Merry X-mas!

This is a quick post on X-mas eve day; I'm too busy working and can't really get into it. And posting this later in the week is really missing the boat. The illustration ran on the front of today's Merc and all those other Bay Area Media News Group papers! The fine story by Patrick May can be read at this link! 

Open in a new window for a monstrous-sized image.






Drawn and colored in Manga Studio, more color and some tweaks done in Photoshop. Here's how it looked on A1:

Don't bother clicking. It doesn't get any biggerer.

Lots of fun to work on. Have a happy day!

Texas vs. California

Hey! Found this the other day. It is my very first op-ed illustration, done for the Oakland Tribune back in 2001. I believe the story was about the growth of Texas in relation to California at the time; population, business opportunities, some tech companies moving for tax reasons, etc.



Drawn on actual paper, with pencil and pen. The white swirlies in the water were done in photoshop and are among my first lines drawn digitally. Weird how things have changed.

Gosh, I really wanted to do op-ed illustrations and cartoons, and I did for a couple of years, but that particular career is pretty much dead. The editorial cartoonist and illustrator is almost a mythical beast at this point; there are more Bigfoot sightings than editorial cartoonist sightings. 

Working Under a Watchful Eye

Quick post, late night, under the influence of nighttime cold medication. I'm suffering from a terrible bug and I'm trying to reassemble myself for work tomorrow, after a vacation decimated in large part by the illness that harries me now. But enough about me, here's one of my drawings done for work:

Open in a new window for a HUGE image!

And here is a link to the excellent story written by Steve Johnson. It's a story that is somewhat disturbing, but definitely a trend that will continue.

I suppose my little cartoon makes light of this topic, but I tend to shrug and laugh when faced with the darker side of employer/employee relationships, and I won't say any more about it than that because, now, I'm certain they're probably listening! ;-P

Here's my original rough sketch.

As a laughing colleague or two pointed out to me, I have, again, drawn naked people for a front page centerpiece. This is a disturbing trend that I do not approve of, mostly because it may betray some tacky thing about me that I was, and still am, unaware of. The doodle above was my first idea after reading the story. I submitted it to those in charge and -- much to my surprise -- it was approved and there was nothing to do but to do it.

I kid of course, unless you can tell me what's wrong with me.

Here's how it looked in the paper:


Drawn in MangaStudio 5 with a touch or two of Photoshop.

Some Food, Part 3

Hello! I hope this isn't getting tedious; here are more food drawings with plenty still to go. I think I'm losing interest in doing the (crappy) lettering job and arranging these all together for the blog. It was fun to draw but damn if this isn't turning into a chore!

Open in a new window for a much larger view of this stuff.

My attitude problem may stem from having to tend to this while I'm on the first vacation I've been on in a very loooong time. I spent some days hanging out with visiting parents and it was wonderful; and just as that wound down I came under the heel of a wretched cold or flu or some gawdawful thing about which I will not go into detail since we are talking about food here.

I've been out of commission for a few days and I'm still feeling terrible, but vacation's end looms and I should get this together since "free time" will be back to a bare minimum shortly.


Same here.


The chicharron thing above was a challenge to draw. It was a lot like my previous post's "chicarron of trout skin" which was not very good either. This one's quite a step up from that one, tho. 

I really like the flat, graphic quality of the seaweeds in this post's second collection of images. I could have composed it a bit better, but that's my favorite, maybe of the whole batch posted before and yet to come -- so maybe I should just stop here and skip the rest!

So sick and lazy tonight. To be continued...

Some Food, Part 2

Two more sets of drawings from my motherlode of art created for Eat magazine, which appeared in the November 30th Sunday edition of the Bay Area News Group newspapers. An online version of the project has not yet appeared, but if and when it does, I'll provide a link. Great writing, great photography, and twenty-six drawings like these:

Open in new window for a very large version of this image.

I wasn't sure how to approach this assignment when I started. My general instructions asked for drawings of the items served, and I thought I could do pencil style sketches, but the variety of textures and colors made that extremely difficult. It would be more effective to give each a painting-style treatment. The images above were my first two efforts.

On the left, I kept it loose and it just flowed. I was done in about ten minutes and pretty happy with it. The second one was a nightmare. You should see the actual thing; such a rough texture. I experimented with about three different approaches and this was the best of my attempts. I was not overjoyed with it and I meant to come back to it later, but time was short. It's not too bad, but I was really struggling with it.


Open in new window for a very large version of this image.

Gosh, I also meant to come back and fix the cup on the top one. It took a while to paint all those little round things and I hastily filled in the container just to get the general shape right before moving on to the next one. It looks pretty wonky to me. Too late!

I should mention that for reference, reporter Daniel Jimenez took iphone pictures as he made his way through his meal. I was doubtful about how that would turn out, but his efforts were fabulous. He made it very easy for me, although he explained that he started eating a few things before remembering to take a picture, but I just left out the bite marks.

More coming soon!

Some Food, Part 1

I drew a slew of food illustrations for a special magazine insert for the San Jose Mercury News Sunday paper, which appeared on doorsteps November 30.

Daring reporter Daniel Jimenez bravely went forth into a posh restaurant and ordered one of the most expensive meals in the Bay Area to judge for himself if it could possibly be worth it. Mr. Jimenez did what he had to do to get to the bottom of the story, which meant eating all kinds of stuff I would NEVER eat.


Open in a new window for a much larger image.

I created a lot of drawings for this piece and I will share them all, but it would be way too much labor to put them in one post right now; I'm a little full of Thanksgiving turkey and wondrously lumpy smashed 'taters, and can't sit upright in this chair for very long. I'
ll try to show the entire collection in four or five posts and then, ideally, put them in a single enormo-post when I’m done.


Same here.

All of the art was drawn in photoshop, with a touch of MangaStudio here and there. I’ll talk more about the project and the drawings in the entries ahead.

As implied above, I’m not a foodie by any stretch -- I’d frenzy-pounce on the “flash-grilled lobster” for sure, yet flick the yuzu lime thing off my plate with a fork so as not to get any on my fingers -- but I enjoyed drawing all of these.

More to come!

500th (Or Thereabouts) Post!

Officially, according to the list backstage, this is blogpost #502, but I didn't notice when the big one arrived. Actually, I've deleted a lot of posts that, upon revisiting, were bad or stupid or I no longer cared for. This is more like post number 550, I'd bet. But I have to plant the official #500 flag somewhere, I suppose; so accurately or not, here it is. Wish I had a better drawing for it!

To celebrate here's a kind of depressing, somewhat unappealing Caravaggio study.

This is a study from a detail of a Caravaggio painting. I enjoyed drawing those Giants players in my previous post but it was hard because I'm so out of practice. I'm going to try to get back to doing actual studies once in a while. So I started today!

Gave myself 30 minutes, but took about 35 or 40. I approached it like a careful study for about 25 minutes then put away the reference and just riffed a little. Opened the reference back up and tried to fix what I screwed up.

Oh well. It's fun.

Giants Do It Again

The world is topsy-turvy and anything can happen. Weird to think that, a few years ago, I figured I would slip free of this mortal body (many decades down the line) and never see the Giants contend in a World Series. This season, the instant they beat the Pirates in the one game playoff, I would have been more shocked had they not won it all. Again.

Open in a new window for a big ol' image.

Drew this in photoshop over a couple of days (and a little bit of night) for the special section of the Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times etc. I had a great time doing it!

I'm pressed for time right now, but I'l come back with a more formal post about it in the near future, including a pic of how it looked in the paper, as usual.

Staying in the Game

This painting is in today's TechMonday section of the Mercury News-CCT-OaklandTribune-etc. A link to the online version of the story by George Avalos is here.

Open in a new window for a larger version

I did loose photoshop painting studies from some staff photos. I wasn't too concerned with likenesses. I wanted to represent each sport rather than each player -- kind of like those old Pee-Chee folders, for those who remember them -- but I suppose Frank Gore's number totally gives him away. Oh well.

While painting I thought I might be channeling Leroy Neiman, but I'd forgotten just how crazy his colors actually are. My humble efforts above are tame and nearly monochromatic in comparison. There was no time to take another shot with a better Neiman emulation once I realized how poorly I'd done. I'll keep an eye out for another opportunity, tho. I would love to try it!

Hm! It usually runs in BW and color, but I've only found BW version
so far. Will update when/if I run across the other.

The End.

Live and Learn!

I created this cute little illo for the paper a couple of weeks ago & forgot to post it. It's about older folks going to school, taking classes and keeping in the habit of learning new things. Here's the story by the always fabulous Angela Hill! 

Drawn in Photoshop!

Had a good time with this drawing. It was difficult coming up with the idea but I really like how it turned out. Tried to keep the characters less detailed than I usually do. It's so easy to get carried away, but I think I managed to keep from complicating it.

The End

The Bagrada Hilaris Is Not Funny

Photoshop drawings done for a project at work that didn't pan out. Hate for them to just sit around, creeping me out. So! Here are ten (10) Bagrada Bugs. Nasty little pests.

Open in a new window for larger image.

Google and Amazon

This is one of my latest illustrations, created for the Bay Area News Group papers. Here's the story written by the Great Brandon Bailey (unfortunately he is moving on to another job. It's been good fun working on illustrations for his stories and it's a bummer to see him go.)

This was a slightly-out-of-my-comfort-zone effort in that there was a pretty short deadline and I committed to creating it in Illustrator rather than my regular Manga Studio 5 and Photoshop process. It wasn't as frightening as it has been in the past; I must be getting used to it. Not totally happy with how vector art looks when I churn it out, but it's not as ghastly to my eyes as it used to be.

This is the illustration reconfigured for online presentation.

I thought I could save time by making just a few boxes and cloning them repeatedly –– and I tried that –– but it seemed obvious to me that it was the same few boxes over and over again. So, I went in and tweaked all of the box shapes and drew an original face for each one. It wasn't an unbearable amount of work –– much less than I thought it would be –– but so much for my clever shortcuts.

Here it is as prepared for the print edition.

It's always fun to draw, regardless of how I have to do it. Even vector art is better than no art (he said, half-joking and half-not-at-all.)

Here's how it looked in the paper.

The End.

The Ol' Vitruvian Man Bit

Even though I’ve been doing this newspaper graphics and illustration gig for a long time, it’s always fun when something I’ve made goes on a section front, paired up with the efforts of seasoned journalists. Here’s an illustration I created for a story by Brandon Bailey which ran on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News. You can read his excellent work at this link.

Open in a new window for a very large version.

I suppose a possible reaction to this illustration might be, “so, the Vitruvian Man shtick, huh?” I know, I know, you can shake your head and say, “bit cliche,” right? I kind of feel that way, too; but sometimes illustration is about finding a common cultural touchstone and tweaking it to fit your message.

As I brainstorm-doodled, I was using a figure I had drawn previously for another medical illustration, hoping it could be a springboard to get an idea going. One of my editors said that it reminded him of the Vitruvian Man. Hmm. I thought hat might work! I decided to commit entirely to it and see what happened. I don’t believe I’ve made use of this image before –– this crutch, if you will –– in any of my illustrations; at least not that I remember, so don't hold me to it if you come across one in the blog backlog.

Here's how it looked in the paper.
Don't bother clicking, it doesn't get any bigger.

Ha! Now I think, “But so what if I did?” What can you do? Leonard DaVinci was a badass. Here we sit in far away modern America, almost 500 years after he died and you can riff on his work and everyone still knows who he was. He was an art monster.

I found a good size jpeg for reference and the instant I looked into that drawing’s eyes and started making my line on a blank document off to the side, I felt it. The profound weight of those marks on that paper shouting at us from the intense heat of the Renaissance as it exploded like a Big Bang of science, culture and aesthetics. The drawing is so amazing because of where it’s from, when it’s from, and what it represents. Such a beautiful drawing. I certainly enjoyed the experience of adapting it to my purposes.

Drawn in MangaStudio5 and Photoshop.


The End.

Crowdfunding For Animals


Drawn in Photoshop and Manga Studio 5. Open in new window for a huge image.

I was working on this illustration concurrently with the "Housing Crunch" illustration covered in yesterday's post. They were both due on the same day of a busy week, which made for an extremely tight deadline squeeze. It's hard to complain about having two illustrations to do... so I won't. I'll just mention again, it was down to the wire on both of them and I was so relieved I finished in time.



If the image doesn't move you, here is the excellent story by Patrick May. That should do the trick!

The End

Housing Crunch

I had plenty of time to work on this one. I was given the assignment a week ahead of time – couldn't come up with an idea, tho. In my defense, nobody else had any ideas either. I worked on other assignments, stopping occasionally for a futile brainstorming sketch session. It was a bleak drought of creativity.

Open in a new window for a very large image.

The bosses called a late breaking meeting to try to figure out what to do about this disturbing lack of production on my part and, just before walking into the room, I roughed up this concept.

The lesson learned? Should I be threatened with a compulsory meeting involving all of the bosses, I then find my inspiration. The other lesson learned is "Don't come up with an idea that involves drawing bunches of tiny houses." The drawing took a looong time and coloring was even worse, so there was a large dent in my sleeping pattern afterward, but I finished in the nick of time and I'm glad it came out okay.

Here's how it looked in the paper:

Don't bother clicking, it doesn't get any bigger.

The informative and excellent story by Pete Carey – finished way ahead of time in a truly professional manner – can be read at this link.


The End

The Dreaded Flip Play or Slide, Jeremy! Slide!

Darth Jeter made his final appearance at the Oakland Coliseum earlier this season and the powers-that-be, here at the newspaper, decided to commemorate his worst offense, the force choke perpetrated against the Athletics in the all-around dismal year of 2001. What. Ever.

Drawn and painted in Manga Studio 5 and Photoshop.

I couldn't find any good reference picture of that damned Yankee as he cut the heart out of the mighty A's post-season with a flick of the wrist. I had to watch the low-res TV replay over and over and over, studying his pose at that terrible moment.

I utilized the 3D figure model in MangaStudio 5 and posed it as closely as I could to my studies, and then I was able to rotate and turn the model until I found a good angle. Then I searched for pictures of his head that were pretty close to what I needed as reference.

It's an amalgam of extensive reference and winging it. It came out alright, I think.

Here's how it looked in the paper.


If you'd like to wallow in it some more, here is a link to the story by John Hickey, who usually writes about more pleasant things, but somebody had to write the story and his straw was the shortest (I'm just guessing that's how the sports department decided who got stuck writing this one-- certainly we don't have any Yankee boosters writing for our sports pages. Right? I shudder at the thought.)

Sorry to see you go, Jeter, you heartless, no good, pin-striped... um, 5-time World Series champion.

The End

Disney Villains

Here is the final version of a drawing I did for a story about the best Disney villains, as chosen by a small constellation of the Bay Area News Group's writers. Sue Gilmore, Chuck Barney, Lisa Wrenn, Ann Tatko-Peterson and Tony Hicks each share a brief literary sketch about their favorite devious Disney character. You can read the story here.

Open in a new window for a massive image.

This was a nice and relaxing assignment. Between you & me, when you draw popular and iconic cartoon characters all you have to do is render them fairly closely to how they're supposed to look and everyone thinks it's great. Given the opportunity, I would work on my Cruella de Vil interpretation a little bit more, but otherwise I think it came out okay. Maybe I'd fix the crown on the Queen, too.

There wasn't a big concept for this illustration. I simply took the list of characters and had them interact somehow while leaving space for a headline and the start of the story. Perhaps I should have used the Wicked Queen as the uppermost villain, simply because she is more iconic than Lady Tremaine.

Below is the rough sketch I submitted for approval. There was plenty of reference to be found for most of these characters but, disappointingly, Miss de Vil images are scarce. I found countless pics of Glenn Close from the live-action movie but very few of the cartoon.

Open in a new window for a very large version of this very sloppy drawing.

I haven't seen any of these movies in more than a decade, maybe two decades. And I've never seen "Jungle Book." I think Beauty and the Beast is the most recent one I've watched, and that might have been back when it first came out for the VCR. Funny how time flies.

I think my favorite Disney villain would be Monstro the whale from Pinocchio, if we can count him as a villain. I haven't seen that movie in a loooong time either, but I remember being really impressed with his chase scene in pursuit of Pinocchio. The animation of the water was spectacular.

Here's how it looked printed in the newspaper, but not as bright because newsprint destroys bright. But it did look pretty good anyway!

Don't bother clicking. It doesn't get any bigger than this.


I did most of the drawing and coloring in MangaStudio 5 EX, with touch-ups, adjustments and the background colors painted in Photoshop.

Benched!

Directly below is the online version of one of my illustrations for the newspaper. It's about coping with the ramifications of injury for the sports activity enthusiast, and how it can affect more than just one's love of participating in the sport. It's written by long-time colleague, Randy Myers and you can read his always stellar work here.

Open in a new window for a very very very large image.

almost like this piece. I enjoyed working on it and I'm happy with it save for one glaring gaffe. I had a momentary lapse and forgot that I hatehatehate drop shadows. Hate! Gah, I wish I had forgone those horrible gray blurs beneath the callout boxes (or whatever you call them.) I'm so mad at myself for doing it. It flattens the painting below, destroying the illusion of depth. It approaches the catastrophic and turns the image into a personal disappointment. But I'm letting go of the rage right now and carrying on as though I didn't do such a ghastly, stupid thing.

The rough, submitted for approval. Like the final, the medium is MangaStudio&Photoshop!
Random notes

As you can see from the rough, I pretty much nailed down the layout from the get-go. I didn't care for the focus on the tear drop and was relieved when the editors agreed.
*   *   *
I had several day before the final was due, so – in between time with other chores – I experimented with more painterly techniques. I settled on using a combination of the "India Ink" and "Oil Paint" tools in MangaStudio for the main figure with adjustments, touch-ups and background colors in Photoshop.
*   *   *
The character isn't referenced from anyone in particular; I just made her up as I went along.
*   *   *
For my illustrations, I work on the version for the newspaper first. Most of my compositions are vertically designed, or "L" shaped to accommodate headline and text. After the paper version is put to bed I move things around and try to re-shape the images into a more horizontal presentation for the web.

Illustrations are not treated with as much gravitas as they are in the paper –– most often simply put in a small clickable box –– so I generally don't do much more to them beyond trying to make them look decent in their new shape. This time it occurred to me to put a tile floor beneath the woman's hospital bed or gurney. Casting a shadow on the floor made it better horizontal composition and the tile floor and, I think, improved the image.

It was too late to amend the illustration for the newspaper, tho.
*   *   *
A simpler drawing approach would have been just as effective, but I like to take the opportunity to bask in the richer painting experience when I can.

Here's how it appeared in the paper:



The End.


Lights Out

This is the online version of my illustration for the "Your Life" section in the April 20 Sunday edition of the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and all those other papers churned out under the Bay Area News Group banner.

The story, written by DeAnne Musolf and posted online here, examines the the problematic effects on sleep which may arise from too much exposure to our personal electronic devices before going to bed, particularly the effects on our kids.

Open this link in a new window to see a pretty danged huge version of this image.

My daughter -- bouncing in the sunlight on her second birthday as I type this -- has a stunning mastery of the iPad, which her mom and I worry about. We're limiting her time with it and try not to use it when she's around. I fret she may be developing an addiction but then again, I am the one standing inside the closet, out of sight, checking my email...

After I read the story and my rough was approved, I planned to photograph my daughter holding the ipad and use that image for reference. But long before going home I refined the rough and drew her from memory. The illustration was 90% done before shift's end and it really looks like her. I guess I've been studying her without realizing it.

Here is how page designer Jennifer Schaefer designed the page layout.

My initial rough is below, left. Obviously, for the sake of story placement, I lost the window along the way and attempted to evoke the the impression of night rather than showing it directly. On the right is a screen capture of how it looked after cleaning up the rough and experimenting with a color scheme.

Drawn, colored, painted in Photoshop!

That's all for this time! 

Selecting Your Stuff

Sorry I've posted this a little late, but Angela Hill wrote another nifty story, this one discussing the stuff we have and probably don't need. Angela's story is here. It's a few weeks old, but timeless.

My illustrative accompaniment is a play on Charles Shulz's Pigpen character. We go through life and the possesions that we accumulate and drag around with us can seem to be a cloud of debris that eventually ends up somewhere else by way of garage sale, thrift store or garbage truck.

Open link a new window for a monster-size version of the illustration as it ran online;
a moderately large monster, that is. Not King Kong, more like Mighty Joe Young, but still big enough to intimidate!

Hopefully it's not too oblique a reference. I think that the people who still read newspapers are people who grew up reading Peanuts during it's initial run, and they will make the connection.

Every once in a while I try to cut down the clutter in my life. This morning I stared for a full minute at two shelves full of old magazines that I don't need anymore, but I have one of those annoying emotional attachments to them. Several years ago I had about seven shelves of old magazines and because of a de-cluttering frenzy, I'm down to two. And you know what? I haven't looked at them once since I selected them for saving. I might be on the brink of another severe de-clutter.

Here's how it looked in the paper on a page designed by Jennifer Schaefer.

Back to the illo: I tried to keep it loose and light, not only because it was a busy work-week, but because I really liked the rough I submitted for approval. I don't show it because it's pretty much what I ended up with. I wish I had stuck with the original figure (shown below, left) and gone with her. Sometimes drawings that are modified with the intention of making them "better drawings" can end up losing some of their charm. The second one walks more like a real person, but the stiff spine and simpler face of my first effort appeals to me more.

The initial character sketch and her eventual replacement.

Drawn in Manga Studio, colored in Manga Studio and Photoshop.



Off to Tech Heaven

Here is an illustration I did for work in February. I had totally forgotten about it. I happened to be in the office where the writer works and she stopped by and said that she really liked the illustration I had done for this story... and I had no idea what she was talking about. God, I felt like an idiot. It took a few seconds -- loooong seconds -- before I pulled up the vision in my head and was able to stammer out a few words that indicated, in a sputtering fashion, that I was indeed the fool who drew that thing a few weeks back.


Open the link in a new window for a HUGE version of this image.

It was a very quick turnaround so I didn't spend an overlong amount of time with it, and in this instance I never saw it in the paper. I usually follow up and check on the stuff I've done to see how it printed, but I sent the image to the page designers, made a version better suited for online presentation (above) and sent that to the web folks; and then I pretty much blotted out the memory.

It seems strange that I lost it so soon, because I really connected with the story when I read it, and here is the link to Michelle Quinn's story. I mourn the demise of my G4 iMac and my 3rd generation iPod. Well, I still have them but they can only talk to each other, and the iPod is forgetful and can't hold a charge for more than 10 minutes. But I think of them as my favorite tech devices, particularly when it comes to interface and usability. They sit next to each other in a corner and every time I look at them I wish they'd make new iMacs like that, and update the iPod classic to look like that one. I should just throw them away but I'm still in love.


Here's how it looked in the paper!

So, I can't really explain why I lost track of it. I kind of like the drawing, too. Weird.

I drew it in Photoshop, colored it therein, too.

Here's my first rough, for those (like me) who like to see these things.

The End.


New Wave of Mobile Messaging!

Here's an illustration that ran in the Bay Area News Group papers a couple of weekends ago. The excellent story by Troy Wolverton is here! It doesn't really feel like an illustration to me, but that's the case whenever I work in vector. All I did here was trace app icons, create a wave and arrange them until the editors said "good enough!"

I'd say my lack of enthusiasm for vector art is an old-school bias against these new-fangled computer-thingies, but I draw freestyle in Photoshop almost exclusively, having neglected pencil and paper for several years now. Something about adjusting lines with little handles makes it feel more like putting a model together rather than drawing. But at least you don't have to wait for the glue to dry! That always put me off model-making. Anyway, where was I?

Open in new window for giant size image.

Here's how it looked on the page designed by Daymond Gascon:

Don't bother clicking. Doesn't get any bigger.

That's about all I have to say this time 'round. Except for...

The End.

Just Messing Around

Trying to get back into the habit of having fun and enjoying the process of drawing and painting characters out of my head. I haven't been feeling the joy lately. So, this weekend I goofed around and whipped up these three characters based on heads I doodled for fun last week.

Open in a new window for a pretty large version.









I gave myself until last night to finish them, but I cheated a bit this morning because the lady on the right had no legs. Much better now. I'll probably tidy it up later and re-post because I can see a bunch of simple things that annoy me. Looks like I wasn't up for drawing shoes at all, doesn't it? Weak-ass crap that is.

Again, just for fun! Figures drawn mostly in Manga Studio 5, tweaks and some drawing added in PS.

Coping With Fear

This was fun to do! Here’s the story by long-time colleague Jessica Yadegaran.

Open in a new window for a very large image.

This illustration was pretty much done straight from the initial rough. I tried to keep it cute –– as I often do –– but I tried to be cute in a different way. I'm trying to diversify my cartooning styles. I've been flattening things lately, leaning more toward an animation flavor rather than my Mad Magazine tendencies. Everything I do would look like a poor man's Jack Davis if I just sit back and scrawl.

Rough drawing on the left, line work and flat colors right. I made that blue guy less interesting as I went along, didn't I?

In preparation I spent time looking at lovely animation-style art on Pinterest and tried to lean on other artists’ tendencies rather than my own. I drew these character’s bodies while looking at other artists’ cute kid drawings.

In retrospect it looks like I drew my inspiration from artists who draw a little bit like me. I’ll be darned but the proportions of the final figures look almost spot on with my roughs. Oh well.

And my characters’ hands look like the kind of hands I’d draw, too. I was purposefully trying to do them differently but they looked wrong when I tried to steal their style from other artists.

Here's how it looked on the page. Ace designer Jennifer Schaeffer
always makes good-looking pages, no matter the dross I toss into hopper.

Drawn in Photoshop.