Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Touch-A-Truck Day 05/16/2014

Last weekend, I spent a few hours being enthralled by a menagerie of awesome huge vehicles. Then I went to see a Mad Max movie. But never mind that - here's a roundup of exotic vehicles from the Star of the Sea School's 42nd Spring Festival, conveniently located just outside my front door.

The giant vacuum truck is officially known as a Combination Flushing Unit. My wife spent a lot of time quizzing the crew about how it's operated and what qualifications you need. They said the thrill wears off after a couple of days, but she doesn't believe that.

The fire crew claim that Engine 31 isn't their prettiest one, but I think it's very nice. At some point I'll have to go check out its predecessors at the SFFD Fire Museum.

Since the PG&E bucket truck also has a winch, it's officially classified as a Material Handler.

It would be totally worth writing parking tickets all day long if I got to drive one of these groovy three-wheelers. Of course, I'd have to learn how to drive first.

After you take your turn running the street sweeper, the crew will draw your attention to how hard it is to see the bicycle. So watch out, kids!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Superhero Costume Workshop 05/08/2015

And now, some sketches from the traditional end-of-the-semester workshop hosted by the AAU Comic Book Club...

Aaron as the TV version Daredevil, and Margo as a very kittenish Catwoman. This is clearly the role Aaron was born to play. He's so hardcore, he didn't take the mask off all evening!


And here's Margo getting ready to punish us in the name of the moon.

By the Power of Grayskull, it's Jonathan as He-Man! I may have action-figured him up a bit.

A time-lapse sequence of Jonathan fighting some Fin Fang Foom kinda dude.

Aaron versus Jonathan, wow! Since these were just five-minute poses, I doubled them up for maximum effect.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Oakland Zoo 05/07/2015

At last, I made my first ever field trip to the beautiful Oakland Zoo! All via public transit, no less.

At first it seems like they're just hanging out, but if you stick around a while, you'll see the fruit bats doing all kinds of fun stuff! Now I know they pee upside down, but poop right-side up.

The fossil recreations, and the mini-doors for the Reptile & Amphibian House, seem like great kid-pleasing features. But sometimes you just want to hang out and eat some strawberries.

I ducked into the Reptile & Amphibian House to wait out the rain. The gila monster eluded me, but here are some chuckwallas and what I believe is a Colorado River toad.

I think I've fallen in love with the Aldabra giant tortoise. And maybe it's just my fancy, but from the way he kept looking at me, I think it's mutual.

As I recall, using sustainable palm oil was one of Tony Barnosky's top ten tips for saving the world. The sun bear will thank you, and if you're very lucky, she might give you a flash of her amazing termite-catching tongue.

Last but never least, I spent the final hour hanging out with the elephants. These are really just preliminary studies - I'll have to go back soon and really observe these beauties! I've since identified the ones shown here as M'Dundamela (top left), Lisa (top right and bottom left), and Donna (bottom right).

Friday, April 17, 2015

Info & Graphics

I've been playing around recently with infographic illustrations, but when you're pressed for time sometimes you end up with more info and less graphics, or vice versa.

These from a recent visit to the California Academy of Sciences are mostly pictures with minimal text. Next time I check out their awesome Whales exhibit, I definitely want to integrate more of the informational content.

The taxidermy collection at the Academy's Naturalist Center is really impressive. I didn't even get around to drawing the roadrunner.

Meanwhile, I did a stint as a graphic recorder for the City of San Mateo, documenting a discussion about the future of the local arts scene. Due to the amount of information I had to get down, the graphics here are pretty minimalist...

One extra perk of that event was that I got to meet daredevil "yarnbomber" Lorna Watt of Knits For Life. You should all be jealous!

Monday, April 13, 2015

SF Zoo Sketchnotes & More

And here's some recent infographic drawing from the San Francisco Zoo. First, sketchnotes based on two recent conservation lectures...


Whew! Meanwhile, I also took notes during one of the zoo's Wild Walk guided tours, with the intention of going back and integrating them into a big montage illustration afterwards. As it turned out, doing all that drawing took hours.

After all that infographic effort, it's a positive relief to just doodle a quick owl or a couple of chickens.

Friday, March 27, 2015

March Grab Bag

Things have been pretty busy these last couple of weeks, but I've gotten in a bit of location sketching here and there...

A quick pass at the California Academy of Sciences. I paid a visit to the awesome chambered nautilus...

...and then scaled up to 11x17 paper for a montage of fishes from the flooded Amazon forest exhibit.

The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority sent a couple of lovely vintage-style tall ships around the San Francisco Bay Area. After some preliminary sketching in San Francisco...

...I went to Sausalito with the SF Sketchers meetup group, and spent the afternoon on this fully labeled drawing of the Hawaiian Chieftain.

Another SF Sketchers outing, this time to my neighborhood oasis of Stow Lake...

...where you'll find many gorgeous Muscovy ducks.

It's been a while since I've gotten out to the San Francisco Zoo, but I did pay a quick visit to these fine alpacas.

Oh, and somewhere along the way, Julie and I went to the American Conservatory Theater to see the very interesting Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play. I guess it really has been a busy month!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chinese New Year Parade

Because a full day of costumed character drawing wasn't enough, I stuck around downtown San Francisco for the traditional Chinese New Year parade.

The gradual gathering of the expectant crowd was a great opportunity for creep-sketching.

The parade, part one! Clearly a montage was the only way to go. Thanks for the extra bling, metallic Sharpies!

Parade part two, i.e. "up until my feet got sore from standing." In hindsight, I should have included some politicians riding in cars, since that was a major element of the parade...