Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Art's Bare Essentials

My pal James Knott, of has sent me the coolest little "Art Tool" I've seen in years! He found this Ass-kicking piece of Art Instruction in his Sainted Grandma's Desk drawer.

... I think she snagged it from Grandpa!

It's called the "ABC's for the Artist" presented by the Old World Shipping Service of 505 Fifth Avenue, NY and measures a mere two and five-sixteenths by three and five-eighths inches - Easily folded and stuffed in your comic book drawer or Red Rider Lunchbox! (I just checked, 505 5th Ave is a new glass building, so OWSS isn't there anymore - too bad)

Like an art school education in a pamphlet. So much to learn!

Drawing Tips Booklet Cover

Drawing Tips Booklet Showing Model Proportions and Models in Gowns

It gets Interesting once you slide the first Sheet of paper between the celluloid and backer...

Drawing Tips Booklet Showing Model Proportions and Models in Lingerie

Then you slide the paper sheet between the two sheets of Celluloid.

Wait for it.... Wait for it....


Drawing Tips Booklet Showing Model Proportions and Nude Models

You are now the coolest kid in the Sixth Grade! Click to enlarge the Filth!

Friday, June 25, 2010

IF: Satellite

Zdepski's portrait of Laika, the first dog in space.
"Laika, Muttnik of Space"

Little Laika, or "Barker" was the first being to orbit the earth. She was placed in a capsule called Sputnik 2, and launched into space in 1957. She was never meant to return. Poor little Laika died in her 7th hour of orbit. She has a small plaque dedicated to her and the other Space Dogs, but perhaps the most moving memorial is the 1985 Swedish film, "My Life as a Dog"

My portrait of Laika is of a hapless explorer, steering her way around the planet.

Still experimenting with textures and muted colors. Done in my trusty Canson Sketchbook, then SketchbookPro and Photoshop with the Cintiq tablet.

Click to enlarge the image.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zombie King

zdepski's illustration of the Zombie King, Luke Johnathan

"Luke Johnathan - Zombie King"

My take on the Undead represented in the Sideshow banner. Luke Johnathan has a meat cleaver he picked up when the circus toured through Punxsutawney, PA... He also added to his Skull-Belt.

"mmmmhh.... Brains!"

From my Canson sketchbook to SketchbookPro for cleanup and tighten up... then Photoshop for color, texture and type - Digitally executed with the Cintiq and pen stylus.

Click the image to enlarge.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

IF: Paisley

zdepski's digital illustration of Swami Bindoo
"Swami Bindoo - Knows All, Sees All"

I'm not too pleased with my attempt at making Paisley - I looked at a bunch of samples, and tried to wing it after I got the feel, but I'm just not feeling the Hippie Love...

The good Swami is the next in the series of old sideshow posters, including the Snake Juggler Clown and The Fiji Mermaid from last week... Check the history to the right to see them.

Next: King of the Zombies and Teenage She-Wolf!

sketchbook to digital illustration: SketchbookPro, Photoshop - Cintiq tablet screen.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Emma's House

zdepski's sculpture of Emma's house

Here's the display environment for the figurine of "Emma Eating Beneath the Eaves". I made it from Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), pine strips and a piece of lexan for the window.

I painted it with acrylic then coated with a layer of Liquitex gloss medium to protect the paint... not digging the brush strokes under hot lights. May hit it with Matte medium on top to knock that back.

zdepski's sculpture of Emma's house with line drawing

I placed the line drawing of Emma over the scene to show you what I'm thinking about.

total size, 4 x 4 x 11.75 inches

Saturday, June 12, 2010

IF: Ripple

zdepski's Feejee Mermaid digital illustration
One of the many creature beneath the sea causing ripples on the surface, as told by P.T. Barnam.

The Feejee (Fiji) Mermaid was created by merging a Monkey and Fish together via taxidermy, however... one was hooked off the coast of the darkest jungles of Borneo in 1905, and for the mere parting of a measly Fifteen Cents, you can behold the Eighth Wonder of the World!

The Fiji Mermaid!

Buy a 2.5 x 3.5 High quality Digital Print of this for a $10 to go to the Gulf cleanup:

Poster partner to Oswald, the Snake Juggling Clown.

DON'T FORGET... It's your last day to enter my Easy Print Giveaway Contest: Check it out Here

Digital - Cintiq with SketchbookPro and Photoshop

Click to enlarge

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sink or Swim

zdepski's illustration sketches
As a addendum to the blog post on Escape from Illustration Island, I thought I should re-post my comment and expand it a bit to explain the problems with being an "artist".

UARTS in Philadelphia had a strong program with serious professional instructors. The chair was adamant about the business, and stressed preparation and practices… this didn’t sink in with kids that saw themselves as "artists", not business majors.

We had been told more than once, by a few different instructors: "Of you thirty in this class, only one or two will stick it out and become professional illustrators..."

That should have been a wake-up call to re-assess career goals and question the dollars spent on a university degree. I've been fortunate to have a career in the arts, but that is through bull-headedness, as much as luck.

Historically, I have been ripped off by the big three: Family, State and Church… each as past clients, so I enter each contract and business deal like a wet cat. It takes some hard knocks to become business savvy, and nothing can teach like experience… The universities can teach, warn and direct, but it still is a sink-or-swim world out there (here).

I failed to mention that the Big 3, Family, State and Church had all burned me while I was an artisan woodworker. I was spanked by a state Supreme Court Justice, a Parish Priest and a dear old Auntie that all felt they were within their right to "Eff" with my life.

Never again.

Each rip-off stemmed from work continuation and "add-ons" to the original contract, that weren't documented properly. I was always on the trusting side of the fence, since I used to believe that people were generally good, and should be given the benefit of the doubt.

NO: People are jerks, everyone of them, and you test each one by allowing them to prove themselves otherwise.

I teach this to my own kids... don't got blindly into a situation thinking someone else has your best interest at heart...

You need to have set parameters, solid and clearly written understandable contracts of what is expected by you, them and by when. A contract is your only friend in a business deal. The stress of everyday life can turn a "cool guy" into a cornered badger when they aren't making payroll, or see you as a frivolous expenditure for that month. Word of mouth and a handshake are only feel-good items, they mean nothing in a dispute. Cover your ass with a contract...


If you read my blog, or are curious about what it takes - Learn this one thing. Business Contracts are everything. You need to learn what you can about them. You need to abide by them, and hold others to them.

If it's not a signed contact, I don't start working. The deadline is looming, so you better push it through "legal".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Print Contest One

zdepski's digital illustration - CA mower


zdepski's illustration of Daniel and Emma

Contest: Choose to win a high resolution, archival print (of either above) on fine Moab Lasal Photo Matte 235 paper.

Rules: Winner will be picked at random from ALL replies via the COMMENT reply with the correct answers, and a valid email address to contact for the snail-mail delivery.
Contest ends Saturday, June 10th, 7pm EST.

Caveat: All contest participants will be on my Christmas Card list...

Answer can be found on the right, within the blog archive.

The Quiz:
1. What are the Four Tasks the poor princess must perform?

I have Comment Moderation ON, so feel free to paste your answers without fear of Copy-cats. Don't forget your return Email addy... I need to let you know you've won.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NPR Weekend Edition - Trickster

zdepski's page one of Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley
Listen for a segment on 'Trickster' on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen this weekend (Sunday, June 6, 2010), somewhere in the 8:40 to 9 a.m. EST slot.

It will also be available to listen to later at the following link:

Also, they are going to post the pages of "How Wildcat Caught a Turkey" with a voiceover by storyteller Joseph Stands With Many at the link above.

For those that don't know about Trickster, it is a collection of 21 Native American Trickster Legends (or true stories, depending who you believe), published by Fulcrum Press. The stories are about various clever animals, spirits and people that out smart their opponents by the end of each story. The Tribal storytellers are matched with one of 21 illustrators to display the story in a Graphic Novel, or Comic format. I was paired with Hawai'ian historian and educator, Tom Cummings, who tells the story of "Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of the Waipi'o Valley" (see above).

Here's the book on Amazon… It just came out, and I see there are USED copies already! :
Trickster on Amazon

Hope you can check it out... It's been an education for me - lots of research of pre-western dress, culture, botany and geography... now I have to SEE the place in person! ;>

Click the image to enlarge to 800 px square

Friday, June 4, 2010

IF: Trail

zdepski's digital illustration of texas tall tales
Tall Tales from Texas Trails

This is my reaction piece to my Texas trip in March. I have my armadillo from a few weeks back in his cactus patch, reading a book of Texas Tales.

I will be working further into this piece, but this is as far as it is now... I hid a Pocket Dragon for our collective class-shout-out to Real and Muff Musgrave.

Click to enlarge to 800 x 800

Thursday, June 3, 2010

professor fyne

zdepski's underwater steampunk sketch of Professor Fyne

Professor Fyne
i have no idea where this came from... it started as Robot made from a wooden barrel. it morphed into an undersea scientific observation and collection platform on the bottom of a ship. don't ask. sketchbook brain salad.

pencil on paper