Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

"Swept Away"

"Swept Away"
24" X 24"
Acrylic on Wood

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hick: WIP, a little further along....

A little further along, as I call it a night. Will resume sometime later.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hick: Work in Progress

Here is a little work in progress. First is the initial sketch, then the "inking" and "coloring" process done in Illustrator CS3. I'll post the finish illustration when I'm done.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rock N Roll All Night....

This is a flyer I did for my friend Chris' birthday bash.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

100% Digital

Here is a little process of a "sketch" I did, which was done 100% digitally. Everything from the "blue" line sketch to the "inking" was done on the computer. Just playing around, trying to's super fun.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sketch 10/4

I haven't drawn much lately, so it was nice to take out a pad of paper and just sketch, without a reference. I usually like to have a reference to draw from, even if I don't intend to make the character look like the reference. It usually helps. This sketch I just went for it, let the hands move and do it's thing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Love of the Loveless"

This one was done by inking a sketch, the old fashion way with a Winsor Newton Series 7 brush and sumi ink. Scanned into Photoshop and also used Illustrator a bit.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Love of the Loveless" WIP

Inked the second figure. Will then refine the inking a little more, then clean up and send to Photoshop to stitch the images together, add some texture, text, color, etc.....I think.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again?

I have not been updating this blog very much lately. Summer has been too good. Hanging out with the family, going on a few little vacations, lots of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, and working on album covers. Today after spending the day with my daughter, who is such a prolific little artist (she has notebooks full of great stuff), I was inspired to do start something, for nothing. Meaning, this is not for a show, not for work ($), just something to do. Here is the very beginning stages of the inking process, using a Winsor Newton Series 7 brush, Sumi Ink, & a glass of Southern Comfort to keep me company. So hopefully I'm back in the saddle again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Between the Bars"

"Between the Bars"
Acrylic on Wood

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finishing Up Before the Show

Finishing up the last few paintings for the "Blossoming of the White Lotus II" show.

Son House Letter Stencil

Friday, June 05, 2009

Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early

"Elmo & Hezekiah"
16" X 20"
Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Urbancowfolks Studio

Urbancowfolks Studio workspace May 31, 2009. A little corner in a small house in Long Beach, CA.

Elmo & Hezekiah

Starting on another painting. Trying to get some done before the "Blossoming of the White Lotus" show which will be on June 12th. This new one is of Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early. Pictured is the stage where I take pieces of vellum and lay on top of the rough sketch. I then trace the sketch on the vellum, which I will later transfer the image onto a wood panel, to then be painted.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hound Dog Taylor - The Genuine Houserocker

"Hound Dog Taylor - The Genuine Houserocker"
16" X 20"
Acrylic / Spray paint on Wood Panel

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Limited Edition Blues Cats Series 1" Button Badges

Limited Edition Blues Cats 1" Button Badges from Urbancowfolks Studio. Art/Design by Tom Vadakan. Get yours now....................or don't.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Transfered and Inking

Image has been transfered to the wood panel and now the "inking" process begins.


The process in which I've been tackling my current project on blues musicians is as follow. I will make a "rough" sketch to size. I'll take a piece of vellum and "trace" the rough sketch. I'll then place the vellum over the wood panel and then transfer the image on the board. From there I'll "ink" over the transfered image, paint, etc. The final stage is sealing the image with cheapo "Americana" Acrylic Sealer. I typically get the gloss finish one.

This image shows the stage where the vellum is laid on wood panel and I'll proceed to transfer the image. The image is of Hound Dog Taylor, which will be my next painting in the series, that will be shown at Dano's "White Lotus" show on June 12th at the Hurley HQ in Costa Mesa.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins

"Lightnin' Hopkins"
11" X 14"
Mixed media on wood

New painting for Dano's "White Lotus II" show.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lightnin' Hopkins Sketch

Here is a sketch for my next painting. It's of one of the coolest blues cat that ever was, Mr. Sam "Lightnin' Hopkins.

"Messin' With The Kid"

"Messin' With The Kid"
9" X 12"
Acrylic/Spray Paint on Wood

This is one in a series of new paintings of blues musicians. I will have these at the Dano Surfboard show which will be on June 12th at the Hurley HQ in Costa Mesa.

More info later.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jr. Wells - WIP

Here is a sketch and painting that is a work in progress of blues harmonica great, Mr. Jr. Wells. I'm painting a small series of blues musicians for the upcoming Dano Surfboards show, that will take place at the Hurley HQ in Costa Mesa on June 12th. I'm pretty much lagging on getting paintings done, so hopefully I'll kick some butt the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


When I think of a "classic" Blue Note Record cover, this is the look I think of. I love those covers and am very blessed to be fortunate enough to work on recreating them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Press Check

It's pretty gratifying to see something that you worked on go to print. These are for the inside gatefold of 3 different Blue Note record reissues, put out by the best in the biz, Music Matters, Ltd.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a Livin'.....

I'm very fortunate thus far to be able to "make a living" being independent and working from home. I'm not getting rich any time soon, and my wife has been more than supportive. I'm also super blessed that I get to work on projects that are pretty cool. Some of the work can be long and tedious, while others is a challenge both technically and creatively. Here is a screen capture of one of the more tedious side of things, but it's super rewarding when it's done, and you know the product is going to be that much better, because you took the time and didn't take "short cuts". This images captures part of the process of recreating a classic Blue Note record label, for the classic Eric Dolphy "Out to Lunch" LP.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Present - Premier in Encinitas, CA

My good friend Thomas Campbell has made another superb surf movie. We were invited to attend the premier in Encinitas and the event was awesome. Ray Barbee & the Mattson II opened up the event and were amazing. The movie "premier" is touring around right now, catch it if you can.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Digital Sketch 3/5

I spent most of the day working on a t shirt design for a pretty well known band. The work was drawn and inked by hand, then I sent to Illustrator, using the "live trace" feature. Ha. It's probably more work cleaning that stuff up than if I just "inked" the lines myself in Illustrator. I spent hours "cleaning up lines and curves (and there are still some that I haven't cleaned up yet). After hours of that tedious and frustrating work, I had to do something just do something that I can let loose and be free. Here is my digital sketch for the day. This was all done on my iMac with a Wacom Intuos III tablet and Sketchbook Pro.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

An Exercise in Digital sketching....

Just an exercise in trying to work on sketching digitally. This is 100% done on the computer. Still trying to find my way, messing around. Result is not where it needs to be, but it's a learning process.

Dreamers-Ink WIP 5

Added in a third character. I suppose more characters to follow.

Dreamers - Ink of Character 3

Go Green...Sketch Digitally?

We are bombarded with "go green" everywhere we go. Companies are selling us "green" product and there are literally tens of thousands "green" merch. "Green" sells. That all said, the idea behind it all, is something each of us should be more conscious of, if we are to have a sustainable planet. I'm guilty to the core of waste. How much paper do I go through each year?

I'm going to work on "sketching" digitally more. I love pencil and paper, the feel... there will always be a place for that (can't take your computer everywhere you go). But I think I'm going to "practice" doing the initial ideas and sketches for my illustrations digitally. Here is a "pencil" sketch I did 100% digitally. As sketches go (not talking a finished pencil drawing), I think it's hard to tell that the difference. There are great programs to use that are pretty intuitive and it's getting closer and closer to using "traditional" tools. I just need to find a program that I feel can "ink" properly.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dreamers-Ink WIP 4

Two characters inked. More characters to follow, then coloring, etc.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dreamers - Sketch of Character 2

Here is a sketch of the 2nd character for "Dreamers". He will probably be placed somewhere behind the girl.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreamers-Ink WIP 3

I refined the eyes a bit on this one. Will move on to the other characters next.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dreamers-Ink WIP 2

In between working on a t-shirt design for Weezer and doing an album cover for a Blue Note re-issue, I squeezed in 15 mins to ink this personal project. Even a few mins working on ones on thing feels great, especially after a somewhat productive "work" day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The BLOG is Back!

I have been keeping up with this blog in a while. However, after having a conversation with my sister in law and my brother, I think they made a good point about me using the blog more, as an avenue to voice whatever I want to voice, share whatever I want to share, and chronicle the events that happen. I had been emailing family and friends updates, but I realize that can get lost after a while, especially when I email updates every day, LOL. My only reservation about blogging is that I have no idea if I will have an audience or not. Plus I love the instant feedback I get from a few folks, when I email them. That said, I hope people will bookmark this blog, and follow up on it. I plan on putting many updates and thoughts, and use this as my forum to share, and do less emailing. For some, I suppose that is cause for celebration, Vadakan will not be sending a million emails anymore.

Any how, I hope you will visit here often, because I do enjoy sharing.



Dreamers-Ink WIP

Here is the first stage of inking for the "Dreamers" image. I'll most likely draw and ink a few more characters, then arrange them in Photoshop. Once the layout is to my satisfaction, I'll do some coloring in Photoshop and may add some text using Illustrator. I'll post images as I progress. It's fun to look back on the process and I enjoy sharing the process with whatever "audience" I may have.

Dreamers - Sketch

This is a sketch for a new personal project I'm going to do. I'm not sure what it will be all about, but I will probably add a few other characters into the mix. I started out doing this other personal project where I was doing EVERYTHING digitally. I drew a sketch in Photoshop, then "inked" it in Illustrator. While it was "educational" and helped work some needed technical skills, it was just too "cold" for me. So, I canned that (for now) and went back the old fashion way. This is pencil sketched and then later it will be inked with a Winsor Newton Series 7 brush and Sumi Ink. The process is way more fun to me and I prefer the organic look, all the mistakes in tack.