Typically I have a story I like to share about the artwork I create. This piece, however, has no story. I felt the creative itch once again after a long dry spell and this was one of the first ideas I had for a new painting. It took me roughly 4 hours to complete. Below you will find photos I took of the whole process. Please feel free to leave any creative feedback or suggestions for other works in the comments.

PART 1: The Sketch20181031_214443

PART 2: Line Work20181031_214503

PART 3: Line Work Cont.20181031_214518

PART 4: Shading 20181031_214535

PART 5: Green Watercolor20181031_214549

PART 6: Brown Watercolor20181031_214603

PART 7: Yellow Watercolor20181031_214618

Part 8: Finished 20181031_214348

Thanks for your time!

Triforce Oak Shelf (Amibo Shelf)

A few months ago a friend of mine made a comment about his Amibo collection and not knowing what to do with all of his Amibos. He wanted to have them on display but was not a fan of the standard shelf you find in the big box store. I had recently finished a previous project and mentioned that I would be interested in trying to craft a custom shelf for his Amibo collection. We settled on the idea of a shelf based on the idea of the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda series and I got to work that night. Till this point, most of my experience as a woodworker had been straight cuts and right angles. I quickly realized that I was going to go way outside of my normal routine to build this shelf. I began by doing some miniature test builds to test my measurements and cuts.

My first test piece was more or less perfect.

With a test piece out of the way, I went ahead and gathered my parts for the build. In order to save time, I purchased a few pieces of oak board from my local Lowes (This isn’t a plug for Lowes, though I do love their 10% Military Veteran discount program). This wood is already prepped and ready for sanding. I transferred my test measurements to the larger pieces of wood, cut it to size on my miter saw, and after a few passes with the orbital sander, I was ready to glue my primary structure together.

The shelf is beginning to take shape

I considered using cabinet screws to attach all of the pieces originally but decided against this approach for two reasons. Considering the load that this shelf was expected to hold I already was thinking that screwing the wood together would be a bit overkill. The second consideration was my lack of a counter-sink to hide the screws once installed. Basically, I lacked the required tools and skills to improvise, so glue it was.

I glued and clamped the primary structure, then I repeated the whole process on a smaller, secondary structure that was to be placed inside of the primary structure.


You can see some clamps were used to help seat the secondary structure while the wood-glue dried.


My Guardian Amibo provided me with a helping claw…

I let the shelf set overnight and did a strength test on it the next day. Satisfied that my Guardian Amibo was no match for the shelf, I went ahead and cut the back panel out of 1/8th inch plywood. At this point, I realized that I probably should have applied my Amber Shellac before attaching the back panel but I could still use a brush to work in the edges so I let it be.

In the light, the Amber Shellac gives more of a “golden” appearance to the wood. This follows the theme of the “Golden Triforce” from the Legend of Zelda series.

After a couple of coats of the Amber Shellac, I began crafting the foam inserts. This part of the process is my favorite part because this is the moment that the project really comes to life. I began by taking exact measurements of the interior of each triangle (I do each section to account for any small differences that may exist). I then transfer those measurements to regular foam crafting board (the kind you put your 5th-grade science fair project on). I subtract about 1\16th of an inch from all sides and then I cut out the foam pieces using an Exacto knife. With this complete, I turn my attention to the fabric backing.

I found some lovely, inexpensive black and gold pleather at my local Joanns Fabrics store to use for my interior inserts. I outline my foam inserts on the back of the fabric, then I add roughly 3 inches to the measurement on all sides of the outline. This allows the fabric to wrap behind the foam insert. This extra lip behind the insert is where I apply hot glue to attach the fabric to the foam. All of this is hidden away from view once the insert is set inside of the shelf. This is also the reason why I removed 1\16th of an inch from the foam cutout earlier, to account for the space that the fabric would take up. Once inserted you are left with a clean backdrop with which you may present your Amibo collection


A nearly complete shelf.

After finishing up a few small details like adding protective feet and wall mounts, I am left with a great looking shelf!

I don’t recall the exact measurements of this shelf, though I think it was 40x40x40

If you made it this far then I thank you for your time.

(Shameless Plug) If you are interested in possibly owning a shelf like this one, feel free to check out my Etsy store where I offer custom built shelves just like this one in a variety of sizes. Feel free to ask for a different custom build as well, I’m always up for a new project.

Best of luck to you, reader.


Master Chief-Watercolor & Marker

To be fair, I’m not sure if I can legally call this a watercolor painting. I’m no mathematician, but I’m guessing that at least 50% of this image is the Sharpie marker I used for the black vectoring. Regardless, I still like it. I actually liked it more without the color but what’s done is done now. This piece was sort of an experiment for me. You see, though I just posted lots of other artwork in the last few weeks, this piece predates all of my earlier post from this past week. This was my first official work on canvas in over 8 years. I have dabbled intermittently with different types of art in the last decade, but not very often. I knew I was ready to get back into creating new things, and I figured there was no better way to get my inspirational juices going than to sit down and work on my favorite character ever.

The Master Chief!



I know a lot of people say they are fans of a character, but when I tell you I am a superfan… I mean it



I am a SUPERFAN!20181010_21105820181010_211024

I might be posting more about my costume here in the future, stay tuned!

Thanks for your time.

Mario Bead Party


Have you ever been in a store and seen someone shopping in an aisle that just didn’t seem quite right? Like a kid in the medicine aisle, a teenage boy in the woman’s underwear aisle, or a grown man in the toy aisle? I witnessed one of these scenarios today, only because they had changing mirrors next to me in the women’s underwear department… I kid… or do I? Seriously now, I was the man in the third scenario today. In my defense, however, my inner child was probably on full display.

I was at my local Michaels arts and crafts store picking up new brushes, a simple enough task, except I always end up veering off into other isles because I have the attention span of a squirrel and there are a lot of shiny things in that store. Fast forward twenty minutes and I find myself in the children’s isle fawning over this packet of perler beads that promise me a picture of Mario if I place them in the correct order and hit ’em with some heat. I never heard of “perler” beads before, but a quick Google confirmation search proved that they work. (I did find them in the girls toy aisle… still not sure why that is a thing but whatever).

Anyway, 3+ hours and $8 later, I present you with the following.











I had plenty of leftover beads so I made a mini BOO so Mario would have company.

Needless to say, this isn’t a sponsored post, I really just enjoy getting my supplies @ Michaels. If you are interested in doing this project yourself you can find the kit HERE.

Thanks for your time!


It was the summer of 2000 when a younger, thinner me walked into our local videogame store known as Microplay. I had spent the better part of the spring and my whole summer cutting grass with my stepfather for the amazing wage of $20 a day. That money was burning a hole in my pocket and I was itching to try out a new game. I spoke with the clerk briefly about what games I had been playing. I told him I was bored of those games and wanted to try something different. He smiled and told me to hold on. He ran to the shelf across the store, and came back with a brand new copy of Final Fantasy 9.

I had never played a FF game before and was unsure about it. I suppose he was a decent salesman… I spent the remainder of that year pouring over FF9. I beat the game, bought the guide, beat it again and unlocked just about every possible secret that I could find. I was hooked.

The preteen boy I once was remembers how special this game was at that moment in time. Vivi was especially relatable to a kid at that age, a character that seemed to always be out of place, trying to find purpose and meaning in life. Adult me misses those simpler times.

While working on this peice of art I experienced quite a few different emotions while reminiscing about my youth. Things I had long forgotten seemed to jump up out of the shadows of my mind…

Majora’s Mask-Watercolor

Majora’s Mask is one of the most iconic symbols in video game history. Everything about the mask from its color scheme to its multiple horns and oversized eyes leaves a haunting impression on the viewer that is impossible to forget. As an artist, one of my favorite things about drawing or painting Majora’s Mask, something I have done quite a few times, is that you can change a lot of the small details while retaining the fundamental shape of the mask and still end up with a highly recognizable piece of art.

It is one of my favorite projects to experiment with. For semi-beginning artists, I like to suggest they draw Majoras Mask due to its ability to hide errors in your line work. As you will see below, that is exactly what I had to do with this piece. Regardless of my alterations, it is easy to see just from the first lines of the sketch what is being created.

Rough Sketch
Rough Sketch- Working Out Symmetry
Line Work. You can see here where I already messed up the symmetry.
Line Work- First Details
Line Work- You can really see the symmetry issues here.
Now I am adding thick lines to hide my mistake. Still looks like the mask we all know.
Red Watercolor
Yellow Watercolor
Purple and Blue Watercolors
Watercolor Details – I personally feel I rushed some of the details, but still happy overall with the results.
I allowed the watercolor to run off the canvas naturally to give the horns their final look.

Veterans Day 2018

[Just a bit of a preamble here. I typically do a post like this every Veterans Day on my Facebook page. Though we are both Army Veterans (where we met), I always try to highlight her status as a Veteran above my own. I do this because society tends not to see her, or any female Veterans for what they truly are. I’ve witnessed it firsthand, people assuming my service to be more important than her service. This is obviously not the case. She is amazing and I mean every word you are about to read.]

I saw her for the first time in the winter of 2010. I didn’t know anything about her, but my instinct told me that she was special. I wasn’t wrong. That was nearly nine years ago to the day. In the time since that day I first laid my eyes on her, she has done more with her life than most people do in a whole lifetime.

She agreed to step into my life, adopting my daughter Laila as her own child. She became a biological mother not long after to our daughter Sophia, a child born with autism that was about to challenge us both in ways we never imagined possible.

Despite her need to be at home with her newborn, duty insisted she do her job and on her daughters first birthday, Ashley boarded a plane headed for Afghanistan. Nerves of steel. This was the longest year of our life, but we planned our moves carefully.

Before her return to the States, she had a job as a Correctional Officer and was ready for her exit from the military. She drove two hours to work and two hours home every day for a year until a better opportunity presented itself. That opportunity saw her become a Sheriff. Always on the hunt for the next goal, she would eventually find herself working as a Police Officer.

She chose this line of work not because it is easy, but because it is hard. She wants to be the standard bearer in life, someone that her own children, as well as other little girls, can look up to. She does all of this and she makes it look easy. She is a Veteran and so much more, and this is why each Veterans day I choose to highlight Ashley Armstead.

Hope everyone has a Great Veterans Day.

(This was something I originally posted elsewhere on Veterans day but felt it deserved a spot here on the blog