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

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.

 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.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doodle Spontaneity

I was in another long meeting yesterday, and if you follow my blog you know that means more "meeting doodles." Below are the results. I think the guy in coat turned out especially well. I never know what will come out once I put the pen to paper and start to doodle during a meeting. I kind of like the spontaneity that's involved—there's no erase option once you get started.

In other news: Our middle child gets married in Oklahoma on the 19th, but Our youngest (photo left) came home Monday evening with a ring on her finger. When it rains, it pours. That will essentially make three weddings within a three year time span for us. I think that we’re operating on wedding overload. At least all three have chosen very nice young men. 

In other, other news: I'm down 37.5 lbs—just saying.

Monday, November 1, 2010

House On Rocks vs House On Sand

My friend John asked if I could draw something that he hoped to use with his two sons as an instructional guide. He wanted an illustration depicting the two houses that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:24-27. There He describes two houses—one built upon sand and the other built upon rock. A storm comes along and, of course, the house built upon the rock fares much better than the one built upon sand. The story raises the question about what we're building our lives upon—something solid, or something lacking substance?

I put this doodle together and sent it to John. He wrote, "I think you are perhaps the most gifted cartoonist I have ever known! Wow! Excellent! Thank you!" Now, I think John was a bit over the top there—just a bit, but I really appreciate the remark and just had to share it with you.

John was kind enough to allow me to post this doodle here for your viewing pleasure. Drop by his blog and tell him that you think that he is the most gifted blogger ever, or something to that effect.