Just Heads Today

Here is a quick flurry of heads. Drawn with a RoseArt X500 0.7mm mechanical pencil on paper, scanned with a Mustek Scan Express A3 1200 Pro USB Large Format Scanner and colored with Adobe Photoshop.

The End.

There's One In Every Crowd

This is the final version of the drawing that will be running Sunday on the A&E section front-- I previewed a few heads in a previous post with different coloring. Click the picture for a big ol' version. Yow. I should scale that down. Eh, too much work.
I began work on this, as usual, by roughing in shapes in Photoshop. Wanting a very clean look, I took those roughs into Illustrator to "ink" them. Then I dragged the characters back into photoshop to arrange them and to color them.
...Other work obligations appeared and demanded my attention, and I knew I was not going to make it if I didn't start cutting corners, so the final few characters I drew quickly in photoshop and simply left them there, tightening them up as best I could.
...There were a few unfinished and unresolved design problems at the very end, but what can you do? The harried, final push was spent smooshing things around and coloring in the awkward spots in an attempt to make it look like it was all planned that way.
...It would have been great if I could have done a couple of more rows on top and to the side-- eh, but that's just because drawing the characters was so much fun.


Newspaper Illo That Didn't Make It

This illustration was set to run front page on the Sunday that just passed, March 22, but breaking news took top priority, and rightly so. Four Oakland police officers were killed in the line of duty of Saturday night, and there's not much to say about such a horror.

Since it probably won't be used in the paper any time soon, I thought I'd share this here. Scroll down a couple posts to see my first rough for this.

The End.


(To be read aloud, preferably in a style reminiscent of Charlton Heston or William Shatner; dramatic but with a hint of ham...)

The great event is over and the crowds are melting out of the stadium, flowing in streams to the parking lot, swirling in eddies of automobiles and escaping into the currents of freeways, expressways, boulevards and roads. Eventually, in tiny groups, they coagulate in their homes and for a long time they will carry with them the glow and the specialness of what they witnessed. Every once in a while someone will say: "That was quite the thing to see, wasn't it?" They will nod and smile and remember the glories.
...Back at the stadium, up in the stands, the clean-up crew has finished. They sit on the aluminum benches, they lean on the iron railings, they light cigarettes and they talk about the things that are important to them. One of them stops in the middle of a sentence, squints and with a baffled expression quietly says: "Whut the Hell?" He points down to the field..
...And there, running on the oval racetrack-- not loping gracefully but moving forward awkwardly, pounding the ground with his heavy boots-- is a solitary figure. He does not belong there on the track, and it's more than the boots that give him away. He is not outfitted in current fashion but rather in an outdated manner that he thinks is the current fashion. His socks are pulled up to the knee. His shorts are cut too high and his legs are not the legs of someone accustomed to running. Without consideration for aerodynamics his legs and arms are brazenly left unshaven. You can hear his keys jingling in his pocket.
...The clean-up crew watches silently as the man rounds the final bend, weaving in and out of the outside lane as he does so. He breathes heavily-- frighteningly heavily-- and each breath is accentuated by a vocalization that is part moan and wheeze and gasp. He is damp with sweat and it is the greasy kind of sweat laden with the oils of too many croissants, too many pizzas; it beads and clings to him as though he is basted with exotic butters.
...The runner gulps and groans and thumps down the final stretch. Excitement grows in his breast and he thinks "Turn it on! Time for the final burst of speed!" His arms begin to swing in wider arcs, his breathing sounds increase and become falsetto shrieks, his knees rise higher and pump faster... but for all the show his speed stays about the same.
...Time passes, and finally he crosses over the faded, trampled chalk of the finish line. He staggers and he stumbles to a wobbly but standing halt. He tries to jump and throw his arms up in celebration but he almost falls. He bends over, hands on knees, eyes shut, he is praying for the pain to go away.
..."Hey," say one of the janitors. "Hey, you! You're not supposed to be down there!"
...The runner sees the people in the stands, but the rapid heartbeat pummels his eardrums from the inside and drowns out their cheers. He points at them and whoops and does a little victory dance that gives the impression one of his legs is much shorter than the other. "Whoo!" He yells. "Whoo! 200, baby! 200!"
..."What'd he say?" asks one. "Fukif I know," says another. "Hey! What are doing? I'm going to call the cops if you don't get the Hell out of here!"
..."YES!" the runner enthusiastically declares, triumphantly accepting the adulation of his fans. "200 blog posts! 200! YES!"
...One of the fans pulls out a cell phone and starts dialing.

The End
Okay, that was fun. Here's the drawing for this post, since drawing is what this is all supposed to be about. It has nothing to do with the story, but here it is anyway.
Pencil, pen and Phtotshop. Photoshop.
200 posts! Whoo!

Little Something

This is the first draft of an illustration for my job. It's been a tough few days-- busy at work and busy at home. I'm suffering from a sense of work burn-out and I have a fierce headache. I feel a day-long nap coming on which I'll try to stall until the weekend-- so this picture has unintentional self-portrait overtones. Undertones. Or something.

Okay, enough distraction. Back to work.

Cartoon Heads!

Here are some silly heads. I'm making them for an illustration for work. The project involves a crowd scene so I've got to come up with a small slew of faces; I pulled a few aside and colored them this morn just for kicks.

Little Drawing...

This morning I aimlessly drew a head and a torso and inked it. I liked her scars and thought I'd lay a little color on her. She comes across a fairly grim, I suppose, which is unfortunate. I think she smiles easily and has great personal charm; I have caught her here wearing a rare mirthless expression.

No point to this one, just a doodle.


What a Rube!

Last week, I drew this for one of Dan Borenstein's opinion pieces that ran in the Contra Costa Times. In the article he compared the complexities of California's public finances to a Rube Goldberg device, so I was asked to fill up some space with a Goldbergian cartoon.
...Rube Goldberg was brilliant. His inventions -- however ludicrous -- make sense. Brilliant, ludicrous and sensible are not my specialties. Public finances are also outside my realm of understanding -- with a smattering of coins in my pocket I have to drop all of them into the soda machine and press the button before I know for sure whether or not I have enough for a Coke.
...Instead of cleverness I went for a simple, nonsensical cartoon. Quarter to dime to nickle to penny -- I know that's how my bank account works. I tossed in a little Arnold, too, just because he is Governator and when he's left office I'll wish that I drawn many more Arnolds. I'm not really an editorial cartoonist but what an amazing windfall he has been for that profession. We can only hope the rules will be changed and he can run for president. What great fun that would be. OH! Perhaps Palin could be V.P.! God, let it be so!
...Eh. Forget it. Bad idea. But if it happens I know we can really work with it.