Pablo as Bob's Big Boy

When I visited Comic Con a few years ago I had snapped this pic of someone dressed up as Bob's Big Boy.  I had blogged about it at time, wondering what the heck Bob's Big Boy was doing at Comic Con.

Flash forward years later, and Pablo gets in touch with me after finding the photo of himself on my blog, dressed up as this character.  Pablo was great enough to tell the story of how he started dressing up as Bob's Big Boy, and why the character really does belong at Comic Con.  Below is his note, along with a link to a mother-lode of Bob's Big Boy comic covers.  Awesome!  Thanks, Pablo!

Bonus note - Here is Pablo's super fun tribute song to Bob's Big Boy on YouTube!

Hi Nadine,

I just happen to stumble upon your page called "Impromptu Gestures" Thoughts and sketches and happen to see a pic of me as Bob's Big Boy and the question caption at the bottom of the pic says "What is Bob's Big Boy doing at comic-con?" Well, let me explain. I had been wanting to go Comic con dressed up as a character but I felt I needed to dress for my body type and one day someone suggested I go as Big Boy.  I felt it was not right since Big Boy was not really known in comic... OH BOY was I wrong... VERY WRONG. Turns out Big boy had his own comic book that was given away for free at the restaurant that started in the 1960's and their two #1 versions, a West coast #1 and an East coast #1. The East Coast #1 was written by Stan Lee. Mr Scott Shaw told me this and why would he lie? Also, here's something I found on Wiki.

"The chain is best known for its trademark chubby boy in red-and-white checkered overalls holding a Big Boy sandwich (double-decker cheeseburger). The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff (1936–1986), of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, he walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck. Warner Bros. animation artist Ben Washam sketched Richard's caricature, which became the character seen on the company logo. This character would also eventually be featured in The Adventures of Big Boy comic book, produced as a promotional giveaway for children visiting the restaurant. Since 1997, the comic book has been produced by Craig Yoe's Yoe! Studio."

So, that's is why I show up yearly to Wonder-Con, San Diego Comic-con, Wizard-Con, etc. as Bob's Big Boy. Check out these comic covers.

3x3 Directory of Illustration 12

I just received my copy of the 3x3 Directory of Illustration 12, of which I was invited to be a part of this year by editor Charles Hively.  My piece is a page from one of the educational children's books I illustrated.  It had to be cropped to fit the portrait dimension of the page, but I've included the full uncropped illustration below.

The Sea in My Hair

Something I've been working on for fun while I'm in between projects. Living near the ocean is real treasure.  One day after spending hours exploring and peering into tide pools, I came home to discover my hair still smelled of the sea.

My Gecko is Sick - A joint sketchblog with a friend!

My good friend Lisa and I decided to get together and start a sketchblog!

As she prefaced in her own blog: "We decided to make it a little area for sketching improv, where we would each contribute a sketch on the same theme, with each sketch and concept completed in an hour.

Since we both have a fondness for awkward situations and non sequiturs, we decided to embrace that in the name of the blog and our first sketch topic "At the wrong party." "

Dr. Sketchy's

Last Saturday night I made it out to a figure drawing event put on by Dr. Sketchy's where the models dress up in all kinds of outrageously fun costumes.  This evening we had a sexy burlesque clown, and she was a fantastic and tasteful model. I was joined by my lovely artist friends, Lisa and Julia, and Julia's über-talented boyfriend, Jamie Baker. Here are a couple 20 minute poses and a 40 minute pose. Having taken Alex Woo's gesture class, I wanted to try to push the poses in certain instances.  I also wanted to play around with my new Pentel pocket brush pen!

Greek Myths

A couple children's books that I'd been working on are finally out in print.  It was pretty exciting to get a chance to work on two of the great classic Greek myths - Odysseus and the Cyclops, and Jason and the Argonauts.  Here are the covers.  I'll share some interiors in some future posts!

Pheon Avatars

The world of Pheon, an alternate-reality game sponsored by the Smithsonian, was once a pure world where the balance of science, art, and technology triumphed in supreme unity and clarity.  However, when humans were allowed to enter Pheon and mingle amongst it's perfection, a select few Pheonites were not so pleased. In an arrogant bid to lock out his perfect world to humans, the young and handsome General Farben Vidar cast a spell.  But the spell backfired and instead hobbled the world of Pheon, splitting it into factions of warring Knaves and Staves.  The spell also had the effect of mutilating the once beautiful and perfect face of General Vidar.

Pheon can only be healed with your help through gameplay (yes! start here!), and through the wily determination of Hans Ørsted, Christine de Pizan, and the unlikey young hero Eddie Wriggle.

Here are avatars I created for these characters.

Farben Vidar

Hans Ørsted

Christine de Pizan

Eddie Wriggle

Left handed gestures!

I've been taking a gesture drawing workshop with Alex Woo, Pixar story-artist extraordinaire.  What's really fantastic about this class, and also super challenging, is that Alex is teaching how to capture the gesture and not get caught up in the anatomy, or classicism, or realism.  What is the model "doing?"  How can you communicate the gesture quickly and effectively?  Simplify.  Exaggerate. It may seem easy to simplify but it's actually really challenging to switch off that classically trained part of the brain and get to the essence of the pose.  It's a whole new way of approaching drawing for me, and most importantly it's FUN!

Alex asked us to draw with our non-dominant hands for last night's session.  Oddly enough, it helped us remove the crutches we tend to rely on and made for better gesture capturing.  Some of these work better than others, but I thought I'd share some of my efforts, goofiness and all.

Spring in Yosemite

Springtime in Yosemite is a quite a sight.  The massive snowstorms of this past season has led to a snowpack trembling under it's own weight, melting into a raging mass of water that tumbles over the edges of cliffs like geysers shooting sideways. So most of my weekend in Yosemite was spent hiking up slippery granite steps and trails to experience the gushing falls in all their springtime glory.  (And get thoroughly soaked in the process.)

I did, however, manage to sit myself down for a couple sketches later on in the week.  Here is Bridal Veil Falls.

And a fallen tree and some branches along the ground.