Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm the Chairman of the Bored

Maybe Bored is the Wrong Word:

So It is "STILLL" February and I can't wait for it to end. Not because I'm wishing my days away. I stopped doing that when I reached twenty something. No I am finding the month to be stifling even though it is still winter outside.

My ideas have no POW! My drawings have no ZING! and my interest has no ZAP!.

I think that it is more the time of year than anything. I find this problem in many creative types in February as we have now survived the holiday season and are waiting for Spring to well "spring!"

I have some exciting news for illustrators and artists Josh Kemble and Kevin Cross have re started Big Illustration Party Time. These are two excellent professional illustrators and cartoonists that have a lot to say about the industry and the creative process. Well worth a listen. You can start at episode 45 or go back and start at episode 1. They are updating the links from previous episodes to make it current and it is all good!

When You are Bored READ!

I have read a couple excellent comics this past week one by Chester Brown called "Louis Riel a illustrated autobiography."

It is drawn in the style of Little Orphan Annie creator/illustrator Harold Gray (1894–1968) and it really works! The story is about a Canadian rebel who was hanged for treason at the end of the 19th century. Though the book has a sympathetic leaning towards Louis Riel, Brown did his research and backs it up with reference notes at the back of the book (I read the hard cover).

I will say it is more a historical docudrama than a dry biography, but that is what you want!

Entertaining and interesting.

4 howls outta 5!

I also read "Hey, wait--"

A graphic novel by the award-winning Norwegian cartoonist Jason (his first appearance in the English language). A sad, poignant story about the life of a anthropomorphic character following his life choices ( and his life from child to grown up) and coming to a realization that sometimes doing nothing is a choice in itself...

The characters are humans drawn in animal form which you think might lessen the drama and sadness and separate us from main character's life but suits the story perfectly and draws us in...

4 howls outta 5

I am reading web comics 2.0 and finding that the book has a serious lean towards Adobe Illustrator (I use Manga EX 4.0) but there are some good pages regarding pitfalls of Web comics and also some pointers that can be used in both programs. If anything the book is a little dated but the history of web comics is encapsulated here and I do likes my history.

My Art Week:

Back to the day grind and if you read the first paragraph you can see why my art week is made up more of reading than doing!

But that shouldn't stop you from creating!

I did a drawing using a sexy tough chick model (posted below) which isn't so much an exact representation as a trial in capturing essence and attitude with the Manga EX ink brush pen tool.

I sometimes use photos for reference (here a lot more) but remember as my art teacher Miss Hoika once told me, "We already have photographers, be an ARTIST!"


Saturday, February 26, 2011

tough chick

tough chick, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Quick sketch from model using Manga EX ink brush tool...

Head tilt is off and she needs to be leaning forward more...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

D.I.Y. (but Don't Forget Others)

OR Don't Lose Yourself, In Yourself:

He-he, crazy I know but I think some people forget to live and can get lost in their art.

I mean that living isn't just the process of creating, it is life experience then processed in to art. I know some of you look at the word "process" and think of the negative connotation of "processed", like processed food... I think of it positively as an encompassing need to create but the evil dark side is the addiction of neglect of the whole. That which makes you the artist.

I have met these type of artists who think that painting 24 hours a day in their studio will answer their artistic or human needs.

They forget that to really create you can't just lock yourself in a room without any consequence or create consequence.

I know too many artists that forget this and fall into a bad habit and think that working "only" at their craft will be the answer, will make them whole.

What I am trying to impart to you is that you must go out and live, travel, interact, network, feel and yes even fail.

I don't mean with just artists but that is OK (for a start) I mean try and step outside your comfort zone. I know people who don't only draw comics/paint/play instruments but people whose interests vary from sports to cooking to gardening, physics to marine biology to whatever (OK so the marine biologist is married to a painter) . This is good...

This allows you to open up and expand on your process and makes for a healthier you, which makes for a healthier creator.

I know many of you are professionals or on the way to becoming a professional but don't forget that which made you who you are and there are others that can help you become more...

"Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine."
Honoré de Balzac

My Art Week:

I'm still working on my inks and probably becoming further removed from realistic illustration in terms of the detail work. I'm finding pose, fluidity and blacks in service of the illustration are what I am working on. I have also spent time sketching backgrounds and landscape reading Jack Hamm. Hamm's books on drawing have some excellent tips and exercises...

Keep on creating!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Leap Before You Look

leap before you look, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Idea for Kellen story and Wolin but I am still blocking blacks and working the inking tool. You can see my scribble thums/roughs behind the top layer but I am too tired it is 4:15 am Zzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Computer Weak errr Week and the Bane of the Excitement Empath

It's Just Too Much!!!

When I read or listen to people talk about their favourite past time I wonder if I'm an excitement "empath"?

I might not even care so much about what they are talking about but I find their excitement and enthusiasm infectious. It can be dangerous as I have some friends with expensive hobbies and if not careful "once bitten" it can cost me a pretty penny before I recover!

There must be the release of some sort of endorphin that makes me so euphoric that I can't contain myself or is it the challenge of something new or just a replacement for something else? I can't really say but my experience is usually a negative one when I "leap before I look"...

My Art Weak Errr Week:

My weak err week has been taken up with a move from Windows XP Professional operating system to Windows 7. A fun way to spend your holiday? Sorta. I had been using my Manga EX drawing software in recent weeks and noticed a lot of slow downs and crashes. I ran XP in 32-bit mode (that is the software I owned) with 2 gigs of RAM. decent graphics card and lots of Hard Disk Space but apparently this was not enough! Now XP is stable and more flexible than Vista so I chose to remain with XP until I knew that WIN 7 was going to be a improvement. SO I waited, I read and I talked to friends who are much more tech savvy than I. And I leapt this week increasing my memory from 2 to 4 gigs switching my main drive to my fastest drive and purchasing the home premium upgrade of Windows 7. Now I know you are wondering what this has to do with a creative/ art blog. Well as I said I did it to stabilize my computer and my art software. Well I after a few days of tweaks and re-install I did have to do a new fresh install of Win 7 from XP and that was fine because I had the option to install a 64 bit version of WIN 7 which would take advantage of the additional RAM.

And after re-installing software, upgrading hardware drivers, I AM BACK!!!

I hope ;)

So that leaves me behind in the art accomplishment department but I still try and squeeze time in when I can,whether it is some sketching, doodling and inking in Manga EX and that has to be good enough for now... Check some of my stuff on Flickr

Time to break my guitar repair "cherry" start working on fixing my electric guitar...sigh...

Create something!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Asian Rain

asian rain, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

I saw a beautiful Asian woman on the subway today and decide my warm up would be inked fast and furious... Messy but fun... Asian rain of arrows.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

jesse Jane Close Up

jesse Jane Close Up, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Nother Jesse Jane character sketch for Chuck Terra... pre Superbowl

To Miss a Blog is Human, to Blog Divine!

Februaury BLAHHS err I mean Blogs:

I stumbled this past week and it wasn't all the snow that hit the US and Canada. In actual fact we probably got off the lightest in Toronto.

No. I stumbled in my pledge to you and myself. My pledge to get something up here every week/weekend on a regular basis. Yes. I know I have been putting some pictures up of my warm up sketches in the past weeks as well as my "inspirational" posts and though some were "half baked," I just wanted to show you my ABC Acronym "Always Be Creating" Ok. I finally saw the movie "Glengarry Glen Ross" and I appropriated ABC from the movie.

I like my version of ABC better!

That Being Said!:

What do you do when you aren't creating? Or reading about creating or listening to creative pod casts or even watching creative videos? Go read a comic, a book or watch a movie! Get yourself far away from the creative process stuff! I received my Mark Rudolph comics the other day and I am greedily consuming them. I picked up every comic that Mark has available and so far my favourite is "Closing Doors"

I enjoy Mark's use of different drawing styles and his layouts in the "Closing Doors". You get a feel for the frustrations of the characters on the page and what it must be like to run a failing business (a record store) and live in economically depressed areas of Michigan (Mark's home state). I like that Mark's writing style in this book is very different than the other Mark Rudolph books I have read. Of course being a graphic novel this allows Mark's writing to shine as he is able to develop the story and isn't confined by the shorter length of the mini comic format which a lot of his books are...

Recommended with 5 out of 5 howls!

I do have a soft spot for the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits inspired mini comic "Echoes From Asteroid X" also from Mark Rudolph.

What could be better than Spaceships, robots and alien planets? Nothing! Overall a fun read with Mark's clean crisp art reminiscent of comic artists of the 50's and 60's! My one complaint is that at one point the story jumps forward too quickly in time and that may be a little confusing. An additional panel or two or some more narration/captions may have added to the clarity/time line here but this probably more a limitation of the mini comics format than the story.

Recommended with 3.5 outta 5 howls!

My Art Week:

I am still drawing and taking notes and compiling story ideas. I am doing what my guitar teacher used to say that "five minutes with the guitar is better that no time at all" Yes. Five minutes with the pencil is better than no time at all!

I already posted some images here of my digital ink work. I am inking with no pencils and working from poses I have seen in art, miniatures and television. It is quick and dirty but I am enjoying not being too precious and I am learning more about blacks and the shade/shadow process. Oh and I am drawing lots of female characters as I need to practice their form...

Time to get a hot drink and get to work on my mini comic! Go out there and




Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jesse Jane G Pen Up Close

Jesse Jane G Pen Up Close, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Closer Jesse Jane imge .., Used G Pen ink brush in Manga and tightened up inks a bit.

Not sure which I like better...

Jesse Jane G Pen

Jesse Jane G Pen, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Used G Pen ink brush in Manga and tightened up inks a bit.

Not sure which I like better...

Jesse Jane Likes it Rough!

Jesse Jane rough, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Jesse Jane rough

Warm Up Sketch doing a character for possible Chuck Terra story... Jesse Jane.

I used the brush tool exclusively in Manga. Sometimes it is the quickest way for me to put something up and get my thoughts on paper...