Thursday, February 15, 2018

HEY, IT'S NOT DIGITAL!

Did I mentioned how much fun I recently had at the Anime Los Angeles convention in Ontario, California. 

I had a lot of fun!

And I met a lot of great people too. One person in particular caught my attention because of her hair. It was big and fantastic. It screamed, "draw me, turn me into art!" I did exactly that.

Trinity Drayton, thanks for letting me take your picture. Saying “I want to draw you” to a stranger sounds weird at times, even to me, but you didn’t mind the picture taking. Because of that leap of faith moment, here’s the end result!
A friend of mine saw the original and thought she was looking at a printout of a digital art piece. I had to correct her. This is not digital art, there’s nothing digital going on anywhere in this art piece. It is all done the old fashion way, by hand, one circle at a time. It took 5 days to complete, most of the time was spent on the hair. There are 2 layers of ink covering those areas, and that really took a toll on my hand; I had to rest it a lot.

The background was a personal nod to the amazing artist, Takeshita Murakami. I love this guy’s work. Originally I was going to use regular smiley faces of various sizes in the background, but I then remembered Takeshita’s work, and I think these large smiling faces are a better match to go with the large colorful hair.

A few weeks back when I posted the portrait of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ben Ratner, a great ideas person, mentioned I should be live streaming the process of how I do these pieces, and that’s a great idea! I will do so someday, but in the meantime, I put together this quick little video of Trinity’s portrait from start to finish using scans.




Working on art like this is exciting, and I wish I could figure out a way to make them profitable as well so I can do one after another. I could live my life like Patrick Nagel or Andy Warhol and just draw people.
Got to make the dream a reality!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WE DON'T NEED NO EDUCATION , JUST A GREAT PANTHER MOVIE!

This week’s portrait, Chadwick Boseman!

Just sat through my first bad movie of the year, “The Cloverfield Paradox”. A huge waste of 2 hours, I should have been working on an art piece, maybe I could have started another portrait on time. The original movie “Cloverfield” was fun to watch, shaky camera and all, and at the end of that movie we all knew what was going on- there was a giant monster tearing up Manhattan. They showed it to us! So if you make a sequel or a prequel, guess what, we already know about the creature so you have to actually write a great story: the real reason why the new movie must exist. Anyway, save yourself some time and read some spoilers. Trust me, you’re not going to be upset if you skip this movie.

This week “The Black Panther” opens! I am excited but cautiously so. It's a stand alone movie, but it is coming in on the heels of Captain America’s “Civil Wars” movie which introduced the Black Panther character, so this new film is really a sequel or a prequel. That said, I hope someone took the time to write a great movie. A real reason for this film to exist other than the fact that it's mostly an African American cast as some movie reviewer pointed out, forgetting to mention if they liked the film or not.

I think Chadwick is a good actor, and I am sure he’ll give the role his all, but he can only be as good as the material he was given to work with. I hope I am not going to see more of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" way of storytelling, you know what I mean.

This portrait is another huge leap for me as far as how I created it. There’s a lot of color mixing going on using circles, of course. I hope to find somewhere I can show what’s going on with my work beyond these portraits someday soon and maybe start selling originals too.

So here’s to hoping "The Black Panther" is great and fun to watch with good acting and no over the top political social messages being thrown at me. Let me escape this crazy reality for 2 to 3 hours!

By the way, is it me or does it seem Thanos in the “Avengers: Infinity War” movie trailer is a lot less purple in skin color and he now looks like one of those cartoon bulky nazis with a really bad sunburn tan?

More social messages?...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

HE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE!

This week’s portrait, Neil deGrasse Tyson!




“Wait, what’s going on, didn't you do one of him already?!?”



Yes and No.



Pierre did do a portrait of Neil back in March 2016. That was before he, Pierre, discovered the Quantum Universe, and met me, Pierre. We spoke about what each of our realities as we know them were like, and discovered there was a time difference of a year between us. I was in the future, he was in the past, but I could see his future. We figured out a way to move into each other’s time last year but couldn’t get back to our own.

So I am stuck here in the past with a future that doesn’t come anywhere close to what my future was like. For example, huge differences, we have no idea who Trump was or is, he doesn’t exist. As a result of my business success selling art supplies, I am in an open marriage with 2 amazing women, and I just discovered you guys had the shittiest Star Wars release ever! Your Last Jedi movie is absolute GARBAGE!

Anyway, the reason Neil fits into all of this is that I’ve been watching a ton of videos on his lectures in hopes of figuring out how to get back home. After all, it was because of him we have people in Alpha Centauri, I mean my people.

In the meantime, I thought it would be interesting to redraw some of Pierre’s earlier works and saw that Neil was among them. Hey, if you aren’t following all of this don’t worry, I understand, you guys don’t believe in science anyway.

I thought it would be interesting to see how I would handle recreating Pierre’s artwork from a year ago.

I decided to use the same colors as he did, but did it my way. I even hid an image of a Pulsar in the portrait, stars not too far from where I am from.





That’s all I have to say for now. I want to go back home. This reality sucks, I can see why Pierre wanted to leave it. You guys couldn’t even get Star Wars right!



Monday, December 11, 2017

TIME TRAVEL

This week’s portrait, Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan)!

While working on the Pee Wee portrait, I was looking at all things from the 1950s so I thought I’d check out that Amazon show that keeps coming up, “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel." I almost turned it off, but within 10 minutes one of my favorite comedians made an appearance, Gilbert Gottfried. Seeing him for 5 minutes made me keep my finger off the remote, hoping to see more of him. As a result, I gave the the show a chance and 20 minutes in, I was hooked. There wasn’t more Gilbert, but the show itself is really good. I found myself binge watching the entire season.

I related to the character whose life suddenly changes and is trying to figure out how to go forward, and in doing so, takes a chance on a skill that she had but never explored before.

(I am trying not to give away the plot, but trust me, it’s worth watching and discovering for yourself.)

The visuals for this show are amazing, and the main character looks like the stereotypical1950’s housewife with a personality that belongs in the 2010s. For this art piece, I limited the colors to reds and pinks so that the blue eyes would pull you in. And I also used graphic elements from the show’s credits to tie it together.

The last few weeks I’ve become so focused on my art that there have been evenings I forgot to have dinner. I know, not healthy, but I am so excited about putting my time into something I really enjoy that time passes too quickly.

Almost forgot to mention, Vicki Chase was incredible as an art model this past weekend. As Naughty Santa, she looked liked a Alberto Vargas or Gil Elvgren 1950s pinup model. I did some really interesting drawings.

It’s interesting how everything this past week tied into the 1950s. Pee Wee took me back in time and now I have to get back to the future!

I wonder if this was how Doc Brown felt as he was building his time machine. You know you’re onto something amazing.  
 
You just have to stay inside, lock the door, create, and when you’re ready, show people some serious shit!
 

Monday, December 4, 2017

TODAY'S SECRET WORD IS, "QUICKSAND!"

This week’s portrait is Pee Wee Herman!

I recently rewatched the Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. This show is ageless, I think it’s still as funny today as it was during the release in 1988. My dad was still with the family then, and often he’d sit and watch Pee Wee’s Playhouse with my brother and me. We weren’t young kids, but that didn’t matter when it came to Pee Wee. The humor transcended age. I would record the show on VHS tapes and try to leave out the commercials- which always ended up with recording too soon and getting the tail end of some product endorsement or recording too late and missing those great seconds back from commercials. Now for $26.49, I can have the entire series minus commercials. All those VHS tapes and editing time spent with the tv remote, wasted!

I loved the show's 1950s retro look. It was very much a part of the show’s appeal including the characters themselves, and in doing this portrait of Pee Wee, I wanted to capture that feeling. The pouting mouth was a bit of a challenge; I didn’t think it would be at first. But I am happy with the end result. All those crazy little circles.

Someday, a time may come when some scientists will look at my art and realize the secret to the meaning of the universe is in the designs. Yes, the universe has been secretly whispering the meaning of everything to me, and unknowingly, I’ve been translating it into a language using circles.

Or maybe it’s some sort of self discovery. By drawing all these circles, I am being drawn or pulled towards some new level of awareness. Or maybe, it’s all meaningless, just some artistic visual fetish that seems to have caught my attention and won’t let me go, kind of like "quicksand!"

That topic is not about to go away anytime soon!

(You know what I'm talking about :) )

Monday, November 27, 2017

I CAN SEE THE HOLIDAYS!

This week's portrait, Sonia!

 
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It's so weird that with all the changes going on in my life right now that this is the first time in 6 years I actually feel like enjoying this holiday season. I started listening to Christmas music weeks ago. 

I’ve been working hard on several art projects. I am trying to finish enough new art works to put up on my long overdue, updated “Totally Graphic” website. As a result, the weekly portrait project has fallen from the back seat right into the trunk. It almost stayed there for the rest of the year if it wasn’t for a profile that came up on my Instagram.

She is not a celebrity as far as I can tell and definitely not someone I know, but her profile picture stood out to me, She looked like Christmas! Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. But looking at her I felt like I was seeing the holiday as if it had taken human form. I felt instantly inspired and decided to take a break from my other undertakings to revisit the portrait project.

I tried to put on paper what I felt I was seeing when I looked at Sonia's photos, but of course, my scanner just can’t seem to reproduce the bright colors and gold tones that are in the final art. The hair has the effect of Christmas lights: you can almost feel them going on and off. And the background has the look of gift wrapping paper, the idea being, here’s Christmas and everything that’s great about it being presented to you, the viewer.

This is the second time in my life that I saw someone who looked like the holiday and inspired me to created them on paper as such. I think we all have the holiday to some degree coming through us at this time of the year, but some people just seem to strip away the commercialism and make you see and feel happy.

Seeing Sonia made me feel happy!

I think I’ll try to get one or two more portraits in now before the year is over; though I have so much to do, art work, class homework and prepare for a Convention.

January 25 to the 28, I will be hosting Cosplay Life Drawing again at Anime Los Angeles at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario!

Back in January of this past year, I did 2 events at this convention which were incredibly FUN! I had two awesome costumed models, and both days brought in large crowds of artists. I expect this coming year to be even bigger. If you’re free that weekend get in your car and come down, this is one of those great conventions that has found its perfect size, not too big, not too small, with enough activities going on straight into the night that you’ll never have time to be bored. Plus of course, there will be drawing events.

A perfect way to enjoy Anime and start the New Year!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NUFF' SAID

This Week's Portrait is, Stan Lee!
If you are any kind of a fan when it comes to comics, then the first name that comes to mind is Stan Lee. Second name, Jack Kirby. Honestly any other names, you should turn in your nerd membership card!

Comic books have always been a part of my life. I still have a couple of comics from my youth on which I wrote my name so my brother wouldn't take them. Most of the books are held together with that yellowing nasty cellophane tape.

Because I loved to draw, I'd copy the images and in some cases, cut out the characters and make my own comics from the comics. Years later, I thought I was good enough and sent samples of my work to Marvel only to have them returned with a nice rejection letter, which wasn't from Stan!

Now as an adult, I see his name included in things and I just know whatever it is, it will be cool just by association.

And that is what I hope I accomplished with this portrait of him.

Along with the portrait I wanted to mimic the Marvel movies opening credit with images of some main characters. The background characters would be rendered like their vintage 60s comic book look, but of course done with circles. With the amount of colors in the background, keeping Stan Lee’s colors simple was key to making it stand out.

By the way, this weekend, October 27-29, is the Los Angeles Comic Con, aka, Comikaze, aka, Stan Lee’s Comic Con. 

Here’s some “Bottom Line America” advice, “Pay Stan whatever it takes to license his name and just call it Stan Lee’s Comic Con, it's classy and it's worth it!”

I'll be at the convention helping a friend with her table. How cool would it be if I could get a picture with Stan Lee holding the portrait?!

Nuff’ Said!