Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Ice is back with a brand new/old invention...

Hello friends! Yes I'm back from quite a whirlwind of activities and events in my life. As you all know from previous posts I was in South Africa for about 2.5 months. When I got back, we bought a house here in North Carolina, literally four days after I got back. Then I had to paint 4 rooms and get us moved in. A couple of weeks later... we had our daughter Nora Josephine Foley. Now, I am constantly busy with maintaining the house and taking care of our baby girl while Sharon returns to work. All of this to say... I love my life!

During the downtimes, when Nora is sleeping, I have had the chance to dive into making a comic. I have never completed a full comic before and I see this project as a personal challenge. I have been developing a story for years and years that involves my roommates from college. They always liked seeing my drawings and caricatures of people and more than one time I was asked to make them into super heroes. So, I sat down with my old sketchbooks, drew up a story, made 20 pages of thumbnails, and now I'm making it happen. It feels great to do this. There are so many benefits to doing this; learning how to create a comic, solving different layout and story-telling problems, perfecting my style, finding anatomy issues that I need to work on, inking and coloring practice, and the list goes on forever. So, as I'm sure you can tell, I am really stoked about this. If I like this enough, I might try doing a web comic, but that takes a lot of time and being a stay-at-home-dad might not provide the time needed for such an endeavor.

The picture I'm sharing with you today is a finished pencilled page from the comic I'm working on. In this page, our meat-headed villain is breaking up a peaceful amish gathering in Central Pennsylvania. You'll have to stay tuned to my blog to find out more!

-JPF


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Addo National Elephant Park

Hello everyone! Here are some pictures I took at Addo National Park just north of PE. They have a lot of elephants, some rhinos, lions, ostrich, etc. The problem is that when we went, it was really hot, so a lot of the animals were trying to stay cool and out of the heat and the sun. The majority of my pictures come from around the watering holes where the animals were fighting the heat. Enjoy the pictures!

This dude thought it was camera time so he posed for us.

This was all that was left after a lion ate it.

A herd of elephants at the watering hole

Elephants playing in the water

This bull was hot, so he pushed his way into the watering hole...

...and then sprayed everyone there with water. 

A little elephant plays in the water to stay cool.

This is the wooden blind we were behind to get close...
any elephant could have destroyed this if he wanted to.

This sign was close to where we saw that skeleton... creepy

Baby warthogs with their mama at the watering hole.
The mother gave me the worst stare-down after she heard my camera click. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ubuntu Education Fund

Ubuntu Education Fund is an organization that is working within the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I could go into their mission on what they stand for, but I feel they can do that much better than I can so please go to their website ubuntufund.org. All will wrap it up in a nutshell by saying they believe in investing in the community and bettering the health and education of the people in the township. 


This is the Ubuntu headquarters in Zwide, which is the area in the townships they serve. I was asked to come her and help them build their early childhood education program, specifically, their art program in the new school, as well as the after school services they provide for local students. 



To give you an idea of the conditions of the townships and the contrast of the Ubuntu building, this is an empty lot directly across the street from Ubuntu. There is no trash pick-up at the houses so people dump their trash in places like this. The city cleans it up after enough complaints are filed, or they just come and burn it. As you can imagine, this isn't the healthiest way of living. Ubuntu is trying to change that through education. 

I've been here for almost 2 weeks now and I am really enjoying doing this work. We are going to be starting our program next week and the teachers I am training are really excited! Stay tuned as I plan to update with more pictures; and please go check out what Ubuntu does. www.ubuntufund.org

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

South Africa

Hello from South Africa. Here are some pictures that I've been taking since I've been here. I'll be putting a more comprehensive post together at a later date. For now, please enjoy a few of the photos.




Thursday, December 01, 2011

30 Days of 30 Characters!

Yesterday was the final day of the 30 Characters challenge. It went really well and I was able to draw a lot of new characters and bring some old character sketches to life by giving them names and background stories. Unfortunately, I wasn't always able to post them on the 30 Characters site. It wasn't the site's fault, I just didn't have the time to scan, crop, size, etc., to get the stuff up there. I am definately going to do this challenge next year, however I'm going to go all digital instead of the pen and brush stuff I've been doing.

So here are the final characters, 12-30, complete with brief descriptions. If you are here from the 30 Characters site, welcome, and please feel free to leave a comment.

The Blue Condor
Leader of the all-bird superhero team Wings of Justice

Galatic Syndicate Soldier
Super-armored and highly skilled warrior


The Red Rooster
Member of the Wings of Justice team

The Black Raven
Member of the Wings of Justice team

Princess
Galactic Syndicate Monarch secretly backing the resistance

Inquisitor 04
Currently trying to prosecute Instructor Phage

Trox
Governmentally created superhero clone

Phage Pupil
Pupil of Instructor Phage currently learning the way of "the power"

The Yardstick Samurai
A ronin swordsman of exceptional skill trying
to overthrow the corrupt shogunate 

Sugar
Jim Steel's love interest, weapons dealer, and underworld contact

Mechanized Assault Soldier
Elite soldier in the service of the governmental inquisitors

Tex
Terran Galactic Syndicate Explorer and space cowboy

Moog
Whale-like beings and tertiary members of the Galactic Syndicate 

Clayton
Tex's boss

Church
Hijak's side-kick. believed to be his older brother. Currently at-large

Justin Camp
Super ability to change the density of his body. Hell-Team Leader

Gonth
Methane breathing reptiles. Founders of the Galactic Syndicate

Lapse
Super ability to temporarily transport people and objects slightly forward/backward in time. Hell-Team member.

Rodger Varnokov
Hell-Team member with the ability to boost his adrenaline levels for a sustained
amount of time granting him super speed and strength.
I hope you enjoyed them! If you have any comments or ideas on how I can take these characters further, please let me know. As you may have guessed, I will be turning these into comics in the future.... maybe even an online comic. Stay Tuned!


Friday, November 11, 2011

11 days of 30 Characters

Hey there! So here are my first 11 characters for the 30 Characters Challenge. All of them are done in pencil and then inked using my brush pen. I'm going for a more sketchy style and having a lot of fun not worrying about having tight, detailed lines. Check out the 30 Characters website for all of the stuff that other people are posting too. It's really cool. I hope you enjoy what I created!


Jimmy Steel
International man of mystery

Hijack
Bad guy superhero that can take over people's minds and control them

Mr. Everywhere
An underground resistance leader trying to take down the Galactic Syndicate

The Black Dragon
This guy is the guy they modeled every super-villan after. He wants to rule the world.

Tommy Knuckles
Tommy is a former CIA mob insider on the run after the CIA double-crossed him. Now he wants revenge. 

Semi-Formal Sweatpants Man
He wears semi-formal sweatpants, wing-tip shoes, and he flys.  'nuf said.

The Manipulator Man
He is able to manipulate matter at the atomic level. He fights evil.
Harper
Leader of classified government super hero team. Shoots energy from her hands.

Killjoy
Member of Harper's team. Only uses a sword. Mostly robotic. 

Klau' Ruc
Alien warrior trying to snuff out Galactic Syndicate resistance.

Instructor Phage
Rogue master instructor in the ways of "the power". Hates the establishment.

Monday, November 07, 2011

NC Comic Con and how I'm now officially a comic artist.

Wow! Even though it was a really small Con, I had a great time. No, I didn't win the art contest, actually I didn't even place, but that's okay. I only had 1 hour to draw a really nice picture and I didn't finish in time. The piece I tried to draw was a bit overly-ambitious for one hour. Now for the exciting part...

While I was getting set up for the contest, which meant getting my supplies out as well as some reference sketches I had done, one of the guys running the contest looked at my reference drawing and said, "Dude, that is awesome! I want to buy it after this is over." I just stared at him in disbelief... I mean, it was just a sketch! So, I told him I'd go home and clean it up a bit and bring it back the next day. So I did.

When I arrived at the Con the next day I couldn't find him anywhere, so I wondered into the artist room to check out some cool original art and talk to the artists about their stuff. I saw that one artist had the same brush pen that I did and I struck up a conversation with him about it. Then, out of the blue, he asked to see the drawing I had tucked under my arm. I started to sweat and then I began saying a lot of "self-doubt"kinda talk. When I showed it to him his exact words were, "Whoa!" The two artists at the table next to him actually got out of their seats to check out my drawing! It was a great moment for me! He gave me some great feedback on my drawing and inking skills and we're going to keep in touch... he may even be reading this blog, (Hi Sanford!).

I finally found Patrick, my comic art patron, and he loved what I had done. He promptly paid me money for my work and went away a very satisfied customer.

Here is the piece that I drew for him. This was what I was trying to draw for the contest but only got halfway through it before the time was up.

brush, pen, and ink on bristol board
All in all, attending this small con was a great learning experience for me. I met a lot of really cool artists,   got to pick their brains and talk shop, received feedback on my work, and even sold a piece! I am totally stoked to get back in my studio and draw sas much as I can. 

I'll be posting another large one tomorrow which will include the characters I've done so far for the 30 Characters in 30 Days challenge so stay tuned!!