December 21, 2010

Reginald B. Utton the Third

Hey! It's the holidays, and I did did the family stuff early so I could work on some projects with crazy deadlines.

But the Super Awesome Art Challenge is back up and rolling, so I had to get in on that! The theme was Buttonface, here's my contribution!

Portrait of Reginald B. Utton the Third.

Check out my original SAAC post for a tiny bit more info!

November 30, 2010


Most of the projects I work on are at least a year out (for instance; I've been working on designs for Christmas 2011). Usually by the time a project is in the wild, I've long since forgotten about it.

I'm going to try to start posting snippets of designs I'm working on before they slip my mind forever. If the title of the post is Utterances, then just look for a sneak peek and don't expect any context. Cool? Cool.

Here's one to start...

Peek-A-Boo M

I'll also be more regular with my with normal posting soon. I've been traveling, remodeling and doing the holiday thing.

Also! If you didn't know I've been posting a ton on the Paper Bicycle blog. We are trying to make sure to post something cool/inspiring/interesting every day! So bookmark it, add it to your RSS reader of choice, and tell your friends!

Then just sit back and wait for the awesome to roll in!

November 1, 2010

Die Antwoord Halloween

Lindsay and I spent all week working on our costumes for Halloween this year. We went as Die Antwoord. It was a lot of drawing with sharpies on cheap sweatpants.

Halloween 2010_15

Halloween 2010_31

Check out the flickr set for more.

If you don't know who Die Antwoord are:

Now you know.

October 10, 2010

Iceland giant

This took way longer than it should have and I still don't feel like it's done. I like the drawing and I like the photo and I'm pretty happy with the final product. But not as happy as I'd hoped.

iceland part one

This tiny size is silly, you should probably look at a larger size.

I might take another stab at it sometime soon and I plan on doing more Iceland pieces in general. But I've got another personal project I need to get cracking on first, so I just wanted to get this posted so I could stop thinking about it for a bit.

I sound way more negative than I feel. I just should have posted this a week ago.

September 21, 2010

locally grown in black

I'm doing a bunch of designs for I'm Organic. This one is going unused.

locally grown black

I did a few sketches, got feedback and proceeded in the exact opposite direction. By accident, of course. I was doing a couple designs at once and just got confused.

They said less geometric and heard more geometric somehow.

August 27, 2010


Yo! Welcome back, America!

end of day_01

I just got back from a week+ in Iceland. It was incredible, and I took over 1,200 photos!


Not all of those were keepers, naturally. It's trips like this when I wish I were a better photographer. I just don't have to know-how to capture all the awesomeness I saw while we were there.

vatnsnes peninsula_01

Iceland was a great trip, and I encourage anyone interested to get a cheap ticket to Iceland, rent a 4 Wheel Drive car and hit the Ring Road without much of a plan or a care in the world (make sure to buy a copy of Lonely Planet Guide to Iceland).

Check out the flickr set here!

August 10, 2010

LifeNow, dude.

A long while ago I did a design for LifeNow Radio.

Well, they asked me to do another one, similar size and pose, only this time it's a dude!


I like this one much more... I guess that what happens when you compare it to something a few years old.

August 6, 2010

Teeth Noir.

July's Super Awesome Art Challenge topic was Teeth. At first I kicked around the idea of drawing straight up teeth, toothy animals, dentists and other cliche stuff.

None of it exactly titillated me. I started thinking about the weird and creepy Dick Tracy characters who were named for their defining characteristics. Flattop. Mumbles. Itchy. Etc... That immediately struck a chord, although my first sketch was too cartoony and... terrible.

As I was drawing I realized that I wanted to go a more creepy, grotesque route, and less of the silly, cartoon-mobster route.

his name is Teeth, but I kept his teeth to a minimum so it wouldn't be too silly. i really just wanted his mouth to be gross.

Fun Fact: although you probably can't tell, but the character was (very slightly) inspired by Fred MacMurray from the 1944 Film Noir classic Double Indemnity.

Funner Fact: I am somehow related to Fred MacMurray.

I like the end product, I think. I wish I would have kept some versions along the way. Every time I do a painting like this, it always starts way too light and pale. I'll think I'm almost finished, and I won't notice until I step back and take a good look. Then I keep repainting, pumping up the saturation and contrast again and again.

But I think that's just how it has to go. Hopefully someday I will be able to do it right the first time.

July 29, 2010

Red Shoe

I wasn't happy with the minimal attention I was able to give to my Rainbow Fun Times piece for Super Awesome Art Challenge.

So I've been playing with some of the individual drawings on the side. Doing them all seemed like a waste, so I picked the shoe to start.

Red Shoe

I like it better this way.

July 14, 2010

Missing Rainbow.

I guess when things were extra hairy last month, I posted a piece for the Super Awesome Art Challenge Rainbow Fun Times, but never cross-posted it here. So here it is.


Maybe I forgot to post it because I didn't think much of it. It's a fun idea, but I had no time to work on it, so I just got it done. That's cool, deadlines are deadlines, I guess.

July 13, 2010

Zipper Zapper Nerd Gorilla.

This month's Super Awesome Art Challenge was Zipper Zapper.

So the obvious answer was this:


A nerd in a cheap gorilla suit psyching himself up to exact revenge upon his enemies via laser gun.


I really just used this as an excuse to try some new things. I've been kind of looking for a new way to approach coloring things digitally, especially after my oil painting class.

I limited myself to only using the standard, round brush in Photoshop with 100% hardness. I also limited myself to painting on one layer, instead of dozen's like I normally do. I avoided flat color and made sure there was a lot of small variations with slight temperature differences in all the colors.

I was looking for something to excite me and this method did just that. I feel like I can push it a lot further, I think some more practice is in order...

July 10, 2010

Paper Bicycle Blog

Hey! I almost forgot to mention, but we've started an offical Paper Bicycle blog! And, being 1/3 of Paper Bicycle and all, I am a contributor. It's only a few posts old, so who knows where it will go or what it will be, but so far it's trends, projects and cool stuff we find and just feel like sharing.


So bookmark it, RSS it, favorite it, like it, tweet it, put it on the social network of your choosing, pass it along in your favorite IRC channel... whatever you kids do these days!

July 4, 2010

Recap of some changes.

Hey blog, long time no see! Things have been unusual lately, so I haven't had much worthwhile to post. But there's been a lot of stuff going on.

Probably the most significant, and recent, change is that I decided it was finally time to part ways from my full-time position as an in-house product designer. Technically I've always been freelance, but now I'm 100% off-site and solo.

Decal on the door! 2

Well, not exactly solo. I'm officially part of Paper Bicycle now. So I spend my days with Lindsay and Francesca rockin' packaging, product and design for a bunch of different clients. We just moved into a new studio on the corner of Lake and Lyndale in Uptown Minneapolis.

I've spent about 2 1/2 weeks in the office and everything is already almost busier than I can handle. Things are pretty great.

The other gargantuan undertaking we wrapped up as remodeling our kitchen for a reality TV show, which threw our lives for a month-and-a-half long loop. It was a DIY show, and while we didn't do everything, we certainly ended up doing our fair share.

I'll spare the whole story, but to give you an idea, we went from this:

process 2

To this:

final 2

Maybe it's not really art, but I feel like it's Lindsay and I both had a hand in making it real. Plus, we painted a mural. So that's art, right?

final 3

For anyone interested, check out the the set on my flickr page.

New job, new studio, new home. Things have been changing fast and furious. But things are starting to normalize a bit, so hopefully there will be more activity on this blog, starting immediately.

May 7, 2010

Oil Fishy.

I few weeks ago a mentioned I had started an oil painting class. It's a short class, just 4 Thursday nights in a row, 3 hours per class. It's been great since it's the only time I can do art outside of work (thanks to our ongoing DIY kitchen remodel for a reality TV program).

Mainly the class has resulted in a few 1/2 finished, terrible paintings. But the final week was just a "work on whatevs" week, so I brought in a sketch of something I thought I could finish in a couple hours.

And I did! Huzzah, an oil painting!

sea man oil painting
hmmm, something's awfully fishy.

It's still quite wet and I'm not sure how to best photograph it, so I just took a snapshot for now. There's a whole lot of glare on it, though. The background is especially off, so hopefully I can figure out a good way to shoot it.

My final say? Oil painting is cool. I like it miles better than acrylic and watercolor. I'd love to do it more once the dust settles around here...

April 16, 2010

Oil kitty?

Things are superduperdoublescoop crazy right now. I will spare the details but I often feel like I'm in a narrow, dark tunnel with a runaway train barreling down behind me, and all I can do is try to keep up. Things will continue at this pace until mid May, at least, which I try not to think about.

For a nice, relaxing change of pace, we signed up for an oil painting class. I've never used oil paints and just needed an excuse to try. The class is just a very low pressure community class, but it's a chance to try it out.

On the first day we just walked through some of the basics of oil painting for a couple hours, then we got a bit to play with the paint. I painted this kitty. That's as far as I could get in an hour and I'd like to go back and add to it, for sure.

kitty oil painting

I make cats like this all the time, but we had about an hour so I just painted the first thing I could think of. Which is, of course, a cute kitty.

April 6, 2010

Digital Love.

'Love/Hate-Bit' was March's Super Awesome Art Challenge.

I did a set some of the characters Lindsay had crushes on in the games we've played.

pixel boyfriends
the four boner brothers.

pixel boyfriend_otacon
Otacon, from the Metal Gear Solid series (specifically, Metal Gear Solid 4). He's a socially awkward otaku (duh), he falls for dog-loving terrorist snipers and he cries. A lot. Oh, and he's been known to soil his pants at the drop of a hat.

pixel boyfriend_garrus
Garrus Vakarian, from the Mass Effect series (specifically Mass Effect 2). Garrus didn't make too much of an impression in the first Mass Effect, but Lindsay knew straight away that Commander Baby Jiff Shepard would be choosing Garrus for some booty-knockin' action in Mass Effect 2. He might be a bad-ass with a sniper rifle, but he's pretty awkward when it comes to the (human) female form. Plus, he kind of looks like a cat made of rock.

pixel boyfriend_edgeworth
Edgeworth, of the Phoenix Wright series. Although he started off as the bad guy, Edgeworth's pompous attitude and brilliant mind attracted Lindsay right off the bat. Not to mention his penchant for purple and ruffles is pretty irresistible.

pixel boyfriend_remy
Remy, from Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. I don't think Lindsay or I really know much about this French brawler with abandonment issues. But he's got sweet style, sweet hair and a really big hands.

April 5, 2010

sneaky monsters

We did a little photoshoot this weekend.

sneak peek

Here's a sneak peek of a project I did a while back and was never able to show.

I might be able to show more soon, though.

March 20, 2010

Earth Day Shirt!

Hey! You! What's up with your attitude lately? Do you hate the Earth or something, you freakin' hater?

Oh wait... No? You don't hate the Earth? Oops. I must have mistaken you for someone else I know.

Well, since you're so in love with the Earth and stuff, why don't you celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in style? Like maybe with a sweet t-shirt from this cool website I'm Organic (FYI, I have a feeling it's only going to get way, way cooler in the coming months. Just a hunch.).

Earthday Blog
did i mention that i made it?

Organic materials? American Apparel? Wicked art? Feel-good vibes? This shirt has got it all! So get it here!

March 6, 2010

Punchy McPunch.

This was for February's Super Awesome Art Challenge. The topic was Bunny Box. Or Box Bunny. I can never remember...

Anyway, I was going for an old-timey look, as if it was a frame from an old newsreel. That's about it.

box bunny
bob and weave! kick, punch, it's all in the mind!

March 4, 2010

Chill, man!

Capcom Unity is running a contest! Actually, they are running a bunch of contests in a row! But I'm only participating in one!

Each week they have users do a rendition of a Mega Man 10 boss. This week it was Chillman, and I decided to give it a go.

Chillman is one cold dude. Here's what the official art looks like:

chillman reference

And here is my Chillman.

he's cold. blooded.

I'll update with a link if I win. There's an art book or something on the line, but it doesn't concern me much. I've been promised prizes once before, with nothing to show for it... (I hope you read this and are very sorry, Mr. Capcom!)

UPDATE: I lost.

UPDATE 2: But Seth Killian (aka S-Kill, aka Street Fighter hustler extraordinaire, aka face of Capcom in the West...) picked it as his favorite of the bunch!

February 8, 2010

Plus sized.

Oops. Forgot to cross-post this. January's Super Awesome Art Challenge was Fat Bird.

fat bird

So I drew a fat bird. Literally.

January 6, 2010

Get ready.

I've been wanting to mess around with this photo since Lindsay took it this past summer. I also wanted to use this new font I picked up from YouWorkForThem.

Get Ready- Step 6
it's all i can think about.

Maybe it's done. Maybe not. It was just for fun anyway. It's better at the larger size.

EDIT: My friend Jesse asked to see a breakdown of the process, so if that kind of junk interests you, hit the jump: