Monday, December 7, 2009

Neglect breeds boredom....

... or is it the other way around? So more than a month now without a post. Couple reasons for that, but mainly the fact that I can't show anything I'm working on just yet. I wanted to post some of the Wednesday Comics sketches and pages in various stages of completion, but it looks like most of that stuff is going to show up in the hardcover collection. Got a couple things to put up this week, though, old and new.

I did this variant cover for Daredevil a year or so ago. Not sure if people have seen it so this seems like a good time and place to put it up. Had a good time doing this. The owls were an unexpected surprise. I went into it thinking they were going to be a pain in the ass but it was fun rendering all those feathers and playing around with them in the context of the overall composition. My only complaint here is the shadow of DD cast on the wall. I think I could've found a way to work it in better, or at least more clearly.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another commission...

Yup. Spider-man versus Wolverine. Who would win? (sarcasm button pushed and held firmly before burying his head in the ground sheepishly)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Don't know if these have shown up anywhere in black and white. Whenever I do these connecting pieces (and I've done quite a few of them now), I generally try to use some sort of unifying theme to try and have everything make sense. This cover was REALLY challenging in that regard. I chose to try and use Professor X's psychic blast as a means of showing little 'shifts' in time. The only real way to illustrate this without cluttering everything up EVEN MORE was to show these shifts via changes in the characters costume. While it seemed like a great idea at the time, after getting into the piece I realized that this only really hits home in color. For example, Wolverine and Magneto's costumes have changed a number of times but based on the time periods we chose to use, the little differences in fashion became pretty damn subtle at times. Gambit presented a real problem too, since I needed to give him the trench coat but couldn't remove it in the 'strips' that shifted into more of his present garb. Is this explanation just as confusing as the cover itself?

Best bits: Mohawk Storm and Professor X

Worst bits: Whatever that Robot character is called, Magneto, and Mystique.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mantova Manifesto

I did this poster a couple years ago for Mantova Comics and Games, a convention in Northern Italy organized by my wife, Sara, and a couple other friends. It's been fantastic to watch the show grow and evolve over the past few years and Mantova really is a fantastic little city. Every year, they try to get a new artist to draw the poster, the first was done by Gabriele Dell'Otto and the third by Simone Bianchi. Looking forward to seeing who does this years.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Another Joker illustration....

This piece was done last year for the Dark Knight IMAX premiere at the Palms in Las Vegas. It was a cool night, and the theater, in conjunction with Derrick from Comic Oasis, printed a number of these things to give away to people with tickets to see the flick. A limited number where actually printed up large scale onto canvas as well. Comic Oasis is a fantastic store, and anyone in Vegas with some time should stop by and check it out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


What the hell is that?!?! Yeah, I noticed that this blog lacks some color in a major way. To remedy the situation, I decided to start tossing out some covers I've done in color. Why not start with my favorite. Gotta say, I really like this cover, which, if you know me, is a strange thing. Sometimes the stars align and things just seem to work out. This cover was one of those occasions. The truly sad thing is that I have yet to do a color piece that I like as much. The truth behind this particular image, though, is that it isn't the technical aspects of the piece that get me going. I like the subject matter here, and I hold this cover directly responsible for getting me interested in drawing things in smoke. This cover also holds a warm, fuzzy place in my heart because I used a good friend and former room mate Francesco Meo as my Constantine model. Francesco looks NOTHING like John C. but damn does he know how to smoke a cigarette. If I can dig up the black and white version I'll post it as well. I'm sure it's out there online somewhere....

At any rate, this piece was colored in Painter. I've just recently started to get brave enough with photoshop to venture into the world of 'layers' and 'command z'. For some reason it never occurred to me to do things on layers. Yet another Forrest Gump example of Lee getting a hold of technology and finding the slowest, most ineffectual way to use it. I would basically just scan the black and whites in and paint directly on top of the piece. If I screwed something up, I would just paint over it. DOH!!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Page 12

Last page of Wednesday Comics in pencil. Fun to finally get to draw Perry White and Jimmy. Working full steam on the new graphic novel. Still can't talk to much about it (trust me, I'd like to) but maybe I can sneak in a small peak or two in the coming months.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joke's on you...

This piece is the perfect example of why I don't take commissions outside of conventions. I started this sucker about two years ago for painter Gabriele Dell'Otto. We traded Joker pieces, but he had a special request that I add Batman. In the time he waited for this, he and his wife had one child, conceived and gave birth to another, and probably lost their minds wondering why I hadn't finished this damn piece. In any case, I FINALLY got it done and a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Ahhhhhh... the precious guilt. Anyone who is familiar with Gab's work should know that you can't just give an artist like that something ordinary. I've seen that bastard do some absolutely gorgeous color commissions at conventions over the years. Maybe I should add a flat red background... make a print of this or something.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Page 11

Sorry about the delay in new posts. Took a trip down to Tuscany with Carlos D'Anda and his lovely lady, Cindy. Anyone unfamiliar with Carlos' work should go out and buy the new Batman-Arkham Asylum game. Carlos is responsible for most of the character design work and the whole thing looks INCREDIBLE!!!!! At any rate, the guy is a monster and his work continues to impress, as does his ability to create interesting characters like The Terrible Tea-bagger. Citizens of small Tuscan towns beware!

Getting back to Wednesday Comics, we have officially reached the end of the experiment. The last issue hits the stands today as does the last installment of the Superman story on Gotta say I will miss seeing a new issue every week. Kudos once again go out to Mark Chiarello for setting this whole thing up!!! Hope they do it again next year with totally new creative teams. Now that the precedent has been set, it's time for some new blood to come in and really explore the format. For now, here is the pencils for page 11. Since I've had some questions about what materials I use and my technique, this might be a good time to break it down. It's fairly simple: I draw with a drafting pencil, generally using an F lead or occassionally a B lead. Most of the line work is done with Microns and the washes are done using watered down Windsor & Newton inks. It should be noted that I do most of my value work in the pencil stage, coming back in with washes mainly to pump up the contrast a bit. I draw everything I do on the back of the standard DC illustration boards. I just like the surface better.

Notice the excessive ass shots of Superman here... that's for the nipple nazis. See, I'm an equal opportunity kinda guy.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Page 10

OK, now let's talk about this nipple issue. Yes, I gave Supergirl nipples. Oddly enough, sometimes nipples show through when someone is wearing a skin tight costume. Does it sexualize her? I guess it all depends on the individuals reaction to it and their own personal issues. I read somewhere that it ruined the effect of this page for someone. I really must say the idea that something as simple and beautiful as the shape of a woman's nipple somehow damaged the effect of the storytelling saddens me as an artist and a human being. Haven't we gotten past this, or is it just the armpit of the American gene pool that find something like that offensive?!?! Are they gasping and pointing every time they see a woman in a tight shirt?!? Oddly enough, those same kind of comments weren't made when I draw Superman more 'realistically' in the underwear area.

Even more amazing to me is that the comments come from people who love and religiouly follow a medium that glamorizes and exxagerates the human body every chance it gets. I have immense respect for the human figure, both male and female, and as such, my characters have nipples, crotches, and hopefully everything in between.

All that said, what a blast to draw all those little characters and moments in Superman's life. In hindsight, I wish I had more room to go off here. How cool would it have been to have an entire page of that stuff?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday Comics Page 9

Haven't been keeping up with posting these pages in black and white. That said, hopefully there will be some cool stuff to show off (new) in a week or so. This particular page was pretty fun given that the layout could get a bit more experimental. I also REALLY wanted to get a big portrait of Superman on one of these pages, so number 9 provided me with the occasion. I love looking at all the other guys work in Wednesday Comics to see how people are using the space.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Just some fun sketching around in photoshop. Molly likes to play with dead things. About half a days work here. I'll try to finish this up in between things, but am at a loss as to where to go with it. Falling back in love with early nineties alternative. Jawbox, Drop Nineteens, Soundgarden, and Jawbreaker on the stereo. What am I, fifteen again?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Wednesday...

Another page of Superman and another issue of Wednesday Comics. Here is last weeks page in black and white. This page is a perfect example of how a colorist can actually be a storyteller as well. I wanted Barbara to really go all out here, adding as some clouds, sky, and smoke trails to help make readers feel like they were up there with Superman. Not only did it need to look cool visually, but I also felt like it was necessary for storytelling purposes. She really exceeded my expectations here and turned in one of my favorite pages of the series.

One of the things I wanted to do with this story was take advantage of the larger page sizes to switch up rhythm from time to time. Since John's script called for the first few pages of the story to be a bit more internal and low key, I wanted the page layouts to reflect this. Once the story kicks into high gear, the layouts change and start veering away from the more traditional strip format. The past three pages have seen things get a bit more free form, and this page in particular seemed to be a good opportunity to start giving you some bigger, more dynamic imagery. I've read some comments about how quickly the page reads, which I took as a compliment. Action shouldn't read slow, right? When you're writing a song, not every bar has the same notes at the same tempo.....

Check out this weeks page over at USA Today to see another example of how the layouts continue to get more experimental as things heat up.

Monday, August 31, 2009

This time it's personal....

A piece I did for myself. This one has had a funny effect on me. It began as just a way to draw subject matter that interested me. A world where I controlled every visual element. Awfully masturbatory but I think it served it's purpose and then some. Hopefully it will turn into something down the road. I've got a story for it that seems pretty decent. It's a slow burn, the writing process, though. Having wrote the script for the graphic novel I'm currently working on, I can say that it only get's harder. The first one seems like puppy love. It's innocent and awkward, easier than you thought....but only because it ain't meant to be the love of your life. The second one has been all sloppy, hands where they shouldn't be and overly moist. Learning.

In all seriousness, I really like the idea of doing more personal work in the future. I feel like the first ten years of my career have been about learning to ride the bike. Hopefully the next few will be about traveling.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back on track...

We're really getting into it now with Wednesday Comics. The series is past the mid mark now, and I'm pretty excited for people to see the coming week's strips. Gotta get back up to date here with the black and white pages, so here are pages 6 and 7. After the last strip is released, I plan on showing some of my preliminary work for the story as well, kind of a behind the scenes look at some of the pages in their early stages.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More goofiness...

My take on Captain America and the Red Skull for a variant cover. Not much to say here except this: Drawing chain mail is a pain in my ass! I found this cool Versace dress that was made out of little metal disks and thought, 'Perfect!'. It had that regal look and was interesting at the same time because the pieces in the 'armor' were all of varying sizes. It seemed like the perfect solution to my chain mail dilemma, until I actually had to sit down and draw it. In the end, I think it looks a little messier than I'd like. I finally get why people draw all the little disks the same size. Story of my life. See, I have to walk backwards into knowledge for some reason. I will find a way to Forrest Gump my way through almost anything.... Still, what a cool assignment. PLUS, kudos to Marvel for being so cool about letting me draw Cap the way I wanted.

Favorite bit: Red Skull's right eye.

Least favorite bit: It's pretty much a tie between the chain mail and Red Skull's glove.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


... for good reason. Another oldie. This one was done for Marvel a few years back and never used. I think it probably has something to do with the weird interpretation of both characters. I wanted Wolverine to be really small, more like the height Byrne always seemed to give him where he really was a runt. As for Spidey, I just really love the fact that his costume is supposed to be home-made. I always thought it would look much goofier than a lot of artists draw it. More random, uneven webbing and a non-perfect fit. Personally, I think it makes the stuff he does even cooler. Just imagine the bad guys reaction to seeing a guy who looks like he just walked out of a cosplay convention. Basically, you would laugh your ass of at the guy, then he would jump fifteen feet in the air, do some crazy acrobatics, move his limbs in a completely inhuman way, and cover you with webbing. Scary :)

All in all, I consider this piece to be an earnest failure as far as 'cover image' goes. Still, it's nice to play around with character's I don't often draw. There's still a 12 year old in me that would love to do a Spider-man story... the problem is that I'm not sure there would be an audience for it. It would be a far cry from Toby Maguire. PLUS, having to draw all that webbing..... yeah, I dunno.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Page 5 black and white, complete with chubby Super-baby. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself at the fact that I got to do my version of Superman's origin. It was definitely a blast. I've heard the criticism that almost everybody knows Superman's origin so why does anybody need to see it again. Funny thing is, I've found, though, is that some people outside the world of comics still aren't quite sure. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody out there has seen the first Superman movie, and even more, other people I've spoken too get his origin confused with those of other super heroes. Sometimes even I forget that a large percentage of people aren't into this stuff ,).

All this aside, it was fun just trying to re-visualize the world and people of Krypton. It brings up interesting questions about Supe's costume. Is it supposed to be Kryptonian, or did Ma Kent stitch it up for him? I've seen both explanations, and I like to side with the supposition that it's Kryptonian clothing, hence all the other Kryptonians walking around in what essentially look like superhero costumes. Barbara really did a bang up job coloring this one. She brought that last panel to life.... If any of you were bothered by the printing, be sure to check out the file on the USA Today page.

Friday, August 7, 2009

That's SO old....

OK, maybe not that old but this sucker has a couple years on it at least. Did this for my pal Ale Garza. He and super talented, writer extraordinaire Allen Warner created a book called Skyrunner for Wildstorm and I was tapped to do a variant cover.. probably more because I was cheap and available than my ability to sell books ,). This cover was a blast!!! WAAAYYY more fun than I thought it would be. See, I've never felt like I had a thing for fantasy. I was never particularly interested in it as a sub-genre.... it just never grabbed me the way it did many of my friends. This cover changed my mind and I hold it directly responsible for this hankering I have to do some sort of weird fantasy project. Damn you Ale.... first you allow me to be comfortable with my love of eighties cock rock and then you turn me on to elves and orcs and shit..... bastard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catch up

Been a couple of weeks, which means it's high time for a few new posts. Got some stuff I did in San Diego to show in the coming weeks as well as some older unpublished pieces to share. First order of business, though, is to bring people up to speed with Wednesday Comics. Posted here are the black and white versions of pages 3 and 4. Gotta clarify that posting these by no means takes away any of the respect I have for the AMAZING work of Barbara Ciardo who is just kicking ass on the colors. Hopefully, people will dig seeing both versions. I'm very pleased, to say the least, with the work Barbara has done. Can't really say enough about her other than I want to work with her for some time...

Got to finally hear some feedback about Wednesday Comics in San Diego. It's always informative to find out what people think of the work, both good and bad. What's more, working in this weekly format has really taught me a few things about what people expect from the project. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but it's been a real peep-hole into the mind of the reader. Main thing learned: People are far less patient with the stories in this format. I would have thought that you could do more with your space, play around with the tempo of the overall story a bit more, but it seems as though most readers prefer the pace to remain fairly constant to feel like they've gotten enough bang for their buck. I could totally understand this if we were doing something ongoing, more along the lines of a classic newspaper strip that is fairly open ended. I personally see what we're doing as a finite story, with an ending clearly in sight and that the story should work to satisfy the needs of a WHOLE, not the individual pages. That said, I would love to hear what you guys think about this subject.

Other big thing I learned: Newsprint seems to have darkened almost every body's work. Chi was totally right. Modern comics are far too heavy with their coloring. That said, this sucker is going to look BEAUTIFUL in a big, collected coffee table book.

Oh, and here is an interview I did for ComicVine at the convention. It's really a great site. I was totally unfamiliar with it but hopefully you'll get a kick out of checking them out:

More to come....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Beast Approaches...

So this is pretty much how I feel around this time of year. Scrambling to get as much done as possible before the deliciously dangerous juggernaut we all like to call the San Diego Comic Con. The thing is, though, that every year I both dread the con and revel in it at the same time. Gotta say that after 16 years of attending the thing, it still fills me with the same sense of anticipation and excitement that it did when I was fifteen. There will be books to buy, some already on the list and some yet to be discovered. There will be drinks to be had, some disgustingly watered down in a plastic cup and others with that rich, bold finish that gives your night the runny edges of watercolors. There will be sketches to be done, some nice to look at although painfully overworked and others that I would like to lock in a vault somewhere as I sob to myself softly, starring at the vault key grasped tightly in my doritos stained fingers. There will be panels and signing to take part in, both involving a lovely little project called Wednesday comics. There will be Mexican food to be eaten... have I bored you already with this crap...?

If you find yourself wandering the overcrowded halls of this lovely monstrosity, cupping your nose to avoid the stench of body odor and CK1, stop by the Splashpage Comic Art booth and say hi. It seems I will be there most of the convention, when I don't have Wednesday Comics related events going on at the DC booth. In all seriousness, it's always great to meet people who share a love for this strange, fascinating medium we all are dedicated to. I will be doing comissions if you can get in early enough to get on the list but no promises. ;)

The blog will slow way down for the next week or two, but I promise to return with a slew of new posts. Hopefully there will be one or two decent comissions to show off, along with some new Superman pages in black and white and other surprises.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's Wednesday.....

OK, so today is Wednesday Comics day. The first issue should be at your local shop right about now. The first Superman strip by the amazing Mr. John Arcudi and yours truly can also be found in today's copy of USA Today, and at their website via the url posted above. I know, I know... this sounds like a commercial, but realize that if you pick this up you're also getting a boat load of other stories by creators far better than myself. I personally can't think of a better representation of the diversity this medium has to offer right now than in this project. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get my hands on a copy until I make it back to the States in a couple of weeks for the big, bad San Diego con. Let me live vicariously through you guys!!! I'd love to hear what you think about this book, both good and bad. What were your favorite stories? Favorite creative teams? How do you like the format? I myself cannot wait to see the Deadman strip by Bullock!!!! The Joe Quinones Green Lantern also has my interest peaked, as everything I have seen from the guy has been spectacular.

Here's to my fellow Wednesday comics creators for making me a jealous man!!! Keep it up, boys and girls!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

a filthy mess....

So here are some sketches I did for the Filthy Rich cover. Definitely fun to just sit down with a brush and go for it. Although the clear choice was definitely the one we went with, the other options always seem to shed a bit of light on the creation process in general. This is also definitely the phase where I have the most fun in any cover gig. If possible, I try to take the sketches as far as possible without actually making a 'finished' piece. If I can answer as many questions as possible while working out the basic drawing and composition, there always seem to be less hurdles to jump on the final. The risk is always that you beat the life out of it. The trick is really knowing when to just let things go. A trick I CLEARLY have not learned.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

That's just filthy....

I really hope this blog can be a place not only to show off new work, but also to take some chances with illustration that may be difficult to do while working professionally in an industry that can be very unforgiving to artist attempting to experiment with style and technique. Every once in a long while, though, you find yourself in a position to try something a bit different and are lucky enough to have some support in this endeavor from the powers that be. Such is the case with the covers I've recently had the pleasure of doing for Vertigo's upcoming crime line. Vertigo is really the place to be. I LOVE working with the folks over there and I feel like this is a good opportunity to talk about what a fun challenge these illustrations have been.
When my long-time editor extraordinaire Will Dennis approached me about this project, he specifically asked me to try out something new. As if that wasn't already enough incentive, when he started telling me about the subject matter, it became an opportunity to sweet to pass up. Will wanted a series of covers that, 1). looked more like book covers than comic covers, and 2). had a strong graphic design feel to them. I consider myself to be fairly adept at illustrating 'moments' and freeze framing action, but really have always felt a bit average at composition. These covers would be a challenge to think outside my box and try to go in a direction where a lot of what I had learned doing comic book illustration would have to be ignored.
I did a series of sketches for each cover (I'll be posting them as well later) in color to try and nail down the look and feel that pleased everyone in Vertigo editorial. In the sketches, I was asked to play around with very rough logo placement, something normally not required of a comic cover artist, and that turned out to be quite a big key for me to get into the head space I needed to make these things a tad different. It determined where the point of interest needed to be placed and that in turn forced me to drop other unnecessary detail. The image above is the cover for Brian Azzarello and Victor Santos' Filthy Rich, one of the first books to see print in the line. Chances are, if you're reading this blog you're already familiar with Brian's work. The guy delivers marvelously every time and this is certainly no exception. I'm hoping people will really dig these books, as they really capture the grit and atmosphere of noir. It's exactly the type of risk taking I'd like to see more of in the American market.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Batman Black and White statue!!!!!

Since DC Direct has already solicited the statue they did based on my designs for Batman, I figured it would be cool to show a bit of work I did to help the sculptor get the details right. When the amazing folks at DC Direct got a hold of me for this they already had a pose in mind, based on the first Gotham Knights cover I did. I asked to make some minor modifications to costume in order to represent what I'm doing with the costume now, specifically with the graphic novel I'm currently working on. They were kind enough to oblige so I started a few detailed drawings to give them a clearer vision. The idea was that the drawings would also show just how the costume was assembled, starting with the body suit and moving on to the cape, cowl and accessories.
My ideas for the armor and overall texture of the costume are pretty specific, and I was really pleasantly surprised by just how accurate the ridiculoulsly talented sculptor, Jean St. Jean, was to my drawings, right down to the seams of the kevlar!!! Of course some of the little particulars had to be ignored due to the size of the final figure. For example, I usually portray Batman's cape as being made of a cracked leather or something similar to mimick the texture of a bat wing. At just over six inches, that type of detail just starts to look dirty. In the end, though, the COOLEST aspect of working on this was learning what works and doesn't work in three dimensions. As sculpturally as I like to think while drawing, nothing compares to seeing the thing in the flesh (or modeling clay as it may be). It definitely pointed me towards studying more sculpture in general. Come on....Bernini!!!! Does it get any better?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Superman strip in USA Today!!!!!

Now THIS is exciting news to me!!! Yeah, yeah, so I'm probably a bit biased in this case but I'd much rather have more of this kind of thing in our industry as opposed to bringing dead characters back to life about once every year or so and making a big deal out of it. It's like this, folks.... anything that broadens how people can see comics is a positive thing for the business. I'm pretty proud to be part of this (not to mention grateful!!!), and hope that we can at least get a few people to walk into a comic store out of curiosity. Definitely need to give a huge amount of credit to editor Mark Chiarello who is pulling the reins on this crazy bronco. It's his brainchild and I'm happy to see something he's responsible for getting national media coverage.
Enough of the soapbox! In honor of this, here is the black and white version of page 2. Again, DC unveiled this a while back on their blog in color, so hopefully a few of you (and I stress a few) will get a kick out of seeing the pencil work. Always fun to do Gotham City....

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's black and white with inkwash all over it...?

Starting in July, DC Comics will be releasing a weekly series called Wednesday Comics that will feature a unique newspaper strip-style format. I've been lucky enough to be included in the mix, doing the Superman strip with the amazing John Arcudi on writing duties and relative newcomer colorist extraordinaire Barbara Ciardo. Since the folks at DC have already released a couple preview pages in color I figured I'd share my original black and white artwork here.
This is probably the first project where I have really made a deliberate effort to soften things in the black and white phase. Coming off of Joker, where I tried hard to give the artwork a dirty, hard, grimy look, this proved to be more time consuming and difficult than I would have liked but it' definitely helped me to think more about turning my forms. Looking at a lot of Bernini and Ingres also seemed to put me in the right mindset. There's also something about the look of those old Hollywood serials that I connected with while trying to find the right approach for the story. I felt like the alien should look almost like a guy in a rubber suit or something...
The story really focuses on Superman's emotions and the acting definitely had to play a big part in the page. It's been a challenge to try and pull off some of the subtle facial expressions and body language throughout the course of this little project. Of course, the fact that the originals are HUGE helps give me the space to play around a bit more. More of these to come....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Never be Andy McKee

So here's the first post on this new adventure called blogging (or in my case just talking out of my ass). Since I feel like I'm the last person on Earth to start one of these things, let's just jump right into some art and skip most of the banter.
I did this piece a few years ago, and recently dug it out to throw on some quick colors. In most of my cover work, I've tried to achieve something of a painterly look, but find myself growing a bit tired of it. I'd still like to try and take a similar approach to my drawing but leave the colors a bit flatter and simpler. The goal is that the stuff will come off as a bit more graphic and less soft.
I'm also a big fan of off kilter colors. This is probably the result of spending so much time initially trying to keep pieces within some kind of 'realistic' color scheme. It's time for some painful exploration to push the work in another direction. Hopefully this blog will give me a good excuse to play around like this.