Symbols, Definitions, and Representation (A Study of a Park)

A little over a month ago my wonderful mother got me a drawing tablet for my birthday, and since then I’ve been brushing up on my skills and working on a new webcomic. More on that some other time!

The comic’s main character lives near a park with a lake, so I’ve started doing some work on that front since it’s been a while since I’ve drawn outdoorsy stuff. (In ‘analog’ painting, trees are, in fact, my nemesis.)

So I was tooling around the Internet trying to find information on how to draw a tree. There’s a lot of good stuff out there! And a lot of bad stuff. But I was surprised, I guess, to find so many talented artists writing up freely available tutorials. This wasn’t something you would’ve found when I was last seriously Doing Art in my teens and early 20s.

I say I guess I was surprised because lots of people are doing lots of high-quality hobbyist writing out there nowadays. Some folks write about areas of interest, some folks write about a their profession, the lucky ones find little gap between the two. So of course there’s going to be a lot of good content about drawing. It just wasn’t something that I had available to me when I was younger, and I’m jealous of people who do. Which is stupid, since obviously I have access to this as well, but I’m not slightly younger than myself, so, jealousy. Being human is hilarious.

Continue reading

A Deconstructed Portrait of the King – Bangkok 2017 pt. 3

Greetings from a cafe named Dexter, probably not after the serial killer.

Yesterday we went to the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC), which will apparently like your posts on Instagram if you tag them there. It seemed to be, essentially, a modern art museum without any permanent exhibits from the new masters. It had some pretty cool stuff! And it was for the most part cultural art, which I guess makes sense when you consider the name.

Much of the Center’s offerings were dedicated to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was very, very popular around these parts. Very very. I don’t know as much about him as I should, but might very well pick up a book on him. Trying to understand Thailand very well, without understanding Bhumibol, seems pretty impossible.

Anyway, he died in October, and they’re still officially in mourning. The very front of the museum, right at the big National Stadium rail stop, featured the exhibit 5 Graffiti Artists in Remembrance of H.M. King Bhumibol.

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Pretty cool stuff. I recognized a couple of the artists from their works around town. Continue reading

Eel Pie Island Eel Pie Co.

First, a bit from draft 2:

James F.X. “Nuts” Adams sat on the pier waiting for the eel trawler to come in from the river. He drummed his fingers on the weather-worn wood. It hadn’t been varnished in a while. The splinter under his fingernail could attest to that. He’d just have to go ahead and add ‘re-varnish the pier’ to the chore list back at the eelhouse.

The eelhouse sat up on the hill behind him. EEL PIE ISLAND EEL PIE Co., read the old company sign. (Great granddad must have really strained himself, coming up with that name.) Like the pier, the sign was in dire need of re-varnishing. The whole building was. For that matter, so was everything else in London that had survived the Blitz. It wasn’t quite like that over on the Continent. Mom and dad liked to blame the weather for this, though what a bunch of clouds could have to do with it was beyond Nuts. He preferred to chalk it up to some sort of original sin unique to the English.

It smelled like woodsmoke and eels, inside the eelhouse. Frozen eel, dried eel, eel guts that could probably have been taken out back a little while ago. Empty fish tanks, about half of them shattered, adorned the walls. Eel pies baked in the wood-fired ovens. Nuts, Kate, and Blake sat by a hearth. They were wrapped in blankets and had their hands out to the glowing coals. Kate was still wringing out her hair and drinking brandy. Blake was coughing up river water and Nuts was shivering. Every so often, Kate would add a sentence or two to her story.

The front room of the eelhouse wasn’t a dining room, not quite. It had tables and chairs, yeah, but also a cash register and some supplies hidden poorly under sackcloth. The Co. wasn’t exactly a tourist attraction, but they got visitors from time to time, and it was nice to have a little place for them to sit. A small rack of pamphlets graced the wall by the door and a corkboard with assorted pictures hung from another.

Nuts and Cornelius and Kate sat at one of the tables. They had a little radio plugged in on the next table over. There was an eel pie, one of the big ones, steaming at the table with the radio, and Nuts and Cornelius had slices on plates in front of them. Kate said she wasn’t hungry.

Second, a friend of mine did some drawings!

Here they are, with and without some Instagram filters.

The Fish Meta: Gavriel Vartanian

So Gavriel was always supposed to be a throwaway character but I ended up falling in love with writing him. I’m trying to keep him not too much in the spotlight–more like Hubertus Bigend in the Gibson novels, if you’ve read those.

Anyway, I got a great discount on a commission for a line-drawing of a character (via http://larimetaylor.com/) and decided to go with Gavriel. Here he is:

Gavriel (1)

I love it.