Google's Makeover

I almost forgot about this one. It ran early December in the business section on a Sunday, I think. The story was about Google's ongoing attempt at re-branding. I was aiming for a cut-out, collage-style illustration and, looking at it now, I don't think I did well with it.

The assignment was given as a rush-job, and I started working directly, believing it was needed now! I ended up getting more time to work on it than advertised, but I didn't use the time to re-think the approach. I fiddled with painting and re-painting the dress but didn't exert mental effort on more important aspects.

I really regret my handling of the main figure's hair; it should be a much more interesting design than it is. That was a close-to-deadline change, as she had the same hair-style as the figures in the background and it dynamically stand out from the crowd. A good idea, but done in haste and without a critical eye on my part.

Found a picture of how it looked when it printed. Hm, I guess that looks alright. A thoughtful page-designer can prop up a mediocre illustration!













Christmas Illustration

Painted in Photoshop
Here's a holiday illustration that will run in the Bay Area News Group newspapers on Christmas Day.

It will be published along with a collection of stories about people who have spent Christmas alone or away from their normal Christmas surroundings.

Best wishes for the season to any and all who happen across this post, and carry those positive vibes with you the other 364.

Every day should be Santa Claus day!

Quick Filler Post

Work in progress. Painted in Photoshop!
Here's a tight-crop detail screenshot of an illustration I'm working on. I posted this on my tumblr blog the other day, and I was hoping that I would be able to post the finished piece here by now.

Not gonna happen. Too many chores and hideously long days at work. I'm feeling burnt out and I'm going to try to take a day or two off and stay away from the computer.

Right after this post, that is. Well, I might put a couple more freckles on this lady's cheeks. Fix that eyebrow first, maybe. Hm.

Minnie Silhouette

Here is a silhouette drawing of my good friend Minnie Durham. She posed approximately two minutes for this sitting and that's a long time for such a percolating bundle of energy.

Drawn in ArtRage!

1st ArtRage Painting


I had a moment of weakness the other day and bought the painting program ArtRage. I can't tell you how broke I am. There was no reason for it. "Normally $80, on sale for $50" it said. I lunged at the keyboard and clicked the "Buy Now! Buy Now! For God’s Sake, why is this taking so long? Buy Now!" button.

Stinging from a hard cold slap of buyer's remorse, I forced myself to stay up late after a long, miserable work day and made myself use it! As in, "If you're going to throw money away on stuff like that, you're going to use it whether you like it or not!"

Hey. It's kind of cool. I like it. It was difficult finding my way around the brush controls and palettes, but it has a different vibe than photoshop. Here's my first attempt at a portrait. It took about three hours of painting and manual reading, and it's not great, but I had a good time. About $50 worth of good time, dammit.

Doodle Collage

This is a collage built from doodles committed during the process of creating an illustration for the ol' newspaper job. These particular doodles were not used.

Years ago I made a habit of putting my discarded art to use in my journal. Doodles would be xeroxed, blown up, pasted down and drawn on once again. It was a great creative exercise involving drawing, designing, painting and sometimes writing. I miss the pleasures of drawing, designing and writing for myself.

This is a timid step towards trying to re-invigorate the artist by creating art in ways that I find enjoyable.

Well, heck. Now that I think about it, that's why I started working on a blog. So, this is me reminding myself why I even bother with all this nonsense.

The end.



That's A Bluejay!

I started working on a comic a couple of years ago, and I managed to create a few pages but ran out of momentum. Last night I looked over the unfinished work and glanced over the outline I had written and was inspired enough to do a quick panel.

Sure is fun to work on comics. Sure is hard to find the the opportunity to work on my own stuff with a time-consuming job and a commute that is a life-draining parasite.

Uh-oh. Cranky today.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Quincy

First, I know this is a quick change of mind after griping about it in my previous post, but the Blogspot "Dynamic Views" are back on again. I still feel slightly underwhelmed by the mechanics of the access to displayed art, but it does look snappy!

And I'm looking for freelance work and/or a new job; prospective employers and clients can see more of my art without having to scroll down the page to see one, image, at, a, time.

Maybe I'll switch back again if I convince myself it's for the best. Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy.


This is a spot illustration that will run in the newspaper, modified slightly for blog presentation. In the paper it is one of a few illustrations and will be very tiny.
The accompanying caption advocates finding time to appreciate and enjoy your pet during the holidays.

This is a portrait of one my cats, Quincy. I've mentioned him before, and used him as inspiration a few times over the years. He is a true character. He is my best friend and I hate him. He wakes me up at least three times every night wanting food or play. Every night!

True to form, he is circling the monitor, harassing me right now. I must feed him, or play with him. Now.

Blog Notes and a Bad Cartoon

Dynamic Views? Off for now.

I'm giving up the "dynamic views" style of blog-viewing here at blogspot. I like the way it looks, but I've been told by a few people that they can't access it with their browsers.

I find the dynamic views environment a little frustrating in that you have to click an extra time or two to get the artwork to open up large in a tab or another window. That seems like too much work to me.

And, in the past, I've used my link list to conveniently click over to other blogs I like. I've found that I'm not getting out and about on the blog-scene without easy access to my list. So, with disappointment, I'm done with "dynamic views" for now.

Most Productive Year

If you look to the archive list on the left you'll see that 2011 has been my most productive year as a blog-artist. It may be a case of quantity crushing quality, but on the surface it looks like I'm improving.

This Post's Art
Here is a junky little drawing I posted on my Tumblr blog the other day. (I have designated Tumblr as my post-crap-quickly-without-worrying-about-it-too-much blog.) I've never posted here without displaying a doodle of some kind, so if this seems slightly desperate... it is.

In the panel, I'm paraphrasing of a conversation I overheard in a pub a couple of decades ago. I was going to make a full-page comic out of it, but I won't have the time for that in the near future. Also, I just felt like doing a grubby little drawing and messing around with a retro comic-coloring style.


Passing Fancy

This is a hasty finish over a rough for my previously posted "Missed Connections" drawing. My attempt here didn't really fit the assignment and it's more unconventional than most of the work I do for the newspaper, but I enjoyed the look of it.

I didn't want to toss it on the junk-pile. Maybe that's where it belongs, but I enjoy looking at it. It's my blog. So there.

The ENd.


Rrrrocket Blonde!

I drew a little throwaway sketch of this character and then, instead of throwing it away, I painted over the top of it.

She's not a great doodle but she ate up a lot of my time today. I might as well post it.


The End

Missed Connections

The impression I've been given by friends and colleagues is that I am the only person who has not heard of this missed connections thing. Just in case they're wrong and you haven't heard of it either, this is my perspective on it.

You get up from in front of your computer and take a walk through the real world. You see somebody you think is kind of cute and rather than go over and talk and wink and flirt, you go home and post a note on Craigslist about how much you were attracted to whoever that was. Then you hope that person reads Craigslist and remembers you as "that attractive person leering at him or her from behind a tree yesterday." You exchange emails, send pictures, meet for dinner, fall in love and live happily ever after. Or, if that seems like too much time spent away from the computer, you just send pictures.

Angela Hill, one of the excellent writers in the MediaNews collection of wordsmiths, is writing an article to explain this whole phenomenon to pop-culture ignoramuses such as I. Here is my accompanying illustration.

And here is the first rough I did.


Smokin' Joe

This is an old newspaper spot-illustration I drew in 2004 for a project that is explained here. I'm sorry to hear that he has passed away. Joe Frazier was my favorite fighter when I was a kid. Whenever he was on TV he seemed like a pretty nice guy; and I really liked the sound of the words "And in this corner... Smokin' Joe Frazier!" Dad would say that whenever we started play-boxing.


Frazier lost to Ali and Foreman. That's all.

Frazier, in his prime, beat Ali, in his prime. 'Nuff said.

Sad to see you go, Joe. I'm not a religious person by any stretch, but if I'm wrong -- and there really is a Valhalla -- I know you're lacing up your gloves right now and getting ready to stand in against whoever wins the Gentleman Jim Corbett/Joe Louis fight.

The End

Rough Doodle Paint-Over

A couple of weeks ago I hacked out the sketch on the left. Fleshed him out in a long series of very short painting sessions, finishing tonight. Whew. Long time to get that done, and not all that crazy about it.


But it's the only drawing I've done lately. Been busy. I hope to pick up the pace soon!

A Little Rejected

This is a rough for a project at work. It's not going to be used, so I thought it might look nice on the blogwall.

Passing By
I linked their pinkies at the last moment, and that seems to give it more interest, if that kind of thing is interesting to you. Weird thing is, I feel like I've seen that idea before. I don't like stealing; at least not without knowing where I'm stealing from.

When I first drew the characters they reminded me of Earl Oliver Hurst -- a big art-hero of mine -- but, when I started coloring, they began to look more like Tadahiro Uesugi drawings -- another huge art-hero. I looked at some of their work as inspiration, and I've obviously leaned in Uesugi's direction.

The End.

Goofing Around Again

More nonsense characters. I've been awfully busy with work and family visitations this month, and I feel like I haven't had time to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes. I've been fiddling with these two scribbles for a couple of weeks and took about an hour this morning to try to polish them off.

Like the two in the previous post, I have no idea what they are. I thought they looked silly when they first appeared beneath my pen, and maybe I should have made them even sillier. They are only moderately strange instead of excitingly so.

Character Studies (?)

I have no idea.

I started these as an exercise in character design. As usual, I strayed from the purpose of drawing something that could be helpful to my portfolio. Could you see these as Star Wars characters? Perhaps as designs for the hot new Xbox game? Me either.

Again, I self-destruct.

Still, I dig that lady's pants.

Character Doodles

Busy weekend done. Time to squeeze in a drawing before bed. Three characters! You must provide your own story...

Bonus art, just for fun: Step 1, roughing them out. Step 2, refining the drawing. Step three, laying down some flat colors. Maybe I should have stopped there, that looks fine to me.
 All of it drawn in Photoshop.

The End.

Another Study

Here's a rough hewn painting I did this morning. I'm staring down the barrel of a multi-chore weekend , so this may be the only thing I do. If I post another it means I'm putting stuff off.

Georgia Hale, the leading cutie in Chaplin's "Gold Rush."

Screen Capture Painting Again

Another study. This is taken from "The Gold Rush." It's probably my all-time favorite movie. Well, that changes day to day, but it's always in the top five.

These are the two guys in the assayer's office where Big Jim McKay goes to stake his claim, but he cannot remember where it is. I should have gone color with it, just for the exercise, but I'm a little on the lazy side today.
Next one!

Spidey vs Vader

I love a good mash-up. Or is that "pastiche?" Whatever.

Sherlock Holmes crossing paths with Dracula? Awesome. Tarzan off on an adventure with Indiana Jones? I'd watch that. The Three Stooges meet Vincent Van Gogh and try to cheer him up? I am so there.



I'd buy this comic, or watch this movie. But for the moment it is merely a hasty scribble. I painted a background just now because it needed one.

Too late it occurred to me to have them fighting in Fred Sanford's junkyard. THAT would have been brill.

Fish and Fowl

Here are a couple of digital paintings for an infographic that will run in most of the Bay Area News Group newspapers this week. We have a duck (a greater scaup) and a fish (a sturgeon.)


Oh! And clams! Painted in Photoshop!

The End.

Diaper Party

Edit, Aug. 20, 2014. Original post Sept. 13, 2011

I'm revisiting this post because it has received a rash of hits lately. I don't know why, but since it's been getting so much attention -- a lot more than anything else I've done lately -- I thought I should say something. The original text was a bit goofy, complained too much about my job and hadn't aged well at all; so I might as well drop by, say "Hi" and improve the reading a bit.

What I didn't mention in the original post was while I worked on this illustration, I learned that I was going to be a father. When I first read the story and began the rough I thought "What a bunch of dorks. Men don't have diaper parties." By the time I was coloring it, I was thinking, "Who could I invite?"


The old post had this paragraph to describe what was happening in this picture:

"What's going on here? There is a growing trend among men to have "diaper parties" for new fathers. It's the usual gathering of guys, but everyone brings diapers. I know; I've never heard of it either, and I don't believe it! I've been assured it's true, and yet still am I skeptical. But skeptical or not, I have a job to do!"

Dismay and skepticism turned to acceptance and inclination all on account of a little sonogram. Well, I never had a diaper party, but I sure could have used one.

Here's how it looked in the paper.

I probably didn't think much about the style of illustration and just went with my natural Jack Davis wannabe look and kept drawing until the deadline stopped me.

Drawn and colored in Photoshop!

The End

Abner's Dead

Another one.

35 minutes.

Okay. That's it!

Chores to do today.

Indy Takes a Punch

Yup. Another study from a movie still. Started around 11 pm after a long day. Finished midnight-thirty or so.
Are these doing me any good? I think so.

I'm enjoying the slow awakening of some skills that I have not exercised in a long time. And I'm filling up the blog at a pretty good pace, too. But that's only because I'm liking it.

Onward!

Screen Capture Study

Might come back and tweak this later...
Came home after work, had a bite to eat and then spent about an hour and a half playing around in Photoshop. This is what happened. The figure is referenced from "Once Upon a Time in the West" (Claudia Cardinale. Hubba hubba.) The background was referenced from a different scene, but that wasn't working out well, so I ad libbed it. Doesn't look right now, either; but I'm tired and going to bed.

Character Design

I found this old character doodle. It was unfinished and it didn't look very good. When I saw it this morning I liked the spikey head/ball on the end of the chain. I re-worked the rest of it, and it still isn't great, but here it is anyway.

He'd be just the kind of guy you'd find in your dungeon monster manual. "This beast roams the lower levels of abandoned dungeons. They tend to travel alone and because of their great strength and frightening roar, they will attack small groups of travelers and adventurers without hesitation. They are of low intelligence and maybe that's why they hold their maces as though they were guitars."


Another Study From a Screen Capture

Referenced from A Fistful of Dollars.
Until I did the painting for the previous post I hadn't done a study in a long time. When I was in my 20s, I drew and painted from life or from photos almost every day. But I've been out of that habit for what? 15 years? That long? Sheeoot.

Well, I had so much fun working on the previous post decided to do another one. I would like to make this part of my routine and get back into painting-shape. It's harder than it used to be, but I can beat that with practice!

I gave myself a two hour time limit, but I fudged a little on that... 2:45ish. Maybe. 

Painted in Photoshop!
The End.

Quick Study

I've grown tired of typing "I haven't had time to do any art lately," so I got up extra early and started on this study. Then I came home from work and hacked away on it again. I probably worked it too much -- I liked it a lot better about twenty minutes before I "finished" it. But there! I've finally done something.

Tough hombres, a blue sky and happy little twigs.
This is referenced from a screen capture of "Once Upon A Time In The West." It's a very dark and heavy film by Sergio Leone -- I believe it was his last western. Good stuff. Charles Bronson is our hero and the villain is Henry Fonda. You'll never look at Fonda the same way again. Meanest, cruelest, most despicable bad guy in any movie, ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but you won't believe the horrible things Henry Fonda does. I can't even tell you because you wouldn't believe me.

Finished Work

This came out grubbier than I intended, but that's cool.
I was able to finish the rest of this page. (Scroll down and you'll see that I posted one panel from this two weeks ago.)

I enjoyed drawing and coloring this, but I'm going to make an effort to do comic art that might help me to get work in the mainstream. I have a tendency to sabotage my own efforts when I try to do that, but I'm going to try to stay strong; I might be needing the work.

The newspaper I work for announced they will soon  be laying off a slew of employees, and I might be one of them. Even if I survive this culling, how long will it be before they decide they can live without a wannabe cartoonist who grimaces and grumbles about having to do so many locator maps?

Gasp! Choke! Must... find... new... job! But first, I have to make myself more presentable.

The End.

Self-Diagnosis!

Here is a wonky illustration done for a story about getting yourself all bent out of shape by going online and trying to figure out what is wrong with you. Certainly you will imagine the worst, whether 'tis true or t'ain't.

It looks like a quick illustration, and it was, but not as quick as you might think. It took a few hours, I'm ashamed to say.

I tried several approaches, but this was my first idea and a direct descendant of my very first thumbnail. As I pressed forward, I looked backward and decided it wasn't going to get much better than this.

Deadline was looming, I was busy with other work and time was really tight, so I finished it up as quick as I could. . .  and then the story was held for a fortnight or so. That's the way it goes!

Had much fun, tho.

Unfinished Work

Here's a panel from a comic I started working on few months ago. Alas, again -- and I know I'm saying this way too often -- I just haven't had any time to work on it.



And, again, rather than let the artwork (and the blog) do a Rip Van Wrinkle, here it is. Someday I'll get back to being a productive artist and things will improve around here.

A Couple of Caricatures

Katy Perry (left), Adele (right.)
This was fun! It ran Thursday, August 11 in most of the Bay Area News Group papers.

These are supposed to be caricatures of Katy Perry and Adele. Adele came out okay, Perry I'm not sure. I guess if you put her name in the headline or sub-head then she's easy to spot.

I didn't know much about either of these ladies when I started drawing them, but with a little internet snooping and a short sampling of their work on Spotify, it's pretty obvious they are two talents with different approaches to their craft.

Katy Perry I'd seen here and there in adverts on the web. She impresses me as a cute pop-artist who doesn't take herself too seriously. That's cool. I have trouble lasting all the way through one of her songs, but I can appreciate what's she doing.

 Adele was completely new to me. Never heard of her. I made it through five or six of her songs; she's pretty good. Not my cup of tea, but I grok.

First roughs in the process. I didn't
care for the way it was going up top,
so I switched to a more drawing-based
approach and then painted over that.
I really don't know what I'm doing
most of the time. It's always a kind
of improvisation.
I did some initial sketches playing up the differences between the artists -- Perry jumping and waving her arms, Adele standing essentially like she is now -- and I liked them, but it would have made for a more complex and time-consuming illustration. I didn't have much time.

I decided to do caricature-style portraits instead.

To do a good caricature I have to get a lot reference and do two or three practice drawings, just to become familiar with a face. I'm not good at looking at someone once and nailing the picture. I need practice.

Katy Perry is a more conventional beauty in the sense that her features are easily downplayed with make-up and lighting to achieve that mannequin sameness that appeals in our pop culture. I had a hard time finding the uniqueness in her features that I could use to make her look like her. If you know what I mean.

Adele was fun! Her features are lovely and unique. If you look at her cd covers you can see they're trying every trick in the book to make you think she's another skinny, bland-looking pop diva, but the pictures of her out in the world show a big and wonderful difference. She has a terrific face.

Oops. I was going to talk about the drawing process, but I digressed and talked about cute girls, instead. Now, I'm tired of typing and have other stuff to do.

The End.

Thinner

Another old illustration. How many of these do I have? I suppose the day will come when I run out of old junk and the blog will sputter and die. But, until then...

I found this Photoshop painting in my newspaper illustration archives. It was done in 2004 for an Oakland Tribune story about the anorexic sub-culture. The editors suggested that I draw a skeletal woman in front of a mirror and the reflection, looking back at her, would be a beautiful woman. Not bad, not bad, but a quick internet search turned up many images that played with that concept.

I offered the idea of a beautiful woman, her image repeated in a sequence, transforming into a skeleton. Death by anorexia was considered a noble thing by the people in the story; I felt it would be an appropriate way to illustrate it. Not brilliant, but it could be effective. Someone said, okay, give it a go.

So, why Betty Grable? Betty Grable was my idea. I know, catch up with the times, right? But, here's why I chose her:

Even though Betty Grable was way before my time, I've always thought of that picture as THE pin-up. It was a ubiquitous image on TV and in magazines as I was growing up. Every time I saw it in print, the caption would refer to it as "the most popular pin-up of all time." Honestly, in pop-culture that picture was still in play until Farrah Fawcett's poster made the scene.

Since newspaper readers are an older crowd -- people around 40 and up -- I was confident that even the "younger" readers who might not know her by name would have seen the picture a hundred times in the same way I had. So, I picked her.

When I finished the illustration, there was a brief struggle over whether or not it should see print. It was more gruesome than anticipated and one editor along the path of the approval process -- or maybe more than one -- had reservations about it. It is a bit horrifying, but it was pushed through. Because of the tense discussion about its appropriateness, my stomach was in knots. I had a sleepless night worrying about it.

But it went over well. I received more positive responses from readers and colleagues for this illustration than any other one I've done for the newspaper. . . by far!

The day it ran, the editor-in-chief came over to the graphics department. He held up the illustration and he said, "Who did this?" I raised my hand. He looked at me, and I'm certain he was trying to remember if he had seen me before. He paused, opened his mouth to say something, hoping that my name would leap out, but he gave up. He gave me a thumbs-up, said "Good job!" and walked away. Whew. Felt great!

Then -- as now -- I mostly do fluffy art; charming, friendly, cartoony illustrations. I'm not complaining, but I saw this assignment as an opportunity to show that I could wipe the smile off of my face and draw something that doesn't tickle the hippocampus and then melt in the mind like cotton candy. It felt good to do something mean and ugly.

This is how it ran in the paper, cropped strangely at the ankles and on the side, but it looked good on the page that way. A headline ran across the top and the story settled in nicely on the right. I enjoyed doing it.

The End 

One (1) Sheep

Whoa! I just found a really old painting I have absolutely no memory of working on.

It's a digital study, undoubtedly from photo-reference. I was experimenting with some brushes and textures before I became more comfortable with those tools.

I like translucent light effect on the ears! Neat-o.

I wonder how I did that.

Keeping Warm

I thought I had posted this before, but I searched the blog archives and didn't see it.

It's not that great, but I'm almost positive this was the very first illustration I did as an assignment for the newspaper. That would be January of 2001. I was just a kid. Well, a kid of 30-something.

I don't think this is the final image that went to print. I remember the book spine had the word "Dante" on it; could be wrong about that, though.

This was drawn on paper, scanned, and then "inked" in photoshop. I used a wood-cut style approach, which was something I did when using a mouse instead of a pressure-sensitive tablet.

I had to bring my own tablet to work in the early years, as it wasn't considered a necessary tool. Gah. Imagine that! Cheapest ones were about 300 bucks back then, tho. That's an expensive bit of equipment for a new-hire cartoonist.

Something Horrible

I found this repulsive image in a collection of my drawings that were done at the turn of the century. (Why does it feel so cool to be able to type that?)

It is not a piece of a larger story and never had ambition beyond its borders. Evan isn't anyone we need to worry for.

This is an example of the artist at the beginning of his digital art self-education. I was geeked up over trying to learn how to use textures in Photoshop, and needed to draw something that would look better all splotty.

Another Comics Page

Drawn/Painted in Photoshop
Well, I was hoping to get more of this project done before posting any pages, but my job has kept me busy and left me tired. I haven't had ample opportunity to draw much in the past few weeks. It has been very frustrating and I'm tired of looking at this and not seeing any growth.

I'm going to give up on this page and this project. In the words of Popeye the Sailor: I can't stands it no more! But I'd hate for it to rot alone in a folder on my desktop.

So


I'll blog it and let it rot on the internet!

The Many Eyes of Death

To be read aloud, in your best Vincent Price voice.

On the curb she fluttered and flapped in anguish. In the gutter she danced around her lover's corpse, his body battered and crushed by the machines of men. On her first night as the widow crow, she wept. And in her mourning she bellowed her agonies and shouted her woe.

The second evening she mourned and she cawed, but they were not the cries of the freshly wounded. She conversed with the winds of the world in the way that wild beasts do.

.
What are my joys? They are many but I did not know that I had them. Now they are draped on the branches where I can see them, but I do not think I will collect any more.

What are my sorrows? I feel them and I know them, but I could not count them without weeping. They are prickly and poisonous and
they will not sleep.

What is my will? As he passes from me, and the dark night holds only the promise of desolation, I swear to his feathers that I will avenge him and I will join him.

So she fell readily into the illness of loss, making her own path to her departed lover. She welcomed despair into the chambers of her heart and it nested there, growing and pushing her spirit out.

At the end, her lonesome ghost, tethered only to the hook of her sharp beak, awaited the woman who brings death -- you see, in the mythology of birds the farmer's wife is the reaper of chickens, ravens and crows. The widow whispered to her approaching fate:

I shall cling to my mouth until you appear, and when you reach for me I will slash and jab and peck you sightless. Then you will not be able to find another crow to stuff into your satchel.

On the last beat of the widow crow's heart the farmer's wife stood beside her. "Hello poor widow crow. Your sadness is at an end." The crow's agonies and oaths were almost lost to her. The soothing tone carried on the soft breath of the spectral silhouette almost subdued her murderous resolve, but she saw the bag the woman dragged behind her. She could see that it was stuffed full of feathers, beaks and bones.

The woman said "I know what you intend to do, and it is alright."  Her hair parted and the crow knew the truth before it was told. "But I have an eye for every crow, and I will see each of you."

Quickly, the woman snatched at the crow and the branch was bare. The beak slashed and jabbed and pecked, but we cannot know how that battle went. For the sake of the chickens and the ravens and crows we can hope that, perhaps, the widow managed to claim more than one eye.

The End

Social Security Illustration

This is my pinch-hit for a co-worker who was diverted from an illustration assignment at the last moment. He had an idea and a thumbnail, so I took it and executed it in my own way.

I only had a few hours to get it done and I was improvising as I went, without much room to go back and fix things. About half way through I felt it was totally out of control and fear was in my heart.

I didn't like it and I truly felt it was going to be a cataclysmic failure; a bad conflict of different visual styles stuffed into one illustration. But on I plodded. As the deadline stood clearly in view I spattered some texture on it and put a light greenish glaze over the whole thing to try to unify it.

It's weird, but about 10 seconds before I was done with it I had a complete change of heart and decided that liked it. Whew. That was close.

The End

Today's (Weak) Doodle

Loooong workday ahead. 8 a.m. and it's hot already. Almost too hot to sit in front of a computer. Totally uncomfortable. Later today, when I go to work, it will be 95 when I get out of the car, but I'll have to wear a coat and maybe a hood to keep my ears warm inside the building because the AC will be cranked up and I sit in a spot where the office's atmospherics produce a jet stream that dips down and puts a layer of frost on the top of my head.

But, enough about me. Here's an ipad drawing. By me.

A Quick Study

Here is a photoshop study. Referenced from a screenshot taken from Game of Thrones. Haven't had time for a lick of art this past week. Too much work and too many misadventures.

It's too hot in the iMac's room to sit for very long so I'm keeping this short. Gotta go.

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

I doodled this while working on a birdwatching graphic that will run weekly in the paper. I day-dreamed I could do drawings for it and make it my personal art project. I'm not a birdwatcher but it would be great fun to draw birds! I could build up a Roger Tory Peterson-like portfolio. I could say things like "I draw chicks all the time" and be funnier that way.

That burst of optimism lasted for about ten/fifteen minutes. There isn't room for another weekly chore in the jam-packed graphics schedule. Maybe I'll try to sneak a few in anyway...

The End

I-Sci-Fi: All Her Secret Felonies Go... POP!

Painted, as always, in Photoshop. How did people make art
before they invented the iMac? I can't imagine…
I've been goofing around with this illustration on the side for a while. Today, I noticed it would fit pretty nicely within my I-Sci-Fi layout. I didn't have to tweak the composition at all! Happy accidents.

I'm revisiting the work of Richard M. Powers, an artist who did hundreds of paperback covers during the 60s. (This gentleman has a fabulous collection of his work here.) Powers had a very abstract and graphic approach to his painting and design. I haven't seen much of that in the digital age, but I hope it comes back.

There seems to be a swing toward "realistic" computer art again. It looks glossy and it flows from mind to canvas without the quiver of the human hand to give it life. I'm not much better. This is my cautious lean in Powers' direction, without giving up the computer. (I hate getting my hands dirty.)

Another Desperation Post

This is just a quick hit to keep the plates spinning, if you know what I mean.

Still too busy with work and chores to get anything good done. Here's a fragment of the next page in the sputtering comix project.