According to my Mom, I was born with a pencil in my hand! Painful for her, I'm sure,
but worse was the fact that nothing was off limits. Anything paper; walls; books;
and later on the back of my tests in school. I learned more about drawing in math
class than math. When I held a pencil, nothing was safe! Around 1979, I was
noticed by local businesses, our local newspaper, and equine and automotive publications.
In a non-internet world, it was easy for me to get work just by cold-calling and getting
the business owner or magazine editor hyped on an idea I may have had for their business
or magazine. Just showing up was usually all it took. In 1985, with a child, I needed
a 'real' job. My happy bohemian daze, over. Life happened, art insidiously slipped away as I
traded my Rapidographs for printing presses and art time for overtime. The urge to create gnawed
at my soul the whole time. With much trepidation, I finally succumb to it in 2019 and entered the
brave new world of digital! It was a very frustrating realm for an old pen and ink Journeyman.
With no schooling, nothing ever came easily, but now in digital, I am glad I learned the the old ways
first ... Digital has many challenges, but having years of hand drawing really helps. I look forward
to making up for lost time, expanding upon my digital skills and continuing to make art I hope resonates
and makes people smile for a moment.
The newer digital color images were done on an iPad Pro using Sketchbook or Medibang.
Usually about 50 to 60 layers. The older, analog images were created using a variety of
Steadtlers and Rapidograph's. They were roughed in pencil first, then inked. 98% of the
stippling is done by hand, then I found Letratone, and used it on backgrounds and larger
sections of the later 80's art. But even cutting that with an 00 X-acto knife was very time
consuming. It was a lot of work! There is an ongoing echo in the art world that
"digital is not art". Sadly, some people will believe that, just as people lament fins
being removed from Cadillacs, but digital has opened a whole new world. There has never been so
many great artists and such easy access to fantastic art as an appreciator or creator. For me,
digital's appeal is being able to spend more time creating rather than on pen mantainance. Any
analog artist whom has suffered the dreaded 'blob', clogged 000 pen or mispelled word at 2:00 am,
hours before deadline, will fully appreciate that those unpleasantries are a thing of the past in
this brave new world of digital.
Because I have no art training or process that I adhere to, my cars take many
twists and turns from the preliminary stages through to fruition. Sometimes
they morph a few times. The study photo of the 908 below was a fisheye picture
of a museum car, but I did not want to copy it exactly, so I looked at all the legendary
ones and pulled different features from a few and added them to mine ... The tail fins,
some livery details, etc. After all the tweaking and using guides, it ended up being
'elegantly cartooned'. A little more tweaked and twisted than I intended, Porsche purists
will cringe, but I was happy with the uniqueness of it.
The GTO was my first digital car, It was done in Sketchbook, not really knowing anything about
digital and not having drawn anything in 30 years~ just poke around and see what happens!
I've always loved GTO's, and cartoon style is how I started in 1967, so it was the default
for Version 2.0 in 2019. I had never seen a Pro-Mod car before, and thought how outragiously
exagerated they are to begin with, would be a good starting point to move forward from ...
This Blue Max was my second digital car. Still cartoon styling just because it naturally
makes perspective issues non-issues and atones for any number of artful indescretions, "Hey,
it's a cartoon"! I listened to Brian Stupski's Round Six Podcast about painting funny cars in
the glory days, and was really inspired to do an AA/FC with cool lettering, as it would
have been done back then. I would do it differently now, but for only my second attempt
at digital, I'm happy with it. It was a move forward and that is all an artist can hope for ...
Some of my Pen & Ink stylings carried over. I've since come to prefer no stippling or black outlines
for digital work. But, this part of the journey is just beginning. There is no GPS and I have many miles to go.
The battle torn Fiat was done in Medibang feeling a little more comfortable and exploiting layers
and effects that make digital such a nice tool to have at ones disposal. Like most artists,
when a piece is finished, I always think I would do it differently if I had to do it again.
I plan on revisiting and retouching some of them when I get a few more finished. This page is
the sum of my digital work. I want to get to the same level of comfort with digital I had
laying the ink, decades ago. I have a long road ahead of me. My next project is to combine the
old world; organic linework of pen and ink with digital shadowing and coloring and expanding
into the realm of character art ala Vaughn Bodé fantasy and 70's counterculture.
So many great artists to use for inspiration ...
Wait, there's more! Speed Racer was the first art that sucked me in! 1967, Pittsburgh, PA,
UHF Tv ... I would run home from school to see it every day! I was enthralled by the exploits of
Speed and the mysterious Racer X. This one is an updated WEC endurance racing version I created
in my head. I only had a picture of a 3D modeled iteration of a Mach 5 for a base study. I added
Rocket Bunny type wide body kit and a rear clip similar to a Viper. I tried to keep the coloring
true to the period saturation over-amping of those old anime cartoons of the 60s.
Below is a technical illustration for a manufacturing proposal a former non-profit employer commissioned.
It is notable because it is vector created using Linux and Inkscape, a combination not really known for
being popular in the art community. The business card was for a friend of mine, done very quickly
with Linux and Gimp. Lots of love for the free and open source of things!
Work in progress ...
Bike fanatic that I am, I thought I would try to render a motorcycle. I've had multiple Ninji, and of course
always cartoon to start, but wow, was I unaware of what I was getting into! I just cannot get it finished!
It still requires hours of work at this point. With my work vs. delete ratio veering wildly into the
red, I did something I've never done before~ just walked away until I can reaccess the situation.
Thus concludes ...
Part II of my art odyssey. Please click on the links and check out Part I, the
late '70's, early '80's pen and ink work and the other pages. If you made it this far,
thank you for hanging out! It means a lot ...