Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chaos Monkey and the Black Tie

Many thanks to all of the usual drawing night attendees. I started with the usual spiky-haired fella and noticed Rob drawing some cool skull-shoulder-things on a robot he was doodling, so I decided I wanted to incorporate a skull on my drawing. The skull and guy seemed a bit empty, so I added a monkey on his shoulder, but that made the skull look like monkey poo. Ah well, why not embrace it? Absurdities flowed with the number one hand, and it imbalanced the picture, so I made it on fire. An "okay" recovery, methinks. And the name for such a disruptive monkey? With fire? And shit? Le singe de chaos!

Going with the flow, I started doodling a fellow with a crazy mustache and gave him puckered lips. I tried to keep the curly theme going with his head hair and collar, and the image of a tie just sprung to mind. After getting his fingers all over the place, I drew in the tie but it didn't go high enough for him to be looking at it, so I made it crazy long and it looked weird, so I decided to just make it pure madness. After doodling in some weird shapes (inspired by Roz's drawing awhile ago, perhaps) I had a neat looking tie, and I added eyes and teeth for personality and finished the guy with a striped vest. The final touch was giving the tie something to say, and I decided he should be looking for Chaos Monkey, as though they have been mortal enemies for time and all eternity.

The next drawing started with the eyebrows, which were bushy and weird enough that I decided to see how a woman would look with them. I ended up with a very oval, plain face that was fun to doodle, and I just tried to carry the mood. Her hair made me think of a long, loose gown for some reason, and the whole thing was capped off with a fat lightning bolt to add that little something.

I had an image of a very pointy beard next, and wanted to have a very down-looking-up face with a big mouth. Not caring much about proportion or things being "right," I just had fun with it, chasing lines into something that I enjoyed looking at. Drawing this one was quite a bit of fun, and I especially like his right hand and his feet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Squiggly Lines

We had yet another large, good crew of regulars and a fun drawing night. I wasn't feeling it at all when the night started -- inspiration was just really far away -- so I started playing with shapes and began doodling the eyebrow of the banana-starfish-looking guy in the upper-left corner of my page. I just followed the intensity of his lazily-drawn round eyes and the rest of his facial expression popped in my head. The expression compelled me to have him faux-chop the air and Derek said he looked like a starfish, so I started with nub-feet, but I caved in and ended up with Rayman feet instead. He needed a target for his faux-rage, and I thought a happy-face would do the trick. The rest was just kind of blah exercises. So blah, in fact, that I put the sentiment in a word bubble, and then had to draw someone saying it.

To my right, however, was Dave kicking all sorts of ass just plowing through drawing after drawing. He would keep looking over asking, "What do I draw next?" until out of desperation I told him I would give him a squiggly line to make a drawing with if he would do the same for me. He gave me a fun squiggle, and after staring at it for awhile, I was able to discern a held knife, so I started doodling from there. I started with the left hand, then the head, then decided the floaty line was the other dagger, and I just let the rest kind of flow from there. I was a little bummed that I let the back line just go through the knife, but c'est la vie. When I was all finished, I asked Derek if he would use his water colors to highlight the line. I think it adds a little something, and lets me keep track of the line instead of forgetting about and losing it forever.

A few different people were participating in squiggles, and Rachel wanted to do an exchange with me, and I gave her a bit of a doozy. After mentioning as much, I think she decided to get revenge and hit me with a real nasty squiggle. Three, in fact! After staring for awhile and turning the page around and around, I couldn't escape the circle part being a head, and started to see the loose pose I finished with. Saddened by the back-through-the-knife problem of the previous drawing, I made a point to try and make the lines make sense. It's a bit of a stretch to convince you, dear readers, of their integration into the pic -- especially after inking and highlighting them -- but maybe you will see what I was going for. I kept trying to figure out the best place for the left leg of the character, but thought putting a leg or foot down somewhere in the drawing would just add too much additional confusion to the weird shapes already in it, so I just let it fade into the ether. The squiggle drawings made my night. It's fun to try and stretch into them because I think the drawings usually have a good natural flow as a result, and they often force you to contort the body into weird shapes. But everyone sees the lines differently. I tend to conceptualize them as part of a figure, and often as just a gesture line. Dave and Rachel should post theirs so you can see how they perceive the lines differently.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Tuna Must Die.

There was a terrifically large crew at drawing night, which feels cool and weird at the same time. So when I sat down for doodling tonight, I began with the usual, and decided after drawing a somewhat pinchy looking hand to throw in a weird, withered plant of some sort. It eventually turned into a banana weed (because we all know exactly what a banana weed is, don't we?). I enjoyed giving him a skinny/flabby physique not unlike my own. I wanted to add a girl for him to look at, and she seemed pretty slouchy, so I was just going to make her groaning. I added one more "U" than I wanted, though, and it looked like that would make her sound like Butthead, which bothered me. So rather than have my fella comment on her droning, I decided that the "U"s and "H"s were binary code referring to the banana weed we all know and love. Last up was just a weird, weird looking dude. The fabulous Dave Chisholm (who I bought some comics from (thank you, Dave)) pointed to a drawing that looked nothing like me and said it was me, so I decided to have revenge. Last came the fog with evil eyes in it. I don't know why.

My favorite doodle of the night, though, was of a fair naked lady sitting on an octopus. Her face and weird 'do were first up, then the body, and once I had the sitting pose, I thought I should have her sitting on some kind of animal. I don't remember exactly how an octopus came up, but octopuses are pretty much my favorite animal, so I gave it a whack. Brent Critchfield offered some reference, but it's kind of fun to just feel out a likeness and see how badly you did later. I find it curious that we all know an octopus when we see it, so it's fun to just throw down lines until your brain says "yup," and just "feel" out an animal; sort of like the elephants last week. Anyway, add a little evil intent (depending on your view of tuna) and 8 tentacles on an octopus' word bubble (of course!) and voila!

In the next drawing, the guy with the rag came first. I wanted to have some dingleberry chasing after the rag but he turned out awful. Even a super-lazy "RAR!!" couldn't save it, so my last ditch effort was making a smiley face out of the exclamation point dots. That does it, right?

Before I took off and ditched all my friends at dinner time (sorry, guys) I wanted to do one more quicky, so I drew the head of a girl. That wasn't satisfying, so I added an upper body and some dinks around her head. But I needed something she was reacting to, so the word "BURRITOS!" seemed like a good thing to add. But then it was so empty, so I had to add an actual burrito to frame the letters. The lower-body just seemed necessary at that point. The chronology of a weird drawing. Weird indeed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Hannah was doodling some marvelous art when she announced she was thinking about drawing an elephant. Knowing someone that likes elephants, I asked if I could keep it, and started collecting named elephants from different people at the table. I didn't make it all the way around in time, but I thought I would share my collection, including an elephant of my own.

In order: 1-2. Hannah, 3. Dave, 4. Derek, 5. Tom, 6. Ryan, 7. Me, 8. Gheybin

1. 2.
3. 4.
6. 7.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Genie Fighter IV

Let's see... I remember Rob, someone Rob brought (sorry), Tom, Jon, Dave, Hannah, Derek, Ryan, Manfred (briefly), and our first cold-call artist, Chase (lovingly referred to as "Cha"). A quality evening. Dave brought more Paul Pope to the show, which I thumbed through. As usual, I just started doodling, and had a bit of fun making a hand all tangled up in another hand. When I got tired of drawing legs, I decided to just mess around with lines and shapes and ended up with a genie-looking silhouette, and I tried to give him a messed up face to match his lines which ended up adding kind of a bit-too-much-realism to the wobbly lines. I liked it, though, because how many floaty genies have hairy chests and nipples? (Maybe they all do, I don't know.) Dave said the genie looked kind of like an out of shape THB. Someone commented about how the hand on the leg made them uncomfortable, so I thought that needed to be recorded in the drawing somehow.

The second drawing was probably my favorite of the night. Some of the limbs look screwy to me, but it was just a lot of fun drawing a big mess of people. The big guy was the first drawing, and i decided to have a leg draped over his shoulder and the fun began. I imagined a dude about to eat his own foot and put his left arm where I wanted it, then added guy 2's foot, then the thigh going in, then his face, then figured out his neck and chest. Guy 3 was started with a head shape before I added the fingers holding him up by the neck, and then the rest was a fun rag doll impression. Not to be left out, Guy 4 resorted to nudity for attention. But he was a little ashamed, so he hid his head behind Big Guy's arm.

It had been awhile since I had a good Ryan Ottley pose, and I do so enjoy them, so I begged him for a good superhero classic. I still can't get over how much fun these drawings are to fill in. The guy I drew really looked like he was trying, so I needed him to be aspiring to something great ("Shoryuken!"), and I added sweat to enhance the effect. Someone likened him to Dan, which is, of course, the ultimate compliment.

Last but not least was a flowy line exercise. The arc of the back was the start of the drawing, then his front, then his right arm, then the moon shape of his head. I really enjoyed all the curls in his hair, and just let the rest flow. Add a dog tag, and it's time to call it a drawing night. Hope this week was just as fun for everyone else. :-)

Oh, and there was one more drawing, but you have to harass Jon Diesta for it because I need him to scan it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Upside-Down Collab

OK, I'm chilling on the attendee list this week because my memory is going bad. But it was another full week of good fun. So Dave Chisholm (hopefully got his name right this time) brought all of his Paul Pope paraphernalia because he found out I am a gigantic (left) Pope-nut. I think it got me in the mood for longer, flowy lines, and it initiated the first drawing of the night. The guy simply had to have something coming out of his mouth, so I had him start to moo, which seemed boring, so I turned it into zomgie lingo.

The guys brought in a couple brush-pens, and this was my test page with the first of them. Derek Hunter had a little pen with a squiggly end that seemed too long and uncontrollable and full of ink to me. I tried dorking around with it, but I couldn't get it to behave, so I gave up pretty quickly. And I just love sharing ass; mi ass, su ass.

So let's see... Next up was another floaty dude. You say, "Wow, Alan! I can't believe you drew another naked floaty person with foreshortened limbs," and I'm all like, "Shoosh, douche!"

Then Ryan Ottley let me try another brush-pen of his. It was a lot different than Derek's, and more controllable for me. The tip was tighter, but I had a difficult time creating those line-ends that just disappear to a tiny fine point. I definitely preferred the pen Ryan had (perhaps obvious), but it still wasn't just right. I'm sorta like Goldilocks, but more of a bitch.

The last drawing before the upside-down collab was just some fun. I kinda enjoyed the upper-right turning into a sleaze in my mind just by giving him a fancy low-buttoned silk (again, in my mind) shirt and a hairy chest that lead to some bullshit facial hair. Even as I type that, I marvel that a drawing can generate such pleasure and ire at the same time. And the guy on the bottom was really fun for me; not sure why. I just liked his particular brand of style / ugliness. He works it in just the right way.

And last up was the weirdest shit in awhile. Everyone was packing up for sushi when Derek (across the table from me) decided to start a new drawing. In frustration, I started doodling on it so he could get it done quickly and we could snack on fish + rice, but I was upside-down. I encouraged him to keep drawing, so basically we drew this one at the same time. So some highlights: (a) I started doing arms in a different place when Derek did the hands, so I turned the arms into a sweater. (b) I thought he had a cat tail in his right hand, so I started drawing the back-legs of a cat then drew its butthole, at which point Derek had a grasshopper fly out of it, and then he made it into the bottom of the character, and added that oh-so very impressive member. I liked that the little guy has a similar expression to the main fella. A totally intriguing disaster of a drawing, aka BEST. COLLAB. EVAR.