Pencils and Pixels
Artwork by Allen Holt.
Pencils and Pixels
Captain Marvel, 70s Style.

I thought I’d try to interpret Jamie McKelvie’s Captain Marvel costume as if it had been designed in the late 1960s. Yes, this outfit is completely and totally impractical for crimefighting or otherwise adventuring, but she’d look fabulous at Tony’s late-night parties at Avengers Mansion.
Batgirl (Stephanie Brown Flavor). Digital, 2013.

I had something of an epiphany yesterday after an email exchange with the excellent Dean Trippe, and I realized that a lot of the work I’ve been doing, while engaging my head from a technical perspective, hasn’t been engaging my heart. Most of the time, there’s no real feeling in the pieces I produce — and what’s the point of doing the work, if that’s the case? It’s technique for the sake of technique, which I suppose is fine to a point, but I want to do more.

I want my artwork to be joyful and fun. I want to do work that my kids (and other people’s kids, too) can appreciate and enjoy. I want to do what little bit I can to make the world a better place. I mean, I’m not saying that Batgirl here makes the world better, exactly, but I at least feel like this piece has more of a sense of fun to it than most of my recent work. Terry said it made her feel joy to look at it, and she’s my first/best/harshest critic, so that’s not nothin’.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with the realization yet. But I was up at 6:30 sketching, trying to figure out where I’m going. I’ll certainly keep y’all updated on the journey.
Mako. Digital (Manga Studio 5/Photoshop CS4), 2013.

Have I mentioned that I loved this movie? ‘Cause I did.
Spectacular. Digital, 2009-2013.

This is the third distinct version of this image - I see to revisit it every couple of years, applying whatever I’ve learned since the previous iteration. This one was also the first “painting” that I did, where I actually tried to define the character entirely by volume and shadow rather than with linework.
Super. Digital, 2011-2012.

This image has turned out to be one of the most popular pieces I’ve done - when I had it up at the art show I was in back in January, this piece was the one that people most frequently commented on when they saw me.

I have a feeling I might take one more pass at this image before all is said and done; I’m still not 100% happy with it. I like the concept more than I do the execution.
Avengers Assemble. Digital, 2012.

How is that I’ve had this new art-dedicated Tumblr up for a month and yet I’ve never added in the single biggest — and still one of the best — pieces I’ve ever done? It’s not often that I’m still proud of work I’ve done a year afterwards, but I’m still pretty happy with this piece.


Avengers Assemble!

(Make sure to click through to the large version!)

I have never in my life put as much work into one piece of artwork as I did this thing. It’s huge, intended to be printed as a poster, and I’ve been working on it for two weeks. I started it after I saw the movie for the first time, and I’ve seen it twice more while working on it.

I’m really happy with the way it turned out overall. If you dig it, I’ve got it slapped all over a bunch of products at Society6.
I decided I wanted to do a new version of Wonder Woman since I hadn’t been happy with any of my previous versions, and I decided to put my own spin on her costume while I was at it. Some notes about the costume:

I very much didn’t want her cleavage hanging out. I was fine with the corset-y top, and fine with her being voluptuous, but I felt strongly that her chest should be more covered. I’d like to think I still got across “sexy and powerful” without a huge amount of cleavage.
I took the blue and stars out, because I don’t know why Wonder Woman would have American iconography as part of her costume when she’s not American. She’s probably closer to Greek than anything else. I kept the red and the gold WW (which I think we could pretend is more of a tribal design than actually standing for “Wonder Woman”) so that it’s still recognizably Diana.
I was going to give her pants, but when researching ancient Greek armor - most of the soldiers in the reference I found weren’t wearing pants. So maybe that’s reasonably historically accurate and helps sell the sexy.
Anyways, I put a lot of work into this piece, and I hope it shows. I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out!
Listen to Grace, the Compassion Panda.
I won’t claim I drew this FOR @thechrishaley, but I also can’t say I didn’t think about him while drawing it. Seemed appropriate for this weekend, even if my opinion of the movie is dropping the more I think about it and the more I get away from what I wanted it to be rather than what it was.

Also, welcome to my new all-my-art-all-the-time Tumblr! The old one’s still here for reblogging other people and stuff like that, but this one will be my “gallery” site from here on out. My URL now points to here, and I’ll be filling it in with some older pieces shortly. Enjoy!
Cyclops, old-school style.

I always loved the hell out of the way John Byrne (among others, but Byrne is the influential one on me here) drew Cyke’s optic blast as a purely flat, purely red beam. None of that modern electric-lookin’ horseshit for me.
Happiest Boy Evar.

This was my weekend project, started while I was at Cape Cod and finished a little while ago. I have very little Internet access, and therefore very little reference material available - but I did have Andrew’s Bouncer (his most very favorite Skylander) nearby, so I drew him. Then once he was done, I realized he was still missing something…so I added Andrew hanging onto him, which would certainly make him the happiest kid in the entire world.
Colossus. I wanted to update his classic threads a bit — I tried to keep many of the elements of his original costume but modernize it a little bit. And I changed the bright blue to a darker red to reflect the fact that he’s not as bright a character as he was back in the day.

I also wanted to try out a new technique — get this, I actually drew this with a pencil. I know. I promise I am shitting you negative. It’d been far, far too long since I’d drawn with actual pencil on actual paper, and I’d forgotten that it engages my brain in an entirely different way than my all-digital workflow does. Think I’ll be doing more that way soon!

(Colored in Manga Studio.)

This dude. I kinda love this dude.

Painted in Manga Studio 5.

Just ‘cause. Done in Manga Studio 5.
Miss America Chavez from Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers, possibly my favorite comic right now.

This was done entirely in Manga Studio 5 - the first piece I’ve done in the new verison. And holy schnikies, is it ever incredibly sweet.