Friday, July 29, 2011

Animal Cornucopia

These Kitties were drawn for my friend Becky who is producing a zine about this troupe of adorable little scamps.

Periscope took a trip to the zoo (prompted by Natalie Nourigat) on Wednesday the 27th and it was great! I spent a whole day doing observational drawing. It was a success in both fun and output. Only a few animals presented real challenges; the penguins were tough and one turtle was fast enough (surprisingly) that he avoided a full portrait.

The giraffes were beautiful, The bats were smelly, the crocodile was amazing and stoic. My elephant drawings required some real time compositing. I felt a kinship with the chimps because they are so similar to us in all the most important ways; I owed it to them to portray them appropriately.

The sleepy animals were the easiest to draw. The sea lions were an amazing mash-up of the stay puft Marshmallow man, a jumbo jet and a dog. The penguins were very fast and yes, that is the real Iorek Byrnison.

This particular De Brazza's monkey was fascinated and angered by a raccoon that was taunting him outside his cage. At one point a man came up to me and asked "Do you ever just decide to give up and draw the butt?" I told him that I'm patient and I hope for multiple animals so that I can extrapolate. Though, that being said; it also depends on how interesting the butt in question may be.

I LOVE the Oregon Zoo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Sketchplosion!

I love doing observational drawings of people who aren't holding still. It is almost always difficult but conversely enjoyable when you get things right. I thought I might share a few them with you:

My dear friend Scott Barkan was in town for a few days on tour with Alaskan songsmith Marian Call and I was able to capture them over the course of two delightful sets.

Lindsey's family had a get together this last weekend. Part of her family lives in Idaho and it is a rare treat to see them. I tried to capture as much as I could. For the most part this is pieced together from several configurations as people traded chairs and went in and out to get food and mind adorable babies.

I was asked by friend Chris to draw his band 'The Wishermen' at Jimmy Mak's last night. From left to right: Adam Schwietert on Alto, Special Guest Elysia Strauss on Tenor, Cyrus Nabipoor on Trumpet, Grant Sayler on Guitar, Chris Friesen on Bass and Barra Brown on Drums
I also started a new tumblr that you can check out for yourself here:

It covers all manor of absurd silliness and I post once a day. Tell your friends and family if they are the sort of people who enjoy vaguely Victorian schadenfreude.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Goblet Of Fandom

I posted a piece of Harry Potter fan art on the Periscope Studio tumblr and some of the comments have indicated that I got a few crucial details wrong. I know there are some possible points of contention but I did think about the things that might be read as possible errors, at least a little, before I made the image. What follows is all meant in good fun (I want to get in on the nerdiness of being a fanboy too!)

Godric's Hollow, Halloween Night, 1981

The first complaint I saw was that Voldemort didn't look as I've shown him at the time the Potters were attacked but Lindsey looked it up to try and confirm my initial conception that creating the Horcruxes deformed him:

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C

As for James having his wand it seems like I can be allowed a little creative license in that he is described as 'going for his discarded wand.' I like to think he could have picked it up for a second before he died or that it wouldn't have been that far from him because it was a dark time full of uncertainty and he'd need to be able to protect his nascent family. It certainly adds a little spark of drama to the image and for that, I hope I can be forgiven even if I'm not perfectly on target in the end.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mutants Mutants Everywhere.

I love mutants when they are benign and contained to the pages or flickering screens of pop culture. In nature they can be (and almost always are) detrimental. In this happier case we can see an example from my childhood that sparked many drawings and flights of imagination; The TMNT. I loved these characters in all their incarnations:

I made this on a whim for my pal Ben Bates after a conversation we had about the differences and virtues of the gritty original comics variety and the more playful cartoon series of the 80's.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly may remember that I did a banner a few weeks back. It was based on a vague idea that I (and surely many others) have had of a Gorilla Fantasy Warrior. My previous post features one and many other examples could be found easily. this weekend though, I found an example that blew my mind with specific overlaps; Behold the might and glory of Gorill-zar...

His cybernetic arm doesn't match up but you can see how his shoulder piece, sword and neck tendons are all pretty close. Crazy stuff!

I don't often buy 'toys' but I couldn't help it. He is just too bad-ass

I am happier than I look that 'Gorill-zar' has joined my forces. His mutant brethren (all from Papo Toys) will be enlisting soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Preview Of 'Another Life'

Back in February I finished the pencils and inks for my portion in an anthology of stories by writer Paul Allor. I went back last week and added a single gray tone to help add some depth and focus for the eye. Here are a few of my favorite panels from the 5 page story I did:

Every space-pirate needs a simian friend to lend a helping hand

Always heed the 'Invasion Warning Siren' when it goes off

Try to use your words before things get out of hand; especially when you're on a spaceship.

The cat-man is my favorite of the pirate warriors. There is a ton of stuff packed into the short format of the story. I got to draw a lot of aliens, spaceships and a talking gorilla. I'll be sure to announce when it comes out; I want to see the rest of the stories!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Sketch Party!

My sketchbook still has a couple hundred pages left in it and I'm trying to close that gulf so I can start my next sketchbook with the really nice paper in it. I bought my current Moleskine (my first) without realizing that there were different varieties of paper and formats to be had. The good news is that because the paper is gentle I approach the sketchbbok with a preciousness that I don't ordinarily embrace when 'sketching.'

I love drawing from life because it hones that mechanism for preserving and recalling information that is so necessary as a comic book artist.

In some cases I will coat the pages with Gesso so that one drawing doesn't bleed through to the preceding or following pages. I did that on this set of pages but I'm looking for alternatives because the surface gets too 'slick.'

I bought Lindsey a sketchbook yesterday so that she can have fun too. I think everyone should try it. Sketching teaches you to look at the world with a discerning eye and pick those parts that stand out as important in a virtual sea of possible information. It's a nice thing to 'edit' the world with your eye.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Blue Shell Attack Means You're #1

I'm not huge into video games but when I do play I almost always enjoy a solid racing game. Mariokart was one of the first digital realms that I ever felt like I had some mastery over. I loved to play the original on Super Nintendo, then 64 and most recently Double Dash (I'm a console or two behind.)

I LOVE Mariokart. The 'Boo Pipes' are my favorite kart for heavy racers

Lindsey and I often race. I took it super seriously for a while and the first time she beat me I kind of freaked out. since then I've scaled back my enthusiasm to a reasonable point and it's just good fun; the way all games should be. I hope you find my little tribute worthy and an accurate portrayal of the fun and excitement that is MKDD.

Here are the inks just for fun. Color does a lot to make it Mario's world

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chalkboard Musings

For Lindsey's Birthday I got us a mini-vacation at the Kennedy School in NE Portland. We have a special relationship to that place in various ways so we like to revisit it when we can.

The room we stayed in had a huge wrap-around chalkboard and some white chalk to play around with so we played. It was fun. I got Lindsey to draw a little bit at the end.

I used my covert skills and snapped a picture of her.

I call him 'angel-bear' because he loves the baseball team in Anaheim...

Yes; I put Star Wars in this too

This is Lindsey's portion. Aliens have come for a man and he is gleefully going with them.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Facts and Figures (Nudes Ahead!)

Periscope hosted a figure drawing session last night and these are my drawing from that set of hours. It had been several years since I had done dedicated figure drawings but it was as if I had never stopped. I used a pentel pocket brush for the wash and my pentel brush pens for the black.

My lighting preference is a double light source but I know my fellow studio-mates would rather a single high contrast source; this time is was a sort of compromise born of available materials.

As figure drawing sessions go it was really nice. Our model was great at holding interesting poses even in our long suffering, ancient studio nap-chair. I'm looking forward to the next one and I'll be sure to post those too!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mad Men and Hot Ladies!

A while back Periscope studio decided to start a sketch tumblr and one of our early topics was "Mad Men." I like the look of the show and I enjoy the themes they explore in the series (culture clash, sexual politics, doomed chauvinism, identity, creativity, etc.) I decided to draw the most beautiful people in the cast and tried to pull my color choices from actual frames of the show.

I'm thankful that a woman with Ms. Hendricks' curves is considered 'hot' by the rest of you too now. I've been saying it for years;ask Lindsey.

I used a lot of little pictures to help including some posed for by my friend and fellow Periscoper, artist Erika Moen. I wanted a lady to stand in for Joan and Betty.

Having friends who will pose for you is great because it really allows you to determine what sort of compositional choices are realistic in real time. You need not rely on stock Internet photos or your imagination alone. Sketch out you idea and then pose it; it is like scientific verification!

Here are the inks if you are curious. Joan/Christina's mouth is a little too big (but Steve Lieber caught it before I finished the colors!) There are a few little things here and there that are worth changing on the next one but I had a lot of fun. The color in particular really brought it together (I think.)

You can see patterns and gradients in the piece above and all of those were added digitally by me! I haven't really tried much of that before and I think it worked well this time. I love learning from my mistakes and modest advances on a piece like this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

World War Doodle.

Happy post independence day post! I like to celebrate the formation of my nation (and its' subsequently brilliant secular constitution) as much as the next guy but I don't do it with fireworks. I like to show my pride by doing what the sacrifice and efforts of many unsung American heroes allow me to do as a job each day: draw a picture!

I gave the dinosaurs American gear but you shouldn't read too much into it! The Mammals aren't any specific opposing power either.

I hope you all enjoy this poster. I encourage you all to find a way to show your gratitude toward all the public servants that make our country what it is. By that I mean teachers, public employees of all stripes, troops, emergency service personnel and every American who makes a point to embrace the pluralism that makes me proud to live here. Thanks to all of you!

I am depicted here in Oklahoma at the wall of Patriotism they have in 'hobby lobby.' It was not yet June; I was amazed.