Monday, December 14, 2015

Mermaid Painting

Hey everybody, remember the cryptid sketches I drew a while back? Well, I finally got around to painting the mermaid. I changed it quite a bit. I wasn't going for too much narrative so I only used a torn sail, a torn pirate flag known as the jolly roger, and some earrings to dress up the creature. I wanted something different than the typical seashells and seaweed clothes. 
But what I was really trying to paint was a painterly style. I am trying out new brushes and using brighter colors. Sorry I don't have a tutorial for this one. Anyway I thought I would share this since I shared the sketches earlier. Enjoy!


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Copper Kidd step-by-step

Hey everybody! More people have been asking for Step-By-Step's, so here is one of the Copper Kidd via Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

I want to say you should use your choice of brushes. Its a combination of soft and hard brushes through the whole process. Familiarize yourself with what the brushes can do for you, and which ones are best for your process.

1. I start off by making my drawing. Really figuring out now what things should be in the painting and the pose for the character because changing things later can be a real pain.
2. Making sure the drawing is one layer, I change it to a Multiply mode. Now blocking in the colors underneath on a bottom layer, neatness is not required...
3. From this point on I will be working in layers above the drawing with blocked in colors. Creating a 3rd layer, I begin placing in some dark areas where the focus of the paint will not be needed. I usually use black at 30% opacity. Remembering to consider reflected lighting, I start to render shapes.
4. Now some lights can be added. A few layers may be needed to achieve this. I find the modes Overlay, Soft Light, and Normal can work well. And feeling confident in the art direction, I go ahead and render in some textures and details as well.
5. This frame shows some finer rendering of details and textures in the face and armor. The eyes are bothering me so I fix them. But this is simply repeating step 4. I also work on the reflected lighting.
6. I notice the forearm coming towards us is too long so I shorten that. This oversight is an easy fix. I simply use the 'lasso' tool and 'copy merged', then 'paste in place'. Now it is just simply moving it back to look correct. I paint over the details of the former hand and change the knee armor while I'm painting the fixes. It doesn't look right either.
7. Looking over the paint and I observe how it is reading from far away. The background has a bit too much contrast and his side is 'popping' too much. Those are both darkened some more. Also his pointy metal head is a little too hard to see as well so I build up the contrast a little bit more. I also increase the lighting on his face to really make it the focus.
8. As I paint more towards the end, I begin working tighter and tighter. Little shadows and highlights are added here and there to help define shapes and textures. I also add some blue light in the reflected light areas for contrast. I also subtly add some blue over the orange colors using 'overlay' to mute the purity of the orange to make the copper more readable.
9. I add some lighting to his forehead so it reads better and fix the lighting in his eyes as well. To make his blue forearm that is closest to us read better I add some highlights on that too. I am careful to not add too much contrast, because the face is the point of interest.
10. The head seems to have too much contrast at this point and the overall shape is still bothering me. So I adjust some shadows and highlights to better define the shape of the head. I like it. Also I notice the metal hand could use some definition on the palm. At this point all I did was clean up the edge work and textures. Some edges were hard, some were soft. I even added some lost edges where the paint needed no attention. Done.

There it is. I hope it helps anyone painting characters ^_^

See my previous Copper Kidd Blog

Sorry I don’t have any personal works to share lately!


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Friday, November 6, 2015

For story's sake.

Hey so here is a character of mine I really wanted to have wearing full plate armor. Unfortunately my particular story right now doesn't have knights in it. So what do I do?
I learned a long time ago, that if you want your story to flow well, you can't have gags or characters in it that don't push the storyline forward. How can you tell the story best if there are disconnected characters digressing here and there? He's getting a make-over. Stay tuned.

Josh Burns
©2015 Josh Burns

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cryptid Paints

Hey everybody! I had been working on some paints of the cryptids previously sketched. Trying new styles and new techniques.. I've been focusing on using more colors and the arrangement of value compositions.. not sure how much time I can devote to these. I'm becoming a bit busy lately, but I want to share these.. oh yeah neither are finished, someone suggested putting torn sails on the mermaid so if I have time I will be doing that.
Josh Burns


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cryptids sketch work

Hey everybody, so I've been sketching up some cryptids! I was having such good time doing this that I did a handful of them. There are more I want to do, but this is it for now. I started off trying to make the Mothman a Pokemon-ish drawing, but as things went on I began drawing them more seriously proportioned. My focus on them was to create art for the community of people who take an interest in these myths, or so called myths ^_^ These are just pencil style sketches done in Photoshop, and I have plans to paint a couple. If you head over to my FaceBook, friend me. And see some of them being developed into color. Talk laterz..

Josh Burns
Jersey Devil

Friday, August 14, 2015

DBMIER LED Light Pad Review

Hey everybody! So today I have the privilege to share a product review with you! DBMier reached out to me and asked if I could review their product and share it with you all!
If you have ever used a light table or light box this product should be of interest to you. Unlike the clunky light boxes built of wood, it is a very slim tablet. And it is just as bright as a light table and easy on the eyes. It puts off almost no heat except at the top and bottom edge of the device. It also has 3 brightness settings with just a touch of the single power button. Touching it a 4th time turns it off. After a couple hours of use it seems durable enough to press firmly against when drawing. The only Con with the product is just the cord. You'll need to be very near an electrical outlet because the cord is fairly short and slightly loose once plugged into the device. I just like a long cord, and expect a firm seat when plugging things in.
The DBMier LED light pad comes in 3 sizes on Amazon, A4, A3 and A2. If you are a professional comic illustrator as an example I can see the need for the largest DBMier A2 light pad. I myself only need an A4 size light pad to redraw my rough thumbnail sketches.
Here I have an example to show ya. After I’ve enlarged my sketch on a scanner and printed it, I take the bigger copy and trace over it using the light pad. I use the medium brightness so I can still see my new lines on the clean sheet of paper. Once that is done I clean up my new line work so it doesn’t look traced. And presto! A bigger picture that can go to the inking stage and so forth, or now being nice and tight can be scanned again for digital painting.
Overall I have to say that this DBMier LED light pad is super convenient to keep around in the studio, and of course is pretty cool to use ^_^
Oh yeah, when I sketch I've made a habit of holding my paper up backwards to a window or lightbulb to catch any mistakes, and now I can lay my paper backwards on the DBMier LED light pad to do that too! Another bonus!

Thank you DBMIER for a great product!


DBMIER LED Light Pad in box
protective clear cover 
DBMIER LED Light Pad A4 
short cord 
plug is a little loose
my rough manga sketch
enlarged and ready to trace
tracing 01
tracing 02
tracing 03
tracing 04
tracing 05
tracing 06
done tracing
line work all cleaned up

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gladivere WIP

personal Work In Progress
Hey everybody, I'm going to be focusing some time on my own personal story. Here is a screen shot of a Work In Progress of the main character named #Gladivere. The story is going to be a mystery with some horror. I have many inspirations for doing this, so it truly will be a personal project. I really want the storyline to be just as important as the visual interest. I will be working on both at the same time, but unlike the art I probably won't be sharing much of the story itself until its done. That could be a long time though.. so check in every so often ^_^

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Silverhawks Wallpaper

Silverhawks Wallpaper 2560x1440
Hey everybody! Here is a wallpaper for the #Silverhawks fans. It would be pretty cool if enough people start buzzing about the hawks to get this 1986 #retrocartoon back up into the stars ^_^ Please feel free to share this wallpaper with your friends. 
If you don't know who the Silverhawks are check out this YouTube
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Cheers and thanks everyone for checking out my paintings! 
Josh Burns

Monday, June 15, 2015


Quicksilver and Tallyhawk by JoshBurnsArt
Hey everybody, so here is the final portrait for the Silverhawks I have been painting! This cyborg is Quicksilver and his bird is Tallyhawk. I felt this #retrocartoon is a bit underrated which is why I painted it. It is a good cartoon! ^_^
     The animation left a lot of the metal bodies' details open to interpretation so I kept it as close to the cartoon as possible. In fact I also left the metal body parts flex as muscles move. Otherwise Quicksilvers body would have looked like plate mail armor. It just wasn't organic enough. Tallyhawk also was painted the same way. I wasn't trying to make the bodies perform in a perfect way, just enough to be believable. Trying to paint chrome-like bodies was tough. I had to reference many chrome vehicles and suits of armor. Of course I had refs for blue sunglasses and red tailed hawks as well. 
     I used Painter12, Photoshop CC2014, and the Wacom IntuosPro large (felt nibs). I hope everyone is digging how this turned out. If anyone has any questions regarding the paints I did of the Silverhawks, please email me. Also feel free to share if you like em'.
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Josh Burns
Quicksilver and Tallyhawk from cartoon

Friday, April 3, 2015

MonStar Advanced

MonStar Advanced paint by Josh Burns
Hey everybody! Here is the other version of #MonStar from the 80's cartoon #Silverhawks. I'm calling it the advanced version since its like #Applibot 's card art. Again, it seems even in the robot form this villain is punk rock. He has spikes coming out of his head and a star around his left eye. From what I know MonStar temporarily regains his vision in his left eye when in this powerful form. Also, from it being able to shoot a laser beam. It is the moon star that allows him to transform from his previous state (see link below).
I didn't do too much to re-invent this crime-boss, except to make his armor's colors more exaggerated. And to allow his facial features to show more stress and rage. 
I wasn't originally planning on painting this, but I thought it would be fun to add this version of him to my Silverhawks roster. Btw the next painting is going to be of Quicksilver which will be my final paint for this cartoon. I hope you all enjoyed it much!
The tools I used to paint this were PhotoshopCC and Painter12, using a Wacom IntuosPro large tablet with felt tip nibs.
Thanks for reading!
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MonStar before transforming

Monday, March 30, 2015


Mon*Star paint by Josh Burns
Hey everybody! Here is Mon*Star from the 80’s cartoon ‘Silverhawks’.  I decided to paint him as the afro hair version for now. Everything about this villain is punk rock from the streaked hair to the spiked shoulder armor with star eye patch. I thought it is interesting to know that the Silverhawks' enemy is a feline humanoid. Since the cartoon has minimal details for animation purposes, I thought I would re-envision him with fur. Nothing too much, just something that seems like it would be enough to narrate he’s a cat man. And since he is so street punk I thought putting him into a make-shift football armor is appropriate as well. Also one of his more notable features is his rigid face. At first I thought he was scarred by his transformations, but then I began to think that maybe the lines on his face were edges to a cube-like design popular during that time. So I made his face scarred and distorted by stress that embodies who he is- a maniac crime boss.
The tools I used to paint this were PhotoshopCC and Painter12, using a Wacom IntuosPro large tablet with felt tip nibs.
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80's cartoon Silverhawks