Monday, March 7, 2011


It is no secret that I am a fan of comics. I've been hooked since I was a kid, but only occasionally dable with the style. However, during one of my lunch breaks, I finished reading a Streets of Gotham and felt compelled to study Dustin Nguyen pencils.

I found this drawing interesting, and a little difficult since it is more simplistic. As with other comic/cartoonish studies, I found myself drawing a line just to erase and start over. Eventually, I just made the line, even if it isn't right and decided to concentrate on something even deeper into the image.

I honed in on the hand, drew it much larger than its original scale, and studied its qualities. Two things I learned with these drawings: I am a perfectionist and must quit fiddling to make a sketch perfect, and I need to draw at a larger scale.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Anatomy is another subject I have been constantly working on. The hope is to work out the form of a person quicker, and more accurately. However, I have had to put off taking Anatomy/Figure drawing until the Fall of 2011, as I have heard the professor dishes out ungodly amounts of work. Next year, being my seventh and final year in my undergrad, I plan to have a much lighter load in terms of coursework. The goal is to have enough time to really dedicate myself to that class.
Below is one of many studies of human forms.

I have a slew of books from my drawing classes that contain figure drawing elements, so I used them in order to get a better idea of the human structure. Coupled with the books, I took pictures of myself, as well as, searched google for images of hands and arms to better understand the mechanics. Looking through all of my sketches, it tells me I need that course next year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lunchtime sketch

Over the summer I spent whatever free time I had drawing. Usually during my lunch break I would get in to my car (usually to get away from coworkers asking dumb question about my sketches), flip on the radio, and doodle away. I would usually drive to another location in order to get a glimpse of something worth drawing. In the case below, I decided I would just stay in the parking lot and sketch the grass.

The only down side to drawing during lunch is having to go back to work.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Last year, a friend showed me a few illustrations of the late Alex Toth. I, of course, had never heard of him, which infuriated my friend. Later that night, I dugg deep into anything I could find. Toth's work was everywhere, and rightfully so since he is such an unbelievable illustrator. The simple, yet unbelievably clear illustrations are astounding to me. Most particularly, I fawned over a few Conan the Barbarian pieces. Below is my attempt at his work.
I spent most of the time trying to replicate the shape of the arms and hands.  I would draw a line, erase, draw a line, erase, etc. It was clear that is work is so simple, yet so complicated to capture. It took me at least an hour to create this image, which confused me since it should be easy.
I have since come to an understanding that simple is not easy. Simple images can give you all the information needed to articulate form, but shows all the weaknesses of the artist. Complicated images, on the other hand, can mask mistakes and ignorance. Someday, I hope to have a quarter of the talent that Alex Toth had.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Soccer and Art

For some odd reason it surprise people that I am a soccer fan. More over that I follow the English Premier League (CHELSEA FC!!!!!). I find it quite interesting that a lot of the same people who claim soccer is boring, also like to inform others that drawing talent is genetically ingrained into you at birth. Long, boring story short, I steered away from each activity as a child due to many other ill-advised opinions. The idea that someone who is ignorant to a subject matter is blindly spewing their thoughts to others, genuinely anger me beyond belief. It is a shame that I let such word vomit affect me until my later teens.
Bouncing off of that revelation, I have started on another illustration project geared towards Children's Books.The process has, oddly enough, married both my enjoyment for soccer and my love of drawing.

This is actually a compositional drawing that has temporally been placed on the chopping block, but only to be whisked into another direction. I enjoy the idea of drawing what children actually do in order to garner attention to a story. 
More to come

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cow Redux

I don't think it is a secret that I struggle with animals. In this case, this is another attempt at drawing cows. Due to the way the noses extrude from the face I have trouble creating optical depth, which leads to a pig like snout.

These two are a few of the many quick study drawings I made for the nursery rhyme project. They were chosen because they have less pig-like qualities.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is another nursery rhyme from the Word and Image II assignment. My Humpty Dumpty, as reinterpreted through Lewis Caroll's and John Tenniel's Alice in wonderland, was also done in ink/ink wash. In terms of my other illustrations from this year, I think this is my favorite.

It is conceivable that I will again come back to this and add color some where down the road.

Friday, February 18, 2011

There Was an Old Man and He Had a Calf

For my Word and Image II class we were instructed to create a few images that captures selected nursery rhyme. There Was an Old Man and He Had a Calf.
There was an old man,

And he had a calf,
And that's half;
He took him out of the stall,
And put him on the wall,
And that's all.

I believe that I will be coming back to this one at a later date to change it and possible add color.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fat Cat

While watching a movie with Jennifer, I figured I'd try drawing some fabrics. Buddy, one of our (fat) cats decided to flop right infront of the scarf on the table, so he got the special attention. I spent most of the time trying to set up his face, when he then decided he was done with me. I just finished up what I roughed out with a china marker and called it a day.

Friday, January 21, 2011


A few posts ago, I talked about how comfortable the digital process is for me with my armor painting study. Continuing with that train of thought, I dove right into another self portrait. If I didn't know any better I would start to think that I am full of myself. But since I'm an "artist" I can justify looking in the mirror for long periods. Hell, Rembrandt went poor buying clothing to paint himself in (I'm certain I just made half of that up).

It's a masterpiece isn't it?
I have a lot of work still left to do fumbling through understanding concepts of painting. And as it has been pointed out to me in other projects, I struggle with value as well as color. But since I'm aware of my struggles I can actually do something about it. From here I will figure out the mysteries of painting hair, add the reddish tones all across my face and facial hair, and some where towards the end I will attempt at textures (plus fixing facial elements like my mouth).
Besides all the work I have left to do, I am very happy finding something that is comfortable to do. I feel that projects like this build my confidence in my artistic abilities, which I lose after seeing what I consider failure in my work. As always, I am always my harshest critic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fifteen Minutes in Magic Kingdom Part 2

In order to escape the crowds, I went to an area were the majority of the people don't care to go, the Liberty Bell Ferry. This "ride" is much like the train that takes you across the park being a steam powered vessel with vintage dialog blasting through its speakers. Unlike the convient train that stops in many parts of the park, there is no reason to ride this boat. Generally, I tend to avoid pointless transportation that takes you back to where you left not 15 minutes ago, but this time I made an exception.

On board, I found a middle aged father of 2 young children acting way too relaxed for the likes of Disney's Magical Kingdom. I was amazed that he hardly moved while facing Tom Sawyer's Island, so in the last 3 minutes of the ride I felt obligated to capture him leaning against the railing. If I were to take this quick sketch and finish it more, I would probably fix his the disproportionate anatomy. But knowing me, I will probably never do that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fifteen Minutes in Magic Kingdom Part 1

Just got back from Disney World in Florida. Had tremendous amounts of fun, but still managed to get in a few sketches. My first chance to sketch was during lunch with a napkin and a crayon, but I pitched it... However,  the next day I returned, and continued with my 15 minute drawing studies. Again, I am looking to capture as much information about an object as I can within 15 minutes. Doing this as a kind of gestural drawing is kind of a warm up, but it's function is to get the important information down for later observation.

Stationary objects like Cinderella's Castle make it easy to draw since, you know, they don't move. But with the Saturday crowd in the Magic Kingdom being unrelentingly rude, I picked the top of the castle in order to actually get a view to work with. On that note, If you see someone drawing quietly on a bench, it is just polite to not to stand directly in front of them to have a phone conversation. It's like walking right into the frame of a camera's view just as someone is taking a picture. Any who, I noticed that I spend a lot of time using a harder pencil in order to get darker value. In the future I will experiment with softer mediums in order to conserve time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fifteen Minutes

In the the attempt to better my sketches, I have decided to do timed sketches of pictures. The goal is to capture information quickly and to improve my sketches of the public. Here are two drawings from two paintings in Color and Light by James Gurney.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now for something more comfortable.

The last semester was a killer. My GPA took a deep hit, as well as my confidence in the arts. However, my wife Jennifer pointed out that maybe I should reconsider what my strengths are. She made it clear to me that maybe I should focus on the digital means of Illustration, and come back to wet media later. I feel that I am very good an grasping digital concepts, and I have a lot of experience the Adobe Creative Suite.

So, I then took the advice from a friend(Scott Quick), found the work of an artist who works digitally, and used their work to learn. Most recently I have taken a liking to Daarken's work, and used this knight from his website as a starting point.

From here I did a value study of the breast plate in order to put it into a form that I can understand.

And this is the final study of digital paint, color, and light.

This was much smoother of a process than I have had in the past, which is a bit relieving. I will in fact be spending more time trying to understand how to portray form and light in a digital environment.