How I came to be here is a mystery; what I'm here to accomplish can only be a Cosmic Caper.

Light Of Innocence : A Portrait of Dawn and Greg

>> Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dawn and Gregg: The way I remember them.
This started as a demonstration at Blick art supplies in Evanston; the medium is gouache on paper; size is approx. 14" x 18". It's been 32 years since I've seen these two. My mother was their babysitter, along with several other children at the time. She was working on her photography skills and often took photos of the children, at the request of their parents.
Seeing this photo and remembering how brother and sister were so sensitive and caring toward each other at such a tender age, really impressed me as a kid. Ran across it in my file and decided to use it for the demo.
Unfortunately, I misplaced the photo and had to work from a black and white xerox copy and memory. It was completed in my studio a few days later. I found the photo 6 weeks ago; the colors are surprisingly spot on. Will post the drawing later.


Caricatures...Drawn from Life vs Photos _part 04

>> Sunday, May 6, 2012

Aaron's mom loved the results.
Aaron at age 9.

I was drawing caricatures at a small art-fair/ benefit in Skokie and was unable to get to the last sitter. His mom asked me to draw him via emailed photo. I prefer to work from life; but made an exception in this case. It can work to draw lively caricatures from reference if you know the sitter; for me the magic is not just a likeness, but a personality captured from firsthand experience. One day, I may try some really exaggerated caricatures like many of those I admire. Carpe diem...


Traditional Painter with Digital Tools

>> Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recently started using Facebook and decided that using a photo as a profile image was not for me. Thought I'd try something new and create a self-portrait with my graphics-tablet and Photoshop. Although I'm a newbie to computers, I've been building my own PCs for 12 years and have also designed digital graphics and colored comics with software since 2000, this would be my first complete pixel painting.

The background painted from a personal photo.
Tablet drawing with gray fill added.

A line drawing against a light-middle value was drawn on a separate layer. Used the lasso, marquee, and transform/distort along with bristle and texture brushes set to different opacities to block-in the background.

Basic block-in several hours later.
The finish 36+ hrs and 4 days later.

Several brushes and textures were used to block the painting from high to low key values; Some background elements started on separate layers and were merged to fewer layers as quickly as was feasible. The painting process was started without  initial design sketch. I never work free-form for a client, as it is highly time consuming. But, it can also be a breath of fresh air and open up new personal possibilities. Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

For me, the digital painting process leans heavily on a lifetime of learning and working with natural media, with a few benefits and drawbacks. Layers can be a time saver or a hindrance. Likewise, the toy box of effects and automated functions designed to give ease and limitless possibilities, can distracting and detracting. I'm not ready to pack up my hairy-sticks and pigments. I am, however, never willing to over-look the best tool for any job from airbrush to ruling pen. It's good to have many options...


Caricatures...Drawn from Life vs Photos _part 03

>> Sunday, April 15, 2012

Student Draws Teacher....Back in the Day.
A Caricature of  one of my favorite teachers at the American Academy of Art, no picture unfortunately. I chose to depict watercolor artist extraordinaire, Michelle Stutts laughing, as she often balanced her instruction with good humor. Although she didn't have time to sit or pose -she was busy teaching art fundamentals, this one is spot on...Michelle must have thought so too since she gave me a good mark. [to be continued.]


Caricatures...Drawn from Life vs Photos _part 02

>> Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Very Casual George Clooney Caricature.
Mr. Clooney At A Celebrity Event.
Capturing a portrait style caricature from George's photo is easier because I've seen some interviews and  behind the scenes footage of him. I like the quirky yet flattering approach, probably due to the influence of the Jack Davis TV Guide caricatures I saw as a kid. [to be continued.]


Caricatures...Drawn from Life vs Photos

>> Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kelsey Grammar as Frazier Crane for comparison.
Frazier Crane caricatured.
When I draw celebrities, it is easy to insert some of their TV or public personalities into a caricature.This doesn't take the place of  the live energy captured by drawing a sitter in person, but it does boost the imagination and make for a more lively drawing. [to be continued.]


Uncle Sam Gets Smoked

>> Sunday, March 4, 2012

A political satire on the tobacco industry which I created more than ten years ago. This the comp version which is digitally improved via a graphics tablet and photoshop.


Lady Of Far End

>> Sunday, February 19, 2012

This painting is unusual because the design was planned over a couple of days and the drawing was executed very quickly. It was originally a ninety minute demonstration in front of 30 or so people and was mostly completed during the session. Two years later I finished it in the studio. As a personal piece, it reflects my love for the freer physics of water-media as well as strong thematic ties to the Pre-Raphaelites such as John William Waterhouse and Sir Edward Burns-Jones.


The Saw That Built America Mural_part 03

>> Sunday, February 5, 2012

The three sets shown were completed in a week and presented in thematic pairs to the engineering group. I was glad to learn more about Robert Bosch's company and personal perspective.
Designing large scale mural projects to reflect company ethics and inspire Bosh, Skil and Dremel engineers was both an interesting and challenging project.
While diverse experience helps keep creativity outside the box, I have since  entered the field of my long time passion, comic books, character conception, and story-boarding; This blog is a good place to remember while looking forward to the future.
Bosch Skil and Dremel Logo ®
Original Mural Designs ©Tom Hicke.


The Saw That Built America Mural_part 02

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

The overall theme for the new engineering room murals was innovation and inspiration. This required reading a 100 plus page book on the company’s history and founder before submitting designs. Research revealed Robert Bosch to be a extremely self-motivated and industrious electrical engineer with a unique humanitarian perspective. It is amazing that after all this time his vision is still carried on through his company.

These first two sketches highlight the scope, influence and impact of Mr. Bosch and his inventions and sum up his  company’s well deserved pride in their innovative founder. [To be continued next post].

Bosch Skil and Dremel Logo ®
Mural Designs ©Tom Hicke.


The Saw That Built America Mural_part 01

>> Sunday, January 1, 2012

These designs were created for Bosch Skil and Dremel, the power tool company. It’s parent company, founded in 1886 by the German engineering genius, Robert Bosch is the world’s largest automotive and industrial technology corporation.
After  a meeting with the head of the engineering department and a tour of the factory and offices, I was given free reign to start work on the designs and develop to the pitch. The visuals were to be largely based on the history of Robert Bosch’s and the well known Skil Power Saw. 
These first two sketches highlight the scope, influence and impact of Mr. Bosch and his inventions. [continued next post.]

Bosch Skil and Dremel Logo ®
Mural Designs ©Tom Hicke.


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