Blog Navigation:


Etsy Sale of My Farm Paintings

I'm selling paintings on Etsy.  Normally, I don't do this, but I've a good reason.

My grandpa's health is declining.  So much so, that each of us are planning out how to get up there and see him, perhaps for the last time.  My brother and I are planning to carpool up together, but I have just enough money to get stranded with him.

So, I'm throwing a one week sale.  I'm selling prints and wallpaper from some of my best farm artwork that I've painted in the past 6 months.  My intention is to sell enough to get out there and back, and be able to pay for my own food so that I'm not a burden on everybody up there.  I've calculated it out and it comes out to somewhere between $300 and $500 depending on what happens.

So go see my paintings at my Etsy store!  If you like them, buy a farm print or two, or the Midwestern Heritage wallpaper pak!  And yes, this is a real SALE!!!  Use the promocode "FARMERTREK" for 25% off your purchase.

Thank you.  Very much.


Ace Wonder Storyboards

Downtown needs a hero!
This is the month!  I'm getting stoked about seeing the beautiful blue and yellow cover gracing my DVD collection.  I can't wait for the19th!

(If you really want to see it early, like I did, you can stream it through Amazon or Walmart.)

*  *  *

Storyboards.  The promise of the story to come.

Mocom 7 rough boards

Usually storyboards start out very rough, like these that I scrawled down for Motion Comic 7 (awkwardly placed in the actual film between Motion Comics 3 and 4, but that's a different story....). If you can't tell what's going on, that's ok.  I have to think hard on a few of them.  They represent early quick visual notes, that changed as others worked on them (Johnny Reighard, to name one person).

However, for this production, because we needed a consistent look, and employed a wide variety of illustrators, I made a series of very detailed, monochromatic storyboards for each of the motion comics.

Here are some of the boards for the 2nd motion comic... some of which did not make it into the finished film.

City pan down

Notice the name of the salon...

Why must the lady go to the Salon via the alley? So we could make art like this.

Badguy jumps out of shadows.  "Drop the bag, Lady!"

Ace Wonder jumps out of the shadows.  "Drop the gun!"

Of course, fights often go way better in imagination than in reality.


Ace Wonder, always the gentleman, retrives the purse.

Ace phoned ahead for the police


Ace Wonder ready to vanish into the darkness again, when....

 In case you are wondering, storyboards are mostly about story... telling an interesting story as simply and as visually as possible.  The audience should feel the momentum of the story through the boards, tasting what the finished movie will be like.

Well, if you liked these, I have the entire first sequence for Mocom 4 in my Sketch Club (after you become a member, look for it in the "Creations" section).  Plus a few other really cool boards that didn't make it into the movie.

Ok, now I'm going to go off and figure out how many hours we have left until Ace Wonder appears on shelves.....


Early Ace Wonder Concepts

Early in the process of making Ace Wonder, we had little idea how the end product would look.  John had an idea, and I think we got close to that idea.  But here are some other possibilities for how the motion comics might have turned out:

In these first three concepts, I tried to feel out how much detail John wanted.  I believe I did these before getting the script.

These next four are variations on line, texture, and level of detail.  As you can see, I still had a very comicbooky style in my head. 

After that we decided to make the motion comics in an idealized photograph style.  We actually created the first motion comic in this photograph style before realizing that it needed to change. 

It would be an entire year after being brought onto the team before we would land on the current highly-polished painted style, thanks to a suggestion from Isaac Botkin.

For more concept artwork from Ace Wonder, as well as storyboards and minicomics, join my Sketch Club!  I'm updating it weekly with Ace Wonder art for the next month.  Also, be sure to see Ace Wonder if you haven't.  It's available at Amazon Instant Video to watch now, and to prepurchase when it comes out on DVD in August. 


Ace Wonder Blueprints

As props for the movie Ace Wonder, I created several faux blueprints.  I threw them together really quick, so didn't put too much thought into them.  I've got concept sketches for all of them--plus a few things that didn't make it to these blueprints--over at my Sketch Club.  Hope y'all enjoy!

Bread Tanning Machine

Esthetic Faucette

Geary Hovercraft

Steampunk Psuedolantern

Space Wagon

For a refresher of my multifaceted work on the movie Ace Wonder, check out my original blog post.  To pre-order the film (DVD's arrive in August) go to Walmart or Amazon.  Again, I've posted sketches for these blueprints, storyboards, other concept art, and whatnot in my Sketch Club.  I hope you check it out!


The Secrets of the Ace Wonder Motion Comics Revealed!

Secret #1 
John Moore wrote the story.  

Script fragment from Ace Wonder opening scene
Before you can make any great graphic novel or motion comic, you need a great story.  The story inspires the artist to envision the possibilities and creates the limits for the finished graphic novel.  The writer is the first visionary in the creative process.

Secret #2
Johnny Reighard and others created rough storyboards.  

An epic watercolor from Johnny's storyboards - Ace Wonder in the rain
Rough sketches are the first step in translating a story into a finished visual. 

Early storyboard from introduction to Ace Wonder
Final Ace intro
Often the artist will make several storyboards before finding the right one. 

Secret #3
I created detailed concept art.  

Refined sketch of Ace Wonder in the rain
These detailed pictures bridged the gap between the rough visual plan and the finished artwork.  

Refined sketch of Ace Wonder introduction
Then I split the artwork into parts to prepare for the next phase.

Secret #4
A bunch of artists worked very hard to make each piece a work of art.  

Finished art for Ace Wonder in the rain
For instance, in this umbrella shot Jessica Lindsey painted the backgrounds and Louie Royball III painted Ace Wonder.  

Finished art for Ace Wonder introduction
In the alley artwork David Nielsen painted the badguy, Breezy Brookshire painted the lady in dire straights, Kelly Reins painted the brickwork, Victor Noordhoek worked on puddles, city lights, and clouds, and Ashley Letizia painted Ace Wonder.  Then I pieced and blended the parts together.

Secret #5
Finally, the Effects Forge team brought the layered artworks to life.  Artists in their own right, David Bowman, Evan Langley, Josiah Einwechter and others transformed our dead visuals into living motion comics.  To see their work check out Ace Wonder: VOD is available now and DVD's will be available in August.

So, now that all of our secrets are out, I expect to see amazing Christ-glorifying motion comics in the future!  I know there are more creatives out there.  Go make something!

PS. I've uploaded more art from the opening funeral scene to my Sketch Club!  Plus a bunch more sketches and a downloadable FREE mini comic book!



Storyboard for Mocom 4
Ace Wonder stands as the single biggest project I have ever worked on.  When John Moore contacted me about the possibility in late 2009, I had no idea it would last until late 2012 or that I would help create over 200 finished works of art on the project.

Gator Moore stars in this fun and exciting tale of a young graphic novelist who solves a high stakes crime while on a family vacation.  It's a live-action kids film, but includes seven semi-animated "motion comics" (or as we shortened it: "mocoms") to spice up the drama.  I worked on the mocoms.  

If you want to skip the rest of this post, you can see it all by streaming the movie online.  Or you can order the DVD which comes out in August.

While my teams and I made over 200 finished works of art, a lot more was made or gathered in the course of telling this story.  A lot more.  Over 10,000 files more.  Yeah, that's a lot.  I have 500 GB saved of Ace Wonder stuff.

Here is some of the stuff that we made:

Comic snippet for Mocom 1
Inspirational Comics
The script called for graphic novel sections of the film, but we didn't know what those would look like.  To help us get closer to that finished product, I sketched out some comics.  They helped us visualize the end product.  I'm really happy how they came out.

Concept for early Ace Wonder office
Concept art
The motion comics took place in a variety of locations and with a variety of different characters.  Inspirational comic books take a little bit of work, so I made some average ordinary concept art to flesh out the unknowns.

Alternative ending to Mocom 4 (the one in the movie is way better)
Johnny Reighard made most of the storyboards for the motion comics, but I and a few interns worked on others.  Nadine Voth interned with me in 2010 and some of her boarding is still in the film.

Refined storyboard for Mocom 2
Refined storyboards
We made a rough cut of the movie with some rough art.  I translated most of the storyboards into semi-finished monochromatic paintings.  They gave the film a more finished look, and allowed us to further define the composition and blocking of the finished motion comics.

Diagram to show how the hall elements fit together in Mocom 6
David Bowman, Evan Langley, and Josiah Einwechter at Effects Forge created the motion of the motion comics.  But I did get in some early motion experimentation.  None of my After Effects work made it in the film.  But it was a good learning experience.

The layers allow the effects artists to create depth and motion.
This helped the illustrators understand how we were layering this image from Mocom 1.
Educational material
We formed 3 teams of freelance artists (4 if you count the 2010 interns) over the course of the project, and they needed to know exactly what I needed from them.  I created tutorials to detail the process for making consistent artwork that could be seamlessly blended together.

Blueprint for an amazing steampunk shower
Props for the live action film
Our hero drew graphic novels, so he needed to make artwork.  I created art that he could "draw" in the movie.  A few artists, including the Alaskan Albert Mauga, and I also created "blueprints" for inventions that are briefly shown in the movie.

Old version of a semi-finished credits image
An extreme honor, I enjoyed making the end credits artwork.  

A lot of very talented artists helped me make the finished artwork.  Here are some of the main artists and where you can see some of their work:

Jessica Ellen Lindsey - one of the first artists I dragged onto this project, she's always making something fun, including her new line of cute animal greeting cards!

Louis Roybal III - an illustrator and concept artist, he creates heroic, majestic artwork. 

David Nielsen - with a great sense of style and strong work ethic, he’s since become more than a regular collaborator—he’s become a friend.

Ashley Parrow Letizia - a former schoolmate and intern who creates lovely artwork.

Breezy Brookshire - creator of whimsical children's books.

Here are a few of the other artists who helped out, a couple who were invaluable!
Kelly Reins - if you see any bricks or a fabulous empty cafe in early motion comics, you can thank her!
Victor Noordhoek - the doer of many little things that amounted to a great deal
Rebecca Sharkey 
Tony Monk 
Rigo Sabillon
Noah Basle

In the coming weeks I'll release more concept art and BTS material here on the blog and on my Patreon page.  The sketch that started my epic Ace Wonder journey is there, and many more will be posted in the next couple months.

Again, the DVD arrives in August, but you can watch it now by streaming it online.  Enjoy!


One Month Anniversary for my Sketch Club!

I had little idea what to expect when I started on this little journey a month ago.  I still don't know, but now I have a nifty little timeline of 30+ paintings and drawings from the past month.  I don't know how it happened and I had no idea how much fun I would have drawing these.  I recommend it to every artist out there.

Here is a small sampling of my favorite sketches from this past month.

Patreon First Month Retrospective

Here are a few of my favorite sketches and paintings from this last month.  Enjoy!

Hovering and Hanging
Every once in a while I have a strange idea that just sort of hits me. If it's a plot idea, I have a running idea file where I put these potential plots and now I have over 400. But I didn't have a place for visual ideas. At least, I didn't until a month ago.  

One month ago I created this sketch club on Patreon and I have really enjoyed it. It's been a very busy month with a lot of unusual travel, and some unusual weather conditions. But I've been grateful for this little place that I can carve out these ideas and post them. I don't have brilliant ideas all that often, but when I do, this acts as incentive for me to jot them down before they vanish into the ether of our lives.  

So I'm not sure what this is about. Maybe someday I'll have a story attached to it. Right now it's just a fanciful flight of wonder. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunset Across the Fields
The other night, I saw the sun set from the upstairs window at my grandparents' dairy farm. It was so gorgeous that I knew I needed to paint it.

First Sketch
When I was breaking in my tablet last year, this was the first sketch I made. I really like the tree....

Mousipede Reads
Based off of the "Rodentipillar" sketch. It was just a fun idea. :)

#1 Inspirational Time Travel Poster Idea

Geronilope Herd
I think it hit me early in the morning in the middle of last week, and when I thought of it, I laughed out loud. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Just Graduated
My brother just walked across the stage to get his diploma from DTS! Now he's recovering....

Destination Options
WIthout this sketch club, this painting would not exist. Thank you for being there, being my incentive to finish this. 

This was one of those ideas that I thought was nice, but had a hard time painting it. Knowing that you guys were out there, I persevered. 

I saw this early Friday morning, driving to Pensacola. It was beautiful and arresting seeing the moon sitting there at the top of the hill.   

I tried to paint it Saturday night from memory, but it didn't look right. Finally this morning at 3 or 4, it finally came together.

Earnings Analysis

Gross Earnings: $22.75
CC Fees: $1.58
Patreon percentage: $1.18
Net: $19.99
Sketches and Paintings: 32

Which works out to roughly 0.6246875¢ per sketch or painting.  As you can see, I'm not doing this for the money!

Instead, I'm doing this to build a sketching habit.  Right now I have an idea file where I put all of my story ideas, and I've got about 400+ good, bad, and ugly plot fragments in there.  However, they are all word-based, or relational-based.  I want to create a regular habit of making interesting visual ideas.  This sketch club helps me do that.

At $8.75 per week, I'm really close to reaching my first milestone ($15 a week).  When we reach that goal, I'm going to be creating a sketch of an exotic animal—possibly something from deep in the jungle... or from deeper in the ocean—and sending it to my patrons.  (And I'll get windshield wipers for my car!)

To help reach that first milestone, I'm introducing a new level of patronage: Zinc Level!  Zinc level starts at $5 a week and allows Zinc patrons to suggest sketch ideas. A few times a month, I'll sift through the ideas and pick an interesting idea to draw for y'all.

Where will we go in the next year?  I don't really know.... Join my sketch club to let's find out together!