“Better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.”
– Proverbs 17:1
For some reason, the word morsel sounds really cool to me. The verse has little to do with the image, in fact, it has more to do with the previous post. It’s my friend, Lee’s daily contribution. How it relates to this image is complicated. I call it my train-wreck-of-a-thought syndrome. Okay, the train begins with the word “morsel” from Lee’s post. I was thinking about what a morsel would look like, like “What is a morsel?” At this point, the word doesn’t even look like a word, you know what I mean, kind of like vacuum? Anyhoo, then I thought about the Morsel of the future and how it could revolutionize fast food, kind of like the bonless chicken wing. Now, fast forward to the far, far future where morsels are everywhere and everyone is selling them. That’s what you see here.
So, there you have it. Thank you, Lee. You sparked a fun drawing for me to do.
When it comes to business meetings, I have a saying, “It’s better to sit there and look interesting rather than open your mouth and prove everyone wrong.”
I drew this about twenty years ago for a newspaper article for The Times Herald Record. It was on business lunch etiquette. I have a briefcase under my bed with a hundred or so newspaper pages from when I drew Feature article illustrations. I prided myself with having a fast turn-around time. Once, when a photographer exposed his film and ruined the reel, I was called upon to do a complete drawing in less than two hours notice.
Before now, this was my last attempt to become a real-life illustrator. That’s why I posted it. In that twenty year hiatus, I went back to school, became a 3D animator, Art Director, Creative Director, got married, had kids, was laid off twice, bought three houses and two cars. Sadly, I have only a handful of drawings and paintings from that time. I am not one to carry regrets forward, so I will show you the numbers, just for the sake of interest:
20 years of Sketch of the Day equals 7,300 drawings
20 years of Sketch of the Week equals 1040 drawings
20 years of Sketch of the Month equals 240 drawings (This may be closer to the actual number of drawings I created)
Its interesting how the style matches the times. This is a black and white image with no shades of grey. The shading is done entirely with lines.
Okay, this is a good lesson for me as a father. My son asked if I could draw a WWII plane for a buddy of his. He has a book report due and Stevie graciously offered up my services for an illustration. I agreed and set forth to gather intel on the drawing to narrow it down to a specific type of plane. “A plane with a gunner.” he says to me. After we play twenty questions, I finally tell him to send me a photo. He sends a photo of the plane above and texts, “Like this one. With guners and amerecan.” I figured this would be a good grammar lesson, so I text back, “please ask properly”. I get back, “Could you draw an American plane with gunners, please?” Good enough for me.
So, I start to draw the plane that he sent as reference, not realizing it’s an English Vickers Wellington bomber until I get to the insignia under the wing. Big fail. I even asked him to clarify “American”, gah. Just one of the many ways God likes to keep me humble. So, anyway look for an American plane with gunners soon.
I love drawing the drastic contrast between the main bomber and just about everything else. I chose not to motion blur the propeller, instead I opted to keep it very liner and let the lines define the illusion.
This is a birthday request from a good friend of mine, Lori.
I love sweets. The sweeter, the better. Some of my favorites include Smarties, Sprees, Sweet Tarts, Skittles, Laffy Taffy and circus peanuts. In my mind, the more unnatural the color is, the sweeter and more delicious it tastes. Oh, God how I wish highlighters were edible.
I chose hot pink for the icing because fake-strawberry is my absolute favorite flavor of all time. Plus, it doubles as a brain-looking mass to give it a creepy look. I added the sprinkles because I am fond of them and they give the icing another layer of texture. I kept the teeth small and the mouth closed, so the shape of the cupcake remains intact.
I believe that if someone put forth the effort to create something, then it’s worth pondering. Art Evokes Emotion. Even if the emotion you feel is considered negative. This may be the artists intention. If you feel something by experiencing that piece, then it worked. It is effective art. What is the opposite of love? Most will say hate, but it’s not, it’s apathy – the lack of emotion. It’s the same with any emotion. That’s what I believe, anyway.
If you can’t tell, this is a RoBot eye. I tried to give it an organic look by tracing over the circles loosely. I kept the foliage inside neatly manicured, so it would blend in well with the iris and not be a distraction. The attempt was to blur the lines between the mechanical and the biological.
I know it has nothing to do with the sketch, but if you haven’t already seen Das Boot, I highly recommend it. Incredible movie about a German U-boat crew, during the period of WWII when they really didn’t have a long life expectancy. The German Luftwaffe pilot had it really bad as well with a ninety nine percent casualty rate at the end of the war. One pilot out of one hundred survived to the end. Geez, would you rather fall thousands of feet, burning all the way to the ground, or crushed to death in the briney depths of the ocean? Where do I sign up?
Anyhoo, this is really another study of foliage. I took what I liked from Sir Everworth and expounded a bit. Although, the texture of the column and leg is supposed to be marble, I tried to strike a balance between the individual textures. Specifically, the stacked wood of the heel, the leather of the boot, and the flesh of the leg. I created a unique relationship between the heel and the foliage behind it, by continuing the arc of the sole of the boot with the stalk of the vine and shading the area enclosed. I deliberately kept the heel light to create both depth and contrast.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
I am an artist.
When it comes to career paths, I’ve proven to be a sucker for an impressive title. Especially if it came with my own office and minions to do my bidding. All too often I was quick to betray my personal goals of becoming an Illustrator to work core hours for the betterment of the company. “Hey, I’m lucky to have the job, right?” I fooled myself into believing as long as my title had “art” or “creative” in it, I was more successful than a mere artist and it certainly did pay more.
I am an artist, by the grace of God.
Sir Everworth represents the personal crusade we all wish to persue – that of self discovery. By the position of his hand on the sword, you see he is poised and ready to fight the good fight, however that’s as far as it goes. He represents the noble thought with no action behind it.
The sword and shield are a shade lighter, pulling them to the foreground in this sketch, leaving the rest of our crusader in the middle. I decided to create a storm in the far back, just to balance out the vine growing around his head on the right and to create more depth. This sketch also gave me an opportunity to really explore some foliage options – notice all the different leaves and fungus.
This is my neighbor, Cate. Single mother of three and devout Christian. She has agreed to let me photograph her every Sunday after church, so I may draw her later. This is the first of hopefully many to follow. I told her I don’t have the opportunity to draw black women that often and I was having a difficult time drawing her facial features. She prayed for me right there. I got a kick out of it, because I have a difficult time praying for success with my art. She has no problem praying for anything and truly believes God hears and answers all prayers. Well, this is a first hand example of a prayer answered because I finally finished it.
As forementioned, this was a difficult process. Her eyes are extremely dark and I had to strike a very delicate balance between her eyes, lashes and lids, all of which have little contrast. Her skin was about as delicate. When first drawn and shaded, the differences in her cheeks and jaw resembled a beard more than skin. Through an iterative process of adding and subtracting (erasing), her cheeks and jaws evolved into what you see here. I didn’t spend a lot of time on her body, just because I had spent so much time on her face and needed to move on.
So, Kevin, if you have so much dfifficulty drawing black women, why would you draw her every week?
…Give me a minute…
The more someone gets to know you, the more they treat you like family. This is not always a good thing.
It amazes me that we spend more of our normal weekday with co-workers than with our own family. My work-wife of many years, Ally Peters, PMP, was shared throughout our department. She had about nine husbands and took care of each and every one of us. She called us her boys. She was all southern belle but, don’t let the pretty exterior fool you, she was tough. She could drink us all under the table and had no problem calling you out for being a doosh. We said she was a dude in a chick-suit. She had our geniune respect for sticking up for our team and giving us a voice within the company. Every morning, about five of us and Ally would get coffee together and talk about what we did that weekend or our plans for the following one, depending on where we were in the week.This dynamic lasted for a litte over six years until our department was dissolved. Ally was the only one from our group that survived the cut. As most things in life, it’s only after it’s gone do we truly appreciate it. Thank you, Ally for creating the healthiest work environment I’ve had so far in my life.
The subject matter is based on my best friend, Larry and his crew. I deliberately left the windows in the interior of the truck blank, so there would be more separation between the crew and the truck. Larry is drawn with a bit more contrast than the others, therefore he sticks out a little more.
Why not make the iPad a phone? Because, if a device is too large, you’d look like a putz with it up to your ear or, in this case, hanging off your belt. I wore my Blackberry on my hip for about a week (Yes, I was an IT guy. Held the title of Systems Engineer and everything). I stopped after contemplating wearing my Mag-Lite and Buck Knife on it as well. I felt it best to quit using my belt for anything more than holding my pants up before it got out of hand.
Another line drawing from way back when. Every once in a while, I come across one. It’s interesting, because of how much I draw now, my perception and evolution of the lines I draw has become increasingly clearer. In other words, I’m getting better at drawing what I see in my head. Having said that, I have to think about how I drew the figures and try to replicate the technique. By the way, the gentleman to the left has a freshly drawn head. Can you tell a slight difference between that one and the other two?