Heroes Con 2014

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Last week was the annual HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just like Christmases of my youth, it feels like it was forever ago even though the calendar says differently. HeroesCon is my favorite convention. Notice I didn’t say favorite comic convention? Well for me, it’s the only true comic convention I’ve been to. I’ve been to MegaCon, DragonCon and even C2E2. All of them have a lot of comics, but they also have celebrities from shows long since ended and other forms of entertainment. Hell, C2E2 even had an X-Box station.

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HeroesCon is different in four major ways.  One,: it’s clear off the bat that this show is about the love of comics. The show is nothing but professional artists, comic writers, independent creators and up-and-coming creators. It’s almost overwhelming, but you get to see lots of different types of creators.  Two: it’s a relaxed, laid back show. I’m not saying it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s hard work and there are busy times for the artists, what with the many commissions they’re often working on. However, it’s easy to approach an artist and chat with him or her, enjoy the conversation and not feel rushed. I’ve gotten to know a lot of artists just from being able to really dive into their work and enjoy a small conversation with them. It’s also a treat to watch people work. I’ve learned more from watching Phil Noto, Brian Stelfreeze and Andrew Robinson paint than I have from hours of reading about or looking at art. (Nothing beats doing it yourself though unfortunately.)

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The third reason it’s one of the best shows is that it’s cheap. A weekend pass costs $40 bucks. If my math is right, the total number of hours of the con is 21 for the whole weekend. (Split up from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so you do have to take that into account.) The grand total then is about two dollars an hour, per person to enjoy the con. That’s dirt cheap! The best part is, that means each person has more money to spend. That’s more art, sketchbooks, prints and  books to buy. Wondering how can they keep costs so low?

 

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That leads to one of the biggest reasons I look forward to HeroesCon, and that is the HeroesCon art auction. They ask artists to donate art to auction off on Saturday night of con weekend. This helps keep the show cheap and about comics. I am happy I can support the show each year (Even if I’m not tabling, which has been the last two years. Next year might change, we shall see.) which helps to keep price down and the celebrities out. However for me, it’s one of two times a year that I get to see how much I’ve grown, and how I measure up from last year. The second is the holiday card I do each year. These are the only times I roughly do the same project around the same time. I can look at old comic pages, but it’s just not the same. Those are a different story, set-up, and things are always changing. The art auction is more important in some ways, since I am forced to do more traditional art. For example, I love to paint and work without a screen. It’s something harder and harder to do it seems. So each year I try to beat last year’s model. I do this not worrying about how much my piece sold for each year, but just focusing on the piece itself. This year I brought the big guns, which means next year might be a tank…

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I also have to say I love how Shelton and the whole staff of Heroes Aren’t Hard to find out do themselves each year. I remember when the drink and draw (The Friday night event.)  was a small group of people at Fuel Pizza. Now it’s almost impossible to find a seat at the Hilton bar. I love going to that and drawing and chatting with friends. (One side note, I do wish the live band was a little lower. When it’s nearly impossible for me to hear some three feet away, it’s way to loud.) It was also a big treat to see some Bill Waterson originals. He is the reason I am a comic artist, to finally see one of his originals made the weekend.

I also have to say, I love how Sheldon and the whole staff of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find out-do themselves each year. I remember when the Drink and Draw (the Friday night event) was a small group of people at Fuel Pizza. Now it’s almost impossible to find a seat, as it’s now hosted at the Hilton hotel bar. I love going to that event, and drawing and chatting with friends. (One side note, I do wish the live band was a little lower in volume. When it’s nearly impossible for me to hear some three feet away, it’s way too loud.) It was also a big treat to see some Bill Watterson originals. He is the reason I am a comic artist; to finally see one of his originals made that weekend.

I also liked that the floor layout of the con was spaced out a lot better this year. It didn’t feel as long, and it was nice to see some big names and not-so-big names closer together. Nothing is more heartbreaking than tabling at your first con, and seeing people stop or turn around a few feet from your table because there is no big name creator there. HeroesCon really makes an effort to treat everyone the same, because this year’s no-name person might be the next big thing a few years from now.

My last piece of advice about this show, is to make sure you visit the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find comic store. It’s the cleanest, best designed store I’ve ever seen. It’s my benchmark on what comic stores should be. It feels like a classy, fun bookstore filled with…well, comics. Heroes comics is also very family-friendly and well organized. This year I ended the show with buying Brian Selfreeze’s complete run of Domino art. I won’t lie, I couldn’t think of a better way to end the weekend! Buying comics as a fan, is just what it’s all about.

Thank you again guys, and I can’t wait for 2015!

-Greathouse

P.S. Here is my piece, it was shown earlier, but here is the scanned version.

Harley and Joker

 

P.P.S. Thanks to Micheal Morris for editing this. A lot of work.

Hey Kids,

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So it’s official, I’m a comic book professional artist as of today. My first book came out, Jason and the Argonauts, written by David McIntee and Michael Dorman. I had a cover, which came out last year but this is the first full book done by me. I did the pencils, inks, colors and lettering for this book. In comics, that’s what makes you a real pro. Putting in the time and work in the actual comic/story telling. It’s a lot of work but at the same time, it’s my vision.  Which in some ways is scary. Not going in as a group or having someone else to lean on. Nope just me. However, it’s a great feeling know this is what I wanted people to see. So a weird mix , I guess is what I’m trying to say.

This has been a one hellish road,  a lot harder then I ever thought it would be. I heard all the time, “You’ll have to make sacrifices and give up a lot to make your dreams a reality.” When I heard this in and just out of college, I really didn’t believe. I honestly thought I would roll right into comics with no trouble. Be one of the top artist out of the gates.  It’s taken me five years. Five years of drawing, sweat and a lot of tears. It’s been a lot of late nights, lonely hours and lot of lines to get here.

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The truth is, all that hardship and work made this moment sweeter. When I woke up this morning and logged into Comixology and saw my Cover, for my book… it was one of the sweetest moments of life. (After I found it, missed it the first pass haha.) I’ve made it. I have made a giant step toward my dream. A dream I’ve been told many times I would never accomplished… Now, like most things in life I didn’t do this alone. There a couple of people I need to thank. Without them I won’t be any were close.

First up, are my Parents. They have always and I know always support me. There to cheer me on and help me when I have fallen. Always there to listen to me and to snap me back to ground. They have been excited and always encouraged my art. Which it amazes me how many families don’t do that. I am truly blessed to have them in my life, thank you.

Second up, Abby (my cat.) I know it’s cheesy but at some of the darkest moments when I felt like all was lost (I’m not kidding, I really had some dark moments. I try not to share them or make them public.) All of a sudden I would feel a little rub at my elbow and meow. She’s with me every day and at less once a day comes into the room whinny cause I’m not next to her. Then usually tearing my arm up a couple hours later haha.

Third, All my Wonderful Friends. Too many to name. Thank you for letting me bounce ideas off you, bitching about life or just being able to help me relax and forget my troubles. Comic artist joke abou being trolls, living in a bubble or something about the lonely hours. The truth is,  I do spend a lot of time a lone but never feels like that since I have some many wonderful people in my life. Thank you all.

Last but not less, is Brian Stelfreeze. Right before I left Scad, I was told to find this man and ask for his help. It started just with me going to life drawing and look over his shoulder. Truth is, I had no idea who he was or he was a comic artist (let a lone of the greats of our times.) Then I was lucky enough to get  the chance to take a painting class taught by Brian. Which lead to trying more and more paintings, which lead to critiques. Which lead to him looking at all my work and giving me feed back. That’s when my art turned from ok to wow this good. It took many many hours of bugging him and listening to his feed back. Then many many more hours taking what he has said and trying to apply it to my art. I dread hearing the words from Brian “Dude, you are piss me off right now.” However, those words are always followed up by knowledge and a chance to grow. He is one of the greatest in comics, not just art but he makes times for fans and new artists. Thanks again Brian.

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So I’ve made it… time to kick back and… nope. Comics, I’ve realize is like sailing the open sea. I’ve finally gotten to the point to set sail. Time to open my sail and leave the docks. Now comes the real work. I just wanted to take the time to thank all of you and reflex a bit on the past. Time to look forward and keep making waves. Thanks again and be sure to buy my book. It’s got a lot of fun moments an monster… a Lot of them. I also wanted to Thank Blue Water Productions for giving me a chance. Also David McIntee and Michael Dorman for writing a solid and fun story. Thanks again everyone.

-Greathouse

P.S. you can also find Jason at Itunes. Thanks again.

Hey kids.

So a couple of weeks ago, my mom was looking at this site and railing on me. She said, “What does any of this stuff (my blog) have to do with you or your art?” The truth is… not much. I took 2013 off and keep my head down to work. Jut trying to improve my art. Which is good but I need to get myself out there more also. So one way is back on this blog.

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One big news from 2013  was my first cover in comics. Boom! Studios gave me the opportunity to do a cover for the “Regular Show“. It was a fun project, especially since this was the image I wanted to draw out of my thumbnails. I learned a lot from this whole thing. When it finally hit the shelves I was more sad then excited in truth. I’ve looked forward it to entering the world for a couple of months and had no other projects lined up. Kind of hit home I need more work and needed to push myself more.  Which I have done, so a lot of good come from this image. I’m still proud of this image and to be apart of this fun show. If you want to get one you can find them here.

This year also leant to a lot of great work. Instead of taking  forever on each one. I’m just going to show you them. Going to be a mix of comics, watercolors and images. Make sure to check out the gallery or Scotty Odyssey for more.  I am very much excited for 2014 and everything that lies ahead. Hope you dig and make sure to check out my twitter, facebook and tumbler. Thanks again and have a good one.

sketch notosketch jake_sketch bond amy_sketch beaver MisterMiracle oldskulldude the_shield the bw shield chinese punk girl draw tiffany Hong Kong city Steve McQueen Color visual action lead sketches aim,focus,shoot testAFS page 1 AFS page 5 AFS page 4 AFS page 3 AFS page 2 Dwarves Strip-232 x-mas-card-2013 Strip-231 Strip-230 Strip-229 Strip-228 Strip-221 Strip-220 page size page size page size page size strip-200 page size strip-198 page size page size page size page size page size page size page sizepicture026 Harley face softeningthestoneAmy HeadshotTarzan Colortask master Harley-Ivy logan junglewoman harley quin amy sketch page size conan color conan inks O'brian strip-188 backgroundDwarves joker and harleyspace dragon Space cop snowball Conan head sketch caveman wizard-03 sketch Body bags Big Barda 598513_493914317296305_1794994456_n

 

Movie Magic

So I’ve been turning to do more warm ups for my work day. It’s a time to loosen the muscles and to try new things. Things such as practice the human figure or color theory.  So what’s the easiest way to practice and learn from, I mean where does one look? One place to look is magazines and adds for figures. Fashion, Clothing and Nation Geographic are great ones. However another place I like to is, Movies.

Movie studios spend billions of dollars to create many, many pictures. They have a large teams of people to create movies. From the story and the look. A lot of time and experts go into each one. So why not study their hard work? As comic artist, you try to convey moods, setting, object and people. It’s something I have notice a lot of the greats do, the more you study the more you know and the better your art is. Now of course you should study from life and nature. However, I find movies stills are good way to start the day. I picked this up from Tony Shasteen. He does amazing mini prints from a lot of great movies.

The big question all artist start with is composition  How to do a good solid and simple composition  There is a film called “The Big Combo.” It’s a black and white film that is shot beautifully and planned to the tee. It has every shoot an artist might ever need. Black and white compositions for any artist is a key factor, so this film is a blessing. The whole thing is on youtube and here are some I have done.

Another thing I’ve been doing is movie stills. I found this site, which just have thousands of thousands of images form movies and television. With these I try to practice color, composition and the figure. I’ve been trying to do less line work in the backgrounds. Here are all ones I’ve done.

Well that’s all the movie magic and tips I got today. Thanks again and have a great day.

 

 

Hey Guys,

How are you all doing? Ugh, what a week. Been one of those did a lot but not a lot of art. One major high light though was a big one. James Gurney did a lecture and demo this week all along Georgia. James Gurney isa morden day master of paints. He is know for his Dinotopia books, along with National Geographic. So to listen to him is awesome, He was doing lecture at Scad Savannah, Scad Atlanta and Kennasaw State. Great, what could go wrong?! Well Savannah is four hour drive, no good. I didn’t go to Kennasaw State… So that leaves Atlanta. The day he came to Atlanta, I had Jury Duty.

The day before he was doing a lecture at Kennasaw State. So I decided to hope into the car and listen. Luckily, the university is a little more open to visitors then Scad (Scad being a private college.) I found a good seat and listen. He did a lecture about his process on before painting. He does a lot work to get to the painting process. A lot of great information, more can be found at his blog and his books. Then he did a book signing and a short demo on his process out in the field.

Here is a video showing the same process. I can go into it but better to see for yourself.

This wasn’t part of the Demo, however some great information as well.

Here’s what I took from it. I need to do more practice on location. I am planning on doing more Plien Air. Plien Air is the studio of nature and buildings. So it’s looking at life, the lighting and trying to capture that setting. It helps with comics, since it will help backgrounds. Pulling from reality, which I need To do more. Hence why I’ve been practicing with photos of people.

So here is what I try to bring with me to do more sketches on the field. Not only to do life drawings, plein air but other sketches.

 

 

 

 

 

Small watercolor case These are some of the same colors in my larger studio. This is just for sketch/not as expensive.

  • Lemon Yellow Schmincke
  • Yellow Ochre Schmincke
  • Shell Pink Holbein
  • Chrome Yellow Deep Schmincke
  • Lukas Red
  • Alizarin Crimson Schmincke
  • Permanent Violet Holbein
  • Paris Blue Luckas
  • Cobalt Blue Turquiose (Light) Kremeer
  • Permanent Green Schmincke
  • Burnt Sienna Schmincke
  • Sepia Brown Schmincke
  • Permanent White Gouache Winstor Newton
  • Davy’s Grey Winstor Newton

Six Inch Ruler

Small Eraser, Stick Eraser and Tuff Stuff Eraser

Pencil Holder, Mechincal Pencils (.05 red lead and .07 blue.) Col Erase Light Blue and Scarlet Red. White Caran D’Ache Watercolor pencil

Two large black brushes of ink (One of Holbein ink and another of Sumi ink) Clear water brush. A tombow brush, and a rotring graphic .2

One number 10 flat brush and a round Escoda number 8 brush.

The two sharpeners (Standard pencil and lead holder.)

Sketchbook and small nalgene bottle for water.

Well that’s the list, lets see what it makes. Here are some examples of what I’ve done with this. The last image is a photo for a possible character.

Hey Kids,

Hows it going? Not bad just been working hard. Well been practicing and got some more sketches. Hope ya enjoy.  -Greathouse

   

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep an eye out for The Black Crown Society

So just like every year as a kid, Christmas seem to be a blur. Heroes con has become that way in my adult years. After months of prepping and getting ready. It’s all over. As with each year, the show for me seems to get better by leaps of faith. I always leave excited, little sad and having new inspiration for my work. I am happy to say I had a much more positivie reaction to people watching me paint right there. It is something I will do for now one. I did this year auction piece at the table and went up to the Sunday art auction. I love painting it there and was fun to answer people question. I hope I encourage people to try out some watercolors. I am shocked too that people didn’t know Brandy or Liberty Meadows. I know it’s not super heroes but isn’t it mainstream?! I don’t know these days haha.

 

 

 

 

 

I also had some fun doing some great commissions. Like starting the show on Stallone, to a female wizard summoning a smoking monkey. I also got to do one tradition I look forward to each year. There are two sweet ladies that have everyone they can sign their box. Each year they have asked me, even when no one would give me the time of day. I saw that my teacher, Stelfreeze rocks out a great piece for them. My new goal is to beat him on that box… I won’t tell him just yet though. Sadly I forgot to take photos of each of these. I did get shoots of two commission I didn’t finish and had to take home. One is for a manager at my favorite burger place in town. Grindhouse Killer Burgers and then a blank cover one. Here is the finished to Grind house and pencils to the cover.

 

 

 

 

Over all this is amazing show. I have always been treated well and they are most helpful. I would say like family but well family doesn’t treat me as well as they do at Heroes. It was also a blast to go to the after party and see the behind the scene of the store. Heroes aren’t hard to find is one of my favorite comic book stores, if you have the chance to go. Please do. Well it was great catching up with people, seeing some great new art and well buying some great books. I was lucky to get some treasure I get each year and things I didn’t even know would be there. Over all another great con and time to get ready for it next year. Thanks again Shelton and all the staff and volunteers of the show.

 

Heroes Con

Hey guys,

How are you all doing? It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. If you don’t know, this weekend is Heroes Con 30th anniversary. I am happy to say I’ll be apart of it. I’ll be at table AA-748 Not only going but I’m bring a big bash of new things. First, a new sketchbook and by new I mean my first. A 32 page full color sketchbook from watercolors to sketches. None of my finished pages, just more of my roughs and art you might haven’t seen.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing I am proud of a brand new print of a full watercolor. My movie poster of the first year of Scotty Odyssey. I hope ya dig it, there are only 50 of them. So come and grab them.

 

 

 

 

 

Also for the lower price group. Some stickers, just a little fun for the group.

   

 

 

 

 

Now last for the money bit. Got commissions. Here are the prices and let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

The last exciting part. I love this show, it’s a show I wanna do every year. So to show my support, I am doing an auction piece. Based off the Liberty Meadows by Frank Cho. Here are the pencils and inked.

             

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the support and hope to see you guys there this week.

-Greathouse

Hey kids,

So this year I’ve been doing my webcomics all digital. From start to finish, pencils, inks and colors. Getting great results from it and getting more done. However, a few years prior to this though, I was all traditional. I didn’t like the idea of doing anything on the computer. I would actually look down on it.

One thing that has been bugging me. I’ve notice when I tell someone that I’m doing digital art, some people give me the stink eye. The idea of all digital puts a bad taste in their month. Something about no original, nothing you can hold. The question is just about digital vs traditional, web vs print. What it boils down new vs old. How we use to do things to how people are doing it now. So why do all digital? The reason for me is simple, it’s time. Digital is quicker and can create better results. It’s simpler to fix and get something done.

The thing I do find a little interesting though. It’s not digital vs traditional. It’s inks vs digital. The idea of not inking by hand makes people upset. The idea of doing digital will kill inkers. Now we can talk about how traditional is better then digital with inks. No question there. The skill of an artist with a brush and ink is more impressive and a better result then digital. The face you can hold their finish and be amaze of the skill by hand is impressive. I love seeing this and do still practice inking by hand. Here is my question to anyone that says digital is wrong.

Why is it the norm to digital color a comic but nothing else?

The idea of doing inks digital is almost a sin. However the idea of coloring outside of the computer is just crazy. Every artist I know in comics that talk about doing art only the traditional was is that way tell the colors. You can’t do the pencils, the inks but yeah the letters and colors of course. What other way would you do it? An old saying comes to mind for me at this moment.  ”It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”  So couldn’t one say the goal of the piece is more important then the piece it’self?

The other thing I have love with doing the comic digital and other art. I have more time to watercolor. I can finish a lot more projects which means I can do more with watercolors. It’s a medium I love and wish I could do more with. I would love to do a full comic with it, however the medium of comics isn’t about art. It’s all about production. So not the best ay to work doing a fully painted comic unless getting paid to. It’s nice to sit down and do things the old fashion way. Espcially since most comic artist I know now a days don’t wanna learn how to paint. The other add bonus to all this digital?! I do my pencils digitally and print out to watercolor. Clean smooth paper making it easier to do the painting in.

Now I’m not saying break your pens and brush, the digital age is in. Blah, that is backwards thinking and childish.  What I’m saying over all is, learn all you can. New artist, learn to do things the old fashion way. Getting a ruler and pencil out. That’s how I learn, not only that but I learn how to hand letter. I don’t use that skill that often but I know how. Learning how to do things the traditonal way will help you and your pit falls in the digital way. Also, a guys I tabled with a couple years ago, only knew how do most of his art digitally. Coming to a con he forgot a lot of his supplies and took him a second to remember how to do it off a screen.

To the guys set in never doing anything digitally. Try it, try draw and inking and painting in it. Who knows you might like it? Or more importantly, you might learn a better way to fix some mistakes incase you miss the first time. You might find setting up your pages digital is a lot easier. There are a world of things you might be missing not giving it a shot. I notice comics, we’ll try new style or characters or creators or even food. However asking to try new tools can be hard it seems.

I dont’ know, to me there is a whole world of art and I wanna explore all of it. So for now I’m doing Scotty all digital. I wanna tell the story more then the art. I rather have the first edition book be worth more then a page. I don’t want inkers or pencilers to go away. Some of the best art I’ve ever seen done is watching Dexter Vines or Karl Story ink. Another one is Mark Schultz, that man has some tricks that only the old school guys know.  They are all masters of the brush. If you get the chance to talk to them do.  That’s just my thoughts, Here are some images from my desk top. Have a good one.

-Greathouse

    

 

 

 

 

Meet The Burns

I think one of the coolest things these days are being able to stumble on so many unique works. It’s easy to get lost and enjoy the inspiration laid out in front of us. Some times you find stuff half way around the world. Sometimes, like this time, you find stuff in your own backyard. A couple I am friends with have been doing some stuff on their free time that is more then just  inspiring. The Burns, Miracole and Chris Burns, are both comic fans. They are fans, they don’t write or draw comics. However, they are a big part of the comic scene.

Miracole does cosplay on her free time. Basically makes costumes based on characters she likes and dress up for events. To a level of detail it is hard to imagine at times. She has done it for a long time and is world wide star. Lately she took one of her first costumes and for the sake of art… Lit it on fire. She did a photo shoot with BGZ Studio of Dark Phoenix. Here is a picture and a preview. The work BGZ studio does inspiring. I’m hoping to see Miracole and BGZ Studio produce more soon.

Her husband has taken his love of comics to a new level. He help produce, direct act, and come up with a web series known as Avengers Assemble the Series. It has two season and stars a wide cast of characters. Each episode is about 5 to 7 minutes long. They touch on pop culture and the comic itself. The level of detail and time put into the show is mind blowing. It takes a lot of people to produce the show. It’s a great and fun show however it’s not safe for work, so here is the link to the show. Avengers Assemble. 

 

 

The other cool thing about these two also is they do references shots for comics. Artist will contact them to model for comic cover. They work with artist and often doing this after a long day on set. Just to help friends and the love of the art of comic. Check out both of their sites and hope this shows a side of comics you might not of known. Miracole Burns and Chris Burns. Thanks guys and enjoy.