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!