Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Drawing for 2010

Scaling the Ivory Tower in 2010 (Crayola Marker Sketch)

The drawing above is a sketch I made to represent my major goal for the year 2010. I've been working on my doctorate in Curriculum & Teaching for a long time, but this will be the year I finish. I was inspired to make this drawing after doing a similar one (below) for the year 2009. I noticed that every single goal I noted in the '09 drawing I either accomplished, or made a conscious decision to save for later. This year I only put one goal because I'm thinking I may need to set some things aside for a time and really knuckle down and finish.

They say that many successful people write down their goals or visualize themselves being successful before attempting difficult objectives. I guess these drawings are my way of doing that. At any rate, you can read more of the rationale behind that here.

"Ropin' Fool" -- A Comic Strip about Will Rogers

I enjoyed making this comic about a person I've always thought was fascinating, and I learned a lot more about him while doing the research. There have been many successful people who just did not do well in school, and telling their stories is a recurring theme in my comics. I think these stories remind us to try to be accepting of the square pegs who don't fit into round holes!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Paintings

I had posted the study for this painting of my dad a while ago. I was at my parent's house, so I snapped a photo of it. I had been reading about Rembrandt's approach to painting -- how he'd paint the canvas dark brown and then build up the lights in layers, so I thought I'd give that a try. The one below is also acrylic, a painting of Dad's barn. I used a palette knife a lot in that. This one is from quite a while ago -- senior year in college.

The Greatest Gifts

I believe the best gifts are things people make themselves. The painting above is from Anna to me. It is done using the Bozzo Technique. I was surprised. I guess I had forgotten that I had dropped some heavy hints about possibly getting it as a gift for Christmas!

Dan took ceramics this year and made a lot of really neat projects to give as gifts to family members. The snowmen and tree were thrown on the wheel, then details were added. The wheel-thrown bowl below was for me.

The Artistes (pronounced \är-ˈtēsts\)

This is the Mansfield University art department faculty and staff, where I will be a part-time instructor next fall (in addition to my day job!). We are supposed to be posing for the yearbook. It is a very positive, creative and sometimes zany bunch. I think I will fit in pretty good.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Sketchbook drawing: scene from a DC comic redrawn by me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

EC #4 Cover Preview

Here's the cover to the next issue of my comic. The original is in watercolor. I enjoyed doing some experimental techniques, like using the salt technique in the alien, and using a paper towel to blot wet paint in Andar's background.

All the comics are done for this issue, but I hope to have the rest of the work done over break!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bird's Eye View and Worm's Eye View

Artists today have a wealth of visual references online and in print. It would be very easy for us to become overly dependent on these. I think it's a real challenge to take a three dimensional object and attempt to draw the same physical thing from different vantage points. I made these drawings years ago of a simple child's toy, looking down on it and looking up at it.

Pencil Portraits

Two drawings that were commissioned as Christmas gifts. Pencil drawing with blending stump, which is a very handy tool.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Art Projects

Below is a card I made for Kristan's birthday today. The heart's are cut out, so you can see a bit of the picture within.

Okay, so I swiped the idea from a card I saw in the store. But, it's just for fun, right? When Nathan saw it, he wanted to paint his own scene of the three of us eating at a restaurant. Below is his painting of (left to right) himself, Daddy and Mommy. We are all eating from orange plates. Daddy and Mommy are eating lettuce but he's eating mac 'n' cheese.

After he finished his painting for Mommy he asked me to draw the Hulk so he could paint it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"I'll have a Non-reproducible Blue Christmas..."

Here's one panel of my latest comic. This is a color scan, so it shows the non-reproducible blue pencil marks. This is my first time trying this kind of pencil, and I think I'm a convert. They never have them at our local art supply store, so when I was in Philadelphia, I bought a great big handful of them.

The idea is, that you can pencil the drawing and ink it. You don't have to erase the pencils, because if you scan it in black & white, the pencils don't show. That the idea, anyway, only next time I won't be so heavy handed with it.

ABC #25: Cinderella Story

The ABC Challenge this month is to "imagine the owner of the business card" above. Here's my entry!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Self-Portrait by Anna Wales

This is my daughter's Advanced Drawing final -- a self-portrait triptych.

Anna's Wall of Important Things -- and a Clean Art Room Sink (2009)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Words to the Wise" -- or, "Maximum Maxims"

Do you remember me telling you about the six-page comic strip I had published in the Fluke anthology? Well, the deal was, I had to wait six months to publish it elsewhere. Your long wait is over and now you can read it!

Being part of that book was a great experience, and I'm really proud of this work. It is different in a different format than I usually work in, and for the first time, I worked with a co-writer. Some of you may know Jared Aiosa, proprietor of Heroes Your Mom Threw Out Comic Shop. After reading the first issue of Eclectic Comics, one day he hastily scribbled down some stick figures and some illegible writing and handed it to me. After he explained what it was, I realized it was a really great idea for a comic strip. When I wanted a six page story for the Fluke book, I realized that this was the best idea I had for it. Those of you who know Jared might notice that the the superhero bystander in the story kind of resembles Jared. Well, that's what I was going for anyway.

This story will also show up eventually in Eclectic Comics, but in the meantime, enjoy it here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Other Artists named Wales, Part 2: James Albert Wales (1852-1886)

I find it interesting when I discover other artists from American history with the last name of Wales. I'm not sure if they are related to me or not -- possibly they are "shirt-tail relations". My son Dan discovered this one in an Encylcopedia of Biography at school. James Albert Wales was a cartoonist! That book said that "he was tall and ruddy-faced, with a silky turned-up moustache and wore pince-nez." His photograph is below.

The info below is from the Ohio's Yesterdays website, including some of his cartoons.

For 19th-century Americans, politics was entertainment. There was no TV, radio, cable, video, or You Tube, but just the same, everyone knew what was happening. Newspapers and political journals, like Harper's Weekly, Judge, Puck, and Frank Leslie's, were read and shared at general stores, taverns, and blacksmith shops, - wherever people gathered. Those who could read, read to those who couldn't. Key to forming their arguments and shaping their opinions were the wildly popular political cartoons featured in every issue. They were understood by everyone!

Created by skilled imaginative artists, the cartoons attacked politicians, presidents, and policies with wit, humor, and intelligence. Through delightful caricatures, they poked fun at society's extremes of poverty and wealth, corruption and reform. Most influential was Thomas Nast, but among the prominent was Sandusky County's own James Albert Wales.

Born before the Civil War, Wales grew up in Clyde, drawing on the counters at his father’s fish market. After a short stint at a Sandusky business school, Wales headed for Toledo where he learned engraving and then to Cincinnati to improve his drawing skills. Wales paid his dues, working for a time in Cleveland and then Chicago, where he found his niche. But his ambitions were quickly snuffed out by the Chicago Fire.

It was in Cleveland, while working for the Leader during the 1872 presidential campaign, that Wales got his first taste of success. Wales soon found himself in New York, drawing for the nationally recognized Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly - the first American venture to bring together news and images. Wales then spent a year in London, drawing for illustrated journals and studying in Paris. Shortly after his return, Wales was hired by cartoonist Joseph Keppler, editor of the popular Puck.

It was during his years at Puck that Wales established himself as one of the foremost political cartoonists. Gifted at caricatures and portraiture, Wales created a full page political cartoon series that he titled Puck’s Pantheon. He soon was drawing double-page spreads and front and back covers that influenced Americans' thinking on social and political issues.

In 1881, following disagreements with Keppler, Wales left to become one of the founders and chief cartoonist of The Judge. After a strong start, Wales found himself in financial difficulty. And in 1885, he sold the magazine and returned to Puck.

With financial backing from the Republican Party, The Judge began to thrive and soon passed its rival in popularity. Unfortunately, its founder, James A. Wales, would never see his creation reach its full potential – or perhaps his own. He died within the year of a heart attack – at the young age of 34. Interestingly, Wales was the only native-born American to achieve national prominence as a political cartoonist during the Gilded Age.
This is not the New York Stock Exchange. It is the patronage Exchange, called U.S. Senate.
The biographical encyclopedia says that "there is little question that if he had lived he would have been recognized as one of the foremost American caricaturists."
(You can see from this cartoon that he sometimes signed his name JAW).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wales Art -- The Next Generation

Up until now, Nathan hasn't shown a lot of interest in drawing, and when he has, his work has been, shall we say -- nonobjective? Today, however, he drew the most adorable pair of self-portraits! We asked him who showed him how to do that and he said "Nobody" -- but he does watch daddy draw a lot.


The comic below is something I created as an entry for the 2009 Oni Comics Talent Search. I didn't win, but I did enjoy my first experience working from someone else's script. I did get a nice review from an editor at Oni who gave me some good tips to work on. Looking at it now, I agree that it would have been better with more wide shots, establishing shots. It was kind of tough to fit the whole story in the number of pages prescribed. I think I would have stretched it out more. Any way, the story is called Our Hero by Philip Gelatt, who wrote Labor Days and Indiana Jones Adventure. The comic company who ran this contest is Oni Press, which makes some fantastic comics and graphic novels including Crogan's Vengeance and by Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer.