Sunday, January 31, 2010

Alex Durkin: Deathfang and Dan

My son Alex is creating a comic book series called "DinoBoy". Pictured below is one of the characters, Deathfang.
...and this is Dan.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kenny D. Grade 1

I just stumbled across this old activity book of mine from grade school. It's from when I was in 1st grade, back when I was 6 years old. That's 1977, kids.This picture of me on my bike may be the earliest drawing of mine that I have. I think that's a squirrel on the tree.

Even then, I always knew who I was, and what I wanted to be when I grew up.

...except for the teeacher part...

Friday, January 29, 2010

International College Program Caricature Gig

The Disney's International College Program caricature events are among my favorites. There are usually a large amount of artists with me (twenty in this case) and the subjects are diverse, polite and well-dressed. Here are a few from yesterday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Caricature gig

Here's a few caricatures from a gig I just did. This was an adult drinking crowd, the majority of which actually wanted their drinks in the picture with them. A bit suggestive, I know.

This guy looked a bit too young to be drinking, a fact I couldn't resist including in the caricature.

Another beer lover.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Office

Another one of my favorite shows is NBC's The Office. Recently while watching the show, I've been caricaturing the cast members. I'm still missing a few, but when I finish them I'll post the complete cast at that time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MegaCon Orlando 2010

That's right, I'm going to be an attending artist at MegaCon in Orlando this year. I will be in the Burgundy section #15B. I will be selling Chapters 1 and 2 of Black Cat Bone and debuting Chapter 3. I will also be selling a lot of Durkin's Dragons stuff, like the first book, the 2010 calendar, the new book Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes and I'll be selling the original dragon art from the books. Stop by and say "Hi" and buy some stuff!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

LOST: Character sketches.

I love ABC's LOST. The 6th and final season begins shortly, and I've been re-watching the previous seasons to prepare. I've decided to keep a sketchbook by the couch, and this is what I came up with during last night's viewing. Clockwise from the top left, Ben Linus, John Locke, Miles Straume and Daniel Faraday.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reluctant AK Parade Watcher

A few weeks ago while working at Disney's Animal Kingdom, I sketched this gentleman while he was waiting for the parade to start. He seemed pretty grumpy about his whole situation until someone brought him popcorn, satisfying him to point where he was able to muster up some fake interest...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indy Dragon

Ladies and Gentlemen...the Indiana Jones Dragon!

Jack Sparrow Dragon.

This is the latest in my new series "Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes", the Jack Sparrow Dragon. The series will eventually be compiled into the next Durkin's Dragons book. I already have some Star Wars and Disney dragons that I've posted previously. The next one, which is currently in the coloring stage will be posted soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Purina Caricature Gig.

Here are some caricatures from a recent gig I did for Purina. The event took place at Gaylord Palms in Orlando and was for veterinary students and their pets...or at least pictures they had of their pets. I've never handled so many iPhones, digital cameras and laptops in my life. But I had a lot of fun, and I love drawing animals as much as I love drawing people.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Black Cat Bone Chapter Two: Flood Water Rising Now Available!

IndyPlanet has done it again! Black Cat Bone Chapter Two: Flood Water Rising is now available to purchase here.I've added the link to the right as well.

Last night at Wilderness Lodge

This is Devon from last night. She obviously loves to read. Her brother wasn't able to get his caricature done, however.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Character Design: Zip the Wallaby

Here's a sneak preview of a new character from Norman Down Under, the second Norman Phartephant book I just finished illustrating. Once again, I had to design the character based on the author's description, not off an existing toy. After picking and choosing different elements, we settled on the final design, and agreed on the color.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Character Design: Alfredbit

The last character in Norman Phartephant Volume 1 I needed to design was Norman's friend, an older elephant named Alfredbit. Like Ty, he did not have a toy counterpart, and had to be designed from scratch. Here are the initial designs:

Here is the final design, with turnaround and color.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Character Design: Ty the tiger

A few posts ago, I showed the design process for the main character from a book I illustrated, Norman Phartephant. In this book, Norman meets a new friend, a tiger named Ty.
Unlike Norman, this character was not based on an already existing toy. It was my job to create Ty's look based on the description the author gave me. Ty also had to exist in Norman's world, so their style had to be similar.
Just as I did with the process in creating Norman, I started with a number of various designs. I tried to give a wide range of styles, to give the author different choices and combinations. I based the final design on her feedback, and we agreed on the color.

Norman Phartephant Volume One has one more character, whose design process I will show here soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One from last night.

Did this caricature at Wilderness Lodge last night. This couple was a lot of fun.
In other news, I can't stand my camera.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Norman Phartephant: Character Design

I've been talking a lot about Norman Phartephant lately. For those who don't know, Norman is a plush toy elephant created by Angela Larson at Fierce Fun Toys. What makes Norman unique is that when you squeeze his tail, Norman lets out one of eight different gassy sounds.
I was approached by Angela to illustrate a book introducing children to Norman and his world. The first step for me was to design what an illustrated Norman would look like. I didn't want him to be a literal representation of the toy, rather a more animated, cartoony version that still resembled the stuffed animal.Angela sent me my very own Norman and after playing with him for several...hours, I began to study what made Norman..."Norman." I was immediately drawn to his wide-open eyes and his expressive eyebrows. I love drawing eyebrows. I even put them on fish.
The next step was to draw numerous versions of Norman. I made some very close to what the toy looks like and others I purposely strayed away from the toy's design. I wanted to give Angela a wide range of options. This way she could pick and choose which parts of each version she liked in an effort to narrow down Norman's final design.
Angela really liked the one on the top right. In fact, the final cover of the book is based on that design. She liked that Norman could sometimes sit on his bottom or stand on his hind legs to express himself. There were versions that I liked, or may have been easier for me to draw, but I had to keep in mind that Norman had to look very close to his plush counterpart. Once we decided on a design, I worked on a front and side view of Norman, and established the color palette.
We used this collaborative back-and-forth process to design the other characters in the book. I'll post those soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Norman Phartephant Book Review: 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires.

3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires is the latest website to review Norman Phartephant Volume One, which I illustrated. Check it out here, and remember, you can always order both the plush Norman and the book at the sidebar to the right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scraps 4: Revenge of the Scraps

More scraps for you. I'd love to see a plush version of the one on the bottom right.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Greek mythology tells the story of Sisyphus. He was the cruel king of Corinth, the "craftiest of men" according to the ancient Greeks. His trickery, deceit and avarice was so vile that he was punished by the gods to forever roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down to the bottom before he could ever reach the top. He repeated this task for eternity, the mindlessness of the task driving him mad. Sometimes I get to feeling like ol' Sisyphus. Constantly pushing that big ball of stuff up the hill, struggling to keep it from rolling down and crushing me. Then I remember that life's about the journey. It's not about the ball of stuff, but the trek up the mountain that counts. I have to pause and enjoy the view while going up that mountain, and never let that ball of stuff beat me. I'm stronger than the boulder of distractions and road blocks. These things that are laid out in front of me are only challenges to be won, not obstacles to defeat me. I must always remind myself to refuse to give up, to be patient, persevere, work hard and never get discouraged.

Conservative Mafia Banner

Recently, I designed the bulldog mascot for a website called The Conservative Mafia. I posted about it here. They liked it so much they wanted me to design their logo, to be used for their t-shirts, as a banner for their website, etc.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


This is the second gift dragon for the Christmas present I mentioned yesterday. It's a dragon based on the Disney/Pixar character Wall-E.
After she received the drawings, the recipient sent me this message:
"THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! I LOVE them! Especially how Ariel is squeezing the life outta Flounder! And "SCAL-E" is ADORABLE! Love his eyes. You really hit a home run with them. And it was such a surprise!Most couples have "their song", well we have "our artist", and that's definitely you. You will be drawing for us for many years to come, I promise. Thank you again!"
This is what I've wanted my whole life, for my drawings to make people happy. I consider myself to be a very lucky man.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Little Dragon Mermaid.

A while ago, I posted some Star Wars Dragons I drew as a gift for a client's boyfriend. Check out the Han Solo Dragon, Chewbacca Dragon and Boba Fett Dragon. I was contacted by the gift recipient boyfriend to draw a couple of dragons as a Christmas present for his girlfriend. Turns out they're both Durkin's Dragons fans! The first dragon he requested was the Little Mermaid.

I'll post the second request soon.

Crash and Burn.

I feel really lousy today. I've had non-stop hiccups for the past week. I'm able to shut them down at night before I go to sleep if I relax and concentrate, but I didn't get to sleep until 4:30 a.m. this morning. It sounds silly to be incapacitated by hiccups, but I because of them, I can't breathe, talk normally, eat, draw etc. My throat, neck, chest and back are sore. Imagine hiccuping all day and night for seven days. It's frustrating and ridiculous. I'm off to get a massage and see a therapist and then I'm off to work tonight. Ugh....