Sunday, February 27, 2011


Well, I didn't get to post nearly as many pics as I wanted to in this series - my schedule got busy and bottlenecked quickly - but that's the way it goes.

For this last piece I thought I'd do a little "two-birds-with-one-snowball". I'm doing a painting demo at Morehead University this week and needed something somewhat interesting for that - and I needed one more good post for this series, as well.

Among so many other really cool and inspiring things found in my collection of books about African tribes and such are the tribes that incorporate mud into their hair styles. I found a handful of pictures of Namibian people with this gorgeous reddish clay mucked into their hair into different fashions - and so this girl was inspired by some of that - except I made her clay-mucked hair even more organic and weird. Should be a fun one to paint.

Again, if you're in the Kentucky or southern Ohio area, come check out some of my original fantasy paintings hanging in the Strider Gallery at Morehead University. They're only up for another five days or so. I'll also be doing a presentation about my work and career on Thursday - (plus the demo but I think that may be exclusive for the art students perhaps?).

Also, and as usual, if you like the pencil drawings you see here, you may very well like my book of pencil work: AGGREGATE. Wanna buy one? Contact me at:

See you next month!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Sorry about the long lapse in posts - been busy as well as enjoying a bit of solar radiation down in Florida.

As I try and bust out four paintings in 8 days, I'll have to dip into my reserve of older sketchbook drawings yet again. This is another from 7 or 8 years ago with some African flavor. Her hair is more Hopi indian - but I have a big book on just African tribe hair styles and there are a few that closely resemble that Hopi look. I don't think any had exclusive copyrights on the hair though.

Hopefully I can squeeze in one more drawing before the end of African Art Month and the beginning of a new series that will be part of a contest to win a free original painting of mine - so spread the word!

On a side note - if you happen to be within reasonable driving distance of Morehead University in Morehead, Kentucky, I have 12 fantasy paintings on display in the Strider Gallery through March 3rd. The paintings are from a handful of jobs from the past 6 years or so - all framed up and looking sharp. Come on over and take a look!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This is an old piece - done about 7 or 8 years ago.
I love the idea of giant, ungainly masks and ceremonial garb.

Monday, February 7, 2011


There's no specific allusion to dragons that I can find in African lore - (the closest I can find are Rainbow Serpents, of which there are MANY for all corners of the continent it seems) - but dragons are so ubiquitous in the mythologies of mankind that I am sure one is out there. Heck, maybe rainbow serpents are essentially dragons - I mean, anything longish, toothy, and covered in scales can pass for a dragon, after all.

Anyways, here is my take on what an African icon of a classic (European?) dragon might look like.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Here's another random mask drawing. On this one I was reminded of the subtleties than can separate two different styles from different parts of the world. When I first drew this, I used really bold geometric black and white patterns and a round mouth - but it quickly started to look like a Pacific Islander mask and much less like one from Africa - so I went with more of a carved texture for the geometric patterning. I'm not trying to be specific with the look as far as tribe-to-tribe styles of Africa - but it has to look African for sure. Which goes to show that you can't just slap anything together - there is a certain look and feel. Too much of this and it looks Iroquois - too much of that and it looks Innuit - not enough of that and it looks Australian Aboriginal.

I have posted African art inspired stuff before - here are links to previous draw-blog posts (some of which contain interesting African mythology):

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


February is the turdliest month. Although I started getting sick of the winter part of the year much earlier this season, February is usually the point where the memory of what it is like to go outside in a t-shirt or see the color green starts to alarmingly fade. The novelty of snow and wearing coats and snuggling under a blanket to watch 30 Rock and way-too-early sunsets has trickled away down the storm drain under that dune of car-filth blackened snow. What I need is something to help get me through this wretched stretch of Winter.

If you know me then you've probably realized my penchant for sucking inspiration from the styles and motifs of antiquated/ancient cultures. Well, since February is Black History Month, that gives me a good enough reason to indulge in some African art inspired doodling - for what is more a part of Black History than Africa? Actually, Africa is in all our histories - since humans first busted onto the scene there - but I digress.

So, I'll be posting little drawings and doodles with very African flavors all month long. They are all my own takes on different design sensibilities of the different art forms and peoples of Africa - and not anything specific (so don't go cross-referencing my stuff to see if it fits into Ndebele or Hottentot parameters!).