Tag Archives: marker sketch

Buffy vs The Deadliest Catch

My wife and I were debating what to watch on Netflix.

– I want to watch Buffy!
– But I want to watch The Deadliest Catch!
– No, Buffy!
– No. Deadliest Catch!

My wife won. So we were watching The Deadliest Catch. On the plus side, I got to draw boats while “watching”.

Fishing vessel marker illustration

Fishing vessel a la The Deadliest Catch

Fishing vessel marker illustration

Fishing vessel a la The Deadliest Catch

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Constitution day weekend in Oslo

Paradisbukta marker sketch

Paradisbukta at Bygdøy

Over the long weekend, the weather was beautiful, the wife had a friend visiting and we got around Oslo a little. The beaches at Bygdøy were full of people bathing in the sun and in the, by most accounts, still cold water.

Brenneriveien near KEM, Oslo - marker sketch

Brenneriveien

I also got to visit the art supply store KEM where I picked up a few discount markers. Since the ladies went shopping I had time to sit propped up against some of the great graffiti and sketch the opposite view. Several tourists came by and took photos of each other against the wall I was next to.

Digging machine concepts

Digging machine concept sketch in marker

Digging machine concept sketches

These are sketches from when I worked on Anarchy Online. I remember wishing we had gone for the top one, rather than the bottom one. I’d still like to model the top one and put it into a game.

Robot sketches

Robot marker concept sketches by OJ Kielland

Robot marker sketches

Here are some robots! Although the one on the left has a lot of random bulky shapes that don’t really do anything, I do like that it has a bell helmet. The two others are clearly just a cute couple.

Francis Tsai

Character sketch in marker by Francis Tsai

Character by Francis Tsai


Character sketch in marker by Francis Tsai

Characters by Francis Tsai

Francis Tsai is a comic book artist and concept designer whose clients include Marvel and DC Comics, Warner Brothers and Wizards of the Coast. He has also been featured in several Spectrum editions.

Environment concept sketches in marker by Francis Tsai

Environment concepts by Francis Tsai

I discovered Tsai’s work sometime in 2006, and was thrilled in 2007 when he was featured in imagineFX, in an article that showed some of his excellent marker sketches.

Environment concept sketches in marker by Francis Tsai

Marker sketch by Francis Tsai

He also used pens as a foundation for digital work in a very sexy way, and his character poses are uber dynamic.

Comic concept sketch in markers by Francis Tsai

Comic concept sketch by Francis Tsai

In 2010 Francis was diagnosed with ALS, which naturally is a big blow to anyone who uses the fine motor skills of their hands and fingers to produce illustrations.

But there is a thing about doing what you love – it’s really hard to stop. So Francis has, as his ability to use ink and Wacom pens diminishes, picked up eye scanning software called Tobii to maintain his ability to make art, and his work continues to be stunning.

Digital art made with eye-scanning software and Photoshop by Francis Tsai

Digital, made with eye-scanning software and Photoshop by Francis Tsai

So do me, and yourself, a favour – whenever you feel you should draw, but just don’t feel like it – remember that nothing, and at the very least (especially?) yourself, should be able to stop you.

I think that’s a thing to remember – don’t worry about those days where you don’t feel like drawing. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll keep it up. You don’t really want to stop.

And please head over to Francis’ blog or Facebook page to check out his great work!

DNA sketches

A while back I was asked to quickly help out with a research illustration. It was a relatively simple vector illustration but I nevertheless wanted to come up with something on paper.

As I did these, I learnt quite a bit about the structure of DNA, so prepare for some trivia.  One of my first attempts was symmetrical about the helixes’ axes, and showed a pretty arbitrary amount of base pairs.

DNA sketch ojkielland

DNA sketch

This proved to be wrong, and while most illustrations of DNA are some sort of symbolic representation (The actual molecules probably look more like this.) there is a difference in the spacing between the two helixes (the backbone strands, made of phosphates and sugars)

These spaces are called the major and minor groove, and they serve a function. The base pairs in the major groove are more accessible than the ones in the minor, which results in some proteins binding only to bases exposed in the major, for example.

The distribution of base pairs is also specific, it turns out to be approximately 10.4 base pairs per turn of the helix. I think I rounded that down to 10 for simplification in the final illustration.

Another interesting exercise was to turn 2 helixes around a sphere or cylinder (which represent another molecule) – I ended up studying an old phone cord to wrap my head around it.  While the final illustration was in no means real world accurate, at least it was better than my first attempt!

Rolleicord TLR camera

Marker sketch of Twin Lens Reflex camera

TLR camera sketch by me

The Rolleicord was a Twin Lens Reflex camera series by German manufacturers Franke & Heidecke from  1933 to 1976.

The sketch above is based on my own K3D model from ’53 – ’54, given to me by my father-in-law.  It still shoots amazing quality photographs, and luckily 120 film isn’t as hard to come by as I had feared.

For some reason I gave the sketch a “Rolleyflap” label.