Monday, October 13, 2014

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The Blue and the Gray

Floyd Mayweather Jr. art, Copic and Micron markers on 9" X 12" Bristol Board

Just for the hell of it, here's an art marker rendering of the self-proclaimed "The Best Ever," World Welterweight/World Junior Middleweight Champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.

Kind of a surreal, pop art bent, Floyd here is rendered on 9" X 12" Bristol Board, Micron and Faber-Castell artist pens and Copic markers.

So, is there some sort of sub-text here with the blue cast? Is it a mood I'm establishing? Does the blue represent the cold, calculating indifference or the cold, hard cash of which Mayweather associates himself? Or is it a powder blue, depicting a soft Mayweather who avoids the biggest and best challenges?

Neither. I ran out of light gray ink.

I think I feel a Spider-Man portrait coming on...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gennady "GGG" Golovkin!

Damn, I love portraiture. And damn, I love boxing! But I especially love combining both. And regrettably, it's been a bit since I've done a portrait of any fighter, much less one I really enjoy watching. That's why, in getting back on the horse (and I'm gonna do a lot of these in graphite and paint), I decided to render WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. A power-punching badass in a piece that was totally fun to draw (2H lead on 9" X 12" Bristol Board).

So, Howlers, who would you like to see me render next? Comment here, on Facebook or tweet me and let me know!

Friday, October 3, 2014

ArtBar Aurora: Superman vs. Lex Luthor - the Death of Everything

As this month's ArtBar Aurora theme is "death," I present to you my offering of, well...death!

Now death can be perceived in myriad ways, so when I had a somewhat difficult time coming up with a visual concept, my girlfriend, Tracy - as always - was as helpful as could be. Her suggestion, Superman finally losing control and beating Lex Luthor to death, was as simple for me to render as it was for her to conceive.

However, I did want to take a certain throwback approach to the subjects and completely eschew their "New 52" versions, opting to draw the late-1970s/early-'80s versions of Superman and Lex, hence Luthor's old-school battle duds he's sporting as he bails this mortal coil.

When you think about it, the death theme permeates the piece (titled, "Oh, God...What Have I Done?") in a number of ways. Obviously Lex kicked the bucket but Superman's code of ethics also died. Just as well, were this a DC-sanctioned story, our innocence would have kacked too.

As for medium, I was all over the place, using Copic and Prismacolor markers, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Sharpie and Faber-Castell white PITT artist pen on 14" X 17" Bristol Board (I also learned that combining art marker and watercolor pencil can be a major pain in the ass. As a result, any flaws can be very difficult to fix - and you might be able to notice some from the gate).

Truth be told, I almost felt a little Joe Kubert going on here after everything was said and done!

Next: my graphite rendering of WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jack Monroe: Nomad!

Comic book characters are fun to draw, especially if they're relatively obscure to anyone but the hardcore fan like my longtime pal, Joseph Pugh, who commissioned this pencil-only rendering of Jack Monroe, the third incarnation of Marvel Comics' Nomad.

Admittedly, there were two problems I had with this piece and they both had to do with me and no one or nothing else was to blame. First, I was inexcusably late in getting this commission to Joseph (for your patience, I thank you!). And while it was really fun to draw, I botched a couple of other tries at it, trying to make some sort of urban statement with surroundings. Had I gotten going when I should have, I would have had no problem but at some point, I wanted to focus on Jack himself.

And as I'm happily penciling along, I noticed when I tried hammering in some darks, my layout lead, a 4H, was still in my lead-holder (and old-school draftsman's fancy-schmancy, artsy-fartsy term for "pencil"). Sure, if I were inking the piece, the 4H would have been bitchen but this was specifically a pencil job. With my style, 2H or softer would have cut the mustard. Damn it all.

And that's why I had to fiddle with the brightness upon importing this piece in my laptop (trust me; the actual drawing looks neat).

So what have we learned today, Howlers?

1) When you score a commission - especially when it's one from a friend - get to work, dingleberry.

2) Pay attention to your lead situation.

Things will be a lot less dopier on your end. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

ArtBar Aurora: He Would've Laughed...

When I was a teenager coming up in Aurora, my best pal was a cat named Jeff Jacobson. We spent a lot of time watching movies, listening to comedy or music before grabbing our guitars, picking out a key at random and seeing where it went from there. One day we were just sitting around talking about nothing in particular when I went on one of my signature - albeit irrelevant - tangents. It was off the top of my head, as it usually was, loaded with surreal improv and when I got to whatever point I was trying to make, Jeff looked at me and said...

"Dude, you're just like a young Robin Williams."

At the time, it was the nicest thing anyone ever said to me. It's still stuck in my top five all-time compliments.

See, Robin Williams is partially responsible for Coyote Duran. He made it safe to just roll with dialogue and imagination. He set the standard for what pro wrestling fans might call "mic skills" or "cutting a promo" without knowing he did it. It was just what he did. That goes for free thinking and speaking individuals everywhere. It's why cats like Eddie Izzard are just so damn intriguing to me. Sometimes a script just won't cut it.

Typically, celebrity deaths don't get to me even if they're celebrities I might have admired for one reason or another. And in this day and age, I care less to comment in their regard because of the weird co-opting of pain many others have when this cat or that chick bails this mortal coil. You know the ones.

"OMG. Lauren Bacall died. She was totes legendary. Too soon. Such a sad day. #RIP"

Who are you fooling? You're 13.

This one was different. Look, were the circumstances different - car accident, cancer, heart attack - I would have still felt a pretty sharp loss. But this was suicide. The guy who made everyone laugh (not to mention feel like they were children during the best part of their childhood) couldn't stick around of his own volition. That seriously blows and I hurt for the fact that he hurt while he was still here.

So when ArtBar Aurora returned from its summer hiatus on September 5, my offering for the "Hairy"-themed show was Robin Williams for the mere fact that everyone knew how hairy he was. Hell, even he joked about it. I titled the piece, "He Would've Laughed..." well, because he would have if he heard some cat created a piece in his likeness and entered it in an art show with "hairy" as the theme.

As for the portrait itself, it's done almost entirely in Ebony graphite (on Bristol Board, 11" X 14") with the exception for Robin's left eye, done in Prismacolor watercolor pencil.

It's not my typical graphite portrait but that's because Robin Williams wasn't typical. He was roiling, energetic, cartoony and gestural, not unlike this piece. There was a distinct freedom to working on it, slashing away with a pencil, hammering away at darks, just jamming away like you're with a childhood pal and you're grabbing your guitars, picking out a key at random and seeing where it goes from there.

It was fucking improvisational, man.