Aby-a-Day – 28 April 2020: The Maltese Dashiell (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I finished that special portrait of Dashiell I started almost a month ago. Because Dash is named after the author Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the film version, I had an idea I wanted to make real. Above is the fur texture layer along with a neutral grey background.

DashHamFalconShadow

Then I added a shadow of the Maltese Falcon based on one of the two photos of Bogie I used as reference.

DashHamHat

Of course, Sam Spade needs a dashing fedora.

DashHamTrench

And a trench coat.

DashHamFinal

Then the final touch, to give the portrait a real Film Noir feel…the shadows.

DashHamFinalFinal

But something was bothering me. I went back to my other Bogie reference photo and realised what was missing: There is a dark shadow of his hat, and the original background had a shadowy texture. I went back and fixed those two things and…voilà!

DashHamFullsize

However, I generally crop my drawings to a standard size, but I draw on a larger canvas. This is the full-size version. Not really different, apart from the proportioning. It’s such a great feeling to finally get the image out of your head so others can see it.

Aby-a-Day – September 29: Christmastime is here, by golly! (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is the actual illustration for the Christmas card I was talking about last week.

xmascard1996

This is San Francisco, the intersection of Geary and Stockton in front of Union Square, 1996. My then-boyfriend, Eric, and I are doing Harri and Sigrid’s holiday shopping for them. Also, if you look at the background, there is another cat sitting on the sidewalk; that is Fagin and his human Mario, who would panhandle with his lovely blue-point Siamese mix. I used to bring fagin cat food, and Mario liked that better than the money! Mario wasn’t homeless, but he had been a construction worker until he started to lose his eyesight. I wonder what he’s doing now…and if he still has a kitty buddy.

That intersection is completely torn up now for light-rail construction, but here’s how it looked in 2011:

I can’t believe how much time I spent on this drawing! Nowadays, I’d just use a photograph and be done with it. I also used old-school Chartpak shading film on this…oh, man, I do NOT miss that stuff!