Monday, October 27, 2014

Academy of Sciences 10/17/2014

I took advantage of a neighborhood free day to finally check out the famous Skulls exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. Honestly, this is all research for a comic project...


I showed up at the Academy of Sciences waaaay early, expecting a big line for the neighborhood free day, but the place was deserted. A crowd finally started forming just before the museum opened.


I'd forgotten that the first thing you see when you walk in is a big old tyrannosaur skeleton cast.

And now, the skulls! I only had time to draw a fraction of them, so I gravitated to the ones that seemed most bizarre.


Had to do the warthog. So crazy tusks!


I did a bit of drawing in the Africa Hall, but zoo sketching has spoiled me, and I find it pretty dull drawing stuffed animals. I prefer the lively exhibits like the penguin tank.

  

And finally, the famous white alligator and the subterranean aquarium.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

International Ghost Convention 10/11/2014

Drawings from the Fall 2014 costume carnival at the Academy of Art's Illustration department. This time, Sarafina the model coordinator came up with the theme of an International Ghost Convention, featuring spectral beings from all over the world.


Abby Muñoz as La Calavera Catrina, the "elegant skull" who symbolizes Mexico's Day of the Dead.


Jessica Chan as Japan's Kuchisake-onna ("slit-mouthed woman"), a modern urban legend presented here in retro kimono duds. The teeth were, as they say, added in post.


Katie Longua as Anne Boleyn, wife number two of England's King Henry VIII. The decapitated head was another artist's addition.


Frank Wollesen as Frederick Federici, Melbourne's benevolent opera ghost.


Simone Rene as La Lllorona, Mexico's child-snatching "weeping woman."


As always, there were elaborate mood-setting backdrops. Apparently Abby decorated this stage herself, so it's appropriate she's pictured here.


Speed round! As the event drew to a close, I tried to flesh out my ghost collection with some quick sketches. Here we have Nathan Shorts as Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron"; a banshee; and Marvin Ellman-Gardner as a djinn.


Last but not least, here's Michael Glenn as the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was erased from history by his successors and presumably has a few scores to settle.

Friday, October 10, 2014

San Francisco Zoo 10/09/2014

Completing the sketchbook catchup, here's another round of San Francisco Zoo drawings. Come for the Lego sculpture garden... stay for koalas and possums and cockroaches, plus a new flamingo chick!


Just to warm up, here's a panoramic view of the SF Zoo's scenic parking lot.


I was there bright and early for the media preview of the new Nature Connects exhibit, which combines Lego sculptures with plants from the zoo's horticultural department.


Speaking of horticulture, apparently several different kinds of eucalyptus are harvested from the San Francisco area to feed the koalas. Their 10:00 AM breakfast turns out to be a good time to see them awake and in action.


Meanwhile, the fifth flamingo chick just hatched! Here it is peeking out from under the parental wing.


Once I started sketching at the Insect Zoo, I got really into it. Please enjoy this medley of roaches and mystery husks.


Here's a grab bag of partial doodles and quick sketches, featuring langurs, patas monkeys, and Brian Wilson the hippo enjoying his regular hose spraying.


The fabulous Animal Encounter at the ARC is currently scheduled for 2:00 PM daily. Today's featured critters included Lulu the possum, Oboe the ferret, and Snaggletooth the spider tortoise.


And here's Jahari enjoying his afternoon meal. I used my artistic license to omit the bars; don't try feeding your lion like this at home!

March for Elephants and Rhinos 10/04/2014

Some sketches from the recent march and rally in San Francisco. Simultaneous marching and drawing was a definite challenge! For more info on the event, see: www.marchforelephants.org


Gathering the troops at St. Mary's Square. It was interesting to observe the mix of people - note the trio of teenage girls taking selfies!


The march wended its way up Grant Street, pausing in front of a shuttered ivory dealership in Chinatown.


Then through the Stockton Tunnel and down Mason Street. I recommend the tunnel for all your protest marches - it has great acoustics!


Some heroic marching efforts. The Ganesh costume not only looked very hot, but also had no peripheral vision.


The march ended with a rally in the UN Plaza. Here are some of the folks who braved the blistering heat to listen to the featured speakers.

San Francisco Zoo 10/01/2014

I'm a bit behind on posting sketchbook drawings. Let's catch up!

First, here are some from this month's free day at the San Francisco Zoo. Once again, I rounded up some fellow artists to join me; this time my posse included Monico Chavez, Frank Lin, and Jeffrey Comstock.



I got there a little early so I could do some location sketching outside.


 Checking in on the flamingo chicks. They're getting bigger, but still grey and fluffy.


Monico and Frank were eager to get to the rhinos, but we had to stop and admire the sleepy capybara.


More sleepy animal action! Here's an eastern black rhino (Boone, I assume).


Everyone was enchanted by the sloth and toucan roomies. I believe the sloth has now been named Moony.


While we waited for the white rhino to make an appearance, this magnificent peacock posed for us.


Aaaaand here's Gauhati! Feeding time was a perfect opportunity to draw him.


A montage of red ruffed lemurs from the Lemur Forest. After a full day of drawing, I think we were starting to tire out at this point...


Monico, Frank, and Jeffrey plonked down in front of the squirrel monkeys and just watched them for a while. Then it was time to wrap up with some giraffe admiration!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nickolas Flux

One of my biggest projects this year has been working on the Nickolas Flux History Chronicles series from Capstone Publishing. When I tried out for the job, they were looking for artwork in the style of original series artist Dante Ginevra, who set a pretty high bar!

This is a series of educational time-travel adventure comics, distributed mainly to schools and libraries. The first two volumes I illustrated, Peril in Pompeii and Flight to Freedom, should be available now; I just got my contributor's copies a few weeks ago, as documented here.

Meanwhile, I note that Amazon just posted the final cover artwork for Titanic Disaster and Trapped in Antarctica, scheduled for release in February 2015. These are the first books in the series for which I did cover art as well as interiors, so I'm pretty excited!



Just in case, here are Amazon links for the aforementioned titles:

Peril in Pompeii!: Nickolas Flux and the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius
Flight to Freedom!: Nickolas Flux and the Underground Railroad
Titanic Disaster!: Nickolas Flux and the Sinking of the Great Ship
Trapped in Antarctica!: Nickolas Flux and the Shackleton Expedition

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Francisco Zoo 09/03/2014

Back to the San Francisco Zoo for the second annual monthly free-day sketchcrawl with a passel of other artists. This time, we seek the wild flamingo chick and baby giraffe!


My wife keeps wondering why I don't draw the petting zoo goats. So Julie, this goat's for you! I believe this one's named Nutmeg.


A newborn flamingo chick, the first of what's now a whole flock of flaminglets.


The daily grizzly bear breakfast rush is a great sketching warmup - talk about your high-speed gesture drawing! The rest of their environment, of course, is more accommodating about holding a pose.


They have llamas! When did they get llamas? Nobody told me there were llamas! (Well, technically they're guanacos.) I hope you'll forgive the goofy head at top right.


The majestic snow leopard is perhaps my personal favorite of the big cats.


Over at the Animal Resource Center, we had some face time with a couple of rescued owls.


The rarest of all sightings, a non-sleeping koala.


Saving the best for last, we paid a visit to the eight-day-old baby giraffe, currently known as "Calf 2" or "Buddy."