December 23, 2009

Postcards from London


In between projects over the past couple weeks, I've been working on some pen and ink drawings on postcards to send from London. Here are a handful from the British Museum, London Natural History Museum, the Louvre, Tower of London and some streets around London and Paris.

Hope everyone out there is having a warm and happy holidays, here's to the end of a monumental year and the beginning of a bright new decade.

November 16, 2009


Just completed this comic sequence in collaboration with Helen and the good folks at Sonny London. (The fully scripted and scored version is also available here.)

November 9, 2009


Seeing London for the first time made me wish my full-time job was location sketching. The city just draws itself. Here are some sketchbook pages so far, fountain pen and ink wash mainly, more to come.

November 2, 2009

The Big Sleep

Here is an illustration I just finished of Carmen Sternwood from the final scenes of Chandler's The Big Sleep. I noticed a lot of my thumbnail sketches while reading were characters other than Marlowe, so it was interesting to attempt to capture his tone through a supporting character and scene. Unlike previous approaches, I tried to limit the compositional drawings to rough thumbnails, which allowed the final drawing/watercolor process to be a bit more fluid.

In other news, I've been included in Taschen's new "Illustration Now! 3" book, alongside some amazing artists. I also did a quick Q&A with the good folks at Gym Class Magazine, which is on internet-stands now.

October 8, 2009


A new illustration I just finished for this week's LA Weekly. Also, I've just started on Twitter, in case you're interested in more links and less alphabetical-characters.

September 29, 2009


Earlier this year I got the opportunity to collaborate with photographic dynamo Neil Krug on two illustrations for his and Joni Harbeck's upcoming PULP ART BOOK. I have been a huge admirer of Neil's polaroid work since first seeing it on Flickr, and although these are still in-progress, I thought I would post some of the sketches and pin-up drafts so far.

September 20, 2009

Nerding Out

I had the good fortune to get a call from Nick Vogelson at OUT magazine last month for an article on the crossing-over of nerdism into mainstream American culture. Through the eyes of the writer at events such as the San Diego Comicon, I was left with a certain reverence for the pop culture pile-up that these events seem to inevitably lead to. The first few sketches were essentially riffing on this idea of fictitious comic book and film worlds colliding, first with each other and then again with the world around them. The rough pencil ideas were scanned and re-drawn into the more legible sketches in Photoshop, and once the hallway version had been approved I did my best to retain as much of the loose, crowded quality of the rough sketches as possible.
Overall it was an incredibly fun assignment, and really any day I get to draw Skeletor sleeping on someone's lap at a bus stop is a good day. I think it's the issue should be on stands now, thanks again to Nick for the opportunity.

September 8, 2009




Here is a new self-promo portrait I just finished of New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo, along with a bit of the process from sketch to digital paints. has also just been updated with a bundle of new sketches and illustrations.
Also in case you haven't seen it there is a fantastic Drawger post by Yoku Shimizu detailing the process of a new portrait she did for Golf Digest. Can't recommend it enough.

August 21, 2009


Here is the latest illustration for this week's LA Weekly, inspired by a longstanding infatuation with the concrete forests of overpasses across Los Angeles.

August 12, 2009

Brütal Lemmy

Here are some of the sketches I did for the new issue of Nylon Guys magazine along with the finished illustration. The piece was for the "Rock & Awe" interview with Lemmy Kilmister about his role in the upcoming heavy-metal themed Brütal Legend video game- I couldn't ask for more visually fun elements to work with. Much thanks to Alexander Chow for the opportunity and thanks again to the illustrious Frank Stockton for the assist.

July 16, 2009

Mash Up

Here is a new piece I just did for this week's LA Weekly. I had been reading about the history of Malibu Creek State Park, where M*A*S*H and the Planet of the Apes series were filmed when I did the rough sketch. After hiking up to shoot some reference shots for an idea about a misdirected extra, I painted the ink and watercolor version. After some trial and error and strange accidents with color and temperatures, I came to this version, which hopefully retains most of the anachronistic feel of the original concept.

In other news, I'm incredibly honored to have my unpublished "Waiting" illustration awarded a spot in this year's Communication Arts Illustration Annual, which is on stands now.

June 25, 2009

Unbelievable 2.5

Unbelievable_2.5, originally uploaded by owenfreeman.

June 14, 2009


Here is an ink drawing/portrait of Mr. Hugh Hefner I did for this year's Playboy Jazz Festival. Throughout the assignment I was inspired to keep practicing with daily warmup portrait sketches of whoever else came to mind, and push various limitations like duotones or lighting as I went (while trying to maintain some fleeting likenesses.) It's an unexpected bunch, all together, but I guess there was a lot of Kojack on in the background...

June 4, 2009


New illustration for this week's LA Weekly. Also just received a bronze medal for the Meric piece in the current issue of CQ, which was a cool surprise.

May 14, 2009



Here is a cover and double-page spread I did for the current issue of Securities & Investments Review. The assignment was a super-heroic take on the single superadvisory board that world leaders were creating to confront the global economic recession at the G20 Summit in London this year.

The cover was penciled pretty much directly from the rough sketch, but the thumbnail sketches for the spread at the top left were still a bit too subtle, so for the tighter pencil versions we tried to take it in a more direct and cinematic angle. After a few color treatments the double page spread finally felt dark enough without being too dark, and the recession had the correct number of tentacles and it was off to print. Thanks to Johanna Ward at Wardour for the opportunity, and special thanks to Frank Stockton for the assist.

May 11, 2009

The Four Star

Illustration I just finished for New York Magazine about the impact of the recession on four-star restaurants in Manhattan.

April 20, 2009


Here is a full page illustration I did for the current issue of FHM magazine in the UK. The illustration was based on an article detailing the brutal rise and fall of GIuseppe Morello, the head of the first organized crime family in America during the turn of the last century.

April 2, 2009

Help is on the way

Just finished this assignment for this week's LA Weekly based on an article by Courtney Moreno recounting tales of life as an ambulance driver. The stories are a fascinating glimpse into a harrowing and often surreal side of medicine and was a great challenge to try and tackle visually. Also has just been updated with a bundle of new illustration and sketchbook work.

March 26, 2009

Forget it Jake...

LA_Vida01_Sk1-4 copy
Here is a piece I just did for the LA Weekly, on newsstands this week. The sketches were based on the broader idea of the city of Los Angeles, and then the finished illustration was an expansion on the upper right sketch with a nod to the classic film. Much thanks to Darrick and Jason for the opportunity and special thanks to the talented Eric Davison for his assistance.

February 15, 2009


Just finished this illustration inspired by a piece on the daily risks in the lives of sex workers. Above are the thumbnail idea sketches, trying to work out a few compositional elements and then expanding further into quick color and value studies on the upper right. The interesting challenge to the piece was to try and create a sense of space which could then serve as a stage for the headlights to stand-in for a foreboding figure and still cut into the motel room with as much (or more) menace.

January 8, 2009

In From the Cold

Here are some initial sketches and then the finished illustration I did for this month's issue of Runner's World magazine. The piece was an autobiographical account of the writers near-death experience during winter run in a frozen canal outside Washington D.C.. Thanks to Kory Kennedy for including me among such auspicious company.