Friday, December 24, 2010

St. Nick Redux

A re-draw of something I put up last year, based on Marcus McLauren's brilliant observation that the St. Nick of "Night Before Christmas" is in fact, "a dirty tiny elf". I'd hoped to have the whole poem ready as a book for download, but I didn't get to it. Maybe next year!


Hat tip to Jennifer Hayden for the idea.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Urgent appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Probably the most random piece of art I ever put up: the guy on Wikipedia's fund-drive banner.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tom DeLay

Okay, I've renounced most of my Bush-era hatred and bile, but I hope I can be forgiven for indulging in a little schadenfreude on this one: Tom Delay convicted of money laundering, could go to jail for decades.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Atoms, Motion & the Void: "Sarro's Balloon"

I've been wanting for forever to do a series of illustrations based on my favorite podcast, "Atoms, Motion & the Void", by the brilliant Sherwin Sleeves. This guy is a one-of-a-kind talent: he writes, he voices, he makes music, and he pulls it all together into a singularly haunting listening experience.

The next couple of weekends he's putting up a one-man show in New Hampshire, and I only wish I had the luxury of driving five hours to go see it. But it inspired me to kick out what is hopefully the first in a series of illustrations, this one based on a beautifully sad tale called "Sarro's Ballon".

(iTunes podcast feed here, list of AMV episodes from Sleeves' website here).

UPDATE: Just for shits & giggles, and because I can never leave well enough alone, I took another pass at this incorporating some of the ideas I developed in the later illustrations.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sketching at Sugar Cafe with friend

The public schools were closed on Election Day, so I took the Kindergartner to my favorite people-watching cafe and handed her her own sketchbook. To my great delight, she eagerly accepted it and went straight to work. We spent a leisurely morning alternately nibbling on breakfast and drawing the passers-by. I got to witness a wonderful moment when a light seemed to go off in her head and she exclaimed that peoples' heads arent circular, they're oval shaped! Like the consummate perfectionist she is, she promptly ripped all the circle-head drawings out of the book and started over. At some point we took turns drawing each other, something she pulled off with much more confidence than I did.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Katy Perry

Today's random celebrity practice sketch: Singer Katy Perry launches her new perfume, "Purr". Five minutes after being told she has a new perfume called "Purr".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Greg Norman and wife

Golfer Greg Norman with his new wife, who is the same woman he was cheating with not one, but two wives ago. Now they can finally be together! Obviously it was destiny. It's like a fairy tale, if you think about it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Michael Tarver

UPDATE: I had an idea to try this much darker, and pop the highlights out some more. I like the result, I think I'm gonna keep experimenting with this.

UPDATE 2: I went in and lightened up his eyes (Thank you for pointing that out, Joan.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Baseball pitcher

Some doodles I did while discussing a baseball-themed project on a Skype call that ran waaaay over. I'm working for an English client whose American CEO mandated the baseball motif, leaving me in the position of having to explain the game of baseball to her, which is really the blind leading the blind. We spent a ridiculous amount of time just establishing the fact that "pitch" happens to be a verb in the States, and is not the word for the playing field.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pike Street Brewery

Sketches from an afternoon at the Market in Seattle back in August. That was the weirdest afternoon, and by weird I mean insanely great.

Often, drawing on the street is an exercise in frustration at where my abilities are at and how far I have to go. That afternoon though, something clicked in my head. Something about focusing that hard made the experience start to take on a life of its own. I remember walking down the street afterward and almost feeling like my consciousness had been altered, like the way people sometimes describe being on hallucinogens. The world had become hyper-real and I wanted to draw everything and everyone. Everyone I passed on the street, interesting details of their facial features were jumping out at me. Everything mundane suddenly looked miraculous and I had an all-too-brief experience of the wonder of creation. I know it sounds weird and cornball, but it was actually how I felt.

I mean, I'm not ruling out that it could have been all that Belgian draft kicking in, but still, pretty sweet.

Monday, October 25, 2010


For today's painting exercise I pulled up an sketch that I posted to my old blog a few years back, and mucked around with it. Original below.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sketching at Sugar Cafe

Passerby on an East Village morning. Hm, looks like I have a speck on my scanner.

beanbots #38

"Quiet Time" (Click here for full strip)

Ariel & Ursula

My 5-year-old drew a picture of a frightened Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"), and asked me to put a scary Ursula behind it.

UPDATE: Added some tone.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ed Laz

Some more facebook silliness: An old pal of mine posted a goofy vacation picture of himself at the blackjack tables, with a well-endowed lady dealer. I started sketching her and this is what ended up happening. Sometimes I find artistic inspiration in the strangest of places. But, it usually has to do with a pair of tits.

UPDATE! Ed is now a published author!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NYCC sketches

The New York Comic Con was a really good experience for me, even though I didn't make back my table. Or my publishing. Or signage, or hardware expenses. I definitely made back my postcard budget, and probably my lo mein from the food court, so, you know, awesome. Mostly it was great to clear the psychological hurdle of showing my work cold to a random sampling of the public. Learning how to chat up potential buyers, hopefully without being too much of a hard-sell douchebag about it. I was fortunate to have great table mates in fellow Act-I-Vators Thomas Baehr and Rami Efal, both of whose books I really respect. It's easy to talk up a product you actually believe in.

At one point I took a break from fishmongering to doodle some passerby plus, secretly, Thomas and genius illustrator Hyeondo Park.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Baby Snoots

Ron Bennington's ultra-un-PC concept for a single-panel comic strip, Baby Snoots the drunk baby. It's hilarious as an off-the-cuff radio bit, maybe not so much as an actual comic strip, but I wanted to give it a shot.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New York Comic-Con, here we come!

Yes, I haven't updated in weeks. And I was doing so good there for a while!

When not doing real work I've been frantically trying to get this little book off to the printers. The big New York con is in week and a half, and I don't know if I'll even manage to sell any of these, but by God I'll be sitting at a table with a stack of them, come what may. (At least I think I will--what you see here are naught but the advance proofs!)

If you're going to the con, swing by the Act-I-Vate table, ya hear?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Michael Lohan

I feel weird that I'm even posting a sketch of this guy. I did the drawing because I wanted to study the shadows on his face. I'm only dimly aware that he's a celebrity, and I kind of feel like if I'm going to feature someone, it should at least be somebody whose work I admire. I guess being the biological creator of Lindsay Lohan's tits is something, but I dunno.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Danielle Staub without makeup

Okay, to be honest I'm not trying to be insulting to this woman--I actually find her kind of attractive--I just couldn't resist fucking around.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Dannielle Staub

Lucas, Ford & Spielberg

A bit of silliness inspired by the news that a fifth "Indiana Jones" film is heading into production--for some reason--and by the photo below of George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg celebrating the premiere of the godawful Indy 4 in 2008.

It's an article of faith at this point that everything bad, pointless, or desperately unfunny about "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is attributable to George Lucas' influence. As with his Star Wars franchise he insists on playing big daddy, despite the decades' worth of evidence that he's lost the thread and should really leave it to more capable hands.

Once I started doodling the faces in the photograph, the scenario in the cartoon suggested itself right away--George as a big, goitered boulder rolling over the other two. (That's supposed to be Spielberg dressed in Connery's duds from Indy 3). The face in the crystal skull is that of Frank Darabont, who is said to have written a brilliant early screenplay for Indy 4, beloved by Ford and Spielberg, that is until Lucas got his hands on it and had his Lucasy way with it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Louis CK

Some sketches I did while watching a recent episode of Louis CK's new show "Louie" on FX. A show I identify with strongly, despite the fact that it's about a fat, bald, depressed 42-year-old New York City dad who wears a lot of black t-shirts. I mean, maybe there's something on that list that resonates with me for some reason, but I dunno. The t-shirts I guess.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's up, Anthony.

How's it going, man? Thanks for checking in. You said you check this page all the time, so I thought I'd just write you back here. I've been a little demoralized about blogging lately, or more accurately, I'm frustrated with my drawing. I started this blog as a way to strengthen my drawing muscles and I'm annoyed that it's not happening faster.

Lately I spend my extracurricular time sketching people on the street. I've noticed that one of my big areas of weakness is that I don't pay enough attention to how people wear clothes or do their hair, and in my business they really want characters that look hip and happening, so I'm trying to address that. Also I enjoy sketching passers-by because I have to get a snapshot of them in my head and interpret it quick. I don't have time to fret over every eyelash or nostril highlight like I often do when I sketch from photos. I usually prefer not to post sketchbook doodles, plus I always feel like if I'm going to post something online there should be a point to it, like it should be somehow topical or pop-culture related. But perhaps I should just post stuff and not worry about it.

Anyway, here's a sketch I did today of Jenifer Lopez. Not something I'd usually post because it's not much of a likeness, it's just an exercise. But it's topical, right? I read that they were looking at her to be a judge American Idol, but she wanted too much money and makeup people and stuff. In her defense I have heard that she's a mess without makeup--I know a guy who works as a retoucher for a celebrity magazine--so maybe she needs all that stuff. But she looked okay to me in this photo.

Anyway, sorry for rambling like this, Anthony. I really appreciate the support and comments. I still have those comics you asked me to sign, I gotta get to that. Later bud. -Kevin