Monday, March 31, 2008

More Monday sketching

Here's a few more stylized female heads for future illustrations. The one at the bottom right was the sketch I used for the previous "Kiss That Frog" promo (see below).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another illustration

Here's another illustration I finished over the weekend for my portfolio. I'm starting to combine different layers and techniques in Photoshop now. For the landscape details, I'm manipulating photos and turning certain elements into graphic representations (like in the water) kinda learning as I go along.
You might also notice how I set up the composition so that all the elements point towards where I wanted the emphasis (the moon and kiss). I'm pretty happy with this one.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Manga heads

Didn't get these posted yesterday, so here they are. The one in the center at top is a traditional (imagined) Manga head. The others are taken from "real" heads. A friend of mine told me that Manga is still VERY hot among attendees at Comicon. My goal is to create a version that is not so much Manga as a cross between traditional drawing styles and Manga. Hope I'm succeeding.
I used a large dot-screen pattern that I created in Photoshop, on the one I painted this time. Now that I see it online in a smaller format, I think that it gives the head more weight.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More head studies

Here's a few more heads in the stylized form that I'm developing for my illustrations.

Again, not quite Manga, but definitely some Manga influence. Looking at these now, I'm thinking they might be nice for animation.

Look for a few more later today.

Local cartoon generates some "buzz"

I received a complimentary email on this one over the weekend.
Seems that public art (and what it's gonna represent) is once again in the news out at the beach. A "taste panel" of four has been thrown together to decide what would be appropriate as a sculpture for the roundabout at the end of Atlantic Blvd. I combined two different stories in this cartoon, as Starbucks is currently building a second store in this same location.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday figure and head studies

What a way to spend a Monday. Since one of my syndicates folded last month, I've found myself with a little more time on my hands. And since figure drawing class was cancelled for the Easter Holiday, I thought I'd spend some time drawing, studying and stylizing a few more figures for future renderings. Here they are in no particular order.

These are really quick little studies. I've chosen a few to go back into with color, but that's mainly just to set a color scheme for a later illustration. I'm enjoying getting back into drawing the figure. I had no idea how much I missed it. 3 years is long enough to go without study of anatomy and figurative elements.

I'll probably use at least one of these in another drawing. I find that using the technique of breaking down the figure into (8) heads high helps to sketch these out quicker.

I've also been experimenting with inked lines and line weight in Photoshop. At first I found it very difficult to get a tapered line with a digital pen, but with practice, it seems to be getting easier now. I've ordered a new pen from Wacom. It's called the Wacom 6D. Evidently it mimics the feel of a real brush and/or marker. We'll see.

I also did a few "Mangaesque" head studies yesterday. I didn't want to go TOO far towards the Manga style, so I backed off a little with the one I colored and made it look a little more realistic.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New syndicate cartoon

Last week George Bush's approval rating took yet another dip.
Originally I was thinking of doing something showing Bush "buried," but I came up with this at the last minute and went with it instead.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More comic book type hero stuff

I did "Cat Girl" a couple of days ago, now here's "Space Cowgirl." This one is kind of a work in progress. Still not sure if I'm happy with it yet. Oh well...back to the Wacom tablet!
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One more for today...


Sweet Talker

I'm still waiting for Obama to say something of significance. Oh sure, he says he'll pull the troops out of Iraq by 2009, but HOW? And sure, he says he wants to bring Democrats and Republicans together during his presidency, but again, HOW? It just seems there's an awful lot of "how?" with this guy. He "sounds" great though. I think the worst reason to elect someone is solely because he's not Bush, he's the anti-Bush, or for his/her flowery rhetoric. There's gotta be some substance there.

At least Hillary is attempting to discuss the issues, and "how" she might go about reforming health care and deal with the war in Iraq.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another Manga-esque figure

These are becoming a little more "themed" now. I usually come up with some idea as I'm working up the original sketch. This time it was my take on the "Cat Woman." These are just fun, and, good practice for working in Photoshop. I'm also reading Klaus Janson's excellent book on comic book inking, and I think that might be having an effect. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday figure drawing class

We found a really cool figure drawing class that's being held each Sunday at a local Community College. I've been away from it for quite a while, but it didn't take long to shake off the cobwebs. They had a great model today with lots of weight in the hips (makes for more powerful drawings BTW), and I think I came up with a few decent drawings. Here they are (Click on any image for a larger view):

We started with some 3-minute poses for gesture:

Then we moved on to some 30 minute poses...

Finally, we finished up with an hour long pose. I decided to sketch the figure from all different sides and then put together this vignette in Photoshop to see the progression. All in all a very productive session for me to get back into figure drawing. We plan to start going regularly. I suggest studying the figure for anyone interested in becoming a successful cartoonist.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A new manga gal

I like the way this one came out. I stylized the head and hair a little more than I have been, and worked on the pose to get it just right.

Figure drawing class is tomorrow, and I'm totally stoked! I'll try to post some of those sketches on Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Syndicate toon

Here's one for my syndicate that's been sitting in my sketchbook for about a month. As a matter of fact, I actually worked straight from that sketch. I seem to be doing more of that here lately. The original sketches seem to have more spontaneity than when I ink them very carefully on the drawing board and then add color.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another image driven local cartoon

We've got a bear vs. development problem here in NE Florida. Environmentalists are not at all happy with plans for a new 2,800 acre planned community here in Clay County. It will have a definite impact on the "ecological greenway" set aside for black bear habitat.

Well, waddaya know?

The LA Times picked up one of my cartoons this morning. I wasn't expecting to get much "mileage" out of this one but, hey, I ain't complainin'!

I like this cartoon a lot - no words - image driven.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Manga. More sexy.

I'm continuing this series of manga figures in hopes of getting a few noticed for illustration jobs, and also to retool my figure drawing skills. I'll also be participating in a life drawing class this weekend. I'll post the results of that as well. It's going to be interesting going back to figure drawing class again. We had been on hiatus from it for the past few years while our house was being added onto. And with a couple of my editorial cartooning outlets folding over the last few weeks, I find myself searching for more illustration work now. Hopefully my background in figure drawing will benefit this and someone will have need of my services.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Final syndicate cartoon of the week

I got a kick out of the forced smile on John McCain's face when he accepted the endorsement of Bush. It looked like he was chewing on a turd.

Enjoy, and Happy Weekend.


Finished illustration and video

Here's how it turned out. The accompanying video is below. Let me know what you think. I know you're out there!


More video

These are getting a little better now. I've got the audio kinks worked out. Let me know if you're enjoying these or if I should STOP! I've always found it interesting to watch other people work.

More video of me at work

Looks like I've got the sound recording problems worked out. I'm learning this video capture program on the fly, so bear with me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sumthin' new

It's come to my attention that some people would like to see me work. Well, thanks to a nifty little program I just downloaded, you can do just that!

Now I know for some of you this will be like watching paint dry, but maybe enough are interested to make the uploads worth it. I'd love to get your feedback on these.
Here's the first one - Enjoy.

Augusta Savage

I can remember my High School art teacher talking about this woman and the impact she had on NE Florida art. Augusta Savage was creating beautiful sculptures, and making a name for herself at a time when women (much less black women) were not recognized as "serious" artists.

Her story is truly an inspirational one, and she is being honored this weekend as one of Clay County's own. Here's my tribute. Enjoy.

Sunshine Week cartoon

It's a little early this year, but my Government in the Sunshine cartoon posts this week. The actual "week" starts with Sunshine Sunday on March 16th and goes thru the 23rd. I think I've submitted something for this for the past 5 years. Here's a link to all of the 2008 cartoon submissions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More Manga

The eyes on this girl are a little larger and more stylized than on the last one. These are pretty fun to do. Good practice.

Revisiting Manga

Coming from a fine arts background, I never had much use for the techniques involved in creating Manga illustrations. The "cuteness" of the wide-eyed girls and the stylization never appealed to me. And I can't tell you how many times I've had kids come up to my book signing tables and ask for a Manga drawing. I've just never had any interest it. But this past weekend (on a whim) I bought a book on the fundamentals and history of the style, and now I think I am beginning to appreciate it a bit more. I did the following rendering based on the Manga structure (the figure is broken up into 8 distinguishable sections) and I think it came out pretty good. It's also a great way to stay sharp on your figure drawing skills without drawing directly from the figure, although I can't wait to employ these techniques while looking at a live model. I can see how the techniques would lend themselves to comic book art especially, but it never hurts to strengthen your knowledge of the human body and it's proportions. If you click on the image you can see how I first built the structure on a kind of "wire frame" construction, and then after scanning that into Photoshop did my heavy ink lines on a separate layer. The final step I just colored the skin hair and fabric on yet another top layer.