Tuesday, March 30, 2010

William Shakesphere Lives!!!

Went to the doctor's office recently and saw the most interesting face in the waiting room. This dude's hair reminded me of William Shapkesphere as if he was a distanct relative or something. I caught this view of him as he was taking to one of the other patients while putting on his coat. I did a quick initial sketch and spent the remainder of my waiting time, about an hour, refining it. Im very pleased with the result. I kinda missed doing a detailed graphite drawing like this, and it was a deviation from doing cartoons.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Wow! my head is STILL spinning from yesterdays adventure! I rode a couple of trains, and the faces just kept getting better and better! I usually take time to carefully redraw them and clean them up, but decided to just show them in their raw stage with pencil lines included, although Ive done some inking. All of these were done live, and Ive even included my notes. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sketch adventure! Galt Aureus - The Armada

Just wanted to share this bit of animation and music that was a total surprise today. Originally I was looking for a limited animation vid, saw the picture and clicked on it.In no time flat I was immediately caught up in the story and the song, The limited animation was cleverly done, and complimented the beautiful vocals perfectly. I thought about comic writer/historian, Scott Mc Cloud of "UNDERSTANDING COMICS",fame who often spoke about the perfect marraige of words and pictures that is so elusive, but when it works, it's a wonder to behold.

A clip like this is a great example of when a writer/artist collaboration WORKS, and is definitely a "commercial" for the "less is more" school of limited animation. I loved the way the artist skillfully incorporated seleccted words and phrases into the animation throughout. This technique served to re emphasize the lyrics and enhanced their vocal impact. The animation was also so simply drawn that you didnt get overly distracted by the beautiful drawing and forget about the song and the lyrics. The artist very skillfully changeed the mood of the piece when the hero went "into the abyss" to rescue the love of his life, who was trapped in the cage. There was even a fight scene! fantastic stuff!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gov Patterson, Charie Rangle, Al Sharpton ,Malcolm Smith, Carl Mccall .Greg Meeks Cartoon

Editorial Cartoon of Gov Paterson depicted as Charlie Brown Holding his poor "Political Report Card" much to the displeasure of NYC Black Leadership Power brokers, Al Sharpton, (top left,) Carl Mc Call (bottom left) Charles Rangle (bottom right)Greg Meeks (middle right) and Malcolm Smith (top right) drawn for The Wave Newspaper Far Rockaway NY
A series of recent Political flops, mishaps, and blunders, from an experienced Politician like Gov Paterson "earned him " the title of "Blockhead"

Charles Rangle in particular has a deceptively "easy" looking face to draw at first glance, but I somehow found it tricky to get his likeness as spot on as I usually get them, and with the deadline looming large in the background I had to settle for a less than perfect picture IMO, of him. His face will definitely be revisted. I was overjoyed at having an excuse to draw Al Sharpton. As noted in an earlier post, I viewed some youtube clips on him, and he's really a pretty smart guy, and great speaker. Of course, Ive drawn so many pics of Sen Malcolm Smith and his pal, Greg Meeks that I can practically draw them in my sleep now. Carl Mc Call is new. He has one of those "handsome" faces that is also deceptively hard to "grab unto" viusally without switching into generic caricature mode. All of these guys have such interesting faces that Im really surprised, with the exception of Sharpton, of course, that they havent been caricatured more by artists in recent years.

The caricature artist in me would love to go REALLLLLLLLLY extreme on all of these guys, but for publishing purposes, it's best to stick "middle of the road" with only slight exaggeration, I've found.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Michael Jackson vocal warmup

Okay folks, I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW this is not what I normally do on this blog, but singing is one of my passions as well as art and dance, and this evening while doing a search for vocal exercises I came across this very rare vocal footage of the Late Michael Jackson doing a vocal warmup over the phone with his vocal coach. Since I'm seriously developing my voice now ( I'm a tenor, by the way) I'm doing a LOT of vocal warm ups and seeing great results. Being the obsessive person I am once I get into something I like I ALWAYS do EXTRA CREDIT WORK.... anyways, I found MJ and it blew my mind. When we look at ... or used to ... Look at an artist of his talent and stature, it's hard for us to remember that he had to WORK on his craft to perfect it, and to KEEP IT. Like so many of us in the visual arts, we may be "BORN" with "natural talent" or an aptititude to draw, but unless we work to develope it , and stretch it, the "gift" stagnates and dies.. or at least, only reaches a certain level.
The same with singing.
Hearing Michael go through the same vocal exercises that any singer goes through made him seem more human. It's a shame he never got opportunity to show more of that human side of himself.

Again. I know this deviates from what I do here on the Subwaysurfer bloggg but I thought it was worth sharing.

Michael even "cracks" on some notes!

Al Sharpton on Lyrics in music

Im currently drawing an assignment where I have to draw Al Sharpton and was on Youtube looking for video references in order to get those subtle facial expressions, mannerisms and nuances that you just cant get with a photograph that is posed. I came across this film clip where Sharpton is contrasting musical lyrics used today by some of or leading black entertainers compared to the past and even going back to slavery. Sharpton makes some very good points worth considering.

Think what you want about the man but when he speaks truth, and he often does, he should be commended.

"Theres never been a generation that didnt use our music, and our culture to lift us up." Great quote that. And theres a lot more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Subway HERO

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

In a town where everyone is looking out for himself, where there is strife and racial predjudce and polarization, it's inspiring, heartwarming and humbling to find a story like THIS.


welcome to my studio... The Subway of NYC

I thought it was about time that I shared with you viewers where I get the majority of my work done... ON THE SUBWAYS OF NYC! Welcome to my studio Where all the magic happens! On the NYC Subway The world LITERALLY COMES TO ME! LOL! and sometimes I get entertained! Those breakdancers are doing handstands, and all manner of physical derringdo on a MOVING TRAIN!!! And the odd thing is that incidents like this is so common place in NYC as to be "boring" to us natives here! I swear why isnt ANYONE making breakdancing an Olympic sport? These urban acrobats are able to do the most complex physical manuvers with no "professional training" whatsoever. I hope Im alive to see the day when they get their "due". We've seen it with Snowboarding, Extreme Bire riding and skateboarding, why NOT breakdancing?

Monday, March 08, 2010


Neiman's bold color style captured all the emotion, vitality, and excitement of boxing, and he was the only artist I felt whose style truly captured the essence of Ali. If I was a painter I'd want to paint like Neiman.

See more of Neimans work here



Ali Vs Frazier MARCH 8th 1971... looking back

For those of us who lucky enough to be alive back then to see this we got an opportunity to see something you dont see too much of today.CHAMPIONS who fought with heart, who fought with dignity, and who inspired us to be better than we were. Joe handed Ali his first lost in this closely fought fight, hitting him with a crushing left hook in the 15th round, that Ali claims in his autobiography, "The Greatest" was "timed to perfection". That punch dropped Ali to the canvis and swelled his jaw/cheek area to the size of a grapefruit.

This fight was about styles, and on THIS night, Joes unrelentingly , aggressive forward pressure cooker style caught up with Ali in that historic 15th round.

I recall seeing a sports commentary show where the video editor cleverly synched Elton John's song, "DONT LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME" with film footage of Ali being struck by Joes Left Hook. Whenever I hear that particular Elton John Song I always think of this fight.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Im always up for some subwaysurfin' but THIS is extreme! I think I'll just stick to drawing on the INSIDE of the trains! LOL!! Fascinating story behind this guy, Alexander here. I DEFINITELY DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!!! Truth be told, this guy has his "ART" down to just as much as a science as I do!! Pretty ingenious device he created that enabled him to subwaysurf without injury..... so far.

A lot can be said about this on the side of safety and kids trying to imitate him, but instead of focusing on that, I want to applaud him for taking precausions before doing this. In the interview video he explains how he built up to surfing on the faster trains by starting out on slower ones first, this building experience and courage. He also commented on how he wwould research his route before attempting his surf so that he wouldnt encounter any unexpected obstacles. That's a very intelligent way of going about attempting a stupid thing! LOL!! Finally, as said earlier, he developed a device that would enable him to hang onto the train, which is remarkable considering that this device can support his weight while the train is in motion. Im sure that somewhere down the line I'd be curious to know how he came up with THIS idea , and can bet that he'd make a bundle if he sold it(maybe he already has)
Even with all this, the sheer nerves of steel this guy must have to even attempt this. At one point, he was hanging on by one hand not unlike a water skier! LOL! This guy's an adrenalin junkie for sure! maybe someday they'll be some type of sporting event involving this. Crazier things have happened after all...I bet they laughed at snowbaorders and extreme bike riders.....

Friday, March 05, 2010

Madd at Verizon

Like most Americans these days, my cell phone has become my primary phone and I pay my lan line bill so I can access the internet. Once upon a time if you paid your BASIC service agreement it included internet as well... NOW Verizon had gotten smart and requires you MUST PAY THE FULLLLLLLLL BILL or they will not turn on your internet... As I was on the phone playing "LETS MAKE A DEAL" I was getting angrier, and angrier and all the while drawing aimlessly.
I looked down and these were the hilarious results.

Old dude on the Q22 bus

Yeah, yeah, I KNOW this blog is about SUBWAYSURFING, but some faces are too good to pass up!!!
Take this old man for instance I saw riding the Q22 Bus here, I mean, he looks like the stereotypical "Cranky old man" out of central casting! Dont know what he was mad at, but his eyes were narrowed to literal slits! LOL. He had a brilliant "old man" profile, complete with the stereotypical "hook nose" and a chin that jutted out so far he could jab you with it, and leave a mark! LOL!! No "stereotypical old dude" would be complete unless he had a cane too, and you betcha, he had one! LOL!!

I felt so inspired by his face, I did another memory sketch of him later that captured his essence even better than the first.

I love the MTA!!

DADDY DUM DUM on the A Train

Ah Fatherhood!!! In an age when so many men are irresponsible ib "manning up" and taking care and responsibility for their children, it's always refreshing , inspiring , and sometimes even frightening to see a new proud dad with his kid....

Take THIS guy for instance in this picture. I caught him riding the Manhattan bound A train one afternoon, eyepod headphones in ears, wearing one of those familiar devices that I call a reversable backpack, which seems to be specifically designed... probably by a WOMAN... to give men a taste of what it feels like to carry a 12 bound baby on their stomach. This dad had his child wrapped up so tightly in a blanket as well that the kid was barely visible beneath the blanket, pressed up tightly against his dads chest in that ridiculous backpack thingee, while the dad was staring aimlessly into space grooving on Hall and oates or whatever he was listening to on his ipod.


New fathers.
They're cute....
but DUM.

I know I was!

R and B Train recent subway sketches by Subwaysurfer

I found this great cheapie 99cents spiral notebook that has this fantastic recylcled paper that has the consistantcy and feel of newsprint, but just a tad stronger. I LOVE it! Its has 100's of pages, it fits neatly into a knapsack, or under in my heand, it's big enough to get a good sketch with, it takes to pen and pencil fabulously, and it makes me feel like Im back in Junior Hish school "drawing on the sneak" while in class... PERFECT for subwaysketching!

Ive been riding the "R" and "B" Trains lately, and have noticed that folks are a littttttle more suspicious and agitated on this line than others. Most Manhattan commuters almost expect to see something out of the ordinary when they ride, but commuters on these trains, especially when going back to Brooklyn seem genuinely surprised to see the stange man staring at them while moving his pencil furiously in his notebook......

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Gov David A Paterson Caricature

Stick him with a fork! He's DONE!!! This Governor's Goose is Cooked! Latest Editorial Cartoon for THE WAVE Newspaper Far Rockaway NYC
Paterson's face..... MAN! What can I say??? He was MADE for CARICATURE!!! for the purposes of the paper, I stick a little more closely to a more realistic rendering, but you can really have fun with his face which, I plan on having later...heh...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Gov Paterson.... looking back.... before caricaturing him

After hearing the recent news of Gov Paterson's political woes this week, I, like many artists literally ran to to my drawing board anxious to get in on the cartooning/caricature feeding frenzy surrounding his recent political decisions, and you folks here can look forward to an Editorial cartoon that will soon be appearing in THE WAVE Nwspaper.

But before I lampoon him, I think it's important to highlight his accomplishments. He is truely a remarkable man for achieving a high level of success in spire of an visual disability combined with the Glass ceiling effect so many people of color bump into when reaching for the stars.

This Youtube serves as a reminder that what we see about a person at present doesnt represent all who they ARE.

But Im still gonna "get him!" heh, heh!

New Subway Caricatures for March

While sketching the Latino dude, he caught me drawing him and tried his BEST to "look tough " and intimidating. All he really did was stickk his lip out to the point of looking more like a spoiled child who was told he couldnt have candy! LOL!! The Asian Dude just reminded me of a squid or some sea creature who somehow miraculously morphed into a myopic human. Faces on da train are STILLL FUNNNNNNYYYYY!!!!!