More barbershop sketches

Last weekend I attended a barbershop singing concert, and brought my sketchbook. Tonight I decided to take a couple of those sketches and try pushing them further.


I’m currently working on a project designing a skateboarding cow for a dairy producer. It’s still being refined but this is my favorite sketch so far. It has to be two-color (black and blue). The client thinks the cow looks too old–I can see that–and they don’t like the pose. So back to the drawing board.

New Character Designs

I can’t say what these are for yet, but I’ve been hired to design some characters for an upcoming project. Here’s two of them: A rapping duck and a German apple strudel. (Now I’ve got you curious, don’t I?)


I love sketching and try and take a sketchbook with me wherever I go, always striving to improve my drawing skills. It’s true what they say, there aren’t any shortcuts to artistic excellence. There’s only one long, winding road called Practice. Every time I start thinking I’ve “arrived” as an artist, I look at the work of two other very talented men and I am immediately humbled.

One such man is Stephen Silver. I read recently that he goes to lunch every day with a laptop carrying-case full of various sketchbooks and art supplies. His lunchtime doodles inspire the heck out of me. So I went to OfficeMax and picked up a nice brown leather computer case and filled it with art supplies of my own. The pockets and pouches are perfect for sketchbooks, pencils, watercolors, etc. It now sits in my car, ready for sketching at a moment’s notice. I’ve also stuffed in one of Silver’s sketchbooks for that extra kick of inspiration.

Another terrific artist is Rik Maki. I recently stumbled across his new book, Scribblin’ Away at Mike’s Cafe. I ordered it online and it is one of the best sketchbooks I’ve ever purchased, well worth every penny. The book is a collection of sketches done on placemats and napkins at a local restaurant. They are jaw-dropping incredible!

I’d love to write more, but it looks like I’ve got a lot of practicing to do…..

Chen Yi Chang on Character Design

This has been around for a while, but it’s still a great link. In October 2002 California State Polytechnic University Pomona filmed a presentation by Disney character design supervisor Chen Yi Chang (Batman, Mulan, Tarzan). For over two hours Chang gives a multimedia discusssion covering the basics of good character design and technique. Then he reviewed student’s work for another hour. There’s some really good stuff here, mostly a refresher on the basics but still very inspiring!