The Artist at Home

As I rested-- flat upon my back, a cat curled up and pinning me down from sternum to chin-- with one hand I held a sketchbook up in the air; with the other hand, a pilot pen clutched therein, I drew a rather shaky drawing.
...My (very) significant other unknowingly held a pose just long enough. The cat held her pose throughout, making it all very difficult.
...I applied a quick color/texture treatment in Photoshop after scanning it. The naked drawing is below.

The End.

The Prince of Hangmen

George Maledon, one serious dude.

Here is a pen/brush/ink drawing referenced from one of those Time-Life Old West books. I piled on the color and texture in photoshop just for kicks-- or maybe to hide the drawing.
...No cowardice allowed! So, here's the uncluttered drawing as it currently resides in my sketchbook. I might stain it with real-world colors later if I run across one of those idle moments I've heard so much about...

The End.

Frank and Jesse

This is a pen & ink drawing that has been (amateurishly) stained in Painter 8! I haven't worked much with Painter, I bought it a few years ago and it ran so slowly on my old computer that it was useless. Now, it's slightly useable, but at a much lower resolution than I prefer to work at.

I do like what it can do-- maybe I'll start messing around with it and see if I can get some more use out of it.
...These guys are Frank and Jesse James, referenced from a book on the Old West. Here's the original drawing without the color experiment:

The End.

Quick Sketch

...I listen to Old Time Radio quite a bit, and one of my favorites is "Frontier Gentleman," starring John Dehner. He's an English journalist writing for the London Times about his adventures in the American West. The stories are full of gold mines, saloons, cowboys, Indians, and gunfighting-- great stuff.

...I found a picture of Mr. Dehner, dressed as the Frontier Gentleman character, J.B. Kendall, and did a quick sketch in photoshop. Makes me wonder if they made a movie.
...Dehner also played Paladin in the "Have Gun, Will Travel" radio show-- not quite as good, but still fun. He was a regular performer on the "Gunsmoke" radio show (maybe the best over the airwaves drama-- radio or tv-- of all time!) and, after a quick glance at, it looks like he was in over 250 movies and TV shows. Busy guy. Great voice. (Oh, I just read that he started his career as an animator for Walt Disney. Cool-- on top of everything else he likely was able to draw much better than I can!)
...I spent about 10-15 minutes on this doodle, not aggressively pursuing a likeness, but just drawing for the fun of it. I hope to do more loose studies and fun work for posting and this is a step in that direction.
The End.

Christmas Carol Contest

Same kind of deal as last year. The newspaper asks the readers to send in "re-imagined" lyrics for classic Christmas songs, and the editors look 'em over, pick their favorites and run them in the paper. You can sing along at home!
...It's good fun and gets a lot of response from the readers. This year the "winning" entry was performed by the Acalanes high school choir and posted on the Contra Costa Times website... somewhere in there. I can't find it, but it's there.

...This one isn't as much fun as the illustration I did for last year's contest. Conceptually, it doesn't quite fit the theme of the thing the way the other one did. This was my first idea-- not always the best idea in my creative process-- but I didn't have time to come up with anything else. I started working on the final version toward the end of one shift and I stayed up most of the night to get it done.
...I was inspired by the notion of playing Santa as Pavarotti, and thought it would be fun to have a small orchestra of elves sitting behind the crooning Claus. Perhaps they would all be playing toy instruments, or perhaps just fist fulls of bells. At 4 a.m. I decided an elf orchestra wasn't going to happen. So, I my sights on an elf trio consisting of a violin, a cello and a one man band, with a drum, ukelele, kazoo, cymbals, etc.
...I was tired and running out of time, so I said: "a triangle will do." Maybe it's not as funny as a one-man-band but the triangle turns it into a more subtle joke. One of those subtle, unfunny jokes, perhaps.
...For my newspaper job I always work in photoshop and with many layers; it allows me to move things around and to scale the seperate pieces in order to accommodate the needs of the page designers, even at the last minute. For this project I had to scale the elves way down to get the final page layout to work but I was very happy with it.
The End

Little Pond, Big Ol' Frog

...I've been going through old files again, and I've found almost all of a 16-page comic that I did about 10 years ago.

...Here are two consecutive pages; you might need to know that the character-- a D&D-style fantasy adventurer named "Iggy"-- is hunting up an evening meal for his pals and he has decided that frog's legs would be just the thing! He's heard a loud throng of frogs off in the distance and is excited by the prolific croaking in the air.
...I did this project because I wanted to try to get some work as a comics artist. So I got serious about it and, in about a month (while still showing up at my regular job,) I drew & inked 16 full-size pages, scanned them in and pieced them together on my cutting-edge Macintosh 7500.
,,,My wife chipped in and colored several pages-- she is also an artist and her deft hand made completion of the project possible. I printed out a bunch of color copies on a home printer and wandered off to a convention. How can you beat a minicomic, with a full story, art and colors?
...Because of a certain distaste for the mainstream of the time, I wasn't interested in super-hero comics and I thought my presentation might be a breath of fresh air amidst the horde of Image-style wannabees who were ubiquitous at the time. Boy, was I wrong-- I didn't seem to impress anybody.

...We learn that the giant frog is a Great Wizard; loser in a battle with a Greater Wizard who saw fit to lay upon him the most classic of curses. On these pages, he tells us of the torments of his life as a frog:
...Looking at this today, I kind of like it. I enjoy it in the way that I enjoy the efforts of other artists; I don't remember most of the work that went into it and it doesn't look much like something I'd do now-- it's strange and surprising to me. So, hey, that's a pretty cool comic! Like the frogs. How does it end?
...If I can find all of the lettered and colored pages I might make a low-res pdf of it just for kicks, and post it here if blogspot accommodates that kind of thing.

The frog is slowly regaining his powers and, given time, he hopes to rule the lands of men! Well, he's not quite powerful enough to mesmerize our hero the way he has all of the creatures who live around the moat, and that is his fatal mistake. Our hero ends the menace to mankind and brings back to his friends the largest, most delicious frog's legs of all time!
The End.