Saturday, May 29, 2010

IF: Slither

zdepski's digital illustration of a clown juggling snakes
Snake Juggler

Everybody loves a clown! NOT!

I was originally going to name this "Got Religion" or "Practical Faith", but I didn't want to offend anyone with deep felt snake-handling views.

I chose to start this with an old Lithograph boxtop as my background, then cloned regions as a paintbrush, to give the fills the dot pattern. I also ghosted my pencil line back a bit to get rid of the true black.

Not a big departure, but different than what the most recent work has been.

No letters about Appalachian faith, please. I know it's out there, I also know people get bitten.


SketchbookPro and Photoshop with the Cintiq. Click to enlarge the Hysssterics!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CommieSpud - Background

zdepski's Commie Spud Motorcyclist with Kremlin Background

I finally figured out what to do with the Commie Spuds background... I had decided a long time ago, but I happened to put off execution until I had the ABC book more in hand. I decided to place the Kremlin in in the background, with three Mig 17s flying in formation over the clocktower. I think it adds that Supreme-Soviet, Kruschev era vibe.

zdepski's Commie Spud Trapper with Kremlin Background

Once this Masters is done, I'm going to jump back into finalizing these cards for print. Now that I have a BG in hand, they look much less sparse.

Cintiq in Photoshop. Click to enlarge.

spread 2

zdepski's book spread for B and C in the dogbabies ABC project
B is for Bobby Burying a Bone
C is for Cassy Corralling Cats

B and C from the dogBabies ABC project.

I have heard from Cat Lovers that my only depiction of a cat is one of terror may not be a good thing... oh well, I may revisit this point in the endpaper...

Cintiq with Photoshop.

click to enlarge

Saturday, May 22, 2010

IF: Early

zdepski's illustration of Erykah Badu at Dealey plaza
Dallas: March 17th Dealey Plaza

Erykah Badu waiting her turn
for the JFK Shot Spot

The Kid from Wisconsin
Beat her to it...

Soul singer, Erykah Badu did a bit of striptease 2 hours before I arrived with Chad, Jay and David. We missed the show, but if I had been EARLY, I could have seen the whole thing go down.

The spot where John Kennedy was shot in November of 1963 is marked with a White X painted in the middle of the downhill lane. In some morbid way, people gravitate to the spot in the road when the traffic allows.

The photo below is a kid I observed posing on the spot - creepy.

I think it has a "Ground Zero" vibe around it for the older Americans... Erykah knew that when she chose that space for her socio-political performance.
Badu said the video was a protest against “groupthink”

I'm afraid the kid from Wisconsin will never understand the impact that Cold War assassination had on my parents and their world.

zdepski's photo of a kid at dealey plaza

The drawings are pieces from a larger travel piece I'm doing as a reaction to the Dallas-Ft. Worth region. It's due when I return to Conn. in July. These pieces will be there, but less prominently displayed. I thought they were a good vignetted side story.

Cintiq with SketchbookPro and Photoshop

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Washington City Paper Interview

Zdepski's illustration of the Muscular Tree Monkey - Corporal Punishment Series
I was interviewed by Mike Rhode, a journalist covering the Cartoon and Graphic Novel industry. I was part of Matt Dembicki's Trickster Anthology of Native American tales, which had been reviewed earlier in the City Paper. He posted the interview online yesterday morning, and I've been waiting for the comments... so far, nothing negative.

I'm really pleased they used one of my Corporal Punishment pieces... He chose the "Muscular Tree Monkey" as the piece to run. I've been so juiced by this series, and I want to get it out there and seen.

Many thanks and much respect to Mike for including me in his pub.

Don't miss the quotes like;

"I live in a development of homes that look the same, but have different junk in their backyards."


"I’m not unlike a sponge… only different… with bones."

Read the full interview here at Washington City Paper online.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Armadillo Brillo 2

zdepski's study of two armadillos among the cactus
bouncing around a few more Armadillo ideas. I've decided to ditch the chair and place my little Texas buddy in a patch of cactus. I think it's more in line with the theme.

Why do I think a book reading armadillo is cool? I don't know, but he's reoccurring.

pencil in my strathmore sketchbook.
click picutre to enlarge


zdepski's line drawings of Townies
being a "Townie" is a frame of mind. These are some background characters from an upcoming travel piece. I'm sure there will be less observable detail in the finish, since they will be across the street or near the periphery. I still had a blast doing them.

pencil to SketchbookPro in Cintiq
click to enlarge

Friday, May 14, 2010

IF: Equipment

Time for a Beating... Equipment: One Stick
Corporal Punishment Series

zdepski's digital illustration, Sniff the Stick

...I eventually got caught.
The "Ukrainian" would make me pick the stick from a barrel.
... added Torture,
Like digging your own Grave.
I don't hit my kids.

I was beat for various reasons: smart mouth, breaking something, refusal to comply with a direct order... it always ended the same.

I had to pick my stick from a barrel in the basement woodshop. The sticks usually were American Black Walnut or Hickory stakes for the garden. I didn't understand the physics of Force to Area = Pain, which is why i continuously picked a thin stick in hope that it would hurt less...

it never hurt less... and always smelled like sawdust and mold.

Cintiq with Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.
Click to enlarge the Psycho-Torture.

IC15th Opening

The Usual Suspects:
The Boy and my Darling Bride at the Illustrators Club of Washington DC, MD and VA's 15th Juried Exhibition at the PEPCO Center's Edison Gallery on the evening of May 13th.

zdepski's illustration on the wall at the Edison gallery in washington dc
zdepski's lovely bride at the Edison gallery in washington dc

Hey! Isn't that David Labrozzi, President of the IC of DC serving drinks?

The place was packed and steamy... My hair was wilting as I snapped cruddy pictures on my iPhone. Sorry for the foggy haze. I met a few folks whose work I've known, so it was full of chatting and introductions. My wife scolded me for hanging my piece in an inelegant spot, outside the bathroom door. I told her; "I couldn't readily hang someone elses' work there, now could I?"

She fails to see my logic.
Opening Night at the Edison gallery in wasington dc
Opening Night at the Edison gallery in wasington dc

It was a long evening, but the snazzy DC crowd was great fun. The show runs through the end of June, if you're down in Washington DC, be sure to put it on your itinerary.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Trilogy of Blood - Opening

Zdepski's photo of the Deadneks during the Trilogy of Blood Premiere
Zdepski's photo of the Deadneks during the Trilogy of Blood Premiere
Here some choice pics from the Deadneks Trilogy of Blood opening night debut screening, concert and booze-fest.
Zdepski's photo of the Deadneks during the Trilogy of Blood Premiere
It was Gory, Loud and Fast. My poor camera couldn't keep up. I don't have much of a rig, and i pay for it at events like this... and the Rodeo. Lots of blurry action shots in low light situations. Kind of cool effects, but they do need some detail that just isn't present.

digital camera - Fuji 1800 series = 10mpx

spread 4

Zdepski's digital illustration - Spread 4 from the dogBabies ABC book
Gina Galloping in Grass
Henry Howling, Alas
Ina with India Inks

This is my only night-time piece in the ABC book, but this is followed by a twilight scene with Jason and Kelly. I started making some funky Photoshop brushes for filling in the dogs and objects. I start in Illustrator, creating a clean pattern - import it into photoshop as an EPS and define the brush. I created a fairly complicated grid of hollow squares that I then selected 3 regions of, creating 3 unique brushes. Look closely at Gina's patterning to see the results.
Zdepski's digital illustration - Gina Galloping from the dogBabies ABC book

Photoshop with both Wacom Intus3 and Cintiq... I'm working my way back through the book... so I'm cleaning up a lot of PRE-Cintiq issues.

Click to enlarge the image.

Friday, May 7, 2010

IF: Fearless

Zdepski's illustration of the Muscular Tree Monkey - Corporal Punishment Series
Super Hero "Tree Monkey"

My Sister Jean had a Barbie®
Knock-off named Babette (No R)

Greg & Mark put Babette's
Legs in the Arm Sockets &
Arms in the Leg Sockets

They Strung her from the Ceiling
with their Planes

Her Name was changed to
The Muscular Tree Monkey

I did this over the last week, piece by piece. My brother had a sneak peek last night, and wrote back that I had the name wrong... Not "Articulated", but "Muscular" Tree Monkey. There are 12 years between us, and I was very young at the time of this)

I'll changed it this weekend and re-loaded the image to the blog. Other items, like the "Hang in there Baby!" and "Rat Fink Hot Rod" posters are accurate to the time period...

I doubt the bed was made...

Babette - Unsung Super Hero.

Cintiq with Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.
Click the Picture to enlarge the fun!

Brother Mark writes:

To increase the accuracy, In my memory it was called the “muscular tree monkey”. If memory serves me correctly the arms had more curvature so the hands met nicely making a more circular opening under the torso. I had to drill small holes through the ankles to thread through some fishing line so it hung straight down, not flying like superman. I’d bought the doll from jean for what seemed like a substantial sum, greater than $5.00, perhaps $20.00 ( I was flush with cash after working for (farmer) Bill Stamets picking up bales). When she saw it she complained to mom and I had to give it back to her. I don’t think I got my money back either, mom was not amused. I really like the Stuka dive bomber in attack position, as I had a model of one at the time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Elves and Flags

zdepski's photo of a huge mushroom
I was chasing an Elf, or possibly a Brownie through the lawn this morning, when he hung a quick right behind a mushroom... I stopped dead in my tracks and said "HOLY COW! Look at the size of that Mushroom!"

I didn't see where the elf went, but I picked the 'schroom and placed my car keys next to it for scale.

zdepski's photo of a his designs on banners in Winchester VA

I also was in Winchester VA last week, and took some photos of those banners designs in final form. The left is Elephant Tune, and right is Quartet. The Quartet piece is a later and more detailed version of the Ames Piano Quartet CD cover for the Czech Quartets, 2006 - a bit of re-hash, but I liked the image and thought I could spruce it up for the banner. Elephant Tune is a direct from sketchbook piece, similarly executed to my latest digital work.

Quote of the day:
If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.

--Tom Lehrer

Click 'em to see'em

Sunday, May 2, 2010

spread 9

zdepski's digital illustration of dogbabies
working my way backwards - Spread 9 is Todd with a Tack in his Toe, and Umeko's Ulcer Frustration... leading into spread 10 of the Vet's Office with Vince, Wendy and Xander.

I spent far too much time drawing tiny, teeny circles for the road pattern, hours and hours - then I realized, "HEY DUMMY - THIS IS A COMPUTER!" I cloned a region and duplicated it, and filled in the joints with, you guessed it - tiny circles.

in the end, it looks like a Japanese sharkskin box, or sword scabbard, but I'm pleased with the texture and will use it elsewhere.

I'm not sure if I like Todd's color - and if I'm saying that now, that means I'll be changing it. I don't think he pops off the road.

I like the pigeon - he turned out well.

click the picture to enlarge the image.

Cintiq digital illustration - photoshop

Saturday, May 1, 2010

IF: Cocoon

zdepski's illustration about living under his desk in art school
Under My Drawing Table
I lived under my table for a semester in Art School.
(Flock of Seagulls Hair)
I caught Ringworm from the Bed Sore Padding I found in a Dumpster.

As much as I loved the Philadelphia College of Art (now UARTs), it was too expensive. I was able to scramble enough money to pay for my last semester tuition in 1984, but not for housing. I petitioned the Dean for 24 hour access to the 7th floor Illustration studio, since I was "such a serious student". Upon approval, I had a free pass when the Security Guards walked through on their rounds... snoring or not.

I used to dumpster dive for everything, carrying an army duffle bag over my shoulder as I skated through the city at night. I found an egg-carton type of bed sore pad that I used as a makeshift mattress. My friend Phong, a very serious painter, moved his cot into the studio, along with a rice cooker. Phong's rice and 7-11's 2 dogs for 99 cents kept me fueled.

It sucked living out of a 3 foot locker, and sympathetic friends would allow me to use their shower. It was the time of squatters-rights and hard-core DIY, so I didn't think twice about doing it. I was filthy - the ringworm was the icing on the cake.

The next semester came, and I didn't have the money for tuition, so I started my life as a carpenter and roofer... 12 years of grumbling and cursing. I thank Hiroshi and Nancy Murata for kicking me in the ass to go back and finish my degree. I was on a treadmill to self-destruction and self-loathing.

two cocoons... the one under the table, and the one in my head. Glad to be out of both.

click to enlarge the filth.