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April 28, 2007

Lord of the Jungle

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A sketch from the Cox & Forkum book Black & White World III.

In an interview in the book, I say:

My sketchbook is full of stuff that I make up, and that’s my vacation from the realism that we try to put into our cartoons. I’m just goofing around. ... I kind of use my sketchbook as a fuel source for the editorial cartoons. What I’m not able to play with in our more serious cartoons, I immediately go to the sketchbook and kind of do a little workout. In fact, I’d be willing to bet I’m busiest in my sketchbook after one of our darker cartoons, when we’re trying to portray a certain amount of tragedy or some sort of travesty against people. Those drawings can get very dark. My sketchbook is a sort of therapy.

May 2, 2007

Another Sketch Page

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A little more random weirdness caught in ink.....

May 3, 2007

Another Sketch Page

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Just messing around with an idea that reminded me of Ralph Steadman's work with Hunter S. Thompson. I rediscover Steadman's cartoons every so often and I always get this uncontrollable urge to "get weird" in the ol' sketchbook.

May 8, 2007

Color Sketches

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Just goofing around with archetypes....

May 23, 2007

Dragon Study

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Now THAT'S a doodle. Did this during a phone call that lasted WAAAY too long.

June 6, 2007

Sketch Book Page

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The "hula girl" reminds of this niece I have who likes to pretend she's in Tahiti, dancing for the "lava people".

June 7, 2007

Sketch Book Characters

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I have these bizarre characters laying around. Almost like they're waiting around in an unemployment office.

Part of an Idea....

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I've been goofing around with this graphic novel Idea where Detective Kurtz has to bust up a bake-sale ring headed up by his mother. Am I high, or is something there?

June 11, 2007

Creature Study

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Had a little fun with an old Bic ballpoint pen. (Everytime I see one of those things, I flash on the thousands of notes I took in my junior high lit classes in the late 70's.) If you use a light touch, you can get some nice shade variations and line widths.

June 12, 2007

Sketch Book

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AMERICA FIRST
10" x 10"
graphite on board
$120

This not about patriotic blindness. More about how "Americaness" filters and colors everything we see in world events. How it seems inevitable and unapologetic.

June 14, 2007

Sketch Book

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Kind of a "murder mystery" thing happening with the two drawings on the left side...

June 15, 2007

Sock Puppet Theatre

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A little alone time....

June 16, 2007

Say What?

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Whatcha got?

June 17, 2007

Sketch Book

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Guess who showed up at the Majestic Diner at three in the morning? (My homies in Atlanta know what I'm talkin' 'bout)

June 18, 2007

STARDATE: 3213.64.97

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NONE OF THE CREW KNEW SECOND INCINERATOR DEVON STARK STARTED HIS THROON MISSIONS WITH LEMON LIFT.

June 20, 2007

Say What?

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June 21, 2007

Sketch Book

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A military officer I've read about likes to welcome new recruits in Iraq with a speech about being tough and surviving combat. His advice? "Embrace the suck". I believe diehard liberals could use the same advice.

June 26, 2007

Alien Study

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Does anybody have any information on this creature? He's been seen hanging around Decatur bars, hitting up my friends for gin and tonics....

Sketch Book

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Definitely have a thing for gorillas in tutus....

June 27, 2007

Say What?

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Sketch Book

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Been watching too many Clouseau movies...

PRIUS 7

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This is the primary ambassador ship for Devon Stark, Second Incinerator for the Gathalon Subsidiary Stellar Force. It is outfitted to withstand any enemy counter-fire within the known Stellar Power Grid. Cupholders standard.

Devon Stark

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Having graduated with honors from Strykali Polytechnical, Devon Stark went on to become Second Incinerator for the Brobnagog Enforcement Council, Stellar Force.

June 29, 2007

Stark Chronicles

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First Degree Information Vizor, Thagel Tzu Smerch, is an insider for the Gathalon elite. Responsible for G*E*R*M*A*I*N*, the over-riding COM-GRAM system that regulates Stellar Force news and propaganda.

June 30, 2007

Zone Alert

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Meanwhile, outside Throon Headquarters...

July 2, 2007

Character Study

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Third Circle, Freign Alstrol, spiritual avatar for the Prius 7 crew and close confidente of Devon Stark's. Known for her keen awareness and obsession with cribbage.

July 9, 2007

Introducing...

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Bindar the XI, spiritual mentor to Third Circle Freign. Known for his pacifist teachings of pre-G*E*R*M*A*I*N* Throon. Exiled to a small moon of Gathalon for harboring Devon Stark during the Korolai Uprising.

July 10, 2007

Incognito

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A random bit from the ol' sketch book...

July 11, 2007

Sketch Book

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July 12, 2007

Sketch Book

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More inner workings.

July 18, 2007

Twofer

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Out of the ol' sketch book....

July 20, 2007

Sketch Book Orphans

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If anyone cares, her name is Tara Incognito (Thanks Allen!)

July 23, 2007

Sketch Book

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More randomness....

July 24, 2007

Sketch Book

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July 29, 2007

Sketch Book

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July 30, 2007

Introducing...

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THE FATES OF BAAKAR AND DROLOS WERE SEALED UPON THEIR APPEARANCE BEFORE THE SYNOD OF INQUISITORS. THE ONLY QUESTION LEFT WAS WHICH STAR SYSTEM WOULD ACCEPT THEIR ACID-FLENCED REMAINS...

August 1, 2007

The Waaaaaaaay Back Machine (1982)

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I was a given a sketchbook for Christmas and I promptly filled it up. I was eighteen, pissed off I was stuck in Huntington, WV and had met an illustrator who tried valiantly to teach this stubborn ex-varsity baseball pitcher how to cartoon.

A prodigy I was not. Turns out what I lacked in talent, I made up for in tenacity.

August 3, 2007

Sketch Book

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August 4, 2007

Foot Study

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A bit of "problem solving" before I committed this detail to canvas.

August 14, 2007

Pencil Rough

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This gives y'all an idea of how I get to a finished ink piece. Quite messy, isn't it? I usually don't make any final detail decisions until it's time to ink. There are many tiny nuances in a piece that really don't translate in pencil. I like to think of the pencil rough as a road map, and the final inking as the funky little side trips along the way.

August 15, 2007

Sketch Book

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Messing around with head studies.....

August 20, 2007

Sketch Book

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August 27, 2007

Sketch Book

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September 3, 2007

Sketch Book

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THE RAVAGED OUTLAND DID NOT SUFFER THE FOOLHARDY OR THE NAIVE...

September 4, 2007

Sketch Book

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A small watercolor study of a secret lakeside garden where certain mysterious statues seem to plead for empathy.

October 2, 2007

Moriah Study

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24" x 18"
graphite on paper

A friend of mine from the old days...

October 3, 2007

Figure Study

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24" x 18"
charcoal on paper

October 4, 2007

Sketch Book

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A little midnight ramblin'.....

October 8, 2007

Sketch Book

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October 15, 2007

Put Down the Pen and Step Away From the Paper...

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Skulking around the bloggers, ammo in hand, I spent last Saturday ambushing the feckless few who fell under my pen. They didn't ask for it (WHO WOULD?), but some things can't be negotiated.

A big hearty thanks to all you guys for letting me be a small part of your wonderous annual gathering in Helen, Georgia. I haven't been in the presence of such creative forces since my "hiatus" in a local asylum.

A special high five goes out to Sam and Zonker. You baby-sat the newbie and showed him The Blown-Eyed Way.

Can't wait to do it again.


October 19, 2007

Sketch Book

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Not really a gag cartoon. Just part of a story idea...

October 27, 2007

Sketch Book

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November 23, 2007

Sketch Book

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I like to take out my sketch book when I'm dining alone at a restaurant. I did this page waiting for Kung Pao at Noodles....

December 7, 2007

Sketch Book

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The drawing on the left is the first sketch for the Matamoros cover. I was trying to involve a taped up image that would feature a likeness of Sobietti, the main character. The writers and I decided it would be more dramatic if he were actually in the scene.

I'm sure the "taped up drawing" motif can work. Gotta find the right project.

December 20, 2007

A Little Unsolicited Advice...

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The whole point of keeping up a daily sketchbook is letting your imagination go where ever it wants. No judgement. Even it turns out a bit obscure.

ALL YOU YOUNGSTERS OUT THERE WHO WANT TO DRAW FOR A LIVING: Draw every day in your sketchbook! VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME!

January 5, 2008

Sketch Book Refugees

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A few recent doodles from the ol' sketch book....

January 22, 2008

A Painting is Born....

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This is a ball-point pen sketch I did at a train station today. I'm starting the canvas tonight. I love it when this happens....

February 1, 2008

Sketch Round-Up

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Recent meanderings at Sushi Avenue. ( LOOOOOOOOVE the eel.)

February 6, 2008

Restaurant Mural Idea

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Greece being the core of Italian culture, I think it would be fun to do a mural of Greek gods sitting down to an Italian feast using Da Vinci's "Last Supper" as a template. Zeus, Hera, Athena, Mercury, Apollo, Aphrodite and the rest of the crew would definitely be in attendance.

February 8, 2008

Figure Study

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This is a little 8' x 8' graphite and pastel study for an idea where the central theme was coastal rock formations. I like the idea of contrasting huge, unforgiving monoliths with the softer organic shapes of the human figure.

February 17, 2008

Dr. Doofenspurtz

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According to Devon: "Dr. Doofenspurtz is trying to make a house come alive, trying to take over the world".

(Yes...I'm very proud.)

April 2, 2008

Flipside Doodles

These are some of the drawings that appear on the flipside of a few Cox and Forkum originals. There was I time I'd doodle on the back of the ink drawings while I waited for Allen to return my phone call - the one that I would make telling him the drawing is finished and I sent it to for his okay.

Odd little riffs on whatever I found interesting....

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April 26, 2008

Sketch Book

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Random images that wash up on the shores of Synapse Beach.....

May 10, 2008

Sketch Book

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June 27, 2008

Sketchbook Refugees

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More samples from an expanding metropolis of homeless characters wandering my sketchbook pages.

July 26, 2008

Sketch Book

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Goofing around with a ball point pen....

July 30, 2008

Sketchbook Refugees

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August 6, 2008

Sketch Book

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Set in the misty hollows of Appalachia, the epic saga of an inventive 13 year-old unfolds....

August 27, 2008

Sketch Book

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September 18, 2008

Sketch Book

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December 30, 2008

Sketch Book

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January 8, 2009

Sketch Book

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January 22, 2009

FEET STUDY

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8" x 8"
charcoal on board


March 2, 2009

Sketch Book

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Goofing around with a few caricatures.

May 11, 2009

Sketch Book

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Getting my Buck Rogers on...


May 19, 2009

Sketch Book

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A few more refugees looking for work....

May 30, 2009

Sketch Book

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June 24, 2009

Sketch Book

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October 19, 2009

Sketch Book

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October 29, 2009

Sketch Book: Ballpoint Pen

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November 21, 2009

Sketch Book: Ballpoint Pen

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December 1, 2009

Sketch Book

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December 19, 2009

Sketch Book

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February 15, 2010

Sketch Book

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March 26, 2010

Sketch Book: Ballpoint Pen

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Goofing around with different looks...


April 23, 2010

Friday Night Sketch Page

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July 21, 2010

Sketch Book: Sepia Wash

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March 25, 2011

Sketch Book

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A neat little pencil drawing that I couldn't find a place for. Beer label? T-shirt? Tattoo?

April 12, 2011

Sketch Book

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May 10, 2011

Sketch Book

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July 13, 2011

Sketch Book: Crow Quill Pen

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March 15, 2012

New Sketch Pages

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These were done recently between the poking and prodding and ekg-ing I received at Emory.

June 15, 2012

Sketch Book Page

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July 19, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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Learn and master drawing a cube with three tones and you can draw most anything. Once you get the concept that highlights have highlights and shadows have shadows, the rest is cake.

"When you know the notes to sing,
You can sing most anything
"
("Do Re Mi" song from" Sound of Music")

July 26, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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August 9, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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September 4, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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September 15, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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September 22, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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November 9, 2012

Sketchbook Page

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December 30, 2012

Character Study: ALIENS

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April 23, 2013

Sketch Book

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I was invited to spend last weekend up near Clayton, Ga, just about on the North Carolina border. A few rambling miles from my friend's lovely home,the wonderfully picturesque Tallulah River hurtles through boulders the size of Winnebagos on it's way to the Chattooga.

I perched on its lichen-covered outcroppings and spent Saturday afternoon sketching.

May 26, 2013

Sketch Book

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June 22, 2013

Sketchbook Page

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July 6, 2013

Sketchbook Sci-Fi Stuff

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Since I'm committed to drawing every day, the sketchbook is a nice catchall for a variety of ideas that don't quite have a place yet in my commercial work. Spending time creating science fiction images is my favorite way of exploring drawing techniques without "copying what I see". I'm at my best when I'm making up and working out all these exotic forms.

July 22, 2013

My Big Fat Sketchbook Auction (Today the 22nd until 10pm Wednesday, 24th)

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THIS SKETCHBOOK WAS DONE IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN NOVEMBER,1999 AND MAY 2000.

THE BARE FACTS:
Starting today and running until this Wednesday 10pm, the 24th, this sketchbook will be up for auction. It has 40 pages (over 90 drawings) and measures 18 inches wide by 24 inches deep. Bidding will begin at $400. Please make your bids in $20 increments or more. Last, highest bid up until 10 pm Wednesday, the 24th will be accepted as the final bid. ALL BIDS ARE TO BE MADE IN THIS COMMENT THREAD, AND ONLY THIS COMMENT THREAD.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND
The work you see posted (close-up images) is just a small sample of the kind of work you'll find in these pages. Lots of academic style figure studies and a handful of pages where my cartoon style kind of came to fruition. This sketchbook represents what I was into 6 months before Allen Forkum and I began doing our editorial work. 9/11 was still in the future and all I wanted to do was draw, draw, draw. It turns out I made some discoveries that would eventually lead to years of productive collaboration with Allen.

This collection of developing styles and ideas is the only large format sketchbook I've ever done. Working large and seeing all that detail helped me determine my visual aesthetic; bold and simple with lots of light/shadow interplay.

I enjoyed the first sketchbook auction of February, 2011, and I was asked to try it again. But with a twist: this sucker is 18" x 24" BIG. I like to think that any two or three pages is worth the starting bid price. 40 pages? I'm sure it'll knock you out.

Good luck! Please feel free to post any questions you might have about this sketchbook in the comment thread below and I'll be happy to answer them.

NOTE
You may recognize a couple of the sample images from other postings on this site. I certainly enjoy going back into my archive of older work and see what kind of reaction they get.

August 5, 2013

Flying Home

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Devon came up for a week's visit and this is a quick drawing I did while we waiting for his flight home.

We didn't hear the boarding announcement and came this close to missing his flight because I got wrapped up in the drawing!

February 15, 2014

From My Sketch Book

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May 21, 2014

From My Sketch Book

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October 12, 2014

Sketchbook Page

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About

John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

About Sketches

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to John Cox Art in the Sketches category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Say What? is the previous category.

T-Shirt Ideas is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


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