Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bat Gramps

Wow, it's been quite a while since I posted an actual drawing on this blog. So long, infact, that I bet you thought I had given up on it. Not true! I've been drawing up a storm and here's a picture to prove it. As a companion piece to last years "Darth Paul" I decided to draw my grandfather as none other than the caped crusader himself! I still have a little more work to do on this one, but I thought it was finished enough to share with you guys. I'm planning to continue this series just as soon as I think up some more characters for my grandfather to be. 

If you have any suggestions let me know in the comments!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bustin' Loose

Going into this class I was probably most excited about learning how to sculpt a bust. As a fan of portraiture I'm quite drawn to busts and always saw it as a natural progression for my own work.

As usual we spent an entire 5 hour session working from a live model for this piece, but I spent most of my time working on it at home from digital images taken during the session. Here are a few photos of the bust pre-firing.

They all start bald like a baby

Getting there

Here's the finished version next to his doppelgangers, waiting to be fired

Side view

This piece is a good example of how over glazing can ruin a piece. I wanted this piece to turn out well so badly that I spent too much time fussing with the glazes, instead of performing careful glaze tests prior to the final glazing. The end result was a muddied mess.

It wasn't a total disaster, but I wish I had put as much care into glazing the piece as I did in sculpting it. Oh well, lesson learned. Hopefully this will just be the first bust of many. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to the Figure

This is one of the first finished sculptures I produced in the class. I think it may have been from our second session. We worked on this pose for around five hours in total from a live model. As you can see the left arm broke off when it was fired and I had to reattach it with gorilla glue, but I have to admit that I do like the character that the crack brings to the figure. Surprisingly this is one of my most successfully glazed pieces. I used a red iron stain on the figure which I then wiped off so it would only remain in the indentations. 

I was a little more successful in defining the back of the figure than the front. At this point we hadn't had a lot of practice working on faces, so you can see that mine is a bit out of proportion and less defined. As are the hands and feet. The model was incredibly skinny, which provided a lot of good musculature and bone indentation to define. When it comes to drawing and sculpting people I always prefer bodies that are a little more extreme. Skinnier, heavier, wrinkled. They just make for more interesting subjects. Beautiful people are just a bit more boring to render, in my opinion. 

It's interesting to me how the mood of the sculpture changes depending on which direction you look at it. Which viewpoint do you like the most out of the top three?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Heads II


I think my second attempt was a great improvement on the first. Though, as you can see, I still need to work on my glazing skills. The proportions and features are much better defined in these, and I added a neckline and the beginning of shoulders which really help to visualize the rest of the figure. Ears also do a lot to contribute to believability, as well as hair and eyebrows as seen in the figure below. These were the only pieces that I did without a model in front of me, so next time I'll post some full bodied figures from live modeling sessions. 



Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I recently took a figure sculpting class. I've been wanting to branch out into three dimensions for a while so this seemed like a good option, though it turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. I'd like to share some of my work from the class, starting at the very beginning, so you can see my progress.

Here are two heads that we were assigned to make for homework, without a visual reference. We were taught the basic dimensions of a human head and its features, and told to make something unique. Let the clay do what it wants to, instead of trying to force it to look a particular way. My first attempt ended up looking a bit like Steve Buscemi.

The second head's features got a little muddied when I glazed the pieces. Glazing is a whole new world of difficulty to master. Overall, this was a fun assignment, but I couldn't help being a little disappointed with the outcome. We were eventually given the same assignment again, but I'll save that for another day. 


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Domino Scrimshaw

I've been experimenting with the whalers' art of scrimshaw the last couple of days. Mammoth tusk and whale bone are a little tough to come by these days so I decided to test it out on a plastic domino. I got the domino set from an estate sale hoping that it was ivory (which would have been a huge find) but it turned out to be cheap plastic. I guess I was a little too hopeful.

The plastic isn't very porous so the ink has trouble sticking to the etched lines. I've heard deer antlers make a fairly good substitute, and if I wasn't worried about permanence I could always use soap. 

Still, this was a fun experiment and I hope to do more in the future. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014



A few weeks ago I started a Tumblr that I neglected to mention on here. It's called Mock Volta and it reimagines vintage science fiction pulp novel covers as fake Mars Volta albums. In general I make up some ridiculously over complicated title to go along with it, but sometimes the titles of the books are so good that I just use them as they are; a testament to the fantastic pairing.

Although the title of the blog is "Mock Volta" I mock them only in jest and am actually a big fan of their music. Here is one of the fake covers from the tumblr followed by one of their actual album covers.

I also make sure to credit the original artist of the novel covers and link to websites when I can. So if ANY of that interests you, CHECK IT OUT.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

New prints for sale!

Hello everyone! Spring is springing and new things are growing all around us. I'm working on new drawings everyday that I plan on having available as prints or cards in the near future, but for the time being I have two new prints up for sale at my Etsy store.

The majestic BigHorn Sheep:


And the adorably regal Pizza the Hutt Family Portrait:

If you'd like to see any of my drawings for sale as prints or cards please let me know and I'll try and make it happen. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bovine Picture Day

Last night was the opening of a group show I participated in called "Found in Translation." 

"Found in Translation is a group exhibition making use of a process similar to a game of Telephone or Exquisite Corpse. An object is made and passed chronologically amongst participants whom then make a work in reaction to the one they receive, being sure to maintain a clear formal or conceptual connection to the previous piece. Each artist only sees the piece immediately preceding her or his own and gives their work to the next person for inspiration. This creates through-lines that become visible only after all the pieces have been placed side by side for the exhibition." - Description from the press release. 

Here's a photo of the piece by artist Leif J. Lee that was the inspiration for my piece.

And here's a look at snippets from each piece that show the threads between each artwork.

I'm very excited to be part of this show which can be seen until March 28th at The Lodge Gallery in the lobby of Allied Works Architecture at 1532 SW Morrison and SW 15th in Portland.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Martin Get's A Makeover

For those of you who have followed my blog you may remember this guy from some years past. He's also featured in the "Stories" section of my website. Last month I decided to revisit ole' Martin and give him a proper portrait. Please enjoy his story written by my friend Aaron Greyson, and stick around to the end to see the original portrait from June 2010. 

The Hated World of Martin M. Martins

Martin M. Martins, fourth earl of North Northbridge, hated his family. He hated his lazy brother, his humpbacked sister, his dead father, and his dying mother. He also hated his house, most shoes, and the color green. He hated that he hated his stupid breakfast because he knew he had to eat it or his dying mother would get after him (again) for hating everything in his world, which was, Martin M. Martins thought, a typical example of her insufferable penchant for over-exaggeration. "I do not hate everything, mother," he would hiss at the bed-ridden woman through his wooden teeth (the real ones fell out because he hated brushing), "I simply do not understand why one should abase oneself with fictitious happiness when said emotion is, as I've told you before, a construct born of our unwillingness to admit that there is no such thing as love." At this point, his mother would usually tell him to "Go shit in the sea, you sour little man," which only reminded him how much he hated being little.

If there was one thing which Martin M. Martins, fourth earl of North Northbridge, hated more than anything else in the entire world, it was shopping. Nevertheless, shop he must, at least for food, such as eel, which he hated slightly less than other food, such as rabbit. In fact, he was actually looking forward to a nice boiled eel served with a side of pickled cabbage when he walked smack into a woman older than his hated mother, with skin drier than his hated father, a back humpier than his hated sister, and an eye lazier than his hated brother. "Get the hell out of my way, you ruddy crone," he grumbled as unpleasantly as he could. Yet, despite the gypsy's warts and fleas, Martin M. Martins' face twitched into what might pass as a grin of genuine joy for the old witch smelled of cabbage - nay, pickled cabbage. And though her years might be as long as her crooked nose, the hag's eyes were as keen as a headsman's axe.

"Ye codgery ol' bag'o'hate," she hissed at him, "Be ye so 'fraid o'love and happ'ness ye cannae admitit t'yer lonesome self?" She raised a skeletal finger, knobbed, gnarled, and twisted as the devil's horny backbone, fixing the hateful man in it's bony sights, and pronounced her curse: "Yer joy shall evermore follow ye 'round, undisguis'ble, bright as the day is long." She then turned from Martin M. Martins, fourth earl of North Northbridge, who was so relieved to be rid of that hated she-devil that he actually did allow himself a full smile (though it looked more like a grimace, I can assure you). No sooner did his face crease than, to his surprise and what would turn out to be his eternal consternation, a butterfly, bright as the day is long, alighted on shoulder.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Beach Bathing Capybara

Happy New Year everyone! Please enjoy this illustration of a capybara relaxing beachside with his bird buddy. 

Here's to soaking in the sun in 2014!