Friday, December 31, 2010

IF: Resolution

zdepski's illustration of Popeye the Sailor Moon
I promise not to waste time in 2011 drawing stupid ideas that are 10 years past their freshness date.

What kid even knows who Popeye and Sailor Moon are? Not many.

All stemming from that stupid song getting stuck in my head on Thursday....
"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I live in a Garbage Can
I eats pork n beans
and pee in me jeans
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

Too Stupid, Too Late.

No more... I promise.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Drawing on iPad

zdepski's vengeful elephant god  iPad drawing
I just got an iPad as a Christmas gift from my boss. Not because I'm special, but because he's a kick-ass boss, and he gave them to everyone in the company. If you follow my blog, you may know that I have an iPhone, too. I bought a program called Brushes for the iPhone last year, and had a bit of fun with it, but never liked drawing on such a small screen.

The iPad has removed that barrier. It sports a larger work area, bigger tools and more memory (32 Gb) to work with. I was able to move my Brushes app over to the iPad, but haven't worked in it on my iPad yet. I did, however, buy an application by Autodesk called Sketchbook Pro for the iPad, which is put out by the same folks that make Sketchbook Pro for my Mac. Two different animals, but that was to be expected.

zdepski's first iPad drawing

I found that using my finger is limiting when it comes to control, brush accuracy and work-flow, i.e.; my hand's drawing posture is different when pointing than when holding a pencil. I bought a POGO stylus, which works fairly well, but isn't as precise as my Wacom Cintiq/Intuos Pen Stylus. The POGO is like drawing with a small pen with a 1/4 inch disc of sponge felt on the tip. It takes a bit of training, but you get used to it.

zdepski's iPad drawing of Noelle

After downloading the application, I got into my first drawing. Me, on the couch with my graduation fez and a puzzled look. One layer, one color, one pencil setting. Fun.

I did a couple of life drawings of my wife and daughter, but it wasn't until this afternoon that I got into the layers and brush variations. Sketchbook Pro supports 4 layers with limited styles (normal, multiply, overlay...) and the ability to change the opacity. The brushes are limited (not exactly Photoshop CS5), but able to accept adjustments... fine for sketching and color studies.

I sat down after wolfing down my lunch of rice and crackers to draw a three layered piece I call "The Vengeful God of Illegal Ivory". The final output is merely 720 x 540 pixels at 72dpi, but Sketchbook Pro allows you to save it as a PSD with the layers intact at 1024 x 768 pixels, which you can email to yourself or upload to Facebook, Flicker, etc... nice feature.

Digging the new toy - Hope I can bring it into my bag of tricks in a significant way. Click the images to enlarge them.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Van Toad Auction

THE WINNERS! - Adam and Barbara pose with Vincent Van Toad. Barb is a wonderful, bubbly artist and teacher with a huge heart for little Adam. Both met on Superbowl Sunday afternoon, after nap time. The Heatwole home was warm and full of action... some kids playing, some kids cleaning up where the others mussed it up. Overall, a beautiful illustration of a loving family. Thanks for letting me peek in.

Vincent Van Toad illustration by Paul Zdepski - Auction to Benefit Adam Heatwole fund

Vincent Van Toad, Paul Zdepski, 2007
acrylic on canvas, handsomely framed
2nd Place - Book Category, at the 14th Juried Exhibition of the Illustrators Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, May-June 2008.
Cover of the MainARTery, Oct/Nov 2007

Additional Swag:
A signed copy of IC 14 Catalog featuring Van Toad
A copy of the MainARTery, Oct/Nov 2007 featuring Van Toad


Thank you to Barbara S. for her winning bid, and new ownership of Vincent Van Toad!

Auction Closed February 1, 2011

Folks, there's a little boy I know of that's having a tough go of things in Georgetown University Hospital, in Washington DC. His name is Adam, and on top of his liver transplant a few years ago, he just had a bout of sickness that killed the majority of his intestine. He's still in the ICU, and his parents have spent the holiday season shuttling between their home 100 miles away and downtown DC.

Adam is a little trooper, and is looking at a bunch of recovery time and getting used to a new scar from his sternum to his pelvis.

Adam's dad, David gave me an opportunity to illustrate a cover of an arts magazine he started, The MainArtery in 2007. He didn't know me, I didn't know him, but we hit it off. In 2008, We did a dual show together at the Blue Elephant Art Center in Frederick Maryland called Harmonic Dissonance. I got to see David's full body of work and witness his love of art, community, family and faith.

I knew David and his bride had a large family, foster and adopted kids, and being at the opening was quite an event for them. I've only got two. I can't imagine the effort needed to keep their tribe going.

I needed to do something. I'm not in a great position to help - recent graduate, two cars dying in one calendar year, daughter starting college in 2011... It goes on...
I did what I could by offering a piece that has significance to David and my relationship, Vincent Van Toad.

The starting bid was $200, which barely covered the framing. It was an original with a pedigree. Click the image to see the piece up close... Inspect the goods.

Even with the bidding past, there is a 501(c)3 set up to receive your donations. I am planning to print Van Toad "Thank you" prints on archival paper. David is getting me the details.

David Heatwole
304 Bowers St.
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Saturday, December 25, 2010

IF: Winter

Zdepski's watercolor and digital illustration of Skate Pups in Manhattan
Skate Pups in Manhattan, a slight return.

This was originally a watercolor from 2008 that had stalled out. I revisited it with some help from my Cintiq. It pops a bit more, since I took control of many of the details that were being over run by the wet on wet issues with the watercolor.

I loved this scene while in NYC - a skating rink surrounded by high-rise buildings... mere blocks from Time Square. I may still be working on this piece this weekend, so don't think that you're looking at the final version... things can change.

Happy Holidays, all!

Winsor & Newton Watercolor on Fabriano, Digitally altered with Cintiq in Photoshop.
Click to enlarge.

Friday, December 17, 2010

IF: Mail

zdepski's illustration - Dear John
Dear John, I don't love you anymore... I fell in love with the Motorcycle Mongoloid. Didn't you get my letter? Your friend, Sue

This is my take on the word "Mail" which stems from the book of 1936 and Film Noir of 1946, "The Postman Always Rings Twice". There isn't an actual "Postman" in the movie, so I switched it around and had the troubled couple bumping off a postal carrier as he crossed the road... The written note in the background stems from the lyrics of one of my favorite bands, Weird War, headed by Ian Svenonius...

The point being, she wrote the breakup letter, but mows down the postman as he's delivering it. Double tragedy... The Postman Always Flips Twice.

Graphite and Cintiq with Adobe Photoshop
Click the pic to enlarge the Return Address...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

IF: Phenomenon

Overhead Kid, by Paul Zdepski
I swear - every red-eye flight... there is some bawling infant that the parent is toting up and down the isles, so everyone on the flight gets to suffer equally.

Flying Finster at Forty Thousand Feet Phenomenon... it never fails.


Dad is waving the kid over his head like one of the Sand People pumping his rifle in Star Wars... BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDddddd...

"Chewie, is that you?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fun J-Animation

Buddha Noodles!

Nahto's Origin... Slimey soybean goodness

I'm in love with the watercolor wash backgrounds in these. The character designs are a riot. This style of design can be seen in many humorous Japanese print cartoons - Not the Manga, but the goofy little slap-stick three panel pieces tossed into many a J-Magazine.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Professor Becker's Pants

Professor Becker's Rhinoceros Pants

Professor Becker's Rhinocerotidae Triubhas (Rhinoceros Pants)

I've finished my piece for Sandra Dieckmann's Creature Curiosity project, and I thought it would go well with the Illustration Friday word, "Prehistoric" as the Rhino Pants are modeled upon an ancient looking animal. I encourage all you illustrators to review Sandra's proposal and consider doing an animal half, too.

The Creature Curiosity Project is a non-profit collaborative venture bringing illustrators and children together with an aim to spread creativity and self-expression. Giving the illustrators the chance to inspire and educate a younger generation with their work and exposure to fellow creatives, teachers, parents, arts organizations, charities and whoever else falls in love with the fantastical hybrid creatures.

So, here's the skinny on the inspiration: I like Rhinos. I like my professor, Murray Tinkelman's hybrid creatures... I like my friend BJ Becker's character and lifestyle. Merge them together with a few early steam engine pistons, and you get "Professor Becker's Rhinocerotidae Triubhas (Rhinoceros Pants)"

100% Cintiq in Adobe Photoshop. Click to enlarge the clanking...