Sunday, June 24, 2012

From the Doodle-Ma-Tron: Man in Red Beret and Blue Pants (and Sort of Baby Poop Green Shirt1)

Doodling, for me, has almost always been an "I wonder where the hell this is going" type of exercise. Some people undoubtedly plan these things, and of course professional illustrators often must plan their doodles, aim towards some particular goal. But I — perhaps mercifully — ain't no pro and just get to randomly percolate whims to my heart's content. (I do occasionally aim at a specific target — usually a companion illustration for some post of mine  — and that generally works out okay: my notion, my idea how it should look, and I get to decide when it's good enough. The few times I've done semi-commissioned stuff for other folks, I've found it surprisingly hard, a whole 'nother skill entire beyond just being able to just whip up some plausible likeness.) Anyhoo, doodle-percolation of the day (actually of late-ish last night, a recent pattern): Mr. Beret.

I started with a totally different picture in mind — black and white, a blend of crisp illustrative lines and under-shades of brushy gray contouring; maybe a sort of retro-thirties-through-fifties tough guy in a zoot suit. Something like that. Within three brush strokes, that idea was gone (though it'll pop up again soon), and this guy started showing up — obviously nothing like the original notion. And the style was surprise too: the loosey-goosey painterly thing is not my usual gig. (Not that I'm complaining. It's fun getting out of one's stylistic home town, seeing what curiousities lie over the horizon.) I don't know who he is, but I'm pretty sure he's a real deal, that most of us have met him or someone a lot like him at some point or other. He seems to be a decent guy, and I feel generally affectionate towards him (though I suspect he's a close talker and prone to cornering over-polite people at social events). Hello, Mr. Beret. Welcome to the world. Have a nice day.

1 That color undoubtedly has some other name, but I've reared a couple infants, and I'm sticking with "baby poop". ("Sticking" may have been a poor choice of words there.)

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