Rob Dunlavey
March 2007
Flickr mashups
Continuing on the "Procrastination Theme", I've discovered Flickr mashups. The set of images that spells the name of our beloved blog have been retrieved from various flickr sets. It's fun. Go here to play with it.

Mashups: I guess we all have a basic working definition of what a mashup is. Kind of a random, collage that happens based on some minimal searching criteria entered through a variety of means or interfaces (computer, flipping through a book, scattering things and seeing the result, etc.). Flickr is a powerful and popular web-based image-sharing technology. Programmers have created various ways of creating mashups with existing flickr image sets.

It can get the creative juices flowing and we all know how important that is!

retrievr lets you draw a little picture (or upload one) and it will search from flickr sets that share attributes with your search image.
This is the "Squared Circle Experimental Colr Pickr"
Jim Bumgardner's Colr Pickr is pretty cool. It uses a standard color picker to get started.
ink, gouache
I painted this "snowman" in my little sketchbook this morning. Big deal. I'm on the last pages of it and had a stubby stencil brush and a bowl of ink to use up. Scrub a dub.

Please scroll down. It gets better.
some scribbles and about five different filters later, my guy has a personality.
Added a face  in Photoshop. Isn't it crazy, the hoops we jump through and the money that is spent on computing a few scribbles? I could send a man to the moon with the computing power I have at my disposal!

I remember, as a kid, "Drawing The Lepechaun" (or the deer / lumberjack, etc.) that as soon as I got the eyes in something magical would happen. Olaf calls this the "dot of Life". So true! So now I stick faces on all sorts of things.
Added a little contrasting color to make it pop a little. So nonchalant. Accidental textures. Just a couple grand of silicon humming warmly will do the trick!
And finally, le piece de resistance de procrastination: Blending modes! Yay Photoshop! Let your inner printmaker out. Now, I'd better get to work!
Dark Thing
ink, gouache, watercolor 71/2 x 6 1/2"
A slightly optimistic-looking yet dystopian cityscape from my sketchbook this morning and a dark rough mbira melody to go with it:
When I get it all together, I'll pour these ideas into animation of some sort. Please, cheer me on!
Spring Training
I've posted a gallery of baseball drawings I call "Homerun Heroes". Enjoy!

It's that time of year again: the snow is melting, the robins have returned and I'm reading articles in the sports pages: dateline Fort Myers, Florida.

Yup, the annual baseball merry-go-round is getting cranked up and it begins with spring training. I grew up a Cubs fan (I'm from the northern Chicago suburbs after all). My rebellious teenage years saw me crossing over to the more dangerous south side to Comiskey Park and the White Sox. Now I'm a moderately comfortable member of Red Sox nation in Boston.

I cheer on the home team and get in a funk when they're coughing up games like a toothless old tom cat. Ilove the history of the game. I love the drama and the theater of baseball. There's a bit of a sly show happening anywhere you look. And since baseball is kind of a slow game with a lot of intricate "psyops" going on, there's lots of time, if you're watching the games on TV, to draw the athletes and the drama (or lack of it).
Letters from kids
If I ever need a few positive strokes, I pull out a few of these kinds of letters. They make me feel ten feet tall!
Bob Staake's inspiring story about how Michael, an autistic student,  wrote him  a fan letter, got me thinking about letters I received from a class of first graders years ago after I'd done a demonstration. The letter above is from Mary Elaine who I know recently graduated from college and now works at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Does she still remember me?? Hmmm...
Michelangelo & Will Eisner
Marcello Venusti, 'Portrait of Michelangelo', 1535. Florence, Casa Buonarroti. The National Gallery, UK
Born 400 years apart, these two masters share a birthday: March 6th. Let's buy a round for these gents!

Michelangelo was a real person.The style, and all the ideas which propel it, is comely and inspiring. But don’t stop there people! Michelangelo was an illustrator of the first rank who brought to each assignment his unvarnished self. Maybe this is the heart and soul of what it means to be described as a “Renaissance" Man or Woman: insert your entire humanity into your current project." Will Eisner:
"I grew up reading all sorts of comic books but Eisner’s opus “The Spirit” never captivated me as a child. Boys like myself simply required super powers and a cape in accordance to our burgeoning, yet uninformed juvenile masculinity. Throughout the run of the series, The Spirit quickly evolved into a complicated, psychological tour de force of pathos, humor and startling draftsmanship. “The Spirit” is available in many excellent compilations and is required reading for visual artists.
Eisner went on to create the first graphic novels and coined the term “sequential art” and was an articulate champion of the literary status that graphic novels now claim. As Eisner tells the story in a keynote address, he called the president of Bantam asking to show them a draft of his novel “A Contract with God”:
"There's something I want to show you, something I think is very interesting."
He said, "Yeah, well, what is it?" A little man in my head popped up and said, "For Christ's sake stupid, don't tell him it's a comic. He'll hang up on you." So, I said, "It's a graphic novel."
He said, "Wow! That sounds interesting. Come on up."

The rest is history!"

The Spirit Archive edition by Will Eisner
What are you drawing today?
I'm drawing underperforming students. How exciting!
another sleepy fellow
No way! I studied like crazy!&*%#@
Howard Pyle: birthday boy!
Howard Pyle
Give it up for Howard Pyle, one of the ultimate great American illustrators. He was born on March 5, 1853 in Wilmington, Delaware. My own thoughts on Howard Pyle:
"Howard Pyle was one of the greatest American illustrators. He also wrote many of the books he illustrated. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Pyle is equally well known for starting what has become known as "The Brandywine School". His famous pupils include Maxfield Parrish, Jessie Wilcox Smith and N.C. Wyeth.
It appears to me that Howard Pyle lived at a time when standards of conduct were very important and that was somehow translated into his art. It all seems rather more slippery nowadays!"

• Illustrator/Designer Paul Giambarra has
an excellent profile of Howard Pyle
Wikipedia biography
• A good short bio and links to resources
• The Robin Hood illustrations
from Pyle's series about pirates

more pirates
illustration from "Robin Hood"
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