Archive for February, 2009

Suicide Silence Painterly Tee Art

Posted by Ray Frenden, February 27th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

I just made my first-ish painting (for a band tee) and I’m pretty happy with the results. Whereas the typical line based design takes me a single business day to complete, this took closer to three. It was my first time doing painterly, full-color work and I learned a lot; I hope I get faster!

Suicide Silence Tee Design

A veritable HEAP of process and detail shots after the jump.

Face Detail 02


Mouth Detail 02

Initial sketch.

Tee Sketch

Work in progress.

I have no idea what I am doing.

Working on the hair.

Picture 4

(Spec) Worked Over with a Rubber Hose

Posted by Ray Frenden, February 24th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

Some exposition. I got a message from a friend that a director/writer was looking for some poster illustrations for his indie horror films. I sent an introductory letter and received an invitation to participate in spec work. In the current economic climate, I see more spec work floating around. I thought the following exchange might be helpful for another illustrator to read, so I decided to post it below. (Note, these emails are over a year old so I really don’t think any parties are harmed by my posting them.)

From: Ray


I’m a professional illustrator with a host of horror art experience. Most of my portfolio is skewed in that direction.

You can check out a limited set of my work at More samples are definitely available upon request.



From: XXX

if you’d like to interview for the poster gig start with these specs.
has to be color for sure.
start with this pic below… save room for the title too!
must be poster dimension: 6 tall 4 across

just like this except put a red hoodie on me in the background… maybe some meat cleavers on some one’s hand
and 3 screaming,laughing crying severed bloody pig heads on the platter we will keep XXXXXXXX as a photo in the face. make my face more cartoonie…
I want bernie Wrightson
repost doodle here
design directions and photo’s in this message remain © XXXXX filmm Entertainment at all times.
no work for hire as of now.

[Two images are attached.]

From: Ray

Most illustrators won’t accept speculative work. I just wanted to inform you that it’s pretty frowned upon in the industry.

From: XXX

your are the only person out of over hundred that coped and attitude about it…I plan on paying some one $1000 and it has to be right. So u and I won’t be working together
bye bye

From: Ray


I wasn’t copping attitude, nor did I mean offense.

I was only letting you know that most illustrators look down on that sort of work. I was trying to be polite and edify you.

There are entire organizations devoted to informing illustrators to avoid this work as it hurts our industry.

One person may end up with $1000, but several would have worked for free. It devalues our skills.

I encourage you to look at - it has a lot of information about how this business practice is perceived.

Have a good day.
Ray Frenden

From: XXX

Well u did offend me.
I never ask some one to work for free.
I will persue my career as I always have.
I am doing fine and I personally have worked for free on many occasions as an artist.
I guess you don’t consider me an arrtist and apart of your industry.
You are just full on insults aren’t you?

From: Ray

“Well u did offend me.”
That was not my intent.

“I never ask some one to work for free.”
You, by admission, have asked all artists who did not “win” this job to work for free. That is the definition of speculative work.

“I will persue my career as I always have.”

“I am doing fine and I personally have worked for free on many occasions as an artist.”
Working pro bono is not working spec. An agreement between two parties where one does work for free can be mutually beneficial. I do lots of work for charities, for instance. Once again, to reiterate, that is not speculative work.

“I guess you don’t consider me an arrtist and apart of your industry.”
I think you’ll be hard pressed to find the words, “You are not an artist.” in my correspondence.

“You are just full on insults aren’t you?”
Nope. I am pretty sure I haven’t insulted you once. I was simply talking to you about the pitfalls associated with speculative work.

Return To Sender

Posted by :[o_o]:, February 11th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

Tomorrow, Canteen’s hosting the Return to Sender show, just in time for Valentine’s Day! The theme of the show is “unrequited love”, and the only other caveat is that all the submission be done on envelopes! I was able to get my contribution (”Spidey’s Unrequited Love”, above) into the Gallery’s hands the last time I visited Ottawa… but unfortunately I won’t be around for the show.

BTW, check out canteen’s brand-spankin’ new blog!

Now for something completely different…

Posted by Ray Frenden, February 7th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

I’ve been trying my hand at value/mass drawing a bit. I want to do a series of posters with an almost airbrush like quality that mix flat, 2D elements with painterly ones.


Proof of concept/rough attempt at the style. I just needed to get the concept out of my head and actually look at it. I think it has legs.

Obviously, there’s a lot wrong with the image, but that’s okay; it’s a first attempt. It’s totally open to critique if you have some.

The Stages of Transformation

Posted by Ray Frenden, February 5th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments


Lately, I’ve been thinking about grief and loss. Specifically, the psychology behind dealing with death. I read about the stages to grief and the process has been on my mind.

The titular stages of grief assigned to the stages of a werewolf’s transformation popped into my noggin. I’ve been wanting to do something diagramatic for a while. This seemed like an obvious pairing.

I decided to give the design a shot at Threadless. It’s a decent place to vet personal work; getting paid for something I would have drawn anyway is never a bad thing.

As per usual, process and details after the jump!

6 Stages of Transformation (Completed Pencils)

Inks in progress.

Picture 13

Still needs letters. Working on the grid.

Picture 15

Picture 19