Sketches, old and new...

I was looking through some old sketchbooks and found stuff I wanted to pick up again. Cartoony figures, but more abstracted or stylized as you would expect from cartoony figures. I'm not quite happy with where this is at. I'm wondering how far I can take this? I want less realism, 'till the point where it snaps. But I don't want to lose the expression, it still has to communicate enough so it can be used to make actual cartoons.

Some of these sketches are two or three years old, I guess (the ones in the book). The other are from today (the ones on the separate oblong sheets of paper).

To be continued, no doubt.....

The accidental water colour portrait.

My water colour skills suddenly sky rocket when I try to print a photograph of my godfather but feed glossy paper wrong side up into the printer...

Scary, huh...?

Scary, huh...?

Unfortunately, it doesn't last. The ink doesn't adhere to the surface. That's what makes it look so great, but it's also what makes this technique self destructive. 

I'm pretty sure there is an analogy to life-in-general somewhere in there...


(Oh, also: don't try this at home! It messes up your printer. The ink gets stuck everywhere inside and leaves marks on the next prints you'll make. Don't say I haven't warned you.... )

Drawing spirals - a comic (masterpiece).

I have an headache. Been lying down for an hour or two, half asleep. Feel a bit better now, but not really. I have to meet a friend in a few hours and I still want to get a little work done today, but I can't seem to find my stuff. Where are the brushes and the ink I wanted to use? Didn't I bring them? 

I end up doodling in a sketchbook. Scribbles and squirly lines. Then I vaguely remember someone I read about who was an art teacher and she gave her students the assignment to draw spirals. Perhaps it was Lynda Barry. I can't remember. You had to draw spirals and draw them really meticulously so the lines would be as close together as you can get them, but they couldn't touch each other or you would get electrocuted. Kind of a meditation thing, I guess. 

I draw a spiral. really slow. The lines as close together as I can.

I get bored.

Draw a spiral really fast: woosh-woosh-woosh, around and around - lines all over each other.

Then I make a sequence: first a fast spiral, then somewhat slower. Another, even slower. A final one, very slow. 

It's a comic. An abstract comic. Yeey!

It's an abstract comic about time. See how productive I got, even with an headache. I made an abstract comic masterpiece about time and the universe and... 

OK. I'm just kidding. It's just a stupid doodle.

Drawing spirals - a comic.

Drawing spirals - a comic.

But there is a lot to be seen here. Questions to be asked... Why do I think the fast spirals look better than the slow ones? And why is it that the fast one are obviously "less controlled", but in a way the slow ones show my lack of ability to control the lines more. How I can't quite manage to control the line-distance. Even the shakiness of my hand comes through more. So in a way, maybe the slow ones are "less controlled"?

I'm sure there are more things to be said about this.

But I still have an headache. Maybe I should eat something....



(Oh, for the record: it was Lynda Barry. In her book "Syllabus - notes from an accidental professor", page 76. Nice book. Check it out.)

Nietzschean Funny Bunnies.

I'm sitting at a lecture taking notes. It's interesting and I have to really concentrate on keeping up with what is being said, but a little while later the lecturer is reading from a text we have copies of and there are no notes to be taken at this point.

And then I feel it: my hand, still holding the pen, wants to dance.

It moves to the margin of the page and goes up-up-up, and circles back down, and back up twice and down again just a little wider now. One half of me is listening to how Zarathustra is carrying the Spirit of Gravity up a mountain and the other is drawing a funny bunny.


What is going on here? You have done this, haven't you? Listening to someone on the phone you are filling in the little pre-printed squares on a page of a notepad. Or drawing ever-expanding rectangles or stick figures. Or, indeed, funny bunnies. Or a spider creature eating babies.

They say these doodles - that's what those scribblings are called - have meaning. That they can reveal some hidden truths about your mood or personality. That might be true, but that's not what I'm interested in at the moment.

What I'm interested in, is that initial feeling. That urge you feel to make those scribbles. Something that wants to move, that wants to loop and hatch and criss-cross. It's not about meaning at that point, it's about rhythm. It's about repeating the same little movement over and over again and then changing it to something else and repeating that. And go back and forth between the two.

And maybe then you suddenly see the beginning of the funny bunny. It emerges from the circles and spiky-forms you made. Maybe someone else would have seen a rocket ship in those shapes - that's where the "meaning" might come in.

But first, there is the dance...


I'm trying to take a picture of my studio to put on this site. It's not working. None of the images satisfy me. Not sure why....

I take a break and read. Then suddenly it dawns on me. I realize why it's impossible to get a good picture of the studio. Because this place, it isn't a studio. Yet. There has not been any work done here. There is just some junk on the desk. Pencils and tubes of paint and stuff. Half of them are staged; I've put them there for the picture. (I'm not saying you should never stage anything for a picture, but in this case.... nah. It's just not working.)

I still need a picture for the site, tho'...


We're an hour and a half later (that's what the "..." are for) and I've got a picture. A close-up of some pencils lying around. If the studio isn't really a studio yet, at least it is the sketch of a studio.

The pencils also made me think of a line from Frank Ze's "An Invocation for Beginners":

"There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark."

Very appropriate.

I know the picture isn't the greatest idea in the world. Some pencils for an art-blog? Really? But at least now there is a picture. I think it looks fine, for now. I'm pretty sure it will get changed quite soon. But for today, this is the mark I make.

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Now: Let's start this shit up!