Thursday, September 30, 2010

Forbidden Drawings

More drawings done while I should've been working at an animation studio in 2000 (see yesterday's post for the full story). This is Darryl ( name changed to protect the innocent). "Darryl" was a smart guy but had emotional issues. I always thought he'd lose it and run amok someday, so I imagined how many tranquilizer darts it would take to bring him down. This looks just like him from behind- honest!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to draw at the office

I recently unearthed a cache of forbidden drawings done while working for a small animation studio in New Jersey called Hypnotix, around 2000-01. Working hunched over a lightbox for 10 hours a day can be nerve-wracking. The main concern for an animator is staying "on model", everything has to look consistent- whether it's Daria for MTV or the Deer Avenger. For the entertainment of your fellow animators, and for your own sanity, a small collection of amazingly immature drawings would start to grow beside your drawing board. I'm not proud of it, but if anything during the past year or so, I've tried to be honest. So for the next few days, relax, hold your nose, and enjoy this showcase intended to cheese off my then supervisor .... and his supervisor, etc.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to draw a dog's face

Step 1-Feeding: Feed your pet twice it's normal amount of food. Follow that with a few of her favorite treats. It helps if she's been alone all day in the house .... she'll be bored and open to suggestion. Step 2- Intoxication: Follow treats with a small saucer of liquor. Boone's Farm or Night Train works great because of the high sugar content .... she'll lap it right up! Step 3- Boredom: Sit quietly in your chair with your drawing materials close at hand. At this point she's so bloated and confused that she's sure to lay down. She'll face you because of the threat of more treats. Avoid making eye contact as she'll try to garner sympathy and get you to ease her suffering. Now she's yours to draw at your leisure! This method works reasonably well with children too!

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to draw from free publications

Last week sitting around the kitchen table, one of my wife's female-student-lawyer publications caught my eye. Ten minutes later, an anonymous honor student is forever immortalized in graphite. I don't think I've ever been this neatly groomed!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Partially Inked Gangster, Inc.

A similar exercise as below, in which I drew whatever came to mind. I was waiting for my son at one of his various activities I chauffeur him to, when I began drawing the power lines visible at the top of the page. This inspired the gangster theme (naturally). I wish I'd gotten around to inking the saxophone dudes at the lower right.
It's fun to ink this way- it's a nice way to hone your inking instincts without worrying about a big train wreck.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Goth Girl, Genghis Khan, a Genie, cow skull and a Skeleton Pirate

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to start drawing whatever came into my lil' head. Just fill up space with random images. I then decided to ink it .... can anyone tell where I lost interest? Check out the Jack Kirbyish hand of the Skeleton! I think that was due to the speed at which I was drawing. That's right, I was drawing so fast I channeled an under-paid comic book genius. I wonder who I could channel if I drew really slowly .... Jack T Chick?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Logo

Based on the commercial success of the image below, a co-worker hired me to design a logo for his new business. He was hoping to start an auto body shop and had very specific images in mind for his logo. He was particularly in love with the way I'd made the word "Weapon" in the previous image look like a rubber stamp- hence the design repeat. He paid me, but I don't think he ever started a business.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Justice!

I did this 4 or 5 years ago for the company I work for to match a sales initiative they were rolling out. My boss was worried about the mis-matched fonts and another co-worker wondered why the figure seemed to be looking over his shoulder. My life is a veil of tears!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Charlemagne of the Flies

About 2 weeks ago, after I tried to meditate while sitting in my car during lunch. I came to-refreshed- with about 10 minutes to spare before I had to go back in, so I drew this. Obviously something I came in contact with in the collective unconscious ....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Waiting Room

A few Saturdays ago, I had to have a tire swapped out in one of the older businesses in the Chesterfield flood plane. I decided to make the most of a half-hour wait and picked on a great old tree in their yard. I used my new set of Faber-Castell "microns" which I now keep in my man-purse er- book bag.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

And More Home of the Brave

Outside of Target, about 2 weeks ago. As a complete package- as a symbol of maximum comfort, a juxtaposition of mass vs. lean, I love the guy on the right.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Micron Brush

I'll have you know, I'm avoiding titles like: Dog gone it; Dog Days; A Dog's Life; etc. I accidentally bought a set of Faber-Castell Markers to fill in for my trusty #8 Micron which I use for lettering. I don't think I'll use these for lettering, but they're fun for the odd sketch now and then. This was done using the "brush" pen .... okay for sketching but seriously lacking the lustre and thick to thin quality of a sable brush, and good ol' Amurrican ink .... made in India.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No, it's not my boss

I've never been a big Hulk fan. I could see after the first 12 issues, in 1961 or so, walking into Stan Lee's office and saying "That's it, I can't think of anywhere else we can take this concept!" But I've always loved the Jack Kirby/Monster way it was drawn in the beginning. It almost reminds me more of a gigantic child, than anything else. I saw an Eric Powell version recently that appealed to me for that reason and attempted a study of it. Lost interest in the inking stage .... Bah! Puny sable brush!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's mean, I know

Bill Griffith used to do it- making perfectly good cartoons from snatches of conversations he overheard. Sometimes I think I'll explode. It's like that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen is stuck in line in front of some piss-ant spouting off about Marshall McLuhan. It's an involuntary response: the eyes roll back into the head on their own.

Monday, September 13, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was mulling over a project I thought I'd come up with, then abandon. A central figure in the foreground would stand against figures battling in the background. Foreground made up of cool colors, background warm. Before I abandoned the idea completely, I hashed out 2 figures wearing made-up armour hacking away at each other, over a lunch hour in my car. It reminds me of armour Gil Kane would've imagined in the '70's.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

X-Mas '06

Our family Christmas card from '06- again I'm exploiting my son for personal glory. As I recall, I hadn't inked in a while and I was nervous about finishing it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

For th' Holidays

Well, if you can't tell, I'm rummaging through my old scans in my picture file on my computer. This is the inked stage of our X-Mas ('07) card I scanned before coloring. I think I had more fun on this card than I did on almost any other. For a day or two I got to pretend I was actually working on an old comic book cover. See if you can spot some of the gaffs I later took out in Photoshop!
Thematically, producing an annual Christmas card got a lot easier after we had a child. As in everything, I either steal my son's ideas, or make him the butt of the joke!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baker Street Muse

Another sketch I scanned in hopes of fleshing out as a digital painting. I drew several sketches of robots looming over cityscapes. This one fizzled as soon as I needed to get serious about the perspective. I'm attracted to the design of the robot though, it's somewhere between Mr. Krabbs of Spongebob fame, and a samurai something.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Practical Headgear

Speaking of headgear, this is very close to the kind of contraption I used to wear at night when I had braces .... but seriously, folks- enclosed are the scanned sketch and digital final from a year or so ago. I was falling into the trap I see a lot with digital painters and that's the tendency to paint foreground figures extremely dark and suggest details with minimal highlights. It works most of the time but I began to feel I was using it as a cheat and quit for a while.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Botley Crew

From a few years ago. I was doing a lot of work on photoshop with a Wacom Tablet. About every good sketch got scanned so that I could work them up as a photoshop painting. I soon dropped that habit and began drawing directly on the Wacom.
This was an idea I had for a pirate crew made up of robots with a saucy female captain. If I dig up that sketch book I'll ink it, as I think it's a better drawing than a painting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Corporate Tree

Corporate tree and hedge sketched over a lunch hour with a ball point pen. A little obsessive, with the over all effect flattening, but the trunk turned out nicely.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


"That which can be smelled upon entering the house." No doubt dreaming of jumping on the furniture or chewing up socks, toilet paper, napkins, aluminum foil, small tin cans, dead squirrels, small pebbles, lint, hair (human and dog), cotton balls, panty hose, Lego's, pencils, pens, and AA batteries.
Started with a pen, but didn't realize that the ink had become too thick to get a decent stroke. I switched to a brush and needed to dip it after every stroke to avoid instant dry-brush. I've since watered the mix down a bit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Missouri Breaks II

Don't know where I was going with this one. It's a follow-up to my whiny diatribe below. Note: the Busch logo was drawn from memory.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Missouri Breaks

I grew up in mid- Missouri. In my formative years, the uniform of the day was jeans, farm hats and down vests. Then I went away. I live in the affluent West County suburb of St. Louis now, a land of mini-vans, s.u.v's, Mini-Coopers, G.A.P.S, Borders, Starbucks, dog-daycare centers, you get the picture. I'm not proud of it, that's just where the natural decay of life led.
So it's usually a jolt when I visit anywhere else in the state and witness the new order of the day. A recent trip to Kansas City allowed for some "wonderful" sketch opportunities while visiting my Mom. I often wonder what it must be like for her who remembers when people wore suits and dresses, tattoos were usually only seen at carnivals and shaved heads usually meant head lice was an issue. A big man was 200 pounds. The above was captured watching the crowd leave the Wizard/Manchester United soccer/football game/match. Oy, the chafing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cyborg Monkey

Another idea I stole from my son. The dog had destroyed a small stuffed monkey that had a sound chip in it .... no great loss. My son was re-building it, claiming it was now a cyborg monkey, taping the sound unit to its outside, etc. turning it into a horrible mockery of what it once was. We drew a cartoon strip of the monkey being rebuilt and just as it was gaining consciousness and dedicating itself to fighting injustice, it gets ripped apart by a dog that's too big for a small suburban house.