Monday, March 30, 2009


After cutting the pattern for the head I will now glue it all together using contact cement. Here you see me in my glue gear. Always wear protective gloves and a mask when using this stuff. And by the way, the mask you see me wearing is the wrong mask.

I later went out to the hardware store and bought myself one of these bad boys.

I think the guy at Home Depot thought I was a wuss when I showed him the small bottle of contact cement I was using. His advice was "just open the windows". Apparently he missed this part of the bottle-

EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE - CHRONIC HAZARDS: Reports have associated permanent brain and nervous system damage with prolonged and repeated occupational overexposure to solvents. Overexposure or misuse of toluene can cause liver, kidney, and brain damage as well as cardiac abnormalities.
Hexane exposure can cause nerve damage to arms and legs which may
permanent. Symptoms include: loss of memory, loss of intellectual ability,
and loss of coordination.

So now that we've established we are working with a potentially dangerous product you are probably wondering why in the world I'm applying it in my apartment. Unfortunately this realization was made afterward.

You apply the cement to both surfaces that are to be glued. In about 5-10 minutes it becomes tacky and you can stick them together. The great thing about contact cement is that it basically only sticks to itself so handling it is really nice.

This will soon be Van Gogh's chin.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Van GO TIME!

So it looks like I have embarked on a new puppet project - Vincent Van Gogh. My hope is that I will be able to use it in art lessons for children and possibly create some sort of educational entertainment thing as well. I started off with a sketch, and then from the sketch developed some patterns to create the basic shapes.

Creating puppets from foam is an interesting process; you have to conceptualize a 3d shape made out of two dimensional planes. I am using high density 1/2 inch foam I got from the fabric store. The head ended up using a similar pattern to that of an hour glass. The white shapes in the picture are the patterns that I used. I usually make a small scale mock up then I cut the full scale patterns and foam and hope for the best. I'm sure there's probably a more scientific approach. I just try to use the force.

After cutting the shapes out of foam I pin everything together to see how it fits.

Next up.... Gluing!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sketchbook TMNT

Here is another TMNT pic I drew up in my sketchbook. It's ballpoint pen and colored pencil. I've been experimenting with multiple light sources. I really like the scratchy pen look. I need to find a way to incorporate that into my digital art. Thoughts?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

I’ve decided to start this blog as an attempt to reflect and invite criticism on my artwork. Too often us artists work in a vacuum so I hope that this will be an avenue that I can use to continue to improve my abilities.

So, to kick off my first blog post I thought I would start at the beginning. And the beginning for me would be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is the beginning because the TMNT were one of my first real inspirations to draw and through my TMNT obsessed childhood I came to love and appreciate art. Being that I’ve been short on inspiration lately, I decided to crank out a little piece of TMNT fan art to hopefully get the juices flowing again.

I started by doing a little study of a TMNT comic panel from the Raphael micro series by Eastman and Laird. I wanted to try and understand the shading techniques especially. One thing that I loved about the old TMNT comics was the zip-a-tone shading. It creates really interesting texture and depth. It was further enhanced by the newsprint paper. Why don’t comics print on newsprint anymore? I’m sure for archival reasons newsprint isn’t the best choice but it did give those old comics a real “comic book” feel. Now when you pick up a comic it feels more like a magazine, all shiny, slick and hyper white. But I digress….

I then created a full-size sketch of my concept- Michelangelo running away from an enraged Raphael who has a couple eggs on his head. I find the areas I have the most difficulty with are always the backgrounds. Next time I think I’ll use some more reference. I also decided to frame the background and place Mikey outside of it to give it a more geometrically designed feel.

And here is the finished piece. For the most part I am happy with how it came out but I still would like to take another crack at the background. I’m still learning with the ink wash technique but I’m finding it is much more fun than photoshop. The unpredictability of water lends a whole new element to the process. I added a little text with illustrator to add some more context to the action and a little humor. What do you think? An egg-cellent piece of work or a scrambled attempt?