Monday, November 29, 2021

Green Apple Books in SF

To celebrate the release of R. Kikuo Johnson's long-awaited 3rd book, we'll both be appearing in person at Green Apple Books (9th Ave.) this Wednesday, December 1st at 6 p.m. You can expect a barrage of hard-hitting questions from me, even harder-hitting questions from the audience, and the chance to get your books signed.

If you can't make it, the event will be live streamed via Zoom (and later uploaded to YouTube). Full details available at Green Apple Books. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Comic Art Live

Daredevil in the Rain. 2021. Inks by Joe Rivera
with watercolor on bristol board, 11 × 14″.

This weekend I'll be participating in Comic Art Live, a virtual comic art convention hosted by My panel will be on Sunday from 10-11 a.m. PST. We'll be selling this Daredevil pin-up, along with a handful of other pieces. For more info, check out my art rep, Splash Page Comic Art.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 412

The Golden Age Captain America Omnibus came out last June, but I never got around to posting the reference for it. Inks are by Joe Rivera (my Pops!). The aircraft I featured on the cover is the Waco CG-4A, a glider used during the D-Day invasion. The landscape is that of the Normandy coast, specifically Étretat. While I had fun with this one, I really wish I had gotten to do one of the 2 layout sketches down below. This book has some crazy stories.

Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Inks by my Pops, Joe Rivera!

pencils over digital sketch

digital sketch

digital layout

layout sketches

my favorite sketches, based on actual stories from the collection

digital study for fun

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 411


Just a quick post today: Martian Manhunter didn't change a whole lot from the Modern version. In fact, I can't even find any sketch layers in the PSD. Maybe I just started painting? The final pose isn't very different from my reference, so perhaps I was just winging it. I did do a quick ZBrush sculpt to get those brows just right, rendered in Marmoset Toolbag. The cape reference was actually for a different character, but I did refer to it occasionally.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 410

Photoshop, 14 × 20″ @ 600 ppi.

 Here's another detail from my Justice League: Classic print. Hawkman replaced Hawkgirl from the Modern version, so the wings were much the same, although I did brighten them up a bit to match the lighter tone. This time around, I had much better models (including texture maps) from, as well as fantastic rendering software, Marmoset Toolbag. I sculpted the helmet in ZBrush and pasted it onto a head I had previously made. Marmoset has a library of 3D backgrounds that wrap around the models and create realistic lighting situations — this is especially useful with reflective surfaces. Below is an "exploded" view of the finished product, with each layer in Photoshop offset to reveal the process.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Hellboy Print

Gouache & watercolor on bristol board, 13 × 19″

 I've got a new 13x18" Hellboy print available! It was a promo piece for the Mike Mignola documentary Kickstarter campaign. Edition of 32.

digital drawing / underpainting

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 409

Photoshop, 14 × 20″ @ 600 ppi.

There was plenty of reference that went into my Justice League: Classic poster, so I guess I'll just keep posting a character each week. Green Arrow was one of the last figures I finished because I always dread drawing archers. There's just something about the relationship of bow to figure that always makes me second-guess myself.

When in doubt, grab your daughter's bow & arrow and walk outside! This shoot was a lot of fun (I just hope none of the neighbors saw me). I set up my phone on a tripod and said, "Hey, Google — take a selfie!" And it did. The front camera on my Pixel 5 is good enough, and I like being able to see myself on the screen to get the pose just right.

Below is my initial sketch, which was really just a reworking of my previous Justice League: Modern poster. Everyone got a makeover, and several of the characters were switched out completely. The first version is where I really learned how to mimic my traditional style using just Photoshop, but it was a trying process. There are lots of little tricks I learned along the way, but the most important rule was this: if you can't do it with real paint, don't do it with digital. I constructed this painting the same way I would approach a real painting, using opaque brushes to build up light while using transparent brushes to darken, tint, and glaze. The final effect is convincing enough, even at high resolution.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 408

Photoshop, 14 × 20″ @ 600 ppi.

My Justice League: Classic Artist Proof signed prints are available for pre-order from my shop! There are 45 APs and 10 framed canvas available. Above is just one of the many characters featured (originally Shazam was going to be Doctor Fate — I'll have to post him at a later date).

I used the opportunity to get better at 3D, so I kit-bashed and sculpted this Shazam model in ZBrush and rendered it in Marmoset 3D, an easy to use and powerful tool for getting real-world effects in close-to-real-time. (The same cannot be said for ZBrush which, while powerful, has a very steep learning curve.) Some of the body was copied from, a great resource for 3D scans of live models.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Justice League Print

2021. Photoshop, 14 × 20″ @ 600 ppi.

Here's my latest fine art print for Sideshow — it may look a tad familiar. Do you remember the modern version of the JLA that came out in 2018? Well, this was the classic version that I always had in mind, replete with brighter colors, more light, and less frowns. It's not available just yet, but you can join their RSVP list to be notified when it's released.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 407

SUPERMAN: RED & BLUE #6 p.3. 2021.

Ink on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

It's out today! The last issue of the Superman: Red & Blue series hits shelves (and computers) this week and I couldn't be happier. It features a beautiful story by Tom King that I would highly recommend even if I hadn't drawn it myself. Our story's got great lettering from Steve Wands (who I challenged with incredibly late pages) and sympathetic editing from Diego Lopez (who edited my deadline when things got tight). Hope you all enjoy!

I'll share more art once everyone's had a chance to read it. If you're interested in the original art, please contact my rep, Mark Hay, at Splash Page Comic Art. Thanks!

digital "colors"

inks over digital print

digital pencils

digital layout

Monday, August 16, 2021

Superman: Red & Blue No. 6


SUPERMAN: RED & BLUE #6 p.5. 2021.
Ink on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

What's this? I actually made some comics? It's true! Tom King wrote a beautiful story for me (and you) that somehow manages to hit pretty much every Superman note in pitch perfect harmony... and all in just 8 pages.

I think it might be out this week? I've seen some conflicting info online. But I've already received my complimentary copies (a nice DC perk) and it printed perfectly. It's got a wonderful cover by Doc Shaner, so you can't miss it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 406

Gouache and Acryla Gouache on illustration board, 13 × 19″.

I haven't had a chance to do a Wacky Reference Wednesday in a while, but I finally made some time (out of thin air, no less)! The original pencil sketch (pictured way down below) is actually from the Fantastic Four 50th anniversary back in 2011. We ended up doing a different cover with a 1960s feel, but I had always wanted to paint this one as well.

The issue is out in stores today! You can read more about it at

digital underpainting

rough pencils

digital color study

layout sketch from 2010

original painting, scanned in pieces

Monday, May 17, 2021

FF: Life Story No. 1

Gouache and Acryla Gouache on illustration board, 13 × 19″.

Out this Wednesday, May 19th! Full details here. Will try to post the reference soon, but things are busy at the moment.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Bloodshot for Hero Initiative


Acryla Gouache on sketch cover, 7.5 × 10″.

This original Bloodshot art is up for auction to benefit Hero Initiative. Bidding ends tomorrow!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Witchblade Auction


WITCHBLADE (detail). 2008.

Gouache and Acryla Gouache on bristol board, 8 × 18″.

Here’s another auction to benefit Hero Initiative. (The previous one, an Iron Man 3 poster, raised $4,150!!!) This 8x18” original Witchblade pin-up was done in 2008 with gouache and Acryla Gouache on bristol board. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

King in Black No. 4 Spoiler Variant


Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

inks by my Pops!

pencils over digital sketch

digital layout

detail of pencils