Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Dean Cornwell

Today I thought I'd share something with a lot more people that only a few good friends have ever seen, that is my study by Dean Cornwell for one of his Fisher Body WWII ads. I bought this piece from Illustration House back in the early 90's when comics were flush with something called ROYALTY money. While those Phat days are long gone in comics, I still look at this painting every day as it hangs in my living room. Cornwell is maybe my favorite illustrator for his great drawing, though I do love his paintings. My favorite illustrators are NC Wyeth, Norman Rockwell and Dean Cornwell, and Maynard Dixon,though Maynard Dixon is considered more of a fine artist that the others by most.
Here is the finished drawing Cornwell made before he transferred the drawing to the final canvas for painting. His drawings always have a fantastic sense of mass and form to them, and in some ways I love his drawings more than his paintings because of this, there is a real classical sense of the delineation of form, like Greek and Roman sculpture in his idealization of form, it's the same thing I admire so much in the drawing by Scott Noel. You feel like you can grab the drawing and hold it. I got this copy of the drawing form my friend and comics legend Tom Palmer, another huge Cornwell fan, in fact Tom turned me onto Nicolai Fechin. Cornwell was a huge admirer of Fechin and met him at the dock and helped him get set-up when Fechin immigrated to America.
Details of the hand.
Details of the head.
Here's the study. It seems possible Cornwell went through changes on this illustration, adding a second gunner or soldier to the tank gunner team.

X-9 Wednesday

Here is another X-9 page finished and toned. I have been slowed down a lot in recent days by a nagging cold, but I hope I have turned the corner on it and I am on the mend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cold Case Monday

Today being Monday, it was Life painting with Al Gury this am. But man, I was sloggin' it with this head cold. I woke up late and debated about heading in to school, but since I missed a week for work I really didn't want to miss it for this cold. So with teary eyes do to my sinuses killing me I went in late as there is only one more session with our model--next week, and I am not able to take the uninstructed class on Tuesdays, so I have one more shot at this. So I snuffled my way to school late, and through the two poses I had, a 20 and a 10 minute and was able to dash in some bolder block-in colors. Not quite sure how this will turn out in the end...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Midnight Sleeper

This is a quick sketch of a slumber fellow rider on the Market Frankford EL westbound to Upper Darby. I did it in the new Moleskin sketchbook I got from my buddy Jamar for my birthday. I drew it direct with a letraset Tria Brushpen filled with a sepia ink. i was pretty warmed up as that was Thursday night after the evening open model drawing we have every week. Some days I just don't want to stop drawing...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Still Life Friday

Yesterday was the weekly uninstructed Still Life class, so I did another smaller study of another set-up in the still life room, that leaves me one left to go, then maybe I'll either do a bigger painting or drawing of one of the set-ups. This is about 4 x 5 like all the other drawings in this series in charcoal on Strathmore Charcoal paper.

One of the best things about this class is Mike Gallagher, our teacher is always stressing that this class is about what we want to do. he gives us an assignment, but then a lot of freedom to work in a variety of ways within the criteria of the assignment, in this case, a gray scale drawing.

We have to do five thumbnails first, then we are free to go do a painting or drawing. I decided to do five more finished studies to explore values, composition, edges and atmosphere, something I am really into exploring now, especially the more poetic aesthetic of atmosphere in a drawing. I have been looking at Thomas Anschutz, Surat and Edwin Dickinson in my exploration of this idea and get a lot of good feedback from both Mike but his two second MFA year teacher aids, Joe and Pat. I remember when I was a lot younger the idea of drawing or painting a still life would have been so completely boring to me, man, no way! I would have wanted to draw comics or a painting full of monsters and barbarians like a lot of young artists, but now I get a lot more out of doing these simpler studies and feel I am starting to get something in these drawings I have been working towards, which is still figural, even narrative, yet more poetic and not some literal "reporters" drawing of the set-up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Night Lisa

Here is the first nights work on a 3 week pose in our Thursday night open figure modeling at school. The model this time is one of my favorite models, Lisa, I love drawing her. This is pastel on Rives BFK. Next week I plan on digging back in on this drawing, I felt better about this than the one I did yesterday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Drawings

Today was Figure Drawing with Scott Noel and then Still Life with Mike Gallagher in the afternoon. I love Wednesdays because it's all about drawing--which I love.This is the drawing I worked on in Scott's class. I am so-so on it, though Scott was very complimentary on it. I felt a bit unfocused at times, I think I needed more sleep last night. I think the values are good and proportions , but I needed another hour on this to pull something better out of it for myself. It's in pastel on Rives BFK paper, which is fantastic for drawing with pastels on. Anyway, some days you just fight on, even if you are not happy with the results. The little study below is the next study from another set-up in the still life room. The original assignment was to do 5 thumbnails and then choose one to do a more finished drawing or painting of. I decided to try and do 5 nice small studies instead of quicker thumbnails, I feel I am getting more out of doing these smaller studies and taking my time and trying to really make a nice small drawing, concentrating on value, design, light, atmosphere and edges.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to School-and Big Weekend

Last week I took off from school to catch up on a bunch of freelance which you can foollow in the previous posts. But today was back to school and back at catching up. I really had to catch un in Al Gury's class since I missed that last pose and I don't get the Tuesdays classes with the model. So I really rushed to block in the figure and the background and get the masses in. Peter van Dyke filled in for Al today and Peter's a fun guy and a rea;lly good teacher and artist himself, having studied at the Florence Academy.
The first thing I did was fix the charcoal sketch and then it was slap away with the big brushes.
It's gonna be a race on the last few poses to try and get this one done....
Here is the bust we are modeling of Zenia in John Horn's class. Luckily my clay didn't dry out and I was able to rebuild the mouth and mass in the hair today, but I ran out of clay, so I'll have to split a bag with somebody next week.
It was also my birthday this weekend and I had a very nice dinner over at my biddy Jamar's place, My buddy Scott came down and he and I went over and had some awesome Chili cooked by Darcy and Jamar made me a Spice cake for my birthday cake. I won't tell you what I wished for, but maybe you can guess.

I also went to the US Artist show hosted by the Women's Board at PAFA at the Armory on Drexel's campus. Every year they host a big weekend art show where top galleries from all over the US come and show their best artists work. I had a great time, and thanks to my buddy Dave I met David Kassan, and great artist and awesome, down-to-earth fella along with several other nice artist from NYC. I also spent a great time with a few of my fellow PAFA classmates, some of whom did demos during the show.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Batman Brave and the Bold Debut: Nov 14

Read more about the premiere here. I am still finishing up some character design but my work on the show will probably be mostly done by the debut. From what I've seen I think this will be a fun and enjoyable. show

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More X-9: Page 9 Inked

here is the final inked and zipped page 9 from the story. I the previous post you can watch my process. I inked this page mostly with a Hunt 108 pen, a Pigma 05 marker and a no. 4 Dick Blick Studio Sable I bought last week in the awesome new Gick Blick art store which opened here in Center City Pilly. It was aboiy $10, and it's pretty nice and give a good performance for it's price, especially compared to the Series 7 Winsor Newtons which are at least twice the price, and have declined in quality in my opinion in recent years.

Unfortunately I had to Kill my buddy Jamar Nicholas in the process of doing this page as I cast him in the roll of the would-be assasin. But that's what friends are for...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More X-9 Process

Above you can see more of my layouts from the current Secret Agent Corrigan story I'm working on. I do the layouts small, then scan them in, convert to non-photo blue and print them out full comic art size on my Epson 1200. This allows me to work faster and to really concentrate on the dynamics of the layout; here you can see how I went back in and tightened up things a bit on the final page. I want to leave some fun, some juice to the inking stage, so I don't make everything too tight, mostly faces and guns. next I'll sling some ink on this baby and post it.

Here is a page I just finished, I added the zip on a layer in photoshop.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

X-9 Roughs

Here are two of my roughs for the second X-9 story, drawn at comic size. I'll can these in, convert into non-photo blue in Photoshop, and the print them out. I'll post the inks as soon as I'm done.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Subway Sketches

One of the things that is very different about my life in the last year is the daily commute from my house into the city to class and teaching via the subway. I have gone from almost exclusively working at home to being a daily commuter like most of the rest of the world. This has caused me to have to really make a lot of big changes to what my life used to be. Getting up early for one, probably the biggest change and sometimes the hardest thing to wrestle with especially since when I come home in the evening I usually have plenty of freelance to do into the night. Luckily the trip to 15th street from 69th street is only about 15 minutes, so most days my trip to school is roughly 30-40 minutes tops.

So one of the things I decided to start doing was to sketch on the way to and from school if I can, depending on the circumstance. Sometimes the train is just way to busy and I have to stand. But then I draw with my eyes, taking in the endless variety of people and gestures I see playing out before me. It's amazing the variety of faces and "types' you often get on just one car of the EL.
Sometimes the train rocks so violently that it's like trying to draw or sketch in an earthquake or a paint shaker. People often become aware that I am sketching and that leads to interesting results. Sometimes they become self-concious, sometimes annoyed. I have had many also become intrigued by me drawing or sketching and usually get compliments. I think it's a rare thing for people to actually see somebody out doing art someplace.
Often I'll have only seconds to maybe a minute of two to draw someone before they move, get off the train or have somebodt block my view. But it's great practice for my powers of observation. Sometimes I just get caught by the way a gal is standing or holding a pose.

My long term goal is to do a series of paintings and drawings about my experiences as a commuter, but for now i want to keep building up ideas with these subway doodles and see where it leads me. These are in ballpoint in a Strathmore 5 x 7 sketchpad.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Post Card Final

Here is the final color version of the postcard/direct mail cartoon. The client requested a few tweaks to the wife's face, basically to make her look older. These were really fun to do, I hope the campaign is a success so I can do some more.

Still Life Study

Here is another little 4 x 3 still life study from today's class, I think I'll do a painting of this set-up nest week.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

One for Thursday

Here is one of the drawings from the weekly Thursday Night sessions at school.18 x 24 in charcoal, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Inner and Outer World of Drawing

Wednesdays is always a fully packed drawing day at school, and I love it, though at times it can be frustrating and even a bit draining because of the intense concentration and frustration with my drawings. It's so maddening to see something in your mind and not be able to get it down on paper.

Wednesdays start out with Life Drawing with Scott Noel. Scott has been setting the bar high the last few weeks by having us first draw the skeleton and then later draw the model over the top of it. This frustrates many students, including myself, though this week I feel I did my best drawing of this assignment--though I am far from satisfied with the results. It requires you to plan ahead and the give priority, or to "privilege certain things" as Scott would say.

Here I overlaid the final drawing so you can see better what Scott is having us go for. You really have to make so many decisions when you proceed at this stage. There are a lot of places where the skeleton and the model just don't agree and then you have to try and modify, to make choices and decisions that try and merge the two drawings. Scott makes it look easy, but then again he's been doing it for 30 years. the great thing is he draws right next to us and call us over several times to give us demos on how to think and proceed. This is really a highly complicated type of drawing because you are not drawing exactly what you see--if you do, man, you'll have a car wreck on your hands.
Here is the final drawing, the 3 hour class flies by fast...

Again, I can't say enough good about him as a teacher, then guy is amazing, a dynamo, and he revs you up, challenges you, coaches, pokes and prods you all at the same time.

The class I have in the afternoons is Still Life with Michael Gallagher who I also love. We get along really well and have so many interesting conversations in class about the drawings we are doing, but also everything from Thomas Eakins to Norman Rockwell. I have to say Mike probably kept me from killing this drawing by making me stop. I am so used to 'finishing things" in comics and animation that I run the danger of freezing the drawings in school up, or just applying too much sort of closed form type finish that is what comics and animation is all about. It's what I do every day on my commercial work.

I have to do 4 more thumbs in class Friday and then pick one to do a black and white painting of.
Here is a study/thumbnail I did today in class of one of the new still life set ups that is about the size of a large post-it note, 3 x 4 or so. It's in charcoal.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Direct Mail Postcard 4

Here is the last in the series of direct mail post cards for the ad agency Lunch Box that I have been doing. I hopefully will be going to colors this week and I'll post it when I'm done.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturday Art Dump

I thought I would load up a bunch of recent drawings from school, mostly from my still life class with Mike Gallagher, like the still life of the belvedere Torso I'm still working on above, or the pelvis and femur drawing from John Horn's class below.

The drawings below are a mixed bag from the Thursday Night drawing sessions this semester, the are 1 minute, 5 minute and a 20 min in there. Some weeks are better than others, sometimes by the evening I am kinda' shot, and I am really trying to work through some stuff, trying to get to a less sort of "reporters" academic drawing but without loosing the fundamentals. Sometimes I just rush too much and blow the drawing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Secret Saturday's Premiere

Secret Saturdays : "The Kur Stone" the premiere episode of the Secret saturdays that I boarded premieres tonight at 8 on Cartoon Network.

Secret Saturdays : "The Kur Stone" the premiere episode of the Secret Saturdays that I boarded premieres tonight at 8 on Cartoon Network.