Tag Archives: sketches

The nature of Gifts and Giving.

My entire career, I’ve given away free sketches at every convention I appear at.  You get a fairly swift (usually about five minutes) sketch and a few words of conversation, and we move on to the next guy.  I give ’em out for free because a) the fans deserve it; they pay my rent the rest of the year…and 2) I feel like a jackass charging people twenty bucks for a con sketch…

My ONE stipulation is that they are not for sale on ebay the next day.  I see that, and I get furious.   I’m giving somebody a  “gift”, and if they turn around and try to make a quick twenty bucks off of it, I feel they need a quick  shove into a pit full of feces.

The sketch to the right, and the one at the bottom of the page, are examples of what you get fer yer five minutes and no money.  And these examples were given to fine con goers who held onto them after they got ’em.  Bless their hearts.

HOWEVER…there’s another asshole attempting to sell my sketches on ebay.  I don’t know what he looks like, but I’d really like to…so, if anyone reading this can help me find out who this guy is, I’d appreciate it.  Here’s a link to his ebay page, and his ebay name is  E Maxwell.  It’s dickwits like this guy that cause other artists to charge for their sketches.  The next time someone asks you for fifty bucks for a sketch, you can blame this E. Maxwell ass.  He’s the one costing you money and goodwill.

He’s local Ontario, so I’ll recognize him if I could see a photo.  And perhaps the next time I see him, a quick fecal shove.

Ty the Guy.  Still happy to do free sketches.  But happy to put the boot in, as well.

Sketching by Ty

Walter Dickinson has been at it again! Now he’s posted vids of Ty doing sketches at FanExpo August 2009, on the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop site.

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.

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Ty is at Toronto ComiCon, right now–as I type!  Drop by and see him at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop table.

Coming Up…

Next Sunday, Ty will be at the Toronto ComiCon one day event, Sunday November 22, 2009.  He’ll be sitting at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop table, signing books, doing sketches–for free!  And selling pages. And telling tales…oh, the stories he can tell!  (Unless lawyers for any of the major companies are present.)

 

Keiren, the libel-suit avoiding wife

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!

My inner Mad

021 jay leno

00 spockWhen I put up those Harvey Pekar sketches last week, I mentioned that neither of the drawings were in my “usual” style of doing a likeness.  At this point in my career, I’m not sure I have a style, but I do have some vague idea of what sort of final drawing will look right to my eyes, and these ideas are usually rooted in Mort Drucker and John Severin…two of the great Mad artists of my youth.

As you can see by the drawing of a young Jay Leno (done for a Canadian TV Guide some years ago) and the Movie Spock (done for my own amusement last year), my line work tends towards Drucker’s when I’m just trying to make a portrait.

00 woody

Oddly enough, when I fit a likeness into a story (as I did with these panels from various editions of the Factoid BIG BOOK series, or as I’m currently doing with my fun Dexter gig), I find my line work and sensibility tends towards John Severin.   Probably because Severin was slavishly realistic, and Drucker was more playful.

00 orsonEither way, when you add the Jack Davis influence in the Pekar drawing below (coupled with a blatant attempt to inject a little R. Crumb in there, another Harvey Kurtzman protege), I’ve obviously never gotten over my early crush on Mad Magazine.

And I ain’t never gonna.

Ty the Guy

00 frank and mia

Ty shows up

(I’ve been too busy to post anything so I shoved Ty into my chair, faced him towards the monitor and keyboard, took the pencil out of his hand, and left him here…)

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

Ah…they probably will.

Ty the Guy

zz phantom card ty templeton

(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.)

Artwork Deux

Ty decided to try something new with his American Splendor pages. He’s always been a perfectionist with his inking, and is known for his clean, tight style.  For this, he aimed for a looser style, and was drawing on paper rather than board–his thinking was that, on board, an artist has the idea that they have to get every line right (there’s only so much erasing you can do without ruining the board and having to do a patch).  With paper, he could just crumple it and throw it out; this freed him just to put the lines down and not stress.  Ty was pretty pleased with how it came out.

pekar splendor panels

Artwork…

have to put some new pages in the galleries…but first I have to check pricing with the guy.

Here’s a few that will be going up later today…

This was done for the Tourism Board of Illinois for a series of posters they did in 2005.  This is an illustration of the Superman statue in Metropolis, Illinois.  You might have seen it in a photo with Barack Obama just last year.

superman metropolis poster