Newt Gives Me The Creeps

Lobbyist, liar, leaver, lard-ass load. Regardless of party affiliation, I can’t believe anyone would trust this guy to be President of the United States.

I was listening to WNYC FM the other day, and they were talking about Newt Gingrich. I just started sketching him from memory — a memory that goes all the way back to when he shut down the government during the Clinton years.


Life Drawing and the Continuing Challenge to Understand the Human Form

Life drawing from Nov. 1 2009

I was always a guy who could draw — not great, just better than the average human. At different times in life, I’d make huge leaps in my ability or technique, other times, not so much. I studied life drawing here and there; I learned it in my first year in art school at Du Cret, and in 1987 I went to SVA at night to tune up my skills a bit. Nothing great, but enough to get by.

Then one day I met a guy named Tim Gula, who worked as a background artist on the pilot for the animated Rat Bastard series. Gula lived not far from the house I moved into in North Hollywood in 2000. He would come by and we would talk art and comics and the way of the world. I’m not sure when it became apparent, but I eventually found out he was a true master of anatomical drawing. He used to teach in various schools throughout the San Fernando Valley, and invited me to join in a life drawing session one night at a small school in Van Nuys. I thought, “what the hell — it can’t hurt.”

Drawing done under the auspices of Tim Gula, cira 2003
Drawing done under the auspices of Tim Gula, cira 2003

There are certain times in our lives (if we are lucky) when our eyes are opened for us by someone who sees some talent in us, but knows that we could be  better. Tim Gula was that person. He would repeatedly phone  me to go drawing with him everywhere from the Los Angeles Zoo to  The Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. I didn’t take full advantage of his wealth of knowledge, and I didn’t entirely appreciate what it was that he was trying to instill in me at the time. But he did get me thinking about drawing and creating in a different way. He forever ruined my tolerance for my own output. What I was drawing, how I was drawing could always be better.

 Tim Gula, Robert Sexton, and your host getting crazy over a Christmas turkey in Los Angeles 2002
Tim Gula, Robert Sexton, and your host getting crazy over a Christmas turkey in Los Angeles 2002

Now it is years later, and I am once again going back to a drawing studio for life drawing. As others in the room move about trying to get the correct angle or right lighting, I just set up anywhere. When asked how long I’d like the pose to be or if the lighting is okay, my response is, “it doesn’t really matter — I’m not here to make art, I’m just here to draw.” I’m really doing it to learn, to experiment, to understand. I have a long way to go. Fortunately, I’m in a studio with a good group of artists, and I look forward to every Sunday afternoon. With some perseverance and dedication, I look forward to posting some noticeable progress that even Tim Gula would approve of. Stay tuned.

Swangler’s Bliss

Jeesh! Has it been a month since last post? It’s not like I’ve been sitting around like Lou here — I’ve been writing the pilot, which is getting close to completion. Also, some drawings of possible supporting characters and backgrounds like houses, living rooms, kitchens, etc. But if I post everything, there’ll be no reason for you to tune in.

Carmen Monoxide

Been working on my web site –so please excuse the lapse in info. Web sites are a drag, so I’m cheating, and drawing some preliminary character designs for the Rat Bastard model sheets. “Did he say model sheets? Does that mean a show deal?” Fact is; there’s always a show deal. There’s always “something in the works.” The old saw ” When all is said and done, more will be said and done.” And sticking with that notion, I’d better get a few things done. So here’s some Carmen Monoxide studies that are pretty close to what I’m leaning towards.


Carmen is technically a criminal. As such, she’s a cheater, a liar, a con artist, an actress. Here she plays cute to sucker some guard. The juxtaposition of the other image shows a contempt for the way she has to behave for her cause.

This one is really close to the look. The teenage girl who is just slightly more girl than teenager, but still wise beyond her years. She’s from a rich family — used to only the best. She may be a freedom fighter who lives amongst the the common folk, but when it comes to gear, Roscoe’s outdated quiver is just not acceptable.