Bourbon Street


undefined undefinedWell, I made it to Bourbon Street. We arrived early this morning at the bus terminal and walked for an hour and a half. Lesson 1: Remember to bring the map before you leave as your hotel is really only a 10 minute walk from the station.

Next we headed down to the waterfront and sampled some Southern Cooking. A heaping plate of Craw Daddies and an alligator sausage.

It was "Lundi Gras" as it was Monday and the Zulu celebration was in full swing.

Read the first trip post click here or the next trip post here

From the Road

Jacks BBQundefinedundefined









Well its been an exciting week! I find myself on a last minute road trip to New Orleans with my friend Jeff. We are currently in Nashville, having just sampled the fine wares at the Jim Beam Distillery and apparently the "Best BBQ in Nashville!"; Jacks BBQ. Good ribs and sauce, skip the smoked chicken and turkey unless you are partial to Spam, and of course there is the customary Corn Bread. Grits fer breakfast tomorrow! We've been on the road for the 12 hours driving in my Smart Car and I haven't slept since yesterday. Time for a nap before hitting the Nashville circuit. Thats all fer now, y'all!

The Stage on Broadway

The Stage on Broadway is a great Country bar to check out in Nashville. The band was amazing. Didn't see a gret deal of Cowboy hats though?


Read the next trip post here







Commander Rick Why Have You Forsaken Me?

undefinedSpace Channels' Mark Askwith recently had an interview with long-time friend and author Neil Gaiman about his novel Coraline and the just released movie of the same name posted on Listening to this got me reminiscing about a show that I believe was Mark's brainchild 'Prisoners of Gravity' or POG as we affectionately called it. I used to watch it on TV Ontario (now on Google Video) at weird hours in the early morning. On that show Neil Gaiman was voted as the writer fans most wanted to hear from, then mostly due to his success with the Sandman Series. It was and as far as I know the only show that truly talked about the art and craft of the books, comics, and films being created. This wasn't an 'Entertainment Tonight' publicity grab, but actual interesting and in-depth insights into all the things we loved. People are incredibly more accessible with the advent of podcasts, blogs and twitter to name a few, but back then this was the only way for me to connect with these people; other than going to a Convention. Neil's blog is actually one of the bigger ones on the net! I distinctly remember thinking how smart, talented and thoughtful the interviewees seemed about their work. It was inspiring.

Its good to see that Mark is on the Space Channel payroll and it can only mean good things for the viewers. Sometimes at night I pray to the heavens that POG will be reborn, seeing as the world of Video podcasting makes this more attainable than ever before. Hey a guy can dream. Until then, I'll continue to stare up into the heavens and cry, "Commander Rick why have you forsaken me?" and imagine that he's still up there in orbit reading these words and smiling.




'Nance' the often scene stealing AI of the show.







Until then, there is always this POG fansite, Signal Loss, who were kind enough to let me use these pictures.






Rick Green as Commander Rick / Enrico Gruen

Swapping Sketches on the Fly


Tonight was another movie night at the Pub. The movie was not very interesting to me and my friend Dan so we spent the night  trying something different.

The three sketches above are an example of a few of the drawings we did tonight. Each drawing was started by one of us and then completed by the other. It served to prove that this an excellent way to spend an evening and also a great way to beat the creative blocks of what subject matter to draw. These three drawings were inspired by the other patrons milling about the Pub. Unfortunatley the wait staff do not dress like Gernman Barmaids. They do, however, wear kilts! :) We continued to sketch until the barman decided the second movie of the night would be the "Seinfeld Scene it DVD Game".

At which point all drawing came to an abrupt halt.

Cheers Big Ears!

Laying the Old Book to Rest



Its time to say goodbye to my old sketch book. I filled its last pages today and get to start another identical one that some good friends purchased for my birthday back in November. I am excited to start this next one. I know the images for this year will be better than last years and to be honest good ol` sketch book No.1 WAS A BIT OF A BITCH to get through. It did however teach my a few things about beating creative blocks and also a great deal about anatomy. Although I`m glad to see you`ll live on in my memory and...on my book shelf as well. As you can see I prefer the coil bound books as I bring my sketchbook with me just about everywhereI go now. I find this type better suited to drawing on a park bench, coffee shop or even standing. I`m hoping to fill all 100 pages in no more than three months. Thus I will need to commit to at least three sketches per day, which is what I`m averaging these days anyways. Maybe I should aim for two months instead! Time to up the anty!

On that note I am going to try an experiment this time round. I`ve always been inspired by the book cover art on Sci-fi and Fantasy novels. They also tend to be the genre I read the most. So for this new sketchbook, the theme is going to be scenes from BOOKS I`VE READ. I will not limit myself to this, as a sketchbook is supposed to be a sort of record of your thoughts and scribblings. Some pages contain more writing and notes than images! Right. Off to sharpen a new pencil!

Audible Fantasy Podcasts

undefinedRecently I have discoverd a podcast that features well told stories (for the most can't please everyone all of the time) at . I have been subscribing to their podcasts of fantasy fiction for a couple of weeks and enjoy listening to them while I am drawing and sketching. Having a story read to you while you work is a tradition that goes back to the times of such Masters as Leonardo da Vinci. Some stories provide inspiration for a troubled muse and other merely act as a white noise for an engaged mind.

I personally subcribe to this podcast via iTunes, they also have horror and science-fiction podcasts called psuedopod and escapepod respectively. Thats all for today. I have to get back to a sketch inspired by Tanith Lee's 'Night's Master' involving Azhrarn and Sivesh riding through the Underearth.

Knitting for Men Part II - chain mail

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For those of you who have been asking, here is the way I started my chainmail Hauberk. After making the rings from 14 gauge galvanized steel wire, i used the cutters to cut the rings out of the coil. I then closed 4 rings and put them on an open ring. (See 1st pic) Close the open ring.

Then I fan them out as in picture 2. Also in picture 2 is an open ring with two closed rings. I simply attach the open ring to the ist section I completed and continue to do this to add length to the chain. You can see the pattern the 4-in-1 ring mail makes. Looks like Celtic knotwork

Rabbie Burns Day!

Brian as Robbie BurnsWell it was movie night again and another drawing session has been completed. Tonight being Rabbie Burns Day, Scotlands most beloved Poet, the movie of choice was Braveheart. Naturally. Don't be surprised to see some kilted warriors in the sketch book some time soon. Nothing beats a creative block than a movie with lots of great battle scenes, castles, horses and crazy Scottish warriors. A little malted barley never hurt either. Strangely all my characters have a passing resemblence to Mel Gibson tonight???? Speaking of passing resemblences...this picture of Robert Burns reminds me of some strange artist guy?

And on to other business.

For those of you that have been asking that I post a clearer tutorial of how I am making the chain (mail) Hauberk; I will try to get that up this week and possibly even tomorrow.

Right now I'm off to paint my face blue and white.

Fueling the Creative Fires with Beer!

It's become a weekly habit for me to spend monday nights at my local pub with my fellow artist friend Dan. Monday is obstensively Movie Night at the Pub and our beer slinger Ethan plays us two films based on some warped theme he conjures out of thin air.

For myself and Dan these "Movie Nights" have become more of a draw jam. The movies usually end up generating an idea for a sketch or have even inspired a larger painting. The 'Regulars' have become quite used to seeing the two of us black and whitesitting in the corner, sketch books open Guinness in hand and pencils scribbling all sorts of arty things.

On one occasion my friend Dan was approached by our beer slinger and friend Ethan to create an image of him in the 'Heavy Metal'esque style. What he got was a good representation of himself if he were a kilted Barbarian brandishing a double-barrelled  shotgun while riding a heavily armed cybernetic Mastedon!

Needless to say I was chuffed when Dan asked if I would colour his inked drawing and I even got to add my own spin on it by addding some comic booky looking things and a bar code to boot!

So remember...Drinking and Driving...BAD!  Drinking and Drawing!!!!! BETTER!!!!!



coloured version

Chain Mail - Knitting For Men

Well Folks,

At some point I decided it would be a fantastic idea for me to make my own mail Hauberk. Googling quickly lead me to realize that I wasn't the only crazy person out there that thought that making a completely impractical garment was normal. I, of course, intend to use my mail armour as costume for when I shoot  a live model for a painting.
Although, there are certainly easier ways to get mail armour reference....this is my way of justifying a 35lb garment made of little steel rings. I've included the following pictures that show my work in progress and a two links that I have found useful for making chain armour. I've also discoverd that the term "Chain Mail"  or "Knitted Mail" is incorrect and mostly like became popular in the venacular due to Dungeons and Dragons role playing game. The proper term for those of you who are wondering is simply mail or mail armour (Canadian spelling of armour).


The round bit that goes over head and sits around the neck.









A Square section that I will duplicate and attach to the round thingy from the previous picture.





The 14 gauge wire coil I made from galvanized wire, some cutters
(Which I have replace with much better ones) and some cut rings.




I'll post more pics as the project progresses...but I do have paintings to get done as well!


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