Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ocean Floor Forest

Listening to "Asleep At the Wheel" by my friend Sea Oleena and decided to make another piece for a possible future project. Figured I'd show the process!

Rough drafts are done quickly and in large numbers. I don't make a huge deal over scanning, more often than not I just take a photo with my smartphone then use that as a starting point. 

I pencil out the shadows and dark spot in red pencil. 80% of my inking is done in Manga Studio 5 

I put down the initial line work and make any subtle changes on the fly 

I delete the pencils and finalize the lines doing touch ups by jumping in and out of Manga Studio and Photoshop CS6 

Watercolors are laid down with some of my own personal scans from life and some other brush work in Photoshop. I stick with photoshop for my coloring most of the time! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Sea Slang

I really don't think there's anything better than a Sandburg poem. 

"Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
                                          I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                                          What place is this?
                                          Where are we now?

                                          I am the grass.
                                          Let me work."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Iceberg Boy

When I proposed to my fiancee I gave her a fifty+ page graphic novel I'd written and illustrated for her about my journey to get to her after finding her wedding ring. The comic was called "All I Need" and basically I wake up on an iceberg in the middle of the arctic ocean and there's a Psychic Polar Bear called P-Bear and we go on this zany journey together to find her, along the way depicting our relationship in flashbacks and monologues. I did the cover about a year ago while staying in New Jersey on business and I'm just now watercoloring some old personal pieces that have since stemmed off of this newly found fascination with the arctic. My favorite thing in the world to illustrate has always been the ocean and water and I'm lately finding out that DAMN son, I really like to draw icebergs....

Last year's cover 

Tonight's water color sketch 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Kokoshka

Hey everybody! My design for Threadless.com’s new competition The 90’s Are All That is up and running! I would love it if you’d just click the link and vote for me a 5! Hey Arnold was my favorite show when I was younger and I would love to have this shirt made and it’d mean a lot to me! Please?! Thank you!? It take a minute! Just two clicks! Please? PRETTY PLEASE!? This will allow me to make other things that may or may not have to do with Oscar Kokoshka! 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vampire Commissions

Commissions are chugging along perfectly, and I've been enjoying my new watercolor brushes, as is evident in this little Pikmin bastard below. 

A Vampire Boyfriend Commission!
Clementine from the Walking Dead by TellTale Games! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Hampshire Institute of Art PreCollege Round Two

I designed the tshirts for the Emerging Artists program and PreCollege Program here at the New Hampshire Institute of Art where I work. It's an ugly winter day here in NH so I cracked down and finished both designs in one go. We discussed the thumbnails in the office and they were all torn between two designs so I did both of them and figured we'll pick one from there.

THUMBNAILS ARE IMPORTANT. I wasn't able to sneak in a meme on this new one like last summer's PreCollege Robot, but oh well. We ended up being torn between the robot from last year riding Godzilla and the magician making a bigass spell 

When I decide to work all digitally I'm not a stickler for what paper I use so I just ended up penciling out the finals on paper from my office 

Final inks are done in the Inker Brush v.2 in Manga Studio 5. I normally like to use a dry brush in Manga Studio but for the style of these a nice steady ink flow is preferred 

I ADORE working in watercolor and I recently started using a dynamite set of watercolor brushes in Manga Studio but that wouldn't really fit with the design we were going for so I colored these in photoshop because the way I color in photoshop is very relaxed and meditative and it would be more fun. 

ALSO on an unrelated note I've opened up for commission work again and have currently finished a "Green Lantern and Muppet of the client" piece and am now working on a Vampire piece and a Walking Dead videogame piece to name a few. WOO! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vampire Boyfriend

My very good friend Amanda with whom I've collaborated on numerous occasions asked me to do a comic for her popular Vampire Boyfriend webcomic! She and I exchange doodles and junk all the time and it was an absolute joy doing this for her. And I had a ball illustrating something dark and dank for once, it was a fun breath of fresh air!

All digital 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Getting Married

My fiancee wanted me to illustrate our wedding invitations and save-the-dates so these little guys are probably being taken out of mailboxes as we speak. While I wish we could have invited everyone it's just best that we've kept the wedding small. Much less stressful, more organized and much less invite stamping. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


So this summer I'll be teaching the Character Design class at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. The PreCollege summer program we do there is really awesome, gives all students three college credits, scholarships, and just a great opportunity to build their portfolios! I'm already starting to formulate ideas for the course and how I'm going to be running the class. Nothing quite compares with this teaching business! 

Quick 45 minute color study for future piece...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

All That Candy

So about five months ago I finished a quick 7 page comic for the horror anthology comics BOO!, released through the really awesome folks at Monkey Brain Comics. Seriously, check them out and buy some comics!
This was a nice little opportunity for me to get more of my art out there but in a slightly more unconventional way, and it's always a pleasure to work with artist CalamityJon. Horror and violence is not my forté so this was a chance for me to cut loose a bit and include a nice dose of humor, as is evident in the feel of the other artists I was working alongside. 

It's been a while since the issue was out and I figure why not finally post the comic here in it's entirety for those who did not have the chance to order it last Halloween.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014


So I just finished a concert poster for my very good friend Evan's band Badfellows! One of the best indi-folk bands around, SO GIVE 'EM A LISTEN!! This is just a quick little something I did so he can have something to post around town when there's a big upcoming show, with room for his featured openers and space at the bottom for times and such. These busy pieces are gonna be the death of me, but I decided to cut myself some slack and make this one a little less cluttered. And despite my immense dislike for it I even threw in a Star Wars reference to appeal to the people. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Howl! Badfellows!

Some VERY EARLY color studies for a poster I'm designing for close friend and bangin' New Hampshire band Badfellows

These super complicated pieces are gonna be the death of me 

Monday, December 16, 2013


Carl Sandberg once said "There are ten men inside of me and I do not know or understand one of them". I had always been the same way, never being all to sure as to what was driving my motives, where my life was going to be going and what was the important driving force behind my art and behind my career. All it took was a short little blonde bombshell who grew up in Saudi Arabia and has the best laugh in the universe. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Commission Time!

With Christmas only 16 days away, it's time again for some Christmas commissions! Last year's clients had a great run and there was a ton of fun pictures that went out! I illustrated everything from Doctor Who pictures to Pokemon pictures to Harry Potter and Seinfeld! Since I get so many requests and the post offices have been a madhouse here in the city I'm going to be pricing these MUCH cheaper since I will be EMAILING the finished pieces.

So just shoot me an email at TheSmigiel@Gmail.com and let me know what you'd like and send funds to my PayPal at TheSmigiel@Gmail.com and once funds are added I can get a finished piece to you within two to three days! All pieces will be done sized 8.5x11 and emailed directly to you! All pieces $15 each!