Thursday, September 27, 2007


This utilizes an ink drawing and a scan of hand- drawn grey marks. It differs from the previous computer generated tone studies. Several layers and custom brush additions help create an instant impressionistic urban landscape.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


More tonal studies incorporating Illustrator gradients, P-shop erasing using custom brushes on multi- layered files.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Focused on how the surrounding muscles of the thighs respond to weight, and how that could be interpreted without much rendering involved. For example, if the figure is running, both legs may be slightly bent at certain phases, but one would not be touching the ground (no weight) and the other leg would take the brunt of the stride's impact (weight).

Friday, September 21, 2007



Working on some test runs on an image I posted in my old blog. I'm using a tonal process that utilizes Illustrator and P-Shop.
More of these tests as they evolve.


Thursday, September 20, 2007


A breakdown for the credit page of the unpublished Robert E. Howard tale "SHADOWS OF THE VULTURE", that I referred to earlier.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Caught the film "The Notorious Bettie Page" starring the wonderful Gretchen Mol on cable the other day. Gretchen has a small part in the new version of 3:10 to Yuma.

Anyway, her portrayal of Bettie sparked this quick five minute doodle.
The "large" version is the actual size.

Friday, September 14, 2007


This creature is based on a Filipino myth about a female who is beautiful during the day, and then at night she turns into this bat-winged creature whose lower half is separated from her top, her entrails dragging from her core. I don't remember the name of the black and white movie that I saw when I was a child, but in it the good guys placed cloves of garlic on the lower half that the creature left behind. It kept the creature from ever forming whole again. So the lesson here is to always have large quantities of garlic around - especially if you are Filipino!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


This was a study for a Red Sonya piece that I was trying to get made with writer Roy Thomas for the now defunct Cross Plains Comics publishing company. We wanted to adapt an actual Robert E. Howard story depicting the original character, not the one created for Marvel. I drew up several images for that adaptation and did a significant amount of research on the costuming, structures and weapons of that era. That was probably what I got most out it in the long run. A true appreciation of the extraordinary work of painters like Jean Leon Gerome and other Orientalist artists. The objects owned by Suleyman the Great were also quite exquisite.

I sold the study at the recent HEROES CON in Charlotte, NC this summer, and decided to tweak it a bit in P-Shop, adding nuances of color. The focus of the study was the costuming, she is wearing thigh high boots of that era and the burgonet helm which covered much of her face. With the added loose apparel and weapons Sonya had on, it was easier to understand that she could pass as a male. The pose on the larger figure was to see if a feminine look could be pulled off just by her stance. I ended up scrapping the design of this helm and went with a much larger morion style head piece. I liked the morion's way of casting shadow on the face.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I missed this review from awhile back:


What sparked this post was that the reviewer noticed this:

"The rest of the artwork is strong in and of itself, but what’s most important are those big moments—intense battles with otherworldly creatures where you can almost see the beads of sweat and blood glistening on our heroes. Kayanan nails those panels and it’s those images that stay with you after you’ve closed the book."

Being a detail nut and using up waaaaayyyy too much of the Cinema Display screen to enlarge a panel than I needed to - as you can surmise from the isolated progression above.
I literally did include the sweat and blood on those pages.
Although I wouldn't recommend that level of obsessiveness to anyone.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Found this unused cover sketch. Actual size.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


From time to time I create these anatomy files for my personal reference.
They are tips or bits of information that I have acquired through the years which may not be included in most anatomy books.
Mostly form placement and the response of muscle structures to movement really fascinate me.

I have a ton of figure books from excellent artists, but these details are often overlooked because there are so much more basic
information that needs to be installed for a budding artist.

Some stuff may be irrelevant for most artists, but I like to draw them up so that I can always refresh my anatomy or even correct structural mistakes that I've made in the past.
They also offer me a great gauge of how much more I need to understand concerning the way the human figure functions.

I try not to get bogged down in anatomy jargon since there's more than enough sources that cover that area much better.

Lmk if this stuff is any value to you guys out there... maybe there's a book in the making here.
I have lots of these files in various stages of completion.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


From Dark Horse Promos - I'm in GREAT Company:

Conan: The Blood-Stained Crown and Other Stories TPB

Writer: Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Cary Nord, Eric Powell, John Severin, Bruce Timm, Timothy Truman
Cover Artist: Cary Nord
Penciller: Rafael Kayanan
Colorist: Rafael Kayanan, Michelle Madsen, Dave Stewart
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Eisner Award-winning writer Kurt Busiek teams up with some of the best artists and writers in this collection of stand-alone stories from Conan. In "Helm," Busiek and Fabian Nicieza write and EC Comics legend John Severin draws the story of Conan's famous horned helm. Renowned comics and animation artist Bruce Timm lends his styling to the darkly comic "Conan's Favorite Joke." Current Conan writer Timothy Truman takes pencil in hand as the Cimmerian's influence crosses generations in "Seeds of Empire" and "The Blood-Stained Crown." Goon creator Eric Powell draws the poignant story of a young and unsung hero in "Storyteller," Dark Horse's centennial tribute to Conan creator Robert E. Howard. And artist Rafael Kayanan returns to the world of Hyboria with "In the Tower of Tara-Teth," a gritty adventure set during the Cimmerian's years as a mercenary and pirate.

* Collecting issues #18, 26-28, & 39 of the Dark Horse Conan series.

Publication Date: Jan 30, 2008
Format: Full color, 128 pages, TPB, 7" x 10"
Price: $16.95
Age range: 16+
ISBN-10: 1-59307-886-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-59307-886-7

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Quick announcement before I get to the subject above, there's a short article about my Star Wars sketch card work at LucasFilm's Star Wars website. Check it out!

Kayanan Interview

I posted this image earlier but I wanted to remind everyone that it is now on ebay for two more days.
All proceeds will go to an old friend from my high school art class who is going through some tough times.
She has to have a tumor removed and could use a helping hand.
So another good high school friend who knows all things STAR WARS is helping me with this auction.
She posted it while I was away this week so that we could lend a hand sooner rather than later.
So if you're a fan of my sketch cards - check out the link below!


CHEWIE benefit card on Ebay