Tag Archives: original art

Nepotism Thursday! Apples, Trees and Original Sin!

It’s my son’s 14th Birthday today, so naturally it’s time for another “NEPOTISM THURSDAY!” (which falls on a Wednesday this month,  quite common, I assure you).  But because the kid’s going to get lots of expensive gadgets and free food later, I’m going to talk instead about the cartooning work of my father, Charles “Chuck” Templeton, and how far apples fall from trees.  So THERE, beloved son!

Just a quick tease this time out, with a couple of Dad’s sports pieces, scanned from the original art that hangs on my wall and from clippings…Chuck had a  regular cartoon gig for the  Toronto Globe and Mail in the 30s (*actually, when Charles was 17.  By 21, he started his career as an evangelist.  kts),  for about four or five years in what was Dad’s early twenties.  He drew mostly sports,  and some political cartoons with both a remarkable skill for likeness, and a playful skill for comedy.

I had no real sense of my father’s illustrating and cartooning work until after he died.  And though he taught me one or two things about proportion and how to hold a pencil when I was very young, it was nothing like professional secrets or anything.  And since his work was all printed and packed away decades before I was born, I saw almost none of it, until it was entrusted to me when he passed away.

So, what that amazed me most about his work once I got to see a lot of a it at once, is that I see many similar things to my own style in there.  Similar compositional methods, similar lettering even, and the basic skills are in the same zone, though in different styles for different generations.

Considering how little he taught me about the biz, and how little of his work I saw growing up, how freaking odd that there are so many similarities.  My parents were divorced, and I was raised by my mother, so it’s not a question of nurture…  Is there a GENETIC component to an artist’s aesthetic?

YEESH?!?

More of my father’s work to come in future weeks.  I’ve got stacks of it, and much of it is very good.  PLUS, it’s a nice slice of history for the Canadian Comics Corner buffs out there…including Mr. Pincombe.  As for me, I’m off to teach my comic book bootcamp course tonight, and maybe buy my teenaged son a slice of cake, and sing.

NEXT:  How I turned down sitting on an upcoming panel with Stan Lee and Harvey Pekar next week, (I’m an idiot), and the stirrings of JOHNNY CANUCK!  Oh, so exciting!

Ty the Guy!

Stay Tuned…

When Ty finished drawing bloody body parts for Dexter: The Early Cuts, he had to return to drawing yellow people for Bongo…but now that’s all done.  He’s thinking of taking a few days off before he launches into his next set of projects.  So, that means some new pages for me to put up once he scans them.  And–he was thinking aloud about what he could do for entries in Art Land…something about some NEW stuff…

Keiren

More Rough Stuff and Getting Mad

In yet another of my embarrassing and self indulgent flights of internet exhibitionism, I present more of those (Yechh) Ty Templeton covers from last year’s San Diego Convention Mad Giveaway along with some rough stuff you kids seem to enjoy.  As I mentioned last time, these phony covers are from a script by the one, the only (Yay) Evan Dorkin!  (Last time I posted a few covers from this Mad stuff, Evan wrote me a nice letter, and I was so happy to hear from him that I skipped around the back yard like a one legged virgin, invited to her prom.  So “Hi again, Evan” if you’re ego-googling your lonely nights away once more…we should work together more often.)

Back to clearing out the digital basement of more of these little funbags (I’m using the word correctly, right?) and  I hope that by seeing how much work is involved in drawing these furshlugginer things, I’ve scared a few of the younger cartoonists away from this life of tears…and they’ve found more fulfilling work in the fields of  food service or appliance repair.

The four drawings you see here represent 1) the original thumbnail the left  2) The “final sketch” below.  3) The penciled and half inked version of the image below that and 4) the final version in colour for the magazine up top.

Thumbnails are about three inches high (the image here is actually a bit large) and just created to first put the ideas in a fluid, two dimensional space. They’re not really a form of drawing, it’s more a process of thinking about images and where they go.   After the thumbs are approved by the Editor they get blown up to about eight inches high, and I add the right proportions, shadows, etc.  This is more of a drawing now, but it’s by no means the final.  I’m still trying to get the “story” of the image onto the page, while adding the illustrative aspects.

In the case of a normal cover, I’d blow this sketch up to fifteen inches high, as that’s standard for cover original art in our biz, but since these covers were appearing four to a page in their printed form in Mad Magazine, it wasn’t worth being that large. So I did them at 12 inches high.

Below is a couple more of the covers from the project.  Just the thumbs and finals here, you don’t need a lecture every damn time I open my mouth.

Oh, and a small promise:  The next time we gather digitally to see more of my Mad Stuff, I’ll post the very first job I ever did for Mad back in the nineties.  The story behind THAT assignment makes me look like a complete jackass, so I’ll need to get roaring drunk to tell it right.  The problem is, when I get really drunk, I don’t post on the internet, I go into the woods near my home and “shoot coyotes”.

And yes, “shooting coyotes” is a euphemism for something, but I refuse to tell you what.  All you need to know is that it requires whiskey and towels.

So much of life involves towels.

Ty the Guy. Jan 25, 2010.  Not out of the woods, yet.

NOTE:  The characters in the Iron Man sketch that get removed are “Harold and Kumar” and the lovely and vivacious ladies of “Two Girls/One Cup”.  They get replaced by the “Chocolate Rain” guy.  Not my call, so I can’t tell you why.  ALSO:  Click on any image, and they open in a larger window!  Neat-o, eh?

A Suggestion not a Challenge…

So back in October, Ty wrote a blog entry about the Phantom card he’d drawn for a Moonstone card series…kinda went like this:


“Here’s an “Artist’s Sketch Card” I drew for the upcoming Moonstone card series.   This isn’t art meant to be reduced onto a card and printed many times…this is a teeny weeny itty drawing on a blank card.  The dimensions are two and a half inches by three and a half inches.  And here’s what’s wrong with me…when I look at it, I think I could have gotten more detail into the face if I’d had a smaller ink brush and better glasses.

Let us all say it together:  Oy!

Anyway…this original is going to be a surprise for someone buying some of the upcoming Moonstone Card series.  So, check your packs for this Phantom sketch card, and don’t be too disappointed when it’s in black and white, cause it’s an original.”

and then Ty wrote:


“AND DON’T SELL IT ON EBAY WHEN YOU GET IT, ya ratbags!

Ah…they probably will.

Ty the Guy”

So this was the card in question:

zz phantom card ty templeton

and here was my response to Ty’s comment

“(heh…Ty’s cynicism comes from the number of times after conventions, he’s gone ego-googling to see if anyone has said anything about the workshops he does at cons, and he discovers that someone, sometimes someones, is eBaying one of Ty’s free convention sketches–even one Ty has personalized in his signing.  Ty is completely resistant to the idea of charging for convention sketches–he even lectures his bootcampers about this ideal, feeling this is something he owes to his fans.  But the eBay listings make him pretty cranky.)”

and here is, yes you guessed it:  the eBay listing for the card.



Christmas Bunnies

Ty will tell anyone who will listen that he doesn’t get the point of Christmas and the only worthwhile holiday is Hallowe’en.

He discovered that fatherhood meant that Hallowe’en became more fun for him…

but that he had to pay attention to that Christmas thing whether he liked it or not.

Ty finds different levels of inspiration at Christmas time…he tries to do a bunny funny card every year, but it all depends on how the spirit moves him.  So, this week, I’ll try and post a bunny each day from past celebrations…(eventually, Ty will decide I’ve picked the wrong ones or I’m not being amusing and he’ll turn up to dispense witticisms!).

Keiren

WildC.A.T.S. Adventures

From the dark and distant past, from the bowels of Ty’s studio…comes pages from WildC.A.T.S. Adventures. Yes, children, briefly–oh so briefly– in the mid90’s Ty,  that crazy Stig’s Inferno guy, was an artist at Image Comics.

The comic was to promote the cartoon from Nelvana Studios…the cartoon lasted thirteen episodes (we knew it was in trouble when not one of our 8 year old son’s friends had seen it or had an interest in it), and the comic book lasted ten issues.  Ty lasted four-ish.  Maybe it was three. This was back in the days when he could draw superheroes…but what he really wanted to do was write and be funny.

Check out the work…I don’t think the blood, sweat and tears show up on the pages, so they should be fairly hygienic.

Keiren

Nepotism Thursdays!

There’s a great moment, in an old Will Smith film called Six Degrees of Separation, where an art teacher is showing off the water colour paintings of a classroom full of eight year olds.  Somehow, these paintings are magnificent.  Every one of them a bold and wonderful landscape, or haunting portrait or daring abstract, each with brilliant composition and personality.

All of them.

These are the canvases that generations of expressionists have longed to be able to create, all dashed off by eight year olds with casual ease.

“How on earth did you teach your students to paint so beautifully?” the art instructor is asked.

“I taught them nothing,” she answers,  “I just hand them the brushes and watch them paint.  My trick is knowing when to take the paintings away and knowing how to crop ‘em.”

The untrained mind creates some of the most interesting art.  The example above is by my untrained ten year old Sean.  It’s a portrait of his eight year old sister.  And here’s what I like about it  beyond the proud papa, lookie at what muh BOY did aspects…!   I like that he liberally mixes pencil crayon colours in the hair and face, including some BLUE(!) in the facial features.  I never put blue in a flesh tone until college, and even then against my will.  But there it is.  And the blacks in the blonde hair to tone down the way-too-yellow pencil crayon that was supposed to be blonde.  Lovely.

I like the eyes being white, with blue pupils, around gray dots.  That’s my favorite part of the portrait, simply because my mind would never go to that interpretation of reality.  There’s a bit of Modigliani in there, perhaps. The family has large, framed reproductions of his work up in our house, and he’s one of my favorite painters.  To the left is one of the two that hang in his parent’s bedroom, and the elongated face so common to Modigliani’s work is visible in it.

Another painter we have numerous examples of, up around the house, is the deco master (or mistress) Tamara de Lempicka.  Her work also features a glassy eye and an elongated face.  Since I ain’t a zillionaire, we have framed copies of her work darting about our walls, another influence into the ten year old brain, mayhap…?

And finally, I like that Sean has a habit of cutting his artwork out of the paper it’s drawn on after he’s done.  There’s always an element of treating the drawing itself as an object with him…once the art is cut out, it’s then glued to something else, or folded into something, or often just given away in its cut out form.

The trick is knowing when to take it away.

So…take it away Sean Templeton-Smith, this was your first gallery show, and in the company of two modern masters, to boot!

I have four kids in total, each with their own stunning set of talents, so be forewarned, this feature will likely show up again.

Ty the Guy.  Once again, tricking the family into doing his job for him.

SOMETIMES, THE ROUGH…and another of the increasingly late Hoverboy Fridays!

Clearly, I’m mad, I tell you.  MAD.

batrobinadv sketch 11

I’m one of those guys who spend their lives liking the rough sketch better than the final art.  It’s a curse.   I have a fondness for the scribbled, eccentric, humanistic and unembarrassed linework of a rough sketch.  There’s a lovely connection to movement and thought in the first contact with the image to muscles and paper,  often softened unbearably by turning it into a final illustration.   As a professional drawer-boy, I’m always fighting between “cleaning it up” and “letting it live”.

The Batman sketch from an old, old Adventures cover, (which I just found in a box yesterday, and hence this post) is less than three inches high.  It’s drawn in pencil and a thick pentel marker which was clearly drying out, as the background becomes less dark to the right. But the sense of danger, the monster, and the expressions on everyone’s face works for me in a way the final doesn’t.

harvey pekar rough to finishMy Pekar’s AMERICAN SPLENDOR work last year did the same thing to to me.  I was going for a very sedate, “realistic” Curt Swan type of storytelling for Harvey, since that was the basic feel of this particular script…but the rough layouts had a Kirby-like energy to them, with a lively and playful sense of proportion that I wish had fit the story.

( for more Harvey online, click here)

Again, these layouts are about three inches tall, and the final art is fifteen inches high…so the movements spideytorch 2 1 roughof your hands vs. the movements of your shoulders are going to be different.

I just got through reading an issue of Marvel’s new “STRANGE TALES” comic, with folks like Peter Bagge, and James  Kochalka doing very indy looking work on Marvel super-heroes.  Astoundingly great fun, and some of the pages have the same feel as my rough pages do…before I clean myself up.

If only I hadn’t seen so much Harvey Kurtzman while growing up.  I could rid myself of this demon of liking the roughs.

AND NOW—

FOR THOSE WHO DEMAND THEIR HOVERBOY FRIDAYS ON FRIDAY, I GIVE A FIE TO THEE!  A FEE FIE!

hovermuppetHoverboy Fridays continue to wander the calendar, and we find one barging into Sunday.  I’m only making this rare exception to move Hoverboy Fridays from its regular spot on Tuesdays, to this weekend, because the most recent update is topical!  It has to do with Hoverboy’s very tenuous connection to Sesame Street, which celebrated it’s 40th, or 45th anniversary this week, I wasn’t paying enough attention when Wolf Blitzer mentioned it.

Go to the Hoverboy museum and read more about this astounding connection between Kermit the Frog and The Boy Who Hovers.

www.hoverboy.com (for those who don’t hyper link well).

Ty the Guy.  AWAAAY!

New Pages!

starting now…

first up, a couple more of Spidey/Torch, including a Gwen Stacey page.

A video box cover from the 90s X-Men series.

And a couple from the story Ty did for the GLXmas Special Ty did Dan Slott.  (Grasshopper–will he die or won’t he?)

And, pages from one of Ty’s favourite projects:  Mad Dog!

mad dog ish 5 pg 3

DEXTER: The Early Cuts

A “behind the scenes” of Dexter: The Early Cuts was the featured video on youtube.com yesterday, and has some drawings from Ty.  He’s still busy drawing frames for the animation (and I’m still busy helping him colour them), but we’re pretty excited about it.  And Ty’s pretty happy with the company he’s keeping for this series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ySl3InQS1g

Keiren