A collection of doodles with a bit of commentary by RICK GREEN - your cartooning friend

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sully Over the Years

Recently I picked up again the pursuing a dream that I've had for many years—the publication of a children's book using one of the many story I've shared with children over the years. As stated in my previous post, I finally illustrated a story which I entitled, Sully Wants To Be a Rabbit. I can't remember when I first made up and illustrated it. It was probably some 30 years ago. Over the years the tale of Sully has taken shape and developed into the story that I tell to children today. I have probably drawn and redrawn this character more than any other of the characters from my "catalog" of tales. Originally Sully's name was "Wilber." But, I figured that was already pretty well owned by a pig.

When I finally decided to change his name I decided to name him after a guy that was... well... quite a stinker. This particular Sully would make an appearance at my office door on occasion and would rant and rave about various things that he thought was important and that I should (according to him) consider as important. He could easily eat up an hour of my time. The truth be known, he was one of the few people that I've met that got me so upset that I kicked him out of my office. I later apologized for my rash behavior. He seem rather fine about the whole event. (Something similar had probably happened with other people he had bother.) So, when it came to choosing a name I thought Sully was the perfect choice, and thus he has been Sully for over 20 years now. (The original Sully no longer walks the earth. I figure he's giving the angels fits in heaven.)

Below is an illustrated history of the various incarnations of Sully—the skunk that wanted to be a rabbit...

My first depiction of Sully drawn on a transparency for use with an overhead projector. Kids now days have no idea what an overheard projector is. I still like using them and I've had children literally ask what it is when I set it up.

This is the version of Sully I have used the most. I can't remember when I first drew him this way, but it has stayed with me many, many years.

A quick pencil sketch of my of my first attempts to create an illustration that I felt was worthy of publication. 

I got busy and decided to create an illustration with a full background. I later backed off that idea—maybe because at the time I felt it wasn't necessary. I'm sure that if a publisher felt that I should fill in my illustrations I would go to work. But many of the illustrations in children's books that I look at aren't filled with a lot of details. 

I kind of like this guy. Not sure why he didn't make the cut. 

A sick Sully. I was trying for more sadness, as oppose to anger.

 A worried and depressed Sully.
This is the version I finally settled on. He's basically unhappy about his life situation. Many people are like that and would rather be like someone else—thus the premiss of the story.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blogging Again

It's been so long since I've posted anything on this blog I think that I've almost forgotten how to do it. I have avoided this blog for the past several years and I would have probably deleted it a number of years ago but I couldn't find the "kill button." But, here I am, after a 15 hiatus, getting back into the blogging spirit by attempting to make another post.

I have no idea as to whether or not if anybody cares about this blog. So, I might just be talking to myself. BUT!, there is a reason for me to post something here.

Years ago I dreamed of the possibility of bringing one of the many children's stories that I've told over the years to publication. Recently one significant event happened that lead me to finally make a serious attempt at getting a book published. Back in April, Marylynn and I became grandparents. If you happen to be one of my Facebook friends, this is no revelation to you. I've posted a number of photos there. One of the request that my daughter, the mother of our grandson, Max, made that I put together a book for his nursery. This is me and Max hanging out.

A few years ago I began work on getting some illustrations done. A couple of months ago I finally went back to try and finish the project. Well, I've finally completed my illustrations for the book and now I'm in the process of trying to land a book publishing agent. After reading the requirements for submission, I noticed that they ask for a link to my webpage. Thus the reason for trying to breath life back into this blog. Perhaps this will satisfy an agent's or publisher's need for a way to check out my artistic skills.

Here now is the first illustration for my children's story, Sully Wants to Be a Rabbit. This is Sully and he is one unhappy skunk. What do you think?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Giant Jim

Jim is the youth pastor at our church, and a good friend. One evening I stepped in for him at the youth group while he was out of town. At one point he seem a bit concerned whether or not I would be able to handle teens. I told him, "Don't worry. I'm going to knock it out of the park." Since then that has been an inside joke between us: "Are you going to knock it out of the park?," we'll asked each other.

That's Jim and his wife Jolene to the left. They're expecting their 2nd child in August. I think "Richard" is one of the names that's being considered—at least it should be considered, don't you think?

Jim is a San Francisco Giants fan. You can imagine that he was in hog heaven when they won the Series.

For Christmas I wanted to give him something special, and so I created this caricature of him. I presented it to him at a little party we had at our house. It's always fun to have the chance to see one of my subject's reaction when they open one of my doodles. Jim like what I had created. He seemed most impressed that I got his hair right on. Half of the party was spent hunting for Eggy. He found him, but it took a while.
Nice sweater Jim.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where My Brain Is

Well, I'm sitting at 40 pounds down since June 12th. I have a goal of reaching 50lbs by Jan. 12th. That will mean 6 months on this "life-style change" that I've been on. At least, that's what my Son-in-law, Ben, calls it. He took on the challenge of acting as my trainer while I am on this campaign. Lately the "life-style change" has felt more like a diet. Ben has me on, what he calls, a "December to remember" program—no breads, no cereal, no chips, no pasta, none of that. The good news is that I can eat all the meat and fruit that I want. I am definitely into meat. On top of all that I have a light workout routine that I do three times a week, and I walk one hour each day—no small task. It seems to be working.

The other day I was walking down a street am I'm thinking, "My body is out on the road, but where is my mind?" I'll show you where my mind was...

That's where it was, and he (my brain) wasn't helping me out on that road one cotton-pickin' bit! Where's your brain been these days? Copy & Share If You Dare

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

I couldn't tell you how many caricatures that I've done over the past four years. I've kept a copy of almost all of them. Someday I've going to lay them all out on a floor just so that I can get an idea of how many I've drawn.  It will take a room larger than my living room to lay them all out next to each other—there are just too many. Even to try and show you all the one I might consider my favorite pieces would make this post far too long. Still, I want to try and show off a few of what I consider to be better examples of my work. All of these have been posted on this blog sometime before, but for your consideration here are a few of my favorite things, or rather doodles.

Drawn for a sweet girl, Christie. She used it as the header on her blog about her journey through serious illnesses.

I guess you would call Tom my step-father-in-law. He had quite a costume one halloween and I gave this to him as a Christmas gift one year.

 Drawn for a client living in Arizona who's husband owns an unusual antique tractor.

Drawn for a client in Florida who's husband enjoys a good round of golf and driving their dog, Daisy, around in their golf cart.

Drawn for a client in England who's grandfather is a retired dentist and enjoyed singing hymns to his patients.

This was an anniversary gift for the son and daughter-in-law of a friend. I spent a long time studying the famous painting, American Gothic, to create this one.

This was a birthday gift for a very good friend of mine that is a minister in New Mexico.

Drawn for a longtime friend that enjoys hunting in the fields of NW Oklahoma. He and I had a successful turkey hunt together one season.

 Drawn for a client in Idaho that owns a potato farm.

Drawn for a good friend that has been kind and generous to me on more than one occasion. This hangs on a wall next to his bed.

 Drawn for a client who's son is a serious poker player.

Drawn for a client with a large family. They are military stationed in Japan. She wasn't sure about my suggestion of a Ninja theme, but liked the way it turned out.

Drawn for a client that has a daughter who owns an unusual pair of pants—very fancy indeed.

 Drawn for a client that is quite a nature lover.

Drawn for a client who's husband is a big Lord of the Ring fan. 

An illustration of my dear departed brother-in-law Jim. His daughter asked God to let her see her daddy one more time. Right after that she got her copy of this illustration from her mother. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

This was one of my few serious portraits, drawn for a good friend that loaned us her cabin in Colorado for a few days.

This is my mother-in-law. Rabbits fear her when she drives the riding lawn mower. As a matter of fact, I do too.

Drawn for a fellow blogger that has become a good friend. One of the few fellow bloggers that I've ended up having the chance to meet face to face. She sent us okra in the mail. I sent her this doodle.

Drawn for another blogging friend. She was about to order an illustration from me, then she had some difficulties which causes her to cancel the order. I enjoyed surprising her by drawing one for her anyways. She uses it as her blog header.

Drawn for a young lady that is a family friend that grew up and became a preschool teacher. I thought this turned out really well and I was especially proud of the way the lettering turned out.

It's not too late to get in an order for a caricature before Christmas. You might be surprised by my rates. If you'd like more information then e-mail me and I'll be happy to tell you what I charge for an 8x10 illustration of that loved one on your gift list—the one that you always have a hard time figuring out what to buy them.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Name Thingy Project

I'm sitting on the living room floor of my oldest daughter's house. We've been in Oklahoma for the past week getting things together for daughter number two's wedding. The nuptials happened yesterday and everything went very well. I've been sharing on this blog my plans to create a large styrofoam cutout to help decorate the wedding reception. Here is my report of how the "Name Thingy Project" turned out.

The work actually began when I did the "dry run" back in Brookings. (See below what I did as a practice project.)

I think I drew a version of this a half of dozen times. This was the one that I chose to create. It was important to create a shape that would have stability. The sweeping lines underneath their names helped to make it strong.

I set up shop at daughter number one's church across the road from their home. They were very gracious and kind to me—letting me use up a good deal of the floor space in their sanctuary to work. A few days before the wedding it was suggested that I create a smaller version to be hung over the guest book table. That created more pressure on the use of my time.

I copied the design onto a transparency and projected the image onto a large piece of styrofoam that my (first) son-in-law picked up for me at Home Depot.

Then, while being careful not to bump the projector, I traced out the design onto two 8th foot panels.

Then I cut out the image using the lines as my guide. Back home, when I did my dry run, I tried using an electric knife, but the styrofoam I used then was a standard thickness. The panels I got in Oklahoma was a compressed foam and too hard for the knife. The youth pastor at the church was kind enough to loan me his sawzall to use instead. That worked great for the large cuts, but for the tighter spots I utilized a hot knife.

After cutting the image out I painted the back and the edges with flat black paint.

I was able to find a latex metallic gold to use on the face. Many of the metallic paints are oil based and will eat into the foam if you use it.

My father-in-law, Tom, helped me a bunch. He worked hard to clean up the edges of the cutout.

After that I outlined the letter with an olive green, which was one of my daughter's wedding colors. The image always pops whenever you get to the outlining stage.

We were able to string a cable out across the area we were trying to fill with decorations in the church's fellowship hall. Then we used fishing string to hang the name thingy and several Chinese lanterns. That's my next future son-in-law working on the ladder. My oldest daughter, Tarah, is the one holding the cutout up.

Then we hung Chinese Lanterns on either side.

The finished product. What do you think?

A view of the reception area from above.

Here is a photo of the smaller cutout hanging over the guest book table. I had a lot of people say nice things about my work. Most were wondering how I got the things from Oregon to Oklahoma. I wanted to say that we flew out a craftsman from Oregon to make the design for us, but I was enjoying hearing their complements too much to lie.

After the fun was over, it was my sad responsibility to dispose of them. After all, what does one do with a 14 foot name thingy? 

So, I took them outside, popped them over my knee and dumped them in the dumpster. Isn't this a sad photo?

BUT WAIT!?! That's not entirely true...

We just couldn't destroy the entire project.



Snuck over to the newlywed's home and hung the smaller cutout over their bed—waiting there for their return. I guess they will have to decide it's fate.

I'll post some photos from the wedding soon. You can find several that I've already posted on my Facebook page. It was a beautiful event and my daughter looked VERY beautiful.