Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall backyard 2014

It was a little too cold to sit outside and draw, so I did this iPad sketch out a window in my mother's old house. It is the same every visit, has been the same every visit back for 26 years now, staring out the windows of the one-story house at a back yard overrun with northern jungle and overgrown vegetation. In the fall there is some color as you can see. There is a small patch of green grass in front where there was an attempt at landscaping. The brown area is not water but an ecology known as "forest floor," now covered with fall leaves. The spindly structure in the center is a birdhouse, installed in the late 1960s. One of its sides has fallen off so birds can't nest there, it's not protected enough. There are some vague plans to renovate this backyard or at least clear up some of the underbrush, but winter is just around the corner so it won't happen any time soon.

iPad app "Art Studio," October 23, 2014.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Union Station ink drawing

I am back after a stressful family visit. I took the high-speed luxury train to Massachusetts and  I made this drawing while waiting in the lobby. The grandiose Late Roman architecture of the main station has been reworked and this is a modern addition full of stores and restaurants. There is a constant police presence of uniformed men with bomb-sniffing dogs, reminding me of the scary times we live in. Amtrak's graphics, though, are kind of nice, as you can see from the curved "banner" signs which mark the train arrival and departure platforms.

Pitt technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 4", October 21, 2014. An "Inktober" drawing for the month-long internet art challenge.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Leaf Study 2003

No little ink for today, instead here's one of my many studies of foliage, this one dating from 2003. In that era I had an extensive set of Pitt brush markers in natural earth-toned colors. These markers claimed to have pigment ink which would make the colors less fadeable. I did many sketches with these markers (which are still being made) but found that although the colors didn't fade as much as other dye-based markers, the colors changed inside the pen so you never quite knew what color was going to come out when you used the pen. I used to have a sample page taped into my marker box so I could view the current state of each pen. Anyway I got quite a lot of sketches out of these pens before they began to dry up. I wouldn't invest in them again; I put my marker money into the expensive and majestic line of Copic markers, which are still fadeable dye. Confessions of a marker addict.

No By-Product will be posted from 21 to 28 October as I am going up north for this fall's parental care visit.

Fall leaf sketch is markers on sketchbook page, 4" x 6", November 2, 2003.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I had no idea what to do for today's little ink until I read some other artist's post about how much he loves robots and dinosaurs. Well doesn't everybody like robots and dinosaurs? OK, some people like abstract tiny square-footed ponies with purple and pink manes and tails that drag on the ground. No to the ponies for me, thanks. So what if you had something that combined dinosaur and robot? With a bit of dog design too? You get "Diggsydog," the bio-armored terrier-saurus designed to dig in the dirt and protect its owner-friend. "Diggsydog" is clad in almost unbreakable bio-armor, rather like an armadillo, and his sturdy little claws can efficiently excavate useful holes in the dirt for gardening, waste disposal, or even hiding your hoard of gold coins. Even his tail can serve as a shovel. He isn't aggressive, but can defend you with his spikes and horns. Diggsydog isn't very big, either, no bigger than the terrier of his distant ancestry. If you want a soft, furry pet, however, this one isn't for you. 

Pitt technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 2 1/2", Inktober 19, 2014.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laundry Monster

I'm still working on the laundry, just like Sisyphus. I will never get it all clean at once. There are piles of it in my room, one clean and 4 not yet cleaned. I took my ink drawing to the laundry pile and drew as much of it as I could before this scary monster emerged and drove me away from my folding duties. The forms and shapes of this beast's camouflage surface are drawn from a pile of laundry. This is just the front half of him, the rest of the beast is in the other heaps of laundry.

Ink on sketchbook page, 7" x 3 1/2", October 18, 2014.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Little October Inks

Some of my fellow artists online are doing an art challenge called "Inktober" where you draw at least one ink drawing a day during the month of October. I've already done a number of little inks this month, such as "Ms. Pumpkin" and my water bottle, so I might as well continue. While I was waiting for my car to have its regular maintenance done, I did this sketch of part of the Springhill Road Station on the new Metro line. I had a good vantage point, on a table in front of a restaurant, but much of the modernist urban train line was obscured by trees in front of the big highway, so this is all I was able to see. Also it's getting a little cold to do outdoor drawing, at least for me. Other stalwarts draw outside all year long, even in sub-freezing weather.

Not enough drawing for Inktober? Here, have another. At work I noticed that pumpkins were selling so fast you could say they were "flying out of the store." So here's the flying pumpkin. What, a pumpkin can't fly on such little wings? Neither can a bumblebee, or so they said before it was discovered that the bumblebee wings can bend and thus haul more air freight.

Brown or black technical pen ink on sketchbook page. Upper drawing, 4" x 3 1/2". Lower drawing, 3" x 2". October 16, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trader Joe's wants you!

Trader Joe's is hiring. Something must be going well somewhere. Or else they need new employees to cater to all these pumpkin eaters who are snapping up pumpkin flavored everything. But yes, the holiday rush is coming and TJ's needs holiday temporary workers, so you can go back to fretting about the economy. My manager had me do this "recruiting poster" based of course on the famous James Montgomery Flagg "Uncle Sam" image saying "I Want YOU for U.S. Army." Except instead of Uncle Sam I put a portrait of one of my previous managers.

Markers and acrylic paint markers on plastic sheet, about 24" x 24", October 14-15, 2014.