Friday, December 25, 2009

First to Finish, Last to Start

I'm not finishing the year as strongly as I would have liked but I do have a book in the works, so that counts for something, I hope. These first two pages (done on BART) are recent, the rest are not.

Below: I may have mentioned before that I like to play "art games". One of my favorites is drawing panels, sized and placed at random, and finding compositions to fill them. There's usually an interesting chemistry that happens between the panels, whether their contents are related or not.

If Christmas is your thing, I hope you a great one. If it's not, here's wishing you had a great season. I expect I'll be seeing everyone again in 2010. I just bought a new sketchbook and some markers... I'll be ready!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sketchcrawl 25

I attended last weekend's World Wide SketchCrawl (5th Anniversary!). This was my third crawl and, as always, it was tremendously inspirational and loads of fun. The crawl took place in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens (in SoMa). The view from the top of the gardens was so fantastic that we wound up sitting in the same spot almost all day, vacating only to escape the cold at the end of the day when we just couldn't take it anymore.

The following drawings were not from SketchCrawl and I actually don't like them all that much. I still haven't replaced my dead grey Tombow markers and the values are all crusty and indecisive-looking. Normally, I would lay down the marker tones in as few strokes as I could but there's no way to represent the values with only one live, dark grey marker and a few dead, light ones. I'm going to have to request, like, an entire shoebox filled with grey Tombows of varying values for Christmas because I go through them so fast and I haven't been able to find them in stores for a while.

Above: These are all BART riders. I like the two men at the bottom of the spread. The one on the left was wearing the most precious holiday sweater. It looked like a bonafide grandma-knitted sweater and he was wearing it without a hint of irony and it was great.

I've been working on proposals for the art book I mentioned. I really don't want to have to go the self-publishing route this time. I just want to design the book and get it off my plate, at this point, because I'm anxious to get back to the graphic novel. Proposals should be done this week and then... waiting, I guess. Gotta get back to "Rogues & Robbers".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ghost of Summer

Ellipses are troublesome even for the most experienced of ellipsists.

Above: A couple returning to San Francisco on BART late at night. I wish I'd had time to throw some tone on it.
Below: Bonus Summer Drawing!

I drew this on a scrap of paper at a cafe in June when I was inbetween sketchbooks. I hated the drawing at the time but figured someone else might like it so I signed it, took a picture of it with my phone for posterity and left it on a table for whoever. I forgot the drawing had ever existed until I found the photo on my computer last week and I actually like it now. I wonder whatever became of the orginal?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Month Is Still Young

Okay, no. It isn't. But it's not too late for one more October update. I'm pulling some art off backlog in the interest of maintaining regular updates in the midst of an art drought.

These are all quick gestures done from imagination. At work, sometimes I start to lose focus when I've been working on something for a long time and I'll take a couple minutes to doodle and reset my attention span. The first page is a composite of several pages.

Below: You might recognize the drawing of the girl on the left... it's the sketch I based this picure on in August. With tactful adjustments.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Revenge of Dr Sketchy's

My schedule this month has not been forgiving of my need to go out sketching, unfortunately. But I did manage to make it out to Dr Sketchy's this month and the results are in:

I should mention that I made it to the session late (yet again) and had to sit in the back where I couldn't see very well. I didn't intentionally not draw arms/legs or crop things strangely... I simply could not see those areas.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alls I Got

In all honesty, I haven't drawn much lately worth liking let alone posting. I've actually drawn very little, period, but here's a painted sketch I think I might like. Maybe you'll like it too. To clarify, the drawing isn't of Bean Bag Coffee House, it was done from Bean Bag Coffee House looking across the street.

I've been putting together an art book all summer and starting this month, I'll be capping off art production for the book and making publishing arrangements. Many of the sketches posted here on the blog will be in the book.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moleskin 2.0

So begins my second Moleskin (we're not counting those couple pages in the watercolor one that I abandoned). Autumn is descending faster than I was prepared for and I'm realizing how limited my time is to get in some good plein air painting before the weather won't allow it. Expect more color sketches in the next post.

Above: I happened to catch the Richmond on a rare sunny day... the district is notorious for relentless fog.

Below: These pages were done in my hometown of Fremont, CA. The drawing on the left would have been a painting if that car hadn't left. The thing sticking out of the back of that man's head is a bike handle... I started drawing a person with a bike on BART and they got off the train seconds after I started.

Above: I was still trying to milk those dead Tombow markers on this page. I kind of like how everything came out soft like vine charcoal. The left page has a wierd tangent between the woman's arm and someone else's hand making her look like she's got a stumpy arm. Those were all done on BART to Berkeley.

Below: Seattle airport drawings done with a fountain pen, which I don't use nearly enough.

Above: Totally killed a pen on that airport truck and it's really obvious.

Below: Here's a preview of a future painting. This is the ink undersketch:

I'm currently working on a book proposal. I'll talk more about that in the next post.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Epilogues, Encores

Ship it, this sketchbook is done. I finished this one in a record 3 months. Of course, it helped that the pages were only 1/4 the size of the old books I used to work in. But still! I think this merits a wrap party of some kind.

3 pens, 4 markers, and 1 waterpen died in the making of this book.

Above: This is from a failed attempt at starting a new sketchbook, last week. I'm not digging the watercolor Moleskin. But I gotta say, it loves the markers. I may hold on to this one and just do marker work in it. This page is the only one I liked out of five.

And see how the page is perforated? I'm morally opposed to that. A sketchbook is a record of your progress as an artist. You accept bad drawings because they allow you to do better drawings. The idea of tearing a page out of a sketchbook horrifies me. No spiral-bound or perforated sketchbooks for me, thanks.

Below: Cafe drawings. North Beach, Haight, Sunset. My Tombow markers were nearly dead at this point, resulting in crusty values.

Above: Spent most of a weekend sketching with my good friend, Jamaica Dyer, after attending SF Zine Fest. She's got a book coming out in a few weeks that you should check out and if you're attending this year's Alternative Press Expo, be sure to check out the panel because she's a guest speaker.

Below: That greenish splotch was going to be a gouache color sketch. I sat outside a cafe to draw the building across the street and got a few minutes into it before realizing that I had picked the table downwind from a slew of smokers. Not to mention, the wind was strong and cold. I doubt I'll return to the location to finish this because I'm rarely ever out in North Beach and would have no reason to have an old sketchbook on me if I did happen to find my way out there in the near future.

Below: Worried people are my favorite kind of people to draw. I love the way their faces wrinkle up and you can instantly empathize. Bottom guy was a great subject, although he may have been worried because I was staring at him so intensely.

For now, I'm using another Moleskin sketchbook but I consider this situation temporary. I'm still on the lookout for a sketchbook that feels like home. Something that accepts wet media... ink, in particular. Something good with washes but hardy enough for paint and multimedia work. I definitely like the smaller format I've been working with, though. And in hardback, please. I'll probably wind up just making my own sketchbook.