Archive for the ‘Self Portrait’ Category

2014 Monster Month: Day 19 – Slumber Party

Monday, October 27th, 2014

During last year’s Monster Month, I introduced you to my neighbors, the monsters who live above me. (If you missed that post, CLICK HERE for some context!) While their noise levels have lessened slightly by a decibel over the past year, they recently unleashed a torrent of audio pollution upon their unsuspecting neighbors that tops anything they were guilty of before. Yes, I speak of the event known as “the slumber party.”

When parents open themselves up to host an overnight gathering of little female monsters from all over town in their home, they know that it means very little sleep for themselves. This is fine for them to do when they own a house (so long as they keep the windows closed), but when one shares walls and floors with other people who are not celebrating the occasion with them, the word “inconsiderate” is not strong enough.

I learned something that day – little girls are highly capable of sustained energy. For four hours, one could clearly hear banging, thumping, squealing, growling (yes, growling), yelling, singing, loud music, and probably the slurping from a fresh kill. In my home, pictures were tilting, ceiling fans falling, cracks forming, book shelves twisting, glasses shattering, and nerves were rattling.


Slumber Party

There is nothing like your own private four hour earthquake. Good times.


Once the trembles subsided that night,I went to bed. Somehow going to bed late does not mean little monsters sleep in late. Right at the crack of dawn the walls started cracking again. There was no escaping it – no matter where you went in my home you were assaulted by the continued revelry from above – even in what is usually the quiet sanctuary of the bathroom. Truly monstrous indeed.

So, if you live in an apartment, please be kind to your neighbors and figure out an appropriate way to celebrate your little monsters away from disturbing the rest of mankind.

We are in the final week of MONSTER MONTH! Enjoy and share these precious moments with your friends!

2014 Monster Month: Day 1 – Monstrum Artificem

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

…otherwise known as “Monster Artist”. (Yes, I invoked the language of Latin in an effort to sound smart. Did it work?)

Welcome to the first of the new images for 2014′s MONSTER MONTH! Following the tradition of past years, our first selection of the month is a self-portrait. I don’t often take this form in my day-to-day life – unless I am driving on California freeways. Then this is the form that my Jekyl & Hyde personality takes on.


Artist Portrait

The thing that makes this most disturbing is that I am not wearing any clothes.

Come back again tomorrow and each weekday in October to see more illustrated creatures from my twisted mind.


Merry Christmas 2013

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Christmas creeped up on me this year. I would love to share with you a brand new Christmas card, but alas, life and work prevented me from being able to sit down and create a painting this year. These past few months have provided some freelance work, a vacation to Eastern Europe, long hours at the animation studio, and trying to prepare my home for a parental Christmas visit. So, for the first time in almost twenty years, a new card is not to be.

However, I would like to dust off one of my previous cards created before this blog ever existed. This is one of my favorites first seen in 2001 by maybe only 200 families. It really gets to the essence of what Christmas is all about – that God willingly came to earth in the form of a man ready to save mankind from our sins if we let Him.


For God So Loved the World

For God so loved the world, even that fella in the lower right corner making a cameo in his own painting.

Merry Christmas

I know not everyone celebrates Christmas for one reason or another, but I do. Christmas is a holiday that means very much to me as one who believes the words of John 3:16-17. It is sobering to truly realize that Christ was born for us. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that wherever you may be in this world, and wherever you may be in this life, the reality of Christ will be yours. Merry Christmas.

Happy Birthday Jack Davis!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

One of my artistic heroes is the inimitable Jack Davis. Oh, many have tried to copy him artistically, but no one can come close to the master both artistically AND personally. While Jack’s art style is an island unto itself, his easy-going Southern gentleman personality sparkles as a rarity amongst cartoonists. When you first meet him you just want to be his friend instantly. That moment for me came in 1997 when I first met Jack at a Reuben Awards hosted by the National Cartoonists Society at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.

Many years have past since then, and I am privileged that our first handshake turned into an actual friendship. Back in 2006 when I was president of the Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS), we created an award called The Sergio (designed and named after Sergio Aragonès) to be given annually to a cartoonist whose body of work the cartooning community feels is invaluable and inspiring. Our very first recipient had to be no one other than Jack.

Today happens to be Jack Davis’ 89th birthday, yet somehow his work remains as youthful as the day he started. He is STILL showing us how it is done.

The art I share with you today was my tribute to Jack that appeared in the program book from that Sergio Award banquet. Many cartoonists created little pieces for Jack who not only took home a nice statue, but also a nice portfolio of all the original tribute art.


Jack Davis art

As a die hard Southerner, it has always been nice that Jack has overlooked the fact that I am a Yankee...unless he actually never realized that.


So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jack Davis! And if you don’t know the work of this great man from MAD Magazine, movie poster illustration, TIME Magazine covers, TV Guide covers, books, advertising art, Wacky Packages, U.S. postage stamps, and just about anything else you can think of, please do yourself a favor and Google his name!


2013 Monster Month: Day 15 – The Monster Manipulator

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Welcome to the grand finale of 2013′s Monster Month! This piece was painted as a cover this past August for the National Cartoonist’s Society (NCS) magazine The Cartoon!st that featured an article about yours truly. I was honored to be invited by editor Frank Pauer to be interviewed, and had a great time creating this monster menagerie to accompany the issue. I have been a member of the NCS for eighteen years, and am proud to be a part of that fine professional organization.


Monster Menagerie

The Monster Manipulator with his league of out-of-the-ordinary gentlemen.


This piece was created mostly the old fashioned way – with real watercolor paints and colored pencils! Only the bookcase eye glow and the haze on the glass dome were manipulated digitally. The hard part was in getting the fellas to all hold their poses for me while I painted them from real life.

I hope you have enjoyed this creepy time together over the past month. I truly had a blast creating the creatures. Bookmark my blog to make it easy for you to see more fun art being posted throughout the year!

2013 Monster Month: Day 1 – Wolfchad

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

What better way to get Monster Month kicked off than with a self-effacing interpretation of the Wolfman. This is a version of how I look before I’ve had my coffee in the morning.



This is how I really am. When a full moon appears, I become normal looking.


For those of you paying attention to my signature, I originally drew this one back in 2010. It was a sketch in my sketchbook that I inked, then scanned and colored in Photoshop. I was playing around with the idea of turning myself into the Wolfman for 2010′s Monster Month, when a funnier idea came to mind. I redrew myself a little less angry getting scolded by a police officer. CLICK HERE if you’d like to see THAT drawing which was inspired by THIS drawing!

The next installment of boogie monsters arrives here on Friday!

An Exercise In Vanity

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Today’s drawing is an exercise in vanity. I was thinking that it was time to try another cartoony self-portrait. I’d like to say that there was a noble reason for doing it such as it was needed for advertising an upcoming personal appearance at a children’s hospital, or perhaps it was to be used on “sorry you are in here” sympathy cards to send to the nursing home. No, nothing as honorable as that. Instead, it is just for my Facebook profile “photo”.

However, I did want to challenge myself creatively a little. I love the seemingly simple look of the old UPA cartoons – you know, like “Gerald McBoing-Boing” or even the old Mr. Magoo cartoons. The use of straight lines and round shapes intrigued me, so I set out to work up a version of myself inspired by that look.


The Cartoonist

Now does that look like a happy cartoonist or what?


For those of you who like to know the details, it was hand inked with a brush pen on a bumpy Strathmore watercolor paper pad. That’s why the line skips here and there giving it a loose quality. Then it was scanned into Photoshop where color was applied loosely, erased a little with a dry brush built into Pshop, and then a dot pattern was applied across all the color. Voilà!

It is always fun to try to work in a different style. It is easier to experiment on a subject matter that one is familiar with. There’s a reason my blog has a “Self Portrait” category over on the right side – so you can see many experiments in style using myself as the guinea pig. If you’d like to explore them now CLICK HERE! There are two pages of images to peruse.


2011 Monster Month: Day 1 – The Drawing Dead

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

WELCOME to the return of Monster Month!

This is my third annual offering of a piece of monster art every week day throughout the month of October. Some creatures will manifest themselves as watercolor paintings, some as inked drawings, digital art, pencil drawings, and even sketches direct from the pages of my sketchbook.

Word must have gotten out, because this past year I actually had a few commissioned monster assignments come across my desk, so I’ll be sharing some of those monsters with a purpose as well.

As has become tradition the past couple of years, the first monster drawing of the month was inspired by my mirror. In year one I was Frankenstein’s monster, and year two I was the Wolfman. So, with zombies being the most media savvy beasts these days, Monster Month will be kicked off with the Chad Frye Zombie! When creating my art, I’m usually most conscientious about the composition, but this time, I had to keep in mind the decomposition. (Can I have a rimshot, Smitty?)


Chad Frye Zombie Guy

You might think this is a creepy drawing, but it's really how I look in the mornings. Be thankful this is only a drawing - I haven't brushed my teeth yet.


Well, there you have it. And to think I did have braces when I was a teenager. Zombie life can be so unforgiving, especially on my skin. Sooo hard to keep those pores open.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some behind-the-scenes goodies on the piece of art that got me started on this whole monster kick.