Monday, December 29, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Amanda & Heath

     What better way to wrap up the year than with the last two portraits that were commissioned in October as a part of Monster Portraits Month? Above are two cool friends of mine, Heath and Amanda. It was fun to finish this series of commissions with another couple that could have their drawings paired together.

    Here is a fast run through my process on these two. Above is one of the pages of sketches where I doodled out concepts. Even though I initially tried out other ideas, I just couldn't shake the thought of them as vampires (no offense intended! haha!) So once I settled on that, it was just a matter of finding the right approach and compositions. It took very little time to decide what type of vampires they would be, but you may be able to tell that I spent quite some time working out the relationship between the two drawings.

    I settled on this.  When presented together, Amanda's wings would be able to visually "connect" to Heath's drawing no matter which drawing was on which side. I used the talented Edward Gorey's take on Dracula as inspiration for the wings.

    Below are snapshots of the pencil drawings of Heath and Amanda's faces on Bristol board, the "monsterized" and inked faces, and then the finished pieces once they've been scanned and adjusted (only for values and clarity) in Photoshop. You can see how in between the pencilling and inking stages, I not only added their new monster features, but also made slight changes in an attempt to improve the likenesses.

    To see all of the monster portraits together on this site, click HERE. If you'd like to view them on my portfolio page via Behance, click HERE. For more how you can get your own original art or purchase products featuring my art by clicking the "SHOP" at the top of this page. 

    Thanks to all of you who continue to take an interest in my work and those of you who hired me or inspired me to make more. You have all helped to make this year even better! Your support means a lot! May God bless you as you finish 2014 and enter 2015!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Man-Eating Christmas Tree! (Merry Christmas)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! BEWARE!!! There is a Man-Eating Christmas Tree on the loose! And Santa is missing! Just kidding you guys, it's only the 8x10 ink drawing that Kirsten ordered through my shop. It was a lot of fun to draw such a cool idea!

    Kirsten even sent me this picture of her "household art critic" approving. Cats are tough critics, guys. I think I got lucky this time.

    As I'm writing this, I am excitedly awaiting my sister and brother in law to arrive from out of town. I'm happy they'll be staying a while to celebrate Christmas with us. I sure hope you all have a wonderful time with your family & friends celebrating the holidays! I'll end this post with a passage from the Bible which describes what Christmas is all about. Until next year, God bless you and yours!

Luke 2:1-20 (New Living Translation)

"At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 

    14  'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Destry the Wolfman!

    Look out, guys! Here comes Destry! He's a wolfman! A werewolf! Whichever you prefer! Above is yet another one of the portraits that was commissioned in October as a part of Monster Portrait Month. Something about my pal Destry's photo just howled "Wolf!" Little did I know the Wolfman is his favorite of the classic monsters!

Click images to see them larger.

   After doing thumbnail sketches of  different compositions, I practiced drawing wolves (as seen in the little sketches above.)

Just a couple of sketches I did while trying to learn to capture Destry's likeness and wolfiness.

    Next, it was time to get a grasp on drawing Destry accurately and to plan out his "monsterized" form! 

    Here, you see the same page shown above, only now the "regular Destry" drawing has been transformed and notes to myself have been added! Most of my notes to myself end in question marks, guys. Sometimes they end in intense exclamation points!

Light pencilling on 5x7 inch Bristol board paper.

    Here I begin the final piece with a light drawing of "regular Destry." Even "regular Destry" is still a special guy, just so you know.

Monsterization begins!

    I carefully erased parts of the drawing and added more wolf-like qualities. The technical term is "monsterizing."

A video posted by Philip A. Buck (@philip_a._buck) on

    And viola! A wolfman named Destry! Thanks for taking a look at my process on this one. To see the other monster portraits go here. There are still a couple of monsters on their way! While you wait, feel free to check out how you can get your own original art or purchase products featuring my art by clicking the "Shop" tab above. Until next time, God bless! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Society6 Holidaze! 7 DAYS OF DEALS!

   Friends, Romans, Countryfolk, lend me your wallets! -err, um, I mean... 7 DAYS OF DEALS on my Society6 products has begun! It all starts with $5 OFF ALL APPAREL & FREE SHIPPING on most items! Just click the "Shop" link toward the top of the page and then click "Society6 Store" or just click here:

    Keep your eyes on that page or follow my social media profiles to find out about each new deal everyday! Thanks for your time guys- God bless!

Monday, December 1, 2014

CYBER MONDAY 2014! New Designs, New Products, New Deal!!!

     I have added new designs & new products over at my Society6 shop! And today only (12/1/2014,) you can get 5 off + FREE SHIPPING* WORLDWIDE!

*Free Shipping excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Rugs. 

Monster Portraits Month: Patrick & Sarah (The Monster & His Bride!!!)

Ink on two separate pieces of 5x7 inch Bristol board paper. 

     Hey everybody! Here's two more monsters from MONSTER PORTRAIT MONTH! This fine couple has a particular fondness for Frankenstein's monster and the monster's bride,  so I was happy to "Monsterize" them accordingly. This was kind of tricky, but loads of fun!

    Here are some of the earliest little sketches I drew to plan out the drawings. After that, I moved on to working on the likenesses. 

Light pencilling of likeness.

      I usually start the finished piece by trying to lightly sketch a likeness of the subject. Though, I have a tendency to press the pencil down too hard and often have to roll or press a kneaded eraser on the drawing to lighten it.


    After achieving a likeness, I start "Monsterizing" the person by erasing and adding elements. For some reason, I find separating this into two steps helps me to get both the likeness and the monster qualities roughed in better than just sketching them out as the monster from the get go. 


    After lightly sketching it out, (sometimes tightly, sometimes loosely,) I then ink over the pencils while still referring back to the original photo and my preliminary sketches occasionally. After that, all that's left is to erase any stray pencil lines and then retouch some if the inks that may have faded when erasing.

Final Piece!

     For the rest of these two guys (their bodies and her hair,) I referred to stills from the classic Universal film as well as the work of Jack Davis (among others.) Here are the same steps with Sarah:

Final Piece!

     Believe it or not, but there are still more monsters on the way! Until then feel free to check out how you can get your own original art or purchase products featuring my art by clicking the "Shop" tab above. There's lots of deals going on right now, folks! Thanks for stopping by and looking! God Bless!

P.S. I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving and will have a marvelous holiday season!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Heather!

Ink on 5x7 inch Bristol board paper.

     AH! Another monster portrait from Monster Portrait Month! This here is Heather. Don't let the Medusa-hairdo fool you, she's a nice gal. The funny thing is, the real Heather is scared of snakes! A fact which I did not know. haha! But she still digs her portrait (see, really a nice lady.) I'll still making more monsters and will be sharing them with you here, on the site as their owners receive them. And if you're tired of monsters (wha?! how could you be?!) I'm planning to post some recent non-monster work soon. Until next time, God bless!!!

    P.S. Did you miss Monster Portrait Month, but still want to commission original artwork? Good news! The sale may have ended, but I still have a couple of ongoing sales over on my online shop, PABshop. Feel free to check them out at that link or through the "Shop" page link above and clicking "PABshop."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Jonathan the Mummy

Ink on 5x7 inch Bristol board.

    Monster Portrait Month maybe over, but I'm still working on some of the portraits you guys ordered and its lots of fun! Above is my latest portrait, the terrifying mummy Jonathan!!! This one was tricky, but crazy fun to do!

   Don't be too bummed out if you missed your chance to order a monster portrait. The sale may have ended, but I still have a couple of ongoing sales over on my online shop, PABshop that may still suit your needs. Feel free to check them out at that link or through the "Shop" page link above and clicking "PABshop."

    I'll be posting some more of the monster portraits as they are completed. If you haven't received yours in the mail or any notification that it has been shipped, don't worry. I've got quite a number of orders left draw, ink, and ship. Your portrait will be on its way to you as soon as possible! If you have any questions about your order never hesitate to email me! I don't mind. :)

    A BIG thanks to everyone who participated in Monster Portrait Month and spread the word! I received a much bigger response than I anticipated. It has been awesome! Thanks for the great help! And another thanks to my sister, Mary for encouraging me to go through with it in the first place and being the first to be Monsterized!

   Thanks for bearing with me through the many Monstrous ads and stuff on social media lately and sharing them with your friends! And thanks for stopping by the site. God Bless!

Friday, October 31, 2014


   Today is the LAST DAY of Monster Portraits Month! It's your last chance to get yourself Monsterized! Just go to to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original 5x7 inch ink MONSTER PORTRAIT for only $10 +shipping!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Jennifer And Paul!

    It's still MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH! Here are two fine individuals that wanted to be MONSTERIZED! What a lovely couple. Let's take a closer look!

    In case you haven't heard yet, I'm offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just go to or click the "PABshop" link above to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original MONSTER PORTRAIT! 

   But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! That means you only have FOUR DAYS LEFT from the time I posted this! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!

   Thanks for stopping by and checking out this terrifying twosome. God Bless, guys!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Ashley!

    It's still MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH! Here's a look at another one of the winners of the Free Portrait Contest earlier in the month, Ashley! Spoooooky!

    So you didn't win the contest or missed it entirely? Do not worry! I'm offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just go to for details! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Cooper!

    It's still MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH! Here's a look at one of the winners of the Free Portrait Contest earlier in the month, Creeper Cooper! He's such a cool kid!

   So you didn't win the contest or missed it entirely? Don't fret! I'm offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just go to or click the "PABshop" link above to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original MONSTER PORTRAIT! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!

    God Bless, guys! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


    Did you hear about the contest and special portraits I've been talking about on my social media accounts? Well if you missed the free Monster Portrait contest, don't worry! I'm still offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just head over to or click the "PABshop" link above to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original MONSTER PORTRAIT! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!
God Bless, you guys!

P.S. A special thanks to my sister, Mary for being my model for the portrait above.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Click the strip to read it larger!

    Back when I was attending Carson-Newman University, I had the privilege and pleasure of being taught by many great professors. One of these fine individuals was William C. Houston. He not only taught many of the courses I attended, but I also was lucky enough to have him as my advisor. This past Spring, Mr. Houston retired after teaching at Carson-Newman for 38 years.

    Mr. Houston is the kind of person who really invests in people and really goes the extra mile to help them out. He is also known for being pretty hilarious. As a very small way of thanking him for his great impact on my education, career, and life, I made him this comic strip that refers to one of his more widely known ongoing jokes.1

   The tale goes roughly something like this, while at some sort of faculty get together or while sitting at lunch, many other professors were discussing how much they had to grade and how much work it was. One of them, whether out of genuine curiosity or sarcasm said something to the effect of, "How do you grade your classes?" Mr. Houston responded something like, "I just walk into the classroom. Look at all the paintings and say, 'NEEDS MORE BLUE!' and leave."2

   Of course, I can't tell the story as well as some. And he may have actually said, "More Blue!" in the story. But ever since then students, alumni, and teachers alike will occasionally comment, "Needs more blue," or shout it across the campus lawn when they see him. The whole thing stuck. Some fellow classmates and I even named the weekly art blog we used to run, "NEEDS MORE BLUE."

   So there's the story. Now maybe the comic strip above is even funnier? Be sure to check out the grand artwork of William C. Houston sometime. And THANKS MR. HOUSTON! God bless, everybody. Talk to you soon!

1 That's a lie. It actually refers to two inside jokes, one classic sci-fi film, his love of music, and his own artwork. You can see more of the second joke in great photography by another fine individual, Michael Alvis. 
2 I think he only graded this way on rare occasions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wonder Woman, Changes, and Commissions

Image of Original 8"x10" ink drawings
Wonder Woman enjoys skateboarding. Did you know that? This is just an example of the kind of cool stuff I'll draw for you when you commission an 8 x 10 ink drawing in the PABshop.
    Hello! Did you guys know that I've given the PABshop a makeover? I have! What's the PABshop you ask? Why, it's only my awesome online store where you can get cool stuff I've made. I'm mostly talking commissioned art work that's been specially made for you! Just because I've given the shop a new look and a few tweaks to make it easier to use, don't worry- the 5 x 7 inch drawings and 8 x 10 inch drawings are still available!

Image of Original 5"x7" Ink Drawings
This cool detective is an example of the kind of stuff you can get from the PABshop when you buy a 5 x7 ink drawing.

    That's right, guys. You can still choose either of these option and give me a topic or subject to draw and I'll draw something like the two ink drawing above for you. And you get the original artwork... to keep! :)

    I hope you'll take a moment to check out  all the neat stuff that I'm offering in the PABshop. I also hope you'll enjoy the short process video above from my new Instagram account. I'm looking forward to making something with you all! Thanks for checking in! God bless.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Princess Leia Portrait in the PABshop!

Princess Leia Ink Portrait. 5x7 inches, indian ink on bristol.

    Hi guys! Long time no see. Sorry about that, you guys. Between making lots of art & having computer issues, it's been a little tricky to maintain the site & post new stuff regularly. Let me make it up to you. I just finished this ink drawing of Princess Leia and I'm selling it in the PABshop! That's right, it can be all yours own. Just click the "shop" link above or HERE to check it out and buy away! 

"Doodles, we are!"

    Before I was certain which Star Wars character I wanted to draw, I did quite a number of sketches, but I kept coming back around to the awesome bun-headed rebel.

Little Leias!

    Some of the sketches came out pretty good. Others turned out pretty wacky. I kept sketching, because I still hadn't decided exactly what style I wanted to use. I also wanted to get more familiar with the character's personality and recognizable traits.

Click the image to see it bigger!

    After I more comfortable with drawing the Leia, I began roughing out the pencils on the final piece of Bristol board paper.

Finished! Inked with Faber-Castell PITT artist pens.

    And here's the finished piece! You may have already seen some of these process photos over on my Twitter, Tumblr, or my new Instagram account. I apologize for the bit of redundancy. :)
    Don't forget that this original drawing can be yours! And can always order an original drawing of a subject of your choice from the PABshop as well. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend, guys and gals! God Bless!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jesus, da Vinci, And Me: The Last Supper In Watercolor

Detail of Jesus Christ in watercolor, from The Last Supper by Philip A. Buck. (Click images to see them bigger.)

    Hi there! As you may remember, I've been working on a large (at least compared to much of my other recent work,) watercolor commission. No? You don't remember? That's cool. I was hired to paint a watercolor of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. And now it's finally finished!

    The piece would need to resemble the Renaissance master's mural, but could have my own, slight changes- the client was very flexible about all of this. Like most people, I've been a fan of Leonardo da Vinci's for quite some time. I knew this would be quite a challenge (how do you translate a da Vinci into watercolor?! He was so good!) but I was also very excited to dive into the project. It was enjoyable to research and remind myself of the amazing man and his incredible art. I believe I've spoken before about how many elements of his work have openly appeared in my own work over the years.

    I was also excited and a bit anxious about the subject matter. The Last Supper. Jesus Christ and his apostles taking the first Communion (also know as The Lord's Supper or The Eucharist,) before he would be betrayed and later crucified. And the Apostles hearing that one of them would be the one to betray their Lord. The divinity and importance of the scene wasn't lost on me! I was eager to share, in my own way, this great story. But respectfully and skillfully copying a master's famous interpretation of the special meal was fairly intimidating.

My notes on da Vinci and his painting, The Last Supper include lots of rough sketches.

    For a good look at the original painting by da Vinci and some great insights about it, check out this video by Smart History from Khan Academy.  It was videos like this and books like Leonardo da Vinci by Lucia Aquino (shown above. to the left,) that continued to inspire me while giving me much needed information about da Vinci and his famous painting. But where to start? I first completed some studies to help me get a clearer feel and direction on how to "imitate" da Vinci in pencil and watercolor. I then took notes of my research on the master and his painting.

View of my desk: the watercolor paper, soaked and stapled
with Christ, apostles, and architecture penciled in.

    I then prepared the watercolor paper by soaking it and stapling it to a "watercolor board." After that I started planning out the painting in pencil. I measured and marked places on the paper where the architecture and figures would go in relation to the original painting. This stage took quite a while (he sure did love his math!) I couldn't get any good pictures of this stage because the pencils were so light. I then lightly roughed in the figures and furniture. 

A closer look at the watercolor paper with Christ, apostles, and architecture penciled in.

    I came back and tightened up the details on the figures. I knew it would probably look much different by the time it was painted, but I wanted to give the picture a good and accurate foundation. I also originally planned to just do mostly washes of color over the line-work. However, as I painted the figures I went for a more fully rendered look instead. Here are just a couple of photos of the pencils I did of the small figures:

Detail of pencil sketch of Jesus Christ at the table of The Last Supper by Philip A. Buck.

A close up of Jesus in the pencils stage.

    Here you can barely see the light pencil lines I used to guide the elements of architecture radiating outward from Christ's right temple. The horizon line for the painting is generally aligned with his eyes.

Detail: Bartholomew (also called "Nathanael,") James (son of Alphaeus,  known as
 "the Younger" or "the Lesser,") and Andrew lightly sketched in pencil.

Detail: Judas (lower and turning,) Peter (also called "Simon" and "Cephas,") and John in pencil.

Detail: The apostles Thomas (also called "Didymus,") James ( son of Zebedee , "the Major,
the Elder" or "the Greater") and Philip.

Detail: Matthew (also called "Levi,") Jude (also called "Thaddaeus,") and Simon ("the Zealot.")
Painting begins!

    I then painted the figures. I did this in layers, adding more varying tones and details as I went. I also employed watercolor pencils constantly to redefine elements like their eyes, shadows, the wrinkles in their cloaks, and their hair.

The upper room takes shape.

    After the figures were painted in, I started working on the background. Since my client wanted to display the finished piece in her rustic cabin, we chose an "earth tone" pallet of colors as opposed to a direct translation of da Vinci's color choices.

    You can see here that I continued by painting the table, the food, and the landscape that can be seen behind Jesus. After that, I just had to do touch ups and take it off of the board. Finished!

Detail: Bartholomew, James, and Andrew in watercolor.

    I deliberately changed some of the figures' features and wardrobes so that they would be a little more historically accurate (at least in my limited research,) than the Renaissance-stylized, European men and clothes that are in the original. At the same time, I tried not to change them too much; I was commissioned to paint after da Vinci's Last Supper, after all.

Detail: Judas, Peter, and John in watercolor.

Detail: Jesus Christ in watercolor.

Detail: Thomas, James, and Philip in watercolor.

Detail: Matthew, Jude, and Simon in watercolor.

The Last Supper, After Leonardo da Vinci by Philip A. Buck.
Watercolor and watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. Approximately 28 x 15 inches.
(Click image to view larger.)

    Finally, here is the finished piece. After going through the whole process and studying da Vinci's painting so closely, my already great appreciation for the work and artist increased immeasurably. I also had deeper consideration of the Apostles and Jesus as men. Men who did miraculous things, but also men who came and ate together. And also about the heavy, bitter sweet burden that must have been for Jesus, knowing it would be there last meal altogether, but also knowing of the good yet to come after his resurrection. There's a lot to think about in this scene, and in the way Leonardo da Vinci wonderfully portrayed it.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this! I hope you enjoyed another look at my process. Now it's on to more paintings for me. Until next update, you can find me tweeting, plussing, tumbling, and behancing elsewhere on the web. God bless, you guys!