Friday, April 30, 2010

"The White Hart" Work-in-progress 2

More work on "The White Hart." Just started on the foreground. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks, guys.

Announcement: Classes with David Mueller

From David: New classes now forming!

I am currently taking sign-ups for the new sessions of my weekly “Sophisticated Fundamentals” classes. I will be forming two groups of 8-10. Classes will begin mid-summer.

Please e-mail and I will send detailed information about the classes.

Classes are taught at a studio in Covington, KY and will be filled on a first come-first served basis.

Announcement: Mark Willenbrink at the Evendale Fine Arts Exhibit 2010

Come to enjoy three of Mark's newer oil paintings along with many other beautiful pieces of art.

Evendale Fine Arts Exhibit 2010

Opening Reception

Friday, May 7
6:00—9:30 PM
Showing from May 7 – 10, 2010

Evendale Recreation Center
10500 Reading Road
Evendale, Ohio 45241

Sponsored by the Village of Evendale, the Evendale Recreation Department and the Recreation Commission

You are invited to the Opening Reception on Friday evening, May 7, 2010 from 6:00PM to 9:30PM in the Community Room of the Evendale Recreation Center at 10500 Reading Road in Evendale.

Over 80 area artists are exhibiting original paintings and sculpture in this community show, juried by nationally known Cincinnati artist and Evendale resident, Joyce Phillips Young.

Live, classical musicians will provide accompaniment at the opening reception.


Friday, May 7 6 pm—9:30 pm
Saturday, May 8 12 pm—5 pm
Sunday, May 9 1 pm—4 pm
Monday, May 1 12 pm—4 pm

For additional information: 513.563.2247

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Consequences Schmonsequences

I just designed this as the fifth of my posters for sale, and I'm so proud to finally have worked in a Moral Message.

Here's two opposing views on the subject:

"To get back one's youth one has merely to repeat one's follies." - Oscar Wilde.

"Consequences, schmonsequences. As long as I'm rich." - Daffy Duck.

Jerry Dowling: News Portraits for Restaurant

From Jerry: Here are three of these dudes. There will be 16 total for now and more later. I assume it is the budget, as usual.

Here's the poop on the restaurant. I don't know if it has a name yet. It's either in Fairfield or West Chester, opening June or July.

The Pub will have a Founding Fathers theme. The decor will tell a story starting with the Boston Tea Party, Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary war, Constitution, through Washington's Presidency and pictures of all 44 Presidents. We have a 320 sq. foot room that will have an Americans Heroes Wall honoring all branches of the military, police, and firefighters and the heroes from 9/12.. In this room will be a Fox wall with a TV tuned to Fox News and the caricatures on that wall.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Cincinnati Rollergirls Kitten Kicker (left) and Penni Pusha star in the latest CRG commercial.

There's a new Cincinnati Rollergirls commercial up on their YouTube channel. Check it out, and don't forget to be at the Cincinnati Gardens May 8 to watch the Rollergirls take on Chicago!

Got Chocolate Milk?

This character was designed to be put on a fake box of cereal for a "Got Chocolate Milk?" commercial. As you can see from the sketches below, the agency wanted me to just "go nuts"(get it?) with the character. As you can see, he's crazy for Cocoa Nuts! But when it came time to film the commercial, they decided to play down the crazy aspect. They pasted a "Special Offer Magic Ring" starburst over just about all of the straightjacket. I'm sure this was done for mental health sensitivity reasons.

I have the finished commercial on a VHS tape but have not been able to find it anywhere online or on youtube.

Anyway, it was fun to be given free reign to draw whatever in a character design. Although I have been known to get away with putting nostrils on dolphins!

I really should follow Chuck's photo reference advice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Winter Finished

I was waiting for feedback on my next book cover sketch and finished this little drawing off today. It is for a series of four illustrations based on the seasons. The sketch is here.

This will be the last and I sketched it when there was snow. Each will have a big colorful skirt-this is the final after the fall which will be torn and blowing away. here, the skirt is the equivalent of the bare tree. You get the idea.

Cheezy Character!

I mentioned that I would post some character design work and the stories behind them. This is a dolphin character I created for Austin Foods.

This job was not a problem at all, although there were curious requests and decisions made along the way. First of all this character was changed for the cover of the box as they had me remove his teeth and tongue! I don't know why they wanted the tongue removed, but I have heard of other instances about not wanting cartoon characters with pointed teeth showcased on the packaging of food products. I think the character looks odd without his inner mouth elements.

Now take a look at this (below)...

For some strange reason they wanted teeth for the dolphin on the side panel, but not the rounded pointed type a dolphin would have. They wanted human style teeth!
Looks weird! It's one of the things I really hate about CGI animal character designs.
Don't put human teeth on cartoon animals!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What does the future want from an illustrator?

Please help by providing your thoughts to the question, "What does the future want from an illustrator?"

Maybe we can make this into a book for buyers?

Flaming Medusa Studios is Born

Cincinnati, Ohio (April 26, 2010)- DarcyVDesign, Inc. last appeared in the news in conjunction with the creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 25th Anniversary Movie. Now the company would like to announce that it is renamed Flaming Medusa Studios Inc. beginning April 26, 2010.

The name change is being carried out to further focus the company’s branding on animation, and to reflect the company’s strengths, personality, and belief system.

The mythological figure of Medusa was chosen to represent the company because of her fame in ancient lore, and because of Medusa’s inherent ability to captivate. The underlying feminist thread of her tale also provides food for thought for the woman-owned company.

About mythological Medusa
The legend of Medusa originated in Libya, where she was worshipped as a serpent-goddess. Her tale then moved to Greece where she assumed the name Medusa, the translation of which means “sovereign female wisdom” in several languages. The idea of Medusa’s head as a threat or weapon was also developed during that time. Some researchers view her eventual beheading as a symbolic silencing of female wisdom and expression.

Medusa’s famous serpentine hair also adds to her mythology. The serpent is representative of the cycles of nature. It also symbolizes immortality, as the serpent was at one point believed to shed its skin indefinitely.

About Flaming Medusa Studios
Flaming Medusa strives to make every one of our client’s projects legendary by utilizing outside-the-box creative solutions combined with state-of-the-art creative techniques to provide animation, illustration, and graphic design. Let us use our knowledge and experience to create, perpetuate, and enhance your company’s mythology.

Remember: mythology doesn’t just form your business- it can also transform your business, and inform the public. Let us put mythology to work for you.

For more information on how Flaming Medusa Studios puts mythology to work, contact Darcy Vorhees:
+1.513.539-7725, or visit

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Announcement: Dr. Seuss Exhibit at Malton Gallery

Malton Gallery is putting on an exhibit of art by Dr. Seuss featuring "rare and never before seen works from the 1920's to the early 1990's". The Exhibit is from May 1(opening reception) until June 5th.

Nice article about the exhibit in the Cincinnati Enquirer by Kathy Schwartz. It says there will be over 50 pieces featured!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Announcement: An Evening with C.F. Payne

From Chris: "I am giving a lecture at the Cincinnati Art Museum Tuesday, April 27th. The evening begins at 6:30. It is free and I pretty sure there is going to be a reception thing with a cash bar.

I am going to talk about illustration and the art I did for the museum and the Reds."

More here...

Awesome Watercolour Faerie-Tale/Fantasy Illustratour Team

Guys, this team is awesome. Their work is so beautiful. All watercolours, mostly Tolkien stuff, but some private work and commissions, too.

Hope you guys like this as much as I do :) Just wonderful work. Kinda reminds me of a darker Gervasio Gillardo, who is also awesome.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Contest Opportunity

Hey, guys,

Here's an opportunity I will definitely be taking advantage of. Hope others will join in.

Good luck!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Here's a logo I was working on at work that is apparently not going to continue.
I was happy with the direction and had a lot of fun trying to show some form and character in a pretty flat creature, but had to take some liberties with the anatomy : )

Originally sketched on Cintiq and finalized in Illustrator.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wally Wood sketch

Too cool - one of my favorite illustrators sketches lunchbox art for one of my favorite shows as a kid...thanks and a hat tip to Tom Holtkamp! Has to be from around '63 or '64 I'd say.

Figure Drawing at Manifest


Spring sessions begin this week!
I'm signed up for tomorrow night.... anyone else free?

Garlic Study

A personal piece. This is chalk pastel on wood panel... much more fun than my previous chalk attempt on smooth paper!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spelling of My Name

I just noticed the "Individual Website" link from this blog has my last name spelled wrong. May I please have it corrected to read "Brian Hagen"?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

CF Payne Demo

I just thought I would mentioned that Chris CF Payne is doing a demo and a short presentation for my class at NKU.
I know some people had mentioned last year that they wanted to attend and didn't have the opportunity.
Watching Chris paint is truly amazing and quite an education for those who have not seen it as well as for those who have.
My class is open to anyone who is interested in attending. The only cost involved will be paying for parking at the NKU garage.
The class is this Tuesday April 20th at 3pm-6pm at NKU Fine Arts Building 3rd floor. Any questions just let me know before Tuesday morning.

Chalk help?

Hey guys-- a little advice?

What is the best kind of paper for a chalk drawing?
I've only worked on actual black chalkboard so far.

This was done on a smooth Strathmore drawing paper, and it didn't really want to grab any color.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


My name is Joe Slucher. New to the blog but have been in the Cincinnati area for nearly 10yrs now. Just found out about the illustrators lunch a couple of months ago and have only had time to make it to one. Thought I'd start by posting some of my work.

I'm currently looking for work. I've mainly worked in the gaming industry as illustrator,concept artist and even art director.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Design/Art "favors"?

I've heard being a designer or artist compared to owning a flatbed truck...everyone needs a favor at some point, and you're the one they know who can help em out.

I'm becoming reasonably (and I say that hesitantly) capable of telling people I'm too busy with life and other projects to just "do a favor", or that I do in fact get PAID to do that kind of work, but it seems to be harder when it's a closer friend, or extended family member.

How do you all deal with family and friends who just" need your help" in coming up with some imagery (logo, website, invite, etc) for a project--especially when there's no mention of any payment?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Up until a few months ago, I had never heard of a Ketubah. I had to look it up when my wife's brother and his soon-to-be wife asked me to create one for them. A Ketubah (kuh-too-bah) is a traditional Jewish prenuptial marriage document outlining the responsibilities of the groom as it relates to his new bride. Turns out, the Ketubah is often ornately decorated or painted and displayed prominently and/or passed down to future generations. Sounded pretty cool to me. This is my first attempt at a ketubah. Congratulations once again to the happy couple.

Cut Paper Cherry Blossoms

Not feeling very well today--but not bad enough to be in bed-- so I broke out the DVD's and Xacto blade! I had found a plastic + wire faux tree branch at Hobby Lobby recently.... time to transform it!

Amazing what a few cuts and folds can do to paper... I have a cherry blossom branch for my bathroom :~)

**You know, paper crafts definitely help an upset stomach....

Authors Stealing Artwork?

Although I think this series of responses takes on a bit too angry of a mood, it makes for an interesting read. Another case of "I'll steal your image and post it on my site, and you'll be repaid with 'publicity."

Check it!

The article topic is irrelevant, but if you start reading the comments at comment 3, artist Chris Buzelli starts the fire!

Medyrserenel "The Mute"

Here's a drawing of a character I'm playing in a Pathfinder game. His common name is Medyr, but is actually, Medyrserenel (Aiming Star). Brush and ink on paper. I'm working on a few other drawings. The additional drawing is Medyr and his betrothed in his homeland at his father's monument. I'll be inking this soon, after I add some more features and tweak the building to make it more decorative. Plus, the pot needs to be sitting on some kind of pedestal or pillar, not the railing :P I've done some more work on "The White Hart", as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tip: Google Alerts

Someone asked me what a Google alert is.

If you every want to know what people are clicking on when they do a search on your name, you can go to Google and set up an alert. (If your name is really popular, you may want to add illustrator, art or something to it. If your name is John Smith, for example.)

Every day you will get a digest email with a link to any new article or blog post that mentions your name and links to what people who searched your name click on when they search.

It is a handy tool. Here is a link!

April Calendar

I have been forcing myself to draw at least once a month by making this calendar.  I know once a month is not nearly enough, but it's a start.  You can see the other months at my blog - Nessy Designs.

Dr Sketchy drawings

O.K. Christina,
Here are some of my drawings from the Dr. Sketchy session on Thursday. Yeah there were alot of people taking digital photos of my work during the session. To tell you the truth - it kinda creeped me out. Who were all these people taking high res photos of my work and what were they going to do with them. Many times they did not even ask me if they could take a photo. One guy while he was taking a photo of my drawing said, "I hate you talented people." He said it in a joking way but still it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Discussion: Why Beauty Matters BBC Documentary

My friend Pat Ann sent me a link to this video:

It is an interesting thesis. I am curious what others think. Obviously, the fine art critics have always disliked illustration and do not consider it to even be art. I suppose this could be tied into the value of art discussion Scott started a couple days ago. I have to admit, I share the documentary's boredom of much modern art. I really like good drawing and illustration which is not always (or even often) a component in shows. (I am excluding sculpture although it is similar).

It is interesting that there is an increasing interest in "outsider art" which has a lot of illustration.

It was a good sign I think that the Cincinnati Art Museum did a show of C.F. Payne's work. Maybe opinions are changing?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Christina Wald's April Dr. Sketchy's Drawings

This was a great session! Next time we will personally drive up to Darcy's house and drag her to Leapin Lizard. (Brian too!)

Dave H. HAS to post his stuff. People were in love with his amazing sketches. Great stuff! Also, Brennan Pam and anyone I missed should post their work too.

Next month is a go-go theme. Unfortunately, I will be out of town :(

Here are some of mine:


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dr. Sketchy's 4/8/10

So, this was my first Dr. Sketchy's! Great time... a nice break from the usual super-serious figure drawing session. There were quite a few of you I was hoping to see but didn't make it... next time??? ;~)