Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peeks at Sketchbook stuff

Some odds and end this time..

a few quick snaps of some random things that'll probably throw in some of the art books.

sometimes, it's more fun catching a glimpse of something rather than seeing the whole thing.

Seeing the whole picture is sometimes cool too,

so these books should have a little of both, don't you think? brief 'glimpses' and 'full money' shots.

This girl with the rocks always looks like a moebius drawing to me.

Maybe because the rocks are floating? Dunno. Crude little scribbles mixed in with more detailed stuff. Trying to leave some unfinished stuff too.

My favorite art books are ones that show the flaws, mistakes and thought process, half finished pencils, random sketches..

Didn't get to it in the comments but i wanted to thank everyone for their sharing the cool wacky stuff they used in their art, esp. some wonderfully diverse stuff both Christina and Aaron and Cody mentioned.

Thanks to everyone else too. Good to know i'm not alone in this collecting 'weirdness'. : )

I am thinking instead of a volume 1-3, maybe each book should have a theme?

Book One: rust metal stuff (like the magic boxes), legs and other mechanical or weird creature sorta things...

Book Two: is mostly trees, moss, asian women, and has a subtle old world feel? Also the fashion stuff could go in here too.

Book Three could be Pink furry anima craft sorta girl crap, collages 60's retro stuff and

That one way to go, that way if your into a certain subject that book is one you could be sure and pick up.

Or maybe ANOTHER way is put a little of each in every book? More diverse that way, what do you all think? i can't decide myself. I just don't want people feeling obligated to by all three, but it might get boring if each book is ONLY a certain theme?

I dunno. There's still time to play with it. But the cool part of a blog is you guys ( i mean girls too when i say 'guys') can throw me some feedback, (like the preferring 'sooner-than-later' release date idea.

In a way i feel less like i am creating these trout ads and more like somebody who does restorations.

The quality of an old fashioned at is an art form itself, and my wonky versions will never be slick or professional, they're not supposed to be.

I like that hand made feeling Trout ads have... as opposed to the Chris Ware slicker approach. Nothing agist Chris, i LOVE his stuff. Just explaining why sometimes there's an amateurish hand-drawn feeling to them.

I pasted these down from some re-created adds i copied by hand. Then burnished them to the surface, that's why they've got that wrinkled texture to them.

It might not be visible if i didn't get in here with a tight photo of it..

Weird the kooky things i obsess over.



Feels good i'm not alone in that.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sandman Process pix..

Here we go..

Dana and Nola projects seem to keep getting pushed back. It's discouraging I fall behind, but between the art books, Hollows, Aliens and everything else, i can't really claim to be lazy.

Maybe just bitting off too much? I keep these layout pages on my art table to punish-motivate me to kick my own ass and shove some of these half finished pages out the door.

Ben Franklin said both Fish and House guest start to stink after three days,

and these Hollows and Alien pages have been lying around WAY longer than 3 days..

So before you think me avoiding my work again ( which i am ), remember these process pics actually happened YESTERDAY, ( i'm just posting them today) ~ So i'm not a total flake, promise.

Most people ask for sketches of the usual, batman, Wolvie, Joker, even the Maxx. So why am I doing a Sandman illustration?

 It almost *never* draw this dude anymore..

While I think about the answer to that, let's add some of these little cloud faces.

Mike Dringenberg added some faces on some generic clouds i penciled in sandman one, (remember the splash page near the end when he goes into a circular burst of clouds?)

here's a blurry lo-rez pic of the page in case you forgot.

I remember thinking, what the hell? why'd Mike add those little faces on those clouds?

but then, they grew on me, and sorta started to LIKE them. Now i feel it's the best part of the page, Mike's cloud faces. 

so i'll rip Mike off and add them here to illustration here. Thanks Mike, if your out there or ever read this. 

now let's add some dreamy swirls at the bottom, these pen likes are kinda wispy but i can thicken the edges with some black water soluble colored pencil lines... 

Okay, they barely look like clouds anymore do they? 

Spray a little H2o down on the surface.. Not too much or it'll buckle. 

Use the Dye dropper to send the splays of teal where i want it to go... assuming i have a path, which i really don't yet. 

Just following the flow of a form wrapped in a robe.. hopefully it'll look like that.. 

This big-ass mop brush helps spread the color... as well as splatter a little too. 

a little tissue paper to dab out some saturated spots.. 

I love flat and mops brushes best for effect where the paint tries a little? fan brushes are nice too.. esp. when the watercolor pigment just starting to dry? 

Speaking of drying out... i didn't intend this to be a dry brush effect, but since i forgot to load it up.. 

now wouldn't it be cool if i has the BALLS to leave it like this? Course i won't, otherwise people would joke the Sandman's hair is turning gray. Nope, black hair it is for this old fellah. 

I'm using some tissue paper because the teals all over my hand, and i don't wanna teal blue to smudge this top part of it.. 

that's the plan anyway. I hadn't noticed how often i turn a drawing upside down until i look at these photos. I think it's partly a cheat... a way to make brush strokes at the angle i make them easiest: lower left to upper right. 

so why the Sandman? After years of mostly avoiding drawings of him? 

Because in MY mind, i never got him right the first time. Drigenberg was an accomplished illustrator, so was McKean. I never really even found my 'voice', so to speak... until much later. 

I also poured tons of detail into those MCP Cover and Epicurus because i was insecure. I still didn't now how to draw a simple drawing without resorting to tricks, either fancy pen strokes, or color, or whatever. 

In a way you could argue i'm STILL doing that. Only instead of tiny pen lines it's dramatic strokes of color and texture. Melodramatic actually. But all that aside, all my self loathing aside, or fans who still insisted Sandman was pitch perfect, despite all this, i never satisfied MYSELF drawing Sandman. 

at the risk of arrogance, i despite this one being a little wonky, and the hair is too big and he seems a little grouchy looking for sandman, i still like doing something... 

i never got right in the first place.  

But that's just me, what do i know? 

Okay, there we are!!  With each drawing or panel we roll the dice: Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Life, paintings, relationships, and commissions... are funny that way. 

You never know, 

sometimes *I* never know, 

until i pull my head up from the paper,

and try to look at it 

with fresh eyes. 

- sam 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sandman Commission

I've been unwilling  to do commissions for many years now, (which is a story in itself) but you guys on the blog have been so cool and i'm trying to be less of a hermit, so here's some COMISSION INFO if you might be interested in my doing a piece for you. I hate plugging things or selling myself, but hey ~ if i don't tell you guys on my blog, how else are you gonna know, right?

Even if you don't wanna splurge on the price of a commission, that's totally cool. Maybe i can do you a head sketch at a comic con or something..  (once i start doing cons again, whenever that is!) We'll try this, and worse to worse i burn out and hide under a rock for another few years. But i'm trying not too.

I'll throw the process pics for this sandman painting up tomorrow morning. Kinda weird doing drawings of characters i haven't done for years.. But it helps me to try and see the affection YOU guys and gals have for these creations through your eyes.

I just wanna recapture an innocence i felt when i used to draw these things again. Try to break the spell of past demons.

And also give back a little.

- thanks

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buffalo Sandwich

Here's a 'sad' Buffalo that popped out of me an hour before i saw my mom on mother's day.  Which in my mom's case.... this year  fell on her birthday, so i'm doing a two-fer.

Thus the 'Buff sandwich': this top piece of Buffalo bread,  then in-between is some quirky 'stuff' lying around my studio i'll use in future paintings. Then the another buffalo at the end... for the bottom piece of bread.

Sorry - these sucker's were done WAY too fast to snap process pics, so i just grabbed a few quickie shots after i painted them. See? That's why he's sad, he missed out on the process pics. Poor guy. i think he'll get over it though.


Now...... here's a few wood and rocks lying around my studio i'll use someday.. I wonder if other artists out there do this too? I can't believe I'm alone.  You can spot 'sizzy' and the 'rubber jaws teeth' on the side, keeping the wood and rocks company.

I'd love to hear what the rest of you artists collect or have lying around your studios. Doesn't have to be odd or unusual... or literally used in the art piece. Might just be  a shape or textured object that inspire you.

No rules! Everything's fare game. Even some gold and orange paint i used seems like it could be worked into something else as i look at it here..

It's not just brushes, pens, pencils, paint, but also just a ton of garbage, wood, metal,various debris that might get swallowed up into a painting someday.

I notice i tend to group objects i stash away for potential paintings...

... mostly by texture.

Do you other artists do this... categorize by texture?

By now you'll notice this is, obviously, my fabric drawer.  mostly remnants, small cuts of cloth, some Subtle Prints and Florals, and some pretty Gaudy colors which are the opposite of 'subtle'.

Fabrics are grouped in my brain under " soft, fuzzy, furry, clothy, or plush toy-ish".


Here's something sticks that looks like bambo i found a while back. It was part of some screen so i took it apart.

These sticks already yellowish-ocher colored, but i added a few more of the speckled darker textures to make them more interesting.

Might be cool to paste them over a watercolor image, so the watercolor shows through between the wood pieces? sorta like your looking through slats? or some fence poles? We'll see.


Here's some Palm Tree bark i found in a park. These and Eucalyptus three bark have a TON of interesting textures if . The variety or textures is something you just can't find on Google, you have to hunt around. There's also some old fishing wire in there too.

This bark can be used a a couple of ways. One is to paint onto the surface itself. Only tricky part is they will eventually decay.  Might be possible to spray the bark with fixative though, course i could paint the hell out of them with some heavy duty fixative-glue, but that might lose a lot of the delicacy of the bark's texture.

Another thing i might try is to work them into some sculpture or 3D piece... like the boxes... or something else, not trying to paint of draw over them, just blend their texture into another created form?


Here's some polished rocks, you can get these tons of places. There's a lot of what's called Indian Crazy Rock in this drawer, which almost looks like hand painted shapes doesn't it?

I may take scans of these, print them out then by hand continue the same pattern the rock has past into a larger picture.

Not to pass of my art off as looking LIKE the rock,  (i frankly don't have that much skill, you'll tell the difference right away between my stuff and an organic shape like this), but more as a way to push my style into some OTHER direction.... i wouldn't normally draw outside my comfort zone.

Always looking for new ways to trick myself into thinking and painting differently.


This drawers Tree Bark is also is full of random crap at the bottom... a plastic tube that had some yellow object inside, i liked how the dirt obscured the yellow and let's it peak through.. also some bicycle chain? Maybe a chain-saw chain? Not sure.

Also some sewing machine parts. I have a ton of these, (as Nola's mother sows). For me it's sorta the same way Sienkiewicz seemed obsessed with Stray Toasters, i have a think for Sewing Machine parts.

This is part of the brown rusty-antique-mechincal-bones side of my imagination, which is the the polar opposite of fabrics-pipe cleaners and, colorful soft plushy things side. My pal Josh Hagler summed it up as  "everything from power tools to plus toys, you throws them into a car trunk, then they rattles around in there, when you open it, things that somehow usually don't belong together, somehow seems to fit."


Okay, so much for unusual art supplies.  Probably would have been better to post something being MADE instead, eh?  Maybe not.  Even if causes one other artist to pause the next time they look at a piece of bark or machine or fabric, then it's worth it.

Now for that bottom piece of the sandwich... pretty weird huh? even for me.

sorta looks more like a rat .... or maybe a porcupine rather than a buffalo. I tried for abstract, and instead i get a frantic looking little creature instead. with only two legs..

At least mom seemed to like it.

Okay, hit me up with some feedback... any stuff YOU have used, or thought might be cool to work into one of your own paintings or drawings?

Maybe you'll give me an idea of something i never thought of before.