Saturday, April 30, 2011

Not Quite Ingres, but ...

I felt I was finally coming out of a little slump with this nonsense. I like it, but if you showed it to me out of the blue, I'd never recognize it as my own. Sure, it has an 18th century nautical hat, but it also has some sensitive shading, areas of detail, and a large shape enclosed by a gentle contour line. It kind of looks like a composite of Harrison Ford and Patrick Stewart.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Extra Special Bitter

The most beloved dog in Hatcheckleicestershire, England, Shilling "Lord Boddington", so nicknamed for the 3 cans of Boddington's he drinks every night before licking his pendulous testicles in front of the vicars residence. I'd continue, but I've run out of English-isms.
No. 2 pencil sketch that started out portraying a human but wound up going to the dog s. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Version

An advantage of self-portraiture is not caring what the end result looks like, not that I've ever really paid attention to results. About 10 years ago, I painted a self-portrait I was happy with, although I gave myself the jowls and throat of a bullfrog. My wife was none too pleased with it. Later that year, it was accepted in a show at a gallery downtown, which caused me to feel a little smug since my wife was so dismissive of it originally. It was a hollow victory, it turns out. At the opening of the show, a large number of people recognized me from my grotesque self-portrait.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Confessions of an Ink Addict

Pushing myself to use the pencil these days, trying to lay aside some inking instincts and re-learn what a pencil can do.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pen Cleaning

Doodling with pen and ink until I stopped and decided to map out things with a pencil, at which point it was abandoned all together. Something interesting was coming on television, do doubt.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Breaking Loose

Drawing robots is a good exercise when one is in a sketching rut. Anatomy is not really an issue, however making an image that is interesting is an issue. Note the hatching on the "head" of the robot (patterned after R2D2, naturally), this happens when the artist is obsessed with approaching projects in terms of comics. The instincts become honed (and limited) to translating an image for reproduction with a pen or brush and ink. It's something which those of us raised in the last century tend to cling. A pencil is capable of fairly subtle shading, yet I choose to ride up on its point and treat it like a crow quill nib. Bizarre.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Another one of the heir doing his homework. As you can tell, I'm captivated by his thick, unruly hair. I hope he keeps it, but if he doesn't, I hope I live long enough to see it so that I can laugh like the Jamaican guy in those 7-UP commercials. I've also recorded the goofy way he holds a pencil accurately.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

n'est pas une pipe

Me, trying to come up with a suitable picture to accompany an "about the author" blurb. It's difficult, you know, to project the right image. Sophisticated yet ridiculous, brilliant yet not-too-bright. I don't smoke, but damned if I don't look pretty comfortable and sporty a pipe!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Heir's Profile

A week or so ago, keeping myself off-balance with a 2b pencil. Now that I look at it from a distance, I'd have paid a little more attention to the heavy-handed shadowing on the hair. The even band of dark is not doing the composition any favors. And while I'm whining, some of my preliminary search lines give the suggestion that his neck is pretty thick. My son'll look at this when he's older and wonder what kind of bruiser he was. If his hair thins out like his old man, he'll weep at his helmet of hair. I'm happy enough with the rest of it though.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


2 kids, well, my impression of them anyway, playing in a parking lot on one of the first warm weekends of the year. The week before brought 6 inches of snow. I'm trying to place more dark areas in these blue pencil drawings. Hmmm, maybe I should switch back to black Prismacolor for a while.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nose-Blowing, Continued

After a slow month, I'm still trying to warm up the old drawing chops. Who knows where the upper image comes from .... I no doubt glanced at a Jack Kirby page laying open and felt inspired. Mimicking his use of wonderfully pointless costumes with repeating geometric patterns. A lesson in frustration. Using blue pencil again as a sort of safety net. Only agressive lines tend to get picked up, making it easier to miss the timid searching lines and aggressive lines appear to be more competent.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Well, to be honest, most sketchbook pages look like this. A sketchbook is, after all, a place to work out the kinks, collect false starts, etc. As I've said earlier, I've been working a lot of hours recently and haven't been drawing as much as usual. When I do get the odd chance to draw, what comes out is usually a lot of timid hunting and pecking for the right line, lots of false starts. It's nose-blowing is what it is; a removal of all the bad mucous that's festering in the old creative sinuses. This is not a very appetizing analogy. Onward!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Last Time I Saw Brazil

The same morning as below, waiting for my son to come out of Kumon. I noticed a squat street-cleaner snap into the parking lot, looking like it was designed by Terry Gilliam. Out jumps a guy in a jump suit who begins to scuttle about the lot picking up small branches with an extendo-grabber-thingy, like his life depended on it. If I ever needed an open space cleaned, this is the man to get it done. It snowed about 6 inches later that day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


About 2 weekends ago, watching my son and others suffer through a Saturday Kumon session. I was trying to channel Topolski in a half-hearted way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nice Crop Job

2 weeks or so ago, blowing the cobwebs off of my ink pen, sketching what was in my immediate view at breakfast. I've not been able to draw on a regular basis lately, and I'm feeling sluggish getting back into the swing of things.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mistah Kurtz, he dead.

A recent gorgeous Saturday spent inside a strip mall store at a Pokemon Tournement. Depicted is a Totodile hat, I have on good authority. The key is making a friend of horror .....