Friday, March 30, 2012

"I Was Quit When I Came in Here, Bryant. I'm Twice as Quit Now."

And for our final installment on Harrison Ford week...John Book from Witness...No, of course not, it's humanoid replicant hunter Rick Deckard from Blade Runner.  In this day and age, it's sappy to say, but yeah, I too was heavily inspired by this dystopian neon gargbage heap of the future created by Ridley Scott.  I was in the video store as a kid, and all I saw was the box for a sci-fi flick with Harrison Ford that wasn't Star Wars and it's pic of Ford was nowhere near Indiana Jones.  From the minute it opened, I was pretty darned smitten, and have seen it enough times that I can annoy friends with the narration from the original release when watching any of the subsequent versions.  Anyhow, I'm quite happy with the drawing, and hope you enjoy it as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Yeah, I'll bet you have..." Proceeds to Shoot First

Our 2nd installment for Harrison Ford week (which probably should've been 1st, in terms of influence) is the galaxy's favorite scoundrel, Han Solo. If anything, Solo, as both smuggler and fan favorite character, once again proves people's love affair with the outlaw/rebel, the selfish guy who ultimately does the right thing.  Lord knows he was instantly my favorite...I mean, I wanted to be Luke, a young man starting on a mystical martial arts journey, but I loved Han.  Hell, if there had been some magical way to combine the two (you can''s not the same...they have to each be what they are), that's the guy I would've wanted to be.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"The Return of the Great Adventure!"

At long last, it's the week of drawings that you didn't know you've been waiting for!  It's finally Harrison Ford week (aka. A Small Degree of Internet Pandering Week!)  For whatever reason, as I'm trying out some new drawing techniques (working with different quills and trying some different stuff with my line), I decided to depict Harrison Ford in some of my favorite roles when I was growing up.  Also, as I was trying to get a look somewhere between classically trained drawing and classic comic strip drawing, I figured something with a bit of high adventure would be suitable subject matter (especially after last week's Roman ruins)!  Though technically I should've started with Wednesday's drawing, we'll kick the week off with a little derring-do from everyone's favorite archaeology professor, Indiana Jones!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Crossroads of Palmyra...

With all the political strife in Syria, I chose the restored tetrapylon from Palmyra as our final set of Roman ruins.  Palmyra became part of the Roman Empire during the reign of Tiberius, but over time went back and forth between the Romans, the Sassanids, and as it's own independent nation.  Much later, the city was fell into sharp decline as part of the Ottoman Empire, and after being rediscovered by Western travelers in the 17th century, the city has been under off an on excavation by archaeologists since the 19th century.  Tetrapylons (like the one featured above...well, three out of four ain't bad...not half bad...cuz it's one more than two) were four part cubic monuments with four gates that were usually built at crossroads.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Entrance to Ancient Gerasa...

My Second set of ruins comes from an image of the Arch of Hadrian that was the entrance to the Greco-Roman city Gerasa (not to be confused with the Arch of Hadrian in Athens...which if you ever seen it, is not easily confused with this arch) now Jerash in modern Jordan. The Romans conquered the city in 63 BC after which the city flourished for many years until the Persians took over the territory in 614 AD and a major earthquake destroyed much of it in 749 AD.  Today, it is considered one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Near East and continues to be excavated and explored.  The arch was built to commemorate a visit from the Emperor Hadrian around 129-130 AD.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Foot of the Capitoline Hill

So the other aspect of drawing that I'd been neglecting was architecture.  I admire good architecture, but I'll admit to not being all that geared up to draw it.  So, to tie it into things I have been interested in lately, I decided to draw Roman/Roman era ruins.  We kick off the week with the remains of the Temple of Saturn in Rome proper.  Traditionally believed to have been built around 497 BC in the early days of Rome, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt twice.  As Saturn was associated with wealth, for many years, the Temple held Rome's gold and silver reserves.  The front portico, as picture above, is all that remains standing today.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Snout of the Aardvark

This week's final animal is the aardvark, whose name is derived from the Afrikaans for "earth pig" and though it also sometimes called an "anteater" (which it does do), it is related to neither pigs nor the South American anteaters.  These burrowing nocturnal creatures only sustenance besides ants and termites is the aardvark cucumber which relies on the aardvarks to dig them up and scatter the seeds.  As a side not that I feel I must mention, part of the inspiration to include the aardvark in this micro-bestiary comes as a result of recently rereading the entirety Dave Sim's comic series, Cerebus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Scars of the Elephant Seal

For my second animal, I chose the bizarrely schnozzed elephant seal, which was once nearly hunted to extinction.  The alpha males in the various colonies get into often bloody fights over the harems of females.  After the thick-skinned horn-nosed rhino, the thickly scarred blubber-nosed elephant seal certainly seemed the way to go...haha.  In any event, the third one will buck the system...sort of.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Hide of a Rhinoceros

It's been far too long since I've drawn any fauna (megafauna, in this particular case, to be exact), so I decided that this week would be a good week for some wilder samples of the Kingdom Animalia.  I kicked off with a good old Rhinoceros, those fascinating four-legged bulwarks of beastliness.  There's always been something fascinating, both contemplative and dangerous, about these huge and horned creatures.  I chose an image of the black rhino which is no for being far more aggressive than it's close cousin the white rhino...and far more apt to charge.

On a side note, every time I hear about finding another ring of poachers slaughtering them or some game warden finding them on their deathbeds minus horns because some associative magic nitwit thinks it'll keep his wang-dang-doodle hard, I verge on the apoplectic.  Honestly, if you're dumb enough to think that carving off a rhino horn is gonna help you get it really don't deserve to be having sex.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Odd Weekend Post

I went out one evening with friends while I was drawing my WWI soldiers and penned this creepy character.  Though modeled in a sense from the war imagery I'd been scanning through, he came out more like a huntsman.  Anyhow, he was a strange tidbit, and I thought I would share.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Soldiers of the Great War: A Brit in The Trenches

For my final WWI soldier, I chose this British soldier just because I liked his face.  The helmet, the trenchcoat...they're pretty standard, but I simply liked his face, so I sketched him down.  On a barely related sidenote (and I recommend reading up some on trench warfare in WWI), I would recommend taking in the final Black Adder series that satirizes this struggle.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Soldiers of the Great War: A German in Winter

For some reason, the simple wool-lined rustic looking coat with the mustache and hat made me think that this fella would've looked right at home storming over the steppes with Attila and descending on the Roman empire if the were a bow over his shoulder instead of a rifle.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Soldiers of the Great War: The Sikh Regiments

For this week, I decided to do something different, and using various image searches found what I thought were some interesting and different views of soldiers from the first world war.  I started with this interesting image I found of a lone soldier from one of the Sikh Regiments.

Friday, March 02, 2012

"I am a lie who always speaks the truth."

Our final European film director is the reverie-inducing Jean Cocteau.

Cocteau worked as a poet, novelist, dramaturge, designer, artist and even helped create some ballet along with writing a libretto or two.  Oh, and he made films.  All in all, something of a layabout....

I jest, of course.  Recounting Cocteau's achievements in even a few of his chosen art forms would take far longer than I have to discuss him, especially as I've only chipped away at the top of the iceberg myself.  He is perhaps best known today for his beautifully filmed rendition of Beauty and the Beast (1946), and for the Orpheus trilogy (The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orpheus (1950) and The Testament of Orpheus (1960) ).

My first exposure to his work was while in college.  A friend in an avant-garde jazz band invited me to a screening that his group would score of a Man Ray short and Cocteau's Blood of a Poet.  It was an immensely enjoyable evening, but what struck me most was the reaction of the crowd to Poet.  Though Cocteau's camera tricks were easy for me to decipher, it was wonderful how these fairly simple in-camera effects still drew gasps of surprise from the crowd.  If anything, it proved that it's not the complexity of the trick, but rather the simple elegance of how you pull it off.