Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series: April 24, 2017 - Colossians

Hello friends, I hope you are all well! Today I have another sketch in my Sunday Sermon Series. I drew this while listening to Pastor Shaun's sermon yesterday. We began a new study in Colossians.

This is my cartoon version of the apostle Paul. Here we see Paul writing to the Christians in Colossae, people he had never met before. He introduces himself as an apostle (not a disciple) "by the will of God," meaning he was chosen by Jesus (see Acts 9 for the story of his conversion on the road to Damascus). This established his authority to speak into their lives. He told them he was thankful for them, and the faith and hope that lived within them. He encouraged them to live a life worthy of the Lord (that showed the character of Christ). He reminded them to give thanks to the Father that they were delivered (rescued from the darkness Col. 1:13), qualified by the Father to share in the kingdom of light (Col 1:12), and redeemed by the Son, forgiven of sins (Col 1:14).

I drew Paul with a serious expression, rather than putting a thoughtful "searching for the right word" expression on his mug. Maybe it is his pre-conversion life, seeking out and having Christians put to death that makes me think of him that way. Maybe it's that in so much of his writing he talks about the law, and that he was so very good at a legalistic lifestyle before Jesus stepped in to his life and changed his direction. These things dominate my thoughts when I picture Paul. I just don't picture him the same way I do the apostles who were fishermen, a tax collector, or a doctor. It's hard for me to imagine/draw him not being serious. And yet surely at some point he must have smiled and laughed. He did know joy and peace in the midst of his trials and suffering.

I realize this drawing doesn't have a lot of action in it. I usually try to draw an exciting or compelling verb. Here Paul is sitting and writing. But Paul's writings have affected the lives of so very many people in the best way possible. So perhaps his writing has had more action in it than most things I've drawn so far.

This is just the beginning of this study, I hope to post more from it in the next 10 weeks. Let me know what you think about this drawing or my commentary here. Any mistakes are mine, and should not reflect poorly on Pastor Shaun or Harley (who taught in Sunday School this week). This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. It was scanned and then colorized in PhotoShop. The color layer in PS has only 35% opacity. I feel this lets the pencil work show through, yet gives the appearance of a light wash of color. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you or challenged you. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Little Traveler

Hello everyone! Today I have a sketch for you that is not for any project in particular, which is unusual as I rarely have time for drawings that don't have a specific purpose.

This little boy might make it into a story some day, and then he might not. I drew him while catching up with my writer's group that meets once a month, but who hasn't met in a few months.

There are lots of questions about this character but here are some things we know: He has a mother who loves him and who dressed him well in a fine suit. He is not alone. His traveling companion is the closest of friends, a stuffed bear. He is not wandering, he has a destination. He is sad. Whether from something which has happened on his journey, or the cause of his journey we do not know.

These are some of the things I thought about as I worked on this sketch.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lbs. paper. It was scanned and then colorized in PhotoShop. The color layer in PS has only 35% opacity. I feel this lets the pencil work show through, yet gives the appearance of a light wash of color. I hope you enjoyed this post. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series April 2, 2017

Howdy friends and neighbors! This week's drawing was inspired by a sermon by Pastor Shaun about seeing. Shaun's sermon was about what Jesus saw, specifically in Zaccheus (who was as we all know a wee little man, and a wee little man was he!).

This got me to thinking about how we as Christians see those around us. Do I see those in need around me? Do I share the hope that is Christ within me? Those were the questions I asked myself as I drew this.

I started with a scene I am familiar with, a bus commute. I spent 8 years riding buses and trains back and forth from Clark County to downtown Portland. Once the pencil drawing was completed and I had started on the colorization I realized I had dated myself. Not one of these commuters is looking at a smart phone. When I rode back and forth people read books, newspapers, some of the women knitted, I sketched. There were no smart phones. Make no mistake though, people were just as able and willing to turn the outside world off.

I thought about rendering the type in 14 different fonts, to make it more appealing to the Instagram crowd. But that's just not me. I kept the colors to a minimum, to help convey a glum feeling for the lost people on the bus. I purposely chose ugly colors for the bus seats, because I think it is fun to use those nauseating colors that were used everywhere in my youth. At my friend Matt's suggestion I colorized "Everyman's" hair so that it stands out from the blinders he wears. The pencil drawing is much "sketchier", or looser than my usual drawings posted here. This is not for effect but because I didn't have time to redraw any of it, so I just used my original sketch.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lbs. paper. It was scanned and then colorized in PhotoShop. I hope you are encouraged by this post. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series March 5th, 2017

Hello everyone! Last Sunday I listened to Pastor Dennis Fuqua preach on Jesus' last big prayer(John 17). While the main topic of the sermon was how Jesus prayed, the concept I focused on is visualized in the illustration below. I think a lot of us spend too much time thinking of what we can ask God for (myself included here), and not enough time recognizing God's grace, and God's glory. God's glory is revealed in His creation. What does that have to do with a giraffe you ask? Well, let's see.

We all know giraffes are tall. Did you know that the giraffe's heart is approximately 18 inches long? It has to be huge in order to supply the pressure needed to push blood all the way up that long neck to the giraffe's brain. If that pressure was kept the same for a giraffe who is standing upright as it is for when it bends over (to say drink some water) the giraffe's head would explode.

So God designed the giraffe with a system of blood vessels like sponges and tiny spigots in the arteries which close when the head is lowered to keep the giraffe from suffering from a hemorrhagic aneurysm (yes, I had to look that up to spell it right), or as I call it: Explosive Head Syndrome. Then, when the giraffe stands back up the blood is released back into the system at pressure so that the giraffe doesn't pass out from lack of blood to the brain.

The giraffe is an amazing example of the beauty in God's design, and God's glory is revealed in the creation of the giraffe.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lbs. paper. It was scanned and then colorized in PhotoShop. I use the brushes created by Kyle T. Webster, and highly recommend them. I hope you are encouraged by this post. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Monday, March 6, 2017


Howdy folks! Today I have something that I don't usually share with you. Below you will see a short movie (21 seconds long) that is basically a slideshow of rough sketches of weasel characters I've been developing for a book project. The content I share here is usually finished work, and the sketches are very rough. But I wanted to share something different, and something new. So here you go.

I spent a lot of time getting to the weasel design you see here. My favorite depiction of weasels has always been the Disney weasels in "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride", this same design was also used in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". So I began months and months ago drawing very long nosed, slanty eyed weasels that only looked good in profile. When I drew them straight on or from the front view, they looked hideous. I would like to say that I quickly came up with a solution and drafted it perfectly on my second attempt. However that is not the case. I spent months drawing the other characters, and just alluding to the weasels (in a very rough manner). Then finally I sat down and drew a profile that I liked and that I thought would work in the "front view". Then I used grid paper and tracing paper to exactly transition into the front view. It helped me to make sure I wasn't fudging the position of any of the objects (like the eyes, or the nose, etc.).

The result is what you see here. Again these drawings are not final drawings, and they are only a generic weasel. I'll now need to create all the different weasel characters from this template. The images with the blue on them are potential hair styles for our greasy weasels. I particularly like the handle bar mustachio.

Once I had a few faces roughed in I scanned them and brought them into photoshop where I created the slideshow animation you see here. The original profile and 3/4 view were done in my Pentalic sketchbook (70 lbs. paper) with a 7mm Pentel P207 mechanical pencil.

Anywho... I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my process. As always thank you for stopping by. I hope you are well, God bless and have a great day!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series February, 2017

Hello everyone. I hope you are well. My family and I just returned from a week long vacation in Phoenix, Arizona. The sketch you see here is from the sermon preached at our friend's church Harvest East Valley ( The main verses used were from the Sermon on the Mount, which goes from Matthew 5:1 through 7:29, but he specifically spoke on Matthew 5:1-10.

Losing ourselves to find Jesus was a theme I picked up on. There were many themes the pastor touched on, but this one grabbed me. Dying to self. Such an alien concept to most of our society. I don't see many people on the news these days denying themselves. In Luke 9:23 Jesus says "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Most of the interaction I have on a daily basis is with my family. I find that pretty much every time I have trouble it is because I am forgetting or turning away from this basic Christian truth. Whether it's with my children or my wife. It's something I work on every day.

Also from my notes: "Blessings can be a bi-product of faith, but it is not the target or goal." He seemed to feel that too many people expect blessings all day every day. I have to admit a lot of my prayers (but not all) are asking for blessings(mostly for healing of illness for myself and people I know). The goal is eternity with Christ, and doing what he asks of you while you're here.

The artwork here is pencil on paper, scanned and then colorized in Photoshop. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed this drawing and that you have a great day.

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 2016 - Sunday Sermon Series

Hello everyone!

Another post from my Sunday Sermon Series this time. Yesterday we discussed hope. Verses we read in this study: Hebrews 3:1, Peter 3:13-15, Psalm 71:1-16, Peter 1:1-9 and 13.

As Christians our hope is a product of our faith in God. Hope is not to be confused with wishful thinking. In our society today hope is used like this: "I hope you have a nice day." I have no idea what will happen to you today, but I wish that bad things will not happen to you, only good things. True hope for Christians is the assurance and conviction in God, and his promises to us. God created us, God loves us. Regardless of my (or our) situation in this fallen world, I have a promise from God that whatever I go through He will be there with me. I may not like the circumstances, and things might not get better for me in THIS world. But in eternity I know (have assurance and conviction) that I am promised life with God, an experience greater than I can even imagine.

Looking inward, or seeking answers or hope from the wisdom of man proves fruitless (as we see time and time again throughout history). Nothing in this world lasts forever. That path leads to despair.

Whatever happens to us we must keep our focus on God. Carry on trusting in Him, and seeking the path he has laid out before us.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lbs. paper. I hope you are encouraged by this, and that you all have a great day. --Ryan