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Friday, December 7, 2012

Some New Larry Bear

Things is getting beary exciting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Computertizing

I will admit that I am a computer-phobe. I grew up with computers since I was 5 or 6, and use them everyday, but when it comes to drawing and painting, I avoid it like the plague.

However, as I am trying to expand my range, particularly focusing on making my color illustrations pop, I have been learning as much as I can about the printing process, color separation, and what makes the translations from final art piece(ie. watercolors) to finished product work. When I look at a Sunday comic, what makes the colors work? How did it go from watercolor to print? I especially look at Patrick McDonnell's work, but I have also been looking at Dr. Seuss's work in it's very simplified color palette (DID he just use markers to indicate where color goes?)

Photoshop in it's amazingly versatile universe makes coloring something 10 times easier. I just finished an example of Larry Bear and Mary drawn by hand, but then colored in the computer. The color palette I started off with is something Mo Willems would use, but then made some brighter, pop colors. I am intrigued with what came out, but it still seems off for me. I wish that it was warmer. Something I hate about computer colors is that they lose the warmth of the color right away. If that makes sense.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pencil Work

I think a lot of New Yorker cartoonists do this. I don't know how I feel about it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Illustration

I've been drawing cats for a good while now. I suppose it's my way of thinking that I own one (which I still want to do). This particular cat with the triangular head interests me a lot though. When I first drew him, he was going to act like an Existential French philosopher cat. Be all deep and serious. Now that idea never panned out, but this moody, disconnected cat had a story. He was a character. Now here he is.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mitt Romney and Giraffes

So Michelle is all a-twitter now about going to South Africa this March and invited me. I never pictured myself going to Africa, but it would be cool to see a giraffe and ride an elephant. I don't know whether to go or not.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Line up!





I'm always obsessed with how cartoonists and illustrators draw. How'd he make this line? What size are these drawings?! There's part of me that says that I shouldn't care and figure out how to use the tools, but another part of me craves to learn how to draw like that.

It's come to a point now that I've become the most nitpicky about line quality and how should my drawings look? I love splotchy ink, I love fluid brushwork, but I also love fluid lines, and scratchy lines. I've read an interview from Richard Thompson saying that he struggled with the same exact thing. LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT LINE (if it exists). He says that his line would exist between George Herriman and Ronald Searle.

Mine? That's hard. I like lively, action lines. It'd be something between Patrick McDonnell and Bill Watterson. In between there I'd like my line to be.

Above are examples of me drawing and sketching. I like the school bus particularly. Felix looks a bit incomplete maybe. The three sketches of the bumpkin sitting down are done in Hunt 101 Imperial, Hunt 512 ex-fine, and Winsor Newton Series 7 #0 brush respectively. I did all the drawings on copy paper, hence a lot of bleeding. Which is nice sometimes (more often it's not!).

The last sketch I ABSOLUTELY love EXCEPT for that back leg. It's so blobby. Had I nailed that, it would have been the drawing of the year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Work

In my ever continuing quest to find the right look, the right line, I've always had to look back on those who came before me.

The first illustration, from a picture I'm working on, is inspired by simple, lively lines like Jules Feiffer. I purposefully used sparse background and simple, but bold color statements. I enjoyed drawing that large man a number of times. It's ridiculous the the size comparison between him and the little girl.

The second illustration reminds me of earlier illustrations I did back when I just started using the pen nib for my illustrations. I was looking at Ronald Searle especially (his work is hard to find online, let alone books in the bookstore!). He went on to inspire following artists like Ralph Steadman and then Richard Thompson.

It's amazing how connected all these artists when looking at their work and comparing. The difference between William Steig's line to Ronald Searle, how Steig influenced Feiffer, how Feiffer influenced Trudeau then Berkeley Breathed but before that Pat Oliphant. I love seeing all the connections everyone had on each other, but then what makes each one unique.

I think most important too is that the drawings are only as good as the subject matter or the story. There's a reason why each artist draws the way they do, and that's because of what they got to say.



Monday, August 6, 2012

New Cartoon

It has been too long since I posted. I will not make excuses, but my blogging rate has dropped by the wayside since I took on a job promotion back in April. Hopefully, now, I can get things on track again and show new stuff and what I am working on!

Below is a new cartoon for Smithtown Matters. This is my generation. Talking about my generation!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Psychology cover

It's been way too long since I posted new work. I've been working too much on my children's artwork and nothing to show there really except tons and tons of sketches. I won't bore anyone with them.

Below is a cover that I have done for an e-book by Jeffrey Rubin. I enjoyed drawing this.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuna?

I do enjoy letting my mind wander when writing. I can't help but think, "What if?" for each situation. For example, what in the world would a cat bring to lunch? Would he bring his food bowl? Not really good at being incognito I'd say.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fall Scene

Ze colors! Ze colors!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marching Band

In light of no new illustrations from my graphic novel or picture book sketches, I drew this illustration. While drawing it, I reflected upon my experiences in marching band back when. Lately, I am finding my illustrations to be more reflective upon my past experiences. It's most likely a mix of nostalgia and trying to make sense of my life.

In the movie "Midnight in Paris," the actors discuss the idea of nostalgia. When someone experiences nostalgia, they are denying their present state and glorifying another time, era, or place to ease the pain of the present. As I have been going through life, I realize that I myself have always been thinking of being elsewhere. Wherever I am, it is greener on the other side.

I think only through art am I able to make sense of life. Art and literature. I think Woody Allen was thinking the same thing when he wrote "Midnight in Paris" and "Annie Hall" way back when. Trying to make sense of life.

I know this is a lot of thought for a very simple illustration, but it's good to reflect.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sick

So I have been sick the past week to the point that I didn't even pick up a pencil or brush or pen for 4 or five days. It is frustrating when even going one day without working on something so a week was bad enough. I did this illustration to commemorate my sore throat and tiredness. I don't want to do THAT again!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A New Postcard

The previous postcards that I have been sending have been nice, but I think will pop most nicely. It's simple and focuses on my two characters. I call them "Larry Beary" and "Mary." It's fun writing THAT over and over again. Larry Beary and Mary Larry Beary and Mary Larry Beary and Mary!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Let me first say this. I don't know how long I've had this epson photo scanner, but it took me that long to figure out how to get a clean scan without all that horrible white filling up my work. Now my whites are whites and blacks are blacks and that's before it goes into Photoshop! True, the light washes are kinda blotchy, but it's something I can fine tune on my work easily.....

So it's also been a while since I have posted. Therefore, I have lots of new stuff to share. Mostly, it's just a sneek peak of what I am working on.

First are the character sheets for my GN.




Then a spread from a new picture book I am concocting. I am rather proud of this spread even if this tree branch doesn't physcially exist!

So I am pleased with how things are going so far.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Professor Boddington

Not many people know this, but for all the work that it takes to keep my studio, drawings, emails, and expenses up-to-snuff, I have a secretary. He is actually a retired professor named Professor Boddington. I thought at first that a professor would be a great help to me and my work. Instead, he's actually a huge hindrance. Professor Boddington is always yapping when I need quiet time. He never answers emails or the phone and he doesn't send out invoices correctly. And now, he's taking a month-long vacation which he claims is paid because its "good for his arthritis." So he's out galavanting in India right now!!!!! On my dime!!!!!

I need to get this dumb professor replaced.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Washington Crossing Park

I was very fortunate as a kid to grow up with Washington Crossing State park right behind my back yard. In hindsight, I did not take full advantage of the park (I was not a huge outdoor kid). I think only until moving out for college, I've begun to appreciate the scenery and nature the park was full of more. The sound of Canadian geese especially. Crickets at night. Lots of trees. It's funny how you don't appreciate something until it's removed from you. It may be the springtime in me that's talking right now. Appreciating being able to be outside more again!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Felix

I've been itching to get the story written out so I can start sketching and drawing! So I made these to practice more drawing. I still can't decide to draw the characters in brush or pen. It's always been a question for me whether to use a brush or a pen to draw. Though the drawings come out mostly looking the same, there are very subtle nuances between the way I use a brush and a pen which can make or break a drawing for me. For most drawings now, I use them interchangeably.

I've also been wondering about the relationship between Felix and Jenny. When reading children books that I've enjoyed, I've looked at characterization. What makes them work? It makes me reflect upon an article that Al Capp of "Li'l Abner" fame wrote once. He said to study Dickens for their fully realized (or exaggerated) characters.

Though he wrote numerous novels (which one day I hope to read all), Dickens uses the same characters for each novel. The protagonists from David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations were always good-natured humans when ample amounts of affection and love. You can't help but like them. Then there's the angelic feminine creature that is always a moral compass. Then the expressive antagonists that enjoy their evil nature like Uriah Heep, Miss Havesham, and Fagin. Coming back to childrens book, I've noticed that the authors like Roald Dahl, Norton Juster, Lemony Snicket, and JK Rowling have developed their characters the same way. That's what makes the characters so colorful and pop!

Back to my story, if Felix is the protagonist of the story, he'd have to be good natured and likable. But how to describe the relationship between him and Jenny? Surely they'd be best friends. But how? This is where character sheets would help further define how they would act together. I've rambled on enough for now.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A couple video promos

Since the amateur cartoonist contest is happening again right now, I thought that I'd share my videos that I made for the contest from last year promoting "Buttoned Up." It was actually a ton of fun working with video and producing it. I think the videos also capture the humorous side of me (and some creepy faces!).

Buttoned Up? No. Scaredy Cat? No. Felix the Cat? Felix Felis?

I've been working on a form of Buttoned Up for the past two years since 2010. All of it as a comic strip off and on. I've done about 200 dailies. Then about two month's worth of Sunday comics. Always working with the hopes to make a daily comic strip that is syndicated.

In the couple years, however, I admit that I have grown very pessimistic about the state of the comic strip medium. Maybe it's because that I've been told too many that this doesn't work, that doesn't work, or "your work is great, but..." It may also be because of the failing newspaper industry in general and those that do get syndicated will never have a true shot at making money. Or maybe it's because too that there is so much mediocre work that is being produced anymore and those that still produce amazing work seem old and tired after seeing it for plus 10, 20, 30 years.

It pains me to think the industry that has made such great comics such as Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Cul De Sac, Mutts, Pearls Before Swine, Bloom County, and countless others have come up with such crap these past ten years. The only comic strips worth mentioning that got syndicated since 2000 is Pearls and Cul De Sac. Two comic strip features and the rest introduced mere slosh.

I think that because the industry is so dead in the water is the reason why any hopes of becoming a comic strip artist now make no sense. But I love the comic medium still. I've looked my favorite comics and am now thinking where do I fit into this comic world? I think that the past couple years, I've been finding my footing my the children's book industry. I'm finding the same things that I have loved in comics I am finding in children's books as well. The same fantastical adventures, colorful characters, and great artwork.

It's because of my working on picture books I think is now I think that I have a great idea for a middle grade graphic novel. One thing I don't see in the comics industry is the lack of comic work for younger audiences (besides the newspaper funnies). Too much adult work in Marvel and DC comics anymore. I think that my story would therefore make a great fit for middle grade.

So below are two sketches of Buttons and other characters. Right now, I am only working on an outline and character sheets so nothing is solidified. However, Buttons I think should be renamed to Felix. For a couple reasons, Felix means happy and is a reference to Felix the Cat, one of the early pioneers in animation. Then maybe Felix Felis (felis means cat in Latin). Felix Felis sounds great, but I fear may sound too similar to an elixir from Harry Potter (felix felicius I think). Who knows? I need to run it by people first.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Basketball

So I am told that Jeremy Lin and "Linmania" has saved the NBA. Apparently, it didn't save him from me drawing him! I think the drawing is great until it comes to his head. Oy! The ref looks cool though.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Local Political Cartoon

It's been a while since I posted a political cartoon. This one is of Smithtown from www.smithtownmatters.com.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Like Pink!

I just got around to scanning these guys all in! I only have the one finished watercolor so far, but I do like the sketches as well. In my ever continuing battle of keeping loose, I think that I found the right balance in these sketches and watercolors. Not overworked. Not too sketchy. Enjoy!



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Getting the right look



There is a cartoon contest coming up this weekend. Specifically the one The Cartoonist Studio is doing. Which is exciting. As I have been preparing the cartoons, I've been tackling many many obstacles. One is the idea for the comic strip. Second is the artwork. I feel like I am at a crossroads in my artwork right now with comics.

In the Sunday comics that I've done recently, I've been forced to draw much smaller due to the constraints of the paper. In other ways though, I think that I've been looking to draw more comfortably, or smaller. In previous Buttoned Up comics, A Glass of Merlo comics that I have drawn, I usually drew it at 16.25" X 5". Which is a nice space for drawings. In hindsight, I think this caused me to overwork my drawings.

The main aim in these latest drawings is to find the correct line weight, the fluidity and spontaneity of the drawing, and to be honest, make it look good as possible. I haven't had that feeling yet of knowing that I made a good drawing in the beginning. The one with "Again?!" I think caught what I am going for best!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Sketch

I know last week that I was going to elaborate on line weights and choosing the right one, but that one will have to wait. It's been kinda going bananas over here. So not only do I make amazing puns, but I am also a liar. I'll work on that!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A sketch and a finished watercolor


First is the awesome wizard that I suppose looks like Gandalf. He would never brag about the size of his wizard's staff though. He's above that petty stuff. Saruman probably would brag about his wizard's staff. Once in a while, and I think every artist can say this too, I enjoy drawing differently. I felt like doing some brush work again inspired by classic superhero comics or adventures comics. It's a ton of fun to draw. I think too that I am getting better at defining my blacks! The only fault that I find fault with it is the feathering because the paper did bleed a lot. Grrrr.

Below that is a watercolor from Stay! I love this scene because of the spontaneity of the drawing and the loose watercolor. One thing that I am always working on is to refrain from being too tight. I can elaborate on that next week, but generally, my lines are too tight and the ink work can look dead or stiff. The sketch and final drawing for this particular scene seemed to fall right into place when I laid my pen down onto paper.