Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Los Chavos :: The making of a CD cover.

If you want to see it bigger then you gotta click it!
Hi guys!

October has been a crazy month so far! I have been super busy working on the last issue of a comic book series called REXODUS. The comic is coming along great and I can't wait to start telling you all about this. I should be done penciling by the end of the year. The last issue is 48 pages!

So, in between Rexodus pages this month, I did work on 2 little cover jobs. One was for a book which I may show at another time and the other was this CD cover for a band from my hometown of Canberra, Australia. The band is called Los Chavos, and this is the subject of todays blog post.

Before I get in to all of this, I just wanted to say a big HELLO and a warm welcome to everyone who found their way to my blog thanks to the awesome review of my art book on Parka Blogs page. Hopefully you all like what you see. If you like art books, go check out Parkas site!

Thumbnail Sketches
 So, for this cover I was asked to draw the band as a group of super heroes for their new album. Andy, who is the lead singer, is an old work buddy of mine and we always talked about me doing a cover for his band one day. Sometimes these things actually happen! They are just about to launch this new album, and so they asked me if I could draw the cover for them. By the way, you can check out their music over here: LOS CHAVOS with a preview of the whole album. You can play it in the background while you look at the art and see if it fits well! So, here you can see my thumbnails and initial ideas for the cover. As you can see I pretty much stuck to the thumbnail version in the final product.

PENCILS: Above you can see the pencil version as I started to clean everything up. I really wanted to make sure that the characters in the background would make sense. Especially the big trombone robot guy. So here is what he would look like if he wasn't covered by the rest of the band. He's a big guy! The main challenge I had was to take 9 individual musicians with 9 different ideas of how they wanted to be represented and then to make them all look like they fit in a team. I decided that a good approach would be to go with a Latin flavour which also represents the music that the band makes. There is also my actual drawing style which helps tie everyone in to the same world. The idea of a traveling Latin warrior band could make a pretty cool comic story I think!

Above is the 'clean pencils' version. At this stage I am already thinking about the colours and how I really wanted to keep the style very open and simple so that everything would read clearly in a very small space. I also wanted to make sure that each character would read clearly. At this stage I am ready for inks!

Instagram inks!
  INKS: Here is a photo I took while I was working on the inks. You can get a look at some of the pens I was using. from left to right, there is a micron, a copic liner and a brush pen. So the idea here was to keep all the lines nice and clean. I didn't go too crazy with any ink effects or anything. Just nice clean lines which I knew would look slick with clean cell shade style colours. 

Once the inks are finished and I scan the piece in you get something that looks a little something like this:
Black & White line art ready for colour!
COLOUR: The last step is to colour the piece. Going in to this I really wanted to keep the colour style very simple and easily readable as I know that the final product which will be printed on a cd cover which is quite small, so it is good to keep the colours smooth. Here is a mock up version which I tried out with a white background and with a temp title logo. This was also to give me an idea of how the cover would look cropped to CD cover size.
 I then tried out a few different colours for the background. There were many possibilities, so in the end I left it up to the band to choose which colour they liked best. I'm still not sure exactly which version they are using, but it looks like green may have been the winner!

So there you have it. The making of a CD cover from start to finish! From here I deliver this to the designer and they will add all the logos and track listing on the back, and bar codes and fine print etc... I'm looking forward to seeing the finished printed version, and I hope to hear the band play live soon!

Hope you enjoyed seeing this process behind making the CD cover. Thanks for reading... more art coming soon!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Glyph - Chibi character

Every now and then I get to draw a chibi version of a character. I like having fun with these. The Glyph is an original character by a fellow who goes by the name Estonius on deviant art. You can find many different artists versions of this guy in his gallery.

I've been mega busy lately as I am working on the last issue of a comic book called Rexodus. It's a really cool story with very cool characters and I can't wait to start showing off pages and designs here. So I appologise for the trickly of updates, but that's whats keeping me busy. For anyone wondering, as soon as I am done with Rexodus, I will finish that last issue of Gemini. It will happen!
On the flip side, me being busy means there will be a lot more art coming soon!
In the meantime, you can always grab a copy of my new art book which is available now! Books are doing well, so if you want one, don't miss out! I'll be posting up a preview of the book for you guys here soon.
The image you see above is an older commission I did of this character. This one was drawn on a small piece of A5 paper, so I was really glad to have the chance to revisit this guy without any size restictions!

Hope you like!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ariel :: The Little Mermaid all grown up


Continuing with some A5 head sketches. For this one I was asked to draw my take on Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and to stay away from any cute/kid version. I really enjoyed this request, because I grew up on Disney films. Something I have always wanted to do was to be able to draw girls as pretty as Disney does (or did when they were kings of 2D animation). When I was much younger and first learning to draw, I thought Disney girls were so hot! I couldn't believe that some hairy old dude could make something look so beautiful with just a pencil and paper. Ariel was my first cartoon crush! So it has been interesting to try and capture some of that beauty. I think my 14 year old self would have liked this drawing.

Anyway, I didn't go for the full on Disney version, because then it wouldn't look like I actually drew it, and to be honest I would probably do a pretty shitty job of it. I don't even know if I could. I havnt tried. What I did end up with was a slightly more mature Ariel with a little sexyness thrown in. And I did have a lot of fun with that hair!

As for the art, this is ink and copic marker on A5 size pastel paper. It's small, but the colour and texture of the paper is nice to work with.

For anyone interested, there are still a couple of orignial sketch commission spots open on my new ONLINE STORE as well as art books. I am planning on getting some previews together (photos) of the inside of the book to help any sceptics decide whether this book is worth getting or not. I think it is!

Hope you like! I'll try and post the rest of these A5 sketches all week as I have quite a back-log built up, so check in if you are interested!



Instagram user name: sommariva

Monday, August 27, 2012

TMNT Michaelangelo head sketch


Just a quick update. I wanted to share this Michaelangelo head sketch.

The art is done on coloured pastel paper at A5 size using copic markers, brush pen and fine liners.

You know me... I always love a Ninja Turtle request. Can't wait to draw some more!

Also, a quick heads up... I will be posting the link to my new online store where you will be able to grab a copy of my new art book in a few hours time. There will also be a couple of extra bits and pieces for anyone interested in original art.

Thanks for reading, and I will be back with another update shortly!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hulk VS Superman :: Blood and Guts

For this commission I was asked to draw Hulk ripping Superman in half, or something to that effect. The request was in Spanish, so I hope I understood it right!

Hope you don't mind a little blood and guts. I'm sure even this would not be enough to kill Superman though. I saw some peeps on instagram haing a proper nerdy chat about whether or not this could actually happen. Fun to read!

For the art heads: This is a 9 x 12 piece drawn on smooth 300 series bristol board. I used brush pen and copic pens as well as copic markers for the tones. You can see my intial thumbnail idea, as well as my rough pencils before I took it to final.

Thanks for looking!

NOTE: For anyone wanting to buy a copy of my ART BOOK, I should have the store set up by the end of the week. You should be able to place your orders starting on Monday 27th Augut 2012. There will be bonus content for the people who get in early! Ozmosis Chills 3 is almost here!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ironman and Batman Chibi team-up INKS


So, today I am continuing with the chibi hero madness.

I think DC comics should let me do a Bat-Kids book. Am I crazy, or would that be a cool idea?!

For this commission I was asked to draw an Ironman/Batman Chibi team-up. (I think someone may have a thing for rich guys ;) What a great request! I can't wait to colour this one, but for now, you have the rough sketch, pencils and inks.

Hope you like!


PS: Just got the phone call 5 minutes ago, that my art book, OZMOSIS CHILLS III is printed and ready for pick-up! So excited!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Akuma :: Chibi Raging Demon

Hello Blog!

Today, on this fine Monday evening, I would like to share a drawing I did of Akuma from Street Fighter.

This is one bad ass design for a character. The way he looks says so much about him. He is powerful, angry and full of rage. I love how his hair resembles flames. I'm aware that I am geeking out on this design even as I type this!

So, drawing a cute chibi version of him is kind of tough, cause on one hand you are drawing something kind of cute and fun, while on the other hand you still want to keep the aspects of the design that tell us so much about his character, which in this case are not so cute and friendly. It's not my place to say weather I have succeded or failed in finding the right balance of cute and bad ass, but this is what I was going for.

I have to say that this version is kind of more kid-like than what I would call "chibi". Well, I enjoyed the hell out of drawing this guy cause he is one of my favourite characters, even though I tend to use Guile way more when I play the game. If you played me on Street Fighter you would loose. Just saying! Uness you are Justin Wong, or the dude that beat him in this video of amazing SKILL! Go to 2:37 to see what the fuss is about. I love SFIII.

As always, I thought you might like to see the pencils and inks behind the piece. And in case anyone is wondering, this one is already sold and will be flying to his new home along with a copy of my artbook as soon as I have them in my hands and ready to ship out. Inked with copic pens and brush pen.

So, there you have it... my chibi Akuma.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lobo :: A look at my drawing process

Hey guys!

Today I thought it would be fun to share a new piece I worked on last Friday and a look at the steps I took to get to the final piece.

I often get asked to make tutorials on how I work with copics or how to draw. This isn't exactly a tutorial, but it should give you an idea of the steps involved.

So, first of all, here is the finished product. This was a commission for someone who bought a copy of my new art book Ozmosis Chills III.

For this commission I was asked to draw LOBO. I LOVE drawing this character! He is easily one of the coolest characters in the DCU. I like the fact that you can exagerate his proportions and go a little crazy, and I think the more you do this the more it suits the character. I hear the rumour that THE ROCK was going to play Lobo in a film version, and I think that would be really cool! I'm hoping for a great movie, as DC needs to start making some decent flicks! Batman was great of course, but I can't say I was a big fan of Green Lantern. Big let down, that one.

Anyway, To begin with I did a little research on the character. I checked out some past interpreations and read up on him so I had an idea of who he is. Then I started drawing some sketches. I actually got a little hung up on the layout and design of the drawing, when finally I decided to just go for more of a cool looking full body pose. I've done a few bust pieces recently, so I wanted to go for something different.

Once I had decided on the sketch I liked I began with the process of finishing it up and making it all look pretty. The pens I use are actually made by copic (except for the brush pen) and so they all hold up really well when you go over them with marker. No streaks if you are careful. So, in the inking stage I am laying down all the main holding lines to create the forms.

Once I have the bulk of the outlines done, I can move on to laying down the tones. I take a moment to think about which parts will be light, which will be mid tones and which will be dark. You set yourself some restrictions and then let the markers do their thing.

Once that is all done, I go back in and start adding all the extra details, such as hair, highlights, scratches, crinkles etc...

And that's pretty much it!

cheers! Jon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ozmosis Chills 3 2012 Art Book Cover!


EDIT: Check out this review of Ozmosis Chills III on Parka Blogs site, for a preview of the inside pages plus a video flicking through the pages! CLICK THIS!


Today I want to show you guys the cover for my latest art book, Ozmosis Chills 3, along with some of the behind the scenes stuff.

The making of this book has been an adventure in itself with a successful indiegogo campaign to back it up, and many pre-orders taken from the conventions I have attended. To those people who supported this project, I say thank you! There is a fun page in the book dedicated to you guys!

For anyone else who wants to order a copy of the book, I am printing a limited number of extra copies, and it will be available here through my blog. More details within the next 2 weeks, as soon as I have the books in my hands and ready to ship. It is currently at the printers getting made! So check back soon if you are interested!

My idea was to incorporate the old cover from OC3:Natural Selections (the NYCC 2011 edition, pictured directly above) in the background of the cover. I suppose it represents how this book is actually the "bigger picture" version of my art book. This book is the most complete package and art book I have created so far, and I hope the new cover image represents this in some way. I also wanted to fix up some funky things on that original cover which I was not happy with. Well, the whole book is a re-tinkering of something I thought I could do even better. Funny thing is, I'm already looking at the new cover as I post this and thinking about how I could have made it even better.

Above, you can see an Instagram snap I took of the proof pages I got from the printers. I have to say I am so pleased with the quality of the print I am getting for this book. I think the quality of the print is brilliant and I could not be happier with the way my art has been transfered to paper.

Those who have been following my blog for a while will know that i like to share all the steps and sketches and making of a piece of art, so here I will also share the ink scan I took of my original art. I later cleaned up this file for colour.

I also thought you guys might like to see a WIP snap I took of the back cover illustration while I was working on it.

So there you go! This is the cover art for Ozmosis Chills 3, and the book should be available to purchase online in around 2 weeks from now.

Hope you like!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Onslaught :: Oz Comic Con Sketch


Well, the last couple of weeks have been hectic! Lot's of cons and lots of travel. It's been good times though, but I am always happy to return home and get back to some serious art making.

Oz Comic Con in Melbourne was HUGE! Had a really great time there. It was a very interesting experience. Catching up with other comic book makers was really great as always, and meeting all the fans and art collectors was awesome too. I had some great con sketch requests, which I will talk about more in a moment. I can only imagine this show getting bigger and better with each event. It's exciting times ahead!

One of the highlights for me was sharing a table with Scott Allie from Dark Horse comics. It was really great hearing his advice and insight as many artists came past to show him their work. It was interesting to experience the con from an editors point of view, and Scott had some great stories to share with fans. When I wasn't blabbing to people, I had my radar on and listened in as Scott did his thing. I also learnt one of the best ways to get someone to stop talking... Give them a Mintie! :) I now know why I am often bought packs of these things. More Minties = Less talk = More drawing!

I gotta send a shout out to my good friend and amazing artist, David Yardin. We stayed up every night either drawing or hanging out, and were shown great hospitality by his family after the con. We had some good adventures with Mr. Tristan Jones, Francis Manapul and Agnes Garbowska. Lookin forward to sharing a Hendrix and cucumber with these guys again soon!

OK... I know what you are thinking.... enough con reporting, let's see some art! Well, today I am sharing with you something that is fresh as fresh can be...this one is straight off the drawing board. It is actually a con sketch that I didnt have time to finish. I have made a point of getting better at not taking con sketches home, but I just wasnt feeling the vibe in the last hour of the con, so I decided to take this one home.

So, the request was to draw Onslaught. I gotta tell you, this character was a bitch to draw! I have never drawn him before, and I found him quite tricky. I try to do all my con sketches portrait, and the thing with this guy is that he is really wide, so that makes things interesting as far as placement on the page goes. The shoulder pads are a pain, until you "get" them.

Usually with a con sketch, it is quite off the cuff, and fast as far as layout and structure goes. Usually you are getting the first thing that comes to mind. Since I had more time, I started off with some thumbnail sketches to get a feel for the character, so there was more thought put in to this piece. I actually then took one of these thumbnails to the rough stage, but I felt that the pose was a little static and boring, so I made a 2nd attempt.

I was much happier with the 2nd pose. It had a little more dyanamic energy to it. As far as composition goes, I wanted to give the image a little something extra to lead the eye and help Onslaught pop a little, and so I added a Professor X head in there. His main colours are red and purple, so there is not much variation in his tonal values, which is why I went for the darker space background to add contrast in the piece.

Well, I hope this was not too boring. I have no idea if anyone actually reads this. If not and you just look at the art, well, that is cool too. A picture says a thousand words right, so I should probably type less and draw more, anyway!!

Thanks for reading, and more art is on the way!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ozmosis Chills Art Book Preview!

Hey guys!

Just a quck heads up... With only 2 days left to pre-order the art book, now is the time to go and guarantee that you get yourself a copy!

Grab it from here: ART BOOK!

Attached you will find a nice little sneak peek at the insides of the book!

Hope you like.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gully, Lego Batman and more chibi art for my book.


So, I have been working hard on all these commissions for people!

There is still one week left to pre-order my art book and get yourself some art (or just the book)! Details are here: OZMOSIS CHILLS III

I know you like to see the raw behind the scenes stuff here on the blog, so here you have it. Not just finished stuff, but also pencils and inks and a bunch more! :)







OZYMADIAS head sketch:

This one is for my friend Paul Bedford, who has his own comic called THE LIST. It's an Aussie comic and you should check it out!

Thanks for looking! Next I hope to show some of the actual pages from my art book, so check back soon!