Sunday, December 29, 2013

Exile page 11

The Exile of Natalie Rios page 11

Way behind on this. Pesky other obligations. Mostly brush and ink on Bristol board. A rare page from this that's actually more or less safe for work, depending on your workplace's tolerance of the word "fuck." Katie Zall has been very patient with me over the course of this project. She's a saint, I tells ya.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ol' One Eye, finished

Odin by Christianne Benedict

Well, this is done. I'll send it off to my client today.

Here's how this went in my household. It helps to know that my partner is a secular pagan whose religious tradition is Odinism. When I was discussing this with her, she suggested that Odin needed a big floppy hat and that he should be young and "hot." When I showed this to her she seemed disappointed. First, because I didn't do the kind of floppy hat she expected (I thought it made him look like Gandalf rather than Odin), but also because she couldn't tell how well-hung Odin was. "Perhaps I should have had him writing runes in the snow?" I said. "That would have worked," she said.


Brush and ink and pen and some white paint on Bristol board. The original is 11"x17".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ol' One Eye

This is a work in progress. The client wanted a drawing of Odin with his ravens and wolves, but didn't want him in a warrior aspect. Research told me that he was going to need a big hat, but I didn't want a hat that would make him look like Gandalf. The outfit is based on a Viking coat from Birka, while his belt buckle is patterned after the great buckle from the Sutton Hoo ship burial. It doesn't look very "viking" by the popular imagination, but this is actually pretty heavily researched. The hat, I admit, I kitbashed from a couple of historical sources and probably doesn't resemble anything real. In truth, I'm tired of drawing fur. I've drawn a lot of it this year. Check back when this is finished, by which time, I'll be tired of drawing snowy branches.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Long Live the New Flesh 1

This is a vector portrait of Nikki Brand (played by Deborah Harry) from David Cronenberg's Videodrome. I'm working on a matched portrait of Max Renn, but I'm not done with it yet. This is for sale in my Society 6 store as the usual range of geegaws.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flowing Liquid

Still behind. Day 7: draw flowing liquid. Colored pencils (which are not a medium I'm comfortable with) on crappy sketchbook paper. The idea is that she's being served by a wine sprite. Not all of my ideas are good ones. This is an excuse to draw Louise Brooks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mundane Tasks

Crystal's challenge, Day Six: A monster doing a mundane task. Pencil on sketchbook paper.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mysterious Device

Day five of the drawing challenge (I'm not fond of the drawing I did for day four, so you'll forgive me for not posting it). The instructions for this one were "draw a mysterious device." Mainly an excuse to get back to my roots in watercolor, which I haven't touched in a while.

For some reason, I want to title this, "You'll all be sorry now!"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Unfit Transportation

Here's my third day drawing for Crystal's 30 day drawing challenge. This time, the instructions were to draw "Unfit transportation." Pitt pens on Canson sketchbook paper.

This is for sale in my Etsy store. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unlikely Offspring

Here's the second day drawing for Crystal's thirty day challenge. The instructions for this were: draw the offspring of two unlikely animals. So I picked a moose and an emu. Pencil on sketchbook paper.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


My friend, Crystal, is running a thirty day drawing challenge. This is my first entry. The first day's drawing was to be "someone experiencing flight." Adobe Illustrator. All digital, which is unusual for me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Exile Page 10

This is a redo of a previous page. Long story, short, I screwed up. Anyway, hopefully, I can get back into the comics groove now. I've been struggling with it. Comics are a fucking grind most of the time.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ripping Creeper

Ripping Creeper
This is a piece I did for a game. The brief called for a particularly nasty carnivorous vine with hooked thorns. I love inventing horrible alien botany.

Pitt pen on 114gsm paper.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Feeding the Specimen

So, a couple of weeks ago, I got a copy of Manga Studio 4 for super cheap. I've never used Manga Studio before, but a lot of artists I admire swear by it, so I thought I'd give it a go. This the first thing I've drawn with the program. It's a test piece, not a finished drawing. This is entirely digital, drawn with a Wacom tablet, as opposed to my usual preference for drawing something and then scanning it to be inked in Illustrator. This also corresponds to a commission I recently got for a role playing game. This is NOT the drawing for that game--those will be drawn traditionally--but it's inspired by the description given to me by the game developer.

Do I like Manga Studio? That remains to be seen. There's a learning curve involved and this, frankly, isn't my best foot forward. But what the hey. It's another tool for the toolbox.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fearless Monster Hunters

Coffin Crashers Illustration by Christianne Benedict

This is an illustration I did for a roleplaying game that a friend of mine wrote. She wanted a Hammer Horror sort of feel by way of Bernie Wrightson, so this is the result. (And, oh, look at that! Another excuse to draw Peter Cushing). Brush and ink and crowquill and Pitt pens on Bristol board. Technically, this is still a work in progress, but whatever. The finished piece won't be too different.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Exile, page 9

This has been finished for a while. Katie asked me to hold off posting this while she runs a fundraiser on her tumblr. If you like queer erotica, she's offering stories as an incentive. In any case, back to this. Brush and ink and typeset, mostly, though I also used a Pitt brush pen and my fingerprints. This page was fun to draw.

Monday, August 19, 2013


These were done for a freelance client. I don't know the background of these characters. The originals were all human characters. The client wanted them all as frogs. I'm easy. Frogs turn out to be insanely fun to draw in an anthropomorphic fashion. I got my inner cartoonist on for these. Adobe Illustrator over pencils.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Exile pages 7 and 8

Finally back to work on this. It's amazing how much easier it is to draw comics when your hands aren't covered with sores. This is a two page spread. I drew the top of this digitally, and I'm not really all that happy with it. there are some things I like, but not many. My avoidance of gray tones here borders on the masochistic.

The two pieces of art on the walls here are by Jim Dine and Willem DeKooning.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lon Chaney

Lon Chaney Drawing

I couldn't sleep tonight, so here's a drawing of Lon Chaney I did for the hell of it.

Pitt pens and Copic markers over red col-erase prismacolor.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's Up With the Exile

Here's the thing: The Exile of Natalie Rios should have been done months ago. I feel like I'm letting Katie Zall down. I HAVE been drawing it when I've been able. I haven't been able to draw often in the last couple of months. First, the good news: I have a new job. That job knocks nine hours (at least) out of my work day, but it means I'm likely to keep my house and I'll be able to feed myself. It does eat into my drawing time, though. Now the bad news. I'm having some medical problems that are affecting my hands. This is what my hands look like these days:

Each of those little red spots is either a subcutaneous blister filled with blood or one that has ruptured, leaving a subcutaneous scab. These are exquisitely painful if you hit them wrong, but they are usually just annoying. They are preventing me from drawing, though, because drawing irritates them. Not all the time. But often enough. And when they aren't irritated or inflamed, they itch. Christ, they itch. My skin has become so sensitive that scratching those itches is positively orgasmic sometimes, which in the grand scheme of things is horrible because scratching this shit is the last thing I should be doing. At other times, I just want to take that Xacto knife and skin myself and be done with it.

I've got windows when I can draw, and I do draw then. But they're becoming infrequent.

I don't know what it is that is afflicting me. At first, I thought it was tophaceous gout, but it doesn't behave like gout and it certainly doesn't look like it. It's possible that it's psoriasis, but, again, it doesn't fit the descriptions I've read on the internet. My current theory is that it's a drug reaction to a medication that I started taking earlier this year. The timing is right. I've stopped taking that pill and a couple of others besides on the off chance that it's an interactive reaction and not just one pill. Since these pills are my hormone therapy, I'm cranky right now, and often, when I can draw, I don't want to because I'm full of rage or on the verge of crying or deeply depressed.

So why don't I see a doctor about this? Easy: I don't have insurance and until three weeks ago, I didn't have a job. Welcome to America, friends. Best health care system in the world. They hate us for our health care. But I can't really ignore this for much longer because it's spread to my legs and my torso. It's not on my face yet, nor on other more sensitive parts of my anatomy. So I've made an appointment I can't really pay for in the hopes that there's a treatment that won't put me in an even deeper hole than I'm in. I'm sure that this is something that's eminently treatable if I had any money or insurance coverage. But I don't, and I can't draw these days to get money. It's a vicious circle.

I'm in a black mood. That's not good for drawing, either.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A couple of Illustrator projects

Here's what I've been spending my time on this week. Above is a poster for The Center Project of Columbia, Missouri's annual Atomic Dance Party. The Center Project is a GLBT community center, and I wanted to be as inclusive as I could, hence the essential androgynous genderqueery nature of the main figure. This the first actual type design I've done in a while, and I'm more or less happy with how it turned out. Adobe Illustrator over red pencils.

The other thing I've been working on this week is an ad for the Voices Against Bullying comic. My editor gave me ad space to promote my stuff, so who am I to say no, eh? Longtime friends and readers will recognize this as being based on my usual profile picture, minus the Silver Shamrock boxes. It even looks like me, which is gratifying. Adobe Illustrator.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Doctor Frankenstein, I Presume

This is another warm-up drawing that took on a life of its own. It's Peter Cushing as Doctor Frankenstein, as he appeared in films by Hammer Studios. This week was Cushing's 100th birthday, so I was planning to do some art to celebrate in any event. Brush and ink and Copic markers on Bristol board. 4"x6".

This is available in my Etsy store.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Work in Progress on the Exile

A part of the porntastic comics page I’m drawing right now. Work in progress (unerased pencils and all). Mostly posted to assure my collaborator, Katie Zall, that I am indeed back at it and that she hasn’t written me anything I can’t really draw. I'm hoping to push through and finish The Exile by the end of next week. We'll see if I keep to that.

Tally ho.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Voices Against Bullying, Page 3

Here's the third page from my story for this anthology. I wasn't going to show any more of this just yet, but this page is so much better than the previous two that I couldn't hold off. There's a weird kind of alchemy at work when you draw comics on a regular basis. Something eventually clicks and your pages get dramatically better. I wish I could bottle it. I think in this case there are three things at work: First, I'm mostly over a case of bursitis that has been plaguing the elbow of my drawing arm. Second, I've regained enough freedom of movement to go back to drawing with a brush. Third, I think I hit the critical mass point where improvement comes in bunches. I remember the last time that happened to me. The results were dramatic. Anyway, enjoy.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Voices Against Bullying

I'm contributing to an anthology about bullying this month. These are the first two pages of my story. Pitt pens on Bristol board with digital lettering. The title font is Benguat Frisky. Everything else comes from Blambot. This will run five pages. I probably won't post much more than this, since this is going to be published. Should be out sometime in June. I'm still working on The Exile, btw, but I've had a couple of setbacks with that story. I hope to have it finished by the end of May.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Exile Page 6

Here's page six of "The Exile and Happy Landing of Natalie Rios", written by Rachel K. Zall. I'm pretty happy with this page, but I took too much time to draw it. I get that way when I have to fiddle with perspective and backgrounds sometimes. If I wasn't already committed to black and white, this page has sealed the deal. Hopefully, the next page won't take nearly so long.

Brush and ink and Pitt pens on Bristol board.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back to Work

Finally back to work on The Exile. (Actually, I've been at it for days, but I'm finally getting my groove back). Plus, my super-cramped work space. I really need to organize my workspace better. Lots of fiddly perspective on this page, which is part of why I've lingered so long on it. Tighter pencils than usual, but I find that I ink better when the pencils are tighter. I'm digging the inking process right now, which is new. I used to dread inking, but now it's the pencils that are the make-work. In any event, I hope to push this story through to being done relatively soon. End of April is my goal. Sooner would be better. Some dumb freelance job is probably going to screw that up, though, so no promises.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Exile Page 5

Here's page five of "The Exile and Happy Landing of Natalie Rios," written by Rachel K. Zall. Brush and ink and Pitt pens on Bristol board. Very not safe for work.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Exile page 4

Here's page 4 of "The Exile and Happy Landing of Natalie Rios", written by Rachel K. Zall. Pitt pens on Bristol board, mostly. Some brushwork. Not much. I'm pretty happy with how this is going.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exile page 3

Here's page three of "The Exile and Happy Landing of Natalie Rios". This page is only somewhat NSFW. Pen and ink on Bristol board. Mostly Pitt pens on this page because my inking brush is dying. I should probably mention that I'm using Smack Attack from Blambot for most of the lettering on this story.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Exile page 2

Here's page two of the comic I'm doing with Rachel K. Zall. Very not safe for work. I'm putting a mature content warning on my art blog for this. So there you go. Pen and ink on Bristol board. Not sure how I feel about this.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Exile Page 1

This is the first page of a comic I'm drawing. This is VERY not safe for work, particularly if you work for anyone who is even a little bit homophobic or squeamish about queer sex. I haven't decided whether or not this is going to remain black and white or not. I like it in black and white and it'll be easier to print it that way, but the web is color.

This will be eleven or twelve pages when it's done. The story spans 21 years in a short amount of time, so it's a challenge. This is mostly brush and ink and Pitt pen on Bristol board. I lettered it in Illustrator.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Exile Character Sketch

This is a character concept sketch (mainly done as a way to get a feel for what the character looks like). This is for a verrrrrry dirty, very heartbreaking comics project I'm working on. Brush pen over blue col-erase Prismacolor on sketchbook paper.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Emma Stone

This is a warm-up drawing I did this morning to start my day. It's Emma Stone, though I think it looks a bit like Meg Foster, too. This is mechanical pencil on Canson XL series sketchbook paper. It's for sale (cheap!) in my Etsy store if you'd like to buy it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Enchantress

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of Jack Kirby's death. In celebration, it was also Kirby Create Day, and here's my contribution. This is The Enchantress (one of Thor's most persistent nemeses). Brush and ink and Prismacolor markers on Bristol board.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ivanna and the Wolf

Here's the finished version of the drawing I started last month. This is for a role playing game. My friend, Renee, who is the author of the game, decided to make a film out of the story for her film class. She's raising money on IndieGoGo for the budget and prints of this drawing are incentives. If she gets to her stretch goal, we'll be doing a comic version of the story, too. After her fundraiser closes, I'll probably have prints of this in my Etsy store.

Anyway, this is mostly brush and ink on Bristol board with some splattered white paint and Pitt pen work in the background.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ivanna and the Wolf WIP

This is Ivanna and the Wolf, a Rule 63 version of an old Russian folk tale. This is for a role-playing game a friend of mine has written. It's about a third done right now. I wanted to do something very different from the usual woman warrior fantasy art I see. This almost has more in common with fashion illustration. Anyway, this is an excuse to make lots of fun textures in ink. This was drawn with a number 2 Windsor and Newton watercolor brush in sumi ink on Bristol board over red col-erase Prismacolor. I'm probably going to make prints of this for sale in my Etsy store once it's done.