2020 ink and ink wash on Bristol – this drawing was made for Expeditious Retreat Press.
Recently have been doing some color art for “virtual table top” use — these are illustrations to be used as tokens in an online game. From top to bottom, we have rat cultists (wearing masks and bearing ceremonial willow wands), rat priests (wearing masks and little or nothing else), rat temple guards (armed with metal punching claws) and giant rats. There are about 50 tokens total. I think it would make a nice pattern for curtains that could really bring a room together.
One of my recent doodles – Plague Doctor needs extra protection!
Friday, March 20, 2020
What have I been doing during the pandemic? I usually work from home anyway, so that part of life hasn’t changed that much. I’ve done a lot of drawing but very little has been just for me – most of it has been for various clients. Usually I work from about 10 am to 6 or so with breaks for lunch, walking the dogs, etc., then I usually work a couple more hours in the night. I’ve been watching a bit more Netflix than usual — Elmore Leonard’s “Justified” is a good distraction. I mailed off a bunch of copies of my “Yellow Sign” comic to people who ordered them online. I use self-adhesive stamps and envelopes so I am not putting virus tainted spittle into the US mail. A few times I have had a little more whiskey than is probably good for me… seltzer with a splash of Canadian and ice seems like a modest drink until you follow it with another and so on. We have a new dog — adopted just before the pandemic was revealed as a pandemic — he’s an escape artist so I’ve spent some time hunting him down when he runs away to explore. I’ve been working on a few original art sales — which involves a lot of digging through old stacks of artwork. This process always makes me think there has to be a better way of doing an art inventory but every time I try to figure out a method that would be better I draw a blank — the drawings and paintings are all different sizes so physically it is impossible to keep them in one place and then there is also the question of how to sort them… by year, client, subject matter? None of the ‘filing systems’ I come up with seem to make more sense than the one I am using now (stick old work in various storage boxes dedicated to genre/client if it fits, in the flat file or larger storage boxes if it is too big). I’m also primary hunter/gatherer in this household… I’ve ventured out for supplies and succeeded in the quest for chicken and milk but failed to find toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Annie found a couple of packs of TP so we are temporarily set… and the other day, on my quest, I found and bought a couple of packs of tissues, so our back up is in place. I ordered a new dog fence for the yard and plan to install it myself once the fencing arrives. Part of our yard is fenced but with heavy traffic from 2 good sized dogs who sometimes dig holes just for the fuck of it and heavy rains that little spot is starting to look like Flanders during the Great War. Maybe if we give the beasts more “lebensraum” the grass can recover but I kind of doubt it. Annie and I are trying to do yoga once in a while (which is really more calisthenics and stretching with a Brian Eno or similar sound track — despite wanting to maintain a curmudgeonly attitude about it, it really does help).
Work still in progress… One of the larger drawings I have done… measures about 17×44 inches. These are the roofs and streets of Lankhmar for an upcoming Goodman Games special project.
Recent work – pen and ink. 1/2 page illustration for Goodman Games.
Not sure if I am done yet… will take another look later and try to decide.
Bonnacon 2020 pen and ink
The bonnacon, a bull-like creature first described by Pliny the Elder, has inwardly curving horns that are useless for defense. When threatened, the bonnacon turns to flee and emits an enormous fart of such potency that bushes and trees caught in its path burst into flame.
Here is a 1976 cover painting by George Barr for Jack Vance’s Dying Earth.
I’m still on vacation and away from my studio, but this cartoon I drew years ago seems more appropriate today than when I drew it back in 2016. If I could change anything about it, I would change the hair. My drawing’s hair isn’t absurd enough.