Two Peculiar Characters

Well, what a strange pair we have here.

The guy on the right? I don't know what his deal is. Maybe he's some kind of time-traveling Native American lawman who specializes in tracking down space-alien cattle rustlers/mutilators.

Click for huge pic.

The guy on the left? My guess is he's captain of the Star Wars stormtrooper ultimate frisbee team.

That's all I got for today.

The End.

Doodle Flurry

My hopes and dreams of falling in love with the iPad as a tool for drawing have not come to pass. The lack of pressure sensitivity is why it fails for me. I don't understand why it can't be like a Cintique! Drawing on the iPad with a broad, blunt, rubbery stylus that doesn't slide smoothly across the glass is frustrating.

Pardon the crappy lettering top-right. Lecture notes. I WAS paying attention!
In spite of that frustration, I've downloaded about a dozen drawing apps. Pressure sensitivity aside, there are some amazingly powerful drawing tools, but their complexities and interface designs overwhelm the joy of simply drawing.

But one app that is winning me over is Paper by 53. It's the only one I've used and forgotten that I'm drawing on an iPad.

You cannot zoom in. You cannot zoom out. You don't get layers. There are no blending modes, no filters, no textures. Your color palette has black, white and only seven colors. Your tools are a pencil, an eraser, a couple of markers and a stiff water color brush...  and none of them work the way you want them to work. This is not complaint, but compliment.

It's like one of those inexpensive art supply sets for kids. Aren't those great? Was there ever a better moment than when you got your first set of art supplies? Grab ahold of that pen, pencil, brush or stylus and draw with the enthusiasm of someone who cares nothing for layers and blending modes and textures. Shit, they can take away the eraser and it would be even better! Let's make a pact, okay? I won't use the eraser if you won't.

The best part is the interface; it is the coolest. You create little journals to draw in, open them, close them... ah, it's hard to explain. You have to try it. But like I said, it's the coolest bar none.

You can download the app for free, but you only get a pen. You can unlock the arsenal of tools for $7, and I don't want to hear anyone bitch about how expensive that is. It's more than some other drawing apps, but it's much less than two good pens. (Don't get me started on people complaining about any app that costs more than 99¢. That really ticks me off. )

Anyway. That's my commercial for Paper. "Me draw. Me like. You draw? You might like, too, maybe."

Top left drawing I did while watching a movie with a baby squirming on my lap. The other drawings were done during a workshop/lecture I attended. 

The End.

Hey! Um, Er, What's New With You?

Illustrations can be tricky things. The story is about cosmetic surgery etiquette. When you notice that someone has had some work done, do you mention it? Do you pretend not to notice? What do you say? What do you dare not say? How do you illustrate that? Tricky.

Unless the story I'm illustrating is a humorous story I don't want to treat the subject in a joking manner. Most of my features illustrations are light-hearted and humorous, but if the illustration is presented as a "joke" then it undermines the breadth of the writer's work.

Here it is, formatted for the website

Despite my (claimed) distaste for said approach and my own caution, there are many examples in my portfolio where I've gotten too silly, and this may be another. The topic is delicate, and the writing is thoughtful and considerate. I believe my effort is restrained in its silliness, but silly it is.

This was my first idea, and you'll get no argument from me; it's goofy, borderline tacky, and a very contrived situation. I kept busy with other assignments and worked this up slowly while I waited for a more inspiring solution, but nothing better came to mind –– well, nothing that I'd try to slip past an editor employed by a respectable newspaper. (Oh, if only I worked for Mad Magazine! Then I'd be in trouble all of the time!)

Original rough. I obviously didn't improve the idea, only the polish. Maybe I like this better.

The story, by the always mighty Angela Hill, can be read here. If you want to run out to your parents' recycle bin to clip and save this for your fridge, the story and art ran on Sunday, September 16 in all the BANG S.F. Bay Area newspapers!

This is the final illustration as sent to the print product.

And, for those of you who do not read newspapers anymore but are slightly curious about what newspapers look like these days, here's the print presentation!

I really like that little spot illo underneath. Not mine, tho.

The End.