Finally did some people watching, and of course sketching, in Chinatown this last weekend in February. It was lots of the older folk either playing cards or taking care of their grandchildren. Fellow artist, and AAU student, Jessica joined me. It was so nice to be outdoors with everyone and drawing.

rooftop style

rooftop style

Lots of grandchildren being held, followed or chased by their grandparents.

Grandmother chasing girl chasing pigeons

Grandmother chasing girl chasing pigeons


Sketching on Saturday

norm r1s

These two were looking at ‘The Golden Rule’ painting which appeared on the April 1, 1961 cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

It was a cold and blustery day at the Crocker Art Museum but the Norman Rockwell exhibit was warming many hearts. It remained a great show, though there were fewer paintings than I had seen at the Rockwell exhibition back in 2000 in San Diego. The best part was sharing it with fellow artists Nikhil, Ashley & Erica. What continues to stand out the most to me is not only Norman’s attention to the craft of painting but also his stunning compositions. More on that later. Here are a few sketches I did and some fun pics of us at the exhibit.


    norm r2snorm r3s  

 nikhil norm ashley norm  erica norm

 coco norm  

On Saturday January 5, I am going to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. I invite any and all to join me. I will be bringing my sketch book and possibly my small watercolor set. The Crocker opens at 10, I plan on getting an early start at 10:30, basking in and sketching Norm’s work till noonish, lunch at the Crocker Cafe, then back for a last look at my favorites and head for home by 2. Norman’s storytelling, the clear personality and body language of his subjects, is nothing short of a delight. So come find me up on the third floor with Norm, what a great way to start the new year!

. Soda_Jerk_Columbus_painting


On view on the Museum’s third floor.

This exhibition celebrates the full range of Norman Rockwell’s artwork, including rarely circulated works from the collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Included in the presentation are original oil paintings of some of his most famous illustrations, drawings, war bond posters, and numerous covers that Rockwell created forThe Saturday Evening Post over nearly five decades. In addition to the artworks on view, personal correspondence and archival photographs offer insight into the life of one of the country’s most beloved illustrators.

'Moki' in my favorite 'big nasty' charcoal

‘Moki’ in my favorite ‘big nasty’ charcoal

I appreciate the partnership I get when using traditional tools.  In all fairness the  pens and styluses are getting better and better at mimicking different drawing mediums, at simulating tilt and edge control, but they lack the independent nature the traditional mediums supply. The element of surprise, the slightly random nature of the raw material, the condition of the paper on that day at that temperature, all these variables add to a creative partnership that I do not experience in the digital realm. I do like the digital pipeline ease, the quick color and graphic add-on features, but I do not see digital drawing tools ever replacing my traditional ones, they simply expand my range of options. The dance of my thick charcoal over rough newsprint is like sculpting the form on paper. The joy of creation is challenged and enriched by the process.


There were so many wonderful things that happened at CTN this year, but one of the highlights was drawing in a Gesture workshop led by my fellow ‘Walt Stachfield’ devotee, Dave Pimentel. Above is a sketch I did of the amazing costume model John Tucker aka ‘Tucker’, when I was at Disney. Below are sketches I did in Dave’s workshop of Tucker’s modeling partner Daniella, and then a few I did of the two of them modeling together.

coco003aThe sultry spy Daniella, Tucker’s modeling partner at CTN 2012

HIllbilly Tucker

‘Hillbilly Tucker’ bringing home diner to a very excited and pregnant wife – done at CTN Nov. 2012

Story format can be horizontal or vertical. If you are drawing for storyboard for film keeping a horizontal format is key. For many of us coming from an illustration background or class we will have the habit of drawing and designing on the vertical. Keeping in mind the standard screen ratio of 16:9, the easiest thing to do when sketching is to simply turn your sketchbook or ipad on the horizontal.

I made a short video that goes into a bit more detail, enjoy.


Leaning Shed

Leaning Shed

Oil on Panel