Friday, March 30, 2007

Elvis Looms In the Centre of Things

In this doodle you can kind of discern me trying to combine the sad leopards with the jumping boys.

Also in the middle perhaps you can spot Elvis, who's popped up to give me clues about how man faces and decorative beauty can be combined.

It's mixing things up in the right order that provides half the challenge...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Let's not be an idiot: Leopard Melancholy

Do you think that when a people post less pictures, it's easier to think of something to say? For commenters? If I start posting posts with only one or two new pictures, the other advantage is that I'll be able to post more frequently. I'm always impatient to expose all my new stuff, but let's not be an idiot. Let's be patient.

I've been doing some little colour sketches that don't have wrestlers in at all! Didn't I do well?!

I liked that clouded leopard that was in the news then I got into leopards. Clouded ones. But mainly the common or garden sort because the Borneo ones are not so photographed.

I'm working through drawing energy to watercolour energy and then I hope I'll come up with something with enough substance to turn into a kind of immersive oil paint world...

Some 'drawings' are like fragments, some are more self-contained. Oil painting is its own reward. But let's not be oily about it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Funtime mechanical Monkeyboys: Epic

I've been casting around for a while in the depths of a deep manscribble chasm, in search of some pertinent shapes that I will, I hope, condense into colour.


Well, I've had bugger all comments so I'll switch things about a bit!

If that drawing was confusing, it was partly influenced by this ancient chinses lion sculpture:

And this lion too:

I collected toogether a fair few images of sculpted lionhood in order to better construct my own lions, eventually.

It's all looking a bit chaotic at the moment but I assure you, bloggies, there is method to the madness etc etc.

Sometimes I draw quite fastly:

Some men are less prone to do fun things with their faces but they look a bit like aliens so that's something I can potentially work with:

These two had comically contrasting cheekbone and eyeball configurations (at the bottom is a retarded flat doodle cat):

2 scrappy headlocks:

Randy and John with bulge:

Josh's comment on this next one when I posted it on myspace: 'I love Cena's dumpling arms in that top one. It belies the monkey I see in him but it's nice seeing a radically different representation.'

My response to him at the time:

'Cena does have simian qualities, but counter to that he has short arms and legs. One of my theories about his success as a wrestler is that his physique is very immediately recogniseable in sillhouette, which is one of the requirements for a great cartoon character. It's partly recogniseable because by normal standards it's quite peculiar and if one is feeling unkind, ugly, but Vince doesn't mind that because he doesn't understand the power of male beauty and is a shameful visual-manqualities-aesthetic-autistic. Grrr!'

just two of those:

falling men:

cena face with writing:

Some of the writing from this page, which was essentially instructions to myself:

REPETITION IS BAD: make it WORTH drawing the same people a lot...

As much as a I want to get the construction right, I don't want to fall into a formula... I SEE MORE each time after all...

experiment with space, perpective, geometry... Randy's face as a contrast to Cena, emphasise nose bridge lighting that makes it look classical... + sensual top lip all curvy + full... emphasise geometry of pout... Randy is a pout-elf in comparison... some of my studies are technical but I aim to see cute...

(On John Cena) could play with perspective of his peculiar planes of slab ear jaw face... effectively cheekbones are tiny narrow little triangular things that jaw hangs off like big lollopy cartoon custard... nose somehow has to be 'right'; more intricate than you'd think.... possibly shape of cheekbone part of face is more important to do intricately and tight, the rest (bottom) can be loose and extreme and rubbery...

Idea: big tongue variations?

Cena Randy blue writing page:


By the way... I used to paint soft sad lady lumps. And slightly different sorts of fat faces. I did this giantess based on Sarah Michelle Gellar for my degree show and now she's available at cafepress:

Now back to rumpent erumpency:

blue lean thumbnails (one man leaning on another man's rump):

more falling kitty/s:

pink kitty/ kittyboy collection:

Lion Cena:

fatface headlock randy colour thumbnails:

Bye this stage I was frustrated at my self-imposed exile from the land of colour. So it creeps in in sketchy ways. Coloured pencils are a nice bridge between drawing and painting techniques... they can cover both.

very jaggedy sketchy cats and heads:

This next one was on a very loose evening page of drawings. Only afterwards I realised that I had channelled my ingrained memory of the scene in Powdered Toast Man where he rescues the kitten.

silly blue heads:

Rainbow fun time mechanical monkey boys:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

There's no end in sight to the bloating

Creepy alluring doll boys have evolved....

I participated in a superior exchange of MySpace comments with my friend Josh the other day. It was a collection of observations of changing wrestler physicalities, which included the following words... I wonder if you can guess which of the words came out of MY brain:

'I always fancied Cena as something of a celery stalk & pencil eraser hybrid...with bits of dead monkey face glued on throughout.'

'and how about his thighs!? Thighs to Randy are what forearms are to Popeye! Some months their more solid and other months they wiggle.'

'I worry that roids have made his face inflate'

'I know I can talk to you about these things, Josh. Most people woould find my preoccupation with the cutes and the uglies of wrestler physiognomies hard to understand.'

'Still I've got a lot of value out of that inflatey face and them little deep set glassy doll eyes.'

'Re Randy's thighs: I could really start a whole seperate blog about them, only people would think me mentally subnormal. the thighs have always been exceptional. Exceptionally enormous, but not in a grotesque way. he gets away with it due to nicely proportioned long limbs. They're kind of one of the more consistent aspects of him. They are sometimes more wobbly, and I'm not bothered either way really. But you see, thighs don't have eyes on them to get swamped in growth hormone flesh til they become mere pinpricks, so the face is the main area for anxiety.'

'But thighs with eyes... an interesting thought.'

'I think most great wrestlers combine pig ugliness with aching handsomeness to a degree.'

'I intended to begin a new era called 'twistycute'.'

'The Rock.. did you see Raw? He was on it... he looks bloody weird these days... like Latoya Jackson or.. I can't quite put my finger on it... his face is oddly skeletal now he's presumably sans roids.. he's hollowed out, he has an oddly androgynous surgery-fied kind of head. Am I making any sense?'

'I have observed in the past that his pecs seem to inflate precisely in proportion to how famous his opponent is at the next PPV, for Hogan they were immense.'

'I know he hasn't had surgery, or probably not, but his nose now has a sort of delicate porcelain look like it might fall off.'

'I think The Rock resembles a dried up bean of some kind. I'm not sure WHICH bean..but a bean. He's always possessed a bit of "beanage" to me...but now, with his more skeletal features, he looks like he's been pruning under the sun for a bit.'

'....At least his farmer/handler was kind enough to baste that face of his in lotion, to give him that blinding shine!'

'Randy's dad sort of looks like Terry Funk after having been stung 1,000 times in the face by killer bees.'

'There's no end in sight to the bloating; like a loaf of bread with WAY too much yeast in it left in the oven far too long. Explosion looks inevitable. Yet, those tiny shark/doll's eyes maintain their position.'

This next one includes the influence of an ancient Chinese lion statue on the upper left hand face, believe it or not. Or... hang on, maybe it was the drawing that suggested that this man could be an grinning bug eyed lion. It might not look like much but I followed it with several more with more specific lion activity. So I'll post those soon.

All of these rough sketches are beginning to give me clues as to which parts to elaborate, evolve and follow up on. Things could explode exponentially unless I excercise some discernment. Every scrap could potentially asexually produce many monsters.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Three Teenage Moons

Before I bombard you with the next set of scribbly abdominal stretches and athletic kitties, I'll just post this one painting and some words about it.

I really am producing a lot of drawings at the moment, and I don't want them all to melt into a homogenised sludge on the blog.... so here's a greatly oversaturated peculiarity of a 2005 thingy:

In 2005 I had a brief to produce twenty perfectly square paintings for a gallery that sold only square pictures. The gallery has gone out of business now, but the methodical and goal-oriented way this forced me to work was quite useful, in hindsight.

This picture was produced in a hurry... it wasn't invested with any individual significance, in a way. It was organic and 'accidental', like a lot of things I've done. I don't even know how many media are 'mixed' in it now... some watercolour, oil pastel, probably acrylic, coloured pencil... in a lot of ways it's a bit if a mess, and my current sensibility finds the colour a bit garish and thoughtless. It would have been done quite 'quickly' (by my standards of the time), and alongside several others of the same size.

But there are aspects of it that I like, and that remind me of things I can do that I haven't tried to do for a while. The 'moons' are the best part.

The other bit's wrestlers, of course. It's Shawn Michaels cradling Randy Orton's head, which here resembles a large bruised fruit.

I've discovered a joyous freedom lately not only in 'loosening up' in my drawings, but also in actively sharpening my eyes and my skills. I'm giving more attention to fundamental mechanical principles of picture-making that I'd unwittingly neglected for many years while I searched for meaning in slow blobby paintings.

But I wanted to create a balance on this blog, since the drawings... well not only are they very probably building TOWARDS some decisively new painting project, they also come... have emerged... FROM something... these old paintings are kind of part of the story, maybe it would be more honest to include them in the... erm... story.

Sometimes I feel like a pretentious art twat staying in the guest bedroom of the wholesome cartoonist community and borrowing its pencils.

But I'm perverse and I'm never happy unless I feel caught in a tension between two things. Or more than two!

Like silly billies before me, I fantasise about being a misfit renegade.

When I google image searched 'misfit renegade' I found this picture of Brian May from Queen.

Brian May

Practical thoughts: important bit: I want my future paintings to have more... obvious self-justifying purpose...

Less blobs. Less mess.

and more joy and dynamism of their own... going to go and write a writing blog now.

I'm transgressing the purpose of this one...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Drawing Equivalent of Salon Hair Clippings

I've done so many loosey McLoose explorational sketches lately that I've accumulated enough oddities for a 'miscellaneous' post, which is what this is.

Here's a man slapping a duck upside its duck head:

And more cemetery reverspective confusions:

Here's a sketch of me in pants. I suppose you could call this self-portraiture of a rather low-key sort. Oh hang on, if you're American, they're not pants. Let's just call them knickers.

The bunnies and minotaurs never quite made it past the bumpy phase of their relationship. Perhaps I ought to take them to couples counselling.

Here's a sort of Mary Mary (Quite Contrary) scenario.... How does my garden grow? Kinda scribbliliy, With Rex Hackelberg beast studies and Randy Orton smugfabulous heads looming out of the bosom of the earth like smug expansively cheekboned cabbages.

This was a little cameo that might still become a painting. I posted it to my old friend Tom on myspace (not MySpace Tom)...

And Tom interpreted it for me (if you click this one, you'll find his space with his music on):

Then there was the time I got fed up with drawing Edge the wrestler and his preying mantis eyes and henceforth decided to put some effort into turning him into a cat. But then what happened was at a certain point I ended up with an entity that was neither Edge nor Cat, but some frightful abomination of a kind no one needs to see.


My Cafepress Store still exists!

bye bye!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Things! For Sale!

Hello.... I was going to wait til I had accumulated more sketches of lion-men and liger-louts... but hold on a minute, because I already have something to say.

I just set up a Cafepress store! There are only a few images on there at the moment. I will be uploading more in the coming days and weeks and you know, for all of time if necessary.

As you can see from the pictures, before I became a professional scribblemonkey, I used to labour over dementedly slow paintings. One day I will make the worlds of the scribble and the perverse slowness meet up and then I'll be a proper artist. In the meantime, please buy stuff from me because it will help keep me in pens.

(I really will add more stuff to the store soon. I'm just getting the hang of it.)
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