Monday, September 26, 2016

Darkover Rescue from Drowning


Here's another illustration from the Darkover fan story I posted a few days ago, "In the Mists of Hali." I don't remember the details but in the story a young man has to protect his little brother, who is disabled, from kidnappers who want his psychic powers. At one point the boy falls into the water and can't swim, so his brother must dive in to rescue him. This story appeared in a Darkover fan magazine which I still have in my collection. I have shelves full of fan and semi-pro magazines which have my illustrations. Maybe someday I will pull them out and look at them again. I don't want to throw them out.

Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", April 1987.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hills of Rappahannock


"Wine Saturday" for September was at Rappahannock Cellars, one of Northern Virginia's best wineries. The Wine Team sipped excellent vintages and sampled a cheese platter which is always welcome. I have been to Rappahannock many times and its view is always beautiful no matter what time of year it is. I am told by the wine server that Autumn is glorious there with all the bright colored leaves. But it is rather a long way to drive from my residence. The logistics of winery visiting have become more difficult these days for me, for various reasons, and I'm glad that I can hitch a ride with my wine-loving friends.

Rappahannock Cellars is blessed with a number of religious images including this statue of Jesus showing his Sacred Heart. It was Jesus who said that he was "the true vine" and at Rappahannock, so he is.

Drawing is colored pencils and ink on sketchbook page, finished in the studio, 8" x 11", September 24, 2016.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Giant Gears

Another adaptation from the Ferit Kuyas collection: engines, gears, and pulleys from a Swiss sawmill. I enjoy copying and adapting these industrial images because drawing each one is like solving a math problem. I don't have a lot of time to do math these days though I think about it a lot. This image is full of circles, tangents, and projections. The turning gears that Kuyas photographed are gigantic and fill a whole industrial hall.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page with photoshop touch-up, 3 1/2" x 4", September 24, 2016.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Cheese Thiefbot


I'm hungry at an odd hour again, though for me there are no non-odd hours. I'll have a snack of cheese and crackers. But where is the cheese? The crackers taste like drywall without the cheese. But wait, there on the counter is this tiny thing which looks like a cross  between a rat and a baby elephant, but it's a mini-bot, and it's rolling away from me on little wheels! And it has my cheese held in a four-digit grabber. Is this a cousin of the "Wrapped Thing?" Or is it yet another attempt for me to lie about being up-to-date in my Drawing of the Day? Perhaps it's a hallucination brought on by too many visits to Home Depot. Oh wait, there's my cheese. It's the light bulbs which weren't the right kind for the Mystic Lamp of Studio Work. Let's try this again, but not right now.

Black technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", September 22, 2016.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Great Wheel


I never tire of industrial fantasies. Here the Great Wheel turns, keeping the world in motion. It's actually part of an engine in a Swiss brewery. The wheel and its works were built in 1897. The image reached me through a beautiful book of photographs by the industrial and architectural photographer Ferit Kuyas, who lives in Switzerland. Kuyas' work almost makes me want to do photography and take it more seriously than the reference snapshots I usually make. But never mind that. I used a circle template to trace the Great Wheel, which is bad practice for an Urban Sketcher. There are so many ways to cheat in sketching. I have not ripped off Kuyas enough to violate copyright, but he'll never know and you will ignore it.

Black tech pen ink on interminable cluttered sketchbook page that I will not use as a format for my 2017 journal. 3 1/2" x 3", September 22, 2016.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Darkover Mists of Hali title page


I did many title pages for Darkover fanzines, as well as interior illustrations. The title page had the title in a decorative font and a scene from the story. Marion Zimmer Bradley, whatever her faults may have been, started many a fantasy writer on their career. Their first "published" but non-professional work appeared in Darkover fan magazines and sometimes in anthologies curated by Bradley and her fellow professionals. Most, if not all of the writers were women. It was a womens' community and the members often approached difficult topics through this fan fiction. That would include gender, sexuality of all kinds, mental and physical illness, disability, race, religion, and size issues. In this story a young man from a fisherman's family must protect his little brother, who is mentally disabled but psychically powerful, from the authorities who want to capture him and put his powers to work.

Original drawing black ink on illustration board, about 7" x 11", April 1987.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Wrapped Thing


The Wrapped Thing is on the grass at the wall of the apartment block across from me. It is swathed in dusty black plastic sheeting and grimaces at the world like a gargoyle. It even has stubby wings like a gargoyle. I think it is a barbecue grill but I won't be sure until the denizens unwrap it for use. I didn't dare to go over and touch it myself. It could bite me or the owners would see me acting suspiciously. I sat on my outdoor art stool next to my car in the parking lot to draw this.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page with a little Photoshop finishing, 4" x 4", September 19, 2016.