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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Happy 90th Birthdays to Mickey and Minnie



Legendarily created by the combined the storytelling genius of Walt Disney and the sure hand of animator Ubbe Iwerks, Mickey and and Minnie are not only true American creations, but also linked with the birth and growth of Hollywood beginning with their 1928 premiere in the first American animated short with sound, “Steamboat Willie.” It is that Hollywood connection that inspired me to take cues from George Hurrell’s classic portrait photography of Hollywood stars to created these two portraits of the eternally youthful Mouse and his leading lady. Each were created as contributions to Disney’s “Art of” collections for each individual character. Minnie’s volumes was released in 2015, and Mickey’s this year, 2018.

Today, is the 90th anniversary of “Steamboat Willie” and by Disney standards the coincidental 90th birthdays of Mickey and Minnie!


Merely as a result of the respective individual projects schedules, Minnie’s image was first called upon to coincide with a “Rock the Dots” promotion. Plainly evident in my developmental pencils sketch is my intention for her to smile. However, I decided during the digitally painting process that a more introspective expression better fit the Hurrell aesthetic.

Although the polka dots on her dress were roughly plotted in the sketch, ultimately a pattern of dots was digitally stretched over her dress. The dress itself is only appropriate for fashion/ glamour photography with its extreme length panned specifically to fill the picture frame. I did want to ensure that it appeared that her dress was long and that her legs were not equally elongated.


With “The Art of Mickey Mouse” collection organized two years following the Minnie Mouse collection, I purposefully wanted to make something that would be a companion to the Minnie image. I spent a bit of time figuring out how to fill the frame when I couldn’t dress Mickey in pants of exaggerated length. Hurrell’s photography provided the answer with the use of set pieces to create interesting compositions, although I was neither referencing any specific Hurrell portrait nor anything specific from Mickey’s filmography. Here, stair steps drawn in perspective enhanced by the interplay of shadows from a low-set lighting source create an interesting geometric pattern that contrasts with the circular motifs found in Mickey’s design. The subtle palm tree shadow is a Hollywood nod.

So why go with the exaggerated tall image frames when the standard portrait photograph is 8-inches wide by 10 inches tall? I went with the proportions of a rectangle that is 11 units wide by 28 units tall, which alludes to 11/28 (November 1928). Playing the numbers game, 11 x 28 is just more dramatic than 11 x 18 (November 18).

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Happy Birthday Minnie!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thank You, Stan

Black ink and color pencil on Bristol Board.  12.70 cm x 17.78 cm (5.00 in. x 7.00 in.).


Stan Lee’s contribution to comic books both as a business and as an art form cannot be over-stated. His writing and editorial guidance in Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, etc. comic books has influenced my development as an artist and into being a professional artist, perhaps second only to Walt Disney. Even though I am quick to list specific artists and illustrators among my influences, I know that great art only achieves deep impact with its audience when serving a great story.

On my short list of books for young artist, is “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” by Stan Lee and John Buscema and featuring the art of other legendary artists as Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko. The information presented as a foundation of good skill building that continues to apply in today’s digital age.

Thank you, Stan.

Monday, September 24, 2018

What I Drew Sunday, September 23rd - Top 3

At comic book conventions, the top DC Comics characters that I draw as commissions are Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Supergirl. That did not play out the same in the suggestions folks pitched for last Sunday’s What Shall I Draw Today? all DC Comics-themed session.

Here are the top 3 liked things that I drew that day:

#1 — Burnside Batgirl Babysitting the Teen Titans Go! (suggestion by @haightstreetgirl)

Right off the bat (no pun intended), I was hesitant to draw this six character scene - when one of my goals is to produce as many drawn pieces as I possibly can in the set 8-hours of the session. Obviously, I felt it an interesting enough idea to go ahead and take it on. 

So what kind of babysitter would Batgirl be? Responsible - yes. Studious - yep. Strict - maybe to take the task seriously, but maybe lenient on the hero-ing stuff. And how would the TTG! react to being baby sat by another teen? 

So I contrasted Batgirl with Batman- The Animated Series proportions making her appear more grownup. This allows for antics of Beast Boy trying to escape retaliation for swiping Raven’s cape and hood, that, while in keeping with TTG!, comes off as childish. Cyborg is caught in the cross-fire. Robin is either antsy for not be able to leave when he would like or is trying to impress Batgirl with his maturity. Strarfire attaches herself to the sitter with a million questions.

To help off-set the minimal background, it’s inked with a uniform line contrasting the brush strokes used on the characters.


#2 — Krypto the Superdog and Ace the Bat-Hound as Puppies (suggestion by @akoymdf)

This is an imaginary story because we all know that Krypto was a grown Kryptonian dog when he landed on Earth in the test rocket Jor-El had placed him.

Borrowing the puppy designs of Disney’s animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians, I went for something cute. Story-wise, I landed on the conflict of Ace being less than a match to Krypto on a physical level, and Ace’s resulting frustration. I chose not to outfit them with their respective tell-tale capes, figuring that neither has grown into their roles as canine sidekicks to the world’s finest super-heroes.


#3 — Batgirl and Harley Quinn Going Out for Tea (suggestion by @stariie5829)

This is the second idea that I drew on Sunday that featured Batgirl. There were, in fact, four suggestions featuring Batgirl. I guess she was trending.

I went with Batman: The Animated Series inspired costumes if not accurately depicting their animated designs. I also tweaked the story to “having tea” rather than “going out for tea” because I thought the former had the telling teapot and tea cups. I also thought the latter would have been more about dress-up and/or a walking pair of women which could very well be going shopping or to send off a cruise ship.


The next decision was to choose Batgirl over Harley for pouring the tea. I didn’t think that Batgirl would at all trust Harley to pour ANYTHING. In turn, Harley is suspicious of what’s in her cup because she wonders what could Batgirl possibly sneak in the liquid - because that’s what she herself would do. That or she just suspects the novelty of the whole setup.


Here are the rest of the 10 pieces drawn:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam

Raven (in the style of Bill Watterson)

Ragman

Barry and Iris from The Flash

Halo (top) and Looker from The Outsiders

Supergirl, Green Arrow and The Flash

Scooby-Doo and Wonder Woman

All ten of these sketches are going into the collection of original art for sale at my table at whichever comic convention I first show next year, 2019. That could be WonderCon, Anaheim.

Please checkout my Instagram feed for these and more: @monstergram7

This was the last WSIDT session of the year. Time for me to start thinking about Christmas card making.
Left over suggestions may be drawn and posted at anytime before the end of the year.


THANK YOU for your clever suggestions, for following and for the likes and support.


All art Black ink and color pencil on Bristol Board. 
Batgirl & Teen Titans GO! - 17.78 cm x 12.70 cm (7.00 in. x 5.00 in.)
Krypto & Ace - 6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.)
Batgirl & Harley Quinn - 8.89 cm x 6.35 cm (3.50 in. x 2.50 in.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What Shall I Draw September 23rd?

What Shall I Draw Today?, a day that I set aside to draw other folk’s suggestions, takes on the theme of DC Comics for it’s final session of the year. It will happen this approaching Sunday.

What Shall I Draw Today?
Sunday August 23rd, 2018
Eastern Daylight Savings Time:  12pm noon - 8pm
Pacific Daylight Savings Time:  9am - 5 pm

Having already this year hosted a “Marvel Day” and a “Disney Day,” a “DC Comics Day” rounds out the top three themes of what I sell at comic conventions. Besides, Long Beach Comic Con revealed that I was getting low on pieces of DC original art.

Post your suggestions at any of the following social media spots where you find the above prompting image:

Blog:  monotonae.blogspot.com (here in the comments)

Instagram:  @monstergram7

Facebook:  @I'm a fan of Bryan Mon

Click on the above WSIDT tab for FAQ’s.

Wonder Woman with Dole Whip
Black ink and color pencil pencil on Bristol Board.
6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.).
As the last WSIDT of the year, perhaps I’ll work a bit past the 8-hour mark if the suggestion pickings are good.

Of course as usual, what ever suggestions I’m not able to squeeze in on Sunday, may serve as inspiration for quick sketches made in the remaining year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Long Beach Comic Con 2018


Monster Enterprises, LLC presents
Bryan Mon (That’s me) (Disney Consumer Products)
&
Merrill Hagan (Teen Titans GO!)
returning to


Artist Alley:  table A-13


Long Beach Convention Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802

September 8-9, 2018


#LBCC2018




L B C N U!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What I Drew Sunday, August 26th – Top 3

Disney was strong with the most liked sketches drawn in Sunday’s session of What Shall I Draw Today?

Here are the top 3:

#1 – DuckTales Cast Exiting the TARDIS: suggestion by @tsfogg

Here I chose to depict the main cast of the 1987 Disney Afternoon animated adventure series to tumble out of the Doctor Who famous TARDIS. I hold nothing against the new, current series, but some followers may have noticed that I tend to reference early if not original character designs for my WSIDT sketches. 

In my mind, the suggestion was quite clear and the composition could not vary much from what I drew. Launchpad, being the tallest, naturally got set back and naturally the last of the group to stumble out of the TARDIS. Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby duck-pile on top of frustrated Scrooge McDuck for easy slapstick. Little light-bulb-headed Little Helper was a late addition, because he fits. Well, he kind of fits in most places doesn’t he? That kind of implies that Gyro Gearloose is involved if not nearby.


#2 – Mulan with Lightsaber: suggestion by @noreeneb20

Mulan wears several costumes in the original Disney animated feature film. Because of it’s similarity to something that Obi Wan Kenobi and other Jedi have worn in the Star Wars films, particularly in the infamous prequel trilogy, depicting Mulan in her Ping warrior/ training clothes worked out pretty well. 

I then gave her a green bladed saber. It’s kind of her color and it’s a good-guy color in Star Wars. 

I wonder what prompted Mulan to power up the lightsaber. Could it be a hun with Darth Maul styled face tattoos?


#3 – Bagheera meeting Black Panther: suggestion by Kinzey

What happens what a black panther meets Black Panther? Respect, an exchange of respect.

Although not explicitly noted, I drew the Disney version of The Jungle Book big cat. This was for expedience and because there wasn’t a compelling reason not to. T’Challa has removed his helmet/mask because all of the Marvel movie heroes seem to keep doing that.

Of course, with one little sketch, I’m not writing a whole story and much less a novel. I do like to at least imply some storytelling. A lot is suggested by the cool blues of the moonlit color scheme. The rest is left to your imagination.


Maybe the pair later went to get something tasty? Ice cream? It doesn’t always have to come down to ice-cream. But it could be ice-cream.


And here are the rest of the 10:

Wonder Woman & Dole® Whip

Sashi Kobayashi (Penn Zero Part-Time Hero)

Det. Rosa Dias (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Lady Jaye (G.I. Joe)

Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

Strawberry Shortcake & Custard

Gretchen, Regina & Karen

All ten of these sketches are going into the collection of original art for sale on hand at my table at Long Beach Comic Con in a few weeks.

Please check out my Instagram feed for these and more: @monstergram7

Leftover suggestions may yet be drawn and posted in the next few weeks.

The last WSIDT session of the year is scheduled for September 23rd.


All art – black ink and color pencil on cut Bristol Board.
DuckTales & TARDIS - 12.70 cm x 17.78 cm (5.00 in. x 7.00 in.)
Mulan and Bagheera with Black Panther -  6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

What Shall I Draw August 26th?

This approaching Sunday, What Shall I Draw Today? goes back to basics with a now-standard single 8-hour session.

What Shall I Draw Today?
Sunday, August 26th, 2018
Eastern Daylight Savings Time:  12pm noon - 8 pm
Pacific Daylight Savings Time:  9 am - 5 pm

This will be this year’s penultimate (second to last) such session. With no specified theme, suggestions are open topics-wise. I will say, however, that with Long Beach Comic Con fast approaching, comic book and pop culture topic may be favored, since everything created will be put up for sale at the con.

So post your best suggestions at any of the following social media places where you spot the above promoting image:

Blog:  monotonae.blogspot.com (here in the comments)

Instagram:  @monstergram7

Facebook:  @I'm a fan of Bryan Mon

Check the above WSIDT tab for answers to FAQ’s.

Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks & Teddy Lupin
(The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
Black ink and color pencil on Bristol Board.
12.70 cm x 17.78 cm (5.00 in. x 7.00 in.)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Disneyland’s 63rd Birthday

A new Autograph book with Jimmy Cricket Tag-a-Long

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California, Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 – For the fourth year in a row, I took advantage of being a Disney Cast-Member to use a day’s vacation time to celebrate Disneyland’s birthday by being in the parks and doing some sketches.

Per usual, I purchased an autograph book on site and began. Sometimes I was promoted by my environment, sometimes by stream of consciousness. On the day as I went along, I posted on Instagram the sketches in front of sights from the parks.

It happens that this book has over 100 pages if you count fronts and backs. That’s nearly triple or quadruple the page count of the books I had previous purchased. I response on the day, I tried to sketch something at least every 30 minutes. Executed in that manner, I fell into a walk-then-draw continuous cycle for the first 6 hours. In practice, I only drew on one side of each page, so only about 50 pages ahead of me.

Here are the drawings scanned (click on images to see them larger):


















Having many leftover blank pages and untapped Disney suggestions from previous months’ sessions of What Shall I Draw Today?, I finished the book with small batches of the following drawings in pen and monochromatic pencil shading.














The final five sketches we're done August 8, so in all, I didn’t require quite a full month to fill the book.