Tuesday, September 30, 2008

IF - Packed

My piece for this week's Illustration Friday.
I'm trying to loosen up my pen work. There's a lot of scribbling going on in the dark areas.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Last year I started doing little still-life paintings inspired by the "painting-a-day" trend. One time on a visit to my in-laws in Pennsylvania, my wife brought all the paintings I had done to that point to show off to her family. My father-in-law, Rev. John Denicola, was really taken with them. He would examine them and tell me how good they were and that he would like to watch me paint one. I assured him that that would be only slightly less boring then watching the paint dry afterward. I'm a slow painter.
Because he was so encouraging to me I decided to do a still life for him. One of my pieces that really caught his eye was the bottle and button. He liked the depiction of glass. Because of that, his Italian heritage and skill in the kitchen, I arrived at a picture of some cherry tomatoes, bread and a cruet of olive oil. We gave it to him for his 75th birthday. My mother-in-law told me that he would often sit and look at the painting. He intended to hang it but left it on the fireplace next to his recliner where he could look at it.
In March of this year, John fell in his garage and hit his head. He died a day later in the hospital. At his viewing my mother-in-law brought my painting to display it.
It meant a lot to me that John liked his painting. I consider it the greatest piece I've yet done for that reason. He was a great and godly man who we miss.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pappy Land 3 - This time it's personal

Here are the last 3 pages that I did of the Pappy comic.
Commodore Crayon was my own creation. I remember being told that when the show was being developed they considered a character similar to the Commodore. I think the conning tower shrank in the last panel.
The Mackerel? I guess all the good submarine names were taken.

Where did Mr. Kelp go after he opened the hatch? I must have been making this up as I went along.

And that's as far as it got. I didn't get to drawing any fish through the window Pappy is staring at. If the show and the newsletter had continued I would have finished this page and continued on. I have no idea where the story was going from here.
I just realized I left Elmer sleeping in the boat. I hope he's all right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pappyland 2

Here's two more pages from the Pappy strip. These were never published in the newsletter. Too bad, the story was just beginning to get interesting. I was still struggling to get a decent likeness of Pappy.
I'm not sure how a submarine got into Pappy's fishing hole. But then again, I'm not sure why a turtle would have a mustache either.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 22, 2008


A few years ago the Pappyland TV show was being produced in Syracuse. It was a great kid's show that encouraged kids to draw along with Pappy Drew-it, a Gabby Hayes/49er type character. I knew one of the guys who created the show with Mike Cariglio, who played Pappy Drew-it. Mike, who I only met a few times, is a nice guy and a very accomplished artist. He was very encouraging to me. I started a comics story on spec featuring Pappy and his pals. The president of the company accepted the story and offered to publish it in the Pappyland Fan Club Newsletter. Even though I wrote it as a 7 page chapter of a larger story, they elected to print one page per newsletter.
These are the only pages that were published before the company had financial problems and the show ceased production.

The art looks kind of plain. I think my reason for not using a lot of black was that either it would be colored by the publisher to reflect the colorful appearance of the show or it would be open enough for kids to color their own pages.

Pappy, Chucky, Turtle Lou and Elmer are copyright Craftsman & Scribes Creative Workshop

Timmy Trout is my fault.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IF Island

I haven't done any color pieces lately. I decided to use this weeks IF topic to take another stab at watercolor over pen and ink.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IF - Clutter

The Illustration Friday topic this week is "clutter". There are times when I have difficulty arriving at an image to draw. There's a lot of imagery cluttering up my head and I sometimes have a hard time finding a subject to commit to for a finished piece.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Happy Fat Man

Here is another Happy Fat Man designed as a fireman. This one never went into production.

I also dabbled in animated GIFs for the website. Click on this one.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Fat Man

A few years ago a friend of mine, Jeff, came up with an idea "The Happy Fat Man". Jeff hoped to market shirts and other items with the HFM image emblazoned on it. Unfortunately, he couldn't draw so he asked me to design it. The original image was a jolly fellow based on Jeff himself.
We depicted him golfing....
playing softball....
and enjoying St. Patrick's Day.
As often happens in business, momentum was lost due to seperate events and the line died. It was an interesting experience designing for multiple sizes. I had to avoid all my usual feathering and shading and stick to a strong line. There was a website, www.happyfatman.com, that is no longer operational. There is still a Happy Fat Man page at cafepress.com with these images available on various items. I have no idea if the Fat Man is coming back.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

IF - memories

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is memories. This picture is based on my great grandmother who lived to be 102. She lost a great deal of of her memories by the end of her life but she is still in mine. This is her second appearance in one of my pictures.