Thursday, November 26, 2020


Variations. Played some more with this one. I like the middle one a lot, though some of the color is a little sloppy. It's muddier but feels more like night to me and the direction of the light is a lot more enhanced. The top version is how it would appear in the comic. While I don't dislike it, I think it's missing some atmosphere. I'm also just not willing to change the style again and the watercolor is not only impossible to vectorize, it's a whole different approach. Still, fun to do little spot illos like this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Terry being quite rude. Still working on a happy medium for the mice and City Silent. They have a hell of a life, considering that they appeared in ONE panel in Tamino. They weren't even characters, just two little punks Tamino questioned on his way. Since then, they've shown up quite a bit and will play a large part in City Silent. Tezuka used to have this cast of characters that would show up in his comics, almost like a corral of actors selected to play parts. I really like this idea and while I wasn't considering this on purpose, it's almost worked out that way. Smatt and Terry (and their cousin Rooster) haven't really changed parts so much as filled different needs. Smatt and Terry have been in Tamino, a short comic called "Last Stop Right," and Rooster joined them for "Smatt's Journey," which was a comic about me dealing with the death of my mom. Rooster died in that one but what the hell, he's the most fun to draw of the three. Terry is usually the more quiet, laid back of them but even he will have his moments in City Silent. Howard, too is from Tamino and has stepped up to a larger part. The comic will change in act 2 mostly as I will have to introduce word balloons (gasp). The mice will all be singing aloud, not thinking as Silas does. It will change the aesthetic in a way I hope will add more feeling of graffiti to the comic.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

One click. I turned off the layer with all the lines and wrinkles in it and, to me, it makes the piece stronger with that omission. There's a slight loss of expression or character, but it still reads as Adam to me, there's still the smile but there's less clutter. This happens a lot with me. I have this love of line but with this style, it's all about the shapes and the colors. Well, I only have me to please so there you go.

Monday, November 16, 2020

New portrait. I've been watching Adam Savage on "Mythbusters" for years and always generally liked him. Since he's been on his own, making videos about making things, about other people making things and just generally showing his passions for things, I've found myself liking him more and more. He's so animated it's damned hard to choose one single image that might capture something of him. I took a lot of still frame screen shots. I like these things to be simple, so while I thought about making multiple images in one portrait as a kind of cubist animation, in the end, I went with my first instincts. Might tinker with it a bit or I might leave it be. I got some of his boyish smile which is important. Used a Dutch Masters sort of palette, partially as I really like the browns. I'm fairly happy with it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

 Just a last post to show the paintings of myself and my partner side by side. Of course mine is bigger because HUGE EGO...or really just different planning. I think his is better. Still, I like seeing them together. I think I like the roughness of my partner's better, so that's something to learn from. As long as I learn something.

Finished this tonight. It's obvious that the image was drawn a long while back, about 8 inches of hair ago. I also shaved. I wanted an image with me in it to show scale. I'm pretty happy with it. I think the size has a lot to do with this as there's impact because of it. Might actually try one of these with cut paper at some point. Might not. Still, a good experiment, I think. Acrylic on canvas. 

Monday, November 09, 2020

Progress, but not finished. I did one thing that made a huge difference; I took it off the wall and placed it on a table to be able to move it around and get to the edges more easily. I have to fix the mouth as it's too dark and do a second coat of the hair. Otherwise, I think it's coming out pretty well.


Some progress. Decided to fix the problems with registration. Hope to finish this today. 

Thursday, November 05, 2020

A little progress today but the registration was off for the sweater which is weird. I'm not sure I'm going to fix it. This would not be the final painting per se if I were doing a show as the canvas is too small. I just wanted to paint. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Sure enough, I'm taking the last one to paint. I don't really have enough canvas to cover this but what the hell. I'll make it fit. It'll never hang anywhere so I don't have to worry so much. It will be a kind of pair to the one I did of my partner. Roughly 24x30. 

Slept on it feeling that the other version was too pink. When I woke up this morning, I felt the same way. Knowing that I like browns the way I do, I did a search for a swatch of burnt sienna and based the whole palette on just that color. This is the result and I will likely take this to paint. 

Sort of cheating on this. I was looking at the painting I did of my partner recently, done from one of the 'cut paper' series of digital portraits and I wondered about the one I did of myself. The original version was just the lined version with the line layer turned off, something I do a lot to amuse myself.  What my partner's portrait had going for it, I thought, was the VERY tight palette; four colors. The version I posted was all over the place. So I went back and played with what I had and managed to get this down to five. it think it works a lot better than the earlier version. It's very pink but so am I. This would also work as a large painting and perhaps it will be my next.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Got a costume in the mail today to help me with the skater mice, Smatt in particular. Was thinking about British 'gangsters' the other day, and how they seem to like the matching track suit 'style.' Personally, I think it looks terrible but it's the right kind of terrible for these guys, I think. So Smatt/I now own what I call an "Oik Suit," oik being a term Brits seem to use for someone they dislike/idiot/jerk/etc. Smatt is indeed an oik. 

Morning workout, self portrait style. Been wanting to do one with my currently crazy hair for awhile. No reason not to do one today. Pencil sketch first, Procreate after and Affinity Designer for the finish. Blue and brown is my favorite color combination. Also been re-watching Portrait and Landscape Artist of the year, so I've been in the mood. I really wonder how well this style would stand up to that kind of competition. I wouldn't win, but it would be fun to try. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A selection of the sketches used to make some of the Drawtober images. I'm trying to loosen up my drawing. To that end, I'm erasing a lot less and trying not to go over lines too much, either. This leaves more to do in the inking stage but that retains some of the energy, I think. Messy because I'm drawing on both sides of the page. 

Managed to get a couple more Drawtober images done today as well as watching the movie needed for tomorrow's podcast. So, not a bad day, productivity-wise. Top is Rooster, bottom Terry. 

A new page in the Party Line comic. Didn't realize it was my turn so managed to crank this out this morning. The style I came up with, partially suggested by one of the others involved makes it easy to get these done. I am all for photo backgrounds in this case. Inking with pencil is fun, and I enjoy the watercolor brush for the first time ever. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Drawtober 22. Still working on the mice as they'll be central to the plot in act 2. I think I'm getting there. Also, something I didn't consider doing at all before and did here almost by accident was to outline the graffiti. I didn't think it would work, but I think it really does. So, learning all the time. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Drawtober only because I drew it in October. I need to redesign my mice because they need to fit the current style for the comic. It's always a joy having to do this. If I had just the one style, it wouldn't be a problem. My own fault. And it's not as if the style is consistent through the comic as it stands already. Well, I will do my best. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Drawtober 20. Went the route of the caricature, perhaps a little far. Not being kind to me at all, but it was fun to draw. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Drawtober 17, just a bit of goofiness with ol' Scum the coyote skater. Still allowing myself to play with the halftones. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Drawtober 16, portrait of the artist as a lumpy potato. A bit more on the caricature side of things and I used the halftone because I saw some other trendy artist doing it and I figured, "Me, too!" What the hell. I can see the appeal of course but it is an affectation, a gimmick more than it is a real artistic choice, I think. You can apparently apply it with the brush which I haven't done yet. No matter what, drawing every day is a good thing.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Another quickie, just to draw something. I'm very much enjoying the watercolor brush style for this. I think there are some areas/moments that it works especially well, like the underside of his hand and in some of the folds of the hoodie. That being said, I'm not exactly reaching too far, subject-wise. But that's ok. I made something and that's important. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Drawtober 14, a quick Silas sketch that feels sort of like an album cover. I am really learning to enjoy these new watercolor brushes. What's been fun is trying to keep them as big and as loose as possible, adding layers of smaller details as I go along, but never trying to be too careful. Should try something else besides the crow.

Monday, October 12, 2020

And done. A very imperfect photo because of glare and terrible lighting. That being said, this was fun to do and since all the planning was done ahead of time, not too hard to do. There was some learning to be done here; being less picky about the sketched lines and being more willing to improvise are the two biggest things I need to get over. It's big enough, about 20x30 or so. I think it has presence and that I managed to keep that intensity and slight sadness from the original photo. Wasn't sure there was going to be a big difference between a full sized print and paint, but of course there is. Digital is easier but is its own thing. I'm kind of torn; I like both. 

 Working on another experiment. I wondered what it would be like if I took one of my 'torn paper' style portraits and made it in actual paint. Up close, it falls apart as there's so little detail, one just ends up looking at the brushstrokes and mistakes. Take a few steps back and it does exactly what I want it to do. It's not finished; have to go back over some areas for another coat. I think I'll end up liking it.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

I'm working on a painting, one that will actually get finished and so haven't been doing the Drawtober thing. I've also done a few drawtober sketches that I didn't like enough to post. But today, while waiting for paint to dry, I had time so did this. Something I have to remember for Act 2 of City Silent is to keep up with both movement and distortion as I think it really adds things to the images. Also wanted to try out Procreate's new halftone filter. I like it a lot but also think its something that could be overused very easily. 

Thursday, October 08, 2020

One of these will look familiar. I'm part of a three-person collective web comic. These are my contribution. Since the first drawing was kind of perfect for what was supposed to come next, I just redid the word balloon and uploaded it. The second one I drew tonight, allowing a couple of my portraits to make little cameos. Trying to keep the style loose and am surprisingly enjoying the watercolor brushes in Procreate that I bought recently. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Drawtober day 5. Sort of. Worked all day and had a podcast meeting last night so no drawing yesterday. So I managed an extra one for today to fill the space. Procreate over pencil. 

Drawtober day 6. Sometimes I save screenshots or images from the net of people I think I might want to draw later. This is one of those. I think he's from a Poirot mystery but I'm not sure. Regardless, I loved his look of disapproval and uniform. Glad I grabbed him as he was a good prompt for today. Procreate over pencil.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Drawtober day four. I generally don't use watercolor and up til now, haven't found a digital brush I like. Now I have. This one works pretty well, even as an eraser. A bit warped, with plenty of bed head, this was at least fun to do and I didn't struggle with it.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Drawtober 2. Today I did a pencil drawing I liked well enough but after three attempts at inking, I don't have one I liked. But at least I did draw something. 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Inktober. It's a thing and each year, I think about doing something for it and each year, I do less and less. This year, I did pull out brushes and ink but the attempt left me flat. I might have actually lost my touch for it, which is a shame. On the other hand, I can do so much more and get so much better results on the iPad, I don't know if I mind so much. The top image is a pencil drawing of young Greg Brady. I took a photo of it and inked it with a few new ink brushes I got from a nice, big, fat mega-pack. This guy starts off with tons of brushes and you get free updates for life ( One of the updates was a whole folder of Japanese ink brushes. So I inked Greg a few times with different brushes then took on one of my recent Silas drawings with another. And they are all a lot better than what I did by hand today.'s not dead, but I'm far more productive with this tool.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Felt like sketching the elf yesterday, so I did. The one thing that makes me happy, after all these years, is that I have finally learned to loosen up when drawing. It's been the one stylistic challenge I've had forever. And I'm letting details be way out of proportion if that's how it goes. Here, his hands are gigantic and yet I like them. Since I'm only making this for me, I have that option. Also, this sketch shows a good deal of the under-scaffolding so, if one cared, they could see how I got here. Just pencil and paper.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

More or less, the first 84 pages. I think it's really interesting to see the pages this small, where you can only guess what's in them. The colors almost look mapped. And I honestly thought I'd overused that night time dim copper color but I don't think I have. The next act will be more colorful, I think. I've been slow at this but I've learned a lot and have rediscovered a love of drawing. So here's hoping for Act 2.