The Process Projects

I am very excited to announce that Carlos R Gomez (of Robots-n-Aliens) and I have teamed up to create The Process Projects, a web series that documents the creative process.  Each season we will chose one project (a book, a game, board game, animates short, etc) and record the entire process, beginning to end so everyone can follow along, learn, engage, and watch it evolve from initial concept to product in hand.

If you have ever had an interest in creating an illustrated children’s book, illustration in general, writing a story or just learning what the creative process looks like, join us at www.theprocessprojects.net and follow along.

 

Git Yer Copy Mateys

ARR! After many battles, a bad case of scurvy, and a long awaited journey over ragin’ seas, the many boxes of treasure doth arrived at me doorstoop. “Captain and Crow’s ABCs” be available for purchase, mateys! Git Learned!

sketchbookjack.bigcartel.com or sketchbookjack.com

Captain and Crow's ABCs childrens education book learning funny humor design art illustration black and white ink pirate captain crow matey stripes letters boat ship R favorite jack kasprzak sketchbookjack typography bold layout design book publishing print clever graphic karate jar art bars innards laugh silly kids children Captain and Crow's ABCs childrens education book learning funny humor design art illustration black and white ink pirate captain crow matey stripes letters boat ship R favorite jack kasprzak sketchbookjack typography bold layout design book publishing print clever graphic karate jar art bars innards laugh silly kids children Captain and Crow's ABCs childrens education book learning funny humor design art illustration black and white ink pirate captain crow matey stripes letters boat ship R favorite jack kasprzak sketchbookjack typography bold layout design book publishing print clever graphic karate jar art bars innards laugh silly kids children

It was a long a trying ride but I had a lot of fun doing it.  I’ve learned a lot from the process of making this book, so I can move on to the next project with more insight.  I hope it can bring a couple of smiles to faces.
Captain and Crow's ABCs childrens education book learning funny humor design art illustration black and white ink pirate captain crow matey stripes letters boat ship R favorite jack kasprzak sketchbookjack typography bold layout design book publishing print clever graphic karate jar art bars innards laugh silly kids children typography

Sketch Dailies

I recently stumbled across another great illustration/sketch collaboration effort similar to Illustration Fridays called Sketch Dailies. There are some amazingly wonderful artists on there that prove to be a great inspiration. Here is my debut submission for their topic “Heffalump” . Follow Sketch_Dailies on twitter or their website.

Get Your SketchbookJack Custom Sketch

Now is your chance to get a SketchbookJack sketch of you, your mom, your dad, grandma, dog, tea kettle, teddy bear, gold fish, or maybe just leave it up to Jack. This is a rare opportunity to get a custom original for only $25 via the “The Island and the Plough”/”Captain and Crow’s ABCs” book publishing Kickstarter campaign. Not only will you get a custom sketch, but also a PDF version of the book of your choosing. Share the love: http://kck.st/1kDaMZ6

Choose Your Weapon 7″ Vinyl

The prints for DeFacto Entertainment’s 7″ vinyl single have arrived!  Here are the final, printed versions of the illustrations I did for their album art.  If you enjoy hip hop, rap, and/or the illustrations involved you can order your own here: http://defactoent.bandcamp.com/album/choose-your-weapon-feat-jehst (Photos courtesy of DeFacto Entertainment)

The earlier shots I posted of the work in progress can be found in this earlier post.

Black Bottle Wine Labels

And now for some black and white bottle/label/package design.  I wish these were real, but they are just samples for a design and the winemaker is fictitious as well.  But, who knows, maybe someday I will be posting a real wine label with my work on it!

Happy Pi Day Albert Einstein!

Albert Einstein Cartoon Illustration iPad wallpaper black and white science mathHow awesome is that?  Albert Einstein’s birthday (March, 14th, 1879) and Pi Day (3.14) are on the same day? The only thing that would be better would be if his birthday was on 299,792,458 (speed of light) day, but I don’t think that occurs, ever. I think we should celebrate by cracking the code to marrying relativity and quantum theory together. Well, let’s just start with having a piece of pie; that seems more manageable for today.  So, for all you math and science fans out there here are two wallpapers for you.  Just click to get the full resolution and then you can save it to your device.

Albert Einstein Cartoon Illustration iPad wallpaper black and white science math

optimized for iPhone 5

Albert Einstein Cartoon Illustration iPad wallpaper black and white science math

Optimized for Ipad (landscape and portrait)

Jouez!

 

Gypsy Jazz Ultraswing twenties retro dance speakeasy flapper illustration drawing cartoon black and white comic guitarist music jouez

Ultraswing – “Jouez” – Album Front

Gypsy Jazz Ultraswing twenties retro dance speakeasy flapper illustration drawing cartoon black and white comic guitarist music

Ultraswing – “Jouez” – Album Reverse

Ultraswing, the UK gypsy jazz band has just released their next album, “Jouez,” for which I did the album art work.  This was a great project to work on, especially for developing some fun characters, interesting vignettes and scenes.  They wanted to go with the idea of a speak-easy style jazz club featuring the full ensemble as well as all the characters that go along with that type of lounge.  As soon as I receive my copies in the mail, I will be sure to post some photos of the product as well.  There are interior panels and the disc itself, as well.  If you like jazz, and especially gypsy style jazz, in the vein of Django Reinhardt you should certainly check them out and give them a listen; plus, they are super cool cats.

Waiting? Lonely?

the island and the plough lonely snow scarf windy alone woman standing edge cliff fence sea island shore illustration cartoon black and white character design

Leila waits for Papa to return home to the island in “The Island and the Plough”

Hello all.  For those of you have been following for a while and know of “The Island and the Plough” have probably been wondering where this book is and when it is going to be released.  Things are going a little slower than planned in terms of getting it printed at a reasonable price so I am trying to coordinate the printing process to provide the best quality for price.  I am glad to say, however, that I have proof prints in hand and they look great!  I have showed them to the people who helped me complete this project and everyone thinks it’s a great little piece and I am very excited to start getting it into people’s hands.

Stay tuned for updates, and of course, more art of other sorts.

Another Dead Soldier

I have killed another soldier, a faithful old pen.  He was but a commoner yet filled a many jacket, blackened a many hat, and darkened a many tie.  Yes, I use a Sharpie, sometimes, for inking.  I know it is not preferred and you may already be furling your brow at the low manner in which I behave but I have come to like the Sharpie.  It is simple and consistent and widely available.  I can carry them in a bag and are great for travel or quick works.  I know my dirty, low class pen will never survive the test of time without any “archival quality” ink.  It will wither and fade in the brash sunlight of west Los Angeles, but I don’t care, for it is a impotent artist who requires special tools.  It is a sad artist who blames his tools.  I too, once brandished a fancy Moleskine notebook of which holds glorious, legendary powers in hopes to harness the same genius that bled from Hemingway’s veins, hoping it would make my work magical.  I too, once carried the famed Micron pen and the Staedler pencils, because no actual artist would dare carry (dare not say use) an unbranded, hideously yellow, #2 pencil of which is not even worthy of using the HB insider lingo.  Alas, I still use India Ink, metal tip pens, and brushes but for most everyday workings I have squandered such dreams of Hemingway and draw many of my characters on the forbidden copy paper of which a common, gasp, digital printer might use.  Sure, judgments are passed, scoffs and tisks are handed by those in the supply store.  But I have work to do, dear critic; I have not time to wander the supply store in search of the lesser user of commoner tools I feel may need a lecture.  Unfurl your brow, fellow inker, embrace your unorthodox use of illegitimate tools.

Tommy “Buttface” Jones : Process

tommy_buttface_mobster_process_how_to_tutorial_sketchbookjack_character_design

Here is a sneak peek into the process behind one of The Daily Mobster characters and a quick tutorial/explanation of how I work and how to design a character.

1. I, of course, start with a sketch which are usually smaller thumbnails on a scrap paper until I find an acceptable shape and basic look.  Because of the nature of mobster characters this often revolves around exaggerated features or an interesting shape.  This rule works pretty well for non mobsters as well.  If you can create a silhouette or a shape that is instantly recognizable to that character you are already on our way to great design.

2. Then I do the light  sketch with all the details fleshed out; this allows me to give a little extra focus to certain areas like hands, belts, buttons, or others that need extra attention. This is also the step where you can focus on contrast, as it is the first thing the human eye notices, it is important to decide where heavy blocks of color/black will be and where dense detail will be.  A general rule of thumb, when certain areas are very large in area (such as a belly or a chin) give them less detail as their size will attract attention, and when they are smaller or require extra focus fill in the detail (faces, hands, accessories of interest).   Use the lines and shapes to help direct attention as well, notice the tie points to the chin and continues the crevasse in his chin.

3. Then I simply start inking over the pencil.  Sometimes I ink over the entire drawing with a single width then fill the blacks and weight the lines afterwards and other times I do the complete process little chunks at a time (as seen here) moving across the drawing.  The contrast between full black, white with hatching/textures, and full white is very important in a black and white illustration; luckily suits play a big part in the mobster world.  If the background is dark, realize that a heavy black suit will act as a subtle part of the character and his face will stand out.  If the character has dark skin, often you want to put him in lighter color costumes, unless his environment will be mostly light.   I usually try to balance out the black and the white to create a focal points.

4.  Once completed, I erase the pencil lines that poke out.

5.  The final step is to bring the scan into the computer.  Since the original ink is fairly clean there isn’t really any digital treatment of the character itself other than to overlay it on one of my backgrounds and apply some simple shadowing/lighting effects behind him.  I hand draw the background designs as well (I may post a tutorial about how to make repeating wallpapers from drawings like this) in line format, then scan them in, convert them to white and overlay them on grey repeatedly.  Tommy will be posted on Thursday, so be sure to check out The Daily Mobster and read his story.

40 Mobsters for The Daily Mobster

Who knew I could make it this far with just a silly mobster theme?  I have to admit that I worried, I cried, I even confessed to “Mad Ma” Johnson that early on,  I would run out of ideas and she might have to break my knuckles.  But, I am quickly finding out that just about anything can be turned into a goofy character; I mean, there is a character based entirely off of neckties, and looks like a necktie!   The Daily Mobster has just reached 40 mobsters and is quickly nearly the 50 mark!  I have a special announcement to make when we reach 50 so make sure to stay tuned, and share with a friend.  New readers are always welcome and if you have ideas, thoughts or comments, share them!  Thank you all for the following and support.

mobsters process sketching table at work drawing inking cartoon illustration photo mobsters characters design

The Man in Black

sketchbookjack_johnny_cash_original_caricature_print_illustration_cartoonsketchbookjack_johnny_cash_caricature_print_illustration_cartoon_sketchbook_black_and_white_man_in_black

I like Johnny Cash; I also like the way he looks.  His appearance and personality make for a great caricature.  Here is an original ink drawing I did (before) and then a treated poster print (after) of Johnny Cash as “The Man in Black.”  It is actually available for iPhone skin and poster print, but I am wondering what I might ultimately do with some of these caricatures.  They were on Etsy as cards a while ago, but I guess cards aren’t the best application for a caricature.