the portfolio:

JSA. Or, at least, one of its many many incarnations. I immediately thought of the JSA for the DC side of the portfolio coz it's a team from the 40s, which is by itself already awesome, and the look of some of the original members is just a vintage orgasm. When researching I realized the characters who have fought in the team were FAR too many to be all included, so I decided to leave out heroes with too similar powers or general look (so goodbye The Spectre and Doc Midnite, and hello Dr. Fate and Hourman), and the most famous ones, like Green Lantern or Wonder Woman.

Oh, well, anyway.

Again, pencils of Bristol.

More stuff, hopefully, soon.


Portfolio Pages - Daredevil

Been retreating for what seems like a HUGE amount of time to prepare a new portfolio (never get enough of those) for the DICE convention in Dublin at the end of this month.

Following advice I heard at a Joe Quesada panel, I decided to organize the whole thing in 3 mini-sequences of 3-4 pages each, to have a total of 12 pages, which by all accounts sounds just reasonable for a portfolio. Quesada was saying he used to divide his in "single character" stories and "team" stories, to show a more diverse variety of action and storytelling. I decided to follow that, doing a Marvel single character, a DC team and a sci-fi/horror thing for the third sequence, to tackle more Vertigo/2000AD adult themes.

So, heres my choice for the Marvel sequence: 3 pages of.. Daredevil! With a re-designed costume!

As usual, pencils on Bristol.


Saturday, 1 September 2012

He ain't talkin' no jive!!

...or some other cool expression from the '70s. What the hell do I know, I was born in '82...

Anyway, the '70s galore continues, and this time its Luke Cage, who I guess nobody would have EVER imagined how important he became within Marvel.

Way to go, Power Man!

Anyway: pencils, inks and digital colors.

Also, can anybody explain to me what "jive" means?


"Werewolf by Night!"

One of my fav comic series of all times. Up there with Colan's "Tomb of Dracula" and Romita Sr's Daredevil run.

I think the first 5-6 issues, drawn by Mike Ploog, might be the BEST and most underrated thing Marvel put out in the 70s.

Anyway, heres my shitty tribute.

Used: a new AMAZING mechanical pencil, brushpen and a good 25 mins of Photoshoppin'.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

New sketch + OHOTMU update

Back from a REALLY cool trip on a bunch of Greek Islands, and all I could think of was stuff I was going to ink and/or color when back home, how Id have completed some layouts I had left unfinished, stuff like that...

anyway, this is smthing Ive had in b/w for a while. Just colored it today. Oh, the 70s... The Gil Kanes, the John Romitas, the Gene Colans, the Mike Ploogs... they dont make comics quite like they used to, do they?

On other news, the second piece I contributed for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe REDUX project is finally online, and I have to say I remembered it a bit worse... I finished my female ratio contributions, so for the other 3 entries that Im working on expect more testosterone.

See ya here more often, I hope.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Nova vs Titania!

Apparently I went to sleep with the ramblings of my last post still in my mind, coz first thing this morning I felt liek drawing Nova, the classic Buscema version. Fighting a minor, semi-obscure villain(ess) for additional 70sness.

Man, I NEED that Marvel Essential...


Secret Defenders

I have this idea for a Marvel series, Id have the newly-outfitted Doc Strange re-form the Defenders, gathering minor, b-series superheroes for an underground battle against Lovecraftian entities that are secretly preparing their return on Earth. Characters like Hellcat, the classic Nova, a pulp-inspired Ulysses Bloodstone, Thundra and Daimon Hellstrom. Would be cool.

These are just absolutely RANDOM characters I drew while thinking about that idea. Dont know why Black Knight is there though.

That is all.



Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Na-na-na-na-nana-nana-nana--- Batmaaaaan..."

I like my Dark Knight with short ears and big eyes.


Back to sketching, et al.

Been on the beach for a couple of days, hence the radio silence. And friday the proper holiday begins, so I wont be posting stuff until at least the first week of September.

Benn working on some more random sketching, just not to lose the habit, and thumbnailing TWO separate projects, so its not like Ive been slacking off anyway...

anyway, last installment:

More to come, probably sooner than you think.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

OHOTMU - Madame Masque

My second entry for the OHOTMU project, organized by the AMAZING Jon Morris with a plethora of other equally astonishing artists.

This one's a bit less obscure than the previous one I chose:

This is the brush on bristol version. The colored one should be up on the OHOTMU website soon hopefully...


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Black Widow.

My own way of overcomplicating her costume.

Pencils, inks and some Photoshoppin'.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

I MISSED this guy...

...Ive got in progress smthing for him, together with that other MILLION personal projects I have in mind...

Pencils, inks et le Photoshop.

"The horror of room 666"...

I quite like desaturating.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Monday, 30 July 2012

More of the same...

Should probably find a name to all the daily sketches posts, cant go on taking 5 mins to come up with smthing witty every time ;)

Anyway, pencils, inks courtesy of Pentel and colors courtesy of Adobe.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

On a roll...

Lets see how long does it last...

Same again: blue lead, brushpen and digital color/halftones.


Friday, 27 July 2012