Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Stuff to see, including last month's Inktober challenge

As you can tell, I haven't been the best at keeping this blog current.  Every time I realize it, I feel guilty and promise to post regularly again, then I don't.  Guess we're back at the beginning of the cycle once again.

Anyway, I was very busy during October, somehow managing to stay on top of the whole Inktober challenge this year. I chose to use the posted prompts from Jake Parker, the creator of Inktober, which allowed me to dig deep into my mixed up bag of tricks to find something appropriate for each day's sketch.

Having gotten the prompts a week or so ahead of the start of the month, I had time to get at least a few ideas in my head, particularly Day 2's prompt: Divided.
My belief is that this country is more divided than it's been in my lifetime, and I lay the blame at our divider in chief, Donald J. Trump.  In this illustration, I may have exaggerated his over-sized tie just a bit.  Donald stands before a collage of angry faces, including Lebron James and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  The silhouette of the continental United States is filled with angry emojis.  I drew the largest parts on paper with a pen, then used Adobe Illustrator for all the little circles of the emojis.  Photoshop brought it all together with the little faces and compositing the piece.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Rage

Stromboli, maniacal puppeteer from the story of Pinocchio.  The counterpoint to the fatherly Gepetto.
Cool gray Prismacolor markers

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vanity

One of the recurring themes of Disney Villainy is vanity.  It isn't exclusive to the female villains, either, as Gaston has proven.  In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first animated feature, Snow White's stepmother is obsessed with being the most beautiful in the land and becomes murderously jealous when Snow begins to mature into a woman lovelier than she.  Ironically, the Queen sacrifices the very beauty she cherished in an effort to poison her rival.  In this image, I present the cold, arrogant beauty of the Queen in contrast with her magical disguise.

Evil Queen/Hag copyright Disney

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Disney Villains

The best stories have awesome villains. Yes, you can craft gripping tales of people overcoming personal challenges or setbacks, but when you can put a face to your opponent, there's a tangible presence against which to rally. Young adult novels may feature their characters struggling with internal issues about first loves and achieving goals, yet they don't ignore the real threats of bullies intent on causing physical harm. Harry had to deal with the abuse from Draco and his friends, didn't he? But what elevates JK Rowling's series from the average story is the greater threat on an existential level in the form of Lord Voldemort, an individual feared by the entire community at large, but one who has focused his hateful attention on our protagonist. Not many creators generate a villain on that kind of scale, but the animated films of the Disney Company provide more than a few. As I post the character illustrations in this series, I will make some comments about the film and the characters, but those opinions, like the art, are mine. Those characters are copyright Disney and/or Pixar, but I drew them.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Today, I shall start anew.

Things have changed in so many ways since I last shared art on this blog.  I tend to post my quick sketches on Instagram, but it is hard to really say much about each piece while trying to think of the right hashtags to generate more interest.  I started a Disney Villains series I'm going to share here.  I haven't been going chronologically, but by the end, I will have every primary bad guy or gal from every animated feature from Disney and Pixar. I may do a second run with villainous sidekicks later.

Today, I'll start with Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast. Self-assured and arrogant, he's the typical small town bully who can't wrap his little mind around the fact that not everyone believes he's as cool as he thinks he is.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I'm back! From Instagram!

Well, hi everyone!  Please get a shovel and help me knock all the dust off this website, would you?  Thanks.  I've been drawing, but I've posted a bunch of them on Instagram instead of the old blog.  I think it is time to rectify that.  I'll just pull up some sketches I've done and offer a little info about them, either the media, or the subject, or whatever.


This one.  Okay, this is just a very quick watercolor I put in my sketchbook.  I was sitting at Starbucks and was trying to put my thoughts together after being bombarded with the horrible news from that morning.  When the idea came to me, I only wanted to sketch it out in pencil to see if worked.  It didn't.  The idea was good, but my pencil sketch wasn't great, so I inked it.  That m ade it better, but I knew that I wanted to add color later.  I just couldn't wait for later.  I went to the counter and got a cup of water and went back to my table where I had my watercolors in my pack. In under two minutes, this had sprung from my brush.

It moved a lot of people. It was shared, it was used as profile pictures, it was what certain people needed to see in order to grieve over the loss of 49 innocent victims.  It grew beyond me.  I only wanted to create a tribute.  It became a statement.

The only thing I wish differently was the number of people who used it without acknowledging where it came from.  I saw protest signs with a variation of this, except the Florida tear was rainbow striped, not the eye.  I saw a picture of someone's tattoo.  The recreated my image extremely well...except they purposely left my signature off.  Even friends posting on Facebook used it without mentioning my name.  Ups and downs, dear readers, ups and downs.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The personalities of turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been a favorite of mine since the 1980s.  Beyond watching the cartoons and movies, I was able to bring them to life in a major theme park during the early 90s.  For this project, I was asked to create a little art for a new Turtle fan's birthday.  The media is acrylic on connected 12" X 12" canvases.