Here are three hasty and somewhat grubby iPad drawings created with Paper by 53, a very nifty app I've taken a liking to. Paper has a very limited toolset, but it's simplicity is its charm. How nice to draw directly without the countless complex temptations that digital tools often give. 

I know, perhaps I should just pick up a pencil and draw on real paper, but drawing on an iPad makes me look much cooler than I actually am.

I'm going to try to slip another post in before 2012 slams shut if I can wrangle the time to do a little art this weekend.

The End. 

Old Editorial Illustration

I used to do illustrations for the Sunday editorial section on a regular basis. They were very quick turnarounds. The editor would most often wait until mid-day Thursday, or even Friday, to select an article for publication. That left only a few hours of time on the clock to come up with something and finish it up.

My recollection is this was for an article about the previous Pope, who was not doing well at the time. He looked shaky and weak and miserable, but he kept doing whatever it was he was doing. I think the story compared the Pope's suffering to the tales of Jesus' suffering, so that's the hook that latches article  illustration.

No larger size available.

I don't know why this sticks in the memory, but I clearly recall this was done in a hasty panic the day it was due. I felt all kinds of regret and remorse when I had to send it to the page designer in order to meet deadline; I hated Jesus' head and wanted to do more to the chair.

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Sorry I've been posting old stuff. I hope to get some fresh work to show soon. I'm in a bit of another art-slump and the time and energy for personal work has dipped to new lows, while work for the paper seems to have been steady but hasn't been of the fun and artistic variety.

But, I'll try to get it going again very soon!

Tiny Old Star Wars Jpegs

A few years ago I did an illustration for the review of the final Star Wars movie. I thought I had blogged about it, but it was done before the birth of the blog. I found an archive of my website where I had written about it. I've edited that text and placed it below.

Will update with larger image when I find it.

For this assignment, I was given a slab of page one real estate and told to fill it up with Star Wars imagery. "Just put a big Darth head at the top, above the fold." Yes, I can do that.

The writer of the review -- the great Barry Caine -- was a familiar face to the readers of our papers. He was featured prominently in our entertainment section on a regular basis and his smiling mug-shot was often used in promotional ads, so my use of him as a character in this package isn't as off-the-wall as it might seem to those of you from outside the area.

My intention was to have Barry-Wan standing with several of the movie's characters. I did drawings of Mace Windu, Chewbacca, Threepio, Obi-Wan and Padme... but they hit the cutting room floor. I was running out of time and getting them to fit together and look good in the space provided wasn't going to work out.

And I almost forgot about leaving room in the image for the story. Kind of important.

I had good fun. It was cool to see it so big on the front page of the paper.

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This is an arrangement of some the discarded doodles which has been rattling around in my screen-saver folder since 2005.

If I ever find the original files for either of these drawings I'll post 'em big and update the blog.

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Gift Giving Etiquette

No time for typing today. So, in brief, here's an illustration done for work. The story is online here: Gift giving dos and don'ts.

Open in new window for a larger version!

And here's how it looked in the paper:

No larger size available.

Drawn in Photoshop! Two things really bother me: The Santa cap doesn't wrap around the teddy bear's head very well and I should have drawn a clearer coffee cup shape.

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Bay Area Hobbitats!

Here's a bit of fun!

Angela Hill had an idea for a story highlighting places in the Bay Area that might fit in to a vision of Middle Earth. She's a Tolkien fan and, for inspiration, she even loaned her copy of "The Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee. Her story is here, and it's very nicely done!

"The Hobbit" was a passion for me in my tweens and teens; I couldn't even guess how many times I read that book. Lots. I knew this would be good fun for me.

Open in a new window for HUGE version.

Secretly, I dread these kind of map illustrations. Well, not so secretly now, I guess, but it's just so dang hard to get things to fit!

This was a quick turnaround, so I didn't have time to fret over each bit. It was a straight forward sprint all the way. I was really worried about how it would look until a couple of hours before it was due. I wasn't certain I could fill the page but I had to discard a few other ideas because I couldn't wedge them in comfortably. Which was good, because it took much longer to color than I thought it would, and another 5 minutes spent on the drawing would have sent me tumbling into the deadline crack of doom.

Still, I wish I could have worked in a gag about the Oakland Raiders. And Iwas going to have Gandalf and Bilbo saying something like "How strange this place is." "I knew we should have taken a left Lothlรณrien." Or something nerdy like that.

Jennifer Schaefer designed the page, guiding me along the way; and here's how it looked in the paper:

I drew everything except for the dragon Smaug at the bottom. I traced it from a picture of the cover to the first edition of the book. I thought that would solidify my Tolkein-geek cred.

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Very Old Painting

Once again, propping up the blog with an old thing.

This is a 2004 study, referenced from a still frame from of one of the Sherlock Holmes tv shows made in the 80s. Not sure, but I might have painted this while watching the TV on pause -- the lime green iMac didn't have a DVD player, so that may have been the only way to do it.

This is full size. Don't bother clicking.

I've been completely burnt-out by the job-commute routine these past few weeks and so I haven't had the time or energy for more personal work. Hope to improve on that soon.

Hm. Feel like I've typed that 500 times before.

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