Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Here's a panel from page nine of the new Harry and Silvio story which is meant to be a longer format story then the ones I've done so far. At the moment I'm trying to finish up the first chapter of this story as a proposal. I plan on scanning the pages, printing them on 140 lb water colour paper and painting the prints. I should be done all the inks for this chapter this week, this chapter is 14 pages long.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Here's a character design I did for a proposal.I'm really happy with it. I had a great weekend. My cousins Gary and Stephanie visited us from Montreal and we all went out on the town playing tourist.Lots of fun and food. At the moment I'm up to my elbows in drawing. Things are going great and I'm just waiting for a couple of contracts to come through and get updates on other projects.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Here's a villain from Harry and Silvio, one of the goblins from the Goblin Gang. They keep trying to unlock the mysteries of the Cloudscape.
Today is Word On The Street here in the cities of Canada. I'll be checking out the booths today rain or shine.
Today is Word On The Street here in the cities of Canada. I'll be checking out the booths today rain or shine.
Saturday, 26 September 2009
I often prefer a Victorian castle to a castle from the middle ages. This is kind of strange but I love the impractical aesthetic nature of Victorian castles, it is all about effect and Romance rather than a practical need to withstand attack. Today Julie,Henry my cousins Gary and Stephanie and myself did a little tour of the famous Toronto landmark Casa Loma. I've heard of Casa Loma but had never visited. It's a millionaires Romantic Victorian vision come to life and in the end it bankrupted him and he lost it to the Kiwanis Club.... The castle was built by Sir Henry Pellatt who had twin obsessions: the Romantic past and the military and this strange building really reflects that.
The top image is Casa Loma itself seen from the back gardens.
The next image is the wonderful and bizarre Victorian shower. It's all ornate tubes and shuddering pipes wound through the beautiful Italian granite.
Next is a piece of modern sculpture in the gardens; an iron six headed dragon.So very steampunk...
I'm not sure you can really tell in this picture but to the left of the fireplace is a secret passage with a narrow staircase winding up through the building.
And finally one of my favorite things is this statue holding a hydrometer in one hand and a barometer in the other.
There art also underground passages, stables and all sorts of odd bits and pieces.
A really cool place, check it out if you can.
I've finished up two proposals as of last night and it feels great. I've already received positive responses for both. My cousin Gary and his very pregnant wife Stephanie are visiting from Montreal so today I get to play tourist. Can't wait to see some stuff in Toronto I just haven't had the time to explore. And tomorrow is word on the street which is always fun. Above is a panel from the second Harry and Silvio comic, The Girl With The Purple Boat.
Friday, 25 September 2009
Today is one of my Henry days. I take Henry for a couple of full days a week. It's not easy to work but I squeeze stuff in. I'm doing some writing and sketching today both of which I can do with some mobility.
The above picture is a page from the new Harry and Silvio story I'm working on.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Here's a picture I did in my Moleskine sketchbook of one of my favorite singer songwriters, Elizabeth Cotten. She has a wonderful sensitive and lively way of playing. She's most famous for her song Freight Train.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Here's a mixed media portrait of one of my favorite blues musicians Blind Willie McTell. An enormous talent from the early days of southern blues.
I'm knee deep in two new projects right now ( besides my own Harry and Silvio ). At the moment they're both at the sketching and writing phase. Both of these appeared out of nowhere and the timing couldn't be better.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Saturday, 19 September 2009
For Pirate Day I'm encouraging you all to buy this award winning book I illustrated. Amazon.com is sold out of new copies but you can get second hand ones there. Amazon.ca still has plenty. You can order it here.
Friday, 18 September 2009
Another character in the Harry and Silvio world. Finch is a twelve year old blues man from Tennessee. I'm still not sure how he fits in but I know he's there, wandering around and singing songs.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
This character has been bouncing around in my head for years. At first she was going to appear in a children's book and then it became a dark horror comic and now I think she might find her place with Harry and Silvio. I think she stands well on her own as well. I've written two short books featuring her which may or may not ever see the light of day.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Here's a piece I did as a sample for a children's book. The character didn't work out but the style sure did. I really enjoyed doing this combination of pen and ink and opaque gouache paints and the final effect really pleased me. I've never been satisfied with my colour pictures and I think this is the direction I'll be taking my colour work.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Here's a lovely and thus far nameless mermaid from the world of Harry and Silvio. I drew her after seeing Ponyo. She is not a princess.
P.S. I think I have her name. I was watching an interview on a Tate Modern podcast with British choreographer Prue Lang and thought it was the best name ever.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Have I ever posted thumbnails before? I don't remember. Here's what they look like, pretty crude and fast. I continue to redraw and refine things as I go but I like to keep my thumbnail drawings pretty spontaneous.
If you've noticed a lot of photos on the blog lately and you missed some previous posts: my scanner died a couple of weeks ago. I've been holding out waiting for a recovery but stopping short of getting anyone to look at it. Now It seems I may have a solution. My father in law and myself are considering splitting the cost of an 11 by 17 inch scanner. That would be such a great thing to have.
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Here's what's on my drawing table currently. I'm working like mad right now, filling sketchbooks,penciling and inking comics, sketching etc. etc.I haven't painted anything in a while and was surprised how bright my palette has become, really rich hues. I paint using a method William Joyce describes in his World Of William Joyce Scrapbook, which might be a kid's book but the painting advice is awesome.I've penciled the first ten pages of Harry and Silvio and will finish the other four or five tomorrow and start inking them this weekend as well.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Here are some more pages in the new Harry and Silvio story. I sort of took today off. My plan was to go downtown meet with the Superman Club and buy some art supplies. I m,ust have been distracted by the Blind Rev. Gary Davis album I was listening to because I got off at the completely wrong stop and wondered around lost for about an hour. When I surfaced again I was standing in front of the Toronto Public Library which totally rivals the New York Public Library for coolness. One floor is dedicated solely to antiquated children's books and another is totally devoted to science fiction! How cool is that?
As for work, at the moment I'm doing Harry and Silvio as well as discussing a couple of new contracts. Which is good because I'm broke. As in no overdraft broke. The new contracts will require some sample work as well.
In Orchard family news, Julie starts school tomorrow! Weird. She'll be starting a bachelor of education after working in research labs for a decade. She's really excited and not at all nervous which leaves me totally mystified. School freaks me out. And Henry has decided to grow longer, in frog fashion. He now points at everything and goes "ooooooh....." it's very funny, as though everything is a big surprise he loves to show us. Which might be exactly his point.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
I've been thinking about making cartoons and writing down some thoughts. Harry and Silvio really inspires a certain thoughtfulness in me. I'll write more as I can sort out my thoughts but here are a few lines of notes from my sketchbook.
"Use flat, graphic elements and elaborate them to a representation of three dimensional space like portraits of puppetry or claymation."
No one asked but that's a peek into the way I think about these things. I'll probably publish more as things gel.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Here are two more pages ( pages four and five ) from the new Harry and Silvio story which begins in Appalachia and quickly moves to outer space.I plan on this tale being between one hundred and fifty pages to two hundred pages. At the moment I'm working on twelve to twenty sample pages to submit as a proposal. I'm finishing up page six today.
I'm at the library again! Still no Internet at home but it should be back by tonight. At least I've been more productive then usual with out being able to compulsively check mail.
I had a good Labour Day weekend ( that's a Canadian Holiday ). I ate wild boar, drew a lot, played with Henry, finished reading two books and read a pile of comics. This morning I finished Melvin Monster from the John Stanley collection published by Drawn and Quarterly. It's one of the funnest and funniest comics I've read. I'm defiantly hunting down Mr. Stanley's Little LuLu stories now.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Sorry about the web silence lately. I have always noted that things break around me, well anything technological. First my scanner went about a week ago. Then my computer died, so I ended up borrowing my wife's laptop. And now our wireless network has disappeared. I assume it's getting fed better down the street. Please feel free to contact me, I'll be stopping by the local Longbranch branch of the library to check email etc.
Anyway...The above is the first three pages of an ongoing Harry and Silvio story that I've been working feverishly on. The world keeps opening up more and more to me and it is so much fun to explore.I'm working really big and really detailed so the inking is taking forever but inking is my favorite part of the process so I don't mind at all. Inking is when the image reveals itself, sometimes in really surprising ways. The current plan is to publish as a web comic, a minicomic and to send out proposals to various companies.I sold copies of the earlier Harry and Silvio stories at the FanExpo and got some great responses.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I'm still computerless at the moment and am using my wife's laptop way too much but at least I can update my blog! Things are good here. There was a big change in my plans for the next few months today that I'm still processing. Harry and Silvio is coming along really well and with the advice of Toronto's own Ramon Perez I think I've made some major improvements in my storytelling, especially by inserting more moment to moment actions in my stories. Also, Marvel was bought by Disney. That's crazy huge news which my instinct says is positive.
Whenever I work on Harry and Silvio stories I end up listening to more and more old timey music. I've come to think of it as the soundtrack for the comics. Banjos, mandolin and twanging voices suit the stories. I actually think the guys come from the south, at least Harry does. Silvio started off in New York State.I thought it would be fun to share the soundtrack with everyone. I know this music's not for everyone but that's fine.
Here is a preliminary side one:
Freight Train-Elizabeth Cotten
Wednesday Night Waltz-Clarke Kessinger
Anchored In Love-The Carter Family
Suagr hill-Tommy Jarrell
Cheroke Lady-Sam Bush
Buckeye Jim-Elizabeth Mitchell
White Winter Hymnal-Fleet Foxes
Sukey Jump-Lead Belly
Cuckoo Song-Kristen Hersh
Lie to Me-Tom Waits
I've provided links to the songs where I could.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
The above photograph I took a few weeks ago in Quebec city felt appropriate today. My computer has refused to turn on for the last day, the scanner hasn't been working for a week and Gmail broke. Sigh. I needed a couple of days offline to recuperate from FanExpo in any case. So I might be posting from my wife's laptop and only posting digital photos for a while.But hopefully not.