Saturday, January 31, 2009

IF: Flawed Flotation

Zdepski's watercolor painting Flawed Flotation
Flawed it is the theme... without getting to negative, I thought of summer camp and the many half-baked rowboats they had in the water. I've been a fan of Hardie Gramatky and recently studying the fantastic lithographs of John A. Noble, each a master of water and ships. Hardie had a ability to allow the watercolor to work for him in a calligraphic way, and John knew his water and ships by hard-scrabble living on the docks of New Jersey. I suggest you look at both for inspiration.

This little guy got about 15 feet off the dock when the flaw was found... thank heaven for the life vest.

Flawed Flotation, WnN watercolor on Fabriano
Click the Pic to make it larger.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two Fingers: Django-J'attendrai

love those dreadnought sized guitars! i've only ever heard django play on record and cd, never seen him play. amazed that those rocket runs up the fretboard are only a single string slide. i always assumed he had four fingers on the board. - great stuff

Saturday, January 24, 2009

IF: Climbing for Biscuits

zdepski's Watercolor for Illustration Friday, Climing
zdepski's drawing for Illustration Friday, Climing
Dogbabies Daniel and Cassy are getting into stuff they shouldn't... WHO LEFT THAT LADDER OUT?!!

They found the "Dog Bonz" stash on top of the 'fridge.

Click to make them larger.

top: WnN watercolor and ink on Fabriano
bottom: Pencil on Strathmore.

Friday, January 23, 2009


zdepski's animal babies from his sketchbook, watercolor and ink
zdepski's animal babies from his sketchbook, graphite
here's a few animalBaby-types from my sketchbook. i have to add a couple to a one of my ABC illos - these are all on strathmore, graphite, then watercolor and WnN brown ink.

click to make them bigger.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A is for Ava - Color Sketch

Zdepski's watercolor painting for A is for Ava, always alone
Watercolor on Fabriano. I have the watermark bleeding through in places, which i could remove digitally. Ava is all alone in the Tire Pile... loneliest place on earth.

Click to make it bigger.

Monday, January 19, 2009


zdepski's watercolor of SpaceKid variation 2
zdepski's watercolor of SpaceKid variation 1
zdepski's drawing of SpaceKid
As always, Click the Pic to see it larger.
My watercolor work has been all consuming - i haven't touched oil since my pulp illustrations for Vin DeFate. I did the drawing on the bottom during a New Year's Eve gathering in the Moleskine. I'm hoping to discover some new things about washes and limited pallet. If you check the previous post, I did a two color piece with red and yellow that got me thinking very hard about those old illustrations with limited color use. Check out some of the old NC Wyeth pieces, which are basically grisaille with yellow knocked in for enhancement. I'm not that limited, but i do want to keep it as simple as possible. I used two base colors for the broad wash, then the addition of one more and the paper-mixed derivatives that developed.

top: Spacekid 3 - WnN watecolor, WnN nutbrown ink on Fabriano paper
middle: Spacekid 2 - WnN watecolor, WnN nutbrown ink on Fabriano paper
bottom: space kid 1 - pencil on Moleskine sketch paper, enhanced contrast

Saturday, January 17, 2009

IF: Pale with pox

zdepski's watercolor of chickenpox

zdepski's 2 color watercolor of chickenpox

zdepski's dogbaby pencil drawing of chicken pox
Click the Pic to make it bigger.

DogBaby Petey is down with Pox. He's getting bed rest, but the tickle in his throat is keeping him awake. The chicken pox aren't that itchy yet, but the fever is making him sweat.

Top: Full Pallet W&N Watercolor, brown W&N ink on Fabriano
Middle: Two Color W&N Watercolor, brown W&N ink on Fabriano
Bottom: Original pencil drawing on Strathmore, enhanced contrast

I looked to my heros, Hardie Gramatky and Fedor Rojankovsky for inspiration. I plan on including them in my thesis influences. I was fortunate enough to see Hardie's work at the Society of Illustrators back in November, but I will be searching in earnest to find an example of Fedor's work in a gallery or museum. Sorry to people who know their skills... I don't hold up well next to them. I love their control and seemingly immediate styles. I know there are years of mastery behind each brush stroke, but I want to get there eventually too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Passing of Number Six

Patrick McGoohan moves on at the age of 80. sorry to hear it.

i was terrified of the weather balloon sentry that popped up and smothered the prisoners attempting to escape. I loved his black and yellow Lotus, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beatles... rough draft

zdepski's version of the Beatles characters
john-paul-george-n-ringo, together again as "super-deformed" bobbleheads. i think i may vecorize them and make a goofy little piece from it. it's a time burner, but i think it's more positive than my Charlie Manson idea (previous posts)

I yanked the word logo off the web... i'm so friggen lazy, but it's just a comp idea right now.

- dogBabies need to be in the front of my docket, but these other ideas keep coming to me, especially while on the treadmill. i have to get them out while they're fresh... like bagels.

I always liked 60s-80s Anime

Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet: He played the majority of instruments on this CD, which is also why the backing vocals have a singular quality - he's all over it like stink on a monkey.

First, there was Speed Racer, then Starblazers, followed by Voltron... I currently watch Cowboy Bebop with sidetracks into Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Unfortunately for me, a pile of my feature length anime, such as Akira and Princes Mononoke, was ripped off during the "Junkies" saga... Read my PDF if you want to know more: The Junkies PDF

off the path: Here's the dude from "My Name is Earl" in an old Redd Kross video. He looks like a little kid!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Charlie Manson and the Beatles: New Icon

zdepski's ink sketch of Charlie Manson Icon with Beatles
zdepski's sketch of charlie manson family photos
zdepski's sketch of bobby getting bone
zdepski's sketch of cassy stalking cats
Manson is a recurring image in my lexicon of subjects. I saw him being escorted through the hallway when on trial, noticing how high his hairline was. I thought he looked like an anime super-deformed bobble head. I then launched into the Beatles and trying to make them similar in a bobble head sort of way.

1: This ink was sketch is a foundation, if not a crucible for ideas in a final piece. I can't call it a final piece, but i do like many of the immediate elements.

2: Manson in pencil with two of his relatives - Sort of a group of pictures you may see on a baby grand piano or mantle piece.

3: Bobby getting his bone prior to burial of said bone, pencil in my sketchbook. very early thought process

4: Cassy stalking the cat, prior to capture - same, very much a rough thought from the workbook.

Click to make them bigger.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snuggie: Why me?

my sooper came through the office distributing Snuggies for all, just to yank the chain of one of my co-workers. it's gonna look like a room full of Friars since most of us are balding. We're gonna pull chains tomorrow morning. i'll let you know how it goes. The whole idea of wearing a blanket seems like a slobs idea of comfort, but I'll go along with the joke.

1/9: Well, it was pretty silly. the guys put on the snuggies and sampled the free reading light that came with them. The warrior monk look was in full effect. I brought mine home, and everyone refuses to wear it. Oh well, Snuggie is a fashion failure at my house. I guess we're just a bit too warm blooded to appreciate it.

On another thread... my son is trying to get me back into training so I can wrestle again... he has no idea. (he's 8) He owns a whistle and made me do 60,000 pushups this morning. I only did 22. I pussed out before I cramped up. I found this video for when he asks me what the 80s were like... I couldn't stand the radio.
Minor Threat, Live:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ted Lewin Behaving Badly: Charcoal WC

zdepski's painting of Ted Lewin as Zombie Maker in charcoal watercolor medium
zdepski's painting Goat Juice with charcoal watercolor medium
zdepski's first wash effort with charcoal watercolor mediumzdepski's first effort with charcoal watercolor medium
I've found a cache of Artista brand charcoal watercolor pans that were purchased from old Mr. Graf's estate in Easton Pa when I was a teenager. Mr. Graf was a machinist and weekend artist. My father took me to his estate auction and purchased every piece of studio equipment and supply that he owned. I had two pickups full of canvas, fine oil, watercolor, stretchers of every length, paper, easels, calipers, etc... If he didn't buy it, he made a machinist's version... solid as a rock: my easel for example.

So, I re-discovered these little pans of charcoal mixed with gum arabic and in these metal half-pans. I popped a pan into my drawing kit, along with a couple of white sable brushes (cheap but good spring) and have been messing around in the last couple of days.

Charcoal 1: Ted Lewin, author and illustrator (Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame), holding a modified ram's skull over fellow MFA'er, Eileen San Felipe. I call it "Zombie Maker". I knocked this out in a short sitting... not sure if i like the tiny ted or not... Q thinks he looks like a demented little demon - which, if you knew him, is furthest from the truth... however during his professional wrestling career in the 50s, he would have made you eat your own foot.
Charcoal 2: "Goat Juice"... don't ask, I don't know why... I just do them.
Charcoal 3: "Bear Hunt" done in the moleskine, edge to edge of a page as a test to see how the wet charcoal would handle large wash areas... i haven't tried it with an extender yet, but will.
Charcoal 4: "Charcoal Head" my first effort with the medium... I had just started it as a simple sphere exercise.
As always, you have to click them to see them bigger.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Virgina: An Outing to Luray

Zdepski's photo in Luray Caverns
Zdepski's photo of old auto in Luray
Zdepski's photo on Virginia's Skyline Drive
Zdepski's photo of wife and son on Virginia's Skyline Drive
Two weeks ago, my lovely bride, son and nephew Stephen drove down the first 40 miles of the Skyline Drive National Park to the town of Luray VA, and the Luray Caverns. We have a great time walking the mile and a quarter 90+ feet underground. The formations are impressive, immense and infinitely variable, depending on your vantage point. I shot over 300 images of the cave interior - see them as a source for outerspace, innerspace and creepy haunted cave images. The cavern folks also have a fantastic auto museum with a bunch of old Packards, Hupp Mobiles, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and a slew of obscure names that have been filed in the history books. I loved the old French towncars, Bugatti and Delahaye (sp?)
Photo 1: Luray Caverns
Photo 2: Luray Auto Museum
Photo 3: Skyline Drive view of the North Branch of the Shenandoah River, looking North-West towards Winchester with a rock formation in the foreground.
Photo 4: Noelle and Nikita in the classic tourist posture of pointing at something we can't see.
click to make them bigger.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NYC Reaction Painting: dogbabies skating

zdepski's watercolor of NYC skating dogbabies
zdepski's watercolor of NYC skating dogbabies
Here they are - The scene is about 4 blocks from Times Square in Manhattan. Much more dramatic and a bigger challenge. These are two attempts at the same theme. I used a bit more prismatic color in one, and a more limited pallet in the other. Both are watercolor on Fabriano hot press paper. I may pop into one of them with pen and ink, but I'm not sure if it's needed. Compared with the Brooklyn piece, I think this is the way to go... not screwing with the brand.

click on them to make them bigger.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Not for Kiddies: Dogbabies in Brooklyn

Brooklyn puppies by Paul Zdepski
i think this got a bit overboard. my original idea had 4 sets of dog boobs in a tube top. i only did one version of this before i got the other idea that will be the actual NYC reaction piece. This was inspired by the brownstone buildings over by Pratt in Brooklyn, but I think it could be Trenton NJ, Philly or Boston... nothing in the composition says New York, which bugs me. I'm just posting it to share my failures along the way.
watercolor on bristol, click to see it larger.

Mel Tormé - Jazz Casual

At least 50 years old... i can't make out the latin numerals in the poor video credits at the end, but that's educational television.

Just check out that bass player during the Rt. 66 scat - smokin'....

comin' home baby & route 66
mel tormé and the benny barth trio
mel tormé: vocals
benny barth: drums
gary long piano
perry lind: bass

MINUTE 2:65 of the 4:42

worth the wait...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day - Time with Friends

zdepski's sketches on new year's eve
I took my little moleskine sketchbook to a small new year's gathering at our friend's David and Alex's place. They had a pile of young kids running amok, getting into cookies and toys. We had a great time kicking back and pounding back fingerfood. David used the holiday as an excuse to dip into the obscure Belgian beer section of the local distributor - nice selection. The kids were having a great time with the traditional English "Crackers", pulling them apart and seeing what trinkets were inside. I ended up with one of the paper crowns on my bald head. I forgot my camera, so I was scrambling to sketch the kids as fast as I could. I really liked the space helmet that made the rounds. I bet each of the wearers will be coming down with the same virus in the next few days.... ugh.
so - Happy New Year to you all. God bless 2009 and all of your ventures and efforts. If you have a blog, or post somewhere, please tell me where. I want to hear what's new with you too.

Click the Pic to make it Bigger.