Sunday, May 28, 2017

Odd and Ends

Trying to get back on the blogging horse and blog more often than in the past year. The daily drumbeat here in the studio has changed with the addition of the Phantom comic strip and the fact have basically given up painting for the most part as a result. I have also been rethinking where I want to go and what I want to do as a painter and gallery wise as well.

I haven't even been plain air painting this spring at all and decided to forgo entering any contests at all. I could do a whole post just on the PA contests and my feelings on them---and maybe I will--or not.

I just put together a new watercolor/gouache painting rig so I hope to get back to painting this summer just for me. I also think I needed to completely detox from the MFA which I graduated from in 14---three years ago! Funny how time flies when all you do is work. 

I ran through the annual ASE for PAFA last Sunday after the AS Student show. How the school is fast changing and I think more into what all other art schools are like. I still think the first ASE I saw in 2007 was the best I had seen with the strongest contingent of drawing and painting--the core of the Academy, not what I mostly saw last week, and many changes are coming down the pike at PAFA. I am glad I got to go through the end of the old era, had a few of the older teachers before they retired, but life and the business of art school moves on!

While moving and sorting (the endless purge) I came cross the drawing at the top which I did back in high school. The old zip-a-tone is starting to yellow now, but that was done in 79-80 so much of the work I did then that has zip is also yellowing. The logo "contact" was hand lettered and then pasted on. Its of course a big Wally Wood pastiche/homage as I was and still am a huge fan of his work and earlier on he was  an even bigger influence on my work. 

In the same portfolio I also found this cover rough to Darkhawk No. 9. I also found an assortment of other old art some of which I might post. Funny how you forget drawing something and when you find it it might bring back a specific memory of time.

I'm also posting an assortment of progress work for the two strips. In the strip above my assistant Mimi tightend up the Mozz and Guran figures for me and then I inked them.

Here is this week's Sunday strip. We are finally coming to the end of the storying with Sophie, the band, the kidnapping and the family secret. Its really took a big turn from my original idea I gave to Wilson before he left the strip. Next we will be dealing with the April situation, then who know, at that point it will be a completely new direction as all the old Wilson plots will be wrapped up. I had planned to do a contest to give away some strips but decided against doing that after the deluge of nasty comments by the CK message board. So instead some art will eventually be for sale on Ebay. I still want the comments gone and hope to convince King along with many of my fellow professionals to get them to ax them this year. Yeah, thats for you trolls reading this.

 Here are my pencils for an upcoming week of the judge and below for The Phantom. I enjoy doing the landscapes on both strips and in general the Phantom is more exciting to draw since its a superhero gig. which lends itself to much more interesting compositions than I typically get on the Judge. I try to in general pencil the work just tight enough to ink, leaving some of the drawing to that part of the process. I feel after a year on the Phantom I am starting to get a feel for the characters like I do on the Judge and I think I like drawing Guran the most. He's the comical type so his acting can be a bit broader and the hat is a great iconic thing to use as well.

This video shows me inking on a Judge Parker strip. I have been doing live demos on my Facebook page so keep an eye out.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Odd and Ends

Darkhawk figure is in the house! I still haven't seen the Guardians 2 yet, but I hear this figure is hot right now. Still no word from Marvel about and so I had to buy my own copy.

Its been a bit since I updated here and I have been super busy with the strips and the end of the school year. But let's face it, when am I not busy?  The two strips have me at max capacity so I have hired an assistant Mimi and pulled in the help of my buddy Scott Cohn to help on backgrounds to gain some time.

                          Mimi sorting the piles of comics and then there are all the paintings

Mimi starts the full time crunch this summer and has already been working for me a few months, mainly putting my art in order, but she has pitched in a bit on the strips too time/school allowing.

Then Mimi challenged me to try my hand at drawing a manga style drawing, so I did. Not sure how manga-ish it is but it was fun to just wing it.

I also had my final class of the year for the After School Program at PAFA, it was a fun yer full of great kids. Budding artists all! The student show is hung this weekend.

One of the cool things I came across on a recent Ebay hunt was a year (1957) of Judge Parker strips by the original artist Dan Heilman to did the strip into the mid 60's when Harold LeDoux took over full time. I heard that he was helping Heilman along from the 50's doing backgrounds etc. Hellman had a journeyman_Caniff based style which was very common up until the 60's when that style faded away more and more with few exceptions like Frank Robbins. Its interesting to see what the strip was like before Sam Driver entered the scene and to see Randy, the son of the original Judge as a kid, along with his sister who was evidently written out of the strip decades ago. Randy is now the judge as the original Judge Parker retired about 10 years ago during Eduardo Baretto's run. the strip was much more serious and the storyline I have is about bullying and juvenile delinquents which was very much a topic back in those days like the 1955 movie Blackboard Jungle. The Strip has steered far away from any topical or social cometary based storylines that I can see for decades and is much more a typical soap these days.

 I have also been warming up some mornings by doing a few Phantom Sketches which I will ink up and sell via Ebay, so stay tuned for the links. I have a few more and might do up to a dozen and then post them all.

Then on a quick break I went  to the great Howard Pyle show hosted by Drexel University where Pyle taught illustration classes for two years before he opened his own school in Wilmington DE, where he taught the likes of NC Wyeth. 
its a must see show if you can make it
April 3-June 18
Paul Peck Alumni Center
3142 Market Street
Open Monday-Friday, 9-4 p.m.
Free and open to the public

A great show featuring Pyle, NC Wyeth, Rockwell, Lyendecker, Parrish and more.