Monday, June 30, 2014

Workshop Leg Demos
Just finished up teaching a workshop on using forms to draw characters. 
These quick demo sketches pretty much sum up my process for drawing a leg.
This one's less anatomical and obviously more specific to fantasy characters.

I've always used a "draw what you see/draw what you know/make up the rest" method. It's 
hugely more fun and effective than the drawing methods I learned in college.

If this step-by-step process makes sense to you, and you want to know more, sign up 
for my workshops coming this September at 
Art Makers Denver
But be quick--registration ends today at midnight!

Thanks for the visit!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Random but Related: Eggmen, Birds, and Cozy Beds
Humpty Dumpty. Watercolor, private collection.
This is an old watercolor--one done for a show long ago. 

But it suits my post, as I continue to be fascinated with making eggman artworks.

Dug this out of a box in the store room last week. A piece of a larger 
eggman work done when I was about eight.
I was obsessed with them then, and have to admit to being that way still.
Also love birds too.

This little sketch was in one of my notebooks from high school. (I still find Colonial American History excruciatingly boring.) But these kinds of illustrated notes alleviated some of the monotony and got me through many college courses as well.

And there's always been something compelling about little creatures tucked into 
their beds at the end of a long day
This is a page from a recent sketchbook. My favorite panel is the one with the eggs in bed.
And that's where I'm headed now.

Thanks for the visit!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Master Illustrator and More!

Uncle Lubin (detail), by W. Heath Robinson

W. Heath Robinson's work has fired my imagination since I, as a college freshman, stumbled upon his work. Sadly enough, I didn't discover Robinson's legacy in my art classes. Back then this type of work (along with the works of Rockwell, Rackham, and that of modern masters like Bernie Fuchs) was dismissed as "just illustration". And while the work of Aubrey Beardsley has gained some positive attention in art history books, I've yet to see Heath Robinson's works get much of a nod by a critic--at least here in the United States.

Below is the full page illustration from which I took the detail above.

Illustration from The Adventures of Uncle Lubin, by W. Heath Robinson.

Not only is Robinson's pure drawing skill amazing; the use of black and white, the composition, the character's pose and expression, and the exquisite pen work are paragon!

Animator Tony White recently posted about Robinson, and included these words and a link with more info on Robinson.Tony wrote:
"I helped a little with this project in its earlier days and am still trying to get a movie on Heath Robinson's life and insane imagination - my favorite British illustrator incidentally - funded some day. (The script's all ready by the way folks!) Great to see the museum is happening at last, as William Heath Robinson is unquestionably a British national treasure. Bravo to all concerned!"

Tony also added to the post a trailer pitch to his so-far and sadly-yet-to-be-funded animation project. Take the two minutes and watch it--you won't be sorry!

"Here's a movie pitch trailer I directed/animated for Heath Robinson's most famous children's book - "The Adventures of Uncle Lubin" - way back in the 1990's! Everything was done using paper and cels and 35mm film in those days. The producer was the late, great Simon Channing-Williams and the actor David Thewlis (now of Harry Potter/Professor 'Lupin' fame) among other things)!"

Until Tony gets this worthy project going, we'll have to be happily satisfied with Heath Robinson's wonderful illustrations found in books (or British museums). Luckily, Dover Publications has an affordable, quality edition of Uncle Lubin available here (and on sale now!):

I'll leave you with this double page spread from David Godine's 1992 re-issue of 
The Adventures of Uncle Lubin
I also leave with the hope that someday, the brilliant Tony White will resurrect hand-drawn animation in the United States and will make his vision of an animated Uncle Lubin a reality.

Thanks for checking this out!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You are where you are
Little Guys. A sketch-in-progress.

Showing my work; to a client, in a gallery, a show, or even on the web, often makes me nervous and nit-picky about my progress, ability, worth. That's natural I guess, but not pleasant.

Sometimes it's good for an artist--for anyone--to step back and realize they are where they are right now, and that it's got to be a good place.

Here's my smudgy latest sketch, non-embellished. I'm pretending to post it without reservation. 
I really don't know which little guy is me.

Thanks for the visit!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sarmo Workshops at Art Makers Denver!
Art Makers Denver: The deadline for signups is approaching fast!
I'll be running three different workshops over the three gorgeous fall days this September.
Check them out--below are the links to each exciting workshop!

This Day One workshop is about learning basic skills with forms and using them to create the illusion of three-dimensionality on paper. It's the key to drawing works from your imagination. If you've ever wanted to illustrate a children's book or make fantasy art, this class is the perfect launchpad!

My Day Two workshop is all about drawing amazing characters. I teach the step-by-step methods you'll want to know in order to bring your creative beings to life on the page!

Day Three is all about the steps to creating finished illustrations from beginning to end, and learning to use the beauty of watercolor to enhance your creations!

All the workshops will be held in this wonderful building in the heart of the great,
art-filled city of Denver! But it's not just about my workshops--there are many great classes to choose from. At Art Makers Denver you'll have the chance to meet artists from all over, exchange ideas, and even relax and socialize after hours with a fun and welcoming bunch of instructors and attendees!

Click on my Facebook Event link below and join me!

“ArtMakers Denver presents three days of innovative 

art workshops to “creatives” worldwide.
Attendees will experience an artistic “broadening”, learning from a 

hand-picked faculty of renowned art instructors. 

Experience the spirit of artistic discovery in a variety of mediums 

and materials, while exploring a wide range of techniques. 

Workshops will include a diverse group of instructors and artists 

all with the relentless desire to create, discover, explore and enjoy!”

Check out the site for all of the great offerings at Art Makers Denver--
It's going to be three days of total art immersion, and I'd love to see you there!
Find them on Facebook too

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sketchbook Music: Variations on the Theme

Trumpet detail from a work-in-progress.
Inspired by my old sketch in the preceding post,
I've been working on a new painting using the mouth-trumpet.
This sketch-in-progress was done at the Denver Illustration Studio's weekly Drink and Draw; 
a very welcome illustrator's get-together
Not only does it get me sketching and thinking in new ways, the Drink and Draw gives me an opportunity to listen to shop-talk. I learn new things every time I attend. This particular sketch really wasn't messed up by too much beer, only by my clumsy experiments with fountain pen ink and a water brush.
Here's a bit more of the new work-in-progress, done the morning after the Drink and Draw. 
I started out with a light pencil sketch of course, and then added ink lines with a crow quill pen--my inking instrument of choice at the moment. 
(I will not be experimenting with fountain pen ink on this fellow for certain.)

More progress later--but thanks for checking this out so far!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Making Music in the Sketchbook
My exploration of my old sketchbooks continues. 
What struck me this time were the amount of sketches referencing musical instruments and musicians.
This is an oldie from back in the '90s.

I think this one is from the '80s.
Not all that surprised--music is right up there along with my passion for art. And it kills me that I can't learn to play an instrument.

These were drawn during meetings at my day-job back in the grunge decade.
Appropriately, I was taking guitar lessons around this time--and was a miserable failure.

Can't even roughly date this one...

or this tubby fellow.

Never tried to learn an instrument of the orchestra, but...

...when a band program came to my elementary school, I chose the clarinet! 
The band teacher told me to forget that; it would only make my buck teeth worse. "Play the trumpet," he 
said, "It'll push those teeth back."
Cranky even at the age of nine, I refused to play anything.

So I draw clarinet-ish instruments in my sketchbooks instead.
I've considered taking up the concertina...

...but I probably oughta sell my dust-covered guitar first.
Any buyers out there?

Anyway, thanks for reading!

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