Cartoon

Maple finds a Racoon

Lorene calls me out of bed from the back yard at 5:00am to break up the fight between Maple and a racoon!  She let out the dog thinking she had to pee, but apparently it was because she smelled the critter!

No, big damage just a few scratches, very lucky, lessons learned about how and when to let her out.

maple an dhte racoon.jpg

When I meet the Wizard

Listening to Wicked as I work. Loving the soundtrack.  I have not seen this in the theater yet but it looks like it is coming in October.  My favorite is "Gravity" or maybe "Popular" looking forward to seeing this when it comes around. 

Time for a Drink

We went downtown to the library to pick up a movie for the night.  Such a beautiful evening downtown Plymouth. Perfect weather, and people were out enjoying the evening.  As Lorene and I sat talking near the fountain, a little guy was walking with his dog nearby.  His dog was a large lab who could easily lead if he wanted. But this dog followed with each tug of the leash, very cute. They stopped at the fountain. It was like the boy was explaining a fountain and what it was for as the lab silently gestured questions...a nice night out. 

Feeling Anxious

Saturday morning sketch, feeling a little anxious this morning.  Looks like I may need to have some surgery on my leg injury.  Not feeling great about this.  So this sketch was just a reaction to stress. Putting a face to what I feel is coming up from behind.  Maybe it's not so scary after all, just feels uncomfortable now.  Time to get to work, have an Alias(CAD) model to finish today along with concept sketches.  Also need to work on a drawing class for kids.  If you have a favorite podcast or blog for kids let me know in the comments.  Thanks

Another little Adventure...

Another little Adventure...

A storyboard narrated by Natalie about our Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

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Facing Your Dragon

Sketching creatures is always fun. You can do almost anything and make it work because the subject matter is suppose to be unrealistic, fun and exaggerated.  This is a favorite topic for me to bring into the classroom.  The more outlandish the better, and it teaches the kids to use their own imagination, not just draw something they see on TV.  

This sketch started from thick line thumbnail sketches to just get an idea and gesture in place.  I like the inking and line work detail of the process.  With a flick of the wrist and a calligraphy pen you can get an evil grin, or expressive eyebrows.  The thick and thin is and randomness of the line is what I like about this style.  Some of my preliminary sketches are more expressive even in rough stages.  The trick is to add detail without losing the energy of the line in the early preliminary work.  Keep sketching!

The final image....

Initial color

Warm Up Sketches

Here are a few captured warm up sketches looking at simple shapes and gestures and a few faces.  Quick studies to loosen up your thoughts and get the juices going.  I used to doodle like this more often.  I kept a sketch pad by my desk at the office at all times.  Now I tend to do these during meetings or anytime I have a few spare moments.  These were all done before I went into to work in the morning.  Just let the pencil strokes take you where they may.  Something always comes from this if you give it a good 30 min. of play time.

2 warm up.jpg

Sketching Birds with simple shapes

Just a short tutorial of the type of work I bring into the classroom.   Visiting the K-5 level classes I try to encourage a quick sketch technique based on using simple shapes and line. I always start with a warm up session before we begin.  In these examples I am using Manga Studio and a calligraphy pen tool for thick and think lines. In class I will use a broad tip marker, or a brush pen, on newsprint .  For the under drawing I use a prismacolor blue pencil or any soft lead.  

The hardest concept to convey seems to be the rough experimentation.  I want the kids to fill the page with gestures, eyes or feather studies.  Often this is the hardest part, as they like to darken lines, erase and get detailed a little to soon.  I try to encourage small studies on a single page.  Often I will draw lightly and messy, just to show how I am playing with options before picking what I like and going back to darken the lines.  They really seem surprised to see me scribble over a drawing or draw an "x" over parts.  Then they see how the under drawing really disappears as the marker comes out and the dark lines become dominant. 

Have fun and keep sketching....

Simple studies on details.  

 

Break down the key elements of the character and practice a variety of options.  

 

Often your first idea can be improved upon and even simplified for a better effect.  

 

Just play with shapes and see where is leads. Have fun.

Drawing faces with simple shapes

When visiting classrooms I like to focus on simple shapes.  Drawing faces and expressions using variations of circles or ellipses. Students in K-5 classes like to see how quickly and effectively they can capture emotion and expression.  Start off with some quick warm up exercises like drawing circles or parallel lines.  The shape of the head can vary from circles to boxes to boxes with a pointy edge.  Eyes are easy as circles with a simple addition of eyebrows. The mouth can be a minimal curved line, or a big open mouth smile.  Lastly, the hair can give a great deal of character and diversity.  I like to encourage experimentation with the class, showing a number of different ways to experiment.  Most importantly they need to relax and draw with their shoulder for loose flowing lines...(the mouse sketches below are from a previous handout used in class)

 

Inktober Selfi...

Well you probably don't look as fresh and lively as I do...but...

When and where do you do your most creative work?  

Draw a selfi for Inktober and share... 

drawing on Cintq

#Inktober, #sketching, #Cintiq, #wacom

Scary Clowns

I just heard on the news today about Scary Clowns invading cities across the US...  Then I get an email from school followed by a robo call on the same subject.  I guess I just felt bad for all the hard working honest clowns out there...actually it is just past midnight so technically I missed my Oct 5th Inktober posting...and adding color isn't really ink only...well I did my best ....time for bed...

Scary Clown

Feel the Bern...

Inktober: 

I guess I was sketching with the debates on my mind.  Actually I support Hillary, but thought it would be funny to hear Robin as the voice of the Mellennials ...I promise not to get political (on this site) after this....(Natalie wants to know who "Mellennial" is...how sweet)

Animal Mix Up

My 4th grader had a fun assignment for school.  She needed to draw animals that had adapted to their environment.  Her creative dad misinterpreted this obvious science project as a freestyle art assignment based on creativity.  Oh how confused her science teacher must have been to see her father's twisted view of evolution...

cartoon animals

Life with Maple

Been on a sabbatical for the summer as work in the office picked up and my wife was out with eye surgery ...hope to resume with more posting soon

With a new dog comes some interesting challenges....we recently added a new member to the family.  Maple the Black and Tan coonhound.  She was a rescue dog, but very well behaved. Great around the house, but she is a hunting dog with a strong prey instinct.  When she get the scent of something she is interested in ....well she does just what you would expect.  We are working on getting a little more control without ruining her fun.  It is what she is bred to do...but some days....

Maple's "Real World" Advice

We picked out Maple 4 months ago from the rescue.  Like my nephew Steven, Maple is also a summer Graduate and would like to share what she has learned over his many hours of higher education.

Hot Dogs and Stars

    My  favorite part of camping.  Eating outside under the stars.  Warm fire and yes, franks and beans.  Two items I usually don't eat at home.  But for some reason, they seem to be perfect for camping out.  Afterward, we usually go for some marshmallows and chocolate.  A lot of nights spent watching the fire.  The kids are young enough to not object yet.  I am sure this will be "boring" soon enough.  But until then....

Tenting

We always work together to set up the tents. It takes a bit of practice to get it all set up before dark.  We are still working out the bugs in the system....

We bought new sleeping bags this year.  They couldn't wait to test them out. From outside the tent I heard the yell "Worm Wars!"...They were flopping about in the bags on the air mattress.  They didn't sleep much....

It's Been A While...

Been out of my head for a while and found it difficult to write, sketch or post. I am sure this happens to many.  Not sure where to go next.

My last project had to do with our summer camping trips.  We spend time in Northern Michigan along the big lakes.  It is very beautiful and allows for great quiet getaways. We spend time with the kids, tenting and hiking in the woods.  I think I like the cookouts the best.  Hot dogs, beans and s'mores are all better outside under the stars.  

Last year we went out in the woods and Nat asked about the animals.  We made up a few of our own.... hope to show more of these in the coming days.