Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rarakie and Ossy

The final results of Gabrielle's commission of she and her fiance's lovely characters Ossy and Rarakie, sharing a cute n' cuddly moment in the jungle treetops. I really enjoy how this one turned out - colors especially. I made a special point this time around to allow the characters' colors themselves dictate the tones for the world around them.


Jorzan and The Viscount

Story time! So, a couple of months ago, a lovely gal named Andrea commissioned me to illustrate she and her other half, Lochlan's, schnazzy gangster RPG characters as a surprise for Lochlan's birthday present. The illustration was great fun to do, and to my excitement, the gift's recipient loved the final piece. So much so, in fact that Lochlan approached me not long after with the request to create a similar illustration for his brother of their RPG characters fro Christmas. Now that the holiday has come and gone,I can share the results with everyone. Above is Jorzan, (Whose outfit was loosely inspired by this awesome painting of Stephen Colbert by request) The Viscount, and the Viscount's feisty familiar, Cholmondeley (pronounced CHUM-lee.) I had a particularly great amount of fun rendering Chum and the boys' curly hair on this one. Thanks again, Lochlan!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thugs for Jugs

 Recently, my long-time-buddy Candice asked me to help her create the event poster for the breast cancer awareness fundraiser her medieval re-enactment group is holding in 2012. My portion of the poster was the character logo art, designed to loosely mimic 13th century illumination artwork. The simple finished graphic is above, and the colors (As well as a requested gray-scale version) are below.


ARMSboarding (Part 1)

Hi everyone! I hope you all have been having a safe and happy holiday season. News on the art front: Storyboards for the newly minted script for The ARMSmasters Project's Stage Zero are underway! Here's a glimpse at the first couple of boards for my designated scene. More will be coming soon.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

ARMSmasters Townsfolk Ideation

Our weekly Sketchbook Jam tonight finally loosened me out of an art block following a studio-based freelance compositing blitzkrieg I took part in this past week - It's great to get back into the swing of drawing after such a focused stint in the digital realm. I ended up producing a couple of "Towns Folk" character ideas for the ARMSmasters pilot currently in production. I'll design more soon, I think, after I make a proper dent in my storyboard sequences for the same project.

I had a go at various classes and types of characters to start, a rather horrible, fashionably stunted Noblewoman, a middle class pain-in-the-ass punk teenager (Tried to consider what general style the "cool kids" may wear in this world, and pushed her clothes similar to Collette's for this reason) a middle-aged middle-class fellow amidst his trip to the market, and a poor, lower-class beggar. These were a great deal of fun to doodle.

More soon,

Additional Life Drawing

It just dawned on my that I hadn't yet posted the updated life drawing I recently made available on my website's recent content overhaul. So, here we go! All of these were sketches based on stock photos, taken both my myself and other folks.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Rara & Ossy Flats

A quick little update for you - Here's the flat-colors stage for Gabrielle's commission. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to move on to painting tonight - I'm quite enjoying these colors!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holy LineArt, Batman!

Hi all! Here's  lineart I completed for two of three images today (The third of which is a commissioned gift, which I won't be able to share until it reaches its recipient.) Above is a new promo-poster-in-progress for the ArMSmasters Project, which is yet another collaboration between myself and the project's creator, Mike Winn - He sketched the image, I'm cleaning up and coloring it. In the foreground is the show's leading man, Riot, while, clockwise from top left is Aeslyn, Tyr, Kongou, Inari, Rune, and Colette. It's great to see the whole gang together in a poster, since the recent finalization of their designs!

And here is the line art for Gabrielle's commission, of she and her fiance's characters Rara and Ossy. Both these pieces and my gift-commission will be moving on into color stages this evening. Should be fun!

Thanks for viewing,

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Littlest Angel Storyboards

As promised, here's a selection of my storyboarding work from The Littlest Angel, a 3D animated holiday feature recently released on DVD. I had an absolutely wonderful time working on this show - storyboarding is wonderfully fun to me, and the opportunity to do so on a Michigan-based production was quite the thrill.

These boards, as well as five additional sets from the film are now up and viewable on my website. Check it out at under the newly updated Storyboads section. Also of interest - now that The ARMSmasters Project's production is in full tilt, I'll be boarding for its newly minted script - something I'm very much looking forward to, as that project - a comic book/manga style adventure, will help show how diverse my storyboarding style can be. Looking forward to it!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jump Magic Jump

A wonderfully fun Labyrinth-themed commission, based on this promotional image of David Bowie/Jareth  by request. I had a blast with this.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Code Monkey Backgrounds

With the launch of his brand new website, my fiance Niles has also posted his 2009 thesis film, an animated music video for Jonathan Coulton's "Code Monkey" online for folks to watch and enjoy. This film was the first of many (and many more to come) creative collaborative efforts between Niles and I. In this case, I had the opportunity to assist with coloring all of the backgrounds that Niles drew for the short. Below are a couple of my favorites from the set.

Do check out the film, enjoy - and for more of Niles' awesome work, check out his new site at!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Littlest Angel on DVD

Great news, everyone! The film I had the wonderful opportunity to be a lead storyboard artist on, The Littlest Angel, is now on DVD! This movie was wonderful to work on. It's an adorable holiday film for the little ones - a cute, kiddo-friendly Christmas movie with a great message. Do check it out!

I'll be posting some of the storyboards I contributed to the film soon. For now, below is the official trailer, as well as a couple of stills from shots that I boarded. You can also check out a number of clips from the movie over at ToonZone - I boarded the first half of "Halo" and the entirety of "Escape." It's a thrill to see them both completed!

Storyboards soon!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vito's Pizza Ads Online

Well, this was a cool discovery. Back in 2009, I helped polish up the backgrounds for two TV commercial spots for Vito's Pizza, which were created by Thunderbean Animation. Receiving rough watercolor paintings, I pulled the backgrounds into Photoshop and digitally enhanced them - gave them deeper warmth, greater depth contrast and definition, while still maintaining the charm and integrity of the original painted pieces. A lovely fellow CCS alumni, Alex Chapman, who worked on the spots as well (Check out her work, she's awesome!) has posted the spots online, giving me the ability to share them with you now.


Monday, November 7, 2011

A Cacophony of Colorful Blokes

 Hi all! Just wanted to add a quick new post to share some art updates. Above are four more finalized ArMSmasters Project designs, in a series of additional collaborations between Mike Winn (Line art) and myself (Colors.) While below is a completed model sheet commission for Collin, wherein I helped him begin to establish his new character's design, as well as a digital quick-doodle of an additional in-development ARMSmasters character, Deacon.

 More soon. Thanks for viewing, as always :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Devil's Night Color Process

I've had some folks asking me about how I color digitally as of late, so, I thought I'd put together something explaining the process of one of my most recent images, a commission for ~shaylinn "Devil's Night Discovery."

The original image can be found here.

If there's anything else folks would like to see the process of with my work, let me know in comments. I'll do my best to put something together as I get the chance to do so.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

ARMS, Eden and a Fluffy Fellow

Happy Halloween, Everyone! Have some artwork :)

The above line was created by my good friend and talented artist, Mr. Mike Winn.

Characters are (L-R): Rune, Tug, Aeslyn, and Inari.

A recent flux in production efforts, as well as improvements in the story's plot (And the creation of a script, no less) has prompted the need for revisited, finalized looks for the main ARMSmasters Project character line-up. So, while Mike (The series' creator) is compiling his drawings of these final designs, it's been up to me to solidify their color designs. Hence, the above line-art is his, while the color and final shading/lighting are my own.

This is only a portion of the cast however - more will be coming soon!

Above is a birthday present for my good buddy Kate NY, of her lovely original character, Eden. This was a fun bit of practice - created start to finish digitally, as opposed to my usual hand-drawn-lines method. Again, Happy Birthday, Kate! :)

Here's the current state of line art for my current commission from a fellow from FA, Collin, whose character I'm helping him design. In the end, the commission will contain a front and back pose in simple flat, digital color. Most of the time spent has been/will be in the creation process itself, establishing the character's physical appearance and markings. While these lines may be tweaked a little in the upcoming week, I rather enjoy how they look at current, so I thought I'd share. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Devil's Night Discovery

So, this one ended up being a doozie, albeit a really entertaining one - one of those projects where Photoshop decided to crash a couple of times at really inopportune moments (While saving, no less) and hours of progress were lost and re-done thereafter. As a matter of fact, I was literally on my last save for this one, and Cayla, one member of our triforce of cats, took that exact moment as a cue to come running into the room like a spaz, leaping up onto the trunk beside my desk, missing her footing fantastically, and dropping like a dead weight... onto my surge protector, turning of my computer. Felt a bit like a bad sitcom, actually.

Occasional comedic tragedy set aside, this image was great fun - I tried a number of new things, and learned quite a bit in the process as well - including textures I'd not attempted prior, some new fun lighting angles, and creating/using a depth map for a lens blur effect on the bottom portion, helping it to look like the rather dazed flashback it should be. :) I also saved progression stills of the coloration of Jay (The crouched gal)'s face lighting/coloration, specifically, as folks have recently been quite kind to request more step-by-step progress of my work. (Will be putting that presentation together tonight, after I've updated my commission list here on the blog.)

Anyhow, all that said, here's my buddy Trisha's awesome characters, Rick and Jay, stumbling across a murder weapon in an old dingy Victorian home's abandoned sun-room, amidst their investigation of a Devil's Night killing. Jay has the ability to sense the history of an object with the slightest touch - the scene below her erupts into the sight she glimpses when making contact with the knife. Their creepy killer has struck again.

Last but surely not least - I'm not certain at what point I went from 90 or so followers here to 145, but I am truly grateful and very humbled for the interest. Thanks so much for following, guys. I appreciate the support!

Cheers all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Preposterous Penguins

When work permits, my roommate, fiance and I try to hold to a weekly Wednesday sketchbook meetup, for doodles, hotwings, and other such general silliness. This evening's get-together was spent watching the wide array of often humorous reactions sports fans have to watching their games in progress, which in turn, for whatever reason, spawned a half-page full of silly Penguin sketches. I enjoyed this lot too much not to share.

More soon,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spooks and Doodles

Above are the flat colors of the Halloween-themed commission I'm currently working on for a great gal and long-time buddy, Trish, of her characters Ric and Jay. It also dawned on me that I really posted no proper process for "The Snazzy Shapiros" previously, and since the bare bones of images are always fun to seen, here's the main sequence of steps that went into that particular image:

 Last but not least, since my Fiance and I's recent engagement, I've been musing over the idea of going by simple "Mel B" online. A as result, a silly little character "Mel Bee" was born, a quick doodle of which is below. Expect more of her :)


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Snazzy Shapiros

Was sitting on this one for a few days, as it was a birthday present for my commissioner Andrea's other half. Once again, Happy Birthday! This commission was a fun one, surrounding their two original role play characters - Fia and Marvin Shapiro, 30's con artists who managed to get themselves 'time machined' back to the Renaissance. I had a great deal of fun researching, referencing and combining clothing and color styles from both periods. Thanks again for the commission, Andrea!

Having just completed another commercial freelance blitzkrieg this past weekend (Getting allot of those lately, it has been wonderful!) I'm moving on to Trish's commission next - a big one, as a two-character full-body illustration, background, full color at all. Should be fun!


Saturday, October 1, 2011


It's official! As of yesterday evening, my wonderful boyfriend of over 3 and a half years, Niles, and I are engaged.  Niles popped the question at our favorite restaurant, sneaking a beautiful white-gold heart-shaped-diamond engagement ring to our host without me knowing, to have it delivered atop our chocolate espresso desert. (I have officially dubbed him The Desert Ninja. It was brilliantly well timed.) Our excited host was kind enough to serve us champagne on the house immediately thereafter, which I'm told was excellent (I don't drink, but Niles made sure not a drop went to waste, of course.) 

The whole thing was picture-perfect, and an neither of us could be happier.We are both positively elated, looking forward to bringing our wonderful families together, and spending the rest of our years with each other in all of our artsy, nerdy love.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mobibo on Fox 2 News

The online commercial my other half Niles and I recently created for an awesome new cell phone app, Mobibo, appeared on Fox 2 News this morning! Check it out :) For more on Mobibo (As well as the full commercial) check out


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Occasionally, I like to draw myself as a kitty. And, as it happens, even my kitty-self is head-over-heals for that Niles fella.


Friday, September 16, 2011

82nd Airborne Girl

My latest completed commission is for a rather awesome group of folks: The 82nd Airborne, 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Easy Company reenactment group, and their website at This project was a particularly awesome challenge, as not only was I going for a classic pin-up look (Even dated the result as '42, for kicks) but the uniform details needed to be as spot-on as I could manage them, as well. In the end, I'm very pleased with the result. Sassy and classy - I think we achieved both ;)

For fun, here's the initial rough sketch as well.

More art soon,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Iisjah Sees the Shinies

So, this was a fun one. I love portrait commissions for the fact that all you have, really to tell a story about the character - as much as you possibly can - is a single facial expression. Then, I get handed a character as fun as Iisjah here, in all of his calamity-prone, thieving glory, and I can't help but have some fun. One thing to be known about Iisjah, I was told by his creator, Natalia, is that he is utterly enamored by sparklies. If there are shinies to be had - he's one  very happy (scheming, clepto, endearingly unlucky) fellow. So, be it for me to resist showing him said shinies... and taking a "picture" of it, of course.

I'm actually, albeit slowly, beginning to figure out the whole Livestream thing. Iisjah here was my artistic guinea pig for my first proper recording, and despite a few technological hiccups, I managed to get the majority of his coloration (From initial shadow blocking, to finish) recorded. Below is the largest block of the recording... not too shabby for schlupping along with my other half's cold all day ;)

melmillerart on 
More artwork soon, Mel

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Birthday Pups for Kat

Chandrak and Hinepouri, looking positively dastardly late one summer night. This image is a birthday gift for my good buddy Kat of her two characters, because she is, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful people I know.  Love you, gal!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Commissions Are Open!

Hi everyone! I'm officially re-opening for commissions. I currently have 6 of 7 spots available, so if you'd like to claim one, email me with your information at melmillerartATgmailDOTcom.

Again, if you are interested, please email me at melmillerartATgmailDOTcom to claim a spot. As I'm offering commissions through various sites, it's easiest for me to track everyone's requests that way :)

Thanks! I look forward to working with you.

 EDIT: Wowza! Those slots filled up in a hurry! Thanks, guys! Although my immediate available slots for commissions are now taken up, I'm still open for offers on a waiting list basis, by all means! If you'd like to commission me, please don't hesitate to email me about it and I will add you to my waiting list of people to contact immediately when a commission slot does open up (I'll contact waiting list members on a first-come-first serve basis, much like the order in which I create commission pieces) - you'll get first dibs on a newly opened slot that way, before I announce its availability publicly! Not a bad deal, eh? ;)

And as always, thank you all SO much for your continued support. You all are an inspiration!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunset Swordplay

And - complete! Shamael gives Selene a bit of sweet encouragement one evening as he teaches her defense with a sword beside their lush forest encampment. 

I had the opportunity to really sit and utilize this pieces as practice for improvement in my coloring, and it ended up being a fantastic experience over all. Thanks again for the commission, Helene!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Selene and Shamael (Flat Colors)

Flat colors for Helen's commission, currently in-progress. Between interesting character outfit color combinations requested, and a fantasy world where the flora as a whole is no longer green, I've had a fun and challenging time so far syncing up all of the different hues. More progress soon!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Selene and Shamael (Line Art)

I'm currently working on a commissioned illustration for Helene of her lovely pair of original characters, Selene and Shamael. Here, Shamael gives Selene a bit of sweet encouragement amidst their sunset sword training session, on the very edge of their deep-forest camp site.

It's always a particular treat for me when I get to draw such well-developed characters, and these two are every bit of that - everything from their personalities and interactions to their clothing styles to the world they live in has been wonderfully crafted by their creator. It's been a great deal of fun to draw all of these elements combined. I'm very much looking forward to coloring this one as well!

Below is a bit of progress for you - both the rough sketch thumbnails for the piece and the tied down sketch created prior to the clean-line drawing you see above.