Monday, August 28, 2006

Reintroducing Bernice

Some of you may recognize this lady:

Yep, it's Bernice, one of the main attractions of my throwaway portfolio. Here she is again, from the latest page in my sketchbook. If you've looked at this blog before, you'll have noticed that none of the characters who've appeared here have appeared more than once, so it was high time that I showed I could draw a single character several times and make each drawing recognizable as the same character. The results, I fear, are mixed. But this is the first time I've drawn Bernice since I prepared my portfolio, and back then I hadn't drawn much more of her than appears here, so I hope I'll be pardoned for not settling on her visage yet. She's a game gal, so I think she forgives me.

I have some ideas of Bernice's character and background, which I try to convey when I draw her. She has a wry sense of humour with some tendency to snarkiness, she's tolerant and mainly nonjudgmental, she's somewhat self-absorbed but not annoyingly so, she has some sort of office job at some large company, she's been married (I don't think she still is) and had at least one kid, and is coy about her romantic life. Further details will probably develop as I draw her some more.

More sketches already?!

Yep, here's my second page of sketches in five hours. I'm really crappin' 'em out tonight, aren't I? Don't answer that.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sketches and more

What a weekend. Yesterday morning my phone rang and when I answered I heard a child's bright voice say "Hi, Uncle Michael!" It was my seven-year-old nephew, my brother and sister-in-law's little boy. He called me -- or rather was put up by his parents to call me -- to tell me that he and mommy and daddy were coming in from Abbotsford that afternoon to take in the PNE, and would I join them, pretty please? Because I like my nephew and am averse to disappointing him, I said yes. Also, I hadn't been to the PNE in over twenty years and forgotten what it was like. If I had remembered, I'd have offered to buy him a pony instead. No, I exaggerate. For the first two hours I was oppressed by the seemingly endless sea of strangers and the rides that threatened to sling me out of my seat head first onto the pavement, but after that I perked up and managed at least to enjoy watching people enjoying the rides I avoided for my cranium's sake. All told, not an ill-spent day at all. And my nephew seemed grateful for tagging along with him -- possibly in no small part because I let him talk me into buying him a Turbo Twister remote-control toy car. (I'd provide a link to a picture of this, but I can't find a site from which I can be sure of not picking up a virus.)

I spent today at home, as the last breather before the deadline at Mercury in less than two weeks. I'd been puttering aimlessly but pleasantly at home until mid-afternoon, when I remembered that there was a comic con at Heritage Hall today. It would have been almost over by the time I could get there. Bah. Well, at least nobody was expecting to meet me there.

Oh, yes, I have some sketches to show today. Here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More patrons of public transit

The two drawings on the right in the top row are of the same girl. I drew her chin differently each time; I can't remember which is correct.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bus-riders, bellowing chanteurs, and more

Another page from the ol' sketchpad:

The lady in the upper right corner and the gentleman directly beneath her are fellow bus-riders; the rest are products of my fancy. I like the two views of the singer in the leisure suit. I imagine him sounding like Tom Jones, only he's even louder and more obnoxious, albeit in a charming way. ("It's not unusual that I'm loved by all of you", da na-na na-na-na...) I tried not to cut the bottoms of his feet off, but couldn't avoid that without instead nicking the cap of the guy in overalls. My sketchbook is 12 inches long and the face of my scanner is about a quarter-inch shorter than that, and since I like to stuff a page with doodles it's a matter of luck if nothing gets trimmed from one of my pages on its way up here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Seabus sketches

Last week, on my trip via Seabus to Mercury, I made a modest essay, my first in a long time, at drawing from life -- that is, sketching strangers discreetly in public. Here's the first of the lot:

The bottom four drawings are of the same person -- a strikingly attractive fortyish woman of somewhat Latin appearance, to whom I fear my scratchings do something less than full justice. In the upper left corner is another Seabus rider, rather less striking but still deserving the justice I haven't quite carried out. The character in the upper right corner is a figment of my imagination who insisted on occupying the same page as the stately Latina.

Here's another Seabus rider I saw the following day, accompanied by another figment of my imagination. I'll let you make up your own mind which is which.

Here's yet another patron of the ferry, verily surrounded by creatures of my own invention (all benign, to all appearances). I didn't actually draw him on the spot; I committed his appearance to memory and drew him several hours later during a lull in work at the studio. Drawing from memory is something I've been meaning to practise; I think it'd help to make me more observant, to sharpen my recollection, and generally to keep the old fusebox in fine fettle. I'll be doing more of these soon. I announce this now so I'll be prompted to follow through by the fear of being razzed by my reading public for not doing it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Recent doodles

Like the title says:

I seem to be repeating myself. Readers of this blog will recall seeing the likes of that, um, generously upholstered lady in the lower left corner. And I've drawn enough guys with guitars for every street corner in downtown Vancouver. Best try to vary my output, or I'll end up drawing nothing but middle-aged matrons bashing away on Gibsons.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Me, by mine own hand:

More flattering than any photograph. No kidding.