Monday, October 24, 2016

The Witching Hour

One more for this batch: My haul from the Academy of Art's twice-annual Costume Carnival. This was the last one masterminded by the Illustration department's amazing model coordinator Sarafina, so it was kind of a special occasion.

An introductory warmup. These are all on 25x30 Post-It Note sheets, incidentally.

Bringing in some watercolor. The acrylic paint pens I was using for the background took some fussing to get everything nicely blended.

In hindsight, I need to pay more attention to arm proportions on these big drawings. Turns out it's hard to get everything sized properly when you can't see the whole figure at once!

And the end! A lot of the other artists at the event ended up as damned guest sinners in this one.

Safari West

And I forgot to post these! The lovely folks at Safari West invited me to come and draw their animals to create some artwork for their fall fundraiser auctions.

A set of ink drawings on illustration board, awaiting the addition of colors.

De Brazza's monkeys...

Sable antelopes...

Cheetahs and a striped hyena...

And beautiful white rhinos.

The finished and framed drawings, ready to ship out.

Stow Lake Perspectives

As usual, when I get busy, I fall behind on updating this art blog. Let's start catching up with some location drawings from Stow Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, one of my favorite nearby nature haunts. I drew these as perspective examples for a guest class I recently taught for the wonderful John Muir Laws.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Feast of Beasts

One more batch of beasts! First, some sketches from the lovely Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek, which I visited with my buddies from the SF Sketchers meetup group.

A couple of weeks later, we went on another sketching outing to San Francisco's world-famous Exploratorium to document an exhibition of Theo Jansen's curious wind-powered "Strandbeests".

Jansen's whimsical premise is that the Strandbeests are living creatures that evolve over the generations, so naturally I had to record the genealogy chart on the wall of the exhibit.

 There was also a demonstration of Scott Parenteau's human-operated Tinspider, complete with atmospheric artificial fog.

The evening culminated in the reanimation of a huge "extinct" Strandbeest. It honestly did feel a little bit occult!

And here's one last beast for the road, courtesy of the Academy of Sciences.

Oakland Zoo: Summer Solstice

After wrapping up my spring teaching duties and finishing up a huge pile of freelance work, I had a little room in my schedule to get over to the Oakland Zoo for the first time in about a year...

My photographer buddy Grace and I were especially keen to see the baby warthogs, and they were everything we could have hoped for!

The baboons were hanging back a ways, so these are really just loose impressions rather than detailed likenesses.

I keep meaning to draw the hyenas, so that's one thing off my bucket list! The camels continue to elude my pen, however.

And of course I had to visit my beloved sun bears.

I went back a couple of days later, and ended up drawing a lot of the same critters I drew last year. I'm so predictable.

 So sue me, I can't get enough of those giant tortoises.

The gibbons are always reliably entertaining. I love the way the male perches in the treetops and regally surveys his domain.

The ever-popular trio of lady elephants. It's fun trying to capture their very distinctive individual likenesses.

Loitering after closing time, I jotted down a very quick scribble of the charismatic male warthog.

SF Zoo: Winter Frolics

Stepping back in time to February, let's clear out a little backlog of San Francisco Zoo sketches from earlier in the year.

 Because nothing says "Be My Valentine" like a posse of peccaries.

 I finally persuaded a pelican to pose for me.

 And a quick impression of the wiggly, hyperactive little patas monkey.

A couple of weeks later came International Polar Bear Day, and Uulu's outdoor space was enriched with ten tons of artificial snow for the occasion.

 Awwww. What a sweetie!

From snow to sauna. It's always a bit of an endurance test sketching in the hot, humid tropical aviary.

Then I doubled back to the African exhibits near the entrance. Especially happy with that stork...

And finally, I caught the handsome hippo out and about while the staff were draining his pool. I guess he'll always be Brian to me.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

They Might Be Giant Pictures

During this semester of teaching, I've been making some large-scale demo drawings during my Fantastic Figure class. The idea here is to composite together multiple poses from the model into a single big illustration. I started off relatively small, with single sheets of 25x30 inch paper...

 Then I tried covering an entire chalkboard with paper, giving me an image area of about 60x45 inches.

For the school's twice-annual Costume Carnival, I tried using a bunch of acrylic paint pens on individual 25x30 sheets.

The next logical step was full color on a 60x45 canvas, which ended up taking ages - I had to stay a couple hours after class to finish this one up.

So the last couple weeks, I've gone with either smaller canvases or less color.

One way or another, I'm going to try to keep working big. It's challenging, but a lot of fun!