Tuesday, March 31, 2020

World Building Lecture Video

In 2018 I gave a Worldbuilding lecture at the Fantastic Workshop put on by 1FW and then last year I updated the talk and streamed it on my Twitch channel.

In the video I go over my use of Costume & Character, Culture & History, and Locations & Architecture to make the world of Mouse Guard a believable place

I have now made it available on my YouTube channel as well. Enjoy:

Direct Link on YouTube:

PLANNED 2020 Appearances
Heroes Con: June 19-21 ??
San Diego Comic Con: July 22-26 ??
New York Comic Con: October 8-11 ??
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct 23-25 ??

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Recent Commissions

Last I finished up the toned paper commissions from #ONLINECON. Normally I only do these 9x12 toned paper commissions at conventions, but with ECCC and other conventions being canceled, I opted to open a list for a short time in my online store and make commissions available to everyone. Here are the results of those (most of which I streamed on Twitch) as well as a few from C2E2.

A Guardmouse

Midnight with the Black Axe

A Norse Guardmouse

Mouse in a Kimono

Guardmouse with ink & quill to record surroundings

Marauder mouse
(based on CPWIII's Legends story)

Usagi Yojimbo

A Guardmouse with a firefly as a light

A Dracolitch

Guarmoyse with Mandalorian-inspired armor

TMNT: Michelangelo

Fox McCloud

'The Child'

A fan's original character:
a Pooka wearing Turkish Armor

A Mouse Puppeteer

The Boy Who Lived:
Harry Potter


Mouse with a Rolleiflex Camera

Artist Mouse

'Beckett' a Black Border Collie & Australian Shepherd

'Waffle' a royal kitty

Cedric a Guardmouse

Battleworn Raphael of the TMNT

Erwynn a Guardmouse

Guardmouse w/ Sword & Shield

TMNT: Donatello


Guardmouse: Cerise

Matriarch: Siobhan 

Guardmouse w/ Furr Cloak

Guardmouse: Lieam

Flower Mouse

TMNT: Leonardo

A Gentleman Cat named Max

TMNT: Raphael

TMNT: Michelangelo 

Dark Crystal: Garthim

PLANNED 2020 Appearances
Heroes Con: June 19-21 ??
San Diego Comic Con: July 22-26 ??
New York Comic Con: October 8-11 ??
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct 23-25 ??

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Limited Edition Print: 'SHARON'

The 2020 Mouse Guard 11" x 11" limited ed. print is titled 'Sharon' in honor of my mother who passed away in January. The prints are signed and numbered (to an edition of 300) and are meant to depict something 'pretty' from the world of Mouse Guard (an edict Julia gave me in 2012 that I've listened to ever since.) I tend to name the print not after the mouse depicted, but of the flora that makes up the background, but this year I made an exception for my Mother.

I'll be releasing this print at Emerald City Comic Con and and in my online store soon-after (I'll have it at my other convention appearances throughout the year too). Below are the steps I took to create the piece.

I came up with the idea for the piece the day she died. We were still at the hospital and knew in my heart that the print would have to be about her, and I just saw in my head a mouse looking through stacks of intricately detailed fabrics. I sketched a version a few weeks later (seen in the lower left of this image), and then digitally colored it to block in the forms (upper left) before printing that out larger and doing a proper penciled version on a clean sheet of paper using a lightpad to reference the printout.

My mom was a very accomplished sewer and aspiring quilter. She'd made clothes for every member of our family, paraments and stoles for our church, and handmade Halloween costumes for me in school. She also was a hoarder of fabric. She had more than she ever could have used––even if the Parkinson's hadn't taken away her ability to sew. It took 6 SUV loads to get her collection donated to a local community theater last summer.

I wanted to find some beauty in that idea, and was inspired by Edmund Dulac's Princess and the Pea illustration for the various patterns, quiltings, and embroidery to embellish the material and also make each layer of it different than the surrounding cloth.

With Edmund Dulac's imagery as a guiding point (and color palette), I digitally blocked in the colors for the piece, adding hints about the patterns on the fabrics

Also something I didn't mention earlier is her broach. It's a rose of Sharon done in a Charles Rene Mackintosh stylization. Julia and I have two stained glass windows in our home that have this same design.

I didn't feel like my quick digital color blocking was enough reference for the embroidery for the cloth though––so I did some google image searching to find examples of fabrics I wanted to emulate. The lower center pattern I designed using some shapes from a medieval tile I photographed in Ireland, which I wanted for the piece she was holding.

With the layout printed out (and some of the textures digitally dropped in and warped to match the drape or perspective of the drawing) I taped that printout to the back of a sheet of Strathmore Bristol 300 series 12" x 12" board. On my Huion lightpad I was able to see through the surface of the bristol to the printout to use as a guide while I inked the piece with Copic Multiliner SP pens (the 0.7 nib mainly).

I scanned the inked piece once it was finished and started the color flats. This is when, in Photoshop, I add flat colors to the piece to establish what areas are what colors: her fur is brown, her clothes are a grey-blue, the trim is a darker blue, her exposed skin are peachy, the fabric she's holding is muted red and gold, etc. At this stage, I also established all the color holds. These are areas where I want the lineart to be a color other than black like the markings on the feather in her hat, the lenses of her glasses, and the pattern on almost every piece of fabric.

The last step was to render all the color using the dodge and burn tools (tools in Photoshop for lightening or darkening areas). I use a stock textured brush when I do this process so that my finished piece has some texture to it.

2020 Appearances
FACTS-Ghent Belgium: April 4-5
Heroes Con: June 19-21
San Diego Comic Con: July 22-26
New York Comic Con: October 8-11
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct 23-25

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


With Emerald City Comic Con being postponed until the Summer due to responsible COVID-19 prevention plans, I've decided to do my own #ONLINECON! 

The entire event will take place between my Twitch channel & my online store:


In addition to streaming 6-8 hours per-day Wed-Sunday (when I'd have been in Seattle otherwise), I'll have all my brand new prints that were set to debut at ECCC as well as my existing items like tee-shirts, tote bags, enamel pins, and more.

Below I go into more detail about what kind of promotions, content, & fun we'll have at

Toned Paper Commissions:
I normally only offer Toned Paper Commissions at conventions––BUT, for #ONLINECON, I've made them available to purchase in my online store! AND, I'll be drawing them LIVE on my Twitch stream. They are single figure, torso/bust with minimal background on Strathmore 9x12 toned tan paper for $250.

New Mouse Guard Prints:
I have five new prints that were set to release at ECCC: The new 11" x 11" Limited Ed. Print titled 'Sharon', the new Bookplate (with the image of my relief woodcarving), as well as 3 new 9"x12" Mouse Guard prints. AND if you were unable to get to C2E2, I still have copies of the WANTED: 'Mortimer' tea stained print.

New Mouse Guard Originals:
The original inked artwork for the 9x12 print 'Hornblower', the 11" x 11" 'Sharon' piece, & Mortimer print are all available for sale! I've also included my pencils I used for my Dark Crystal Skeksis & Mystics covers, AND the inks for my last Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance cover: Mayrin.

20% OFF Most Items:
On the top menu of my online store is a tab called 'SALE'. Every item listed there is 20% OFF with ordercode: ONLINECON. (a few items like the newest original art, and the toned paper commissions are not included in the discount)

Free US Shipping on $100+ Orders:
Spend $100 in the store AND live in the US--FREE SHIPPING during #ONLINECON! However, we can't offer 2 discounts that can both be applied at checkout in our online store (technical limitations). So use the 20% OFF code, and we will refund the shipping cost if the order is $100 or more. This is for domestic orders only. Sorry to all of those abroad.

Lots of Giveaways:
In my Twitch stream, I've started doing giveaways at least once per broadcast. Things like signed comics, Art of Bricks Hardcovers, and some sketchbooks have been given away in the past...but for #ONLINECON, I'm bringing out some more goodies: Giant Papercraft mice, Mouse Guard coffee mugs, signed books and more! I'll be doing several each day.

Chat With Me & Other Fans:
Part of the joy of conventions is getting to interact with fans and creators. I know that as an artist that does my work alone in a studio, it's really nice to get out to a con and meet with fans and get feedback. And I've found that while at my table several fans who were previously strangers have become friends with one another. Well, as I stream on Twitch, you can chat with me, ask questions about what I'm working on, or what my favorite ice cream flavor is. All you'll need is a Twitch login (free)

Watch Me Work:
Fans who already tune in to my Twitch streams get to do this––but fans at conventions don't normally get to watch the process as I work on a piece. I'll be doing the Toned Commissions on stream, so you can see the full process from a blank sheet of paper, to pencils, to the inks & tone work until it's done and I start on the next one. And, of course, you can join in the chat and ask questions

Coloring Tutorials:
To switch up the kind of artwork I'm doing, I plan to also do some coloring on a piece from the Mouse Guard Coloring Book so that I can include it in my next sketchbook. I'll do my best to narrate my process through that digital coloring process, and I'll answer questions as I go so that if you've ever wondered how I render colors with a mouse––now's your chance.

And More!
I still don't know what all I'll do to fill the broadcast time. I may have some invited guests to join us for a chat, I may run through one of my past slideshows, demo the Mouse Guard board game, do a live reading of a Mouse Guard story––I'm not sure! But we'll find out together at #ONLINECON

2020 Appearances
FACTS-Ghent Belgium: April 4-5
Heroes Con: June 19-21
San Diego Comic Con: July 22-26
New York Comic Con: October 8-11
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct 23-25

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