Saturday, February 28, 2009


Like before a couple of sketches done while watching television and then a rooster, playing with some color pencils for fun. I'm working on some bigger things but filling the wastebasket more then the paper. Nothing unusual there, happens all the time. Sometimes something just comes easy but more often I get to a point and do something stupid to ruin the whole thing. Sketching is more fun, doesn't matter if I mess it up or not.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Homerun Granny

Now and then there is a bright spot when I watch the news. Get past the economy, politics ,politicians and Pakistan and today had a little bit of joy for me.

It was somewhere in Ohio I think, four thugs had broken into an old ladies house, easy mark right? Looking for some cash and whatever she had they could steal. I don't know if they thought she was out or maybe didn't care, after all what could a small elderly lady do against four big teenage boys? This lady had a surprise for our villans, picking up her favorite Emeril frying pan she whacked one of them on the skull. In her words he looked up at her in shock like why would she do such a thing and while he was considering it she whacked him a second time. They had her demonstrating her swing on CNN and it was well worth the price of admission.
I lived with my grandma when I was small and she spoiled me rotten of course but now and then when I really needed it she had a good stong yardstick to help her make a point. If these hooligans had that when they were little maybe they would have more respect for thier elders today.
Of course we know that little old ladies shouldn't do this, she could have been hurt but she wasn't and I sure am glad she stood up for herself and taught these punks a lesson. They did catch the kids later, probably recognized them by the bumps on thier heads.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just a rough sketch today from my journal, kept at hand while I watch television. Just a couple of woodland creatures having a chat. I love drawing fantasy creatures, the only rule being that they have to look reasonable.

I'll put in another plug for my other blog again, vintage snapshots and postcards, maybe pics from vintage magazine all from my collection.

Easy way to find it would be go to my profile and look for my blogs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm not the only one who likes to watch the birds outside. Allow me to introduce you to my cat whose name is Spooky. She is so named not for being mostly black as you might first think but more for her personality. She is a wonderful cat although most people don't know it. She holds the other animals (another cat and a dog) with complete disdain and she has a way of "glaring" at my wife and other people in the house that makes them feel uneasy. For some reason she has bonded to me which is unusual. Normally the animals like my wife better probably because she is a much nicer person than I. Most cats have character but Spooky has more then her share of it . I like to stay up late nights, it's quiet and the phone doesn't ring so most nights I'm up late or maybe early might be more accurate. My wife could care less, she's up late also but we like different television and things to do so we stay in seperate rooms of the house. The cat though will get tired of waiting on me and come out , sit in front of the television and just stare at me, what she was doing when I drew this. If I ignore her she will come over and tap me on the leg to get my attention and then run off towards the bedroom. When I don't follow she will return and take up her position by the television. The process will repeat itself over and over until I finally go to bed. Oh and if your first thought looking at my drawing was "what a hairball" then I did my job well. Her long hair is a mess. I try brushing her, really I do, but she always looks ragged and gets knots that I have to pull out carefully by hand.
For anyone that might like old photos I have started a second blog. I collect vintage photographs, mostly from the early 1900's but some earlier then that and also old magazines as they contain not onlly neat stories but a lot of photographs. There will be less commentary there, just the photo's which may be an added bonus but I'll try and post a picture every day or so.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The other day I posted some quick sketches of the birds outside. Doing those sketches did a couple things, got me interested in drawing birds, something I have always liked and made me want to post something I had put a little more effort into. The birds above were done mostly in Neocolor II which I have mentioned before. I really like these "crayons for grownups" I call them but really they are much more then that. You can use them dry, draw with them and add water with a brush or dip them in water first. I think in the hands of an artist with a bit more skill then I they could accomplish great things. Of course some of this picture is fantasy, don't have all that green out there at the present and the birds themselves are a lot grayer with thier winter coats.

The cartoon is just some kid shoveling the snow on the sidewalk in front of the house. Came to the door and talked my wife into it for five dollars. The rest of it had been done, (not by me of course) but my brother in law who stays with us for the weekends sometimes had done it. When I was a kid I think I got maybe a couple dollars shoveling whole driveways and sidewalks. This guy is managing five for what was maybe five minutes work, comes out to sixty bucks an hour. This young guy is going places.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I saw "that cartoon" probably the day it was published, not in the paper but on a Live Journal blog I look at now and then where they post editorial cartoons. My first thought was "that's well drawn, wish I could do that well" and then of course the second was " man, that's kind of crude."
After, I saw them arguing back and forth on Cnn about if it was offensive or not. What's to argue? As loathe as I am to agree with Mr. Sharpton that cartoon is pretty offensive.
I believe in freedom of speech for sure but if you have the attention the Post has you ought to have some responsibility along with it. I thought we had come further then this.

Anyway, this is an art blog, not opinion (but it's mine so I can do that). I fixed the picture of the girl. What was wrong was the hair, looked like just molded plastic or something. Went back and first put some darker lines in it which still wasn't right so used a knifepoint and scratched in some highlights which was good enough for me. Not even sure if it will show up here but posting the detail again with the changes. Other then that just some sparrows out by the feeder waiting for someone to come and fill them ( my wife did it shortly after). Like me I think they are more then ready for spring.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two more pictures drawn from television. Television drawing I think is nearly as good as drawing from life, things move quickly and you have to choose what details are important, go back later and fill in but the first details are important, trains the eye and brain to work together I think anyway. The move was "The Pianist" , watching it late and night on IFC, had never seen it before and thought it was great except not the movie to help you settle in to a good nights sleep. It's about the Holocost and in particular one Jew, a pianist who is trying to survive in Warsaw during Nazi occupation. Trouble is they were too good, everybody knows what went on of course, even as little attention I paid they taught it in School. This movie does such a good job of portraying the horror though it is unsettling. If I watch it again it will be earlier so I can watch "Spongebob" or something after and come back to my safe little world.

The other is a girl inspired by a Theater magazine cover from the twenties, changed quite a bit, kind of a composite of that and another pic or two from my collection. Don't think it's complete yet, not happy with all of it but at the point where I have to let it sit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I had planned on going to bed early last night, normally I'm up to the wee hours but I have promised myself to get out as the weather gets better and draw from nature. Anyway at just past midnight I get a call from my daughter (she's grown and lives in an apartment not far). She's crying, been coughing for four days and hadn't slept, getting so when she coughs it feels like her head is exploding and wants to go to emergency. Well what are you going to do, they grow up but they are still your kids. I go pick her up and take her to nearest er. Hadn't been there in a long time and everything is different but going in it doesn't look bad, Tuesday night, just a few people in the waiting area. I figure maybe an hour or two. Short story is I sit there until five thirty staring at the back of the security guy above.

What's changed is they have made it so much more boring. Used to be that despite a trip to emergency never being fun it was at least interesting, time would fly with all the drama going on around, folks coming in bleeding and in handcuffs, drunks or crazy's talking to themselves, all kinds of little stories going on while you waited. They have it seperated now, bystanders sit in the isolated area I was, never seeing any ambulances arrive or go, any real emergency entering another way or ushered in quickly. They were no doubt much busier then my first glance showed accounting for my long night of sitting. There was a frantic mom rushing in with her baby, never heard what it was but watched them leave later all happy and the baby smiling so it turned out well. Two pregnant ladies they took up right off but obviously in no rush. It turned out good for my daughter, bronchitis and strep they said and gave her stuff to slow the cough and something for pain, her a little loopy but happy when I took her home close to six am. Ther other drawing, the girl was not in the er, just something done to pass the time while I waited.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We had a hawk on the fence right outside the window in the backyard a few days ago. Something that was both good and bad. On the good side it's not often you get to see a bird like that so close in the purgatory we call the suburbs. On the bad side it was on the fence right next to the feeders we put out for the regular yard birds which is no doubt what attracted it. I didn't actually see it get one but pretty sure it had one cornered in the woodpile near there and probably did get it. I know that the hawk has to eat but putting the feeders out there was not to provide a free lunch for anything but the sparrows and cardinals.

The other predator was from watching the "Barbarian" series on History channel. Just started out to draw the Celtic helmet but what the heck, helmet has to be on top of something.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I've read more then once that anyone wishing to be an artist should spend at least an hour a day drawing, that it is that important of a skill. I think that's probably good advise and although I'm not sure how much it helps I spend much more then an hour not so much for improvement but just because I enjoy it so much. Watching television or at least having it on while I go about the day is also something that happens daily and I often make quick sketches from the tv. I am fond of the old shows anyway both the old movies and the black and white television I remember from when I was a kid. I Think the contrast in the b&w shows makes me think more about the same in making a drawing. Posting here a couple sketches from todays tv watching and also an attempt at making an aceo, the 2.5 X 3.5 trading cards popular with some people.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another small drawing, 8X10 not really so small for pen and ink. I did this a while ago and had it scanned in already so decided I might as well put it up here. Faber Castell has a new pen ( new to me anyway and new according to Dick Blick). Its an XS, standing for extra fine or small, ths smallest black ink nib which is nice, never was too happy with the smallest size of thier nibs. This was done before I had one but have it now and using it to do some stippling drawings.