Monday, June 13, 2011


On our last exciting installment of Dude's Daily Diatribe I reported that I had contacted DC to offer my services as artist. I also promised an update is that situation changed in any way. Well, the latest is...nothing's changed! DC has never formally responded to my offer, and, I suspect, with little expectations of any to come.

As I was informed by friends who monitor such things, it so happens that just after I had sent my letter to DC's top people, I received word that the company had plans to relaunch their books with new #1 issues for their entire pantheon of characters. I don't know if this had anything to do with my not hearing back from them, but it would seem logical to assume a connection of some sort. The timing of it all seems more than a bit serendipitous.

Meanwhile, the latest in the commission front is the piece I just finished of--John Carter of Mars. I can almost hear the Red Planet trumpets sounding off with that pronouncement. After all, I've never exactly had much visual association with any Burroughs characters, and since I've never read the books, I thought the challenge would be a worthy one. I received some paperback book cover reference as an aid, natch, and of course, I'd seen the green, four-armed guys and mohawked gorillas that Frazetta did for this cast. Any resemblance of the Dude piece and the work of F.F. is purely and deliberately--on purpose.

The mega editions of the Artist in Motion books are being ordered from all corners of this earth--so that's keeping me and Princess pretty content for now. And keep up the facebook comments and e-mails inquiries--they are read by the entire Dude household, the Sillies and two diks included!

Till my next installment,

I remain, from my new back-supporting chair vantage point,

The Dude / Mr. Humility

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Read on..!

Devotee's of the Dude Daily Diatribes may find this of interest:

I've decided to finally make my long awaited return to comics.

This decision took place no less than a month ago, after I came to the following realization--

One-- I've had enough time away from the field to want to come back.  In the time that I've been gone, comics seem to have only gotten worse in terms of art and story, which is what made me back off in the first place.   I feel that any direct contributions I could make by re-entering the field might have a positive effect.  

Two--I needed the bread.  Commissions and other jobs are fine, but actually being an active member of the comics field seemed more prudent.  After talking it over with Gino, we decided it would be best to write the company I'd most like to do business with, and then see what transpired.  And who would that company be?

That company would be DC comics.

The books I would most like to contribute to?  Here they are in order of preference:




4.  OMAC

One month ago, I began my contact with DC through an editor that I knew.  Having no success, I tried a second editor.  Then finally, one of the higher-up "exec" types.

So far, one editor has responded--with a turn down.  The two others I never heard back from.
Interesting world, isn't it?

If any changes take place over the next few weeks, I'll fill you in with an update.

In the meantime, keep ordering those commissions!  I have tried and failed to do "simple" watercolors for so I regret I must raise the price to starting June 1st.  These were supposed to be "quick" 11x14 watercolors and instead have been finished 15x20 paintings.

In the spirit of all great creators who've shown me the way,

I remain,

The humble Dude

Commission Link:
Watercolor Commission Link:

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Stage One

Stage one has always been inspiring to me, and I might be able to add a few things to this piece to justify doing it. Going into it, however, I had only the vaguest glimpse of procedural foresight to see how I might pull this off. And that's what your roughs are for... What the hell do I know about WW2? Besides next to nothing? Some guys really get off on this historical stuff. My dad, for one. But I'm not my dad. Kirby's great creation ,Stage One involved--I believe its called.

If I thought if I could get away with merely copying the original drawing line for line, well, I knew that was out. The soldiers, planes, artillery, poses of Cap and Bucky, and the multitude of extras would all have to be modified to appease the image in my head. I knew the research was going to be heavy--no getting around that. A few trips to the library, and few polite urgings with Gino to look online, and I had my basic materials that I would be needing. And need them I would.

Stage Two

The drawing came first, on some nice lifetime-enduring 2' x 3' watercolor board. Once I roughed in the drawing, I shrunk the whole thing down on my xerox machine, and did a few value roughs over these miniature copies.

In the late 50's. Dorne worked in transparent, colored permanent inks, which he applied over a value painting done first done in b & w washes. Alex Ross has made a career from working in this method, as well. I myself was a bit rusty with this technique, but it eventually came back to me as I toiled on. Halfway through the inking stage, I got the idea to ink in only the shadow areas and not put in the outlines all around the figures. Not sure why. But instead of then going right to color, again using the golden-age version as my guide, I decided to render everything first in a b & w ink wash, a procedure which I learned from artist Albert Dorne, the man who put together the Famous Artists School.

When I finally got to the color stage, I hauled out the colored inks and went to work, almost completely ignoring the original color scheme from the golden age reference. My own sensibilities seemed to take over at that point.

Stage Three

Once the color was applied, it was done. Was it easy? Hell, no! It was immensely taxing, and looking back, I should've charged twice what I asked for it, but this is the way things go as a commercial artist. Once you've agreed on a price, you apply yourself to the same standards whether they paid you 5 bucks or 5 million.

Hope everyone likes this special Dude recreation of the golden age

I look forward to your comments.

More step by step photos available on Facebook (you do NOT need an account to view)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Thank you to everyone who has entered the raffle to date. There's only 2 weeks left to enter! As a special bonus, when we get to 4,000 fans, we will randomly pick 6 and whoever has a raffle ticket will win a Nexus print!

$5 buys you a raffle for a free 11"x14" marker commission sketch, character of your choice, subject to Steve's approval and our eternal thanks for your support and keeping Steve in art supplies!

Raffle runs through March 31st with a winner drawn April 1st (but this is no April fool!). Steve also said that if we can get up to 200 orders he'll add color! We're also considering videotaping Steve doing the sketch and add that with the winner's package.

Funds are being used for art supplies, models, photo reference, and the occasional Subway sandwich. Turkey, extra olives and bell peppers, hold the mayo.

Enter today:

A Note of Thanks from the Dude

I want to thank everyone for writing in to comment so consistently on my latest pictures. Jaynelle prints your remarks for me on a regular basis, and I especially like when people go into detail about what strikes them about a particular piece. I've always received little feedback of this kind at conventions, so this a great way for me to hear your impressions. Also, I'd like to know what all you do for a living. Other than Ken Meyer jr., who is a fantastic and long undersung watercolorist, I don't know much about you other commentators. Do you all have exciting jobs like the Dude?

Keep sending in your comments. Thanks to Gino, our fan base is always expanding to include new thoughts.

The Dude

Dude Comment of the Month

Dude's Daily Diatribe:

Today, someone mentioned that Marvel intends to "kill off" one of the members of the Fantastic Four. Interesting. Normally, choosing the color of my socks generates more reflection. But one thought did occur to me; Is this the only way comic companies can hook your attention these days? Who ever had to die in 102 issues of the Stan and Jack run? Anyone? I guess when the well runs dry, companies must now resort to things other than pure, unrestrained imagination and someone "Must Die!".


Steve Rude 2010 Sketchbook

"I wanted these books, more than anything else, to be fun."

You probably assume you're reading the latest quote from the Dude on why he devoted his last 3 decades as an artist in the comic-book field. No. Sorry. Stan Lee, reflecting on his days as Marvel's head writer during the 1960's, beat me to it.

Stan's philosophy may also explain why I've spent most of my time these days on Gallery work instead of the "so serious our faces crack" world of today's comics. Maybe when things lighten up and people get their perspective back I’ll think about returning.

Inside this year's sketchbook, we've tried a different approach than previous sketchbooks. Instead of knocking myself out with paragraph after paragraph, explaining my thinking behind each and every drawing contained in these 64 pages, I'll try and sneak out of it by simply inserting the original "fan request" that accompanied these commissions. That way, you'll get to see what I was up against before I began drawing them, and, perhaps even more enlightening, how I interpreted their request.

Why do I still do these commissions if I'm not working in comics anymore? Because I like doing them, mostly. Also, to keep my skills unblunted, to keep my hand in the industry I'll always be known for. Oh, and to keep " the Sillies" well-stocked with those overpriced "pull-ups" (I've made these diaper jokes for years now - I yearn for the day they don't need them anymore!)

Hope these drawings can bring some fun to your day!

In pause for the cause,

The humble Dude

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Portrait in Blue

Yo, how it be workin'?

That's right. The Dude makes up his own 'hipster-ease'.

Say, who wants to hear about chronicles of my latest easel work? OK. I'll take that as a yes.

Right now, we've got the Gino in Blue painting in front of me. We've just begun to block it in and it's right in front of me on the easel. And now it's right in front of you on the monitor. Hears how it's done:

First the conception. A painting in all blue. Ok, we've got that down. I picture in my head a beautiful girl stretched out on the bed, gorgeous from the moment she wakes up, 'natch, and she's got the first morning light flooding into her room. Great. So I draw up a rough in my sketchbook and as soon as I'm happy, I take some model shots and proceed to draw it right onto the canvas. Not all painting are "drawn-in" first. When I've got an actual model in front of me, I just start blocking in with paint. It's easier, y'know? Of course you knew that.

But here's the goofy part. Once this washy block-in is done--all the blue tones applied and in their proper place--the painting is practically done. That's right. Done. Everything is just refinement. Incredulous. Bizarre. And true.


Write in care of Mr. Humility.