Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Have Gone Off My Rocker: Boy Fun

Soon I have an assignment to do a cover for an ‘older children’s fantasy book’. At least one. It’s not an actual commission so I’m not being paid. Don’t be silly! Of course not. It’s to prove to unimaginative book publisher types that I can do this sort of thing. The people who represent me in the commercial world have suggested that I do this thing.

On of the comments I had on one of the previous posts made me think that I want to find fun ways of drawing Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys again.

I used to set myself the challenge of drawing the cover of the album in the time it took to burn a CD.

I’ve got this nutty idea in my head about doing deranged pop culture pictures then making them sparkle and twitch and flogging them to the youth on MySpace.

I probably don’t have the technical skills to follow this through… but it’s an intriguing exercise is purposefulness.

In that vein, I’ve been making studies and doing little thumbnails of Randy and John the heart throb wrestlers, which has taken me to some cutely homoerotic visual places. Slightly unnerving places. This stuff was all knocked up in the past couple of days. It all qualifies as ‘provisional’ and ‘sketches’ and I’m not sure exactly where I’m headed.

Cena face studies

repressed deranged

biro legs

All of this is sort of an exercise in trying to follow through the energy and spontaneous fluidity of my biro sketches to something on a slightly more substantial scale.

pinocchio cena

pencil cena orton

I’ve been inspired by Katie Rice and the cute energy of her girls and got this crazy idea in my mind that I want to do something deranged, energetic and cute with lumpy yet charismatic gym rat boys. But it’s quite a task.

And I haven’t got a clue if I’m cut out for cartoons exactly… it’s all a work in progress.

I think one of my fake book covers will be a Harry Potter one since I’m cocky enough to think I could do it justice. Hmmm… trying to kill two birds with one stone… is there any way I could subtly cast Brian Wilson as Ron Weasley?

Oh and if anyone in the world owns the game Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and has screenshots of minotaurs they wouldn’t mind emailing to me, I would be jolly grateful. I plan some more ‘damn celestial’ minotaurs (thanks to the clown ninja for that comment, I appreciate the comments) and I’m going to have to get myself back into a more generally celestial mindspace for my book cover project and temporarily put aside the deranged biro scribbled WWE men.

Usually when I’ve depicted women, they’ve ended up kind of wispy and dreamy like this Shirley Temple.

Shirley Temple golden skin

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Short bitty lines versus long fast sweepy lines...

I’m trying to distinguish my good habits from my bad ones.

I liked to think that I had shaken off insidious art school doctrines but sometimes I wonder.

In the past year or so I have tended to draw in quite a staccato bitty way. I always want to get tons of ‘touch’ and jiggling life into drawings and paintings. But lately I’ve been more wary of translating that desire too literally.

This is a detail of a minotaur's eye from a recent painting. Click on it to see a bigger version.

I think I was quite influenced at a crucial point by George Herriman’s scratchier lines in late twenties era Krazy Kat… although it might not be transparently obvious. I have a lot of diagonal non-obvious sort of influences. Perhaps I would benefit from a bit more outrageous plagiarism.

Here’s a lamo biro doodle done one saturday morning. It’s all on quite a small bitty scale. Click to see the whole thing.

And here's a quite bitty drawing of WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley:

bobby lashley biro bits

But lately, a combination of factors has made me really question the way I draw, while at the same time I’m feeling newly excited about drawing. But I don’t really care about what I did before, I think getting it right now. I’m being called upon to do more work for deadlines, and I’ve actually been quite grateful for an excuse to find strategies for speeding up my painting process. It’s actually been a good exercise in figuring out exactly what I want my work to be like… what I want to put across… and being able to some degree to negotiate all this stuff in words with other human beings in a friendly and chirpy way.

Me, triple H, mink

Some more self portraiture there, plus Triple H with ear problems, a fetal buff boyman and a mink.

I'm also seized with a desire to create iconic cute images for the fast paced bingey consumption of the MySpace generation. More on that soon, I expect.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Handsomeness Engulfment

One post on its own on a new blog looks completely sad and depressing, I’m going to have to cheer this thing up a bit.

And I already got some feedback so I’m getting hungry for attention now. I shall turn into a blog monster.

I’m going to have to just tell you now: I draw wrestlers a lot. And paint them. I’ve tried to explain aspects of my fascination with wrestling before, but here’s for pictures. (if you click on any of these you can see the whole page that they come from at a nice big size):

There are some Randy Orton studies. In which Randy becomes engulfed by his own voluminous handsomeness. I understand his face so much better now!

Lots of faces. I get obsessed with faces and neglect to give them bodies. There'll be more whole people in some new compositions soon I think. Need to get as obsessive about manipulating space as I am about manipulating FACE.

Here are the wimpy wussy conservative studies that the manly cartoony drawings are derived from:

And here’s a painting based on terrified Randy's face and a young sad looking Meatloaf (on the set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I believe):

That one is a tiny tiny painting, it’s only ten centimetres across or something. It was painted in controversial combinations of acrylics and resins and varnishes and watercolours followed by oil glazes.

My Granny liked it but she asked my why I have to paint sad things.

I might even post some more drawings if I have done anything worth seeing by the end of today. And bring this thing bang up to date.

This blog and my other blog and everything in the world looks better, prettier and more dignified if you view them through Firefox.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tentatively Erumpent

I finally got around to getting one of these zippy little white blogs!

I’ve had a big lumbering grey one since last October. But that’s for sprawling thought sneezes. It’s for sweeping cultural meme-smoochings. This one is for unambiguous visuals.

It’s for my drawings and the incremental revealing of the paintings I am making with my hands.

I’ve planned a parallel ‘cute’ blog like this for a while. Initially I was going to call it ‘the lixiviation of Chloe’s Fussy Ball’. Lixiviation is a word that was used in alchemy to describe the separation of soluble from insoluble substances.

(‘A Fussy Ball of Intensity’ is what my big hulking weirdo blog
is called.)

The idea being that when my thoughts start getting a bit dense and heavy, a bit insoluble, I cream off and condense the soluble goodies and present them here… so that you can dissolve with your logic glands them and then absorb them with your spongy love lobes.

Here are some of the names I considered for this blog:

The Lixiviation of Chloe’s Fussy Ball

Chloe presents herself for Mass Consumption

Chloe Cumming Dissolves

Chloe Cumming Lixiviates

Chloe Cumming Condenses like Milk

Chloe’s Emunctory Valve

In a spirit of introductory friendliness, here is some self-portraiture from earlier this week. It was the first time I had made any attempt at self-portraiture or cartoony expressiveness of this sort for quite a while.

I unintentially pout when I feel looked at.

I feel like I’m still approaching it like a painter in a lot of ways though. I couldn’t help becoming conscious of how I was arranging the heads on the page. And I was feeling like to properly represent all the weirdness I see in my face I needed ultimately to give it skin and colour and texture. And on top of that, I was thinking ‘How am I going to get this monstrously fun manual dexterity I’m discovering into paintings?’ How do I translate the discipline of linear cartoon-inspired robustness into robustness in my compositions and the spatially arresting worlds I want to invent?

I kind of feel that if you take all the versions of me on that page together, you get an idea of what I look like. But I’m not satisfied with any single one of them. Maybe that’ll come in time.

My face is lopsided because one of my jaw joints was eroded way by arthritis when I was growing up and it had to be replaced by a piece of my rib.

For the sake of balance, here’s a recent tiny mainly watercolour painting of a Minotaur I did recently. It didn’t take very long and it sold for not that much money, but it has something about it that makes it my irrational favourite:

Empathetic Minotaur

It has delicacy and urgency, or something, but I don’t want to define it too hastily. Words can get in the way.

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