Can you caribou?

April 20th, 2014

Have you ever had one of those weeks where all you can think about is caribou? Boy, I have! Caribou this, and caribou that. Naturally, I did a caribou sketch. How could I not?!

 

animated caribou

I like to draw from real life. This was about the silliest caribou I've ever come across in the wild.

Boy’s Best Friend

March 10th, 2014

Sometimes owning a big dog is just a bad idea.

 

Large Dog

Those teeth marks are going to be hard to buff out.

June & Squirrel

March 3rd, 2014

This past Saturday night, March 1, was the opening of  Moosylvania: A Group Art Show Tribute to Jay Ward (curated by Phillip Graffham) at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California. Hundreds of people came to see the art by many local Los Angeles creators.

My Jay Ward Studio tribute piece focused on Rocky & Bullwinkle, but instead of “moose & squirrel” as so eloquently referred to by Boris Badenov, I painted “June & Squirrel”. My friend June Foray created the voice of Frostbite Falls resident Rocket J. Squirrel all those years ago, and continues to perform him today at the age of 96. She recently recorded him for a short cartoon that will run in front of Dreamworks’ new Mr. Peabody & Sherman movie. (June was also the original voice of villainess Natasha in the classic cartoons.)

 

June Foray

"June & Squirrel" was created entirely in gouache with the big circles and necklace details in colored pencil.

 

June had asked me earlier in the week if I had a piece in the show, and I told her, “Yes, but you will have to come see what it is.” It was thrilling that she came out to the show Saturday night, and equally thrilling that she seemed pleased, and not offended, to have been portrayed in paint.

 

June Foray

Chad Frye with the grand dame of voice actors, June Foray.

 

In case you are curious, perhaps you would like to see the preliminary drawing made in the planning of the painting. I usually work out my ideas in Photoshop where this was sketched and colored. Then I print it out and trace it down onto watercolor paper where it gets the full-on traditional treatment. And no, no compass was used for all those circles. They were hand painted and painstakingly outlined in freehand with a Lilac Prismacolor pencil on the final piece.

 

June Foray & Rocky

This is the rough concept of "June & Squirrel" worked out in Photoshop.

 

If you are in the Los Angeles area, please swing by Van Eaton Galleries to see all the art. Some amazing creations are on display until March 15 (beware the Ides of March). My favorite is a seven foot tall sculpture of Rocky & Bullwinkle carved out of a tree with a chainsaw by artist Johnny Daniels.

All the art can be seen, and purchased, online from Van Eaton. Just CLICK HERE to access the online gallery!

Also, please check out The Art of Jay Ward Productions book by Darrell Van Citters with a forward by June Foray. Darrell and June were both signing the book at the show, but you can also find this great tome on Amazon!

And Now Here’s Something You’ll REALLY Like!

February 26th, 2014

A few months back, I was invited to create a fresh and tasty piece of art for an art show to be held at Van Eaton Galleries. The show opens this coming Saturday in Sherman Oaks, California. Naturally, I put it off until the last minute and finished my painting just this past weekend.

The show’s theme is “the Jay Ward Studio”. Ward was known for television shows such as “The Bullwinkle Show”, “Mr. Peabody & Sherman”, “George of the Jungle”, “Crusader Rabbit”, “Dudley Do-right” and many more. They even were responsible for television commercials and character designs for Capt. Crunch and Quisp cereals.

While I shan’t reveal the whole 13×17″ gouache and colored pencil painting today (although it IS pretty epic), I will share a snippet…

 

Jay Ward show

This Rocket J. Squirrel is just a smidge of my original painting in the show.

 

The show features the work of over 100 of my entertainment business colleagues, and promises to be memorable. All are invited to come to the opening reception THIS SATURDAY!!! Along with all the great art, they will also be hosting TWO book signings that night: Darrell Van Citters will be signing his great new book The Art of Jay Ward Productions, and Jerry Beck will be signing his new tome The Art of Dreamworks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

So if you are in the Los Angeles area and want to have a good time and meet a LOT of cartoonists, come on out to the show! Details are on the poster below!

 

Jay Ward group show

Stan Sakai Benefit Auction

February 24th, 2014

Together with a terrific committee of fellow cartoonists and writers at CAPS (the Comic Art Professional Society) in Burbank, CA, I have been busy helping put together a benefit auction and book (to be published in July by Dark Horse Comics) all to help our cartoonist brother Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo) with medical bills surrounding the care of his sweet wife, Sharon. Today, after months of planning & organizing, we released the official press release explaining the details of what promises to be an AMAZING sale! I even created a special painting just for this that I’ll post here closer to when it will be sold.

Read on and share in our excitement!

 

Stan Sakai

Taken in 2004 during healthier days, Stan & Sharon Sakai visiting the ancient aqueducts of Segovia, Spain. photo credit: © 2004 Stan Sakai

 

CAPS TO LAUNCH ART AUCTION FEATURING ORIGINAL WORKS BY MATT GROENING, JACK DAVIS, MIKE MIGNOLA, J. SCOTT CAMPBELL, ADAM HUGHES AND HUNDREDS MORE TO BENEFIT FELLOW CARTOONIST STAN SAKAI AND FAMILY

 

On Thursday, March 6, 2014, Southern California’s CAPS, the Comic Art Professional Society, will launch an ongoing series of eBay auctions of original comic art. Its goal is to raise funds for medical care for Sharon Sakai, the wife of respected cartoonist and longtime CAPS member Stan Sakai, creator of the samurai rabbit USAGI YOJIMBO. Sharon has been battling a debilitating brain tumor for some time; after an extended hospital stay and convalescence, she is currently at home, but her condition requires 24-hour care and medicine that costs more than the Sakai’s insurance covers. 100% of the proceeds of these auctions will go directly to Stan and Sharon Sakai to help pay their ongoing medical expenses.

The CAPS auctions will be conducted through eBay.com beginning on Thursday, March 6, with a new set of auctions every following Thursday. Each auction, sold under the seller name of “CAPSauction“, will be ten days in length with twenty to forty items in each set of auctions. The donations of original artwork and collectibles (including newly created art unique to this event, vintage comic book pages, comic strips, illustrations, animation art, limited edition statues, and IDW Artist’s editions books) number over three hundred with new items arriving every day.

 

 

Contributors include:  Adam Hughes, Alex Maleev, Arthur Adams, Batton Lash, Eric Powell, Jan Duursema, Jerry Ordway, Jordi Bernet, Matt Groening, Michael Allred, Mike Mignola, Paul Gulacy, Sanjuliàn, Scott Shaw!, Jim Steranko, Tim Sale, William Stout, Bill Sienkiewicz, Cameron Stewart,  Dan Brereton, Daniel Parsons, Dave Gibbons, Dean Yeagle, Doug Sneyd, Dustin Nguyen, Bill Morrison, Tone Rodriguez, Sergio Aragonés, Fabio Moon, Francisco Francavilla, Gene Ha, Geof Darrow, Gilbert Hernandez, Jack Davis, James O’Barr, Kevin Eastman, Jeff Lemire, Jeff Smith, Kazu Kibuishi, Liam Sharp, Tom Richmond, Michael Jantze, Olivia, Oscar Martin, Paul Chadwick, Richard Corben, Tom Mandrake, Walter Simonson, Charles Vess, Dan Spiegle, J. Scott Campbell, Chad Frye and many more.

 

Jeff Smith's Bone

My friend Jeff Smith created this great piece of his character Bone with Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo.

 

Many of the pieces featuring Usagi Yojimbo will appear in a new oversized hardcover book from Dark Horse, THE SAKAI PROJECT: ARTISTS CELEBRATE THIRTY YEARS OF USAGI YOJIMBO, which will be released on July 23, 2014. All proceeds from this book will go to Stan and Sharon Sakai. Much of the custom Usagi Yojimbo art created for this book will also be sold as a part of CAPS’ online auctions.

 

J. Scott Campbell

Known for his exquisite work with female characters, J. Scott Campbell created this wonderful ink drawing to benefit Sharon & Stan Sakai in the CAPS auction.

 

These fund-raising auctions will be promoted through ComicArtFans.com, and the CAPS – COMIC ART PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY Facebook page where you will be able to see updated information such as when certain pieces will be auctioned.

Happy Presidents’ Day – 2014

February 17th, 2014

Hope you are having a fun time celebrating Presidents’ Day. Have you gotten those presidential decorations up? Have you chopped down a cherry tree to put in your living room? Are you having a Weapons of Mass Destruction hunt in the backyard with the kids? What a FUN holiday!

Bet you didn’t expect a greeting “card” for THIS holiday, but why not? All the popular holidays get a card like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Where is the love for Presidents’ Day, or Labor Day, or Flag Day? (Of course, sending a paper card on Arbor Day kind of defeats the purpose for that one.)

So, whether you are celebrating by fearing fear itself, playing with wooden teeth (watch out for splinters!), or telling your next door neighbor to tear down his wall, stay safe and rest in the knowledge that all of our Presidents deserve to be celebrated for every little thing they have ever done.

Oh, and take it from me, stay far, far away from all balconies.

 

Civil War photo bomb

This is one of very few pictures of President Lincoln and the missus NOT snapped by famed Civil War era photographer Matthew Brady.

2013 Eastern European Vacation 4 – Croatian Band

January 27th, 2014

It has been awhile since I last shared with you a drawing from my travels through Eastern Europe last November. How about a little music from the locals?

While traveling aboard the river boat, once in awhile after dinner they would bring folks on board from wherever we were docked to entertain or enlighten us in the local traditions and customs. I believe it was when we were in Croatia that they invited a local band who performed some traditional tunes, as well as some more modern songs with their old school methods. The guys were a lot of fun interjecting a lot of personality into their performance. I took a few photos this being the best one:

 

Croatian music

Three of the five singers who joined us on board our ship. While they knew people were taking pictures, they probably didn't realize that I was drawing pictures, too.

 

I also created a few sketches of the band while they performed, this being the best one:

 

Croatian musical sketch

I try to always make my subjects look as dignified as possible.

Sick Sketches

January 15th, 2014

Yeah, I can draw really sick stuff sometimes. Take last week for instance – I was sick as a dog for much of the week with a temperature. I was sneezing, wheezing, hacking, yacking, shivering, sweating and sleeping for days on end. In a rare moment of lucidity, I picked up my sketchbook to draw the most brilliant thoughts my hazy mind could come up with in that moment. All that came out was a tamed down version of what I was physically feeling. It’s just sick stuff. Look if you dare.

 

Flu Art

Make an appointment NOW to see your doctor. You will probably come down with the flu in a few days since you've just seen this sketch.