inktober 2017, told in Lego

Yeah, I know. I haven’t called, I haven’t written, to be fair I haven’t sketched that much either, but this is the longest I’ve neglected my regular sketchblog since I started doing it. A mixture of being super busy (which was stressful) and being super in Hawaii (which was nice). And suddenly it is December! And I have drawn my son’s 2017 advent calendar (pictures soon). I’ve also watched and enjoyed Thor Ragnarok and, yes, even Justice League. And it is appropriate then that the first entry in this very long series of sketches you are about to see is of the Flash, who for me was a lot better than I expected him to be. Here he is.
inktober 1 SWIFT sm
Oh right, I should explain. This is a series of drawings I did for “Inktober” 2017. What is that? Inktober is a series of prompts given out at the start of October to encourage people to draw one thing every day based on the prompt, but in ink. For 2017 they were: Swift, Divided, Poison, Underwater, and loads more. You can see the list at http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober/. Or just keep on reading and looking….
inktober 2 DIVIDED sm

Number 2 is “Divided”, and it’s pretty obvious what is going on here. Iron Man has dropped Cap’s shield while he figures out a way to divide his collection of mugs between those suitable for tea and those for coffee.

inktober 3 POISON sm

Number 3 is “Poison”. Now technically Venom isn’t poison, but when you are writhing in agony after a rattlesnake bites you the last thing you want it some eejit coming along correcting your grammar.

inktober 4 UNDERWATER sm

Number 4 is “Underwater”. The Little Mermaid tends to live underwater, except for that time when she was banished for being Unworthy and couldn’t lift her mighty jewel.

inktober 5 LONG sm

Perhaps I should explain all of these. So my theme for my Inktober sketches was Lego minifigures, of which I have quite a few, mostly Marvel and Star Wars, and I love to sketch them, animate them, hide them from felines. Also, I decided that while this was all about ink drawings, I would nevertheless colour them in with some watercolour paint as well because “whatever, I do what I want”. This one is Falcon, who has very long wings.

inktober 6 SWORD sm

Ninjago had to get in here, huh. This is Lloyd, number 6, and yes he actually has two swords. I know the one he is holding behind his back looks a bit odd but that was the pose, get over it. Ninjas gotta ninja.

inktober 3 SHY sm

Seven is ‘Shy’. Now I think Mr Lego Movie man is just a few days shy of his birthday and is freaking out about it. I did include the Palm Tree because of that whole thing with coconuts and shy, but it was, look I don’t know how coconuts work. The barrel seemed important.

inktober 8 POISON sm

I love this minifigure. He’s a dandy highwayman, without the dandy. Crooked as a barrel of snakes. I couldn’t use that because I didn’t want to repeat the barrel theme.

inktober 9 SCREECH sm

The rat is behind him and we are looking down at a slight elevation. He isn’t floating at his waist. The banana is bendy which will please the brexit lot. This is a pirate though who was probably pretending it was a pistol. He is screeching by the way because One Direction are on TV and he is excited as fuck. His vest was made by the same tailor that clothes Dennis the Menace (the British one from the Beano, who had the dog Gnasher, not the American one, who isn’t really a menace, Mr Wilson just needs to chill out a bit) (fun fact! I was in the official Dennis the Menace fan club) (fun fact! Darth Maul, who is also sometimes called Dennis the Phantom Menace, painted his face red and black in honour of Dennis the Menace’s famous jumper. He couldn’t do the hair because of the horns, but he did always refer to Naboo as Gnaboo, a reference only he understood) (he also used to call the Jedi “softies” and his secret nickname for Qui-Gon Jinn was “Walter”)

inktober 10 GIGANTIC sm

Number 10. “Gigantic”. Thanos would win this, wouldn’t he. Wouldn’t he? Well no, according to Deadpool vs Thanos by Tim Seeley, Deadpool definitely outdeaths the big purple chinned one. By the way, that trailer released this week, yes I am a little bit excited. I just hope Thanos finds his hat! He’s probably looking for it, that’s the plot of the film.

inktober 11 RUN sm

Number 11 is “Run” and who better than Batman running to represent “Run”? It just needs Rodney to run alongside him now, like in that really old tv show. Thing is why is he running away from the batlight? Maybe he was just there and is off on his mission now, that is it. “So Batman,” coughs Commissioner Gordon. “Two-Face’s bank robbery is at the other end of the city. How are you going to get there? Batwing? Batmobile? Batcycle? Batportation?” “Ok, first of all,” growls Batman, “it’s ‘The Bat Man’ now, or just ‘Bat of Gotham’, right. Got that? And you are now Co-Missioner Gordon, because you are my co-person on my missions now, not The Rob-In. Secondly, I am going to run, because that is what Bats do.”

inktober 12 SHATTERED sm

I’m so looking forward to the Last Jedi, aren’t you? Not long now. Kylo Ren likes to smash things up. Afterwards he feels totally shattered. I get it. I always feel tired whenever I have to talk to people as well. I’m sure his mask doesn’t help, having to repeat himself all the time.

inktober 13 TEEMING sm

Speaking of evil, here is Ultron. Don’t tell him that his name would be a good name for a washing powder. Danny Baker doing the adverts, “choose Ultron Prime, gets your metals greyer than grey”. This is teeming by the way not because they are teaming up (I can spell you know, occasionally) but because they are teeming, like insects, but in this case they are murder-bots. “This place is teeming with murder-bots, let’s go to Wetherspoons instead.” (By the way, I’d take a city falling from the sky teeming with murderous robots over an evening in a Wetherspoons any day)

inktober 14 FIERCE sm

Not sure about the red and white saltire, I think it was supposed to be X-Men related. This is the Wolverine, also known as the Logan. He is definitely fierce. He is also the best there is at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice. My wife pointed out though that he really isn’t the best there is at what he does, because if he were, he wouldn’t keep getting stabbed and shot. That actually makes him pretty rubbish at what he does. I’m like, fair point, but look at his claws. They are cool, even if they aren’t how claws work.

inktober 15 MYSTERIOUS sm

Fifteen is the Master of the Mystic Arts himself, Doctor Stephen Strange. In this picture is is singing Peter Andre’s hit song Mysterious Girl. That stuff behind him was added in afterwards, he was singing in front of a green screen. Those things on his hands are Magic.

inktober 16 FAT sm

Yeah, Comic Book Guy has a bit of a weight thing going on, I know. Sure, this is a cheap shot, I added the hot dog and soda and donut pieces (all real Lego pieces I do have), for all you know that is a low-calory Linda McCartney sausage, he could be drinking water and that donut could just be a small plate, the comic could be a book of encouragement, and that belly is drawn onto his shirt. So why this for ‘fat’, then? Because you can’t spell ‘fate’ without ‘fat’ and he is saying no, I reject my fate, I am not there yet, so ‘fat’ is just ‘fate’ but incomplete because he rejects it. That makes sense to me, because it is 1:30am after a busy week, and I am eating Pop Tarts.

inktober 17 GRACEFUL sm

Am I going to do this for every one? I’ve started now so I will, as Magnus Magnusson used to say, Finnish (pretty sure he was Icelandic actually). Black Panther is pretty graceful. I can’t wait for his movie, and he was great in Civil War. WAKANDAAAAA!!!! Actually I decided against the Pop Tarts. I am not accepting my fat.

inktober 18 FILTHY sm

One from the Lego Death Star (which by the way I have, and it is awesome). This is when they fall down the garbage chute and into the trash compactor. Hey have you heard of Palette Swap Ninja? It’s this thing on Youtube where someone has taken Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and put it against the original Star Wars film, and it totally works. Different words of course (it’s called “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans”), and the one from this scene is Lovely Rita Meter Maid, renamed as “Dianoga Sewer Snake”. Love it!

inktober 19 CLOUD sm

Number 19 was Cloud so we had to go to our favourite floating city in the sky, the imaginatively named Cloud City. I laugh at that but other cities have names that are also obvious, in their original (often lost) languages. London for example may have come from an old British term meaning the Hill by the Pool, Canada comes from a word meaning ‘village’, and Venice comes from the words ‘Very Nice’. That London one is disputed by the way, but that’s what I used to tell people in my old bus tour guide days as one possible explanation referring to Tower Hill, by the section of Thames called the Pool of London. I wonder if Boba Fett, when he dropped off the frozen Solo at Jabba’s palace, was all cracking up, saying “and then he goes, “I know“! Hahahaha! I’m totally using that one!” Jabba and Bib and that horrible little monkey thing are all rolling about laughing, they can’t even pick up the carbonite because they are laughing so much.

inktober 20 DEEP sm

20 is another Ninjago one, this is Sensei Wu, who as all masters do, says deep stuff. I can totally relate.

inktober 21 FURIOUS sm

21, this is Nick Angry from the Avengers movies. He has a flying car, like any badass should.

inktober 22 TRAIL sm

22 is “trail”, so here is a man with a map looking a bit lost. Reminds me of 17 year old Pete in the Outward Bound excursion in Cumbria, that was an experience. I was not a great navigator but I quite enjoyed being out in the wilderness. Well, the countryside, it was Cumbria, not the Canadian Rockies. Cumbria can be pretty rugged though, and the midges are about a foot long biting chunks out of your arm when you’re trying to sleep.

inktober 23 JUICY sm

The connection here was juice as in petrol/gas, that’s the best I could do. I love the Formula 1 Lego, and F1 itself too. Glad Hamilton won the title this year, but hope Ferrari give them a juicy old run next year.

inktober 24 BLIND sm

Han Solo again, this time coming out of the carbonite and unable to see, and about to be thrown into the Sarlacc, except wait! That’s Lando in disguise! Mr Cloud City himself. Tatooine just means ‘Sand World’. Luke just means ‘farm boy future jedi’. Lando on the other hand is a nickname because he actually hates the land, it’s ironic, that’s why he liked living in the clouds. It’s 2:10am and I wish I had had those pop tarts now.

inktober 25 SHIP sm

Come on, this is the only ship that matters. But what’s this? Captain Hook has stolen the Millennium Falcon! He stole it from Unkar Plutt, who stole it from the Irving Boys, who stole it from Ducain, who stole it from Han Solo. “Would you get going, you pirate!”

inktober 26 SQUEAK sm

Squeak, well here are two of our favourite mice ever, unfortunately I drew them looking totally spaced out. Why Mickey is shirtless I didn’t ask.

inktober 27 CLIMB sm

Spider-man! Or ‘Spider of Queens’! I LOVED ‘Homecoming’. Here he is climbing Avengers Tower. Little does he know, there is an elevator. Phil Coulson uses it in the first Avengers movie, eagle-eyed viewers will remember.

inktober 28 FALL sm

“With style” yes, yes that’s the reference. That’s what I say, “oh it’s not Winter, it’s just Fall with Style”

inktober 29 UNITED sm

Awww. They are back together. I always imagine them singing like Annie and Daddy Warbucks at the end of that film, I forget what it’s called, Orphan with Dog or something. “Together at last, together for-ev-errr”. Get this man a shield.

inktober 30 FOUND sm

“Found”. “Just lying in the desert”. “Fell of the back of a spaceship”. “Ben Kenobi said I could have it, m’lud”.

Inktober 31 MASK sm

And finally, #31. Mask. Because Luke tries to mask his obvious displeasure at seeing his father is all bald, he is thinking, oh man when I’m his age I’m probably going to be all bald too. Little did he know the opposite would be true, he’s totally hairy, stuck out on that island. Just two weeks until The Last Jedi! But for now it is 2:30am and I hope you have enjoyed this little pictorial story of a month.

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blame it on the changing of the seasons

5th St Davis
Ah, another big gap in posting. I promise I am busy as well as lazy. I’ve also not sketched as much, though I have been doing ‘Inktober’, that thing where you draw a picture in ink every day of October (interestingly enough I discovered that ‘October’ is originally the month where for 31 days people would use a different southern French word for “yes”, before that it was just called “Tober”, similarly this is how ‘November’ got its name, although it was Nonvember until scribes dropped the nasal almost silent ‘n’, before that it was just ‘Vember’, and no I don’t know where this is all going, I’m running myself into nonsense again, or is that no-sense? Forget all of this, I made it up). Inktober though, you get a list of 31 words and they are prompts to get you drawing every day. Good idea for inspiration. Despite it being October, one of the greatest months ever invented (cheers Rome! I guess), I didn’t do as much outside sketching, and all my Inktober efforts are actually just of Lego minifigures (you’ll have seen these if you’ve followed me on Instagram – where I’m called ‘pwscully’ because someone else is ‘petescully’, someone who has no posts and 1 follower). I’m going to post those up soon, I only scanned them in a couple of days ago. In the meantime, here is a sketch I managed to do on Saturday afternoon after a very long day of AYSO duties. I’d cycled downtown to get a haircut and came away empty-handed (or rather full-headed), as the barbers were packed. Must be haircut-tober or something. So I got a milkshake and sat on the sidewalk at the edge of Fifth Street to at least get a sketch in this overly warm late October weather. I have drawn this scene a few times before, and the leaves are all crisping up into their proper autumnal colours. Mood lately has been tired, stressed, a bit deflated, uninspired. Sketching helps with that.

So does getting a haircut. I finally did a couple of days ago, and Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Champions League on the same day, so those two things have improved my mood massively. Roll on November!

 

weekend in LA

Southwest to LAX sep17 sm
Early last month I flew down to Los Angeles with my friend Roshan who was visiting from London, for a boys weekend to celebrate his 40th birthday. I didn’t do much sketching; it was a short trip and we mostly did tourism and, well, the pub. One or two pubs! A good old few pubs. I do find it harder to sketch when travelling with non-sketchers, (not for any fault of their own, I just struggle to concentrate) but I did manage a few sketches, including the in-flight drawing above. We stayed downtown at an awesome hotel with a great view, I only grabbed a couple of quick sketches of it, but we were really close to the LA public library (which I have sketched before, years ago).
LA hotel view sep17 sm
LA skyline sep17 sm
And of course, one fire hydrant. It wasn’t a 2am hydrant sketch (like on previous LA trips) but the library is once more in the background!
LA hydrant sep17 sm
And I got a few quick people sketches down at Venice Beach, of dancing roller-skaters. I would like to go back there on a sketching trip someday, there is always so much to draw around there. I really like LA.
venice skaters 1 smvenice skaters 2 sm

Let’s Draw Davis! October 21, 2017

Let's draw Davis! Oct 21, 2017
Join us for a Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl on the UC Davis campus! Free and open to everyone of all ages/skill levels, it’s just an afternoon of sketching on location around campus with other people who like to draw.

DATE: Saturday October 21,
START: 12:30pm, Memorial Union North Courtyard
FINISH: 4:30pm, Memorial Union North Courtyard

We’ll start outside the M.U., where the I will do a quick demo of how I sketch my favourite subject – fire hydrants – and then we will sketch about campus in groups or alone, as you prefer, before meeting up again at 4:30pm to have a look at each other’s sketchbooks.

This will also be a SCAVENGER HUNT – I will give out a list of things to look for and sketch. You don’t have to follow it, but if you do, you’ll get a sticker…

As always, this sketchcrawl is FREE and OPEN TO ALL. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on! (And if you run out of those, the campus bookstore has great art supplies!)

I’ve been organizing ‘Let’s Draw Davis’ sketchcrawls here since October 2010, originally monthly, then less frequently, but now they are back to being monthly again, and co-organizes by a couple of other local sketchers; October is back to my turn, and what a great month to be sketching in, when the leaves are turning and the weather is cooling.

I hope to meet you there!
Pete

Facebook event page
“Let’s Draw Davis!” Facebook Group

to boldly arrive

future forward sept 2017 sm
A new academic year has begun on the UC Davis campus (wow, I have worked here since 2006), and this year we also have a brand new chancellor, Gary May, who joined us during the summer from Georgia Tech, where he was the dean of the College of Engineering. Last week I attended a special presentation (“Future Forward”) to a packed crowd at the Mondavi Center to open the new school year, hosted by Chancellor May and also featuring some excellent spoken-word performances by students. I live-sketched the Chancellor’s speech, peppered with references to some of his favourite personal interests such as Star Trek (lots of “to boldly go” in there) and comics (X-Men!!); he didn’t mention Lego but I read that he is a big Lego fan as well. So yeah, I like this new Chancellor already. I did get a chance to meet him when he first arrived in Davis on sweltering hot August afternoon, along with many other staff, students and faculty, and of course I couldn’t resist a quick sketch!
new uc davis chancellor gary may

on yer bike

US Bicycling Hall of Fame Davis
The US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis is found on 3rd Street. You know I have never been in there? I guess I’m not really that interested in Cycling. Oh I ride a bike every day, I love actually riding a bike, I’m just not interested in Bikes, or Cyclists. Yet here’s the thing, I am very interested in cars and the history of cars, I love to draw them, but I don’t drive a car myself. I sketched this from across the road on B Street. I remember several years ago when the Tour of California kicked off from Davis, Lance Armstrong (in his pre-ignominious-fall St.Lance days) was participating and had his bike stolen from Sacramento the day before. Someone actually half-inched his bike! Now Davis is a bit of a cycling center you might say, in fact we were the first city in the US to have bike lanes, that’s right, Davis was first, number one, us. We’re pretty good at it too. This time of year though on campus it gets a little chaotic, with all the new students and all the new freshly-minted cyclists going in all sorts of directions, careening across corners and riding round roundabouts. The bike crashes are often spectacular; it’s worth cycling defensively at this time of year, and wear a helmet. Also, new Davis cyclists, don’t go through stop signs downtown (or anywhere) because the local cops do actually hide around the corner catching errant cyclists out, and giving out tickets. I’m glad I live in such a bike-friendly city like Davis though, with all its bike lanes and bike shops. Helps that it’s flat too, because I don’t like riding up hills, or any kind of slight incline. Which is funny because I love hills, I love walking up and down hills, and seeing them from a distance.