Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dirk Nowitzki

Fresh off the gator-board is this portrait of Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas has been the top team in the league for most of the season and when I started working on this portrait they had won 17 straight games.

I think I jinxed them though, as they got blown out in a loss to the Golden State Warriors (as I watched the game and worked on sketches) and then lost their next game to Phoenix (as I penciled the final piece on watercolor paper).

They had only lost 3 games in three months until I started the drawing of Dirk.

Sorry, Dirk. I hope the final piece makes up for it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kevin Garnett

It wasn't hard to decide who I would do my next basketball portrait of. I've been a huge fan of Kevin Garnett since he came into the league and his being 6'11" and able to play any position is especially impressive.

He's been with the Minnesota Timberwolves his whole career and won the MVP award in the 2003-2004 season.

I inked Garnett with washes of Speedball India ink and painted the wolves and the moon with watercolors.

I've been really enjoying all the basketball on television lately with the NCAA tournament about to begin. I haven't played a game in a while, and I'm aching to get on the court again sometime soon.
As soon as the snow melts, I'll be out there again.

I've got a Dirk Nowitzki portrait in the works, so come back soon for that!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Pronghorn Antelopes and Muay Thai Boxing

I read a couple of really interesting articles lately on the Smithsonian Magazine website. They've got some great reading so if you have a chance I highly recommend it. If you're stuck in an office all day and need to look busy on the computer, you have nothing to lose.

The first article I illustrated was about development in western Wyoming threatening to block a long and narrow path that pronghorn antelopes use during their migration.

The land through which they travel is being carved up by natural oil and gas developers.

The pronghorn antelope is an incredible animal. Here are some interesting facts:

-They are arguably the world's fastest land animals, their competition being the cheetah. Although the cheetah could probably beat the antelope in a short race, the antelope could outrun the cheetah in a long-distance race.

-Pronghorn antelopes don't jump. Not that they can't, they just won't.

-Their eyesight is so good they can sense movement three to four miles away.

The second story I read was about the inside world of Muay Thai boxing, a style of boxing that originated in Thailand (it is their national sport) and is growing in popularity worldwide.

It is referred to as the "Science of Eight Limbs" and I wanted to portray that in a fighter. The fighters in Bangkok often come from poor families and start their careers at young ages. Their parents leave their children at a Muay Thai boxing club and the training and accommodations are provided and paid for when their child begins to fight in competitions - splitting half his prize money with his boxing club.

I wanted to portray the poverty associated with the story, so the background includes some Bangkok slums and a market amidst a smoggy, pink and polluted sky lined with skyscrapers in the distance.