Wednesday, April 30, 2014

:stand by please:

Sorry, can't chat today - I want to finish the current artwork. Obviously I won't make the deadline for this month, but I'm not going to rush this. You'll see it next week. In the meantime here's a shot of spring time in New England.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This past week I saw the documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune," which is about the filmmaker's failed attempt to make that movie in the mid-70s. Partly the reason it failed was that Hollywood wasn't willing to let it be made. Then and just like today, the non-creative types run the industry. It was inspiring to see his creative method, the lengths he went through to get the actors (John Carradine! Salvador Dali! Orson Welles! Mick Jagger!) and artists (Moebius! HR Giger! Pink Floyd!), and in particular to me, that he did this at the same age I am now, so I find that encouraging. I feel that I have so much more art to create in this lifetime.

Also this past week somebody I know filmed me for this project they're doing on artists and their thoughts and methods. If it isn't too embarrassing to look at when it's done I'm sure I'll post something here. It was pretty stream of consciousness as far as questions went, although one sticks with me that I hadn't given too much thought too before. In asking about what I choose to depict in my art, I generally lean towards the imaginary, as far from reality as can be, or just over the edge. I never really thought much about it, just like I don't think about doing this at all, it's just what I feel compelled to do, which is why when I have long spells of nothing it's quite distressing.

I also said that I'm always seeking out new ideas (or unearthing old ones in sketchbooks), so I believe that part of my 2014 project, to finish one artwork a month, has something to do with that, as my current one is a pin-up type (digital) painting and that's not my usual subject matter.

As said last week, I took a shot from my photoshoot from last August and decided to use that as the basis for it. I think that the original is good on its own but has more unwanted background elements than I care to spend time erasing.

I was originally going to try doing it in Painter but that program doesn't seem to be working with my computer anymore, so it seems that an OS X upgrade is ever more inevitable in my future. These new tools are fantastic until they don't work. A pencil only needs to get resharpened. So back to trusty old Photoshop. Some re-learning of what the tools do and still getting used to using a tablet to do it, but I think it's started out well. At my current pace I should be done in time, although I anticipate taking longer on the face, if only to make sure it comes out right. I'm not tracing the photo per se, but it is on a lower layer for reference. I show it here so you can see what I've done so far, but not just a floating torso. That'd be just weird.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

:on the wall:

It's already half over and I've hardly started this month's project, so my time management skills still need work, although truth be told other things have come up like they always do. I'm just trying to do my best to work around and through them, but I really work best when my mind is as close to stable as I can manage, and some days that's just not happening. I can at least talk about what I have planned and hope I finish it by the end of the month.

I toyed with the idea of doing a pin-up sort of drawing at the end of last month, and I think I'll still attempt that. I've made attempts in the past, in my own twisted way of course -


- but I'd like to attempt to do something more traditional, like in the style of Gil Elvgren:

I'm not so adept at painting, so my idea was to take a photo from the shoot I did last August, and work over it in Painter and Photoshop. I think that there were many good shots from that shoot, but couldn't be salvaged as photos because of some background elements that would take way too long to remove. So wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I guess I took a bit of a creative breather in the past week, that and other things got in the way as per usual, but I did get out with my camera on the weekend, to photograph what is becoming an annual event: World Pillow Fight Day, at least the Boston version of it, organized by Banditos Misteriosos.

It truly is organized chaos. And this horse guy seems to show up at each event. At least I assume it's the same guy.

See the whole photo set here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

:feeding time:

Finished my monthly art piece, once again on the last day of the month. Clearly that's something I need to work on.

For those who haven't been following this blog regularly, these are Hans Rickheit's characters Cochlea & Eustachia. I think maybe one reason why I've dragged my feet on this one (the above idea was actually found in a sketchbook from 2012) is the fear of not depicting the characters well enough. Or maybe that this would be a bit too weird, subject-wise, but honestly, if you've seen the original comic, this is tame. Also if you've seen my sketchbooks (you haven't), also tame. Still afraid of offending people on some level, I guess. Is this offensive in any way?

I've been trying to document the process behind my artwork both on here on on my Behance page.

Lessons learned this time around? Well, the first thing I'm proud of is that I drew them without any references (other than the open mouth), so all that figure drawing I've done must be paying off. But mistake number one was scanning in the ink drawing without erasing the pencil lines, so time was wasted digitally erasing them in Photoshop. I used my Wacom tablet to do the shading, so good practice there, but I can tell the process there can be improved. Mostly ergonomically, I really need some sort of tablet arm holder so I can move it around and not have to have it flat on the desk in front of me. I know they exist, I'm just having a hell of time finding one. Halp?

So what's store for this month? So far I'm thinking something with a pin-up theme, using photos that I've taken.