Category Archives: coffee wash

Experimenting with markers an old sketch.

I’ve been experimenting with markers the last few days….while scanning in the experiments, I found a sketch in the same book that I did about 8 years ago while sitting in front of the Daily Grind in Fells Point.


I used to spend hours when it was warm sitting in front of Daily Grind either sketching or working on my novel….eventually I stopped because there was this one homeless man, referred to as “Crazy Mike” who would camp there all day long, every day, screaming at the top of his lungs at the other patrons, passerby, some “bitch” in head who was always on his right and behind him, sea gulls, the building across the street, the water, or his cup of coffee.  The employees would give him free coffee (which really didn’t help) if he promised to behave….he could rarely behave for more than a few minutes at a time and would devolve into a screaming fit several minutes after getting his coffee.  The employees would try to police him, but would inevitably give up after a try or two and would just ignore him.

Eventually, it became absolutely impossible to concentrate on anything while sitting outside (a shame since it was nice to sit there and watch the boats come in and out of the harbor), so I stopped going.  Too make it worse, Crazy Mike HATED my guts, due to me refusing to give him change five seconds after he called me a dirty fucking wasp.

I had sympathy for him at first, and perhaps it makes me a bad person, but eventually my patience wore thin and I started avoiding him, and the Grind, since my point was to try and get some work done versus spend two or three hours every day being “tolerant” of someone who obviously had some sort of serious, serious mental issue.

They actually found Crazy Mike dead outside of Broadway market about a year or two ago….I don’t live near the Grind anymore, but maybe I should give it another try again.

What was I talking about?

Oh, right, markers.

While wasting time recently in an art supply shop in NYC, I purchased several “fancy” markers.  I’ve never fooled with the things before, frankly because when I was in school, I don’t think nice ones even existed yet….and if they did, I wasn’t even aware of them because no one around me was doing anything interesting with them.

After watching Adam Hughes do some convention sketch work with them last year at Baltimore Comic-con, I was blown away though, to the point that I actually purchased one of his little convention sketch compilations.

BTW, I watched him do a sketch like that in literally seconds….when I’m confident, I’m fast, but Jesus, he threw out a sketch similar to the above in literally moments (probably from having to do thousands at conventions, but whatever).

Anyway, I purchased a gray, a flesh tone marker, and a blender and have been messing around with them while watching the Daily Show or whatever.

First time around I took an old possible draft for the very first Dr. Sketchy’s flyer, one that I ended up not using for anything.  The sketch was alright though and I figured it might look good “markered”.

Basically all I did was ruin the sketch.


NOT the look I was looking for.

Next, I doodled a quick Bruce Timm-esque cartoon, and tried that, which worked out a lot better.


The next attempt was with a moe extensive doodle, this one involving shading.  This one I actually like…the line style obviously works well with the markers.  (I’m starting to get the feeling that anything that works well with a wash of some sorts will work well with these things.)


I tried once more…the marker came out alright, but the sketch itself was obviously that old “icon” profile sketch of a girl that bubbles up out of my brain every time I’m tired and not really trying anymore.  Uck.  I swear this stupid sketch has been kicking around for two decades in my head, and whenever it pops out, it means I’m tired and it’s time to do something else.


On a separate note, the Windup Space is taking submissions for a Forum Gallery show they’re going to do in a few weeks and I’m going to see if I can bump out a fast oil painting/sketch to show over the next few days.  It’s going to be based on this previous sketch…drawing5

The canvas is setup, as is the projector (to transfer the basic dimensions of the drawing), and as soon as I hit submit on this sketch, I’m going to see how much as I can bust out.  I’ll take a photo of the canvas at each stage, so maybe I’ll have another post in a little bit.

On another ANOTHER note, I’ve started using the scanner to scan in all my novel and story notes into Evernote from receipts, napkins, and bookmarks over the years….I’m stumbling across tons and tons of old sketches and doodles while doing so.  I’ll dump whatever I come across here as it shows up.

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Filed under Adam Hughes, art, art tools, baltimore, Bruce Timm, cartoon, coffee shop, coffee wash, Crazy Mike, Daily Grind, doodle, draw, Drawing, Evernote, Fells Point, ink, marker, notes, oil painting, oils, organization, painting, pen, pencil, sketch, Windup Space, writing

More old Borjun’s Tavern sketches.

Well, I’m back from San Francisco.

While shifting bookcases around yesterday (to make room for some stuff I picked up in SF), I found several more Borjun’s Tavern sketches from back in the day.  (Check the Borjun’s Tavern link at the top of the page for more sketches and an explanation of what the Tavern was.  I’ll add these photos to that collection sometime in the next couple of days.)

The first is actually okay recent, drawn on a napkin at the Blarneystone several years ago.  Basically a couple concept sketches for a monkey, a random patron, and Blitzen, a Nazi reindeer stormtrooper (not one of my characters).

Blitzen sketches

Next is a collection of Trix doodles and concept sketches…I’m guessing that this is at least 15 years old, maybe older.

trix concept sketches

Next, Cyborg and Sphere concept sketches (once again, not my character) from the same time period (at least it’s the next page in the pad)…

cyborg and sphere concept sketches

The next two are half-hearted attempts at creating a Borjun’s Tavern comic book.  Both are from 15 years ago or so as well, long before I’d even thought of using a computer for this type of thing.

I was obviously also impressed with that Sandman t-shirt of Death drinking a cup of coffee.

borjun's tavern comic

If I remember, the above cafe was modelled on Cafe Trios in Chapel Hill as well…

borjun's tavern comic with trix

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Filed under art, Blarneystone, Borjun's Tavern, Cafe Trios, chapel hill, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, pen, pencil, sketch, Trix

Stupid computers & a mouse.

Well, yesterday was the first day I ever missed a day.  I’ve decided it doesn’t count though since I tried for an HOUR to post something, but the damn computer locked up and wouldn’t fucking reboot.

Everything seems fine today though.

So far.

In any case, here’s a mouse.  Done in pencil and coffee while talking to Bill while waiting for a Friday to “get going.”

a mouse in pencil and coffee

I’ll see if I can put up something later today to make up for yesterday.

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Filed under art, BAR, Blarneystone, cartoon, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, pencil, photoshop, sketch, sketch a day

An ashtray and a guy at the bar.

ashtray and guy at bar

This was drawn while playing pool at Hucka’s…basically, sitting for hours waiting to play a 20 minute match so you can leave and go drink somewhere else.

Coffee was added later…..

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Filed under art, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, pencil, sketch, sketch a day

Random guy sitting at coffee.

Same technique as the robot. Didn’t work very well.

Guy at coffee.

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Filed under art, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, pencil, sketch, sketch a day

A robot in coffee.

Drew this sitting at coffee. Used pencil and coffee, then bumped the contrast with Photoshop.



Filed under art, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, pencil, robot, sketch

First Post, or why I’m a freaking idiot.

I used to, about a decade ago, draw, oil paint, write journals, and write fiction constantly…pretty much every day. At some point, probably foolishly, I decided that I would never get anything done if I kept splitting my time between all four.

Two hours a day writing in my journal, an hour writing fiction, and about three drawing or painting.

Writing fiction was the cheapest, so I picked it. For the next decade I stopped (for the most part) drawing, painting, or writing in my journals. I figured, “Oh, I’ll bust out a novel in a year and get back to everything else.”

Ten years later, I finished the book, which I’m in the last stages of editing and are currently marketing around.

A couple weeks ago, sitting in a bar, I tried to draw some old man trying to figure out the Megatouch machine. It looked like a three-year-old spit a mouthful of crayons at a wall. Whatever ability I did have was gone.

So I’m going to do a drawing every weekday and post it here, hoping it comes back.

Obviously, shit is going to come up. Hangovers, snow storms, “screw-this-crap,-I-hate-the-intertubes” days, whatever. So I’m going to try to have 5 posts in the can at all times, configured to post every day at 8 am, EST. Most of the time they’ll be drawings, but occasionally they’ll be random stories from the bar.

Yes, I know that makes absolutely no sense.

Anyways, this is a drawing I did around 1994…

Girl with staff.

The next is a drawing I did a few days ago, sitting in a local coffee shop…

stupid drawing

The rocks in the banner above are from the mid 90’s as well.

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Filed under art, coffee wash, doodle, draw, Drawing, faerie, fairy, pencil, sketch, sketch a day