Play Ball!

It's that time of year! I don't follow baseball like I used to, and I haven't been to a game in more than five years, but I listen to the Giants and A's on the radio. Nothing like a day at the ballpark, even if you're just sitting in your car.
...This ran as the cover to the special section for this season. I was looking at a picture of Zito when I created the figure.

More Head Sketchbook Sketches

I like those Pitt brush pens, they really are a terrific tool. How easy they make it to go out sketching, and it's nice to have a brush you can pull out for a quick scribble and, just like that, put the cap back on and go on your way.
...This morning I took the time to pull out the bottle of ink and a winsor & newton #3 brush. I did a quick, loose sketch and then switched over to the w&n. My first jab into the bottle was too deep, drenching the ferrule and almost hitting the handle. Wow, I thought, how long has it been since I've done this?
...Long time.
...This is the way to work, though. You may not be able to tell by looking at my modest doodle-- alas, it does not improve my drawing-- but there is a certain quality to working with wet ink that adds Quality. My bottle of ink is old and thick, so it's akin to laying down a shellac, but it sits so nicely on the paper and it his a texture that you can't get with a brush pen.
...I really like working this way again. Another step away from my total dependence on the computer.
the end.

Sketchbook Heads

I have this cat and he goes by the name of Mr. Quincy. He is a rather fussy gentleman, and not much of a gentleman in the traditional sense of the word, but he is a good friend and therefore I try not to speak ill of him.
...He is very conversational. He often approaches me with a high-riding tail and a comment or two. I will reply with a greeting of my own and I'll ask how he is doing. In response he will growl tiredly, and bump his forehead to my shinbone, or commit a smooth slide along the side of my leg, ending with a gentle tail wrap.
...Our conversations are constant. I will say something about the weather. He won't understand but out of courtesy he will pretend he does, and offer a few words which I won't understand. Perhaps it is advice about the frequency of feeding times, perhaps he is forgiving me for the bath I subjected him to yesterday, perhaps he is suggesting that it would be nice for the two of us to go sit in the ivy on the patio and watch the hummingbirds.
...I'd like to think he approves of me, but I don't have any proof that his concerns go too far beyond the obvious despair he feel when his bowl is empty.
...He is a very prominent fixture in my world and he creeps into my dreams and into my sketchbooks. There he is again, damn cat.
...Pencil sketch, scanned and given a ten-minute color job.
This is an assortment of heads. Nobody in particular. Pen, brush and ink with a little bit of white goache because I got carried away with the ink.
...There was a great temptation to fiddle with the drawing after scanning it. When I over-inked, I shrugged and thought "eh, I'll fix it in photoshop." It's bad enough I'm coloring some of these on the computer.
...Which reminds me; I did apply watercolor to one of my drawings but the paper doesn't take to it to well, and the drawing was pretty weak. It shall not appear.

Sketch Heads

...Presenting a couple more head doodles.
...I may be cheating a little bit here– if there is such a thing as cheating in this– because the coloring in today's second drawing is digital, as was the applied color in the previous post.
...My intention was not to fuss over these drawings, but when it comes time to upload them I have this flinching of the soul that motivates me to stain them in hopes of improving them. I will try to keep that in check but I am very much too human and I will probably keep on fussing anyway.
...No reference was used for either doodle, although the second one was based on the dim memory of some cat I saw in a coffee shop. No, he didn't really wink at me.
The End.

Sketchbook Project Underway (again)

...I have never been good at keeping a sketchbook. Rotten at it. There's something about all of those blank pages waiting right underneath the one I'm working on. They speak to me and say things like "hurry up!" and, "You'll never be able to draw this many!"
...I have quite a collection of sketchbooks with the first five to ten pages filled with drawings and then 100, 200 blank pages. If you look in at the gutters you can usually find the remnants of pages I've torn out; the offending pages ripped and tossed for fear that someone would see the horrible scribblings I've managed to put to paper.
...My wonderful wife purchased for me, this past Valentine's Day, TWO sketchbooks. Yes. Two.
...One is a moleskine with watercolor paper in it, about 30, 40 sheets. I'm not really big on watercolor and it looks so nice right now. I fear to lay down that first stroke, I fear to splash that first droplet of watercolor.
...The other sketchbook has less intimidating paper in it, to be sure, but he is thick and dense. Two hundred pages? Possibly. He does go on. There is one of those little ribbons sticking out of the spine, so that you can mark your place if you should have to put it down in the middle of a drawing and come back to that spot later without a lot of flipping of the pages. He gives this air that he is something fine but he does not fool me.
...He is nothing without me. So it is he I will first try to conquer.
...I think I will just fill it with heads. Head studies, as in head #1 here, and made up heads, #2. I will try to deface a page or two every day.
The end

Awwww! Barf!

How this happened, paraphrased:

...You have any pictures of cute bunny rabbits? We're looking for art for an Easter Bunny related thing.
...Nah. No cute bunny rabbits.
...Bummer. We need one.
...Sorry, I'm all out of cute bunny rabbits.
...Bummer. Thanks anyway.
...Okay, now, where was I. New photoshop brushes to try out! Yeah. So, what'll I draw? Dang, I can only think of cute bunny rabbits. Well, let's just do a quick one to get it out of my system.
...Hey! Finish that and we'll use it.
...Um. Okay. Ick.

...I have this urge to draw a meat cleaver embedded in his fuzzy little chest. Perhaps a bloody arrow through his widdle head could be sketched in. At the very least there should be a rusty bear-trap awaiting his next bouncing step. Why do I want terrible things to happen to this little rabbit? It's not like me to have these feelings of hatred. But I do. I do.

The End.

Sorta Horses

...This is an illustration for an article on handicapping horses. Just what are people looking at when they give a horse the once-over to decide whether they should put their money on him/her?

.The art director gave me a heads-up and a brief description to let me know that it was coming. Based on that description – and taking a purely illustrative approach (as opposed to informative) – I quickly slashed out the portion of the drawing that is in black. I then set it aside.

The editor then came to talk to me about the assignment and I showed him what I had. Great. Go with that. Cool.

When I first slapped down the horse shape, in my mind I had the vision of a pen & ink drawing by Picasso of Don Quixote (a quick search for "picasso quixote" will bring it up.) Of course, now that I see it, it looks nothing like my attempt. The impression of that piece – however wrong my perception of it may have been – what I was aiming for.

Maybe that's how you do new things. From memory, try to imitate something that you think is really cool, and yet have no clear remembrance of.

...This past weekend I spent a fun few hours at Wondercon in SF. I picked up a few Kirby and Ditko books out of the cheap boxes (mid-70's stuff-- some of my favorites!) and chatted with fellow members of the National Cartoonist Association (Northern California Chapter.) A good time was had by all.

Quite a few Contra Costa Times readers came by the table and chatted during my Saturday morning sit-in. I was slouched in my chair behind a few smelly newspaper tear-sheets and portfolio book or two, and though I had a fever and weepy bloodshot eyes, friendly people came over, talked and sifted through my work. I really appreciated the feedback and had a terrific time meeting those folks.

I should do stuff like that more often and I think I will. Comics would be a fun way to make money to pay for cold pills, wouldn't it? Hmm.

A quick photoshop sketch of a horse done just to see if I could. All my horses look like dogs.

Eh. It's alright. Photo reference (so that it wouldn't look like a doberman.)