Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

Work In Progress: The Zombie Tea Party

My little undead zombies.  Here is the current process of an Alice in Wonderland Zombie Scene, from the mind of…me.

Zombie Tea Party by Gary Rudisill

Here is the preliminary sketch

Zombie Tea Party by Gary Rudisill

I wanted to add the Cheshire Cat. Revised preliminary sketch.

Zombie Tea Party by Gary Rudisill

The start of the inking process.

Zombie Tea Party by Gary Rudisill

The finished inking


The start of adding color. These are Copic markers, I will be doing the under colors with these before adding more detail with colored pencils.

to be continued

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary


I just recently purchased another sketch book.  I think without realizing it, artists tend to theme their sketch books. Maybe it’s just me. 

Anyways, skulls seems to be the subject for this book. I need something to draw so I’m constantly sketching.  This seems to interest me. Either that or the darkness in me is starting to come to the surface. 


   Here’s a link to a short video of the drawing of this CLICK HERE

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

Embracing Inspirations

Welcome to my little section of my blog I call, Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

This time of the morning is about my most favorite.  I know, I always claim to not be a morning person.  Getting me up is the battle, after that, I’m rearing to go.

I like this time of the morning, because everyone is off to either work (Nikki) or school (Kids).  It’s quiet.  I can actually hear myself think.

I turn out all the lights and enjoy the tranquility and the materializing of the day.  Today, it’s overcast.  At least for now.  Which I enjoy.

So, enough of my peaceful soul cleansing bullshit.  Let’s get into what inspires us.

I’m primarily a black and white artist.  Contemporary Greyscale Artist, I am.  It just dawned on me why.  I’m fascinate with tattoos.  I don’t want give tattoos.  Tattoo artists are on a entirely different level than me.  Not saying they’re better (or worse).  The canvas they use is something I would never want to tackle.  I have a hard enough time with my own media. Plus, if I mess up, I just throw it in the trash, (sometimes very angrily) and I start over.  As opposed to getting punched in the face or worse.

What fascinates me so much about these artists are that they can deal with their customers.  Well, good ones can.  I know this sounds pretty messed up, but people come up with the most weird ideas of what they want on their bodies. (If they even had a clue to begin with.)  I always loved when I hear people say they want a tattoo and when you ask them what they are getting, they say they don’t know.  Really?   Now, just for the record, I have no tattoos.  It’s not a religious thing.  I’m not scared of needles.  I’m not sure what I would want on my body for the rest of my life.  Or who I could trust to do it.  But all and all, I really admire tattoo art.  In fact, my wife has several and my oldest daughter has more than several.

Sitting here now, it has made me realize where my inspirations (as far as the overall look and feel of my work) come from.  I like black and white, especially in tattoos.  I honestly don’t care for the colored ones.  I have seen some really nice full colored tattoos.  I just prefer (this coming from someone who has none) black and white.  They just seem to have an essence all their own.

Anyways, the morning is getting away from me and it’s time to continue my morning rituals.

Here is a few preliminary sketches for a new project I am working on.  I will post about the project after it is complete, but in the mean time all you get is the sketches 🙂

The Demon Skull by Gary Rudisill

rose 1 by Gary Rudisill rose 2 by Gary Rudisill

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

The Making of Christy

I love my toony pin ups. A friend of mine a few years back referred to them as “Naughty Lil Vixens”. I liked that so I used it 😜

I decided to do a Christy Mack toony. If you don’t know who she is, put your google search on Safe before searching. 

I started sketching. I actually started with the face.  

Then I started mapping out the rest.


Then i took it into Photoshop. 

First I inked it 


Then I add the colors 

This is available as digital PSP Tube in a PG version (shown above) and an optional R-Rates version at Mystical Scraps CLICK HERE

I also did a Galan’s Gold Card of the R-Rated version. Close your eyes if you don’t want to see. BTW the card is already sold😟


Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

High School Art Teachers- How I got to Where I am Now Part 2

As an artist who makes a living from his art, it really warms my heart to see just how much a role our local High School art teacher, Lisa, plays in the lives of her young students.  My daughter, being one of them. Let me explain.


Tonight, after a long day of running Nikki to the airport an hour and a half away. Not to mention, we left the house at 1:30am.  Pretty much stopped long enough to dump her off. Tuck and Roll, we refer to it as. Headed back home, just in time to get the kids off to school, get a shower and get to my scheduled business appointment at 10am. Which was in Carlisle, a half hour from my house.  Ate lunch, drove home by 2pm at which now I could lay down on the couch. (Kids blaring the TV and dog nudging and licking me)  Back up by 5pm, with the voice of my daughter, “Dad, wake up! We have to go to that thing tonight.” “What thing?” I asked still half asleep with dog spit on my left hand.  “That thing Mrs. Harman is having.”  So, back up I got, brushed my pearly whites (teeth) and back out the door we went. Now you are all caught up.

Ok, now we arrive at the Adams County Arts Council, where they are having their First Friday Events.  These are my people you know.  I have my studio there. Well, I had a studio. Gave up the Studio. And now I am back to the Studio.  I just need my own space, that’s another story.  Anyways, the first thing in the door, I’m already hunting down Bert.  Bert is my studio neighbor and life advisor.

It’s not hard to find him, he’s the one with the camera taking everyone’s picture.  He grabs both Zachary and Tori and gets their picture.  He’s about the only person I ever met that could convince these two to get close enough to one another to even get a picture.

Chris, the lady who runs the Adams County Arts Council, (we will just refer to it as ACAC, for simplicity) grabs me for a brief conversation.  At this time, Tori’s friends are making their presents known and with Bert taking their pictures too, I know it’s safe to leave them unattended.  When returning, I see that Tori’s art teacher, Lisa is there talking with everyone.  She takes Tori over to her art that is being displayed and gets her picture.  Now, for bragging sake, this was not the only piece Tori has ever had displayed at the ACAC.  Anyway, I, who am a self proclaimed student of life and part time people watcher, notice that she does this with each student.  Then she uploads them onto the School’s Facebook Page.  I realized that for Lisa, being an art teacher doesn’t stop when the last school bell rings.  She has been a part of Tori’s life since 9th grade, I would suppose.  Tori has helped her several times at her Gallery, The Blue Brick Gallery CLICK HERE  for link to their website and CLICK HERE for their Facebook Page. And several First Fridays at the Gallery, doing pottery.    It’s honestly, very enlightening to know that a teacher is more than a teacher to a child.  And not just one child, but many.  It made me realize how much of a part my High School Art Teacher, Miss Gunnett, played in my life.  Even though I didn’t take art until my senior year and only did so to earn an easy credit.  But just for the record, I knew I could draw way before then. But that’s another story too.


I would have to say, that it’s not odd to me at all to see that the teacher my daughter will always remember, like me, was her art teacher.

Tori is graduating High School in a few weeks and then in October she is leaving for Art School.  I know from experience, that in my past, Art School was not a so called Good Choice.  Because artists don’t make a lot of money.  Everyone wants to be an artist, but only few ever make it.  Art is a hobby, not a profession.  Or so this was reaction I had upon announcing my decision to go to art school.   But with her, she decide to go and then one day (half way through her senior year) she changed her mind. Now, this was the child who would literally sit in the dark and try to draw.  All the time.  Every night, she was drawing something. And now, her mind had been changed about not going.  I asked her why.  Of course she stumbled around excuses.  So, I finally just said it.  “Who persuaded you to give up art school?”  “Let me guess” I said.  “Art is not a good career choice.  Which one of your friends told you this.”  I knew it couldn’t have been a teacher.  They all knew that Tori’s dad is an artist and that would seriously be the wrong thing to say to a daughter of a professional artist.  I say professional, because I do it every day no matter how I feel. She finally fessed up and told me.  My response, “Artists can make a good living.  You see it every day.”  I explained to her, that I did not have the support she has.  I did not have the resources she has.  I had already paid my debt and earned my stripes so to speak. And I was always willing to show her. Tori has literally been a professional artist since 14 years old.  She doesn’t realize it.  She has designed logos. She has sold art for online scrapbooking. She hasn’t made a fortune, but she got paid for her art at a younger age than me.  Just a side story. I think it’s funny when people I know ask me, “Do you think she will ever be as good as you?”  My response, and I’m sincere when I say it, “Yes, she will be better than me.”  The puzzled looks I get are priceless.  But it’s true.  She has a passion and unlike me she has the resources.  I didn’t have the internet.  I didn’t have the support she has with family and other artists.  I only knew a few artists when I was her age.  Through me, she has met hundreds of artists that are friends of mine, from all over the world.

But the fire is always started with the spark.  The spark is the art teacher.  She may have gotten her talent from me, but that passion came from the role her art teacher has played for years.

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

How I got where I am now. Part ONE

After graduating art school, which was an entire story of it’s own, in fear of being one of those jobless graduates you hear about. (Those people that either can’t get a job or are just too lazy to put forth the effort and go on some tree hugging, mind clearing, find yourself expedition.) I decided to work full time at a local T-shirt printer. A job that I got, on my own mind you, between semesters until I found a REAL JOB (as my parents would put it)

The Art school gladly took credit for me getting a job, to add to their job placement credits. (Even though my employer had never heard of them and better yet, the school never heard of him either. ) I was asked what position I held. I answered that I printed the shirts and did some artwork. They listed me as ART DIRECTOR. I suppose since I was the only employee and I now held a degree in art, I was the only qualified person to be ART DIRECTOR. I have never stated this on any resume I ever wrote. But then again, I wasn’t trying to convince parents of graduating high school students to attend my school over a community college or worse yet a state university.

I worked at this shop with what my father referred to as state of the cave equipment for eight years. I stayed as long as I could tolerating half ass quality due to antique equipment and fly from the seat of your pants management. The average human being can only tolerate 8 years of being micro-managed. So after seeing my boss walk in the door just one too many times looking way too happy for my taste. When you get to the point the only thing that goes through your head, is wanting to wipe that ridiculous happy look off their face… it’s time to quit. So I did. Just like that. Walked right passed him, handed him a resignation that I spent the last hour on his time writing on a scrap piece of paper and never looked back.

I went right down the street to his competition, got a job immediately and regretted every since. Talk about jumping out of the pot into the fire. I jumped past the fire, went straight to hell and was now working for the devil himself. I spent the next year not getting paid while listening to every excuse in the book and believing it. I finally got the shits of it, took a job as a pizza delivery dude (free stupid looking uniform included) and just decided not to ever go back. I prayed to god that neither him or my previous employer would every order delivery. If you think I wanted to slap a look off of someone for being happy, what the hell would I have wanted to do seeing that, “Oh Look at you and where you ended up” look.

I plead the fifth.

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Open Edition Prints compared to Limited Edition Prints

“The people who make art their business are mostly imposters.”   -Pablo Picasso

Art Prints are becoming a popular internet business. They give you options.  Archival Matt Paper, Glossy Photo Paper, Somerset Velvet, Metallic, Watercolor paper and on and on.  You would have to either be an avid collector (in which I honestly don’t believe you would actually be shopping for prints in these places if you were.) or have a PhD to understand the difference between any of those papers. You have the choice of mats and frames.  So long to the local frame shops. It’s a one stop shop. All we need now is a shipping and handling price and we can get our customized masterpiece safely on it’s way to our doorstep in no time.

To sum this all up you paid well into $30-$40 for a matted print on Glossy Photo if you choose to get it unframed.  There you have it. Your customized art print worth….. What is it worth?  Exactly what you paid for it minus the shipping and handling. (or less)

Now don’t get me wrong.  I sell my art through some of these places myself.  Why?  Because I understand that not everyone is a collector of art.  Meaning, that not everyone has the funds or the desire to own a limited edition print.  Some are just happy to have a print from one of these places.  Some are just happy to download a photo off the internet and spend hours in photoshop getting rid of the watermark and printing it on their home Epson. (on photo paper)

But let’s look at this a little better.  What are you buying when you purchase a print from Zazzle, Redbubble, or even Fine Art America?  A reproduction. The artist never touches it or even sees it.  I had a situation a few years back where a person purchased a print through one of these places.  Was not happy with the print quality.  After contacting the company (website) they told him that he would have to contact me.  Why? I didn’t print it.  I don’t control their quality. But he contacted me. I told him that there wasn’t anything I could do about it. He got mad, not at this company but me.  I think at that site I made exactly a $1 per print (if I was lucky) I said all I could and finally just let it go.  I wrote the company a nasty email giving them a tremdous tongue lashing, and deleted everything out of my account.  I’m sure the tongue lashing was extememly effective.  It was probably the laugh of the day and all I managed to do was make myself look like an idiot.

Now, let’s use me as an example.  You purchase a Limited Edition print of mine.  I over see the printing.  I use a local frame shop that specializes in art prints.  It’s archival artist paper. What kind, I honestly don’t remember.  I picked it from printed samples because it was the paper that I felt made my art look the best.  They use archival inks that will out live us and our grandchildren.  It comes already matted. Oh and it’s numbered and signed by, guess who, me.  I play a part in most all aspects of the process.  Do you pay more? Yes you do.  My 8×10 Limited Edtions (matted) sells for $65.  Now that’s more than if you ordered in online from a place like Fine Art America.  But I think the difference ($20-$25) is worthi it.  I get a Limited Edition Print, numbered and signed by the Artist.  I support my artist. I support the small town shop that does his prints. I support the small town store that sells the print.  Just an FYI, if you are interested in one of my Limited Edition Prints, you can get it through Gifts Inn Boonsboro where they sell my originals and Limited Edition Prints.

Fairy Dust by Gary Rudisill
Fairy Dust by Gary Rudisill

I for one, even though I sell through Fine Art America, am not a fan of online print houses.  I feel that it’s a business that defaces art.  Do I sound like a hypocrit? Maybe. I personally do not offer Open Edition Prints, but know that it needs to be offered.  I happen to know there are plenty of places you can buy artist’s prints online, where the artist has no idea they are being sold.  Which means the artist is not getting paid.

So yes, I do offer my prints online as Open Edition, but I am very passionate about supporting small businesses in small towns.

In the end, it’s all a personal decision to buy online or not.  These are my viewes. Some you you might agree with me and some of you may think I’m nuts.  End result, support your favorite artists in the best way you can.


The Dark Hedges by Gary Rudisill
The Dark Hedges by Gary Rudisill