Sunday, September 30, 2007

White Chalk Drawing

This is a drawing from last week's homework in Patrick Connor's cast Drawing Class. The assignment was to draw a cast lightly first in charcoal, etc., then to draw in the cast with a piece of white chalk. It's the opposite of how we usually draw by adding darks to a drawing to capture shadows, etc. I consider this drawing a big failure for a variety of reasons. I think I drew too heavy with the chalk, especially after looking back at the examples by Connors that he showed us in class. I also lost some likeness on the face and there are some proportion issue. It's just a little off here of there. But being just a little off can make your drawing a piece of shit. This cast The Slave by Michaelangelo is really awesome and tricky. He had a very unique set of proportions. the cast is dirty also, so there is a lot of places where the form is obscured or confusing as the dirty obscures a plane change, etc. The part I achieve what I wanted was the left arm and little monkey figure on the lower right. If I had done that with the whole drawing it would have been better.

This is a redo.

Philly Fog

Last week I snapped these shots as Echo and I drove into school. It was really a beautiful foggy morning.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pastel Figure Drawing

Tonight I finished up the figure drawing I have been working on for two weeks in the weekly Thursday Night figure drawing sessions at PAFA. This was my first attempt to draw a figure with pastels, which isn't easy. I had to learn to layer then, smudge, layer, blend, and spray fixitive, then work again.

I used Nupastels and a bit of conte. I tried incorporating some of the lessons I've been picking up in Noel's class like cross contur and pushing the volumes, plus learning what to leave out, which is as important as what you leave in, maybe even more important. The feet and the hand gave me a fit as they were rather small and the pastels are like big blocky crayons, but I fought on. I'm pretty happy with this and look forward to trying another pastel drawing next week.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Apples A Day

I worked on this week's homework for Doug Martenson's class today, another still life; this time it's red apples on a green imprimatura using the same limited palette of quidnacrome red, cad yellow light, ultramarine blue and white. This is not done, but it's close. I'll take another pass at it tomorrow after school. It's 12 x 16 on masonite, the colors are a bit wonky too as the lighting on the pic is low. I'll shoot a better pic when I'm done.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thing Vs Hulk Commission

Just finished up this commission I've had here in the studio for a bit. It's the classic Marvel battle of the Hulk vs The Thing. The guy who commissioned it wanted the classic 60's versions of the characters, which is fine by me as they are the really the ONLY version of the characters I like anyway. The Frankenstien-like version of the Hulk with the ripped shirt is a lot more fun to draw. I had my Kirby Collectors out to brush up on Kirby's version of the Thing who's a lot smaller than the Hulk.

Ok, enough geek talk. This was inked all with a No. 4 Raphael Kolinsky brush.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pafa Week 3

The Grind! That's what this last week has been, basically from hanging my show at the AXD gallery, through teaching at DCAD (An extra class to help out my buddy Scott) and finishing my storyboard. This culminated in me literally pulling an all-nighter from Monday morning till I hit the sheets Tuesday night at 6pm. I sleep till 7 this morning and felt much better. I had to stay up to finish working on Draw! for a preview in Aletr-Ego mag, and do my painting homework of a pair for Doug Martenson's class. Luckily it came oiut ok, but there was a time where I was so tired and so frustrated I wanted to wipe it all off and snap the board in half like a ninja.

I rallied in school dispite the lack of sleep Tuesday, but by the afternoon I was seriously slagging...and my Art History class was the final blow. The room was dark and warm, a deadly combo. I sit in the front row, so with about 20 minutes to go I had to leave, or just fall dead asleep infront of the professor--which would have been rude. I really like the class and Dr. Richards and wish I could have hung in there.

This painting was done in Doug Martenson's class Tuesday after lunch so my energy bar was at abot 60% for a bit. It was painted on gessoed board, in a deep dark greenish prematura. next we knocked in drawing of the figure done by using ultramarine blue, and then the wipeout of the lights with a paper towel.

Next, still using the limited palette of quidnacrome red, cad yellow light, ultramarine blue and white, I went in and started adding clolor and trying to draw back in also. We had 3 sessions so we had maybe a bit over an hour it seems, maybe more or less. This was the same model we had last week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Charcoal Wipe-out

This is my homework assignment for this week's cast drawing with Patrick Conners. We had to do a charcoal wipe-out. I choose to do a self portrait as it was the easiest with the time I had. This was drawn in Vine Charcoal on Daler-Rowney Latte paper 18 x 24. I used some powedered charcola to tone the canvas first.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Figure Drawing Wednesday-Scott Noel

Noel in action teaching in class. Scott's such a dynamic teacher, he not only shows you solutions in his own work, drawing along side of us in class ( which makes you want to stop and watch-so I was a bit devided at times)but discusses solutions and ideas using drawings great artists from the past and the solutions some of us as students are coming up with in the class exercises--he challenges you to come up with answers and ideas and then to clarify them, make them specific, something real, not some BS atherial ideas.

Today we started with 5 minutes poses and loerked to one long 20 minute pose broken into two 10 minute scessions. he showd us Jacobo Pontormo and Dega drawings as well as his own and talked about how the space a figure inhabits is as important as the figure, about placement and use of space, design. He also talked about cross-conture drawing and how you can combine the use of line and form. Below is my first drawing, and my second from last.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Figure Painting Week 2

Today was a day I have been looking forward to for a long time...the day I actually started painting at school. Today in Doug Martenson's class we started with a prematura by mixing equal parts Quinacridone Red, cad yellow light and ultramarine blue with a palette knife on the palette. Then we toned the canvas using a bit of odorless terps, in my case at piece of 16 x 20 massonite, which I had primed with 3 layers of gesso and sanded.

Leaving plenty of our original prematura color we mixed in some ultramarine and blocked in the figure paying attention to the light source. Then taking a paper towel we wiped out the lights and then using only the three main color and titanium white started to go in and paint in the figure, adding colors and mixing every other color out of the combination of the three.

It was hard work but fun, the room was super hot... and massonite is slippery, and you can spend a lot of time jumping back and forth mixing and painting one area, value to the next. Our model Khenti was awesome. She's beautiful and has a graceful toned body and choose a good pose. My angle ended up being tricky as it was foreshortened.

Martenson did do a very basic demo to get us started and then walked around giving each person critiques and pointers. He helped me with a few pointers, saying I was starting a bit too heavy with chiaroscuro, so I took a bit out, but he was very pleased with what I did and said to bring in my complimentary colors next week. He said I added a bit too much white to the legs, and he's right, and I was rushing, but time ran out in the class. But he thought I did a good job and my "drawing was very good" in my painting. I wish I had more time as I felt I was just getting underway.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Baltimore 2007

Well the Baltimore comicon 2007 is in the record books and as usual I had a good time. I think I would have had an even better time if I wasn't so busy with all the other things like the gallery show and teaching...on top of starting school. I was a bit drained this weekend...I think the show being later next year will be a plus in that reguard. Cons require you to multi-task. You have to sketch, sign stuff, at the same time you meet people, see weird or funny stuff. It's the exact opposite of the studio situation for most artists---unless you work at disneyland or the circus freakshow. The show was bigger this year and the hickups were few. The biggest for me was not being listed on the site or being in the program book. I think I would have been even busier if that was done. Saturday was actually pretty slow for me, really slow in spots, but that allowed me to kinda' chill and do some schmoozing and yakking to fellow artists.

It was the Year of Ringo, lots of happenings were sprinkled throughout the show in tribute to Mike. They were donating money to the Humane Society etc. They even had a bar thing going on afterwards, but none of us in my party could find it until it was already really late, but by then Echo and I had to hit our hotel down by BWI for our late checkin. I wasn't about to pay ape-rape rates of $200 or more a night for one night at a hotel in the Inner harbor. The Hometwown Suites was $109 an night including tax and was about a 15 minute ride away, not bad at all.
The new hotel coming next fall.

I didn't bother attending the Harveys. I have to say I just can't get into the awards, the Eisners either. I have issue with the way both are set up with catagory's and the way people are nominated. You have artists who ink their own work for instance, nominated as best inker instead of an artist who speciality is inking. The Academy Awards don't nominate cinematographers for set design. I also see stuff nominated that I just scratch my head at.....and I think,"Is this really one of the best comics of 2007?"

There were lots of families in Baltimore this year and that to me is always a good sign. The Babymen are greying, without a big wave of new readers into this end of the hobby, well let's face it,in about 15 years, if comics last that long in the direct market, there will be a huge problem. Meds or comics?

Marc Natahan was a smart cookie by letting kids in free with a parent. I think there were also less fans dressed in costumes this show than any I remember. Maybe Dragon con being so recent many had blown their furrie wad there? The coolest costume had to be the cute chick in the Hellgirl costume.
Cobra Commander trying to decide which sketch to heist.

Saturday was packed, but Sunday the crowd thinned by early afternoon and I noticed many artist beat it out early.

The opposite thing happened to me, Sunday suddenly I had a ton of sketch requests, so many I had to bring them home to finish. I hung with the Philly crew and Eric ran the Twomorrows booth. Echo once again did a lot of sketches, turning people into animae characters.

Joe Kubert chats with Howard Chaykin.

I saw few old students and even current ones from DCAD. There was a nice bunch of kids from MICA there set up at a table. I wanted to go back and but their stuff but when I returned, they were gone. It was also nice that Jonathan who posts here drove up from kentucky to hang out. We got to chew the fat and talk art which was fun, he also showed me his work which is quite good.

Ron Garney doing his best Ken Brockman immitation.

Once again walking the floor I have to say I have a weird disconnect at times, a sort of love/hate with the industry. Maybe I've been doing this so long and maybe I also feel the need to move on in some respects. Again I think Nathan working with my buddy John (Buzzboy) Gallagher do right by setting uop the Kids love Comics pavillion. Several of my buds like John, rich Scott Cohn and Scott Nelly did really well selling kid friendly prints, comics and sketches.
A Bizarro sketch I drew.

I find seeing stuff by the kids from Mica exciting, while a lot of what I see from the majors just seems stale. I never walked the dealer side of the show once. I figure since I am trying to get rid of stuff, why buy more stuff I'll have to sell or chuck.
The Lovely Thom Zahler.
Herb Trimpe.

The facts remain though Marc is a class act, he gives you a booth and feeeds you, he respects you and makes you feel welcome when so many shows now don't. You never feel that way at a Wizard show, and the burgeoning NYC show wants as much $$ for space as San Diego without the same days or numbers. I didn't attend last year as they were charging pros to get in.

That's just dumb. The hotel situation hopefully will be better next year , but the food was awesome, we ate at the japanese spot again this year. I didn't see any trends this year, no sudden upsurge of crime comics, zombie comics etc. I think the closet i see is the new wave of Web comic announcements. But the question to me is are they going to be able to deliver quality content on-time for an unknown amount of time to build any audience? the success of penny Arcade, Homestar Runner etc seems partically to coke from being hooked into games which are a lot more popular culture than babymen comics. Will this be the new trend? Guys showing up with reprint books of their web comics instead of doing print first?
A Ms. Marvel Sketch I did.

Sergio Arigonies.
So the short of this the baltimore con was another solid show, maybe the least profitable one I've done, but still a good solid show where you can connect to a lot of fans and friends...So as long as guys like Marc and Shelton do shows and are class acts I'll be happy to throw my support behind them.

Steve Conley.

Bughead lady...
Jamal and Jamar, in the same place, same time,proving they are not the same person, though one might be a robot.

Monster on the Prowl

Friday was the opening of the Monsters Under The Bed show...whew! It was great! the place was packed all night and a lot of my friends, neighbors, current as well as former DCAD students came. A big group of my fellow students came from PAFA and a huge batch of my Philly Crew showed up as well as my brother Marc.

My work was broken up and in 3 places in the gallery, which was great because it got people to walk around and mingle.

The crowd was really quite diverse in just about any way you could imagine.

Lots of wine, cheese and yakking about art till about 8 or so, then they kicked everyone outside for a bit, then let us all back in as the rock show started. It was so packed in the gallery the crowd spilled out onto 10th street. We hung for a bit then took off to eat some get so great greek food at Effies, just off Pine St. It's run by my pal Stephen's cousin. I felt like a million bucks.

It was a really great show, I had lots of fantastic feedback about my work, especially the paintings which was gratifying--I felt all the hard work was really worth it. I got to talk to some of the fellow artists about their work and passed on a few marketing tips. It was great and draining, when i got home i was just zonked, but we had to be back up again the next AM at 6 to head off to baltimore for the con.

Big thanks to Ed the gallery owner and to Ryan the manager for really pulling off such an awesome event at AXD. the show is up until October, so you'll have plenty of time to see it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Monster Show

Well the past few weeks have been a flurry of action around here, much of it leading up to the MONSTER show. I wish I had more time, as I really wanted to have a lot more paintings ready for the show and ended up with four. I wanted to have six, but that's all I could produce with the rest of my busy schedule. However I did put several pen and ink pices and a few comic covers and pages in the show.

The show will run through October so I may add a few more new pieces next month. This is my first official gallery show I've been a part of outside of the faculty shows at DCAD which by the way is also tonight! I have working hanging there too, and that show will also be up till October. So if you are in Philly for First Fridays, or the Fringe festival, stop by the AXD Gallery on south 10th and see the show.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

PAFA Day 2

Well today was sort of a goal of sorts for me, or the completeion of one leg of my journey into art school, I've come to the fork or checkpoint and seen a very clear sign showing me a path to follow. I know now "Wisely I chose", as Yoda would say.
Today I had my first class with the painter Scott Noel, and so today was sort of a completion of an idea; to attend school and take classes from this artist. A few years back, when I started seriously planning to go back to school and finish my degree, get the education I was not afforded when I was younger, I started with a search via Google about art schools in Philly. Through searching I came across a motherload of Noel's work on the web at one of his gallerys and saw he taught at several schools in Philly and I tracked him down to PAFA. So when Echo was looking to go on to school after DCAD, I suggested PAFA and sort of used that as an excuse to go along and see it for myself too.

I had of course taken several CE classes at PAFA since the early 90's and it was on my 'short list" as they say. Most schools just don't have the emphasis on the classical cannon of art training in my opinion. PAFA does. I was a victim of the 'draw what you feel"" BS school of art eductation in the early 80's. Hey, we all feel, but without skill, ability, how can one manipulate your tools, use the vocabulary of the visual artist to properly articulate what it is you are saying? That kind of value system, or just Bullshit as I call it, kind of turned me off and out of college 20+ years ago. As a result I am a self-taught artist, and as Noel paraphrased this morning in class, some say "Art cannot be taught, but shared". So I wasn't getting a lot of sharing either back in art school at Washtenaw Community College where I went.

So today the sharing started. We discussed drawings as "Vessels of organization;the organizations of shapes on a flat drawing surface and how we use the visual language to articulate the organizing experience. We discussed perspective and sight measuring and drew three drawings employing the theories we discussed, two still lifes and a cast drawing. I am posting my drawing from today of David which is a life size cast (from the original) in the cast hall. This was about a 15-20 minute drawing utilizing the sight measuring technique which tends to slow me down. There was talk of how tone or value alone isn't enough to describe volume and surface alone, taht you can use cross conture lines on the, I was in heaven talking about drawing. I have to say, that while I reacted strongly to Noel's work when I discovered it on the web and then of course saw the other great artists and teachers at PAFA, and enjoyed everything so far, this class assure me "YES!" this is the place. Noel is passionate and articulate and friggin' super-talented.

Many have asked me, student, professional and friend, "Why are you going back to school? Why are you starting as a freshman? Don't you feel insulted?"

The answer is simple, no. Sure I understand perspective, sight measuring and lots of other things and I have spent years and lots of money buying books and culling from any source I can about drawing, painting, animation and cartooning and constantly practicing. But you know, when you teach yourself you still have basically only one perspective, yours. Inevitably there are holes, gaps, blind alleys as well as successes. So my feeling is this, maybe I do know something but maybe having it taught to me, or shared, it will reveal something I didn't, or give me a new perspective on it. When I was younger I was a lot more head strong and would just dismiss things outright as many young people do. I have to say this first week at PAFA has been just a pleasure, a pleasure to be taught , and taught well for once. I'll give you just one instance. I know about sight measuring, you know the patented holding your arm out with the pencil, brush etc., to use to make measurements of the figure/object when drawing from observation/life to make sure your drawing is in proportion. But even thought I knew you must keep the stick/pencil perpendicular to the object when measuring, I never thought of turning my hand like a clock face. I would just turn my hand in the way I needed. So just that was a new way of rethinking something better I already do.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

PAFA Day 1

Well it finally arrived, my first official day of class at PAFA as a student. It seemed like it was a long wait for it to finally happen, I guess in part because I have been planning it since the winter of 06. Also Echo was full time last fall, so i was there at school quite a bit, including my CE anatomy class, but to be there as a student at last was really great.

Yesterday we had a big labor day BBQ blowout at Casa Del Manley, lots of friends and food, then it was sort of a restless night as I was sort of like a kid waiting for Santa to arrive. Finally I did fall asleep, only it seemed to be instantly jarred awake by the alarm an 6:30...agggh! Ok, this will take some getting used to. I have often been going to bed very late these last few months due to deadlines and my natural nocturnal tendencies. Sometimes I was going to bed between 5 and 6am.

It was a glorius morning though, bright sun shown down and over the city and through the windows in class as I waited along with a few early students for class to start. My first class was a sculpting class with John Horn, but today I had to drop it till next term. The class has two sections, an instructed and non-instructed. I am not able to take the non-instructed and found out that because we would be sculpting from the live model, I'd only have 50% as much time by having only one section, so I switch in a another Cast Drawing class instead. I'll take this sculpting class again next term.

Here you can see across to where the old school building is being raised to make room for the Convention Center expansion.

My life painting instructor Douglas Martenson was really affable and funny, and everyone seemed to enjoy him, he gave a great first day talk and a demo and supply list for what we need next week. I learned for instance that he cleans his brushes with Baby Oil. I've been using Olive Oil, but maybe I'll give the baby oil a try. I'll have to go back and get some more masionite board cut a Home Depot or the local Ace hardware. We'll need that for class. After class I hit the Acadamy Art store and bought all the paint and brushes I didn't have.

I had lunch with Echo, new students and friends Park and Judy, in the 11th flr student lounge, (where the students kept going out on the balcony, setting off the alarm). I ate fast and headed off to my Life Painting class with Martenson. last was the Art History Class which was a lot of fun and the whole day went great...and fast. I didn't even mind that one of the pictures I took to the gallery to drop off had a cracked glass, or that the meter maid, or man gave me a ticket for $41 as I had to double park for 2 minutes to run the stuff in. Maybe it's like a bird shitting on you, it's supposed to be good luck.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Framing The Show

The flury of activity continues here in prep for the gallery show and the start of school and next weekend's baltimore comicon. Finally (thanks to Barb, a professional framer) I finally have the last of the art for the "Monsters under the Bed" show framed. I got my frames in Friday from which is a good place, easy to deal with, especially since you can talk to real humans on the phone to answer and take your orders. I also picked up a few things at the local Michaels, like a few wood frames and decoractions like the skeletons and fingers for the frame of the Zombie painting.

I got some glass cut at the local Ace hardward, some black spraypaint for the natural wood frame I got at Michaels which I used for the Zombie painting and spent a whole day just putting the frames together, hangers, embelishments like the skeketons and fingers etc. While it was fun, it's also frustrating at times--but it's part of the process and also a lot cheaper to frame things yourself. If I had both the DCAD Faulty show and the Monster show framed, it would have been a lot of $$$. Now back to the world of storyboards. Time is so compressed these past 2 weeks, this week will be even more intense since Tuesday is my first full day at PAFA.