Robin looks a little worried...

...but The Bat-Man seems all right.

Just drawin' heads for fun. Pencil, brush & ink on cardstock. I did a quick sketch with the broadside of a pencil and then laid down the ink. After a scan I applied a quick and simple color job and started to do too much. I put on the brakes and stopped.

The End.

P.S. Extra Batman picture added a couple of days later, just because I found it in my pile of doodles and thought it would fit right in here!
Pencil with colors digital.


Months before Mr. Bonds surpassed Mr. Aaron's home run total, our graphics department started planning a page to commemorate the achievement. Without much thought toward a page layout-- which would need to incorporate stats & factoids-- I worked up this piece as a starting point. It's a cobbled together arrangement of my drawings of the two sluggers and a simple, quickie graphic environment meant to evoke the feel of a ballpark without being a realistic representation.

Treating it as pure illustration, I would have liked to have simplified the field and the figures even more, to have broken it down into an expressionistic/cubist piece along the lines of Gary Kelley's work. I didn't get around to pushing it because the final layout went in a different direction and, for the purpose of being an infographic, it became a much more sensible presentation.

So, I found this unused arrangement in my reject pile and I kind of like it, even though it is-- in many ways-- a useless thing and a bit of a failure.

...Go Giants!
The End.

Another A&E Cover

...For this Arts & Entertainment section cover I pulled out my box of (digital) pastels, propped up a (scanned) piece of cardboard on my easel (monitor) and-- after soaking my eyeballs in a frenzy of Toulouse-Lautrec-- I perpetrated this attempt at "art."
...I referenced a photo taken of the performers in this play-turned-opera, and I did a fairly brisk and straight-ahead figure sketch-- not much erasing or undoing permitted. After the drawing was settled, I scratched in the color, being careful not to "finish" any part of it.
...I was trying to capture the improvisational feel I get from T.-L.'s work. Did I get what I wanted? Eh, kinda. I think I treated the figures with too much caution; I should have been a bit more energetic and little less faithful to the photo. Lautrec's drawings, those that I like best, tend to thrash around a bit, most lines finding their resting place after two or three others have missed the mark. Lovely stuff.
...Hit or miss, I had fun doing it.
The End


My Spider-Man-fan nephew, Gus, sent me a very nice drawing of our friendly-neighborhood you-know-who. There he is, swinging along beneath the moon, beneath the clouds.
...His drawing was done on typing paper in pencil, colored pencil and marker (I think.) It was folded up rather vigorously and mailed via U.S. Postal Service-- this accounts for the unique and interesting wear of this piece.

...I responded with this pencil, pen and watercolor attempt, done on yellowish card-stock paper because I have a lot of it. I didn't have the energy or the discipline to include a background.

...When nephew-Gus' envelope arrived, he had included a note that read, "Please send back!" This let me know that it was a work of which he was particularly proud. I placed his drawing and mine in a large flat envelope and mailed them in tandem. He, perhaps will tack them to his wall; I will tack them here.

...I have exchanged Spider-Mans with him before, in 2005. In the scan above, I have dropped my 2005 drawing in between his two earlier efforts. A quick comparison of our scribbles will show that he has improved; I have not.
...I'm afraid that he is practicing harder than I am.

The End.

Hawkbot Berserker

I was sketching without plan, without purpose; doodling and daydreaming, and this drawing started to take shape. It began as a man in armor, but moved briskly from man to machine. Some kind of Berserker, I thought, as I almost always do when I draw a menacing robot.
...I read "Berserker" by Fred Saberhagen when I was about 12 years old. It had a cool Boris Vallejo cover with spaceships blasting away-- a sure sign of quality as far as I was concerned-- so I figured it was going to be a great book; and it was! It was a collection of short stories about robots that seek to destroy all life, wherever they find it-- at least that's my 12-year-old self's quick and dirty summary.
...How could you go wrong with that? More Berserker collections and novels began to appear after I made my way through the first book-- most of them with Vallejo covers! I ate 'em up. Killer robots and Boris!
...While in the midst of my Berserker frenzy, I found Saberhagen's "The Empire of the East," a sci-fi-fantasy story that absolutely blew me away-- I read it several times during high school. I bought anything with Saberhagen's name on it. The assorted sci-fi novels, his Dracula series, the first Swords trilogy; he has been favorite of mine all of my life.
...I haven't bought any of his books since the early '90s-- not for any reason other than I haven't done much recreational reading at all since then. Even so, Saberhagen's work has remained vivid in memory, and I often think about his stories, especially when I'm doodling robots. His work has been a cornerstone in my imagination for about thirty years.
...I checked in on his website for the first time in a long time and I see that he passed away on June 29th. Bummer.
...I wrote an email to him last year, the only time I've tried to communicate with a celebrity-- I'm too bashful for that sort of thing and it was out of character for me. I'd been inspired to do it because I had recently opened a box and found my stashed-away Saberhagen collection; I hadn't realized how many there were! On the shelf it's a stretch of paperbacks longer that my arm. Looking at the covers and flipping through them took me to a time when I really enjoyed reading for pleasure and there were no pleasures that were as satisfying to the imagination as reading.
...I wrote and thanked him for the great books, confessing that I hadn't been keeping up, but that I was re-visiting the old work and looking forward to what I'd missed. He said:

Hello, Jeff --

Glad you like the books. And, thanks for dropping a note.

Hope you enjoy reading the later books.



...Neat. Made my day and I'm glad I did it.
...So, here's a berserker. I had been thinking of him as "Hawkbot," uncertain of his character or his intent. After reading of Saberhagen's passing I have decided that he is a relentless destroyer of men and would squash you or I if given the chance. Dedicated to Mr. Saberhagen.

The End.

A Garden Rock and the Importance of the Artist

Last Saturday morning, I spent quiet time on the patio in the company of my cats, my cup of coffee and my sketchbook; and I put those idle moments to some kind of use by drawing a portrait of this rock.
...During that brief sitting I came to know that this rock is a rock like no other rock. See how he sits so unpretentiously in the small plot of dirt that is his domain! See how his friends-- also rocks-- gather around, drawn to him by the natural feelings of admiration that a rock such as he may inspire.
... How often do characters worthy of mention go unmentioned? This is the importance of the artist. Without the eye, without the sensitivity, without the heightened perceptive abilities cultivated by the artist, so many things pass without celebration; so many things pass without notice.
...This rock, despite his sturdy significance in the small community of which he is-- well, the rock-- he might simply have gone on, silently, receiving no recognition for his calm, for his dignity. This is the first time, I am sure, he is praised in so public a forum. This is the first time, I am sure, his portrait has been drawn.
...I take pride in my part in this. Now, his likeness and his story are presented in this age's arena of stories and images, the internet. Judging by recent traffic, perhaps as many as ten people will know of this rock; they will see his portrait and learn of his dignity. Perhaps these visitors will be compelled to seek and to find, in their garden, a rock of such character. Perhaps they will take a moment to appreciate and to praise something of seeming commonness which they can, with an unwieldy aesthetic construct, elevate to a proper state of grandness.
...(It took me all day to write this. Much longer than it took to draw the stupid rock.)
...Pencil sketch, colored in photoshop.

The End.