Saturday, November 21, 2009


I had completely forgotten all about what day today was when I woke up! November 21st marks my 10th Anniversary of drawing Scooby and the Gang and so I burned out this piece of celebration art around lunch time and just finished it after I slapped some color on it! What a milestone I think it is to me. It's a chapter of my life and in today's world how many people can say that they've worked on something that long? Most people change jobs and careers so often nowadays that when someone celebrates a long stretch on something, I think it's to be celebrated.

I still remember doing my Scooby audition back in September of 1999 while I was sitting in my cubicle in the art department of The Franklin Mint! I used their library to help me in trying to do as great an audition as I could to win the work and they had the perfect reference books to help with my backgrounds so I could create a creepy mood. As it turns out, I did win out and in late November I was working on Scooby full time for the next year and a half, which was great since The Mint was laying off and would be closed a year or so later. Every year I do a certain amount of Scooby stuff and I've never really gotten tired of it since I've been lucky enough to have gotten to work on many other licenses in-between while I recharged my creative batteries and avoided any kind of creative burnout.

So all in all, it's been a great ten years and the Mystery Machine rolls on as I ride in the back with Shaggy and Scoob! Pass the Scooby Snacks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SCOTTCAST - Episode 3!

Here is the third episode of ScottCast! In this 40 minute show, I talk about the standards for good character design and then I talk about and play a few audio treats to get your imagination working! Give it a listen!

ScottCast - Episode 3!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The November 16th issue of Country Weekly Magazine is now out on the stands and Hal & Al are on page 25! We got a full page story on the Hal & Al Miracle League Benefit Concert that happened in September and this full page story marks our 4th time in CW this year! You can click on the pics to see the bigger version!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Even Monsters Need Love...

Something cute and fun...even Monsters have a heart! Burned this sketch out quick as I remember and it got used on a kids book last year. I threw some color on it to make it pop more.

HAL & AL "Baton Rouge Christmas Parade" Free Promo CD Art!

Here is the final artwork I just loaded up tonight to Oasis CD Manufacturing. This Hal & Al CD will be given out December 12 at the downtown Baton Rouge Christmas Parade as a free gift to the first 1,000 people there. It was all paid for by Hal & Al's sponsors and that's why it's all logoed up more than usual, including the CD itself! I reused a lot of art from previous stuff I've done to get it done quick since it was a free promo.
Above is my original version of the art for the CD label but tonight in the 11th hour when I was going to upload it, I noticed that it was four colors instead of three! I forgot that white was a color as well! So I quickly opted to make the text black. I like the green on it since it broke it up more, so I'm posting it here so you can see it as well. Below will be the final manufactured version.

HAL & AL Benefit Concert "Thank You" Ad!

Here is the ad that was made after the Hal & Al Miracle League Benefit Concert that ran in two magazines as a 'Thank You' since it raised over $100,000 that night!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Night With The King Of Rock And Roll!

As I was gathering images off one of my external hard drives to put on my new website, I came across this pic of Elvis that I digitally repainted over back in 2003. I wanted to test my Photoshop skills and the best way to do that is to do something harder than normal and so I scanned the cover of this LIFE magazine special featuring ELVIS at 450dpi and then digitally painted over all the text parts to make it look (hopefully) like the original unfettered picture of Elvis. There were some liberties taken with his shirt under where the ELVIS was written but I tried to get it as close as I could to what it looked like under the type. I didn't have a copy of the actual photo without all the text to see how accurate mine was, but I think I got it close. Some of the folds were hard to figure out how they went and it took some time to get it right, but I think this is one of my best digital repaints that I've ever done! Looking back I'm quite happy with the results. I remember it took me most of the night and it must have been around 4-5 hours total to get it as flawless as I could while keeping the pixel texture intact that was picked up in the scan.
If anyone else would like the original cover to try their hand at repainting over it, I'll load it up and post a link for any brave souls or Photoshop Jedi who want to give it a try.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Evolution Of A HAL & AL CD Cover!

Here is the new CD art for Hal & Al's upcoming Miracle League Benefit Concert CD. These will be given away to everyone who shows up a token gift who bought a ticket. I also had to come up with a two color piece of art to do on the CD itself so I thought a baseball design would tie it together nicely.

As with any new project, each one usually has it's pitfalls or trouble spots that need fixing. I'm posting these last three pics just to show off my Photoshop skills since no one will ever really know the real work that goes into it from looking at the finished product since it will be printed at CD size. If I don't toot my own horn, no one will for me.
Here is the original photo I got from the professional photoshoot taken down in Louisiana. You can click on it for a bigger version!
The first thing I had to do was separate the background from the characters (as I called them) and once that was done, check all the edges to be sure it was a clean sharp separation. If not I digitally paint the areas that need it. I then fixed Al's turkey neck problem and I also fix little flaws on Al's hands to make them look nice and not so much like a glove. I next take off Hal's eye screen off of his chin.
Next is the big job of adding a flesh color to Hal & Al. Every professional shoot always whites them out and they look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. For some reason flesh tones on these kinds of costumes never look right after they've been photographed; it most likely has to do with the lighting necessary to get the shot in general. If you shoot in bright sunlight for outdoor events, they get whited out as well. So in order for the characters to print correctly I have to add a flesh tone color over top on a new layer. By doing it that way on a new layer, I can then pull the opacity and then pick the setting that gives me the tone I want.
Next up, Scott Innes wanted to add Rhinestone Al's scarf in it since it wasn't visable in the original shot and it was tucked inside Al's coat. You can see part of it hanging down past his belt in the original shot. So I took scarfs off of other Al photos, which were all yellow, and then had to change them to purple to match the new scarf since it goes with his yellow shirt. Once I added the new scarf into place I then had to fix it so it looked like it was there originally, so that took some time and then I painted in the shadows to ground it more. Boy, it came out looking great! "Is it real or is it Memorex?"
Then I had to paint over the part of the pants and digitally take out the purple scarf that hung down. Once that was all taken out, I then created a new belt loop and then worked my way down and digitally painted in the folds of the pants to match the original the best I could. This part took the longest though the whole thing took about 3.5 hours total. I had to work on the original large high res photo since I didn't know if a larger version of the photo would be needed for other advertising at some point. If I did all this work on a small version, I would have been screwed. It's happen before where I did the work in Photoshop and the place we dealt with needed vector art.
So Rule #1: Always work big if you can! and Rule #2: Ask what they will be using the stuff for and get exact sizes! If they aren't sure, just work big!

Then came the newest change after 99% of the CD had been done. Scott told me to go back to the original photo again and take the WYNK Radio logo off of the kid's t-shirt. There might have been a conflict with LSU coach Paul Mainieri being on the cover and a radio station affiliation. It was probably nothing and even with it being so small on the actual CD cover, we didn't think anyone would see it anyway. But to prevent any problems that might or might not come, I painted over the logo with blue and then went back into it to fix the folds and such to make it look like a natural blue t-shirt. Then I added the vector art of our first Hal & Al concert tour logo on top of the shirt and tweaked it so that it really looks like it was sitting on the shirt. As I tell young art students, a great knowledge of perspective goes a long way and also works in other areas of art! So you must learn it well!
After it was done, I then took it and dropped it onto the front cover and resized it to fit with everything else. Normally when I do photos of Hal & Al where the characters are the real versions of them in their costumes and not their cartoon forms, I like to add a digital illustration to the background to jazz it up and give it that kid's show look. Works very much like a green screen. The shadows I painted under the characters ground them really well and make them look like they are standing on the field. I also then have to lighten the whole CD art a tad since it always prints darker on the actual CD packaging, which is why I always get the color proofs sent to me to sign off on from Oasis Manufacturing. Always see the proofs if you can!
Here is the FINAL version! Click on the big version to see how it turned out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SCOTTCAST - Episode 2!

Here's the new ScottCast! Episode 2 is about 42 minutes long and I cover a lot of ground! I talk about Scooby; my anniversary working with the dog; finding your interest in art and how to distill your interest in art back to it's creative center; why old movies were better in terms of storytelling and how to observe and not just see what you watch. Plus, I talk about having a 'Plan B'; broadening your artistic view; and I read an article about graphic design that all aspiring designers should hear! Mixed with music, and hopefully, fun's a Hoot!

Click to download it now! You know you want to!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SCOTTCAST - Episode 1!

Here is the first episode of the ScottCast! I've been wanting to do a podcast for years now and have had the software since 2005! This is my first attempt at it and I think it turned out great! I sent a copy to my friend Jamar Nicholas to see what he thought and he gave it the 'thumbs up' so I'm posting this first episode tonight!

This episode is around 15 minutes tops and it's a shorter one since it's more of an introduction to what I want to do. I talk about what my favorite cartoon is, I read a great post about people who hire artists and I talk about the lack of artistic knowledge in the general business white collar world. There will be longer ones and I'll be talking about all kinds of art related things from my personal experiences that I think art students would find interesting about the business such as the business side of art, tools of the trade, character designing, advertising yourself, finding your niche in art, Learning to be well rounded and having a Plan B!

If you have any questions, you can post them here or at my Facebook email and I'll answer them for you! Just click on the link for the direct download!


I also had to go back into Scott Innes' Autograph and Promotion photo card and add Captain Caveman into the picture. Scott was recently cast to take the part and is now doing the voice of him for the WB. So we now have 22 characters total on a page! There are more, but these are the main ones or known ones that he's done voices for.

HAL & AL "Miracle League Charity Concert" T-Shirt Design! FINAL Version!

Here is the final version of the concert t-shirt for Hal & Al's benefit concert. I added the Marucci Bats logo to the bats since they are now a sponsor for Hal & Al! I also added all the acts performing that night of the show at the bottom. We were going to put them on the back of the shirt but kept it simple and added them to the front. Doing printing on the back costs more naturally so we wanted to keep it simple. Jimi Jamison from Survivor will be there as well performing and he's a new addition to the advertising poster and such. The art will be printed on a blue shirt as you can see.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Starting Work For SHREK 4...And Some Other News!

Got the message on late Friday that I was shipped my package of SHREK 4 reference and I should have it on Tuesday to start to get an idea of what I have to do and the timelines and such to do it in. I'll know more by the middle of this week. Looks like a cool deal and I can't post anything from it, but I will be posting some of my previous Shrek stuff from a year ago or so you can see that. I got a lot of stuff I've done lately, but I'm just not showing it right now for the secrecy that it has to have for copyright reasons. I will be posting some new sketches though since I'm always sketching!

Also, I will be doing a podcast as well! I got the software, which I've had since 2005, and I'll be recording the first one this week sometime. The first one will be short as I'm testing the software and sound quality, but I've got two long ones planned. The subjects I'll talk about are all about art and questions I normally get when I do appearances at libraries and school. I should have some great stuff for aspiring artists as well since I'll be telling you about some of the in's and out's from my perspective to the business of art. It should be fun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

HAL & AL Back In COUNTRY WEEKLY Introducing Our SPECK RHODES Puppet! PLUS, Some "Behind The Scenes" Pics!

I spent the day running around to different Wal-Marts to see if they had the new Country Weekly that features our new Speck Rhodes puppet! I found them in all three of the local Wal-Mart's around me and scanned the article. Speck came out a little pink in the scan so I'm posting the original photo I submitted as well.

Below are some pics of the early mock ups I did in Photoshop, then some photos of the actual manufacturing of Speck, and some pics of Speck that Scott Innes took of Speck when he was delivered. Click on all the pics for a bigger view so you can read the taglines!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Someone I'll Be Working With Again At The End Of August!

Got the call late Monday and asked if I was interested since I did stuff for the 3rd one. Of course I said yes... I'm easy like that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

HOLLYWOOD HAL & RHINESTONE AL Theme Song Music Video Featuring Country Superstar Neal McCoy!

Here's a new video up on YouTube for Hal & Al! It's a new music video cut to the theme song sung by country superstar Neal McCoy! It's a good photo montage of what Hal & Al is all about! Neal recorded the song back in April of 2006 when we were just getting going with Hal & Al! Grammy-nominated Nelson Blanchard played all the instruments and did the production on it!

SCOOBY #151 - Teaser Comic Page For "In The Spirit"!

Here is a teaser comic page from Scooby #151, which I did an 8-page story for as well. It was finished about a month ago now. I'm posting the first page since it's the teaser intro for the story and Scooby and the Gang appear on the next page as they come in to solve the deal. I really like the set up for this page. You get a lot of great exposition and a great shot of the monster. The storytelling is working for me as well all the while leaving room for the credits and word balloons. I'll post the other pages as it gets closer to release. The book will be out in the fall.

SCOOBY #148 - Teaser Comic Page For "Stars Behind Bars"!

Here is a comic teaser page from Scooby #148, which I did an 8-page story for. I'm posting the first page of the story since it's the teaser page and Scooby and the Gang appear on the next page. These teaser pages are much like the opening teaser to a Scooby cartoon where they introduce the monster in a scary and spooky way and then cut to the opening credit sequence and then go right into the story. It's all formula, baby. The book will be out in a couple months.

My New Promo To Celebrate My 10th Anniversary & To Promote My Art Blog!

Here is a mock up for my own t-shirt I'll be getting printed for this fall to celebrate my tenth anniversary and to promote this art blog of mine! I'll be getting them printed in two sizes I think, which will be Adult XL and 2XL. They normally seem to shrink a little and people keep asking me for bigger shirts since I made the Power Records shirts a few years ago. I think they look cool myself!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The HAL & AL "Miracle League Benefit Concert" T-Shirt Designs!

Here is the mock up for the new charity concert t-shirt that I threw together for the concert in October. The red ribbon is the one we are going with right now. It will be printed on a blue shirt. I still have to do the backside of the shirt and put all the performing acts on it.

The green ribbon was originally done first as I thought that choice was what worked best to my eye. All three actually all work well so it could go any way.

Scott Is Back In The SPRINGFIELD PRESS Again!

The Springfield Press printed the new pictures of my appearance at the Springfield Library this week and they really gave me a big spot in the paper! I also like how they hyped my blog with the second picture.

As a note to all artists (and my DCAD students) who are trying to build on their futures... I took the pictures of the color corrected and cropped photos to the library on a disc for them to give to the Press. Well, as usual, they just sat there and when I called about if they were submitted they of course said, "Oh! We thought you were going to do it." These could have been in the paper a week earlier or not at all unless I didn't take the upper hand and do it myself and drive them down to the paper as soon as I got off the phone with the library. I typed out the taglines myself really fast and the Press printed what I gave them. Lesson One: If you want something done right, do it yourself. Don't rely on anyone to do it for you.

HAL & AL soon to be back in COUNTRY WEEKLY MAGAZINE!

Here is a mock up that Country Weekly sent us about the new 2-page story they are doing on our new puppet based on comedian Speck Rhodes! As you can see they will plug in something else down in the corner maybe an ad or another story. It should be on the stands around August 4th! I'll post more about it then with some pics of the puppet and it's preproduction and manufacturing! Here's the tease!

Computer Problems This Week...

There I was working on the new Hal & Al t-shirt design for the Concert in October and I stopped when I was done and did a little bit of labelling the info tags on some MP3's when my computer started acting a little weird. I thought it nothing and maybe it just needed to be refreshed so I cut the power off and then tried to reboot. Well, it came up to the Windows XP screen and just stopped like it hit a wall. I turned it off again and then tried to get it into 'Safe Mode' and that was no good either. I tried several things and couldn't get it going. They used to give you an installation disc when you got the computer but they didn't give me one with this model since it had a mirror image of it on the drive and didn't require an actual disc. Though I could have used one at the time. At any rate, I wasn't really panicking since I had everything backed up onto external hard drives. I have about 6 of them. I have one for all my art, one for all my Mp3 and audio files, and one for everything else. The other three drives are just back ups of the back ups. It may sound nuts but you have to in this day and age. I have my artistic life on the one drive and if I lost that I'd be screwed, so I have a second drive that is a copy of every file on it. All I was potentially about to lose was this t-shirt art! And I didn't really want to have to go back into it and recreate it all over again.

I took my tower to Computer Renaissance (whom I bought my laptop from a year ago) and they fixed it in a couple hours. I got the 48 hour rush service for it and it took from Wednesday at noon to Friday at noon to get it back. Right on time! They were backed up with a lot of work for both PC's and MAC's that had issues. I didn't find out what caused the issue as the tech guy who worked on it went on vacation after he fixed it. I'll have to call them next week and ask him what was exactly wrong with it. At any rate, I didn't lose any files, and it's back up and working great! As soon as it was powered up, I copied the two files I feared for right over to the externals.

For this post, I'd like to recommend this particular hard drive to anyone out there. I've had no issues with them as a brand and it's super easy to use! You can get a 500gb from for $75! Or you can get the 1 TB drive for $99! Here is the link to it and a product description!

Iomega 500gb External Hard Drive

The Iomega Prestige Desktop Hard Drive USB 2.0, 500GB provides a simple and affordable solution for all your storage needs. Ideal for adding capacity to your system, this stylish drive offers a sturdy aluminum construction and included stand. It's the easiest way to save photos, music, videos and more, in addition the Prestige Desktop Hard Drive is powered by an Energy Star qualified adapter for a better environment! Included free with your Iomega hard drive purchase, choose either EMC Retrospect Express or Retrospect Express HD for PC or Mac for easy file backup (software via download). Also included is free MozyHome Online Backup (2GB online capacity).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

HAL & AL's "Miracle League At Cypress Mounds" Benefit Concert Poster!

Here is the new poster for the advertising for the Hal & Al fall concert this year which is benefiting the Miracle League At Cypress Mounds. The Miracle League needed a new field, which the handicapped can use to play ball on, and Hal & Al are helping out to raise the money to build it. We got many a country star performing on stage that night in Baton Rouge! More may be added!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Art Tease For My BIG Secret Project!

Here's a sliver of art as a tease for a new project that I'm now working on! Well, actually it's not that big of a secret since I told some of my artist friends the basics about it so far. But you, the general public, are left in the dark to wonder "What could this be???" It's a big advertising job that is quite involved and it should be quite exciting to work on as I progress on it over the next several months. I submitted the first finished character designs late today and Odyssey Design Group was thrilled with them so now we'll see what the client thinks of my first color sketches... I'll post more as more gets approved!

A SCOOBY-DOO DRIVER'S LICENSE! My New Promo That Celebrates My Tenth Anniversary Drawing Him!

I wanted to make up a promo item for my tenth anniversary of drawing Scooby this year and to also advertise my art blog, so I made up a Scooby-Doo driver's license! It came out swell! I think Scooby fans will love them and I've given them out at some appearances of late including my Springfield Library appearance and I handed some out at Wizard World Philly as I walked it. Smart Scooby fans will know that the 3400 Cahuenga Blvd. address and zip code is the original Hanna-Barbera address in California. I got them professionally printed on glossy stock paper and they're business card size as well just like a real driver's license. I laminated a bunch of them as well to give them an official look. It's a quality piece of promo! I got two backs printed: one has my anniversary on it and the other version is just a generic Scooby background. I'll have them up for sale with a link up soon since the lamination costs money to have it done! They also would make a great cheap gift for the Scooby fan who has everything! I'll also be getting a Scooby t-shirt printed up later this year too for my anniversary! I'll post the art for that soon!