Monday, August 2, 2010

The Sign Said 'Headshots'/And That Was All

Hey there, welcome back.  It's been a while, I know.  Sorry for being so negligent.  It's just... I've been busy, you know?  And things come up... but I'll try, honest- it's not that I don't have things to say, it's just... well, you know me.  I'm just lazy.  I'll do more, really... tomorrow.

Thanks for coming back to visit.  This time around, some doodling!  Heads, as it were.  When I doodle, I do tend to draw heads/faces.  I find them the most interesting (and often most difficult) parts of anatomy to draw.  So much expression, so much detail- it's the part of the anatomy we see most often of others (not counting fingers while driving).  I like goofing around, coming up with different exaggerated looks for people; many times, I'll draw an entire person in the style derived from the way I drew the head (not easy, let me tell you- I've examples of that gone horribly awry, as well). 

This started out with ol' Sherlock there- definitely in keeping with the way I normally draw- though perhaps a bit exaggerated (and clearly not Downey, Jr.-inspired).  While thinking what to doodle next, the image of the super-angular Batman popped up fully-formed; so it had to go onto the page.  Seeing that, I really dug how it turned out.  Simple, distinctive- very atypical of my style.  After that, I went with Hellboy and Starman, before turning towards Marvel's Thor (who now looks just like the dad from 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs', with hair), then tried my hand at what I think is J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter, and some random woman with big goggles.  The partially-finished body is from a motion idea I had (didn't go anywhere, I think), and I have no idea what that thing in front of Batman is. 

Anyway, there you go.  Doodling outside my comfort zone.  I like the look of these heads a lot, but I'm not entirely sure how to extrapolate whole bodies out of them.  Perhaps I'll return to them one day... or perhaps I'll find something completely different.  I'm still looking for my 'style', so maybe this is it.

Cheers for now-

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Salvation defines 'Salvation' as the following: Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil; A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance; Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption; and The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.

Of late, I've been thinking a lot about salvation.  More to the point, the idea of salvation.  Ask anyone, and they'll probably tell you salvation is the idea of saving someone from something bad- just a simplified version of any o fthe above statements.  I think we all have some idea or concept of what salvation means to us; many are familiar with the religious concept of Salvation- 'Deliver us, Lord, from every evil'.  Christ came down to earth with the idea of saving all of humanity.  Maybe not a literal saving of our physical existence, but 'saving our souls'- one would imagine the greatest idea of salvation.  Another way of looking at salvation, the way I've been thinking most about, is the idea of an individual's personal salvation.  Not in a metaphysical, religious sense, but in the sense of 'Someone Saved My Life Today'- a here and now idea, someone figuratively or literally saving someone else's life in the present tense.

When you say 'saving someone's life', pretty much anyone who's watched television or seen a movie will have certain ideas as to what you're speaking about- Let's call it 'The Big Save', for the sake of argument.  We've all seen a dramatic rescue of another person, from terrors both natural and man-made, usually in the nick of time, with either a clever quip or heartfelt declaration of some deeper emotional realization.  The building's burning down, the damsel is in distress, moments from being burned horribly- only to have our hero, ragged but still unbeaten, burst through the flames, sweep her up in his arms, and dive out just as the building collapses all around.  She sees him for the hero she never thought he was, they kiss, and the crowd, both on screen and in the theater, cheer wildly- after all, even fictional characters love a happy ending.  There are real-world examples of this 'Big Save'- every day, men and women around the world spend their days saving lives, many times in ways far more dramatic than anything we see on screen.  It's not just these day-in-day-out heroes; It's the so-called common man or woman, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, who step up and do extraordinary things.  It's amazing, given so much of what we see of the modern world, that such heroes exist, and walk amongst us every day. 

For all that, though, what most concerns me, what I've been thinking on the longest, isn't this 'Big Save'- this epic moment of heroism.  Don't get me wrong- I love a last-minute save in the movies more than most, and I think the world can always use more life-saving heroes in it- but that's not what I'm interested in.  What interests me is the idea of an everyday salvation.  Little acts throughout our lives that add up to making all the difference.

We're surrounded by people, no matter where we go.  Co-workers, family, lovers, strangers on the street, we see people come and go all the time, all around us.  Our lives all run their courses, intersecting, running together, and peeling away, every day, drawn into each other's orbits for however long it lasts, usually for only a moment, sometimes for longer, and occassionally for a lifetime.  The courses we run are never a certain path; our lives are filled with ups and downs, filled with many a triumph, and just as often more tragedy.  We all run our course, and so often we stumble.  Sometimes that fall is sudden, and profound, and disastrous.  Sometimes that fall is so subtle, so sinister, it feels like it's not a fall at all- until the ground is rushing up to meet us, and we look around for something to hold onto, to stop that descent.  So often, by that point, we feel there's nothing to stop us- we'll crash and burn.  When you physcially fall, you instinctively reach out- whether to stop from smacking into the ground face first, or to catch hold of a steadying object- or to take an outstretched hand.  When the stumble is more metaphorical, one of those long slow descents especially, we don't always reach out.  Sometimes we're too stunned to react, sometimes we want to crash and burn.  Sometimes we don't want to reach out.   

Remember this, as you fall-we're still surrounded by those others- strangers, family, friends- and each of them, each of us, has a choice in every moment of our lives- what do you do when you see someone stumble- stand aside, or step up?

Sometimes, we don't have to reach out.  Sometimes, those others reach out to us.  In ways just as subtle, just as innocuous, those reaching hands take us, hold us, comfort us, and help us back up.  It's salvation, just as surely as if they'd pulled us from a car wreck.  And it's such a simple thing, this salvation.  It's a million little actions that can change the world.  Your world, certainly.  It's a word spoken in comfort, instead of anger.  An attentive ear, not an ignorant one.  A smile, not a glare.  It's sometimes keeping one's peace, rather than speaking one's mind.  It's a different perspective, one who sees without judgment, but with compassion.  It's a phone call to see how you're doing when you don't want to talk to anyone, but you really need to talk to someone.  It's a funny e-mail when you've forgotten how to laugh, a home-cooked meal when you've forgotten to eat, a time spent hanging out doing nothing- and doing it together, instead of alone.  When all you ever hear is 'No', It's the sound of someone saying 'Yes'. 

I have fallen, many a time- God knows, I'm no more sure-footed than anyone else.  But each time I've fallen- no matter how far, or how hard- someone has always been there.  No, they didn't 'fix' me- ultimately, standing up is still up to me.  But whether it's been a stranger with a smile, a family member with a hug, or a friend with the right words- someone has always been there to help me stand up on my own again.  And so often, they didn't even realize the difference they made.  To them, their actions were no more difficult than smiling, or making a phone call, or saying 'yes'.  These people are my salvation- they literally saved my life-  and they are people who didn't think twice about reaching out to catch me.  That's amazing.  No- what's amazing is there are people like this everywhere you look.  Look at the people around you- 

You are surrounded by heroes.    

As a fellow traveller, perhaps drifting into your orbit for a moment, or a year, or forever, I walk along, never knowing what our paths will bring- but I do know, if I see you stumble on your path- I will not let you fall.  I will catch you, and help you get back on your feet- because you can do the same for me, and maybe, just maybe, we can save each other. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Playin' Your Guitar, Sweatin' Out the Hate

I just watched 'Crazy Heart' tonight.  Good lord, what an amazing movie.  I haven't been so moved by a film in... well, a long time.  I'm not sure what it is about the movie that speaks to me so strongly, but it really did.  Maybe it's the idea that, no matter how many mistakes we've made in our lives, no matter how dark the night can seem, there is always another chance to set things right, another chance to find the light.

There is still hope in the world.

Music: 'The Weary Kind' - Ryan Bingham (or watch the movie to hear Jeff Bridges' and Colin Farrell's renditions)

PS- I did this in Photoshop in about 90 minutes, using the cover art directly.  I normally don't like to 'trace' like this, but I really needed to get this drawn and posted- it's not about the 'art' of it, it's about how I feel and how the movie made me feel. 


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Son of K'un-Lun

This is totally ripping off David Aja's amazing artwork.  Excuse me, 'homaging'... or swiping, if you've read my previous posts.  As I don't get paid to do this, I don't mind so much.  Plus, it's a great way to learn how to draw better.  It's why they have aspiring artists try to copy the Masters' artworks.

Anyway, Iron Fist.  Awesome book from a few years ago, written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, two of my favorite writers.  It's a crazy
Kung-Fu/Pulp/Retro/Modern/Exploitation/Kitchen Sink book- completely nuts and exactly why I love it.  They took a 70's character and brought him into the modern era, not by jettisoning his past, but by actually giving him more of one than he ever had before.  Fantastically fun read- plus featured some outstanding art from legends like Russ Heath and John Severin (who still draws some of the best war scenes ever). 

Hope life is making you smile, wherever you are.

Music- I don't know, that music from "Kill Bill" will work...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lost Found, and Curves Below

In honor of the finale of 'Lost', I figured I'd post a few doodles I'd done of headshots of Sawyer, Jack, and Hurley (I had the most fun drawing Hurley, as you can probably tell).  I was a die-hard Lostie at first, but as time passed and life took me in different directions, I really got away from the show.  I made an effort to get back into it this year (always a good idea- jump into one of the most episodic shows ever after a 3 year hiatus) and had some luck at the beginning, but missed most all of the middle episodes.  However, thanks to the internet, I was able to catch up on all the plot details I'd missed.  I watched the finale, and really enjoyed it.  It helps, I think, that I found the characters more interesting than the plot of the story itself- though don't get me wrong, I loved all the twists and turns the show took.  But ultimately, I was more interested in seeing what happened to everyone, rather than the mystery itself.  What can I say?  I'm a romantic.  I thought the end result of the show was quite satisfying, even if it didn't always make logical sense. 

Also for your edification is some crazy curvy lady I started sketching.  I think I was initially trying to do something different with eyes, but then it all spiralled out of control.  Or at least curved out of control.  It was a fun experiment, though probably not a style I'd follow very far.

Thanks for stopping back.  'Returning to the island', as it were.

"Amazing Grace" - Willie Nelson

Monday, May 24, 2010


Because I was given a new perspective, a new way of looking at things... or perhaps just shown the right direction to look.

Music: "Lantern" - Josh Ritter

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Halloween Dreaming- Steampunk Vampire

Greetings, and welcome back.

I hadn't realized it's been quite so long since I've posted, until someone gently suggested I'd been taking my good old time putting something up.  So, as I've got a few different little somethings lying about, I thought I'd post those now and again, to a) put something up and b) give you a chance to see how my scribbling can really differ from what usually gets posted here.

This one is, like the title says, an idea for a 'Steampunk Vampire' for last year's Halloween.  It started out simply enough- I needed an idea for a Halloween costume, but none presented itself.  I struck on the classic idea of the vampire, one near and dear to my heart, as you probably know by now (family legend has it that, on my mother's side, we are direct descendants of the historical Dracula, Vlad Tepes.  Family legends rock.)  I hadn't been a vampire for Halloween since... probably 1984 or 85?  A long time.  However, knowing my inability to leave well enough alone, it was a short trip from 'vampire' to 'steampunk vampire'.  Which isn't as easy as it sounds.  YOU try to find an idea of what a steampunk vampire looks like.  and do it in about 2 weeks' time with no budget. 

So this was the rough idea of what I was looking for.  I went with monochrome colors, with splashes of red.  I was going to color my glasses red, as well.  And then put on the top hat with goggles, for good measure.  I liked it- simple, but effective.  Sadly, reality once again sought to oppose me, and as usual, she had reinforcements.  It turned out pretty well, all told, but not terribly Steampunk. 

Maybe this year.  Or maybe this year it'll be a steampunk Frankenstein's Monster!  Or an Art Deco Mummy!  or...

Thanks for visiting.  You'll most likely see some more sketches up before anything substantial.  Much is in motion right now.

Music: "Transylvania 1887" - Alan Silvestri

Friday, March 12, 2010

Connections, of the Subjective Variety

At the atomic level, the electrons in the outermost shells of the atoms that make up our bodies, when brought near the electrons of another object- say, another person- repel each other.  That repelling of like-charged particles is what gives us the illusion of contact.  However, in a very real sense, we never touch. 
Is that why we spend our lives trying so hard to make an emotional connection to each other?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Progress Report; Or, Slow and Steady Gets You Somewhere, Eventually

Greetings, all.

Just wanted to let you know I actually am still working on a project to post.  I'd like to say it's pretty epic, and in a way I suppose it is, but it's a case of me perhaps biting off more than I can chew (surprising, I know).  I've had the idea for this picture for a long time- probably about 4 years or so, ever since I heard this song... or at least the germ of the idea.  But what I didn't realize is, though I had the idea, I didn't know exactly what the idea looked like.  And that's where I'm getting a bit hung up.  I'm also figuring out some new approaches to drawing/PSing that is taking some time, but is an important addition to the toolboxes of both. 

As to what I'm trying to draw, well- imagine Hell.  As a physical location; 'other people' doesn't count, Joey.  This time, at least.  Okay, have an image?  Now draw it.  That's what I'm working with here.  (Joey, no fair- it was a rhetorical statement.  Just cause you can draw backgrounds really well...)  It's a neat idea, and like I said, based on a song.  Probably not a song you're expecting, either.  We'll see, ultimately, how well this comes out.  I'm hoping I can at least get some of the idea across, if not the full effect I'm looking for.

If you've gotten this far in the post, thanks.  I know these all-text posts go over like a pager in a crowd of zombies, but sometimes (all the time) it's good for me to go on a bit about whatever's in my head.  And this is only part of what's in my head; it's been a pretty crazy week or so, kiddies, in all the ways that make life so much better than the alternative. 

So- since I've got you here for this long, I've been thinking (as I've said)- I've been thinking of taking some weekend trips here and there this year.  Mostly just the weekend, but maybe and extra day off here and there.  Going low-profile, as it were; no Ritz-Carlton for me, thanks.  But I'm looking to put some more miles on the car, maybe get into some adventure- or just go somewhere and see something new.  Hell, just to be somewhere other than right here for a day or so.  So- any suggestions?  (no, Hell does not count, thanks peanut gallery).  Responses greatly appreciated.  Feel free to post here (I do appreciate the attention to the blog) or email me at tinkerd711(at)ay oh ell(dot)com. 
Thanks as always, for stopping by and visiting. 



PS- for those so inclined, I'm on twitter:@karloffsghost though i don't post to it nearly so often as I do facebook, as 140 characters is barely enough to begin scratching the surface of my wit.  So until it becomes the focused totality of my wit, it'll be fairly random... you know, just like everything else I write.  Wow.  If you've gotten this far, you are just the best.  Thanks for not knowing when to stop. 

Music: For some current favorites of mine, check out Pandora (the other Pandora, not the box, not the planet) over on the right.  Been loving new Snow Patrol, The Avett Brothers, Muse, some older Sarah McL, Rodrigo y Isabella's just awesome classic acoustic guitar married to a latin metal sensibility. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

Okay, a really bad Princess Bride picture, but I was thinking about the movie a lot tonight, so thought I'd just goof around for a couple minutes in PS and do this.  Not at all the PB picture I'm planning on doing, but fun to scribble out.  Just shows I'm not ready to draw directly into PS. 

One of the greatest romantic movies of all time, of course.  And funniest.  And has one of the greatest songs ever written- there were only 5 songs of true love that were the most passionate, the most pure, and this one leaves them all behind. If you tell me you haven't seen it yet, well, that's just...


Music: "Storybook Love" - Willy deVille, of course. Check out an amazing acoustic performance of the song Here

man, i'm tired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

a lifetime ago

Like a moth to the flame, so i am to the past.  Particularly when the past comes back.

"and like that, she was gone."

And not to worry.  Just externalizing some headspace.  I'll have some more artsy stuff posted before long.  working on an idea or two, it's just slow-going.

Music: "Love Untold" - Paul Westerberg

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Steed and Peel

[Click on picture to view full-size- no really, half the post doesn't make sense unless you look at it full-size]

Based on a 1960's BBC program, The Avengers was a critical and commercial disaster when it was released back in 1998- doing so poorly, even cable tv is afraid to play it. 

I kind of really enjoyed it.  It's completely insane, makes about no sense, and some of the criminals are dressed as giant teddy bears.  Giant.  Teddy.  Bears.  But I still enjoyed it a lot.  One, it has style to spare.  It's a pretty slick and stylish production.  Two, and probably the real reason I enjoyed it so much, it has Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes in it.  They have a great chemistry together, and the characters are very much like the original iterations of them (plenty of flirting, almost nothing physical)- I really enjoyed that old-school romantic tension.  Don't get me wrong, though- I'm not recommending you watch it.  I'm just saying I enjoyed it. 

Which leads me to the picture.  I originally drew this shortly after watching the movie- about 3 months ago, maybe- and was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  No, it doesn't look like the actors, but I was't really looking for that.  I just enjoyed how the poses and such came out.  And then it sat in my sketchbook, waiting for me to scan it.  And then, once scanned, it sat on the hard drive.  I haven't been very interested in drawing much recently, so everything was on hold- no motivation makes it tough to get started.  A couple days ago, I finally decided I should start on posting something.  I figured I could clean up a sketch, then post it.  Good enough.  Then I came across this- I'd already cleaned it up, and figured I could color it pretty fast and post it.  As I was getting ready to start shading it as I usually do (different layer, apply shades, repeat), I realized I should do something with the background, too.  A second later, I thought I could do something as an homage to the Warhol/Steranko/Pop Art style of the late 60's- the era The Avengers originally appeared in.  So, a few hours later, I came up with the background you see above (the simple stuff in PS is always the hardest to figure out).  And then today, I realized the perfect compliment to the background, which went nicely with the fact that I never did shade the pic:  zip-a-tone.  [For those not in the know (non-art-nerds) zip-a-tone is an adhesive paper composed of a pattern of dots of varying size and spacing material artists (especially comic artists) used to create shades and tones.  It's mostly fallen by the wayside with the advent of digital coloring, but still appears from time to time- in American comics, I should say.  In manga, where black and white is the norm, zip-a-tone is as popular as ever.]    I figured I could just find an easy pattern already in the computer, highlight a bunch of stuff, press a button, and be done.

Cue three hours later. 

Not a long three hours- figuring out new ways of doing things in Photoshop is one of the things I find most creative about art.  It's such a deep program- there are always several ways to achieve the same result- that it's always fun to discover something new to me. It also makes me want to do more with it.  So, after learning how to make the zip-a-tone, it was a matter of painting it in.  Using the zip was really fun for me- even though I had trouble figuring out if I wanted the zip on their faces.  Not sure how often it'll be appropriate to use in a picture, but it's another tool in the toolbox.  

Hope you liked it.

In other news, I've added some widgets to the site, over to your right.  I found this great website,, that lets you see what I'm reading, and what I think about it.  Essentially, it's my review site, but much easier to maintain.  It lets me do a starred review, as well as post more in-depth (but still rambling) reviews when I can get my thoughts together enough to write.  It's a great way to see not only what I'm reading, but what others are into as well- I'm hoping it'll maybe lead to some online book clubs, perhaps (anyone, anyone?).  Also, I've added over there.  Think of it as my virtual playlist.  A lot of the music I mention in my posts has some kind of meaning to me, or is just something I really love, and this is a great way to share that. The more I work with it, the better it will get. Click on 'Karloff's Muse' for my station. 

Okay, that's it for now.  I'll be back soonish, okay?

Music: "Maybe" -Ingrid Michaelson

(edit- reposted with slightly tweaked picture 2/21/10)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Different Devils I Have Drawn

Well.  I've completely abandoned my original intent of posting 'retro' pictures, for now at least.  I've enough newer items that it might be worth looking at them rather than putting up stuff that, at best, is a throwback to the days when I drew almost every day.

I did this... oh, about a week ago.  The original pencil work, at least.  I know, it's another Daredevil drawing, how original.  But, there's a reasonably good reason for it.  I was sitting at the drawing table, and I was completely without ideas.  Like normal.  I wanted to draw, but no ideas were coming to me.  So, I thought about what Joey has repeatedly told me: look back at the old drawings and draw them again, using what I've learned (assuming I've learned) since then.  Since I'd posted so many DD drawings in the recent past, I thought maybe I'd take a look at those and try my hand at them. 

I was originally looking at the one I posted with him doing a handstand on the corner of a building- I would redo that, with some hopefully better results.  It only took a minute for me to realize that wouldn't work.  I couldn't figure out how or why he would be in such a position if he were leaping off a building (yeah really- realism in a blind guy jumping off a building to fight crime.  Don't judge me too harshly), so I took another thought at the idea of him leaping off a building, and arrived at Parkour, of course.  Parkour, to sum up (no wait, there is too much) is basically a method of moving from one place to another in the coolest means possible.  Check out the opening sequence of Casino Royale or the entirety of District B-13.

Scouring the internet for some good inspiration, I found this nice one of a guy backflipping off a building.  Seemed like something DD would do, so I took a stab at it.  I was going for that more loosey-goosey style I came up with last time, but just couldn't do it- DD decided to stay a traditional-looking hero.  I kind of dug the picture, but realized it was just too close, physically, to the real-world inspiration (for clarity's sake, please note that the DD picture was drawn completely freehand; I used photo reference the same way most artists do- for inspiration).  And so it sat on the desk.

Until today.  I scanned in a few things and decided I was going to go to town in Photoshop on one of them, or draw something completely from scratch in PS.  I came across this one and realized I could do some of both in this one.  Two hours later, and it was all done.  It's basically all layers above and below the original pencil drawing, with some effects thrown in.  And then, once I was done, I realized I forgot to turn DD a bit for a more dynamic pose.  So, a bit more thinking and tinkering, and here you go.

Speaking of layers, I realized partway through that I'd shaded/colored enough of the picture that it looked pretty okay without the pencils (I did this to a lesser extent on the Christmas picture as well), so I've posted the 'original' picture without the pencils (check out the tilt of DD's body).

Okay.  There you go.  Time for me to go eat dinner.  Plus, it's so cold in here I can't feel my fingers.  Thanks for visit, and please stop back again.
Music: "I and Love and You"- the Avett Brothers

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sketchbook Am

What the hell- something new(ish). When it comes to drawing, I really don't have a 'style' per se (some might argue I have no style, let alone 'a' style). I find that I tend to draw according to what the idea or drawing dictates. If I have a very firm idea of what the picture or character should look like, I tend to draw in a somewhat cartoony fashion- or at least pretty stylized.  A lot of that comes from me visualizing characters as shapes rather than as people- which is why I can sometimes draw a pretty good rendition of a person, but other times, not so much.  I can see the figure as a whole, as shapes, but not how the anatomy actually works together.  If I don't have a good idea, or I'm trying to find the image I want to draw, I tend to draw very loose, sketchy forms- far too many lines for a cartoon.  A lot of that leads to me 'finding' the drawing in those lines- I will see the finished form somewhere in all those lines. And often, I don't try to bring that out in the final picture; I kind of like the looseness of the figures. 

As an indicator of why I draw like this, two of my favorite artists are Sean Phillips and Mike Wieringo.  Pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum, Phillips uses a loose, naturalistic style with liberal inks- and no worries if every line matches up just so.  Wieringo, on the other hand, drew in a very cartoony, animated style- lots of clean lines, suggesting rather than actively rendering a lot of detail.  However, I love both their styles.

So I wondered, can I draw in a cartoony, yet sketchy/scratchy/realistic(ish) style?  I've pondered this for quite some time, and in the interim, a number of artists have come along who do just that- chief among them Skottie Young.  To me, he's the very definition of the style I'm trying for.  For a long time, his art was so clean it could've been animated- now he's taken that exaggerated style and bent and stretched it into this loose, scratchy, yet still cartoony style.  It's just amazing to see.  Well here- go look for yourself.

Anyway, one night this popped into my head, pretty much as you see it.  It's more along the lines of what I've been thinking of- a bit cartoony, a bit sketchy.  It'll never be mistaken for Young's or Phillips' art, but I kind of like it.  I like the exaggerated, cartoony faces and heads, but I'll always tend towards drawing a more 'realistic' body- so trying to drag the two together is something I struggle with a lot.  This wasn't much more than an exercise to see how the picture in my head would turn out, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.  Just for kicks, I gave it a bit of color, also in a mostly 'sketchy' fashion.  If I were to take a more serious stab at drawing a picture in this fashion, I would approach the colors in a very different fashion- much more like my holidays post (here) than this. 

So, hope you liked this bit of newness and look into what I'm trying to achieve when I draw.

Music:  "Brick by Boring Brick" - Paramore

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are you SURE you want a new post?

Seriously, I had NO intention of making a Twilight post.  Really.  But, my good buddy Joey has been politely suggesting I post new art instead of the decade old junk I have been posting (my words, not his).  And believe it or not, I actually do have a few new things to post- but they're not really at any stage at which I'd like to present them.  So, I'm left with this.  God help me. 

These actually came first.  As you can see by the dates, they were done on New Year's Eve/Day- so if I were a smart man, I'd chalk it up to the alcohol.  Except I wasn't drinking.  Nope, my usual NYE tradition is to sit down with a bunch of movies and watch them till I fall asleep, then wake up and keep watching.  This year, for a number of reasons, I wasn't really feeling the desire to watch movies- the ones I picked weren't catching my attention, my mind was distracted, I was just pissed at something, take your pick.  But weirdly enough, though I was all over the place and in a not-good mood, I did feel like drawing.  Except for the fact that I had no idea what to draw.  As usual.  What to draw, what to draw...

I borrowed Twilight from my niece because I figured if I was going to keep hating on it, I should at least try to watch it first.  Then go on with hating, but informed hating.  Hating out of ignorance is so gauche.  'Hate out of knowledge', that's my motto (well, that and 'not in the face!' but that's another story).  I didn't watch it then- what are you, crazy? the night was already sucking- but it was lying there in my line of sight.  I saw the cover of the dvd case and thought to myself- 'dude, his face would be SO EASY to caricature.'  So, struck by the urge to draw ANYTHING, I took a stab at it.  And, honestly, I kind of like it.  Silly, not terribly accurate (I'll leave that to many other more talented people), but I thought it worked.  So, drunk on my 'success', I decided to try to draw poor Bella.  That one didn't turn out quite so successful as Edward- her face is just too boring to really sink my artistic teeth into (though she's certainly a pretty girl in real life, just not a very striking face to parody).  She did have those nice gothy eyes, so I tried to give them a little life.  Overall, I did get a kick out of it, and was surprised by how well it worked, even as an exercise in drawing something I had no interest in- except to HATE!

Cut to This past Sunday.  Bored.  Boredboredbored.  What to watch?  No fresh netflix, and not ready to dive in to the last season of The Sandbaggers just yet.  Hmm... LotR?  Too long, too late... Hitchhiker's Guide?  Nah, not feeling the humor.  Well not that kind of humor.  Hmm... Jeez- There's friggin' Twilight.  I should probably get this over with.  So, I sat down and watched it. 

And you know what?  It was actually pretty go----  HAH!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  LIKE I'D ACTUALLY SAY IT WAS PRETTY GOOD!  Please.

It didn't suck as badly as I thought.  Make no mistake, it wasn't all that great- the acting was... uneven, the effects very low-grade (when I heard ILM worked on this I nearly spit out my beverage), and the story... well, I know it's not written for me, but neither was Harry Potter but I can still get something meaningful out of that.  What meaning I get out of this was, 'I'll never be able to predict what's popular.'  But for all that, it wasn't terrible.  There were some amusing moments in there (like the random synaptic firings of someone remembering they'd once been told a story of a trip to a theater where they showed a really bad copy of a John Hughes teen movie) and I really did get a kick out of VAMPIRE BASEBALL.  I also liked Alice- she strikes me as batsh!t crazy. 

As I've described it, It's a SciFi Saturday movie as produced by the Lifetime Network.

And all things being equal, from what I've heard, I'd rather watch this a dozen times than read the book once. 

And that, my friends, is why you've got this as your new art.

Oh, and one last Twilight observation.  The soundtracks for both of the movies are actually really good.  The music is easily superior to the films, and the lead tracks ('Decode' by Paramore for Twilight and 'Meet Me on the Equinox' by Death Cab for Cutie for New Moon) are both do a fantastic job of conveying the emotions I think the films are trying (and failing) to get across.  If you want a good summary of the movies, watch the videos.  Shorter, and better.

Okay, one more thing.  Sorry for any inadvertent puns in the above- it was how my mind processed this stuff.


Music: 'Meet Me on the Equinox'- Death Cab for Cutie (It's a really good, dark song- honest!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

From the Crypt v.2, Item 13: Daring Devil


Yet another DD picture.  Don't know what to say- he was one of my favorite characters at the time.  This is just him in his 'new' suit (the 90's were all about recostuming heroes- I think every major superhero went through at least one costume change back then), balancing on a building corner.  This was a fun draw- you can tell I wasn't too concerned with every last detail, which is a lot how I sketch nowadays- and I enjoyed putting him in a different pose from normal.  That's all I have to say about that.

And for you long-time readers (all two or three of you), you'll notice no 'year-in-review' this time around.  I was kicking around a couple ideas for something to post, but figured honestly, it doesn't matter.  Suffice to say that this year was better than some, worse than others, and I expect 2010 to be more of the same.  Take that how you will.  Hopefully I'll continue to post art on here throughout the year, maybe even some new stuff.  I accuse myself of living in the past too much as it is; all of this old art probably isn't helping.  I'm feeling pretty directionless with the blog right now, so I'm not terribly motivated to do one thing or another.  Anyway- if there's something you'd like to see on here- more writing, more new art, more retro art, whatever- please let me know.  Feedback is always welcome.

Next: probably more old art ;) 

Thanks as always to you two or three long-time readers for sticking around.  I don't hear from you, but I know you're out there. 

Music: "The First Noel/Mary Mary" - Sarah McLachlan (sure, x-mas is over, but this was SUCH a great song)