Jun 30, 2010

No eyes...

A recent illustration I did for a friend. Just playing around and having a bit of fun I suppose. I have also been working on a new weblog which is full of fantastic artists that are all very diverse in what they do. http://noeyesdocumentary.com

Why Manga Studio

Like many of you, I started creating comics the traditional way. With pencil and paper and allot of ink spills. I still do that on occasions. But, I've also transitioned from the traditional way (analog) to the modern way (digital). Now, I create 95% of all the comics and illustrations I do on the computer.

While many think this is "not art", I beg to differ. It's the same exact thing as creating in an analog way. The ONLY thing that has changed is the tools. And the tools, as we all know, do not make a better Artist.

The one question I constantly get is, why Manga Studio? I know of Creators who use Photoshop to create their comics and they do an amazing job on it. While others use Corel Painter and even Adobe Illustrator. 

Personally, I've tried all of them and found that all of them come short when compared to Manga Studio. And again, this is my personal opinion.

This is why.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector program. My problem with it was simulating analog inks. My goal, with ALL of these programs, was to get my digital inks to look as close as possible to my analog inks. Illustrator was not cutting it for me.

I did not get deep into Corel Painter because the interface and "way of doing things" in the program just felt so alien. And, at the time, I felt the tools available for digital inking were limited. Not sure about the new versions tho.

Photoshop is a power house no doubt. Again, I've seen creators like Freddie E. Williams II create their comics with Photoshop and they do an amazing job. Brian Bolland also creates using Photoshop and, well, he's just out of this world. I admire them.

My problem with Photoshop, like all the others, was the inking (you can tell I'm very anal when it comes to inking). I hate the fact that in Photoshop, if you want a specific brush, you have to get into the internet and hunt for it, or fuzz around with the brush settings until you get what you want. To me, this is counter productive. Especially if you're on a deadline. 

I look at it this way. If I'm inking in analog and I want a dry brush look, where will I go, to my Hunt nibs? No. I'll grab my Raphael Kolinsky 8404's, dip them in ink and well, you know the rest.

So shouldn't the same apply to digital? Shouldn't I be able to go into one of my already predefined digital brushes and get a dry brush look when I want it without fuzzing for hours with the settings to get the right look?

This is where Photoshop (and Painter and Illustrator) fail and Manga Studio comes out on top. 
Again, my personal opinion. 

Another Artist could say that getting the look you want out of Photoshop brushes is easy. 
Fine. Sure. 
If you know what you're doing, almost anything becomes easy. I'll give them that. But me, I like things to run the way I expect them too out of the box. That's why I'm a huge Apple fan. Because their products run as expected to right out of the box. There's no configuration of third party programs or no figuring out how to make this or that work, it just works. And that's what I like about Manga Studio, it just works.

Granted, Manga Studio does have a learning curve (so in reality, the "works out of the box" idea does take a hit on this one). And the Manga Studio developers know this. That's why they've included the Beginners Interface in the software which makes everything easier for the beginner. Most of everything you will need to create a comic will be right there for you to grab and use without getting into the menus. But if we are going to talk about Manga Studios learning curve, doesn't Photoshop, Painter and Illustrator have a learning curve too? I think so.

But this is just a brief idea of why  choose Manga Studio as my #1 tool to create comics. The purpose for this is to give any of you who might be thinking of giving this program a try a clear direction. Manga Studio was created for and by comic Artists. It's basically a comic Artists tool.  Photoshop was created for Photographers. Artists have adopted it. Painter was created for digital painters. Illustrator was created for graphic designers. But again, if you're a comic Artist looking for comic creation software, in my personal opinion, you can't go wrong with Manga Studio.

Ok. Enough of this infomercial like post.


Bellow, I've included my process in creating the Gambit pin-up I did a few months ago in Manga Studio.

In Manga Studio, you have a PENCIL TOOL you can use which simulates the look and feel of a pencil on paper (even the graininess of it). I use this tool often, but sometimes, especially for basic structure building, I use the MAGIC MARKER TOOL. The reason is that the Magic Marker tools doesn't break up into bits when you zoom in close (see example bellow). This helps when you want to get in and do some small details work.

In Manga Studio, I opened up a new document (I have templates already set up for comic book standard sizes) and on a sketch layer began to work out the structure of the sketch using the Marker tool.

Next I began to refine some of the more important areas like the face.

Once I felt my pencils were done I moved to inking using a G pen. One of the things I often do is set the G pen to a 7 point size. That way, I can get a huge thick line if I press down hard and a thin line with minimal pressure on my Cintiq. Gives a more inking with brush/pen feel to the whole thing.

What you see here is me covering the outer areas of Gambit in order to use the flood (bucket) tool to fill the background with black.

And the final step was the background, along with my signature

Hope this helps a bit in your decision of whether to try manga Studio or not :)

Jun 29, 2010

Snowman & Kid

This was an illo' I was working on a few months ago for my illustration portfolio which, unfortunately, I never got around to finishing. I also forgot to post the sketch. So, here it goes. Better late then never right? This was sketched in Sketchbook Pro. Pre-Cintiq days.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

Barack Obama

My site

A very personal illustration

Life goes on
mixed media

Encounter on the Plains of Camdeboo

The Plains of Camdeboo are an empty and desolate place... and travellers rarely encounter one another...

My Blog.

Grapple Animation by Gemma Robinson

A new animation by British illustrator Gemma Robinson. This animation was commissioned by The Stapleford Centre to promote Grapple, a new social networking site for teachers. Gemma's website has also been updated with her latest illustration projects, which can be seen here.

Jun 28, 2010

Green Hornet

Very excited about the upcoming movie.Very excited this was part of today's daily sketch challenge and thus, my warm-up sketch.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

Jun 27, 2010



Lena Meyer-Landrut

Eli 2

You can definitely tell this movie has been an inspiration. Wanting to go another round after the iPhone sketch, I decided to do a new drawing of Eli. This time, I worked on the sketch in Sketchbook Pro, converted the lines to a light blue, printed the drawing out on Bristol board, and proceeded to ink it with my Raphael Kolinsky 8404 #1 brush. This is the final result. Hope you dig.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.


The Book of Eli is a fantastic movie. Denzel Washington at his best. It was everything I hoped it would be, and then some. Highly recommended. Last night, before bed, I decided to mess around with Sketchbook Pro for iPhone. Been months since I had gone into this App and I was impressed with the recent updates. So while I was at it, I sketched this version of Eli. I know, it's horrible. But really, for me, it's hard to draw on such a small screen. Here's wishing I can remedy that with an iPad in the near future :)

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

Posted via email from The Art of Eric Merced

Jun 26, 2010


In Chibi!
I have to admit, I currently don't read this comic, but I do like the design and the Artist involved in the book. This, of course, is a homage to the original Cory Walker cover for issue #1, in Chibi :)

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

Jun 25, 2010

Frank Rain: Reborn

Here's something I worked up on my free time about a month or so ago. Just never got around to posting it.

Tears of Light

Piece created during the week-long Illustration Master Class, each June in Amherst, MA - a mind-blowing event that centers on Fantasy/Sci-Fi illustration. James Gurney was this year's guest instructor!

John Deininger

Jun 24, 2010

Wolverine Vs. Silly Rabbit

"Silly Rabbit, Trix are for Kids!" . I did this while I was at MeCAF. Enjoy.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

Sketches from my trip!

These are sketches that I did while traveling to Colorado and back. I went there to welcome my older brother back from Afghanistan. He had been gone for a year. Much of the family was there. Not everyone but many. We had a good reunion!

Peak Oil - Radek Karkulowski

An illustration to the article discussing peak oil subject (ESS newspaper)


Jun 23, 2010

Apple on a pedestal

A tribute to the popular producer of electronics, as a background for the iPhone and iPad version of the Clockwiser puzzle game. Ideal for usage as a wallpaper for your iPhone or iPad.

Sevensheaven images and prints are for sale at sevensheaven.nl

Minetta Tavern

Recently I have become a drawing machine. I've been easily putting in four hours to make one drawing in the Hasidic neighborhoods. If you look back at my last ten drawings or so, I think you can see the effort. On Sunday I went drawing but only put in an hour and a half on this one. It's a bit different from my other full blow suckers. A lot of my originals are up for sale at my Etsy store if anyone is interested in a Kane original.

Jun 22, 2010

Jew of the Week: Albert Einstein [ח]

  • Scientist / Cosmological Übermensch
  • Believed in "Spinoza's God"
  • Declined an offer to be President of Israel
  • Relativity (?!?): Married his cousin
  • Wikipedia Bio

  • [To see past editions of Jew of the Week, visit Owen's blog, Winning the Polyglottery!]

    Jun 21, 2010

    First Coast Ghostbusters 25 Year Aniversary! Sat. June 26th at Cafe 331

    Jacksonville, FL Ghostbusters 25 yrs!!!

    My take on Egon and Slimer:

    (Watercolor and ink)

    Spawn 2

    Warm up sketch of Spawn. Didn't really feel like tackling any other subject today and I had this cliche image in my mind so I thought I'd get it out.
    Sketched, inked and colored in Sketchbook Pro.

    Copyright © 2010 Eric Merced. All rights reserved. Contact eric@ericmerced.com for further inquiries.

    Jun 20, 2010

    E is for: Ectoplasm (Who you gunna call???)

    Looks like he was Slimy even BEFORE he was an apparition! Portrait of Slimer (Ghostbusters) as a human.

    *EDIT* Per request, a close-up...

    And him in the movie just so you can see what he looks like as a ghost...

    Latest work

    My latest stuff ...

    Product design as a cartoon for a Nu.nl news article about the rapper Snoop Dogg performing in the Netherlands:

    Retro 1980s video game console poster design (with a hint of Art Deco) featuring the characteristic Atari 2600 joystick:

    Sevensheaven images and prints are for sale at sevensheaven.nl

    Fantasy Pin-up

    "Half-Elf Rogue", my entry in ArtOrder's DnD Pin-up Challenge.  For those not familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, a 'rogue' is a sneak-thief kind of character. 

    Sketches & Draws

    Jun 19, 2010

    My Online Store Is Up & Running!

    My online store is finally up and running right now and about 100 pages of comic art, 58 sketches, and 36 comics or so ready for purchase! It's taken some time to get it ready amongst the work on the drawing board. More stuff will be added such as children's books and some out of print stuff that I've done when I get it scanned and ready! Anything purchased also get a certificate of authenticity with it as well so you know it's signed by me as well.

    Morning bird

    This bird needs his coffee in the morning before even thinking of doing his hair. Created on Cinema 4D

    nerosunero World Cup Prints @ AzzurriArt

    Prints by nerosunero celebrating the Italian Team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa
    now on sale at
    The Official Fine Art Prints Collection of the Italian National Team
    See all the prints here

    Jun 18, 2010


    Poster Giveaway!

    I'm Back

    I went back to the Hasidic section of Brooklyn. It is pretty clear that I am known there now. A lot of the same characters came out of the woodwork to greet me. It was the usual show with a million people stopping by to see my magic trick of turning a white piece of paper into a drawing. This building is a synagogue. Hasidic crowds were all over me. Kids stacked 5 deep. Everyone jostling for a view. It takes a toll on me but it is so crazy and surreal, I can't help but go there. This time everyone kept saying the word, shine. At one point I asked a kid what shine meant and he said it meant, "nice". My first yiddish. A bit later, a bunch of people were telling me how much they liked my drawing. I said, "shine". They all laughed. At another point I drew a woman who was standing in one of the windows. She was reading a book. The kids went crazy with laughter. A guy stopped by and told me I had to take the woman out of the sketch. I couldn't draw her on the sabbath. I could draw every part of the building but no people and especially not the book. Out of respect, I crosshatched it out. Everyone was happy except the kids. That was their favorite part. It was the usual, everyone wanting my phone number and asking when am I coming back. They all ask what building am I going to draw next. In fact, I've already spotted a couple.

    nerosunero's @ cyclise your city show

    Cyclise your city
    Exhibition at Gallery Number One Dublin, 17 June 2010

    Full set pictures at

    Jun 17, 2010

    Fun Fun Fun

    It's been a few weeks since I also became known as "Sofia's Dad", but being a father of a baby-girl is already showing it's influence on my work... "Fun Fun Fun" is part of  my Bird-Bikes Series and features a lot of, shall we say, "girlie" colors...

    Carlos Araujo
    Find me on Twitter!


    Here is a couple of 3D illustration characters I've just created using Cinema 4D