Jul 4, 2008

Rivero's Indepence Day

How appropriate that I turn over Graphic Apparatus over to Adrian completely on the Fourth of July. He's now finally free of a blog contributor who rarely posts and who rarely says anything more than "This was drawn in pencil. Please tell me you like it because my ego needs the boost." So why are we parting ways on this blog when we were pretty much changing the art world with every post here? Turns out it's nothing that exciting. It boils down to me being unable to post on two blogs regularly. So keep reading all of Adrian's interesting life moments here, and you can always go over to mine if you are so inclined. It really has nothing to do with that garbage can that Adrian threw at my car's windshield during an argument last Tuesday. Just ask him.

More 4th of July news: My whole family didn't get to celebrate together today, but my nephew and oldest brother did come over while I was working on
this design for Threadless T-Shirts. After working a little more in Photoshop, it was time to throw the Nerf football around in the backyard, play some Wii boxing which is extremely tiring, and eat some dinner. No need to get into much else over the day's less than patriotic activities.

So that's that.

Remember to check out Adrian's design here, and the one I just put up a few minutes ago here. Thanks for checking out our work.


Jun 3, 2008

Time to start posting again, Rivero.

I remember wanting to give up on this blog a few months ago...or was it late last year? Not important, but this team blog needs Detective Rivero to report back to duty. I feel an ulcer growing in my stomach just thinking about what he's been doing with the gun and badge that we forgot to confiscate the last time he was at his desk.

Is it just me or are we all imagining him hunched over a bar stool in a smokey dive bar where all the livers of its patrons can't be combined to make even one good one? Maybe he's carving one out of the first trouble-maker who makes the mistake of touching his leather jacket. He'd be doing it straight-faced for sure, like he was going through a stack of junk mail full of local coupons and catalogs for home accessories.

Well, I guess it serves me right for leaving him to do all the work here for days/weeks at a time.

The above is another pass at another portrait. Trying to do something a little bit more controlled with the skin tones and application of the paint.

How can it be June already?

May 29, 2008

Started Another

Finished a quick self-portrait (posted on my other blog here) and then started this one because...well, I just need to paint a lot more and there were a lot of things that I would have changed with the first portrait of my niece had I given myself more time.

May 27, 2008

Another Portrait Finished

Again, there would be some things that I would change in the face, but I'm calling this done, so that I can move on to the next painting. I think that the painting is showing what my nephew will look like in the next couple of years and not exactly how he looks now. Let's just say that I did that on purpose, and that's the way I approach painting now. With these canvases, you see into the future ! ! ! It's strange how the thumbnail of the whole canvas makes him look even older whereas the detail to the right shows that it's not that bad.

It felt good to paint with a palette knife again which I did on a lot of the canvas' surface except for the face. Actually, maybe one more hour on certain areas could really bring the piece together, but we'll see how things go. I'd still like to make some changes to the first portrait (of my older niece) that I finished a few weeks ago...

We're really working on getting a show together in the next 4-8 weeks, and Rivero knows two people (can't say yet because everyone likes surprises) that may be down for a group show of paintings and drawings which would be great! More on that as the space and details become more finalized.


May 25, 2008

Gareth Says

Yes, it is late, but I just had to draw Gareth Keenan's face while watching the first episode of The Office again on Netflix.

Rivero's taking a few days off from all his usual posts here, so your stuck with me. He went to Lauren's graduation party today (congrats, Lauren! Sorry I couldn't make it), and was about to enjoy a 14" chorizo the last time I spoke with him on the phone. C'mon people. Keep it clean.

note: According to IMDB, Mackenzie Cook did a movie called Sex Lives of the Potato Men.

I need to wake up early and continue working on the painting below. I also need to rework that t-shirt design or just start a new one.


May 23, 2008

First t-shirt design

Please check out this Threadless page to critique a design I put up. Is it not clear enough? I almost put the drawing on a white t-shirt, so please leave a comment and check one of those boxes to let me know what you think.

I've never had a cat myself, but the ones my friends and family members have are hilarious and really interesting.

Now, if I can just avoid sitting in front of a computer for 24 hours, I'll be a happy person.


update: 6-13-2008: Design removed. Awwwww...

May 22, 2008


Didn't have a drawing on the canvas before putting down the first paint, so I've been struggling a little with the face as you can see from the photo of the canvas on the easel. Thinking back to a few stages before the one you see, my nephew's face wasn't turning out that bad, but I didn't want to half-ass any of this series of portraits.

Sometimes Rivero asks me about color choices, and I think it's best not to worry about it too much especially this early in the process. I looked at my palette and basically went with colors that were neglected when I painted a portrait of my niece recently. Of course, it's great to know color theory and be adept at mixing paint, but if the structure isn't there, then you get something like what we have here. I'm confident that the next pass will result in a better likeness, so I'm just enjoying painting.

I'm definitely going to do a full body of the next person--probably my other niece--to change it up. It would be nice to find a nice spot in one of our houses, so I can incorporate some furniture and and perspective elements in the next composition.

I know it's the third post today, and I'm not trying to hog the blog (sounds dirtier than it should), but some of you subscribe, so we don't want to wait too long in between posts. And yes, that's a cut water bottle sitting on the easel. I couldn't find a big plastic cup anywhere to hold some water. Have to keep those brushes clean...


Trying to salvage this month of few posts

A few pages from a sketchbook. Clockwise from top left: display at Peet's. Back of girl at Borders. People who will soon be abducted by aliens. Feel sorry for them because aliens like probing humans from behind.

Scroll down for Adrian's post from earlier today. Forgot to check if he had posted something. Don't worry, Rivero. Our readers are savvy enough to scroll down...

May 20, 2008

Something Faster

This time with a bamboo brush and sumi ink, not too concerned with likeness. Just wanted something looser and less labored than the charcoal study.


Nephew's Turn

Here is a charcoal study of my nephew for an oil painting I started today. I was happy with the likeness considering I just had a stick of charcoal. After some fixative, I added some white pencil. Sorry for the bad photos from my digital camera; the paper was propped up on an easel instead of of using my scanner...


May 7, 2008

FCBD Photos

My niece took this group shot.

The Spock doll lives.
Just a couple because I was too lazy to get up and take them myself.

Apr 20, 2008

'Sorry to break up this party.'

This is a loose quote from a manager at a chocolate cafe that Rivero and I were patronizing. Rivero wanted to visit his friend, so they talked, and I ordered the chocolate au lait after the young guy behind the counter assumed I was a moron who couldn't figure out the meaning of some names on the menu. I had only asked a couple of questions just to make friendly conversation, but he mistook my kindness for illiteracy. Then three of us talked about Adrian's behavior, drinks they had the day before, etc. More chit chat, and no other customers were coming in when this guy comes out from the back room and rudely interupts the conversation with his red face. Now, I fully understand that most bosses don't want their employees to enjoy themselves especially when it comes to food service, but this was a bit much. He barked his orders and told them to dust the cafe, even getting up on a chair to wipe the top of a picture frame to prove his point. The guy will probably continue his stressful ways and drop dead at the age of 41 if we're lucky.

So now on to more important things. After that lovely experience, Rivero and I go to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall which ends up being a great movie. Mila Kunis is in it along with Kristen Bell and Jason Segel. I've been calling him "the drummer guy from Freaks and Geeks," but no longer. They're all great in it, and it's nice to know that we're not 100% bitter when it comes to relationships and life that we can't enjoy a comedy like this. Hell, the 85-year-olds down the row from us probably liked it, too, except for the parts where Seagle gave the audience a view of his dong [on two occasions].

Below are a couple of early stages of the digital drawing. Check my other blog in the next day or two for the finished piece.

See? No boring bloggers here, Lauren. -cm

note: This is an exercise based on a photo from complex.com.
Photograph by Brian Bowen Smith.

Apr 15, 2008

There was more. Honest.

So I checked out the Drawing Board's drawing jam for March and started to draw a portrait with my tablet. I flipped the canvas horizontally in PS and noticed it was very lopsided. I redrew the the mouth and nose. Then I redrew the jaw line. And then I repeated that when it was still not looking right. Finally, looking at the clock, I decided enough was enough and just started dropping a lot of black into the sketch with various brushes.

I can still see what's off, but here's a version that I wasn't going to post anywhere. Just imagine it's really cold (which it was today here in the Bay Area), and this girl is wearing a big turtleneck to stay warm. Maybe she's a ninja.

Time to sleep.


4:05am: Forgot that I saved the first marks in PS. I can already see where it was going to go wrong. I was going to save more of the steps but forgot.

Apr 7, 2008

People Doing Stuff

It was bothering me that most of my drawings didn''t have people interacting, just standing around.

The third panel is supposed to take place near train tracks. That's not nice.

I actually like the idea of a dad being dumb enough to give a kid boots with spurs on them, and then giving him horsey rides around the house. Poor dad's going to bleed.

I don't think the lesbian in the last panel is cute, but the guy has been waiting for it all night, so just let him.


Apr 1, 2008

No Joke

Will try to post more often this month. Who cares if the posts don't make sense?


Mar 20, 2008

Rivero Probably Wanted to Write This

But I was too happy for the pervert. Check out this post on March MODOK Madness for his submission! Congrats, Rivero. You can have your gun and badge back.


Mar 19, 2008

A Few Scans

Here's stuff from the comic story we worked on together. Rivero really came through on the inks and washes. I remember thinking that I was going to be really slow illustrating a 1920s baseball story all by myself and was surprised that Rivero agreed to work on it with me without any hesitation. There are three other pages, but you'll just have to see them in the comic that will be published this Spring along with two other stories. More news on that to come.

I wanted to write something in response to Rivero spilling his guts here on the blog, but now I can't remember the gist of what I was so anxious to reveal. It was clear to me during the Mallory/Alba (places here in the Bay Area) Maneuver from last Friday and Saturday. That was then, and now it's approaching 3am Wednesday morning, my mind foggy from work and from another phone meeting with Adrian. Sounds like we're really conducting some serious business that way. Nothing else for now...


Mar 14, 2008

Ms. M.

My humble attempt at coloring Rivero's female MODOK. I sent this to him last night five minutes after he sent me an email, but he didn't respond. I guess he hates it and doesn't want to hurt my feelings. It's okay, Rivero. I can take critiques better now than I could at art school. You're probably just going to sucker-punch me in the stomach when we meet up next.

If this MODOK showed up at my door asking for a portrait, I'd do it. The portrait, I mean. The face reminds me of the Witch of the Waste from Howl's Moving Castle just because it's blobby. She needs to sweat more though. Realizing what that propulsion unit would do to my carpet/flooring, I'd only let her in the garage or backyard.

Regarding the quote from the last post... It was a joke, so don't think anyone here is delusional enough to believe he will get anywhere near Kirby.


Update: 2:01pm.

Very few changes, but here it is.

I'd better get something done for this March MODOK Madness over at the Drawing Board!

Here's a link to the blog--March MODOK Madness.


Feb 28, 2008

Not the Red Skull

Should have gone to sleep, but I was still thinking of the 1920s car reference that surfaced for the story that Rivero and I are working on.

This character kind of has a pink skull, and he's in desperate need of a driver. Maybe the car is driving itself, thinking it's part of a Fourth of July parade.

This my only post this month. Rivero wins again.


Jan 18, 2008

Still A Mess

Found this while throwing away a bunch of useless stuff in my closet. I borrowed a book on Sargent from the library a while ago and felt the need to copy a painting. This is gouache on watercolor paper, but I don't remember what John Singer Sargent used in the original.

I'm sure I uploaded this somewhere before...maybe it was on my first blog where I lost a bunch of stuff in an upgrade.

I need to start doing this again just as a routine exercise to try out new approaches to painting. I don't think I even own a Sargent book. Do any of the Bay Area museums have a decent collection of his stuff?


Jan 1, 2008

2 0 0 8 !

Wanted our first post for the New Year to be a little more polished and exciting than this, but here it is anyway.

Drew this at Rivero's Starbuck's the other night. Looked across the street, started drawing the car lot, got bored, and then added monsters.

Actually tried to do a more finished version than this in Photoshop, but it was horrible, so Ctrl-W took care of that.

Wonton's the first one to post comments for this blog for the new year, so Adrian will have to figure out an appropriate prize.

I'm going to read the latest issue of Acme Novelty Library now.