Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Changing editors

One of my local editors is leaving for a more lucrative, and probably less stressful job. Good on him. Kevin Clark has been an excellent editor. The kind who knew to get in the way only when it was absolutely necessary. He was the first editor of the St. Johns Sun, and he held out for longer than most would have. He will be missed.

Now let's see what I can do to stress this new guy out.


The Arts are always the first to go

Why is that? Oh well, Gov. Charlie Crist's lovely Amendment One - Property Tax Amendment strikes again! This time in Clay County.

I'm going to assume everyone knows what a clef note is, but I can just imagine my editor fielding 20 phone calls from people wanting to know who this "Clef" guy is. Besides that I like this cartoon. Anytime I can animate an inanimate object (like a paintbrush) and make it talk, I'm in my element.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weekly figure drawings

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting these. It's been a hectic start to this week, but I think I'm weathering it. We'll see how the next few days goes. Weird happenings. Anyway, here's what I came up with over the weekend. We had a model that was pretty heavy. This can, at first, be very challenging; as the structure is a little more difficult to sort out. But it can also be exhilarating, as the weight tends to give the figure more power. I hadn't drawn from such a powerful figure in quite some time (probably graduate school) and I enjoyed it. As usual we started out with gesture, moved into 20 minute studies and finished up with a long, one-hour pose. Notice that for the long (reclining) pose, I did a few skeletal studies. These were done after the drawing was completed, so I could see were I had screwed up the proportions.

I'm also enjoying going back in to Photoshop and adding color to these. She was a great model. I hope we get her again.

Everything should be clickable here to see the larger versions of the drawings. Comments are welcome. I'd love to hear from you guys!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Lasting symbols of this Presidency

I could have added blood to the anvil, but these two are way "cleaner" in their shenanigans than that.

I've got a bunch of drawings to post from yesterday's drawing session. I'll probably upload them later today or first thing tomorrow.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Best yet?

Maybe. I really like the way this one came out. Color, pose, stylization, inking - everything "clicked" in this illustration. Oh yeah, and she's Asian. Nothing wrong with that!


I wanted to post the ink layer with this one to give some idea about how these look before I add color. I'll usually make adjustments to the ink and color at the same time once I pull out the crayons, working back and forth between the layers.

As I said before, I'm more interested in getting the large areas of color right than with doing a lot of blending in these. I'm interested in taking what I'm seeing while drawing the figure from life and using this to better these more graphic representations.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Milkin' the SkyBus debacle

Evidently more than a few local passengers have been left "out in the cold" because of the SkyBus bankruptcy.

Of the two cartoons I've done on this subject, I think I like this idea the best. The analogy of them leaving their terminal stairs out in the middle of the airfield just strikes me as fitting.

Another high gas price cartoon

This one needs little explanation. I think we can all relate.
It's kinda funny how this image came about. One day I might explain it, but not today - it's lunchtime.
I've got one more local cartoon to ink and I'm done for the week. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A local cartoon I can use for my syndicate

Last year SkyBus Airlines hit the St. Augustine Airport with low low fares. They lasted a total of 10 months before high fuel cost drove them into bankruptcy. Now that they've gone belly-up, their brand new facilities are going to be used for hanger space. And they're not the only small airline suffering from these problems, so this cartoon should work for my syndicate.

Spiked - baaaaahhhhhh...

Every once in a while, when the day is just a little too hot, I'll have a local cartoon spiked by an editor. Today was one such day. Luckily, I decided to send in the sketch before I inked it, so in reality, only the rough got spiked. But I loved the idea so much, I wanted to at least post it here. You'll probably have to click on it to read the larger version.


For some background, our local "big six" in govt. - sheriff, school board superintendent, county clerk, election supervisor, property appraiser, and tax collector are up for reelection in the upcoming primaries. Unfortunately, they are so entrenched that no one has the guts (or the money) to run against them. This sentence caught my eye from the story: "...the only issues a challenger could successfully mount, other than an incumbents complete incompetence, would deal with character or scandalous behavior..."

Sweet vs. sexy - new stylized female heads

Here's a couple more quick illustrations I've been working on over the past few days. I wasn't sure if I liked the kind of "paint-by-numbers" effect I employed on the second one, but now that I see it posted, I think it's growing on me. Those big bold areas of color make for a really graphic and captivating image I think. I don't want to do a lot of blending in these. I'd much rather let the patterns of solid color speak for themselves (like a color/hue map of the face and head).

Here's the second one.

I find it interesting that the first one is so sweet, and the second one seems so sexy. Lighting, the facial expression, and the focused glance of the subject can have a huge effect on how the image is perceived, and the mood portrayed.
I'm currently reading a book by UK comic book artist Glenn Fabry, entitled "Muscles in Motion." It's a very short read, but the illustrations and written tips are excellent. This guy spent years (not to mention 2 VCR machines) freeze framing female bodybuilding and playboy stripper tapes, to do over one thousand sketches for his own comic book figurative reference. It's a fascinating study in the female form. I highly recommend it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday sketchin'

We had our weekly sketch class yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. Here's a few of the better drawings I was able to produce. This model is excellent for drawing, as her center of gravity has a lot of weight (think classical Rubenesque style). Anyway, I'm still experimenting with the underlying skeletal form; trying to get the pose and the skeleton to match up. I've also got a couple of leads on buying myself a skeleton. That will allow me to practice during the week, and in my spare time scare the dickens out of my nieces and nephews. Tee hee. Enjoy, and let me hear from you, you big bunch of anonymous blog trollers!

The first four drawings are the 3 minute warm-up gestures. I dropped a background color onto the one that shows both the gesture pose and the corresponding skeleton in the same drawing. These warm-ups are great for easing into the longer poses. You get to limber up, get some charcoal on your hands, and get your mind focused (or out of focus, depending).

Finally, we finished up with a couple of 1/2 hour, and (1) one hour pose. Here's the 1/2 hour poses:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sketch in the round III

This is the third one of these I've done. From an hour long pose with a 5 minute break in between. (She never was able to get back into the same position after the break, thus the slight difference in the height of the head between images 4 & 5) Click on drawing for larger view.
I'll be posting all of my other drawings from Sunday's drawing class late on Monday.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My new mission

Along with getting back into figure drawing, I want to hone my anatomy skills again. When I graduated from college, I had an almost textbook knowledge of the skeleton. I would like to get back there again, and my first goal is to somehow acquire one. All of the medical distributors want upwards of a grand for one, so I'm asking anyone in the medical field or at an art school to let me know if they have a used one available or for sale.

Here's a sketch I did from a photo of the female pelvis.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

buh buh buh, Bennie and the Fed...

Here it is. Notice how I flipped the head I had drawn the previous day to fit the pose? Bernanke was actually pretty fun to draw. That was surprising to me. He's no Greenspan, with those big giant glasses, tiny little pupils, and humongous nose, but fun to draw none the less.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Head studies for a Ben Bernanke toon

I'm working on a new cartoon featuring Ben Bernanke, and since I've never caricatured him before, I thought it might help to do a couple of studies. Here they are. I'll probably post the new cartoon in the morning.



Sunday drawing class

Another successful drawing class this week. I'm really enjoying getting back into drawing again. This week, I'm working more with the structure of the figure, focusing in on the skeleton underneath. Luckily, the model this week had great bone structure, so seeing where the major forms were was not a big problem. If you look carefully, you should be able to see the primary skeletal forms (skull, torso, hips) in most of these drawings. These first four drawings are quick three minute studies, but I was still trying to establish structural form.


The second group of drawings were 20 minute poses, and I worked even more detail into these. The skeleton should be really obvious here.

All-in-all this was a great session. I got many more drawings which I didn't post. I tried to pull out the best. I hope we get this model again, she could really hold a pose, and as I said before, her bone and muscle structure made her a joy to draw.


I've also included another "figure in the round" study, built off of (6) two minute sketches. Here's that one:

As always, you can click on most images for a larger version.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've gotten a ton of mileage off of the State's idiotic decision to impose a property tax amendment. Here's the latest. Gee, I wonder what comes next? Can you say "taxes...?"

How about "wallet reform" or "cash referendum" or "service fee?"

I don't care what you call it, it still stinks.

The enchantment of the "new"

A new High School is opening up here in NE St. Johns County, and it looks like both students AND teachers are going to be flocking there. Nease High will be the main school to have faculty & students siphoned off, so here's my take on that.

I did a lot of local cartoons this week. I need a nap.


Break-ins along St. Johns River properties (docks, boathouses, etc.) have become a real problem recently, so I wanted to suggest one solution. Evidently the Sheriff's Dept. is "handling the situation," but can't divulge their strategy. I know what that means. Hey, the Sheriff in St. Johns County already hates me, so what's one more jab?

No rough for this cartoon. I went straight to paper with the ink this time, and I'm pretty happy with the resulting brushwork. I think I can thank Klaus Janson's book again.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happiness is a warm gun

Bang, bang - shoot, shoot...

From a story this week:

"Planning Director Ed Preston released this week the results of a county-wide recreation study that inventoried area parks and their individual features — water fountains, picnic tables, pavilions and the like — and determined by informal voting what activities Baker County residents would like to see here in the future."

Guess what topped the list? A SHOOTING RANGE!

"Such an endeavor could also encourage companies to relocate in Baker County because a wide range of recreational opportunities would help attract a young, active and healthy workforce."

Monday, April 7, 2008

More stylized female heads

Here's a few more heads, sketched from photos, that I have stylized and colored.

Nothing much new to add about these other than I'm trying to pick interesting positions of the heads like three-quarter views or looking up, down or away. These types of portraits are always more exciting than just a "straight-on" face or a profile.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Woo hoo! Sunday drawing class is back!

I really enjoyed our figure drawing session this morning. We started out again with some short 3 minute gestures. These are fun - great for getting warmed up. Here's the best of that bunch. Notice the line-of-action in the first pose and the controposto. These must be established at the outset for a successful drawing.

We then moved to 20 minute poses. I was pretty happy with these.

I was experimenting with the charcoal pencil in these; trying to mix up the marks and get a variety of values.

I like this second one a lot. The way the model is looking away, and the weight of the figure really give it a solid feel.

I was also able to create a couple more vignettes of poses in the "round." I did one of these a few weeks ago and was happy with the results, so I thought I'd try it again.

Here's (2):

It's pretty obvious to me now that this blog is becoming more about my artwork, and less about cartooning. As it should be. I hope everyone is enjoying the change in subject. Comments welcome!


Saturday, April 5, 2008

More head studies - more practice

More practice on getting the structure of these stylized female heads the way I want them. I was thinking that the one on the right would make a really nifty "Medusa." The hair seems like it would lend itself to snakes, and the open mouth and dark eyes look kinda menacing. We'll see what comes of that. In the meantime, enjoy.

PS - We've got live figure drawing class again tomorrow after a two week hiatus. I'm looking forward to it, and will post the results on Monday.



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Local cartoon worth a chuckle

Here's one about a local art teacher busted for growing pot in his home. Evidently his students LOVE him so much that they were actually discussing having a bake sale or something to raise bail money. LOL

My favorite part of the cartoon is the little diagram showing how to roll a big 'ol spliff.

I haven't uploaded many roughs lately, and this one changed a bit, so I'll post it. I added more kids, some pot plants here and there, changed the name of the class, and put a potter's wheel in the foreground. Here it is: