Wednesday, December 30, 2009

There is a Light and it Never Goes Out (for eight days)

I know Chanukkah is over, but I'm making latkes for dinner one last time so this seemed fitting.

Also, I realized that this is my 100th post! I guess that's not exactly a sketch a day, but as Meatloaf (almost) says "one out of three ain't bad (not including weekends)." Happy holidays, people!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Birthday in a Bubble

Dear blog,

I recently made my first terrarium ever! My girlfriend Stephanie is a seasoned terrarium maker and when her birthday came up on the 15th I decided to take a stab at it. Succulents and tropical plants are ideal for terrariums because they require minimal care and can survive indoors. I decided on a desert theme and added a dinosaur and shell to increase the awesomness. We haven't set it up yet, but this particular type of plant holder is hung from a hook in the ceiling. I think she liked it. Thanks for listening. You're the best blog ever!

Your pal,


Monday, December 28, 2009


Here's a thank you card/present I made for a friend of mine who has a fondness for owls and Mario Bros. While drawing this I realized that the reality of a flying goombah is absolutely terrifying. Let's have a silent prayer of thanks to Mario and Luigi for their tireless effort to rid the Mushroom Kingdom of this threat.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karaoke Party

Well I'm back from my week-long break. It's been pretty hectic around here and I've been having trouble keeping up, but that should all end after the new year. One thing that I did manage to do in the last week was go to karaoke three times (somehow). I tried out some new ones, and polished some old ones, but mainly I got a chance to draw a few of the regulars as they crooned their magic croon. Here are a few singers from The Rickshaw, a little Chinese food/Karaoke bar up in Seattle. Did I mention I went to Seattle?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Meet Gerald P. Tarsier

At a young age Gerald made a name for himself in the Phillipines by poaching the rare effervescent beetles of his local community and exporting them to Korea at inflated prices, where they are believed to be a powerful aphrodesiac (this has yet to be proven by modern science). He parlayed this into a small empire for himself through a variety of questionable business practices and overseas investments. At the height of his wealth, and to the chagrin of his enemies, Gerald moved his fortune to the new world where he quickly set up shop as the proprietor of a profitable overseas shipping company and earned himself the nickname "the Weed". He currently owns several specialty antique and jewelery stores, two high profile nightclubs on either side of town, and has an entourage of thugs at his disposal and city officials in his pocket. As undesirable a figure as he is, the community would crumble without him as he is the chief owner of the only freight line in town. Primarily a shut in due to his high profile, Mr. Tarsier can occasionally be seen at one of his nightclubs and never without his trademark pinstripe suit and his claws around a dry Manhattan (his drink of choice).


Monday, December 7, 2009

Yellow Man

I hope no one from my work looks at my blog. Wouldn't it be great if this guy was on all the directional cards though?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shellfish Dimes and Sand Dollars

Stephanie and our roommate Lily just finished brewing up some lemon and rosemary infused Vodka; an event three months in the making. This stuff is intense and has rekindled my desire to brew my own Root Beer. Who doesn't love root beer?

(please excuse the fact that this post has nothing to do with the title above or drawing below)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keeping with the theme of yesterday's post, here's a drawing of a very spoiled cat. One day I'll have to do a full portrait of him and his buddy Sterling Morrison. Mrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

#1 Blog Dog

I drew this from a picture of my friend Ben who, despite being blurry in many pictures, is quite photogenic. I wasn't happy with the first one so I drew a second one which I'm actually really happy with. I'm thinking of putting my animal project on hold and doing this on a full size canvas. Too bad my pen has to be running out of ink for me to get that shading effect. He's got his own blog which you should check out if you get a chance. It's mostly youtube videos, food he makes, and pictures of Batman.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wild Thing 1 and Wild Thing 2

I'm really sorry to do this. I general hate topical pieces but I can't deny that I've had a hint of Where the Wild Things Are on my mind ever since I saw the feature film. The book had a big influence on me as a child and I've always been inspired by Maurice Sendak's illustrations ("In the Night Kitchen" is another childhood favorite). So here are two images of the same drawing in different stages. The first one is done with just an HB grade pencil and the second has layers of B2 and B3 on it. It's pretty amazing to see the difference in the level of texture and 3-dimensionality you get from using a darker pencil. One of my faults as an artist has always been working too light and too small. Working on it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Admiral Lion

Yes I'm a grown man and this is how I spend my time.

To be honest this is merely a sketch of a greater idea. I'd love to do a series of portraits like this but as realistic oil paintings. Does a monocle make a lion look more evil or just smarter? A little bit of both in my opinion. I definitely see this guy wringing his hands at the thought of his most recent capture. Any animal/career archetypes you'd like to see happen?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Just some stuff that I've done recently. More explorations in minimal sketching and cartooning.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I've kind of been experimenting with semi cartoonish interpretations of what I see. This allows me to capture the features and shadows of the figure before they move and ruin everything. Also sometimes realism can be boring. I wish I knew a little bit about animation because I think it would be a neat thing to play around with.

Currently listening to the new Animal Collective EP.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ruminating on the future...

So I've been frustrated lately. Time to get more serious about doing art and less serious about ... um... something hindering me from doing more art.

I've been thinking about the rest of my life lately, which can be quite daunting if not done in minor doses, and I'm really not seeing a future for myself in the retail industry. Sure, the inane chit chat and banter of cashiering has its perks, but I desire more out of my career. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE asking people the same questions over and over while feigning politeness but sometimes it can really wear on a person. I'm a lot more motivated to work on projects where there is an actual progression and completion over repetitive and seemingly pointless tasks. However I'm still working on what the best way is to make money doing what I like doing, and then overcoming the fear that once I start doing it for money I won't like doing it anymore. Thoughts? Why can't someone just pay me to be creative? Or produce more of these videos...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Filed under D for Deer

Here's a piece that I finished up last night. I really like using non traditional paper for drawings as opposed to boring ole' white. Can someone please tell me why colored pencil isn't an accepted medium of high art? Some of us just don't like to paint. You can't really tell because of the image but "deer" is listed on this page.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I've got nothing.

I've been crazy busy lately with work, entertaining out of town guests, and getting various things sorted out and unfortunately my daily sketching has suffered. I think at the end of the year I'm going to finish this daily sketch business and use this blog specifically to promote the work that I'm proud of instead of posting every single thing I draw on here. Speaking of every single thing I draw, here's a halloweeny girl that I plagiarized from a vintage Halloween card. Sometimes the best way to get out of a drawing rut is to draw someone else's drawing. I wish more things these days were thoughtfully hand made instead of cold and mass produced. In the bubble of Portland along with the advent of Etsy there seems to be a backlash of people wanting locally produced and hand made items over mass production, but I've yet to see this trend hit nationally. Oh well, one of these days I suppose.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Spider's Back Baby

Here's my latest piece for music blog Chickens Don't Clap. Check out his latest post on Seattle "Chillwave" project Big Spider's Back. This was definitely one of my most frustrating pieces to date, but also perhaps my most successful. I wanted to steer away from the more literal approach I took with the last Chickens Don't Clap piece, and try and represent the music in a more abstract way, as well as do just to my friend Yair, the man behind the band. The music of Big Spider's Back is so rich with textures and layers of sound that it's hard to keep in mind that this is all coming from the fingertips of one person. This piece started as a simple pencil sketch, which I used as a template for the inked version. Both are displayed below.

I made the nearly regrettable mistake of using a ridiculously time consuming rendering style that I've never actually done before for the entire piece, and I might be really upset about it if I wasn't so pleased with the result. It was one of those (all too familiar) situations where you have an idea in your head of the final result, but are not exactly sure how you're going to get there, or what it's actually going to look like in the end. I think the line shading came out really cool, but I also think the piece would have been just as successful if the shading was done in solid black. I really like the way the background came out and though it was intended to be abstract I can't help but see the shapes over Yairs head as a sort of animal totem pole. Do you see the bear head and the bird skull?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DIY Halloween

Amidst a fever dream a few months ago I had a vision. It was of myself this past weekend, dressed as a lego pirate. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I made this sketch to point me in the right direction. I'm happy to say that I saw this dream to fruition and managed to pull off a great Halloween costume.

I wanted to be able to move, so I decided to forgo the boxy body and stick to the parts that matter. The mask is made with papier mache' over a bike helmet so it would stay over my head. The face is drawn on with sharpie and I bought the sword at walgreens, gave it a curved blade, and wrapped it with duct tape. The tank top was originally white until I masked off the stripes with duct tape and spray painted several layers of blue on it. This all came together kind of last minute so the hands, that I were planning on making, had to be cut out, but I don't think many people noticed. I think next year I'm going to choose a costume that doesn't hinder my ability to see/speak/and party down. Please note the yellow turtle neck which does NOT appear in the original sketch. Not included is a video of me in costume doing an interpretive dance to "Human Nature" by MJ.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Last weekend we went to Seattle to visit some old friends and take a break from our oh so strenuous life in this metropolis we call Portland. I think the highlight was our trip to the Frye museum, which also happens to be free. They have an excellent exhibit right now called "The Old Weird America" which showcases modern work commenting on American folk art, by using imagery and motifs from our Americana past. Here are some pictures of the show. It's definitely worth going to if you find yourself in Seattle or if it travels to a town near you.

The other highlight was probably seeing our friend do stand-up comedy at a lesbian bar under the title "Toots Blogwilde" followed by two bands: Butts and Spurm. The rest of our trip was spent eating delicious homemade food with our hosts Adam, Miles, Evelyn, and Alexis. That's Adam at the top. Thanks for the scavenged mushrooms Adam!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wipe your filthy mouth!

... But not with these. These are worth $300 a piece. Just a chronicle from a breakfast outing to one of my favorite close by breakfast stops, Helsers. Some great $4.95 specials between 7-9 am. I think I like going out to breakfast with people more than any meal. Same goes for seeing movies. I think it gives me a sense of productivity without doing much, and I still have the whole day ahead of me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Portraits are not always supposed to look like you."

This is what I would like to tell people when I draw them. Given art history and certain iconographic art pieces people have certain expectations when it comes to portraiture and are often unhappy with the result. This stems from insecurity but also the belief that portraits are accurate portrayals of reality, like an artistic mirror of sorts. One of the reasons I enjoy portraiture is because you can do the exact opposite of that. The actual likeness of the person can be a jumping off point to ground the picture in some sense of reality, but after that anything goes. I particularly think it's important to draw the people around you, people who are close to you, or people who don't get any artistic attention on a daily basis. These are the people who matter most, possibly because it hasn't occurred to them that they matter at all. Without them there is no context for anything else.

Here is a semi-blind contour of my room mate Lily that I scribbled out one day in the kitchen. Disclaimer: she does not actually look like this in real life. Lily pens a delightful blog of her own where she muses about philosophy, films, fashion, and occasionally ... gay cowboys. Check it out here - The Petite Sophist.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jacko - Lantern

Lily, Swoops, and I carved pumpkins while watching a couple Treehouse of Terrors tonight. I'm not sure if this is in bad taste or not, but I really couldn't resist it. Without a doubt, the best carved pumpkin of my life. I also like Swoops' cyclops.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I straight up invent people out of thin air.

This person does not exist. I completely invented her. Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jet Lagged? How about a nap(kin)?

Amazingly I got some drawing done on my flight back to Portland on Monday, between working on the in flight crossword puzzles and reading my book. I'm pretty happy with the self portrait on the bottom. Perhaps it's time to shave the beard? It belies my youthful good looks. Right? (right?)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bus Medley

I'm back! And for your viewing pleasure here is a medley of people on the bus. For the record that is not Ben Franklin. That is a woman reading who merely looks like Ben Franklin. And the squirrel was not on the bus either. I saw that dude as I waited for the bus. Speaking of Ben Franklin, remember this?

Friday, October 9, 2009


Another bus ride sneak-a-sketch. I didn't feel like breaking out my sketchbook, so I just drew next to the crossword puzzle I was doing. I've always liked the pattern that words make when used as a canvas. Maybe I'll explore this more in the future.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Horrible Mustache Experiment #5

Here's an experiment I did to see how well I could draw in sharpie. I think it's okay for an outline, but the trouble is most colors that sharpie comes in are horribly ugly. I'm planning on doing something more extravagant with this picture so you may see it again.