Friday, May 18, 2018

Illustration & Character Design: The Job Treasure Hunt (MORE PIRATES!)

Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

    What is a pirate to do when the ship is sunk? Look for a new job! Here are a series of playful illustrations completed for a hypothetical project. They would work for an article about job hunting or a picture book or comic about pirates looking for work. Their purpose is to demonstrate my ability to create various illustrations about a theme & design "simplified & cartoony" characters. You may remember these guys from the little "sneak peaks" & process posts I put up a little while back. You can click the images below to see them bigger.

The initial sketch.
Digitally inking & coloring
over a scan of the pencil art.
The digital art with flat colors (before I added textures.) Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Searching for a career you can treasure? You may be looking in the wrong place.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Flat colors, no textures.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Detail from the finished illustration.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Think about what your past jobs. What parts were you passionate about? In which areas of that position were you skilled?
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Flat color version.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Are you waiting for the right employer to randomly find your resume
or are you searching them out?
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Flat colors, no textures.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Detail from the finished illustration.
 Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

It can be very rewarding to find a job that combines your skills & passions, it just may not be the job you expected. Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.

Flat colors, no textures.
Illustration by Philip A. Buck 2018, Drawn in pencil, inked & colored digitally in Photoshop.
   Here's more of my character design & composition process:

I started by sketching different pirates & their pets that may need to find a new job. All of these were drawn in pencil on paper. -Philip A. Buck 2018

I continued to sketch the pirates & their possible pets (yes, there was almost a monkey!) in multiple job hunting pirate related situations. Not all of them panned out. All of these were drawn in pencil on paper. -Philip A. Buck 2018

I tightened up the designs & came up with a few more situations. I also drew different elements of the illustrations that I could piece together later in Photoshop during the inking stage. All of these were drawn in pencil on paper.
 -Philip A. Buck 2018

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to check these illustrations & sketches out. You can keep up with what I'm doing on a more regular basis by clicking the social media icons on this page & following my accounts. There, you'll even find some short little videos I made while I was working on this project. You can also find this project & more in my online portfolio. Thanks again, & God bless!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter 2018: A Look Back at "The Last Supper"

The Last Supper In Watercolor, a commissioned study of da Vinci's The Last Supper. watercolor & watercolor pencils on watercolor paper.

    Happy Passover & Easter Weekend to you all! I hope you all enjoy taking part in celebrating the great love of God & all that He's done for us.

6When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
 - Romans 5:6-11

A detail of Jesus Christ in a past project, recreating da Vinci's The Last Supper. This was sketched out before I painted over it. Graphite pencils on watercolor paper.

   Here’s another repost of my watercolor interpretation of da Vinci’s The Last Supper from a few years ago. You can see the steps of my process & close up photos here. Well, until next time, may God bless you all!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Pirates Progress

Character design & composition sketches for a illustration by Philip A. Buck

    Hello friends! Welcome back. Did you see it in my last Instagram story? I’ve been drawing pirates in preparation for a thing. It's a personal project type of thing. You see, I'm drawing these awesome pirates to get some practice drawing more "simple & cartoony" characters & illustrations. I draw this kind of stuff a fair bit when I'm just doodling in my sketchbook, but I haven't made any "finished work" like this in a while. I'm thinking that if these illustrations & characters turn out decently, they'll make great additions to my portfolio. 

A process snapshot of my process coloring these pirates, their parrot & this briefcase!

A cropped detail of a pirate illustration by Philip A. Buck.  The full illustration is coming soon!

    I'm hoping to make a full process post with videos explaining how I made these cool pirates later when I post the final images. But we shall see.... Until then, God bless & ARRRRRGGGG, me matey!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Philip A. Buck

    Sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, an idea for a story or project you had a long time ago will suddenly come back to you with new fire & excitement. New ideas. New characters. Maybe just a funny situation. That’s been happening a bit more often to me lately. Here’s my sketch/drawing of a teen model on Pinterest that captured many of the qualities shared with a couple of teen characters in some of the aforementioned projects. I changed her hat. 😅 Something recently made me really need to gather reference images, sketch characters & think of possible story threads & characters for some old ideas I’d pretty much shelved for a while. This was one sketch that made me realize a couple of these separate ideas could actually be parts of the same big story! Hmm maybe...

    Until next time, God bless!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Some Santa Claus Sketches

    Hello, Friends! I’ve been drawing some Santa Claus sketches lately. Here is one that I sketched while looking at a some of Norman Rockwell's Santa paintings.

    I used an actor from TV for a bit of reference on this one. I still referred to Rockwell's work to inspire me. I quite like it.

  Another one! Thanks for checking these guys out. I'll most likely be posting something else Santa Claus or Christmas related soon! To see this kind of stuff as I make it, day by day, take a look at my social media pages that are linked at the top & in the side bar of this site. Thanks! God bless you!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mary Morris, Home For Christmas: My Sister's Christmas Album Available On iTunes & More!

    Remember last year when I shared graphic design work I did for my sister, Mary Morris's Christmas album? Now you can listen to Mary's Christmas album on Apple Music, Spotify & Youtube! You can also Download "Mary Morris, Home For Christmas" through iTunes & Amazon! Visit or click the links below! God bless you all!

Here are the links:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dragon Riders of Pern- Ink Illustration after Michael Whelan

Dragon Riders of Pern after Michael Whelan by Philip A. Buck. Ink on Bristol board paper. 

    Hello again! I recently completed this commission of a dragon. It's based off of a cover illustration by Michael Whelan from the Dragon Riders Of Pern series byAnne McCaffrey. I've never read it any of the series, but all this dragon drawing kind of made me want to. The person who commissioned this drawing wanted to get her mom a "Pern" dragon picture because it's her mom's favorite book series. Isn't that cool? Lets take a quick look through my process.

    First, I roughed in pencils of the main dragon figure & its rider while paying close attention to Whelan's original while making subtle changes. One obvious change I made is the composition. I also moved some things around, (including some dragons,) & added lots of clouds. You can see the original cover art, "Wheyrworld" by Michael Whelan on his website HERE.

    Next came the inks! Below you can watch a quick Instagram video about this step... OK it's just me pantomiming to Enya while inking.

   While adding the hatching on this piece, I thought about the way etchings by folks like William Blake & Albrecht Durer look. I approached it more loosely than that, but those kind of pieces heavily influenced my choices.

    I looked at a bunch of William Stout's work while drawing & inking the clouds. He's a very skilled artist & the clouds in the backgrounds of some of his drawings (namely this King Kong illustration,) are amazing & were used for reference.

Dragon Riders of Pern after Michael Whelan by Philip A. Buck. Ink on Bristol board paper. 

    And here's the final image again. This one's the "raw" scan before I adjusted the levels in Photoshop. Thanks for checking it out. Working on this drawing reenergized the inking side of my brain & it was a blast to work on. Until next time, God bless you!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

HALLOWEEN 2017: A Ghost Pup, Monster Portraits of Halloween Past & Jack O' Lantern Wonderment.

Dakota the ghost dog!

    Happy Halloween, boos & ghouls! May I present to you this petrifying pet portrait I recently drew! As some of you may recall, I had a special sale back October of 2014 called, "Monster Portrait Month," which was also know by its hashtag, "#MonsterMySelfie." It was quite fun & many monsters were made. Since then, I've had requests for a return of Monster Portrait Month, but due to many factors have never been able to do it again. Maybe some day! YET, a friend of mine named Heath just happened to catch me at a perfect time with an opening in my schedule. He requested this ghostly portrait of he & his wife Amanda's dog. You see, back during the original Monster Portrait Month, I had drawn monster portraits of both of them & Heath's hope was to surprise Amanda with the portrait of their pet as a way of completing their "monsterfied family," so to speak. He asked, if it was possible, if I could make their pup look like Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas. What a fun idea & project! I was happy to hear from Amanda & Heath that they really enjoyed the way the piece turned out! (By the way, Amanda is not only a good friend, but quite the artist! Check out her Facebook page & Instagram.)

Let's take a quick look back at the Monster Portraits from 2014!

Jennifer & Paul!

Patrick & Sarah

Heath & Amanda!
    You can see these guys bigger & a "behind the scenes" look at them by clicking the "Monster Portrait" tag below or clicking HERE.

    And while I have your attention, behold the jack O' lantern I carved this year!

A post shared by Philip A. Buck (@philipabuck) on

Spook safely tonight! Until next time, God bless you!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Post Wizard World Comic Con NASHVILLE Post: A Recap of My First Convention as an Artist in Artist Alley

A few of the sketch cards I drew before the con. I also took requests throughout the weekend.

   Wow! How time flies! It's already been almost three weeks since Wizard World Comic Con NASHVILLE & I'm still smiling. It was such a great time! I was excited about having my own table at a comic convention for the first time, but didn't entirely know what to expect. I received great advice from other artist who attend cons often, but was still a bit anxious. What a thrill! Yes, it was a lot of work, but you all made it all worth it! (CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW LARGER.)

My initial setup Friday morning. As you can see, most of the other artist's hadn't set up yet. I didn't know how long/short a time it would take. But I was glad to have the extra time. Featured in this photo is my new table front banner that I designed just for the con. I ordered it through Vistaprint.

    The most popular thing at my table, by far, were the sketch cards. (Also seen at the top of the post.) They're like little baseball or trading cards with original drawings by me. I had a selection of pre-drawn characters on on table & also gave the option of requesting any character you wanted. I drew so many! I didn't get pictures of all of them, but here are a few snapshots that my friend Wyatt & I took.


    I did a good number of Star Wars characters ahead of time & while at the con, because, ya know, it's Star Wars.

Special Guest, Stan "The Man" Lee was in Nashville! I did not meet him. We were both probably sad about that.

There were a a few characters that people requested, that I'd never heard of, like this guy!

Just a few of the Pokémon I drew throughout the convention.

A character I'd never heard of from a show I'd never heard of! Looks cool!

Another popular guy from a thing I've heard of,
 but do not watch. I think he turned out pretty good
A character from a popular game apparently!
 (For a girl named Mercedes.)

I actually saw some Ghostbusters at the con! They "had just caught a ghost." 

My new "pull down" banner I designed & had made through Vistaprint.

     Here is a closer look at my table display with new banners from & new art prints that I had printed at ASAP printing in Hendersonville, TN. I think I may still do some tweaking with the setup, but it served me well this time!

Convention Table: Art Prints & Sketch Cards.

Convention Table: Art Prints, Commissions, Original Artwork & Sketch Cards. The "table front" horizontal banner was attached using Velcro & safety pins. It worked this time, but wasn't the most reliable method. I still may rig up something else next time.

    While at the convention, I had the pleasure of meeting many of new, friendly folks & reuniting with some familiar faces. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting each of you that came to my table! It brought me so much joy to talk with you & draw for you! I also enjoyed meeting some other artists & entertainers whom I'd never met before. Below are some examples of some of their fine work that I was lucky enough to buy at their tables! I barely had time away from my table, but I knew I had to pick up some of their work!

Art Print by Beth Hughes.
Sketch Cards by Danny Limor (top drawing) & Yoni Limor (bottom three drawings)
 of Pencil Ink Publishing.

    Thanks again to my buddy Wyatt Langford drove into town to be my partner at the table & basically kept everything going while making it even more fun. And a big thanks to my awesome parents for helping me cut out sketch cards & much more. Thanks to Guy Gilchrist for the tips & connecting me with Wizard World & making it happen & to all the awesome folks at Wizard World (specifically Scott Perry,) who made it way easier to have a pleasurable time. All of the Music City Center staff that I had contact with were great & boy, what an amazing facility! Thanks! And thank you Scott "Scoot" McMahon for the advice to try sketch cards! All of you made my first con in Artist Alley not only possible, but incredible!
    It seriously was such a delight to meet so many cool & friendly people, kids, teens & adults alike! It did my heart good to draw for you all & to see you smile as you received your custom drawing or just when you stopped by & had a chat. God is good & he used this experience to bless me & remind me once again of how great it is to create things for people. I'm not sure when my next con will be, but already excited about it! I'll see you then!!! God bless you all!