Saturday, September 27, 2008

A new Samurai/Geisha illustration

I think I've found a character to develop, and people seem to be responding to her. I'm also enjoying developing various scenarios to place her in, and I can utilize my figure drawing skills in the poses. Let me know your thoughts. Enjoy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cows, creatures and creative types

Cows I was looking through one of my many reference sketchbooks for an image, and I came across this cow that I had sketched on a day trip to Mount Vernon a couple of years ago. I think this cow had been there since before George Washington. Anyway, I might be needing a Depressed Bull Market reference soon, so I thought I'd post it.

Creatures While searching for "cows," in one of the "c" sketchbooks, I came across another little drawing that caught my eye. It must have been filed in there under "creature." It's the only explanation I can come up with. I liked it so much, I decided to throw some color into it, and show the build-up to finished rendering. Enjoy, but watch out! This guy might be lurking under your bed!

Creative Types One of the things that fascinates me is how other artists work. There are a bunch of books out on the subject, so this year I decided to treat myself with some downtime reference material. We creative types tend to be isolationists, so when we have the opportunity to see how others set up their studios, get their ideas, and basically create, we're always on the lookout for something they might be doing that we'd never thought of. Here's a few of the books I picked up for myself this year for my Birthday. Tip: you don't have to buy any of these books new. Spend a Saturday in your local used book store, or go to, where you can find most of them for a lot less.

Last syndicate toon of the week

I was up last night watching USC get spanked, so I didn't have time to post this until this morning. I like the way this one turned out. Such a simple idea, that incorporates many of the things that are going on right now. I couldn't pass it up. Anyway, we've got drawing class on Sunday, so look for some fresh work on Monday. Today's my birthday, and I'm gonna celebrate this evening with family and friends. Happy weekend to you!



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A local that worked Nationally

Here's a cartoon I did for one of my local papers this week, and, (luckily) it also works as a national syndicate cartoon. I like the simplicity of this cartoon, and there is something in it that reminds me of my Dad. He was in banking for 40 years, and growing up as a banker's son, I know that the mess we're in right now, ain't all that complicated. Too much borrowing on credit, and spending more than you have is ALWAYS a bad thing. Before he died this year, he told me that there was some bad stuff coming down the pike. Turns out he was right. One other thing he warned me about was our debt with China. Just wait until THIS bill comes due. *sigh*

Another local toon - waaaaah!

Here's my beaches area cartoon. This Charter Amendment/vote/debate/fiasco has been going on for a few months now, and it just will not go away. Seems the commissioners think that the voters were too ignorant the first time they voted on it, and are pushing (at the expense of us taxpayers BTW) to have it put back on the ballot again in the fall. When someone mentioned this week that they wanted a "do-over," it just seemed too school yard for me to let it go. They aren't getting their way, and their response is bordering on embarrassing.

Lots of local stuff today

I've done three local cartoons today, so I'm gonna post them all. The first one is in the previous post, and I've already blogged on it. Here's the second one.

This is an issue that has been around since I lived in NW St. Johns County. Back then, we really didn't mind having our address listed as Jacksonville. Since that time, a contingent of locals have gotten together, and pushed to make St. Johns the approved designation of the area. The problem with this is that St. Johns is also the name of the county, AND the name of the river that runs along side it. On top of that, there is an area within this area called Fruit Cove, and another area known as Switzerland. It's been very confusing to say the least. Anyway, the black hole comparison seemed appropriate.

Just what we need...

National Guard troops, and hunters with overlapping schedules at our local military training facility. BTW, Camp Blanding is where they filmed part of the movie GI Jane, with Demi Moore (just a bit of otherwise useless NE Florida movie trivia).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A quickie Spidey

I found this pose in a magazine, and I knew I wanted to do something with it. As I was drawing the sketch, I realized that it would make a great Spiderman, so I modified it to fit the swingin' web-slinger. I've included the original sketch so you can see the changes I made in the final drawing. The biggest thing was to enlarge the hand in front to push the fore-shortening. These quick renderings are a nice break from the daily editorial cartoons I have to do, and they really help to keep my line work on the Wacom tablet sharp. It's great practice, and every once in a while I come up with something decent. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday's Drawings

I'm a little late getting these posted today. The Washington Post needed something quickly, and I don't make the Washington Post wait. Anyway, here are my sketches from Sunday; starting with some gesture drawings and finishing up with some longer poses. I'm experimenting now with my point of view when drawing these. I stood on a stool (over the model - looking down) to draw this time. I wanted to get a dramatic/dynamic perspective, so I went with the bird's-eye view. I think that this first gesture drawing is the best drawing I did all day. It captured the model's personality and vitality.

I also like this last reclining pose. I tried to funnel the viewer's eye upwards and through the picture plane, in a kind of inverted triangle. I was also able to capture the mood and lighting effects in the room with my value range.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today's syndicate cartoon

Last cartoon of the week. There was a short piece in USA Today (today) about how the Kremlin wants to outlaw the decadent Western practice of celebrating St. Valentines Day and Halloween. Putin's Nationalistic stance is surely behind this, so this image just kind of hopped into my head.
We've got drawing class on Sunday, so I'll have some figure drawings to post on Monday. Happy weekend!


Tell me again why we want to be President?

My syndicate cartoon from yesterday. Forgot to post it - better late than never.

Lots to report

We drove down to Melbourne last night for the opening of The Brevard Museum of Art show entitled: Opinions - Political Cartoons (my program got a little crumpled - sorry). Anyway, four participating cartoonists, including myself, mingled for a while among the hoards of our loving fans, and afterwards we had dinner with one of my best friends in the business Jeff Parker.

Here he is clowning around in front of one of his cartoons.

Cartoonists in attendance were Jeff, myself, Dana Summers, and Doug Mac Gregor. Here's a group shot (red-eyed devils one and all!). And here's a shot of the lug head in front of his cartoons.

Jeff did a hell of a job putting this together, and from the turnout it looks like it's going to be a pretty successful show.

Also, on the ride home, I got an email informing me that I'd won a Florida Press Club award this year. They combined circulation Classes C & D, which put me in competition with larger papers, so that's kinda cool.

Also, today, I found out that one of my illustrations is going to be displayed on Berlin's subway system, 40 times a day on 4000 video screens. That makes for A LOT of sets of eyes seeing my work in Germany. And As I like to say, "Germans Love David Hasselhoff, but they REALLY love Ed Hall!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A 26 year old movie reference? Sure, why not?

I think it speaks to the genius of Spielberg that this image is stuck in the lexicon of our society (and thus can still work as a cartoon reference). That little girl still freaks me out.
This is the second cartoon I've done on this Charter Amendment. It just will not die. County Commissioners are going to try to get it back on the ballot, figuring that the general public was too stupid the first time it was voted down. I hope the thing goes down in flames. I just wish they hadn't wasted our money forcing it down our throats...again.
TIP: For the figures on the screen, I used the old graphic design trick of flipping a print out over (xeroxes work best) and saturating the back with a design marker. Then you use a burnisher to transfer the image onto your paper. It works pretty well, and gives you a quick and dirty effect, which is what I wanted for a blurry image on a TV screen. Just make sure that the image you are transferring is flipped in Photoshop (esp. if there is text) otherwise your words will read backwards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another local toon

There's a new town coming out of the ground here in NE Florida. No, seriously, they're building a new town called Nocatee in Western St. Johns County, and this thing is a monster. It has a brand new freeway running through it, tons of new homes, tons of new commercial real estate. At a time when building has slowed across the country this community seems to be bullet proof so far.

During the planning phase, developers promised not to build along the Intracoastal waterway, which runs through the eastern part of the town. Well, since then, they've had a change of heart. That puts the scenic views of everyone currently living along the eastern bank at risk. Hence, this cartoon. I LOVE this idea for it's sheer simplicity, and subtlety.

Gallery Opening Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2008

Opinions: Political Cartoons Opens at Brevard Art Museum

MELBOURNE, FL - On Thursday, September 18 the Brevard Art Museum celebrates the opening reception of Opinions: Political Cartoons from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
During the exhibition planning process, the Museum sought assistance from the local paper the Gannett publication FLORIDA TODAY and contacted their resident editorial cartoonist Jeff Parker. Through his national associations, he was able to entice a number of his colleagues to participate in this unique exhibition. Drawing from cartoonists nationwide, Opinions: Political Cartoons, exhibits timely commentary surrounding the hot topics of this election and past elections. The detailed drawings use humor and line to comment on the political issues of contemporary society.
Contributors to the exhibition include the following: (P indicates Pulitzer Prize winner)
Don Adams; Rex Babin, The Sacramento Bee; Jeff Bacon, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times; Gary Brookins, Richmond Times-Dispatch; John Cole, Scranton, PA, The Times-Tribune; Paul Fell, Artizans Syndicate; Ed Gamble, Jacksonville, Florida Times-Union; Ed Hall, Artizans Syndicate; Tim Jackson, Chicago Defender; Shane Johnson,; Mike Keefe, The Denver Post; Steve Kelley, New Orleans, The Times-Picayune; Jeff Koterba, The Omaha World Herald; Doug MacGregor, Ft. Myers, FL, The News-Press; Jimmy Margulies, NJ, The Record; Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle; James Michaels; Deb Milbrath, Freelance; Jim Morin, The Miami Herald (P); Mike Lester, Rome,GA, News-Tribune; Pat Oliphant, (P), Tamarind Institute; Jeff Parker, FLORIDA TODAY; Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News (P); Joel Pett, Lexington, KY, Herald-Leader (P); Ted Rall, Universal Press Syndicate; Dana Summers, The Orlando Sentinel; Ann Telnaes, New York Times Syndicate (P); John Trever, The Albuquerque Journal; Gary Varvel, The Indianapolis Star; Matt Wuerker, The Politico; and Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News.
Doug MacGregor, editorial cartoonist for the Gannett-owned The News-Press of Fort Myers, will present a free Cartoon Lecture, September 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Museum’s Harris Auditorium. MacGregor will also host a Cartooning Clinic, September 20, from 11 a.m. to noon for ages 8 and older for $35, or $30 with Museum member discount.
Admission to the exhibition opening is free to the public. Expected artists at the opening reception are Jeff Parker, Ed Hall with the Artizans Syndicate (Jacksonville), Doug MacGregor, and Dana Summers with The Orlando Sentinel.

The reception is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Museum at (321) 242-0737 or visit

About the Brevard Art Museum
The Brevard Art Museum is a non-profit organization supported in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; Brevard County through the Brevard Cultural Alliance; the Brevard County Tourist Development Council; and by members of the Brevard Art Museum.
Visitor Information
Location: 1463 Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie District of Melbourne.
(321) 242-0737
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m., and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., sponsored by Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service.
Admission: Adults $5; seniors $3; children and students with I.D. $2. Free for Museum members. Free admission on Thursday. Special rates and tours are available for groups of 8 or more, and can be scheduled by calling Tina at 242-0737 at least two weeks in advance.

A quick local...

My super-secret, new software program is allowing me a lot more flexibility, and improved speed in rendering these now. I've actually increased my proficiency 3 fold, because I can work more intuitively, directly, in color, on the Wacom tablet. I love it!
These do have a different look to them; more spontaneous, more quickly done, more sketchy. And I'm not quite sure how much I like this new look yet. But it helps to be quick on days like today, when I know I have to do (4) cartoons.
Oh, BTW, this story has to do with those Bandit Signs that you see littering the right-of-way; which puts them on city property, which makes them illegal. They're an eyesore, and a menace, and our local Code Enforcement Board is trying to clean them up. But, like Kudzu, the minute they pull them, more seem to sprout up!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday sketches

Our Model was changed for Sunday. We were supposed to get our favorite to draw, but she had a conflict. That was OK though, because the more I draw this guy, the more I'm enjoying studying the different structure of the male anatomy. This guy can really hold a pose too - very dynamic. I guess it helps to be young and in shape (unlike myself). Anyway, before any of my prudish friends start gasping, and covering their eyes, let me just say - shut the hell up, grow up, and look at life. That'll be my pre-emptive rant of the day!

I'll put the "keeper" of the day at the top of the page, followed by some gesture studies, a couple more 25 minute sketches, and the final long reclining pose. Oh yeah, and I can't forget my daily skeleton warm-up!

I've left the drawing board in these photos, so you can get a sense of scale (the drawings are pretty big).

I suggested he lay on his side this time for the long pose, and that the light be adjusted for a more harsh contrast.
You can really see the structure and the cast shadows. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Manga image

It's been a while since I posted one of these, and since I've recently had some luck getting my illustrations published in Europe (more on that later), I'm gonna start this series up again. It takes about a full day to come up with the idea, the pose, the composition, ink it, and then finish it in color.

In this image we have a really pissed off Geisha enacting revenge on some unsuspecting customer. I was going to put the guy's head in the lower right corner (and I still may), nonchalantly sipping tea; not knowing what's about to come. Dang, now that I've written that, it sounds pretty cool. I might just do it.
Anyway, we've got our Sunday sketch class tomorrow with my favorite model, so look for some figure drawings on Monday morning!
Cheers, -E

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Last cartoon of the week

It's an oddity when my last cartoon of the week is a local, but this week, because of emailing snafus it just worked out that way. Thank goodness my editors extended deadline until this morning. Anyway, here it is. You can see the rough sketch if you scroll down to yesterday's post. I added some more characters in the background to give the main public character more of a back drop, but other than that nothing really changed. And, surprisingly, my editors liked BOTH of them. That's also an oddity. Happy weekend.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sister Palin

My wife doesn't like it when I go after Sarah Palin; which makes me think that maybe I'm onto something. I wasn't as taken by the hottie factor or the tough babe act as I think some of my colleagues were. Some have opined that her past should be off limits. I don't think so. She doesn't really impress me that much. Other than her ability to spout inane, out-dated Republican rhetoric (spoken here in tongues), I can't find much to like about her, and after I read an article detailing how her Pentecostal upbringing has shaped the kind of woman she is, I could find even less. So I'm gonna keep going after her until I'm ushered out to the dog house.

Until then, Sneegle dorp do do dee*

*Have a nice day

Storm Debris

Here's hoping that they can keep up the next time we've got consecutive tropical storms hitting our area. I was beginning to wonder if I'd be staring at a pile of twigs through Christmas.
The rough is below. It didn't change much from the original sketch. I used an old comic book inset technique for the middle dialogue break . I like to utilize this device from time to time.

While I'm waiting - roughs...

Wednesday is my busy day. I usually have 2-4 deadlines for local papers. That means sometimes waiting on 2-4 responses about emailed roughs from editors. If they take too long, I find myself rushing at the end of the day to get all of the inking in, and that can REALLY suck. Anyway, while I'm waiting, I figured I'd go ahead and post the roughs on the blog. That way, if they're rejected or "edited" you can see where they liked them, and where they didn't.

This first rough sketch deals with a proposed Charter Amendment for St. Johns County that has already been voted down once. Well, it turns out that the County Commissioners (not all, but some) believe that their constituents are too dumb to read and understand the bill. What they really want is for this thing to pass. We'll get into reasons for that in a later post, but you can imagine why.

This second rough is about something I've experienced first hand. Debris from hurricane Fay piled up on our street, and was not picked up until AFTER hurricane Gustav blew by. This idea had been in my head since last week, and after reading some letters to the editor complaining about it, I decided to act. I think it's the better of the two roughs.
I like the layout and the wording flows better.
Now we'll see how they stand up to my editor's scrutiny. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nepotism 101

There are few things that I hate more than nepotism. Especially in this case. Seems that the Baker County School Board is getting first dibs on placing their kids with the best teachers in the district, while the people who pay their salaries (i.e., taxpayers) are left literally standing in the cold, in line, waiting to get the scraps. It sucks. Someone mentioned that this made for a less than level playing field, and I tried that idea in a sketch that I didn't like. I'll post that one so you can see what an axed idea looks like.

I did like the idea that a School Board Employee wouldn't know that Nepotism was a real word, but it wasn't enough to sell me on the idea. I ended up going with a basketball metaphor, just because I didn't want to do the obvious, and I thought the football field one was too wordy and busy.

And yes Clay, I have been feeling a little snarky lately.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Aiding and Abetting

I got this cartoon idea today while driving my car. For some reason, driving will occasionally cause ideas to just pop into my head. I don't know if it's because I'm distracted or what, but it works. Anyway, I was listening to Terry Gross interviewing Thomas Friedman about his new book, and the idea came like a lightning bolt. She asked him point blank if he believed that America's over-dependence on oil has actually funded terrorism, and he say emphatically - yes. Actually, he said, "are you kidding?!" He was also mocking the recent Republican Convention "chant." Here's the result.
I think my Sarah Palin is about worked out now. She turned out to be pretty easy. To draw.
Rant Alert!
While I'm on the subject, if one more person asks me to draw Sarah Palin as a pit bull with lipstick, I think I'm gonna scream. And, more importantly, if I see one more cartoonist draw said obvious cartoon reference again, I think I'm gonna puke. Shouldn't you (as a professional), even for a second, stop to think "hey, I wonder if someone else might be doing this? Or even ask yourself, "I wonder if I should go and SEE if someone else has done this before I re-invent the wheel?" Please. Stop. I'm begging you. I can't take it anymore.
Rant over.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Figure Drawing Class

Well, another Sunday, another drawing class in the bag. I'm pretty much back to where I was drawing the figure in 2002. It's not like me to take such a long hiatus away from it, but it has been fun getting back to it again. We had a model today who can really strike some dynamic poses. I enjoy drawing her because of the fluidity of motion in her stances. The line of action is also very distinct, and the energy is obvious. For my skeleton study, I decided to go back into the drawing in Photoshop and "punch up" the value contrasts. I also left sepia color in some of the photos because I thought it looked cool (one of those beautiful mistakes that sometimes happen). Here's a few gestures, some 25 minute poses, and a longer reclining. I'm posting my favorite of the day at the top this time. I sat on the floor for this drawing so as to emphasize a dramatic worm's eye view of the figure. Enjoy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Final syndicate cartoon of the week

While watching the Republican nominee speeches, I couldn't help but think that McCain's age and experience offsets Palin's lack of, and that Palin's youth and beauty offsets McCain's lack of. Here's what I came up with. I'm still working on my Palin caricature, but it's getting a little easier the more I draw her. McCain's caricature has become pretty much second nature now. After a rough start drawing him, I can pretty much create a silly likeness without any reference.
Happy weekend!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin Caricature Development

One of the ways that I work up a caricature is to first try to capture the person in portrait form. This is more of a straight drawing style, until I start to understand the various technicalities of the face & which features I can exaggerate. So far, with Sarah Palin, those features seem to be her hair, her glasses, and her eyes. She's quite an attractive woman, and her inner strength also shows in her face. I was drawing her last night as she gave her speech, and I liked the second sketch so much, I decided to work up a more finished portrait in Photoshop (see below).
I've posted the entire process from the initial rough sketches, to inking, and on to the final application of color, so you can see how I worked it out. She'd be fun to draw for four years, and make up for that bland, old, white-guy she's currently propping up in the polls. Enjoy.

Oh, one more thing...she may have Ronald Reagan sensibilities, but she's also got George Bush ears.