Monday, December 27, 2010

ink & digital color

This here's a pin-up of the characters from my self-published mini-comic "Woolgathering". And even though we can't actually hear what they're listening to, from the looks of it, I'd say it's almost definitely some Michael Jackson tunes. Or maybe Motorhead. Who knows?

I had to take a bit of a break from the strip earlier this year but, over the last few months, I've been steadily working on new strips and stories, which will all finally see the light of day early in the New Year--in both print and on the web! So please keep checking in for news and updates.

Have a great New Year, everyone. See you in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

X-MAS CARD 2010pigment ink, watercolor & digital

pigment ink


With so many cookie plates left out for Santa on Christmas Eve, Cookie Monster realized that it was the perfect night for him to feed his addiction. Or so he thought!

And you can also check out the awesome Christmas card my wife, Erin Gallagher, did over at her blog.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here are a couple of watercolor still lifes I did a few years ago and I just came across them again while organizing my studio the other day. It's been a little while since I've drawn or painted from life and I definitely miss it. I did do some recently when my wife and I were in Paris a few months ago and it was a lot of fun. I should look into take a class again soon.
brush, ink & digital

Hey everyone! This here is a revised version of a illustration I posted a few months back. Feel free to click here if you would like to compare this one to the original.

Back when I posted the first version, a friend and fellow artist gave me some feedback and said that while he really liked the Spidey, he felt the overall composition could be stronger. I'm not exactly sure what happened right after that because I flew into a blinding rage and blacked out for a moment. But later on, when I went to visit my friend in the hospital, I told him I thought about what he said and realized he was right. Oh, and also that I was sorry.

But I digress. Aside from the composition of the original, I wasn't really happy with how the building looked either. So for the revised version I re-drew the building from scratch then colored it digitally and now I think the piece is a lot stronger. Kind of like my friend's spine now that it has that metal rod in it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here's the inked & colored version of the Darkseid drawing I posted a few months back as well as some examples of the progress. I also did a quick monochrome version just for the hell of it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

GRAVE SOLDIERScolored ink, watercolor, & digital
A bunch of college kids drinking in a cemetery at night...what could possibly go wrong?! Probably everything. This is a painting I did a few months back that was finally given the okay to be shown. It was used as part of a pitch, along with four other images, for a multi-media project. My illustration was for the character Buffy, the dude holding the baseball bat. You can click here for the details of my contribution (with a different logo treatment) as well as the work by the four other artists.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Been watching the old "Incredible Hulk" TV show on Hulu the last few days and it put me in the mood to do a couple of Hulk sketches. I loved the show as a kid so it's been fun to watch it again. And I have to say, even though it's a bit dated and has some really goofy moments, there are elements of the show that still hold up pretty well. I love Bill Bixby's portrayal of (David) Banner and I think the Ferrigno-Hulk is a lot more believable than either of the two recent big-screen Hulks. In fact, I really wish the movies would utilize more old school make-up and camera tricks instead of pure CGI to create the Hulk. The show did a pretty good job with it and that was for TV show made over 30 years ago. I think a big budget movie today could do an amazing job with the right people behind it. It's been achieved in Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings and others so I think it's definitely possible for a Hulk movie. Not to completely dismiss CGI--I think it can be pretty great when used right--but when it looks like Banner has turned into a video game character instead of a rampaging monster, it kind of loses it's impact. At least for me.

Anyway, end of rant. As for the sketches, I was going for the more old-school, primitive looking Hulk, which I prefer to the green body-builder look he's had for a while now. Guess I'm just in a nostalgic mood lately.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just a few warm-up sketches done while finishing up some Batman sample pages. In the last sketch, it might look like Batman's trying to be scary but he's actually covering his nose because the Batcave reeks of guano. I know it's part of your motif, Batman, but it's really gross.

Monday, September 13, 2010

ink, copic marker & digital's a Superman color sketch! You know, for a guy that gets his powers from the sun, he sure does squint a lot.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Here are a couple of ink-wash sketches I did while trying to come up with the look for a few creatures for a new Woolgathering strip. The last image is a panel from the strip showing them in action.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hey, Bub! Been away from the blog due to work and travel but to get things started again here's a pencil drawing of Wolverine, everyone's favorite Canadian! Actually, my favorite Canadian is Elias Koteas. No offense, Wolverine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

CHECKMATE! watercolor & digital

This here's a poster I did a few months ago for a local Chess tournament. It was mostly done in watercolor with some digital color laid transparently over the board and background. And since I used my own hand as a reference, I'm hoping this finally launches my life-long dream of becoming a hand model.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just a few quick sketch-cards I did a little while ago with some brush pen and Copic marker. It's a lot of fun (and a good warm up exercise) to knock out a bunch of these in a row. It's not, however, good exercise to knockout a few people in a row. At least that's what the police said.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hey folks! Here's another watercolor study I did recently, based off a photo I had of my wife, Erin Gallagher (there's also a bit of colored ink in the mix). I've really enjoyed doing these studies and I'm really feeling more confident using watercolors again; definitely looking forward to using them in more finished work. See ya soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

FUTURAMA!!!Good new everyone! Futurama is back on television tonight so I did a couple of Copic marker sketches of Leela and Dr. Zoidberg to celebrate its return! This was such a great show and I'm glad to see it get the second chance it deserves. Sweet Zombie Jesus!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alphonse Elric

Edward Elric

Hello! Been away for a bit but now I'm returning with a blog post about returning to watercolors! I hadn't used them in a while as I had been coloring predominantly digitally but, lately, I was really getting the urge to pick up a brush again. These two pieces are of Edward and Alphonse Elric, the main characters from one of my (and my wife's) all time favorite cartoons "Fullmetal Alchemist". They are the first of a few studies I'm doing before I tackle a larger and more finished illustration of them. And if you're not familiar with the shows or the comic/manga it's based on, I definitely recommend checking them out.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BATGIRLHere's a quick sketch of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl. I think I'm going to use this as the basis for a finished piece sometime in the near future. Later!

Friday, June 04, 2010

BIZARROHey everyone! Concluding this week's Superman villain theme is Bizarro, Superman's imperfect duplicate! And even though he's saying that he wants everyone to have a great weekend, in "Bizarro speak" that actually means he hopes you have a terrible weekend. Bizarro is a dick. I, on the other hand, really do hope you all have a great weekend. Take care!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

DARKSEIDThe Superman villain theme continues! This handsome fella is Darkseid, the evil ruler of the planet Apokolips. You can't see it but he's smiling because he's watching his favorite TV program, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". See? He's pure evil.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mr. MxyzptlkAnother Superman villain! This little fella here is Mr. Mxyzptlk, the near-omnipotent imp from the 5th dimension. Some of Mxy's amazing powers include the abilty to alter reality on a whim and, more importantly, keeping that tiny hat from falling off his gigantic head.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pencil sketch of Rudy Jones aka the Parasite. The only thing he hates more than Superman is clothing. Get some pants, buddy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"We are very close to the end..."

Here are a couple of "Lost" sketches I did today as my wife and I gear up for the big finale of the series.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Brush & ink and digital color

... here comes the Spider-Man! Hey everyone; I know it's been a little while since my last post so here's a new Spidey illustration to help me get back into the swing of things, no pun intended. Actually, that's a lie; pun completely intended. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Lately, aside from freelance gigs, I haven't had a lot of time or motivation to really work on much after my dad passed away. Slowly but surely, though, I'm getting back on track and regaining focus. And part of that focus will involve staying on top of the blog a lot more. In fact, I'll be posting some "Lost" related drawings later in the day to gear up for the finale. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Dumbo" by Richard Valente
pen, ink & acrylic on felt

I have a general rule for myself to keep this blog about my professional work and not get into the dramas of personal life or opinions and such. Cause, frankly, who cares? I just want a place to showcase some of the work I do and talk a little about it. However, some things are too monumental to ignore and to just continue posting freelance work and random sketches as if nothing has happened would seem wrong. So here goes:

Today would have been my father's 66th birthday. He passed away a little over a month ago and I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss him. In addition to being a really great guy who instilled in me his love of New York Yankees baseball and Superman cartoons, my dad was definitely a "Jack-of-All-Trades". He was a New York City Firefighter for 24 years and a NYC Transit Cop before that. He was an electrician, a carpenter, and a nutritionist. And he was also an artist.

The above image is a painting he made for me, 30 years ago, when I was born. My mom had kept it in her home all these years but when he passed away she gave it to me to keep (I'm hoping to come across more of his work over the next few months. If/when I do, I will definitely be posting more of it on here).

I still have very vivid memories of when I saw his sketchbook for the first time and how much it made me want to draw too. I also remember when my sister and I would spend weekend afternoons drawing with him and hoping, someday, I would be as good as he was. He never really gave himself enough credit when it came to his artistic abilities but I always thought he was amazing. In fact, I would even say he is my biggest influence because seeing his work made me want to pick up a pencil in the first place. I hope he knew that.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Richard Valente
March 29, 1944-February 24th, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ink, acrylic & digital

Been raining here in New York City pretty much all day. Here's a sketch of Batman to fit the mood.

Monday, February 22, 2010

NEH JABBA NO BOTHA...I posted the pencil sketch of this guy, Bib Fortuna, a little while back and decided to throw some ink and Copic Marker on him just for fun.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Some warm up sketches of Batman Beyond and Spider-Man 2099, respectively. Enjoy!

Monday, January 04, 2010


They're here! These are the JLA sketch cards I did for DC/Rittenhouse I mentioned a little while back. Well, actually, it's only a handful of them since I figured it would be a bit much to post all 250 so I just picked the ones I liked the most.

They came out a couple of months ago and I have seen them circulating the web on various message boards as well as on eBay, which is pretty cool. The ones on eBay are not being sold by me but I did receive 5 blank cards of the set for me to draw new ones. So keep an eye out for when they're available; I'll be posting them on here pretty soon.

And as an added bonus, it introduced me to the awesomeness that are Copic Sketch Markers. I never really cared for markers as a medium before but figured they would be the most convenient option for this project. My wife told me about Copics since she's used them before, so I got a set and, man, they are nice. The colors are very vibrant and blend incredibly well, unlike other markers I've used in the past. They actually almost have a watercolor type quality to them. If you haven't used them before I highly recommend trying them out.

And as another added bonus, this marks the first time I got to draw Superman professionally, (and some other characters you may have heard of) which is pretty sweet. It was a great project to work on and I would love to do more of these in the future.