Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Portrait Contest

This is a quick sketch of Carolina, which was done for a portrait contest at one of my comic submission sites. I was pretty happy with the results, so I'm gonna post it. More cartoons (and big news) later.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Digital Illustration from a gesture

I had mentioned last week how I really liked this gesture drawing, so I decided to take it into Photoshop for a little "refining." I'm pretty pleased with the resulting illustration as well. Everything you see here was produced digitally - including the gesture drawn straight into the computer from life. No traditional materials (pens, pencils or paper) used at all.
Enjoy, and Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A local cartoon - a national issue

We had a tragic accident occur in our neck of the woods last week. A small party boat carrying 14 people crashed into a tug on the Intra-coastal waterway killing five people on board, and injuring many others. My paper covered the incident with professionalism, tact and compassion for the survivors and the family's of those lost. But in many ways this was a doomed boat ride from the start, and several pictures popped up on Facebook pages showing some of the same people a week before (some on the very same boat) engaged in some of the very acts that may have caused the accident. The newspaper reported this, and the reporter and my editor walked into a full on shit-storm. Here's my editor's response to the situation. And here's this week's cartoon.

This cartoon speaks to a larger problem that is going on all over the Country. Quality news has been supplanted with "safe," homogenized reporting that is both a danger to democracy and also limits the ability of the public to "know." With all due sensitivity, this was a news story, and was reported as such. I feel fortunate to have an editor who still has his head screwed on straight and is not about to bow to advertisers and irate readers. News is news. We report it. That's our job.

Friday Cartoons!

I finished my final syndicate cartoon of the week this morning. Here it is. I knew I either wanted to do something on Dick Cheney's tortuous ways coming back to haunt him, or the Pakistan situation - which is basically the Pakistani Prime Minister and husband of former Prime Minister Bhutto, giving away a giant swath of his country to the Taliban in exchange for them laying down their weapons. Guess what? They didn't lay down their weapons, and are now within 60 miles of the capital and all of those juicy nukes. Asif Zardari, also known as Mr. Ten Percent because that's what he always took in kickbacks (no I'm not kidding) is running that country...into the ground. Kinda makes one miss the ruthless dictator Musharraf (well maybe not).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Figure Drawing Posts

Here's a few more drawings from last night. I'm not going to post everything, as I was feeling a bit "off" in class. Here's the highlights - a couple of gestures and a few 20 minute poses. Enjoy.

The model wanted to leave her shoes on (which was fine by me). She also brought her ballet slippers, and put those on for a couple of poses as well. This model has a very well defined (and small) upper torso. As a ballet dancer, the bulk of her power is centered in her hips, butt, and legs. She held this leg up (and still) for the duration of this 20 minute pose. Not an easy feat. For one pose she actually held a "toe stand" for 15 minutes. Ouch!

I like this gesture.

Another gesture.

A 20 minute pose.

And, one more 20 minute drawing (notice the "toe-stand?").

Developing a finished illustration

I wanted to post a bit of the process that goes into one of these drawings. First, I usually pick a drawing that I did in figure class - like this one. If I don't have time to add color (which is usually the case) I'll at least make a note as to where the heavier shading is with a series of small "X's."

Then I'll take this drawing into a program other than Photoshop for inking. I find Photoshop's brushes to be a little limited for inking. Here's the ink (vector).

Finally, I'll bring it back into Photoshop, build up some layers, and break out the crayons. The whole process takes about 2-4 hours depending on my work load for that day. Here's the finished drawing with color. I've got a few more drawings from last night's class that I will be posting shortly.

Lots to post today

First I'll post an illustration that I sketched out a couple of days ago. We missed figure drawing class this week, so I decided to do some extra work on the wacom tablet.
I'm enjoying stylizing these figures in Photoshop. I'm also doing some interesting stuff with layers and blurs.
Speaking of figure drawing class; they had another one last night, which I attended, and I'll be posting some stuff from that class after lunch.
PS - To all of you "peeking in" on this blog, please be sure to leave me a quick note, or sign in at the bottom of this page as a follower. To all new followers of the blog - thank you - and welcome! Hope you're getting something out of it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

She's baaack...

The return of Astro Girl and her little friend.

Enjoy, and happy weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

She's...super sexy

I really enjoyed working on this one.

I read a really interesting article this week about the co-creator of Superman, Joe Shuster. Seems he was doing some racy Pulp Books on the side, complete with good ol' Clark and Lois participating in some S & M, spanking & various other sexually explicit activities. Soooo cool. So, in his honor, I came up with this extremely well-endowed & sexy Supergirl. Enjoy.

Tuesday syndicate cartoon

I'm blogging this in the middle of a thunderstorm. I know, not too bright. Anyway I wanted to get it in this morning, tomorrow being tax deadline and all, so here it is. I used a little more Photoshop/Layers than usual in this cartoon, but I think I like the results.
Enjoy, and let me hear from you!



Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Digital Sketch

Still messing around with my new Wacom Intuos4 Tablet. Guess it's about time to do some cartooning! In the meantime, enjoy this sketch that I completed this morning. If I haven't already said it a few hundred times, I'll say it again. THIS TABLET ROCKS!



Friday, April 10, 2009

Wacom Practice

Wanted to get this quickie digital sketch in before the end of the week. I'm still trying to get all of my drivers and settings hooked up for my new Intuos4 tablet. I sketched this in SketchBook Pro as I was setting up, and then imported it into Photoshop for color. It's from an old gesture drawing I did in figure class.

Happy Weekend!


Timing...is everything

I got this idea last night, and I knew that I would have to have it in by this morning for my syndicate. This is one of those short shelf ideas, where as soon as they rescue the captain of the Maersk Alabama, it's no longer quite as relevant. Although, now that I look at it again, the dashing swashbuckler Obama might want to just take this as a general tip from 'ol Jimmy. I threw in Jimmy's mop at the last minute to make him look more like a diminutive deck hand.

Enjoy, and, as always - Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Local cartoon and a brand new toy

First the cartoon. My editor informed me earlier today that he was working on a story about an ongoing issue here at our area beaches. Seems people who ride their horses on the beach can't imagine why some folks don't like them using the parking lot, and the dunes, and the beach, and the water, and the showers as their own personal horse toilet. I was tickled when I got this idea, and sure enough, my editor loved it.

Now, about my new toy. It's the Intuos4 tablet from Wacom. And let me tell you, if you haven't tried one of these suckers out yet (or if you just can't afford a Cintiq like me), you should at least give the Intuos4 a test drive. I HIGHLY recommend upgrading to this tablet from your stodgy old Intuos3. It simply blows it away. The pen pressure sensitivity has been increased two-fold, and this tablet's buttons are so intuitive, it almost seems like they're reading your mind. The handy little stand is weighted better than those in the past, and it also holds/hides your extra pen nibs - a nifty feature. From the first pen stroke I was hooked. Try one out, you won't be disappointed. Hint: Extra Large is way too big. I got the large size and it fits perfectly on my desk (see photo). I put a quarter on it to give a sense of scale.

Mid-week sketch class

We won't be having figure drawing class this Sunday (Easter), so I participated in a mid-week class yesterday. Here's the results. I enjoyed this as it was a more intimate venue, with a lot less people. The model stood against a white wall for a couple of poses, and that cast some really cool shadows. I wish we could do more of those type poses - that shadow really helps to build form and position the figure in space. I worked back into one of these in Photoshop, and I'm really happy with the results. I'll post that one last. Enjoy, and let me hear from you.

I know you're out there lurking.... :-)



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You can't make this stuff up

Last week, a 3 year old, disabled, Baker County child was transported to school, and shortly thereafter was found to have a zip lock full of marijuana in his Sponge Bob backpack. The kid is on a respirator and has a stomach feeding tube, so I don't think he's doing much pot smoking. The mother claims that she bought the backpack at a garage sale, and never thought to check inside it - yeah right. Sometimes these almost write themselves. Enjoy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

First syndicate cartoon of the week

Well, he's done it again. Kim Jong Il's coffers must be getting a little low, so I guess it's time to lob a couple of missiles into the Sea of Japan. Don't kid yourselves folks, this ain't nothing but showmanship, and Kim has proven time and again that he is a master at it. We'll subsidize him, just as we have dozens of times previous to this, and he'll use the money to firm up his grasp on power. What a viscous little web we've woven with this guy. At least we could go in and pull the plug in Iraq. North Korea, and it's nuclear capabilities make that all but impossible. So, we'll continue to play this little game, and basically support this tiny nation, and it's dictator. Grrreat...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Sketch 04-05-09

On Friday, I decided to take the plunge, and install a new hard drive that's been sitting on my shelf for a year (hmm, guess it ain't so new anymore). Anyway, installation went surprisingly well, and I'm back up and online. We had drawing class today, and I decided to work on the Wacom tablet again. I'll post everything, the quick gestures first, then the 20 minute poses, and finally the long 1 hour pose.

For this pose, with her leg pulled up, I decided to do a rendering in Photoshop with layers after I got home. I'll post the original drawing as well here so you can see what that looked like prior to "tweaking."

Here's the long pose. She fell asleep, but was still able to hold it for the entire hour (still don't know how they can do that). Hope everyone's weekend went well. Let me hear from you!



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another syndicate cartoon

If I can alienate half the population with one of my cartoons, I feel as though I've done my job. I'm sure there are quite a few people who will not appreciate this mirror being held up to them. So, before you jump on the "EAT THE BANKERS" bandwagon, take a second to look at your own habits and spending over the last ten years - just sayin'...

War Drugs

A news story in USA Today caught my eye this week, and just amplified (for me) the quagmire that we find ourselves in there. It's a good read. Here's the cartoon I came up with after reading it myself:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday blahhh-ging...

Well, it's raining. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain, especially when we've had so little. They say it's going to diminish the fire-danger risk we've been under for the past year or so, so that's a good thing. It's just one of those "blah" type days, where you don't really feel like doing anything. But, I've got two deadlines today, so it looks like the coffee maker's gonna get a full workout!
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking for a tablet PC (thanks for all the suggestions BTW --- NOT). I ended up getting an HP Pavilion tx2, and I'm sorry to say that I'm a bit underwhelmed by it. I guess I thought that it was going to just pop out of the box - ready to be drawn on. Silly me. It's got a tiny screen, and you have to almost be looking straight down on it to see what you're working on. Not good. The pen has a bit of a lag, doesn't always hit where you want it to, and does not have eraser capability? - huh? So the day after getting it, I get an email from Wacom, presenting their new line of Intuous4 tablets - guess where this is leading... That's right, it's return time. For half of what I paid, I'm gonna get a brand new, larger, state-of-the-art Wacom Tablet for my desktop, and retire my Intuous 3 to my laptop (not really a retirement, as it will make my laptop experience MUCH better in drawing class). If you haven't seen the new Intuous 4, do yourself a favor and stop by the Wacom site. Enough about that. Here's yesterday's cartoon:
This is a local, but it's an on-going issue in Baker County, so I thought I'd post it. One of our State's Mental Hospitals is located here, and for years the geniuses in Tallahassee have been trying to privatize it. Now with the State budget in crisis, they're at it again. Problem is, the group that will privatize it will almost certainly provide early release for inmates and patients that probably should not be released early. This will, in actuality, be a net loss for the state in terms of the additional manpower and programs needed to service them on the outside.

Like I said geniuses...