Oct 30, 2009

Show And Tell

Someone from Gigya came to my office to give a presentation. I sat through the presentation and I still don't know what they do. The woman doing the presenting was a good figure drawing model. She had no clue I was drawing her. She probably thought I was paying the most attention. I'm sure she was under the impression that I was furiously writing notes on everything she was saying. One guy from my office knew what I was up to because he asked to see the drawing after the presentation. It gave me something to do to kill the hour.

Oct 22, 2009

The Empire State

I had to do a photo shoot with Craig Cutler. His studio is located on 32nd street. I stepped out of the subway and looked up. I was directly underneath the Empire State Building. It was a very cool angle. At night when I was finished working, I passed the same spot. The building was lit up multicolored. Someone on the job the next day said they did it in honor of the Grateful Dead. Some of the remaining members were playing the Beacon theater. The Empire State Building was tie dyed. I bought this new iphone app. It's called type drawing. I sat under the Empire State Building and used it to draw. The app is not so easy but here are my attempts. You can type in a few words and as you draw a line with your finger it spells out what you wrote. It allows you to change typefaces and line thickness. This is the best I could do with it.

Oct 21, 2009

Blemish Removal

As an art director I do a lot of photo shoots. Next to the photographer, the most important person is the retoucher. Years ago people would spend hours in the darkroom dodging and burning prints to get just the right effect. Now it's all done in photoshop. In the professional world, it has been taken to new heights. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 retouchers working while we are doing the actual shooting. Retouchers are like film editors. A great one can really effect the end product. I like to hang with them because they always show me brilliant photoshop tricks that I forget an hour later. They told me not to use levels or brightness, contrast. They do everything with curves. I asked one guy if he retouches all of his photos when he comes home from vacation. He laughed but in a way that said, well yes he sort of does. Now that's anal retentive. Just like me. That's why I get along with those mothers.

Oct 20, 2009


My new thing is to draw and paint on a watercolor block. It's my first time trying such a thing. As some of you may know that's a bunch of watercolor pages glued together to form a block. As you paint on it with water the page does not buckle or wrinkle up. It's stays nice and flat. When you are finished and it's all dry, you can easily cut the page out. Then you can work on the next one. I like the firmness of the block. For an Urban Sketcher it's like having a little drawing table. Here is a sample of one I did at Craig Cutler's photo studio. It's the view out his window.
Another thing I'd like to mention is about mistakes. If you look at the lower set of stairs on the fire escape. Just to the right you see 2 lines drawn that are at the same angle as the lower stairs. That is a huge mistake. It was where I was originally going to draw that set of stairs. All of a sudden I saw that I put the lines in the wrong place. Because I never use a pencil, I had 2 choices. Put the stairs in the wrong place where I began or put them in the right place and have 2 strange lines on my drawing. You can see what my choice was. I'm sure no one noticed. Being an artist, as we all know, means constantly making mistakes and living with them. Mistakes are my friend and I love them dearly.

Oct 12, 2009


Last night Danny Gregory and I went to the Bowery Bar and drew with his talented son Jack. I've watched Jack steadily improve his artistic ability over the years. Lately though, it's been a different story. He seems to vastly improved every few weeks. I've not seen anything like it before. Everything he does is far beyond his age. I paled in comparison when I was in his grade. I chose to do a caricature of him as my drawing subject.
I got a nice e-mail from an old college classmate, Michael Gelen. Thought I would share it.

Tom, quick story: I'm teaching an illustration class at Daemen College in Buffalo. We're getting ready to do a caricature assignment, so I'm putting together a Powerpoint presentation of great caricature art- Al Hirschfeld, David Levine, Philip Burke, etc. and during my internet searching I come across one Tommy Kane - some wonderful caricatures of Hillary and John McCain on notebook paper. Hope you don't mind, I threw them in the mix. BTW, you've probably heard it a billion times, but your sketchbook posts have inspired me to put down the digital stylus now and then and get back to pencils, pens and paper. Great, great stuff.

Oct 8, 2009

Bomb Scare

A while back I made some stickers for a skateboard friend of mine. I have posted about it in the past. Recently his mom told me an interesting story about the stickers in question. She was at the airport with him and his bother. They were traveling somewhere abroad. As they were passing through the screening, an officer found the stickers. Big problem. They were taken and questioned. Did you know it's illegal to even carry a depiction of a bomb? I did not know that. The mom was pissed. No more stickers through airports. Unfortunately the mysterious Tom McCoy was not to be deterred. She said they were heading to France and someone found 5 more stickers hidden. Ouch. Now Mr. McCoy is banned from carrying stickers into airports. By his Mum, of course.

Oct 5, 2009

New Prints

I have a few new prints for sale in my Etsy store. There are six new ones. These plus Sandy Koufax and a noodle shop in China. Already sold a few.