Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why Our Hearts Ache

I'll admit it. Now in my 40's, I've become disillusioned. After all the emotional trauma which is youth, and young love, and rejection, and all the years of hard work in life in general, I feel empty, or at least I WAS feeling empty. But during the last 3 1/2 years, here in Florida, drawing people for a living, and having a little more TIME in my weeks, I've loosened-up a bit, and have recovered some lost sensitivity in my soul, so to speak, I think.
I'm thinking of women, of all things. What horrible creatures, I sometimes muse. What is their worth? They've given me nothing but heartache, and, more recently, nuisance. They can't drive. They're physically inferior, in a brute sort of way. They promise soul and body, and give neither. ...But I still appreciate the physical beauty. And, for their souls? What the ...? Give me a beautiful painting, or a fine meal, but not the soul of a woman.
But, now, I've remembered something. You see, I met a young lady recently. Well, she's too young for me (in her low twenties), but she's not too young for some of you. She'll remain nameless here, but some of you know her, here in Orlando. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, she reawakened my RESPECT for women. This had been gravely challenged in my mind.
No, really. Just when I thought I couldn't be more disillusioned, I came across a young woman who floored me with her sweetness, kindness, creativity, and potential. Wow, I thought. Wow, I remember this. I remember respecting women, and desiring them for their souls, in addition to their bodies. I remember, now, the desire to wed and have children, not because it was a genetic impulse, but because I worshiped a particular girl, and wept at her feet, without restraint. Women can do that, if they aren't so hell-bent in becoming like men, aggressive, selfish, and, well, you know we men suck. I remember worshiping a girl or two, long ago, and now I remember why. I respect; I long; I fully realize I'll never be a better human than my lady, and my heart aches, and breaks.
And I find that I am rejuvenated by this recovered knowledge.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This day, the day before Thanksgiving, I suppose we're all thinking of FAMILY. But I'm thinking of something more powerful: FRIENDSHIP. Friendship is more powerful than family because we CHOOSE friendship. Now, I'm not talking about acquaintance, or working relationships, or roommates. I'm talking about friendship we choose for no other reason than mutual respect and agreement, and perhaps something more, something beyond what I can quantify at the moment. These are the people who share our views of the fundamental questions in life, as well as, perhaps, our most pleasurable pursuits, hobbies, interests, whatever, as well as that undefinable thing, you know what I mean, an attraction, a tug at our souls. These people, these true FRIENDS, meet us deep in our hearts, and dwell there for our whole lives, no matter the geographical separation.
But such people are rare. How many can you name? If you have ONE true friend, count yourself lucky. More than one? You're a god. ...Is your spouse a true friend? Now THAT is a good question for many.
Real friendship is the most powerful political entity we'll ever experience. We gladly will die for such friendship, not because we're brave, but because it's an act of survival. To have a true friend is to look in the mirror.
Thanksgiving is an artificial occasion FORCING us to be with family briefly. Friendship is it's antithesis.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Well that didn't work!

I started to paint a pic of Tinkerbell today, but I soon learned I was rushing it, and was in a bad mood, and kept smearing the wet paint. It was looking good at first, as I cut-out the stencil section, and started a nice flesh tone, but, like I said, I was in a bad mood and rushed the whole thing. You must REALLY MASK WELL when dealing with such small images. My airbrush isn't as finely detailed as some, and I'm not yet adept at its control, really, so careful masking is essential. Trial and error. And error. A bit tedious. ...
...Yet, afterwards, I went back through a book or two, and I think I've figured-out an excellent way to do masking in an easier (and more "fool-proof") way. I need to get a couple of items, but the stores are closed now (it's late), so I'll get my stuff tomorrow. This new technique will be perfect for murals. Man, there's not enough time in the day anymore! I really really really need to get my skills solidified with murals, and start making some money! I'm broke broke broke...*whimper*whimper*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Better Set-up

I realized pretty quickly that I would need MANY hours practicing the handling of my airbrush, so I got myself a chair and a table. Much better. I don't know what I'm doing, just repeating dagger strokes and dots and shading over and over and over, and some lettering, too. And I tried to draw another girl freehand, but on this smaller scale (thus, VERY fine control is required). It's amazing how technical an airbrush can be. One thing I discovered is that I needed to thin my paints with water much more than I was, as in 1 to 1 or even 2 to 1, water to pigment. The needle tip still clogs a bit after a few minutes, so I must clean it over and over. Is this normal? It happens mainly when I'm doing a lot of LIGHT work, just spraying tiny amounts up close. I think maybe it's normal. Like everything, you must learn to clean it efficiently and quickly, and get back to work. Takes about 30 seconds, I guess. ...
Man, don't let paint dry inside your airbrush! It gets everywhere, especially is it's too thick. If it's too thick, it doesn't atomize properly, so, later, you find dried chunks THROUGHOUT the gun. Another way to solve a too-thick paint problem: increase the air pressure. Unfortunately, my compressor has only one setting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First day with a real airbrush

It took two days, and trips to Michael's and Target and Home Depot, but I finally got my airbrush system working (almost) properly. And, this evening, I spent a few hours playing. All the books say to practice making dots and lines of various sizes, and then DAGGER STROKES. The dagger thingys are fairly difficult for a newbie, because you must simultaneously: 1)Move the airbrush across the paper smoothly; 2)Start the movement/stroke high-off the paper, and then smoothly slide downward toward the paper; 3)Start the stroke with full color pressure on the trigger, and smoothly lower the color pressure/amount until there's nothing; 4)Go the direction/angle/curve you want! But I was kinda able to get the hang of it. The photos show my practice sheets and "studio." Wow, the mystery of the airbrush. But I'm starting to understand it. Sweet.

Got Myself a Real Airbrush!

Woo-hoo! So I finally got a real airbrush and a real airbrush compressor. They're USED, but nearly new. Man, that compressor is TINY. But that's standard, and it's quiet. The color cup and jars were all clogged (with old paint from the previous owner), but I'm making headway cleaning it all up. (Think SPRAY PAINT REMOVER.) The airbrush is a Paascha VL, and I've taken it apart and put it back together a few times already. The pic shows my messy new set-up and toys. Woo-hoo!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spray Paint: Version 2.0: Airbrush and Murals

Ah, the airbrush. I love the "look" of good airbrush art. "Like a dream," I heard one artist say. Sweet. But I've never used one. Sure, I've used spray cans a little, but am unsatisfied. What I've discovered recently is that airbrushes can produce VERY fine lines, and can be manipulated like any DRAWING instrument. Yet they can produce perfect soft fades. ...So, yeah, I bought one. OK, OK, it's just a super-cheap airbrush, and I'm using a pressurized air can as the air source, but that's all I could afford at the moment. (Actually, tomorrow, I'm getting a whole, nice set-up from a friend: professional airbrush, quiet airbrush compressor, and a bunch of paint. I'm stoked!)
Anyway, so I've played-around a little with the super-cheap set-up, practicing making dots, lines, fades, whatnot, and then I "drew" a quick face, which took about five minutes, and stands about 4 feet in length. Fun! I mean, this lousy airbrush only produces a THICK line, but practice is practice. Any new instrument has a big/steep learning curve. Then again, this feels darn natural. (As my friend Mike says, I haven't found my artistic "niche" yet. Perhaps murals [in airbrush] is it. We'll see. I hope so!) ...So I continued to practice, but I had to stop. The air line kept freezing-up with the propellant, so you must stop after a few minutes, and let it warm-up. Frustrating!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Ok, ok, I PROMISE I've finally figured-out what sort of art upon which I wish to concentrate! I've often thought about murals (and faux painting) as a possibly satisfying artistic endeavor. That's why I started studying acrylics and color theory a few months ago. There's a real market out there, and I like the ego-boosting idea of this BIG art form out in the public (or in a home). (Plus, it pays well.) But, man, as I collected several books and videos on the subject, the whole project appeared so complicated, well, I just felt defeated before I even got started. But, the other day, I decided, Dammit!, I REALLY need to get on with SOMETHING. (I don't feel comfortable with the idea of house, boat and pet portraits, so I've abandoned that idea.) Anyway, so I started clearing-out my utility room. And then, as luck would have it, I ran into an old artist acquaintance who does murals. She said she needed help with murals on a regular basis, and was basically willing to teach me what she knows. Wow! So, I finished cleaning-out my utility room, and bought a couple of drywall sheets, and bought some house paint and craft paint (to go along with my acrylic artists paint) and started on my very first mural this weekend. You can see it, half-finished, in the photo. And, gosh, I really enjoy working at this scale, I realize. The REACHING over my head bothers my shoulder, so I'll need to be careful there, and use step ladders and scaffolding and whatnot to reduce the strain. (I can also use my left arm for a lot of the "dumb" painting.) But this is COOL. I'm VERY happy happy happy. And with my friend helping me, I do believe I've found my "niche," and a kind of new career. We'll see. I have a lot to learn!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sailing Photos

Me and my friend Alex ( went sailing for a couple of days in his new Macgregor 26 (last week). (His girlfriend doesn't like to come along all the time, so he's usually eager to get some crew.) We started at Fort Desoto Park, near the mouth of Tampa Bay, then went out into some open ocean sailing (the Gulf of Mexico), and then around Egmont Key. We decided to have dinner in Cortez, FL., at the Fish Shack, so we docked down there, and ended-up staying the night at the dock, rather than "anchoring-out" somewhere. The next day we had a great sail back up to Fort Desoto. 10 knot wind on the beam. Sweet. ...Alex snapped a couple of photos of me at the helm. In fact, I did 90% of the helm work, which was great because Alex was exhausted (having been out all week already) and because I have such little experience on these bigger boats. Almost all my experience is on sailing dinghies and sailing canoes. And since my Islander 24 is almost ready to go, I really needed to get some more exposure to handling these larger craft. "Good times," says Alex. Indeed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I got a hug tonight!

This girl took one look at her picture, then looked at me, then looked at her picture, and then looked at me again and put her arms around me for a couple of seconds. I think her mother cried. Nobody said anything. Man, I'm a shy person, but moments like that make me want to keep drawing caricatures forever. There was a large crowd around, and everyone was quiet. Haunting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


A little accident happened last night. I was holding my technical pen in my hand as I wiped away some eraser fragments, and got mad because the little fragments wouldn't get out of my way fast enough, so I really pounded the board, trying to sweep 'em away, and then I realized it: some ink had been dislodged from the pen, and my manic hand movements SMEARED it all over the drawing. See those long strokes in the upper right of the pic? Those ain't seagulls! Ouch. Maybe when I color it, I can add a dark cloud...? Man, I have many hours already in this particular work... My first sailboat! ...New rule: Always use brush to sweep-away eraser fragments.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pet Portraits (and other things) in Pen and Ink

If anyone wants a portrait of their pet, just let me know. I'm doing 'em for free right now, to build a portfolio. I just finished this kitten (from a photo on the Internet) as an example of my work. ALSO: If you have a home or boat, I can do portraits of them as well. All FREE for now. I've included a photo of a "practice" house I did a few weeks ago (and previously posted).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pen and Ink!

Technical pens, hooray! I'm really liking this. Got .25 and a .50 Rapidographs. Sweet. ...
These are two works-in-progress, all ink. I love what can be done with these things. Boat, house, pet portraits, people portraits, nice. I may pursue this.... And watercolor can be added.

Recent Caricatures

The two little kids are from tonight. On the little Mermaid in the tub, the mother had requested "something I can hang in the bathroom to look at while I bathe her." The little girl was 16 months old, but looked older, actually. Cute!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I guess I need advice

Anyone else (caricaturists) have shoulder problems? Or HAD them? What did you do? I've met some guys who have had surgery, but that's not financially viable for me. Heck, even going to a doctor for a simple visit seems too expensive, because, I'm thinking, what's he gonna say? "Stop doing that which is causing the problem." That's what.
I don't know. Man, last night I went to work, all positive and happy, and had a fairly steady evening after a slow start, and I was careful, and then, afterwards, as I very lightly reached forward **CRACK** went my shoulder, and a shooting pain nearly floored me. I wasn't holding anything, touching anything, nothing, just reaching forward a few inches, and BAM! Wow.
I've been reading a little about shoulder injuries. Sounds like I have a rotator cuff tear. Has anyone else had this? Is this what caricaturing does? Or is it something else? I have the impression that it WILL continue to get worse if I don't stop drawing the way I'm drawing, that is, hours of reaching to a vertical plane (the easel). But how long do I have? A few months? A year? I'm trying to draw much more slowly, unless I get busy. ...If it were up to me, I'd use a drawing table. I would no longer need to LIFT my arm with my shoulder, as my drawing hand/arm/shoulder would be largely supported by the table. I've heard guys say they LOVE their drawing tables after years of using an easel. But that's not possible for me. It's not in my control. Oh, well.
...I have some decisions to make. Any advice would be valuable. Thanks all.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A strange and mysterious thing happened...

Yes, something strange happened last night. I was sitting at All-Star Sports, doing nothing, and then I decided to SKETCH BODY SITUATIONS. Now, for three years, I've tried to wrap my mind around FACES. I've poked and pinched and prodded my brain and my arm to understand and to render FACES. But rarely have I thought much about BODIES and the ACCESSORY OBJECTS of the craft of comic illustration. Oh, I've seen my fellow artists work hard and produce brilliant animals, vehicles, anatomy, et cetera, but I simply let "familiarity" nurture my own efforts (as I continued to dote on the face itself). Now, if you show me something, I can draw it. But that's not the same as remembering it or being creative with it. But, last night, I was thinking how sick I was of drawing lousy race cars and tigers and fish, to name a few of my lowly efforts (which I whipped-out from a flawed memory). So I started drawing on my lapboard. Hmm... I thought. ...I'm seeing immediate improvement on my old designs.... Hmm... And then it happened: I drew a cool-looking race car, and then a cool-looking female, and I was absolutely THRILLED. "Wait a second!," I thought. "I can do this all the time, with all the body situations! I can develop (and remember) excellent designs for each situation! For everything in life, actually! All sports, hobbies, characters, animals, et cetera, et cetera!!!" Wow. I didn't know how much fun I was missing. Man, I DRAW for a living. So, dude, DRAW. Work on that motorcycle, and when you get it good, and get that "thrill," draw it like that every time. And then, when someone wants to be drawn on a motorcycle, instead of cringing, I'll say GREAT! and whip-out my latest knock-'em-dead creation! Wow. Now I see it, now it SEE IT. Why didn't somebody tell me??!!! (By the way, thanks to Keelan for HIS designs. The race car I'm working on comes from his body situation display [as well as a few others]. I'm going back to the "source." lol)

Two Sisters

More from Sports tonight. I was able to get a photo of the older sister (the ACTUAL girl, that is), too.

Mom and son

A little drawing from Sports tonight. Duron shoulder.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wind Song again

Man, my heart aches looking at her and not being with her. And then I'm with her for a day or two, and I must leave her to go back to Orlando. ...No, I'm not crying.
Actually, I have great news. My old boat, the Starwind 22 up in Orlando, has been sold. I had put a down-payment on it, and made a couple of payments on it (but had not starting using it), when I found Wind Song in Apollo Beach (Tampa Bay) (I paid cash for her, and got the title). After much confusion back up in Orlando, I finally was allowed to sell the Starwind, and I put it on Craigslist and sold it within 48 hours. The deal was finalized this past weekend. I lost about $2000 on the whole deal, but I'm rid of her. Now it's just me and Wind Song and the sea. Yet... I gotta stick around a while longer, 'til Spring anyway. But that's okay... kinda... ...Aargh!

May as well post a caricature

I still do this for a living, even though the hours of shoulder-work have just about laid waste to my right shoulder. Have I mentioned that? I just draw more slowly and be careful how I move about. Maybe I should draw on a lapboard. I'm sure that would help, but I'm afraid I'd have even more kids climbing on my back, trying to see. Three years, no vacation. Week after week. An extra day or two here or there. Man, I'm crazy. And I'll have this shoulder injury to endure the rest of my life and remind me of my days in Orlando. ... Need...Vacation....Sanity...Fading.... ...LOL.
The caricature is of a 4-year-old boy. Not my best, but, hey, I tried. I always try. Very standard face, but decent likeness nonetheless, I believe. Or maybe not. I'm distracted and burned-out. Wow.
But I'm okay. I was going to "sail off into the sunset" in a few weeks, but life is life, and I must wait 'til springtime. That delay is probably bothering me.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More AK (Animal Kingdom) sketching.

I saw a small, chubby lady at Sports, waddling briskly toward the bathroom, and drew her, and then added an idealized female next to her at AK (on used paper). Got the anatomy a little off, but cute anyway. Just goofing around. ... And then a couple of caricature-style sketches, one rather glamorous and one just funny. Some of you might recognize that one dude. Or maybe not. It's such a bad likeness I dare not mention his name. Good friend of mine, though.

Me and Duron at AK

OK, this was a quick sketch, just for fun. If you work 9 hours and only make 9 bucks, it's likely you have plenty of time to do sketches.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Learning Acrylics

My bed, my art station! ...LOL... (See photo. ...I just shove stuff to the side when I want to sleep!)
Acrylics, I suppose, can be separated into two endeavors: technique and color. One technique, I've been practicing is "sfumato," the gradual blending of one color onto or "into" another. Think of the appearance of airbrush, and you'll understand. But it's all BRUSHWORK. In the one photo here, notice the "bright star" effect on the right side of the little painting (NOT the lousy planet). That's my best sfumato effect so far; it really seems to "glow" like airbrush (or spray paint), although it's done totally with a sable brush. It's somewhat difficult to do smoothly, and requires a special technique and lots of practice. (The rest of that little painting is just "celestial experiments," really, no big deal.) ... But sfumato can be used with any color transition on any subject which needs that "smoky," smooth blend.
As for color, besides wrapping my brain around HUES (and their mixing) I'm also learning how to adjust VALUE in each of the hues ("colors"). To lighten, just add white (or, really, add the original hue TO white, which is more efficient usually). To darken, you can add black, but that will distort some hues (especially yellow, which will often turn green, since black has a great deal of blue as a component, e.g. mix ultramarine blue with burnt sienna for a nice black). So to darken, it's better to simply add darker versions of the hues. For instance, add yellow ochre to yellows (or add burnt umber for a really dark yellow); add thalo green to darken greens; alizarin crimson for reds... etc. This really works well. Note the photo of the color bars I did, practicing this stuff. ....
....Now, there's one more characteristic of color which is fundamental: CHROMA. I've always been confused by this concept, because it's a completely separate idea from VALUE, yet they're similar at first glance. But it's pretty simple, really. First, start with a hue (color), and then think of a gray (white mixed with a little black) but not just any gray. No, this gray must match the value of the hue. For instance, yellow has a light value, and red has a darker value, naturally, in their normal state. So, for a lemon yellow, mix a grey that is mostly white, you know, very light. And for a cadmium red, mix a darker grey, one which is the same "darkness" of value as the cad red. Now, to reduce the chroma of one of these hues (or, in other words, to make the hue DULLER) simply add some of the grey. And to make even duller? Just add more of the grey. But remember, you're NOT making the color darker (or lighter) when you do this. The color will remain at the same value, but will get progressively duller and grayer as you add more and more of the correct-valued gray. ... Does that make sense to anyone? LOL. ...Oh, well, I tried.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to this week.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

OK, this is a little better...

I adjusted the ocean, and got most of the glare out, too.

My first real painting

I consider this to be my first "real" painting, EVER. Now, I've experimented with oils (a simple apple) and spray paints (easy and kinda "fake" paintings, really) and, of course, watercolors (I color my caricatures with 'em) ...but I've never sat down like a real painter with only my brushes and canvas and paint (and an idea) and painted a composition, with a variety of OBJECTS and textures and hues and values and even chroma considerations. I really haven't. It's a frightening proposition.
I think I WANT to be a real painter, and be (in my own mind) in company with the old masters, from Michelangelo to Vermeer to Gauguin to Norman Rockwell, to be in company with history, in an emotional way. I think that's where my heart is wishing to lead.
Anyway... I'm somewhat satisfied with this. (Although I just noticed I didn't adjust the chroma in the sea [the distant waves should be duller], nor did I add white highlights [sparingly!] to the waves under the moon.) ... The medium is acrylics (on canvas), and I'm slowly starting to learn how to use the acrylics. I have a lot of knowledge of colors and art and whatnot in my head, yet I've amazingly delayed doing any real painting. Now, I'm IN it, and can't hide behind statements like, "Oh, I'm just experimenting," and, "I just taught myself to draw a few years ago, give me a break." No, now my work must stand on its own, even if I'm really just beginning.
To be honest, I'm excited by this painting. I drew and painted a dolphin, and it LOOKS like a dolphin. I drew and painted a moon, and it LOOKS like a moon. I created a night's sky from my imagination. The weak part is the ocean. Maybe with the chroma adjustment and the highlights it will improve. We'll see.
And there is a big GLARE from the camera flash. I need a new camera. The buttons on this one are broken, and I can't adjust anything (like turning off the flash).
Next painting: a sailboat!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Paying Bills with a Wow

Tonight, I looked into a child's eyes, and I said, "Wow." A mother's gaze, just last week, moved to one of my drawings (of her daughter), and she said, quietly, "Wow." On a recent evening, upon my sailboat, there was a lightning strike in the ocean's distance, and then a hush, and then a crash, and within this night's darkness and storm, an opening in the rolling clouds, and a star, bright and far, and this star was, this short moment, directly BESIDE the terrestrial bolt of lightning, and, I could swear, my own beating heart whispered the same, a hackneyed "Wow" of astonishment.
Our sense of wonder wanes at times. A million little debts fill our years, and they take our souls. I fight the decay of our natural greatness. I fight the plunge into bill-paying and cynicism and heartless practicality. Let us gather our strength for the beautiful and the useless, for the elements of the heavens rather than the elements of mere function. Otherwise, we are animals, gathering meals, pawing at the earth, grotesque in our efficiency, grotesque in our pride of annual savings. We can take little to our afterlife, whatever that may be. We can take nothing, I'm guessing, but memory, the memory of children and mothers and our struggle and our conscience. And it is in these little moments, at play and at work, perhaps in our artwork, even in cartooning, that we find our worth, our souls, little moments... That's all we have.
Perish one day by your own clock. Allow me to take these million moments, and pay my bills, and pay my debt to the myriad folk who pass into my life, making it worthwhile, and not mere duty.
The debt collector most ominous is my own heart, and its bills are not negotiable.
You must live with yourself. Good luck.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Architectural Illustration

Hmm, this is interesting. It's exactly the opposite from live cartoon illustration, and that's satisfying. There's some mathematics involved, and an engineers scale, and the use of a technical pen, and I think I might love this. We'll see. Apparently there's a ready market for portraits of homes. I'm very curious. ... This quick photo is of a ruined work. It got wet and smeared on my boat during a surprise rainstorm. But it's my first "home portrait," and everyone says it looks great. Hmm... Part of me thinks it looks as good as anything I see on the Internet, but, then again, I made a lot of mistakes. ... This could be an excellent addition to my freelance career. I REALLY like my Rapidograph technical pen. (This was my first time using one.)... This work took about 15 hours, but a lot of that can be attributed to the simple fact that I was learning to use the scale, and the pen, and the architectural techniques, et cetera. More to come!...?

My New Home

Some of you know this, and others do not, but I have a new "home." Well, okay, I technically still live in my same old apartment, but my new home is now completely purchased, and I have a clear title from the state of Florida, and one day I'll move onto it. Her name is Wind Song, and we are developing a special relationship. She's an old Islander 24, with full keel, and these things have sailed around the world. It's that kind of boat. And my other sailboat? Well, I only had a down-payment on it, actually, and it's not really an "ocean-going" boat, so I'm getting rid of it. (It's a Starwind 22.) ... Anyway, Wind Song is tied to a dock in Apollo Beach (Tampa Bay), and I'm spending all my time and all my money on her. She's been neglected, but she's still beautiful. I'll update her refit often.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Spray Can work

This is really just a practice piece, and is a little sloppy, but, gosh, this stuff really is fun. ...
I'd like to do ocean themes. Dolphins and whatnot. But the "space theme" is the easiest for the novice spray painter. ...
A lot of guys do this stuff and sell it on the street, and appear to do brisk business. A couple even do small ones for the party favor business, just like caricaturists. Hmm...
But a lot of these guys aren't really artists, I don't think. They just learned some simple techniques. I think my "artistic eye" will help if I pursue this medium further.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Spray Can Paintings

I've been experimenting with using spray paint (from cans, like you see in Home Depot, "Painters Touch" brand, I think) and the results are interesting. The support is just cheap posterboard, and I'm trying to combine markers and now acrylic with it. One can use stencils and various masking techniques, just like in airbrushing. Actually, that's what spray paint is, a version of airbrushing without the delicacy (but I'm finding there are ways to control and manipulate the spray which cannot be done so easily with the traditional airbrush). And this is a very FAST medium.... I've only done three paintings so far. The photo is of two of 'em; the other one sucked pretty bad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's a miracle

Funny. Last night I actually started to have fun while drawing. I've always been TERRIFIED, if I were honest. But, last night, I was thinking of SPEED and STYLE and some such craziness, and then it happened. I felt that strange emotion of "play" and child-like items of the soul. Then, at one point, I drew a little boy, and the drawing ended-up very much like a portrait (which I didn't intend); and everyone behind me (a big crowd) were murmuring something, and finally a woman spoke up: "It's a miracle!" A warm wash flowed through my veins and I said "wow" and finished the drawing. Now, THAT is humbling.
I should never draw again. I'll never recapture that moment.

No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.

That's a quote from Aristotle. It gives hope to those of us who are emotionally unstable. LOL.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shoulder Problems

Man oh man, this might be bad. My shoulder has been bothering me a bit the last few months, but no big deal, right? Apparently, it IS a big deal, because last night it suddenly reached a new level of aching, and, sure enough, when I awoke this morning, the first thing I noticed was that my shoulder hurt. Right inside the joint. This might be bad. We'll see. I don't have insurance, or even much savings, so surgery would be impractical, if the situation warranted. We're in the busiest part of the year, the proving ground. If it holds out okay through the next two months, then, okay, I won't worry about it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cute one from tonight

I wanted to do a different basketball pose.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A demanding mother...

Okay, this mom and her son came over, and she's speaking in this thick, fast New England accent, "You any good? Will you make me look bad? You any good? The girl last night was awesome. You any good?" ... And I just say, "Most people like my drawings, and you probably will too." And I shrugged my shoulders. Pressure! ...So, anyway, I make her look good (Yes, Mike Duron, I stole your shoulder) and she loves it so, so much, in the end.... It was a happy experience. Funny. Nice, people. ...When leaving, she said, "Wow, you made it actually look like us. I've never seen that before." Nice.

My style is changing...

I liked this couple's drawing. My more simplified/stylized style is coming out here, I think, or something.

A Cute Little Boy...

This little boy was so cute with his stuffed doll, Bruce (from Finding Nemo, I think). He wanted me to include Bruce in the picture, so I drew him RIDING Bruce. He loved it. I didn't like the likeness, but the experience was so heartwarming, I simply HAD to post it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Naturalism Still Life

Here's a slightly closer look at my apple (whose hues and values were distorted by my camera's flash; see previous post). I was consciously trying to imitate the Naturalism style of the 19th Century, which characteristically has lost edges mixed with clear edges, and a "painterly" appearance. When done well, it's quite lovely. One thing I noticed was the varying amounts of "sheen" in the dried paint. I think that's why one must use varnish at the end, after it's completely dry.