the portable city

by definition, not static

status: archives being slowly restored, comics being relocated, new artwork and writing in the queue

Category: art

  • Ceramics


    I’ve been learning ceramics in a casual ongoing way now, enjoying getting out of my comfort zone, and playing with a new medium. Much like printmaking, kiln fired and glazed ceramics are really a collaboration with chemistry and physics as well as a personal creative act, and I love that aspect so much. Below I’m…

  • Etching and Acid Baths and Surrender

    Etching and Acid Baths and Surrender

    Friends, I just finished teaching the last third of a course on print production, and between that and the whole thing with twitter’s crop changing (somewhere? not for me but somewhere?) I’ve found myself thinking a lot about copper etching and my relationship with the acid bath. So, first up, copper etching is an art…

  • Well-Worn Warrior Queen

    Well-Worn Warrior Queen

    Well-worn warrior queen. Painted in procreate with my non-dominant hand.

  • Dog Sketches in Procreate

    Dog Sketches in Procreate

    Drawn with my non-dominant hand:

  • High Intensity Comic Work

    High Intensity Comic Work

    So my first round of art school was a fine art degree. And I didn’t really know a lot about art careers and I wasn’t really sure what I WANTED to be doing, but I did kind of chafe against the “comics aren’t art” vibe some teachers had. And then Shannon Gerard came and talked.…

  • The Immortal

    The Immortal

    Mixed media painting, watercolour and pencil crayon on watercolour paper.

  • Environment Design for Unannounced Solarpunk Game

    Environment Design for Unannounced Solarpunk Game

    Environment design exploring the possibility of using asset store models to populate the level without losing the worldbuilding and colour design. Created as a thorough guide for the level designer, including labelled assets and isolated colour palette information. We started with thumbnails painted from level blockout exploration to choose a location to build up: The…

  • Blue Sky Environment Concept for unannounced solarpunk game from Peculiar Path

    Blue Sky Environment Concept for unannounced solarpunk game from Peculiar Path

    Blue sky ideation process for environment designs and world building for an unannounced game from Peculiar Path. The final image: The linework: Stages in the design process – we started with something fairly realistic, pushed it to extremely stylized, and ended up somewhere in the middle for the final.

  • Four Solarpunk Character Designs

    Four Solarpunk Character Designs

    These four characters were designed for an unannounced Peculiar Path title. Below are some of the stages these characters went through. We started with a skeletal template to help simplify future rigging processes, and iterated possible characters on top of it: Once we had drawings down, we went through a colour design process:

  • Four Kingdoms of Creature Adventurer Character Designs

    Four Kingdoms of Creature Adventurer Character Designs

    Twelve character designs created as a private commission for use as a selection of NPCs, with inspiration lifted from deep sea photography, Byzantine court robes, 17th century french coats, European folk costume, and Errol Flynn outfits. Available to license.

  • Three Dyads

    Three Dyads

    I’ve been practicing taking pose ref and building a fictional scene around it, and decided to focus in on people having quiet moments together; I’ve also been trying to use more soft gradients in watercolour, which is DEFINITELY one of the trickier parts of the medium, so it’s been a great challenge! It’s also taught…

  • G.L.O.S.S. Band Portrait Painting Commission

    G.L.O.S.S. Band Portrait Painting Commission

    This winter I was approached to work on a commission based on the heavy metal portraits I did as studies last year, which, friends, that’s the dream, hey? Do a personal project, hear from someone who connected with it so much they want a private commission that seamlessly extends that body of work? Incredible!  …

  • Getting to know a new palette!

    Getting to know a new palette!

    I treated myself to a new watercolour set, higher quality than the sets I’ve used in the past, about on par with the one-tube-at-a-time purchases I’ve made in terms of lightfastness and pigmentation and such. It’s a Mijello Mission Gold pure pigment palette! The premise of a pure pigment palette is that each paint is…

  • The Listening Station

    The Listening Station

    This short four-coloured risograph comic is a tribute to finding new music back when we had to go into a record store to do so. Set in the world of Lomy in the Abyss, which you can read on

  • By Crom! – Life Advice from Conan the Barbarian

    By Crom! – Life Advice from Conan the Barbarian

    By Crom! is a joke-a-panel autobio webcomic featuring life advice from the ever-practical, mighty-thewed Conan the Barbarian. It ran online from 2012-2014 and was collected into a book in 2016 thanks to amazing support on Kickstarter! As it ran, the art style changed significantly. Below you can read the original run of the webcomic for…

  • Procreate Timelapse Videos:

    Procreate Timelapse Videos:

    I’ve been continuing doing studies in Procreate, and have been saving process videos more and more – it’s really neat to see how paintings change over the course of me working on them.

  • Gouache Studies

    Gouache Studies

    I try and break out the gouache regularly for photo studies; it keeps my hand painterly and reminds me to think about values and simplifying the planes and shapes and also it is always a real challenge! I got some new gouache paints this past year, a Himi/Miya jelly gouache set suitable for painting a…

  • Watercolour Maps

    Watercolour Maps

    I’m a huge fan of the strangeness of satellite imagery of earth, and how it intersects with how we draw maps for navigational or other uses. I also love watching pigment flow around on a surface, and I’ve been thinking about how liquid dynamics of watercolour can mimic liquid dynamics of water tables, geologically. Which…

  • Digital Studies

    Digital Studies

    I’ve been using Procreate and a selection of MaxPacks chalk and gouache brushes to do some looser, more painterly digital studies from photo ref. Here’s a selection of recent ones:

  • Metalhead Paintings

    Metalhead Paintings

    A few fun studies from musician promo shots and personal photos, done in watercolour and pen:

  • Proof of Concept Artwork created for Solarpunk project with Peculiar Path Games

    Proof of Concept Artwork created for Solarpunk project with Peculiar Path Games

    Solarpunk setting overview illustration for an unreleased game from Peculiar Path Games. I learned a lot about different types of boats creating this! Details, process work and research below.

  • Retro Sci-Fi Vignettes for WisCon

    Retro Sci-Fi Vignettes for WisCon

    These illustrations were created for WisCon’s convention app! I worked with Ayizan Studios to take the existing WisCon mascots and designed a whole world for them and their friends to mirror some of the main elements of the convention itself. We were focused on retro sci-fi feel, but with appealing, contemporary colours.

  • Stranded – Digital Illustration, Character and Environment Designs

    Stranded – Digital Illustration, Character and Environment Designs

    Inspired by the retro scifi themed album “Warp Riders” by The Sword, this piece is designed to be used in whole or in part. Here are some details:

  • mixed media test: failed haha

    i did a quick watercolour (first) and gave it a coat of fixative so i could try out layering oil pastels on top for a mixed media look (second), but I’ve hit a few challenges:

    • the oil pastels are very opaque and happily fully obscure the watercolour under them very very quickly
    • the fixative has reduced the absorbency of the paper so the pastels are staying greasy and moving around very easily, giving me wonderful nuance and also no control somehow at the same time
    • my original value plan was loose and crappy and had little contrast to speak of, not a strong place to start
    • and watercolour has, naturally, such incredibly dark values compared to oil pastels, that i can’t get them both in the same range whatsoever. i dug too deep into the darks, as it were.
    • also i had very little plan to speak of and a pretty terrible drawing, so this was maybe doomed from the start

    so likely I’ll toss this now and move on, but it has taught me a fair amount of interesting technical facts, which i plan to remember, and also reminded me of some basic truths about planning, drawing, and values, that i would like to remember but will probably ignore once again at some point in the near future.

  • WIP Knight in Oil Pastel

    this is the biggest thing I’ve painted yet with the oil pastels; gonna be working in it for a while

    i was looking at digital paintings from 2022, and thinking about the method I had started using back then of having a mark making stage and a blending stage as two separate things; and the oil pastels are letting me start to approximate the same workflow, but on paper! interesting…

  • Another portrait in oil pastel

    New challenge recognized: glossy black fur.

  • oil pastel dog portrait!

    finished this piece of a much missed lucky boy; oil pastel on canson mi-tientes paper.

  • oil pastel dog portrait in progress

    working on canson mi-tientes paper, which really let’s the pastel slide around despite the rougher side’s surface texture.

  • Wolf in oil pastel

    painted on canson mi-tientes pastel paper

  • oil pastel study

    in a Robert Bateman sketchbook, using Neopastels from Caran d’Ache.