Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mark McDonnell

A breathtaking piece from figure drawing teacher and funnyman Mark McDonnell.  This one is STUNNING in person!

More FAB Quickies

"Martha My Dear" by Sheepdog owner and comic book idol Adam Hughes

A Beautiful John Lennon playing Strawberry Fields by Futurama director Crystal Chesney-Thompson

The "Important Beatles" according to Spider-man artist Humberto Ramos

Ringo by character designer Jose Lopez

Ringo by Figure drawing god David Pimentel
Another batch of gorgeous drawings from the Beatles Sketchbook!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Let Me Down

Here's my finished piece for The "All Together Now" Beatles Tribute Art Show at Gallery Nucleus (opening Saturday July 7th at 7pm)!  It's done in pen and ink and watercolor.  I had played around with some color comps for a fully painted version but ultimately I wanted to highlight the drawing with some light washes.  You can see my other concepts and rough drafts here.

To me, the greatest Rock moment of all time is when the Beatles gave an impromptu performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corps recording Studio.  Imagine being on your lunch hour in London when you see people rushing through the streets, murmuring that the greatest rock legends in history are performing a their first live show in three years out in the open!  The Beatles had stopped touring in 1966 after they figured out that their concertgoers could not possibly hear their live music through all of the manic screaming that accompanied their shows.  Suddenly, they were blasting a live performance of brand new music from the rooftops!  When the police showed up, the Beatles were actually pretty excited because they would have loved to have had footage of themselves being dragged off by "the man".  To the Fab Four's chagrin, the police tamely asked them keep it down or turn it off (as if they were some kids having a loud party, and not the greatest band of all time creating history).  At the end of what would prove to be their final live performance together, John leaves a joking farewell to the audience, "I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition."

There is a melancholy feeling to the whole performance that is very moving to me.  The rooftop concert proved to be the last time the Beatles performed a live show together, and you can see from the footage that there is a distance between each of them.  No longer are they all clad in matching suits, Beatle boots and mop top haircuts; no longer were they the happy-go-lucky young lads trying to make it big.  Each man had become a legend in his own right, and the rooftop concert showcases each Beatle's individuality as much as it also is a great example of the magic that they created when they were together.  "Don't Let Me Down" is one of my absolute favorite songs; there is an earnestness in the vocals (John handling lead with Paul and George providing beautiful two and three-part harmonies) as John pleas with Yoko to understand that he is really putting his vulnerability on display for the first time   and needs her not to let him down.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Roughs for my Beatles Tribute Art Show Piece

Hi Everyone!  I'm very excited to be a part of the "All Together Now" Beatles Tribute Art Show at Gallery Nucleus (Benefitting Doctors Without Borders, opening July 7th, 2012)!  My lovely wife Dawn Au will also have a beautiful piece in the show (she'll be posting it here soon).  Here are some roughs and a color comp for the piece I'm submitting (the bottom two images represent where my final piece is headed).  I originally wanted to do a separate piece for each Beatle, but time constraints beat that idea out of me!  So in the end, I decided to do a piece showing the Beatles performing their last live concert--on top of the Apple Corp building in 1969.  I'll post my final painting closer to the show.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson is one of my favorite graphic novelists in the past decade.  He is the author and illustrator of "Blankets", "Goodbye Chunky Rice", and most recently "Habibi".  "Blankets" is a frequent artistic touchstone for me anytime I'm entertaining ideas of working on my own comics.  My wife and I were thrilled to get this amazing Yellow Submarine piece from Craig at San Diego Comic-Con last year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All Together Now...@ Gallery Nucleus

I'm thrilled to announce that the Beatles Sketchbook has spawned a huge show at Gallery Nucleus!  After showing the sketchbook to many friends and family members, I kept getting the question, "What are you going to do with this thing?"  Well I thought it'd be great if I could somehow use the sketchbook to generate some money for one of the many Beatles charities out there but there's no way I could get the rights to publish this thing.  I also love that the Beatles have inspired creative folks in every medium, from music, art, movies, video games, etc... so my wife Dawn and I pitched the idea of a Beatles Tribute Art show (with part of the proceeds benefiting Doctors Without Borders) to a friend at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA.

The show will (ideally) have a live tribute band, and include original pieces from artists across many different disciplines and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ringo joining the band to form the Beatles as we all know them.  It turns out that the Nucleus crew are pretty big Beatles fans and were considering the concept already!  So we all mashed our brains together and out came "All Together Now: A Tribute to The Beatles" happening July 7, 2012 - July 29, 2012.

Part of the proceeds WILL go to benefit:


Here is the current roster (it's quickly expanding)

Exhibiting Artists:

Becky Dreistadt 

Benjamin Butcher
Brittney Lee

Brun Croes
Chris B. Murray
Chris Turnham
Cuddly Rigor Mortis
Dan Santat
Edward Kinsella

Felt Mistress
Griselda Sastrawinata
Hermann Mejia 

Israel Sanchez
Jackie Huang
Jake Parker 
Jeremy Costello
Joey Chou

John-Paul Thurlow
John Solimine
Kevin Dart
Leuyen Pham
Michelle Romo 

Nimit Malavia
Pat Perry
Patrick Hruby
Perry DixonMaple

Scott Balmer
Scott C
Sebastien Mesnard


Here is a link to Nucleus All Together Now Blog (to which Dawn and I will also be submitting)

Stay tuned for more news!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Four FAB Quickies (by Legendary Comics Artists)

Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy! 
Dustin Nguyen, amazing penciller of various Batman comics!

Kent Williams, world renowned painter of (among MANY other things) "The Fountain!"

Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo!

 One of the greatest joys of the Beatles Sketchbook project is meeting legendary artists who've greatly inspired me over the years.  Above are four quick-sketches done by some GIANTS of the comics and illustration world.  Marvel at the mastery of design and economy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jeff Pidgeon

Amazing Pixar artist Jeff Pidgeon's Blue Meanie!

Steven Macleod

I've never had the pleasure of meeting the talented Mr. Macleod, but my buddy Chris Sonneburg got him to draw this gorgeous piece for the Beatles book on a recent visit to Dreamworks.  Big thanks to both of you!

John Nevarez

John Nevarez is widely known as one of the nicest, most talented gentlemen in animation.  His blog is full of amazing story and character-based artwork, and it is a treat every time I get to chat with him at a comic convention. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stephen Silver

Greetings Fab Fans!  Sorry for the lag in updates, but I've got a ton of great new sketches to share in the coming weeks including this one by the amazing Stephen Silver!  Stephen is one of the nicest and most talented designers in the Animation industry.  He was the lead designer on shows like Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and Clerks: The Animated Series.

Stephen has been doing some very exciting things to spread his knowledge and love of the field; he recently designed an App called Posebook that is a fantastic resource offering an extensive library of great  photos of poses to draw from or get inspired by.  He also regularly teaches Character Design through Schoolism.

If you need one more reason to devour all the Silvertoons you can find, check out his great Beatles print, available through his website!
Stay tuned guys, I've got updates coming with great sketchbook contributions from greats like Craig Thompson, Adam Hughes, Steven Macloud, Gene Yang, Humberto Ramos, and many, many more!  There's also some HUGE news to announce, so check back soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inspiration Series: Al Hirschfeld

The "All Together Now" Beatles Tribute Show will exhibit the work of the latest generation of incredible artists.  Let's take a moment to savor the work of a legend.  Al Hirschfeld was one of the most prolific and influential artists of his generation.  He was a master of caricature, and infused his drawings with wonderful personality and appeal.  His work has found its way into some of the most prestigious art collections in the county, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian.  When his daughter Nina was born in 1945, he began what he called the "harmless insanity" of including her name at least once in every drawing he created.  Fans of Hirschfeld's work can often be found staring at single pieces of his art for prolonged periods, just trying to spot the number of "Nina's" that may be hidden.

Mr. Hirschfeld graced us Beatles fans with many wonderful likenesses of the band and its members over the years.  Here is a sampling: 

To see more of Al Hirschfeld's gorgeous work, please visit, and also check out the amazing, Academy Award nominated documentary about him, "The Line King".