Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Business Cards

Hey guys (and gals),

Work is still under way on the Zelda piece but I took some time to make up some new business cards for the new year! I'll be at a Con this month and just wanted to have something to hand out to all the new, awesome artists I'm hoping to meet!

I couldn't decide on which piece to use so I figured I'd do a print run of both! Maybe in the future I'll do more with other art pieces to make a little set. You could collect them all! Ha! ;o) May there be much more awesome art made in 2012! Happy New Years!

- Ryan

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Tribute WIP: Part Three

The progress on my Legend of Zelda illustration has been slow going since enduring the holidays and the acquisition of a fiesty, little puppy. Ha! But I'm going to try and find the time to finish it over the next week or two. I haven't said much about it since I've been so busy. But I figured it would probably be good to address it for the sake of continuing to document the process! I still have quite a bit of work to do but it's shaping up a bit since the last time I showed my initial color pass. Hope you guys like where it's going! I'm going to throw my efforts behind this image and hoping to get it done soon so I can get some prints made in time for my trip to GigaCon in mid January. More on that later though!

Thanks for looking through my art messes! Enjoy the rest of your year! Just a couple days left in 2011! Lets rock 2012 with even more awesome artwork! Get scribbling! ;o)

- Ryan

Hoo Hoo Hoo! Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays!

This year my wife and I made our own Christmas cards by hand to send out to a few of our family and friends. In each card I hand drew a unique owl. This is a sampling of some of those owl scribbles! They were a hoot to do (See what I did there? Ha!) and it was neat to see how each one could be a bit different then the next.

I hope you like them and I wish you the best as you continue celebrating into the new year!

- Ryan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Caroler Scribble

Here's a little pen scribble that I did while in a meeting at work today. Christmas is just a few days away! What's Santa bringing you?!

- Ryan

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ogre Head Sculpt

I swear I'm going to get back to drawing and painting soon! Haven't had as much free time lately so doing these quick little sketch sculpts have been a nice change of pace. This Ogre was another one done in Sculptris and I think he's the best of the three I've done thus far. I gave up on trying to make his hairy chops look believable though. Been having a blast playing with shapes in these! Hope you like him!

- Ryan

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sculptris Head Sketch/Sculpt

So I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not to share these little 3D sketches with you guys. I don't ever envision myself moving completely that direction but it is a fun way to push my art brain around in a different way. I basically have just been exploring these things the same way I do random sketches in a sketchbook. I just start laying in shapes and push and pull it into something. Their a blast! I start all of these with a basic sphere and just go to town on it.

I was a bit let down by the price for ZBrush but my friend (Casey Dockendorf)commented on my last post and alerted me to Pixologic's free gateway drug into ZBrush, Sculptris! It's awesome and just powerful enough to do what I want to with it! Check it out and toss some virtual clay around!

With the new puppy in the house it's been slow for art production. Hopefully the holiday break coming up will help me out. We shall see! Really want to finish that Zelda piece and I might push back the Snow Moose into January. This dog has turned our life upside down. lol Puppies are a LOT of work. Anyway, thanks for lookin' over my scribbles! And take care!

- Ryan

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby's First ZBrush Sculpt

We're starting Z Brush training at work so I figured I'd show off my first ever sculpt! It's kinda crude and amateurish but I'm quite impressed with how easy it was to grasp some of the basic tools. Might work on this dude a bit more as we keep learning! Just wanted to share! By no means am I a 3D artist but it is fun to mess around with from time to time.

Perhaps I'll have more ZBrush sketches as time goes on. It is a very interesting tool to mess around with. I don't think I'll become a ZBrusher but it's fun to mix it up every once in a while! Just wanted to share!

- Ryan

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Penguin Sketch

Hey blog peoples! Hope you're enjoying your December! I know I am! It's been super busy but I'm trying not to completely abandon my art efforts.

Yesterday I scribbled out this goofy sketch of The Penguin after discussing with some friends how disappointed I was that Bane was going to be the main villain in the newest Batman. I'm just not that fond of him when compared to all the other great villains that Bats has been thrown up against!

So I did a quick scribble and spent about another 15 minutes throwing some layers at him to add a dash of color/texture. Pretty far off from a finished painting but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless! Maybe I'll paint him up proper some other day when I have the time.

I'm still making headway on my Zelda illustration but it might overtake my holiday illustration of the Snow Moose or push him back into January. The big reason is the wife and I have decided to get our first puppy! We've been in preparation mode for the little one and it's been nuts around here. I'll post a pic of her below so you can "ooo" and "awww" with us! Ha! Corgi's FTW!

I know it isn't much but hopefully I'll have more updates as the days spin on. Looking forward to getting some work done over the course of the holiday break too! So keep checking back and thanks for looking! Take care!


Things that I love right now:

Christmas! - The music, the movies, the holiday card making, the feeling of being a kid... just all of it! Ha! I'm sure I'm not alone. ;o)

Corgis - We've been falling in love with this breed of pup and can't wait to raise our own. They're quite smart too! YouTube has been a safe haven for all of my Corgi puppy video needs! lol

Zelda 25th Anniversary from OC Remix - It's amazing and on repeat on my Macbook Pro. Check it out! Did I mention it's free?!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Tribute WIP: Part Two

Started digging into the painting today so I figured I'd upload a small update on the final drawing. I also thought it might be nice for you to see how this image started so I've posted an image of the initial thumbnail where it all began. I try to work really loosely in that portion of the process and really just nail down basic shapes, compositions and poses. I think I have more fun exploring options there then at any other place in the process! So much promise in these little scribbles!

The second image is a rough value pass on the lines for my Zelda illustration. I almost always do this before jumping into a painting. It tends to help ground some of my ideas for me. At times I'll really push this part further and spend a lot more time rendering. Value and lighting is important and if I forget that I usually will loose all of my contrast in a piece. I need to make sure I remind myself of that as I continue since I didn't push it much in this one.

And lastly, I figured I'd toss up my first, initial wash of colors as well. These two phases kind of go hand in hand. After I do a value pass I create wash of the overall colors I want in the image. It's just a color layer with a few overlays and BAM! You've got some color to start working with! It's neat to see how a little color really starts to make the image come alive.

I'm much further along then this now though. So next update should be with a nice coat of paint on everything. I might wait a few days before I do that though. Or I perhaps might wait until it's completely finished. We will see! Hope you guys like it! I'm excited to see where it ends up!

- Ryan

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Tribute WIP: Part One

Just wanted to share this really quick. Here's a sneak peek at the pencils for my Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary tribute illustration. I'm a huge fan of the series but I've never created any fan art. Really excited about this one!

Also don't forget to like and share my Facebook page for a chance to win some original Mega Man art and a Hellboy print!

Thanks again for checking out my stuff and welcome to December! ;o)

- Ryan

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"MegaCute" Original Sketch Giveaway!

Hey guys! Do you like original art? How about original Mega Man art?! Well, I wanted to announce a little raffle of sorts that I'll be conducting to launch my new Facebook page! That's right, you can now follow my work on Facebook if you're so inclined.

The Art of Ryan Bowlin Facebook Page:

Head on over and check it out! I'll be posting more frequently there then I do here. Little sketches, works in progress, contests, things that have grabbed my interest, etc. If you'd like more updates about my art then that's your best bet. I'm looking forward for more ways to connect with artists and those who just love art! So head on over and like the page to follow all of my updates in your feed! And thanks in advance for checking it out!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to do a drawing for the original pencil sketch that I created for my "MegaCute" illustration. On top of that I'm also going to include a limited edition "Hellboy" print for the lucky winner!

How do you enter to win this drawing? Simple. Like the fan page to become apart of the community and then share the page with your friends on Facebook via your news feed/wall. I'll make note of who has shared the page (even those who already have shared will be entered to win) and will randomly select a winner next Wednesday evening (12/7/11)!

Thanks a ton in advance for supporting my work and for getting the word out! And good luck!

- Ryan

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hans and the Abominable Snow Moose : Ideation Sketches

It's that time of the year again! The weather is starting to cool down, my video game consoles are overflowing with awesome titles to play and that sense of child like wonder is starting to fill up within me! There's something about the late fall/winter that really brings out the kid in me. I'm sure the holidays have a lot to do with that but I really love the seasons as well.

I've been living in Vegas for almost three years now and I have to admit that I've become a bit spoiled with our mild, "eternal fall." But there's nothing like breathing in that still, cool scent of winter. And I often sit in my apartment pining for the times we'd watch the snow fall out the window near the fire at my parent's home. However there are plenty of things I don't miss about my midwestern home during the winter time. It is quite nice not to have to carve my car out of ice every morning. Ha!

At any rate, like many, this is my favorite time of the year. And this year I thought I might do a "holiday" themed illustration for the heck of it. This idea was generated from my desire to draw a little kid with a big cuddly monster. Simple enough! Nothing says Christmas like some monsters, right?! Throw in some snow, Christmas lights and some snow men and you've got a holiday themed image! And that's where the initial thumbnail that you see above came from. I shared it on Facebook and received some positive feedback so I've decided to move forward with it.

But you know me, I had to flesh out my Snow Moose monster just a bit more. Hence my color sketch. I'm not sure about all of the elements but I think he still has retained at least some of his initial charm. My wife wants me to ditch his thick eyebrows and instead go with something more fluffy. I might but I enjoy how expressive they are right now. It's just a sketch so I tried to keep it quick and simple. Light on the rendering but I still couldn't help myself in areas. ;o)

Hope you guys like where Hans and his pal are heading! I'll be plugging away at it over the next couple weeks and will share more when I get the chance! Thanks again for checking it out and I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season! Take care!

- Ryan

A list of things I love right now (an idea I'm stealing from the super awesome band, Sleeping at Last!):

- SKYRIM!!! I'm already like 23 hours into it and am seriously adoring the sense of exploration. I could live in that world!

- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword soundtrack. I've been listening a ton while working and cannot wait for Santa to drop this on me at Christmas! The "staff credits rolling" track is amazery.

- I recently stumbled upon this European band, Amiina, and I'm in love with their music. So simple and haunting. I can't believe I've lived this long without them!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Another ogre head for the pile...

Here's another one of those blasted ogre heads! This was a quick scribble for my friend Aron who recently purchased one of my Hellboy prints. I've been doing these quick little sketches as an extra thank you to those who have been supporting my work.

I completely lost my posting habits this month but I've been busy with plenty of art related things. And I'd be lying if I didn't note that I've been indulging in a lot of the new video game releases as well. Ha! I get to pretend to be Batman! C'mon, who can fault me for that?! ;o) I'll make sure to have a more proper update in the weeks to come. Hope you're all enjoying the start of the fall season! I know I am! Take care and thanks again for stopping in.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Bier Haus

Last summer the video game studio I was working for here in Las Vegas, NV abruptly shut it's doors and left me looking for work. The economy being what it was I had my series of ups and downs before I decided to give the local gambling industry a shot. I've been working in it now since last October and it's been an interesting experience to say this least! Not a bad one by any stretch of the imagination but just a different one. I've worked on quite a few gaming projects and none have been released into the wild yet. Until now!

This past week at the annual slot gaming expo our company deemed one of the games I worked on this year worthy to show. I figured I'd toss up some pictures of the game on the machine with yours truly posing next to it. You'll also see a couple pictures of the actual game mockups as well.There's a lot of painting going on in this game but you'll also find a good deal of photo manipulated bits in there as well. It's interesting to see that our highly rendered paintings aren't always enough anymore to sell that style now that 3D exists. It's not the way I really like to work. I enjoy a more painterly style and seeing all the brush strokes a lot more. But as the company releases more of my other games you'll see my more natural styles peeking through a bit more.

The game isn't on casino floors yet but it should be soon! I feel like I've been such a slacker this month but I promise I've been busy. Just haven't been sketching and doing much personal work recently. Hopefully October will be filled with lots of fun stuff though! Thanks for checking in and take care!

- Ryan

Sunday, September 25, 2011

IT'S ALIVE!!! - The 3D Art of John Shuman

Argh! I know I've been late posting the blog recently. My productivity has slumped a bit outside of my full time job as well. My wife and I have been doing a bit of traveling and wrapping up other odds and ends (*cough* Gears of War 3 *cough*). Ha! But I wanted to post something to let you all know that I'm not dead!

In the last few weeks I've been thinking a lot about the work I've done over the last couple years. More recently I've been working more on illustrations and graphic design oriented work. But a little over a year ago I was busy creating creatures and characters for an MMO that would fail to ever materialize. Some of my work on that project is feeling a bit dated now. But I'm still quite proud of some of those pieces. And I'm even more proud of the work our team did on the game that will never be seen.

One of the greatest pleasures I've had working as a concept artist is to see my scribbles brought to life in the third dimension by 3D artists. The back and forth relationship between a concept artist and a 3D artist is really a fun one. Both of us would grow more and more excited as we'd knock back and forth ideas during the process. And I'd never cease to be amazed at what they'd come up with in the end.

The talented man I'm referring to is John Shuman, a ridiculously awesome modeler. No matter what crazy critter I'd dream up, I could always count on John to take it to the next level in his models. I'd always love to peak over his shoulder as he brought my dreams to life. The experience was amazing and I miss being apart of it every day. John's moved on to other projects and continues to be awesome. But I wanted to share some our work together below. The concept art is all done by me but the way he translates my paintings into 3D is really the interesting take away. I hope you enjoy taking a look through these as much as I enjoyed watching him create them! You can check out more of John's work on his website. And he even has a lot more of the work we designed together posted on there.

That's all 'till next time! Thanks again for checking in and for putting up with my idleness! I'll try to be more diligent this week. Take care!

- Ryan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Did you say chimichangas?!

This weekend I had the honor of taking in a workshop featuring some talented artists at the Kavika Works art gallery in Santa Ana, CA. It was really inspiring and awesome to be apart of. Big thanks to David Pursley, Paul Richards, Kurt Papstien and Erick Rodriguez for taking the time to drop some knowledge on all of us in attendance!

During the art workshop this weekend I scribbled out some random doodles while soaking in the inspiration from the instructors there. I was scanning in my sketches Sunday evening and couldn't help but want to do a quick color pass on this dude. He was birthed after watching Paul Richards rock an amazing troll of his own for us at the workshop. So much fun.

Also, I've been thinking about why I seem to draw so many ugly things lately. I think it mainly stems from the fact that my day job has me consistently creating images that are appealing to what I refer to as "The Grandma Demographic." lol So I'm constantly urged to make stuff pretty. And when I get a chance to do something for fun I can't help but get as nasty and goofy. Ha! Hope you guys like him! More to come so stay tuned and thanks for dropping in!

- Ryan

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Just to prove that I didn't completely waste my holiday weekend I present to you this MegaMan sketch that I painted up. I actually had a mostly finished color version but I wasn't really happy with how it was turning out. It got "Howdy Doody creepy" and lost some of the cuteness that I had captured in the original sketch. As I was working this up my wife told me she thought I should keep in in black and white to kindle some of "old school" feelings. I think it does the trick. Hope you guys like it!
If anyone is interested I think I'll be putting the original sketch up for sale over on my Etsy shop. I'll be sure to edit this post once I do! He was fun to work on as I've been scribbling little MegaMans all over random bits of paper recently. He's sort of become my go to subject for doodling. Ha! Maybe I'll compile a bunch of them as time goes on into a grouping of thumbnails. Could be fun!

Before I go I should say that I've neglected my Space Princess duties and have instead been enjoying BBQs and video games with friends. Ha! I might neglect it further as I'm thinking about doing a sample for some trading card artwork I'm hoping to get into. Maybe I can work on both together though since they'll be differing styles. All that to say this... hang with me! I'll get there! Ha! Thanks again for dropping in. Take care!

- Ryan

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Space Princess: Preliminary Sketches

First of all, please pardon how messy and sketchy things are in this post. These are much looser then I'd like to be showing! But I always enjoy peeking into people's minds when they're generating ideas. So I figure it's only fair to bare a bit of mine to you guys! Here are a few doodles I managed to scribble out over the course of the last week while creating ideas for an monthly art challenge with some friends of mine.

We're hoping to produce a piece of art, monthly, based on a random theme. This month the image just had to include a "Space Princess". So while everyone seemed to be interested in drawing pin ups, I decided to take it another direction!

I knew I wanted to my Space Princess to be a little girl. So here you can see some of the many scribbles where I explored what she might look like. I loved the idea of her hair being wild and frizzy. I also thought it was kind of a fun idea to have her hair bunch up and spill out of the bottom of a space helmet. Ha! Still not sure where I'll go with her design completely but these at least helped me understand what direction I'd be moving in.

The little thumbnails included are indicators of the image I sort of had in my head. I thought about doing an angled shot with the two alien guards on either side of her. That way we could see her lording over all of her alien minions below. But I think I'm going to go with the more simplified straight on composition with her thugs at her side. I felt pretty confident about where it was all headed but I wasn't sure what I wanted the aliens to look like.

Which prompted these sketches! During the week, when I had a free moment, I'd scribble out some random design with no real thought other then it needed to be wacky. I just played around with shapes and silhouettes. I kept coming back to tentacles for some reason. I still don't know which one I'm going to choose and push forward in the final illustration. I'd love it if you guys would help me to decide! Leave me a post in the comments with your thoughts! And anything I don't use might make for good starting ideas for some of the aliens in my Zebzulon project! Ha!

As the week goes on I'm going to dive into the illustration and hopefully start painting by the time this weekend gets here! Hope you guys like the messy look into my mind as it tries to rough on ideas! See you again soon!

- Ryan

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ogre Heads!

Those of you who have bought one of the first twenty of my Hellboy prints will find that you will also be getting a quick sketch from me as well in your package! I just did a few Ogre head sketches for each person to include as a personal thanks for the support! I hope you guys like 'em. They were really fun to doodle out!

I've only sold six prints so far. So make me work even harder and draw 14 more Ogre heads! Ha! And I hope those of you who picked up a print already will enjoy this little additional gift! Thanks again!

As for other art, I'm still crafting some things for another little project that a few friends and I are doing monthly. This month's theme is "Space Princess." So I should have some posts regarding that in the coming days. I don't have much time left! Ha! So this week should be interesting. It might bleed into next week a bit but stick with me! Hope you guys are doing great. Thanks for checking in!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary the people in the portrait. Not me. Ha! I don't do commissions very often and am approached for them quite a bit. Particularly for this sort of work. But when my friend, Maryann, came to me asking I was in the mood to do a study. So it didn't take much arm twisting to get me to dive into this project. The fact that I also find the two of them to be pretty awesome doesn't hurt either. ;o)

Overall I'm pretty happy with it! I worked on it off and on over about three evenings. Her face seemed to come really easily but Shawn had such a fun look on his face that capturing his likeness was much tougher. I'm not a hundred percent satisfied with how he turned out. But I think I did get it close. And as far as portraits go, I think this is one of my best digitally painted portraits so far.

So that's what has been eating most of my free time the last few days. I have some scribbles that I'll probably offer up in the days to come. Thanks for looking! Hope you like it!

- Ryan

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hellboy Limited Edition Prints Now Available!

Those of you who are familiar with my blog will remember the Hellyboy portrait that I posted a couple weeks ago. I went and had these guys printed and they are now available for purchase via my shop on Etsy.

This is the first time I've ever gone through the process of having something professionally printed before and I learned some lessons along the way! I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and hope you guys will enjoy them as well! They're a limited run so get them while you can. I won't be printing of any more of them so get 'em while they're hot! ;o)

What are the specs, you say? They're a thicker, matte paper stock that measures in at 9.5 x 11. They look so nice I'm not even sure I want to sign them on the front. Ha!

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse. I'm just kind of excited to have nice hard copies of my work to share with the world!. That's all for now!

- Ryan

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wolvie Scribble

I've been spending some time lately trying out new processes for drawing and have gone back to trying the col-erase pencil method. I've never liked those pencils much because it always felt so waxy to work on top of. But this week I came across some Prismacolor col-erase pencils that seemed to work much better. I'm hoping that this will help free me up to be really lose in the gesture steps of my work. So far it's been really fun and I think it's helping! I always tend to get tight to quickly.

So out of those scribbles came this Wolverine doodle. I've actually never drawn him before. So most of this is from memory and I've added my own changes for the heck of it. Last night I sat down with my sketch and tried tossing some color at it. I was looking for a treatment similar to my Harry Potter sketch from last week but I had terrible go with it. The painting just got away from me and I spent hours trying to get back the personality I'd captured in my sketch. So when I finally "finished" the painting today I decided to scrap it. Ha! I hated it.

I'll still be trying to tackle a paint up on ol' Wolvie but I just wanted to share my sketch with you guys to let you know I'm still around and kicking! I should have a fully painted version in the coming days so be on the look out! I've got some other things I'm batting around too so be sure to check back in for more updates!

- Ryan

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Edna + Hellboy Process

Timely updates to the blog! It's nice for a change, eh? Here's a sketch I did a couple months ago that I intended to finish but just lost interest. I figure there's enough in there that it shouldn't just go to die on my hard drive somewhere. I had considered doing these almost like portraits on their mantle. I even had drawn up a pencil sketch of her goofy husband to go with it. I thought it'd be really funny to have a third of their son who looked completely normal. Ha! Maybe someday I'll see it through but I've too many other things on my plate for now! So Edna will have to make herself comfortable here for a while.

And as promised, here is the a step by step progression of my Hellboy piece for your viewing pleasure. I don't know that you'll find much help here though. The next time I create a more simple illustration maybe I'll try to work better in steps and walk you through the process a bit better. But you might be able to glean some information from this. I hope it's helpful or at least fun to see how the piece evolved as I worked.

Thanks for checkin' in! More sketchery to come!

- Ryan

PS: I promise I have more then portraits coming soon. lol

PSS: Hellboy Limited Edidion Prints are still available on my Etsy shop! Check 'em out HERE!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Boy Who Lived

So yesterday I was thinking about other potential illustrations for the future and I started thumbnailing some potential compositions for a Harry Potter themed image. It got me curious what my version of Harry might look like.

So I did a few quick pencil sketches of some fun versions of Harry. And I thought this one was too cute not to toss some color on. Just about and hour or two in Photoshop. Plus I figured I owed you guys something cute since I might have scared some of you off with my big, ugly Hellboy image. Ha! Hope you like my scribble!

In the next couple days I post the Hellboy "process shots" that I promised. Until then, thanks for stopping by!

- Ryan

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I recently finished up this portrait for the infamous Hellboy. Overall I'm pretty happy with him! It was kind of a test/study for a larger piece that I've been intending to do with him as the main feature. After having some successes here I'm looking forward to working on the next one! Hope you guys like him!

I'm also considering doing a small limited print run on this if there is interest! So let me know in the comments. It'd probably be a bit larger then 8.5 x 11 and would run probably $20 plus shipping.

Next update maybe I'll show a bit of the process of how I got to this finished illustration. I always love seeing the start and what it took to get the art to the finish. ;o) Anyway, thanks for looking at my work and take care!

- Ryan

EDIT: If you're so inclined you can now preorder/purchase a print of this image through my shop on Etsy! I'm only doing a very limited print run so get 'em while you can! Thanks for supporting my art!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

In honor of Shark Week...

Everyone keeps blabbing about Shark Week so in honor of this momentous occasion I present to you GLOW SHARK! lol This guy was a concept for a creature that was to appear in a axed MMO that I worked on last year. May he live on forever in your nightmares as a glowing predator in the dark, murky waters of your dreams!

In other news, contrary to popular belief, I'm not dead! ;o) It's been nearly a year since I've updated this thing and I'm going to try and make another push to be better about updating again. Lots of work and life happening. More to come soon! I promise! I mean it this time! Ha! Thanks for checking out my scribbles!
- Ryan