Tag Archives: star wars

nanodrawmo 2012 – part 4

Ploughing on with the NaNoDrawMo series… I am actually almost done, but still a few more quick writing exercises to do, and of course the scanning. In this one, a spray bottle, a scrubbing brush, my sunglasses, my son’s AT-ST (aka “Star Wars Lego Garbage Truck”), a souvenir Eiffel Tower, a toy Magneto, a tin of pumpkin pie mix, aaaand… a Hoegaarden Grand Cru glass, which followed me all the way from Belgium over a decade ago. More NaNos to come…
NaNoDrawMo 32-34
NaNoDrawMo 35-36
NaNoDrawMo 37-39

super troopers

clone trooper shoe
My son has the coolest shoes. I always knew this of course, because I have drawn a picture of every single one of them in a single book, chronologically, in black pen. These new ones however are my favourite yet. Based on the Clone Troopers from Star Wars (the forefathers of the Stormtroopers), they even flash blue. And I totally want some myself!! Except I don’t think adults can realistically wear such footwear in public. Perhaps Boba Fett ones? I liked them so much I drew this shoe twice. The one from the ‘official’ series is below, copic pen in a moleskine cahier. The second one I drew was on the first page of my brand new Stillman & Birn ‘Alpha’ series sketchbook (thanks Stillman & Birn for sending me that!), and it took me a couple of hours, mostly in copic multiliner (size 0.1) but with a little bit of uniball vision micro, and watercolours to colour it in. I’m pleased with the result, and the paper is nice to draw on, not as smooth as the Moleskine Cahier or Volant, smoother than the Moleskine watercolour though and it takes a watercolour wash pretty well.
21: clone trooper shoe

They are cool shoes. But, alas, if I wore them I would be constantly worried that one day, they would turn on me, Order 66 style.

whiskey in the jar-jar

little prague, davis (envelope from peking university)

Last night, I partied like it was 1999. That is to say, I went to see the Phantom Menace. In 3D. I know I always say that 3D is shite, and that Phantom Menace is, largely, also shite, but I couldn’t wait – this would be awesome man! Well, the chance to see Star Wars, any Star Wars, on the big screen again couldn’t be passed up. Phantom Menace has its faults (I am looking squarely at you, Jar-Jar Binks – time has not made it easier to forgive the Gungan for his hapless existence) but in many places it is quite great – Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon is someone everyone would want to know, a favourite uncle, Obi-Wan’s lightsabre skills are still world class, and I think Jake Lloyd was superb as young Anakin. They made some improvements, fixing Yoda from that terrible puppet to a digital one that more closely resembles the original puppet, and switching all of Amidala’s lines with ones that made sense (actually they didn’t do that, sadly).  I was reminded of how excited everyone was when the trailer first aired,  when double-bladed lightsabre wielding face-painting experiment Darth Maul told us he would be revealed to the Jedi. But was it 3D? Nope.

It’s hard to just switch a regular movie into a 3D movie, I guess. I remember seeing Jaws 3D at the pictures when I was a kid and jumping out of my seat when a harpoon flew out of the screen – now that was 3D (actually, Edgware cinema it may have been a real harpoon, looking back). There were trailers for new 3D movies last night which did look quite spectacular, but they were made with 3D in mind. Phantom Menace just wasn’t. Not even the podraces, exciting though they were, particularly flew out of screen. The most 3D bit, seriously, was when Watto was speaking Huttese and the subtitles came up. I was like, “oooh floating letters!” After a while, the 3D glasses (“3D – Real D” it says, whatever the heck that is supposed to be) were bugging me. I expected those light cardboard ones you used to get, red on one side, blue on the other, but these were proper plastic sunglasses. They’re great, if you don’t already have glasses on. They fit over your glasses, but wearing two sets of specs is a real pain on the nose.

Still, after Darth Maul went to pieces, after Qui-Gon Jinn was set on fire and after the Gungans paraded their vuvuzelas in the streets of Naboo  (with Palpatine looking on saying to himself, seriously what part of “wipe them out” did they not understand??), it was fun to come out of the movie theatre feeling like I had relived the olden days. I then fancied a beer and a sketch. One other thing I did in 1999 was spend a couple of weeks in Prague, so I went to local pub Little Prague for some Czech beer. I’ve drawn this place several times before, and this time I drew on a brown envelope (from Peking University), using a uniball vision micro, a superb Y&G Calligraphy pen, and a white gel pen. Oh and a bit of warm grey Pitt brush pen. Took me about an hour and a half, while people milled about dancing and drinking. I like Little Prague, but the music on Friday nights can be a bit loud and, well, not my thing. Lots of others seemed to enjoy it though, but I concentrated on drawing all those bottles. I considered extending the envelope to draw the rest of the bar (I would love to do a curving panoramic of this bar sometime, perhaps on a less busy evening). I would like some time to organize a Drink and Draw type group here in Davis, something that seems to be popular in other cities. In the meantime, here’s wondering how the other Star Wars films will look in 3D. I think I can guess!

lego garbage truck

lego garbage truck

This name makes much more sense than what it’s really called. My son got this for Christmas (let’s face it, it was for me too). He calls the bigger AT-AT a ‘garbage truck’, which really is a better name, so this smaller two-legged version is the ‘Lego Garbage Truck’. Drawn tonight in my Star Wars moleskine while watching Reservoir Dogs.

imperial garbage truck

"garbage truck"

This is my son’s new AT-AT. When he first saw one (its brief appearance in Return of the Jedi) he called it a ‘garbage truck’. It makes perfect sense – it sounds and moves just like one, and to a toddler the connection is obvious. The name has stuck and I’m glad, I always disliked the name AT-AT when I was a kid (but we still said that rather than ‘Imperial Walker’, which is what they’re called in the film, because ‘AT-AT’ is what it said on the box, and Hasbro boxes tell no lies). I remember getting mine for Christmas when I was a kid, it was like the best thing ever, but the little plastic guns kept snapping off. This is the ‘Galactic Heroes’ version, which I must say is really cool (and a lot sturdier). Sketched in blue Micron pen in my WH Smith sketchbook (first sketch in that book in a year and a half).

best in snow

luke in the snow

A few weeks ago we drove up to the snow, which is found in the Sierra Nevadas about an hour and a half east of Davis. when I say th snow, I’m not talking about a sprinkling of white, I’m talking about SNOW. It must have been nine feet deep! Much of it was only a day old, fresh and powdery. We stopped at a rest stop just outside Truckee. It was my two-year-old son’s first experience of snow, so that was a lot of fun. Trying to build a snowman wasn’t easy, so I built a snow sith lord instead.

snow vader

These were drawn in a journal that I’m keeping for my son.

hold the front page

on the desk

I hate the first page of a new sketchbook; never know what to draw, for some reason. So on opening my third watercolour moleskine I just drew what was right in front of me, on my desk. There’s a glass, almost completely empty (or very slightly full, depending on your worldview, ooh link that to bush’s take on the economy). There’s the Beatles crossing Abbey Road (trivia question for you – are they going towards or away from the studios?). There’s Magneto, master of magnetism, rendered (in cruel irony) in plastic. Scissors I bought six years ago in Aix. A couple of microns, plus a copic. The pc screen (watching “south park” online). A Spurs badge – I’ve had this since I was ten, bought at a game at the Lane in ’86 when we beat Man City – it’s known as the “lucky spurs badge”, and is a famous relic (my mate Tel will tell you, should you see him). I wish it would still work, we seem to be selling most of the team. There’s Greedo, having reeked revenge on Han Solo, but with Cyclops behind him about to shoot first (I just had an image of Cyclops shooting Greedo under the table and wow, it was not pretty). And a half-hidden Vader behind him in the shadows. And there’s a couple of post-it notes with stuff about milk supply and stuff on them.

Now that’s out of the way (and you’re thinking I’m a geek, well maybe I am, or just untidy), I can move on with the sketchbook. Back to trees and buildings. It’s a little cooler here in Davis now, and not as smoky.