Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Restaurant Tablecloth Fun

Had a treat at that local restaurant where the table cloths are made of huge sheets of butcher shop paper. I already mentioned its name once, so I will not over-advertise this time. This was more a mix of little things improvised into a "composition". You'll notice a skeleton's arm floating on the top left, and an upside down tired girl on the top right (a message to my daughter because she's staying up playing until late in her room, and not getting enough sleep). The rest of the "comp" is more cohesive. It's an semi-alien moonlit scene. Blue crayon is best (out of the three they give you). You should try it. I suppose its a treat for the waiter that will clean the table, and destroy your work, much like a sand castle. Oh, and that floating thing in the top center is supposed to be a pepperoni.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Your Pizza is Ready!

Remember that last impulse sketch? Today I had a little more time to sketch that same figurine. Last time I was so busy I used art-license and unknowingly gave him of latin look. This time its closer to the real thing. Its a 1 in. tall plastic figurine of a waiter that looks like he belongs in an Italian restaurant.  I know, he should be serving spaghetti, instead of pizza then. I don't know why I made him look older than the original. That's interesting in terms of artistic perception, but not for this blog. Those topics may be explored at my art LAB! Anyway, he's part of a couple of figurines decorating my desk, so you may get to see a few more if I keep this up.  Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cartoon Face Mini-Sketch

Today it is crazy busy, but I managed to draw a little. This is impulsive because I just "had to" draw. I think an impulsive sketch scale is in order. Something that incorporates sketching purpose, circumstances, motivation, unusualness, that sort of thing. But that's something to ponder under less stress. Right now, I leave you with this little guy, based on a little plastic bubble-gum machine figurine that's sits on my desk. I say "based" because this guy took a look of his own.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TV Sketching - Totoro

Watching "My Neighbor Totoro" with my daughter. Had the impulse to sketch. This is a great film we could both enjoy. My daughter matches that little girl in character way too close. Miyasaki's work is fantastic. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I also enjoyed trying to catch animated cartoons. A glimpse here, and a glimpse there added up to what you see below. Of course, answering my daughter's questions, such as, "is that house really haunted?", "what are those little black puffs?", "Is she lost, dad?" is something a dad gets used to, and adds to the experience. This was a treat.

Impulsive Warm Up Drawing

A warm up drawing in the twilight zone between work and home. A few minutes before leaving, tasks all finished, this image came to mind. I wish I could draw at work, especially at meetings, where one can actually pay attention at the same time. But folks seem to view this as a worse offense than using a laptop. I don't do it, but I can dream, can't I?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drive-by Sketching And Starbucks

Three impulsive sketches today, drawn yesterday in my trusty mini-sketch book.  Well, four sketches, really. My daughter got in on the action.  "Can I draw too?" The first two rate high in the impulsiveness scale.  I drew while sitting on the front passenger seat of our car, while my lovely wife drove us to a restaurant. The first one shows a variety of car's back-sides. Had fun having my wife guess their makes later on (Plymouth, Mustang, etc).
The second one was a bit more detailed because there was some traffic as we reached the restaurant. This one is a Honda Element. I love the challenge of having to draw something quickly. The changing inertial forces are also fun to deal with.
Next, my daughter's drawing at the restaurant table. A doggie thinking about more food, while eating. That's what she said. I think she was hungry at the time. I'm really proud of her imagination, and her developing art skills.

And finally, a quick coffee shop scene. Probably a standard for a lot of artists. Can you recognize its a Starbucks?  I wish I had more time there. The characters that frequent this place are colorful.  I think it has to do with its location in a "posh" and "touristy" district.  Perfect for character study targets. Some day soon I'll try this typical artist-sitting-at-a-coffee-shop thing.

Hope you liked these.  They were fun speed sketching practice.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Macaroni Grill Caricature

You know, that Italian themed chain restaurant where you get a paper tablecloth, and crayons, breaking the fun barrier between kids and adults, while you wait for your order? We found ourselves  at Macaroni Grill after coming out of the movie theather. After eating, there was a clear section of table cloth left on my side. My wife was telling me how I was drawing things for everyone, but had left her "commission" on the shelf, so to speak. While I told her I'd get to it immediately, I impulsively drew her "caricature". (Pardon the bad cell phone photo. Didn't have time to notice my own shadow)  I've been trying to "toonify" her for some time, and had almost given up, not happy with previous attempts. Lo and Behold, I was happy with this rendition, and now I have a good model to to use for a clean version. It had to happen on an impulse, eh? (Shhhh, don't say anything about the lopsided eyes, please. I was in a hurry, and if she notices, I'll be in trouble. Oooops!).

So You Don't Want to Get Up?

It was almost noon already, and attempts to wake up my daughter were fruitless. What else to do, but to sketch her. I thought I'd use Sketchbook Pro Mobile on my trusty iPod Touch this time. It's finger painting, basically, and the screen is less than ideal to sketch on, but using zoom and the eraser tool, I was able to get something acceptable. Other pieces done the same way usually take me a long time. If you want something close to rendered, its like a long sculpting session (draw and trim), but this time, being an impulse sketch, I kept the trimming and rendering to a minimum. This is what happens in my household if you sleep late.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paint-dot-Net impulse digital sketch

Things were slow at work. Everyone ready to start the long weekend. Talking with a good friend, started playing with Paint.Net. Ended up with a digital doodle. Drawn quickly during break using a mouse! I salute all digital artists that had their start using a mouse. Flat colors in a hurry. I could call this warm-up, but I'll use a stylus. Thanks for the visit.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Alejandra's Brushes

My daughter is one of my biggest sources of inspiration. We share art time now and then, but she surprised me today. We were painting with crayola penbrushes on construction paper, and I was trying to show her how to hold a brush. Check out this seascape! Its hard to teach a 6 year old how to use a light touch, but when I wasn't looking she belted out this beauty! She was really paying attention! The lines on the waves show big promise. Kids will surprise you, and my daughter topped herself today. I'm sure this will inspire anyone. I'm a lucky dad! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Impulsive Turns Compulsive - More robes

I wanted to post another impulsive sketch, but, because I also wanted to practice folds, and got "precious" during the process, this sketch will be classified as compulsive instead. Practice, practice, practice! Hope you like it. Thanks for dropping by!
PS: The reference is a work from artist Andre Thevet. Gaius Plinius Secundus, a noted Roman scientist and scholar. No doubt, a fine reference to use for practice. Thank you Mr. Thevet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bowling Alley Birthday Party

Impulsive sketch drawn in March 2010. Parents and kids waiting in line to barter their arcade won tickets for materially worthless, but kid-cherished plastic trinkets at the bowling alley counter. One of various times I've taken my daughter to such things. After bowling, eating pizza and cake, the kids run through their free arcade tokens, collect their tickets, and line up anxiously to cash in on their winnings (a kiddie casino of sorts?). I took the opportunity to sketch the situation, catching as many poses as I could, to later render, and fill in details. I did catch my daughter, her friend, and mother's friend there on the left. I think I captured some of the typical stereotypes in the place. I posted this today because I get to repeat the experience in a few hours. Hope you like it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pencil Sketch - Nikola Tesla

Got the impulse to draw Nikola Tesla from reference.  A little practice for something I'm working on.
I drew light construction lines, fit and tapered them, worked on shaded areas, defined forms, cleaned stray lines, then rendered to a point. The reference was a saturated 2 color print, so you may notice this in the shading values.  The lines and shades are still off by a bit, but I liked it, and the impulse took over.  Hope you like it.

Impulse sketch - Mechanized Fishies?

This morning's impulse sketch is a doodle that started with a television screen thing, and evolved into a diver looking at mechanized sea life. You know... you start doodling, and the "impulse" takes you different places. This time, the impulse hit at a place where one should be busy with other things, so it took some time.  Talking about sea life, mechanized sea life would probably survive that horrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but real sea life is in danger. Drop by Ripple Sketches, and please contribute by buying a mini sketch by well known artists, as well as amateurs (see if you can spot mine :) ).  You can also contribute with a sketch yourself! Kelly Light has done a great job in organizing this effort.
I hope to have more for you today, or maybe tomorrow.  I've been neglecting my "laboratory" blog, so maybe you'll see new stuff over there soon. (The Mad Scientist's Art Laboratory)
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Space Monkey's Flying Heads

These two were impulse sketches drawn today. I had to ink them just because.  The great Kim Holm has a webcomic called  "Diary of a Space Monkey".  Kim asks readers to choose Space Monkey's fate each week. I chose the popular fate but thought better of it, and asked Kim his favorite (Space Monkey hallucinates flying heads). To bribe him into changing my vote, I drew these. A Viking Cowgirl, and Kim's own cartoon-self, both as flying heads.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beach-ward bound

So we finally made it to the beach. Got an impulse sketch in last night. My nephew stayed overnight so he could tag along next morning on our trip. Not too far, but far enough. They were playing at the computer last night, and I couldn't resist. After a quick sit at it, I left the sketchbook nearby. Minutes later, they come over to me, feigning being upset "You drew us playing, didn't you? How dare you?" (They love it)
Then, today, we had finally arrived at the beach (we borrow this beach apartment that has a pool as well). They were raring to go, so we hit the pool. I was in the sketching mood, so while my nephew watched over my daughter's ever more confident "swimming", I sat at a lounge chair, and sketched one of the scenes. She had a blast, yelling "Hey daddy, I can touch the bottom now!" I have no doubt she's going to be a good swimmer. Conquering fear is the first big step.  This is definitively going to be a nice family weekend.

I'm sure her figure looks out of scale here, but I'm just trying to capture forms, not a photo-realistic rendering by any means. Thanks for checking out my impulsive sketches (nothing too unusual but still impulsive, trying to grab the moment like I'm using a camera again).  There will be more during the weekend, I'm sure.
Have a great one!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Defender of Fairies

Here's a little impulse sketch tribute to Chris Oatley, who's doing very well at the "Mouse House". Congratulations Chris! - The "Defender" theme comes from a topic in one of his ArtCasts. He's an awesome artist, who does his best to inspire us, and he invariably succeeds! Visit his website at