Sunday, November 28, 2010

Animated Short Chipmunk vs Warrior based on Pencil Tests In Monkey Jam

This is the end result of the film I worked on based entirely on pencil tests I put together in this great free program called, MONKEY JAM. The program is simple to use, downloads easily, and as far as the learning curb is concerned, if you can operated an ATM machine, you can use this program. With indy animation being so popular today, this is a must have tool for beginning animators, especially. I highly recommend it.

Ive personally had the program for YEARS and up until now to be honest was just too darn selfish to tell anyone about it. But this is, after all, SOCIAL MEDIA, and as such, it's not about ME as much as it is about YOU! ... having said that, let me tell you about the NEW features the software has. This list comes from their site

Audio support for WAV and MP3 files.
Audio scrubbing in Xsheet and Preview.
Export AVI with audio.
Dialog markup.
Keyboard shortcuts (+/-,1-9) for changing image duration.
Improved Scanner interface.
Better support for PAL resolutions.
Import images to new layer option.
Drawing duration change shortcuts.
New Windows installer.
Option to re-name drawing in Xsheet and file on harddrive at same time.
Option in Xsheet to edit image in program of choice.
Full second preview in StopMotion capture mode.
Full size image viewer in Xsheet.
Support for non-English translations (Latin-1 characterset only).

Find out more about MONKEY JAM by going to their website at

Animated short Pencil test created with MONKEY JAM for Wiremonkey films by Subwaysurfer

This is a sequence I created initially on tracing paper, scanned into my computer, then through into the FREE Monkey jam pencil test program. The results were magical. This is a great program for beginning animators to use. I highly recommend it.
Find out more about MONKEY JAM by going to their website at

Animated pencil tests by subwaysufer for Wiremonkey Films

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Star Trek's Mr.Spock caricature by subwaysurfer

I got all jealous and nostalgic after seeing Steve's version of Mr. Spock, so I searched my subwaysurfer archives and found this version. Live long, and caricature!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My former NCN Roomate, caricature artist, Steve Dorris, just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, followed by me turning green with envy when I saw THIS pic hidden away on his Face book site. Theres Steve with MR SPOCK himself, actor Leonard Nimoy. Getting the pic WITH Nimoy woud have been awesome enough. Getting the pic with Nimoy holding your cariature of him? Priceless!
Steve did an excellent caricature of me some years back as the cartoon character , THE TICK, and also as DOG the Bounty Hunter.

See MORE of Steves great work at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elgin's video testimonial - How to draw caricatures

I was approached to make this commercial for fellow caricature artist/animator Jim van der Keyl Years ago at an NCN Caricature Artist Convention, and was more than happy to do so. In my caricature drawing infancy, when I had zero knowledge, and do connections, Jim's series,which were VHS at the time, and I still HAVE, provided me with structure, useful information, and a point of departure. As a testimony to what I had learned, when I met him years later at The caricature Convention, he asked me, over dinner, to explain my particular approach to drawing caricature TO HIM!! what a compliment and a mind blower to find that I had come full circle. When the teacher asks the student a question, you know that you've learned your lessons well!

Jim has a brand new book out as well that should be part of every serious caricature artists library, I suggest you get it! From what I've seen, it's-an updated version of his teaching series, but on steroids!!!

While we are on the subject of inspirational caricature books,remember that my book,SUBWAY SURFER EXTREME LIFE DRAWING ON DA TRAIN is still available by clicking the link to your right directly above the "FOLLOW"  tag

BEWARE OF "ART TEACHERS" by Subway surfer

Following is my response to a young artist who almost had his dream of becoming a professional artist due to the insults of his art teachers that he couldn't do it because of his inclination and earlier artistic influence in anime, particularly the series Sailor Moon. Not ALL art teachers are bad, but so many of them start fires that burn down the house of other peoples dreams just because THEY are burnt out.

Let me tell you that I was So angry that first off how angry I was when I read your letter. I was SO angry that I felt compelled to answer you immediately, and have literally put my breakfast aside to do just that.
First off, your teachers are FOOLS. I am appalled how people who are PAID to be EDUCATORS can so easily, and coldly "write off" someone's ability to draw based on viewing ONE genre that person is currently working in.  What's equally infuriating is how arrogantly, and contemptuously they can spit on your dreams!!  Finally, for them to conclude in their "wisdom", that you will   NEVER make a career as an artist overflows with imbecility!!
Treat those haters like dandruff on your shoulder,
Brush 'em off.
Develop a thicker skin to critics, trust me, you'll run into a LOT of them.
Having said that, let me take a bite of my eggs and bacon as I continue.
First off, the majority of professional artists get into the profession as a result of an initial introduction by way of a Saturday morning or weekday cartoon.  Even though all children watch and enjoy cartoons, there is always that one kid, like you, like me, and countless others, who take our fascination a step further and want to MAKE what we are seeing and drawing. For you, it was anime, and Sailor Moon. For me, it was Underdog, and the Flintstones.  
Imitation is how we develop hand eye coordination, and confidence as artists.  When your picture comes close to what you are  admiring, you know you're making progress.
Apparently your..." teachers" don't understand how vast and complex the world of anime actually is, and in order to draw it correctly you MUST be a master draftsman .

Think of anime as your entry point into the art world and just another tool in your toolbox.  Photo realism will just be another you will add.  YES it is difficult! Having said that, SO WHAT! Every new skill you have ever acquired in life, involved practice, struggle, and persistence to get it right.  Drawing anime probably didn't SEEM like a struggle to you at first, because you embraced it,and wanted to do it, so you were willing to sacrifice time, energy, sometimes even sleep itself in order to get a drawing just right. The result is that now it 's in " your blood" it is a part of you, and you will never get rid of it, and that is not a bad thing. It's just an artistic influence.

I myself, although I draw caricatures that come close to photo realism, especially when I draw in pencil, nevertheless, my artistic influences come shining through.

You can view my work at

Apply that same energy to realistic drawing. Take a life drawing class. Draw still life pieces,sketch the nude model, go to museums and sketch the statues. You must go at this aggressively. Remember, you don't draw with your hands your draw with your MIND and it's your mind that controls your body.
As for school, no need to quit LEARNING Just quit THOSE TEACHERS.  Go to another school. Become pro active about your own education.  There are now courses you can take online, YouTube tutorials,and of course continuing Ed college courses, art groups etc.  If I could give you any advice at all it would be to forget about the goal and focus on the journey, the present moment. One sketch, one line, another sketch, another line until the picture is done. You Will get better. Winners always do, and you will never be the loser your shortsighted teachers implied

Which has some excellent info.

For additional inspiration you can also purchase my book, SUBWAY SURFER extreme life drawing on da train, that you can find a link to on my site at

Good luck to you.
Happy drawing!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

EARTH, WIND & FIRE REASONS Singing Techniques by Erik Dillard reported by subwaysurfer

There are a lot of non singing people online these days claiming to be "vocal coaches"... Ladies and Gentlemen, ERIK DILLARD is NOT one of them.
If you follow this blog of mine, you know that one of the subwaysurfer's many talents in addition to cartooning and caricature are spoken word and vocal singing. Erik Dillard is a coach I discovered online a couple of months back, I used many his exercises contained on his Erik Dillard Vocal Clinic youtube channel to supplement my live, offline vocal training, and have been more than pleased with the results, as my coach would agree!

I did a series of cartoons and caricatures for Erik as well that you can check out online, but let me tell you more about this amazing guy. First and foremost, he is one of those rare teachers who is genuinely concerned with YOUR development as a vocalist, and is willing to work with you to achieve your goals whatever they are. Erik has an engaging, gregarious personality that isn't so strong that it overwhelms you, but puts you at ease immediately. As I mentioned also, Erik Can REALLY sing. I know this shouldn't even be a point that should be made, but there are a couple of other vocal coaches online, who, although fine teachers, leave you feeling cold when they open their mouths to demonstrate. It's like me, the subwaysurfer, trying to tell you, the viewer, how to draw caricatures, when I am unable to draw a straight line....

On his Erik Dillard Vocal Clinic channel, he breaks down in detail many of the most popular songs, and a few from the past, and gives concrete advice on how YOU can attack the song vocally. and what you need to focus on. I personally love the way Erik takes the "mystery" out of singing, and demonstrates WHAT a singer is doing to achieve certain effects, and shows you HOW. The site is jammed packed with vocal drills exercises, and motivational advice that will enable you to follow your dream of being a singer, whether in front of an audience, or your shower head!

I've been at Erik for months, begging him to break down Phillip Bailey's Soaring falsetto vocal style, and it was worth the wait!

Check out Erik at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Boy with crazy hair doo drawn on ipad by subwaysurfer

At a recent party, there was this cute little baby girl, or so I thought by the hair doo, only to find out it was a cute baby BOY who the mom loved to style his hair like a baby girl! i can only imagine what the poor kid would say to his mom if he could speak!  I drew a nice one for mom and immediately did THIS one in the ole ipad when the party ended!

Subwaysurfer looks at animator BILL PLIMPTON

Bill Plimtpon, one of my animation heores recently was a guest speaker at the ISCA convention in Las Vegas that I unfortunatley could not attend this year... again... sigh.... After checking his website I was horrified to diecover that I COULD HAVE SEEN HIM IN BRONX VILLE NY!!!! just yesterday on NOV 15. This interview is a sad replacement for seeing him live, but I still wanted to air it for your viewing pleasure and mine.

BIll is a true master of the craft who does his stuff painstakingly by hand, in a sketchy style that is uniquely his. I admire the man's vision and his work ethic. He is a true inspiration to all those who have a dream and are willing to put in the WORK to follow it. A wise man was quoted to have said, DREAMS COME TRUE WHEN THE DREAMING Part Stops!! Plimpton epitomizes that though.

Martin K - Animation Blog: Be Thankful for Your Uniqueness

Martin K - Animation Blog: Be Thankful for Your Uniqueness: "Great article from Pamela Kleibrink Thompson at Animation World Network. From the article: During the filming of Some Like it Hot, Tony Cur..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ipad subway commuter... reminds me of Humphrey Bogart by subwaysurfer

He aint the spitting image of Bogie, but this particular commuter had an eerie "bogart" vibe about him...."Here's lookin at you , kid.."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art Jumble Blog: MONKEYS from the NYC COMIC CON 2008 by subwaysufer...

Art Jumble Blog: MONKEYS from the NYC COMIC CON 2008 by subwaysufer...: "At this Comic Con I was helping to promote the movie, SPACE CHIMPS and was drawing people who came to the booth as caricatured monkeys. What..."


ipad cartoon of MISTER WEATHERBEE from The Riverdale project

All good things must come to an end, including this Riverdale High series that
has been so much fun and has taught me so much about digital painting and
drawing on the iPad.
What better way to end it than with Riverdalems "eternal School Principal,
"Mister Weatherbee.
Like the character, Mister, in The film, The Color Purple, "Mister" is the man's
first name... After all, his momma wanted people to show her boy respect... But
that's another backstory...
Mister Weatherbee, like Miss Grundy, has held the same position in Archie and
the gang's elementary school as High School. Since virtually nothing is known
about this character, here's my back story on the illustration.

Weatherbee doesn't LIKE least not as much as he used to when he first
became a new educator. After years of being an Marine Sargent and survivor of a
few wars, Mister decided that he wanted to suture minds and inspire a
generation, only to find himself disillusioned, disrespected,and disgusted with
the state of youth culture. An authoritarian by nature, Weatherbee finds
himself in a constant battle to maintain order and control which frequently
slips away from him much to his dismay. After several years on the academic
battlefield, Mister has developed a contempt for kids in general, especially a
certain bumbling redhead who he would like to horsewhip but cannot for legal
reasons. Weatherbee is an angry confused depressed man, who drowns his sorrows
in food.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

ipad cartoon of MR, LODGE from The Riverdale project

It seems that just about every lame cartoon comic series has to have a "spoiled rich family" who "lords " it over all of the other poorer families in whatever fictional town the story takes place in. The LODGES' consisting of Veronica and Mr. Lodge, ... Does he even HAVE a FIRST Name???? .. are Riverdale's resident rich folk.
As I've been doing this whole series, I've added my own psychological background twist to the character of the Mysterious "Mr. Lodge" and have come up with a few theories and of course, questions.
First question:
Was she accidentally shot in a bizarre hunting accident when the couple went tiger hunting in India? Was she a mistress who quietly got paid off as soon as Veronica was born? Or did she just flat out LEAVE because Mr. Lodge is a unbearable, power mad, money hungry jerk that she could no longer STAND to share the same mansion with? I kinda LIKE the Last assumption, so lets go with THAT one. Given how angry Lodge can get, and how spoiled Veronica is, that sounds more like the truth. Now if we're going to GO with THIS theory, we have to assume that the mysterious "MRS. LODGE " was equally self centered and selfish. After all, she saddled HIM with the KID to raise. The fact that Lodge is raising a girl alone is somewhat commendable.
Question two...
Where does his money come from??? I think Lodge made his money the old fashioned way.
Theres one more dirty secret about Mr. Lodge that seems glaringly obvious to me.
He doesn't REALLY have a LOT of Money... Not like he wants people to think.
Oh yeah, he has more mondy that your average working stiff who lives in Riverdale, but among his peers, "other rich folk" , I mean, He doesn't have a LOT of dough.

I mean, if he DID, then WHY IS VERONICA, HIS RICH DAUGHTER, ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOL??? I dont buy the fact that maybe Riverdale is "just a good school" Surely a man of Lodge's stature and wealth, would WANT his daughter, his ONLY CHILD, to have the BEST of EVERYTHING. School, would NOT just be a place to get an education and good grades, but to make connections that benefit one later on in life. In the world of the rich and famous, connections are EVERYTHING. Veronica is not likely to improve her lot in life by rubbing shoulders in the hallways of Riverdale High with the likes of Archie Andrews, and Jughead Jones.
Maybe Lodge just cant afford the big expensive prep school... maybe he's too busy giving out "hush money" to former mistresses, or paying alimony to former wives, or maybe, he's just TOO CHEAP to PAY for a great school for his only child.
Which ever way you slice it, he's one rotten guy.

Monday, November 08, 2010

PRAISE FOR THE iFaraday Stylus for Ipad users By Subwaysurfer

let me just come right out and say it, folks. The ifaraday stylus pen for Ipad is a digital artists dream come true. I'd been using the infamous POGO STYLUS, that's sold in the Apple store, and realized within a couple of hours that THIS was NOT the best tool for anyone who is trying to draw seriously on the ipad. I consulted Angie Jordan, and Scott Sullivan of the Digital Blacksmiths for their advice, and was told about the magical mystical ifaraday stylus which is noted for it's responsiveness, and "pen like" feel. It took some weeks to receive my ifaraday, due to tis immense popularity, it was on back order, but it finally arrived, last week. Within MINUTES I knew that I would be spending a small fortune, keeping myself well stocked with this pen! It's thicker than the POGO , the drawing tip doesnt jut out like a giant Q Tip, and it's responsiveness is "like butter" on warm bread. I was sketching so easily with it that at times I forgot I was using a stylus. I have these "big sausage like" fingers anyway, so the thickness of the pen felt good in my hands also. I would recommend this pen to any artist SERIOUS about doing digital drawing or painting... which... is kinda bad... now that I think about it... you all will be ordering these pens and causing MORE of them to be on back order~~ I'd better put in my order today, before the Christmas rush!

Dont take MY word for it, though, read a short excerpt from their website at

What makes the iFaraday stylus different?

The iFaraday tip is made of soft cloth which glides smoothly across the screen. It won't scratch or leave a mess on your screen. The iFaraday stylus requires the lightest touch, just enough to provide tactile feedback.

The iFarady has a pliable, symmetrical tip which functions at any angle. The tip conforms to the screen such that a planar sphere is reflected on the screen surface, like a human finger. (Touchscreens are optimized to look for the shape of a human finger.)

On another note, what's so cool about the iFaraday, is that it's creator, made it originally NOT  to make a "buck"  but purely for LOVE!  read THIS excerpt from the page:

Rustle Laidman developed the iFaraday stylus for his wife, who likes to play 'Bejeweled' on her iPhone.   

AH... the things that love for a woman will drive you to... cue the song, when a man loves a woman.....

The Subwaysurfer is using the IFaraday for ALL his Digital Caricatures. If You would like a custom made gift caricature using this fantastic product, please contact me for rates! They are more affordable than you think, and can be delivered straight from my ipad to your email box!

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Nothing impresses a prospective employer more than a confident, firm handshake!

Friday, November 05, 2010

ipad caricature The Riverdale Series VERONICA LODGE by Subwaysurfer

Almost forget that I had left out a MAJOR character from my Riverdale series and that was VERONICA LODGE. What's different about this particular cartoon rendition, is that it is taken from real life, of a New York City Subway commuter I drew last week. There she was, looking cold , aloof rich... My version of Veronica Lodge, Riverdales Rich girl. Veronica is Riverdales "BAD GIRL" or at least she WOULD be if the creators took her as far as her personality profile REALLY goes. VERONICA, as stated earlier, is REGGIE MANTLE'S soulmate. His evil twin, his true match. The comic tries real hard to make her endearing, but with just a casual reading she's like any other rich female brat that has populated the soap operas for years Rich, self centered, greedy and spoiled. Veronica is Veronica's number one fan with two loves, herself and high fashion, not to mention money... okay, that's THREE loves.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A lasting gift from Uncle John by Elgin Bolling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

ipad Editorial Cartoon for THE WAVE NEWSPAPER

Yep folks, this is my FIRST EVER all digital Editorial cartoon Drawn for THE WAVE NEWSPAPER in Far Rockaway, New York. This illo enhances the editorial copy featuring NYC School Chancellor, Joel Klien, who is getting a less than positive reaction from the UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS UNION in response to Klien wanting to submit a "teachers report card" based on information that is "less than accurate" to put it mildly. I had some computer issues that prevented me from drawing it and hooking it up to the scanner, so I was FORCED to draw everything from start to finish with the ipad. Its wonderful what can happen when you're put under pressure.

I found the illustration easy to put together. Chancellor Klien has a hilarious face to begin with, and having drawn him previously, I was able to draw him again with no difficulty at all. Being a fan of Tex Avery, The old "kick in the pants" gag is a standard device that came to mind immediately when I read the editorial copy that came from my editor. The Art Studio app for ipad is very user friendly and since it works with layers, I was able to do the initial sketch  in the same way I would with tracing paper,and use subsequent layers for the line and for shading. Ive grown accustomed to using the Pogo Stylus, even though it's not the best tool, and now that I have the ifaraday stylus,  which is much more responsive, my drawing will look even MORE powerful. I was able to create this in about one hour, which is good considering that it was my first time doing it from start to finish.  I KNOW in the future I will be submitting all of my editorial illustrations, using the device, and will save lots of money on paper as well!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

ipad subway caricature: SENORITA BIG EYES by Subwaysurfer

After completing this digital caricature on the ipad I couldnt but help say to myself, "why in the world did I fight against digital painting?" you can paint with such incredible ease, it's added dven MORE fun to my drawing! This particular senorita was enjoying the last precious days of unseasonably warm weather before being assaulted by one of NEW YOUR CITY's legendary winters. I was attrcted to her animated expression, vivacious personality, and very BIG eyes. These things were like saucers! LOL I toned it down a little, wanting to not make them the total focus, because she really did have a lovely face and wanted to capture that as much. Im getting SOOOOO relaxed on the ipad that Its now competing with my traditional drawing style with pen and paper...


In this podcast segment I explain the things that I learned as being part of the NATIONAL CARICATURISTS NETWORK formally known as the NCN now known as the ISCA