Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Does signing the pots count?

Circa summer 2011
Part of my signature on the bottom of pots I make includes a little doodle...not sure I can get it to show up on camera, however. So over the last couple of days I've been throwing bowls and a few mugs. Throwing is jargon for making pots on the wheel, lest you think I'm reporting on behavior that might suggest anger management issues. You tube videos are immensely helpful particularly when you find a presenter who a. is good at their trade and b. can articulate their ideas clearly. Lucky me....I've found some excellent presenters.

I think I'll check for drawing cartoon demos. I've seen one or two and will look into it further.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Hearts Everywhere-Fancier than a doodle

This one was on our laptop screen
My crafty wife left hearts she made for me as she prepared for a trip to see a friend and to...you guessed it to spend focused time working on crafts. These hearts are appearing in lots of places and they make me smile when I find them....one on my potter's wheel...one on the computer. Nice to know somebody loves you and likes to let you know.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

He looks like somebody...I can't decide exactly whom
The recent creative challenge with our defunct calendar page: Some writing from the front bled through to the back. I decided to try to connect the  lines and make a face. I also decided to draw with my non dominant hand (left hand as an adult. As a child and adolescent I was fairly ambidextrous. Kids who played baseball with me would heartily agree that whether I threw left or right handed, the results were wildly  errant and abjectly short of the target.  Now isn't this about the longest parenthetical you've read in quite some time?)
So I drew left handed using what the paper gave me. Does this guy look a bit like William H Macy? I thought maybe he or Ronald Reagan resemble this mug. Another suggestion was James Garner. Your thoughts?

Monday, 22 April 2013

OT rides again (or draws)

Drawn for the student newspaper the "Retort" at Eastern Montana College circa late 1970's
I've been going through old news clippings and letters from my college days and from my earlier career(s) in broadcasting. This little gem brings back lots of memories and feelings of gratitude and humility.
My first year of college was taken at Eastern Montana College, now called Montana State University at Billings. I had quite a bit of fun there and people were incredibly supportive (tolerant?) whenever I'd want to try something....like writing for a student paper and drawing cartoons.

This particular paper already had excellent writers. Also, they had a cartoonist who did brilliant work with satire of events happening on campus. This cartoonist was very generous and kind with critique and was the first to say..."Yeah, you should draw that...let's have Robin publish it!". I saw some of the cartoons he did back then...the art and the writing were exceptional and it's a wonder he didn't become a syndicated columnist....wonder whatever happened to ol' Jeff.

Who was this "OT Fogelberg" anyway? I came up with a nom de plume because I thought if I used my own name as a byline and the story was about me (which happened once) or that the cartoon was also by me that might be a problem...so OT Fogelberg came to be. How this name got chosen was unclear to me then and now. I guess I liked the sound of it. The editor and the staff kind of liked it because around the office people called me "OT"...

In the end, this little nostalgia trip says more about the kindness of people than it does about my artistic prowess. Truth told...I think that makes a much better story anyway.
                            30 (any journalists out there remember this code?)

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Prestige

Years ago we saw a movie with the title of today's post. The explanation of a magician's stunts is called the prestige. I lay no claim to being a magician. I'm just a guy who likes to doodle.
Today,  I'd like to share a bit from a wonderful cartoonist and writer whose work has given me some ideas to play with. Robin Hall wrote a delightful book in 1995 called The Cartoonist's Workbook. I use many of his techniques as I doodle and make little "bartoons".
Mr. Hall  sketches and defines some eight steps to draw a character---my illustrations reflect some of those steps in roughly the same order, with some of the steps combined.(following exact sequences has always been a problem for me and likely explains many of my struggles in school). Anyhow...With many thanks to Robin Hall, whom I have yet to meet, I offer this little "demo" ...
Imagine an old fashioned keyhole
Add a nose and point it in the direction you want "Keyhole Ken" to  go
Add the mouth and a bit of hair and some eyebrows
Add "L" shaped arms--I tossed in a 'stache too
Three "leg lines"
Hands and feet--Hall ends the "demo" at this stage
Some details in the clothing....a little line near the feet to "ground the character" and some shadow for depth. Ta dah!
Lest you think that Mr. Hall offers only a "gimmick" or a quickie technique....he takes us through the many ways to add expression, motion, detail and even scenes to bring "key hole Ken" and all his relatives and animal friends to life.  Below is a sampling.....
Motion, expression, clothing detail....scenes....all starting from Mr. Hall's "keyhole"

And there you have it.... a bit of practice, all of which is fun, fun, fun, and you've got some doodling and maybe cartoons to put in your sketchbook and your blog. Let me know how it goes. If you find a copy of Mr. Hall's book, add it to your library. Nope, no commission for me.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

More fun than crayons

I have "appropriated" my dear spouse's water color pencils and a water brush---a gizmo that has a brush at the end of a hollow tube containing water (not related to a thurible...see yesterday's post). The idea is that the water spreads the color and you can dilute it into some fine washes or use bolder color. I tried making rough outlines or basic shapes with the color, then washed them out. After that I drew in the detail with some Prisma Ink permanent/archival markers. 
I'm sure many artists and cartoonists have used these implements "forever". For me the experience is like getting a new toy and I'm having fun trying out combinations of ink and paint. I'm inspired to check out some childrens books with these illustration techniques.

Ink over water color...or colour for our European and Canadian friends

Monday, 8 April 2013

Where there's smoke...

Father ain't usin' the thurible today. Should we worry?

Other cartoonists have probably ventured here and used the word "thurible" in their work.New territory for me. The word refers to the thingee some priests and pastors use to disperse incense into a worship space. I personally became "low church" by accident. I'm very allergic to incense and to Easter lilies.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Making Marks

Sometimes when I see  graffiti sprayed onto the rail cars of passing trains, I find myself drawn to the shapes, colors, textures and flow of the work. I find some of it beautiful even if I'm oblivious to the artist's-- or the "patron's" agenda. Some of the other tags are just harsh marks perhaps meant to slash and shock.

The idea of the artist's intent intrigues me, evidently: Can one enjoy form, value, color and the rest without connecting with the artist's agenda or intent?
We'll steal you some more of that muse stuff, now just keep tagging!
The character of the tagger lost something from pencil to final...so if I were "publishing" I'd be in "do over" mode. I was playing with water color pencils and blending pens my wife has for card making and other art projects. Fun for cartooning, I'd say.