Monday, December 15, 2008

A Vampyre Story Artwork

Earlier this year, I had a lot of fun working on Autumn Moon Entertainment's A Vampyre Story. The game is finally out so I'm now free to show some of the background art I did. I don't wanna ruin it for any of you gamers out there though, so I'll keep it to just three images.

You can download a free demo of the game, where some other bits of my work show up, like the layout for the options screen among other minor things, like the graveyard office door and stove textures.

The game itself seems to be generating some buzz, albeit amidst mixed reviews. I can't say I cared much for the protagonist's voice (possibly the worst attempt at a french accent I've ever heard), but the game does seem pretty fun. At the very least, the visuals are worth seeing. Give it a shot!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thinking of Mom and Dad

Friday, December 05, 2008

Project Adonis on Hold

It never fails - When I'm on a roll, I get hurt!

It's just as well. I have some huge deadlines coming up, so this will force me to focus on those. In the meantime, to help me feel better, I went retail therapy shopping (online, since I can't walk anywhere without using a trekking pole as a cane). I found a retractable flat brush, thanks to Jimmy who did the homework in finding one for me. Speaking of Jimmy, check out his blog post from the same trip we took last week to Bishop. He's got some absolutely beautiful watercolor and gouache sketches!

Now if someone will just do the homework on learning about rest days for me...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Climbing Trip - Bishop

My fingertips are still a little too raw to type much about the climbing road trip my wife, friend Brian, and myself took down to Bishop, CA over Thanksgiving weekend. We had a great time playing on the boulders, meeting up with friends from our local climbing gym, as well as meeting other talented folks.

I even managed some sketches and a painting.

On the night we arrived, we met up with some friends for a second Thanksgiving dinner (we had a huge family dinner on Wednesday night). I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but my good painting buddy Jimmy G, whom I've mentioned throughout my blog, is also a good climbing buddy). We had a (few) nightcap(s) back at his room where he lent me a sketchbook to scribble in while we all told entertaining stories.

Justin's two dogs, Lu and Little Dog.

Overly excited. (Thanks for sending these sketches over, Jimmy!)

A view from above the Happy Boulders. Volcanic ash settled, hardened, and became the flatland you see here. Jimmy G sat next to me and painted a far more successful composition!

Alex got a little tipsy at the local dive when she dropped this little gem.

"Buttermilk Country" - Oil on linen panel, 8x10 inches. My hands couldn't take any more abuse for the day, so I set up the paints and squeezed in this hour and a half painting just as the sun made its descent behind the White Mountains.

And of course, pictures were taken.

Wanna see the photos in all their splendor? Alex put together a great slideshow here:

Bishop Climbing Trip.

The rock there was extremely sharp, and combined with the holiday weight I somehow put on overnight (okay, okay, the past few months), it made things a bit painful. Actually, I had a great time, probably some of the most fun I've had all year, but it was also a big eye-opener as to just how out of shape I am. So I've made a pre-New Years resolution to cut my internet time in half. By more if possible. And I'm going to introduce some cardio to my routine. By next year I hope to float effortlessly up the sharpest rocks imaginable. I'm calling my new ambition, Project Adonis.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drawr-ings, Ramblings, and Pick-Me-Ups.... the Book?

So here's some possibly exciting news. I'm looking around at various options on putting a book together showcasing the work I've done over the past ten years or so. That, or a finely-tuned version of what I've done on this blog (more better-er and less mitsakes, hopefully).

Just to see if I even had the work in the first place, I dug up my old sketchbooks, portfolio folders, even my graffiti "black book" from high school (who didn't go through this phase?), plopped them on the main work table and flipped through to see what I've got.
I've covered an odd mix of subject matter and mediums over the years, so it's a little tricky figuring out how I'm going to break down the book. One idea is to do two books! I'm thinking one in a zine/manga format with black and white work, sketches and ramblings, and another slightly larger coffee table style book that focuses on my full color work. Thoughts and recommendations are... um, recommended.

And no, I won't be using any high and mighty "The Art of Mike Dutton"-ish titles either. How about Mike Dutton's Art? ... hmm...

I'll leave you with a self portrait I did in art school, a whopping decade ago, doing an imitation of the Godfather.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I've been having a lot of fun scribbling and playing with different styles lately, but felt like slowing down and messing around on a single page for a change. I seem to end up with this look once a year. I think it's seasonal.

And here's some scribbling from last week. Visited my ol' pals. Look at'em, working hard.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doodles and Dillon R&R

I wanted to string a few ideas together based on the big U.S. election to make this post seem poignant and clever. Like the cottage having something to do with the current mortgage crisis, and the newspaper bins being empty because of the election results.
But I was pretty much over the idea by the second sketch, and in all honesty, I drew these cuz the cottage was cute and news bins are kinda cool in a retro sci-fi kinda way. Still, what a week it was.


Alex and I got to go to Dillon Beach for a day thanks to Veteran's Day being in the middle of the week. Of course, I still had plenty of work to do. But a change of scenery is always nice, especially when it looks like this.

My station where I did some inking for this week's One Swoop Fell.

Spent some time watching a Quentin Blake video, and it rubbed off. Pen and watercolors are fun!
One more doodle for fun and posterity.

Monday, November 03, 2008


My good friend and fellow illustrator, Julien Alday is here, and I've been enjoying a mini vacation as a result. You can see in this cartoon what a lovely time we're having.

Speaking of screaming girls and hanging out with talented artists, I met with good pal Dice Tsutsumi, who introduced me to the legendary Katsuya Terada over lunch last week.... the awesomely talented Derek Thompson also joined us and gave us a tour of Pixar's Wall-E gallery, which he did story work on. Oh, and the "screaming girl" part is in reference to me, which is what I was when Terada-san tore a page out of his sketchbook for me.
Actually, he tore it out of a tiny spiral notebook, full of incredible, spontaneous doodles. This inspired me to go smaller and thinner as well. Carrying around my wide format heavy bound journal is not always convenient (maybe I'm just not 'core' enough). Here's a few doodles from the new notebook.
Penguins at the newly reopened California Academy of Sciences.
Alex rocking out on Rock BandMy bro-in-law doing the same. And yes, the bass pedal is missing. Give him a break. He's just a squirrel.Absent-minded noodling about while watching Ocean's 13 for the umpteenth time (it never gets old).

One more tangent, this time on the topic of inspiration - I attended the Alternative Press Expo over the weekend and was overwhelmed by all the stuff I wanted to buy. I burned through my reserve pretty quickly, but picked up a number of things that I think you should pick up too... I'll try to put together some sort of list later on. For now, I need to get some more work done!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Waddly Bears

I've always admired the flat graphic style of illustration from the 50's, particularly the work of Charley Harper, but for some reason I never tried it out for myself. So I spent my Friday evening playing with some gouache, wood, and familiar friends.

It looks like the cover of a sing-along album I could have grown up with, and that makes me happy. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Comfortable Places

I went to my favorite sushi place a week ago to do a little sketch research for the latest One Swoop Fell episode called "Comfort Food."

Speaking of comfort food, I also love Juan's Place in Berkeley. I had to take the car down to the smog center this past Friday, which happened to be on the opposite street corner from Juan's.

I wanted to eat there and not just sketch the place, but I had other errands to run. Ah well. Hey, here's something fun to do. Click this link to Juan's Yelp page, and compare the photo to the drawing to see just how many mistakes I can make in a ten minute sketch!

Another fun fact, Juan's was placed in Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings.

On Sunday, Alex and I met our friend Emma in the City for brunch in Noe Valley. I've never really explored this area of San Francisco. It's kinda the new Bermuda Triangle to me (replacing Potrero Hill). Maybe I just have no sense of direction. But I can sniff out a bookshop no matter where you put me. I stepped into Phoenix Books and finally found a new but marked down copy of Blankets. These kids had their own great finds, copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Have a great week!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Climbing Camp. Climbing Walls.

I guess if last week seemed too long, this one went by too fast. Which is always the case when you're juggling a book deadline along with helping your parents move, putting out a full page weekly comic on time, and... climbing camp.

I'd love to write more about the Totoro Forest Project Auction that took place last Saturday, especially regarding the friends and heroes I got to meet. But I thiiiink I have about another week of being out of my mind left. I'll tell you all about it when I get back!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Getaways and Narrow Escapes

Word on the Net is it didn't feel like a four day work week at all. I agree. Here's some journal pages from what already seems so long ago, starting with last Thursday before Labor Day weekend. I was hanging out in Tiffany and Christine's studio, and they were researching getaway spots:
On Friday morning, I had breakfast with one of my closest friends. We were near REI (outdoor gear heaven), and I had a couple errands to take care of there.... it somehow took up the rest of our morning.... oops!

The Cal Bears are looking good this year. We've got a new starting quarterback, and as bad as I feel saying it, I think the days of Longshore are safely behind us. We watched from the usual cheap seats.... literally, the cheapest seats available - they're free:

The rest of the weekend was spent in San Francisco. Alex and I attended her 10 year high school reunion. We also celebrated our two-year anniversary. My, how time flies.... with the strange exception of four-day work weeks...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Free Time

Whoa, sorry I fell asleep at the wheel on the blog for the past couple weeks. Haven't had much free time lately, though I miraculously found some earlier this week. Here's what I did with it, starting on Thursday when I decided to force myself out of the studio for....

Jimmy G. ambitiously tackled a street painting with the Fox Theater in it, while I walked down several blocks to paint a burger joint I've had my eye on for a few weeks. A variety of interesting characters passed by as I sketched. I liked what this guy had to say to a passing woman:

On Friday, I met up with my fellow local illustrator buddies, Tiffany Prothero and Christine MacTernan. We went into San Francisco for a good ol' fashioned photo reference and research gathering field trip at Fort Point, a now defunct garrison directly beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. We split up after a short while being there. I was trying to find a place to paint, but it was too windy. The two of them were half-searching for ghosts.... though I don't think anyone's ever died there. Nevertheless, they tried to spook me into believing by tossing a rock while I wasn't looking. They did manage to scare me - I thought the fort was crumbling.

After Fort Point, we took a walk near the Legion of Honor, then drove to nearly the opposite corner of the City to get some sketching done in China Basin, before topping the day off with appetizers and drinks at the Ramp Restaurant.

Saturday was spent at a friend's wedding. This sums up how I felt about it.

Sunday was spent recovering from how I felt about it. I did it by going down to Saratoga with Alex, where we met up with Brian, a close friend and climbing buddy, who agreed it would be a great day to do some bouldering at Castle Rock State Park, despite our various maladies and mishaps.

I look productive topping out up there, but I should say I looked like this most of the time:

Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Aquatic Park

Hung out with a couple friends today to do some painting at the Aquatic Park in Berkeley. I haven't painted on canvas in nearly a year, but these oil primed linen boards from Utrecht have convinced me to do it more often. I was also pleasantly surprised the weather brightened up halfway into my session, rather than the usual other way around.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bodega Bay

Alex, her brother, and I took a trip up to Bodega Bay this afternoon to explore the coastline and hang out on a couple beaches. The first one was practically empty, and we soon learned why. The horde of gigantic flies would not leave you alone. I barely managed to concentrate long enough to get this sketch in.

We moved to a second beach, where we played some catch.... using lacrosse sticks. I know - What's wrong with the frisbee, right? Well, a close relative of ours, who has equipment for every outdoor activity imaginable, gave us the sticks to play with. So we thought we'd try them out. Turns out it's pretty fun, except for the occasional "Oh no, the extremely hard rubber ball nearly hit that napping beach bum" moments.

The afternoon was topped off with a meal at the Sandpiper, where the clam chowdah is so good the staff wears T-shirts with a joke warning not to order it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Almost there...

Cartoonists put a little of themselves in every character they create. I often depict myself as this little bear, but ever since I put him in his own comic he's taken on his own traits, as though he's come alive. So I thought it'd be fun to put both of us on the same page. He's definitely based on my more optimistic side, as you can see here. As I mentioned before, things are busy. But not all of it is good busy. I need to keep telling myself -- even if it's through the voice of cartoon characters -- that I'm almost there.

If I'm to remain optimistic, then perhaps I should be flattered that one of my pieces was stolen? I was taking down my art from a display yesterday when I realized it was gone. Thank goodness it was just a print.... nevermind the money, time, and energy it still cost me. But seriously, did this dude not read the part in the Thieves Handbook that artists are broke? My contact information is on the back of the frame. So hey guy: if you follow up on it, look me up online and stumble on this post, my message to you is to please pay up. Anonymously is fine. My other message for future reference: steal the artwork after we're dead.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dillon Beach

I've been super busy lately, but when I heard my brother-in-law was going up to Dillon Beach for the day, I couldn't resist tagging along to sneak in a painting session. Having spent nearly my entire summer in a basement studio, it was the least I could do for myself to take a mental health day.

As luck would have it, the sunny beach filled with vacationers was vacated as soon as I set up my painters box, because I bring bad weather wherever I go to paint! Around half an hour into my session, the cliffs were seemingly wiped out in fog.

By the way, this painter's box is pure awesome.

Still, it felt good to finally get outside to paint. And I love Dillon Beach no matter what the weather is like. I could only laugh when the sun came back and burned the fog off two hours later. Yep, mood swings are just half of Dillon's charm.

Well, back to work. But if you want a little more distraction before you return to yours, the second installment of One Swoop Fell is up.