Gustave Doré

Growing up, I feel like we had an edition of the Bible with Gustave Doré’s illustrations. I remember loving these illustrations as a youngster (probably partially because of the nekke’d people. Scandal!) but also they were so detailed and beautiful. Revisiting them now they create a weird combination of nostalgia and awe in me. Doré was an amazing artist; a master of black and white composition.

Check out his illustrations for Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. It’s like something out of Maxfield Parrish’s nightmares.



Random sketches

Lots of sketches. It’s weird but I feel like I enjoy drawing anatomy more without references or at least only using references very loosely. The closer I follow references for figures the more stiff the drawings seem to get.

A sampling of sketchbook randomness.


I’ve almost filled out this sketchbook in the last three months. It’s fun to flip back to the earlier pages and see what’s improved. I was pretty rusty when I started this book.



I’m a rabid Milton Caniff fan and finally got up the gumption to dive into this enormous biography. This has the thoroughness and physical weight of John Calvin’s Institutes. The best parts are when it gets into his drawing technique, especially how he developed his gorgeous Chiaroscuro style via Noel Sickles. You can see me trying to figure out some of that technique in the sketchbook above.


I have been just trying to be loose and work on things like hands and feet.

photo 1
my muse
photo 2
The view on the way to Tahoe

I wanted to work on some I=different hand positions in these. I had fun sketching these after church when the house was napping.

photo 4photo 3photo 5


For the last month or so Calvin has only allowed me to read him Tintin ( or “Tin” as he calls it). I have always been a mild Tintin fan. But when Calvin first started this Tintin obsession I was annoyed by it. They are sort of wordy and I didn’t really like reading comic books out loud. But now? I share deeply in Calvin’s obsession. I love the characters,  the complicated story lines, the unrealistic clues left being for Tintin ( almost all of the books have a scrap of paper left behind with cryptic but vital information). And of course the illustrations. Herge is my hero right now. His drawings are so expressive and simple, detailed but not busy. He is amazing. All that to say, I doodled some Tintin’s tonight. I had to sneak into Calvin’s room after he had fallen asleep. We currently have every Tintin the library has and they reside in Calvin’s bed. It’s almost creepy, he knows if one of the 10 is missing, almost intuitively. That boy, I hope he doesn’t outgrow this stage anytime soon.

Also, what is Tintin? A journalist? A Private Eye? A nosy busybody? Is this ever explained? He takes the weight of the world on his shoulders and solves problems world problems in an amazing way. I think we need a Tintin right now to go sort out ISIS. He seems like the only person who could do it.

“Abulla you little brat!” This was for Calvin to color, he of course, loves Abdulla. He didn’t get to coloring him, but did a nice job on Snowy <3
I just had to try and draw a drunk Snowy.
I just had to try and draw a drunk Snowy