online sketchbook & creative dumping ground

drawing

STOP!

Drawing of a traffic signal aka stoplight

Quick – without thinking about it… what would you call the device in this picture?  A “Stoplight” – right?

But that’s not really the correct name, is it?  To be accurate, you should really call it a “Traffic Light” or something similar.  Yes, it does signal “Stop”… but it also signals “Slow Down/Caution” and “Go” just as well.

But still, most people I know would instinctively refer to it as a Stoplight.  Why is that?

I mean, it certainly isn’t a big deal.  It’s nothing that I’m going to lose any sleep over.  But it is kind of curious, and frankly, I needed something to write to go along with posting this picture that I drew ;)


Paul McCartney: Good Day Sunshine

The Beatles' Paul McCartney Good Day Sunshine Drawing

Did you know Paul McCartney used to have a mustache?  Actually, I think he spelled it “moustache” since he’s English.  Here I’ve redrawn Paul with the mustache/moustache… this look & style for Paul would have been somewhere around 1968 I guess.

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In a related story – I was watching some footage of the Beatles last night… it was from their first American tour, where they played that concert in-the-round… where Ringo Starr kept hopping down off his drum kit every so often… so he could spin the little circular drum-riser to face a new part of the crowd… and John Lennon, Paul McCartney & George Harrison kept pushing their amplifiers around and moving the mic stands… all the while vamping and interacting with a crowd of screaming teenie-boppers who would periodically pelt them with jellybeans.

What a head trip… watching the soon-to-be-immortal Beatles schlepping their own equipment around onstage while being thwacked in the head with little hard bits of candy… pretty funny stuff.


Barbarian with Sword & Shield: drawing exercise

drawings of barbarian with sword and shield

As I try to maintain my self-discipline, I’ve been making a point to do some drawing every day… or as often as possible.  I won’t necessarily be posting everything I draw each day.  Some of these drawings will just be practice for my hand, and will be absolute garbage in every other respect… those drawings I usually won’t bother to save… and I really wouldn’t want to show them to you… so too bad.

But whenever one of these drawings does show some promise… then I’ll save it, and look at it for a few days… and then maybe I’ll decide to post it here… either that, or I might decide to go back and work on it a few more times, and then post it here.  I’d like to see myself posting something new every other week at a minimum… once a week would be even better.

This is one of those “drawing a day” exercises that I decided to save and post.  I started out intending to sketch an exaggerated male superhero figure – ala Mr. Incredible (you can still see that basic shape here, with the huge barrel chest & tiny little legs)…

But pretty quickly, the figure I was sketching started to remind me of the terrible Northmen (aka Viking Raiders) from the animated film “The Secret of Kels” (btw – that film is one gorgeous piece of animation [IMDB page here]) and so I ended up morphing my drawing from a superhero into a barbarian warrior.  And then once I’d drawn the basic figure, I decided to try him out in a few action poses.

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Female Facial Expressions: drawing exercise

I’ve been trying to be more disciplined about my drawing and practice [almost] every day.  Like they say… if you don’t use it, you lose it.  I’m also trying to work on things that I usually find difficult.  Here are a group of female facial expressions that I challenged myself with.

Like most people – artist or not – the face I’ve studied more than any other is my own.  When staring into the mirror trying to understand how an eyebrow arches, or what shape the mouth makes when surprised… it has always been a guy’s face staring back at me.  And so naturally, I’ve always had an easier time drawing male faces and a bit of trouble drawing convincing female faces.

Because female faces don’t come naturally to me, I’ve always tended to stick to a very few expressions… and most of them haven’t been very animated.  Here I tried to push myself a bit with face shapes, expressions and hairstyles.  They’re still a little bit hard-edged (slightly masculine) but I feel good about the exercise.  It keeps me honest.

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Headshot, Zombie Down: an Animation Exercise

Animation drawing of a zombie killed from a headshot head blown off

Here’s another animation exercise done in Pencil.exe.  Yeah – it’s a bit gory… but if you’re gonna draw zombies, then you’re gonna have to scramble some brains now and then.

I know I’ve complained about the buggy-ness of the freeware Pencil 2D program, but I really love the rough, sketchy feel it allows you to create.  It’s like drawing with a PENCIL… lol.  If this program got some serious funding behind it, it could be straight-up awesome!

This is by far the most detailed animation I’ve done in the Pencil 2D animation program to date.

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When They was Fab: a drawing of The Beatles (finally finished)

cartoon drawing of the young beatles playing the cavern club in hamburg

I think I’ve finished this drawing… it’s always hard to tell.  I know I could keep working on bits and parts of it… probably forever.

But for now, I think this is what I will call “done.”

It took a long time to get back to this, but here is the finished (for today anyway) version of my Beatles drawing “When They Was Fab”.  I’d posted this earlier as a work-in-progress… you can see here.

The full-sized, full-resolution print of this image is  25 inches wide x 19 inches high.  Now that it’s finished, I’m really excited to have it framed… although it’s gonna cost me an arm and a leg, for sure!  I plan to hang it up in my man cave… whenever I finally get a man cave…sigh* Until then, it will go in my family room, alongside a nice print of a mural I painted in college, and comical collection of photos of me and my girls.

One of the characteristics I really like about this drawing, is that it reminds me of a diorama.

You remember dioramas – right?  Back in grade school, you would get an assignment to create a 3-dimensional scene depicting George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, and you were to build the whole thing in a shoebox using crayons, magic markers, bits of construction paper and a LOT of Elmer’s glue.  You remember – right?

So it occurs to me that if I had any gumption (yeah, I said gumption) I would print out the separate elements of this drawing, and construct an actual 3D diorama out of them.  I could frame it in a glass box and light it from behind.  That would be cool… I wonder if I’ll ever do it ;)

 

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Image

Gunshot: an Animation Excercise

gunshot animation drawing image

gun shooting animation pencil test

Here is another quick animation exercise.  I did this one because I wanted to work out the shape of a handgun being held along with the action and rhythm of a handgun being fired.  I exaggerated the muzzle flash and the kick for effect.

Like the rest of the animations I’ve posted so far, this one was done in the freeware program, Pencil 2D.  One thing I love about this program is the awesome “sketchy” feel it allows me to get… as opposed to Flash, which has this annoying tendency to smooth out my lines too much.  The best hand-drawn animation program I’ve used to date, is Toon Boom.  But I fouled up my install many months ago, and I haven’t gotten around to repairing it.

Like I’ve said before, Pencil 2D is great for short exercises like this one, but it’s not at all suited for full-length scenes – let alone an entire film.  But as I churn out more and more of these little quickies… I start to wonder… what kind of short film could somebody actually create as a sequence of 5-second & 10-second clips?  Hmm… that’s something to chew on… for me anyway… *

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