Sunday, March 29, 2015

Winding Road Room


"Wine Saturday" took me back to my familiar "Winding Road Cellars" where I re-stocked their stack of my wine art books. It was much too cold to draw outdoors, though the winter colors of the Virginia landscape are truly art-worthy. Instead I drew some sippers in the cozy wine bar area, where many different wood textures and warm colors create a very friendly atmosphere. Winding Road's semi-sweet Chambourcin wine is the perfect sip for a cold spring afternoon. 

Sepia technical pen ink on sketchbook page, about 10" x 7", March 28, 2015.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Daylilies in Color


Some time ago I posted an image of the interior stairway of a house designed by an architect friend. This little paradise also had lovely gardens all around it including this profusion of multi-colored day lilies located at the entry to the driveway. The stone block marks the entrance from the road. I did this watercolor on site right there on a fresh early summer day. Maybe I'll try outdoor watercolor again some day.

Watercolor on sketchbook page, 10 1/2" x 9", mid-1990s.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cambridge Park People 1983


Cambridge, Massachusetts has a lot of little green parks where people can congregate. On a warm summer afternoon they wander about or lie in the grass. Often, someone is playing a guitar. The park people aren't milling around quickly and sometimes stay in one place for quite a while, which gives me the chance to draw them as if they were art models. You don't have to be nude to be an art model. You don't even have to know someone is drawing you. I usually leave out identifying facial features. A drawing I did in 1983, using the same type of pen I use now, is as good as one I did yesterday. Maybe better. Don't know why my drawings are so consistent and don't improve, but I just keep doing them. Now for that warm afternoon, I know it will arrive sooner or later.

Technical pen black ink on sketchbook page, 10" x 7", summer 1983.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Starbucks fashions


There may be places in my urban area where people dress nicely, but in my neighborhood, they don't. The standard clothing for men is a shapeless hoodie sweatshirt and shapeless baggy pants. For women, various stretchy shirts layered on top of each other, and black leggings. It's like one great big yoga party or construction site. These fashion plates collect at Starbucks where I am sipping my espresso. I am no better, though I've stashed my hoodie away for now. It helps that lately everything I wear is either black or purple so you don't see my "fashion" choices. Soon these folks will go into their summer configuration which is shorts and flip flops as soon as the outdoor temperature is over 50 (fahrenheit).

Black ink on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 6", March 25, 2015.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Boy Warrior, new work


This little figure is an excerpt from the book cover I am working on. The character is a boy warrior about 8 years old. He looks kind of like a Hobbit or an elf in this picture but maybe sometimes you can't tell them apart. Hobbits don't have quite human proportions I think and Elves have those fox-like ears. I have been really putting in the work on this cover illustration because I could be called to Massachusetts at any time. The dark shadow you see under the figure shows that he can leap up and levitate, which is often described in the book. I hope I get this work done and submitted to the client.

Ink on watercolor paper, processed in Photoshop, about 3" x 4", March 2015.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Paragon Park Picnickers


Just as I go to wineries with friends these days, back in the '80s, a time of falsely serene memories for me, I went to seaside amusement parks. These were not theme parks. They were conglomerations of entertainments, rides, restaurants, games, knickknack shops, and beach supplies. While my friend rode the roller coaster, I sat and did sketches of whatever I could see. This was an outdoor eating area with a spinning ride in the background. I loved the complex environment of an amusement park. With its colorful graphics and playful shapes, it was an endless source of sketchability. This drawing was done at Boston's "Paragon Park," a memorable amusement park that is long gone. It has disappeared and apartments and condos were built on its acreage.

My current environment is not so much fun, mostly shopping centers, parking lots, apartment blocks, office buildings, and other urban sprawl stuff, so I must make an effort to find sketchable things. I'm waiting for the weather to get warmer so I can tailgate, that is, draw while sitting on the tailgate of my wagon.

Black ink on sketchbook page, about 10" x 7", August 21, 1983.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Warin de Grey


I produced two portfolios of black and white fan art in 1981. One was from Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover," and the other was from Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" world. I copied the drawing pages on a photocopy machine and sold the folios at conventions, innocently unaware that I was violating copyright. I sold a lot of them before I was requested to stop. I still have some of them somewhere, probably where I stuffed all the other fan art and magazines I illustrated.

This fellow, Warin de Grey, is a minor yet memorable character in one of Kurtz's books. He led an anti-Deryni movement, condemning those with magical powers, despite having magical powers of his own. The original is a black ink drawing, and I just colorized it in Photoshop. It is an experiment to see how these old ink drawings look with colors. It's the style I would want for a Deryni graphic story or novel, should I ever have the privilege of creating one. I'm heavily influenced here by the work of the brilliant, and somewhat tragic graphic artist Barry Windsor-Smith.  

Warin de Grey is black ink on illustration board, 4 1/2" x 4", colored in Photoshop, 1981/2015.