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Cintiq Sketch


I've had my Wacom Cintiq screen for a couple weeks, and am still getting used to it. I did this sketch on screen using some new free Photoshop brushes I was finally able to install, after reading about them on my buddy, Cedric's blog. This quick sketch is from a photo of a young singer, Missy Higgins, whom I hadn't heard before today. I've got the Cintiq semi-configured with my Apple Cinema Display, so I'm using a multi-screen set-up for the first time. I had a large Wacom Graphic Tablet for several years, but it is another thing to be able to draw directly on the screen. I've spent so many years at the drawing table, I know I'll never give that up. But today colored my first storyboard job on the Cintiq. I still started with scanned pencils, but instead using my typical process of printing those on marker paper and coloring with markers and colored pencils, I went to town on them on screen. This method saves a couple steps without losing the rough, loose look I like for my boards. I'm sure I'll be able to attain a less digital look the more I work with it. I'll post a couple choice frames if and when I get the go-ahead from the client.


Myrna Loy Sketches


Watching some Thin Man movies recently, I was taken again with actress Myrna Loy. What classic features! She's sophisticated and mature, but still has a little girl, china doll quality. Fun to draw!

Early in her career she was typecast in exotic roles, but broke out with The Thin Man (1934), where she had a chance to display her sharp comedic skills. The Thin Man series, inspired by the book by mystery writer, Dashiell Hammett, is worth watching mostly to see the snappy repartee and chemistry between Loy and leading man William Powell. In each movie, I can do without the gathered-group-whodunnit climax, but these movies are fun and light.

I came upon a small, strange coincidence in reading about Loy while researching for this post. Her mother, Della studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where I took piano lessons, which I mentioned in a post just a few days ago!


Pentel Pocket Brush drawing

I finally picked up the Pentel Pocket Brush so many have recommended. I just tried it out for the first time with this drawing, a preliminary study for a graphic novel, "Spirits and A Higher Power." Poor Willie Morgan looks like he's having a bad night.


The brush isn't as juicy as I'd like, but maybe it isn't flowing properly yet. So I ended up using more of a dry brush effect than I'd intended, but that worked to my advantage, I think, serving the material better. This kind of quick exercise helps form the look and tone of a larger work, sometimes  leading places not exactly expected. For the next sketch, I think I'll simplify even more and go darker, working more shadows on his face and clothing. Next time.


Sea Life Sketches

I'm so used to and prefer drawing people that it's a nice change of pace to draw other creatures. These are some sketches from a recent to trip to Discovery Bay at the Minnesota Zoo.


Yep, we really saw that dude in the tie!


Character Sketch: Orson


Here's one of the characters I'm developing for a chapter book project. Not sure he'll end up this way, but I like this kid so far.


Emily Walking


I try with sketches like this one (and yesterday's) to capture not only gesture, but movement and character. This is achieved best by keeping it simple and moving fast. But obviously, with a pose like this, it wouldn't be possible to draw quickly enough. So, it must be completed by memory. No doubt yesterday's sketch was finished in similar fashion.




Maybe this is the baby with the right attitude for this new year? I figure this sketch took less than 60 seconds. Had to work fast before anybody moved. For a subject like this, where gesture is so crucial, I find a quick sketch captures the moment and memory better than would a photo.


Buckle Up, It's Going to be a Bumpy Year

I've got a feeling it just might be an even rougher ride for the world in '08. We're going to need a tuff little New Year's Baby who'll be ready to throw down and get his freak on. Think he looks up to the task? Let's hope....


Howl at the moon tonight, take a good whack at a SpongeBob piñata and let the silly string fly. Blow it all out then steel yourself for what's to come. Happy New Year from the Blue Moon Crew!


Arms Wide Open


I'm looking to approach the coming new year with this kind of attitude. Sometimes interesting stuff spills outta you when you're just doodling with a pen. I like it, at least.


Elven Pie

pie_elves.jpg These were prepared for a series of two-color stickers for Mrs. Smith Pies some years back. I preferred my initial elf sketch, but they wanted something cuter. It's not always easy for me to figure as an artist why a client wants one thing over another, especially when I'm attached to a certain drawing that's rejected. That's the way it goes, though, and I did the second elf, no problem. At least I've got a place here now to show my other li'l elf.