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Hey guys. I figured I'd go ahead and do a FAQ journal entry. Just a basic list of the tools I'm currently using for my marker work. I have a new tutorial for my markers that I'll post when I'm able to share the art I used for the progress shots. Feel free to fire away with any questions and hopefully, this can be a go to guide for basic info on my tools. I'm not going to talk about oil painting materials as I'm still figuring all that out and I doubt an answer I give today will hold up in the future.

Ok Here goes...

Markers: Prismacolor Cool and French grey markers. I think "Copic" has become another word for "marker" these days, so it's assumed that I'm using Copics for all of my work, but I actually use Prismacolor for all of my figures and detail work and only use Copic markers for backgrounds. I use to use "Warm" greys but I like the sepia look of French more now. I also occasionally use Copic color markers when I'm doing a full color marker piece. Why do I like Prismacolor markers? I think I've just always useed them and now it's what I'm comfortable with. I like the flexibility of the wide tip and I like the look of their inks when they dry.

PAPER: Strathmore 300 series Vellum finish Bristol board. I buy the 19 by 24 pads and just cut them in half for my 11 by 17 work. I used "Smooth" bristol for years, but eventually decided on vellum fora  couple reasons. One, it bleeds more which I actually prefer when working with marker. It makes blending easier. Two, it's easier to paint on. The rough texture grabs the paint nicely and holds water well.

Paint: Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White. I use this because it was the first one I bought and it seemed to work ok. I haven't experimented with different paints and I probably should, but for the most part, this paint has done well for me. It's a liquid watercolor paint that comes in a little jar. Gives you a nice opaque straight out of the jar and nice washes when you dilute it.

Brushes: Windsor and Newton Series 7 #2. Classic comic inking brush. I use it because it holds a nice point and seems to be durable. I haven't experimented much with brushes either as this was one of the first I tried and was happy with it.

Pens: Sakura Pigma Microns. Again, I've used them forever, so it's what I know. They're not great at....anything TBH, but I've used them for 20 years..give or take and I'll probably use them another 20.

That's about it. I hope this helps and if not, ask your questions here and I'll try to answer.

Thanks!
My apologies to the kind folks who left comments on my most recent gallery update. I was asked to remove it. NDAs and whatnot. I did read everyone's comments before taking it down and I appreciate it.

Thanks!
That doesn't look right. Something off about her eyebrows. No...maybe it's her forehead. Nope...it's her hairline. Gotta be. It's too low. Or too high maybe. CRAP! Something's off, but I cant figure out what. You know...it could be her jaw line. Too wide. Nope. Now it's too narrow and her face looks long. Put that back, but the chins definitely too big. Makes her look manish. Yeah, that's it..that's working! But...now her mouth looks a little weird. The lips are too big or something. Damn it, why did I try to make her smiling? I can never get that to look right. But she needs to be smiling..it works for the piece. You know what, fuck it I'm starting over.

Man, that's one of the best figures I've ever done! The pose is perfect and I really got some nice energy in it. Its always a great to nail a figure in the quick gesture drawing. Now, I just need to draw the face on there and we're gold. An hour later.....

Son of a mother, that face gave me hell! Didn't think I'd ever get it to look right. Hmm...the heads not fitting quite right on the shoulders. What the hell happened?! It was fine before...I must've moved it a bit with all the damn erasing on the face.  CRAP!!! Now I've got a face I like and a body I like but they don't work together! Maybe if I move her shoulder a little itll work. no, that's not working at all. CRAP! I can probably tweak her torso angle just a tad and that should line the head up better. No, that's ALL fucked up now. I'm not redrawing that face. I'm just not. You know what, fuck it I'm starting over.
Just a quick thank you to everybody who chimed in with suggestions for me. I've got a few names now to go give a shot to. Dick Blick has been good to me over the years, but at the very least, I'll have some back ups for when they can't cut it. DA rules again. I love this place.

Thanks everybody!
Hey guys. I'm having issues with my current supply dealer and looking for recommendations. If you've had good experiences with an art supply dealer online, please let me know. I've been using the same retailer for many years now, but they can't seem to get the stuff I need (prismacolor markers and copic marker refills) in stock.  All recommendations would be appreciated.

Maybe I should add..my regular dealer is Dick Blick. These days they seem to be perpetually "out of stock" of my markers.
NOW is the time to let your local comic shop know that you want to pre-order a copy of Skullkickers Volume 1, which arrives in March.

Image is value pricing our first trade at the incredibly low price of $9.99 (as they have with hit series including The Walking Dead, Invincible and Chew) and we want to make the biggest splash possible when it's released, increasing our readership and showing the comic community that fun non-superhero stuff is worthy.

Here are 3 solid pre-order options:

1) Go to your local comic shop

Use the spiffy Comic Shop Locator website to find the closest shop and let them know you want a copy of Skullkickers put aside for you.




2) Pre-order from Barnes & Nobles

Click here to pre-order from B&N:



3) Pre-order from Amazon

Click here to pre-order from Amazon.com:


If you're the digital comics buyin' type I'm happy to report that Skullkickers #1 and 2 (and a FREE preview issue) are now available digitally via comiXology for use on your internet browser, iPhone or iPad by clicking the handy-dandy button  below.




The Skullkickers creative team:
:iconchristopherstevens:  COVERS
:iconzubby:  WRITER
:iconongakujunkie:  LINE ART INTERIORS
:iconsayda:  COLORS
Our boy, Tim Townsend is trying to help a fellow artist in need. One of DA's own, Chad Fuller has been fighting the good fight against cancer and now could use a little help from us. Check out the link to Tim's page to see how you can help out and have a shot at an original Bachalo/Townsend page at the same time. It's win/win!

timtownsend.deviantart.com/jou…
  • Listening to: nadda
  • Reading: Crystal Lake Memories
  • Watching: Arrested Development
  • Playing: Halo Reach
  • Eating: constantly
  • Drinking: tea..again with the tea.
I was finally able to score a copy of "Cover Run" The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes today. I'm no stranger to Adam's work. I've followed it for years, but there's something about seeing it collected that is completely demoralizing. In small doses, you can just shake your head and say "yep..that guy's ridiculous" and move along, but having this heavy book with page after page is a different experience. With every page turn your own art sucks more and more. It felt like I spent an eternity on the first scan through. By the end, I never wanted to draw again. What's the point? That sense of complete and utter hopelessness and failure is always how I know I've got a great book in my lap. This book ranks up there with my all time favorite "A Look Back" the art of Berni Wrightson as a true soul crusher.

So..I both recommend you all buy it(if for some reason you haven't already)and to stay as far away from it as possible. If you feel shitty about your own work and want to feel even shittier, this is the book for you. If you feel good about your work and want to feel shitty about it, this is the book for you too. I love you, hate you Adam Hughes.



A bit of a post script after reading some of the replies. My review is not meant to be seen as a negative. Quite the opposite.  I was actually just complimenting a terrific book, but doing it in a funny (in my mind) way. To be sure, this book is downright depressing, but I mean that in a good way. Like many others have said, there's nothing that inspires you more as an artist than studying the works of someone that is light years beyond you. Sure, it's painful, but that pain is what always drives us onward and upward. Otherwise, we're all just spinning our wheels. Since my first long flip through Adam's book, I've spent WAY too long studying each piece individually and I've already gained a greater appreciation for his work and process. His work does it for me, but whoever does it for you, try to seek it out and get those depressing juices flowing. It's good for ya!
  • Listening to: nadda
  • Reading: Cover Run...duh.,,or DOY
  • Watching: nadda
  • Playing: nadda
  • Eating: nadda
  • Drinking: tea..again with the tea.
With the launch of the brand new Image app on ComiXology, you can now read the original Skullkickers Popgun short stories for FREE!

Read the free stuff and, if you like it, please support the upcoming Skullkickers comic from Image coming to stores on September 22nd.

If you have an iPhone/iPad, search for 'Skullkickers' on the Image app or look at the 'New Releases' or 'Free' sections.

For everyone else, read our special 'zero issue' by clicking right here or on the cover below!


Skullkickers #0
Click here for the interview!

In September Image Comics is publishing a comic called Skullkickers with characters I designed and am contributing covers for.

Newsarama has a feature interview about the book that includes preview pages and a look at the cover art for the first issue. If you like what you see there, head to your local comic retailer and pre-order issue #1. I'd appreciate the support.

Click here to check out the interview!


Skullkickers Creative Team:
:iconzubby: Writer - Jim Zubkavich
:iconongakujunkie: Line Artist - Edwin Huang
:iconsayda: Colorist - Misty Coats
:iconchristopherstevens: Cover Artist - Chris Stevens
Hey guys. I'm now all set to take orders for my new sketchbook. It's 60 full color (except the b/w pieces of course)pages of Stevens-y goodness. I'm selling these for $15 with $2 s/h inside the US and $3 everywhere else.

Please send me a note if you're interested and I'll take care of your orders asap.

Thanks!
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: the many, many voices
  • Reading: Day by Day Armageddon
  • Watching: Jackass
  • Playing: RDR
  • Eating: right now? nothing!
  • Drinking: sweet tea...always with the sweet tea
Hey guys. Just got my new book in. This is my first sketchbook and I'm really happy with how it came out. It's 60 pages, full color and a good mix of greyscale marker, color paper and pen and ink work.

I'll be debuting it at Heroes, so if you plan to be there, please stop by my table and take a gander. I'll be sitting next to Tim Townsend, so if you don't like what I got...Tim's right next to me:)

I'll probably offer a mail order on the book too at some point soon, so if you're interested, stay tuned.

See you at Heroes...hopefully!

Chris

I still don't know how to attach images to my journal, but I just added the cover to my gallery.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: the many, many voices
  • Reading: Day by Day Armageddon
  • Watching: Jackass
  • Playing: RDR
  • Eating: right now? nothing!
  • Drinking: sweet tea...always with the sweet tea
Hey guys. I wanted to put this up since I get asked about a video or picture tutorial for my marker process all the time. At the moment, I don't have one planned. I've gone back and forth on it a few times, but never could pull the trigger.

To be honest though, I've been torn on doing one. Every artist under the sun these days does marker commissions and sketches. Mine are a bit unique and I'm afraid that if I shared the process with everyone, that uniqueness would be gone. The fact that so many are asking me "how" is a good sign to me, and I'm not sure it'd be a great idea to take that mystery (such as it is) away.  I'm not trying to be selfish...it's really just trying to give myself any advantage I can in a very competitive market.

Take care,

Chris


As an additional note. While tutorials are useful, they can also have a negative effect. Finding your own process is half the fun I think and it can get you surprising results. When I first started using markers about 12 years ago, I had no clue what to do with them and it took a long time to figure out an approach that worked for me. I'm still figuring it out and learning new things every time I do a piece. A tutorial can be a good starter guide for you, but diving in and going through the painful process of trial and error is the best approach I can recommend. It ain't always pretty, but that's where your own stamp will be found.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Conan score
  • Reading: Autumn
  • Watching: Founding of America
  • Playing: still playing Bad Company 2
  • Eating: right now? nothing!
  • Drinking: sweet tea...always with the sweet tea
Hey guys. I'll be doing my first guest appearance this coming weekend at Mega Con in Orlando. If you plan to go, please stop by and say "howdy". I'll be seated next to the kick ass Tim Townsend. It's win/win for everyone!

See you there!

Chris
  • Mood: Anxious
  • Listening to: Conan score
  • Reading: The Goon
  • Watching: Spaced
  • Playing: Bad Company 2
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: sweet tea...always with the sweet tea
Hey everyone. Just wanted to get the word out about our very own Tim Townsend's new art book. It's now available to buy online! I've already got my copy and it's a real winner. Lot's of great stuff crammed in there. Full color high quality book with 40 pages of Tim's own unique artwork. Go check it out now and get some TDog goodness! HERE.......

timtownsend.deviantart.com/
  • Listening to: nothing
  • Reading: nothing
  • Watching: Family Guy
  • Playing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: sweet tea...always with the sweet tea
I've gone through and reorganized the many commission pieces into 3 galleries: Marvel, DC and Other so it's easier to find the ones you may like... unless you like them all, in which case you can just browse all three whenever you want. :)
Tomorrow is the release date for Image Comics' Popgun Vol. 3, which includes a new short story written by Zub with painted art by yours truly. If you've been enjoying the material you see posted up here and want to show your support for my work, pick up a copy and let Image know what you think of our characters.

Thanks!

Here's a sneak peek from the story:
Next week is the release of Image Comics' Popgun Volume 2, a comic anthology book packed with all kinds of different stories to entertain and inspire.

If you've been enjoying my art here on deviantArt, check out Popgun v2 for a 10 page story I painted up and let me know what you think. You can see a sneak peek of two pages from the comic right here.

Here's what to look for on the shelves:
Hi Everyone,

I'm thinking about compiling some commission pin-ups into a little sketchbook to sell at conventions. It would be a good way to have my best new work all put together into a package for both fans and publishers to check out.

What do you guys/gals at deviantArt think?

Would you be interested in purchasing a 6" x 8" (standard con sketchbook size - probably 28-32 pages) nicely reproduced booklet of my work? Most artists charge around $10-$15 for these kinds of things, so I assume mine would be in that price range as well.

If it goes ahead, I'd also sell the sketchbooks here through my devArt site, though obviously it would be a bit more to cover envelopes and shipping.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks.