Monday, June 25, 2007

Totem, Interrupted

Spent some time over the weekend working on a block print with my friend Christopher. I hadn't done any block printing in almost 17 years (since high school!) and really had fun with it. I'd like to do some more. There's something very satisfying about seeing print after print appear in my basement. It's like I'm stockpiling holiday presents for my entire family. The print started off as the sketch below, with the idea of showing that you can't ALWAYS finish what you start, as the carver of this totem pole has unfortunately discovered.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spidey Reads The Funnies...(Ketcham study)

Last Friday I told myself I would paint SOMETHING over the weekend, and in order to keep the promise I worked on a study for the Spiderman of 2007.

It felt great to break out with a little bit of color and brush work and spend some quality time off the computer. Ahhh, rough lines!!! This is a goauche wash on bristol paper.

I've been wanting to study the layouts of Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace, Half Hitch) for awhile, and used the cartoon below for a heavy dose of composition and inspiration.

Thanks for the lesson, Hank! And if there are any Dennis fans out there who haven't read The Merchant of Dennis, Hank Ketcham's autobiography, it's worth a serious look. Very funny, with wonderful insights and great sketches from a lifetime spent cartooning.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Freedom of Youth! (part 3)

Here's the last batch of my childhood drawings (at least for the foreseeable future). I'm overdue to get some new stuff up for people to see. Thanks for taking a look at pieces of my very own art history.

Monsters, Knights, and Ninjas

Like every litle boy in history, I was fascinated by dinosaurs, sharks, mutant apes, robots...the list goes on and on. If it had scales, fangs, or laser beams, I was hooked. My monster fascination started off innocently enough, with a very benign version of Godzilla. Look out Tokyo! Godzilla might cuddle you to death.

Things started getting a bit darker when I saw Jaws. I had decided that a good monster needed an appropriate victim. Look at that poor swimmer. So blissfully unaware that an animal the size of the Titanic is about to swallow her whole...I think she could live out a fine life inside that gaping maw. That shark's mouth is bigger than my house! He sure looks bloodthirsty.

These guys weren't really monsters, but maybe I'll see them differently after July 4th. That Transformers movie sure will have a lot of good memories to live up to...

At around the age of eleven or so, I discovered metallic silver markers. More importantly, I discovered the power of blood.

But blood wasn't enough! I learned to draw weapons. Limbs were hacked off, arrows punctured lungs, and shields were a poor defense against the ruthless dragon hordes.

It wasn't long before ninjas took over my imagination. For some reason I imagined that ninjas were on a constant quest for gold, and would battle other ninjas to the death to get it. In order to protect the gold, elaborate booby traps were created, sending many a valiant ninja to an untimely and bloody death...I got really into these drawings, and remember creating cave after cave, each one full of spring-loaded arrows, vicious crocodiles, boiling lava, and poisonous snakes. But I guess the gold was worth it.

As you can see here, my ninja-warfare rendering skills were at their absolute peak. Look at the weapons on that guy. Rocket launcher! Bowie Knife! M-16! Bow and arrow! Throwing stars! Buzz-saw hand! I am sure I drew this not long after seeing a Bruce Lee movie, and I bet I agonized over getting all the weapons exactly right. This looks like a drawing where I was old enough to sweat the details. So much for the freedom of youth!