Category Archives: Lunchbox

Karate Space Pilgrim

Some of you might remember me working on this one last year after the lunchbox drawings.  Then, as always, other things got in the way and I had to put Mr Karate Space Pilgrim on a back-burner.  Luckily I got motivated to finish off all the little one-off paintings hanging over my head before I jump back in on another larger project.  It feels good to finally be tying off some of these.

So this is a painting I did from the lunchbox drawing series where I decided to try some more stylized, cartoony illustrations.  I wanted to see how they would turn out, since my direction of late has been in a more realistic rendering direction with my painting.  I think this one came out nicely and right now it is gracing my wife’s desk at work.  For this design, I wanted to push that lighting we see from classic sci-fi movies like Alien and Outland where you have that severe upward lighting from the interior helmet light.  Fun!


And here is the original lunchbox drawing that prompted it’s creation.


One Year of Lunchbox Drawings

Last year my wife and I drew a picture for our daughter’s lunchbox every day (mine are the ones on the right.)  Just speaking for myself, it turned into quite an undertaking.  I would wake up an hour early every morning and use it as an opportunity to work on my craft.  Near the end it started to get a little difficult coming up with ideas, though we did draw on sight words and things that Ruby was learning in school at the time.  It was a great exercise and while Ruby seldom mentioned them, I think she appreciated them.

Thanks to my wife, Dolly, for also taking the pictures every day and putting together the awesome video.

Lunchbox Painting February 2015

Finally got back to working on some painting after a bout of the flu and lots and lots of my day job.  The Aristocratic Owl had to come first as it is destined for my daughter.  This one posed some issues as I went a little too saturated in the background and had to push that back considerably to make the form pop better.  A little Photoshop adjustments and it was ready to go, though I may jump back in to play with it a bit more with my paints.


Lunchbox Paintings December 2014

I decided it would be a nice idea to do a few small paintings of some of the lunchbox drawings for my family for Christmas presents.  I sat them down and we sorted through the pack, picking out some of their favorites and then I chose from those which ones I wanted most to work on.  We ended up with the Aristocratic Owl for my 5 year old, the Karate Space Pilgrim for my wife, and Duck Duck the Goose for my 1 year old.  They did not get finished for Christmas as I couldn’t find time away from everyone to paint them (thus keeping the surprise)  Now it looks like they will have to be birthday gifts.

As always, in keeping with my process, I worked charcoal on canvas to lay down my values. The Karate Space Pilgrim had an issue where there was a spot on my triple primed canvas (triple primed by the company, not by me) where the charcoal wasn’t seating right and I ended up with an interesting texture which I am going to try to incorporate into the work.  At worst I can paint a little heavier over it.  Note to self… do all your priming yourself and don’t trust the company.

It was interesting working up value pieces from the line-work, deciding how to approach the lighting.  I though for the Karate Space Pilgrim it would be cool to go with a creepy underlit face, like he has a light source in his helmet, to push that 70’s sci-fi/horror movie feeling.

So here are the charcoals and the original line drawings.  The paintings hopefully will follow soon (if I can find time around getting the Ruby June book ready for print.)

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Lunchbox Drawings – December 2014 Part 1

Finally getting around to posting some new lunchbox drawings.  I can’t keep track of where I left off, so many of them are getting done.  On a side note, I’m going to be painting three of them for Christmas presents for the family.  I just finished the charcoals of the aristocratic owl (which I will have to post later) and it is turning out very well so far.  I love what you can do with lighting with charcoal.  It just lends itself to that so well.  I should thank one of my students for making mention of aristocratic owls as it prompted the image in the first place.

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Lunchbox Drawings – November 2014 Part 2

Here are the tail end of the November lunchbox drawings.  It has started to become quite the bear keeping up with them but I am learning a lot about forcing the creative process and more about technique in pen and ink, which should come in handy when I start work on my comic book.  Don’t want to go too much into that except to say that I have a list of books on order to learn more about the craft, from the writing through ink and color.  This is definitely a good exercise in understanding the tools and where to apply detail and where not to.  In any case, here are the November drawings, part 2.

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Lunchbox Drawings – November 2014 Part 1

So here are some more Halloween lunchbox drawings and a few post Halloween.  This past week was a little difficult getting inspired after all the Halloween fun.  Thanksgiving just doesn’t have the same draw for me.  Guess I just like drawing monsters and aliens.

I’m still exploring my line quality from image to image, playing around with thickness to denote distance and mass and to otherwise affect the composition for better balance and emphasis.  Maybe it is time to do a podcast for my cartooning line-work and talk a little about my process.

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Lunchbox Drawings – October 2014 Part 2

Here are some more October and Halloween related images for the lunchbox.  Lots of monsters and aliens and the like here!  Always fun to draw.  And of course there is the bird that is getting ready to do a number on the side of my car.  I struggled with the expression on that one but I had to include it.  There was a cardinal that would sit on my side mirror and use my car door as a bathroom.  Every time I came to the car in the morning, several times in a row, there it would be, taunting me.  My daughter thought it was just hilarious that I kept coming out and having to chase it away.  No respect from animals or children!  Par for the course I guess.  I think I like the alien here the best.  Something about the features and the angle of the render, just slightly downward.  That and he is a cool alien.  Just can’t go wrong!

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Lunchbox Drawings – October 2014 Part 1

Here is the first installment of the October lunchbox drawings for Ruby.  I find this an excellent exercise to keep working.  Sometimes it is a little hard to keep drawing everyday unless you give yourself a task.  Of course, at the same time this has supplanted my morning workout.  It was either that or I’m waking up at 4:00am which is early even for me.  At some point I’ll work out how to get both done.  Right now it is a bit of a struggle.

So a little backstory on these… We all went to the beach for the weekend where we saw peacocks, hence those drawings.  The Fib and Ruby drawing is from a book that my daughter made.  Apparently Ruby has a giant pet spider with wings that sits on her head.  I think I feel another book coming on!  And then there is robot cat, which I got inspired from one of my daughter’s drawings of a robot cat.  I’m never at a loss for ideas but it is nice to know she always has my back in that department.

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Lunchbox Drawings – September 2014 Part 2

Here are this two week’s worth of lunch box drawings.  My daughter had a day off and so only required nine drawings of me.  I would have to say my favorites are the ascot armadillo and nine-legs.  They just look like a lot of fun.  The space buddies also look like they could make an interesting story.  Maybe I’ll have to do that, start making up little stories to go with them.  I think I might actually do a painting of the armadillo and try to make a fun and simple alphabet book with a different character each week.  Ah, just what I needed… another project to add to my stack of thirty and running…

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