Tag Archives: art

sketchbook sundays

pastel puma framed (4)

Instead of sketching this week, we devoted our sketch time to framing and listing several of our favorite pieces from the past year. It turns out to be quite a process: selecting and ordering frames, photographing each piece, and coming up with something compelling to say about them for the listing. Add to that unpacking, assembling, packing, and uploading, and you’ve suddenly got a pretty big project on your hands.

GI Robot 1 framed (2)

But, at the end, the final framed piece of art gives you a major feeling of satisfaction. You’ve taken an idea and made it real. In today’s world of goods and services performed virtually and delivered by email, we sometimes lose an important reward: that day you can step back, take a look at what you accomplished, and know it as a tangible thing.

sleepy kitty framed (5)

Big cats and comic book themes in pastels, along with ink drawings of abstracts and animals, have now joined our art listings on eBay. If you see something there that you like, know that it is already packed up and ready to ship Priority Mail the same or next day. That goes for our readers outside the USA, too, if your country is covered by eBay’s Global Shipping program. If not, we can still do International Priority Mail to many more countries, for an additional shipping charge.

pastel tiger framed (1)

A few people had their eyes on Behold the Awesomizer! That painting, a tribute to jack Kirby, sold. We would really like the chance to create a couple more on larger canvas.

We have a 24×36 inch version of a similar “cosmic hand” on unframed canvas which has been waiting for a frame. If you’re interested in owning it and framing it yourself, send us an email and we will work out a shipping solution for you. For now, we have a 9×12 treatment in pastel, framed.

cosmic hand framed (4)

A couple more photos of framed ink drawings and that’s it for this Sketchbook Sunday. Happy sketching!

ink frog 1 (1)

somewhere between earth and mars framed (3)

sketchbook saturdays

sketchbooks 7 (1)Ellie the Studio Cat advised us that it was entirely too nice a day to be drawing inside, so the two of us chilled at the little picnic table outside sketching prehistoric animals. We’re doing some very rough studies to get a feel for rendering these ancient critters with a combination of Sharpie and fine-point pens.

And yes, Ellie does look like she’s scowling in this photo, but she is just relaxing, contentedly hanging out for sunshine and sketching.

Anyway! Trilobites seemed like they would be simple, but their unique anatomy presents some conceptual challenges. Since this sketch we found some more photo references from the Burgess Shale that depict a few different types of trilobites with anatomical variations. We will master the trilobite yet!

sketchbooks 7 (2)

Rod Ruth has a pencil drawing in Album of Prehistoric Animals that makes a great reference for Diatryma feathers and anatomy. This was the easiest one of the bunch to pin down where we would want fine lines versus bold chisel-tip inking.

sketchbooks 7 (3)

Smilodon smiles on, with Rod Ruth’s cover of the same book giving a perfect snarly pose to work from.

sketchbooks 7 (4)

The skull of Dunkleosteus appears in one of our favorite books, Extinction. The interesting plate structure of this placoderm’s head easily lent itself to bold black lines.

sketchbooks 7 (7)

sketchbooks 7 (6)

An Archaeocyathid from the same book was rendered in ink by one of the contributing artists, so we studied the way light and shadow define the curves.

sketchbooks 7 (8)

Here is our first rough pencil study of a panel by Bob Powell with a whacky sci-fi wasp from another planet who comes to earth in a globe of pure force. The sketch isn’t so great, but this is how we get to know our subjects.

sketchbooks 7 (9)

Our previous posting of Somewhere Between Mars and Earth got some encouraging response. We returned to it and filled in the lower right corner with more mega-doodle madness. Framed, it looks pretty darn trippy.
You can buy it on eBay if so moved. It’s packed up and ready to ship!

sketchbooks 7 (10)

Our first Sharpie study of And One of Them Was Destroyed felt good enough that we want to do a more finished version on some high-quality artist paper. While we get materials together for that endeavor, our two-page sketch can enjoy this 12×18 frame!

sketchbooks 7 (11)

Last but not least, we framed our little frog from our book of watercolor paper postcards. It will list on eBay soon, and we will be picking up another book of those blank postcards. In the next round, though, we will take care to leave a border around the edges. Frog looks great, but another one of our cards really needs to be matted to a 5×7 frame to preserve the details at the edges. Live and learn!

sketchbooks 7 (12)

Somewhere Between Mars and Earth!

somewhere between mars and earth - Copy

We began this 8.5 x 11 mega-doodle as a study of Ian Miller’s line work in the illustrated edition of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

It soon took on a life of its own! Peter Deligdisch advises “keep calm and draw lines” in his collection Line of Thought, a work that Amazon groups with “zentangle.” We hadn’t heard of zentangle before, but that’s exactly what our art teacher called it when we started making textures with tons of lines. It may be a hot new art thing, but dig the way Ian Miller zentangled us on the road to Mars decades ago.

We like the energy effects and dynamic lightning bolts in the heart that Miller drew for the chapter called May 2003: The Wilderness. By drawing lines in one direction or the other, Miller creates distinct spaces and shapes. The lines serve as texture to give the area form or identity. Miller uses stippling and tiny circles to achieve a tasty variation of our favorite thing in the universe: Kirby Krackle. And, because so much of the page is “textured” or rendered, his empty white spaces also become solid objects. We have long admired this artwork, and approaching it analytically with the right tools for the job turned out to be fun and educational.

The Ian Miller edition of the book includes this quote from the Bradbury text as a preface: And somewhere between Mars and Earth everything of the message was lost… and his voice came through saying only one word: “Love.”

And One of Them Was Destroyed!

and one of them was destroyed study - Copy

Sharpie Marker study of a comic book panel from The Eternals by Jack Kirby (Marvel, 1976.) I don’t recall exactly which issue, since this page is lacquered onto my table top. Here is our digital restoration of the original splash panel (two page spread) from a scan. So much Kirby Krackle!

jack kirby eternals splash 3

Take the Rhino by the Horn!

rhino by the horn study - Copy

Sharpie Marker study of a photograph from National Geographic.

Too Bad for You, My Old Friend!

omega red study - Copy

Sharpie Marker study of a panel from X-Men #5. Original panel penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams. Dialogue by John Byrne & Jim Lee.

Too Bad for Them We’re Out of Here!

too bad for them were out of here study - Copy

Sharpie Marker study of a panel from X-Men #5. Original panel penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams. Dialogue by John Byrne & Jim Lee.

We did a 16 x 20 painting of this one, which you can buy on eBay. It combines paint, Sharpie Marker, and Sharpie Paint Pens, finished with a high gloss for vibrancy and durability.

too bad for them were out of here (2)

too bad for them were out of here (6)

too bad for them were out of here (5)


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