Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Elphaba Thropp aka The Wicked Witch of the West

I just finished reading the book "Wicked - the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West". Great book and naturally I got inspired to draw the witch. Here's my version of this troubled young woman.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Church kids in color!

I guess I lost a bit of steam for the rest of the puppet drawings. I still have four more to go and it started to feel like a job. Not good. But I will follow through eventually! Right now I think it's better to follow inspiration's the color version of the Church Kids!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Woop! Woop! That's the sound of Da Police!

Finally got back to the puppet drawings. Here are the Policemen. I couldn't do just one. There's just so many ways to interpret this kind of character!

To see the sketches and the puppet scroll down a couple posts.

Click here to see all of the puppets!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black Bear

I had to take a break from the puppet sketches. This was one of those quick and dirty painting sketches. I had a burst of inspiration and got to work. It was a lot of fun!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Policeman Puppet

The Policeman puppet. My Oma got a lot of use out of the green fabric. My Mother says it was an old wool suit of hers. He may have had a wooden baton at one point but over time it must have gone missing.

Click here to see all the puppets!

Die Polizei sketches

When designing secondary characters I tend simplify the eyes. A character that has relatively realistic eyes (eyeball, iris, pupil) gives them a soul. You connect with them on an emotional level. With the policeman I want to keep him sort of mechanical as if he has only one catch criminals. Seek and destroy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Hunter puppet

This puppet used to have a wooden rifle. Having a prop made it a lot of fun to really act out the character with more realism. Sadly the rifle has disappeared over the years but I'll make a new one...eventually.

Click here to see all the puppets!

The Hunter sketches

This character was fun to draw gestures. He's tall and lanky and sort of awkward giving him a comical quality.

The Hunter

Here's The Hunter. He's not great at hunting, try as he might. And the critters of the forest know this.

Click here to see all the puppets!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Burglar puppet

This is the Burglar. I love the stubble she painted in his face and the fantastic cap! Really looks like a bugger. There is also a Policeman puppet to go with him. Playing cops and robbers was more of a boys game to me so I tended to play with the "happier" puppets. Like the Farmer's wife and the dragon...hmmm, now that's a strange combo. Anyway, here he is in all is lowly glory.

Click here to see all the puppets!

The Burglar

He's the kind of burglar that doesn't want the lime light. Not the kind to hold up a bank and take hostages. He's more of a small time bandit. Purse snatcher, picklock and common thief. This was a fun one to draw. As there's more to his personality than a regular happy sort of character. He's not well educated, probably abused as a child so he's mad at the world yet his lack of self esteem keeps him down...way down. You kind of feel sorry for him. And his gesture helps us see or read in to what kind of bloke he is.

Click here to see all the puppets!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The King puppet

Here's my Grandmother's beautiful hand puppet, The King. After so many years he still looks great. And I think he knows it, too.

Click here to see all the puppets!

First sketches of The King

Here's the sketches of the king. The one of both king and queen are rather stiff and lifeless...sort of like the puppets. Like a puppeteer breathes life into a puppet with his hands so does the artist breathe life into his character by adding personality. In both cases you have to put yourself in to it to make it believable.

The King

I decided he needed a bigger, better crown. Something to really underline his personality...a pompous, precocious ponce.

Click here to see all the puppets!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Queen puppet

The Queen has lost some of her jewels over time but retains her regal appearance regardless. She once had a necklace made out of tiny pearls. Oma added such beautiful detail to her puppets! In keeping with that I will restore her so she will once again sport some royal bling!

To see all of the puppets click here!

Queen sketches

This is just how I imagined she would be. Can't be bothered. What? Another dreadful party? How dull.


Here she is. Jaded and bored. Oh, the drudgery of being the queen...

Click here to see all the puppets!

Little Red Riding Hood Puppet

I am assuming this actually IS Little Red Riding Hood. I mean there's is the German version so....why not? I think it's possible she had cape at one time, too.

To see all of the puppets click here!

Little Red Riding Hood sketches

First I just drew the puppets as I saw them. Then I'm adding some personality. At some point I will really caricature them and cartoonify them.


I took some liberty with the original character...just a bit.

Click here to see all the puppets!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hand made puppets illustrated

About 40 some years ago my German grandmother made hand puppets for my brothers when they were little. I have inherited them now and got inspired to draw them. I will be adding them as I go along.

The King
The Queen
The Devil
The Hunter
Little Red Riding Hood
The Chinaman
The Indian
The Dragon
The Clown
The Farmer
The Farmer's Wife
The Burglar
The Poiliceman

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Guido, the Italian Stallion. He's sort of a "salt of the earth" kind of guy yet quite confident in his sexuality and unabashedly puts it out there for all to see. He likes the finer things in life yet is happy with a cheap bottle of red wine and a sunny place to sit and watch the women go by. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty yet will look fabulous while doing so and with a smile. A very likable fellow!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Tell Tale Heart

Some inspiration. This is an adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe short story 'The Tell Tale Heart'. The 1953 animated film by UPA was brilliantly narrated by James Mason. There is very little actual animation in this film. It's mostly camera moves over still artwork. In my mind this simplistic style proves just how strong the story is. Combined with the dramatic music score it made for a highly captivating film.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Lately I've been trying to get back to drawing like I used to when I was a child. That is to say, keeping the childlike attitude but with a better eye for design and better technique. I've also been really digging the use of texture in my pieces. I sketch "manually" on a piece of paper then scan it in and embellish the piece using Photoshop. The addition of a texture can really take the sketch to another level. I like this one a lot!


My friend and fellow character designer, David Krentz, has been tutoring me in character design. First assignment was to draw three kids going to church, showing their individual personalities. This is the first sketch. Quite a realistic approach. A good start but now I needed to have fun with it and push the proportions.

CHURCH KIDS II - Caricature

Here's the next rendition. I caricatured the kids a bit more but still needed to push the realistic proportions further...

CHURCH KIDS III - Proportions

Here's the third rendition. Here I've pushed the proportions quite a bit making them a lot more cartoony. I've also pushed the caricaturization showing their individual personalities; the prissy know-it-all annoying big sister, the disgruntled want-to-be rebellious brother and the ding bat little brother who's just happy to be there. This is a good direction and now I need to play with the shapes and stylize them even more.

CHURCH KIDS IV - Shape and stylization

This is my last rendition and where I left it. I refined the shapes and added stylization. David wanted me to play around with the proportions some more and explore them. I did that with the girl which you can see here and it was a great exercise. But I still felt the girl really was best suited to be tall and skinny underlining her prissy attitude. After all, she IS Miss Perfect. I like this direction a lot and I had fun with it!

Here they are in color.

Crotchety old guy

Just having fun with characters. With old folks there's so much you can do, especially the crotchety old kind!