Monday, August 14, 2017

LONG BEACH COMIC CON

This week portrait, Iron Man!

So this portrait was meant to be posted a couple of weeks ago, after San Diego Comic Con, but I had to suddenly leave for New York for family business and while I was there a surprise visit to Marvel happened. I won't go into details, especially concerning family matters but as for Marvel, maybe there's a trailer in 2018? I think it was kind of funny though that I was planning to post this Iron Man image and suddenly I find myself invited to the home of Iron Man.

These images actually have history. All eight of them were done exactly a year ago during the week of the 2016 San Diego Comic Con. They were an experimental idea I had, I wanted to draw and animated the different Iron Man costumes with the circles of course. I knew there were a lot (about 36 costumes over the years), I settled on the 8 main ones or at least the ones I thought were important (and I could find reference on!)

Am not too happy with missing over two weeks of posting, but I have been creating other art works, so my time has been productive. I will be showing many of the new pieces at the Long Beach Comic Con, Labor Day weekend. I also will be hosting the Cosplay Lifedrawing event again, which is always a lot of fun.

For those of you planning to attend the Long Beach event, this year’s theme is, “The Heroes of Mystic and Magic” The models will be the amazing Jennifer Fabos Paton as Zatanna and the Gal Gadot look a like, Shadia Ghantous, as Wonder Woman. Personally, I think Shadia is even more attractive than Gadot, if that's even possible, look her up on Facebook and see for yourself.

Hope I see some of you at Long Beach!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

HOLY DOUBLE IMAGE!

This week’s portrait, Adam West aka Batman!

Nelson Riddle, The Markettes, The Ventures, R.E.M., The Kinks, The Who, what do they all have in common, they all recorded versions of the 1960s Batman theme song.

I think we can all agree, Adam West’s Batman hands down was the greatest TV character since Kirk and Spock from Star Trek. I grew up watching the series in syndication. I remembered planning my day around the time when I knew it was going to be on. Adam West was a cool character, he always had this look of trying to be serious but there was that constant smirking smile letting you feel like you were in on a joke, and of course, who couldn't wait to hear Robin’s, “Holy (fill in the blank) cry for that week.

If you’ve ever watched the show (If you haven’t, lower your head in shame) then you must have tried doing the Batusi at least once. I think it was introduced in the very first episode. Everything about that show was cool and hip. Adam West was the perfect actor for the role, I can't imagine anyone else doing it. But then again knowing the lack of creativity in TV, am sure there are a couple of executive TV clowns some where trying to reboot it, thinking they can do better. 

I started this portrait a few weeks back when I heard about Adam’s death. Wasn’t sure if this was going to be a portrait of Adam West or of him as Batman. Somewhere in my mind the idea came of doing both but I didn’t want to do 2 drawings. After a day of thinking, the idea of combining the two came to mind. I was prepared to re do this one, since I felt it might not work out the way I envisioned it on the first try. But I did it, I made it work. The final art does a great job of bouncing the eye back and forth between the two images, if I say so myself, am really happy with the outcome of this piece.

In time people will likely forget about most of the current dramatic Batman movies that have come out in the last 30 years but they will always remember and very likely still be watching Adam West’s Batman!

Too bad there wasn't a way for someone to put a clause in place to block any future re make of the series. The Batman series is a classic, and there is no replacement for Adam West, he is Batman!

“DC Comics and TV execs, show some self controls, leave a great show alone!”*



*That’s a recliner moment!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

GO SPEED RACER

This week’s portrait, Peter Fernandez.
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since he past away. He isn’t the first person I’ve known and care about to have died. My dad was a person who had a huge influence in my life. My close high school friend, Gregory Baker. My next door neigbor Ms Cleary. Mr Ferguson, Ms Klyde, Mr Nagel, 3 teachers from high school, who without their guidance, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. Grade school teacher, Sister Raphel, who allowed me to work on art projects with her class of 8 graders when I was in the 6 grade.

I was late with posting this week because of something that happened on Monday. Through conversation with someone it was bought to my attention that they had no idea who Earth, Wind and Fire were, never heard the name before. The timing of course being Monday made me introspect even more on the subject of this piece, the meaning of who we are, and how quickly what we think of as important is forgot very quickly as time moves forward. And time did move forward and here I am posting at the end of the week.

Am sure a lot of you have never heard of Peter before, I didn't know of him until I met him back in 2008 at the New York Amine Award Show where he was given the American Anime Award for Outstanding Achievement. I was also shooting a video at the convention which he was kind enough to be a part of. It’s on YouTube, called “Pierre Bernard at the NY Anime Festival”. Very funny, if I say so myself, I wrote it all. (who says am not a writer!)

Here’s the link
https://youtu.be/WUpGLIoI9NI

If the above link doesn't work, just go to YouTube and type in: “Pierre Bernard at the NY Anime Festival”.

On this portrait, I used the colors that were prominent in the anime serie. The checkered background to represent racing flags. I felt the grey showed a more matured, respectful person.
Overall, calming no saturated colors to reflect the kind person he was.

I guess in the end like Earth, Wind and Fire, and many other people and things I am aware of, they will be forgotten in time by the world around us and be replaced by that moment’s topic.

This all brings to mind another instance where 3 years ago I was talking to an intern who didn’t know who Conan was, name or person. I kid you not, imagine working somewhere and not caring enough to knowing who your boss was.

By the way, Go check out Speed Racer, the anime series from the 60s. Also, in case you are wondering, Earth, Wind and Fire is a music group.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

MUSICAL ARSONISTS

This week’s portrait, Dave Grohl!


Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero and the list goes on. Often I’d hear certain songs on the radio but for some reason never made a real effort to find out who the performers were. In 2011 I discovered the name of one of those performers. The guest band on Conan came to perform a song and after the taping continued to play, giving the audience and staff basically a mini concert. What made that moment special for me was the fact that I had heard a number of the songs before and loved them and now in front of me playing them live was their creator, The Foo Fighters.


I’ve been wanting to do Dave’s portrait for a while now, but I wasn’t sure of the direction to take, then I remembered that there was this special on HBO about the Foo Fighters album, Sonic Highways, I watched it for some inspiration and got a whole lot more. It’s an amazing 8 episode series covering each song on that album with each one being recorded in a different city, and the musical history of that city.

I think in the very first episode, Dave was talking about the song, “Something from Nothing” and the phrase, “musical arsonist” came up and I thought that it, that’s why I love their music. It’s a lot like a fire that gets lit and then starts to burn hot and fast. The Foo Fighters are arsonist using music as the medium to start the inferno.


I wanted the feel of fire in this portrait so I decided on setting Dave on fire… his hair of course. As for the background colors, red and black I picked up from their logo. Though now looking at the finish art there’s an X-Men feel to the background which wasn’t my intent.


Unlike my regular illustrations, aside from working out the likeness in pencil, there isn’t a lot of preliminary art created especially with the colors. I’ve been trying to feel my way through each one, with a theme in mind and picking colors as I go. 

That’s the fun and the challenge for me every time, I have nothing but my imagination on how I think each one will turn out.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

COME ON GET HAPPY

This week's portrait is, Keith Partridge - David Cassidy!

I started this portrait at the same time I was working on Lena Dunham. A strange side note, the Partridge Family came up in a random conversation during the week and I almost let it out that this was my next portrait, strange huh?

I am a big Partridge Family fan. I loved the TV show, the comics, the lunch box with the breakable thermos (had one, it broke), trading cards (still have a few around) and of course the music. I think I owned a 45 once but it no longer exist in my music collection but I do have the current CD with the best of.

I would have liked to have done a portrait of every member, or Susan Dey, who I had a MAJOR CRUSH on but decided on Keith. That decision was made back in February of this year after hearing that he was no longer going to perform live due to his health. It's sad to hear someone having to give up their passion because of health. Also I decided to do the David Cassidy I grew up on, Keith Partridge.

It hard to say which Partridge Family song is my favorite, there are so many great ones, though, “Together We’re Better” stands out because it was part of an episode which is my favorite from the television show called, “Princess and the Partridge”, it’s where Keith had to escort this visiting Princess around, only she wanted to see the “real” America, kind of like Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”, but in this case she had Keith kidnap her. Of course I fell hard for the Princess, played by Season Hubley, she was beautiful then and I am sure she’s even more beautiful now!

On this piece of art I felt like I was having a hard time with deciding what colors to use other than the bus’ primary colors. On the next one I really have to make it a point to experiment more. Take more chances and leave reality.

Monday, June 19, 2017

WORK OF ART

This week's portrait, Lena Dunham!

So fidget spinners are now a dying fad already? I got wind of them by accident on Amazon. The price was cheap and they seemed fun. Now that I have a collection of about 30, I can say I was right about the price and the fact that they are addictively fun.

What does that have to do with Lena, actually nothing, I just read an article about spinners while writing this and of course playing with a spinner in my left hand. It's that modern day multi tasking thing.

I became aware of Lena as a result of watching “Girls”. Watched all 5 seasons. The first episode introduce us to the last black male and any minority in Brooklyn, New York and after those first 3-4 episodes, Brooklyn looked liked the New York of “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” But to my surprise this quantum reality was fun to watch. I decided to do the portrait after watching an episode in season 4 where Lena went to a photographer to get some nudes photos taken of her. The scene reminded me of a classical, beautiful Mucha model painting. I created a nude of her based on that, but had second thoughts about posting it and instead decided to include her in this portrait series.

As with past portraits I've tried to work with colors that I feel match the subject. Though I am happy with this piece, I would love to show the nude piece of her someday.



Monday, June 12, 2017

I KNOW HIM!

This week’s portrait, Pierre Bernard Jr.!

I’ve been wanting to do a portrait of Pierre for a while now but couldn’t find the time and he wasn’t exactly making this easy for me either.

I’ve known him for a while and I can say first hand he isn’t an easy person to get to know. He’s extremely private to a fault. And when you think you’ve got him figured out he might change up on you, which can be annoying. I know he’s reading this and saying it’s not true but am sorry friend, it is. But he is a good guy, a decent artist, and he collects way too many toys (Not trying to get on your bad side but you really do have too many “toys”).

This portrait was fun to work on. It was almost like looking in a mirror in some ways and seeing myself. Originally I was going to render him with his usual blank expression but thought I’d bring some life to his face by making him look happy and surprised. I also wanted to use his favorite colors, green and turquoise blue. The red I picked up on from seeing a icon drawing of him on social media.

Pierre, I hope you like your portrait!



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MY ONLINE ART MUSE

This week’s portrait, Eugenia Diordiychuk!
2006, Chicago, that was the year Late Night with Conan O’Brien went there for a week of shows at the Chicago Theater. And while I was there during my off hours was the time I first saw pictures of a model named Katie Fey and later come to know her as Eugenia Diordiychuk (won’t go into details, save them for another time).

She's a model mostly known for her pictures on the web. To say she is beautiful is an understatement in my mind. It's strange how seeing someone you've never met can give you feelings of familiarity and closeness. Hey, in case you're thinking it, I am not stalking her... or anyone for that matter, too much energy and time needed and I don't have enough of either to spare.

I've created art works of her numerous times, and in each one finding something different and interesting about her looks that's worth exploring.

I found out recently that she is an artist as well, she went to art school in the Ukraine. Her art work is pretty good.

With this art piece I wanted to capture what I perceived as her soft side, using pastel colors all over except for her lips in which I used a magenta red color to draw attention to her lips.

She’s definitely someone I hope I'll have a chance encounter with someday, who knows, maybe she'll come and draw at one of my Cosplay events. That would be so freakin' cool!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LOST OF FRIENDS

This week's portrait, Sherilyn Stetz! 


I had some morphine last week, kidney stones. Felt great for an hour or two, the pain was gone for but then it came back, not as intense but enough to make my day shitty. Over the weekend I had another attack, but this time I stayed curled up in bed and just endured the pain till it subsided and I passed out.

Lately life has been causing me a lot of pain and it's at these moments I tend to start buying more crap than usual. In this case, those Pops character figures from Funko, suppliers of my bobblehead addiction.

The life pain is from the fact that in a 2 month period, three friends past away. Sara Porter, Sherilyn Stetz and Doreen Austria. And my mother and aunt almost added themselves to this list.

My mom is doing better but my aunt is a day to day. I love these 2 people a lot, but then again, I lucked out, I have a great family. Nothing but great memories and hopefully many more new ones.

Sara I worked with back in New York. We were friends enough back then that she allowed me to use her as a model for some of my artwork. The one piece I did of her ended up being art for a Christmas card.

Doreen, was a true geek girl. Didn't get to hang out as much as I would have liked but the few times we did, it was pure nerd bliss.

Sherilyn was a friend but I did have a lot of contact with her. She was someone who always had great things to say and always had a smile. When I heard she was sick, I drew a get well card for her. And word got to me she was doing better. Then next thing I am hearing is that she's gone.

I decided I wanted to do this portrait of her for myself. I wanted to draw what I remembered of her. Sara, I have my art of her, Doreen, I have pictures of us together, but I had nothing tangible on Sherilyn. Now that's changed.

I miss these friends.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

"HEY PIERRE, WANT TO GO TO DRINK AND DRAW?"

This week's portrait is Howard Shum!

When I think about what have been my biggest influences so far since living here in Los Angeles, all thoughts lead back to Howard and, “Whatsername.”*

Whatsername, for telling me I should look up these interesting life drawing events happening in L.A., one being, Dr Sketchy. And Howard for asking me to join him at a Gallery Girls, Drink and Draw event at the Falcon on Sunset. That was the evening I saw Jennifer Fabos Patton for the first time, dressed as a gypsy, and my world haven't been the same since.

I've been drawing circles almost all my known life. At a later Drink and Draw, someone asked me, why circles. “I don't know why circles, I just know I feel great doing them, it almost feels like sex!”

There's no way of knowing today had I stayed in New York and not took the invite to continue working with Conan, what my life would have been like. Somehow I doubt I’d be posting portraits or involve in going to and hosting life drawing events.

Howard is a writer, director and comic artist. I wanted with this portrait to emphasize the comic art side of him. I made the design look like a comic book page with blue lines for ruling and cropping. I thought it would be cool to make it look like a pencil drawing that was being inked.

Easier said then done! I used a few variety of greys to get the penciled look and went over areas with black ink to represent inking. I can say with knowledge that this was a hard piece to do using ink. I'm real happy with the final art.

Thank you Howard and Whatsername, for directing me on this path!

*SIDE NOTE: Whatsername, is someone who meant a lot to me once. She was very inspirational back in New York, and very supportive as I made the transition to California. But like anything in life, things changed and we both went different ways. Unlike the song, I haven't forgotten her name or memories. But I think for now it's probably best to leave her nameless, unless she calls herself out. I'll always have respect for her and what she did for my life in the short time of knowing her.

Monday, April 24, 2017

VITAMEATAVEGAMIN

This week’s portrait, Lucille Ball!

If you have no idea what the title is referencing, YouTube it, and see what comedy use to look like before the current day of formulated un original laughs.

This was a lot of fun to work on. Aside from being an incredibly funny person, Lucy was beautiful. I wanted to try and capture that beauty as well as her colorful personality in this art piece. And again I am bummed out that the scan doesn’t do the original justice. All the colors look flat.

Lucy came to mind as a subject for a portrait for a few reasons, the top of which, originality. I guess with TV being some what new at the time of the, “I Love Lucy Show”, the content had to be new as well since there wasn’t anything like it to copy except old radio shows. But now almost 50 years later, you have a majority of writers and performers who do nothing but copy visuals from the past that were funny and just modernize them for today’s audience.

To some degree this is true of the art world as well. Originality sort of went out the window as artists look for the quick dollar imitating other successful artists.

Anyway, Lucy’s generation were truly original artists. And what she did on television was genius.

I raise a nice big table spoon full of Vitameatavegamin in her memory for being such an amazing artist!

Monday, April 17, 2017

I WISH U HEAVEN

This week’s portrait, Prince!
I love Prince’s music. Purple Rain and 1999 are among my favorite albums. It’s hard to just listen to an individual track and not the entire album at once. It’s like everything flows into each other, kind of like David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” or Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. I knew when I started this portrait that purple and violet were going to be major colors in it. Then I got the idea of incorporating the flower design from the Purple Rain album into the art. And as expected, the scan doesn’t do justice to the colors in the final original art.

Friday will mark the first year of Prince’s death. Lately death has been on my mind more than usual. It sort of been hanging around my family for a few weeks now, not making any aggressive moves, simple making its presence known like some uninvited guest. It is the reason I wasn’t able to post a portrait last week. The last time it visited was a long while back, it decided to take my dad when it left.

I am sure by the weekend there will be a ton of tributes to Prince. His fan base is still weeping his passing, and the news will make it a feeding frenzy with all sort of give-a-aways, tribute concerts and other moronic events all tied to cashing in on his death. People will of course jump on board and make it profitable for these companies to do so. But hopefully there will be a few who will take this as a moment to reflect on life in general, truly appreciate the artist that Prince was, and when they hear themselves saying his death was sudden or too soon, they will turn and remember to honor the people they care about who are still among the living.

Go call or visit someone you care about.
Now!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

TIME TO POST A PORTRAIT!

This week’s portrait, Kendra Tye!
I saw a picture of Kendra awhile back which was fascinating and I thought I’d try to see if I could capture the beautiful feeling the photo had through art.

What a weekend for life. It’s one of those moment in time when you think things are bad enough, and another curve is thrown at you a lot worst. Then another. So much so that I can’t even think of anything to write at the moment.

My only thought is that I didn’t want to miss a week of posting an art portrait. Kind of like the person who gets in an accident and the only thought is, "I have to get to my appointment." Not paying attention to the fact that their leg has fallen off.

Don't get me wrong, I am still enjoying doing these, but this is one of those bad life moments. Hopefully things will get better.

Monday, March 27, 2017

GHOST IN THE SHELL

This week’s portrait, Tachikoma!
So this is the week the Ghost In The Shell live action movie comes out! We’ll get to see if Scarlett Johansson can actually play a Japanese female character better than a Japanese actress, watch the team of section 9 at work and most importantly we get to see the spider tanks or better known as the Tachikomas come to life!!!

So far they’ve kept them a secret, not revealing any pictures of them in any of the trailers which is ok I guess. Though they are the stars of the Ghost In The Shell series, and it would have been nice to tease us with an image, kind of like what Marvel did with the Vision, at the end of the trailer for the second Avengers movie.

I am absolutely fascinated with the Tachikomas. The design of the tanks are great, I would totally own one if they were available. The humanity these machine exhibit compared to all the other characters is interesting to watch. Their fascination with the world around them and trying to understand their own existence could be a movie on to its own. There was an episode where one when out on its own out of curiosity.

I am a bit surprise that so many fans have been so concern about Johansson being in the movie that they never once ask to see a glimpse of a Tachikoma.

This lack of pictures and talk of Tachikomas got me thinking, what would the series be like without them. Aside from Togusa, who is fully human, all the other characters seem to lack emotions to some degree.

So where are the Tachikomas?

We..., I, will see them this weekend right?

In doing this piece of art I decided to use the show colors but I did change the black animation line drawing to pink. I thought it gave the imagine a sense of urgency or action. The background green and black to tie it all together.

I bought the Ghost In The Shell Pop characters by Funko. There's a Major, a Batou and a robot Geisha. 

Where's the Tachikomas?

They better be in this movie...

Monday, March 20, 2017

CHANNELING THE 1970s

This week’s portrait, Lorraine Lamour!
The art show opening, "Drawing Down the Moon” at Gallery 800 in North Hollywood was great! “A huge turn out” I love that line! But seriously, a lot of people came out  and I got to see a hand full of people I haven’t had contact with for the last couple of years, and they all live in Los Angeles, you really can lose people here, it’s way too big.
People were fascinated by the 8 pieces I had in the show and one in particular drew a lot of attention to itself due to it’s unique close up of a male model I worked with, not the above image, another one which was blurred (contrary to most people’s expectations, I didn’t submit a group of just nude women art, there was a nude guy among them).


I think that’s the challenge of creating art especially for myself, making it interesting and worth doing and showing in some cases. That’s why I find these weekly portraits worth doing and sharing. I try to challenge myself with each one. So far I think I am pulling it off, but it is getting harder each week.


In creating this portrait of Lorraine, I tried to bring out my inner 70s, trying to create a pop art look.

Also I did this just to surprise her. She’s an interesting person, I’ve never met her, only Facebook contact. She once sent me this “breakfast” video that took me off guard, I loved it!

So this is me giving back to a virtual friend the love and positive, crazy energy that she always sends my way.

Monday, March 13, 2017

CIRCLES, THE MEANING OF LIFE

This week’s portrait, Flora!
This Saturday I was working on one of my old school, Photoshop portraits. It was close to 11pm, after close to 7 hours of work, I was almost done. Hit save and a message came up that I saved already would I like to still save again and over write my current saved file. I hit yes and you can guess the rest.

Gone.

The file f----in’ disappeared like it never existed! I ended staying up most of the morning redoing it and with the time change, I didn’t get much sleep, welcome to the end of my weekend.

I’ve been doing these pen and ink portraits now for a while so this type of issue doesn’t exist outside of the computer. Though I have to admit, I did panic for a moment when I couldn’t find the original art of Flora to scan.

I know Flora from the Art Directors Guild’s Tuesday drawing workshops. What a great person. She’s an animator, very low key, and thoughtful. Flora reminded me of someone very close to me, my mom. I know that could sound weird, it’s just that she has a very trustful personality.

Working on this portrait I wanted to try combining an animation line style with the circles.

I wish there was a way to count all these circles. Would it be crazy if sub consciously I’ve been placing the answers to all of mankind questions about our existence in the universe within the patterns of the circles without even knowing I’ve been doing so? The circles and patterns are not random after all. Maybe I’ll hire someone to do the counting.


Wonder if I’ve done a million yet and what does it mean?

Monday, March 6, 2017

THE NERD SOAPBOX

This week’s portrait is, Flick!
It’s Monday! it’s early!

I am posting on time! I was worried I would be late again or worst miss posting today.

I am submitting a few pieces of art for an art show in a couple of weeks at Gallery 800 in North Hollywood. These are life drawings done on Tuesday night at the Art Directors Guild in Studio City. They are all pen and Ink and circles. Lots and lots of circles!


A couple of weeks ago was the Long Beach Comic Expo. I haven’t had a chance to post any of the pictures from the convention yet. A lot of interesting and cool things happened. I told you about the Girl Scouts, and the drawing event. I did get to see a lot of people I know. But I am horrible with remembering names.There are times when someone will say their name to me and we start talking and within seconds, I realize I’ve forgotten it. It especially kills me when it happens and it’s a girl I am trying to impress.


That said, there was one person who’s name I didn’t forget, but it wasn’t a girl… it was a guy, not your typical guy. His name was Flick and along with another person named, Hero, they are the celebrity stars of a You Tube channel called, "The Nerd Soapbox”.


I did an unplanned interview with Flick and it just got posted online. I think it’s one of the best interviews I’ve done, it made me laugh! I got to talk a lot about my art, which was fun especially given how excited I am about doing these circle pieces lately. And we relived some Recliner of Rage moments. Also at the end of the video you get to see me do a portrait of Flick at the convention. Here’s the link,

https://youtu.be/Cn4hDbzO2to


If the above link doesn’t work, just go to You Tube and type in “The Nerd Soapbox”. Or copy and paste the above URL in a new browser window. The video is at the top of their channel list.

If you have time, take a moment and check it out. Promise you’ll enjoy this!

Did I mention, Flick is a puppet?


I loved this video so much that I decided I’d make Flick my subject this week. Normally these piece take a couple of days to work on but I raced through this one Sunday afternoon starting around 5:30 and finishing at 10pm. My hand is killing me now, the typing seems to actually be helping a little, so this blog entry is a little wordy.

Thank you Flick and your production team for putting me right up there with the likes of Garrett Wang, Denise Crosby, and William Shatner and many other amazing actors and actresses you’ve interviewed over the years.

Ok, now it’s time for me to turn off for a while!