Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's been a while...

Why hello there. I saw you from across the room and couldn't help but come over and introduce myse...wait! BLOG?!?!?! IS THAT YOU? My God! I didn't even recognize you! Have you done something different with your hair or perhaps contacts?

Alright enough of that. Yes the blog has looked a little different for about a month now. The font colors have changed and the banner no longer has those thousand weird little eyeballs staring back at you...judging you...and there is good reasoning for this: BRANDING! Over the past few months I've been developing a unified look for myself and that big, grinning face at the top of the page is the core of that look.

So what's the reasoning behind these seemingly unnecessary changes? The birth of A BRAND NEW WEBSITE! (is this coming off sarcastic yet?) Yes, DAVEARMSTRONGART.COM is now up and running and waiting to delight you with whimsical, daveish delights. I strongly advise everyone in the blogoland to go there and tell your friends what a fun time you had. "Life Changing" is not too strong of a term. I also advise you to send me expensive gifts, but we can discuss that at a later time.

So take a look at DAVEARMSTRONGART.COM and snoop around the blog and let me know what you think. Maybe it's a childhood of punk music influencing my thoughts but all this branding sickens me slightly, but only slightly. Chalk it up to a fear of becoming an adult/professional (shudders).

I'm currently touching up some finals from last semester and trying to get my sleep schedule back into existence in hopes of fixing my brain, so expect some new work to find it's way on here. And if it doesn't, just assume I'm actually enjoying the holiday season and hope you do the same. Don't over nog yourself!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My name is Sue. How do you do?

For one of my classes, we had to pick a song from the 60's and illustrate it. After sketching out ideas for some Zeppelin songs, "Space Oddity," a few Beatles songs and some Hendrix I decided on "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. This takes place just before people start kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
This piece is a little different for me as I don't do a lot of finished work with Photoshop anymore and I definitely don't typically do work with flat elements like wood grain and flannel pattern. Overall, I like how clean this is and how well the line drawing shows through. Maybe I'll do some more stuff like this...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"We're All Quite Mad"

Illustration of the mad tea party from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
I'm putting an honest effort into more complex environments and having multiple characters in pieces. I've started getting my portfolio together and realized WAY too much of my stuff is one figure sitting with a fairly boring environment around him. So this should be a step in the right direction. The color is still a bit crazy though...maybe that fits?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This is a book cover for a fictional biography of Ernest Hemingway. The man hunted lions, fought with alcoholism, married four women, and managed to write a few novels so I tried to convey his mythic life in the illustration.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Witch Doctor

These are some concept sketches for a witch doctor character I'll be using in an upcoming project. There's a lot more stuff I could show for it but I'd rather just save it up and unleash it in one massive project post (I clearly don't get the point of blogs, do I?). I just thought this guy's face was delightful enough to earn him his own post. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Appy 'Alloween

This was a lil in-class assignment where we were given four columns of partial horror movie titles and asked to put one from each column together and make an illustration around it before class ended. So here is "Attack of the overflowing toilet from beyond outer space the musical."

What clogged the toilet? HUMAN FLESH!
But in all seriousness...there really isn't enough of the musical element in this.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Luck of the Cricket

For our professional practices class, we were each given a superstition to create an illustration around. Mine was "a cricket in the house means good luck." Originally the cricket was sitting on the mantel next to a portrait of a lucky family. My teacher suggested that the cricket should be the one who owns the house and have the wall covered in images of his lucky family. So here it is, looking like something out of a bug infested Wes Anderson movie.

We then took the images and designed them into a deck of cards and created a box with type to put them in. Mine was based off a cigar box to go with the wood in the picture frames and fireplace...not to mention the cricket is smoking a stogie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Let em hear ya in the produce section!"

So my first semester of senior year is half over but you'd never know it judging by the amount of final products that have shown their faces on here (I think we're at a grand total of one line drawing). There are actually four finished pieces sitting on my desk right now...
but the endless onslaught of work (and this pesky sleeping thing I keep doing) manages to keep them from getting scanned, touched up and posted. Rest assured that they will show up soon along with some 3-D work, sketches and maybe even some new branding (this blog could use a facelift). So check back soon, the posts should keep on chuggin in.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Laser beats scissors

The internet just doesn't have enough crappy fan art about 8-bit video game characters...
Nerdy nerdy nerdy nerdy.

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Hootenanny

Happy's an owl?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Comic Book Environment

Here is the first project from my comic book illustration class. We had to create an environment with multiple characters interacting. A bar seemed like a good place for some mingling to happen so this is what I wound up with. Later in the semester we need to come up with a two page comic book, so if anyone out there is thinking "Geee, I always wished Dave would do a comic book about ______," let me know your ideas, as I have none of my own.

Oh and if anyone has been checking this thing going "what the heck is Dave doing with his life? Where are all the updates?" I'm hoping to get a few more finished projects up as the week grinds on.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Devil went down to Georgia

The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind: he was willin' to make a deal.
When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.
And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said: "Boy let me tell you what:
"I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too.
"And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.
"Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the devil his due:
"I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."

Then Johnny was all like, "Aw crap."

Over the summer I had the idea to illustrate some songs. Now I'm two weeks into school and somehow this is the only one that went anywhere. All the credit goes out to Charlie Daniels and his mad fiddle skillz.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Spongerobert Oldpants

I love how long these blog titles are getting...
So last month Spongebob Squarepants turned ten years old (the show, not the character. I assume he would have to be older what with his living alone and manning a grill). Anyway, ten years is a long time for a show to be on the air, especially for a nicktoon which usually fizzle out of production after about 30 episodes.

So here we find an aged spongebob sipping a glass of Sea-not Noir (awesome nautical wine joke, I'm aware) reflecting on his glory days. Back before Patrick died, Squidward ran for senate and songs of F.U.N. filled the air (well...water).

None of these things legally belong to me, except for the rockin wine joke. THATS ALL ME!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Lava Noggin

Dave Brain- "Hey, let's draw something normal today."
Dave Hand- "Suck it, Brain."

Sorry it's been a while since the last post. I was up in Boston for a Harvey Danger concert and then went on a lil vacation so there hasn't been a heaping helping of time for art. I should be able to get a few more things on here before school starts back up, though.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: OMG IZZA MUNDER!

Is it tuesday already? I'm really starting to fall behind on these things...

Anyway, as you all know, when monsters aren't big enough or scary enough to terrify major metropolitan areas, they go off to the woods to mope and burn ants with a magnifying glass. This guy looks like he could be the long lost son of the grimace.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: BINGO!!!!

Life's about the little victories.

Oh, and a fun fact about the blog, if you google "red bull billboard" I'm the third link that comes up. Just let that sink in....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Bad Breath

So, I took the weekend off...but now I'm back for more.
I have a micron pen that's just about out of ink. I was going to pitch it, but then I discovered what a dirty, sketchy look it could give. That somehow lead to this.

Never eat onions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Explorers

Every ten years, Wattbutts gather in the steaming, stinking swamps of Gutterford, Louisiana (the Louisiana on some distant planet, clearly) to mate. People come from far and wide to watch the greens mix with the blues and listen to weird little chirps of delight.

See you in two days for more nonsense.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Coffee Girl

This is probably the most girly thing I've ever created. I like to think that the bee's make it entertaining enough though. Lord knows they wanna get at that flower.

Originally, the girl's baret was going to be raspberry colored (like the flower) but I'm pretty sure a Prince reference like that would have been grounds to shut down the blog and re-examine my life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: The Jump To Nonprofit

So this one is actually a few months old, but if you haven't seen it, it's new to you. This was done as an illustration for The Darden Report which is a semi annual magazine sent out to the alumni of University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. The article I worked with was about people (such as Darden alumni) bringing their experience and knowledge of business to the world of non-profit.

Originally, the drawing was much more grayed out and a bit darker. Thankfully, the Darden folk pushed for this to go brighter and more colorful which lead to it looking a lot better.

This issue of the mag was the first to be published after what seems to be a pretty massive overhaul of the publication so I'm pretty excited that I could have been a part of the rebirth of a magazine. To view an electronic copy of the magazine, go HERE.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Mop-topus

It's not midnight yet, so this one still counts.

This started out as a doodle I really liked. Now its just a colored sketch that I'm pretty meh about. I'm pretty sure this somehow spawned from the octopus that gets thrown out into hockey rinks for...whatever reason...and he's being cleaned-up by a space beast (made as much sense as anything else). Ideally I'll churn something more interesting out for saturday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Punk Monkey (Back from the dead)

Summer is half done ladies and gents and I have asked far too much of her. 40 hours a week in a cubicle, reading, and an attempt at a social life leaves so very little time for art. Clearly, this needs to change. So for the next few weeks, I'm going to lower myself into an abandoned well in the country and do nothing but make art, chug mountain dew and listen to some zeppelin. Long story short, I'm going to start putting up new pieces on here every other day. How long will this last? Well I guess it will last until I become wildly unhealthy or I get bored...

I'm putting my money on two weeks.

Oh yeah....and here's a monkey who gets what the clash was really about (I assume finding casbahs and then rocking them). See you in two days!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Brief History of the Twenty-first Century"

Like the drawing from a few months ago of goth Disney characters, this is an illustration for a Chuck Klosterman article. In this one, Chuck breaks down the next 76 years and predicts Google Space Hotels, time machines, robot vs. animal war, President Tom Brady, smoke-able news feeds, brain transplants, moon colonization, The Rolling Stones final farewell tour, oddly normal superbowl results and Bob Dylan being quite possibly the most cryptic individual ever.

Look into it and prepare yourself.

I don't think I actually like this piece so much as I just like the cat with a light saber riding a panda...
This will have to hold you over until I finish something new...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Julius "Pretty Boy" Porter

This started out as a quick sketch of an ugly, old fashioned barber with a glass eye (ya know, that ol chestnut). Somehow the pants got tighter and the shoes got clunkier and now he's got some weird punk vibe going on...

...oh well.

I'm trying to keep up on my artwork this summer, but an 8 to 5 job kinda puts a damper on my enthusiasm. At least my lack of a scanner is forcing me into practicing with my Wacom drawing skills.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spot Illustrations

Here are two spot illustrations that were aimed at children. Each one was an assigned topic (mad scientist and singing cowboy).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Sticky Fingers"

Somewhere out there, there is an article called "The Sticky Finger Set." This article is about a father having a mental breakdown because his kids keep stealing all his stuff (tape, saws, keys, scissors, tent poles...because kids apparently love tent poles). Anyway, I did a lil picture for it with children as paper cut-outs tying up the dad.

The original versions of this featured much warmer colors and a much, MUCH angrier father. Slowly it went from a feeling of homicidal rage to soul crushing defeat...sounds like fatherhood to me (HA).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some Faces For Your Face

I took some time to actually look through the posts on this thing and I realize that I don't put pieces from fine arts classes up. Now there was probably a reason for this originally, but I've long since forgotten what the reasoning was...SO here are a few drawings from my portrait drawing class. Most of these are just one class worth of drawing and I think they're all done with good ol fashioned graphite...and just so no one thinks we have mutants for models, the one on the bottom left corner is pretty exaggerated.

Sorry for the horrible photography involved.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kids book? Yes, please!

So this post is going to be a long one. I'm in the process of writing and illustration a children's book and I would like to blog my brains out on the whole thing. As I go throughout the process, I'll add more sketches/ comps/ line drawing/ and final artwork into this post (instead of making a new post every time and cluttering the blog, I'll keep this project as one single entity). So check back here and enjoy the "creative" process.

The book is (as of right now) called "Katie and the Land of Couch," and is about a little girl named Katie and her brother Hughie (both named after british celebrities I enjoy: Kate Nash and Hugh Laurie) in the town of Cobblestone. It's a rainy day and they help their parents clean the house which eventually leads to them falling into the couch and being transported into a magical world. They make a lot of strange friends (dust bunnies, a wind-up-mouse, a sock-topus, a toll collecting piggy bank, lost remote controls) and even some enemies. Will they be able to make it back home?...of course they will.

The first images are a bunch of preliminary sketches for the characters and some scribbling that is almost a understandable plot (notice how the interesting idea of a scarecrow with no friends lost out to "something with a british girl").
The second images are a few of the pages during the storyboarding process. I really haven't gotten the chance to sketch enough giant cartoon pigs in my lifetime... and yes I'm sure there are some typos in the sketches.

Then there are a few color comps and finally there are three (more or less) finished images. I think I'd eventually like to go in and add a quilted texture to the ground to make it more couch-ish.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sketch-to-death recap

Right in the heart of finals but I'd still like to get something on here. The simple solution is to throw up a bunch of junk from sketch to death... HOORAY

Check out the Sketch to Death Blog to see what words inspired these and what others did with their thinkers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dave makes posters

Here are two posters I did for different classes. The first one is a self promotion piece that would be sold out of Juxtapoz magazine. I have no idea what the image is supposed to mean but I like to think it sums up my work pretty well.
The second one is a poster for going green. I wanted to combine the ideas of carpooling and bike riding as easy ways to make your morning commute more eco-friendly. All this poster really taught me was how much I hate going green advertising and how difficult it is to do it without literally coloring something green.

I'm pretty glad to finally be getting some non-sketch work on here. Only three weeks left in the school year so a surge of stuff should find itself on here soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crustacean of the Opera

Another sketch-to-death assignment. This week's words were "crab" and "mask."

There's a bunch of these things that I haven't actually posted on this blog, so I may take the time to do one massive recap post sometime soon. Also, the end of the school year is coming up pretty soon and then I'll have the time to put up actual projects.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"The Downfall of El Manlymanstan"

Another week, another sketch-to-death assignment. This week's words were "burliness" and "Optometrist."

Nothing mentally breaks a big, burly dude like nerd accessories. When he goes to the orthodontist next week, he'll be nothing more than a puddle of nancy-ness. Never again will he grace the halls of 'The Really Quite Manly Federation of Really Quite Manly Men Wrestler Men.'

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Ouzo the Clown"

There are two explanations for this piece. The first would be that after a lifetime of children's birthday parties and faded dreams, Ouzo the Clown has given up on life. He was raised to be a great performer, but now only has the delusional dreams of a drunkard to keep him company in the back alleys of Jersey. He will never know the taste of fame or fortune...only the taste of cheap booze...and failure.

A simpler explanation would be that I had to illustrate the word "Delusion" for styles and concepts class and I wanted to experiment with a different way of doing a thought bubble.

Hopefully, this piece is a sign of things to come. I actually limited myself to a color scheme (something I really need to put more effort into) and attempted an interesting lighting situation. I might like it. Perhaps you will too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Realistic Threats for Any Urban Environment

In design class, we needed to create a series of symbols for some subject. After a while of sketching, I decided to base mine around the age old relationship between gigantic monsters and the cities they love to destroy. So here they are doing what they do best...destroying junk. And so I present to you: Realistic threats for any urban environment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stack a bear

This is my image for the second week of "Sketch to Death." The words were "Two" and "Umbrella" and the rest is history.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Well, as you (the three people that check this blog with any regularity) can see, this thing hasn't been getting many updates lately. There are a few ways to solve this problem, but it's really hard for a college student to get an intern so here's how this is gonna go:

1. The blog will no longer be reserved for final pieces of work. I think it would be a good idea to start posting works in progress so you can see how these things come together. And if you're excited about this due to a sick love of sketches, may I suggest...
2. A NEW BLOG?!?! Yes a new blog called (for now) Sketch to Death which is reserved for weekly sketching. It is comprised of (for now) five friends from CCAD who will draw two words out of a fishbowl every sunday and by the end of the week, must complete a sketch around these words.

Hopefully, I'll be getting some images up here very soon and with more regularity...

...and if not, this post will be a constant reminder of how easy it is to lie on the internet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NAMBLA vs The Colbert Nation

This was a styles and concepts project where we were given a list of famous figures and asked to create a portrait for one of them. I chose to do Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert as a two headed news anchor arguing with itself.

I tried not to overload it with references because I really wanted the faces to be the focus and this is one of the first times I've really played with the color in a face. I'm usually pretty boring when it comes to my color choices so I hope this is a sign of good things to come in the future.

It's done with colored pencils and acrylic washes with the type and comedy central logo done using photoshop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Addiction: Fun for the whole family

Originally, this was a piece about the patients that hang outside hospitals and smoke. Then, I think it slowly transformed into a piece about death. Somehow it finally turned into a family portrait of a smoking grandpa, overeating dad, drunk mom, caffeine charged daughter, porn addicted son and a dog who likes the occasional dose of heroine.

I feel the need to point out that none of these people resemble any of my actual family members in any way. Also I think "Modern Perv" would be an amazing title for any adult publication...I should really copywrite it.

Maturity Revisited

I'm told that cows are constantly getting abducted by aliens. This leads me to believe that cows actually enjoy the idea of being taken on a space flight and probed. Don't believe me? Well then direct your eyes to the heart bubbles in the picture. Heart bubbles never lie.

This is a slightly touched-up version of an older piece. Some of the coloring changed, but thank goodness the 'made in china' joke stayed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Sketches II

You're prayers have been answered. You called for more filler posts...well by garsh you got 'em. This time there are some speed paintings thrown in and even the original "rock step" from the music inspired art series a few posts down.

So enjoy the magic of the grim reaper getting punk'd, a pub crawl logo, a rabid hamster and Hellboy (which is the property of Mike Mignola, and not me in any way).

Sorry there aren't any miley cyrus caricatures in this group. I'm pretty sure if I draw another one I get put on some sort of list.

Once the AOI thing and SOI (various competitions) are done, I will hopefully have time to slap some real work on here. Until then...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bring me the head of Mayor McCheese!

Trying out a new style of shading with photoshop. Other than that, I'm not sure what to say about this...

This came out of an old sketch of the mcdonald's crew as mobsters titled "the fat pack." Maybe on day I'll redo that bad boy and get it on here.

Ideally no one will be traumatized by a severed burger head and the mcdonald's corporation won't put out a hit on me. The idea of a mayor with a massive cheeseburger for a head is property of McDonald's Corporation. Some people have all the good ideas...