Follow by Email

Friday, March 28, 2008

Kill the Snowmen!

Tiny things can bring on a sudden, brief depression. For instance, the other day I was lunching at a little sandwich shop when a trio of women sat down nearby. One
of them had that enviable quality of being a truly attractive older woman (older than, say, 70) with a sweep of whispy, blondish-gray hair and high cheekbones.
But then I spotted it: the cotton turtleneck with the snowmen all over it. And BAM! I was struck by that weird, momentary sense of despair.

I'm not much of a fashionista, but please - PLEASE. I understand the impulse to buy turtlenecks with little seasonal decorations. The challenge is always to notice the turning of the calendar. The expiration date on that top was Jan. 31 at the latest.

Monday, March 24, 2008

One of the great hotels

I meant to post this last week, after my fun trip with Jackie to New York, where, in addition to the graphic-novel symposium, we took in two shows, some nice meals and a couple of get-togethers with Jackie's son and some old friends.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sketch to come ...

In the meantime, Pearl is almost 9 weeks old now. She likes to chew sticks. And feet.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Little Sarcasm

Getting a new puppy is in some ways remarkably like having a baby. It's not just the sleep-deprivation. It's the advice you get, often from people who, while well-intended, assume you're still recovering from a lobotomy.

By the way, if you couldn't immediately discern the content of this sketch, it's my legs in jeans (left) and Pearl the Puppy sleeping next to them. On a tile floor.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yes, this is still a sketchblog 2

Some time ago I posted pictures of my pets but reminded everyone that this is still primarily a sketchblog. And so it is.
And yet, I cannot help mentioning that, well, a baby Newfoundland has joined the staff here at Pen in Hand. I wanted to name her Inky, for obvious reasons, and when that failed I suggested India, for the less-obvious reason that India is the deepest, blackest of the inks. That said, I'm proud to introduce Pearl Marie of Tater Ridge. She's 8 weeks old, and she will never again be this small. In fact, she will not be small at all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Notes from Splat!

I spent Saturday at the New York Center for Independent Publishing, which presented Splat!, a graphic-novel symposium. This is how I took notes. There might be little interesting things for you to read, if you are inclined. They did a pretty good job on the programming, though there is a cautionary tale here for those in charge of lining up speakers for an event. Make sure that if you ask someone to talk on a topic - say, "the importance of place in the graphic novel" - that the speaker addresses general issues around the topic rather than just speaking of his own experience on one specific project. All in all, though, I'm glad I went. Did you know that graphic novels/comics are the fastest-growing area of publishing? Me neither.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mom's Pizza

The least I could do for those of you who stop in here regularly, and lately have found (yawn) nothing new, is to give you a recipe.
Promise I'll try to do better.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


She's a smart girl. She just taught me how to erase a splotch on the image here in Photoshop. She's entirely self-taught in Photoshop, while I remain ignorant.

P.S. This sketch captures her well, I think. :-)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March sketchcrawl

This month's edition of the Cleveland Sketchcrawl took advantage of the beauty of the old Arcade, a skylighted shopping and business building that dates to the late 19th century. It is, however, exactly the kind of place that can visually overwhelm a person with a sketchbook. Several new folks joined our group, and I know that more than one was wondering, "Geez, where do I start?"

What I've decided to do on these things is to try to make one sketch that captures the essence of the place. Then I let myself do a secondary sketch that might not say much about where we are. Here, for instance, I did the quick sketch of the two young women who were part of our group, because I was sitting on the second floor looking down at them and wanted to practice drawing this perspective. It'll come in handy for my art project. I also did the shoe shine bench because it was a nice mid-range view. The really ambitious one was the railing with the elaborate metal work. Handling such detail is, for me, always a question of how fussy to get.

I don't love any of these sketches, but I loved doing them. This is the best lesson at all, and I hope some of the folks who joined us will return next month with that in mind. Like learning perspective drawing or tonal values, figuring out what you want to draw when you're in a visually stimulating spot is its own discipline. Once you've mastered it (I definitely haven't), it gives you the freedom to use your sketchbook well almost anywhere.