Friday, September 30, 2011

It Came from...OUTER SPACE!!!

Today, I decided to break the order a big and post this little number, a collaboration I did with my good friend and fine artist Jason Shawn Alexander.  It all started with Jim Mahfood drawing a crazy robot, which led me draw a bubble-helmeted spaceman, which led Jason to do drawn his own bubble-helmeted spaceman.  It was late, and he didn't get as far into his as he'd been working on other the end of the night, he handed it to me and said "Here. Finish this."

Having recently begun to play with my gouache again and enjoying mimicking my beloved paperback and poster illustration of old, I took it and went hog wild for a couple of days.  It turned out fairly well I think.  I presented back it to Jason for his birthday.  Now, I thought I'd put it up here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Closely Spaced Parallel Lines

Hatching, using parallel lines to represent tones or shading, originated in Western art in the Middle Ages, and by the 15th Century had further developed into cross-hatching, using sets of parallel lines placed at an angle to one another. Artist and Illustrator, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), is recognized as perhaps the greatest master of the technique.  And if you're wondering why I'm telling you this, it's because I couldn't think of anything else to go with this, art history lesson.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Angel of Death was summoned. He cannot return empty-handed."

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee has been a fixture in entertainment for over 50 years, and at 6' 5" with a famously booming bass voice has largely mastered the art of portraying villainy.  He was initially best known for playing Lord of the Undead, Dracula, in the long-running series of Hammer Horror films opposite Peter Cushing as Van Helsing (though this dynamic acting duo played a great variety of parts at the studio).  This quick sketch is from one of the few roles where he got to be the hero in the adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out where he saves his friend from a satanic cult led by Charles Gray. At 89, years of age, Lee continues to work and was seen in two of the biggest franchises of the last decade by appearing in both the Star Wars films and Lord of the Rings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Little Candy Hearts at the Emerging Cinematographers Awards

Tonight, there will be a screening of the short film I wrote, Little Candy Hearts, as part of the Emerging Cinematographer Awards.  Our Director of Photography, Abe Martinez, will be honored as part of the program.  Directed by Seaton Lin and Produced by Hunter Woo, the short depicts a story of intrigue as a modern neo-noir in Los Angeles.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Well, you're about as romantic as a pair of handcuffs."

A quickie sketch of a young Lee Marvin from 1953's The Big Heat, helmed by Fritz Lang.  A grim noir,    one of the film's most memorable moments was Marvin's character, Vince Stone, hurling a pot of scalding hot coffee in his girlfriend's face. Granted that may not be up there with Richard Widmark pushing the old  lady down the stairs in Kiss of Death (1947), but it's still pretty shocking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Beauty, of course, is the most important requirement and the paramount asset of the applicant." - Flo Ziegfield

Alfred Cheney Johnston was best known as the photographer for the Ziegfield Follies in the 1920's. After his death in 1971, a treasure trove of Johnston's personal collection of prints and plate negatives were found stored away at his home in Connecticut.  The very graceful nude and semi-nude photos, mostly of Follies showgirls, would have been too risqué for even Ziegfield to run at the time.  This sketch was inspired after one of Johnston's photos.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who's More Famous to the Billions Millions?

John Graham Mellor, better known to the world as Joe Strummer, was one of the most iconic front men of punk with the Clash.  This quickie sketch was taken from 1987 cult film, Straight to Hell, by Alex Cox who had also helmed punk classics Sid and Nancy and Repo Man.  In addition to Strummer, the film's wild cast also includes Sy Richardson (a personal favorite), Dick Rude, The Pogues (as Mexican bandits no less), Jim Jarmusch, and a crazy couple cameo with Dennis Hopper and Grace Jones.  A fun oddity that I best remember for Strummer's hilarious make out scene with Jennifer Balgobin.  Sadly, Strummer passed away unexpectedly at 50, and after recently watching the movie again, I wish we could've gotten him on the screen more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Apollo, lord of the silver bow..."

Today's quickie was a flashback to many moons ago when I got to go on a tour of northern France.  One afternoon was spent wandering the gardens of the palace at Versailles.  In addition to the host of neo-classical statues lining the walks, there was the great Apollo fountain.  The picture I took of it (reproduced below) is one of my favorites.  It was a slightly overcast day, but the hazy fog behind the statue only showed up when I printed the photo giving it a mood that wasn't present in reality.  In any event, call is nostalgia, but I felt like doing a quick rendering of the horn blower at the front.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"No, some men don't like to be taken for a ride..."

The title quote is from 1965's James Bond adventure, Thunderball, which starred the lovely Claudine Auger of whom this is a sketch.  Initially written to be a screenplay and was developed by Bond creator Ian Fleming, producer Kevin McClory, and screenwriter Jack Wittingham, Thunderball was later turned into a novel credited solely to Fleming, compiling various drafts and materials from the film project.  This created a long-running legal dispute over authorship that briefly allowed a loophole for the production of a non-MGM non-Albert "Cubby" Broccoli produced Bond picture, 1983's Never Say Never Again...which, oddly enough, brought Connery back to the role of Bond after a 12 year hiatus following 1971's Diamonds Are Forever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not Quite Modesty Blaise...

I can't remember where I found the still that I adapted this little 60's number from...but there she is...

Friday, September 09, 2011

Insert Uranus Jokes at the Nearest Sword or Sandal...

This friendly looking fella was one of the strange Atlantean guardsmen in Hercules and the Captive Women (1961, aka. Hercules Conquers Atlantis).  I have a soft spot for peplum, the sword and sandal epics of Greek or Roman times or mythology.  While they'll never replace my beloved spaghetti westerns as my top Italian genre films, they're cheesy, goofy good times are almost always good for a laugh.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

8...9...10...10 Victims!

A silly quicky of Marcello Mastroianni from the sci-fi satire, The 10th Victim (1965).  (I'd tell you what the image is from...but it's sort of a major spoiler...)

Monday, September 05, 2011

He Who Got the Most Moneymakers Shaking...

Blues Legend Elmore James was perhaps most famous for his extreme technical ability on the guitar and his employment of a slide, earning him the nickname King of the Slide Guitar.  "Shake Your Moneymaker" is probably one of James' most swell known tunes, and his stirring sound and shouted vocals still pack a heckuva wallop.

Friday, September 02, 2011

"Way Down in the Hole..."

Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits, one of the most distinctive singer-songwriters in sound and presence, probably requires little by way of explanation on my part.  Though I was first exposed to Tom's music through his soundtrack work for Jim Jarmusch, it was the early, melancholy satire of his piano blues number "The Piano Has Been Drinking" that sent me on a dive through his catalogue.  While his gravelly growl of a voice might have some of the acquired taste of a strong Scotch, if you've not heard his stuff, you owe it to yourself as a music lover to taste a bit of a true original.