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Author: Paul Fricke

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Ridin' a Hitch

A couple of the better latest sketches of Hitch, this time directly with a brush, the old-fashioned way...

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Hitchcock Poster


I mentioned yesterday I'd drawn Hitchcock before, a long time ago when I did this poster illustration for a novelty company in Chicago. This was 1984, about a year before we began work in earnest on the first issue of Trollords. I was 20-21 at the time, and drew using pencil and pastels more back then. Most of this holds up pretty well, although it's stiff in a couple places. I used an Ebony woodless graphite pencil to achieve really dark darks, no doubt rubbing it with my finger or stump, a trusty kneaded rubber eraser at the ready. This is a photo of the original artwork, executed on 18 x 24 illustration board.

I was/am quite the Hitchcock devotee, having attended seminars/showings of his work and read plenty of books. For the poster, although I included a few references to specific movies (The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window and Dial M For Murder), I tried to incorporate as many of Hitch's themes and motifs: birds, voyeurism, mirror images (twins), train tracks and the wine bottle from Notorious. I faltered in my execution of the quintessential Hitchcock heroine, an amalgam of Kelly, Leigh, Novak, Miles, Saint, Carroll, Hedrin, Day. As in Vertigo, Hitch tailored his leading ladies to be a certain type, what became known as the Hitchcock Blonde.

I've just discovered a handful of these posters in the Blue Moon archives, so email me if you have interest in purchasing one. I'll update here if I make them available at on online shop.

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An Itch for Hitch

My pal, Jody Nilsen's recent rendition of Hitchcock lit the fuse for me to draw Hitch again, something I'd done many times in the past, as in this comic from years ago. Soon, I'll post more Hitch sketches, and show you a Hitchcock poster I drew thirty years ago.

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Snowboy on Whiteboard

I taught a comics & cartooning class here in Plymouth last month - had a great group of talented and engaged kids. We covered expressions, character design, story and storytelling, as well as many other drawing and comics basics. Always lotsa fun for me, and while the young artists work away I got to draw my li'l snowboy on the dry-erase board, each maybe a foot or so tall.



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Chained!

Who wants this more - you, me, or the White House?

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Doodling

10:30 last night, and I was a little pooped. Wanted to relax and watch something, but my daughter wanted us to draw. I didn't feel up to generating the mental energy, but I'm glad we did. It was easier for her as she'd napped at night and got a second wind. "I don't know why people always have to sit in front of the TV instead of doing something productive...." This after she'd watched several episodes of Parks & Recreation earlier in the day - LOL!

Anyway, it was fun to just doodle for its own sake - fill up a page with a brush, especially after like eight jobs this past week.


Doodling like this, I'm not fulfilling the needs of the client, not designing or developing a character, not practicing drawing women, not working on specific techniques. Just drawing, just 'cause. The brain works differently then. Many times I've a general idea of what I may draw and it evolves on the paper; others I just start making marks and see where it leads. When drawing with a pencil one can explore and scribble, build up a drawing. Here, with a brush I work fast but choose my marks somewhat carefully, chiseling form and shadow like a figure from clay. Sometimes it's not about choosing what mark to make, but what not to draw.

I did do a few explorations of my li'l snowboy, who I've missed drawing. And I notice the lighting by default usually comes from my upper left - gotta switch that up and do more varied light sources.

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Another Attempt at Grace

As my results the other day in drawing Grace Kelly were moderately successful, I took another stab Sunday, jumping straight in with a brush again. Better this time, I think - balancing hard line, fine features, expressive dry brush and likeness. I did some minor re-touching in Photoshop.

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Brush Sketching: Katy Jurado

For my pal, Tim Hodge, upon request, from the Saturday Sketch-Day blog (Jody Nilsen's baby). For a larger scan and lotsa drawings by my sketch buddies, check the blog!

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Creative Contemplation

A writer friend of mine has said that thinking is not writing - writing is rather sitting down at the paper, typewriter or keyboard and doing the work, the actual writing. There is something to this. Many folks talk about writing, think about writing, but until they set something down, build up the skills, it's just talk. I've done my share of avoiding the hard work of writing. But once you've got some under your belt, some of the best bits of plot, character development and structure can come at unlikely moments - while showering, making a sandwich, mowing the lawn, lying in bed. Creators must be ready to snatch those gifts when the muse visits, record them before they vanish. But creators must also nurture their craft - the more one writes, sketches, plays or sings, the more supple and sparkling their creative mind will be.

Gene Fowler said, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

I guess that's the trick - to know when to stop staring at the blank page, jump in and get busy, and when to take a step back and just think.

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Grace

Boy, Grace Kelly is tough to draw. I'm posting a few here, but sparing you some failed attempts. I went straight to ink with brush pen with these two: The main one isn't far off, but not quite there. The profile on top right looks more like Elizabeth Montgomery, but I like the drawing so included it anyway. Kelly has such a distinctive profile, I'll take another shot at that sometime. And she has such fine features, I gave it one more stab, this time in pencil (below) from an on-set photo during the shooting of High Noon.

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