Friday, December 19, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Sketchbook Cover Painting

Wiener-Schmallow, my first painted sketchbook cover.

Closeup of new sketchbook cover painting called Wiener-Schmallow.

Painted sketchbook cover in my messy studio.

I've noticed that the legendary illustrator, Gary Baseman, often paints the covers of his sketchbooks. Sounds like a great idea, if nothing else so that you can tell one sketchbook from another. I've got dozens of filled sketchbooks and they all look the same, which makes finding a specific sketch a time consuming ordeal. Besides it sounds like a hoot and is something I've always wanted to give a try, but somehow never got around to doing. In fact, I've kind of abandoned the classic hardbound sketchbooks over the past couple of years in favor of cheap newsprint sketchbooks which I have been using with colored pencil for almost all of my sketches and layouts. I really like the look the bright colors on the newsprint and it has a really nice soft feel to it while drawing, too, unless your pencil is too sharp and pokes through the paper. I don't think I stopped using "real" sketchbooks as an intentional thing, it just kind of happened. I used to carry one with me at all times, especially on my daily trek to Starbucks, where I would sketch people and ideas for at least an hour every day. Sadly, the world's worst *barista was given the job of manager at my local Starbucks and has turned it into an absolute shithole, so I don't go in anymore—but I digress, let's get back on track and just say that somewhere along the line I started using newsprint pads and stopped using the hardbound "real" ones. The hardbound books give a nice organized record of sketches, notes and ideas in chronological order unlike the cheap news pads which tend to fall apart and become a sloppy pile of loose sketches, even if the individual pieces look cool, as whole they're a hot mess. So I decided it's time to get back to the real deal. I picked up a real hardbound sketchbook the other day and decided to christen it by painting the front cover, just something fun that wasn't part of a project or anything. I got out my acrylics and painted a piece I'm calling Wiener-Schmallow. It's generally based on the anthropomorphic food stuff featured in the old animated snack bar ads from the movies of yesteryear, and features an angry marshmallow with a barbecue fork menacing an irritated looking hot dog. If you want the back story, it seems that Mr. Hot Dog has been making time with Mr. Marshmallow's wife—obviously, Mr. Marshmallow is none too pleased. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I've actually started a digital version, although I've had to put on hold for the holidays and such, but it could still very well become the start a side project. We'll just have to see what 2015 brings.

Thanks for stopping by and checking things out.


*For legal reasons, I want to make it clear that I am NOT saying she is an incompetent, lazy asshole.

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