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Category Archive for ‘Life’ at ART+STORY
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Archive for the 'Life' Category

Sketchcrawl 18, Part III of III

UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part III of III’

Sketchcrawl 18, Part II of III

UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part II of III’

Sketchcrawl 18, Part I of III

UPDATE: More after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Sketchcrawl 18, Part I of III’

Jamie Pretty Jamie

I’ve been drawing upon various themes lately in my sketchbook, one of which is “pretty girls.” It’s not an unpopular subject among cartoonists and illustrators, in case you haven’t noticed, but it’s certainly a worthwhile one. That is, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s fun to study different types of women or qualities that I find attractive and try to translate that to a (at least somewhat) pushed, cartoony sort of character that still comes off as pretty or sexy somehow. It’s a subjective process. What it is that makes a person attractive can be an elusive sort of thing. It’s not always in the details, and there is no single type that best exemplifies beauty. I’ve mostly been exploring petite types and models or young women. Typical, but hey, that’s what I’m drawn to at the moment and that’s what I’m exploring. Beauty is personified in all kinds of people.
Of course, all that egalitarian sort of talk aside, the most important pretty girl in the world is my fiancée, Jamie. Here’s a drawing of her.

Me, Older and Fartier

Perhaps inspired by yesterday’s sketch of Jules Engel, I decided to take a shot at drawing myself as an older gentleman with his dentures out.

Jules Engel

I just came across this great archive of interview videos with Jules Engel, “Golden Era” Disney employee, UPA co-founder, and founding director of Experimental Animation at CalArts. He taught Christine Panushka, who would later become head of that same department. I had the privilege to study under Christine when I was 16 and attending the Animation program at California State Summer School for the Arts (at CalArts).
Some of Engel’s other students include John Lasseter, Henry Selick, Tim Burton, and Glen Keane, among many others.

CJ’s Crazy Lady

This is a sketch based on the crazy lady I recently met at my local diner. Maybe I’ll tell the story of our conversation in my comics at some point. I’m working on the first page/episode of my comics series now. It ain’t much, but it’s a start. Anyway, enjoy this sketch for the time being. Maybe my next post will be a comic! How about that?

Charlie In Memorium

I know I’m a total dweeb for saying this, but I’m excited that Lost is back. Sure, they treat each episode like a carrot on a string, and I’d be harder pressed to explain Lost to someone than I would Quantum Physics. But I guess, kind of like a longer length novel, I’ve grown attached to these characters and the character of the island. I love the imaginativeness of the show and the mystery and I love seeing how they can twist and spin it out even farther. Despite a frequent lack of answers, some corniness, a mishandling of extras/incidental characters, and plot lines that at times just never lead anywhere, Lost’s makers have one great skill and that is to create something compelling. I actually get kind of giddy when I remember Lost will be on later that evening. I’ll pop some popcorn and get glued to the set.
I know… dweeb.

Ritual Coffee

On Monday, Jan. 21st, MLK day, it was rainy and cold. I didn’t have anything planned for this day. No coffee dates, no lunches, no meetings. And I was trying to fill my time in San Francisco, doing creatively inspiring things. Sketching, meeting sketchers, looking at art, meeting people in Bay Area animation. I needed to find something to do to keep the juices flowing. This would’ve been a good day to go to the Cartoon Art Museum. I wanted to see the Mary Blair exhibit they had showing there. Alas, the Cartoon Art Museum is closed on Mondays. In fact, it seemed most museums are/were closed on Mondays. So I just decided to get out to the café and huddle over a glorious coffee and my sketchbook. Ritual Coffee was calling my name. I drove out to the spot at 1026 Valencia. It was crowded. I shared a table with someone. My latté arrived and it was indeed glorious, with its lovely “Rosetta” made of coffee crema and foam. I pulled out my drawing materials and I decided to play with inks today. No smudged or smeared graphite, no losing of the line when I go in with watercolor, no erasing. I used a #0 Rapidograph technical pen and Kuretake brush pen and I stuck with smooth, plate-finish papers that the ink would glide onto nicely. First, in a Moleskine Sketchbook and then on a pad of smooth Bristol. Both surfaces are a joy to ink on and the Bristol takes watercolor okay. I also dedicated myself to drawing people on this day. Really, that’s about all there was to draw in this place, anyway. Lots and lots of people in various sizes, shapes, and fashions. This was a really great place to observe and sketch.

César

The day after Sketchcrawl 17, I met with Martha of Trumpetvine Travels for a mini-crawl of sorts. We met up in North Berkeley, an area that Martha knows well and one I was interested in getting to know a little better. Even though I grew up in the city of San Francisco, I didn’t venture outside of it very often, and so it’s only in more recent years that I’ve gotten much of a feel at all for areas like the East Bay. There’s still plenty more in the Bay Area that I haven’t explored, but my brother lived in Berkeley for a while and my visits there helped me begin to get a sense for it. I like the slightly warmer weather (vs. the city of SF), the spacious laid-back feel, and the craftsman-style homes.

Martha introduced me to the area of North Berkeley known as the “Gourmet Ghetto” — primarily a one-block stretch of Shattuck Avenue lined with several restaurants, a.k.a. “Foodie” establishments, the star of which is Chez Panisse. Apparently, you have to book about a month in advance to dine there, so we went to the Tapas bar one door down called César. We spent about an hour chatting and sipping Cava (Martha knows how to start lunch right!) and munching on beet salad and little salmon sandwiches. Everything was quite good, but the little dish of olives they brought out shortly after we sat down was quite possibly the most delicious part.

At some point, and after ordering a couple cappuccinos, we figured we’d better get to sketching. I took a somewhat slower pace than at Sketchcrawl (it helped that I was mellowed by sparkling wine and good food and wasn’t freezing) and just completed this one sketch looking toward the bar:

The sketch was done in my “Frankenskine” sketchbook, pictured here:

…a Moleskine daily planner which I gutted and converted into a Watercolor sketchbook. The construction of this book was developed by Martha. She’s filled many of these modified Moleskines with her beautiful sketches. Detailed instructions and samples of her sketches are available on her blog. Here’s my account of the project.

Update: Martha has posted her sketches from our lunch over at Trumpetvine. Be sure to take a look! I love the way she uses negative space in her sketches and simply leaves things out. I have a hell of a time doing that (in case you can’t tell from my sketch, above). Her approach can lead to some interesting results. Organic sorts of compositions and non-rectangular framings. They’re not overladen with detail, and so they are very relaxing to look at and leave a bit to our imaginations. In that way, they can help transport us to the scene being depicted all the more, because life is like that. We tend to look at just one thing at a time, and often in an impressionistic way, feeling it, rather than looking at the minute detail, and objects in the periphery are frequently either vague or almost non-existent in our experience/memory. Also, another effect of her use of white space is the quality of light. Take a look at the second sketch in her post and you get the sense there’s bright light shining through the windows.

Also, more sketches to come from my visit to San Francisco…

Sketchcrawl 17!

I spent the most recent Sketchcrawl (#17) in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was one of those tricky days in SF. The sun was out and shining brightly, but everything was cold everywhere. If the sun’s rays hit you directly, you could get a little toasty, but as soon as you were in the shade… brrrrrrrr! I sketched as fast as I could, trying to keep my hands warm. The plus side, I suppose, is that it was not raining.

So here are my sketches from the crawl.
sketchcrawl17_01sketchcrawl17_03

sketchcrawl17_02

sketchcrawl17_04b_crop

The gamers/gamblers were a popular subject:

sketchcrawl17_04a_crop

sketchcrawl17_06b1_crop

Little comps:

sketchcrawl17_05

sketchcrawl17_06b2_crop

sketchcrawl17_07b1_crop

One of my favorites from the day is the one on the left here with the lanterns:

sketchcrawl17_08b

I really slapped this one onto the page fast. Not too happy with the colors, but I do like the way it looks in grayscale!
sketchcrawl17_09b

sketchcrawl17_09a

And of course, Chinatown would not be complete without Peking Duck.

sketchcrawl17_07b2_crop

The crawl was great. There were about 65 sketchcrawlers there, in all. I finally got to meet a few people whose blogs I’ve been following for a while. Namely, Pixar artists Enrico Casarosa and Ronnie del Carmen, and Martha of Trumpetvine Travels. There were new people as well, and lots of great sketches from everyone. Many different tools, techniques, and styles, and lots of inspiration.

Visit the forum to see work from others at this sketchcrawl and crawls all over the world.

PJ

PJ
A caricature of PJ Harvey based on a photo in today’s LA Times (Oct. 26, 2007).

Backwards Bill

char64

I saw this guy on Pico Blvd the other day. I don’t know if he realized his shirt was on backward. He was carrying a big ring of keys and seemed a little lost. I hope he found his way home.

Portrait of Jamie

Portrait of Jamie

Smokin’ Geisha (Sketchcrawl 15 Revisited)

field44bB
Here’s the smoking girl from Sketchcrawl 15, but with added watercolor. This is one really nice aspect to the modified Moleskine and having a sketchbook with watercolor paper. Any drawing is a potential future painting.