Category Archives: Uncategorized

CareFree

Believe it or not, I actually had artwork ready for last week. But I ended up two states away at a hospice center, watching an old aquaintance pass away.

It was interesting in a terrifying way.

I’ve seen people die. I’ve caused it as well (do NOT recommend). But that’s pretty quickly over. You can’t process everything and it leaves you a little dazed.

This was… different.

First the call came and I drove to North Carolina where my friend had retired. I thought he was hurt. Then they explained and I told them that I hadn’t seen him in over a decade. It was awkward. We weren’t super close. But I decided to stay.

I have never had someone look so happy to see me. EVER. We talked a little, got caught up. My brain was having a hard time processing that he wasn’t just….in the hospital. You know? Like he’d get better somehow.

His biggest fear was that no one would come. “I couldn’t think of anybody, man. I was a little scared”.

….

What could I say? Having noone there is pretty much a horrible thing. When he turned and stop talking, I got a break. The nurses thanked me for coming and wanted to hear how I knew him. The more they asked the less I could answer. Finally the question came…

Why did you come?

Those places are very religious. He talked a lot about the Lord and what he believed. Sometimes he just stared at me, like he was trying to memorize my face.

Eventually he was gone.

I drove home. During the drive I thought about how I had pulled away from friends and family. Three years ago, I had tried to end my own life. I thought about this stuff over and over.

Anyway…it was a busy week.

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Birthdays are for the Living

For the first time since I was 15, I had my birthday off! This is entirely new territory for me; so I decided to draw something meaningful to me.

I drew my homeworld.

I know it sounds pretentious, but it’s not incorrect, is it? Plus drawing Terra is not as easy as it seems. So many colours, so many layers, set against an almost velvety smooth blackness. It’s a really gorgeous place.

And I get to live there.

You do too. Isn’t that amazing?

He’ll Heal Heel

I promised you red, didn’t I? Well after trying four separate times to get started, I finally gave in. I’m just more in people mode. Maybe later.

Skin tones. They tend to be the single greatest pain in my ass! I limit myself a lot on colour choices, because I believe that I can create most of what I need, which is true. Still, it requires a bit of experimentation sometimes.

When it works, like here, it can give the feeling that the warmth and shadows are coming from within the image itself. That’s definitely the goal.

Sometimes I run into an unusual problem that’s kinda normal. People are NOT perfectly symmetrical. Who knew?

This is a study I did of a good friend. She is very chatty and always seemed to have a totally normal facial symmetry… until I looked closer…

I had never noticed that before. I erased her eye a few times before I went with it.

Here you can’t see it as well. Most people are this way; arms too long, short torso, nose curves slightly to one hemisphere. And once you start seeing it, you can’t stop!

Relax.

Although we draw from anatomy and physiology, understand that nature has its own quirks. Try to find a way to make that work for your image. It’s no secret that breast are rarely the same size on a woman. You can choose to give her “plastic surgery” or draw her in a way that highlights her beautiful essence without changing it.

The young lady in this picture loved her picture. She has a disorder, but she likes that her image makes her feel beautiful and special but doesn’t leave it out.

Always remember, “If every pork chop was perfect, we wouldn’t have hotdogs”

We Greg’s are good for stuff like that. 😊

Red

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I often draw people that I see on my ride into work on the commuter train. The responses I get vary, but it usually works out for everyone. Usually.

The above picture is one that almost got me in trouble. A lady called the conductor and accused me of drawing her. I wasn’t. Worse, she didn’t ask me, she just assumed. I was drawing my friend, Rebekah. Ugh.

On to happier thoughts. I did this one for a Facebook group. Everyday they post a new photo for members to draw. You have until the next post to finish it. I check in when I’m bored or need to draw, but can’t come up with anything. So there’s the pencil work. Not bad…

Then I started to color in the easiest and obvious parts. I find that if I do this it brings all the other layers forward.

Throwing in that much poppy red was a little daunting. It was either going to make the image or make it a mess! I knew some of it would leach into the subject; but if you’re in a room THAT red, that would happen from saturation.

Skin tone is being determined by values. I had to be careful not to over shade or add too much detail on one side of her. She’s supposed to seem a little washed out.

The buckles on her boots were made easier by leaving a accent line in the black of the boot. Then a slightly darker red was added to give a sense of balance. After all, if there’s a bright light on her, why would her background be flat?

Someday prismacolor is going to make a subdued red and I won’t have to blend to get this look! *sigh* It was so bright in the image so I had to go there. I removed the tape(I’ve gotten much better at it) and there you have it.

Keep in mind, while they give you 24 hours to get this done, I try to work it in about 2, tops. It’s really fun and if you draw, give it a shot!

Evidence

My life is still out of whack right now, but drawing as therapy isn’t working. I kinda shifted where I emotionally gather the energy to draw from. Doing so, means that I have brown outs, of sorts, and can’t just put on sad or dark music to get back in the flow. My playlists are useless!!

So when I was asked to do a caricature for someone I reluctantly agreed. I’ve never been very good at those; that weird cartoony look is definitely not the Marvel style of drawing comics. But I decided to give it a shot.

It came out really well and she immediately made it her profile and put it on her Instagram, Facebook… ALL of her accounts. She was actually happy to pay and now a bunch of her friends want one. I feel a little bit better.

I think I’ll play my 2017 playlist.

1991

While my life is going through reset at least one unexpected thing came out of it. My son found a couple of pictures in the attic. They were old but in decent shape and brought back some fond memories. Why you ask?

I painted them during a war. A war that I took part in.

Both of these were painted during Desert Storm. They’re made of watercolor and the remnants of my canteen water. I was 20 years old and drew everything I saw.

But the rest were stolen in South Korea. These are the last remaining pieces of mine from that long ago.

Hope you like them!