Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Sketch Samurai/Geisha

We had our weekly figure sketch class today, and I got a couple of good drawings from it. Here's the first gesture which I turned into a new Samurai/Geisha comic illustration. I'll post both so that you can see how I translated it. I really like the shape of the cast shadow in this one.

I've got a few more drawings to post tomorrow. I'll probably work back into those as well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One more for the road...

Well, tomorrow it's over the river and down I-95 to Grandmother's timeshare we go. That's right I'm spending Thanksgiving in the Florida city that I loathe the most - Orlando. If it we're for my niece and brand new little nephew being down there, I'd probably have to be dragged behind the car. At any rate, I'm going - under protest.

As for the final cartoon for the Newspaper that just suspended me, I wanted to be able to show them that not all local cartoons have to be controversial. And, since the County did such an exceptional job this year of organizing and supplying the County food drive, this cartoon seemed fitting. Enjoy. And congrats to the employees who gave up their time to make this Thanksgiving a little brighter for so many.

Another syndicate cartoon, and Woo Hoo! another follower

So I was watching the other day as convicted felon/Senator Ted Stevens gave his farewell speech and I was taken aback when at the end he was given a standing-o. This cartoon just popped into my head.

On a much more positive note, I've got another follower of my blog! I think that's so cool. So all of you who are just "peeking in" from time to time - take note. It only takes a second to sign up at the bottom of this page, and then you'll know each time I post something new. Looking forward to seeing more of those follower links in the coming months.

Cheers, and Have a Happy Tryptophan Induced Turkey Coma!


Tough times in toonville

I found out first hand this week that the last thing you want to do in a jittery economy is rock the boat with a controversial cartoon. My freelance work for one of my local papers has been "temporarily suspended" due to a controversy over this cartoon. The superintendent of schools has said that it is an "untrue picture of our district." What I suspect is that I've actually hit a nerve with this cartoon; which is usually the case when one causes such a stir. If there's even a tiny element of truth in an image, people will get pissed off. I say, good on me. I'm doing my job. I'm creating a dialogue where one might not have existed otherwise. It opens things up and allows both sides to voice their opinions. And that's all the cartoon is - an opinion. My opinion. As I've said before, I'm tired of running into teachers in Office Depot who are spending their own money to buy supplies for their students. It's shameful. Teachers and students deserve better, and I'm not going to back down from this fight.
So anyway, that's where it stands now - temporarily suspended - for doing my job. I have to say that my editor is actually taking most of the heat on this, and for that I am sorry. She is an old school journalist who knows what a quality editorial cartoon can and should do. She's not afraid, she took a chance on this cartoon, and I appreciate and admire that.
Two days prior to this controversy, I found out that due to budget cutbacks, another editor at a different paper was let go - and with him - me. Ouch. Two in one week. So I'm looking for work again. Any small local weeklies interested in picking up local content, and not afraid of a little controversy should contact me at the email above and we can discuss how I work. In the meantime, all you local guys should now be keeping your heads down. The budget axe just became a scalpel.
Gobble, gobble,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Batman from a gesture

I was a little bored on Sunday because I had to miss my drawing class, so I decided to work from some of the drawings I already had in my portfolio. I took one of my old gesture drawings, and transformed it into another comic Batman illustration. This time we see the Dark Knight in the Park with some of his buds. I like the idea of a skinny, ripped Batman option. We always see him so buff, and I've already drawn him obese. This time I wanted to pick a drawing that showed him as just moderately strong - maybe the Metro-sexual Batman?

Here's the gesture:

And here's the finished illustration. You can click on it for a larger version.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another cartoon

It looks like I'll just be posting cartoons the rest of the week. Everything got kind of crammed into the last two days. Anyway, here's a cartoon about the little fishing village of Mayport Florida. Just about the time they got used to the idea that they'd have to share space with giant cruise ships, the Navy announces that the Naval Base here is getting a nuclear (or from the Bush derivative: nookuler) aircraft carrier! That means dredging, more docks, more boat traffic, etc. You get the picture. Here's the cartoon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Editorial Cartoons

I'm gonna post a bunch of cartoons here in a batch. Seeing as I haven't posted any in a couple of days, it's about time.

This first one is about those little fake tiny rose vases that are sold in most popular convenience stores. Let's just call them what they are - crack pipes. They are sold under the auspices of "decorative flower containers," but they are crack pipes. A guy in Macclenny was actually caught selling a "crack kit" which consisted of this flower vase, a small steel wool (that's the filter) and a lighter. The kit costs 5 bucks, and the guy said he was selling them because everyone else was. The tip off for "sell me a crack kit" was a rolled up five dollar bill, for which the store clerk would hand the customer a neat little brown bag with all the contents inside.

This second cartoon was done for my syndicate, and I got this idea after watching the congress grill the big 3 automakers. It speaks for itself.

Finally, I'm getting a little tired of listening to over-paid school board administrators tell how if they "don't get some help soon" they're going to have to eliminate a school day. Uh huh. Maybe they should take a hint from some of these fat cat bankers and insurance executives and give up their bonuses for a year. Let some of that cash trickle back into the school budget. Right, like that's gonna happen. Is it Monday? Feels like a Monday - I'm a little more snarky than usual.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Samurai/Geisha from a rescued gesture

Here's another Samurai-Geisha that I rescued from my portfolio of gesture drawings. I was really drawn to this pose from the beginning, and I knew I wanted to do something with it. It sat around on my desk for a few weeks before the idea finally hit me (Sorry, no video for this one - I inked it in Photoshop). Anyway, since I didn't ink this one on paper, I figured I'd at least post the gesture drawing it came from.

Here's that sketch:

And here's the illustration I did based on it. I'm a little amazed that I was able to cull so much from such a rough little 30 second gesture. Hopefully I maintained the vitality and energy of the pose. That reaching behind her back led me to the idea of having her pierced by an arrow. Anyway, I think that this might be my favorite Sanzoku yet.
Stay tooned, and let me hear from you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Sketch Drawings

We had our weekly Sunday sketch class over the weekend, And I decided (at the last minute) to go with some colored paper instead of bringing the laptop. I think it was a good idea, because I got a drawing that generated some interest, both inside and now outside of class. I'll post it first, followed by a couple of gesture drawings that I worked back into, and finishing up with the 1 hour reclining pose, for which I also used the colored paper.

Here's that sketch - conte crayon on textured colored paper. I liked the cream color of this paper, as it was almost exactly the mid-tone color of her skin.

I was just as happy with my gestures this time around. I managed (after a couple of failed attempts) to finally let go and allow the energy to spill out onto the page.

Here's the final drawing of the day - a one hour reclining pose with a strong foreshortening looking with the feet in the foreground.

Obama sketch - Obama caricatures

I sketched Barack Obama while he was being interviewed on 60 Minutes last night. I'm really happy that the best guy for the job also happens to be pretty damned fun to draw. He's got a great smile that is punctuated by strong cheek muscles and an ice cream cone shaped head (and, of course, you can't forget the ears - love the ears - he probably shouldn't have told us cartoonists that they are what he's most self-conscious about). All good stuff for a caricaturist. Anyway, I did a straight sketch first, and then tried to simplify the features to work up a quicker caricature that I can use in my cartoons.

Here's the sketch.

And, here's the caricatures. I think I like the bottom right one the best. A few of my cartooning colleagues have said that they think Barack is going to be difficult to caricature. I must respectfully disagree - he's the bomb.
Look for me to post some of my Sunday figure drawings by the end of the day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tiny shoes

It should be no problem for Barack Obama to fill these tiny, stinky little shoes. I've done several cartoons now on the transtion to the next President. I just wish we could get him out of there today before he has a chance to screw anything else up. Oh wait, Paulson just decided to take the bailout money and head to Vegas! Stay tooned.

Another local/syndicate toon

There is an emergency shelter in St. Augustine that is seeing a different type of homeless person this year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I decided a long time ago to post most of what I do on this blog - the beauts and the dogs. Here's a book cover project I did in October while I was trying to get some work with a publishing house. I wasn't totally pleased with the results, but to keep myself honest, I'm going to post it anyway.

Here's the ink.

And here's the finished piece. I did learn a few things about myself and my work while doing this. First, I learned that I'm a GRAPHICS guy. Simple colors, hard lines, not a lot of mixing of colors. I think that's where I got into trouble on this illustration. I tried to make it too painterly, and that doesn't work for me (that's also what the publisher said). Anyway, here it is, warts and all. Comments welcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Editorial cartoons?..oh yeah, those...

Here's one for my syndicate that I did early this morning. I like this cartoon because I think it speaks on a couple of different levels. Anyway, I found out yesterday that I had a cartoon run in The Washington Post Daily Edition. That's a first for me, so I'm pretty happy about that. I also had one in The Weekly Edition. Same week - pretty cool. Here's today cartoon. Enjoy.

More Samurai/Geisha stuff

Another Samurai/Geisha and her corresponding inking video. Enjoy, and let me hear from you!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Woo Hoo! Another follower!

And, from India, no less. Thank you dear blogger for showing all these misguided "peekers" the light! Seriously, take a second to go to the bottom of this page and sign up to follow my blog. It only takes a second, and I promise you'll be glad you did.

Here's another sketch from class yesterday. More to come.

Thanks & Cheers,


More from Sunday Sketch class

Here's another one from class yesterday. I used conte crayon on a colored/textured paper for this drawing, and then worked back into it a little in Photoshop. I also sat on the floor to get a more dynamic perspective of the figure.

Sunday Sketches

I think I'll try something different today. I'll post my sketches from Sunday's figure drawing class one at a time - as I touch them up them in Photoshop. Here's the first one. I'm actually working backwards here as this was the last pose we did (the hour long pose). I'll post the gesture drawings last.
Yes, she was reading a book while we drew her.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another Samurai/Geisha inking video

Here's another Samurai/Geisha illustration and it's corresponding inking video from YouTube.

I did this one in the style of a poster or comic cover. Enjoy, and let me hear from you! Don't forget to sign up as a follower of my blog. It only takes a couple of seconds, and you'll be updated when I update. I look forward to hearing from you.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Morning Samurai-Geisha

I wanted a VERY dynamic pose this time, so I went with her swinging from some kind of suspended cord. I like the in-your-face action of these types of poses. It allows me to keep the illustration simple, and still create an interesting and engaging illustration.

As I said earlier, I think I'm going to take my laptop to drawing class on Sunday. I'm still intrigued by the possibility of drawing from life on a computer. Wish me luck, and, happy weekend!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Published in Stern again

Stern, Germany's most read news and lifestyle magazine has published another one of my cartoons. This time it's a cartoon I did several months ago about the McCain campaign and how they were losing young Republicans to the Obama camp.

I used several on line translation services to get a precise translation. Unfortunately they all came up different, so I've posted them all below. These are a hoot. Feel free to post your own interpretation of the interpretations or of the cartoon! I look forward to hearing from you.
Old breaker! Rabauke! The elephant the USA changed fundamentally. The young people decided the choice, equipped with Basecap, ear Piercing, iPod and interlaced with blog and forums the Obama Internet campaign. Ingeniously at the Cartoon of the American draughtsman Ed resound are the butt joint denticles of the young elephant: Will the country now more gently, be it less aggressive and attack merry?
Old cracker! Rowdy! The elephant the USA has changed basically. The young people have decided the choice, equipped with Basecap, Ohren-Piercing, iPod and links up with the Blogs and forums of the Obama Internet campaign. Brilliantly in the cartoon of the American draftsman Ed Hall are the Stummel-Stoßzähnchen of the young elephant: Does the land become now gentler, will it be less aggressive and be aggressive?
Age Knacker! Tough! The elephant of USA basically changed. The young people decided the choice, equipped with Basecap, ears Piercing, iPod and networks with the blogs and forums of the Obama-Internet-campaign. Brilliant at the cartoon of the American draftsman Ed hall are the tusks of the young elephant: Does the country become now softer, it will be less aggressive and attack funny?

Digital Sketching

I've been practicing with the Wacom Tablet this morning; caricaturing and coloring this doggie in Photoshop. I just want to keep my digital sketching skills sharp. He's kind a cute don't ya think?
I think I might bring my laptop to drawing class over the weekend. Stay tooned.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Cartoon

Here's a cartoon that I did for one of my local papers today. The editor wanted something on the election, so I tried to come up with something that would bring us all back down to earth a little.

For a change of pace I rendered this one right on top of the rough in Photoshop. I think I like the "look" of it. It's definitely different than my usual cartooning style - more painterly.

Comments welcome.


Sunday Sketches - a little late

Sorry it's taken me so long to post these, but with the election, three cartoons to do, and blogging "live" yesterday, I didn't really have time. But here they are - better late than never. I'll just be posting the three best drawings I did that day. I'll use the gesture drawings for more Samurai-Geishas, so I'm sure you'll eventually see them as well. This first one is drawn with charcoal on cardboard (actually it's the back of one of my used sketchbooks). The second drawing was done with a charcoal pencil on a heavy bond drawing paper.And the third drawing (my personal favorite, and the "keeper" of the day) was drawn with vine and compressed charcoal. I like the weight in this pose. Makes her feel massive on the page.

Hope you enjoy these.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Final election night post

America grew up a little bit today. We have our first African American President. Let's just hope that big 'ol smile stays on his face a bit longer than it did on Carter's.

The McCain cartoon speaks for itself. Goodnight America.

A "virtual" election night bar blog post

Clay Jones and I sometimes get together in bars and drink, and sketch, and swap drawings, and drink some more. It usually culminates in me drawing him as a crazed monkey, and him drawing me as a drunken Dick Cheney. Anyway, we decided to do a bit of that tonight, only sober, and over the Internet. He's got a drawing of mine up at his blog already. Here's one of his from tonight. I like this little sketch. Nice job Clay.

Election night sketching

Well, it looks like Obama might have this thing sewn up. We'll see. It's gonna take a quote "miracle" for McCain to pull it off. Here's a sketch I did while watching the returns. I did another one and sent it over to my buddy Clay Jones' blog. He's supposed to send me something to post. We'll see about that too. Stay tooned.

Here's another one...

Election Day Blogging

Just some random sketching while I'm waiting for the results to come in.

Well that wasn't so bad...

I love our neighborhood. It's like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. You can actually walk to our polling place. It's in a little school gymnasium inside a little Lutheran Church. So quaint. We've also got shops within walking and biking distance, so our little stroll to vote today in this historic election was twice as nice. When we got there, I had already filled out my sample ballot, so while I was waiting on my wife to finish her voting, I decided to sketch. The man in the chair next to me jokingly said "you know you can't do that in here." To which I replied, "I can't photograph, but I can sketch all I want!" I got transfixed on the lady sitting in the "Z" section of the registration table, and started thinking that that would be the chair I would want. Here's what I came up with. I'll keep posting throughout the day. Comments on today's vote or my sketches are welcome, and once again, if you haven't done so already, get off your duff and VOTE!

Semi-"live" blogging today

Throughout the day today I'm going to be posting drawings, sketches and photos about the election. I'll start with this quick cartoon I did this morning for my syndicate. I'm heading off to vote now, so I'll post more on that later.
If you haven't already GO VOTE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

BPAs and the FDA

I have a new little nephew who happens to be a voracious eater, so this issue is kinda close to my heart. And when the FDA starts under-reporting the effects of BPA (bisphenol A) on children, I'm sorry, but it makes me a little mad. Not to mention that the private consulting group, with strong industry ties, that the FDA hired to perform some of its analyses constitutes a huge conflict of interest. I saw this story last week in USA Today and couldn't pass it up.

Here's the cartoon.