Friday, June 30, 2006

Photoshop tip: Downloading & Customising Brushes

Downloading PS brushes is really easy, installing them is even easier. The file is called an .abr file, and it goes in the brushes folder which is located in the presets folder in your PS folder. Drop it in there while PS is turned off. When you activate PS go to your brush palette. If it's not already open look under "window" which is in the menu bar up top. Brushes should have a check next to it. Doing this makes that particular menu visible. In the Brush menu click the arrow button on the side. A list will pop up showing all the brushes in your presets and your new brushes should be in it. Choose "append" to add it to the existing set of available brushes or "replace" to remove all other brushes. Once you decide on which one you like you can customize and save them permanently in the "tool presets" which like the brush palette is also found under windows. They will be readily available to you whether or not you have that particular brush set loaded. You can give each of these a name that is easily recognizable to you. Before I found this feature I was wasting all my time re-customizing my brushes every time I opened the program. The brushes were gone when I would re-open PS. This feature works for all Photoshop tools.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Character Study

Another combo here. I'm working on a pitch with a friend of mine. Brian saw the sketch and brought it to life with a quick painterly rendering.

Inks and Color

Sup Ya'll. Saw this hot ass sketch from Samax and had to touch it. I did some quick inks and colored it up in Illustrator and Photoshop. I just made up the skin tones and all. One.

"Dollface" by samax

this is a sketch i did of a friend of mine from mySpace... the likeness (as usual) is so-so, but it made what i think is a really nice drawing. i'd dig it if somebody would color this. in fact, feel free to color any of my drawings!
that's what makes these sites fun!

if you need any info (pics of the model, hi-res copy, etc.) get at me!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Late Summer Psalm

Y'all check out Dustins animated short? Check it out very inspiring! Click the title for the link.

Monday, June 26, 2006



Great! Wow! Hooray! You just finished your first project ever! Hey, when are you getting the dough you were promised?

Getting paid is the single most important aspect of being a freelancer, so make sure that you take your time and do things right. If you don't, you might land up getting screwed in the end. Just because you have completed a huge profile job and you are looking to receive big dough in return, doesn't mean that the client is going to pay on time or even pay at all.

There are many strategies to deal with delinquent clients, but there are also many precautionary measures that you should take in the beginning of your client - freelancer relationship.


If you are taking on a substantial project that is going to occupy a big chunk of your schedule, you should spend the money on a credit report. The most reliable website to find this sort of information is Experian. Their reports include credit status, legal filings, collection agency filings, payment behaviors and trends, and company background information.

Experian -
Searching the database is free. When comprehensive information is available, Experian will provide a full Snapshot report, including a credit risk category. Of course, if Experian has no information about a business there is no charge.


A legal agreement is the most important step in the whole process of getting paid. Make sure on your contract to specify the time schedule, price for your service, and terms that was agreed upon mutually between you and the client. I was screwed out of getting paid on my first freelance gig because I didn't insist on a contract. If for some reason a client won't sign the contract, then they aren't a trustworthy company to work for. So learn from my mistakes and find a contract to use in your freelance business. MAKE SURE THE CLIENT SIGNS!!!

On there is an entire section devoted to contracts, which can be found at

**Get Ideas for Your Client Contracts from a Contract Swipe - - This swipe file is filled with example contracts that you can use. My suggestion is to take a little from one and add to another until you have a perfect contract. These contracts are meant for web developers but can be used for any profession with a little change on your part.


I always have clients pay $100 - $200 up front to show they are good for the money. Also, this enables me to have at least some money in case they back out of the contract early. Don't forget to take the retainer amount out of the last invoice amount. I know that one of my associates ask for a 20% retainer to help pay for the up front costs that he pays to printers and other vendors. This is a wise system to follow for you if you also have many out-of-pocket purchases.


Make sure to use net 30 on your contracts. What this means is that your client has 30 days to pay up the money that they owe you. Since many companies routinely pay 30-90 days late on all invoices, I would never make your terms net 60 or net 90. You might also want to consider implementing a late fee, but I would suggest instead raising your fee a little bit and then offering a 5% discount if your client pays on time.


It is easier for a client to remember to pay if you have a schedule for his payments. Also, if you break up the payments into smaller invoices, you can always refuse to continue if you aren't receiving the money that you are owed. Most clients won't risk falling behind schedule and they will pay up. Think of it this way . your clients won't have very much to lose if you ask for all of your money at the completion of the project, because they already received the completed work.

But, Rachel, I have implemented these measures and STILL my low-life client isn't coughing up the money. What is a poor freelancer like myself to do?


You should always send something first to the client in writing stating their delinquent status. I find it helpful to both email and snail mail overdue notices.


Call regularly and make an annoyance of yourself. Make sure not to use vulgarity, curse words, or threaten violence to express yourself - this is illegal. Keep things professional, but DO make a huge fuss over the matter. Email works well too.


Tell your client how much this payment means to you. You rely on this payment to pay your bills, to pay for medical care, to feed your children. Tell your client that you are a real person, and that you can't make ends meet and feed your children if you don't get your "paycheck". This might put a face on the bills that have been sitting on your client's desk.


Draw phone calls out to embarrass the client, making sure to bring up previous conversations that negate his or her previous comments. There is nothing more embarrassing than being called a liar.


If your collection efforts have all but failed, you can try to hire out a collections agency. You don't have to pay collection agencies out of pocket. The way it works is they take a percentage of whatever they win back for you. It usually is about 20%, but I have seen
it as high as 45%. Shop around and find a collector that doesn't charge too much.


If you have a signed contract like I recommend, winning your case should be quite easy. File a complaint with your local small claims clerk. But hold it, unfortunately this is not it. Form after form is awaiting you. But if you want to get that money, or even if you are suing out of anger, it will be worth it to you. The best part of small-claims court is that there is NO LAWYER NECESSARY. In addition, usually once a client sees that they are being sued, they pay up. It is easy as don't need a lawyer in small claims court. For more advice on small claims court, check out this article.
If you still cannot get your money back, all you can do is use your experiences as a learning experience. Think about what you might have done wrong and do things differently with your next client. Good Luck!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

They call me Bruce

This is not exactly a sketch, I've been workin on this one for about a week. One of my favorite 70's personalities. Where I come from Bruce Lee was more than human. He was a god. Every other dude in the neighborhood had a pair of nun chucks. I always wanted one of thos blacklight posters with his image on it. Remeber those? Where my seventies kids at?!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Quick Airbrush

Sup ya'll had this sketch laying around so I decided to practice some airbrush techniques...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Here is a pic me and Mr MCgee did together for a freelance gig I got for the Hornets a few months back. Brian did a great job coloring this stuff for me and the background. I'll post the other images we did also.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

MAS iz CloWniN!!! :P

Whatup again people! The freelance and allnighters finally caught up to me this past weekend so been taking a bit of a breather. None the less, I found myself picking up the pen again and pumped this one out just for fun. I plan on sprucing stuff up a bit more when I'm back to 100%, but for now this is just me messin around and lettin' loose. Click the pic for a larger view.

I'm a huge horror buff so I spent the whole night sketching away horror characters and film posters. Had to draw one of my favorites from "Killers Clowns from Outer Space". Movie was a hillarious classic so to speak in my eyes at least lol. I'd recommend it if you havent seen it already.

More sketches to come soon tho'. I also will be updating my website in the coming weeks with more finalized work and some of the freelance I been working on lately so stayed tuned :) here and my website for more updates.

Thats all for now, keep up the good work people. I'll holla.

Peace and Luv,

Monday, June 19, 2006

Super Rough Character Concept

For a project a friend of mine wrote. I hope it gets picked up. This guy has an extra long sword and has to use it
quite a bit. You guys know the drill. That's fun stuff to draw. Anyway, I'll post the final character painting when it's
done. Peace.

All-star Meeting?

Hey everybody. I was talking to Brian at lunch about having a sketchbook session after work once or twice a month at Apache. I was thinking maybe the first Monday of every month and the last monday of the month. I talk to alot of you guys on line but have never met any of you and thought a sketchbook session would be cool. for those that dont know about the Apache Cafe. Here is some info on it...

The Scene
You may not own a baja jacket or consider yourself the art-school type, but on Mondays, the Apache Cafe sets out to make you an artist. Explore your bohemian side during an evening designed to celebrate art for its own sake, and spruce up your refrigerator decor in the process.

The Experience
The sometimes intimate, sometimes raucous group focuses on different types of art each week (photography, sculpture, painting). Take in local works on the walls, and then sit down to participate in the main event--the interactive art. On many nights, it's sketching nude models. You get to try your hand at greatness, while the featured artists share their purpose and inspiration for the exhibited pieces. Mix and mingle with the young and creative for an evening of dinner, drinks and inspired energy.

I think this would be a great way to meet other people on our board and to meet some new people not on the board, What do you guys think?

New Music Today

Sup Ya'll. This is ya boy Rezerekted. This weeks selections takes us back to the old school before there was Hip Hop.
You'll recognize some of these joints cause they've been sampled by all the big dogs from Primo to Dre. Oh and
I threw one classic Rap joint in there from the Supreme Team. So get out your afro picks and pimp canes! Let's go...

Sym7 sculpture

Just thought I'd share this with y'all. A good friend of mine is working on a sculpt of one of our old sketchjams the Hollywood monsters. Sym7 will soon have a website for y'all to check out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Again Samara as I stated before I am not sure about the ethics of doing something like this. In hind sight I probably should have sent the re-paint to you in private and allowed you to post it as you saw fit, but I didnt want to start sending private messages as to avoid hurting peoples feelings. But as I try to encourage others to critique one another, I also encourage others to collaborate, to join forces as it were and come up with something new. I have actually done this twice before in Sketchbook Allstars, once with a sketch from Dawd and another occasion with a sketch from Randolph Williams. As you can see all of your original brush strokes were left alone. You original post was left alone as was your signature. The only alterations I made were to the value of the painting. I WISH someone would come along and re work my stuff already!! I welcome it. It falls inline with the idea of the group. If you want to reject the idea and take it down, it's up to you. As stated before all members have equal administrative capabilities. Based on your introduction where you expressed the desire to "learn, and share your work" I thought you would have a more open attitude.

Not cool...

“this blog is intended, for those who are involved, an opportunity to challenge one another, to challenge ourselves, to connect with our contemporaries in the field and to gain exposure”

Seeing all the different artists here and being informed by a couple people that I should get in on the all-stars, prompted me to submit my work. Being a professional 3D as well as a traditional artist, I consider myself a peer and not a pupil of the other artists on this blog. I post my work here for critiques, and tips, as all artists can and do learn from each other. I did not post my art to be “worked over” by someone else’s hand!

A critique is one thing, but to take someone's art and change it is unacceptable. I’ve looked at everyone else’s posts, comments, and encouragement to one another as constructive criticism. Archives show that since this blog started, I have been the only artist, new or founding member to EVER have any of their work painted over and re-posted. As far as art ethics go, that’s a strict insult to the original artist. It was stated that you were trying to avoid painting over my work as nothing was “really wrong with my painting”, but you took my work and painted over it anyway. If you wanted to give a good critique, verbal advice would have sufficed, as I've seen it given to other artists here.


Samara, I was inspired by your first submission and saw lots of possibilities. I hope you dont mind my presumtiousness with what you want from your work, but I couldnt help myself. I felt that your painting lacked some drama so I added contrast. I tried to avoid (painting over) your work as there is nothing really wrong with it. Anyway I'm not sure what the ethical protocol is with this because I haven't been doing it but I encourage members to assist one another with productive critique. Thanks again and welcome to our group.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Drawingz from the right side of the brain

Greetinz from da venezuelan afro-beats mountainz!
I made this in about.. dunno, few seconds, maybe a minute with a cheap marker on cheaper paper, with my left hand.
I was lookin' for some theories that supports this week challenge, and found that right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for percepcion, creativity, visual-spacial thinkin' and emotional stuff, while the left brain is responsible for logic, analysis, abstract reasoning and language, but, don´t trust me, I'm not a a scientist, take five minutes and check this test about how do you use your brain. Really good. Also check those linkz too: Cerebral hemisphere (wiki), right hemisphere (everything2).
And for those who miss a good drawing book, take a look at this, it's about Betty Edwards, her book has been helpful for a lot of arts students in my university...

There are two more left-hand-made drawinz from some days ago, I think it was unfair to post'em for the sketchjam coz they was already made, but I really love 'em, and I don't care, I wanted to share this with you.

Rebañismo, (the spanish word at the last drawing) in spanish it doesn't exist as a word, but comes from "rebaño" and means "herd", a bunch of people who do things without a purpose. So It could be somethin' like "Herdism"... y' know, like pencilism... hahaha, it sounds terrible...


Read all about it...

S'up allstars... I'm finally able to post! Thanks for the invite Dawud. Hoping my time here will let me get to know all the great artists, everyones different styles, and allow me to learn, and share my work. Glad to be a part of the movement... :)

Tom-Yum-Goong Sketch

Had to hurry and put something up before everyone thought I went AWOL. Been doin up the freelance like crazy lately. Liked the fight scene idea so I just pumped out this quick sketch and photoshoped it of the upcoming "Tom Yum Goong" starring "Ong Bak" fav Tony Jaa. Not an actual fight scene of course but I had to contribute something regardless since its been a while.

Had to do something to occupy my insomnia last night as well lol. Saw a poster for the film so I just went to off that and MAS styled it so to speak. ;)Took about 45 minutes all together.

Most of you have seen my blog featuring Tony Jaa's amazing skillz on one of my Myspace Blogs, but to those who haven't.... I suggest u check it out here at this link and be amazed. Tony Jaa Fight Clips

Will be back for the round after next....dont wanna blind anyone this next round with my amazing...(NOT) left handed drawing skillz :P.

Peace and Luv,

Monday, June 12, 2006

Isometric Plug in for illustrator

I saw this over at Brian Denhams blog. It looks like a pretty cool thing to have. I always had issues with drawing perspective so i stayed away from it but this makes it easy. No more Grids to try and draw. Iso Line Tool

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Venezuelan Flavor in da haus!

Hey people! I'm Leo, the new guy, I've been invited to share my works with all of you! I'm new in this blog stuff, just started a month ago with mine. So thanx a lot!!! I'll try my best.

The guy upthere with the lady is Machera, "El Santo Malandro" in english would be somethin' like "The Holy Gangsta". Malandro is a latinamerican word for the criminals who live in the ghettos or "barrios" as we say. Machera was the aka of the toughest one of Mérida, a lil' town in Venezuela, where I am from. He lived, robbed, killed and helped a lot of people in the 70's and was the leader of the harder gang in the town. People says when he was alive he used to help his people, his neighborhood, and he's famous for his robbing the rich to feed the poor, like Robin Hood but in a 70' groovy style. He was murdered by the cops at 21 years old in 1977, 180 bullets, and now, the merideñan people praise him to solve any kind of troubles, love, study, money, illness, food, drugs, another gangs, any kind of situations. He got a little chapel in the local cementery. Obviously, the catholic church says he's kinda devil and we're all wrong... Just in case, when you'll rise a pray for him, please light a cigarrette and let it stand alone in a dark corner...

I drew this one with my left hand and it looks quite simple but I like sooo much coz' It's more alive, this was the cover of the first issue of our comic magazine here in Venezuela...

BTW, sorry for my sad english, you'll notice i'm not from here.. :)

Sketchbook Allstars

I'm not sure how many of y'all are going through the archives but we have produced a nice collection of art since december. I'm always eager to see what you guys will come up withe next. Ya make me feel proud! St John street dropped this jem.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rooftop Records

Hey it's been a while since I've been on but I was diggin through some old records and came across my first album cover. This was a 12" compilation for Rooftop Records, a historic hip hop club in Harlem. I did this in the year 1987. Some of Kool Moe Dee's jams were released under this label and much of hip hops heavy hitters frequented the spot. This album featured artists like B-Fats, Queen Lisa Lee and the Disco Four to name a few. It was one of my first major jobs although I had a city wide rep in Philly for airbrushing t-shirts. Unfortunately it wasn't the big payoff (LOL!) but I always put my all into every job I did. If you look at this character and look at my Brotherman images , you will see that that has been my style for years. In fact, this was the original prototype for Brotherman.

I always wondered if Treach was inspired to wear the pad lock around his neck from this concept. His represented his respect to brothas on lock. It's all good tho . . . just wondered.



Playing around with a postcard design. Had to rock my man Hendrix.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just to follow with Xmas's theme, here's a Bruce sketch I did a little whiles ago, but just got around to coloring it. This can also go towards this weeks assignment, because I based this of one of my favorite scenes in Enter the Dragon. If you know the movie like me, then you know this is the ice cold face he gives Han's guard when asked "why not where uniform?!". Lee was the man!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sup, y'all? Nice work from everybody this past week. I love it when you contribute!! Anyway this weeks sketch jam will be to draw a scene from a movie or book that you enjoyed. By the way, not every idea on this blog will be appealing to everyone. Feel free to submit sketches from previous sketchjams. There may be sketchjam ideas from previous challenges that interest you. Check the archives. Previous Sketchbook Allstars challenges are always relevant and are welcome.
Hey all. these are some early designs for a series I want to pitch to Warner Bros. Animation. It's based on Enter the Dragon
and takes place 5 years after the movie. I'm sure I'll go thru a million design passes but these are the first.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I had some down time today and just thought I'd keep things movin'. I'm not really feelin the bracelet on her arm but no Backsi's.

Sorry I haven't been on top of things of late because of the new baby in the house. I've been working on my sketchbook that Im going to try and publish by the end of the year in-between baby naps here and there so its been a slow process. Here is a image that is gonna go in the book. Different Gorillas will be popping up in the book but mostly the book will be what you're use to seeing from me, like women and hip hop type stuff. I'll keep everybody posted as I go.

Yeah I see myself as a Zulu warrior, if only it were tru......
Post any off topic random crapola here