Monday, December 28, 2009

SCULPTURE - "Frog Rider" pt.1

Time for a new sculpture project! In the past, I've waited until the piece was pretty much finished before starting to post. But now, I'm going to show this as a "work in progress". Not sure how long it will take, so keep checking in!

Below are the sketches that I started several months ago. I wanted to revisit the Samurai Warrior theme that I've done before (see my "SamuRhino" sculpt). I'm going to create a Beetle riding a Battle-Frog. Both will be decked out with full Samurai gear influenced by lots of photos of authentic costumes. (But it'll be my own design...I don't know what beetles and frogs really wore back then.)

Below is the wire armature (see top photo) covered with aluminum foil. I gave the basic structure a thin layer of Super Sculpy, and baked it. The tall wires were for blades of grass to be sculpted later. They are needed to help support the weight of the frog's extended pose. I did modify the grass somewhat, as you'll see later.

Here's the progression of the hands...thin wire is needed to support the fingers. Then I flesh out the arms. I didn't try to add too much detail at this stage, because I will be adding a lot of armor and stuff later on.

Here's where things are at the moment. I finished up the feet, the grass blades, and the base. I'm keeping the anatomy a bit on the "generic" side, since not much will be visible underneath all the armor. Obviously, the head is missing...I'll make that separately, since it's easier than working it while it's attached to the body. But that'll have to wait until next post...stay tuned!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Here Ya Go, Little Bro!

Okay...this one is for my brother, Kris, who was wondering why he wasn't in the other photo with the toys. (Kris, you'll have to ask Mom if she has the old slide for the rest of that image...that's all she sent me of it.) Now that I have the "model release" from him to post, I found this little gem from 1962! As you can's all about you, brother...Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Blast from the Past...circa 1965! I was one happy kid! I was so thrilled to get "Johnny West" with his horse "Thunderbolt", and the noble "Chief Cherokee". I also got another "G.I.Joe" (had several of those through the years). And I loved my "Jerry Mahoney" dummy (which came with an album to teach me how to be a ventriloquist...never mastered that.) Looks like a jigsaw puzzle of dogs in the mix, too. And finally, I see a giant "Troll" figure. (They were popular at the time...lots of guys had 'em...I'm sure of it...scary, scary trolls!)

I hope you have a great holiday with family and friends!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PAINTINGS - "Hopscotch" Enhanced

Here's the new "final" version...thanks to the magic of Photoshop. I like it better now, and might try the combo traditional/digital approach again sometime. There are some painterly qualities I wouldn't have gotten with just the computer (though I haven't played a lot with Corel Painter, which can get close). But I'll probably switch to acrylics, since they don't stink up the house like oils do. Okay...done with that...on to something else!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PAINTINGS - "Hopscotch"

Here's a little experiment I just finished oil painting of some BOTS. Technically, it's not completly done...I plan to enhance it digitally in the next day or two. Not sure it's working that well, but I had fun goofing around with it. And now that I'm on VACATION for the next TWO WEEKS (may I say "Woo Hoo!" at this point), I'll have some time for more art projects that I plan to post later.

I had a few unused canvas panels in the studio (I usually paint on masonite board). I also had recently finished another painting, so all my gear was out. First, I stained the canvas with a gray tone made from the leftover globs of the previous painting. Next, I moved on to the sketch phase.
For some reason, my brain landed on a giant robot who was "the new kid at school", and he was a bit overly enthusiastic over a game of hopscotch the others were playing. We live down the street from an elementary school, so our walks on the playground was an obvious influence.

Below are the stages the painting went through, before ending up with the image at the top. To be honest, I actually like my rough block-in the best. I love to see artists' work that is nice and's a real challenge to make myself refrain from overworking things. You'll notice that I rearranged the composition some...I moved the other little bot-kids around, and repositioned the big-bot's arm.

Stay tuned... I'll be making some final adjustments in Photoshop!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SKETCHBOOK: "Crazy the Cat"

Last Sunday, my wife and I went to Kauffmann Garden (one of her favorite spots to go photograph). While Cat wandered around outside, I stayed inside the conservatory and sketched the resident feline, Crazy. She's a pretty laid back kitty. But not everyone likes her...there's a mockingbird at the garden that frequently dive-bombs her. Unresolved issues from their past, I guess.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Ran across these while lookin' through some of my sketchbooks tonight. So...decided to post 'em.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Here Comes Santa Paws!

I have my daughter Jenni to thank for this goofy image. Her recent blog-post of her cat, Pika, reminded me of this thing we discovered around Christmas years ago. Our cat, Lacey, has a Santa face on her back left foot! Okay, perhaps I enhanced the above image a little with the hat. But you can see the real deal below.

(The more I'm lookin' at it...could be a know...the abominable kind.)

And here is Lacey getting really perturbed that I woke her up for this.
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BEFORE and AFTER: "Flying Saucer"

Here was a fun little treasure I found while digging around in my attic. It was probably done when I was in Jr. High, back in the early 1970s.
There are obvious influences on my crayon drawing from some of the sci-fi shows on television and the movies I grew up watching. The short list would have to include the "Jupiter 2" saucer from LOST IN SPACE, the movies EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, and of course THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. And who can forget the immortal words spoken to GORT, the giant robot, to prevent him from destroying the earth as we know it..."Klaatu Baradda Nikto!"

So, as part of my "Before and After" series, I couldn't resist updating that drawing with a digital painting. I stirred in of some of those ingredients from the aforementioned favorites. And for extra fun, I thought I'd bring back "The Vark" to help keep our skies safe! Hope you like.

Here's a closer detail view.