Improve-a-Sketch: Floating Tentacles Edition

floating tentacles_72dpi

There’s only so much Lovecraftian nonsense I need coiling around my brain, so it’s nice to finally get this painting out of there. Incidentally, I went back to find the original sketch I made for this idea some years ago…

Sketchbook_Tentacles

…And wow, my first draft drawings are pretty crap. I guess there is a lesson here for us all. And that lesson is to allow the eldritch voices of the old gods to guide your artist’s hand, even unto the brink of madness.

Also: practice.

SCORE: A clutch of cute little baby tentacles, writhing sweetly in the palm of your hand.

Posted in Creature Design, Digital Art, Improve-a-Sketch | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Weirdest Things in ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’

full_image

As a big fan of weird art, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that a group of people decide to make a VERY high-resolution digital copy of Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ available to just go ahead and zoom in on. This is one of those paintings that I’ve always seen one of two ways: Too small to make out (and probably a random side note in a textbook), or as a close-up of one of the Hell parts.

As a result, I’ve had no idea just how bonkers crazy the rest of the image is. I’ve singled out the best parts here, and to my amazement, only one of the areas I selected is from the Hell 1/3 of the triptych. It turns out that a lot of these “earthly delights” are more startling and questionable than I might have anticipated.

1. Owl Party

Owl_party

“What is even happening?” the owl wonders to himself. “How do those people fit into the flower bud like that? What is with that guy’s head? Is he a guy with a blueberry on his head or is he more like a fruit that blossomed into a human body?” That is the face of an owl wondering just what the hell is going on.

2. Please Mr. Duck, Just One More Berry

Duck_Berries

Whatever is happening here, at least it can be said it is a hell of a party. Some kind of berry-themed party as becomes increasingly clear. But my God, you can look at this for ages and not know what is going on. At the top of my list is that duck. Either he’s kind of like the evil snake from the Bible and the 1500s Netherlands had very flexible ideas of what a serpent was… or he’s some sort of awesome duck who knows party tricks. In fact, he might even be balancing on the legs of those hand-standing egg people! Amazing!

3.  This Weird Dog

weird_dog

First you see the giraffe, and you think, “Huh, that’s kind of a weird giraffe. I bet Bosch only saw drawings of them and didn’t know that they’re gentle and not kind of mean-looking.” And then you see the dog, and you wonder what the hell kind of world this guy grew up in. And then you look at it longer and you think that maybe it’s actually kind of cute, like one of those Imperial Walkers from Return of the Jedi but with a little dachshund face. But then you picture it actually trying to walk and it’s not cute any more, never mind. And then you notice the scale of the other animals and you know it’s time to move on or your brain is gonna break.

4. Owl Party of One

owl_party_of_one

This owl is only barely tolerating the man’s presence, but you get the impression that people tend to hug him a lot and he’s gotten used to it. Just look at that guy at the bottom. He’s thinking that he can’t wait to hug the owl next.

On closer inspection the guy is kind of making ‘Ta-daa’ hands around the owl, as opposed to outright hugging it and I feel that this is totally understandable.

5. Something Weird is Going On With This Bird

bird_enema

I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something a little weird about this bird.

6. Oh my God, There’s a Unicorn Cat

unicorn_cat

Not only is there a unicorn cat but it’s also the cutest damn thing in the entire painting. There is even a dude sitting on him making a weird sex pose and that cat don’t even care! He knows there’s a giant fish in for him later. How do I know it’s a “he?” Well, it’s because everything here has testicles. But that’s okay. Just look at that cat put the other unicorn to shame. For shame, other unicorn!

7. An H.R. Giger Nightmare Courts a Mermaid

mermaid_and_uggo

It really says something when you are looking at a horde of people crawling out of a lake and into an egg, a naked furry berry party, and a guy getting a massage from a deer, and the only thing you can possibly look at is that goddamn fish monster. Being Hieronymus Bosch must have been terrifying if this is the kind of dance partner he chooses for a little mermaid. “Hey Hieronymus, I need you to make my wife a birthday card. She really likes mermaids so… Oh sweet God why!”

8. How To Clamber Onto a Fish

straddle_fish

You do it like this. Also: look at that bug. Everything else is starting to look kind of normal at this point.

9. Vacuuming Up Some Birds

bird_vacuum

We need these birds for our egg castle.

10. All the Drunkest Organisms

strange_animals

All of God’s little accidents are hanging around this pond. These are the ones that didn’t make it past the beta testing I guess, which is a shame because that platypus looking thing is straight up reading a book. The human race could have had a friendly animal pal to talk to and hang out with! Where did it even get that thing? Why is the unicorn swimming laps in this gross pond? Is the rooster just passing through? So many questions go unanswered, but hey, at least that fish is having the time of his life.

11. The Flower Game

Butt_Flowers

Sure, why not?

12. Like to Play Backgammon? Looks Like it’s Hell for You.

evil_backgammon

If playing backgammon is all it takes to get you a one way ticket to the dark realm, imagine how screwed we all are today. Backgammon is probably the most harmless game I can think of. What would these old-timey people think of Pokemon? A random number generator must be like rolling a million dice at once. On the other hand, maybe that demon just doesn’t know what’s up. Everyone else is getting slaughtered and he ‘s all “Who wants to play board games?” And that one guy is like “I do!”

SCORE: A flower bulb eggshell tower of berries and bird-worshiping naked people dancing forever through history.

See the painting here. With actual explanations, even.

Posted in Traditional Paintings, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Improve-a-Sketch: Lincoln Unicorn and Octo-Cat Edition

Hot damn, it’s time for an episode of Improv-a-Sketch! And by “episode,” I mean “blog post.” And by “Improve-a-Sketch” I mean “the very deliberate process by which all art happens as a series of drafts, culminating in a final, more polished version.” But the idea here is that I go through an old sketchbook and find something particularly reprehensible and then I try and make it better. My past attempts have been pretty shaky. Also, remarkably old! So let’s see if I can bring some new skills to the table this time around.

Let’s look at the sketch in question:

Lincoln_corn_and_octocat_ORIGINAL_SKETCH

On its merits, this is undeniably bad. However, let’s THINK POSITIVE (™) and quietly ignore all the bad stuff and focus solely on the few redeeming qualities.

Redeeming Quality #1: This is completely inexplicable. The cat is looking at me like “Well, here I am. Is this what you wanted? It must be, because you drew me.” And Abraham Lincoln-corn is just as unenthused to be a part of the project, if he’s even sentient.

Redeeming Quality #2: … ?

Now that the sketch has been chosen, it’s time to workshop some possible compositions, because leaving things the way they are is not an option. In addition to looking like it was drawn like a child (oh hey, maybe that’s redeeming quality #2) the overall placement of things in this image is a bit… bad. If I could choose what bugs me the most it’s probably the moon just sitting in the center of the page doing nothing, or the fact that I can’t tell if the stuff in the sky is supposed to be stars or snow. But you know what, I’m just gonna say that they’re stars because this is not something I need to wrack my brain over.

(stares at sketch for three hours)

Enter the thumbnail phase.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is basically my attempt to find something, anything, that looks a bit better on the eyes in terms of placement. Since I have a moon to work with, I want one of the central figures to overlap it in order to add some depth to the proceedings, as well as to stage a dramatic light source. For similar reasons, and to help ground the scene at least slightly, I’m adding a lake and some mountains to the background, and just to add a dash of Thomas Kincade I’m gonna throw in the Northern Lights. And as I continue to draw octo-cats, I am discovering that every time I tried to add paws (as in the original sketch), they keep coming out like weird boobs and I am very not into it, so that little touch is going right out the window. Also, instead of looking directly at the viewer and looking catatonic (respectively) the octo-cat and Abraham Lincoln-thing are looking directly at each other, having some sort of moment.

What kind of moment?

Perhaps a tender good-bye.

 

Lincoln_corn_and_Octo_kitty_Chad_White

Click to Enlarge

SCORE: Abraham Lincoln’s skeleton smacking his own forehead from beyond the grave.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back to Work at the Worm Ranch

worm001

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s 2016 and I remember when we all thought the year 2000 was the distant future and we would all have rocket cars or whatever. How incredibly wrong we were. There are rocket cars, sure, but they’re incredibly dangerous! You can only drive them in the desert and even then you need a parachute.

One of my resolutions this time around is to be better organized, and lo and behold, my New Year’s blog post is only six days late! And the drawing itself is still only from late last year! These are big improvements, is what I am saying.

However,  life has very quickly gotten in the way of my ideals. For example, there is a clock radio three feet away from me that insists that the date is April 3rd. In line with my resolution, I went to fix it, but it turns out that the mechanism that adjusts the date is broken. This led to the following thought process:

The clock radio is broken, and also, I barely use the clock radio for any reason except glancing at the time. Do I throw away the broken clock radio?

The answer, it turns out, is no. I like the broken clock radio. And if you’ve ever wondered how simultaneously boring and indecisive an artist’s life can be, now you have an idea. I am currently writing about one of the most boring objects in the world that also happens to be a miracle of science, but you know, only if you appreciate it. Appreciate your broken clock radios, people.

Anyways, while I was on vacation, I drew this worm drawing thingy.

 

SCORE: A still-uncomfortably wrong reference to parsecs, which measure distance and not time. Yeah, I saw Star Wars and IT ALMOST MADE ME CRY THE WHOLE TIME because I’ve been waiting for a good Star Wars movie for so long it turns out. But you know, I needed a snarky thing here at the end. So to reiterate, you better believe that parsecs measure distance and not time. I’m sure J.J. Abrams threw that in just to make people like me crazy.

Posted in Creature Design, Sketchbook | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Flailing in the Kitchen

chef_attack_800px

Hey guys, there is a new flailer in town, and by “town” I mean “the internet,” and by “new flailer” I mean my sister! It looks like blogging is spreading through my family like a virus, and the only cure is more blogging. In this case, about food! Maybe you guessed that from the drawing of the guy chopping all the food up there.

The blog is called Foodflail. It is literally my sister blog.

It is filled with recipes that plop out of my sister’s brain, and into the oven, which has been preheated to 350 degrees. Wait, you forgot to preheat the oven to 350 degrees?? In that case, you shouldn’t be trusted with these recipes. You should ask an adult to cook for you. Also, what are you doing here? Nobody reads this blog.

Oh, ALSO, I have a guest post on there, because yes, I cook too, LIKE A BOSS. I made up a recipe for some pork tacos that are as easy to make as they are really friggin’ delicious, and are unique and Californian in such a way that you shouldn’t be surprised when the Red Hot Chili Peppers show up unannounced in your kitchen and just start eating most of them, and even though Anthony Keidis is vegetarian, he’ll still be unusually tempted because they are just that good. I don’t know, maybe you could make him some chipotle tempeh at least. Be a good host.

SCORE: A gigantic pile of food that you jump into and gesticulate wildly.

Posted in Digital Art | Leave a comment

Trump!

donald_trump_joker_

You know what the U.S. political system needs more of? Unhinged madness that’s what. We need people who will make you realize that the only problem with Godwin’s Law is that it’s been overused right up to the point when we really need it in order to speak accurately about our Republican candidates’ actual policy promises. So vote for Donald Trump! The only candidate who might literally set America on fire, literally!

Trump 2016

 

SCORE: A subscription to a barrage of conservative email services.

Posted in Digital Art | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Catstravaganza!

A_Meowican_Gothic_500x669px

It’s only a little ironic that I find myself writing this post, a collection of material that is essentially an ode to cats, having suffered a poor night’s sleep specifically due to cats. What can you say about the furry little bastards that hasn’t already been said a hundred million different ways every single day on the internet? Nothing, that’s what. Which is why I made art about them instead.

Hey, have you heard about Cat Town? They are a non-profit organization in Oakland, California that rescues and rehabilitates cats and helps find them homes. They also run a cat cafe, where you can buy coffee and pastries and then go hang with some kitties for an hour or so. They also run a foster network, which is how I ended up adopting my cats, the ones who kept me up last night. Cat Town is great! And now some of my art is hanging up there.

All these things are going up for sale today! The theme is: Cats.

That one up there is called “A Meowican Gothic.” You may be surprised to learn that not only was that the best title I could come up with, it is literally the only thing that this could ever be named. I guarantee that if you sit down to try and think of a better title, you will be shocked to discover that nothing else is even remotely appropriate. I guess that’s what happens when you blatantly copy Grant Wood’s most famous painting and throw cats in it.

Is there more? Duh, of course there is. It’s a catstravaganza! Here’s a tiny little painting on watercolor paper.

kitty_present650px

 

Also, some comics! (Click to enlarge)

11x19_Job_Interview950px

I even cleaned up one of my older comics, which you can see here.

Did I mention all these are for sale at Cat Town Cafe?

It is a whole group show thing, and I’ll be there this afternoon, and depending on how photogenic I am, there may even be some photographs that make their way onto the blog. That will mostly depend on whether a camera exists that won’t cause me to blink at the wrong time.

SCORE: A poor night’s sleep. But also: It’s an art show! That’s actually pretty good. 5/5

Posted in Comics, Digital Art, Traditional Paintings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment