Remember that project I mentioned? Inking fine lines

ink drawing portrait of a man
Here are some sneak peaks of the first two illustrations for the book I’m working on. These top to are photos showing much of the finished illustrations, and below are details of the scanned images.

ink drawing of a woman with long hair

I need to gain momentum; I’d like to complete 3-4 illustrations per week to keep this moving. Gotta stay motivated!
section of an ink drawing portraitsection of an ink drawing portrait
And here is a slice of the pencil for number two.

An afternoon in the Big Town followed by miles of walking

observations of people out on a warm eveningHere’s a sketch from Friday evening. I’d only just started when its subjects vacated the backyard, so I had to improvise. I re-cast them indoors, among the lamps, after the fact.

Had an afternoon meeting followed by a stroll through lower Manhattan on Friday. I walked from Madison Square Park to City Hall, with some decent photographic moments while across the river on a fine Spring day.

Had I worn better shoes for it, I’d have walked across Brooklyn Bridge, as is my inclination on a first fine day in Manhattan in Springtime. Next time.

New York Life
The gold-tipped New York Life building, nearby Madison Square Park
Washington Mews garden
Secret garden at the Washington Mews
The Secret Garden, NYC, the Village
Exterior windows of the mews, facing Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, NYC, Secret

Flatiron building
Flatiron building


Do you have a new project for Spring?


I’ve begun a new project that I’ll be posting about here periodically (if not frequently). I’ll not reveal the details just yet, only a slice of the first drawing. I spent last weekend researching in preparation after an idea from last year resurfaced.

I love it when an idea that’s collected some dust raises its head again, unbidden. It usually means it’s worth pursuing. But until it picks up more momentum, that’s all I’m going to say. It’s still just a seedling at the moment— you understand. Look out for this also @edaggarart

What new project(s) do you have unfurling as the days get finer?

Stained glass abandoned in favor of a vintage flavor

I decided against the stained glass approach in the end. I Chose instead, to focus on repeated patterns— a race horse silhouette, with the silks in the spotlight, and a larger repeating pattern behind them.

After much experimentation with various backdrops and shifts in color for the silhouettes, I landed on a maximum vintage palette and pattern, which incidentally called for my current favorite typeface. 🙂

Below: a couple of the numerous rejected schemes

Lamps and locals down at the local

sketch of people in a bar
I painted these after I got home, as I’d not brought the watercolors with me. I rather like these more ambitious studies, incorporating the whole scene. It requires me to pay more attention.

As I work directly in ink (no erasing), it requires me to slow down and really observe. Be aware. It’s a funny thing, though; when you get really intent on seeing things, you become really unaware of anything not crucial to the drawing, so it’s kind of a dual state— hyper awareness and obliviousness.

I become one of those “artist” types, holding up my pen to check the angles of things (it really does help, it’s not just some made-up hollywood affectation!).sketch of people in a barsketch of people in a bar

Stained glass, and stumbling upon a thief

I’ve been working on some ideas for the 2017 Derby Party poster for Commonwealth Bar here in Brooklyn; one idea being a faux stained glass approach. Above is the spare beginning of a design in progress. Below is the same design, incorporating a stock image as a placeholder to decide whether I wanted to pursue the idea before continuing work on it.
As I was perusing Google image for visual inspiration, I spotted a thief, caught in the act! Below is a poster (right) for an event in Chicago, whose promoter or venue blatantly stole my 2003 Derby poster for Ray (left), and then obliterated its elegance with godawful type treatments for a Derby Party.

Step one: Steal design. Step two: Ruin it!

I’ve emailed said promoter re: the violation of copyright, and requested it be taken down. I also offered the possibility of licensing the image or commissioning me for an original (neither of which I expect him or her to take me up on, but worth a try).

This takes the notion of a ‘lazy steal’ to a quite literal level as compared to the imitation from 2015. People: Google image search is not a one-stop-shop for royalty-free images.

Side note: Who has a Derby Party that ends before the race? Post time this year is at 6:46pm ; this party ends at 6:00.

UPDATE: The promoter replied to my email stating that the venue was responsible for the flier, and that they are making a new one.

The terror strange children feel

“I don’t see what you mean,” said Henrietta, distracted— in fact in a quite new kind of pain. She saw only too well that this inquisition had no bearing on [her] at all, that Leopold was not even interested in hurting, and was only tweaking her petals off or her wings off with the intention of exploring himself. His dispassionateness was more dire to Henrietta than cruelty. With no banal reassuring grown-ups present, with grown-up intervention taken away, there is no limit to the terror strange children feel of each other, a terror life obscures but never ceases to justify.

— from The House in Paris, by Elizabeth Bowen

Those chosen childish children with whom he played made a crook of him, and all the time he impressed them he despised them for being impressed; he wanted to crack the world by saying some final and frightful thing.”

— from The House in Paris, by Elizabeth Bowen

A drawing from my 2010 series of Victorians; Angry boy tramples flag