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

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Potatoes On Parade

I really liked how this carica- ture turned out. This is a birthday present for Sharlyn's husband. He's an Idaho potato farmer. Is there any other kind. Oh yeah! There are sugar beet farmers too, but anyway... Sharlyn wanted me to illustrate hubby on a John Deere tractor harvesting potatoes. His real tractor is one of those big ones that has all the comfort of a Cadillac, but Sharlyn thought that putting him atop an older model would look better. I agreed.

I don't know where I got the idea, but the image of potatoes popping out of the ground and marching along with him seemed like a fun concept. Sharlyn liked it and so away I went.

The challenge for me on this particular drawing is that I couldn't find a photo on the internet taken of a tractor at just the right angle. I wanted the tractor to have a commanding, dominate position in the illustration. To do that I want the perspective on the lines of the machine to be at a dramatic angel. So, instead of taking the usual shortcut and tracing a picture, I had to draw this one out pretty much free hand. As I said, I really liked how this one turned out. The only thing I wish could be different is that I would have liked to have more room to draw a whole bunch of potatoes marching along behind him in formation.

I seem to be in a tractor mode of late, since this is the second one of late that I've been asked to illustrate. I've seem to have been drawing a lot of potatoes as well. I guess it was fate that the two themes should come together in one illustration eventually. (I'm so philosophical when it comes to my cartoon work.)

Check out Sharlyn's blog. There are some very nice quilts displayed there - another art form that impresses me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Black Sheep Do Over

Last weekend our church hosted a rally for a Christian motorcycle club called The Black Sheep. A few of the people from our church are members and so we gave them the opportunity to have their conference here on the ocean. I am not a member of the organization, but I do enjoy getting together with people who have an appreciation for nice rides.

At one point I counted 60 motorcycles in our church parking lot! On Friday evening I joined them for a "pie run" up the coast for, (what else?), pie. What a sight it was to see Hiway 101 full of motorcycles as far as you could see. I think the neighbors might have thought we had become a Hell's Angel Church. (One kind new neighbor did call about the noise, and asked if she could expect this is be a summer long ordeal. Apparently she values her sleep more than the sound of a chrome covered ride.)

I saw the event as an opportunity to try and sell some of my motorcycle themed artwork. I didn't sell a lot, but I made enough money to cover my cost, and then just a bit more. Oh well - ever the starving artist.

Earlier I have posted this drawing that I created for the Black Sheep in our church. (Actually, our church is ful of "black sheep." They just don't all ride Harleys.) I didn't like how this drawing turned out. Several agreed that the sheep on the cycle looked more like a camel. I should have drawn in some wool on the top of his head.

So, I decided to create another Black Sheep themed illustra- tion. I tried to give him a harder edge by illustrating a ram, with horns - along with wool on the top. I really like how this illustration turned out. I colored the letters to match the colors on the club's patch, which I thought worked out well with the rest of the colors I ended up choosing for the drawing.

Which one do you think sold the best? You guessed it. The "camel" drawing did! In fact, it was the only kind of print that I sold that weekend. Go figure. I guess sheep can't appreciate fine art. Oh maybe it has something to do with the fact that I priced it a few bucks cheap? How do you like that - they're a bunch of cheap sheep!

Here are some photos that I took at the event. The last one is my favorite - just in case you were wondering...

Monday, June 23, 2008


At least that's what my Dad use to tell me. I didn't quite understand what he meant. That is... until I had children.

This is another "Copy & Share, If You Dare" doodle. I would just enjoy hearing from you if you do.

This, by the way, is my 200th post. Some bloggers I see celebrate that kind of milestone. I just think it's insane that I've done that much blogging.

Thanks for taking a peek.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oops! My Bad

Now here's a story for you. Since I started getting these request for caricatures because of this blog I've tried very hard to keep the information coming in, straight and in order. A few weeks ago I realized that maybe I wasn't doing such a great job.

Teresa wanted an illustration of her husband, Nick, and their two daughters. She said that he is a "C-130J Mechanic for the Marines." And that their girls loved to hang all over him. Then I got an e-mail from her (I thought) that said he was a HUGE Auburn fan.

Any of this sound familiar? Maybe, like something from my previous post?

So I drew up this piece and e-mailed her a copy even before I was completely finished. (Note the sky is not entirely colored in.)

When I got Teresa's reply my heart just sunk. She, of course, never wrote and told me her husband was an Auburn fan. That was Jodi from my previous post!

(Note that I actually drew Teresa's illustration first, and Jodi's afterward that. I've just posted Jodi's before this one so that you could better appreciation of my error.)

Can you imagine Teresa opening her e-mail and seeing her youngest daughter holding an toy Auburn tiger, her oldest dressed up as an Auburn cheerleader and the plane pulling an Auburn flag overhead. She must have thought I was nuts!

Teresa politely wrote and said that she didn't understand where I was going with the drawing. She said, "I am assuming AU is a university? What are your thoughts? My thoughts were that I had totally messed up on her drawing and turned her family into something that she had no idea they were - "HUGE Auburn fans!"

Teresa had given me her phone number to call her for clarification. After rechecking my records, I realized what I had done, and so I sheepishly called her up and apologized.

(That was interesting talking to one my clients voice, to voice. I'd like to do that more often. So call me everybody!)

I know, it's not like I had turned them into some kind of hideous creatures, but I felt fairly dumb about my mistake.

So, I started over and "de-Aburned" the family. At Teresa's request I put the downtown ballpark in San Diego in the background, and changed the flag to the flag of his squadron.

(Is "squadron" the right word Teresa?)

It was interesting that the youngest daughter had actually been given a stuff tiger by her daddy. So, the toy tiger stayed. (Maybe she's the huge Auburn fan?)

Teresa wrote me the other day and said, "I just wanted to let you know that my husband LOVES the illustration. Thank you very much for drawing it for me!!"

Your welcome Teresa. I'm glad that we finally got it right. But it sure would have been easier if you had changed yourselves into Auburn fans, instead of making me draw a whole new illustration.


Also: Cynthia, from my June 15th post, put this photo of her husband holding the caricature I drew of him on her blog. Go and check her blog out and tell Dave what a great looking smile that he has. Tell them that Goofy sent you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Clandestine Project

When I do these caricatures there's always a lot of clandestine activity involved. Generally, the one requesting the illustration is trying to surprise a friend or loved one. Surprising a husband or a wife is a bit more tricky since there's always the possibility that the spouse might be looking over the shoulder when an e-mail from me pops up on the screen. As far as I know, no secrets have been discovered when it comes to my drawings.

With Jodi, communication was even more difficult. Apparently she and her husband, Sam, share an e-mail addresses, or for whatever reason I had to be careful to e-mail her only during the day time, or when he was out of town. (This whole post is beginning to sound a bit salacious - you know what I mean?) Jodi ended up giving me her friend's e-mail address so I could to communicate through her without fear of discovery. I was happy to make the accommodations, because I like surprises as much as the next cartoonist.

There are a lot of details in this illustration, all of which are Jodi's ideas. Sam is a chaplain in the USAF. Thus the stole around his neck (Is that what they call it?) He loves to hike. He loves the Bible. He loves the Grand Tetons. He loves his Landrover, which bears the nickname "Lange" that one of their children gave it. And, les I forget... He LOVES the Auburn Tigers. Jodi said that he is a huge fan. (More about that on my next post.) Sam has a lot of different loves in his life, and bringing it all together into one illustration was an interesting challenge for me. This was a gift for his 40th birthday - thus the sign indicating that he's now over the hill.

Jodi, like the drawing very much. Her only request was that I add more hair. It's easy to add hair. Please don't ask me to erase it - not only can I not do it without starting over, but personally, it's a painful process for me.

Jodi wrote me and said, "Rick, THANK YOU!!!!! Sam absolutely LOVED the picture. It was one of the favorite parts of the night. He saw and noticed every single detail. His mom had a copy made at a bakery and it was also displayed on the cake in frosting. Has anyone ever eaten your artwork before?:)

I don't think anyone has ever eaten my atwork before, but a few have thrown-up over it. I guess that's not the same thing.

And then Jodi added. His parents loved it too, but the only thing his mom said she would change? "more hair." :)

Who is this guy? Big Foot?

Anyway, I'm glad you liked it Jodi, and Sam. Thanks for using me. Take care of that beautiful family of yours. And.... for goodness sakes, go get a hair cut Sam, before you start shedding all over my drawing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Plowing Asphalt

When Cynthia wrote me and said that she wanted an illustration of her husband driving his tractor I imagined an idyllic rural scene with a farmer plowing his field - tending to his crop. But when I saw the photos she sent I realized we were talking about something entirely different.

Cynthia's husband is the proud owner of this antique piece of machinery, and the only field it ever sees is the one made of asphalt, running up and down the city of Phoenix, Arizona. She said he liked to take it to the hardware store, and uses it to pull floats in parades.

Look at that thing! What a challenge to try and illustrate! (This is not actually the one he owns, but a good photo of one almost entirely like his.)

Cynthia said that his tractor has a literal top speed of 8 miles an hour. She thought it would be fun to hop it up and make it look like it was zooming down a city street. So I took one of the photos she sent me, traced the complicated piece of metal work onto the paper, added tractor style racing tires, and put him at the helm. What do you think?

This was meant to be a Father's Day gift for today, and so I haven't gotten an update on his response to the drawing. I hope he liked it and I hope to have an update to share with you later.

In the meantime: Since it's Father Day, here are the young ladies that call me Father. Actually, they call me Daddy, or Dad. The oldest came up with the name "Chard" for me. It's a take on RiCHARD. I always tell them my name is Daddy to them, and that's what they should call me. But it hasn't seem to stop them. Now days, I think they can call me anything. Just call me.

This photo is from Christmas. I give them a gift just from me each year, and it normally has a sleep theme. That time I gave them silk PJ's. From left to right: Marla, Andrea, and Tarah (...getting married in October)

I love you girls. I'm proud to be your Father, or Chard, or whatever you may give me as a title.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Super Mullet

I can hear you asking from here: "Why mullets?" I'm not sure that I can fully express my reasoning. I tried to address that on my May 18th post, but even I can't fully understand the muse that moves within me. I guess you could say I'm driven by a "Mullet Muse."

I will say that I think this particular piece is the pinnacle of my artistic expression concerning mullets. What do you think?

I don't know where my artistic whims will take me next. Perhaps a more momentous matters like, perhaps... belly button lint, or ingrown toe nails. I think these too are items which really haven't been fully expressed, or appreciated, artistically. I just might have to be the artist that champions that cause.

What do you think? What areas of doodle exploration should I venture into next? Maybe you could be my muse? So, amuse me, why don't you?

P.S. Feel free to copy and share.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Your Parisian Artist

Holly wrote me and said...

"I found your blog-Organized Doodles and was interested in having you do a custom caricature for me. My husband, myself, our daughter, and son-in-law recently went on a trip to Europe. The kids are stationed at Lakenheath/Mildenhall Air Force base in UK-so after visiting them, we went on a whirlwind tour."

"To make a long story short, we ended up in Paris, France and my daughter desperately wanted an artist to do a sketch of the family while we were there...but there were no street artists to be found in Paris (can you even believe it-the city of art & artists and none to be found!) She was sorely disappointed."

"But when I found your blog and discovered that you did caricatures, I started to get excited. Maybe YOU could be our Parisian artist."

"The kids are visiting us in June. Do you suppose you could crank something out by then? Um. Maybe the Eiffel tower largely in the background with the Arc de Triomphe off to the side?"

I said..."Oui."

Apparently Starbucks has invaded Europe and was a reoccurring theme on their trip. Holly wanted to make sure I added it to the illustration. I threw in the FRENCE fries for fun.

Thanks Holly for choosing me to be your little "Parisian Artist". God Speed.

And in the words of Pepé Le Pew...

"Au revoir, pidgeon. Sweeting is such part sorrow."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Drawing Day

I noticed from a blog, listed on the "Blogs of Note" on the Blogger.com Dashboard, that it's suppose to be Drawing Day. I don't know who decided that, I think maybe the editors of that web page, but in recognition of it, here is my contribution...

The whole ding dong world is celebrating the art of illustration, and I'm still stuck in Mullet Mode. It just figures. (And I ain't finished with it yet.)

What do you think?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Family Practice - Make Me Look Fat?

It's been a while since I uploaded one of my Family Practice strips. For those new to my blog... this was my one attempt at trying to get a cartoon strips into syndication. But, alas, that was not to be.

In order to submit a concept for publication an artist is suppose to come up with a month's worth of strips for the cartoon syndicate to look at - to see if you're actually funny... or not. I got a nice rejection letter from each syndicate - a form letter, but they were nice. I'm sure that part of my problem was that there are a ton of family based cartoon strips already out there. My idea wasn't original enough.

The twist I tried to put on the concept was a sort of battle of the sexes idea. But, as is true of my life, the lone male in this family is far out numbered by the females.

Yes, the concept was very autobiographical, but I added live in mother-in-law to this family. My MIL lives nearby, and so there is plenty of interaction between us, but she's married and maintains her own household. Part of my idea for the strip included an on going battle of whits between the husband, Roy, and his MIL. This particular sample is another example of that battle...

(Click on the illustration to zoom in.)

This piece introduces a larger, very important, question...

That is: When should a wife ask her husband if a particular piece of clothing makes her "look fat?"

The answer is: Only when she wants an honest answer.

The next question is: When should a husband answer that question honestly?

The answer to that question is... NEVER!!!

That's one of those, "They never taught me this in marriage school" kind of things that a guy learns in the heat of the battle... as it were. Meaning, the battle that ensues after he answers the question honestly.

Young men out there! Hear me! When asked, if the dress makes your wife look too fat?, the answer always is... I repeat!!! Always is... "NO!" I'm not saying that you should lie. I'm just say what Roy was thinking in the above cartoon strip. It's not the dress, or shirt, or pants, that makes ANYBODY (male or female) look fat. It's fat that makes a person look fat. (This I know first hand.)

Remember that, young groom. When asked that question, look your beloved in the eyes and say "NO!" Then smile and keep your mouth shut!

Generally one has to pay a lot of money to get good advice like this, but here I am dolling it out for free. Boy, that's just the kind of guy that I am, and just one of the many benefits you can enjoy by visiting this blog.

(And I pray to God that my wife never reads it.)

BTW: My friend The Bean is having a contest over at her blog. I don't normally like to post links to bloggers contest, but I like Bean. She's a sweet lady, and it's for a good cause. (Plus, I have a better chance at winning if I link to her blog.) So, go drop in and tell her that I sent you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

King of the Couch Potatoes

This is just another doodle done on an airplane. Does this perhaps remind you of anybody you know? A relation? A spouse?

I did an illustration with a similar theme right here.

Feel free to copy and share.