Archive for the ‘Character Designs’ Category

Batman Day

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

According to every third post on Facebook this week, apparently we had a Batman Day. (The other two thirds of the posts were about Comic Con and cats.) I was not aware we had a holiday to celebrate Batman, so I seem to have missed it.

I like Batman, so I want in on the celebration. I took a little time to reimagine the Dark Knight as someone who enjoyed the luxuries of his fame a little too much. By the time Bruce Wayne reached middle age, he probably was a little soft around the middle, needed glasses, and got to the point where he just didn’t care about shaving. The fact that this version slightly resembles me is in no way my fantasy of hurling myself through the night to rescue citizens in distress with cool gadgets while wearing an unwieldy cape. If I were to do that, I would go without the cowl and take all the credit as Chadman.

 

Chadman

See, this is why I DO NOT cosplay. The costume wouldn't look right, and I'd probably be going around trying to save London instead of Gotham.

 

Well, enjoy (or enjoyed) Batman Day. I have to run. Some spotlight in the sky just got my attention…

Dog Days of Summer

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

…well, dog, cat and mouse days of summer actually. It has been pretty hot here over the past few days – routinely in the 90s, but the other day I looked outside and saw 102 on my thermometer. Made me VERY glad to be inside!

Despite having the cool comfort of air conditioning at my beck and call, the outside heat still makes one feel sluggish which was translated vicariously through my arm to paper with these critters. They can do all my slugging for me.

 

Hot Pets

Before any of you e-mail me to tell me cats and dogs don't get sweaty brows, just remember this is a drawing. It isn't real life. Mice, however, always fan themselves in real life.

 

 

This drawing is for sale! 14×11″ colored pencil on Canson paper. $200 + $10 shipping in the U.S. (Despite them looking thirsty, do not pour water on this paper.)

IMF Birds

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Last night I was watching the classic Mission: Impossible television show when I reached over for my sketchbook and started doodling…..birds. Yeah, I don’t know why either. Cold War dramas don’t usually bring birds out of me, even though the Impossible Mission Force does seem to keep the pecking order in check. Although, now that I look at the sketches the next day, that strong eagle on the right does bear a slight unconscious resemblance to Peter Graves. Hmmm.

 

Mission: Impossible

Birds of the Cold War. The biggest impossible mission is keeping them from soiling my car.

Violet Monkeys

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Here in Los Angeles, it has become a thing for small art galleries to host group shows of art created to a common theme. Local artists have created art for displays themed to the work of Tim Burton, Hanna Barbera, The Wizard of Oz, How To Train Your Dragon, and even the collected works of J.J. Abrams’ films and television shows. This past Saturday I contributed a piece to the Planet of the Apes themed show hosted by the Creature Features gallery in Burbank, California.

 

Charlton Heston

Based on the original Charlton Heston movie from 1968, the 16x20" "Violet Monkeys" was created with watercolor and colored pencil.

 

Perhaps you would like to hear a little behind-the-scenes story about this particular piece? It wasn’t that I just decided to one day create a painting from a forty-six year old movie. There is a little more than that to tell…

When I first moved to California to work for Disney Feature Animation in 1997, it was right as Hercules was being released. Charlton Heston was the opening narrator for that film, and being a fan of his work, I struck up a correspondence friendship with him. I always loved that first Planet of the Apes film, so after a few years of writing back and forth with George Taylor (Heston’s character’s name), I created my first Planet of the Apes painting in his honor for a solo art show to be held at the studio. Mr. Heston was going to attend, but unfortunately didn’t make it.

This past February I was going through some boxes and found a letter from Mr. Heston he had sent after seeing a print of that original painting (which is currently on my website). He wrote such a complimentary letter that all these years later it touched me again. Almost immediately after finding that note, I was invited to participate in Creature Features’ Planet of the Apes themed art show. With the renewed encouragement from that old letter, it was time to reinvent that piece created eleven years ago that, quite frankly, could stand to have a make-over.

As the deadline for the show loomed, the realization set in that time was running out to create the new piece. I was about to take off on a lengthy river boat trip through Russia, and suddenly got the idea that a painting could be created during sailing days between ports. The initial drawing was created while at home in the States, then it was packed along with some watercolor paper, paints, brushes and colored pencils for travel to Russia.

 

 

Riverboat Stateroom

While it wasn't the best studio in which to work, it was the most adventurous. This was the set-up in my room on board the riverboat that took me across Russia

 

Setting up a make-shift studio in my riverboat stateroom proved challenging due to the small, tight quarters. It became an adventure. I would open up my curtains, and watch the Russian countryside float by while sitting there working on purple gorillas and an orange Charlton Heston.

One day Julia, one of the ladies who worked the front desk, said to me out of the blue, “I like your violet monkeys.” I scratched my head trying to figure out what she was talking about at first. It turned out that she had come around the day before to deliver magazines about St. Petersburg to all our rooms and had seen the work-in-progress sitting there. She didn’t know what Planet of the Apes was, so she referred to the painting as “violet monkeys”. I liked the reference so much that the painting is now officially named Violet Monkeys.

 

Violet Monkeys

Meet Julia, the Russian front desk worker who unknowingly named my "Violet Monkeys" painting.

 

So, there you have it. This is my first major piece to have been created abroad (while aboard no less), and it was done while traveling over 1000 miles across Russia’s rivers, lakes, and canals between Moscow and St. Petersburg! It had to get done, because the art show opening was the day after I returned to the United States!

 

Grand Circle

This is me in front of the Tikhi Don ship (part of Grand Circle Travel's fleet) docked in St. Petersburg, Russia. This was my home and studio for the past two weeks.

 

While fighting with jet lag back in beautiful downtown Burbank, CA, I managed to get the framed art to the Creature Features gallery in just enough time for them to hang it for the evening’s opening. And boy, what an opening! Several hundred people were in attendance including fellow contributors Shag, Patrick Owsley, Ben Von Strawn, William Stout, and many others! A few enthusiastic fans even came dressed as characters from the movie. Taylor White and his Creature Features team put on a good show of fantastic art, and even costumes and props used in the classic productions!

 

Creature Features

One of two gallery rooms at Creature Features in Burbank, CA during the opening of the "Art of the Apes" group show.

Planet of the Apes art

You can see that "Violet Monkeys" is right at home amongst some other spiffy art.

Planet of the Apes fans

Interspecie attendance to the show was welcomed.

 

If you would like to see all of the art, it will be on display through the month of July. All the art is for sale, and some are even available as prints. Visit Creature Features website for more info!

 

 

 

Rib Lickin’ Good!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

A few weeks ago some friends had me over for a dinner of ribs with good cartoonist company. I’m not sure exactly why this strange image came to mind, because there were actually no cows there eating themselves, and as far as I know, I was not inadvertently eating my own ribs. It just tickled my funny bone (and no, we didn’t eat any of those, either).

 

Baby Back Ribs

Personally, the ONLY time I'd want a rib taken from me is if it meant that when I woke up, a beautiful woman was made from it just for me.

Can you caribou?

Sunday, 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

Monday, 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.

Happy Presidents’ Day – 2014

Monday, 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.