Saturday, June 30, 2007

Forcing A Smile

Damn this Mercury Retrograde. Things just seem to be getting worse and worse. Granted, nothing's mind-blowingly depressing (like, no deaths or anything. So far.) but the constant barrage of negative occurrences over the past three weeks is wearing me down. Seriously.
So it's with great difficulty that I tried to draw yesterday's pin-up girl's smile in. Not an easy feat, with my prevailing mood. As you can see, I didn't get very far.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Quick Study

I've had a pinup idea in my head over the past few days, and since it seems to remain really clear in my head, I might as well do a quick study of it. I also just wanted to also take a break from the exacting work necessary to complete yesterday's piece, and there's hardly anything that is easier for me to draw than a barely dressed woman. It's a Fourth of July pinup, I think, hence the color scheme, and it shouldn't take more than another day or so to finish.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


This drawing is kinda huge, I had no idea: it's 15" x 18", if I were to print it high rez. No wonder it's such a massive file. As such, it requires I clean up every line, otherwise the printed version will just annoy me no end upon closer inspection. Anyhow, I've been retouching makeup, changing the blouse, and adding newer colors. Here's a closeup of the makeover at hand.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This image popped into my head, rather fully-formed. It was one of those ideas that I just couldn't stop putting down until it seemed right enough to leave. It's part homage to Patrick Nagel, with its serigraph-like color blocks and semi-erotic direction; part homage to the late, great Gianfranco Ferré, whose architectural white blouses I always loved.; and it's also a nod to Arthur Mount, with his modern day color blocked style done via Illustrator. The woman's face and expression are very much like I wanted it to look, which is rather rare for me. I don't know where this came from. No references either.

It's not done, as I want to reduce it even further, removing as much of the linework as possible, yet leaving some key outlines. I'm not sure where it's going.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


It's time for the menswear shows in Europe, and true to form for Spring, Dolce showed many a model in skimpy swimwear. Mancandy factor aside, it seems the pendulum may be shifting again to a fuller, more muscular physique, away from the Dior Homme waifs of recent years. What this means for me is more definition to draw on (literally), and a great op to make a study for a walk stance. I've always loved a good rendition of a walk cycle, ever since Paul Smith showed me the exacting simplicity of an effective walk pose. It's hard to get it to look effortless and anatomically correct, especially with comics, as there's a tendency to draw the muscles in such a way that they look stiff and unmoving. I loved a shot from the Dolce runway and decided to do a sketch of it, because the line in the model's legs was so fluid, it was almost lyrical. I don't know if I captured it properly, but it doesn't hurt to practice.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pen Sketch

I've been working on a website for a friend and my computer was running sluggishly, so every so often I'd sketch on a sheet of paper while the files were being saved or taking their time to manifest changes. This drawing started out horribly, and while I think it's better than it was, it's certainly nothing I would keep. But not every drawing of every day is gonna be great, eh? Or for that matter, good.

Kinda reminds me of a grown-up Kitty Pryde.

Speaking of every day, I can't believe I've done almost half a year's worth of drawings and posts on this blog!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yellow Dress

This was just a quickie sketch again, not unlike a doodle I would put down on a stray sheet of paper. But what works in instances like these is the fact that because it's done digitally I can just clean it up later, or color it in in ways that I would never do if it was on a spare scrap. Not a finished piece by any means, but a nice quick doodle. Plus the mango color is cheery.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Someone left a copy of July 2007 Bazaar on a stationary bike at the gym, so I was reading it while doing cardio, and thought I'd do a quickie fashion sketch of a coat, but using an old Spring silhouette for the jacket...

Friday, June 22, 2007


Went to a gay couple's fabulous 24 bedroom manse out in Greenwich, CT with my friend Greg yesterday, so we were in the thick of visiting and I didn't get to upload any new drawings. I did however take a pen and paper and sketch out a quick portrait of Maya, Catherine Schell's metamorph alien character from the 70s tv series Space:1999. My friend Joe and I couldn't believe how we were both into this show (and Maya) as well as the fact that we both knew a little-known song written by Lynda Carter that she sang on the Wonder Woman series. Scarily similar fags we are.

Anyhow, I took a digital pic of it to upload here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Barneys Model

Seems like I'm doing Department Store advertising. This is a sketch of a model from the Barneys Co-op mailer, whose face I thought was interesting. I've often found myself making tearsheats of interesting faces and angles, but this was the first time I actually sat down and drew one. Quick sketch, but I'm pleased with the line quality. Although this kid's lips look like he's related to Angelina Jolie. Or at least knows her plastic surgeon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Waiting Sketch

I just bought a new hard drive to back up my computer, but dammit, Retrospect is NOT a user-friendly Mac back-up software! I've spent the past few hours trying in vain to back things up, and always getting Mac-centric errors. So I try again, and I wait, and I sketch Bergdorf Goodman ad outfits while I wait...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I'm not sure where any of this is going. I'm just making it up as I go along. It's certainly fun just to play, but if it weren't for accountability on this blog, I probably would have abandoned this experiment by now since it's not seeming worthwhile. I'm certainly finding some of the older 'parts' of this collage at odds.

Here's the off-kilter guy:

And here's the composition as it seems to be evolving. Not sure what to make of it. It's getting more sinister, though:

Monday, June 18, 2007


What I drew yesterday was a little less subtle than what I had originally envisioned. I tried erasing and adjusting things that sometimes my mind tells me are fine and necessarily, but which eventually give way to a newer, better direction. I wanted the guy to look less shocked and more off-balance, less extreme. He's ended up younger-looking than I want, but not necessarily a bad direction, because I like the face enough. He looks a little more normal than my usual stylized, model-ish faces. I'll see about rounding him out less and aging him a bit...

Sunday, June 17, 2007


An image came to me while I was watching a music video at the gym. I seem to get those a lot at the gym. But seeing it in my mind and drawing it are always two different things - as soon as I put pen to paper (or pixel) the drawing evolves on its own. I may guide it towards the original vision, but every stroke is a reaction to the previous ones, and so the lines evolve as they need to. At some point or other I just decide I like where the lines are going and add more on instinct towards a satisfactory compromise between the idea and the technique.

Do any other illustrators feel this way about how their work gets created?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Freaky Doll

I needed an element to break up the saccharine faces, but it didn't really work in the composition. I just may have gone too far.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I originally drew the magpie from yesterday with the intent of layering it over the collage of people I'd been building. I half wanted to make it seem like a cheesy story image, and half wanted not to. I think if I can keep layering things over it, it might turn into an interesting, albeit unintentional, narrative. Or it could be really, really bad. Oh well, let's see...!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I've got magpies on my mind lately.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Be Low

Rima said it's Mercury Retrograde today, and i certainly want to blame something for my mood tonight. I accidentally smashed a limited edition art piece I absolutely loved, and I've been down all night. It's just a physical thing, but it made me so happy to look at it everyday.
So I guess it's affecting my drawing. I'm just sketching on autopilot.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I've gotten a lot of creative inspiration from various sources these past few months, and they all seem to be coalescing. I feel like I'd been in a rut creatively for a while now, and I wasn't trying anything new, but it seems like recent events have conspired to boot me into a new phase... or at least a new way of looking at my creative life.

I went to a friend's exhibit yesterday. Adam is a talented young man full of promise, and the energy to realize his visions. I met him years ago at a fragrance launch, where he volunteered to pose for me without even seeing a stitch of my work. I later found out he and I had many similarities as artists, but he's at the beginning of his career, while I seemed to have come to a standstill, relying so heavily on my abilities as a designer to get me through creatively.

His exhibit was impressive, with huge, 8 foot mixed media work, as well as many smaller collages and rough sketches. It reminded me of when I would try anything and everything, to create. It left me really proud of him, and feeling both frustrated as well as fiercely competitive. It was energizing. And I later ran into several other artists, coincidentally - my friends Michael Letzig and a writer named Pie who knew about Adam's exhibit, and we spoke about our art. And with my recent commission for my friend Bosco, I was questioning my worth as an artist, versus just being an illustrator.

I've become complacent with my abilities. I know I can do so much more now than I used to when I was younger, when I strived so hard to be able to draw things I couldn't. I love faces, and they come so much more easily to me now more than ever. But with the confidence seems to have come a complacency. I seem to be satisfied just drawing, but not necessarily creating work. Or even trying newer things.

Tonight's drawing was something new. It's a cheesy drawing, partially inspired by Adam's collages (not for the cheese part, but for the softer palette as well as the collage style), partially by the resurgence of frommage-filled 70s magazine illustrations in modern graphic design, and partially by the new music I'd been recently introduced to by two choreographers I've been in touch with more these past few months. I decided to try using the palette knife again for its softness, working in newer tools in Painter, and just kept on it, drawing whatever came to mind, but consciously trying new techniques. It's not an amazing piece, but the fact that it's so different from what I've been doing is immensely satisfying. I'm hoping this is a new path and not just a fluke.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I used to love the Legion of Super Heroes, and one of my brother's favorite characters in it was Wilfire, mostly because he was a badass back then, and had a cool visor. He's not quite as cool now as he was in the 70s, but it's still fun to draw that visor. Yes, I know the costume isn't righ... it ain't finished. I kinda just did the abs and was done with it... heh.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wigged Out

Final touches on the Wiggy drawing. I hate that I don't have a real reference to do his torso, but imagination will have to do. Bosco wanted a more natural sketch, so there are no other bells and whistles aside from the 'pencils' on a sage green background... the better to go with his furniture! ;) I hope they both like it. It's hard when you don't really know the people you're drawing...


Back in the day, I wrote a silly little origin story with some friends of mine, for a character that no one knew much about. I had it on paper for over 18 years, and finally, I scanned and partially re-inked it. I decided for reasons unknown to ink one of the pages tonight (probably to avoid work), so here it is. It's a little strange inking over drawings I did two decades ago - I recognize my work but don't draw that way anymore. And yet, I want to keep it somewhat consistent...If you want to see more on this story, the entire short is available here.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Knife Skills

I had left the Palette Knife tool on in my Painter program and when I started drawing, I liked the effect. It has the look of a blocky felt marker, but with varied ink strengths. I was trying to do a sketch of a singer from a band whose video I was watching while at the gym tonight, hence the hair and the jacket. I kinda like it.

Oh wait, I know what it reminds me of - chinese brush drawings!

S Line 2

Been listening a lot to Roisin Murphy again tonight and it was all about getting a swooping line more than going for details. Guess I wanted to be dancing. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I tend to draw the same kinds of faces all the time: longer, more aquiline, more sophisticated. After going to a gallery opening tonight where the models were all brawnier types, I decided to try and do something out of my norm.

edit: Does anyone remember those ads at the back of magazines like House & Garden, or maybe even Cosmopolitan, back in the 70s, where they would encourage you to "Draw Binky" or somesuch character that they had an illustration of in the ad, and then you would send it in for them to gauge your worthiness for their art course? This profile totally reminds me of those drawings!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lightning Strikes Twice

Tried to color yesterday's drawing in, definitely influenced by John Byrne's style of Kirby crackle, and loving how it made the negative space come into focus with a less 'classic' lightning bolt shape, and more amorphous. I opened up the energy sig as well, but it doesn't seem as elegant as the original. Of course, I'm just playing around and not really trying to make it as polished as possible. Still, a fun exercise.

Monday, June 4, 2007

This Is NO GAME, Polaris!

In 1975, one of the most influential illustrations in my life came from Uncanny X-men #97, where in a climactic battle between Storm and Polaris, penciler Dave Cockrum drew the deciding blow as a dramatic close-up of Storm's hand, amazingly foreshortened and throwing lightning while Storm's face crackled with energy behind it... and my obsession with hands was born. I would not rest until I could draw a hand like that. Now I can draw them with my eyes closed. Well, assuming you don't want too much detail in the joints and stuff. Sadly, Dave Cockrum died just last year, but he'll always be a major influence on my drawing.

Anyhow, one of Rafe's housemates on the island, Hank, had fond memories of Uncanny 97 being his first ever X-men issue, and we both fixated on the hand and this scene! It was a geekout moment that I think frightened some of the other housemates. I don't know where the issue is anymore, but I certainly remember that panel. This is my homage to it, a quickie sketch not entirely done in the Cockrum style, but trying...

Rest in peace, Dave. Unknown to you, your legacy and influence live on.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Boy Story

It was all about the boys in Fire island, not that I didn't expect it. But one of the reasons I've avoided going there for so long is that I live in Chelsea, for over a decade the gay mecca of NYC, and going elsewhere just to see the boys again seemed like overkill. Thankfully, hanging out with my friends at the house was even more enjoyable than I already thought it would be, but hanging out in the beach and at the Tea Dances also fed my bad mental self image and body dysmorphia. I just can't reconcile knowing how to draw a perfect body and not being able to be one. Must be time for more therapy.

Anyhow, this male figure sketch was a quick one done on early Saturday morning... although the fruit thingie was on Saturday night...

Peter At The Pines

So my friend Rafe invited me as his guest during his weekend of his Fire Island share this week, so I planned on sketching whatever came to mind while I was there. He, our other friend Peter and I ended up being very silly and playing the games like the one where you draw something on a sheet of paper, fold it, then the next person continues the drawing. Being fashion fags, we also ended up making fun of our beach towels and whatever else came handy. Here's a 5 minute doodle of Peter turning his beach towel into a fichu, on Friday night.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Starry Starry Eyes

I'm going to Fire Island for the first time in my life (I think I've avoided it long enough) so I have a lot of things to do today before leaving tomorrow. I wanted to watch the latest episode of Naruto before I went, but I also had to do a drawing, so I figured I'd stay with an anime theme. Not too authentic, but my rendition of an anime style - like a lot of non-Japanese artists are doing nowadays. Who knew that drawing big-eyed characters would be so popular in the aughts? I certainly didn't, not when I was watching mech in the late 70s.

This might be the last post for the next few days. I'll be bringing a pad and pens to Fire Island though. Seems like it might be really stormy this weekend anyhow.