Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red Grey

I was originally going to post a fashion illustration but I couldn't really find any inspiration to draw anything. The most interesting thing to me lately aside form menswear, is X-men character Rachel Grey's recent badass appearance in the Wolverine and the X-men series (awful title, but so far a really interesting series). But you'll have to forgive me if this is unfinished, as I didn't really have much energy today, being sick and unhappy.

Uncertain Results

I went on a date tonight, the first one in a while, and while it went really well initially, I'm not sure how it ended. I think I may have safely nipped something in the bud, but the uncertainty still feels disappointing.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fashion Redux

A friend of mine asked me to supply him with some fashion sketches I had done, as a  supplier who was looking into making some fashion-themed product. I got very dismayed last night looking for fashion-y sketches on this blog because I've been practicing more and really didn't feel I had any sketches I could show. Well, maybe the proper words are sketches I still like. I did see a few that might work for the kind of illustrations they might be interested in, but I thought I might improve them a bit - clean up the faces, sort the anatomy, that sort of thing. These are two I toyed with today.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Langour 2

I was researching different pencil brushes in Photoshop, because I heard there's a new brush in CS6 that actually loses sharpness as you draw, like a real pencil. Frankly, I need to sharpen my pencil skills first, so this was an experiment. I really should try drawing from a model. This facial structure and shadows suck!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


There's a magazine called Nordic Man that costs about $18 at the news agent near my gym. I've been stalking it because there's one photo of a guy who isn't even a model, but his pose was just so relaxed I wanted to capture it in a drawing. It was all in the lines made by his arms, versus the curve of his spine and his neck. I'm contemplating buying it just for that one photo but I really don't want to at that price. So I tried to draw it with all the feeling intact, but something is still missing... I might have to bite the bullet and purchase it...

Monday, June 25, 2012


So tinkering with this digital pencil technique on this old drawing is getting the creative juices flowing. Well, that and looking online at some really fabulous photographic images from Spanish photographer Paco Peregrin which made me want to just draw outlandish fashion-y shapes. I haven't doodled like this in a while... I think the last time it felt like this was when I used to doodle in ballpoint pen at Muffin-Head back around 1998. Whew! Anyhow, I'm not sure where this sketch will go, but that's the point - I'm just running with it. So far, it's a fun trip. Definitely feeling a bit Stavrinos in there somewhere just because it's digital pencil, but I'm certainly not trying to look like anything. It's just all flowing.

Post Flow

I've been planning on designing a slew of calling cards for myself just as an illustrator (as opposed to my regular day job as an Art/Creative Director/Designer. I've never promoted myself in that way well...pretty much ever, and it's kinda fascinating to me why exactly that might be, for multiple reasons that I won't get into here. In any case, what I ended up doing was tooling around my blog files for drawings I might want to include in my portfolio, and I came across an old one called "Flowww," from exactly a thousand posts ago. As is my wont I opened up the file and saw things I wanted to change, so I decided to update Flow a bit today, 1001 posts and nearly 3 years later.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Senen and his friend Heron

Senen and his friend Heron are about to bump into each other - quite unexpectedly - at the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin.

Shape 6

I reeeeally want to finish this drawing up, and I kinda know where it needs to go, yet I'm trying to work it into my current style that I'm developing (as opposed to going with whatever I feel works when I'm drawing it). So I added more details to this high contrast face I had originally sketched out. It needed more detail, like the other face in this layout, but still high contrast.

I hate how Blogger now wants me to post a few hours before midnight  in NYC - it screws up my dates. It makes it look like I'm skipping a day. Argh.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Your Genie Is Ready

My friend Kevin and I were planning on going out tonight so I had him give me a subject and time to finish a drawing. This is a 3 minute Genie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shape 5

When last we saw these drawing, its latest revision was a very Marlboro man-esque, high-contrast illustration style with coiffed hair. But I felt like it wasn't modern enough and looked too much like 80s clip art, and a few days ago I thought to myself that as much as I think it's almost over, he needed to sport a more bouffant pompadour, which also led to a bit more detail in the features. I think he's more current now, although the irony is that he reminds me now of Ben Shaul, whose high, wavy hair was my favorite back in the late 80s.


I got my nerd on at an Information Design Meetup earlier tonight/last night (man, I miss when you could make a post in Blogger and it was dated the time you made it, not the time you actually published it).

Anyhow, I felt a bit outclassed, knowledge-wise, because the information up for discussion was leagues beyond my ken since I've been ensconced in tech-free corporate ignorance for the past 6 or 7 years. And at the rate technology advances, that's like in dog years. I felt like I had immersed myself in a real life episode of the Big Bang Theory. But I'd love to catch up on all this technology... before it all changes again and I have to relearn it all! Anyhow, this is my impression of the guy who was moderating the talks (and the soda fridges in the background that we all had access to). I nearly didn't go but I was glad I went.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Asian Waif 2

Here are more of the young male Burmese model from the life sketching session last Sunday. Make sure you check out the previous entry as I updated the photos/scans a bit (although they still kinda suck - I really need to get a scanner instead of photographing these with my old digital camera).


I was telling a friend about a great Korean seamstress at a local dry cleaners, and I had neither her name nor the name of the dry cleaners, nor the exact address. I merely had a description of the place, an approximate name, and an idea what it looked like. So this was the sketch I sent him so he would know what it looked like when he got there.

I'm still suffering the ill effects of my food poisoning from last night. Not horrid, but hardly in tip top shape. So this is all I have the strength to do.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Asian Waif


Went to instructor Steven B.'s fashion sketch session last night at F.I.T. and he had a young Burmese fashion student as the model, and he modeled some of his own as well as Steven's very trendy menswear fashions. It's all very now in that post-Rick Owens/Damir Doma drapiness I'd abandoned a few years ago. But I ended up suffering from food poisoning when I got back, possibly from a protein shake made of hemp milk and Met-RX protein powder, so I was too nauseous and too busy vomiting to post this last night. I was only going to post two anyhow since the lighting is too bad to photograph  my work at night, but still suffering a bit today to properly upload them all...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Black Denim

I was looking through the Blk Dnm site because I've become a recent fan of their clothing after finding relatively low priced items that I really responded to (and bought). I clicked around and viewed a video, and saw an image of a woman walking, and the curve of her stomach and her legs inspired this very quick sketch. I imagined a very French-looking model, with that disheveled hairdo that looks like they just rolled out of bed after having sex all night...

I don't know if it helps this post any, but this was one of the frames from the video. Strange how things can inspire you, right?

Chunky and his friend Heron

original photo by Justin Violini
Chunky and his friend Heron are hoping that this is the shot that makes the cover of "Bird Watchers Digest."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Marc v. B.

I got into an impromptu call from my chat mate Marc and we ended up video chatting for about 4 hours. Since it was cutting into my drawing time (I usually schedule a sketch right before bed) I decided, fine, I'll draw Marc. So this is the quick sketch I did of him on iChat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chocolate Sorbet

I needed a palate cleanser from all these precise (well, for me at least) illustrations. Who better than my rough-hewn goddess of the rice, Zenaida, poking fun at my own preoccupation with the broken doll pose?


I do believe this is done! After months of back and forth, I think this is at a stage where I can say it's done. Of course, I might go back into it and clean up some lines, but as I spent a lot of time cleaning up the lines tonight, I also spent a lot of time undoing the cleaner lines, because sometimes the path-straight edges lost all the life of my lines for me. The most obvious is that I changed the hair: I wanted a blonde helmet, but I also wanted a bit more energy than the fines lines I initially went with gave it.. It's a very subjective thing, and in that sense I won't be as precise as Patrick Nagel, not just because I can't, but because it's not right for me to be! Wow, this is almost a revelation. Does that mean I favor my own lines??

"Peekaboob" was the original title for this, for obvious reasons. The pose is all about S curves blending into each other, hopefully with the right amount of awkwardness to make it feel current. I also wanted a Nagel-like flatness, eschewing even highlights in the eyes and lips like I did in a similar rendering here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shape 4

I'm taking my time with this piece... mostly because I'm not rushing (partially because I spent the past two days in a Mad Men marathon, catching up on last season in 2 days). But I'm also enjoying the technique, and just drawing, then going back into it to adjust it as I deem necessary (not that that's any different from normal). However, in this case, it's overcoming my normal faces that in my mind might seem too 80s. I already did a refinement yesterday, but I realized I wanted something more polished and still a bit 80s (since hairstyle-wise, it's still in fashion, this bouffant for men) just with a face that might seem younger and more now. At least, I hope it looks more current. I'm not exactly copying any models for this one.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shape 3

Raf Simons introduced a neoprene suit for FW2011 in an over-sized shape that I loved, and this was an attempt to render it, but without a reference. I clearly reinterpreted it as a more 80s drawing, and I needed to go back in and adjust it to make it look less dated. The good news is I like the technique...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shape 2

I was scanning through my older posts and found an old piece I still wanted to finish. I decided to focus on making the black male model look more like Portuguese model Armando Cabral, who actually, I think, used to go to my gym.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I was looking through some old files and found some fake watercolor renderings I did with Painter Essentials, and I wondered why I didn't do anything like that since. I opened up this old Turlie file to try it out and I realized that some of the effects only worked well in screen resolution, as the bleeding on some of the strokes disappeared in higher rez files. I might have to experiment more.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Zoe and her friend Heron

Zoe and her friend Heron share a warm and fuzzy moment in the garden.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peekaboo 9

I can't believe how much time I spent dealing with rendering this hair. And after over two hours of futzing with it, I'm still not happy. I think it is actually too detailed. I guess I had to figure out that I wanted something less detailed after seeing what it looks like working from really small brushes. Even the eyes and facial features start to become less emotive once I go in a clean up the lines. I lose the initial energy from my hand. It's almost like I'm really fighting my natural style, but I've always wanted to be clean and precise. However, if you look at the lines, they're nothing but. I think I'm going to start the hair over from scratch tomorrow. Ugh. I hope I can finally finish this... I want it off my list!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Astral 3

This was a very specific, short order session: I did hands. I pride myself on my hands - there's an old-school quality to their gesture, imparted by memories of classic fashion illustrations as well as old mannequin poses. Plus if there was anything that was supremely intriguing for me to draw back when I was a child, it's hands. I've posted here before about Dave Cockrum's influence on me, and while these are more stylized (and intentionally so), I'm very particular about getting them right. Fortunately I have really long fingers so I can use myself as a hand model for women, but I had already drawn the gesture out without a reference and just needed to clarify the details...

Kiddie Colors

I accidentally hit a Photoshop brush that had color dynamics in one of its settings. Who knew I'd get this confetti-like color stroke? Not me!  But it had a very naive kiddie-illustration feel to it, so went naive and did an inflatable pool toy... just because.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Astral 2

Part of the fun of doing a new drawing is that you can take it anywhere you want. Part of the fun of a digital drawing is that those possibilities are endlessly reconfigurable. I wanted to focus on the hair for this piece, and while trying to define the pose I eliminated a lot of the extra lines that actually gave the intermediary sketch life, and now it's much more still and  serene... which also accounts for the color choices I made. I love the idea of this navy hair and linework against cerulean and pale clay, but I'm not sure this is what the final piece should be. I suppose that's the problem when the initial idea is: a sketch about a woman with a Sonia Rykiel/Rei Kawakubo hairdo. Now it looks like I wanted to make something vaguely Egyptian, which is too expected of that hair...

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I decided to rename this drawing as it develops, because it's based on Sonia Ryiel's signature hairdo, which an old Adel Rootstein catalog for the Sayoko line of mannequins referred to as the "Astral." I always found that amusing because to me, it seemed less ethereal and more cheesy!  But of course, after nearly 4 decades, it's so vintage it's retro-chic! So Astral it is.

I love how solid and massive the chunk of frizzed hair is...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Digital Graphite 3

I had an image pop into my head after a visit to the magazine stand (I get those a lot, don't I?) and I had several ways I could realize it but I thought I'd try using the digital graphite brush I developed a few days ago. I wanted something that was both stark and delicately detailed at the same time, although in the end I don't know if that will be what I want for this piece. In the meantime, here's the face I developed with the brush. I was going for a Sonia Rykiel/70s hairdo that remember seeing in an old Adel Rootstein catalog. I think they called the style "Astral." I can't tell if my model is Japanese or slightly French (maybe even Icelandic!). Perhaps that's a good thing.

She also kinda reminds me of old Pat Butterworth drawings of Tiffany Jones for some reason. I loved how Tiffany Jones was drawn...

Friday, June 1, 2012


I had an idea for a sketch while at a magazine stand, and involved piling up a guy's hair on his head like frosting. But I want to see if I can do a more original angle - I tend to favor this facial angle a lot.