Saturday, December 31, 2011

Midnight doodle

I've been really bad with this Blog.  I haven't drawn much for it in a while.  So Here is something just get me going . Draw a figure at midnight  and just put something out there. 
Drawn in Photoshop  using it like a pencil or brush on paper. 
Too many distractions!  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

This one came in a little late. It's a little sketchy but that's the way I like to work. 
I did this one in Painter 12 . It seems to be getting better for me!  I really like that they now have a Photoshop-like interface now. The layout seems better and response has improved. I may actually start using it more . I need to take it through more test runs! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back to sketching

I was playing around with Sketcbook Express by Autodesk  and it was a little lfun.
But I found it hard to control the file size - well not that hard it's just easier in Photoshop . 
The pecil tool worke dpretty well but the tools in Photoshop are better.  I think maybe that Sketchbook express is goo if you're sketching on a tablet or ipad  and you're on a bus or in a museum with no keyboard. 
I'm still a photoshop fan .  this is just a qick sketch drawing as if I were drawing on toned paper with charcoal pencil and white conte`. Ten or fifteen minutes on this one.


Painter Sketch from Halloween

I've been busy with lots of things lately  and haven't been back here posting for a while . 
So here is a little sketch I did for Halloween using Painter 10. 
I did it for  Corel Painter's call for Halloween Sketches.   As I've stated  before  Idon't prefer Painter but I'm still trying to make it part of my regular tool kit. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fighter Diet - year two

 When I started this blog it was to be about sketching but I wanted to write about something else in my life .
  When people who haven't seen me in a while and finally see me again they notice that I look different.The other day someone who hasn't seen me in two years said something about it. Well I am different. I've had a change in my life.
  In October 2009 I discovered Fighter Diet™ and met it's Founder Pauline Nordin. Who's that and what's Fighter Diet™?  Pauline Nordin is a fitness expert and consultant,  a fitness model and spokes person. She was the winning trainer of the Swedish version of "The Biggest Loser" on Swedish TV. She is also the creator of Fighter Diet ™and we happen to belong to the same gym.
I was just impressed with what she's done in her field and just wanted to say hello and acknowledge her expertise. Then I started to read about her Fighter Diet and started to learn from her about food and training.
Now I've never gone on a diet and I've never thought of myself as being over weight. So why would want to go on a "Diet"? The diet - well it's more of a way of thinking about your food more that a "Diet"- consists of large amounts of vegetables and eating yourself full. Never starving yourself. Well I found myself changing things about my eating habits and my exercise. Not expecting much I weighed myself a week later to find that I was losing weight! What? That only happens when I travel for a month and am walking all day long and eating little food. But the weight always comes back . What was this ? It felt like magic!
I kept learning from Fighter Diet concepts and began changing my exercise. And I wasn't starving myself . As a matter of fact I was eating a lot ! At the end of 3 months I had lost close to 25 pounds. I started to look like a different person. As a matter of fact Pauline once said that she wasn't sure if I was the same person.  Fortunately I got to know Pauline a little bit  and had her train me for about a month. I've never had a  personal trainer before and unlike a lot of trainers I've seen at the gym she was very focused and serious about me learning the proper way to exercise. I began to add some muscle weight and learned more about nutrition. It seemed like something new-something good! I told this to someone once and he said " Hey! what are you doing? You're in your mid fifties! You're not some twenty year old! " Well, okay I'm over fifty! Why should I retire from life and become an old man?  There plenty of those out there so why should I join them?
  Okay, so I'm feeling great and I'm looking better. Really happy about how I've changed.  It just so happened that I was due for a complete physical.
My doctor said that I must be a miracle man because two years before he put me on Lipitor for high cholesterol . Now my blood tests came back indicating that I don't need the Lipitor anymore. He took me  off of it and we double checked the blood again in 2 months and the results showed that cholesterol was at "Optimum" levels. No more Lipitor. This was big for me! Lipitor has side effects. It can damage your liver in some cases. So if I can deal with my health in a natural way so much the better.
   Why am I doing this? I'm not going to be part of some bodybuilding competition or have any ideas about becoming a fitness model. I'm just doing this for me. It's my life and I'd better pay closer attention to it.
  Earlier this year Pauline invited me to do some blood test panels. A long list of blood tests checking vitamins, minerals, hormones and many things I can't even recall. This too was a big I eye opener. I found that I had hypothyroidism. She suggested I go to see Dr. Karlis Ullis , a sports and anti-aging specialist. In short we solved the thyroid issue but with more digging we found that I was in risk of pre-diabetes. Even though I was not over weight it is a very common condition in America and can lead to type 2 diabetes if nothing is done.
  This was another aspect of my life that I needed to look into because so many people ( and doctors I've found) overlook it. Blood work. This too is stressed in Fighter Diet.
  With some suggestions and support from Pauline Nordin I switched up my diet again and in another three months My blood tests showed that I was out of the danger zone for prediabetes!
I feel that I'm at a point in my life now where if I don't start paying attention to the details my health I may not fare to well in the future. Pauline Nordin and Fighter Diet have been a big influence in my life. I feel like I was living in an underdeveloped country and had just been given the advantage of higher education.  There are somethings that you can say have changed your life and some are hard to define.
I think what's happened to me is a definite and clear change in my life.
It's been two years now since I took the first steps. It took me by surprise. Everybody wants to be trim and look younger but it's not much of an accomplishment if your actual health is not good. It's not about being "Skinny" or being able to bench press tons of weight. It's about the whole package. We all know that we need to exercise and watch what we eat but many of us don't know the first thing about it other that getting little snippets from the morning news or Dr. Oz . The first thing I found about Fighter Diet it's not about just eating what you're told  it's about studying . It's about understanding why .
  I know people think that Pauline Nordin is a health nut and that she is extreme and she'd be the first to tell you that she actually is. Well thank goodness for that ! Because if I can be a fraction of a fanatic as she is I'll be in really good shape.
They say that life is short but you don't appreciate that as much unless you start getting on in years. Well if it is then I'd rather spend it in good health. My only regret , as is the cliche`, is that I didn't discover this sooner.


( if you want to see some  "before and afters"  click here. You'll find me in there somewhere.)

- Pauline Nordin -

And here's a sample of Pauline training 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Loving Memory of my Mother

Eleanor Rendon Urias. That was my mother's given birth name. She was born in Los Angeles, California on December 23rd , 1928.
This year on September 24th on a Saturday evening she passed away surrounded by most of her children quietly and without pain.
She held on as long as she could with the hope of having more family get togethers , cooking , making sure that we all ate well and stayed a close family. However she could not fully recover from an operation to remove a stomach tumor and continued to grow weak. She did fight for a while and dodged some bullets as she has done all her life.
My mother although born in L.A. moved to Mexico as a child during the Great Depression like many Americans did at the time. She returned to America as a teenager. She worked on a farm , picked tomatoes in the fields , worked in fish canneries and along the way was able to raise 12 children.
Things for us were never easy and as I look back even depressing some times but some how she must have raised us right because we all turned out pretty well. None of us ended up in jail or on the streets . In the early days we grew up in the "ghetto" or as people say now "the Hood" surrounded by street gangs , race riots and more but we all were able to come out more influenced by our mother than the influence of the surrounding area. She raised a good group of kids.
If you ask anyone about my mom she was a survivor. But more than that she was a Mom. Not just to me and my brothers and sisters but to anyone who happened to come into our house. There are a number of people who have told me that she was like a second mother to them . So they had to behave around her because they couldn't get away with being a little brat. My brother Johnny's oldest friend Jesse said that he liked my mom because She told it like it is. She didn't mess around!
This past monday there was a Memorial vigil in National City ( an area of San Diego) very close to her last apartment. There were lot's of people there and tons of flowers. It was all so beautiful and the next morning there was a Catholic mass service for her before proceeding to the Holy Cross Cememtery. I keep telling people it was the most beautiful ceremony I think my mother could have had. Certainly the most beautiful one I've ever been to. I'm sure she loved it. I can hear her saying "Aye, Que bonita!"
Myself and all my brothers - Daniel, Richard, Johnny, Manuel , my mother's brother Gilbert, my nephews John Jr. and Abraham were all pallbearers. I think that was the most I've ever seen at one funeral. I'm sure we could have had more if we could fit around the casket.
As we opened the doors to the church and carried my mother through them a light rain began to fall. It hadn't rained for a long time and my sister Josephine was saying that it's said that rain falling at a funeral means the Angels crying .
I will always love my mother and I will always miss her.
- Larry
Left to right : Elizabeth , Eleanor, Richard, John( baby), Daniel and Larry
My Mother's plaque at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, Ca. 
December 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Close up of of work out

Overdue sketches

Finally got around to drawing something . Things have been a little hectic but drawing is a way of relaxing.
I was drawing some other things in painter again but Photoshop still feels much smoother.
I just discovered that Painter 11 doesn't work in Mac OS Lion. You have to upgrade to Painter 12 - or go back to using Painter 10. Photoshop shows no problems though.
This drawing is just simple . No idea or concept to put forth. Just someone working out at the gym . Thats where I see most of my models. I haven't been sketching people in restaurants or cafes lately . I've tried but it just doesn't move me. Sometimes I don't mind drawing tourists in baseball caps and shorts but it's really nothing I want to view over again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Figure doodles

More stuff from the Molskine Sketch book .

Japanese Brush Pens

Here are some shots of the brush pens I've been using since the eary eighties.
Only found in the stationary department of Japanese book stores. They cost ¥315. - about $3.50- but maybe more in the U.S. - Import tax you know.
I actually have some more expensive ones but they're not practical for carrying around.

Brush Pen Devil

I've been distracted lately with things non art or work related. It's good to get back to sketcking, practicing drawing and thinking about art things.
Drawing on paper again . Using a Moleskine sketchbook. The book has a buff colored paper , is well contructed and easy to carry around. Started just sketching a head to get started using a 4b graphite pencil .
I wanted to practice inking again using real ink. However the paper in the Moleskine book is a little soft to it causes the ink to bleed a bit and is to soft for a crow quill or other steel drawing pen point.
I was drawing this late last night so I was too lazy to dig out the Windsor Newton series 7 sable brushes for inking so I resorted to my Japanese brush pens.
I've been using these since around 1980. I found them at Kinokunya book store in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.
They were made for Japanese to write in Kana . They are cheap and disposable but have a superior soft rubber point. Better than the expensive ones you can buy in art supply stores. The ink is VERY black and the point just gets pointier as the pen begins to wear. They are made by Pilot and I've NEVER seen them in an art supply store. I bought a mess of them the last time I went to Japan. They get marked up a bit if you buy them in the USA .
AS you can see in the drawing the pen behaves like a real brush. It reacts to pressure and direction and you don't have to dip it in ink or wash it out every so often lie a real brush.
I would still use a real brush and ink if I were to do something more finished but you can not beat it for sketchbook work! I'll post a pic of the pens later!
This drawing is about 6 inches high. September 5th , 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mecca Girl Revisited II

Just coming back to this one to see where it goes. This is just a little tighter so it's just a progress report .
I've been really busy with commercial work so sometimes that really wears me down but also it gets me to do things a little tighter . Right now I'm waiting to get the go ahead on a project that's going to take all my time for the next week . But I can't start until I get the right concept approved. The longer they take to approve the shorter time I'll have to work on it.
I'll post it after the end of the month because for now I'm under a confidentiallty agreement.
It ought to be fun .
Remember to click on the imaage to get a bigger version.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mecca Girl Revisited

Well, This is a second stage of a sketch- Why do I do this? Because it's fun and it beats watching TV at night.
I really want to go back and revisit a lot of my sketches and develope them more. But I 'm torn between doing that and doing new sketches. The problem would be that I never do anything "Finished"
When I first started this blog I said I was going back to Pencil. Well obviously that changed . But at least the work here is not my professional , job related art.
So now for the particulars:
Drawn in Photoshop CS5 extended. Cintiq 21 inch Wacom tablet. Original file ( This one is cropped Jpeg) is 11 by 17 inches, 300DPI. ,RGB.
Mostly spatter brush with transfer turned on and pressure control on for opacity and flow.
More like painting in acrylic or oil.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mecca Girls

Okay, "Mecca Girls " is not my idea but an idea started by Christian Henesian who I drew in a previous post.
It's refering to girls how work out at the famous Gold's Gym in Venice ,California. So far I guess I've already drawn 3 of them . This is a quick one drawn at 11pm tonight. I can't say that it's an actual portrait or likeness because It doesn't really look like the person I think. More of an impression of the person's character.
Actually I've drawn a hand full of people that work out at Golds over the years. It's a great place for people watching. Much more intersting people to draw than hanging out at some diner or coffee shop. But I guess that depends on what part of town you hang out in .
Well at Gold's at least you also get to view some great physiques and not some flabby bellied trucker sitting down to have some pie and coffee at the local diner. And I know there are plenty of artist that just live to draw that type of crowd but it just isn't what I want to draw. As a matter of fact I was thinking about how I draw in my sketchbook as opposed other artists. Some sketch at a coffee shop while observing their model. I tend to observe my model , then go home and try to draw them from memory. People tend to move too much any way.
plus I don't get bogged down by what the person actually looks like or what they're doing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Drawing day 2011

Here's a quick sketch I did just for Drawing Day. I did three. I just found out about it on Drawing Day from my friend Michael Lee who posted one of his drawings. There where hundreds of drawings posted but it seems like very few professionals posted anything. Maybe they didn't because it was giving away free art? Or maybe because it was world wide they wanted to display their best art? In any case there were hundreds of kid drawings, amature drawings, anime fan drawings, copied photograph drawings. Mostly it was just a fun thing to do!
I pretty much Draw everyday anyway, so why not?
Another thing- I guess I interpreted drawing day as a day where you draw so I post only things that I drew on that day. But I guess that's not the way it works because there are things on the site's gallery that you know some one worked on for more than a day. Not that I'm going to post things that I've slaved over because I really like to draw quickly and move on. Maybe come back and revisit some drawings .
That should be the reason for doing this anyway . Get some ideas out and see if anything calls for more exploring.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Warrior of the Hyborean Age.

This came about when I was wondering what to draw for World Drawing Day. A friend said " Hey, Draw me! "
That was enough to get me going. I realize that because I just like the process of drawing al it takes is someone to make a request. What I liked about this one is that it fits the subject's personality ( at least self image) and it just developed naturally without too much labor or thought . It took about 20 or 30 minutes . Drawn in photoshop CS5 on a CIntiq 21 inch screen .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some color on Sunday night

I started adding color to the the sketch I did this morning.
I just realized that it looks like someone I've seen at the Gym. ( Big surprise huh?)
Here's a progress report of the drawing/digital painting.

brushy Photoshop

Just another quick "brushy "looking photoshop sketch . Remember I'm doing this on a Wacom Cintiq . Or sometimes my Modbook.

Close up of Modern Marilyn

Detail of previous blog post.

Sunday Morning Painting.

This is just a type of figure that's been floating in my head recently. Sort of reminiscent of the sixties but with some current look to it as well. Or maybe not and I'm just stuck in the past. "Painting " in black and white tones in Photoshop just feels very natural to me . I like that it is so immediate. I don't have to find the right paper. I do not have to sharpen pencils or knead erasers. I know it feels like cheating and that I should be using classical tools but at one time those classical tools were the cutting edge of technology! Who invented the rubber eraser? Before that artists used to have to use a squished up piece of white bread.
The reason for me to do these drawings is because I spend so much time drawing for other people that I have to draw for myself. Sometimes it's easier to work for other people. They know what they want ( Sort of) they're generally happy with what they get and there's a definate deadline so I can't play around with it forever.
This is just a figure. I like drawing figures and I like drawing them from imagination because I have to work it out in my head and it feels more like creating than copying. Some people like to do crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles . I like to draw.
I was looking at some old posters for "Casino Royal" from 1967 and I liked the illustrations . They were nicely painted. Some of the anantomy was off and the likenesses were not that good but hey looked complete and part of a set. Also they didn't look over worked. Something that's easy to do when you're working to make something look good. you have to know when to stop.
I'll play around with this a little more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick Doodle

Just a quick soft pencil doodle before hitting the hay. This is what you get when your eyes are tired and you are getting sleepy and you've almost forgotten what it's like to use a real pencil on real paper. The features of the face look lopsided. Reminds me of when I was a kid and used to draw things with my head leaning over to the side. The drawing came out skewed and distorted.
Work has been non stop lately - still gotta make myself sketch something that's not part of an ad , storyboard or poster.
But that's the story with being a Freelance artist- Work as much as you can in case you get a slow period.
But those periods are never predictable .
So when I do get some slow time it take a little when to get out of the "work mode" .
Have to force myself. It feels better after you get rolling again.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Imaginary figure drawing at Midnight

I drew this just before midnight - about fifteen minutes spent I think.
Just need to draw figures.
After drawing this from Imagination it occurred to me that it's the same pose more or less of Pauline Nordin's image on the cover of the AST sports science product brochure. Some images are just stuck in my brain.
There are only so many poses the human body can do . Not exactly a "swipe" but an influence. plus it's just a sketch. ;-)

soft brush

A little sketch late at night.
Using speckled brush in photoshop, adding a texture to the brush and using transfer in the brush settings.
This setting seems to work very well to create a soft pastel effect.
Maybe fifteen minutes on this one - no model , just imagination as usual.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Da-da,da-da,da-da, da-da!Da-da,da-da,da-da, da-da!-Bat-Girl!

"Meanwhile, in another part of the the great metropolis call Los Angeles....."
Just a sketch done during the time which most people call "Lunch Time.
Photoshop CS5 drawing done on my ModBook.
Great tool , the modbook!
But I've been reading on the internet that they may have stopped production on it!
I'm glad that I have mine but I'd better take real good care of it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

old influence

I drew this today while waiting again for some input on a job I'm working on .
As usual it starts with a doodle or a scribble and just start to take shape . Looks like it turned into an Angel.
I think it's an image that I saw in my bed room growing up in my mother's Catholic home.
There's this well known painting of an angel guiding two children across this rickety bridge that spans an enormous abyss . I remember the peaceful look on the Angel's face and the huge white wings.
But when you're 4 or five years old it can look a little scary.
I like working in Photoshop because I can treat it like paint. So instead of "Drawing" it's more like drawing with a paint brush.
If you've been following my blog at all you probably recognized the model influence.
I just like drawing her figure- it's my favorite so far for drawing. Of course I won't be using her if I have to draw a chubby girl or one of those "1950's babes" but for lines and musculature Pauline Nordin is my pick.
I spent about an hour on this one - I'm working another job right now but I'm on stand-by mode so this is sort of a lunch time drawing .

Painterly sketch

I haven't updated in a while so here's a little sketch I did yesterday while waiting for some input on an assignment. Photoshop brush , opaque setting .

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Adding color

I was just having fun and adding some color to this drawing from before .
It started as a quick sketch in my sketch book . Then I played around with some digital inking and now I added some digital color .
The color was done in photoshop CS5 with layers for skin tones, bikini and highlights.
More practice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Painter 11 sketch

Just a soft charcoal drawing in Painter 11. Fifteen minutes.
It does look like soft pastel .
That's all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

inking the pencil

Taking the pencil sketch from my sketchbook I wanted to experiment with digital inking.
This is in Photoshop doing a ink overlay of the original pencil.
I wanted to do a watered down , almost ink wash effect.
Practice, practice.

4b sharp pencil

Here's another page of just drawing figures. Drawing them smaller is sometimes better because it's easier to see the whole thing.
If you're wondering what that little baby duck on the girl's arm is, My wife Arlene drew that on there when I wasn't looking. She said it needed a "Special Touch"!


lazy soft pencil

This is just one of those sketches where I just force myself to draw in my sketchbook
before I go to bed. Same 8X11 Moleskine sketchbook . Same 8b pencil stick .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Hero

Soft pencil sketch to keep me drawing .
About 20 minutes on this one- I think. I don't really time these things. :-)
What was the attraction to drawing comics when I was younger? It wasn't the dumbs stories that seemed to be just about two muscle guys in tights beating each other up for no apparent reason. and it wasn't the ridiculous
costumes . It was all about drawing figures . They were all twisting and flying . Even when they were doing nothing they were in dynamic poses!
That's when I was about 10 years old. I used to copy the drawings until I figured out that I could re-draw them in any pose I wanted. I wasn't limited to the poses in the comic books.
Later I discovered Michelangelo. Now those were all super heros on the Sistine Chapel! Each figure was in a dynamic pose. Each one was flying. And each one was buff and ripped! Even the women! I later learned that Michelangelo used male models for his women. He could not draw or sculpt breasts AT ALL! Sorry fans!
I just want to draw figures and super heroes are just an excuse!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Double swords

Just scribbled this one out . I'm starting to like these supersoft graphite sticks . They're not too soft to sharpen in an electric pencil sharpener. 8X11 sketchbook

Sketchbook pinup

Just a pin-up pose.
Soft graphite . 8x11 Molskine book.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Drawing with a leadstick

Just sketching with lead stick. I never used to draw with one of these because I always considered it too soft and broad for the kind of drawing I like to do. It's a Cretacolor Monolith 8B. I used to see art student learning to draw use these because keeps them from concentrating on details and focus on form and structure. Like the kind of drawing exercises that are in Nicolaides The Natural Way to Draw - A book that I would borrow from the library every two weeks from the public library when I was about 14 years old and decided that I wanted to be an artist.
Andrew Loomis was another artist who publish many art instruction books that I learned much from in my teen years. Ken Hultgren was another that I learned a lot from - his speciality was animal drawing.
I always feel like I'm still learning.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The cream paper

Here's the same drawing showing the cream colored paper of the Moleskine Sketchbook.

soft pencil

This is the first test sketch in my new larger format Moleskine sketchbook.
Nothing to involved just a girl sticking out her tongue .
It has that comic book look due to the thick/thin contour lines and no modeling.
I also like the cream colored paper . It's easier on the eyes than bright white.
I just noticed--- I adjusted to color on this so it would look like white paper.
Maybe I'd better re-post it shows the true color of the paper!


This is just a little sketch done to ry out my new Moleskine 8X11 inch sketch book.
The paper is strong , smooth and cream colored. take soft graphite really well. On thing I don't like about the Aquabees is that although the paper is strong and acid free it too grainy for a lot of things.
My new choice of sketch books.

Another sketch in soft graphite in the aquabee. Not much to say about this either.

On a horse

Well, I haven't been updating this blog as I expected I would. Just not posting drawings from the sketch book much lately .
So, here's an over due one in graphite in an Aquabee sketch book . Not much to say about it . about 5 or 6 inches high