Friday, December 8, 2017

Ordinary Day

I was stuck on the phone earlier this week with Centurylink, a telecommunications company that routinely disrupts our family life out here on the edge of the wilderness. They are a frustrating company to deal with at best.

As I spoke with their representatives, waited on hold, explained again, waited on hold held again, waited, explained, etc. etc. I doodled the happy/adorable (hopefully I pulled that off) hearts and clouds and rainbow you see here, as a way to keep myself from falling into the sin of anger.

Don't get me wrong. Jesus is much more than a smiley face I focus on in frustrating times. God is there in good times, terrible times, and all of the run of the mill, mundane times I face from day to day. Allistair Begg said in a sermon (The Mystery of History at Truth for Life) on the book of Ruth, that God is still at work in the ordinary things of life. The series of sermons he did on the book of Ruth (God of the Ordinary) are excellent by the way, you should give all nine of them a listen.

And that put me in mind of something we discussed in Sunday School recently about keeping our focus on God. Not as a lucky charm, or mental diversion. I keep my focus on God because that is how I should live every minute of my life, because Jesus is the example of how I am to live(Ephesians 5:1). Because if I am doing that then I will remember that the person on the other end of the line is a person that Jesus loves just as much as He loves me. And I can remember that even if it takes them 25 minutes just to pull up my account, that I should treat them just the same as I would like to be treated, kindly. With respect. Love one another baby.

So as I waded through the customer service call I doodled and thought about that sermon, and the lesson from Sunday School, and about Jesus, I rested in the truth that Jesus walks with me through every kind of day. I kept my temper. I spoke pleasantly (but sternly) with the Centurylink representatives. I didn't do it through gritted teeth, I did it sincerely. Not through my power, but through His.

As a bonus I now have this little animation to share with you. May it bring a smile to your face. More importantly may the words I have written here encourage and or challenge you. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Where your feet are

Good morning everyone! Today I have a sketch that I did last month in Sunday School. We are studying Nehemiah and the point came up that we should be about the work that God has given us to do.

Just the other day I was talking with a friend and he said that while he didn't have time for much besides work and sleep, he chose to be there for his family with the remainder of his time each day because that was his mission field. That made me think of Pastor Mike's often used phrase "Your mission field is where your feet are. Around the world, or across the street. Well, for some of us it isn't even across the street. It's right inside our homes, teaching and preaching love one another to the little people in our lives.

As I stated in my last post, I don't have much time these days for side projects of my own. I am kept busy each day with teaching, parenting, housekeeping, sleeping, and yes work. That's why there was no post in the month of October here. I'm not lamenting that fact, just stating it. I know what God has given me to do, and I work at it each day. I am content in that.

In this drawing we see Jack (standing), Stella (fittingly sucking her thumb), and Roy (seated) in a wheel barrow. That is cartoon me puffing along as I haul them about. They are my work, and my love. Angela is not in this drawing, she deserves her own drawing. Or perhaps a book of drawings.

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. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series: Sin and Death in the Garden

Good day everyone, I hope you are well. Today I have an illustration for you from a passing comment in a sermon by Pastor Shaun Hart on prayer, and how Nehemiah prayed (to listen to that sermon click here).

I am extremely busy with client work these days, so I don't have much time for a write up, or much more than a rough sketch. However, I really liked this sketch of Sin welcoming Death into the Garden that I dashed out yesterday, so I wanted to share it with you. It's a bit off the main topic (prayer), you'll have to forgive me that.

If I were to change anything in a final draft of this illustration it would be to make Sin's pose a bit more sweeping. Right now he is just standing there. It would be better I think if he were a bit more animated, enjoying his momentary victory a bit more.

Here is a challenge for you fine folks in the comments: See if you can pick up the little nuance that I really enjoyed about this drawing. Hint: It's something I purposely left out, just for fun. (Angela is excluded, she already knows.)

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. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you or challenged you. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Monday, July 24, 2017

Work, work, work... Yay!

It's been over a month since I posted on the blog here, because I've been so very busy. Which is a great thing. Lots of jobs going right now, including a big one with lots of drawings. So I haven't had time to do anything extra to post here. This post may be short, but I really liked these drawings.

The animated gif you see here is a collection of drawings created for some icons that were rejected and will never be used(at least on this project). As I am not one to be wasteful I thought I would share them here.

In my teen years I spent a lot of time drawing skulls. I considered them fun to draw, and a lot of album covers and T-shirts I wore in those days had skulls on them. I outgrew that though, and only draw them now if a project calls for it. If you can't tell from the drawings(especially the sombrero and cactus) the project has a Mexican theme.

These pencil sketches were done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil, and a Staedtler 1.3mm pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. They were scanned and then colorized in PhotoShop. I hope you enjoyed this post. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sunday Sermon Series: Colossians 1:15-23

Good morning everyone, I hope you are well. Today I have an illustration for you from a sermon by Pastor Shaun Hart two weeks ago(to listen to that sermon click here). This illustration became so complicated that it took me longer than usual to assemble all the pieces.

The main point I took from this sermon and scripture is: Jesus in all things is first and foremost. Through Him all things were created. He is one with the Father, and through Jesus I am saved. Keeping my focus on Him both helps me through times of trouble, and keeps me from other troubles.

One illustration Shaun used to drive this point home was the story of Odysseus and the sirens from Greek mythology. The sirens if you recall were half bird, half fish creatures who would beguile or lure the sailors who were passing by. The sirens sang a song that was so beautiful the sailors would either sail right into the rocks, be shipwrecked and die, or they would jump overboard and try to swim to the rocks and be killed that way. When Odysseus heard of this he decided he could fix this problem. So he stopped up his ears with wax and tied himself to the mast so that he could not be seduced. In the Argonauts Orpheus tells Jason he has a different plan. Orpheus played on his harp a greater song, so great that the sailors never even heard the sirens.

A greater song. Such is the song that Jesus sings. His song is so much better on so many different levels that the songs we hear in this world. So much so that when we listen to Jesus, the songs of this world have no appeal to us. When Jesus is at the helm, the wind at my sails, and the very ship I sail only then can I manage this world.

As I worked on this illustration (which I would dearly love to have time to animate!) I listened as I often do to Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. Through no coincidence I am sure, I was surprised to hear Alistair relating the same story to illustrate the exact same message. Here is the link to that sermon: Truth for Life. I had to go through quite a bit to find that link for you, apparently the archives for listening through your phone are completely different than those on the web here. Thankfully on the mobile app you can share a link to a sermon, so I shared it with myself and got you the link. Ovey. The whole sermon is great, the part I reference specifically is about 17 minutes in. You should give it a listen.

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. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you or challenged you. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

Friday, May 5, 2017

Chicken Running

Hey-howdy-hey friends and neighbors! Today I have an animated gif for your viewing pleasure.

Earlier this week I was working on my next Sunday Sermon Series illustration. I realized yesterday that I wasn't going to finish any time so soon I switched to working on the concept you see here which was mentioned by Pastor Shaun. He mentioned in passing (I don't remember it as one of his main sermon points, but it stuck with me as you can see) that the church without Jesus is like a chicken with it's head cut off. There is simply no point to Christianity without Jesus.

So of course I quickly drew a chicken with it's head cut off, spastically running along, dead as a mackerel even though the chicken doesn't know it. The chicken is supposed to be moving in a hurky-jerky manner. I couldn't tell if the shadow on the ground was distracting or not. Without it I thought it looked a bit like the chicken was just floating. Either way, this short animated loop serves as a nice interim post while I finish off the more involved illustration which includes sirens, the singing mythical half bird/half fish creatures. Ooooo! Look for it next week sometime.

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 animation was also done in PhotoShop. I use Photoshop for straight forward frame by frame animation quite often. As always I hope you enjoyed this post. God bless, and have a great day! --Ryan

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