Last year I was asked by Warner Bros to illustrate 30 individual pieces of art for their new Green Lantern Animated television show. It was a huge project that took me about six months to complete. Now that the Cartoon Network series has aired it’s first episode I can show my work!

So first let me explain, I did NOT do any animation. I did paint all the art assets that are used to promote the show and in print. This was an incredibly cool project for a comic fan/nerd such as myself!

The style looks nothing like my usual work, but that is the point. The show is a CG animated show in the vein of Star Wars The Clone Wars. That being said, I needed to match the look of the 3D character reference provided by Warner Bros/DC Comics. Warner provided me a style sheet with 3D turnarounds of all the Lantern characters. Next they had their artists create the poses for each figure I needed to render. Legendary comic artist, Bruce Timm oversaw the pencils I was given, so I knew they would be awesome. My job was to paint each piece to look as close as possible to the 3D source material of the show.

So why not just use the original 3D models from the show, you might ask? Long story short, it pays to build a good working relationship with your clients. I’ve worked on a number of projects with Warner Bros over the years, and I generally don’t question a good thing. Below are a small sample of the illustrations. I have many more characters to show. Maybe I’ll post more in the future if enough people are interested.

Let me know if you like it and want to see more! I just watched the 2 hour premier of the show and am even more excited I was able to be a part of it. Please feel free to share.

It’s bad when you create so much art that you forget work you’ve done.  I was going through some old emails and found this piece I did as a pitch for the Adult Swim show Childrens Hospital.

I do a lot of these television/movie pitch pieces.  Every once in a while I’ll hit, like the “Youth In Revolt” poster.  Either way it’s good practice.  I used Painter 11 to illustrate this piece.  Seems there has been a little confusion from the responses I’ve been getting.  This is a painting, not a photograph.  I’m adding a close up to show the strokes below.  Click the images to Enlarge.

Any time I get to paint in an oil style, I’m happy.  Please feel free to share.


Not a lot of type this week.  I really need to be painting, but I want to try to consistently get these post out every Friday.  Spirit was a Toys R Us exclusive from Hasbro’s Pursuit of Cobra line.  Rather than discuss the same process as my other figures, I’ll just post the images.  Feel free to comment with any questions you want answered.

Spirit style sheet.(Click to enlarge)

Gear and pose photo reference.

Sketch/ line drawing.

Personal notes for revisions.

Approved package art.

Detail one.

Detail two.

Hasbro POC Spirit figure.

As always thanks for visiting the site and if you like the work, please feel free to Comment, Subscribe and Share!

Since I was at Comic Con and missed my weekly post last week, I’ve added a few extra picts. The figure this week is the “Pursuit of Cobra – City Strike Scarlett.” This one was officially not released although I have talked to a couple of luck guys who somehow managed to get her.

Before I get into the process, a quick shout out to the fellas at the What’s on Joe Mind and Flag Points podcasts. Thanks for the support guys! Ok, now to business…

This figure was originally slated to be part of the “Rise of Cobra” movie line released by Hasbro. Since it needed to feel like it could exist in the film, I was asked to paint the likeness of actress Rachel Nicols. Hasbro provided some fantastic set photos of her, in addition to a style sheet, and prototype toy picts.

Hasbro Reference.

Urban (City Strike) Scarlett style sheet.

I decided to render a black and white color study in addition to my normal pose sketch on this illustration. Since she was primarily a grayscale painting, I would later paint over my b & w comp. This ended up saving me a lot of time in the long run since most of my lighting decisions were already made.

City Strike Line Drawing.

Black and White Study.

Early Color Blocking.

Next I scoured the internet for pictures of “Military-type” gear. Buckles, bags, pads. I got the idea for these particular knee pads by looking at my kids bike pads. I want her uniform to have a distinct feel, and decided on something between a wet suit and motocross leather. She is armed to the teeth with a Katana and two arm blades which need to look like tempered steel.

Ref Picts and More blocking.

Sword reference / Detail.

Working Face Paint.

Now I start adding all the little details that will push the piece off the page. I needed to sell the fact that this is an actual person wearing a suit. Quilting on the jacket panels, stitching, seams, and the zippers really helped.

Gear Detailing.

Finally I paint the high altitude mask she needs to wear. I’ve decide to put the mask on it’s own layer in case Hasbro decides to show Rachel’s face. This particular piece of gear was one of the instances where I needed to improvise a bit.

I couldn’t really make out the detailing in the toy picts I was given and the style sheet was a little vague, so I winged it. The feel I was going for was an actual H.A.L.O. jumper’s helmet with a little George Lucas for good measure.

Like the other figures I painted in this line, the uniform needed “dull playing against shine.” I wanted a clear distinction of Matte hoses against a metallic mask. The “techie” pattern on the aqua plexiglass is a call back to my Star Viper detailing.

Helmet Paint.

Here is my finished painting along with a pict of the toy that would have been available at retail. Hope you like it. Joe fans please feel free to post any interesting tid bits about this piece I missed. If you want see more please Comment, Subscribe, and Share. Also thanks to the Joe Community, I appreciate the support… More to come next week!

Approved City Strike Scarlett Art.

Hasbro POC City Strike Scarlett figure.

For those attending Comic Con NY stop by to see Wacom and Corel in booth #667. Corel has been gracious enough to invite me to join them on Friday, October 14 from 9 am ET to 2:30 pm ET.  I’ll be conducting a live DC Comics character painting tutorial from the show floor.  If you can’t make it out to the event you can still sign up to catch the live stream.  Click here to join us and pleas Share this link!

I mentioned earlier this week that I’d be posting Recondo since I found the figure at my local Target.  So here he is…  The process is pretty much the same as the other figures I painted for Hasbro, so there isn’t too much to say.  I think I spent about a solid week on him, he comes with a lot of gear.

Painted Recondo figure provided by Hasbro.

Recondo Line Drawing.

Recondo Color Block.

Final Illustration.

Head Detail.

Chest Detail.

Sniper Rifle Detail.

Leg Gear Detail.

Retail Package.

Hope you like it.  Joe fans please feel free to post any interesting tid bits about this piece I missed.  If you want see more please Comment, Subscribe, and Share.  Also thanks to the Joe Community, I appreciate the support… More to Come!

I’ll be doing a little live painting with Corel Painter next Friday at NYCC. If you happen to be at the convention, stop by and say hello. I’ll be in the Wacom booth from 9am to 3pm pretending the new shiny 24″ Cintiq I’m using is mine! Hope to see you there. In the words of the the great Stan Lee, “Excelsior!”

By the way, I’ll probably be finishing up this fan painting I started a few months ago…



Click Here to see Video

 I was very fortunate to have been contacted by Hill Holliday – New York to take part in this multimedia project for Verizon.  Little did I know it would quickly become one of the most challenging and rewarding pieces I’ve ever worked on.  The good folks at Lava Studio have put together an incredible video explaining the Verizon Interactive Wall.

My piece of the puzzle was to create the painting of fans that would be used to cover the 30′ wall.  I also painted the “life-sized” characters in the foreground.  As you can see from watching the video the whole project was very “Minority Report-esque.”  Three monitors scroll over the entire wall and when triggered my static black and white illustration becomes a high definition video of the person.  Then a touch screen interactive graphic covers the screen allowing viewers to get stats, learn about products, etc.!  Very cool concept for a sci-fi enthusiast such as myself.

As I mentioned earlier, all of the assets I had to paint at actual size for reproduction on the wall.  I worked in shades of gray which either a green or blue light is cast, depending upon whether there is a Jets or Giants game that day.  I’ll attach some of the paintings I provided below to give you an idea of the detail needed.  The creative directors wanted the style to be realistic enough to blend with the video yet remain painterly.  Again, I chose to use Corel Painter to work.

The agency Branger_Briz worked with Lava to develop the interactive touch based i-Wall system.  This display won two interactive awards for 2011, the Golden Addy and the Charlie Award.  Again I am very happy to have been a part of it’s realization.  Now I just have to get out to Jersey to see it for myself!


Today I thought I’d share my illustration for the P.O.C. Cobra Fury Alley Viper.  Hasbro went through several changes in this line and as a result this piece, like several others I painted, was never actually produced.  The figure below was packaged with a Cobra vehicle.  Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Alley Viper prototype figure provided by Hasbro.

To give this guy a dynamic pose I set up my tripod and shot some reference.  I know his face is covered, so I have no explanation for my expression, hah.  My son even helped out by throwing on his ninja gear and letting me snap a few picts of his mask.  Once Hasbro approved the photos, I began my drawing.  I didn’t spend too much time on my pencils so I would have more time to paint.

Viper Pose and Mask Reference.

Alley Viper Rough and Line drawing.

In addition to my photos, I downloaded several .jpegs of military gear and weapons to make this painting as accurate as possible.  With only three days left on my deadline, it was definitely time to paint!  As with all my other pieces, I blocked in the basic colors and forms first, then worked the detail.  Since this guy is wearing all black I had to focus on textures and lighting to make him pop.  Because the transitions are so subtle he was a bit more challenging than the others.

Working color block step one.

Working Color Block Step Two.

Working Color Block Step Three.

Working Color Block Step Four.

Approved Final Artwork (click to enlarge).

As I mentioned earlier, even though my painting was approved, in the end they went with another artist for the box art.  This is the version that was used.

Alley Viper File Card.

I just want to give a shout and thanks to user WreckedUm for finding what my file card art “would have” looked like had it been used for retail!  See below.  Let me know what you think.  I’ll be posting a new painting next week.  As always, Please comment, subscribe, and share!  YO JOE!


Corel has posted my latest tutorial webinar for Painter 12.  In the video, I detail how I painted the image below.  If you missed it or want to check it out again, Please comment on the Corel Painter 12 YouTube page.  If enough people ask, I’ll do another.

Press play and click the 360p pulldown menu and switch to 720pHD, then expand to full screen for best viewing results.