Archive for December, 2009

Hindsight is 2010

Posted by Ray Frenden, December 29th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

I intended to open this with a quote on the prescience of hindsight, but that would give the false impression that I fully understand the last half decade.

Five years ago was the first time I’d picked up a pen with the intent to draw since around sophomore year of high school. My initial attempts were pretty crude. I had no knowledge of anatomy to speak of and I certainly didn’t have an understanding of line. For someone who’d read comics religiously as a kid, I’d absorbed none of their drawing lessons, except for maybe the bad ones.



After some initial experiments for both an unauthorized Friday the 13th fan comic and a friend’s webcomic, I got my hands on a Wacom tablet with the hope to create pixel art for 2D platformers (and to a lesser degree, do print design work, my dayjob at the time).

My first digital work was radically different from what I’d produced analog. Lineweight variance was a given of the medium and, for someone who’d never touched brushes or nibs or anything other than a technical pen up to that point, digital seemed to promise capabilities that analog simply could not.

Penguinx Official Wallpapers


Portrait of Friends


I met people online who drew things for money. Illustrators, they were called, and a goal blinked in my mind like the soft electric sex of a neon sign. Be. An. Illustrator.

My work changed rapidly and I reveled in the amount of detail I was able to heap onto images. I didn’t know much of anything about color theory, so I relied on instinct. The result was highly saturated colors and secondary and triadic color schemes that, five years ago, were a bit ahead of the ‘80s trend resurgence and more unique than they would be now. This style dominated my work for the next three or so years. I made my first forays into hand lettering. I forced my way into the jobs I wanted and was pretty fearless.


Cuisinart Deco



Horror Icons Playing Poker

Herbivore Shirt Design Changes

Album Art Detail

Faesthetic (Blog Sized)


70s Movie Poster_045

Hubris has a funny way of making its wielder plummet to the earth. The work I was creating was technically good in some ways, but inconsistent. I didn’t know much in the way of color theory, composition, or anatomy. Occasionally, something neat would happen in a piece, but I didn’t understand exactly what the magic sauce was that made it work. I started to doubt my work. My lack of a formal art education undermined my confidence. My previously prolific work life slowed to a crawl. I did only the bare minimum work required of me. Pay work got done, but personal work all but shriveled up and died. This crisis of confidence coincided with a series of crap events. My dog died. The economy collapsed. I got a Cintiq thinking it would allow me greater control and might push the next evolutionary stage of my work and it did the exact opposite.

I spent the better part of the last year making up for my lack of confidence. I moved back to analog materials in an attempt to circumvent what I felt was a lack of precision in digital tools. My precious had outstripped the Cintiqs. I drew from life and read everything I could on anatomy, color, composition, linework, and mass. I breathed a sigh of relief as work picked up and I felt productive once again.

Moleskine 02

MFC-6490CW Scanner Test

Hand lettering


Warmup Doodlin'


My digital work changed. Painterly work seemed better suited to the dull instruments that digital offered. I embraced a larger scope of interest than the limited color work which had been my bread and butter.


More mockup tests


My work has entered a state of serious flux. I struggle with my lack of formal art education. I’m a work in progress, but I’ve come to hope that I will always be. I’ll never be satisfied with my work, but that just might be more blessing than curse. Here’s to hoping that 2010 proves that true.

Did some video a While back.

Posted by Dwayne, December 24th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

Finally got around to uploading it.

She kissed me and I died

Posted by Ray Frenden, December 20th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments


Wallpaper sized version on Flickr.

I’ve been working on mass drawing/painterly pieces for about five months. Evolve or die.

Some new lettering

Posted by Ray Frenden, December 16th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

For use on this very page. It’s nice to get to work on things relevant to my interests for a change. If you’re reading this on my site, you might notice that the old Wordpress theme has been changed quite a bit. I’m re-doing my portfolio and blog to be less heavy metal and more representative of the work I want to do rather than just the work I can get.

Cleaned-up scan

Oh how I miss glassblowing…

Posted by :[o_o]:, December 6th, 2009 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments