Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thirsty Sasquatch.

When I scan in Big watercolor pieces (this ones 22" across) I end up battling with the edges. Big pieces in which I've used lots of water warp and buckle. That shows up on the sides in the scan as ugly dark splotches. I've started to actually IRON them and that seems to help. They still are curving when I put them in the scanner, but if the edges are sharp and flat I can put a large book on the scanner and turn off the room lights (important) and get a decent scan.

Also, The foreground is a tiny brush and ink and the back is pencil. A trick I learned from watching Stacy.


Saturday, December 30, 2006


One of my resolutions is to get a tablet pc. I am seeing so much incredible digital art, I'm just itching to try it myself. I worked on something tonight, and I think I took it about as far as I can with this old mouse. My wrist feels like an elephant has been sitting on it.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Gonna Do Better

It's that time of year for reflections of the damages from the previous 300 and some odd days.
Time to promise to do things better next year.

This year, I discovered there are things we just have no control over.
Things like ignorant decisions made by corporate bean counters.
And health issues that no matter how much you exercise or how healthy you eat, are going to pop up and scare the jeepers out of you.

Then there are the things that we can control.
And for some reason, these are the things I put off until tomorrow ... tomorrow being the third Wednesday in June 2045.
This year is the year I tackle the two big ones....the spare tire (my spare tire has become a spare tire for a Hummer) and time management.

More time at the drawing table, less time surfing the web.
Blogs have become my addiction this year. I heart blogs.
Blogs about cartooning, blogs about books, blogs about children's books, blogs about illustrating, blogs about blogs!
And you know what goes good with blogs?
And ice cream.

What are your resolutions?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rocket Boy

A quick sketch with the brush pen and watercolor. I added a little ripple effect in Photoshop for the rocket exhaust, as well as a couple of lens flares. No immediate plans for these guys, but they will go into the "Maybe Later" file.

Daily Brain Fart

This is a drawing a did a while back, and since we started this blog I was reminded of it. For me, anyway, it's appropriate.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This is a prelim sketch of some side characters included in a story I'm having fun writing. Their intro line was to be something like:
"Then from the shadows came a motley crew that nobody wants to see...
The McGulligan boys, their McGulligan dog and his McGulligan flea."

I'll post a more elaborate drawing soon, I hope.


Brush Pen Test

I broke down and bought the Pentel brush pen, since I've been hearing so many good things about it. So far it's a peach! This pic is my first test with it. Very easy to handle, lots of control. We'll see how the bristles hold up.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

From INN - The Illustrator News Network

Time magazine listed Alison Bechdel's Fun Home graphic memoir first among its picks for the 10 best books of 2006. Bechdel does the self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip.

Joseph Barbera, one half of the team behind such cartoon classics as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and Huckleberry Hound, has died, aged 95.

Comic book illustrator Dave Cockrum, who in the 1970s overhauled the X-Men and helped popularize the relatively obscure Marvel Comics title into a publishing sensation and eventually a major film franchise, died November 26. He was 63. In his Superman pajamas and with his Batman blanket, Cockrum died in his favorite chair at his home in Belton, S.C., early Sunday morning. He had suffered a long battle with diabetes and related complications, his wife, Paty, said Tuesday.

For most illustrators, creating even one iconic character is a dream come true. Martin Nodell, however, helped invent two: the superhero Green Lantern and the Pillsbury Doughboy. Nodell, one of the few surviving artists from the Golden Age of comic books, died Saturday at a nursing home in Wisconsin after a brief illness. He was 91.

Illustrator's improvisation leads to high jinks (link)

Late Cartoonist's Rockwell Painting Sells for $15.4 Million (link)

The Pete Doherty Children's Book Spoof: A Big Hit Already! (link)

Monday, December 18, 2006

T-shirt for Sarah

Wes, I did a t-shirt for my neice too!
She's a freshman in high school, loves her new French class and holds an office in the French club.
So, also using I thought I'd send her a one-of-a-kind t-shirt for Christmas.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

T-shirt for Paige.

This is a t-shirt for my adorable little niece. I actually like the stylized newspapery greytone one better, but my Wife reminds me we're talking about a gift for a little girl here. It'll probably be color. I've used for T-shirts in the past with good results. We'll see how this goes.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


This is a sketch I did for a story I've been working on.
This is the first thing I drew with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, which is awesome.
I like the feel of this drawing.
I've been tempted a few times to watercolor this drawing in my sketchbook, but was afraid color would just mess it up.
Sometimes a black & white drawing should just be a black & white drawing. Nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spooner Boxed Set

I've been playing around with the idea of publishing a complete set of the Spooner comic strips. If nothing else, I would just like to be able to have them all in one spot so I can read them. (I'm vain that way.) I guess it would be the poor man's equivalent of the boxed sets they did for Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes. What to do with it beyond that, I'm not sure.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Watercolor Cardboard

A while back, Paul Giambarba told me that he never used watercolor paper. Paul uses a level of economy with his brush and paints that I don't know if I could ever master, so I think he can get away with painting on restaurant napkins. He was nice enough to send me samples of several different kinds of paper to experiment with when I first began using watercolors.

I made a few drawings based on a story I told my kids one night, and I ended up using a piece of white corrugated cardboard that had been used for shipping or something. I don't know if I'd use it again but it got an effect much different than if I'd have used Arches. And it was smooth! I could market it as Dawson's Imperial Corrugated Watercolor Paper.

Someone suggested, and it might have been Paul, to go to paper sellers and get some samples. Use them to experiment with. I think my problem is that the way I paint, I use way, way too much paint and water. The only thing that will keep my paper from buckling is using 2000 lb. paper, which I haven't been able to find yet. Somehow I get this feeling that Paul is right, and that watercolor paper is over-rated.

Watercolor paper

I noticed some new watercolor blocks at the art supply store the other day and decided to buy a couple of them.
I made the decision to buy them entirely on the size of the paper, which is roughly 9.5" x 4" ... a panoramic size.
I'm in love with this size for sketching and doing small watercolors while stretched out on the living room floor watching tv.

The paper is called Papier Aquarelle made by Sennelier. It's wonderful.
The watercolor above was done on a hot pressed block.
I also bought a cold pressed block.
Like Wes, I'm pretty undecided about paper choices.
I'm not sold on working on one particular paper...some days I like the feel of cold pressed paper, some days, I like hot pressed.
I hardly ever stray from using a watercolor block, but during my latest shopping spree at the art supply store, I bought some sheets of paper to experiment on.

Note to self: watercolor paper can be expensive.


Monday, December 11, 2006


Wes here.

Great to be hanging out with you guys.

What the heck, I'll just dive in.

This is a secondary character I'm throwing around named Howie.

He's haphazardly aced three consecutive aptitude tests and now the government has placed a GPS bracelet on him to keep track of his whereabouts.

This character came about from an experience i had in college Physics at the U of AZ. I was totally unprepared for my first exam and midway into it I just started guessing on the multiple choice test and filling in gibberish notes on the side. Turns out I scored a 74, which graded on a curve meant that I was now #2 in a class of 120 fairly smart people. I basked in the sun as an intellectual god for a few days and then promptly dropped the class.

Notes: I'm having trouble figuring out whether to use Bristol board or hot press watercolor paper for illustrations. I love how watercolor paper takes the paint and how bristol takes ink. There seems to be no happy medium for me. (the above was done with Strathmore 500 imperial Hot press watercolor paper)


Sunday, December 10, 2006


Welcome to our "Three Men in a Tub" blog...a collaborative sketchblog by illustrators: Stacy Curtis, Ted Dawson and Wes Hargis.
To learn more about each of us and see more of our work, check out our websites, listed over in the right sidebar.
Always feel free to leave critiques and comments on our posts. We'd love to hear from you!
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