Wednesday, October 29, 2008


That's "Booooooooo!" as in "Sit down! Get outta here!" Not "Booooooooo!" as in "Scared ya, didn't I?"

Last night was a special Halloween Dr. Sketchy. Our models were Christopher from Causing a Scene, along with a woman who was not his grandmother (she was slated to appear but bowed out do to a cold). The two donned some elaborate costumes and spilled some blood to bring us a rollicking good sketch-fest. The dj kicked butt too.

I brought along my mini watercolor set to try out and picked up a Moleskine pad to paint in, but I gotta tell ya, I just wasn't feeling it. The secret to any success that I have in putting out a decent Dr. Sketchy sketch is time and the ability to work and re-work and fix and fudge whatever drawing I'm working on. I'm just not really proficient in drawing an anatomically correct figure by staring at the model and putting what I see down on paper. My thirty second and one minute quick sketches hardly represent what I see going on before me and I greatly admire (and envy) those people who can do it. I dream of being able to draw just a few quick lines that capture the movement and proportions of the model. And if I could do it with a brush pen where the results mimic the look of Japanese ink brush drawings, the better. I just don't know how. I had the minimal amount of figure illustration classes in college, and that was twenty years ago. In all that intervening time I've never pursued that information. Well, I guess it's time to do something about that. Especially after the crap I produced last night.

Now, in retrospect, my drawings aren't all that horrible. There are some good things going on in some of them. The colors are nice. But as a whole, I failed miserably due to the unforgiving nature of rushing to get ink onto the paper and coloring it in. The figure is the most important aspect of the drawing. Even if it's a cartoon. And it would help if I really knew how to use an ink brush properly too. So I'll try it again next time but I'll have to do some homework beforehand.


  1. I was about to post my sketches on the DS log and thought I'd check to see if you had any I could swipe as well. I'm reminded of that Peanuts cartoon where Linus describes all the elaborate scenes he imagines in the clouds overhead, and Charlie Brown says "I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind."

    Most of these look pretty great to me, the cookie-girl one in particular (that poor woman had to hold a cardboard gingerbread man in her teeth for five minutes). My stuff's slapdash in comparison.

    I've been looking a lot in the last few years at the brushwork of some of the artsier European cartoonists who draw with the brush and am always astonished at how their lines can be loose and expressive but also so confident and convincing. Craig Thompson in the States is another one like that.

    Dr. Sketchy may not be the ideal environment for honing your figure skills necesarily - there's a reason we call it "anti-art school" - but hopefully it's not so frustrating you give up on it! The Scarab Club offers casual figure drawing sessions for fairly cheap from 7-10 Thursday nights, by the way.

  2. Awesome work as usual. I'm glad you're coloring them in watercolor on the spot too.

  3. Sorry it took me so long to respond to your posts, guys. Thanks for the compliments and the tips. I was having a bad day.

    Craig Thompson's been one I've been looking at lately too. I haven't read Blankets yet, but I have a travel book he did and it puts anything else I've seen in that genre to shame.