Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DRAGON KNIFE - Conceptual Designs For THE MINT In The Late 90's

Here are a bunch of conceptual designs I did for a Dragon Knife for The Franklin Mint in late '98. This was before the computer age of digital coloring had taken off so I used markers, pastels, colored pencils and whatever else I had around at the time. Photoshop and any kind of digital art was only used by a very small handful of artists in The Mint at that time. I went digital in 2000 in terms of doing art. From these drawings (if and when they got approved) they then went into the next phase of development, which was making an actual full-size prototype. Most of these were sketched on tracing paper or vellum since they made a lot of changes and it was easier to fix on those two papers. From that point, I'd make a copy of each drawing and then color each knife in a variety of colors and schemes with different gems and metals depending upon what the art directors wanted. Some of the designs were just left in the sketch phase and some got fully produced. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Here's some art from my sketchbook I did back in the late 90's being a HUGE fan of the TV show version of Highlander. I thought Adrian Paul was perfect as Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. He fit the mold of what I think the look and feel of a movie/TV hero should be, much like my father would probably say Buster Crabbe or Clayton Moore. There was a presence to him that made him stand out amongst the other immortals on the show. You knew he was the good guy. I even liked Duncan MacLeod more than the character of Conner MacLeod (who was played in the movie series by Christopher Lambert). Lambert was good with what he did, but I'm a Paul fan.

At any rate, here's a peek at the process I can go through. Here is the pencil sketch from my sketchbook and then I blew it up to 11" x 17" on a copy machine and then lightboxed it onto a new sheet of art paper as I inked the final piece. I still like it as a whole and the pencil version has a lot of energy to it. You can click on the art to enlarge it! Enjoy!

Unused Background Art From My Sketchbooks!

Here is a pen and ink sketch from my old sketchbook. I think I did it for a background for a Wonder Woman piece which I think fell through. I just found this background art and not any character art to go over it so I guess it did fall through or the character art is some place else around here. Came out looking dramatic and moody though...

Here's a sketch of a living room that I did for a Green Hornet comic waaaaaayyyyy back when. I was working out the set design first before I drew any characters to get my thoughts down on paper as to the room and feel of it. It never did see print since Now Comics who published the book went under. So who knows, maybe I'll use it for something else at some point...

COSMIC...SOMETHING! Abstract Pen & Ink Design

Kind of a dreary day here in PA weather wise, though it's busy creatively this weekend! I got a bunch of NEW cool stuff I'll be posting this week! So stayed tuned! Here's an abstract cosmic something piece or art! Started with a blank sheet and doing a dot-dot-dot-dot thing with a few black markers and wore down all the tips tapping this out. Came out cool though. It's got a lot of energy to it. I wonder if I should color it? Maybe I will at some point.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

MARSHAL MATT DILLON from GUNSMOKE! Old Pencil Sketch Prelim!

Here's a pencil sketch of the great James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, the main lead character on TV's greatest show ever... GUNSMOKE! It's my favorite show of all time though I wasn't around when it had originally aired. I've got video tapes and DVD's of the TV show and audio tapes, CD's and MP3's of the radio show here. Great morality tale stories that had characters with real depth! The radio show version of GUNSMOKE (1952-1961) came before the TV version (1955-1975) and that was just as incredible with William Conrad playing the part of Marshal Dillon.

I did quite a few GUNSMOKE (and other old western TV show) pieces for The Franklin Mint in the late 90's for a proposed old west series of items that never got past the conceptual design stage. I still have most of all my originals that I did for these products. They are some of my finest work and I kept them since I loved them so much. A few are framed and hanging around the house here. This piece was a rough early pencil version of Marshal Dillon that I drew for one such product design. I'll post more soon! Enjoy!

JULIE NEWMAR as CATWOMAN! Old Magic Marker Painting!

Here is a magic marker painting I did over 10 years ago of Julie Newmar as Catwoman from the 60's Batman TV series. Guess is was in the late '96 or so. It was inked in black first and then 'painted' with all gray tone markers from 10% to 80% gray on 11 x 17 paper. Then white paint was applied to give it a look of an old worn photo. It also added a great effect to her costume which really matches the highlights that were actually on her costume. That's one of the things I really still love about this piece. I used to do a lot of marker paintings before the digital age and Photoshop came into my artistic career. This one is still one that I like. Maybe I'll do an updated version since my skills have vastly improved over the last 12 or so.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ADAM WEST as BATMAN! Pen and Ink Art!

Yes, I'm a big fan of the 1966's Batman series starring Adam West and Burt Ward! One of TV's greatest gems...especially the first season! Smartly-written for two audiences, great camera angles, set design and art direction. The movie that was made inbetween the first and second seasons was ok, and would be a five-star thing in my mind, if Julie Newmar was Catwoman instead of Lee Meriwether. She was a good fill-in, but Newmar owned the part. The George Barris designed Batmobile is still my favorite Batmobile as well.

Here's a pic of Batman ala Adam West that I did in the late 90's with a brush pen on 11 x 17 paper. I'm still quite happy with it and one of the reasons why is that the yellow oval around the bat on his chest was freehanded with a brush and came out perfect! At that time with my art I was trying to get everything perfect, which is insane really, and tried to do a lot of art with very little (if any) Pro White to fix any mistakes. It wasn't till I got into doing licensing art, which needed to be done faster and so I started thinking in terms of production and not doing fine original art. It's served me well over these years with Scooby so I'm glad I was able to get over trying to make things perfect since a true artist is never completely happy with everything they do.

CODI - Pen and Ink Dog Sketch!

Here is a sketch of a great little dog named Codi that I drew with pen and ink. I did this a few years ago as I dated Codi's human who was as cute as Codi was. I used Micron Pigma Pens to draw it and it's a great sketch that I still love since the hair has such a flow to it. She would actually sit and pose for at least ten minutes since she loved the attention. Now if I could only get Alfie to do that....Ha!

BABY SINCLAIR "Not The Momma!"

Now THIS I remember doing! Baby Sinclair! It was early 90's and the TV show Dinosaurs was a hit on Friday nights. Created by Jim Henson Productions, it was a great show that was well-written and showcased many topical things that were going on in the news in real life. Fun for kids and their parents.

I had the small toy action figure of the Baby and some of the other ones in the Dinosaur family and one night I was looking for something to draw that was fun and it was drawn while I held up the toy in front of me with my left hand as I drew with my right. Drawn on newsprint paper with Conte Crayon. I loved working with Conte Crayon and it was one of my favorite mediums at the time. I used to use it ALL the time in the life drawing classes that I would take since it wasn't as messy as charcoal. By the way, did you know that the Baby Dinosaur's voice was voiced by Kevin Clash who also voiced Elmo on Sesame Street. Actually you can hear a touch of Elmo in the Baby's voice!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TITANIC - Pencil Sketches From My Old Sketchbook!

Been going through the archives here in my spare time and I got some cool old stuff I've done that I'll share in the coming weeks...Most of it is B.S. as opposed to A.S. Meaning that a certain Great Dane has had such an influence on my life and almost taking up 10 years of it professionally, that I'm now referring to my work as B.S. (Before Scooby) and A.S. (After Scooby)! Actually, wouldn't it be D.S.? (During Scooby, since I'm still drawing him?)

Anyway, here's two scans from one of my sketchbooks that were done around 1997 or so. I had seen Titanic and loved what James Cameron had done with the film. Once again, Cameron had pushed the boundaries of digital filmmaking to it's fullest and this film is right up there with Terminator 2, which also holds up brilliantly in today's world as it did in 1992! Here are scans of two sketches I did during my Titanic phase. I know I have more somewhere. I had a thing for Kate....darn...what's her last name? Winslet! Kate Winslet. Well, obviously time has taken it's toll my memory but I shall fend off the cobwebs. I can guess they were play sketches and I started them and kept at them till they got pretty finished! Still pretty happy with them as sketches. There are some cringe worthy moments in one's sketchbooks but these I still like a lot.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here is a new pen and ink commission I did about a week ago for a fan named Al. It's for his wife who's a Winnie The Pooh fan. I drew a lot of Pooh in early and mid-2007 so it was nice to go back and do this amid all the Power Ranger work of late. Enjoy!

BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - Pen & Ink Commission

Here's a commission piece of pin-up art that I did of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I did based on the TV show version of Buffy with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Pen and ink on 11" x 17" bristol board. Click on the image for the bigger version! Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's A POWER RANGERS Year At The Neely Studio!

Well, it's been a Power Rangers Jungle Fury year so far, and will now continue on till the end of the year! These are some pages from a second young reader Power Rangers storybook that I've worked on and there is a 3rd book which is in final inking stage and recently a 4th book was greenlit to this series and is currently being written! I'm quite happy with the art on this projects and I think little boys and girls will really dig these books! Go, Go Power Rangers!

The Dai Shi throne room scene came out looking great though drawing a lot of Ren Shi Warriors over the course of the year has been time consuming. The end result is worth it though!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Autograph Card For SCOTT INNES And All The Characters He's Voiced Over The Last 10 Years!

Here is the new autograph card I put together for my friend and voice-over actor/radio DJ Scott Innes. He wanted a new piece of art to use as an autograph card with all the characters that he's done voices for over the last 10 years! We put the 21 most popular characters, or better known ones, that Scott has voiced on it. Jon Alderink gave me the assist in helping me color the cartoon characters to get this sucker done as it was on my list of things to do for several months now. It came out great and really pops in color. Do you know the names of all the characters?

There's Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Scrappy-Doo, Bandit (from Jonny Quest), Muttley, Astro (from The Jetsons), Shag-Along (from The Hillbilly Bears), Yogi Bear & Boo Boo, Snagglepuss, Wally Gator, The Creeper (from Scooby-Doo), Hollywood Hal (the character I created with Scott), Quick Draw McGraw, Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Mr. Slate (Fred's boss on the Flintstones), Professor Pat Pending (from the Wacky Racers), Popeye, Bluto, and Mark, the leader of G-Force (from Battle of the Planets)!