Category Archives: Musings

Freehand Drawing of T-Rex in “Jurassic Park”


I first started getting more serious about drawing around 1993 or 94 — sometime after “Jurassic Park” came out. I loved the film and collected all of the trading cards and even had the “official movie magazine” about the film. In both the cards set and the magazine, the concept art from artist Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery was featured very prominently. His work on the raptors and t-rex were just mind-blowing and it wasn’t long before I tried my hand at replicating Crash’s work.

As a kid and amateur artist, I obviously couldn’t do Crash’s work justice, but it started something. It sparked something inside me that made me want to draw detailed pieces and try to draw people’s portraits.

A few years later, after I started to get the hang of it, I tried my hand at Crash’s t-rex side profile drawing again and it showed improvement, but it still wasn’t nearly as good as his work. And while I still can’t just fabricate detailed work right out of thin air (I need a drawing reference), after seeing 2015’s “Jurassic World” film, I felt inspired to do something original. I found a photograph of the t-rex animatronic puppet they’d used for one of the films and decided to try to do a detailed drawing of that. And since I draw freehand, it’s difficult to accurately place subjects in the drawing space. When I saw it coming together, I realized I’ll have a dead background without much happening, so I opted to use the screenshot of the doors from “Jurassic Park” as the background… above is the result. 🙂

Etsy link for prints:

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It actually dawned on me YESTERDAY that my Etsy shop’s URL is long and cumbersome. I’ve settled on to direct people to my Etsy shop. So now you can get to it easily… just follow anytime. Thanks! 🙂


Original Artwork for Sale

If you ever see a print of something on Etsy that you’d be interested paying top dollar for, feel free to private message me on Etsy with your best offer. I’ll let you know if I’m interested or not. For the most part, the originals aren’t on sale because I either wish to keep them for myself or they’re actually hanging in my house somewhere. So I can’t guarantee I’ll agree to your offer, but it couldn’t hurt to ask. 🙂

Etsy store link:

A Handful of Original Drawings Now On Sale


I find it difficult to part with many of my original drawings, but I realize I can’t keep them all… So I’m cleaning shop a bit.

These are original, 9×12 drawings — not prints/copies — so they’re one-of-a-kind, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

What is available:
1. Thor / Chris Hemsworth (Avengers)
2. James Bond / Sean Connery
3. Vesper Lynd / Eva Green (Casino Royale)
4. Ray Stantz / Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
5. Indiana Jones / Harrison Ford (The Last Crusade)
6. Audrey Hepburn
7. Michael Scott / Steve Carell (The Office)
8. Luke Skywalker / Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back)
9. Michael Westen / Jeffrey Donovan (TV’s Burn Notice)
10. Evan Baxter / Steve Carell (Evan Almighty)
11. Bilbo Baggins / Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)

First come, first serve, so if you want one – this is it! Thanks!

Black Friday Weekend Art Print Sale!

I’m always uncomfortable with self-promotion, but I realize if I don’t do SOME then people won’t hear about such things as… Black Friday art print sales!

Here’s an ad for a sale I have running this weekend. Thanks for looking!  Etsy:


I’m Now on Facebook!

Last week I decided to bite the bullet and launch my own Facebook Page dedicated to my art pursuits. I’ve posted most of my drawings on there (even some not on here) and will be posting progress-report cell phone captures of drawings in progress too. Check it out at and feel free to “Like” it! 🙂

— John

New Etsy Shop!

After the gentle suggestion of some family and friends, I’ve decided to open an Etsy shop for those interested in purchasing prints of some of my art.

For now only some of the drawings are available (six, at the time of this post), but I hope to add more. If there’s a particular drawing I’ve done that you’d like a print of, please contact me and I can special-print that one for you (and we can just handle payment directly thru Paypal). All prints can also be personally signed by me and addressed to you or anyone you’d like!

Here’s the store link:

Whoa Doc! That’s Heavy!

I was paging through a comic book recently and saw this really excellent drawing of a person that bordered on portrait quality while still being comic book art. In the drawing there was great detail where a lot of the features were defined with lines — like where little shadows and minute details would be.

I decided to try out this technique myself. I took a photo off my wall (I have framed 8x10s of movie characters on the wall leading down to our basement) and tried out a sketch in pencil. It wasn’t bad… I was moderately happy with it, but not completely, so I traced my drawing the next night onto marker paper and colored it in. After I was done, I realized I had made some mistakes AND over shadowed it.

I threw it out.

Then I took another photo down and tried it again. This time I TRIED to keep it cartoony and more to shapes, but it’s REALLY difficult. I naturally want to make it a realistic portrait.

I kept working on Michael J Fox as Marty McFly and tried to discipline myself not to overdo it. I may have a bit, but I’m mostly happy with the result. I want to try more of these!




There should be a “Captain” in there somewhere…

Sorry for the inactivity on here. I’ve been busy with a ninth-month-old crawler, a sick guinea pig, a stolen Honda, and work. But in the midst of it all, I’m still trying to find regular time to work on drawings. I recently completed my first attempt at a portrait done entirely in marker. I drew it in pencil first, then went over it with a translucent sheet of marker paper using a variation of gray markers. It was fun and different for sure, but I saw mostly just its glaring flaws after I finished it, so I won’t be posting it here. 🙂

I did, however, follow that up with a pencil portrait, which I was also unhappy with, and then another pencil portrait which I actually WAS happy with! I’ll post a photo here, but I’ll try to get a HQ scan for the portrait archives soon. Using a plate from the party goods my parents got Amy for her birthday this year, I drew Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I worked on it on and off for about a month with a couple hours here and there (not every day though). It was fun and a neat project to work on. I have no other portraits planned at the moment, so I’ve returned to drawing cartoons. I recently exercised my nerdy-ness some more and picked up some new comic books that should make good sketch sources to stretch my abilities some. I’d love to get better at drawing people (in a comic-book-style).

In the meantime, here’s Jack… Actually, maybe I’ll even post the various stages the drawing underwent in a post here, hmm? Would that be interesting to anyone? I took various iPhone shots of the drawing in various degrees of completion…

(Here it is finished)


Roll Out

Well, it’s been three months since I made the goal to do a drawing a day. So far, I’ve missed plenty of days to say I’ve missed that goal, however, I’m still drawing more than I have in years and I’m continuing to stretch my comfort zones in the process. As I stated before, I had dug out old comic books from my early teen years and have been practicing drawing some of my favorite covers and panels. Recently, I tracked down one of those artists who worked on the G.I. Joe comic books in the early 90s and found some more recent sketches from the artist online. His name is Andrew Wildman and he often signed his work as just “Wildman.” — wonderfully expressive stuff with eye-popping detail. I found two sweet sketches he’d done of Optimus Prime online — one was in color, one was not. So I drew the black and white one in pencil, went over it in color, using his other colored drawing as a reference, and went over it in ink. I’m quite happy with the result.

I’ve invested in a set of Prismacolor Premier markers (and got most of them as a birthday gift this year!), and as I work on my latest sketch — a marker drawing of the Transformer Hot Rod — I’m practicing blending and layering shades and colors. It’s great fun and I find myself anxious to get to drawing again before the day’s end these days.

Here’s the Optimus drawing I mentioned above. It was done on a Canson Marker Pro Layout pad. I can’t wait to keep trying new approaches!