Monday, August 31, 2009

I love my cats

As you might know, I have three very fine cat-buddies who are always hanging around the studio while I am painting or working at my computer.

Here is the very first photo that I took of Laura in a cage at the cat shelter where I found her. She's saying "Take me home now !".

Cats 2
Laura lounging in the studio.

Here's Tiff, also lounging in the studio with Laura in the background. I used to feed some wild outdoor cats and one of my neighbors called me one day during a snowstorm. She thought one of the cats that I was feeding was outside her door and looked half frozen. She said that she would bring him over. It turned out that it wasn't one of the cats that I usually feed. I felt sorry for him and took him in. Tiff turned out to be a fantastic cat and is always at my side, I guess he remembers that bad snowstorm.


This is Jpeg, the clown of the family. When my wife Jeanne died, Laura was very lonely. I thought another cat around the house would make her happy. It worked and also livened the house up quite a bit. She just loves sitting in sinks and also does other crazy stuff like walking on the beams that are in my house. She did some pretty wild things when I first brought her home from the same cat shelter where I found Laura. One the first crazy things Jpeg did was to take a flying leap from a beam onto that bubble lamp that you see in the photo below.


Jpeg on Beam

One of Jpeg's favorite lounging spots is up on that beam where she can keep her eye on everything that's going on.

Tiff under plastic
The cats are always around when I'm in the studio, whether I'm working at the computer or painting. Here's Tiff "hiding" under a plastic sheet that I use to cover the carpet when painting.
Gloria has two cats, Schnickelfritz and Blackjack, we are trying to figure out how to merge them all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Morning walk, cats & a new painting

A couple of days ago I was taking my usual early morning stroll and I saw this deer eating grass. As I approached it didn't move, it was not at all afraid of me.

In fact, I was able to get just a few feet from it. It was wary, but did not run away. I live in a wooded area and we see quite a few deer. My neighbor said he saw what appeared to be a cougar walking up my driveway one winter evening. He came over and checked the footprints and they were pretty large. There have been rumors of a cougar in our area for some time.

Tiff 8.26.09
Here's my cougar, Tiff, he's a wonderful cat and very smart.

This is Jpeg, a real clown, always good for a few laughs.


Jpeg lounging on one of the beams in my house. That's a new painting that I just finished for my gallery, a better shot is below. This is the fifth painting that I've done for the new series that I'm working on.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More from the How to Draw Monsters book

Shown here are a few more pages from HOW TO DRAW MONSTERS which was a 38 page paperback booklet. This was the first book I wrote and it paved the way for all the others I later wrote for Watson Guptill Publications.

Monsterman 7

Monsterman 4

Monsterman 5

Monsterman 6

Blogman Promo

Monday, August 24, 2009

"How to..." books

While I was teaching I became interested in writing "How to...." books for art students. I sent a presentation to Watson Guptill Publications and they really liked my DRAWING IN INK book idea and wanted me to go ahead with it. But they first decided that they wanted me to write LANDSCAPE PAINTING WITH MARKERS. They knew that I did a lot of work in markers and the editors thought it would make an interesting book. LANDSCAPE PAINTING WITH MARKERS was published early in 1977 and my second book, DRAWING IN INK, was published later that same year.
When I began the editor gave me some great advice, " You don't need to know how to spell and don't buy a yacht."

Bks HB
Above are a few of the books I've written. Most are out of print but can be found at Amazon or other used book dealers on the internet. Digital Dreams, a book about computer techniques is available from and Pen and Pencil Drawing Techniques is still available new from Dover Publications.

Jap Bk Cov
Here is the Japanese version my Drawing in Ink book. Someone even told me that there is an Italian version although I've never seen it.

The book that really started it all was a small paperback titled HOW TO DRAW MONSTERS that I self-published in 1974 and sold through ads in comic books and at comic conventions.


Below are a few pages of the book. I think that I have a few of these left somewhere, if I run across them I'll sell them on the internet and possibly some of the art from my other books.

Monsterman 1

Monsterman 2

Monsterman 3

Friday, August 21, 2009

Recent cartoons

During my career as an advertising artist I also was always heavily involved with the fine arts producing paintings as well as sculpture which I exhibited in galleries and art centers. While the fine art field is a serious business there certainly is a lot of silly stuff going on. I decided to do a series of cartoons about the fine art world. Here are a few examples from my book ART THERAPY.



ArtTherapy 46

ArtTherapy 19




These drawings were all done with a marker pen on layout paper, then scanned into my computer where the color was added. To me, this is a superior way of working compared to the traditional methods of creating this type of art.
ART THERAPY is available from

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cartoon sketches

I have submitted cartoons to magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse over the years and have sold a few. These are some examples of my cartoon idea sketches which I usually draw with a pencil and sometimes with a marker pen.

Cartoon 2089
"Oh, the euphoria of being adored !"

Cartoon 1088
"I'm exudimg sexuality, what are you doing ?"

Cartoon 5092
"To me Benton, you're just fading away"

Cartoon r091
"Bart, your vibes really bother me !"

Cartoon 3090
"Arnold, I think we should uncouple !"

On my next post I'll show you a few recent cartoons from my book ART THERAPY.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another comic strip failure

R Strip
Repertoire was, to me, a fun strip to create BUT it had no main characters and consisted of a series of random ideas that were unrelated. This theme, of course, allows for greater flexibility and freedom in a daily and Sunday comic strip, but the syndicates were definitely not interested in this type of format.

R Strip2
Here's a larger version so you can see the detail better. This type of strip interested me the most as I would probably not have gotten bored or tired of it on a daily basis. Again, this is only one of several strips that I submitted in 1968.
I'll rummage through my garage and see if I can find a few more strips to post.

Below are a few different cartoon art styles that I experimented with.

This drawing was done with a Pentel Sign pen.

"Somehow I always bring out the animal in men !"

A drawing done with a pencil.

I like this loose style very much, the drawing was done using a technical pen.

A fast, sketchy technique drawn with a marker pen.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

More comic strip ideas that bombed

Throughout my career I have submitted many comic strip ideas to newspaper syndicates without success. In 1968 I came up with several strip ideas that I thought were pretty good, below are four of them.

comic strips1
When submitting ideas to newspaper syndicates you must demonstrate that you are able to take on the formidable task of drawing a daily and Sunday strip and being consistently funny. This means that your presentation must consist of a batch of finished strips as well as idea sketches, it involves a lot of time and effort.

Comic Strips2
I almost made it with Cap'n Lighthead. I can't recall which syndicate it was but they were quite interested, but finally decided against it. The Detroit Free Press did run a story and a few of these strips in their Sunday magazine.

Comic strips4
I had high hopes for The Lives and Loves of LARRY LIVELY. This was a semi-realistic strip about a young adventurer. I was teaching at the time and patterned the character after two of my students. This would have been a fun strip to do. In the above strip Larry decides to quit his mundane job so he can travel the world and visit exotic places. I'm not sure how he expected to finance his fantasy, but in comic strips one doesn't worry about those things.

Comic strips3
Interlude was a kind of a crazy strip without a main character which probably doomed it from the start. I used many different subjects and characters throughout in this strip.

Comic strips5
Hotshot Hartford was a fun character, he was a smartass character and had many crazy escapades with interesting ladies. That's my lovely wife Jeanne in the above segment.
Today I am amazed that I managed to produce all of these comic strip presentations in 1968 as I was teaching full time as well as working at Al Hutt's art studio in Detroit and also had reps both in New York and Chicago. The teaching schedule was a full day on Wednesday and the others were half days and amazingly in four years I only missed one day because of a deadline. It was a very busy time for me, working day and night as the ad business was really active at that time.
If and when I find more of my comic strip submissions they will be posted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rejection slips, part 2

One of the finished HOPE SPRINGS comic strips. It was drawn on Strathmore illustration board with a technical pen and the blacks were added with a brush.

One of the many idea sketches that I drew, usually on tracing paper.

Another finished piece.

Soto, my cat, plays an important roll in the strip.

Another finished strip. I had great hopes for HOPE SPRINGS but was unable to interest any of the newspaper syndicates to take her on.
On my next posts I will show you examples of some of the other comic strips that helped add to my enormous pile of rejection slips.