10.19.2017

Halloween House


My painting students asked if I ever did anything creative, since I teach them still lifes. I told them I prefer it, and said we should do one next week. They all shuddered in horror at the thought of doing something creative with paint. So I decided to compromise. This is my house, but not my house. They have to bring pictures of their own house, and get all Halloween with it. They have a model, so it shouldn't be too overwhelmingly creative... or at least that's what I'll tell them (I feel like I should cackle gleefully).

10.16.2017

Bridget Bishop


Starting a new thing here - I've decided that whenever I read a book, I ought to illustrate something from it. I just finished "Witchcraft at Salem" by Chadwick Hansen, which I picked ip in the Salem Witch Museum bookstore. After reading it, I was inspired to do this portrait of Bridget Bishop.

And Halloween coming up as well wasn't a bad incentive either.

According to Hansen, there were a lot of innocent people executed in the Salem witch craze, but Bridget Bishop was not one of them. Totally a witch, willing to use image magic to get back at people she didn't like. And creepy enough to freak people out enough to believe her curses actually worked. So a good first choice for my drawing project, especially in October.

As for the book, I can't recommend it highly enough. Aside from being really informative, it's just so well written that it was a joy to read.

On a completely unrelated note, I think "Chadwick Hansen" is the best name ever. Had I known about this book earlier, I may have named my son "Chadwick Hansen Valentino." I told my son about this. He said if I had, he would have always harbored some resentment towards me as long as he lived. So probably for the best that this is a recent find.

6.15.2017

Dorothy and Toto(ro) in Oz

I was teaching character design in my art class, and used descriptions from the Wizard of Oz for inspiration. One of the students accidentally thought Dorothy's dog was named Totoro. I told her it was Toto, but thought, "I. Must. Draw. This."

3.28.2017

Gnome vs. Gnome!

How long are gnomes' legs? WE ARE A HOUSE DIVIDED!*
It all started when I did the painting of the gnome for my son. When I started to sketch it, I drew the gnome with long legs. My wife, horrified, asked me to make them short legs, so I complied (even though I knew it to be COMPLETELY WRONG. Objectively speaking, of course).
Later, as I was driving with my daughter, I mentioned that her mom erroneously asked me to draw a short-legged gnome. My daughter did not take my side. In fact, as soon as we got home, she ran into the house, hugged my wife, and cried, "Mom, you're right about everything! I'm sorry I ever doubted you!" I wish I were making that up.
Undaunted in my certainty, I decided to take this question to the internet. So I leave it up to you - do gnomes have long or short legs?


Which gnome is correct? The wholly erroneous one on the left, or the amazingly accurate one on the right? I ask you, in my TOTALLY UNBIASED fashion.

Short Legs: Evidence #1:  


The Gnomes book, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet.
A super-awesome illustrator to be sure, a classic of the genre, and he painted them with short legs. But Dali painted super awesome pictures of elephants with long, skinny, pointy legs, and that doesn't make it true either!

Short Legs: Evidence #2: 


Every garden gnome in existence
Oh sure, you've got the strength of numbers on this one. But think about it - do you think LONG SKINNY ceramic legs would hold up? That's why they don't have ceramic garden giraffes either!


Long Legs: Evidence #1: 

The Nomes in the Land of Oz
Okay, so he spelled them "nomes." But hey, John R. Neill drew them with long legs no matter how they were spelled. And who are we to argue with the Royal Illustrator of Oz?


Long Legs: Evidence #2:

Elsie and the Gnome
Sure, these pictures may be debunked, but people believed them at the time. And when people were trying to disprove them, you know what they didn't say? They didn't say, "Hey, that can't be a real gnome because its legs are too long!" Looked just fine to everybody. I rest my case!

* Unevenly divided, as it is four against one (me), but divided nonetheless. I STAND FIRM!


3.24.2017

Dancing Gnome


My son is going to play Liszt's "Gnomenreigen" at a piano competition this weekend. To get him into the feel of little gnomes dancing, my wife asked me if I could make a quick sketch of one to give him the idea. He liked it!

12.13.2016

Sumo Claus


As I was drawing Santa for a friennd, I realized that if I were to draw a sumo wrestler, I'd draw him the same way.

10.30.2016

Halloween Art







Some art I concocted for art classes and Halloween parties. They eventually got turned into parts for centipedes and spiders!

10.18.2016

More Malawi!

Here's another one from the Malawi schoolbook "How Animals Move." The way I did these is that I did a tight pencil drawing, scanned it in, and cleaned it up. Then, so I'd have something to work with, I added flat color behind it:


My wife pointed out that the colors look very Dr. Seuss! That's why I chose this one to show the process.

Afterwards, I add all the details:


I'll be posting more of these soon. There were 7 books in all!

10.17.2016

The Unspeakable Horror that is Eggplant

My art class had been taking on some challenging assignments, so, to give them a break (as well as it being October) I had them draw monsters. I said they could make their creatures out of whatever they didn't like, or were scared of. For me, there is only one true monster - the villainous eggplant. Begone, chthonic evil!