Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Andy Warthog: on the Printfloor

Photo by Dan Rugh of Zdepski's poster, Warthog and Ocelot

Photo by Dan Rugh of Commonwealth Presses print floor, Warthog and Ocelot
Dan Rugh at Commonwealth Press called last night, and after all of the gory details, said the poster was done and being shipped today! Poor guy got hammered with the flu, and a SECOND cornea detachment this year... Heebie-Jeebies.

These two photos are by Dan, showing a close up of the print after the third screen and the shop interior with posters set on all of the stations. He really bent over backwards to get this done, and I can't thank him enough work working it into the schedule. Now I have to to build a frame for the one going into the IC of DC, MD and VA members show on the 7th... that means matte, glass and framing... ughhh.

Tomorrow is being spent working on the Toyota... new starter, should go quickly, then I can start the frame(s). I also have the little deerBaby "Yawn Faun" piece going into the same show... I forget if it's framed... oops.

Bride and I are off to Charlottesville VA for a 20th anniversary jaunt to a BnB. I hope it's not too cold in the Blue Ridge. I hope to shoot a pile of shots around town and on Skyline Drive.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pulp: Dock Cutie Final

Zdepski's Pulp Dock Cutie final, oil on canvas
Zdepski's Pulp Dock Cutie detail, oil on canvas
I knocked out the dock pulp cutie, after a great crit at the Society of Illustrators two weeks ago. Vin Di Fate asked that I create some overlap with the burning barrel and figure, so this is what I developed. I really dug the big skull idea that Dave Labrozzi and Anthony Accardo had in their pieces, so I added a cliché smoke skull in mine. I had tossed around ship types, and in the end I came up with a freighter and a small Harbor tender. My model was Betty Page. I love her look and hair, which I think goes well with the theme of "Pulp". Two weeks too late for class credit, but I had a great time seeing this piece through to the finish.

Friday, November 21, 2008

IF: Opinion... about the Hula

Puapualenalena hulas for the Uhane, by Paul Zdepski
Puapualenalena and the U'hané in a Hula Competition, 2008 - Digital
Page 6 from the Hawai'ian folk story, Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of the Waipi'o Valley by Thomas Cummings, Jr. The Evil/Mischievous U'hané have encircled Puapualenalena and are poo-pooing his attempt at Hula.

They begin to sing a ditty:

He looks so ugly
He sounds too shrilly
He dances poorly,
Truly, truly.

We'll chat as well, but quite, quite sweetly
We'll show him how we dance right fleetly
We'll know he'll know we're very neatly,
The best at chant and dance completely.


Of course... our hero pup wins. Due out in 2009, the story is part of the Trickster project with Matt Dembicki, editor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Andy Warthog Postcard

Paul Zdepski's Andy Warthog promo piece postcard
Here's the postcard that has just gone to the printer. Dan Rugh and the Commonwealth Press crew up in Pittsburgh are pulling the colors as I write this... Three colors, three screens - 40 impressions... limited edition if you're interested. Dan has the chops to pull prints from the ORIGINAL screens of Andy Warhol for the Andy Warhol Museum. He has recently done a Warhol homage with the Anti-Flag Food Bank Benefit poster. Lots of great thinks coming out of his studio. I'm really honored that he is doing these prints, and it adds a bit of cred to my prints since he's taken it on.
Thanks Dan!

Monday, November 17, 2008

NYC: SI Drawing Nights - Tues & Thurs







The models at the Society of Illustrators were really good. Tuesday's session had a jazz trio pumping sounds. There were to Anglo female models, the women were quirky, with cartoonish false eyelashes and hair styles. I was wondering why I hadn't searched for a drawing session like this prior to executing my pulp pieces. These ladies were really "50s Nior". The Thursday session had a blues trio jamming in the background with a AfAm male with long dreds and a chunky redhead with porcelain skin.
Picture 1: Head in near profile. Charcoal pencil on watercolor paper. Good view of the lashes and hairdoo. dig the bow!
Picture 2: I tried some pen and ink, directly without pencil on watercolor to get the feel and to combat my need to control all aspects of the session. The model had a real baby face, which gave it a major Lolita vibe.
Picture 3: TOUCHDOWN! Nude football comes to SI! I like the theatrical nature of this pose, This was the first one of the sessions. Charcoal on watercolor paper
Picture 4: I broke out the Winsor and Newton watercolors on the second night. I wanted to try to get loose, but it didn't always work. This has pen thrown in, which i don't really like... perhaps I should just try to use a darker color with a liner brush to hit those same accents next time.
Picture 5: My favorite of the sessions. If I was a wise Illustrator, you would never see the other pieces posted here, and I would only show you this... It's got everything you want in a watercolor: Fresh, wet, vibrant, instantaneous.
Picture 6: Two models, Four Head and Torso sketches. These were 5 minute poses, watercolor on wc paper.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NYC: Photo Overview

Zdepski's photo of Two Men and a Girl
Zdepski's as photographer by David Brinley
Q Cassetti's photo of B.J. Becker as Cowboy
Zdepski's photo of NY FFs putting out a taxi fire
Ted Lewin and Lizard - photoshoot
zdepski photo of Vin D'Oronfrio in three quarter turn
1: Juxtaposed and poetically lewd, Two Men and a Girl
2: Paul Zdepski photographed by David Brinley... Neckmeat at a Taxi fire! You can see my Fuji camera with it's full lens zoomed. This is the camera i shoot all of these photos with... i really like it.
3: B.J. Becker photographed by Q. Cassetti. B.J. uses the monocle, it's not a prop.
4: Fire Fighters putting out a burning taxi.
5: Ted Lewin and his lunch.
6: Vinny D'Orofrio in 3/4, turned away... this was prior to the full face shot i had posted previously. Some have asked about this photo, but it could be anyone... just a less than average shot.

NYC: Streets

Zdepski's photo of a Chihuly chandelier
Chihuly in a SOHO window, lit in a dark gallery

Zdepski's photo of Evolution store window

Evolution's window a stuffed Peacock, shrunken head, boney bits and science instruments. I want to buy one of those Nautilus shells via their website.

Zdepski's photo of skulls at Evolution
Skulls in Evolution's bone gallery. I call this shot "The Jury", as if they are all staring out from beyond.

zdepski photo of Pulp hotties in tile, from NYC
These pulp mosaics caught our eye, especially after the pulp project for Vin De Fate. We were all over this place. Dazzling is the best description of the whole gallery... a big use of mirror and metallics.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NYC: Day 5: Peter de Seve and Burt Silverman... two Giants



Each of the final day's illustrators has a story and philosophy unique and personal. Burt Silverman, an intellectual and searching artist ferreting out the soul of the sitter, trying to capture the core essence of his subject, and Peter de Seve, equally serious, but relying on gut intuition to dictate his lyrical line. Peter started us off with his early influences; Frazetta, like me. He showed his brilliant New Yorker covers, and finished off with his characters from Finding Nemo, Robots, Ice Age and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Burt settled upon drawing as the basis for painting and the spirit of the illustration. He focused on capturing the moment with the model and a subject as being the most important. I was enamored with his brilliance and depth. He draws like an angel, but seems to never show how thoughtful his line is... It reminds me of listening to a musical master... the instrument subsides, but the music evokes something other than a song. Burt has all of that in his work. I feel honored to have met him.... well EVERYONE at the Society of Illustrator's Week!

Dave Labrozzi and I spent the afternoon, post dispersal in the SoHo area... Chinatown was a pile of confusion, fish markets and auspicious figurines. Little Italy was neon, waiters and Espresso on the street. We hit Evolution for the best in new and old bones, fossils and odd items, then gallery after gallery of wonderful art. I'm very sorry to have miss Chad's group, but Dave had a number of posters to send to print and was waiting for confirmation before hitting the subway downtown. Next time, I need to be sure Q and Chad are able to pencil me in for dinner or bowling.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NYC: Day 4: Zina, Joe C, Ms. Phelps and The Illustration House.


Zina Saunders was a riot. She is so energetic and frenetic - full of zip and ideas. She talked about her need to self perpetuate jobs, journalistic illustrations and her drive. What a great inspiration! She is a fully digital artist, after beginning to use the computer in the early 1990s.

Joe Ciardiello was a breath of fresh air for me. His watercolor washes are exquisite. After Joe's talk about the many, many jobs with the New Yorker, Newsweek, etc, I approached him about technique... He mentioned the Koh-i-noor Rapidograph company in Bloomsbury NJ, near to where I grew up...
"Oh Really?" he asked...
"Yeah, Milford"
"Oh Really, I live near Milford..." He says.
"Stamets Road, I grew up on Stamets Road."
"I live in Mt. Pleasant, the other end of Stamets Road."
... short story long, Joe lives behind my Uncle Johnny, over by the SPCA in Mt. Pleasant... Such a small world!


Cheryl Phelps had a TON of information to give us on Licensing our work for dispersal and sale. She tired to rattle off 4 hours of info into one hour... I typed as fast as possible, but it was great to know she gives a few seminars per year and is available for consultation via phone and the internet. I learned a lot from her. I hope to get moving on some of those ideas within the next two years.


Illustration House, at 110 W 25th street way downtown, houses some of the finest in American Illustration from the golden era. The Reeds, Walt and son Rodger were gracious with their gallery and knowledge to give us all history lessons on known and obscure figures in our Illustration lineage. They have a marvelous and exhaustive book out on the subject, but were very willing to give us all the Cliffs Notes version.

David and I returned to the hotel in the driving rain, dropping our bags and picking up our drawing materials for another round of figure drawing at the Society. I had an excellent night, with a lovely experience with watercolor washes on figure drawings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NYC: Day 3: Roth, Abraham, Lewins and Law and Order

zdepski's photo of Arnold Roth
zdepski's photo of the chrysler buiding
zdepski's photo of Vincent D’Onofrio
Arnold Roth, humorist and illustrator of pieces found in the New Yorker, Smithsonian, Saturday Evening Post kept us in stitches as he recounted some really terrific stories. Roth's lecture was followed quickly by Illustration and copyright lawyer Daniel Abraham. He laid down the law, literally. I picked up tons of useful information. I hope to remember it all... I still have my notes. Lunch was quick as I met for a handshake and card drop with two gracious editors from Simon and Shuster that had stopped over upon request of Mike Wimmer. They gave me their cards and said to drop them a note when the books are ready to shop. Bob and Ted went through all of our best photos from the shoot.... topping 136 or more. The place was roaring with some of the dramatic and humorous effects we got with the models and lighting. Upon my quick jaunt to Central Park after the photo crit, I ran into the Law and Order film crew, and my wife and daughter's favorite actor, Vincent D’Onofrio was standing outside, two doors down from the Society of Illustrators. I took his photo, as he caught my camera. I shrugged my shoulders and said, "It's for my wife... we love your work." and he said, "No problem, man." My brush with TV serials...
Fun times in NYC.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NYC: Day 2: Brooklyn, Pratt and the Lewins

Zdepskis photo of Ted Lewin and MFA students
Zdepskis photo of Betsy Lewins desk and sketches
Zdepskis photo of the Pratt dynamo
Zdepskis portrait of Murray Tinkelman in green and orange
Off on a quest to Brooklyn and the old brownstone neighborhood where Ted and Betsy Lewin reside. They are no more than half a block from Pratt Art and Design school, a beautiful campus and destination in its own right. We had multiple tours and lectures, from the history of lighting and perspective in painting and photography from Bill Kontzias, a photographer and teacher at Pratt, to studio tours of both Ted and Betsy's spaces, Pratt's many mysterious and wonderful hidden treasures: The Dynamo Room, the Tiffany stairwell and the current show of Ted and Betsy's travels.
Back to Midtown, and now off to the Society of Illustrators for an evening of life drawing; If anything is worthy, I'll post it tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NYC: Day 1: Brodner and Dillon Lectures


Steve Brodner, Illustrator, lectured first thing at the Society of Illustrators
Chad Grohman peeks at the camera as MFA students catch up with eachother
We all found our way to the Society of Illustrators by 8:30, after schlepping portfolios, tubes and backpacks through the morning rush on the streets. Coffee was hot and everyone was catching up since our July session. By 9:30, editorial artist Steve Brodner was in full swing, still energized by the recent election buzz and all things political. He lectured on his work, motivation, style and direction. Brodner wrapped up the hour with a full showing of his New Yorker web cast editorial pieces from youtube.

We broke for lunch and i wolfed down a meatloaf sandwich (currently dealing with a bad acid reflux from it... ughh...) a hamburger on a slab of rye, then i met with my thesis adviser, Bill Thompson. I have some lofty goals for my two years, and will need to hunker down into production mode between now and the March session.

We were back in or seats by 1pm with the Dillons, a husband and wife illustration team. they claim to have three artists in their house, Leo and Diane and the third entity that is their joint efforts. Quite a fascinating team. They always seem to be experimenting. I like their approach.

A exhibit of original children's story artwork is hanging in the SI gallery, and I got to see my favorite watercolorist, Hardie Gramatky and a couple of his Lil' Toot images. Earl Lewis, and old instructor from UARTS is on the walls, as well as a couple of my fellow MFA students... I feel like I've got to kick it into gear to keep up with these guys!

We have a studio tour and photoshoot at the Lewin's in Brooklyn in the morning... They live across from Pratt, so if I get too lost with the three trains I have to take, I can always ask for directions to Pratt.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NYC: Day 1 Minus 1

zdepskis photo out the ninth floor window of the pod hotel on the east side
Checked in: 9th floor of the POD hotel of E. 51st street. Got an email from Q that she's still on a bus. No pings from Randy or Chad, but I expect to see everyone in the morning at the Society of Illustrators. We meet at 8:30 and have our first lecture at 9:30. Gearing up for it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

IF: Wise... in more ways than one

zdepski's pig painting, thinking
zdepski's owl sketch, turned digital via Adobe Illustrator
Mr. Piggy has a knowing look on his face... he knows how to lay low when the farmer is looking for volunteers, he zigs when the lesser swine zag. He was done in oil on a small canvas board.

Hootie the Barred Owl was quickly sketched while my brother held him, wrapped in a towel after a rescue from a barbed wire fence. He went to a raptor rescue center and released after his wing was fully healed. This conté sketch was vectorized in Illustrator when I was experimenting with the program, so I guess it's digital.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After... we emerged from our bunkers... squinting at the sun.


Smoke clearing from the campaign... no rioting in the town of Strasburg... my neighbors didn't burn the street to the ground. I will say the town and county did go with McCain, but it was certainly closer than I expected. VA made a flip, thanks to the NOVA area and Richmond. I thought the old-South was going to have a greater sway than it did. My mom did her student teaching down here in the late 40s... all Jim Crow and poor black kids on common benches with little slabs of slate with chalk in hand... really sad, while the white kids, three miles away had the most modern desks, books, pens and inkwells.

Trying to be the modern man, my lovely bride finally asked who I voted for last night. I didn't want to tell her, so not to influence her choice. It ends up we voted for exactly the same candidates all the way down the list... weird what 23 years of knowing someone will do. Now, lets hope those choices can live up to the job! It's not going to be easy... it's a new world out there, but that can be to our benefit with new changes to be made!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

At a Monitor Crossroad


Wacom Cintiq is tempting me like the Sirens of yore... with me headed towards the rocks of financial ruin to cuddle with their stylus pen. Foul TEMPTRESS! Check this out with Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert drawing a few panels for his strip.

Those of you that know my studio situation, know I currently have to turn the lights out to see my monitor... the ol' Sony isn't long for this world, and I have to scramble for a replacement. I asked the tech folks at Wacom if this could double as a monitor, and they said, "Damn Skippy!", so I am leaning further and further towards the rocks. I have to justify it over four - five years of usage, which is actually short for me... I'm still using my teal iMac from '98 for the kids. I will also partner this with the full Painter edition, and a few choice Photoshop plugins... damn, i forgot, I'm already two versions back on the Creative Suite, running CS2. Bleeding money, left and right... and still the Sirens sing... "Paulie... We're sooooo Cooooool and Affordable with flexible credit terms..... dooowop, dooowop...."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Sketches

Zdepski's Halloween 2008 sketches
This Halloween, I had to stay out on the porch while all of the kiddies came clamoring up my drive, huffing and puffing, but grabbing like wolves. Moms that came up were always pissy because my drive is so steep. I had my fountain pen and pad of Bristol board out, sketching my impressions of the folks that came by. We didn't have as many kids this year, and the neighborhood looked much darker than usual. I wonder if the economy has anything to do with it... I got a good dose of the folks that make up the town. Many of the outlying hinterland Volk make it into the populated areas on Halloween night, showing off their spawn like Jon Bonet Ramsy