New Digital Portraits (Photoshop Layers as a Metaphor For Life)

Recently I’ve been experimenting with some new painting techniques in Photoshop. Well, new to me anyway. Historically, I’ve been more of an artistic compositor and collage-maker when it comes to Photoshop, so this kind of painterly portraiture is pretty new for me. I have to admit though, I am totally hooked.

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Well, Hello 2016!

After a much-needed web break, I’m back! I’ve been spending a lot of time working on designs since my little holiday hiatus and have been slacking a little in the resource and tutorial department. I’m itching to learn something new myself, so I should have something new for you soon, once I clear my schedule of commissions.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the series I’ve been working on lately. They’re a hybrid of the two things I love most: watercolor and digital design. I shared a few pieces in anticipation of the Star Wars-themed show in December, but the collection has expanded quite a bit… Massively in fact.  I’ve created over 20 designs in this style now. o_O

I have several designs available at my RedBubble store and all 20+ print designs are available at The Sci-Fi Center here in Las Vegas or directly through me, with more being added all the time. Designs include the 10th Doctor, Princess Bride, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (as well as original trilogy), Neverending Story, Supernatural and more.

I am also currently working on a Harry Potter series in the same vein, but full-body poses. Currently only Professor Snape is available (click below), but many more will be released soon!


What can I say? Even though these take me on average 5-6 hours  to complete (thank you, nitpicky brain), I absolutely love doing them. I start by creating the silhouette in Illustrator using the pen tool. I then import it into Photoshop and hand “paint” them using various watercolor, paint and splatter brushes. Plus a million-squillion layers and blend modes. Seriously. So, so many…

I enjoy the way that creating these has been challenging me to explore color, as well as light/dark. I also love that it’s kind of controlled chaos, which sums me up pretty much perfectly I suppose.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for information on next month’s First Friday!

Minimalist Star Wars Art Sneek Peek!

This year has gone by in a snap it seems. The group Ben Folds Five comes to mind : “When seconds pass slowly / and years go flying by”.  Amirite? Well, one of the things that has crept up on me is next’s week’s Star Wars opens. In fact, this weekend at Bona Fide Art Studio & Gallery I’ll be slangin’ art, exclusive and limited edition prints, kitschy prayer candles and Crass-Stitch by Jess Price will be on hand with gloriously nerdy Star Wars themed cross-stitch!

Bona Fide Art Studio & Gallery @ Union House

To get you pumped, I thought I’d share a little sneak-peek at some of prints I have in the works for this weekend. Collect the whole set (6 total, Rebel and Empire) this Friday! Come see me. 🙂

Star Wars Art Event at Bona Fide Art Studio and Gallery!

Bona Fide Art Studio & Gallery @ Union House

Star Wars fans are frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the new installation, The Force Awakens, which opens December 17th here in the US. Bona Fide Art Studio and Gallery (inside the violently indigo-colored Union House, DTLV) will be hailing its triumphant return with an art show celebrating the launch and legacy of the franchise.

I’ll be on hand with new designs, new Nerdy Birdies and more! Roll by and check it out. It will be open all weekend!

“Local Artists Awaken” exhibit at Union House, December 11th-13th, 2015. Admission is free and open to the public!

Wallpaper Wednesday! The Man in Black Fled Across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed…

Ok, so I’m going to try a thing… (It’s a thing in progress. Respect the thing.) The idea is that each Wednesday I’m going to post a new free wallpaper. Might be desktop, might be phone, might even be FB header.

For the inaugural post, I bring you a desktop wallpaper from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series!

Dark Tower Wallpaper

Click for full 1920 x 1272 resolution

I am a hardcore Constant Reader*. I, like Roland, am a self-confessed Dark Tower junkie. I am currently re-reading the series for the 5th or 6th time, do ya kennit. Right now I’m entering the 2nd half of the final book, and it is always so hard to say goodbye to the ka-tet. Picking up the series again really is like getting to see old friends and leaving them again never actually gets any easier. Nothing can make me ugly-cry like book 7 of The Dark Tower…. So yeah, I’m working through some feels via Photoshop right now lol.

Please check out my other Stephen King merch here! (More coming soon!)


[* For those not hip to the jive, a Constant Reader is a Stephen King fan…]

Halloween Tutorial Tuesday! AKA Creepy Clown Ruins My Day, But Whatever

It’s Halloween! Huzzah! The most wonderful time of the year! I decided to loosely revisit the zombification proccess I went through on my first horror piece and write up a tutorial. Lemme tell you something though… This has been a rough day. Clowns scare the bejesus out of me and I’ve been looking at this photo for about 7 hours now…

Level: Intermediate
Notes: This tutorial assumes a certain level of familiarity with Photoshop and will not cover basic tasks like cropping and using adjustment layers. While I have made most of the resources I used available for download HERE on my Deviant Art account in order for you to follow along, I encourage you to seek out and use your own photos and brushes. You’ll learn more, and faster!

Still in? Sweet. Let’s do this. Continue reading

Shameless Plug for November First Friday, PLUS a Neat-o Flyer…

Now that the horrific sweltering Vegas summer heat is over, I will be back at First Friday, November 6th! Not just a great announcement, but how bout that flyer, huh? The lovely Geneva Marquez and I have an arrangement in which I design flyers for her gallery events in exchange gallery and outdoor First Friday space to exhibit my visual art. Artists helping artists FTW!

November First Friday

November First Friday

I created the flyer in Photoshop using layers on layers on layers of grunge and texture, accented with a touch of fall leaves. (You can grab this large grunge brush collection for FREE as an ABR file here.) While transparency can be controlled by opacity, I much prefer the effects created by setting different layers to styles like “linear burn” or “subtract” or “color burn”. I’m already looking forward to designing December’s!

Free Download Friday: Huge Grunge Brushes for Photoshop!

I am a self-confessed brush addict. I love collecting brushes aaaallllmost as much as I love collecting fonts. It’s a problem… But hey, there are much worse things to be addicted to, amirite? I am also a big fan of using grunge in design. While it generally has little place in mainstream advertising, grunge is my style when I’m “at home” as they say.

I’ve always had a hard time finding brushes big enough to create web layouts and print projects, so I want to offer some for people who are in the same situation. (I see you, LJ designers!) These are perfect for designing business cards, flyers, brochures, web layouts, banners, headers and digital art!

Click the image below for ABR download, or view this file and more of my art and resources on my Deviant Art page.


Check back for more brushes soon, or scroll down and follow this blog!

Tutorial Tuesday! Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop CC


In this post we’re going to start with a Photoshop basic: how to remove the background behind the subject of your photo using the selection brush and the quick mask feature. You know,



This is technique useful for a lot of reasons. Maybe the background is ugly and you want to replace it. Maybe you’re making a fun composite. Maybe you want to swap your head onto Will Graham’s in that ladder scene in S1 Hannibal. Hey, I don’t judge…

I’m going to show you two ways to get rid of unwanted backgrounds, or, to look at it another way, extract a subject from a background to place in another image. This is a beginner level tutorial, and hopefully in-depth enough to not just follow along, but actually help you understand the tools. Continue reading