Monday, January 31, 2005


EDITED--July 13, 2005

I decided to delete the blog, which was just pictures of my art, and rededicate it to teaching everything I have learned by drawing comic books in Adobe Illustrator.

You can still find my artwork online at if you want to see my finished art. It's a little more organized than ILLCRAFT was. It's also easier for people looking for my art to find it there rather than hunting for this site.

In the last year I have been in contact with lots of artists, fans and curious students as to how I am drawing in Illustrator. I have posted on many different websites and message boards some of my more helpful tips. I think it would be a lot better for everyone to just point people to this site where I will post all of the tips and tricks I have come up with. That way everyone who wants the information can get ALL of it here, and I don't have to keep answering the same questions on different message boards.

I think this will work a lot better. I'm excited about the change and getting a little more organized with my blogs.

  • This blog will be used for instructing people on how I am using Adobe Illustrator to create comicbook art.
  • My online portfolio. I'll post all of my artwork here. Most of the art here is either all-ages or teen and up.

Hope to see you around...

~Brian Denham


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian,

Todd here (boy you just can't get rid of me can you!). Too bad you won't be at Wondercon. I'm trying to get Erik Larsen and B. Clay Moore to have another party here at adobe. Well it would be a art gallery with an opening night party. The Isotope thing was ok.

Anyways, I am STILL trying to draw in illustrator- the new Intos 3 tablets and pens are awsome. But I'm still trying to do the pencil tool way that you showed.

Take care.


Brian Denham said...

Thanks for dropping by. Intuos 3? Gotta check that out. I'm still saving my dimes for the one where you draw on the screen.

That'll be cool.

Staats said...

Ay chance of seeing some scans of your pencils up close for all us budding inkers?

Brian Denham said...

Well I am drawing all of my art in the computer using Adobe Illustrator.

So the art as it looks in the ink stage is actually my pencil work. It's just that since I am using black as my "pencil" the art looks black instead of grey like a regular pencil on paper looks.

So besides some sketch work, what you see here IS my final pencil stage.

Staats said...

I see. So I guess it is faster than pencilling and inking the same page. Probably cuts the time in half eh? I didn't realze there were any packages out there that could really do that good of a job.

Looking at the Elsinore stuff though, it is quite diffrent than the the style you used on America woman.

If your coloring also i guess this is really the best way to go so you have total control over the end product.

So how many Pages are you able to complete per day via this method?

Thanks for the responses btw

Brian Denham said...

Thanks for your comments!

My style has changed a lot since American woman. All of the books I have done in comics seem to require a different look so I change my art to service the story.

I have worked on Chaos! Comics horror books that required a specific look that fit in with all of their books, my Antarctic style has changed styles with each series-so Warrior Nun, American Woman, Killbox and my How-to-draw-Manga stuff looks very different. So too with my work for Top Cow which has always been me filling in for someone so I try to keep the style consistant with the previous artist since I am just there to help the deadlines. My work for extreme studios early in my career was driven by Liefeld. He didn't want us drawig like him, but it was kind of implied. If we strayed into a different look than what was "Image" we wouldn't get work. My art has always looked in my mind's eye at least like the Wolf at the Door piece. I love the shadows of light and dark and really wish I had a chance to do my own look sometimes.

Finally my chance has come. I don't want to draw like other people, or vary my art for the different books. I have grown confident in my abilities lately and have come to the realization that I am not anyone else. If I try to be I deny whatever special, unique thing I can bring to the world.

That may sound pompous or whatever, but I finally see what has long eluded me. The ability to just be me. I don't need to change styles any longer...though I will when it suits me or I evolve through my art.

I don't know where I am headed with my art, but I know the course is mine to choose, and I am not following too closely to anyone else's path.

I am just doing what feels right to me in a look that I feel is comfortable for this book. I hope you like it. I hope it doesn't distract too much from the story.

Some pages are very fast. I drew 5 pages of the darkness in one day. Though one page before it took a week and a half. LOL. I just need to be more steady. I feel like the Hare racing the turtle. I sprint ahead and run out of steam and a turtle passes me by.

I'll try to pace myself...and let you know how it goes.

By the way the colors are not mine. we have a great new colorist from Canada working on the book. It's the best coloring job I have ever seen on my work...besides some sweet colors from Guru-eFx.

Thanks for reading this lengthy answer...


Staats said...

Thanks for the "lengthy answer". It's much better than a short answer:)

I understand what your saying and agree, you have ot be true to what it is you want to do. Art is about slef expression, and though there is not as much of that in mainstream comics as in fine art, style is the mjor factor that makes a personal statement.


Travis said...


My name is Travis, Your work is AWSOME and has inspired me to pick up a wacom of my own, do you have any tips for using the 'pencil tool' a bit more efficiently every time I try, my art comes out sketchy as if I had actually done it with a pencil. I suppose it could be my technique? By the way, You making this blog... Is probably one of the coolest things any artist could do... Thanks!

Gary Mitchell said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is what I've been needing. I've been inking in Illustrator for awhile now, but seeing a pro use it will definitely be beneficial. Thank you again, sir.

Brian Denham said...

You are welcome. Please let me know if you have some better ideas than what I post.

This is just the information I found out on my own. I sure don't know everything and would be happy to talk to you more about this process.

I hope to convert as many people as I can to drawing in Illustrator.

By the way, is Gary Mitchell your real name or are you a big Star Trek fan? Gary Mitchell rocked!

Either way, welcome aboard! Glad to have you around.

Gary Mitchell said...

Yes I'm a Star Trek fan and my name is Gary Mitchell. I'm a Jr. too so there are two of us :) I've got a comic where Gary Mitchell appears, pretty cool to see my name in it.

I use the brush tool mainly when I ink. I've tried to use the pencil tool with your settings, but I can't seem to get the lines and shapes to look right. I saw that you were trying to post a Quicktime file and hope you succeed. I would love to watch you use the pencil tool to see how you get the lines to look that way. I'll look around see if I can help you with the uploading process.

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