Tag Archives: Sketchbook



San Francisco

Good Morning, San Francisco.


Hello y’all.  Long time no blog.

I’ve just returned from an a lengthy vacation – lots of pool floating, California sunshine, city skylines, and Do Nothing’s.  Not even drawing.

I’m refreshed and so excited to be back in the studio and working again, and despite the fact that I haven’t drawn in over a week, I still have a little somethin’ somethin’ to show you.






A friend of mine is quite fond of Narwhals, so for her birthday I whipped up this special Animal Battle creature.  You would think this mystical creature is fictional, but in fact that unicorn horn is quite real, and one long snaggle tooth (and usually a front left canine).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some work to do.



Animal Battle // Giraffe Scout







Giraffe Scout (of the Eyes + Hands Army)

22 X 15″


In the world of Animal Battle, there are tasks that need to be performed by different soldiers, just like in the real world.  One such task is that of a land surveyor, who helps blaze new trails and maps out campsites.  Giraffes are a perfect candidate, naturally, since they are one giant long neck and a head above the rest.  As it happens, they’ve got a knack for cartography, too.



Through all the projects I’ve been working on (official or self-created), I’ve still managed to spend a portion of time drawing in my sketchbook.  Once a reluctant sketchbook doodler, I now often find myself unable to resist the urge to draw.  This usually happens at, oh I don’t know, 1 AM on the couch when I should be sleeping, ignoring whatever I’ve got on Netflix.

Over the last couple years I’ve filled almost four sketchbooks.  Four!!  That may not seem a lot to your usual sketchbook junkie, but for me that’s astronomical.  Previously, I half-heartedly filled maybe OH I don’t know, one or two over ten years.  I was a lazy artist.

The thing is, even though I’ve become more busy in my creative career than ever, I’m drawing more than I ever have too.  Sketchbooks are an integral part of the creative process, and I can’t imagine not using one now.  A great deal of my finished works started as little scribbles in my sketchbook.  That’s right, little ugly, small scribbles.

Lately I’ve been fooling around with hand-lettering.  Or maybe I’ve been foolishly hand-lettering?  Like maybe I should put the pen down?  I’ve seen some hand-lettering by wizards that are so good I shudder; I think for now I’ll enjoy wallowing around in my Apprentice Level.

While watching the super creepy tv series American Horror Story, I discovered this beautiful font used for all the title sequences.  This typeface is based on the handwriting and lettering of early 20th century artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and it is art deco perfection.  Swoon!  Swooning all over the place.

I bet a certain somebody (self) will be using a similar font for a certain future project (wedding invites!).

Drink + Draw // August (NSFW)


(Yeah, there’s a tag I never use, but you’ll see why shortly)


We’re in the dog days of summer, and so we gathered on the hot patio of Apex, sweaty and sluggish, to draw some stuff and drink some beers.

Topic of discussion ranged from shark week to Batman, and took a turn for the worse when buddy Brian mentioned a restaurant experience that included a breast-feeding seven year old.  And…well, in my sketchbook…..well…..sorry.

Ahem.  Yes, here are my sketchbook drawings from this month.  Enjoy (?).

Join us in September, when we host yet another Drink & Draw event, same time, same place.  Keep your eyes peeled on the Internets when I announce the date.

As always, thanks to the kindly art folks that joined us, we greatly enjoy your company!

Portland People // Rollerblades

We spotted this lady wheelin’ around under the Ross Island bridge last Saturday, and she landed in my sketchbook on Sunday.  I don’t get to do a Portland People illustration often enough.

I scanned the ink + brush drawing into Photoshop and fleshed it out digitally, which I do sometimes but not always.  There were some areas (like the column) that I color-blocked in order to give it a finished look.

More and more I’m enjoying the digital coloring process.  Me From Three Years Ago is shocked.

PNCA // Art Talk

On Tuesday afternoon I visited Pacific Northwest College of Art, my old stomping grounds the first few years I was in Portland.  While roaming these halls I learned a few good things about art, before quietly withdrawing and striking out on my own.

It’s always a little strange to go back, but this time was even more surreal.  I was scheduled to meet with Kurt Hollomon’s pre-college summer class, a group consisting of about twenty high school students.  I gave a brief “lecture” about “making arts” and showed them my “work” (air quotes heavily abused here).  It was a bit of a coming-full-circle moment.

All joking aside, I hope I was able to impart some useful information, as I clearly remember what it was like being a highly impressionable and shy art student.  And, in the not-so-distant past, a broke, struggling, frustrated Art School dropout.  Oh my – there was MUCH to be learned.

Post talk we gathered in the classroom and drew portraits in our sketchbooks.  At first we all drew Abe Lincoln, then Kurt handed out different portraits to reference from a large binder.

I managed three quick ink sketches.  Without my usual arsenal of tools, I worked with just a Micron and a slightly too large flat brush.  I think the limitations produced some interesting results.

Ol’ Honest Abe

Bruce (awkwardly)

Unknown Author with a Great Face

Also, thanks to the company of Andrew Bardana (Kurt’s TA for the class) and Shiela Laufer, both PNCA students who are currently featured in a special exhibit at ArtSpace Gallery.

Keep on drawin’, kids!

July Drink + Draw

Last night’s Drink & Draw was the first we hosted in many months, and it was met with a wonderful turnout of friends, Internets friends, friends of Internets friends, and friendly strangers.

Apex has fifty (FIFTY!) beers and an expansive patio, which makes it the perfect summer venue.  Eli of Lemolo Baggage and Nikki were slingin’ the drinks that fueled our doodles.  Rambunctious, rowdy, & crass, at least half of our quietly drawing gang were 86’d from the bar and any member who didn’t produce quality sketches were forced to have knife fights with strangers in the middle of Division Street.  DUDE YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME!

Here’s stuff I doodled:

Still dreaming of that Animal Battle series.  The idea is patiently waiting on a brain shelf and I hope to put it to use soon.

Thanks to everyone that came out last night, and keep your eyes peeled for when we announce next month’s Drink & Draw event!

High fives,

Work / Play

Recently: I bought a large format sketchbook for the first time since I was a teenager and had a lot of fun torturing myself with all this lettering.

Lately: summer is in full swing in Portland, and it usually becomes difficult balancing Work/Play during this time, so we pepper in some studio hours when we can between all the barbeques and the sunshine.

Last week was my birthday.  I looked like a Lady for a good couple hours:

Jake was super sneaky and gave me a very generous gift:

GUH!!  So sneaky.  I gotta watch what I draw in my sketchbook from now on or I’ll end up with some Unicorn on acid or a really tired Battle Badger.

And don’t forget, THIS WEDNESDAY!

This will be fun.  Hope to see you there!

Sketchbook Giants

After my train wreck “horses” project, I needed to cleanse my palate by doing some fun ink doodles.  I like utilizing the landscape format of my sketchbook.

Drink & Draw | February

What happens when a bunch of artists get together, imbibe adult beverages, then collaborate on their own version of the drawing game Exquisite Corpse?  They draw like toddlers.  With some cats and stuff.

Unsurprisingly, I drew some flowers in my sketchbook.  And a turtleneck.

We had great company at Drink & Draw last evening, including Keith Carter (currently showing at the Pony Club Gallery), Jim Hill, and the lovely Brooke Weeber, among others.  Here’s looking forward to next month!