Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Inspiration of art books from the Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library is a wonderful resource for inspiration. These three images came from books I checked out from the library, only I couldn't tell you now what the books were. The blocky image of the two children holding hands and the slightly Mesopotamian figure wearing the leaf shift were taken from a graphic novel I didn't bother reading, only flipping through the pages and thinking why would someone attempt to tell such a confusing story. 

As I remember, the artist and writer don't stick in my mind well, but I do remember finding the artwork crude, the coloring basically green and greyish throughout, and something eerie about these images caused me to copy them down in my sketchbook. The child's face in the lower right seemed to express the discomfort the other images brought me, but I think that was based on a photograph. Unfortunately I don't remember the details very well.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Archaic Grecian Statuary - nudity alert

For those of you looking for the naughty stuff in my sketchbooks, you won't likely find it here. I put the disclaimer on this blog because I discuss gender and sexuality here, but I have posted before about where I am posting the naughty stuff and if you care to see it, it is not difficult to find. And anyone really wishing to engage with my naughty drawings can easily contact me directly. I would love to share them with you.

Anyway, you will see nudity here occasionally, but mostly non-sexualized nudity. For example, these sketches from a photobook of Grecian funeral statuary. The head of a young man, examining the contours of how the hair is rendered and a Kouros or full standing figure. I saw several of these latter statues while visiting the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City back in the summer of 1989.

Besides an impressive collection of antiques, they also had an impressive sampling of Modern Painters and other artist's works, namely a very large Monet's Waterlilies which took up a full wall of the upstairs gallery and modern sculpture like Duane Hanson's "Security Guard", which I thought was very appropriate in a contemporary art museum.  I wish I'd had a weeks time to investigate the whole building, but of course these days they have more buildings.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stylized faces - Inspiration from Commercial Art

You sometimes see amazing commercial art produced in the city. These four faces were quickly sketched from oversized ink on paper illustrations as part of a window display for a Bead shop up on Broadway Ave. in Capitol Hill in Seattle, back in the early Nineties. They were clearly based on glamour portraiture of Hollywood Actresses, but the reason I captured them here was the clear and simple way they'd been rendered creating striking images for an otherwise difficult to market item: beaded jewelry.

I actually worked on these in separate sessions, riding by on the bus and holding them in my mind as I attempted to recreate the simple strokes, later inking the width and direction of the strokes. Unfortunately the display was only up for one month and it was taken down before I could capture all the strokes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Wave Dancer

Sometimes I'm inspired to draw just anything. Because of my association with Tod Streater I often thought up wild ideas for costumes. This wasn't based on anything other than the odd shapes I drew to form the coat. Something about bows and buttons, perhaps.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Shroom Dreams" - a loose sketch

One thing I remember about my mother and art was that she sometimes would draw us children while we slept. This portrait is a bit out of order timeline-wise, but since I don't think I have posted it before, here it is. I did this way back in college, probably around '87, when a fellow student (I think his name is Scott Rash) was visiting and I encountered him in our living room catching some shut-eye. He had a mohawk at the time, but it was down. I am perhaps a bit sheepish about posting this as the mushrooms were an afterthought and had little to do with the sketch.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Anime Dancer - sketchbook

This is a direct copy from a Jump manga I owned. Unfortunately I don't read Japanese so I have no idea who the artist is, although this reminds me of the work of Ai Yazawa. I can't find reference to work she did for Jump manga, so it could be someone else working in a similar vein of stories about  Rock personalities and fashion designers. I was very inspired how the hair was rendered and in my attempt to recreate the pattern, pretty soon I had marked out the entire image save one gloved hand which I just left off because I'd run out of page. The character who wore an eye patch through the whole story reminds me very much of Pete Burns who sang the iconic hit of the Eighties, "You Spin Me Around".

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Anime Faces - sketchbook

I was beginning to see more and more anime drawing at this time, so naturally I made attempts to copy the style. Too often there is no direction or real focus when I attempt these, but often they can be satisfying if not complete. The female figure I guess was an attempt to examine how a head form can change from profile to 3/4 view. The figure below is clearly encountering some visual anomaly causing his collar to appear like stars and rectangles, while his legs are confused somehow. Next to that are preparatory marks for using dye markers, a la' the previous post. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kabuki Face - dye marker

I haven't worked much with dye markers, particularly because they are so expensive to purchase when you can get good ones, but occasionally I've found them at reasonable prices to invest with. These particular ones, a small selection of grays and browns, I purchased during an office supply close out sale I encountered while on vacation in Hawaii. Imagine!

The image is based on a black-and-white photograph an artist friend, Jason Berlin, took of a friend who was modeling unique makeup. I was taken by the grim facial expression she has on her face and therefore added the dripping red. Not many impulsive images come out so successfully from my sketchbook.