Death Card

Now, I do not believe in fortune telling at all. Only God knows what’s in store for us, and he’s keeping it a secret. I picked this card for it’s cool symbolism. So, before I am accused of anything other than what it stands for, I will give you an explanation. First and foremost, The Death Card is a representation of the end of something. A relationship perhaps. It represents death of all kinds, meaning, the death could be anything from a houseplant to a career and yes, it may also mean the death of a human. But as we all know, a new beginning is a result of the previous new beginning’s end. To some, that may be scarier than death itself. By the way, Tarot cards are really old and popular belief is they were the forefathers of the decks of cards we use today.

The emphasis is on layout in this sketch. The horses head and leg create a definite plane with the side of the building, allowing me to frame out the figure to the far left. That way, they are not competing with one another.

The Key

My best friend, Larry Jones’ landscape philosophy; Give them something to look at, someplace to go, and something to do when they get there. I have adopted these words as my landscaping creation philosophy also. I drew this landscape just so I could use a bunch of wonderful Copic markers that I received in the mail from a dear friend of mine. Senior~ Wenceslaus on top of the RoBot was an afterthought.

In this sketch, I use detail to achieve atmospheric perspective more than color or shade. I used the same colors from the landscape in the robot to lessen the mechanical aspect and give him more of an organic look. I opted to leave the background white to keep the focus on the characters. If I were going to put color to it, I would use a blue wash fading to white from top to bottom. As it is now, you can imagine the white as a wall of snow behind them.


This is my answer to Teletubbies and Carebears. It’s the same concept only my version shoots lasers out of his eyes and poisonous darts out of his nostrils. His heart will explode if the outer core is breached. Danger is just plain fun. When I worked at The Home Depot, Tim Hynes and I made a ball that we dubbed “Danger Ball”. It was a styrofoam ball with thumb tacks taped to the outside. The object was try not to bleed after catching it. We had way too much time on our hands, apparently.

I blurred the leaves in the background to make the bears head and hands pop. I deliberately left the foliage in the foreground sketchy, so he would be the focus.

Just a Villain Following Orders

You know what’s worse than a villian? A supervillain. The guy that’s pulling the strings. See how I worked the “string” angle?

I used atmospheric perspective and drew it with a pencil.

Must get back to watching football now.

A Horse Driven

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.

                                                                                   – William James

Did you ever have a moment when you really were in danger?

When I was a youngster, I drifted past the breakers on a raft unbeknownst to the ever-watching eye of my mother. I don’t believe I knew how to swim very well, if at all. I remember there wasn’t much sound out there. I saw my mom on the shore waving her arms and jumping up and down. You know when your mother is really pissed-off and yelling at you and you can’t hear her, you’re in serious trouble. That scared me. I remember the lifeguard who swam out to my rescue. He had a smile on his face and acted like he swam out to play with me. Not only was I not in trouble, but I made a new friend at the beach. It’s really good to know there’s people like that out there. He could have easily yelled at me or have been a doosh, but he wasn’t. He was just happy to see me. My mother, on the other hand, had mixed emotions.

In this sketch, I’m playing with the fore, middle and background. The horses head (foreground), has darker outlines and lighter highlights, making it the focus of this piece. The horse and rider in the background are much lighter and less defined, giving it deeper atmospheric perspective and the rider’s head and body are a keen mixture of both. I left the bottom half of the horse and rider sketchy to balance out the sky around the horse’s head.

Fishing with Grampy

 Okay, I have to admit, this isn’t a sketch done recently. In fact, it’s a sketch I did about 3 years ago in a small pocket sketchbook I carried with me at the time. What makes this sketch so special is because it was the first sketch in my RoBot world. I named it fishing with Grampy, because that’s what my niece re-named my dad about 16 years ago. I think the name is too close to “Grumpy”, or even worse, “Crampy”. Sorry, Dad, it just is. My mom’s name is Grammy. Now, that’s a cool name. Very English. My Grammy’s mom was Big Grammy to us kids. I’m not sure why because she was a relatively small woman. Pay attention, I’m gonna quiz you later.

The sketch is a bit older, so I really can’t recall what the heck I was thinking at the time. All I can do is describe it to you as if someone else did it.

The artist clearly has a huge fear of abandonment. Obviously, the extreme use of dark shades means he views the world as a dark place and he longs to crawl back in the womb. Kidding. Grampy is the start of a steampunk introduction. It’s one of my favorite art forms, combining the new with the antique. Lots of brass and leather. Kind of fitting, since he’s a much older RoBot. The scene is on the eastern shore of the lake at dusk. The reason I knew this is because the scene is from my memory of Owasco Lake in the summer. If you’ve been to my main site, you’ll see the start of a painting similar to this drawing.

Captain Young Brian

This is what you get when a grown up kid asks for a portrait.

Another commission piece. Suit and tie? Hell no. How about a sabre and a flintlock! I read in a Pirates display in the Myrtle Beach Aquarium that unlike commissioned ships of the day, pirate ships were a straight up democracy. Which makes sense, really. If the majority didn’t like the Captain, they would just throw his butt over the side.

Using the “Pitrates of the Caribbean” grunge look, I deliberately worked his head a little more than I normally would. If you knew young Brian, you’d realize this is a darker version of his face and features. I kept the paper slightly dirty to keep the look consistent. He has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. I was going to do another big-head-little-body characture like Hal Prather,  but it just seemed more fitting to give his body a more foreshortened look.

Bertha Barmaid

Back to the World of the Dead. Not really in the writing mood tonight. When I started this blog, it was only supposed to be for my sketches and not so much for my rants and tirade. The writing was just supposed to be about the sketches, techniques and subject matter. Now, it’s become a dumping ground for my random thoughts. So be it. I’m pretty darn impressed with myself for keeping up with it. Especially on days like today. All I have to do is think about the reason I am doing it, so I never have to hear, “we are eliminating your position, therefore we are letting you go.” ever again. I told a good friend of mine today that I’m 44 years old and I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

I love drawing tequila bottles with the worm inside. It just looks cool to me. I also enjoy drawing the glass texture. These characters are just plain fun to draw.

The First Kiss

I named this sketch The First Kiss, because it started out as an office romance scene. I think it’s important to mention at this time that this is not a self-portrait and I am NOT in love with anyone in my office. Now then, I am a sucker for a good romance story, so here it is. After thinking about it for a while, this scene then became the same couple ten years after their first kiss in the office. They are married and have two children. It is early Saturday morning and Grammy has picked up the kids and taken them to McDonalds for breakfast and they have the house to themselves, if only for a couple of hours. As he looks at her, he remembered that today was “the” anniversary, and as any man knows, if you are the first to remember ANY anniversary, that makes you king for the day. This is that moment. I just hope they brushed their teeth first.

This sketch is on a piece of printer paper of all things. Its was meant to be a reference sketch and nothing more. What I mean by reference sketch is just a reminder of what I was thinking at the time. I started with a ribbon microphone on a table, oddly enough, and roughed in the bodies. As soon as I drew her face, I knew I couldn’t stop there. The result is what you see.

Hal Prather

This was a portrait commissioned by a mutual friend. His name is Hal Prather, amateur brewer of amber nectar and dog lover. I was in Roam the other day and a gentleman I had met a month or so ago, drew my portrait. I was flattered. It’s rare that I am on the recieving end of a drawing. My friend is a world-class cook and has friends over for dinner often. After they eat, the couples declare how wonderful the food was and that they won’t embarrass themselves by having her over to sample their feeble attempt at cooking. So, how often does she get to go to a dinner party? Maybe that’s why she has them over so often.

You’re probably thinking I would do something in commemoration of the Horror of 9-11-01. For this, only words. I believe it was a crime against humanity and that all nations suffered and not just the ones with nationalists in the buildings when they collapsed. Taking a human life for any sort of gain is fundamentally wrong in my opinion, but don’t misunderstand me, I think stupidity should be painful. There are some times when retaliation is justified. I guarantee, if someone gave my sister a black eye, I’d be plotting something for them.

By the way, today is Hal’s birthday. I wonder what his thoughts are about the eleventh of September?