The Storm

This is if Iron Giant met Popeye and they had a love child. No, not really. When I was in college, I hung a post card of a Howard Pyle painting on my wall titled Marooned. It’s one of the few paintings that I could really lose myself in. Pretty ironic, since there’s hardly anything to it. I often pondered, if ole Howard had extended the painting to the right or left another ten inches, would there be shelter or food? Either way, he’s a man that survived the deep waters of the sea, only to be left alone with his thoughts. So, what would you think about? I think the first thing I would do is pray. Ask God why the heck would you save me from the water just to leave me here.

I developed the clouds a bit more to create a stylistic “storm”. I continued to use the contour lines throughout the landscape to make the character pop. I kept the water streaming off of the robot very simple – at the risk of making it look like snot. The reason is, I wanted to carry the style all the way through. If I tried to make real water, I think it may have confused the viewer. By the way, the robot is looking down at the rocks. The round thing on top is a sailors cap.

Here’s looking at you

I both love and dislike horror movies. They scare the crap out of me, but there’s something about the macabre that sparks my interest and keeps me watching, even though I know it’s going to scare the crap out of me. After watching The Sixth Sense, I couldn’t stand at the sink and wash dishes for a week. I still have to get a running start and jump into bed, lest a little girl grab my ankles. Gah, I just creeped myself out. The big hair is inspired by my good friend, Valerie. She had REALLY big hair in the 80’s. Like, if there was a big hair contest, she’d win.

I had a lot of fun with this drawing. I really wanted to capture a smirk (nice way of saying shit-eating grin) on his face. Just like you’d have if you were either at the prom or getting married.

Erik Wolf

Besides having a really cool name, Erik is an author, marketer and creative. You can see his website Zero-g. He’s a really nice guy. I credit him with suggesting I use a sketch for my profile pic. I’m honored that he let me pay him back with a portrait.

Here’s an example of filling in with pencil. I rarely use this technique, just because it’s messy and I find it difficult to keep the paper clean. If I have to use it, I wait until all the detail work is complete and then fill in with the dark part. In this case, I wanted to leave the pencil marks visible for texture. It can always be turned solid in Photoshop.

Senior~ Wenceslaus character study

This is a detail of a larger character study of Senior~ Wenceslaus. After drawing him a couple of times in my sketches, I decided it was time to concentrate on the man so he may have a uniform look. There will be more to follow. I doubt he will look exactly like the current sketches when he’s ready for prime time. I drew him eight times in total and each time, he would evolve a little more. Once I feel comfortable with his look, I will do a more formal study on him.

Missed it by this much

Gah. Off by one letter…I am creating a sign for my first show tonight and I was off by the “r”. Actually, the hat that covered it was an afterthought and became more important than the signage itself. Mistakes happen in drawing. What I mean by mistakes is, when you make a mark on your paper, it did not turn out the way you intended. I see these lines as objects that need imagination to come to life. I can promise you, it was an unintended line that brought that hat to life.

I added color – Holee. Since this was intended to be a rough sketch, I left the letters as loose as I could without compromising the legibility. I have posted the actual sign here. It’s turning out a bit different, just because the initial RoBot didn’t fit. I am going to hang it tonight exactly as you see it now. It’s a work in progress and may change even more later on. I have thoughts of painting over everything in oils.

The Thread Baron

I love to draw scenes, so much, I get lost in them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cityscape or a landscape, I follow a simple philosophy: Give the viewer somewhere to go and give them something to do when they get there. I got that from my best friend, Larry. He’s a landscaper by trade and a sculptor on the side. This scene is straight out of my imagination. It may be a setting for Senior~ Wenc.

This drawing concentrates on textures and I love the dramatic effect that water reflection has. In this case, it’s more like thick varnish. I like the way the thread and orbs above the door turned out. It’s supposed to look like chrome and I think it does.

Self Portrait II

Every once in a while, I will grow my beard just to shave it in cool ways. I usually chronicle the look by taking pics as I shave. One of these photos made it to my website. It’s on the About Me page. By the way, my whiskers have a lot of grey in them – not so evident here. Artistic license at its best.

I used bristol board for this sketch. It seems to hold up better with all the smudging I do. I have three paper stocks that I use for my drawings. The reason I use three different types is pretty simple, because I have three different sketchbooks. I will draw on pretty much any type of paper. When I was young, my mother would buy reams of notebook paper for me. I would draw on both sides. Anyway, I like the way this sketch turned out. The blending turned out exactly the way I wanted to. Not too heavy and just the right darkness. The erased areas really pop without looking too contrived.

Cyrus the Brave

This is a portrait of a fellow artist, Cyrus. He’s seven and his mother says he would rather draw, paint or sculpt than eat. A young man after my own heart. I remember having that passion when I was his age. I would sit in my room and draw for hours, even in the middle of summer. My mother still tells stories about turning Greggy away at the front door. My advice to any young artist; Never stop creating what makes you happy, because you bring joy to others as well. Just ask your mom or dad. They’ll tell you that’s why God gave us refrigerators.

This drawing started with his eyes and appeared outward from the center. His reference photo was of him looking “mean”, however I interpreted it as a brave face, hence, the title. I drew the cloud pattern as an outline this time. If I took more time, I think I’d experiment with it a bit. Maybe a pattern, or some foliage. But, then again, it may have distracted from the main focus – his eyes.

The Audition

Tough crowd…

I’ve always had a deep admiration for those lucky individuals who can  play both a musical instrument and sing. I can watch them for hours, wishing I could do one of the two. I am sure it’s the same admiration that people have for individuals like myself that can draw. I am more familiar with that. One major difference is we can erase, they cannot. Did  you ever hear someone botch a note in a song? Did you ever hear someone twang on a guitar until they found that note? Also, we can draw anonymously. Musicians would have to put a bag over their head.

I purposely left the guy in the audience sketchy to create atmospheric perspective, but also to blend him in with his surroundings. Normally a bar is dark even in the afternoon. The brightest light would be streaming in from the windows (represented here by erasing on the guitar player’s left side and left side of the stool). I drew in some heavy shadows on the stage to really take advantage of the drama created by the contrast.

Sky-Doo 292

Growing up in upstate NY was a blast in the winter. I practically grew up on the back of a snowmobile. My favorite sled was our Ski Doo TNT 292. I remember, Greggy – my best friend growing up – and I would ride for hours and go for miles. We were no more than seven or eight years old at the time. Now a days, if anyone would even think about letting their pre-teens operate motor vehicles by themselves and go any significant distances, they’d be arrested. Especially in New York – welfare – State. Thanks for the memories.

This design is based loosely on the Ski Doo. When I create a futuristic machine of any sort, I will envision entire systems, like intake, fuel, propulsion and steering. That’s half the fun. At first glance, it looks like the handle bars are missing, but I decided to leave any visible steering device off, allowing the individual to use his or her imagination. I gave it more of a retro look than the original design for the simple fact that I like round headlights more than square ones. I have to give credit to Gus Levi Jones for suggesting the pads that the sled rests on when idle. Thanks, Gus.