Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I'll be signing off for the moment as I concentrate on holiday stuff (and impending deadlines), but before I go, here are this year's virtual greeting cards. As per last year, I did two versions, one of which has a Chinese New Year theme to welcome in the Year of the Tiger. If you didn't get one via post or e-mail, Julie and I hereby wish you all the best!

And for more holiday cheer, don't forget to check out ArtOrder's Krampus Challenge!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

360 Minute Monster

Update: And here are the results of ArtOrder's Krampus Challenge, with a whopping 67 different interpretations of this festive fiend!

This one's a special holiday monster, created for the seasonal Krampus Challenge on Jon Schindehette's ArtOrder blog. For the occasion, I did an actual pencil drawing and a detailed color painting rather than the usual 60-minute quick sketch, so let's call this a 360 Minute Monster.

This is, of course, the Krampus, a classic Christmas character who's well known in Germany. I have a lovely book of weird vintage Christmas cards called Christmas Curiosities, which devotes an entire chapter to this delightful fellow, and my rendition stays pretty close to the traditional Krampii showcased in the book: He has a lolling tongue, at least one cloven foot, cuffs and chains, and a basket for carrying away wicked little children. To complete the effect, here's a Christmas card version with a cheery "Greetings from Krampus" inscription.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Workshop IX

The end, for now! Here are some drawings from the final alumni workshop of the season. Thanks to Eric for hosting these, and to all our models, and to Ed and Josh and Mike and everyone else who dragged themselves out on Wednesday nights to keep me company.

First, the customary five-minute sketches.

Tens and twenties. These represent the last gasp of the ink cartridge in my gray brushpen.

And then one last stab at finger-painting on the iPod Touch. Clearly I need a lot more practice before I get the hang of this, but I'll share my feeble efforts with you anyway. Until we meet again, I hope you'll all remember me by my good drawings!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Return of the Sixty Minute Monsters

Here's a must-see for fans of screaming, tentacled madness: An H.P. Lovecraft art tribute on Tor.com. Together with the ongoing Hurakan challenge on Jon Schindehette's ArtOrder blog, it got me thinking about giant monster gods, and so I decided to set aside an hour to reviving my old Sixty Minute Monster series.

So here's my take on the ever-popular monster god Cthulhu. Usually he's depicted as all eyes and no mouth, but I thought it might be creepier the other way around. My strongest recollection from the classic Lovecraft story is that, for all the intimidating PR, Cthulhu actually turns out to be made out of some kind of gooshy ectoplasm and the puny human characters are able to escape by driving their steamboat right through him. Kind of like a sea jelly, perhaps.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekly Workshop Extra

While I'm posting workshop drawings, here are a bunch from the all-day drawing event that the lovely folks from the Academy's Fine Arts department hosted last Saturday. It was a bit of a challenge applying the technique I've been using for figure studies to what were essentially all-white and all-black costumes:

The cockatoo's name is Chinook, and he pretty much stole the show. He also appears in the next set:

And then we ate cake.

Was there cross-dressing? Oh yes, there was cross-dressing.

Weekly Workshop VII

We're reaching the end of the workshop season, so there'll only be a couple more of these posts. But if nothing else, they've certainly given me plenty of post-ready blog content!

This week's wrinkle is that all my beloved brush pens ran out of ink, so I was forced to bring in a gray brush pen as a backup. I think I actually like the gray ink better, so naturally I've gone and used that one up as well. C'est la art supplies. Let's see some five and ten minute sketches...

Now a couple of twenties. I tried softening my trusty Liquid Paper correction pen with some white pencil, and I think it's working pretty well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weekly Workshop VI

Time for me to post a selection from last week's Wednesday night alumni workshop! One of the nice things about going to these workshops is checking in with my former fellow students, and you too can share the magic by checking out the latest workshop sketches from fine folks like Josh and Mike. (And here's some stuff by Mónico and Ben from workshops I wasn't at, boo hoo.)

Speaking of workshoppery, I saw a notice about an event that may interest other Academites and alumnoids. According to the flyer: This Saturday, December 5, there's an "all day drawing event" with models and costumes and whatnot at the Academy of Art's 701 Chestnut building. Fond as I am of marathon drawing exercises, there's no way I can pass up an event that threatens to run from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Anyways, onward to the past! Last week's workshop got off to a bit of a slow start, as I was woefully undercaffeinated. Once that problem had been solved, we did a run of jazzy two-minute sketches with which I'm rather pleased.

These ten minute poses came out okay as well:

The twenty's not so good, but I'll share my shame with you and swear to do better tomorrow.