Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

2014 Monster Month: Day 13 – Malffs of the Mist

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Meet the Malffs who rise up majestically from the moist mist while moving their marvelous mugs in magnificent motions timed with their own merry music. Moreover, their mobile members morbidly meander in a most malleable manner to suggest the majority of their bones have no meaningful mass, at least none that can be measured. Contemplating the whole mess can make your mind melt.

Today’s creature is brought to you by the letter M.

 

Malff monster

More monsters on Monday!

2014 Monster Month: Day 10 – Jackenstein

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

I often get asked “why monsters?” There are two answers to that: 1. the world of fantasy allows for as much creativity as one can handle, and 2. Jack Davis.

Jack Davis is the monster king. He has drawn many topics over his career for MAD Magazine, TIME Magazine, advertising art, movie posters, TV Guides, animation – you name it! However, his abilities with comic monsters have no comparison. While he has drawn the grotesque at times, it is his fearless work with a brush and ink on countless comedic takes on the creatures of the night that have delighted this fan for a long time. And which monster of his do they keep coming back for more? Frankenstein’s monster, naturally (or should I say “unnaturally”?).

On a rare recent visit with Jack, he told me that the Frankenstein monster is the one he gets asked to draw most often, and is it any wonder? Once he created that six foot tall Frankenstein poster in 1972 that captured the imagination of little boys everywhere while disgusting their mothers, he cemented his status as the king! I have had my own fascination with Frankenstein’s monster over the years, likely due to Jack’s influence. So much so that I include a Frankie every year in Monster Month! (Click here to see the collection!)

So, this year’s Frankie is a caricature of the monster king himself, Jack Davis, complete with his own zombie Georgia bulldog in a piece I like to call Jackenstein!

 

Frankenstein

Jack "Frankenstein" Davis roaming the countryside and keeping away from fire.

Jackenstein close

A little close-up so you can see the full hideousness of Jackenstein! Mwuahahaha!

 

If you are unfamiliar with Jack Davis’ almost 90 years of sketches, paintings and illustrations (he was born with a pencil in his hand of course), please CLICK HERE to see some great examples of his work!

Return again tomorrow to see how bees interact with monsters!

Burbank Bulldogs Water Polo

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Last year I was approached to create a one-of-a-kind design for the back of the letterman jacket for a member of Burbank High School’s lady bulldogs water polo team. From what I was told, she wasn’t thrilled with whatever choices the school was offering for the back of the jacket, so her father hired me to create a custom image.

I worked up my own version of a bulldog, kept it tough and formidable and yet added elements of femininity to represent the team of ladies who would deliver water polo justice to their competitors.

And yes, this was for use on just ONE jacket. She has a very nice father.

Bulldog design

Here is the original design done in five colors - black, white, pink, and two shades of blue. The dark blue background was just a placeholder for the dark blue color of the actual jacket onto which this would be embroidered.

 

Bulldog design

Here is the final design as embroidered on the back of the letterman jacket. I was fairly pleased with it, though a little annoyed that they eliminated the black outline from the water that was intended to be there.

“The Sakai Project” Book Signing

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

As a contributor to The Sakai Project book, published last week by Dark Horse Comics, I will be participating in a big book signing this coming Saturday. Even Stan Sakai himself will be in attendance. If you are in the Los Angeles area, come on out and meet SEVENTEEN artists!

 

Sakai Project

The Sakai Project

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Well, today is the BIG day! Dark Horse Comics, in collaboration with the Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS), has released The Sakai Project, a beautiful 9×12″, 160 page hardcover book of artists’ interpretations of Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo comic book character that he has been writing and drawing for the past thirty years. Its big splash debut is at the San Diego Comic Con where it is likely to be THE book to take around to artists to get autographed.

 

Stan Sakai

The front cover features an illustration by Stan Sakai, the only spot where Stan's actual artwork appears in the book.

 

The book came about because CAPS (of which I am a member) started a fundraiser auction to help Stan Sakai with bills that exceeded his health insurance coverage in the care of his wife, Sharon, who has brain cancer. So many artists started sending in original creations of Usagi Yojimbo, that auction organizer Tone Rodriguez thought there ought to be a book! Mike Richardson, head honcho of Dark Horse Comics, generously offered to pay for the publication of the book with all sales going directly to Stan & Sharon.

 

The Sakai Project

This is a photo from CAPS' Facebook page. Click on it to see their album of art, both Usagi and non-Usagi, that they sold in their fundraiser for the Sakais.

 

Back in April I shared with you my piece, but I’ll share it again here. It appears on page 30 in the book, right next to my friend Michael Jantze who draws The Norm comic strip. Page 30 in a 30th anniversary book is not too shabby. The painting has found a good home somewhere when it was sold on eBay back in May to help the Sakais.

 

Usagi Yojimbo

Here is the full watercolor and colored pencil piece that occupies a corner of page 30 in "The Sakai Project."

Usagi Yojimbo

…and since it was reproduced small in the book, here is a close-up so you can see some of the detail.

 

So, go to your local comic book shop today and pick up this GREAT tome. You will get to see some amazing art by folks like Mike Mignola, William Stout, Sergio Aragonès, J. Scott Campbell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Tone Rodriguez, Geof Darrow, Tim Sale, Kazu Kibuishi, Adam Hughes, Art Adams, Neal Adams, Frank Cho, Jack Davis, Matt Wagner, and the list goes on and on!

You will also be helping out one of the sweetest couples I know, Sharon & Stan Sakai.

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.

 

FOR SALE

14×11″ colored pencil on Canson paper - $215.00

(FREE SHIPPING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES  - ADDITIONAL FEES MAY APPLY FOR INTERNATIONAL)

CONTACT CHAD@CHADFRYE.COM


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.

 

ART FOR SALE

THE ORIGINAL 16X20″ WATERCOLOR & COLORED PENCIL PAINTING (UNFRAMED) – $2,000.00

A 13X16.5″ LIMITED EDITION (ONLY 25 MADE) ARCHIVAL PRINT ON WATERCOLOR PAPER HAND SIGNED AND NUMBERED (UNFRAMED) – $150.00

(FREE SHIPPING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES  - ADDITIONAL FEES MAY APPLY FOR INTERNATIONAL)

CONTACT CHAD@CHADFRYE.COM