Thursday, December 21, 2006

Two New Designs available on SeeRed!

I've just posted two new designs up on my SeeRed CafePress site - please do take a look at 'em and feel free to make many purchases. I know, they're too late for Christmas, but what a perfectly dandy place to spend some of that Christmas money Gramma gave you because she has no earthly idea what you're into these days . . .

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fun with Lincoln

I never get tired of drawing Lincoln Heads in sketchbooks. Sometimes they're just your garden variety Lincoln heads. Sometimes they turn into really odd little ideas, and thankfully I have no idea where they come from.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Funny giant robots

As much fun as it is to absentmindedly doodle robots in my sketchbook endeavors, when the robots are of the GIANT variety -stomping around downtown, messing with buildings and cars and hapless little citizens - well, somehow that's even cooler. Some of my favorite giant robot art for my money is that of my friend Eric Joyner. Eric has been painting robots (and donuts) for a couple of years now and just gets more adventurous with each batch. He has a new show at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City - - check out his homage to N.C. Wyeth "Raiders". I think my current favorite is "Desert Rider", but I'm sure that'll change. Here's Eric's own website:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sketchbook Flotsam

Even though I've been lax in keeping up with blog posts, I've managed to continue pouring stuff into my sketchbooks, and only because I actually had a friend ASK for it, I decided to share some sketchbook work. These are mostly just weird little ideas, unrelated to anything other than the joy of drawing whatever I want.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Two New Designs at See Red!

Finally. A new post. Funny, it doesn't seem like two months went by with no activity here - but alas, that's the case. So, by way of attempting to make amends - here are two new designs you can find over at my CafePress site:
I thought I'd try out a couple of concepts from one of my sketchbooks again, filtered through Illustrator. Please enjoy, and the spirit moves you and the wallet allows, purchase to your hearts content.
I think I like the cups best. There's just something about a dead monkey smoking on my cup of coffee first thing in the morning that lets me know it's gonna be a GREAT day!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vizslas Are The New Black!

Here's another Vizsla-inspired design (you can find it applied to all sorts of merchandise over at done in Illustrator, as well as the sketches from my sketchbook from which it comes.

I finally have a website, mainly constructed for the pupose of viewing my working portfolio.
Go here: and marvel at what amazing things one can do with iWeb and loads of free time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's all about the nose

I have been ignoring neglecting eschewing and forgetting this blog pretty much since Mr. Buckley came home back in March. Since he has happily taken over our lives I might as well post stuff about him in lieu of new artwork. So here are some pictures of him in action - swimming, hunting, and just generally voguing. He's a handsome dog, and quite elegant, even at only 7 months. He's also a complete kook. But back to the hunting - you can see in one shot he is posing with Vanessa and I after earning his first point (3 more to go) towards his Jr. Hunter title! His hunting abilities are amazing, and he has such a blast in the field. It's really quite wonderful to behold him doing his thing. He finds the hidden birds in a 5 acre field with only his nose and a breeze, then points (standing perfectly still) until I can dislodge the bird (which B-man happily chases as it fliew away) and fire off a gun loaded with blanks to simulate a shotgun going off. He was picture perfect on Sunday, and this weekend he gets 2 more chances to earn points. I'll let you know how he does.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back after a long puppy-induced absence! Now with Product!

Having a puppy takes up a good deal of your time and energy - huh huh! Who knew? All of a sudden your time is not so much your own, and lower priority activities fall by the wayside, and lo and behold, 2 and a half months have gone by without a single post to your blog. I suppose I would have had some great entries had I been diligently writing about what was happening each day with Mr. Buckley, but it never seemed like I had the time OR energy - I feel like I'm exhausted all the time by the little monkey. He's an incredibly sweet little dog, smart and loyal and a real character, and it's so rewarding and energizing to have him. I'm just now starting to get back to being some kind of productive.
And the first fruits of my productivity are - suprise surprise - puppy related! I have a CafePress site - - that offers this fine design on all kinds of typical Cafe Press merchandise, with more designs to follow soon. Please take a look and buy a mug or something, support the memory of the Magyar Hordes!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Puppy Time!

We just brought Buckley home Friday - nine weeks old and oh. My. God. Is he something! He's a Vizsla, a Hungarian hunting and companion dog. He's been home for two and a half days now and I think between the two of us we've gotten about 4 hours of sleep. And yet . . . no complaints - he's a sweetie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Just Like Norma Said . . .

"We had faces then!" Or something to that effect. I think it must be the constant deluge of magazine covers with your Lindsays and your Ashlees and your Parises (Pari? Pariahs?) that gets me all nostalgic for the glamour and allure and cheekbones of old Hollywood. Your Garbos and Dietrichs and even Crawfords (before she started drawing on her own eyebrows aith a Sharpie) Your Clarence Sinclair Bulls and your George Hurrells. I mean don't get me wrong, I like looking at Scarlett Johanson as much as the next guy, but it's rare that you see glamour photography nowadays that showcases female beauty without big arrows pointing to a cavernous cleavage.
Jeez, I sound more like a codger every day - I gotta stop watching TCM.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's the pictures that got small . . .

Post Oscar hangover . . .
Norma Desmond was so right - they had FACES then. Now we get your Jessica Albas (Jeez girl, EAT something!) and your Jennifer Garners (all features except her eyes are oversized now that she has those milky mommy boobs) and your Jennifer Anistons (probably a nice woman, but even more ordinary than Julia Roberts if such a thing is possible) and dozens of other "Stars" both male and female imposed upon us.
Best Picture: Crash? I wasn't that crazy about "Brokeback Mountain" as Best Pictures go but at least it was a whole lot more memorable and discussion-generating than "Crash". I remember leaving the theater after seeing "Crash" and being more mindful of what kind of burito I was going to get for dinner. Mmmm, Carne Asada!
I am now officially a fogey - No matter how many times I pinch myself I can't believe they gave an Oscar for Best Song to "It's Hard Out There For A Pimp" - and I'm still pissed off this morning that the damn thing is stuck in my head. "It's Hard Out There For A Prostitute" maybe, but the concept of Pimp Sympathy is kinda problematic to me.
I thought Jon Stewart did well, in spite of a dead zombie audience. The Oscar-campaign commercials mimicking political campaign hit pieces (undoubtedly done by the Daily Show team) were really clever and funny. And even though it may have been slightly geeky, I thought Ben Stiller in the green suit was inspired and laugh out loud hilarious.
I was sad/glad to see Joe Ranft remembered in the memorial tribute, and annoyed they left out Don Knotts, Darrin McGavin and Dennis Weaver. And in general I thought the montages were too fast and that stupid Bill Conte and the stupid orchestra played way too loud over everything. The new ploy of playing music under the award winners to hasten them off the stage long before their time was up was tacky and annoying, even for the Oscars.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sketchbook Superheroes

Seeing other artist's sketchbook pages is always mightily inspiring, but also humbling and a bit daunting when I see the quality of thhe thoughts and images that emerge from other heads/hands. Nevertheless, in the spirit of my goal of being more of a contributor to the world than just a consumer, here are a couple of recent sniglets from my sketchbook done during a trip to Arizona to visit my friend Mike.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ashlee Simpson Rant

I know, I know, mine is a contrary and controversial opinion - hunh? it isn't? oh good, I'm certainly most comfortable swimming with the rest of the school - I was moved to attempt to capture her shovel-to-the-face visage after watching the indie movie "Undiscovered". Don't ask. Every so often V and I like to construct our own "So Bad It's Good" mini film festivals. (You haven't really lived until you've watched a double feature of "Showgirls" and "Glitter" in one sitting. My favorite snippet from an actual EW review of "Glitter" when it was in release: "Mariah Carey acts with all the nuance of a catatonic lemur." Nice.) So we checked out "Undiscovered" and realized what an awesome double feature it would make when coupled with "From Justin To Kelly". Gives me the shivers just picturing it.
In "Undiscovered", we are subjected to continuous jittery hand held camerawork, (for no discernible reason aside from the DP ingesting too many venti macchiatos) inconsistent character development, careless story arcs, truly juvenile acting, and the embarrassing spectacle of Ashlee Shovelface doing her best impersonation of Susanna Hoffs. Someone must have convinced her that if she constantly looks sidewise all the time when she's on camera people might mistake it for an alluring, mysterious personality. Or any kind of personality. Where have you gone, Garbo? And I just gotta say, that smarmy Britney pseudo little girl ("I'm not yet a woman, except for this massive rack I like to parade around") voice of hers is like scraping rusty metal against itself. Or a sack of dyspeptic cats.
It's easy to pick on Ashlee, I really should find better things to do with my time, but one grows weary when talentless individuals like her are constantly shoved down our collective throats everywhere we look. Can't I just be in line at Safeway buying my Hot Pockets in peace without having to see her aforementioned chestballoons and witchypoo face plastered on every other magazine cover? (mustn't neglect Lindsay and Paris and Jen and Hilary) I mean I like a bit of tasteful cleavage as much as the next red-blooded male but let's have some standards here people!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Illustration Friday Chair

Thanks to Drawn! (Most. Addictive. Blog. Ever.) for pointing me to the Illustration Friday blog. Cool idea. Must participate. Here's a chair drawing I really liked, done for a free lance job a while back. Who'd a thunk a chair could be so much fun to draw?

Jackie and Hank

Two of the greatest players of all time - Jackie Robinson, who officially broke baseball's color barrier, and Hank Aaron, still the most prolific home run hitter of all time. Jackie is done in acrylics, Hank is oils, both were drawn directly onto the page of the sketchbook with no workup sketch, and away I went with the paint. These are two of my favorites - I was especially happy with the way Hank turned out.
I'm gonna cease with the baseball heads for awhile, post some other stuff, some odds n' ends n' caricatures n' rants. But there'll be more in the future, rest assured.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Honus Wagner and "King" Kelly

I got a bit lazy on these two. I wanted to do drawings from the early days of Major League baseball and I had all these great photos to work from, but I just didn't wanna cut any friskets. So I tried a couple of monochromatic faces, just a drawing in charcoal, a spritz of acrylic, and some highlights with colored pencil. While I like the drawing of Honus Wagner better (and he does have some color blending going on) these ultimately proved to be two of my least satisfying faces.
Mike "King" Kelly initially played for the Reds starting in 1878, apparently one of the great players of his era and perhaps of all time. The books say he played every position and was noted for his nimble baserunning. After a few stellar years with the White Sox in the 1880's, he was traded to the Boston Braves. This so riled the Chicago fans that they actually boycotted games unless Boston was in town, they loved Kelly so much. Fan loyalty back in the day.
Honus Wagner, AKA "The Flying Dutchman" was a tremendous talent and the first Hall of Famer. A legendary shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wagner did everything well. He hit for average, ran the basepaths like a madman (he once stole Home twice in the same game) and was so loyal to Pittsburgh that he turned down big money to go play elsewhere. It's Wagner's baseball card that continues to be the Holy Grail for collectors, (fetching $1,265,000 at auction in 2000) being so rare because Wagner demanded that the card cease to be printed because he thought the card's sponsor, a tobacco company, promoted unhealthy living. Wagner didn't like smoking, although apparently he did chew tobacco.
So wait a minute, let me get this straight - a professional baseball player who turned down big money out of loyalty to fans, played for one team essentially his entire career, objected to being glorified by a tobacco company because he objected to the substance, and was known for his modesty as much as his playing prowess? Wow. It's almost like reading about another species.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dizzy Dean and Babe Ruth

A number of years ago a friend gave me a copy of the book Baseball's Golden Age, The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon, a beautiful collection of images of some of the greatest players in the game's history. Most of the photos are from the 10's & 20's, black & white,very close up and with a sense of intimacy you don't get from regular publicity shots or baseball card portraits. I was playing around with a Prismacolor blending pencil - a pencil infused with a bit of solvent to break down and blend regular Prismacolor colored pencils to give them a look as if they were charcoal or conte - and wanted to draw from some of the Conlon photos, so I just drew the faces dirctly onto the page of the sketchbook (instead of figuring the face out on tracing paper then projecting the drawing onto the sketchbook via the lucigraph, which was the method for most of these baseball faces) and started blending. I liked the strong structural, yet almost ghostly quality of these drawings a lot, in contrast to the slightly slicker finish of the airbrush/colored pencil pieces.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cecil Fielder

One of the big power hitters of the early 90's, Fielder (in 1990) was the first Major League player in almost 30 years to hit more than 50 home runs, something that has since become almost commonplace each season, what with weight training and steroids. He played for the Detroit Tigers for a few years and then helped the Yankees win a World Series in 1996.
The photo I was working from here was really dark, and I wanted to do something in a low key, limited palette. A good exercise, but not a very punchy result, although I do like his expression.

Monday, January 30, 2006

George Foster

A member of the Cincinatti Reds' during their "Big Red Machine" years, along with Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and Joe Morgan, to name a few.
Somewhere along the line I misplaced the sketches for this drawing, which is too bad, because I'd like to see what the evolution/struggle was for this drawing. I remember there was something in the photo of Foster I was working from that reminded me of a wierd combination of a cubist painting and Kabuki makeup, so I tried to combine the two and came up with this, one of my favorites from this group. It was drawn with a charcoal pencil, spray-fixed then painted with acrylics.

Bill "Moose" Skowron

First baseman, power hitter and hero of the 1958 World Series for the Yankees (featuring teammates Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra) over the Braves (that's the Milwaukee Braves by the way, featuring Hank Aaron and Warren Spahn) Moose seemed to hit a lot of dramatic game-ending home runs, more than a couple of them Grand Slams. Even though I've never been a Yankees fan (with the occasional exception, when some Yankee did something just too amazing not to be impressed, like Reggie Jackson's three home runs off of three different pitchers in the '77 Series over the loathsome Dodgers) how could I resist drawing a guy nicknamed Moose with a face like this! Like a lot of the older players in this series of drawings, Moose pretty much caricatured himself, as you can see from the minimal evolution of the sketches to the finish. Sometimes getting the look of the face is a struggle for me, requiring more looking and more work, more false starts, and sometimes it just seems to emerge on its own.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ferris Fain

Another player from the 50's about whom I know next to nothing, but I liked his face a lot. Ferris Fain played 1st base for the Philadelphia A's. That's all I got, stat-wise, but isn't that a great face?

Willie McGee

Since the Giants were usually long gone by October for the most part, I'd see a lot of the other teams and their players in post-season play. Seems like for a while there, (okay, still) the St. Louis Cardinals were always finding a way into the playoffs, if not the World Series then at least the League Championship. In the 80's that meant seeing lots of closeups of guys like Willie McGee, who was a consistent hitter and a rabbit on the basepaths. He was perfect for caricature, (as was Ozzie Smith, whom I have yet to do) and when I found a good shot to work from, I decided to set aside my airbrush and try straight acrylic painting, fat over lean. I also wanted to play with a different palette, just to keep the images from getting stale and predictable. I was pretty happy with the way the caricature came out on this one - I felt I pushed it as far as I had wanted.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Don Mossi

Here's a player I know nothing about, except he pitched for the Cleveland Indians in the 50's and has a great face that begs to be caricatured - long thin and vertical, with big ears sticking way out and a mischievous look in his eyes. I had to reign in my first sketch, proportionally, as you can see here. I used to do all my initial workup drawings on tracing paper, then refine with another sheet over the first sketch, which would frequently be waaay off proportionally.
Personal political-incorrectness caveat: Being an unenlightened kid growing up in mid-60's suburbia, (ignorance is a thin excuse, I know) it never dawned on me until I was an adult how offensive the team name and logo for teams like the Redskins (YOW!) and the Indians was. I merely thought Chief Wahoo was a funny, vaguely 30's little cartoon face. Not that anyone's asking me, but the inherent racism behind the name of the team - while unfortunately the norm for 1914 - has no place in the 21st century, where we should be a whole hell of a lot more aware and evolved than to name a sports franchise after the ethnicity of the indigenous people of the continent. Such ignorant, insensitive, umm, let's say, corporate thinking that reduces an entire race and countless complex cultures to cartoonish negative stereotypes should be beneath us in this day and age. One would hope. Say, maybe they should go back to being called the Cleveland Spiders? Product tie-in with Marvel and Universal! Tobey McGuire could throw out the first pitch! Gotta dream the dream...