Saturday, December 14, 2013

Locke On Stock With One Skating Mammal

You guys remember Trapper Keepers and those crazy airbrushed MEAD folders from the 90's? Got the awesome opportunity to buy an original from one of my heroes, Gary Locke, on ebay this week. My wife agreed that this is my Christmas, birthday, Christmas, birthday, and anniversary present for the next couple years. So excited!!! 

If you get a chance, check out Gary's blog at:

Amazing illustrator and committed Christian as well. If you don't follow his blog, you should!

Ok, fanboy moment over, I gotta go draw some M&M's! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Who Was That Masked Man? My father in law, apparently.

Had an AMAZING opportunity to visit a real working MOVIE SET this past week!  So proud of Chris Whaley, my father in law, who's book "The Masked Saint" (available here) is being turned into a movie as we speak!

The cast, crew, and everyone involved treated us like family and we were genuinely sorry to leave...Tim Horton's.  I mean...we were sorry to leave our new friends in Canada.  I can't say enough good things about the great people we met.  Almost everything you'd imagine about "movie people" was pleasantly incorrect about this crew.  There were no prima donnas, no real drama, and to be honest, if it weren't for the headsets, you'd be hard pressed to tell who the "important" people were on set.  Everyone was diligent, focused, and refreshingly humble and gracious.  

I know you've probably heard actors on tv complain about their long days and you ask yourself, "Really?  How hard could it be?".  Well, I will tell you that after seeing this cast and crew up before sunrise every morning, on set, working 10-14 hours per day, I can say unequivocally that making a movie is genuinely hard work.  

The sheer amount of hands and feet required to set up a single shot was mind-boggling.  For a mere 15 seconds or so of film, virtually every hand was involved.  Once that shot was done and they wanted to shoot it from a different spot, every hand had to move once again.  It was an immense and spectacular sight to behold.

I could go on and on, and I hope to be able to talk more about it soon, but until then, I thought I'd share a few sketches I did of the cast and crew who were so nice to us.  In order, this is the director, Warren, the Assistant Director, Miguel, and Assistant Director, John.  (I hope I got those job titles correct).

These were done in the hotel / airport lobby with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in ArtFlow and Sketchbook Pro.  Still getting used to the tablet, but it was fun just the same.

Check out the website here and keep your eyes open for the movie!  Should be body-slamming into a theatre near you next fall!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What's Better Than Getting Thrown UNDER the Bus? Getting Thrown ONTO A Bus!

So cool!
A friend sent me this picture of the M&Ms World London guards I painted last year actually printed on the side of a bus IN LONDON!  (Thank heavens I painted this at 300 dpi).  Whew!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's A Small Jpeg After All

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Adam and Eve-il

    Been doing some doodles recently with a pastor friend I really admire.  I don't usually relate well to  people in "ministry", because I've always felt like I had a bit of a twisted sense of humor that didn't fit well in the church setting.  

    After meeting my friend, Doug, and my wife's father, Chris, who is also a pastor, I've realized that there are pastors out there with even MORE twisted senses of humor than my own.  I can't imagine how you deal with the stresses and troubles of quite possibly THE MOST THANKLESS job in history without a great sense of humor.  

    That said, hopefully there's more to come, but this is one of the ideas we were batting around just for fun.  Hope you enjoy it!

    Monday, July 29, 2013

    Confirmed...I Stinking Love This Show

    Man, I love Mythbusters.
    I don't know if it's the fact that I'm getting a little older or what, but there just seems to be less and less on tv lately.  I find myself watching (if I watch anything at all) shows that are entertaining and at least a little bit informative.  Mythbusters, for me, has been my go-to entertainment for years and since they added the majority of their seasons on Amazon Prime, I've been kind of on a Mythbusters bender lately.  

    Anyway, I got asked earlier in the spring to do caricatures at a few local jazz and art festivals, so I did this as a demo to hang in my booth.  I cheated and sketched it out a little first, so it's not a true "theme-park" sketch where you just go at it with a marker, but that's ok.

    Maybe I'll do the Pawn Stars or American Pickers guys next, I bet they'd be a LOT of fun to draw. :)

    Of course I'll draw your family...if you leave

    Family portraits / caricatures are one of the most fun things I get to do for my friends from time to time.  They're always so appreciative and gracious.  The only bad thing is that I find that they are often occasioned by the family's departure from our lives. 

    Such is the case with my buddies from church, the Livings family.  George is probably one of the most creative writers I've ever known and he's been on staff in our music department for several years now.  I credit him with re-igniting a passion in me to bring artistic excellence to the church in any area I can.  To credit his immense creative contributions to mere talent would be to diminish the sheer amount of hard work he puts in to writing, composing, and directing the multiple musical performances at our church each year (along with the other extremely creative and talented members of our staff as well, of course). 

    His wife as well has shown that yes, Baptists CAN DANCE IN CHURCH...and dance well at that!  We'll miss them greatly at First Orlando, but it's my hope that God blesses their efforts at their new home church in Staten Island, NY.

    Best of luck, guys!

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    I Don't Always Draw Miniature Golf Stuff...

    But when I do, I prefer to draw for my buddies from Congo River Golf here in Orlando. They're great guys who happen to go to my church and gave me a shout to do some doodles for their scorekeeping app.  Here's a few of them, hope you like them!

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Founding Fatherhood

    Happy belated fourth of July, everyone!

    I have not posted in a VERY long time which may seem totally lame (and it is), but I assure you that it's been because I've been very busy with some VERY cool projects at work.  Been traveling, teaching at church a bit, and just enjoying time with my wife as much as possible.  (Been getting noticeably more mushy and sentimental in my old age).

    Nonetheless, here's a belated little doodle I rushed out on my lunch break on July 4th.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    A Little Mouse Told Me...

    A little technique demo I tried in Art Rage.  I'm trying to replicate some of the magic of the CF Payne technique digitally and I'm including this process gif to show how it transpired.  There's a lot I still need to work on, but for a quick evening's worth of doodling, I was happy with what I've learned so far.

    Enjoy, everyone, and God bless!

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Our Greatest Asset

    A little doodle I did at lunch today while still processing the events in CT. Odd that we would never trust our money in a building without armed security, cameras, and secure locks, yet we would send our children daily into buildings with none of those things without a moment's hesitation. We are told constantly that children are our most valuable asset, but it seems to me that that which is truly most valuable is evident by the lengths to which you'll go to protect it.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    I Wasn't Lost, But Evidently I Was Found

    Quite an honor!  I was contacted by one of the writers at asking if they could feature my Paul Ryan caricature from several months ago on their site.  They were super friendly and although I'm quite sure we come from different ends of the political spectrum, they were really nice to me and I am really excited about the opportunity.  

    Thanks to the folks at Salon!  
    God bless,

    -Bret <><

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Go local sports team, GO!

    Not jumping on the bandwagon by any means, but it's nice to see a Florida team do well this year after a couple disappointing post-seasons from the Lightning and Rays.  Plus, LeBron's face was REALLY fun to draw :)

    God bless!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    The Eyes Have It

    Former House Speaker Nancy staring through my skull.  I never had an irrational fear of clowns before, but I think I have a perfectly rational fear of them now.  That's a LOT of makeup, friends.

    Ok, in all seriousness, this was actually pretty fun.  Older folks are always fun to draw and for some reason, old politicians are even more fun.  I think it's because you can't separate their personalities from their looks.  Being in the public EYE...yikes, I did it again...stop staring...anyway, being in the public VIEW, I imagine that the more extreme the personality, the more it manifests itself outwardly in their appearance.  

    In complete fairness, Ms. Pelosi is not an unattractive person.  But, as my Mom always said "beauty is as beauty does".  And if what you do defines your beauty, then I think I'm justified in saying that Ms. Pelosi has looks that could kill.  

    Now stop staring at me...

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    It's Still April!

    Whew...just squeaking this one under the wire today.  Trying very hard not to neglect those of you that follow, peruse, or otherwise enjoy the blog. 

    Well, it looks like I'll get at least one post in before April ends, so I thought I'd post some weekend doodles from a caricature class featuring Jason Seiller (yes, THE Jason Seiller).  Working through the material slowly, but steadily.  Week one has you draw a handful of sketches of "citizens" (non-celebrities) and this is the first of three for me.  Technically his sketches use a lot off cross-hatching and look more like pencil drawings, but honestly, I'm so used to working this way that it's just become more comfortable for me to do sketches in Photoshop with a more "rendered" look.  It's just easier for me to fill in the big areas with a bigger brush than to hatch them out, though if you look closely, there's still a good bit of hatching, even when using this modified "painting" technique.  

    Hope you guys enjoy!  May-be (get it...May) we'll have more work to post next month, but things are pretty busy at work, so I can't guarantee anything.  It's good to be busy though, so I can't complain!

    God bless, everyone!

    -Bret <><

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    The Gold Standard

    What's there to say about President Reagan?  I was far too young during his administration to have remembered much, but I have learned a great deal about the man's character, strength, and leadership in the years since.  

    One of the things I think I admire most was his ability to write and speak so convincingly about his convictions.  He was winsome and warm, yet principled and steady.  So many of our current politicians may convey one of those qualities, some perhaps two.  But no one since has embodied the qualities of Reagan in total, making him one of the rarest of historical figures - a man admired from both sides.

    Here's to the gold standard of leadership...a humble attempt at capturing that charming smile in a fun, cartoony style.  

    Enjoy, everyone, and God bless!

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Grant Goalie-Land

    Man, I love original artwork.
    Man, I love looking at me.

    Man, I love original artwork of me that I can look at.

    My good ol' buddy from art school Grant Gilliland drew this cartoon-tastic drawing of yours truly as part of his "20 Dollar Drawings" offering on his website (linked above).  I've always wanted one of his originals and now I have one!  Thanks, Grant!  

    Check out his site and for heaven's sake, BUY A DRAWING!  It's only $20!

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Head and Shoulders, Nose and Gums

    And in glorious RGB color...the final (ish) sketch of my new self portrait.  It's not perfect, but I really like where this is going.  Jon Pinto encouraged me to try using my black and white sketch underneath the color version and glaze on top like the old masters did.  Adapting any traditional technique to digital is always a bit of a challenge, but I am so incredibly pleased with some of the interesting marks and the process of pushing and pulling the color back and forth that I really think this is a technique that bears further exploration. 

    I especially love all the sketchy and wandering discovery lines throughout the piece.  It's as if once you go into digital painting, particularly when you begin doing character airbrushing, you lose all of the discipline and excitement of "mark-making".  Drew Struzan is my hero in this regard.  His final pieces, as refined as they are, make excellent use of his skills as a draftsman.  Even as he layers airbrushed color, acrylic paint, and colored pencil, you never fully lose the gorgeous pencil marks that make up his underpainting.  

    Let's see where this goes!  Hope you enjoy the ride too!
    Thanks for reading, God bless!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Not Dispicable, But It Is Me...

    Here's a quick black and white sketch / study for a self-portrait caricature.  Color version coming soon!

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Say Broccoli!

    This one was actually a lot of fun to draw.  Mrs. O has got one of the most unique facial structures I've drawn in a long time.  It was a challenge and a pleasure to draw.  Toughest part to capture?  That expression that looks like she just smelled a poot and is trying not to laugh.  And don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about.  

    The Mac Daddy

    Thought I'd take a break from politics today and do a quick doodle of Mr. J.  He's an interesting guy with an interesting story.  I'm sure they'll make a "Social Network" style movie about him some day.  

    After his death, it was disappointing for some who were so aware of his commercial success to find out about his personal shortcomings.  It's a reminder that not all great men are good and that not all good men are great.  A question of priorities faces us all as men regarding how we will spend our short time on earth and how we will at the end define our greatness.  

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    One of those days...

    This was a lot of fun!  I've been trying very hard to get my speed up lately and wanted to see just how fast I could do a simple character illustration from a blank page to final.  So, I sat down this evening and finished this 2 hours later.  It's certainly not perfect, but it was a huge confidence builder to be able to start and finish something under such a crunch.  

    Hope you all enjoy it! 

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    MLK Day

    I didn't have today off, but I did take a few minutes over lunch to do a quick sketch of Dr. King.  It was an interesting challenge to start drawing a more diverse range of faces.

    As I've been working though my class on on ZBrush, I've learned an incredible amount about the face and its structure.  Michael Defeo, the instructor, has been outstanding so far.  Just in the first week, I've learned so much about the face that this sketch took shape at least 50% faster than it would have prior to the class.  Wow.  It's nice to have a little "growth spurt" every once in a while.

    Hope you all enjoy the drawing!
    Until next time, God bless!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Not to Trump My Own Horn...

    Donald in his ubiquitous "you're fired" expression.  My first real attempt at a new Photoshop painting technique.  Trying to figure out how long these would take on a more regular basis.  This one went MUCH faster than I anticipated - just over 4.5 hours total.  I imagine part of that is because of how distinctive his face is and partly because I had really good reference.  It really does make all the difference!

    Enjoy and God bless!

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

    Michele Bachman has some of the most piercing, intense eyes I've ever seen.  Hope I captured them in this piece as I work my way through the Republican candidates.  Have a happy week everyone!  God bless!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011


    This is part of what I hope to be a recurring theme on the blog...a "SKETCH OFF" between some buddies to stay inspired.  Back in a previous life, we were members of a site called "Drawergeeks".  The premise was to have a topic every two weeks at the end of which would feature a gallery of sketches and doodles from some really talented folks who'd been invited to participate.  Life, as is its way, took many of us in different directions, and the site eventually retired.  But I loved the idea of a broad topic with a tight time constraint.  

    So, today's topic was "retirement".  We had to start and finish the sketch over our lunch break and have it posted before 1:30.  As my lunch break is now over, I present to you all my doodle.

    God bless!
    By the way...check out my friend, Nelson Gonzalez' piece here.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Merry Christmas!

    Here's a poster I did for my church, First Baptist Orlando, for their "Singing Christmas Trees" program.  The concept was to have the "Grandpa" character telling his grandson about the true meaning of Christmas despite its getting crowded out with so many other things.  George Livings, who art directed the piece, wanted to integrate the cross amongst the chaos on the tree.  So after a few sketches, I settled on using garland and lights to incorporate the cross into the design.  

    This was a TON of work, but seriously one of the most fun projects I've had the privilege to do.

    Check us out at:

    Twi-Hards Unite!

    Yeah, I know, I won't even post the excuse that I watch these movies because of my wife because no one would believe me. wouldn't be true, because I LOVE them.  They are the single most fun movies to watch in years.  Don't believe me?  If you've ever watched "Mystery Science Theatre 3000", then you know just how much fun it is to watch awful, terrible, and painful movies like "Twilight" with a lampooning backtrack and commentary.  

    Is it mature?  No.
    Is it hilarious?  Oh yes.

    Enjoy this brooding lunch break doodle of Edward "Constipated" Cullen.