Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stuff I Did

These are some sketches I did of unsuspecting coffee drinkers at Abbot's Habit. Meh.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This Needs Work, But I've Got 'Till The End Of The Year

Doodled a baby new year thing... Probably need a sash and a pissed off Father Time to complete the image. Maybe I'll make a card out of it or some such thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

They Do Live, Don't They?

Real busy, been a while, more in a bit, for now, a poster doodle:

God I love this movie

Update: Added some stuff....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lovecraft and Seafood

I'm reading Lovecraft and putting together a portfolio.

What does it mean? Does it signify the unthinkable and intangible hiding behind the veneer of the world we perceive? Or does it mean that I don't think through what words to put in word-bubbles? We'll never know.
Oh! And I live in Los Angeles now, so I got that going for me too.

More later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just A Biiiitt Fuuuuurther....

Ok, so still to do on this one would be, well, making the text not suck, but that might be a tomorrow assignment (realistically it won't be, I gots stuff to do). Anyway, the image is there, and Inkscape, MyPaint and Scribus have yielded up several of their delicious secrets in my progress this far....

Dude, Soviet poster artists had it great right?  'Cept for the Gulags.

Also, there must be a way to make these large enough to print someday but also small enough to view on the web.... Probably resizable, I'll have to check that one..


Made the text slightly more cyrilified, still not really working. Might be worth further typography research. Eh, later.

I feel like this reads as the 'Do The Right Thing' text...
Updated Again

As soon as I get this all the way right I'm going to do another post for it, one with actual writing. Till then I'm just adding on...

More stuff soon...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rowan Atkinson Is Also The Man

Ok, another primary sketch for lion king poster, and a resized version of the Scar one. Though I'm thinking now I might need to try doing a full body version of the Scar poster, and frankly these both feel pretty stiff....

Which one of these two I like more is pretty easy. I don't know why i wasn't incorporating a (faux, not supposed to really be stereoscopic) 3D element to begin with, considering that's how the "post-Millennials" (ugh) are going to remember it now,,,

My Paint Is Better Than Jeremy Irons

So, stumbled onto another cool open-source program: My Paint. It's like Corel painter (but, you know, even fewer people know what it is) and it's excellent. Been doodling for a few hours straight now, so no writing it up tonight, but it's a lot of fun, I'll try to do it this weekend...

So, big files too, as the canvas size is, I dunno, unlimited? Haven't bumped into a wall yet. Just to give you an idea of the resolution on this, here's a detail:

Jeremy Irons Is The Fucking Man

So I've been improving my mastery (or basicstery, really, but that's not a word) of the mainstream open-source imaging softwares (GIMP being awesome for painting and all but my tablet screen being possibly wonky, time to branch out); meaning Inkscape, Scribus, and the various charting capabilities of Libreoffice. It is by the way, slow as hell going. My InDesign/Illustrator experience was marred by, well, let us say a youthful inability to sit still for two minutes and learn the environment. This is proving less trying this time around.
I've started giving myself prompts to design towards, one of which is doing some Lion King posters (because uh, it's there, I guess?). Here's a preliminary layout for one (two maybe color schemes)....

Obviously I'm not going with the right hand one, the ideal palette is in yellows and greens (I've always thought Scar's best scene is the fascist musical number, so we'll be grabbing our colors from that..), I just wanted to test Scribus's ability to shift colors.

Also, I really do like these two programs, so tutorials or walkthroughs are probably gonna happen, I just might want to get a tighter grip on them first.... 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Now This Is A Crazy Person Blog Rant..

Watching Nova | Building the Great Cathedrals and boy, is it both interesting and horrifying. There is an excellent documentary here, really, the visuals alone should be unimpeachable: high def video tours of some of the most impressive gothic structures? A huge compilation of medieval scrollery? Shit son, slap a Ken Burns After Effects filter on that shit and call it a day. And yet this is unwatchable, an unfocused mishmash of the worst Discovery channel 'What Did Judas Iscariot Really Sound Like?' lowest common denominator-y and the DaVinci Code knockoff effects that are so popular in today's history docs.
Is this really how we understand the past now? Does our narrative of the past really require conspiracy theories and Tom Hanks looking like a sexually predatory freshman year literature professor? All the evidence would seem to endorse the conclusion, which is strange, because the last three or four years have been great for documentary filmaking. Actually the kinds of documentaries that the academy has been recognizing as of late (meaning, like, since The Fog of War in 2004 if memory serves) are contemporary issue docs; why public school voucher programs work, our country's health care system is broken, the bank bailout was engineered to increase bank profits and fuck everyone else, public school voucher programs are the devil, etc.
History documentaries, their subjects further from our collective immediate experience, their talking heads all academic rather than the worn yet fierce visages of the aged fighters of wherever, their audience more couchridden than politically engaged, have felt the tidal wave of popular demand for Dan Brown stronger than most.
"But what's the problem with there being unnecessary and frankly retarded stylistic flourishes in contemporary history documentaries?" I hear you, the non-existant reader, cry, "At least people are learning something about how, like, people went to the bathroom in biblical times or whatever." True, dear nonexistant reader, knowledge is good, really any amount will do, but here the formatting itself undermines that greater purpose. By appearing so similar to The DaVinci code or The Secret these documentaries lend a certain, I don't know, a 'credence by visual effect proxy'. You can't suggest that in aping the visual effects of these movies these projects are not trying to --in effect-- borrow against the 'reality' of these movies and trade on the audience's relationship to them. Using narrative fiction to illuminate reality is not the worst thing, and there are presumably good reasons to do it. For example high schoolers with less-than-entirely formed senses of history probably learn more from the emotional melodrama of Tale of Two Cities than from a survey course of late 18th century French culture. What's dangerous is the sense of using fiction as a context for historical fact rather than the other way around. "Historical" documentaries like this feed and endorse a culture of paranoia acceptance; seeing Did The Dead Sea Scrolls Predict The End of Days? every other day on the History channel normalizes something like Loose Change after a couple of years, both endorse paranoiac ramblings, disingenuous editing, and shithouse-crazy fringe conspiricists, and if one of them is still good enough to air on the History Channel...

Yay!  A return to train drawings!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ok, been a good long time since my last post, but due to living situation changes I'm gonna be riding the red line a lot again, so that bodes well for my train sketchbook. Anyway, words later, for now here's a new train sketch
Interesting factoid, the black lady on the right started out as an old white guy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Does Not Simply Post Into Blogger

Just a doodle of Gandalf, nothing special, this is an old one too....

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Best One Yet/I Hate Saying That

Yeah, this is a good one though. I've gotta figure out a way to spend more time on buses and trains, which is a fucking sad thing to say. Anyway, this girl was beautiful, but I may have beautied her up a bit as well..

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Just stumbled upon (through reddit, not stumbleupon) an online doodling program named Odosketch, from creative agency (read: ad agency but get more "carte blanche-y" reigns) Odopod. This thing is suuuuuuuper neato, it's enough work to make me think it must have been designed with some kind of future project in mind, I mean, this is a lot of work...

Anyway, here's my first attempt..

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cy Twombly Dead At 83

Cy Twombly died in Rome Tuesday, having long struggled with cancer. He was a tremendously interesting and hardworking Painter with a capital "P" from an era when that really meant something. There's a brief New York Times piece here, and a fairly comprehensive gallery/biographical site here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

An End Of The Month Drawing As The Month Draws To An End..

Alright, a few thoughts on the state of contemporary train doodleadge and possible ramifications of the move to the big city--pertaining to sketching. Mostly this: I am now not on the train for 45 insufferable minutes at a time. The trip from Evanston to downtown can be nice, especially on an express, and it's great for people watching, but it's just too much, and I would not have it back for anything. Still, even if it does take a longer time, I have gotten some transit people down, as evidenced by this one, which I actually like.

She noticed me drawing this, by the way. It was weird.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Impressions On My Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Tablet Running Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty)

Alright, first --albeit not comprehensive-- thoughts on my new laptop and its handling of Ubuntu 11.04. On my previous computer, which was simply too old and slow to even bother listing the specs here (suffice to say that the chipset it was running also helped launch the Apollo missions) I never bothered to upgrade from 10.10, so both the machine and the Unity experience are new to me.

The Specs (Important ones anyway)
  • 1.86-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L9400
  • 2 Gig of RAM, upgradable to 8 Gig
  • 160 Gig, 7200 rpm SATA HDD
  • 12.1 1280x800 display
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 3.5-4.2 lbs (depending on battery)
  • ports: 3 USB, Ethernet port, VGA out, ExpressCard slot, audio out, mic in, modem jack

The Computer

It's heavier than I expected. There, I said it. While it's light enough, and the size is perfect for me ( I can't imagine ever going bigger than this in the future), it's both fairly hefty and thick enough to be awkward handling sometimes. Mostly this is when in tablet mode, which definitely presents a couple of grip difficulties. I'd heard rumblings of this around when I was researching the tablets on the market. I'd heard all the stories, but I thought 'Fuck it, I'm Sam Rothstein, I can change her'. This was a mistake. The extended battery (8 cell on my model) is supposed to serve as a handle but it just doesn't feel secure, and I worry a bit to much to chance using it that way. It's possible this'll change, and apparently the newer models (x201t, x220t) have a more solid feeling here, so that's a step in the right direction.

Noise-wise, not applicable. There is a definite whirr, which if you're totally alone in silent room is noticeable, but almost any amount of incidental noise masks it nicely. the speakers themselves are, well, acceptable. This is being sold as a light business laptop, not a multimedia machine, and that the speakers are-- (a) Located on the bottom of the computer and (b) a little tinny-- isn't surprising.

The heat. Keyboard-wise, not bad at all, most noticeably warm on the palm rest areas, but nothing out of the heat range you'd expect from a comparatively recent laptop. Where there does seem to be spikes are outside the exhaust port when the computer is in tablet mode, which I assume is a result of the slightly more intensive imaging programs I'm usually using when in tablet, and the bottom corners of the screen. The first of these wouldn't be an issue really, were it not for the fact that a large part of the fun of tablet mode is to rotate the computer in different directions, and while doing this you risk ending up taking the risk of uncomfortable blasts of hot air to the crotch. The second problem is more glaring, as your hand will be doing a fair amount of resting in the effected area while in tablet mode, and it gets very uncomfortably hot after a few minutes. It's big enough to be more than an irritant, but not the hugest of problems either-- and again-- the newer models are said to run cooler than this.

Other thoughts on the build... There's a lot that's been written on the keyboard quality of IBM/Lenovos, some of it hyperbolic sounding, and yet... words cannot describe... It's.....beautiful.... They should have sent a poet... It is excellent, probably the best keyboard I've ever used, never mind just in terms of laptops, full-size, just enough push back, the edges of all the keys are nicely beveled, which maximizes the distance between them. The browser page backward and forward buttons (which sit just above the left and right arrow buttons, respectively) were a little grating at first, if you don't know they're there it leads to some initial irritation, but you settle in fairly quickly.

The much disparaged IBM/Lenovo "nipple" trackpoint (this machine doesn't have a trackpad) is another one that'll hold you back the first day or so, but I'm quite taken with it at this point, it integrates browsing and typing in a way that trackpads/mice can't really hope to manage. Add to that the scroller between the left and right buttons and you have a very effective non-screen based navigation, albeit one that takes some getting used to. My one complaint here is that there does seem to be an occasional drift/stickiness to the trackpoint, once in a while I'll be leaving it alone and the mouse begins to crawl almost imperceptibly across the screen. I haven't ruled out communication from the spirits of the unquiet dead yet, but it seems unlikely, as I think is the possibility of this being a Unity driver error of some kind. This might be one to chalk up to refurbished problems or the original build.

Well, here we go then, the big one: the screen. It is, for the most part, excellent. I got a fairly bare-bones model, without the touch/multitouch feature, which feels unnecessary for arts/design purposes, and adds not inconsiderable weight/depth to the machine. It is also not the outdoors friendly no-glare/reduced-glare screen, and while both the colors and viewing angles indoors are certainly exceptional it doesn't hold up too well in direct (or sometimes even indirect, really) sunlight (again, not the model that's designed to, so not super surprising). In terms of the pen receptiveness, mine worked fine right out of the box, one calibration later on didn't seem to make a difference, the stylus and the pointer are pretty perfectly in sync, although viewed from head-on there's a bit of a gap between the two when working at the sides of the screen. I can be a bit irritating doing freehand drawing, the pen tip doesn't protrude too far from the barrel of the pen, which causes it and the cursor to be blocked by the bulk of the pen. Although not strictly a screen issue, after a long enough drawing session the screen misses every alternate stroke, I think this is a result of needing more RAM, I'm looking forward to complying.

So there's the breakdown of the machine itself. Next week comes a not-especially thinking man's thoughts on Unity, and after that comes the reason I bought this sweet baby in the first place: what it's like to draw on. So stay tuned my two friends who subscribe to this thing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Good Transit Doodles In A Row, Excellent

Not much to say here... This was a pretty straight shot too, like one or two train/bus rides and finished (I think).

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Is A Good One

Yep, nothing much to say about it, fended off crazy dude "You draw that man? You a drawer?" attack while doing it...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's Effort Is Meh, But There's A Good One In There..

The one on the top right I like, nothing more to say. Didn't do the whole thing in one shot, it should be mentioned...

Guy really did look a lot like Buster though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Doodle For The Sake Of Posting A Doodle Today

Done on my new tablet, on which I have much to say, and some thoughts ... uh.. about which...I will put up later this week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Computer Arrives! Moving To City Begins! The Renaissance Continues!

As I type this on my new awesome keyboard, attached to my new awesome laptop, I can't help but wonder what wonders the world has in store for all of us, and how life is like a shifting gossamer curtain, alternatively revealing and hiding its magic from us! Oh, that our impish joy at this spritely game should continue!

Jesus, I can't believe a piece of hardware has had such a pronounced dandifying effect on me, what the hell is wrong with me? As always, sketches follow.

Disregard the fatalistic pomposity of above, I want to skip through a field of wild poppies!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Been A While

New sketchbook (now with actual paper designed for doing art on!), new laptop coming my way (more on that later), moving into the big city, things are looking good. Sketches follow.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Month, Another Brief Productivity Bubble

Alright, a new month, another birthday under my belt, money paid to student loans, etc. In honor of new beginnings I'll be doing the same thing as always, as below. I just recently picked up some Faber-Castell brush markers and a micron specifically for train drawing, so give me a while to get used to that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Few days old, still good though.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

With Apologies To Buscema

So I've been sick for a while now, which means lots o' computer time. Also time to read through the big Sword of Conan trades I've been picking up. It really is amazing to see the arc of the first few issues (in terms of the art, the story gets templatey pretty quickly). The first few issues look fairly amateurish, accomplished but pretty rough around the edges, and then in issue four or so Frank Frazetta shows up and blows everything out of the water. Anyway. was feeling inspired, so I threw on my album of enemies' womens' lamentations and sketched this. All digital baby.
EDIT: The internet suggested I jack up the contrast between Conan and the background rocks, which I have now done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rotation Is A Man On The Run

I'm an unrepentant redditor at this point, as there's really no better way to waste time you shouldn't waste. So, about a week back a suggestion popped up in a drawing subreddit: that artists should be randomly assigned songs and then interpret them in whatever way they saw fit. I ended up with a song I liked quite a bit. I'd like to hope there wasn't any Avril Lavigne or anything in the mix, feel bad for someone who got that to work with. Anyway, my assigned song and the end result are both below.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's St. Pat!

Huh, usually avoid drawing women on the train, because of the awkwardness of the whole 'staring intently' problem, but all ladies today.