I didn’t get any sketching done this week but I stamped and addressed a ton of these Wayne Static postcards. Friends and readers of MWSNM will be receiving these in the weeks to come.
If you haven’t seen Wayne in your mailbox by the end of February, it means A) I don’t have your mailing address, or B) you live outside the USA and a single postcard stamp isn’t enough! To get on my wonderfully anarchistic mailing list, just go to the Contact Page and drop a line.
A friend of mine bought the original Wayne Static drawing (framed and matted) from me last year. If you dig Wayne Static or his band Static X, you might like to order this drawing as a print, t-shirt, shower curtain, or whatever else your heart desires.
Oh, by the way. I turned 43 in January, and my sister sent me this sweet mountain lion mug. Mountain Lions Forever!
The portrait above is based on a photo I saw after googling “flock of seagulls haircut.”
Below are two sketches based on drawings my friend Brian did for a comic book we made a few years ago. These beasties will be models for the “dragons” in the Meteor Mags stories.
Here are the brush tip pens I’ve been experimenting with this year.
You can get them cheap on Amazon.
It’s time to pollute more perfectly good blank paper!
Guitar guy is Michael Gira of Swans, using a video still as a reference. It might be fun to do an 11×17 on bristol board.
The Marvel Value Stamp of Electro (in the top pic) is a rough for an idea of doing a Value Stamp Series as 11×17 pieces. Then again, it might be more fun to do a series of 11×17 Meteor Value Stamps, with characters from the Meteor Mags stories instead of Marvel classics.
It’s time to start picking poses for the next series of Meteor Mags illustrations, so we’ve been trying out some different things. This silly tribute to Church of the Subgenius made it onto the refrigerator.
The first printed copies of Red Metal at Dawn arrived and they look great. And, proof copies arrived for two music albums to be released on compact disc this month. They look good, too. Once Amazon gets them set up to buy, we’ll take a look at them here.
Oak Toad on a Leaf
Micron 05 and 01 fine point pen
And that’s it for my drawing pad of 6×8 paper! Though I have a couple other blank sketchbooks waiting, I might get another 6×8 pad to have around. I like working in this size for several reasons. One, it takes less time to go from concept to completion than it does with a 9×12 drawing. Two, the dimensions make it easier to crop to a 5×7 aspect ratio for custom-printed greeting cards. Three, I can find mats and frames for a much more reasonable price at this size, compared to the relatively exorbitant cost of matting a 9×12 to an 11×14 frame. And four, since I draw all my mid-tone lines by hand without a ruler, it is less challenging to cover large areas of the drawing than it is in a 9×12. Just try drawing hundreds of straight lines across a 9×12 sheet of paper sometime, and you’ll see what I mean!
Like last week’s damselfly, this toad had as its photo reference one of my mother’s recent nature photographs. She’s taken some especially crisp and detailed photos of small animals lately, and it’s been fun using them as inspiration for opportunities to practice inking with fine point pens.
Micron 05 and 01 fine point pens and Sharpie marker.
You can tell this is a damselfly, not a dragonfly, by the folded wings. A dragonfly at rest would hold its wings out flat. Damselflies fold their wings above their thorax like this.
We might get it printed on a 14×14 throw pillow. Matting and framing the 6×8 original will be our little project for this afternoon.
Mom deserves credit for taking the original photograph this drawing is based on. We don’t think she’ll mind if we share it with you here:
Our little pad of 6×8 drawing paper is nearly empty now, so we cracked open our pad of 11×17 bristol board to do a quick ink study. Though we’ve painted on much larger canvases, we haven’t gone bigger than 9×12 for drawing. We broke the ice with a Diatryma based on a smaller study from a year or two ago. We’d like to do a whole series of 11×17 prehistoric animals in marker and pen, but working in these dimensions will take a bit of getting used to.
This wind-up toy dutifully marches through a sky filled with Kirby Krackle in tribute to the 1978 toy created by Tomy. For a photo reference, we used a picture taken for our eBay listing which sold this robot a few months ago. This black and white drawing was created with Micron 05 fine point pen, various Sharpie markers, white gel pen, and black pastel. 5×7 aspect ratio, from a high-resolution (300 dpi) scan of original art.
This week, we recreated an ink drawing from last year. The paper size on the original was slightly irregular, so we wanted to make one that would perfectly fit a 6×8 mat in an 8×10 frame. The dimensions on the image above are 5×7, a convenient size for printing cards, but the original is 6×8.
Then we wrapped up this portrait of Sandra Rose from last week. Sandra loves metal and metal heads and dreams of uniting the people of the world in one giant mosh pit. Starting with her photo reference, we gave her a black rose tattoo based on some anarchist symbolism, the pirate’s jolly roger, and some bottles of booze, cards, and coins in the background.
Clicking the images above will bring up the pages where you can buy them as prints. This summer, we anticipate framing 10-15 of these 6×8 pieces and listing them on eBay.
Revisiting an earlier drawing gave us a moment to reflect on the role these weekly postings have played in our development, that luxury of the blogging world which our friends at Longbox Graveyard jokingly call self-indulgent navel gazing. But recently, someone mentioned they “didn’t get” blogging. Having kept a number of journals, dream journals, sketchbooks, musical recordings, and blogs over the years, we can say there is a definite benefit to making journal entries regularly, especially if you are artistically-inclined or working on a project.
When we started doing 4×6 ink drawings last year, they were coming out pretty rough. We were merely exploring possibilities with our new pens. But recently, and with the addition of mats and frames, the 6x8s and 9x12s are starting to look pretty good on the wall. Visitors say nice things about them, a few of them sold, and even our landlord says we’re starting to get good lol. Having a weekly check-in for ‘sketchbook sundays’ has helped us keep improving. More than once, we have caught ourselves on a Saturday with nothing drawing-related to show for the week, and it gives us a push to get into creative mode. It isn’t like anyone who drops by our anarchic little blog is going to send us hate mail if we miss a week, but little checkpoints each week have helped us stick with it and pursue our illustrative fantasies.
This little frog revisits a 4×6 drawing we did with our very first set of fine point pens in March, 2013. The original 4×6 sold on eBay. This one is bigger at 6×8, though the image above is cropped to 5×7. It uses more solid black in the background than the original version did, but the frog is pretty much the same.
We didn’t post it last week so here is a new illustration for one of the Meteor Mags stories. It was fun to produce. It began with posing for the shot, so yeah it’s sort of a self portrait. But with more awesome hair.
This was the first time we used a white gel pen to put some stars in the sky. For a guide, we studied the stars on the cover of Iron Man #215, shown below. That’s a book we bought at the drug store in the mid 1980s, and maybe we’ll feature it here sometime.
Every so often we do a study of this old comic panel from Weird War Tales. As our inking improves over the years, so do the studies. One of these days we won’t screw up hand-lettering this piece so badly that we have to paint out all the words and re-do them digitally. Here we used the Brian Bolland font purchased from Richard Starking’s Comicraft, a company you may be familiar with if you ever read Elephantmen.
The fox cub throw pillow arrived just in time for our sister’s birthday this week. She sent us this photo of the finished 20 x 14 pillow.
It came out really well, she reports. It’s pretty wild seeing Micron 05 fine point pen lines enlarged to this size thanks to a high res scan.
We got these cards with a bee on them and have been sending them out on birthdays with the terrible pun “happy bee-day” inside. We need to touch up the source image, clean faint noise out of the white area, and upload a new source image to the printer, but they look pretty neat.
The latest 9×12 Mags portrait may or may not get stars in the background. We need to practice stars first. Here she is in a temporary frame for safe keeping. Sorry about getting the ceiling fan in the shot oops.
We picked up a few 8×10 frames and mats for our 6×8 drawings. Here is a 6×8 version of an 8×10 puma drawing we did last year.
The frames are “country red” which means sort of reddish brown, with black mats. Here is puma framed.
Wayne Static got himself a frame, along with a few others we will photograph before listing for sale.
We’d like to find something similar for our 9×12’s but then shipping becomes a problem. These 8×10’s are LARGER than 8×10 on the outside edge, obviously, so they just fit in a medium flat rate Priority Mail box or the Fed Ex equivalent. A 9×12 piece of paper fits in one of these, but once you figure in the outside edge of the frame, the box is too small. So then you jump up into a more expensive shipping tier. If you have any brilliant solutions to shipping 9×12 framed art, send us a message please!
Until then, happy sketching!
This Sketchbook Sunday, let’s take a trip down memory lane. We made an auction listing for the last surviving remnants of our sketchbooks in the 1990s and early 2000s. We’ve scanned and reworked some of them into new art, and we’d like to re-do a few with our fine point pens. But even though some are pretty ragged by now, we’re pretty sentimental about them. Maybe they will find a new home.
[Update: They did find a new home! SOLD.]
Micron 08 fine-point pen and Sharpie marker
While looking for a poem in our archives this week, we recalled a scan of a bee that we never got around to using as a photo reference. The poem received an edit and the bee enjoyed an evening in the spotlight after all this time.