Sunday, December 23, 2012

Remind me to Study Anatomy Again.

I don't do many full body poses because my anatomy SUCKS.  Gotta practice figure drawing.  A LOT.  Yeesh, couldn't get the body right no matter how much I fussed with it.  But I had to post it.  It's like a trainwreck, you can't look away.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Kinda channeling Jem and The Holograms here.

Check out the link below to see the above pic in action, it's truly outrageous(yes I went there):

Monday, November 12, 2012

Animated Transitions

The dude in the glasses is the Great Adventure guy, the girl is an original design by me.

Anyway I made an animated transition between these two characters for fun:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hand Drawn vs Google Sketcup

I've noticed it's much easier and faster to draw shapes on the fly than off a design.  Eventually I'll draw more pre-designed stuff once I see enough improvement on these basic/intermediate shape studies, but either way, drawing objects by hand takes MUCH more time than using a 3d program like Google Sketchup.  I'm not against using modeling programs, but I stay away from them because it prevents me from developing my perspective and form drawing skills, which allows me to draw machinery and figures accurately from any angle at will.  Drawing construction lines and perspective guides manually can be really tedious and time consuming in the beginning, but with enough practice it becomes automatic.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shoes and Women

This is an expensive looking shoe.  Wanted to go further with this but erased all the construction lines to see if it was worth posting.  It wasn't, but why let that stop me?  I'm on a mission to water down the quality of this blog one post at a time!

Anyway, shoes and women seem to go hand in hand, or should I say, foot to shoe, so after one month I'd like to share my thoughts about the online dating scene.

First, getting a potential mate to meet me in person is REALLY HARD.

Case in point:  I get an alert from telling me that an attractive woman living in Queens rated my photo Four out of Five stars.  She's within commuting distance.  Whoo hoo!  So right away I message her:

"Hi, want to chat?"

This is the standard greeting I send everyone.  I've learned to keep it short and simple(I skip the ones expecting War and Peace), no need to be creative, if she's interested she'll write back.  And she does!  Her, a day later:

"Sorry I missed you earlier!"

The response is pretty tame.  Well, my greeting was tame.  But once she writes back, GAME ON.  Me:

"We haven't even met yet, but I've missed you too! ;D

So have you met any other amazing guys online?(besides me, of course)"

So a little jokey, a little cocky, should get a stronger reaction.  She loosens up, gives me a smiley:

 "I thought we hadn't met yet...:)  What an odd question. Why do you ask?"

 Why?  I have no clue.  But she has a point, it IS an odd question.  But NOT ODD ENOUGH:

"Well I had considered asking 'If your boyfriend insisted on 2-ply instead of generic toilet paper, would that be a deal breaker?' or perhaps something less controversial, like 'Does your eye start twitching when you hear the words 'grill' and 'barbecue' used interchangeably?' but ultimately I decided to open with a question designed to sweep you off your feet.

I wonder if it worked.

Are you in love with me yet?"

I either strike gold with this, or she thinks I'm a flippant asshole.  Her response:

 "It didn't work, but I do think you're the funniest man on okcupid."

GOLD.  She likes my photo(a rather unflattering webcam shot), thinks I'm the funniest man on the site, and we've only exchanged a couple of texts!   It doesn't get much better than that, right?


Because the instant I suggest we meet, she drops off the face of the earth and I never hear from her again.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me.

You can have great text chemistry, but none of it matters unless there's chemistry in person.  And text chemistry is no indication of physical chemistry.  That's why I try to move things to the "lets meet in person" phase as soon as possible.  Separates the pretenders from the ones who are serious about meeting someone.

Which brings me to another observation: Online Dating is REALLY HARD.

Anyone try speed dating?  Might have to look into that.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bird Butt

Abstract art or bird butt?  Just trying to salvage something from my crappy doodles tonight.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bubble Buggy

I was trying to draw a chair.  Turned into a car.  Terrible looking chair, but not bad as a car.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flying Boat

Cleaned up this sketch and added some ink lines.  Looks like a Transformer.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Boat Thang

Not sure if the sketch lines are getting in the way of seeing the boat form.  I just let the lines take shape until it started to resemble something.  Does it even look like a boat?  I'm just trying not to draw another ribbon like in the last post.  Forgot to add an engine, among other things.  I'm starting to push into freehand 3 point perspective.  Seems to give objects a more believable sense of space than 2 point.  Should've added a figure standing next to the boat to give it scale.  Maybe next time, I'm tired.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


First sketch of the night.  Just a warmup.  Might post a few more before the night's out.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Drawer's Block

I only have one word to describe this drawing:  Bleeuuugh.  The cat kept swatting at my pen.  Yeah, it's the cats fault.  Damn you kitty.  I've been on a really terrible drawing streak lately.  Hoping a nice sketch pops out soon to help me forget the ugly ones.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Basic Study

 Working on the fundamentals tonight.  Looks like the headrest portion of a car seat.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mousing Around

Almost looks like a mouse, except I put the scroll wheel on the wrong end.  Tonight was a horrible drawing night, so I'm not complaining too much.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Job, Online Dating, and a Thingamajig

Got a new job.  Two weeks ago.  Won't be starting until January, but the position and pay is a LOT better than my current job as a Billing Coordinator.  The interview lasted twenty minutes, easily the shortest interview I've ever had in my life, so I walked out of there thinking I didn't get the job, but they extended an offer only a few hours later.  I was utterly shocked.  Beautiful offices, located two blocks away from the Empire State Building.  It took five months of intense searching in this crappy economy, but at last my search is over.

New apartment, new job

Now it's time for a new girlfriend.  Am I pushing my luck yet?

For the first time in my life I'm jumping into the online dating pool.  I've signed up with two of the biggest free dating sites: okcupid and plentyoffish.  I'm a little worried because I had a friend who met a bunch of his girlfriends online, and they all turned out to be whack jobs.  I've heard about the success stories, but is that the exception or the rule?  Personally I'd rather meet someone in person, but I'm not into the bar or club scene.   Ah well!  Won't know unless I try.  Wish me luck.

In the meantime, more artwork!  Just a shape study using a really terrible freehand perspective grid. Now that my job hunt is over, I can focus on drawing again.  More abominations to follow!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Car Form

Guess who's getting the deposit back from his old apartment!   That's right, I'm getting a check for $1150 baby!  Whoo!  I thought for sure management was going to deduct the hell out of my deposit to cover the cost of repairs, especially since the place had fallen apart over the course of my 10 to 12 year stay.  That apartment was such a wonderful place too.  Let me count the ways:  The bedroom lights stopped working after a blackout, two of the burners on the oven crapped out, the refurbished refrigerator died, the kitchen floor tiles were cracked to hell, the ceiling in my bathroom caved in once due to a plumbing problem upstairs, and even after the repair job it still leaked, just like the radiators, the list goes on and on.  During my last week the pipes under the kitchen sink broke and flooded the poor lady downstairs.

Ah the memories.  I thank myself every day for having moved out of that hell hole.

So today's masterpiece is dedicated to the $1150 deposit check that I hope to see in the next week or two!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inking Practice and Memorized Art

Above right is the preliminary sketch.  Above left is the final inked drawing.  I never got the hang of inking, which is probably why I hate doing it.  The linework here is a little better than my usual, but it's still jittery, and the transitions from thick to thin are awkward.  I wish I knew how to make it look right.  Maybe if I sit down and ape Al Hirschfeld for a week it'll sink in. 

Anyway, today's drawing is my default attractive female face.  If I'm hanging around a bunch of other artists for an art jam, this is the one I whip out to make them say "look he can draw a pretty girl!"  Drawing a pretty girl automatically gets attention.  And this girl is different from my other drawings.  It's a mindless, memorized sketch that I can whip out on command in minutes, if not seconds(I'm refering to the sketch on the right, not the finished linework on the left, which could easily take another thirty minutes or more).  If I'm having a really bad art day, I sketch this out to make myself feel better. 

In general, I prefer drawing with construction lines because it forces me to use my brain to solve forms.  Memorized sketches like the one above teach me nothing, but it's nice to have a library of them on hand when I need to make something look good in a hurry.

Anyway I finished moving in to my new apartment recently.  And the first thing I want to say about that is WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS.  Moving is a PAIN IN THE ASS.  Just had to get that off my chest.  I found my digital pen a couple of days ago, after scrounging around for WEEKS.  Almost had to buy a whole new tablet, which would've been another $400 bucks down the drain, but thank god I found the pen.  Before the move I even said to myself "John, you better not lose this god damn pen", so I put it in a safe place where I'd NEVER FIND IT.  Brilliant.

But now I'm back.  But not back to normal.  At least I can draw a little, but it's gonna be sporadic until I get one last thing settled, which I'll talk about when the time is right.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Realistic Vs Cartoony

At 18 or 19 years old, inspired heavily by the works of Norman Rockwell, I focused heavily on drawing photo-realistic artwork.  It used to fascinate me that a human being could draw another human being so accurately.  But once I figured out the technique(and believe me it's a technique, not a talent) I got bored very quickly.  The end result may look amazing, but the process made me feel like a human xerox machine, except less accurate.  It's like copying pixels one by one, for hours at a time, one dot at a time, like a machine.  Really, that's all it is.  Sound like fun?  It's not.  Here's a pencil sketch from when I was about twenty years old:

I learned that photo-realistic artwork requires very little skill, very little thought, just TREMENDOUS PATIENCE.  It's more about pleasing the crowds, less about self accomplishment.  Once I figured that out, whatever mystique Norman Rockwell used to have disappeared immediately. I later found out that he used a projector to shoot photos onto his canvas so that he could literally copy the image.  Lame Norman, very lame.  Ever see a painting of Rockwell's that wasn't photo referenced? Of course, in his day, photography was still a relatively new technology, and realistic drawings at that level of accuracy was a highly celebrated novelty.  Today it's a parlor trick and nobody cares.  At least I don't. 

Since then, I've focused on drawing from my imagination, only studying real life to better my ability to draw from scratch.  To me, art is about expression, about creation.  The process is far more satisfying than the end result.  Sure, a photo-realistic drawing may wow the crowds, but there's nothing quite like the feeling of having built something totally and completely by myself, without the use of drawing aids or parlor tricks, no matter how crappy the end result may be.  I'm prouder of my crappy lunch break napkin sketches than any of the other drawings I did during my Norman Rockwell wannabe phase:
That's why comic book artists like Alex Ross, and to a lesser extent, Adam Hughes never really appealed to me.  I mean, I love their work.  How can anyone say it doesn't look fantastic?  But to me, deep down, I know that all they're really doing is copying photos.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Napkin Doodles

I'm in the process of moving to a new apartment so I've been busy sorting thru crap and throwing stuff out.  By moving, I've managed to decrease my one bedroom apartment rent from $1150 a month to $800 a month with utilities INCLUDED.  Living in New York City is expensive, but I didn't realize how badly I was getting ripped off.  I've been living in this place for 12 years.  Shoulda moved out long ago.  That's what I get for being lazy and procrastinating.  Well I spent a lot of time searching, but it was worth it.  Also, just want to mention, Craig's List sucks for apartment hunting, 60 percent of the listings are scams.  So I did it the old fashioned way, knocked on doors and collected phone numbers to avoid paying a broker's fee.

Haven't had much time to draw at nights, but I should be all moved in by July 1st at the latest.  After that, well, we'll see.  I have one more thing that I need to resolve before I can resume drawing regularly at nights, but I'll make a post about that when the time comes.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I'm still drawing during my lunch breaks, and I recently got a scanner so here's some napkin doodles:
I'll be posting napkin doodles for the next month or two until the real world stops getting in the way.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Car Doodle

No perspective or construction lines this time. Have a long way to go before I'm able to draw a decent car without them, but at least it's a reference point for tracking future progress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sofa Chair

Started off as the front hood of a car, but detoured into a chair/sofa thing.

Chair construction lines(so much for so little):

You know, chairs are harder to draw than they look. I may have to go on a crazy chair drawing spree.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Gah. Don't ask. Zelda cosplay abomination.

Old videogamey scientist looking guy:

Plane Sketch:

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Drawing like utter garbage tonight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cobra Pilot

This one's all about the helmet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Triple Flavor Car

First sketch of the day:

Form studies:

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Warmups. Hopefully I'll have something more interesting to post later today.

Yeah, another car sketch. Three point perspective this time. Lost a bit of life during cleanup.

But at least my car drawing skills have improved compared to a month ago:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Car Sketch Day

First car sketch of the day:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Little Pony Sketch

My first My Little Pony sketch. A quick and dirty character study for a possible animation commission.

I was drawing this character on a napkin during lunch at McDonald's today, and from the corner of my eye noticed a little seven or eight year old girl staring at it. Then she called her Dad over and made him look at it too.

"Here, you want it?" I gave her the drawing.

She took it, still staring at me as her Dad dragged her away, as if she'd just seen a unicorn. I really got a kick out of that. This show must be REALLY popular. Maybe one day my own characters will have that effect on people.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Soda is Bad For You

Guzzling soda all my life probably turned me into a diabetic.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scale Studies

My first attempt drawing equal sized cubes in 3 point perspective. Supposed to be one cube hovering high in the sky with two cubes way down on the ground. Struggled to keep the distant ground cubes at the correct size, but I'm a complete beginner at scaling objects. I did everything the hard way too, but it's still off. Frustrating. Gonna have to spend a lot more time on studies like this before I'm ready to draw backgrounds in correct perspective. Might try two point next to compare difficulty.

Ok tried two point. Note to self: two point is MUCH MUCH easier than three point. MUCH. I messed up the composition but I'm relieved by how quickly these can be done:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jean "Moebius" Giraud Passes Away


I just found out that my favorite artist of all time passed away today. 73 years old. Cancer. I never even knew he was sick.

He was the core to everything I wanted to be as an artist. A Jack Of All Trades and Master Of All.

I first saw his work in the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine, a euro/sci-fi/fantasy publication(not to be confused with the genre of music Heavy Metal), way back in the mid to late 80's, when I was just a teenager feeding on an exclusive diet of American comics, super heroes, GI Joe, Transformers etc.

But that all changed when I read The Airtight Garage by Moebius.

His work shook me to the core. It seemed impossible that someone could be that good. And he didn't have to copy from photos(Hi Norman Rockwell), or use reference to draw at a high level, he drew from scratch, from his imagination, anything he damn well pleased.

And it looked fucking brilliant.

From the personality in his characters' faces to his ability to draw stunning environments and machines in perspective, to his skills at composition and color, to his ingenious imagination as a creator, he was a Jack of All Trades and MASTER OF ALL.

A Renaissance Man.

And thankfully he was insanely prolific, producing a gigantic body of work over the course of 50 years.

I used to believe that everyone loses their mojo eventually, everyone has a peak, a glory year, a time of brilliance that eventually gives way to stagnation and mediocrity(Hi Stephen King, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg).

But not Moebius. His work stayed fresh, never stopped growing, never stopped developing throughout his career, his love of the craft apparent in every drawing. Imagine if Spielberg were still directing blockbuster "JAWS" caliber hits to this day, that's what Moebius has achieved in the comic art world. I've never seen that happen before. When this man walks into a convention filled with superstar artists, it's like Elvis Presley walking into a sea of screaming fan girls. He was a superstar to superstar artists because he could brilliantly execute all of the hardest artistic draftsmanship challenges with ease, and free of any skill related shortcomings, he had absolute freedom to create, knocking out winners on a regular basis.

I had always hoped for an instructional book or video series by him of some kind sharing his process, his techniques, things that nobody else knows.

But now he's gone. And with it all of his irreplaceable experience and knowledge.

That's why I share as much information as I can. I don't want what I've learned to disappear when I'm gone. Why waste time rediscovering old tricks, when we could be using that knowledge to make new discoveries.

Hard to accept. It's like I've lost a piece of my childhood. Now my dream to meet him in person will never come true. That's why I've been drawing so much lately. I've finally realized on a fundamental level that time is limited, that one day I'm going to die, that I have to act now or lose it forever. I'm not getting any younger. I can't afford to wait for "someday" anymore. Draw, draw, draw.

I was probably drawing today's sketch when he died, or studying art techniques:

And if so, then there was no better way that I could've honored what his work meant to me.

Rest in peace Moebius.

You were the best of the best.

Click below to see more of his work: