Monday, December 26, 2011

Girl in a G-Suit

I know, I cut off her head. Well, actually, this wasn't meant to be a sketch at all. I happen to have my first few COPICS markers, and it all started with me trying out the different shades of gray on that middle forearm, which was just an accordion-looking blob at the time. Its one of those drawings where you draw something out of the blue, and it looks like something else. And then you start adding to it. Impulsive, you know.
So the mechanical hand followed, then the spherical elbow joint, thinking robot at this point. But then I decided to give it a sort of skirt, and the legs were obviously girl-like, so what the heck. It turned out to be a girl in some sort of gravity suit, or deep diving gear, or something. Its the first time I draw a girl with a well defined characteristic, even if some of the anatomy doesn't match. I have license to create with that suit anyways. I imagine the arms are more for heavy work. They could be mechanical arms for all I know. But of course, you can't deny the female shape here. Who knows, I may end up doing pin-ups some day, but the sci-fi influence remains.
Hope you like this on-the-fly, impulsive sketch. Those COPICS markers are addictive, and of course, I will get other shades to play with. Oh, almost forgot. Also used a Pentel Stylo, and some PITT brush pens for some of the lighter shading, and dark outlines. Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, December 12, 2011


A little bit of practice on squirrels for something due today. Thought I'd check out some famous ones (Rocky and Secret Squirrel) and some not-so-famous ones (based on some google search images). I specially like the middle one of that trio on the top right. He seems a bit miffed. Funny creatures. You can almost say they posed.
All of these were roughed in pencil, and finished with brush pen (I can't help using a brush pen sometimes).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Man Vs Art Pilgrimage

Certainly an impulsive sketch. Here's the story: Last Thursday I had the opportunity to meet up with two of my all-time favorite creators/artistes, Raul Aguirre Jr, and Jim Lujan. While on work assignment, I was near the Los Angeles area, and made it a point to hook up with my buds. It was worth gold! I visited Minion Central: The Man Vs Art studios. Better than Disneyland to me, Raul's corner of the world was like going home. The lovely and vivacious Hortencia, and Raul welcomed me like family. The place is full of art, and I think I know now where Raul gets the greater part of his inspiration. Hortencia is a great artist, and you can't help to be inspired. Raul is a lucky man. This duo rocks. I don't have to say how much Raul inspires me, but being there was a bit like the high point of a pilgrimage.
We also visited the traditional minion stop: King Taco, a tasty taco haven. I broke my semi-vegetarian rule and had sopes and tacos (MEAT!). Worth it!
The great Jim Lujan met us there, and we had the greatest time talking about everything. It was like being in a mixed MVA/Lujan podcast live. Jim drew me an awesome caricature. Check that out! My first visit to LA, and he got me pegged Lujan-style. Love it! Thanks Jim!
I have pics, and more to tell, but this is long enough. The experience of being with these two greats was overwhelming, and my trip back to the hotel was a sad one. I wish I had more time with them. Inspiration and fun just breaks the meter when you're with these two. Not to leave Jim's cousin Ted behind, he gave me some "Horchata" at King Taco, and pitched in while I was "gushing art chonies". Thanks Ted. Of course, I have to thank Raul and Jim for the great hospitality. Both my brothers in art ensured I had a great time. They couldn't help it. Its in their DNA. Oh, and don't forget to visit Jim and Raul online, at their main sites (above) or their other haunts across the web. Thanks again! Well, this is all for now. Thanks for dropping by, and remember to have a great art time. You know I did.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Airport Animal Hat

Thought I'd give this blog a little action. In all truth, this is an impulsive sketch. Sketch Daily is Marshall "Calmplex"'s daily sketch initiative where he invites folks to post their daily work, whatever it may be, just some sketch or practice, or doodle, every day. I've been posting regularly this last week, but I had to travel for work again, and just managed this while at the airport. Pardon the bad lighting, but I always miss my scanner while on work travel.

I sketched this pen-brush/sticky note while charging my cell phone, and checking e-mail in a connection station while at the Philladelphia airport. I had just bough a cute knitted animal hat from a nice lady while walking towards my gate. My daughter loves these things. I sat at a mini stall, next to other travelers. Its kind of weird how they isolate themselves from the world. I don't blame them. I don't like airports much. Some working, others reaching out to their online friends, or talking on their cell phones while charging them. I think next time I'm going to sketch one of those folks that sit on the floor, tethered to their cell phones, which in turn, are tethered to a wall or column power outlet.
Anyway, I'm sure my daughter will like her hat. Hope you liked this. Have a great art time (at any cost LOL).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Belated Silly Walk

I missed out on the Tuesday Sketch week 98 - topic: "Silly Walks" in reference to Monty Python's famous skit "Ministry of Silly Walks" (youtube vid).  I started drawing something, and work got the best of my time, as it tends to happen lately.  So I finish this one to post separately from the TS lineup.
It also served to let me know how much not being able to practice drawing and/or inking can affect you. I find it turned out a bit under the usual "quality" I was putting out before. As for sketching, its always an exploration, but I feel kind of less confident sketching. The one thing that hasn't changed from not drawing so often has been fast sketching... which is what I do by drawing lines fast and letting it happen quickly. The feeling drawing like that hasn't changed. I hope to be able to get back to a good rhythm.
There will be more, and other types of posts... Inking this really got me thirsty for more.
Hope you like it. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sketch Daily

Here's a simple sketch done with Sketchbook Mobile on an iPodTouch. It took less than 2 minutes, no erasing, and some of that time spent messing with the choice of brush. Goes to show how a few finger-strokes on an app can yield something that looks nice and effortless. At least I think it looks nice. One scribble, imagination, and here's a wine drinking person, possibly at an art show, looking into his glass, pensive. This is not a thought out, detail oriented piece, by no means. It was completely impulsive, after listening to my friend's podcast. Marshall (@MarshallPlexx on Twitter) is a dedicated artist, fighting for time to practice and better himself. At the same time, sharing with us his struggles, ideas, and advise. Thanks, and hats off, Marshall! I'm in the middle of a time battle, balancing work and family, as never before, and your words inspire to go on. You can find the podcast in question here, and check out his cool work here.
As well, he started this Sketch Daily page on Facebook. I'm still trying to regain my usual art flow, and I promise I'll keep pushing. I have some bigger things I'd like to create, and with this new challenge in time management, its proving to be interesting, to say the least.
Hope you like this quick and impulsive, if minimal piece. Thanks for visiting, and have a great art time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Salon Samus

As a submission to the Tuesday Sketch, I give you Samus at the Salon. She's got to keep her good looks going after all the battles, right? The topic was Samus (of Metroid fame). I'm not all that familiar with the game, nor the character, but a little search on the web gave me enough material.
This was done in a hurry. Busy with work, I was able to view a few references during the day, and once done with the daily duties, I sat down to pump this out as soon as possible.
The Tuesday Sketch Tumblr blog has moved, within Tumblr, to a new URL. Noel Curry, @DJBogtrotter in Twitter, has always led the effort, giving us a weekly topic to sketch something on Tuesdays, and he passed on the stewardship to me. This tradition of almost 2 years continues every week, giving everyone the topic on Tuesday, by announcing with a tweet using the #tuesdaysketch hashtag. You can visit the original site here. Its full of goodies, and every piece, from the most humble, to the elaborate, has something to say.
I encourage you to follow me on Twitter (@gonzalexx) and/or search for the #tuesdaysketch hashtag there. We'd love to see your visions of the weekly topic.
Thanks for dropping by, and remember to have a great art time!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hi there! Just a little sketch, inspired by someone's tweet about the 20th anniversary of the latest movie adaptation of "The Rocketeer". Actually, I saw an animation for the occasion created by John Banana (yes, I said banana), and that was enough for me to look up some images, and pick one to sketch. Here's John's original animation. What a piece of work! The image I based this sketch on, was one of many. From actual stills, comic book editions, and the "recent" movie version, I picked what looks like someone's art work, or a photograph, who knows. It could have been retouched at some point. Anyway, you can see most of the images that inspired me here, the Comics Reporter blog (posted by Tom Spurgeon).
Hope you liked it (thanks Tom, and all sources of inspiration). Thanks for dropping by, and remember to have a great art time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Job For Harry

A quick piece for Tuesday Sketch. The topic this week was Harry Potter. I had an idea off replacing Harry's famous lightning scar with a UPC symbol (bar code) and having him use a bar code scanner as a wand like some sort of statement about how commercialized a good story can become, but I was in a lighter mood, so I pictured him playing around with a scanner at a summer job in some toy store.
I was kind of busy with work today, and every now and then the Tuesday Sketch topic came to mind, but I couldn't let go of what I was working on. It seems its time to officially schedule time to draw. I don't like to be structured with my drawing time because inspiration hits you when it hits you, but many artist friends do schedule their sessions, and get along just fine, even get more prolific at it. I'll give scheduling a go then.
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you liked it. Don't forget to visit the Tuesday Sketch tumblr site for more weekly fun, and more Harry Potter sketches this week. Remember to have a great art time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Travel Sketches 3

And here's the final post on my Travel Sketches series. Not many sketches for a one month stint, but they kind of reflect the non-work activities I squeezed into that time. Here are links to the first, and second posts.
I got to go to Monterey, CA, where we visited Cannery Row, and the Monterey Aquarium. The above quick sketch was drawn while waiting for my travel partner. The aquarium is amazing, and I really liked the way it integrated all of its tanks (indoor and outdoor) into one big building/facility. Best setup I've seen for an aquarium. The variety of sea life was astounding. The dolphin above was hanging from the tall ceiling, keeping company to a lot of other models, including whales and sharks of all types.
While in Cannery Row, there were lots of literary references all over the place (John Steinbeck), and I could recall scenery from stories and movies (pretty much the same effect that San Francisco's cityscape can evoke). The sketch below was drawn while having a quick coffee, as we walked the streets of downtown Monterey.
Huge seagulls were everywhere, and the architecture of the buildings around was great to look at. It reminded me so much of depression era factories, as seen in so many movies. The town was gorgeous.
The weekend before that (sorry for the sequence jump :) ) I visited San Francisco proper. Dropped by the Cartoon Art Museum, where I gazed at the original art from many awesome cartoon masters. It was almost a religious experience to be able to catch sight of some construction lines for some iconic characters, in their original rough forms. As well, I was able to see some of my online friends work at the museum store. Overwhelmed by the great books and comics there.
I went on the obligatory ferry ride, picking Sausalito, just to walk a bit, and take in the scenery. On the way there, we passed Alcatraz, and got a great view of the harbor, as you would expect. The sketch to the right was finished before I realized how sea-sick I was getting from keeping my sight inside the ship. Lots of tourists, and bicycle riders aboard, as well as locals, and visitors. This chap seemed used to the whole thing, reading his book in peace.
On the way back, on the ferry, there was a delay getting off the ship. I was able to catch a couple happily passing the time in conversation. The droves of bicycle riders walking their mounts off the ship was enough for this quick sketch.
My last weekend was spent going back to San Francisco. This time, the Museum of Asian Art was one of our goals. There was a Bali exhibition in full swing, and my class-mate, being from that region of the world, proved to be a way better guide than the "audio tour" gadget included in the price of admission. We got to see art and artifacts from all of Asia. A Balinese music and dance show wowed our senses. The gentleman in the quick sketch to the right was hard at work making "offerings" along with other Balinese exhibitors in the main room. I also went to the original "China Town" in San Francisco. That was an experience. Street music, shops, tea houses, restaurants, and an incredible cultural show surrounded us.
As my work related training was heating up for the last week, there was little chance to sketch. The last day in training was capped by the course test, which made me nervous, being the culmination of the my  purpose for being there. It was on the same day I would fly home, so most of the time that week was spent preparing for that day. We shared dinner with the group that last night, and I spent most of the night packing, including the extra suitcase I had to buy to carry all the souvenirs back home with me.
A couple of sketches from the trip back home.  A lady (extreme left) in the plane, falling asleep in our late flight, as we waited for take off clearance (delayed a bit). Also one of the runway crew I happened to spy out the plane's window. They appear to like to wear this type of head gear for some reason.
Los Angeles, at night, with all the fog over the city, looked like it was a gold and silver embroidered cloth laid out below us. At the airport, with some time in my hands, waiting for the flight to San Juan, I stopped at a Chili's Express to have a little snack, and a good-night Margarita. A family sitting nearby provided sketch subjects for me.
And finally, waiting for my long flight home at the gate, I caught this lady reading, and isolating herself from the troves of folks milling about. LAX is probably one of the biggest airports I've been to. The amount of people travelling was overwhelming. Most folks are hooked up to their portable gadgets, or reading. Then again, the noise is always a bother, so I don't blame them, as I too was "hooked" to my "portable gadget" (my sketchbook).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Travel Sketches 2

Continuing with my travel sketches from last month, most of which were drawn during weekends, when I could be a tourist. My class-mate and me went to the "Boogie In The Bayou" festival, in Campbell, CA. Arts and crafts everywhere. A marching band, and other acts providing entertainment. We listened to a Blues & Cajun music band, and I had time to sketch some folks surrounding us. This man's hair (on the left) stood out from the crowd. The place had an extremely varied cross-section from all walks of life.
This older lady on the right was enjoying the music, wearing her  flowery hat, while her other elder friends were dancing away next to the stage. I was very surprised at how active the older folks were everywhere we went. I think there's something in the Californian air or water. Lots of cyclists of all ages, and healthy looking people. You could tell a lot of folks kept up with their fitness activities.
I had a little time to sketch from imagination, the next day, as we started on our way to San Francisco. This little sketch on the right was done on the "metro" on our way to the city before I realized I get dizzy trying to draw in a moving train. This seemed strange to me, since I was able to do a bit more drawing the day before, as I was riding shotgun in the car, before I felt I should stop. The image below was a mixed view of objects seen on the highway.
Here's a little write-up from a "workshop" on hieroglyphics. A 20-25 minute talk on what they meant, and how they were used. This took place at the Rosicrucian Egyptian museum in San Jose. I mostly took photos there, but I brought a hieroglyphic "alphabet" of sorts to my daughter, and she proceeded to get every one's name down in those pictographs. Great stuff to keep to youngsters busy and interested.
On weekdays, there wasn't much time for drawing. I did try to incorporate some of it in my notes, but nothing worthwhile was drawn, since my attention was actually intensely focus on my subjects. This was the kind of class you couldn't miss a beat in. There were a couple of lulls during sessions, but not enough to get in the right mood to draw. To the left is my one and only attempt at drawing one of the instructors, and I can't even remember who it was because my brain was going nuts keeping up with the subject.
There was one weekend when I had to go into the lab to catch up on  exercises. We were covering material so fast that I fell behind on some labs. That day I spent in the company of my computers, servers, other data center equipment, and good old "Squirt". A small stuffed version of that "Finding Nemo" character I brought over with me. My daughter made sure I took some things, in addition to her framed photo, so I could have her by my side, but this little guy has been keeping me company for the last couple of years when I go to work.
Well, this should cover today's post. I didn't think I'd have enough sketches for more than two posts, but there we have it. There will be a Part 3 to this series. Theme-wise, I still don't think I sketched enough. Lets face it, I had 4 weeks to sketch in. But in reality, after the intensive training I took, I was too tired to draw, much less be inspired, when I got back from class. I really enjoyed the material, in my geeky techie nerdiness, so it was fun, but I still feel guilty of not drawing the beautiful scenes I walked by while on my short-lived tourist excursions.
I'll post the rest tomorrow. Hope you liked these, so far. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Travel Sketches 1

After a month of work-related training in California, I can now start posting sketches. This departure from routine kept me from drawing as much as I would have liked to. The long days were spent working, and didn't leave much time for art. My weekends were spent on tourist activities, on the move, and also resting up for the intense training. All these sketches were impulsive, and drawn during waiting periods. There were so many sights to see, and little time to draw at ease, but I managed to catch some moments.
Above, on the plane, I sat in the middle seat in my row, mostly sleeping for the 8 hours it took to get to LA. I realized I needed more elbow room to draw at ease, so I gave up after this rendition of my current  view.
Once in LA, waiting for my flight to San Jose, I ate a little snack, and sat at the remote gate building, getting used to the chilly weather, and drawing folks. I noticed this youngster in front of me, busy with his clipboard. It turned out he was also drawing people! On a given moment, we acknowledged each other's work from a distance. You can't help but recognize an artist at work from the studious glances at other folks around you. We had a silent artistic brotherhood moment, and continued drawing.
There's always a great variety of people hanging around airport terminals, and gates. The seats, rather uncomfortable, provide all kinds of poses, reflecting "I don't want to be here" moods, as well as "I'm so happy to be on my way" faces. Business men, like on the left, don't usually show much feeling or thought, other than being somehow isolated in their own worlds, getting busy with their laptops, or phones. Lots of book reading, media gobbling, and cell phone talking folks to see all around.
I really enjoyed the variety of poses, and situations one finds at an airport nexus. On the left, an apparent businessman resting at an angle. These gate chairs are never comfortable. Personal space situations were evident all over the place. This gentleman had a hard time settling down, but I managed to catch his pose, somehow.
On the right, some interesting head-gear from a fleeting subject. I was also aware of the oriental influence around me. After all, we're in California now, and I don't get to be surrounded by this type of crowd at home. The culture difference was a welcome addition to my experience. The lady on the right patiently waited for her flight.
More folks caught at the San Jose gate, on the left. Youngsters resting against columns, having their snacks, and using their cell phones. Another woman waiting patiently, and a young pre-teen who looked like she was having a pajama party on her own. She would talk and laugh on her cell phone, listen to her music, and lay around the seats, changing her position while talking, like a teenager talking to her friends at easy from the comfort of her bedroom. Its funny how folks of all ages deal with being surrounded by a crowd. Some look very aware and even paranoid. Others seem like they were at home, in a world of their own, not caring what they do. People watching is fun sometimes.
Last, but not least, in this first part of my travel sketch posts, some interesting head-gear on the right. Hats are something else. It seems this hat is in fashion for the young, or youngish crowd. And finally, a lady with a stylish look, watching for her roaming youngsters.
After this, I caught my flight to San Jose, and the logistics of transportation and lodging took over the rest of the night. I was pretty tired by the end of the travel day, and eager to rest up for what would be a training heavy stay in California. There were are a few touristic highlights to be covered in the next post, but much of my drawing was done during waiting periods, when I was not accompanied by training peers serving as tourist guides.
I hope you liked these. I have more sketches, probably enough to post two more times about my latest travels. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When You Wish Upon A Death Star

After a month's hiatus from posting, and drawing as much as I'm used to, I post this "funny" piece for the Tuesday Sketch. The topic was death. I immediately thought of a grim reaper, but wanted some twist to it. For some reason, Star Wars keeps popping into my thoughts lately. I suppose we are still bombarded by it, and being a fan from the "beginning times", the Death Star came to mind. The "wish upon a star" phrase almost made me include Jiminy Cricket, but I thought better of it, and wanted to save drawing that Disney character for another time. "Death Takes A Holiday" also came to mind. But there you have it. Death wishing upon a star. Hope you liked my slightly twisted sense of humor upon my return to posting. Hope to be able to post more frequently too. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Park-Dad Sketch

A quick sketch drawn 3 days ago at the park. I've been kind of busy this week, but this was an impulsive sketch I snuck into the schedule. I've been taking my daughter to the park fairly regularly. We can go if she does her homework, and the weather permits. That's the deal. I've met other parents, and made some friends. It's great to compare notes on parenting, and shoot the breeze for a while. My friend agreed to be sketched, but he's not the type of person that likes to be photographed. That's understandable, and I thank him for making an exception. I think I caught his expression watching out for his son. That's a dad for you. Park-going parents stick together, and take turns watching. This is how I usually get a chance to sketch in these situations. That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by, and remember to have a great art time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


In the spirit of perseverance, I drew up this royal automaton for the Tuesday Sketch. I say perseverance because lately I've been really busy adapting to work again. I'm really happy to be working, but my art time is in flux. I missed last week's sketch, and this one is a day late, but that's much better than no sketch.
Impulsively speaking, I can attest that the sketching impulse was there, but evident in tiny manifestations, even while knowing the topic on Monday night. The topic: Royalty. And I thank Noel Curry for advancing me the information via Twitter.
This robot comes from the same manufacturing line as some of my other original robots, which you may have seen on previous posts. I chose to bring back the model, thinking of future projects, and practice for the same. I will write a story pretty soon, with these guys in mind, so a little practice, and variations will do me good.
That is all for now. Thanks for visiting. Have a great art time!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Piano Player

This was certainly impulsive! A submission for the Tuesday Sketch. Noel Curry's weekly sketch topic was: Wild West. Check out all submissions at the tumblr Tuesday Sketch site.
This week has been rather hectic, starting a new job, getting lots of work done, including errands, paperwork, meetings, calls, etc, resulting in less art time. My current art project was already affected, and will be finished this week, but I wasn't about to give this weekly Tuesday sketch thing up. I almost did, but my good friend George Ward inspired me on Twitter, and I gave it a quick go. Thanks George. Of course, I ended up submitting it a bit late, and now its past 2:00AM, but I conquered the diminishing art activity trend. Got to keep it up.
I tried a few rough ideas during the day, at odd times, and settled for this one, and at least started inking minutes before my daughter's nightly sleepy time ritual. Once the family was asleep, I got up and finished the piece. Satisfaction. Hope you like it. Thanks for dropping by, and remember to always have a great art time, no matter what.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Under a Palm Tree

Still wrangling kids by the pool/beach. Good exercise requires a bit of rest, but not for the sketchbook. I found myself laying under a palm tree and decided to roughly tackle an under-view of the leaves. Something to be approached with time in your hands. It took me a few mini sessions, and then again, I "summarized" lots of it. The leaf patters are more symmetrical than what I caught here, obviously, and rendering all of it would have taken lots of time. So I went for an overall representation. I could do a study on just one frond, but that's not the point. It still conveys the shade under the palm tree, which was the initial impulse. This particular tree is in Loiza, Puerto Rico, and there's nothing remarkable about it, except for the fact that it happened to be over my comfy towel at the time. I do want to work on getting the palm tree trunks right. The bark patterns on those trunks are fascinating (ok, I'm getting sort of zen now). Back to sun and splash for me. Today is my last day here, and I want to sketch something else to remember, before I head back home, and get back to work. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a great art time, wherever you are.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Moleskine In A Ziplock

We're very lucky to be able to go to the beach every now and then, and our Spring Break and Easter days are such an occasion this year. Finding time to fit in art activities can be a challenge, whether on a normal work week, or on holiday with the family. "Ziplock" in the title of this post refers to the plastic bags I'm using to keep my art supplies safe from water and dirt. I have sketchbooks, and even watercolor art supplies in plastic bags with me right now. The amphibious fun we're having, and the kid wrangling we're managing right now, call for this measure. So here are a few mini-moleskine sketchbook sketches I did yesterday at the pool. Please excuse that these are just photos, since I couldn't fit my scanner in a ziplock bag. :)
I put in some notes as well, but just in case you can't read my scribbling, I'll narrate as usual. Top left, my daughter with her swim goggles. I love to watch her wonder at how much fun swimming is. Its almost a complete new experience and adventure for her every single time. I was sitting under shade, by the pool, on a lounge chair, watching as her and my nephew finally hit the pool. The place was full of families enjoying the sun and fun. On the left, someone's grandfather. On the middle right, my daughter excited to see hummingbirds in the nearby bushes (she played one at a recent school function too). The numbers below are the depth markers on the side of the pool, which I had to draw because I was amazed at how my daughter had grown, and the fact that she was able wade around in the deepest area of the pool. She will get swimming lessons this Summer, that's for sure.
On these two pages, we have a mother and child, floating around the pool. This was probably the baby's first "boat" experience. It brought back my own memories of doing the same with my daughter a long time ago. Then, there was this grandmother sitting at the nearby gazebo with the typical big white hair done up for the family occasion, alas, wearing her granny house robe. I respect that the elderly can wear anything they want, anywhere they go. Just like young kids do some times, eh? :) Then we have one of two poolside water "canons". Later that day, we visited the bigger pool, where they have a slide, and a water feature for the kiddies. The flipping water bucket tree you see on the right page.

On the right, my niece got in on the action. I asked her to draw me something while sitting under a palm tree by the larger pool. She's a great budding artist in her own right, and has already created some comics. I'm sure you can see some comics influence in her style. She's one to watch, I tell you.
Hopefully I'll have some more impulsive sketching down today. This is proving to be a good little getaway, with the right amount of art thrown in. I'm actually painting a batch of art cards between beach and pool activities. I'm not kidding about the plastic bags. I used them to store my work in progress art cards, my watercolor supplies, and most importantly, and effectively, to carry my mini moleskine and pencil close to the waterside. I usually carry my sketchbook, but its slightly bigger size makes it a bit unwieldy to handle along with towels, and other items one has to carry around here. Also, last time I took my regular sketchbook, one of natures flying artists decided to contribute to my artwork. Not that it may not happen again, but a smaller target will make it less likely to happen again. LOL!!!
So that is all for now. Kids are up, and I'm sure they'll be clamoring for more water fun soon enough. Thanks for visiting. Have a great art time, wherever you are!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Micro Comic - Drug Screen Test

Why do I draw in waiting rooms? To pass the time, and practice. This time, I felt like drawing small, and it led to what I'll call a micro comic. Of course, it was an impulse based on the situation. I would usually sketch people or things within view, but this time, the situation was awkward. I'm incredibly lucky to have landed a good job after almost 4 months of searching, and I found myself at a lab this morning, waiting to have a drug screen test. I have nothing to worry about in terms of results, but having others test your biological make up for reasons other than medical, to me, constitutes a violation of privacy. This makes me feel uncomfortable, to say the least. But it is something I had to do for a good job, and the financial security that will follow. One has to survive, and provide for one's family. Still, I couldn't shake the "Big Brother is watching you" feeling, so I had to draw/write about it.
This micro comic includes what I saw, what I did, and how I felt, more or less. Ok, maybe less, since it doesn't depict my slight paranoia, but it does show the one driving motivation I used to process the weird situation: the fact that now I can go on and enjoy this coming holiday. We've been planning to spend a couple of days at the beach, and would have gone earlier for a longer stay were it not for this little job requirement. My daughter's reminders during these last few days were pressure enough. But one has to do what one has to do, and I am incredibly happy for having this opportunity. My new job is a gift from destiny. One that will both keep us happy, allow me to succeed in my chosen work field, and enrich my knowledge and capacity immensely. So to say I am happy about it is quite an understatement. I went to take my tests with a big smile, and I'm happy to celebrate with my family now.
Oh, by the way, I was listening to  The Sketchbook Podcast on my iPod. Jonathan Rector and Charlie Harper have a great thing going. Fun art tidbits, insight, advice, and shenanigans. I can't recommend it enough.
I hope you liked my little micro-comic experiment. I am finding myself drawn to creating these things (no pun intended). Thanks for visiting. Have a great art time!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Sketch - Doctor Who

I'm usually cheery about the Tuesday Sketch, but I have to hold back this time. The topic was "Doctor Who", and I'm a big fan of the earlier series. It brings back good memories. By a sad coincidence, today we hear the news that Elisabeth Sladen, the actress that played "Sarah Jane" during the Tom Baker era of the BBC series, has passed away. It is with a sad heart that I dedicate this piece to her memory. I remember the many episodes that introduced me to the series happened to be the ones where she was featured. I got so into it that I read a large number of paperback books covering the Doctor's adventures from the beginning. Sarah Jane was a recurring character, and from what I read, Elisabeth Sladen was a very accomplished actress. She was featured in many later episodes in the long running series, and starred in her own series, "The Sarah Jane Adventures" with some of the latest incarnations of the Doctor. Thank you, Elisabeth.
As for this TARDIS piece, it is in reference to the popular property of the Doctor's spaceship/time-machine to be bigger inside than it looks on the outside. The tail of a sperm whale sticks from the TARDIS' door in reference to Douglas Adams' work, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", in which an ill-fated whale is featured as an example of the side effects of the "improbability drive". I know this is all sci-fi nerd/geek stuff to some of you, but it makes sense to me. Sorry if it seems sort of a specialized jest, but I hope you enjoy it. I'm glad I used a mild approach at humor, having started this piece before hearing the sad news about "Sarah Jane". Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.
Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Pig for Tuesday Sketch

Here's my submission for Tuesday Sketch. The topic: Pigs. Thinking I wouldn't have time to come up with a clever pig sketch, I had fan art in mind. Maybe Porco Rosso (Miyasaki), or the famous Porky Pig, but I let my mind wonder as I doodled, and this guy started to appear. Why a "super hero"? I have no idea. Maybe batman was lurking in my mind. Penciled and then inked with my trusty pen set. Finished up assorted black and grey pen brushes. I wanted to get loose on the pen brushes. Maybe I'll keep that up for my next projects, though I have some watercolor play in mind for the near future. We'll see. For now, hope you enjoy this. He's also part of Noel Curry's Tuesday Sketch tumblr blog, which you can visit here.
Thanks for visiting, and have a great art time!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Interview Reaction

What!?!?! I'm still in a low level daze. This is what I was doodling at the time of my last job interview. I knew I had it, something kept telling me. Yet, I still didn't believe it. And I think some of that feeling went into this ant's eyes. And no, I'm not picturing myself as an ant. The image above is the finished touched version of the scan you see below. I started drawing the head of what looked like an ant, a few minutes before the interview phone call. By the time I drew the eyes, the phone rang, and seconds later, I knew I was going places! My gut was telling me that all along. Right then, I drew the arms in the air. Doodling concentration was on and off during the phone call, and afterwards, I finished the body and limbs. I don't even know if they're properly placed for an ant, but I don't care. I felt like drawing a cartoon.  I think some of my interview reaction seeped into the little guy here.
Here's a scan of the original version. I took the opportunity to play a little with GIMP (Photoshop for the budget minded). It's been a while since I used lasso tools, layers, etc. I plan to get going in that direction, as well as video, using a tablet, and music, all with the aim to animate something this year. I know I'm still learning to draw, and compose, but that is well on its way, and I have to pay attention my other artistic impulses.
So this was originally a true impulsive sketch started during a moment of relative tension. I had planned it this way. Art is soothing to the soul, and it certainly helped this time. I hope you like it. Thanks for dropping by. Have a great art time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Open Mike Night

Last night we had an unexpected musical time. A good friend called to invite me to check out a "jamming" session someone had told him about. It was a very welcome change of pace. We knew guitars were involved, but had no idea what music we would end up listening to. As it turns out, it was jazz/blues open-mike night at "The Red Piano". We were pleasantly surprised by the mix, and the performers. A good and enjoyable experience all around.
As is my habit, sketchbook at hand, I proceeded to sketch the performers in a mix of cartoon, caricature, and semi realistic attempts. These were all pretty quick "grabs" as they were all very dynamic. I started with the very capable keyboard player, then the great guitarist, as they played some traditional jazz numbers. Then the open mike part of the night started, and I cartoonized the excellent singer.
Next, we have the bass player, who was hitting that 5-string bass like no one's business. The bartender had a great hairdoo and I had to draw her. Hard to catch the lines there, since she was moving faster than anyone else in the place. Then the drum player, who didn't miss a beat, had some great expressions, but was hard to catch because everyone else kept moving in front of him. Later in the night, another keyboard player swapped places with the first one, and there were some great older rock covers to play, like Beatles, and even Cream. At one point, there were two other guitar players, but I didn't catch them because the singers noticed I was sketching and sat for a second session in front of me while I drew them.
And lastly, I did a quick sketch of the other singer (with the microphone), and next to it is the sit-down sketch of liveher, as well. One surprising fact, this lady is from Norway! In the center, an attempt to capture one of the other guitar players. Then lower left, the sit down sketch of the first singer, who also asked to "tag" the sketches to her FB account. She's actually involved with "The Puerto Rico Jazz & Blues Society", so I'm sure I'll get to meet more musicians online, along the way. Great group of people, very dedicated, and obviously enjoying their sessions. The bottom right is a sketch of one last singer, who dropped by later, just before we left the venue. She had a great voice.
This was different for me, since I'm more of a rock fan, but to tell you the truth, I like most types of music, and I really enjoyed myself. I hope you like these, and I thank you for dropping by. Have a great art time!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Damsel In Distress

I'm really proud of this one for personal reasons. This is for the "Tuesday Sketch", as seen on Twitter, and instigated by the great artist Noel Curry (@DJBogtrotter), of Milton's Life, and DJ Bogtrotter webcomic fame.
The topic this week was "Damsel In Distress". I had no problem picking my subject because I immediately thought of my little "drama queen". My daughter has been very particular on what she wears, and is kind of "fashion conscious" to a degree. About half the times she's always fretting about her wardrobe, and this morning was no exception. As I read the topic, I was helping her get ready for school, and it was a natural choice. I've "cartoonized" my daughter in the past, but this time I went for a caricature look. In fact, she asked me who was that girl on the drawing! My wife had no trouble recognizing her, specially because of her eyes. I risked a reaction from my daughter, but she had no problems when I explained what caricatures were. (whew!).
I had to ink this one. It will be a keepsake, and my wife is probably searching for a frame already. That will be all for now. I hope you enjoyed this piece because I obviously love it. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sideburns Fish and Trees

I've been busy working on a couple of pieces lately, but there was time for sketching warm-ups, and more importantly, impulsive sketches. Here are three pages from the old travelling sketchbook.
This was done waiting for paint to be mixed at the paint store. I had a Prismacolor color pencil (black) in my backpack, and I felt it was time to try it out. The poor thing takes a light touch to use, and not waste away, but alas, my hand didn't care, and soon I was working a blunt end on the sketchbook paper. Nevertheless, the waxy stuff didn't stop me from rendering the heck out of this face, which I don't know where it came from. I thought sideburns, and a smile. The eyes are off, but I didn't care. I was having fun trying make the waxy stuff look like something on paper. Of course,  my friends did tell me to use a light touch, after the fact. I'll remember for the next time, but I think I'll be using them for gesture drawing, or strict coloring.
I was helping out my brother-in-law with his PC. Too much Facebook on Internet Explorer can confuse the heck out of that browser. The load of "helpful" tool-bars, and unwanted little apps that I found was too much. I was surprised it didn't take much wrangling to clean-up and get back his Windows Vista machine (shiver) back in order. I sat in front of his aquarium to draw while some maintenance was running. That was enough time to sketch part of one of his little castles and a "relatively" monstrous fish. The little buggers won't stay still, will they?
And finally, I got to sketch, and render this tall tree at the park, while my daughter played at the jungle gym with her Monday friends. I say Monday, because these kids only visit the premises when their father and uncle are playing basketball with their friends, once a a week. My daughter's close friend didn't make it, so she kept to the jungle gym area, and I was able to spend plenty of time looking at my subject, and trying to catch all of the visible branches possible. The tree is big, and since I wanted to draw some of that bark texture, I only included the bottom half of the tree. which was basically without leaves. This is my favorite of the three sketches tonight. There's definitively something calming about sketching nature, no doubt.
Well, that will be all for today. I still have to ink some more, and the way I enjoy it, the next impulsive sketches may be in 2 or 3 days. Hope you liked these. Thanks for visiting, and have a great art time!