Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bad Timing

I did not mean to make light of the recent storm that struck the south. Sometimes, one can have the worst luck with something topical. I did this cartoon only yesterday, and overnight, more storms hit the deep south taking a couple hundred lives with it. I originally did it to point out a record month of April of tornadoes and severe weather that until recently, has not been taking lives. Henceforth, I told Pat Biancanello of Smithtown Matters not to put it up online.

Barring the recent events, I did like the execution. Also, more Gaddafi and al Assad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Introducing the gouache (globby paint)

This drawing started out wrong. I inked it, wetted it, and started putting down Prussian blue watercolor. I hated it. Over the Easter weekend, I went home and did no drawings or art. Played a lot of guitar. I then brought back some gouache. Looking at the piece, I decided to put down some gouache and it saved the drawing. Huzzah!

Friday, April 22, 2011

And Then some pen and ink doodles

Then on the opposite end of things, I've been making random pen and ink doodles. Nothing special, but a couple came out neato. I drew a couple more of the man being followed by his dog. I especially like the lawyer one. It makes the boldest statement.

Prince Valiant and some Flash Gordon

This past month of April has been a very dry spell for me creatively. Unfortunately, I have not been able to come up with new ideas for picture books, comics, or random illustrations. Nothing seems to be appealing to me.

While a part of me says to step back and take a couple weeks off, another part of me wants to work through it. In the meantime, I've been redrawing some Prince Valiant comics from the late 30's. Hal Foster's rendering are beautiful and unmatched by anyone on the comics pages save a couple others. Being classically trained as an illustrator from the Brandywine school, Foster introduced fine rendering to the comics page and beautiful storytelling. Reading one of the Fantagraphics introductions, Mark Schulz points out that although he renders realistically, his black and white art work is still very abstract, and the distance between "Prince Valiant" and "Peanuts" in terms of art is a very minute one. It's then the brain that makes the jump from abstraction to representation which is neat to me.

Anyhow, I've also been making myself do more reference work. A couple of these illustrations were done with the aid of a photograph that I've taken. A very good habit to get into especially if realistic rendering or foreshortening comes into play. Very good practice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Some pen and ink work. The first I drew a house, but then I drew the guy in a car. My homage to Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac I suppose. The next one is fun too. Actually both drawings have angry people in it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pine Tree

Hiding behind a pine tree

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Cartoon

This didn't go up yet on Smithtown Matters, but I like the drawing.

What I'm working on.

These illustrations are part of a project that I've been working on with a very friendly person with a PhD in psychology. Basically, the project is illustrating a number of conflict resolutions and situations through the medium of comics. I instantly loved working on this project since it's gives me a chance to flex my comics muscles and do some different things that I would normally not do. I've been drawing Beetle Bailey, Blondie, and then my own interpretation of the situation in how I see fit! These couple shown is my more realistic side. Being a huge fan of Frank Cho, Al Williamson, and other classic illustrators, I worked on making these pieces as clean as possible. I like how they came out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ocean Side

As Michelle told me, that dog looks like Doug from Up.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Buttoned Up!

This is a watercolor sketch that I've been meaning to upload. Very simple, but I like the warmth of it. It's Buttons being taken for a walk on a leash with Jenny. It's funny that when I started doing that in my comic strip, my sister and her fiancee tell me that their cat, Buddy, loves to go on walks too and is on a leash! I remember Misty (the family cat growing up) HATED leashes, collars, that sort of thing. It's definitely a dog thing.

Plus a couple videos that I did to promote the Cartoonist Studio contest. They're really quick videos, and if I spent a bit more time about layout, lighting of the video shots, they'd be really spiffy. Nonetheless, they were a lot of fun to make on the spot. Also, a better look into a sense of humor (if that's what it's called!).

Arctic Tundra

I like how this came out too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Better Sketch

I think the mountains look better. Also adds warmth to the picture.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More sketches

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trees and watercolor

After working on my comics straight for about two months, I finished the last batch thinking, "OK, what now?!" Being absorbed in my comics, I didn't think about other work. Now that the comics are out of the way for the mean time, I am kinda lost.

So this past week has been catching up on illustration gigs, political cartoons, and now emptiness. My PB critique group is meeting up this Monday. So I am asking myself, "Do I continue with my eat your greens idea? Start my boys love things idea? I admit that I am not inspired currently to work on either of those ideas. I think that they're brilliant ideas, but for some reason or another, I am tired or not inspired by any visual ideas.

However, the past couple weeks I have been thinking a lot more about design and laying out a drawing. Specifically, I've been thinking about landscapes. How did Edward Hopper lay out space (saw an exhibit on him recently)? How does Bill Watterson lay out space? Patrick McDonnell? Classic illustrators?

So I started inking landscapes. Looking at pictures from calenders that I have, thinking what's the positive/negative space. I started doing this in black ink using different strokes, brushes, ways to applicate the ink making it spontaneous. I like how a couple of the results came out.

Then I wanted to do a watercolor on the sketch, then asking myself, "How much of this drawing will translate into a watercolor?" Hence the results. I am undecided how it came out. I really like it, but it seems incomplete. I will admit that I do not know how to handle the mountain background. In the picture, the mountain molds into the water through a mist. I think that they either have to go or redraw the image somehow. The white space is a beautiful organic shape, but something is missing.