Saturday, October 22, 2016


conceptual poster design
Black India Ink and water color on watercolor paper. 
17.8 cm x 12.7 cm (7.00 in. x 5.00 in.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Batgirl, Supergirl, Krypto & Ace
Color pencil and black ink on Bristol Board.
22.86 cm x 30.48 cm (9.00 in. x 12.00 in.)
Let’s talk about this Batgirl, Supergirl, & super-pets piece which in a few days, arguably, garnered over 600 Instagram “likes” on my feed, a.k.a. monstergram7. I say “arguably”  because this specimen highlights the mysteries of Instagram.

What’s To Like
The photo of the finished color version of the Batgirl, Supergirl & pets piece above had received over 100 Instagram likes in the first few days. However, this contrasts to the over 600 likes the teaser detail shot of Batgirl had received a few days prior. The “likes” count isn’t an accurate reflection of the number of views granted. Is the difference an indication of the app experience when at the time Instagram did not natively support zooming in on posts on one’s smart phone? Did the detail shot just the right hashtags drawing in all the Batgirl fans, or was there some other favorable mix of things to make the detail particularly discoverable? Was there an at-the-time post convention bump? I may never know.

Also for context, monstergram7 had less than 1500 followers and regularly any given post received something over 100 “likes” and over 200 for the more popular posts. Over 600 “likes” was and continues to be a record-breaking level or a weird anomaly or both.

Detail photo of Batgirl
as posted in monstergram7
I had begun work on the composition at this June’s Heroes Convention as a spec (speculative) piece. This means that it was not a ordered commission, but done to be sold like any other pieces of original art I have at my comic book convention showings. You can also consider it a bit of busy-work to do inbetween actual commissions and talking to folks. This detail shot is from its unfinished state at the end of the con. At the top left corner can be seen the pencilled, not yet inked paw of Krypto.

Other spec pieces done at Heroes was a portrait of Harley Quinn (sold) and the mash-up of Snow White in a Star Trek red officer uniform (not sold). Anything Supergirl or Harley Quinn tend to be the default speculative topics I’ll do at comic cons. In “World’s Finest” fashion, I wanted to team up Supergirl with Batgirl and then I wanted to add the respective super-pets. Of course, in that line of thinking, I should have drawn Streaky the supercat, but having 2 dog had a certain instinctual balance. I’m sure that a future Batgirl & Supergirl team-up will have Streaky and Ace. I also default to 1970s costumes. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if Ace the Bat-hound is part of current continuity were I to draw the lot in their modern costumes.

The most obvious differences from the tease are added blacks to Batgirl in the finished stage. In this case, as I some times will do, I inked according to animation cel practices and leave nearly all areas to be filled with color. This would have been fine. But before starting the coloring, I changed my mind in the manner of realizing that I had forgot to align her costume’s appearance to that of the comic book and added more black areas.

Detail photo of Krypto
as posted on monstergram7
The Krypto detail tease had only received about 100 “likes” in its first few days.

Lastly, this piece also reflects some of my interests that I put into my own comic adventures of Tuff-Girl. See how I made it about Tuff-Girl (wink)?

You can follow me on Instagram @monstergram7:

[The Top 9 of 2016]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Art of Minnie Mouse

 I am very pleased to have my contribution make it in the pages of this new art book, The Art of Minnie Mouse.

The Art of Minnie Mouse
Disney Editions
available of Amazon September 27, 2016

Minnie Mouse embodies a constant reminder to girls of all ages-including grown-ups!-to live confidently and express themselves. In The Art of Minnie Mouse, Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world reimagine their favorite Minnie styles and portray them in a variety of mediums. Minnie's earliest incarnation, her classic red polka-dot look, and trendy modern styles are all newly incarnated in water color, pastel, oil paint, colored pencil, mixed media, and computer graphics pieces that range from the traditional to the unconventional. The book also features a never-before-published comprehensive filmography of Minnie's animated appearances as well as a visual timeline of her career milestones.

My tall piece pays homage to the Hollywood portraits of George Hurrell (1904-1992) because Minnie (and Mickey) splashed on the silver screen in the early days of the motion pictures.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Twistery, Inc.

Gotham Rogues/ Scooby-Doo mash-up
Black ink and color pencil on Bristol Board.
21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.50 in. x 11.00 in.)

Taking as a cue its singular achievement of receiving more than 1,000 “likes” on Instagram (@monstergram7) in two days, I’m discussing this mash-up drawing with a good scan of the piece.

Instagram follower alltookayleigh suggested the combination for the September 25th session of “What ShallI Draw Today?” Sharp-eyed followers will have long realized that some suggestions that do not get attention during WSIDT, may appear in the weeks following until the suggestions list is cleared for a new WSIDT. First, a pre-colored, inked version was posted Sunday morning for InkTober, followed a few hours later by this final version.

The characters match ups was left to my own devising. I don’t spend a lot of time on such decisions, so you may have better selections given more time to think about it. Any ways, here’s what I drew:

• To help stick the “Batman” half, I chose the slick, later Batman: The Animated Series character design style. What Batman fan doesn’t like that style? As applicable, the costume colors are inspired by those of the respective the villain characters.

• For the “Mystery, Inc.” a.k.a. “Scooby-Doo” half, the composition is based on the second group shot that came across in a Google image search. Also, most of the costume silhouettes are the same as the Mystery, Inc. crew.

The Joker/ Freddie Jones - One leader as another leader. The only one not agape at whatever could be the off-screen threat. I figured that Joker would just laugh at it.

Harley Quinn/ Daphne Blake - Harley is a must-have, and her Daphne is a pretty good match for a Joker/ Freddie. I added a flashlight not present in the inspiration art, just to give Harley something to do. She gets to keep her Harley cap. Being able to take checker-board color cues from Harley’s costume, her palette can be more like Daphne’s

Poison Ivy/ Velma Dinkley - It was either Poison Ivy or Catwoman, Ivy wins out for not wearing a head and face covering mask. Did Pamela Isley wear glasses? Her costume departs from Velma’s with Ivy’s bare legs and styled boots.

Two Face/ Shaggy Rogers - Two Face is a quick, shoot from the hip selection. If I could have thought of a better match five seconds later, then I would have drawn that. Being in the back, it’s difficult to make out at first glance the split color scheme on his shirt and pants.

Clayface/ Scooby-Doo - What are the animal choices: 1) Killer Croc; 2) Man-Bat; 3) umm...? Neither of those look like dogs of any sort. Then consider that Clayface can actually transform into Scooby, and he’s brown!  That’s either clever or it’s a cheat.

To date, a post surpassing 100 “likes” is pretty good on monstergram7. More than 200 “likes” is a record contender. More than 1,000 is an unexplained phenomenon. It was posted with a lot of hash tags: #Batman, #ScoobyDoo, #Joker, #HarleyQuinn, #BryanMon and #ScoobTober. I guess I should stop underestimating the popularity of Scooby-Doo.

InkTober is a challenge to post at least one new inked drawing for each of October’s 31 days. There are daily topic prompts, but I think most folks just freestyle there topics. This mash-up doesn’t align with any prompt list.

So you see what can come of a clever drawing suggestion during a WSIDT session?

[The Top 9 of 2016]

monstergram7 - July & August 2016

Well, I’ve maintained posting pretty regularly at a rate of no fewer than six times a week on Instagram during the summer months of July and August. The end-of-the-month “What Shall I Draw Today?” sessions are definitely helping me build up an original art stock to sell at my few comic book convention showings.

If it’s true that there’s an audience for everything, then the random WSIDT suggestions may meet those demands.

You can check out my Instagram feed, a.k.a. monstergram7, here: