Goofing Around

A loose doodle. I wanted to practice freestyle landscape Bob Ross style. No reference, that might be why it's not very good.

Well, I did look at a few pictures after it was almost done, searching for some clues on how improve it. I found a little bit of help and started to "fix" it, but I could be here all day doing that. Good 'nuff for the doodleblog.

The ENd

Bad Fan Art

I'm going to design the Preview cover at work next week-- that's the weekly entertainment/movie/TV tabloid. Cover story: that Wolverine movie. Not too sure what I'm going to do, but while I thought about it I doodled up a study referencing one of the promo photos.

I set out to do a quick study, pretending I was Frazetta, but I may have taken the rendering too far in places and it's starting to look a little too precious. I stopped before I made it worse.

It would be cool to do a faux movie poster along these lines, but there won't be time for that. I'm leaning toward not using this for the cover, because it doesn't really add anything to the original photo (and I'm embarrassed by that poorly done arm) but I thought it might be okay for show-and-tell here. I haven't painted anything in a long time, so it was fun.

I really want to put him in that brown and orange costume that John Byrne designed, mask and all; and then cover his arms, shoulders and chest with the copius body hair he had back in the day.

Hopefully, someday, they'll make a cgi X-Men movie with the characters designed to look exactly like the Byrne and Austin X-Men. The comic geek in me would think that would be ultimate super-hero movie bliss.

The End.

Twitter 2

Here is an illustration for a Chuck Barney story; another contribution to the Twitter frenzy. In particular it is a story about celebrity twittery, which is a rather robust topic at the moment. Our story has been on the burner for well over a month but it hasn't made it into the mix until now, so it might not be as cutting edge as it could be but sometimes the crumbling of the cookie happens in this way.

I did another Twitter illustration last year (here) and I toyed with the idea of doing this one in the same style (a sort of cartoony cubism, if you don't feel like clicking the link), but it had been a challenging project. The amount of effort may not show in the final product but I took an improvisational approach to it and there was a lot of searching and erasing to do before I came to the happy end (I really enjoyed that one.)

When I found an afternoon to spend on this illustration I decided to do it in Illustrator. Why? I don't know, I don't really care much for Illustrator as a drawing tool. I haven't worked with it enough to be able to impose my will on it. I feel like I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to undo what I just did on accident; but I wanted to achieve the flavor of Twitter's design style and I decided that could be done more easily with vector art, and I had time to wrestle with it. So what the heck1

I kept it simple, mostly just circles and ovals. It took a while to create a bird that looked like a bird but once I got there it was pretty easy. It was just like moving little cutouts around on a table. I did several layouts and gave the page designer 3 or 4 options to work with. This is the one that made it.

I didn't have the word balloons around the photographs at first, so it kind of looked like the big bird was vomiting celebrity photographs onto the smaller birds. Not a totally inappropriate visual interpretation, but probably too obvious to be subtly funny.

In another display of obviousness, I turned the eye of the large bird to a star to set it apart as the celebrity, leaving the other birds with simple dots for eyes.  I remember reading something about a simple dot being used as a symbol for the common man. Was is Dostoyevsky? Nietzsche? I know that Woody Allen used that symbolism in "Crimes and Misdemeanors," but I forget where it originated. (A quick google didn't give me an easy answer-- that's all the research I'm up for at the moment.) Anyway, it works as a good incidental but probably unimportant use of symbolism, adding a deeper, pretentious layer of meaning to what seems, at first, a rather pedestrian composition. I'm reaching, I know.

So, here's the latest thing. It does not look like something that I would do, which I take as a sure sign I'm not in control of the tools I'm using.

The End.

Yawn. More Heads.

Here are a few more head doodles. I think I'm really digging on the top-left's hairstyle/beardstyle, so much so that I've drawn it twice now (see yesterday's post.) Maybe I'll hide the razor for a few months and see if I can get that look going in the real world. It'll be a big hit with all the cool kids, for sure!

I've had a very busy Jan-April, and although I've managed to throw a few little drawings and works up on this blog, I'm determined to do some work with a bit more meat to it. Heads are fun but they don't really do much, do they? I'll see about cranking out some full-figure stuff and maybe even some backgrounds. You know, real drawing-- not this weak doodleshtuff I've been tossing around. S'fun tho.

Pencil, brush and P-shop colors!

The End.


Here are a few drawings scribbled in Illustrator and colored in Photoshop.

Crust Prevention

There is not much time for talk, as I am about to run off to work, but I had to throw something new up here. April has been very busy and I haven't found the time for drawing. I'm taking this moment to stir the stagnant waters of the puddle that is this blog, just to keep the crust from forming around the edges.

Here are a few heads. They're not very good. They're all I've got to show. More soon. I hope.


Surfing Thing

This is a graphic that ran in the San Mateo County Times last week. I worked with reporter Julia Scott (always a pleasure) who wrote the text and a related story. This is more of a narrative graphic than most I work on, and these are a lot of fun to put together. Newspaper graphics routinely require the utmost speed but it was held for a couple of days, giving me the opportunity for extra craftsmanship.

This isn't the final version-- there were a couple of tweaks and corrections to the text, as I understand it-- but this is the only copy I have with me right now. Close enough!