Friday, February 08, 2013

My Buddy, Draco - En Paz Descansa

Days like this are tough.

I'm sitting here, hanging out with my buddy of 14 years, Draco. I should clarify, I am sitting here saying goodbye to my buddy...

Draco's been a damn good dog, but it's his time to go, he's got too many issues that come with old age, and for a large dog, over 100 pounds, 14 years old is a ripe ol' age (when the vet saw him late last year, he was shocked that Draco could still walk around and stuff). I wish it didn't have to be this way, but... sigh.

When my mom called to tell me of their decision, I was on the last day of a crazy intense job where I had been working 14-16 hour days for a month. She said the vet was coming over that day, I was shocked and told her to postpone it a few days because I needed to be there, she said ok. I needed to get that job done, my mind was split on thinking of the task at hand and thinking of my poor old buddy only having a couple days left, and more so, I couldn't let him go through that alone, I couldn't imagine him being put to sleep surrounded by strangers.

He's been a great dog, the sweetest dog, never a mean bone in his body; yes, he was insanely wild in his youth and completely untrained (for that, I blame us, not him). When I still lived at home, I would take Draco for walks around the neighborhood, people would see him and gasp, they would gather up their yapping small dogs and hide them, I could hear people inside their homes saying things like "That guy is walking a horse!" It always made me smile. I think with a bit more care and attention, he would have not just been a great dog, but the most amazing dog ever!

For the last few years, he's mellowed out quite a bit; he doesn't jump on anyone anymore (he used to routinely knock my mom to the ground), those old hips just can't handle the jumping. Now, he just follows my parents wherever they go, which annoys my folks to no end, they don't understand dog psychology. I think these last couple years he's been happier than in his earlier life if only because my folks started letting him indoors, I think when he was allowed indoors and could hang out with them all the time, it helped mellow him out...

He was a damn good dog, I hope we were ok to him... I wish we would have been better to him, he deserved it.

*Edit-- Well, I am home now, the deed was done at around 5pm. It was really difficult to stare into those big brown eyes as they prepped him for the lethal injection. They wrapped his muzzle and shaved a part of his arm, all the while Draco stared up at us with those eyes that wrinkled into a questioning expression. The vet said we could be with Draco when he injected him if we wanted, and I immediately went to his side and pet him under his mouth and around his ears the way I always did. My sister also knelt down to pet him, which surprised me as she was even considering not being there today, but I am glad she did, he deserved to be surrounded by his family. My mother stood off to the side and I could hear her weeping. They took the muzzle off and Draco kept trying to look at the vet as the doctor put the poison into his veins, but we held his head and pet him with love as he drifted away in our arms. It was really tough to hold him as he went slowly limp. The doctor checked his pulse and pronounced him "gone", then said "It's OK, close your eyes" as he shut Draco's eyes, I thought that was very kind of him. My sister and I continued to pet him for a few minutes until the doctor said he needed to put him in a bag. Now THIS was the toughest part, watching the doctor put my beloved doggie into a blue trash bag. Watching Draco's eyes, the life now gone from them, open as his neck flopped at an unnatural angle nearly broke me. That's an image I wont be able to undo, but I needed to watch it all out of respect for him. He was a good dog and he will be remembered.
Here's puppy Draco sleeping on my sleeping dad... awwww...
Draco and my dad a few years later, both a bit older, hopefully wiser...
And one of my favorite pictures of the big galut!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Batman Warm up Sketch

Just continuing my desire to produce and post more art... I got the urge to draw Batman; FYI, something I was thinking about while drawing this is that I feel that Batman would be bigger and more "cut" than Superman, since he would have to work harder at being athletic and strong, maybe I will do a side by side later. Anyhow, this is just a simple character drawing, mainly wanting to draw that iconic costume.

I never think I am going to post these, and I should be working on my compositions rather than just drawing a straight on, boring costume study. I will have to make a concerted effort to do scenes and cooler compositions. I should be working on paid work... actually, I am going to get to work RIGHT NOW! Batman would want it that way..

Here's the sketch and a couple color treatments.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Early morning Hulking out

What's this?! Two posts in two days?! Whoa whoa, hold the phones...

Actually, I just felt bad that I didn't post art yesterday when I posted my thoughts... so, here ya go. A little warm up I did before hitting these storyboards I need to clean up.

Every once in a while, I go back to drawing Marvel characters (although it seems to be the only thing I post online, trust me, I draw lots of other stuff, I just never scan it). I never feel like I do them justice, but it was always my dream to draw these characters professionally, and I'll get it right one day! Why is it that the characters/things we love most are the hardest to draw? Maybe I just care too much, want them to be too perfect. Gotta let go, and that's what I tried to do here, I had to redraw this a few times and keep telling myself "Be loose"...Here is the sketch, and some quick colors I threw on it, just to try colors.

My thoughts- I am torn on this one. I like some things going on, and it may be the best Hulk I have drawn, but ultimately it's not what I had imagined in my head. I wanted something filling the page more, something more imposing, but I got so caught up trying to get it right that I forgot what the initial concept was... so really, it's a failure... but like I said, gotta keep trying to get it right. 10,000 hours, people... and when I am done with that, I will need another 10,000!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Political stuff? Just life stuff? Thoughts stuff?

Don't worry, I wont be posting too many things like this... then again, maybe?

I was going to post this in a Facebook thread, then figured it would be pointless... but so I don't lose it, I present my idea here, on my blog, using it for what it was meant to be used for, to give you a glimpse into my personal life.

The set up was that Doug Tennapel posted this quote from Benjamin Franklin: ‎"For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the goodness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. -- I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." - Ben Franklin, plagiarised by Romney"

First, I joked "Franklin was a lightning rod, but never a President...", then I thought about it (because I mostly believe what Franklin wrote) and wanted to say....

"I do not think most men (or women) when confronted with troubles in their lives would prefer free money over money they work for. As someone who was out of work for 2 years, I mean ZERO income for two years, I took unemployment for a couple months (4 months out of 24) and it made me feel horrible. I would have been much happier if there was a community service element to the check coming in. Working, even a few hours digging ditches or cleaning trash, is preferable to sitting at home, feeling like less of a man...

That said, I feel that universal healthcare is not the same as taking unemployment or welfare. One is to soothe the pains of not having work, the other is to keep the American people healthy and ready to fight and work. Theodore Roosevelt believed that all Americans had the right to have an even playing field in life, that meant health and education, after that? May the better man win.

Also, I believe that while many countries have mandatory military, we should institute mandatory Civil Service/Community Service. 1-2 years, maybe mostly weekends. It would mix people up a bit more and get them involved/invested in their neighborhoods, states, and the nation as a whole."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deadliest Warrior- Knight vs Pirate sketch

So, I have had a heck of a year... I wrapped up working on "Black Dynamite: The Animated Series", then the heck of the year started when I went to Europe for over 2 months, where I discovered that, low and behold, my drawings suddenly were better, I kinda surprised myself. I will have to post some sketches, photos, and thoughts later... But here I am now, after not posting for over 6 months again, posting something sketchy...

As I posted with all my previous Doctor Who sketchbook pages, I always sketch while watching TV shows... I've recently spent my nights watching "The Deadliest Warrior"... oh man, I thought I would hate the cheesiness of the show, but nope, it is downright awesome! It plays directly into my history nerdiness and my love of weapon facts (my favorite part of playing D&D in high school was studying the weapons and armor). I especially enjoy the acted fight scenarios at the end of the show; you can find me hooting and hollering in joy at the TV.

I just watched the Knight vs Pirate episode and did a quick sketch while watching the Mafia vs Yakuza episode. Not everything is perfect, I would probably redraw most of this for a finished piece, but it's a decent quick sketch study with reference only from memory.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Conan Sketches

I love the fantasy genre... and after seeing all of Becky Cloonan's Conan sketches over the past month, and watching the Hobbit trailer 100 times today (literally), I decided to draw some Conan. I could have drawn dwarves, but maybe that is next...

So, I did these sketches-- I like Conan as the gnarled, beat up, older Conan.

This first image I drew I was just "drawing to draw", and wasn't thinking enough. Half way through the sketch I thought "He looks too pretty, and it needs to be more of an upshot, and he needed to be thicker." He needs more "old man" strength. I colored it for practice, and to try to "toughen him up." So in the end, my least favorite drawing is actually the most finished piece.

So I drew this sketch. Upshot, thicker, gnarled. I like it.

Then after doing a couple head shots, I decided I should think of this more like an illustration. I usually don't sketch in this manner, but I need to. I might go back and clean this up... maybe. This piece shows my process... I usually sketch in a red tinted color, I prefer it to blue or grey. I can then draw/ink on top in black more easily.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Guest Artist - The Tale of the Brother's Three


I filled in as the guest artist this week on my friend, Josh Hauke's, webcomic strip, "The Tale of the Brother's Three". I scrapped my original idea hours before it was due, and I wish I had a little more time to refine this idea, make it really sing, but I am still happy with it.. it's always good to be forced to draw! Check it out!

Richard Pose - The Tale of the Brother's Three