Friday, November 30, 2007

NBA Friday: Chris Paul

Chris Paul is a 6'0" point guard for the New Orleans Hornets and is one of the best young point guards in the NBA.
For the last two seasons his New Orleans Hornets team played the majority of their 'home' games in Oklahoma City due to the damage and devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

The team is back in New Orleans this season and their presence will hopefully help with the recovery and rebuilding of the communities in that area. The 2008 NBA All-Star game is also being held in New Orleans.

Chris Paul is not only a solid basketball player (currently averaging about 19 points and 10.5 assists per game), but a great guy and an excellent 10-pin bowler. Paul claims, "Basketball is just a hobby. Bowling is what I really do."

Chris Paul signed an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand last year. Supposedly Michael Jordan himself chooses the players his company represents. If that's the case, then that's really saying something about Paul's game.

You can also view this piece larger on the Black & White page. Come back tomorrow for Sixth Man Saturday!

About NBA Friday

NBA Friday is something I've started in sync with the NBA season. Every Friday for 30 weeks I will post an illustration of an NBA player from one of the NBA's 30 teams.

I will work my way through every team and by the time that happens, we will be in the midst of the NBA Finals.

Next week's team is the Minnesota Timberwolves! Any player requests? Please send me an email.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Class Photo

This is an old photo I came across today. I have a small collection of old class photos, mostly from the 70s, although this kid looks like he's from a bit earlier. Unfortunately he didn't write his name on the back of the picture. I'll post some more class photos on here when I get the chance! These kids are fun to draw.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Backyard #2

I did a sketch from my backyard when I first moved to Brooklyn (check it out here). My backyard itself isn't that interesting, but beyond our fence and looking into the neighbor's yard there is quite a bit more to look at.

I drew this looking out my studio window at the neighbor's houses. It was a bit of a study for another painting I'm currently working on. I love all the antennas and wires and chimney stacks. I'm also a fan of fire escapes. That big tree on the left has a lot of bird traffic, and we've seen cardinals and other colorful birds back there.

The pigeons that once occupied one of the telephone wires haven't been back in months, but the howling dog occasionally still does his most vocal work in the early mornings. The children always call out for him, calling him something that sounds like "Tika." Although maybe its name is "Teacup?" When not howling, Tika can often be found scratching himself on the hoods of the discarded cars.

Friday, November 23, 2007

NBA Friday: Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol is in his sixth season as a member of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Born in Barcelona, Spain, Pau also plays basketball for the Spanish National team.

He is 7 feet tall and is currently averaging 17 points a game. Both of Pau's parents are doctors, and both played basketball in Spain. Pau hopes to become a doctor when his NBA career is finished.

I decided to draw this portrait of Pau as a comic book page. His first name works well as a sound effect often found on the pages of comic books, so I included Pau's name along with Bam! Crash! and Zap!

I finished this piece on some special comic book paper called Blue Line Pro. When I was younger and really into comic books I would buy the packages of this paper wherever I could find it. It was always really difficult to find and I treasured the collection I had accumulated.

Unfortunately, I was always too nervous as a kid to use it. I was afraid of messing up the small stack of it that I had, so I just never used it. I was holding out for the day I created a comic book, but when I finally did that at the end of high school I had totally forgotten about my precious paper.

I think this drawing of Pau Gasol is only the second time I've ever done a drawing on this paper. I liked the surface a lot, so I'll definitely be using it more often.

You can see the piece larger on the Black & White page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

64 Brilliant Colors

Here is my old box of Crayola crayons. It has a sticker on the bottom that says it sold for 76 cents. I got it from my mom who liked the smell of the crayons and I've got to say I like it, too.

None of the crayons have been used, except maybe the white, as it's missing a tiny piece off the top. I tried to represent all of the 64 colors in the box - it was a fun test of color mixing.

To all my American visitors, have a great Thanksgiving! This is my first American Thanksgiving I've spent in the United States. I've always celebrated American Thanksgiving even while I was living in Canada so it will be nice to spend it here for the first time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sixth Man Saturday: Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller is retired, but I didn't really want to draw anyone else who currently plays for the Pacers. I didn't really want to draw Reggie either, but it was either him or Rik Smits, so Reggie it is.

Where to begin? I never liked Reggie Miller. I couldn't stand him, he always had this look of bewilderment on his face even when he hit game-winning jump shots. He had a horrendous looking jump shot, was skinny and nonathletic looking, and Michael Jordan once said that playing against Reggie was "like chicken fighting with a girl."

He was annoying to watch. Maybe my Reggie hatred has something to do with the Pacers being the only team to beat my Bulls twice in the season in which Chicago only lost 10 times.
Mostly though, it has to do with Reggie. His ears, his resemblance to his sister, Cheryl and his boring 2-handed, straight armed dunks. Not to mention his horrible haircuts early in his career and those silly #31 embroidered sweat band things he wore on his "trigger" fingers .

Anyway, something happened in 2002 that momentarily made me forget about everything I disliked about him and made me think he may actually have some talent.

In Game 5 in the first round of the playoffs against New Jersey, Reggie banked in a 39 footer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. In overtime, I just remember him dunking on everyone. I couldn't believe it. A guy who relied mostly on three-pointers and jump shots (especially as he got older) was slamming it home over people! Then, in a play that I strangely remember vividly (I even remember where I was and who was with me when I saw it), Reggie dunked over three New Jersey defenders to send the game into double overtime!

It wasn't the same Reggie I once knew, and I appreciated what he had just done. However, despite a career full of late game heroics, I will always remember him for the look he so often had on his face.

(Next week's team is the Memphis Grizzlies)

Friday, November 16, 2007

NBA Friday: Jermaine O'Neal

Jermaine O'Neal is a 6'11" forward/center for the Indiana Pacers.

He was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers in the 1996 NBA Draft and was the youngest player to play an NBA game at the age of 18 years, one month and 22 days. The record has since been broken by LA Lakers center, Andrew Bynum (18 years and six days old at the time of his first NBA game).

Jermaine spent a few years relegated to the bench while suited up for the Blazers. He showed signs of talent, but never had much of a chance to prove himself. He was traded to Indiana in 2000 and by the 2001-2002 season he was averaging 19 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, which helped him to win the seasons Most Improved Player Award.

He had a great year in 2002-2003 when he finished third in MVP voting. Unfortunately, O'Neal was involved in the "Malice at the Palace" brawl with the Detroit Pistons in November 2004 and received a 15 game suspension. Since then, he has been fighting injuries and is working his way back this season from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Jermaine O'Neal is a 6-time NBA All-Star.

You can view the piece larger and the detail on the black & white page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weight is Linked to Cause of Death

I did this illustration for an article about how certain causes of death are linked to a person's weight. The article details research that found certain diseases are linked to people in certain weight groups.

I thought it would be interesting to see a graveyard full of weight scale headstones replacing regular grave markers.

You can see this piece larger on the black & white page.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Air Pollution in Beijing

Here are two illustrations I completed for an article about whether air pollution will affect the Olympics athletes in Beijing in 2008.

The air in Beijing may contain pollutants at a level five times the safe limit suggested by the World Health Organization.

People are speculating whether there will be any world records broken due to the affects the air will likely have on the participants.

You can view these pieces larger on the portfolio page.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sixth Man Saturday: Chris Kaman

Chris Kaman is a seven foot tall center for the Los Angeles Clippers.

I just learned that we share the same birthday, although I'm one year older than him, so I could probably take him in a game of one-on-one. I've got the older, wiser thing, where as all he's got is the height and about 75 pounds on me. So I think I've got the advantage in this match-up.

I tried something a bit different with this portrait and I like how it turned out.

Next week's team is the Indiana Pacers, so check back on Friday for a new portrait.

Friday, November 9, 2007

NBA Friday: Sam Cassell

Sam Cassell is a point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers.

I got Sam's autograph in 1995 while I was on a family vacation in Philadelphia. Sam was in his second season and was playing for the World Champion Houston Rockets and we just happened to be staying in the same hotel as the team. We joined a small group of about a dozen people outside the hotel waiting for autographs. Sam is a very loud player, and never seems to stop yapping, but he is a great player when he's healthy. In his 14 year career he has averaged 16 points and 6 assists. He is known for his mid-range game, as well as looking like an extraterrestrial.

Come back tomorrow for Sixth Man Saturday!

NBA Friday

NBA Friday is something I've started in sync with the NBA season. Every Friday for 30 weeks I will post an illustration of an NBA player from one of the NBA's 30 teams.

Is there a specific player you'd like to see? Send me an e-mail and let me know!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Basketball

This is my favorite basketball and the best one I've ever played with. I probably played with it from the time I was 12 years old until I was about 22 years old when after all those years of basketball I decided it was time for it to retire.

I played with this ball so much. In the rain, in the snow, indoors and outdoors on gravel and asphalt and dirt and grass. This ball used to be all the same color, a nice light tanned color, but after years of abuse, the suede-like material on the surface wore away to reveal the black rubber. One time in the ball's infancy it went missing during a basketball tournament. My brother later found it in the hands of some kid who had stolen it and written his name on the ball with ballpoint pen.

The ball was a bit lighter than most basketballs, so I could launch it from pretty far away. A lot of players didn't want to use it during games because it wasn't as heavy as they were used to, and because it was pretty slick. It didn't have much grip left and it could be hard to control. I was used to it, so I had a bit of an advantage with it.

For the last few years it's been sitting on a small pedestal in my bedroom, enjoying its retirement. I sometimes get the urge to give him one more game.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Nintendo Games

My brother and I got a Nintendo for Christmas when we were about 7 and 8 years old. It was a great Christmas, definitely one of the best!

One of the first games we owned was Karnov. Karnov (full name, Jinborov Karnovski) is an ex-circus strongman from east Russia who blows fireballs from his mouth. This game is hard! I could never get very far in it, so I didn't play it that often but it remains in my collection because one day I will play it again and hopefully finish it, or at least get past the second level.

One of my favorite games was RBI Baseball. It had a cartridge unlike most of the other Nintendo games. I've had some great battles with friends and family with this game and it's still a fun game to play.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sixth Man Saturday: Adam Morrison

Adam Morrison is a second year player for the Charlotte Bobcats, although he is out for the year with a torn ACL.

He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was in 8th grade and he has become an important role model for children with the disease.

Morrison's wispy mustache has drawn national attention, with newspaper and magazine articles writing about it. It's even featured in one of Morrison's commercials.

One article written in the Spokesman Review even sought the scientific advice of medical experts at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Why is Adam Morrison's mustache so thin and wispy? How come he can't grow a manly mustache?

"Dr. John Amory, associate professor of medicine, researches male reproduction.
Amory has a quick opinion on why No. 3's mustache grew in so thin. After one look at the player's stats, Amory can rule out a hormonal factor.
'I would never want to imply this guy has a testosterone deficiency. I do not think that he does. Obviously, he's a great athlete,' Amory says."

Sixth Man Saturday

Sixth Man Saturday is an opportunity for me to do another drawing of a player from my chosen team of the week, in this case, the Charlotte Bobcats. They won't appear weekly like the NBA Friday players, but when there is more than one player I'd like to draw from a specific team, you can find him here.

Friday, November 2, 2007

NBA Friday: Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace is a 25 year old basketball player for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Gerald is from Childersburg, Alabama and entered the 2001 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Alabama. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings, and I can remember watching him play and enjoying his game despite his not getting very much playing time.
He plays a very energetic style that has paid off for the Bobcats after they drafted him in the 2004 expansion draft. He is a great dunker and an excellent defensive player who I believe will have a successful season if he can avoid injury. Due to his sometimes reckless style of play, he is susceptible to injury.
In this illustration he is wearing a flexible shoulder pad, which he wore the majority of last season after separating his shoulder in December of last season.

NBA Friday

NBA Friday is something I've started in sync with the NBA season. Every Friday for 30 weeks I will post an illustration of an NBA player from one of the NBA's 30 teams.

I will work my way through every team (even the weak ones) and by the time that happens, we will be in the midst of the NBA Finals.

I choose players based mostly on who I enjoy watching, or who I will enjoy drawing.
Don't expect to see Tayshaun Prince or Bruce Bowen, unless I am mocking them.

Is there a specific player you'd like to see? Send me an e-mail and let me know!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Canon TLb

I got this camera from a friend quite a few years ago. I had originally spotted a tripod in the garbage her family had put to the curb. It was in good condition so I grabbed it, and then my friend offered me this camera her family was also getting rid of.

It is the Canon TLb, made in 1974, and I finally used it for the first time last weekend. I still don't really know how to use it, as it's quite different than my other SLR. I even read the manual online and I'm still confused, I think the light meter is broken or something.
I took pictures with it anyway, and I'm just hoping for the best.

[Update: After finishing off a whole roll of awesome pictures it turns out the camera doesn't actually work.]