Wednesday, December 13, 2017


This isn't a "642," it's a "still life" so to speak, of one of my workspaces I use to digitize and process photos. Many of these things are familiar. All the spaces in my cluttered archivist apartment look like this, to my constant dismay. If only I could have those ideal spacious light-filled workspaces I find in ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, where the Artist sits at her shiny white desk looking out to a gorgeous natural view, and she is dressed in a Little Black Dress and 5 inch spike heels. Yeah uh huh.

From left to right: Box of plastic gloves to handle dusty material. Flashlight, for viewing negatives. Light up viewer for slides. Air spray can for dust. Power plug strip. Large dry paint brush, for dusting slides and negatives. 2 iPads stacked in the re-charging area. (Main computer not in this view.) Slide holder strip for moving slides into the transcriber. Transcriber, dusty, needs spraying. Artist, bleary at 3 AM.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 7" x 5", December 13, 2017.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The "Young Stallions" game art

This handsome crew appears in one of the Renaissance-styled games I illustrated in the mid - 80s for "Gamelords." The young men are of high birth and maintain a jousting and combat club. They also cause trouble in the streets in gangs feuding among their various clans. Their aggression has caused them to get the nickname "Young Stallions," which they are proud of, at least until a couple of them get killed. The background is meant to suggest the social background of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

Original illustration is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 2 1/2", spring 1984.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter is Here

This isn't at a vineyard, it's an interpretation from memory of the view out my window, complete with balcony railing, after a modest but snowy snow storm. You see these evening colors in winter, purple in the sky. The trees are taller than when I first moved in here, something I never noticed until these latest few years. I hope the snows are modest all winter long.

Colored pencil, ink, and Photoshop composite, 4" x 6", December 11, 2017. Klik for a larger view.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Purple and Green

One of my artistic friends said how much she loved purple and green together. So I decided I would try these colors in one of my little stylized sketches. The purple and aqua come from markers and the green and blue come from colored pencils. It emerged as a landscape at sunset although the colors aren't that realistic. There are no grapevines in this picture.

Markers and colored pencils on sketchbook page, 2 3/4" x 5", December 10, 2017. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Gloucesterman

I'm a little late on the Blog today but here you go. This is one of my finest sketches in my opinion and have saved it for publication. It was done inside a restaurant in Gloucester, Mass. (pronounced "Gloster") looking out at the marina. The restaurant was the "Gloucester House" specializing (naturally) in seafood. This is one of the only boats I have ever drawn and when the server saw my drawing she was delighted because this fishing boat, the "Gloucesterman," was owned by her son. I wonder where they all are now. I'd love some scallops.

Black technical pen on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 4 1/2", June 19, 1999. Click for larger view.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Game Illustration: Betrayal

This is the first of the set of illustrations I did for the game "The Evil Ruins." The story had to explain why the ruins were evil. The history states that a wicked king ruled a grim Northern coastal territory and feuded with all his neighbors. During a particularly vicious war, the king invited his enemies to peace talks at his castle, and when they arrived, sniper archers hidden on the walls murdered them all. This terrible betrayal attracted the demonic forces who put evil spells on the castle. But behind all that was a huge treasure that the wicked king had amassed, and the players are there to find it, gather it, and release it from the curse.

Original art is black ink on illustration board, 11" x 7", winter 1983.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

642 Things to Draw

The By-Product will achieve its tenth year early in 2018, believe it or not! It has more than 3000 distinct images and with a few interruptions has been posted every day. So many things to I running out of vintage art, and am I running out of ideas to draw? Or "reality" things to draw, how many wastebaskets or wine glasses can I depict? I found an answer in what might be called a "play sketchbook" for artists. It's called "642 Things to Draw" and I found it on the "art inspiration" table at Plaza Arts. Each page of this chunky book has one or two places reserved for drawings, and at the top is the art  prompt word. My opportunity is to make a drawing inspired by the word. At first I was sniffy about it, since Real Professional Artists don't need kiddie prompts to get ideas. But then, why not. So I now have 642 places to put a clever sketch, each with a different prompt word. Many of the prompts are ordinary things like "salt shaker," or "spiral bound notebook," but others are fanciful. I intend to be fanciful all the way through, using the prompt to do visual puns, funny stuff, scary stuff, cartoons, twisted little draws, and surrealism.

I still have plenty of vintage art to scan and show, so you will never be rid of my fan art. I will also be doing plenty more Geometrika. I'm not giving up reality drawings either. My drawings from 642 will be identified as "642" and since every page is more or less the same size (7" x 9") I'll just quote the prompt word and maybe say a little about the drawing. Here the prompt word is "Footprints." Something is happening to the human who is making these footprints. What is it? The line is part of the divider between two prompt areas.

So get ready for creativity and feel free to comment. The "642" book is published by Chronicle Books in (where else?) San Francisco.