Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Introducing Itch-A-Sketch™®*


Mood level: Pinkish red, chasing
away the pale. Not too happy having
to rewrite posts in the wake
of whatever happened to Blogger
last week …

* no resemblance is intended to that damnably counterintuitive "drawing" toy, namely because I've never heard of that toy.

(Also, the evergreen answer to the question, "What are you drawing?" is "I don't know," because I usually follow the point of my pen or pencil to its completion, and usually have no idea where that will lead. Oh, I'll have a notion, but the result on paper so often falls short of the synaptic dance in my head. The following barely makes the cut …)

Itch-A-Sketch,™® a byproduct of shawnDRAWN,®™ is simply the result of my getting an itch to sketch something, usually when I'm bored or should be doing something more important. I was going to call this Sketch-of-the-Week, but I didn't want that pressure.

The game I made for myself: Draw from memory sense a  baseball player ('tis the season). The goal is that it has to bear authenticity. It doesn't have to be super-realistic, but it must have authority, conveying the idea of an actual player in motion. (My cartooning hero, Pat Oliphant, draws with authority: Everything is cartoony, but everything is in the right place and looks right in his twisted world.)

It's harder to achieve than it seems. Where are body parts in relation to others during movement? Arms and legs start in one place but end up in seemingly illogical other places, and without photo reference, it's a trick to get limbs to go where they should.

Should Lincecum ever
cut his hair again,
that would really
be freaky.
I've been trying to draw from memory Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum's Koufaxian archer's bow of a windup, with legs and arms and hair flying like a whirling Dervish, but I still haven't gotten all his parts and pieces to look freaky enough to resemble The Freak.

kinda sorta Tim Lincecum-ish. eh …
Head, hands and feet are way too big for the body in the top sketch, but I think I caught the movement right, the moment the hitter has shifted from his swing into taking the first explosive step around the bases. The bat, gripped so hard in the previous eye-blink, is deftly released; the body's heft that propelled the ball now begins to propel the body toward first. He put a good swing on the ball, one of the clichés of the day among ballplayers now. In the process, I've managed to make him somewhat Bondsian (Bobby, not Barry) with a hint of Willie Davis, though he hit left-handed.

Somehow the hitter that emerged came from the '60s or '70s, with the flannel uniform, the stirrups (why no stirrups anymore? It's time for a comeback!), lack of batting gloves and the helmet-hat (which wasn't going to save anybody from anything).

Better to wear the helmets with the double ear flaps at all times. Like I do.

Rest in peace, Harmon Killebrew, whose profile, I just learn, may have been the inspiration for the Major League Baseball logo (the logo's creator reportedly disputes this; I've always wondered how that batter was supposed to be able to turn on that pitch in time); Harmon was one of those baseball storybook heroes come to life, hitting the home runs he promised sick children.

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