Monday, April 30, 2007

B-B-Mary Marvel

In keeping with the theme my pal Jamar has started over on his B-B-Wonderwoman blog here is another zaftig version of a superheroine, Mary Marvel. Seems like Dr. Sivana is watching more than the birdies ;-)

Super Sunday

Wow, what a gorgeous day today was, an almost perfect day except for the brief shower this afternoon. Echo and I went down the PAFA to the cast hall to do some more drawing, I finished my drawing of the cast I had started the other day and Echo continued on her drawing of one of the reliefs.

A pic of the new school building and the classic old original building across the street which has the cast hall.

After we drew and the cast hall closed we walked down to China Town and ate at Panang, a Thai resturant. I had the beef with noodles and echo had the pork intestines and the double cooked pork for dinner. i ate one piece of the entrails and that was enough, heck it tasted good but I am really trying to eat better so that's exactly what I should not eat..fat, fat, fat.

Afterwards we did a little shopping or window shopping and had an egg custard tart and ice coffee then headed home in the beautiful sunset.

Here is the final of the cast drawing, all together I'd say this was about 5-6 hours of drawing time. Next time I want to try doing one a bit looser. I really did a lot of reworking on the head, especially the hair and the ear and finished the base. I really worked back and forth trying to get the values right and the values right for the drawing, some values where there was a very subtle change I had to push and merge. This is really quite challenging and great practice.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


These are a bunch of on the spot gesture drawings I did this week with my Figure Drawing classes at DCAD.This week the weather was so nice on Tuesday one of my students Kristynn asked me if we could draw outside...and since our model Peter was off this week acting in Figaro, I decided yes...why not. I knew the super-nice weather was going to make it hard for the class to fous since the weather had just been terrible of late.

I had taken the animators to the mall for drawing last semester so I decided to take both classes out on the streets of Wilmington to do some drawing from life. Wilmington is really a colorful city of contrasts. you have a really run down ghetto aspect mixed with the banking hubb of America. The main street is a weird mix of the sidewalk seemingly always under construction, muslim tables selling their insense, mix tapes, and sundries, sidewalk cafes, black owned and run businesses, pawn shops,and up scale coffee shops with business men and women eating along with a mix of pan handlers, crack heads and weirdos. So there should be plenty to draw!

I had a guy stop and say he used to be an art teacher up in Boston and a few more people stop and ask what I was doing, they were interested in drawing. it seems people are always curious to see an actual artist out creating something. I suppose to many it's like magic or a parlor trick.

As we all headed out down the street and my instructions were simple: grab the essence of the person, do a getsure, draw with your eyes first, take it in, then draw. Sometimes you have 15-20 seconds to study a person passing can't do detail drawings. later you can refer back to these drawings and do drawings from them, remember some specific feature or the unique walk, nose, etc.

In the afternoon I went bak with the animators and stopped in Romney Square to sketch. While I watched and sketched some kids playing football I noticed a lady standing at the bottom of the sculpture of some general on a horse in the entrance. This lady was really going on about something...that something soon became apparent. George W Bush. At first I thought it was demonstration but then I noticed it was only the lone woman...a one woman protest. She marched around the park stopping evey so often in fron of people to rant about Bush. It appeared she didn't have all her marbles as she talked about being homeless for five years and that it was enough. When most people see somebody they think is nuts they try and ignore them at first, and above all AVOID EYE CONTACT!

The students were sort of amused and put off, and one even moved when she approached him to rant. Hey, I agree with her, I think Bush is a complete asshole, a terrible president which history will condem, but you can't talk publically about offing him, which is what they lady started doing..."there are rumors of his assasination" she started saying. Also "she was sent by god as a messenger." She reapeated this several times, another possibly homeless person or bum yelled at her to "go find somebody to talk to".

I did several sketches of her and wrote down some of what she said. She had a weather beaten appearence, like an old Kenndey lady from New England. As we left to head back to class the cops were rolling up, I guess her ranting about the president had gotten somebody pissed...I suspect it would be easy with all those republican, asshole bankers on lunch within earshot.

Anyway here are some of my on-the-spot-gestures from the park and the "Bush Lady." I agree with her about not letting the republican asshole machine and Bush ruin or stop my dreams...or anyone else's.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday Cast Drawing

Last night was the final figure drawing for the semester at PAFA, but our model was sick and couldn't make it, so both Echo and I drew casts in the cast hall instead. This is the second cast I've drawn. The Academy is famous for it's cast hall. The first cast I drew was the escorche I did for my anatomy class. This was a challenge, to draw so exactly, and great practice. I wiped out and restarted three times, finally getting things set. This bust isn't finished, I still need to finish the bottom and touch up here and there, I did snap a pic of it, so maybe I'll either go back and finish it from life or the photo later.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Last CE Figure Drawings

Here are two of the last drawings done for the CE class I was taking this spring at PAFA. The class had the usual 45 minute lecture by Fred kaplan, the teacher and then thius time he let the class pick the poses to draw after our usual batch of quick warm-ups that start with 2 minute poses and then get down to literally 2 seconds.

I had a great time in this class and I learned a lot, I learned that while I did know my anatomy, I know it a lot better now! I think this is something you have to return to and study over the course of your career as an artist. I feel I made a lot of progression also in the way I make a drawing, the language of drawing. I feel looser and also more confident, I so much look forward to going to school in the fall.

the drawings below are 1-2 minute gestures done holding the pencil by the end and standing an arms lenght from the paper, this makes me really work loose. The other drawing is about 15 minutes. I was going for a loose conture type feel since the pose was short and there was no light on the model. Tonight I'll hit what may be the last Thursday night figure session. I'm seriously thinking about taking a summer class, I haven't decided if I want a drawing or painting class yet.

Mike Speaks Out-Fanboy Radio

Both Danny Fingeroth and I were interviewed on Fanboy Radio this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Big Beautiful Weekend

Finally! Finally the weather has turned here and it seems spring has sprung. I can't say how great this feels, it seems spring has been so shitty this year. Anyway as spring is in full effect that means school is coming to an end ( 3 weeks left) and the plans for summer are upon me. I'm planning to do some cons. I'll prbably be forced to skip heroes this year and do Philly Wizard instead. But that's ok, I'll hold down the home court with fellow homies Cohn, Nicholas and Neely.

I'm also building my Ebay Store, which should go live in the next few days as I am going to start selling some of my comic art, hell, even some of my fine art. For most of my career I've sold very, very little of my art, and never truck with ANY art dealers. I feel they are all ass-hats, and untrustworthy. Besides, why should I give them any $$ from my hard labors when with a little effort I can sell my own art. I strongly believe artists need to be more in charge of their own destiny and that includes being more responsible for also selling thier own work, especially in comics where prices are usually in the hundreds or less per piece. So the manley vaults will be opening and some of my art will now be sold. When the store is live I'll have a link to the right here.

The above piece was done for oneof my best buds Jamar's awesome blog BB WonderWoman stop by and check out his awesome blog filled with a real mix-master blast of thunder thighs of might.

Friday, April 20, 2007

PAFA Draw-A-Thon 2007

Last night was the rescheduled Draw-A-thon that the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has every year. The school hosted this all-night drawing event for the students in the Historic Landmark Building (The original school) and provided models in several of the studios as well as food and drink (Pizza!)to keep the students powered up for the marathon life drawing event. The event was snowed out a few weeks back so it had to be rescheduled and as a result it was also shortened, it ran ony till midnight instead of until 8am.

Echo and I were really looking forward to this as soon as we heard about it last fall, and it was pretty well attended. The only thing that would have made it better for me was if there were shorter poses as well as the longer poses. The poses were about three hours each and ran in studio 1 and studio 3, so you could change studios. I stayed in studio 1 as I liked the poses better.

Some of the other students work, some had been painting this model for a few weeks,

My set-up.

This was my first drawing, on newsprint in charcoal.

Here is the last drawing I did, I didn't get to really finish it.
It was a lot of fun and I also talked to many students who were in the MFA program and got some good advice, it was also great to see what so many other artists were doing and to watch their approach, you get to see a lot of what the school is about and the teaching philosophies in action. I was just getting warmed up when it was over, I would have stayed drawing till the morning very easily, but since it was done on a school night, not the weekkend the doors closed at 12am. I look forward to doing this next year!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday Night Figure Drawing

Here are two drawing I did tonight at the Thursday night drawing session at Pafa. The first one is so-so, well, I think the second is better, but I'm still not that happy with it, but it's looser and I like that. Charcoal on Newsprint.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Figure Drawing Tuesday...again

The semster is quickly coming to a close now and my figure drawing class at PADFA has only 2 classes left and my DCAD classes have 4 weeks left. It seems that the semesters just blew by, probably because I've been so darn busy with work on top of everything else. I will miss the CE class at Pafa. We have a good mix of students, all ages from highschool to seniors and I think that helps quite a bit. Fred kaplan is also a good teacher and has hlped me quite a bit to try and speak with a different approach in my drawings. I'm not excatly happy with them, but art is a process and I realize i will have to maybe go through an ugly or uncomfortable stage in my art as I leave the shores of my old approach and commercial work for the yet to be discoverd destinations of what my art will be. Each drawing is a bit of a journey and as such is a new possibility. Sometimes I feel I am not warmed up, fuzzy or unfocused and I am impatient with myself and ant a big breakthrough, but that can't happen in only 3 hours a week.

I reallllly can't wait to be in school in the fall and pursue this I hope, full time for a few years. Below are a few quick one minute or less warm-ups and a longer pose which isn't nearly finished. I still like my warm-ups better than the longer poses. There was a lot of complex lighting going on in this drawing. I even resorted to actually blocking it in with my glasses off to just get the big tonal shapes and avoid getting stuck with details.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

FIRST FRIDAY: Pafa CE Show and Delaware Women's Conference

Yesterday was First Friday so it was the usual rush of gallery openings and shows including the Spring CE show at Pafa which I had entered one of my still lifes, a painting of the two apples I posted on my blog a while back.

I have to say it was quite a show, really packed, there were over a hundred pieces hun in the gallery and the show was very well attended and included everything from oil paintings, life drawings to sculpture refelcting all of various CE classes the school offers. After a quick lunch with my pal Chuck at the Morning Glory Diner in south Philly we hustled over to the show.

Here is a picture of me with the teacher of my CE anatomy class Fred Kaplan, who also happens to be a neighbor of mine. Fred looks like he's about to give me the Thumbs down---what gives?

Here is my entry into the show.

After we hung around and schmoozed for a while Echo and i headed out to the Delaware Art Museum ( home of many howard Pyle paintings) to see our pal Kelly Wrage's photos in the Delaware Women's Conference exhibition at the museum. The museum has recently undergone a multi-million dollar rebuild. Among the women artists in the show were many from DCAD, including Kelly and Katherine Drabkin, the assistant dean and head of the painting dept. there was more wine and cheese to be had, but I was still full from the diner.

Kelly's pictures on display, they are really great, sometimes they remind me of the Quay Brothers work, like they should be in some kind of haunted video.

Afterwards we hit the Olive Garden and let';s say about 45 minutes after we ate it hit me back.....The Tour of Italy wasn't a good trip this time, but dispite that and the chilly weather I had a great First Friday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Big Wined-down before the Wined-Up

Since turning in the X-9 job I have had a few days to wined down here in the studio, clean up, pay bills, work on taxes, frame art for the CE show at PAFA. I had my painting of the two apples accepted so I'll head down for the CE show opening twomorrow. I submitted two pics but the only choose one, the rejected on you can see on my myspace
it's the one of the older lady in pencil.

I've begun also to really work on getting DRAW! 14 finished so it will be in shops in July, just in time for San Diego Comicon, which I will be skipping this year. I am also working on Draw! 15, which will be out in the fall as our Back To School issue featuring an in-depth look at the major schools and univeristies in the US which offer degrees in cartooning.

The drawing above is one of the 10 minute poses I did of Echo from our Friday drawing sessions at PAFA. I have a few comic projects on the stove now which may come to full boil over the next few months, when they do I'll officially announce them.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TMNT 33 Preview

Here is another page from the upcoming Tales of the TMNT NO.33 that I did. The issue should be hitting the shelves this month. I inked this with mostly a zig marker, rapidograph 00 and a brush. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I hope to soon.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Final X-9

Here is the final page I'll post for the Secret Agent Corrigan story. I'll let you all know when it's hitting the shops in Sweden. I hope I can get copies myself. It was really enjoyable to revisit this type of work as American comis are just mostly superheroes, which can be fun, but also are pretty boring as well. It also brought back many fond memories of spending that time working in Al Williamson's studio with my buddy Bret in the late 80's. Comics were a lot more fun back then before the speculator market.