Election Stress

I created this illustration with Manga Studio & Photoshop, and it ran on the front page of the Mercury News on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

The excellent story is by Angela Hill, a writer I've paired with many times in the past. When she writes with a smile I think my work compliments her work very well. You can read this piece online here.

Drawn and painted in Manga Studio with a bit of Photoshop.

The concept occurred to me immediately when I was given the topic. I put the rough together in an afternoon, after discarding some other compositions along the way. After the rough was accepted, I discovered I only had a few hours to get it finished, so there was some election stress illustration stress when I found out it was needed that quickly, but it worked out.

Most art is better when the artist doesn't get the chance to polish it up too much.

The end.

Illustration Denied

Here is a color rough for an illustration I will not finish... because it's been canceled. This was going to accompany a story about creating pathways and tunnels for animals so that they don't have to cross busy streets and highways. One look at my rough and they decided against it. Sniff.

Had fun drawing it, tho.

Painted in Manga Studio and Photoshop!


A few years ago I found an old folder in the attic full of post-it notes stuck on sheets of typing paper. Hundreds of post-it notes with head drawings and abstract doodles. Looked a lot like this:

Drawn in MangaStudio. Click to enlarge, altho they
probably won't be improved by closer examination.

The other day I ran across a video on YouTube where an artist was drawing abstract stuff as an exercise for coming up with ideas for more realistic work. I'm not pursuing that goal here. I enjoyed watching the abstractions appear as he drew and thought they were just fine. I want to play, too!

I decided to turn off the thinking machine and just doodle. Draw a line or two, spin the page 90 degrees, draw more lines, spin the page again, draw more lines; and so on, until each one looked right. Well, they don't all look right to me but, at some point, they looked "done."

Drew three pages of them this evening and stacked them in the order I drew them, top to bottom. You can tell by the third page that I desperately wanted to get back to drawing something that wasn't an abstract doodle!

It was a lot fun to focus on composition and not craft. But now I seriously want to draw real stuff, like dogs playing poker, or something like that.

Family Harmony

Here is my latest illustration. It ran on Sunday, Sept. 25 in the Bay Area News Group family of newspapers (Mercury News, East Bay Times, etc.) and online. You can read the excellent story by the always excellent Michelle Quinn at this link.

Drawn in Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop

Below is my first rough. 

I didn't have a clear idea about how to show what was going on in the cloud so I just put an old iPod up there before showing it to the editors. It's the same idea, same concept, but I needed a better symbol. Otherwise there wasn't much change from the get-go.

Here is how I tweaked it for online presentation:

Below is how the great Daymond Gascon used my scribble on the biz front. 

The End.

P.S. Yes, I put that shirt on him on purpose because . . . shhh . . .  (whispering:) I really dig KISS.

Keeping You Safe

This is a piece that ran in the Mercury News on Sunday, Sept. 4. The excellent story, by biz writer Queenie Wong, can be read here, at this link.

This is the reconfigured format for online presentation. Open in new window for a HUGE image.

Here is what it looked like in print.

Design by the always wonderful Daymond Gascon.

That is all!

Blue Tooth At Home

I did this a couple of years ago for a story about blue tooth devices for home and car... I think. It's been a while and I can't find the story online, but that sounds about right.

I'm a bit rushed today so I don't have time to do all the usual legwork, but I'll update this later if I get around to finding the story, the pdf for the printed page, etc.

A Beginner's Guide to Old Time Radio

I was recently able to do an illustration for a topic near and dear; old time radio! You can read the fab story by Pat May at this link! Here's what I did:

Drawn in Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop

I've been listening to radio theater most of my life; I've listened to so much of it that I've probably spent more time listening to radio shows than watching TV. The internet is a great resource for this nearly dead art form.

There are some good contemporary radio theater practioners, and I'll list a few when I get a chance (if I get any response to this entry) but this is a rushed post today.

I didn't realize the story was so heavily connected to the commuter until fairly late – totally bad oversight on my part. I began a quick fix, putting the shadow in a convertible, but I wasn't able to get it to a point where it looked decent, and other chores kept me from giving it the necessary attention. Too busy that week, darn it!

Here's how it looked in the paper:

The End

Doodle Dump

A couple of screenshots of recent brainstormings.

I was given two assignments on the same day, and sketched roughs for both of them on the same sheet of "paper." You can scroll down a couple of posts to see the finals.

Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop 

The figures below were doodled in anticipation of another illustration, but we ended up going in a different direction when the story didn't quite match up to what I thought it was going to be about. That happens from time to time.

I'd forgotten about that assignment and therefore haven't shared it here yet. I'll do that soon. Ended up being a Sunday front page illustration!

Photoshop sketches

The End

Flying the Unfriendly Skies

This illustration ran in the Mercury News on Friday, August 5. You can read the story by Pat May at this link. Don't have much time for typing today, but I'll try to update this post later this week.

Drawn and painted in Clip Studio Paint, with a touch of Photoshop

And here's what it looked like on the front page:

The End

Strange Fan Art

I found a very old sketch of the figure on the right, but he wasn't the Hulk yet, just a figure running. I started inking his torso and thought the body looked like a Herb Trimpe Hulk torso. I obliterated the previous noggin, sketched up a screaming Hulk head, found some pants for him, and finished the drawing.

Initially – and with a feeling of great horror – it looked as though Herb Trimpe had been inked by Robert Crumb; not what I had intended at all... but you know what? I would buy that issue in a freakin' heartbeat. I started liking it.

Drawn and colored in Clip Studio Paint, altho I'd rather just call it Manga Studio.

Clearly the Hulk was yelling at somebody, but who? I started sketching a figure, and I thought she would turn into She-Hulk, but I've never been keen on that character, except maybe for Byrne's first run. I decided a somewhat retro Wonder Woman would do, but I pushed her slightly in the direction of a Crumb drawing to keep her in tune with her opponent.

It's a slightly goofy piece of work, I'll admit, but it was fun to play with. I guess I should have put the golden lasso in there somewhere. I could have worked that in pretty easily, now that I'm looking at it.

At this point, for a second, I considered withholding this post until I looped it in there, but it's nearing bedtime and I won't have time to get to it tomorrow. Who knows how long it'll take to get back to it. 

I'm just calling it done! 

The End.

Speak Easy

Here's an illustration that ran with an excellent story by Richard Scheinin in the July 18 Tech section of the Mercury News. The story is about apps that might help you get over your fear of public speaking, or at least give an assist as you try to sweat your way through it. You can read it at this link!

Created in Illustrator.

Yeah, no public speaking for me, thank you; but the illustration came pretty easy thanks to all of the nightmarish anxiety I have when confronted by the possibility that someone might hear if I start to speak aloud.

Original rough, drawn in Photoshop.

I could have used my rough sketch as the final illustration, but I've been wanting to do vector work, since I haven't done much of that in long time. I like the rough better but the final version was fun to work on.

Here's how it looked in the paper, as designed by Daymond Gascon:

The End.

Another Experiment

I took a version of an illustration I recently created for work and used AnimeStudio to make it wiggle a little bit. Not a big deal, but I had started experimenting with some animation a year or two ago and unfortunately I wandered off and forgot what I had learned. Life is crummy like that sometimes.

So, I was able to bear down a couple of nights ago and attempted to relearn a few things. God, it was hard. It's not really "an animation," more of a looping gif type of thing but, since I'm not bright enough to figure out how to make a gif out of it, I made a dull looping movie. Progress!


Again, this is a minor attempt. I put it here mostly to shame myself into making more and better things. It's bound to be a letdown if you bother to click. Striving for improvement through embarrassment! Tally ho!

Ugh! Flash-based video above. Here is a YouTube version, which might be easier for phone and tablet people (like me!) to look at.

More later. Hopefully not a year later. Soon! I hope. Soon.

Dad Draws Evelyn, Evelyn Draws Dad

While my daughter Evelyn was out playing, I sat up against a wall, drew a quick sketch of her and then filled in the background. She stopped me as I worked and wanted to contribute, so she has a few drawings appear in the screen capture. No music for this one; I made a little tune that I liked but it was too long, so I'll save it for another project.

Drawn on an iPad with Procreate!

The Bat-Man

Drew a Batman for a neighbor kid. Colored it in a hurry this morning, and I'm still in a hurry, so that is all for now.

Drawn in Manga Studio, printed, lightbox inking on paper,
scanned back into Manga Studio, tidied up, colored in Photoshop!

The End.

Experimental Piece

Goofing around with Procreate on the iPad, Garage Band and iMovie. Maybe not so great, but I had a good time!

The End