Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mask and you shall receive.

George and his friend Heron greet you a Happy Halloween!


I don't think this facial style agrees with me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Vintage

I've noticed that the younger fashion illustrators nowadays draw women's faces reminiscent of Milo Manara, Jason Brooks and other artists who, despite their various techniques, evoke the features of drawings I recall from the 60s and 70s. What's old is news again, and I'm noticing the squatter proportions, heart-shaped faces, small noses, fuller lips and wide set cat eyes. I came upon an illustrator's piece that was reposted on a tumblr page, and took note of how much fresher her work looks, despite looking vintage to me. So I decided to take her proportions (as well as those I recall of the aforementioned illustrators) and try my hand at it. I found myself trying to do my typical proportions and lines, but held back and channeled the style. I think this looks like the work of someone younger and more current than my typical work, and frankly, it was easy to interpret. I doubt I will adopt it, but it's fun to add to my arsenal should I be called upon to do fashion illustrations like someone else (which has been known to happen).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Less Mohr

I found an image online of model Cole Mohr, and I loved the color tones of the eyeshadow they made him wear for the shoot, contrasted with his orangey-blond dye job, so I thought I'd paint it. There was something really fun and freeing about painting from a picture and just reinterpreting it without even trying to get a likeness.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chicken Thing

My friend Mike posted a pic of an arrangement in his apartment, and there was a weird chicken thing toy sitting in a corner. So I decided to draw it.

edit: apparently it's a Squishy Chicken.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Gesture

When I audited a drawing class two weeks ago, I watched the instructor Bil show his students how to map the outlines of the figure while still recognizing the center of gravity as well as really getting the pose down. This was an attempt to simulate that but it really doesn't since I had no model and was just tracing in hopes of getting good pose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christian and his friend Heron

Christian and his friend Heron relax in the lobby of their hotel in Cuba.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Leaping to Nowhere

I drew this Heron pic before I realized that the person whose Facebook profile I took the pic from isn't even in it! So I can't even use it. Pfah! Ah well, it still counts as a drawing for today, especially since I spent so much time doing doing that photo job I've been working on, which is really more manipulation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Digitsl Paintsplashes

Trying for a more 3D effect but still flattish look for the mixed media pieces I've been thinking of all weekend. I suppose it's a good thing if I can't stop brainstorming - means I'm excited about doing a piece!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Working on a 'commission' for a new piece not unlike the Mass series, but this time for actual commercial use. Haven't fully decided how it will look but anime is playing a big influence on it as I'm very influenced right now by Takashi Murakami's homoerotic statue of a a lifesize anime character surrounded by his own...erm... liquid.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ten Minutes

I gave myself 10 minutes and a 500 x 500 pixel square to finish a quick sketch. Then I started with the face from the chin up, which is so not how I usually draw. I figured I'd do a very comic book rendering, in that it was all very linear and not too detailed. I kinda like how it turned out, different from my normal faces slightly, but more like how I used to draw, where the features were more generally placed. I used to be so good at that, at least in my mind.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Afar

Certain scales just weren't made for closeups. Case in point, yesterday's sketch. Now granted, I didn't really proportion it realistically, as it was supposed to have 'fashion' proportions. But that face was lopsided. Except, zooming in and cleaning up the details? Not really appropriate. Before I cropped it, it looked like I propped a doll head on a mannequin. And up close? Totally cartoony. Oy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Softer & Looser

Trying to get a fashion illustration feel, even if I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm in no way a fashion illustrator. Sure, I have fashion influences, but I never learned how to properly render fabrics, finishes and other clothing details - I just kinda know how to affect the flow (i.e. fake it) on drawings of women. I looked back to my body of work, and except for a brief period when I was designing clothing, I merely was the most able illustrator around so my mother used to make me render her sketches when her resident illustrators weren't around. This is why I want to go back to illustration school and learn from scratch. Except as someone who has to work, I wonder if that's possible just for the sake of the hobby?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Facial Reconstruction, Part 3

I succumbed. I realized I couldn't fake it an further and decided to look for a reference to get the right look I had in mind, but somehow couldn't draw. Hey, how am I gonna learn, right? I adjusted her nose, but more importantly, I changed her right cheek (on the viewers left) and revamped her lips entirely, as well as her chin. I thought the previous one looked too mannish, as my women often do, maybe because I've spent the last decade or so concentrating on drawing men and I keep giving my women the strong features that seemed right in the 80s but now seem too drag queeny. I think she looks much more contemporary now, features-wise, but the linework and coloring still could use a lot of repair. I'm finding more and more that the line in Painter just isn't giving me what I want anymore...

While I didn't copy a photo, I found similar poses where the women had their faces turned at a similar angle (except in the case of the one I used the most, facing right) and chose and altered features to suit my initial drawing. I pride myself on being able to draw without copying, but sometimes I just need to know when I'm not good enough and need help. Onward!

Facial Reconstruction, Part 2

So I tried painting the face in numerous ways, and as often happens, the more I flesh out the outline, the more it becomes apparent I have to keep tweaking her features. Ugh, this always gets me. I try so hard to draw without any references (like this one) but then I spend so much time worrying why it doesn't look real enough... even when it's stylized.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Facial Reconstruction

That face yesterday just didn't turn out as nicely as Ioriginally thought, so Ive been doing facial reconstruction on the image. Every time I change a feature, something else needs adjusting as well. No wonder it seems like I never finish any pieces!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Earlier this evening I went to a lecture by the person I deem Fashion's most pre-eminent illustrator, David Downton. It was a great lecture for his new book, Masters of Fashion Illustration, and it was inspiring to hear about him and his experiences as a working illustrator. I've had a fire lit under me to do more real, finished pieces, and this just furthered it. It also helped to chat with a few fashion illustration aficionados after the lecture, including Robert Richards (who handed me a postcard for his new show next week, and excused himself to go back to feverishly finishing up more drawings), my friend Dan Romer and a few other acquaintances. Anyhow, Downton's work is something of a cross between Rene Gruau and the artist who used to do all those wonderful Lord & Taylor ads back in the 80s and early 90s. He talked about how some of his favorite artists had a very graphic sense of designing their illustrations. I took note of that

Being a graphic designer myself, I often don't draw things with a designed layout in mind - it's almost like a separate section of my brain that I refuse to let kick in for my drawings. Maybe in my head, that's work, and drawing is just me. Most of my illustration work lately has been to further my technique - I really seldom care about finished pieces, only that I can actually draw something I set my mind on. It didn't used to be like that, as when I was younger I composed my pieces very carefully, but I usually draw now just for the sake of the drawing, not necessarily for a finished piece. I realized this has to change.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eye'm Falling Asleep

...and all my attempts at drawing a simple eye are looking weird. Weirder still when I tried to export the wet edges in my version of Painter, since it outlined itself for some reason. Enhh. No matter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

21 Terracotta

That's the name of the color of the colored pencil that I picked up while watching past episodes of Grey's Anatomy on my iMac. This is one of those mindless doodles that starts off one place and goes another just because it wants to. I originally started our drawing a woman's face but decided halfway through to make it more of a Stavrinos/Odom-esque sketch like I used to do as a kid, and then I just kept letting the lines fall where they wanted to, especially since I wasn't invested in the final outcome since I was busy watching my t.v. show. There's so much more muscle memory in my hands with natural media, I think this is a reminder for me to do more of it and get away from the computer.

Anyhow, the paper wasn't really this red, but when I tried to take the tungsten light cast out of the photo, this is what turned out, and I liked it so much that I kept it. Always good, happy accidents.

Although I don't really like the nostrils on him, but oh well... ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bil's Class

I audited a fashion illustration class at F.I.T. earlier this afternoon. SO strange - I felt old and so very out of date. All the kids were so young and so full of energy, and while I wanted to learn from the teacher who I met a couple of weeks ago at his book launch, I felt like such an untalented pretender, especially after seeing some of the technical skills that these students had. I totally want to learn more from this man. My drawings seem so stiff and constrained compared to his ouevre. Ah well...

This is my memory of one of the models from the session. Didn't do it in natural watercolors but digital, although I plan on picking up a brush again soon after today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Emotional Inspiration

I got very moody earlier tonight, spurred perhaps by emotional exhaustion from working on taxes (isn't that reason enough?) combined with the oddly nostalgic qualities of a cut from Kylie's newest album. "Get Outta My Way" sounds so 90s to me, and it totally brought back some bad memories from a particularly rough relationship that was often spent out in the clubs (house music, nuff said). So I wanted to do something kinda ethereal, and worked on the old 'fluise' drawing from a few days ago, extending it however way I felt...


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Richie and his friend Heron

Richie and his friend Heron imitate art.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


It's funny how you can have so much free time but because you don't manage it well, you end up running out of it. That's what I've been experiencing all week since I went on a freelance schedule away from my full time position. I was actually falling asleep to a song called "Animal Animal" by Penguin Prison (ain't that a couple of memorable phrases) so this sketch was nothing more than me moving my stylus while my eyes were sealing shut...

Friday, October 8, 2010

In Mo-Sean

Seems like when it comes to really expressive, dynamic shoots, there isn't anyone who can hold a candle to Sean O'Pry. The kid is is just energy personified. I remember being struck by him the very first time I saw him, so much so that I hadda draw him. Little did I know, that like David Gandy, I'd witnessed the birth of a major male model star. This pose was one Sean leapt into for a shoot for GQ Taiwan, from the Facebook pages of its photographer, Chiun-Kai Shih.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Year Again

Despite having tons of free time today, by the time I got to drawing, I didn't have any time left. Of course, I went to have dinner over at some friends' place so I suppose that had something to do with it. So I tried to flesh out yesterday's drawing a bit more but I really think I just did another version of the same thing...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This Year's Model

My free subscription to Japanese streetwear tome Men's Non-no ended sometime last year, so while I was in the East Village yesterday I stopped by JAS Mart to pick up the latest copy. It's a good issue in the sense that they had an editorial showing how this year's trends and silhouettes are different from last year. Specifically, how skinny jeans are being supplanted by the relaxed, tapered carrot-fit trousers I'd been collecting for the past three years, but also how 'jeggings' can now be used underneath shorts, a look I was wearing in Spring the other year which is now going full force. It's always fun to try different things, but as I passed by some glass windows and observed what I was wearing a few days ago, it struck me how normal I felt I looked in what is still something that most New Yorkers (let alone Americans) would even attempt, versus how conscious and strange I felt when I was the early adopter wearing it a year and a half ago. This sketch isn't me, just an outfit I devised based on the Non-no editorial. Naturally, I was all in black.

Of course, the next thing is to wear skirts again.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jon and his friend Heron

Jon and his friend Heron enjoy a humpy ride.


Yeah, it's a made-up word for the title, but it felt right for describing the kind of hair rendered to look like the billowy mass that hair becomes when it flows in a liquid environment, like underwater. I've always liked that, as there's a stylized softness that I adore about that look. Stuart Immonen is a comic book artist who does it incredibly right now, and I'm thinking of him as I work on this piece.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Night Girl 2010

For some reason the Legion character Night Girl came to mind while I was working out earlier this evening. I recalled her simple, rather dumb costume, with its owl symbol painted on her chest and her huge bouffant beehive hairdo. Three years ago I redesigned her when the Legion comicbook was reviving the old characters and costumes, but earlier today, I had a vision that she really didn't need a major overhaul. I stylized her owl symbol into cutouts and eliminated the cape she wore, but modernized her hair while still keeping it bouffant. I kinda like the results.

edit: After posting this, I decided, what if I did try to keep the cape? It was kind of useless since she doesn't fly. So I thought a panel that looked like a dolman sleeve would work, and it does in a way, although I prefer the costume without.


I was inspired by a book launch tonight, to just draw with more movement. While I wasn't satisfied with the initial pose I put down, I drew over it without erasing and got a kind of double exposure thing going on.

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is a look from my friend Robbie's Spring Summer collection for 2011. His shows are always inspiring, but he's steadily inspired me to draw his looks. I tried one last Fall that the file got corrupted on, but this one worked out rather nicely mostly because I was just sketching, with no "Must Make A Finished Piece" kind of agenda. And those are the best times to draw, sometimes.

And yes, I'm still on my loose pastel kick. It just seems more professional to me than my typical comic book style figures, at least for fashion illustration.