Friends

Airhead

As my fellow Americans prepare to observe the anniversary of this nation's independence by overeating unhealthy foods, blowing stuff up, and basically showing we require constant supervision after all, I'll be celebrating a double independence day.

For last year, upon my return from England's shores, I found myself bent beneath the oppressive yoke of my friends Brian and Jen and their offer of free housing until I could find my own place. It was a hard-fought struggle, but after a painful month I finally shattered the chains of no rent, tore off the manacles of delicious homemade dinners, carefully disassembled the chastity belt of free beer, and on July 3rd, 2011, I struck out on my own! Take that, tyrants!

To commemorate the day, I created the above painting for my friends. Now they'll have something to hang above the large empty space in their guest room. Because just like young America maintained the language and culture of their former oppressors, I totally took Brian and Jen's extra bed. Thanks, guys.

Happy Independence Day!

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Goat Gloat

Here we have your average family of goats, just back from a trip to the mall! Papa goat found some tools at Horn Depot, Mama goat picked up a few items at Bleat, Baaaahhhhhhh and Beyond, and wee little Baby goat got a few knick-knacks at Targoat. The whole family seems very pleased with their purchases. And why not? Everyone knows goats are ravenous consumers!

After many weeks of drawing goat after goat in a bunch of different styles and situations, I think I'm about ready to begin working on my book in earnest. A script has been drafted, the main character is (almost) designed, the existential motivation to make something worthwhile before I die is revving in the pit of my stomach. All that's left is WORK WORK WORK.

I'll keep you guys updated as more finished illustrations come down the line. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this little preview. Also, don't get too attached to the sketch above; it didn't make it into the script.

Oh, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to fellow Cambridge School of Art MA in Children's Book Illustration student and world-class illustrator Anca Sandu for compiling a bunch of reference photos for me from her recent excursion into goatland. Her own take on the subject puts my efforts to shame. Be sure to check out Anca's Society6 and Etsy stores!

Because 'The Halfback of Notre Dame' was already taken

Monday Sketcharoo! 2 Quasimodo

HA! Thought I wasn't going to have anything to post this week, didn't you? Well I showed you! I got out... something.

It should be noted that the past couple of watercolor pieces were done using a Yasutomo Waterbrush that has a water reservoir built into the handle so you don't need to carry water with you when you want to do some watercoloring outside.

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Pretty cool device if you ask me. Takes a little while to figure out how to use, but really helpful. For more impressive results with the brush, check out Gabi Campanario's sketch blog. Gabi's a Seattle Times illustrator who compelled me to pick up a waterbrush during the last Sketchcrawl I went on.

IN OTHER NEWS! WallBlank, purveyors of finely-crafted stuff for your walls, have opened up their vaults this week in celebration of being around one year and are once again selling MY PRINT along with many other quality pieces of art by quality artists (such as Zach Bulick's awesome awesome prints). If you missed your opportunity to pick up "La Marioneta" last time it was available, consider this a fortunate second chance - there may not be a third (probably there will be, but look, just buy it now, 'kay?). By the way, the quality is REALLY high on these things, I was totally impressed to see how my print came out; you will not be disappointed!

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Domo Arigato, Mr. Rockboto

Monday Sketcharoo!MathewBDay

[NOTE: The text to follow has been translated from the original Japanese via Babelfish]

Therefore, some time ago that my friend Mathew's Was; The birthday of him. He me and in order to connect him and the large group of that friend at this really splendid restaurant, invited my wife. And as for me evening's You thought that the card we would like to draw him before, it had; Even unfortunately the meal of him, but my hand could carpal tunnel syndrome and to disabled. With that, advances several months, my hand still doesn' Hurting, still Mathew; There is sketch of birthday in still none. Therefore, pain it is not absurd for the or more of this to wait, Mathew and here's Happiness, which lately desires birthday largely!

[End translation]

CONTEST WINNER!

Two weeks ago I asked you to come up with the puuuuuuuurrfect, er, doggone best name for the puppy whose drawing I'd posted. At the time, I failed to state how long it would take me to decide the winning answer. Well, let me tell you now: the contest will be concluded as soon as I finish typing this sentence I am typing right now on my computer keyboard DING! TIME'S UP! The correct answer, was Snickers! Snickers the puppy. No one said Snickers? C'mon, get with the program people, he's obviously a Snickers!

Well, since nobody said Snickers, I'll give THE GRAND PRIZE, an autographed copy of the terrible "Hansel and Gretel" comic I drew, to the runner-up. And the winner is... it's a tie!

Chernobyl & Pope Pius XIII, submitted by Katherine and James Moes (respectively)! On odd-numbered days, the puppy is Chernobyl, on even-numbered days, Pope Pius XIII. On even-numbered days, you may also refer to him by his nickname, Little Popey Poopers. Since there was only one grand prize, I'm afraid Katherine and James that you'll have to share the spoils. Luckily enough, you two also share an apartment, so I don't see this as an issue.

Thank you VERY VERY MUCH for all your entries, they were all great! I'm very lucky to have as creative a reading public as I do!

OH, and I should point out, the above image was HEAVILY influenced by the work of 64 Colors. I recommend visiting their site and picking up a print, they're AWESOME.

Take Another Little Piece of My Art

Monday Sketcharoo! Lopez!

Here he is, folks, the winner of the first Contestaroo: Chris "Lopez" Lopez, host of the podcast Classic Rock Liberation and all-around good buddy. We brainstormed a bit after he won and decided to make his illustration broadcast-related so he can use it on his site. And what could be more broadcasty than an LP sticker of Lopez DJing into an old-timey mic? NOTHING, except maybe if the podcast was named Edward R. Murrow Liberation or something.

Anywho, if you're into classic rock at all, I'd recommend taking a listen his podcasts. They're well produced and feature a lot of bands you'd probably never heard of, along with historical contextualizing of bands we're all familiar with. Good stuff!