Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cars in the Blizzard of 2016

Your car shows its integrity and identity well in a blizzard, as long as you can find it. When the Prius was excavated from the drift, the snow showed a perfect mold of the car's side pressed into it. Drawn from memory.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 5 1/2", January 31, 2016.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Howland Street, Cambridge 1984

My neighborhood in old Cambridge, Mass. was pretty peaceful most of the time. I spent a lot of time drawing the houses, streets, trees, and other urban places. This house was on Howland Street, which was perpendicular to Hammond Street where I lived. I wanted to gather as much visual information about the landscape as possible. My house had a porch and I used to sit on it and draw. There is hardly anything I like drawing more than old wooden houses with porches. I also spent time gabbing with the lady who owned the house in this picture, a retired schoolteacher. I have fond memories of this place although I was not very happy there in my accurate memory. Interestingly, my mother grew up in Boston's Roxbury district on a street called Howland Street.

Technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 9" x 7", July 6, 1984.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Carpet Fit for a King

This is the most elaborate and majestic rug design I did for my Persian client. It contains most of the ancient Persian motifs I had been working with. With CorelDraw I was able to multiply the designs and reverse them when necessary. In the center are two images of a Persian King standing between two griffins, which is a standard heroic theme of man and beast. CorelDraw also had the option to build repeating patterns on a flat color area and you can see some of them on this design. This is the kind of thing I'd love to see in a Persian restaurant.

Fifteen years later Iran shows signs of compromise with the wicked godless West. My Persian client, who is rather old if he is still alive, lives in retirement in an Iranian colony outside of San Diego. And CorelDraw tells me, as a software company will, that CorelDraw 12 is "unsupported" by them and I really ought to upgrade to "X7." I would only do that if they still had the features I liked so much when I was doing my Persian work.

CorelDraw rescued design on Cintiq, about 2000. Click for larger view and enjoy your kebab and rice.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Coloring Wine Bottles Graphic

It's that famous Volcano Wine from the year of the great eruption. This is an excerpt from my graphic novel, which those who know me has been a project of mine since the previous millennium. I drew the image in old-fashioned dip pen on watercolor illustration board. Then after the ink was dry I scanned it in to Photoshop. Once it's in Photoshop it can be colored in a number of ways. Some artists trace every little space and add in color bit by bit. Others "paint" over the image. I use Photoshop's clever edge-finding tools and then fill in the space, as it were, "wholesale" and then work it over later on. At this point I'm still experimenting. I didn't use the Cintiq on this, though it would certainly do this work. I will be using it for "digital inking" in the future. Also, the newer model of Photoshop, known as "Creative Cloud," does not impress me. They'd better have the edge finder tool in place somewhere. You have to adjust your original line drawing so that the edge finder finds a specific space and doesn't block out the entire drawing. So much for the technical details, now for the eruption.

Brown ink on Fabriano illustration board, scanned and colored in Photoshop, about 4 1/2" x 5", 2015-2016.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mid-Century Interior

My parents' house, now sitting empty in cold Massachusetts, was built in 1955 and furnished during the 1960s. One of the things they bought was this modernist chair, known as the "Womb Chair" as it was supposed to envelop you in womblike seclusion and comfort. It was designed by the same Eero Saarinen who designed Dulles Airport's main building. This chair is a famous mid-century modern design but I always disliked it. Once you got in it you couldn't get out. Sort of like being in a womb I guess. You would struggle to get your butt out of the deep back of the chair and then you would pop out wet and screaming to pick up your drink from the round cocktail table (silhouetted at left) which my father built to go with all the other mid century stuff. In back is one of my mother's lavishly colorful paintings, on a six panel screen that stood up against the wall. This is how it looked in the living room, along with a classic late 50s pole lamp.

As I have stuff removed from the house in advance of selling it, I offered the chair to a local antique store specializing in mid-century modern housewares and furniture. It is supposed to be worth some money but there has been some deterioration over the years so maybe not so much. At least someone will buy it and it will find its way to a better home. I'm still looking for a  home for the art, which is large and difficult to display.

Technical pen black ink on sketchbook page, 8 1/2" x 8 1/2", March 13, 1984.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Orange Glassware

I love colorful glass and have a good collection of it, mostly blue or orange. My friends bring me orange stuff including these hand-blown glass vessels. They aren't very big and I haven't put anything in them. I keep them on my kitchen table where they help me stay festive and fiery. The "potion" bottle is from a magical workshop in the Wizarding World. The chunky thing on top of the rounder piece is a bit of lava rock from Hawaii, from a place abandoned by Pele (extinct) and thus suitable for collection.

This "still life" is done on the Cintiq, on the kitchen table. I am still trying to figure out 1. how to get it to stop blocking my artwork with unwanted Photoshop pop-ups and 2. how to stabilize it on a table while working. The stand that came with the machine just doesn't work, it collapses at the angle you want to "paint" at. 

Photoshop on Cintiq, 10" x 7", January 25, 2016.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Elaborate Neo-Iranian Design

Some of the designs I did for my Persian contact were highly detailed and elaborate. Persian craftsmen can reproduce designs far more complex than this one. Nowadays they use computers to plot out every pixel but in ancient times they knotted the pattern in one bit at a time. In fact the ancient world's carpets and mosaics were early examples of "pixel" visuals rather than paintings or dyed fabrics or embroidery. In this one I used only motifs from the ancient Near East including stylized flowers and marching lions. I'd love to see these designs of mine made into real rugs but that never happened.

CorelDraw, about 2000 neo-Persian millennium. Click for larger view.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Colorless Blizzard of 2016

"Weather Control" delivered an entire winter's worth of snow and wind in one weekend. Fortunately we in the affected area were all well-stocked in the "white stuff" (milk, toilet paper, yogurt, bread) and our power did not go out. So I sat in my art studio and sketched the snowy scene outside my warm den. This view is not intentionally monochrome, that's the color I saw there. I am always aware how lucky I am. Many of the people in the Northern Hemisphere do not have a warm den to hide in nor enough supplies when the weather turns bad. So I can now add hypocritical social concerns to my repertoire as I draw with my stylus on that expensive computer.

Photoshop on Cintiq, 11" x 8 1/2", January 23, 2016.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


There are magazines out there, on paper or online or both, for anything you could conceive of. At one point, for some reason I've forgotten, I got on the online mailing list of a magazine, "Pile Buck," devoted to the pile-driving and foundation industry. You know I love any kind of construction so I welcomed this mag with its enticing pictures of pile-drivers, augers, diggers, cranes, and other manly infrastructure toys. Some of the elements from "Pile Buck" magazine (what on, or in earth, is a "pile buck?") went into this ensorcelled piece of dragon-ish machinery. She holds in her mouth an auger drilling engine, without the threatening looking earth screw. I ran out of room on the left side drawing the driver's cab but when I have enough material I will finish the whole thing. Her name is "Digme" and she's a helpful hand in all heavy situations. Her front jaw attachment can be switched out to a big shovel which is good for snow removal, which we blizzardees can certainly use this weekend. Snowzilla, meet Digme.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 6", January 23, 2016.

Friday, January 22, 2016


You can get some very high detail, super-realistic effects from colored pencils. Back in 1998 I spent lots of time drawing a picture in colored pencils on every page of my journal. This transcendent piece of fruit was my entry for a day in February. I still have it /no, the Braeburn apple on my table now is not the same as this one. But it could be. I did note that February 1998's apple was eaten. This "Braeburn" variety of apple is firm, crunchy, and tart, just right for pairing with crumbly Vermont cheddar cheese.

Braeburn apple is colored pencil on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 4", February 2, 1998.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cintiq Virtual Life Drawing

You want to know the difference between an Art Model and a Pin-up Girl? Both are female, both are attractive, and both are posing. But the Art Model looks away from you or doesn't focus on anything, while the Pin-up Girl looks right at you. The Art Model is pretty and non-engaging, while the Pin-up Girl's have-fun expression invites you to come play with her. The Art Model usually looks like she hates her job, but the Pin-up Girl is portrayed as enjoying life as well as modeling.

The orthodox fine-art world has, until the rise of postmodernism, avoided the pin-up situation while posing their models in a standard repertoire of positions. One of the first artists to break this rule was Edouard Manet, whose nude "Olympia" (1863) shamelessly looked out at the viewer, like the prostitute she was. Pin-up girls' images were used to make men feel good, but the pin-up image was not necessarily meant to involve prostitution. She could be clean and sexy at the same time.

Both Art Models and pin-up girls are predominantly female, though there are plenty of male pin-ups aimed at the Gay market and sometimes for women. I have always wondered why there are so few male art models. They are probably uncomfortable posing in briefs or even more, nude in front of a mixed crowd.

Nowadays there are plenty of picture books with both female and male Art Models and I have most of them. This sketch at the top comes from one in the "Virtual Pose" series. As with classic models, they turn their faces away from the camera. One of the nicer things about these model books is that they have included different ethnic, racial, and body types among both their men and women, so you aren't just drawing pallid young girls.

I drew this one directly on the Cintiq, it is my first try at a virtual life drawing on it.

Photoshop on Cintiq, about twenty minutes, January 21, 2016.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Carpet Animal Motifs

Animal motifs were a major theme in ancient Persian ornamentation. Many of them had spiritual significance, such as the Four Creatures of Lion, Bull, Eagle, and Man which found their way into the vision of Ezekiel in the Bible. Other Persian animals were mythic composites like the winged bulls at Persepolis or the griffins in this example. I interwove the griffins with flower and plant designs to make this imperial carpet design, unfortunately never created as a real Oriental rug. I have a collection of small and medium-sized Oriental rugs and have covered almost all my floor space with them.

CorelDraw and Photoshop, around 2000, ancient Persia. You are invited to click for larger view.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

All My Year Colors so far

One file I was glad to recover from my old stacks was my list of "Year Colors." My friends know that each year I pick a color, combination of colors, or texture and color as an "accent." I then collect things in that color or incorporate that color into artwork or journal design. I've been doing this ever since 1968, which is the year I started my journal. I am still doing this "color game" and friends wait every year for me to announce what the next year's color will be. I'm not the only one to do this. Pantone, the color marketer without which no graphic designer can do, also announces its "color of the year." This year for the first time Pantone is using two colors, pink and blue, with a direct allusion to "gender fluidity" and the boy/girl baby color "tradition." See, even a simple color choice can have major cultural significance. 

My colors for this year are a bright grassy green streaked through with sunny yellow, a hope for a better and more sprightly mood after many years of pain.

CorelDraw and Photoshop, around 1999, updated 2016. Click for closer view of year colors.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Digital Ink Mamie

I solved a persistent problem with the Cintiq in which "control" pop-ups from Photoshop continued to appear on my drawing at the point of my stylus. The fix was quite hard to find but it's working now. Once properly digitized I proceeded to my latest effort in "digital inking" namely this little glamour portrait of the actress, model, and entertainer Mamie Van Doren. She was a "bombshell" sex idol in the 50s and 60s and is still alive nowadays. If you read the Wikipedia entry she seemed to have quite a life. I am very pleased at how the Cintiq does digital inking. I wish I knew what the lower half of Mamie's costume was like in this shot. Sure this isn't a masterpiece but I am getting to know this fancy gadget better every day. I think I'll buy the latest version of Painter 2016 to glam it up some more.

Photoshop on Cintiq, January 17, 2016.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winding Winter Vineyard

Here in Virginia we are getting a break on winter weather, at least for now. It could get really cold but it hasn't snowed yet. And the grass under the vineyards is still green! It is still winter though with a whole sky full of beautiful clouds. I was out at my "home base" vineyard, "Winding Road Cellars" this Saturday to taste some new vintages and do a sketch. It was done from indoors as it was too cold to sit outside. 

This picture was done in two sections. The top sky to the horizon was done on site, but I ran out of room on my screen so when I got home I placed the original drawing on a larger digital workspace and created the green vineyard with its lines of baby vines from memory. The on-site drawing was done on my iPad and the rest of it was done on Photoshop in the main studio. I did not use the Cintiq as I am still not proficient enough to take it out on the road. Soon though I will be and will post more results.

"ArtStudio" on iPad, finished in Photoshop.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


The "Chickenmobile" usually appears in parades or at large outdoor parties and games. The three-wheeled contraption can make 360-degree turns and can raise or lower its head over the two large wheels. The "cock"pit is a transparent bubble shaped like the chicken's head, and the driver enters through a "hatch" in the back. The headpiece can pivot and turn though not all 360 degrees like the wheels. In the front are extendable claws, which can pop out and grab things as the driver directs. There are plenty of places to mount advertising and logos, which would be something to crow about.

Black technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 4", January 16, 2016. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Neo-Persian Empire carpet design

The ancient Persian Empire lives on in my old designs for neo-Persian carpets. All of these elements, except perhaps the central gold flower tracery which is from later, Islamic history, are derived from authentic ornamentation. The round rosettes actually come from pre-Persian, Assyrian designs, and were borrowed and used by the later empires. CorelDraw is used by textile designers because it is so easy to build and repeat elements. The colors are arbitrary as with all of my carpet designs here but I try to use slightly faded colors which would look antique.

CorelDraw rescued on Cintiq, about 1999 or 2000.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Sunset 2016

There are always some wonderful sunsets during the winter in this area. I think it's a combination of elevation and the slant of setting sunlight. I beheld this colorful display from my driver's seat so I was not able to record it on-site. But memory does serve me well especially for skyscapes and landscapes. I re-created the sight from memory using my new Cintiq which I have now equipped with lots more "brushes" (digital patterns) imported from my older, main desktop. Beautiful sunsets may inspire, but it's still winter, even (thankfully) without snow and ice.

Photoshop on the Cintiq, January 13, 2016.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Arterra New Vineyard

Last year in November the Wine Team visited "Arterra Wines" in the hills of Delaplane, Virginia, where we enjoyed wine and scenery. I did one ink drawing of the fancy woodwork inside their lodge but didn't have the time to draw the view from out on their deck. This is the view I missed, depicting a new vineyard just planted. The baby vines will yield their first wine-able grapes in about 5 years. I have been wanting to do a color rendering of this scene for months but due to the family situation I was not able to dedicate enough time and energy to it. So today I managed to do the drawing - from memory. Memory drawing is not as immediate as on-site drawing but it's more "authentic" than drawing from a photograph. I will be interested to see how close I got to the actual view which was captured in a friend's camera. Sometimes I think that art should be so "realistic" that it is just a hand-done form of photography, depicting the subject exactly as it is seen.

Colored pencil on sketchbook page, 7" x 5", January 13, 2016.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Neo-Iranian Carpet Design

I did quite a few carpet designs for my Persian exile friend. They are built from repeating patterns which CorelDraw is very good at doing. The designs on all my carpet patterns are derived from authentic ancient Persian ornament. The colors, though, are arbitrary as not enough material has survived from ancient times to give that information. I chose to use neutralized and warmed-up colors rather than the bright hues which you often see on modern rugs. Someone has suggested to me that this would make a nice afghan pattern and I agree, these would be good crochet squares. I can retrieve the original square pattern from this one and send a crafter the design in a larger scale format.

CorelDraw 12, retrieved from my old files, about year 2000 CE. Click for larger view.

Monday, January 11, 2016

All Copper Still at Vint Hill

One of the fascinating items on display at Vint Hill Craft Winery was this still, which was on the counter behind the wine bar. It was about two and a half feet tall, made of copper burnished in a woven pattern, and possibly of Mediterranean origin. When I asked about it I was told that it was purely there for display and that they didn't distill any spirits, though there are plans for a real distillery as part of the Vint Hill complex. 

I was immediately reminded of some folks I used to know down in Tennessee, known as "ridge-runners," who had a supply of what I simply referred to as "product" and they knew as "white lightning," i.e. moonshine. As a friendship gift one of them gave me a Mason jar full of a clear liquid that was obviously not water. He said to me that this was the luxury kind because it had been distilled in an "all copper still." Copper I guessed was the better metal for stills, as I had heard that some people desperate for equipment brewed  'shine in old auto radiators. I tried sampling the product and it tasted terrible. They told me to mix it with fruit juice and it would go down easy. Well this still here wasn't the "ridge-runner" kind with a spiral tube instead of a simply bent one like this example, but it was quite impressive.

When I got this drawing home I couldn't resist seeing the still as an outright phallic shape, so you get erotic and alcoholic themes combined in one shrine-like object. As I said, of Mediterranean origin. 

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 4" x 7 1/2", January 9, 2016.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Vint Hill Spy and Wine

"Wine Saturday" brought us to a fascinating piece of history as well as excellent sips of wine. "Vint Hill Craft Winery" near Warrenton, Virginia, is an old cattle ranch which during World War II was used as a radio spying post for the Allies. A radio operator at the ranch found that due to unique geophysical features, he was able to receive broadcast transmissions from Germany and Japan, which were unsecured by the enemy. The government bought the ranch and kept the cattle on the site. But the people were re-populated by radio and translation specialists, who actually helped with the animals to keep up the appearance of a simple ranch. Meanwhile, men and women were at the radio stations upstairs, stealing Nazi secrets from the air waves.

The wooden interior in the image is the modern transformation of the old radio barn. Visitors drink wine in the upper floor space where the spies did their work. The barn has been decorated in the ultra-chic "industrial" decor style. Downstairs, instead of cattle, are the wine vats which you see on the bottom of the image. Vint Hill offers courses in winemaking for true wine lovers. Unlike the vineyards whose viney vistas I usually depict, Vint Hill uses grapes from not only Virginia but other states like California and Washington State. That way they can enjoy winemaking on limited land resources. Vint Hill has other attractions too such as the excellent "Covert Cafe" and the "Cold War Museum."

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on iPad, about 8" x 10", January 9, 2016.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rita Hayworth line drawing

I'm practicing line drawings that I can color in Photoshop for graphic novel panels or any other artistic work that demands simplicity and ease of reproduction. I'm not at all a movie fan but I very often use still pictures of movie players as references for images. This one is Rita Hayworth in the 1946 film, "Gilda." You'll see Rita/Gilda again as I experiment with coloring, and I'll have more of these studies done in "digital inking" on the Cintiq. Rita's dress is much more elaborate in the original photo, where it is covered with glitzy plant-shaped embroideries and beadwork.

Gel pen and tech pen ink on illustration paper, 4" x 7", January 9, 2016.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ryan Home 1991

As some of you know, I used to work at a shop that did architectural renderings and house portraits for the real estate market. We used real pencils and watercolors as well as technical pen and ink. I worked there full-time from 1988 to 1991 and did auxiliary work for them till about 1993. Our house art could be seen in real estate ads in the Washington Post and other more upscale advertising magazines.

During my time there we got our first computer and started using it for architectural drawing. I didn't get to work on it there, but I got my own computer in 1991 and started exploring what I could do with it. In those days I was using CorelDraw 2 (CorelDraw's first release was in 1989). The tools available for digital art were simple and rough compared to what is available now. I took a blueprint home and did this elevation (building front) using flat, patterned, and simple gradient shapes. 15 years later I just retrieved it from my archives. Interestingly, after being run through different programs and saved many times, some of the colors had "faded" just like real paint or dyes would, and I restored the bright blue to the sky. 

Nowadays almost all architectural renderings are done on high-end computers and the images are completely indistinguishable from photographs. In fact these images are "better" than photographs because the makers can build the image in ultra-detailed 3-D visualizations leading to a slightly disturbing inhuman perfection.

Ryan Homes house front, CorelDraw 2 on a PC, 1991.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Visual Riches of CorelDraw

Here I am unloading my saved treasure of CorelDraw 12. This graphics program has something which I have never seen on any other similar program. This feature is a large library of natural and artificial textures, simulating anything from rocks to waves to leaves as well as glitzy stars, neon lights, and spectra. These are all pre-set and you get to decide what colors and color combinations they have. Even better, if you click on its control symbol, your chosen texture will change its shapes and colors without changing its basic theme. So you might have galaxies or rivers in many different shapes...if you don't like the one you have, you can ask for another one, over and over again.There are controls for changing the features of the theme, too, like just how many waves you want or how bright your stars will be. Sure, you can do this texture quest on Photoshop but you must create it yourself and layer in the colors, or just borrow a texture from something you scanned in.

The orange and purple background in this sketch is generated by one of Corel's graphic themes, a "mineral" abstraction. I added orange to the mineral and it becomes volcanic. Then I exported the background to Photoshop and went at it with black shadowy shapes to complete the infernal quality of this photoshop concept. I am surrounded by digital art gadgets and each does a different thing.

"Volcanic City" is CorelDraw and Photoshop, January 7, 2016. Klic for larger view.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ancient Persian Carpet 2000

One of my goals in getting the Cintiq graphics tablet is that it runs Windows. This much-maligned operating system provides a wealth of software unavailable to Macintoshes. The one that I was looking for was CorelDraw, a grand piece of graphix originally from Canada. I started my digital graphics work on Windows using CorelDraw back in the 1990s and missed it a lot when I switched over to Macintosh. The Mac equivalent, Adobe Illustrator, is a cranky, overcomplicated program guaranteed to make a graphic designer throw erasers at the wall in frustration. So when I got the Cintiq I looked forward to working with CorelDraw again.

But CorelDraw has also evolved with the times and is also quite pricey, so I was hoping that my Cintiq would run my own personal copy of CorelDraw, stored in a closet since my Macconversion. The current version of CorelDraw is number 17, known to those hipsters as "X7". I have version number 12 dated 2003. The big question: would this "legacy" version from 12 years ago run on my futuristic Cintiq?

I am delighted to tell you that it does, and I installed it tonight. It works as well as when I was knocking out hundreds of decorative price tags for Trader Joe's. I have whole CD libraries of my CorelDraw graphic designs. This design comes from about 2000, when I was working for a Persian exile who dealt in carpets and other decorative objects using ancient pre-Islamic Persian design. The multiplied shapes you see here are derived from ancient Persian ornament and reproduced on CorelDraw using their excellent color management system. I did a lot of these Persian designs, including carpets, but as far as I know the rug designs were never made.

Persian rug design, CorelDraw, about 2000 up-to-millennial year. Click for closer view.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Singing Sisters of SCA

You folks of a Certain know who you are...remember a big hit song sung by "The Singing Nun." It was internationally popular and went like this: "Domineeek - aneek - aneek..." You might have even sung that song in summer camp. The year was 1962. The Singing Nun's artist name was "Soeur Sourire," or "Sister Smile," but in reality she had a rather tragic life, as the Wikipedia article shows us.

Well anyway the image for today's entry doesn't have anything to do with singing nuns. This robed pair are performers at a Society for Creative Anachronism event. They are modern people dressed in neo-medieval garb. This is one of a series of pencil sketches I did at this event. 

Pencil on sketchbook page, 8" x 5", early 1980s.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Abstraction on Cintiq K-15

The Cintiq is in my studio now and I have put it to work doing most of the things I use a digital art computer for. This is  one of my geometric abstractions, in my "K-series" pieces. There's a bit of a tribute to my late mother's abstract art in this, too. Running Photoshop on the Cintiq is the reason for my having it, though I'm tending toward getting "Painter 2016" if I can figure the family finances out. 

Photoshop CC on Cintiq Companion 2, about 3.7" x 3.7", January 4, 2016.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Deryni Mom

Since it's about time for Epiphany, the holiday of the Baby Jesus visited by Magi bringing gifts, I'll post this tribute to motherhood, set in the magical medieval world of Katherine Kurtz' "Deryni." This is Evaine, one of the noble ladies of that kingdom, holding her newborn son, Tieg. The text for this illustration is a short vignette called "Healer's Song" which Katherine wrote for a fan magazine, the long-gone "Fantasy Book." A friend of mine posed for the drawing, and later had children of her own. 

"Deryni Motherhood" is black ink on illustration board, 5 1/4" x 8", Spring 1982.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Drive the Carlet In 2016

2016 is here! You'll need a parking space and here's something that will fit into the urban cubby. As you remember, the theme for rust-red 2015 was "Industrial Patterns." A clever friend suggested the new theme for this year: Transportation. If it rolls, trots, flies, drives, sails, or otherwise moves while transporting something or someone, I'll be drawing it. I might copy, adapt, or outright invent a vehicle, and it can run all the way from history's chariots to the future's fusion-flying fabu-cars or fantastic biovehicles which come alive and ask you for fuel when they're hungry. So stay tuned and make sure your ticket is available to the conductor. 

This first entry is a three-wheeled "Carlet" which is perfect for tooling around the city. I wouldn't take it on a big highway though. The Carlet seats two, or perhaps three if one of them is small. The engine is in the back (left of drawing). You'll get a lot of mileage out of this without having to struggle with pedaling, or getting the rain in your face riding a motorcycle.

I adapted this design from an existing experimental two-wheeled vehicle, actually an "enclosed motorcycle" but that concept bike needed a pair of "training wheels" or a wheeled outrigger to keep it from tipping over.

Drawing of the Carlet is 6" x 4", tech pen ink on sketchbook page. Happy new year, readers!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Brandeis University 1975

I graduated from Brandeis University in 1975. I am so glad I don't have to go to college now. Not that Brandeis was a bad school - it was great, in a traditional way. I got a degree in Greek and Latin Classics, suitable for an 18th century gentleman who enjoyed many quiet days in his library. But I was drawing pictures all the time anyway, educated or not. This is a study of the tree branches outside my dorm room, done in colored pencil. I found it in the stacks of papers in my mother's room. I did the exact same view in watercolor and ink for comparison. You can see from the touches of pale green that spring was almost there. In the background is the grey stone faux-Castle which was one of the legacy buildings of Brandeis, the oldest structure on campus which originally housed student rooms, classrooms, and a coffeehouse. But I'm glad I don't have to go to college because all I hear about are the pressures to get a "marketable" degree that will make you a living in the modern world. 

Brandeis view is colored pencil on Fabriano thick paper, 6" x 9", spring 1975.

Happy New Year, folks!