As much as I like drawing cartoons and take joy from taking human and animal forms and making them simpler and expressive, the challenge is being proficient enough in the basic anatomy to do it well. To sharpen my skills and try new ways of doing things I try to delve into "real" art as often as I can find the time. For the most part I use DeviantArt.com as a resource for photo references I can use to challenge myself creatively. In one recent foray into the Deviant Art photos I decided I'd like to try doing something different, something I've never tried before, and try my hand at drawing a "pin-up." Here is the result:
For some reason when I look at this now I hear Etta James singing "you can leave your hat on" over and over again. This was a handy exercise in drawing a figure that includes a little foreshortening, and where you can't see all of the features.
On another occasion I happened to be drawing from a photo on Deviant Art around the time that a friend of my wife's was staying with us. That night I had decided to try working on the male anatomy. So I drew this:
Which I didn't think anything of doing at the time. Our friend was reading on the couch, and I was drawing t the computer while we waited for a mutual friend who also lives in California to pick her up. When I look back I probably should have known better. If there is shit to be given she is one of those friends who just the friend to do it. At some point she looked up and said, "Why are you drawing pictures of oiled, (the guy in the photo was pretty...glossy) nubile young men? Is there something you want to share?"
I thought for a moment, then scanned through the photos until I found one I liked and drew this in response.
When it was done I showed it to her and said, "Nothing you don't already know."
Home cooking - The Fried Rice Edition
Somewhere between a few weeks and a couple of months ago Mildly Sensational and I took our daughter, A Little Amazing, out to eat at a dumpling house called Din Tai Fung. The food there was incredible, easily the best Chinese food we'd ever had. They also served the largest portions we had ever seen, but what surprised us the most was watching our daughter tuck into a bowl of steamed bok choy and fried rice.
After that experience it occurred to us that fried rice would be something relatively simple we could make at home and feed to our daughter. As anyone with kids will attest, when you find something your little one enjoys eating that's not made of sugar and something from a vat marked "edible," it's cause for celebration and your first instinct is to make it right away. Which is what I tried to do.
We decided to try her with homemade fried rice one night, and I would also make egg drop soup for her mother and me. I found a recipe and bought the ingredients and got started. Partway into cooking dinner I realized I may have misread the instructions in the recipe. When I double-checked it I found to my great dismay that it called for "6 cups of cooked rice," and was not instructing me to "cook 6 cups of rice." Feeling somewhat abashed I looked at my stove with two pots full to overflowing with rice as they bubbled away and said simply, "whoops."
On a positive note, the fried rice was delicious. On an equally positive note, Mildly Sensational discovered a recipe for rice pudding that uses leftover, precooked rice. Angels sang in our kitchen when she made it, the pudding was that delicious.
Then I paid the Angels and they left to make the game where they got their asses kicked by the Dodgers.