Friday, September 2, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Proverbs 7 and 8

Hello everybody! Today I have drawings from the last couple of Sundays. August 21, and 28th, 2022 to be precise. We are still in the book of Proverbs, chapters 6, 7, and 8. I highly reocommend that you listen to them, here for chapter 7, and here for chapter 8. I felt that these drawings had merrit, even though they are still roughs. I will try to describe the concept for each of these illustrations below.

"Bind [your father's commandments] on your heart always; tie them around your neck." Proverbs 6:21 I start out with this image, which represents binding God's wisdom to our hearts. I had some rough sketches of the sheep that Noah speaks of, but I kept coming back to this idea/image. God's wisdom keeps us safe, gives us guidelines for how we are to live as followers of Christ in God's world. The Lord sees all, and his wisdom brings freedom.

If I were to do a finished drawing of this I would research what a nice pretty bow looks like, and replace the clumsy one depicted here, which gets the point across, but leaves me wanting more. The heart is not symetrical, but I like that. The lettering isn't perfect either, but that works for me too. The main point of this scripture is to warn about the perils of sexual sin while calling the listener to respond to the grace of Jesus. Listen to God's wisdom, and act. Illicit sex entices the eyes, but it steals your soul. The path of fidelity is the place of flourishing. The Lord sees all, and his wisdom brings freedom. Bind His wisdom on your heart. It is the best way to live in the universe He created. It is there to protect us from ourselves, and from sin in the world.



This illustration is pretty straight forward with both the tagline and imagery. I've sketched this concept before. I think this is the best version I've done so far though. Jesus loves us. Jesus provides a way, through his death on the cross, for us to be with the Father. Our sin costs us our life. Jesus paid the debt for all our sin, all at once. So we can be with the Father in eternity. Jesus gives us a new heart, because ours is full of sin. And once we are given that new heart we are welcomed.

Once again we see Cartoon Ryan as the sinner accepting Jesus love. I frequently use myself as the sinner described in the scripture being discussed. I do this as a constant reminder to anyone reading that I realize I am a broken sinner, just like everyone else. Let's keep the hypocrisy to a minimum. My beady cartoon eyes are quite close together here. Nothing symbolic in that, just making myself look a bit more comical. I'm wearing my usual costume: baseball shirt, shorts, and a pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars. I just noticed that Cartoon Jesus has on two different sandles. That isn't symbolism either, just an honest mistake. Rough illustrations indeed.



In chapter 8 one of the things that caught my attention was that God's wisdom was right there in the beginning with Jesus and the Father. This was something I had never considered before, and I recommend listening to this one as Jake uses scripture to back up this point. Why is that important? Because that means that it is more than just suggested rules for how to live a good life. It was interwoven into our world, from the beginning. Which makes sense considering who created our world, but something I hadn't thought about.



And here we have the final illustration for this week. Wisdom, with Jesus as he forms the earth.
John 1-
1. [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)

What does all that mean? Obviously, John is writing about Jesus. Jesus was there in the beginning with God. See, Paul says this more clearly, that Jesus is the wisdom of God!
1. 1 Corinthians 1:24- “but we preach Christ...the power of God and the WISDOM of God.”
2. 1 Corinthians 1:30- “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God...”
3. Colossians 2:1-3- “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

I hope that this post has encouraged you, and or challenged you. I hope that you will go and listen to the sermons from Northwest Gospel Church that I listened to as I drew them, they are good sermons, and good for you. May God richly bless you my friends, until next time.--Ryan

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Proverbs 6

**UPDATE** August 23, 2022

Well folks, I just couldn't stand it. I had to I add a background to the characters for this illustration. I borrowed this background from an illustration I did a few weeks ago, for a book project I am just finishing up. I think it fits our characters well, and they look so much happier to have a world to live in, rather than just a sad, empty white background.

I cropped the background so that it would fit my characters better. I tried layering some close up stalks of grass to add depth, but it was too distracting so I dropped that idea. I left the background black and white, so I could keep the focus on the characters.

The scale of the characters is much larger than real life obviously. I am allowed to do this because I am a cartoonist, and we get to change things at will. Can you imagine coming across a slug and ant that size out in the woods? Think of the slime trail. Bleh. Thankfully cartoonists/illustrators ideas mean little beyond amusing their audience, so I don't have to feel guilty about unleashing this sluggard on society. This illustration seems to work well now, let me know what you think.

Hey-howdy-hey everybody! This week I have an illustration from pastor Andrew's sermon on Proverbs 6:1-19. I encourage you to listen to the full sermon here on the Northwest Gospel Church website.

Beginning in verse 6 we are introduced to the sluggard, the powerful imagery there combined with Andrew's tale of "Slime in the Moonlight" was so powerful I really didn't have any choice on what to draw this week. Immediately these characters popped into my mind, and begged to be drawn. Had I the time (oh, how often do I sing that refrain) I would have sketched out the fellow with the pointing fingers, the "ROLLING EYES" character... but this is what I had time for. Please, give the sermon a listen, it is a good one, you won't regret it.

On the surface this piece of scripture is full of pragmatic wisdom, but we are again reminded that everything in Proverbs is viewed through the lense of godly wisdom. It isn't simple pragmatism of which I and some in society today are fond of. God’s Law frames our world, as the principles he has designed create immutable truth, these truths are laid out for us in the book of Proverbs. This book gives us the street smarts to operate in the world today as Christians.

We often fall short in life, I know I do. Sometimes on an hourly basis, and that is where God meets us. In these moments we are called as Christians to repent (not just spoken words, but in our hearts) and ask God's forgiveness. He meets us with the truth in His word, and with grace through Jesus' sacrifice for us.

On a side note, I am the wise-cracker that Andrew mentions in the beginning. I frequently try to make people laugh or smile. Those comments are most often empty, of little or no value other than a fleeting laugh from whoever I'm with. I would like to think that I am not that cynical, and that I no longer go to the well of sarcasm as often as I did as a teenager (that was so long ago now I think it has mostly worn off). I suppose Angela would be a better judge of that than I.

Here are some of the truths to remember from this scripture: Today's decisions produce tomorrow's results. Financial debt strips security. Correct mistakes humbly. In conclusioin act carefully, be humble, stay in God's word daily. Read that part about things God hates starting in verse 16, these are street smart words to operate by.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you, and that you will read more about God's wisdom and truths laid out in the book of Proverbs. God bless you, and have a great day! --Ryan

Friday, July 29, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series: Proverbs 3:1-12

Hello everybody! Today I have a drawing from a couple Sundays ago (July 17, 2022). The message centered on Proverbs chapter 3, verses 1-12. Trusting in the Lord's wisdom, which we find in God's written word. You can go and listen to it here at the Northwest Gospel website.

We can trust in Jesus, and we know this when we read His word. We hear Him there. Not only the spoken words of Jesus but we hear His father speaking to us through the prophets. Time and time again God tells us not to be afraid, to not worry but to trust in Him.

Websters defines Trust as: Assured reliance in the character, ability strength, or truth of someone or something, one in which confidence is placed. We must trust in God regardless of our circumstances. He is there, He loves you, and He has a plan for you.

Fools reject God's wisdom, they choose a worldly course, rather than choosing God's path. Salvation through Jesus' death on the cross is the gate. His ways (outlined in His word) are our path. Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths." The creator of everything has a plan for how to live your life. Reject evil, Run from it! Sin and evil suck the life from us, and lead to death. But God's word refreshes. In Christ there is life.

I sketched my cartoon self trusting (awkwardly) in Jesus while I listened to the sermon, and took notes. I colorized it in Photoshop, and added the sky background. I originally drew that sky about 20 years ago, and I use it from time to time because I love the texture, the clouds and the colors in it.

As I listened I also sketched this heart drawing, and decided to include it here. It is a rough drawing, but I like the sentiment. Jesus saves. Jesus heals. Proverbs 3:7-9 "Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones."

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you, and that you will read more about trusting in God and the path He has for us as Christians in the book of Proverbs. Please contact me if you have questions. God bless you, and have a great day! --Ryan

Monday, June 27, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series - Second Peter 3:1-10

Hello everybody! Today I have a drawing from last Sunday (June 19, 2022). The message centered on Jesus promise to come back, and is taken from Second Peter chapter three. You can listen to it here.

Second Peter Chapter 3
Pastor Andrew mentioned the oft heard quote from children on roadtrips "Are we there yet?" I had just the day before heard that line several times over as our family traveled down to Salem to spend the day with family. So it struck a cord with me, and became the focus of my illustration. We (especially me these days) as Christians are asking ourselves, and God through prayer "Jesus, are you coming back yet? Is it time?" Are we there yet?

In these verses we are assured that Jesus will come back. We are encouraged to remember the words of the prophets, and to remember that scoffers will come. They (scoffers) will mock and ridicule those who believe. We are also called to be patient because in the mean time as God is working so that all should reach repentance.

Peter also references the flood of Noah, which I find interesting as these days some doubt the Biblical account of the flood. If you profess to be a Christian both the old and new testaments reference the flood. There is also mention here of the day of judgment, and the destruction of the ungodly, as happened at the time of the flood.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you, and that you will read more about Peter's final letter to the church in 2nd Peter. God bless you, and have a great day! --Ryan

Monday, June 20, 2022

Sunday Sermon Series Second Peter 2:17-22

Hello everybody. I hope you are all well. Today I have a drawing from last Sunday (June 12, 2022). The message was about false teachers, how to spot them, and what God thinks of them. You can listen to it here.

Here we see Jesus calling out the false teacher's lies, using scripture (as we are to do) to check what is being preached. A generic crowd looms in the darkened sanctuary. The false teacher is not supposed to look like anyone, nor are the people in the audience.

Pastor Jake Gamble mentioned that Jesus is the living water (as he tells us in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, John 4:1-40) and that here Peter tells us "...are waterless springs and mist driven by a storm." In other words they do not satisfy our thirst. Only Jesus does that. The empty, hollow promises of false teachers do not satisfy, and in the end doom you. They suggest that you can add Jesus to your life, or that you can live however you want and then profess Jesus. That isn't what the Bible tells us.

Parts of this drawing are rougher than usual(the crowd in the darkness in particular), and some parts are finished. I like the balance of the light on Jesus side, and the darkness in the "world." I don't usually do scrolls for scripture. Usually I draw a Bible because it's what I'm used to. I can't wait to see what Jesus has to say about different versions of the Bible.

This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you, and that you will read more about Peter's final letter to the church in 2nd Peter. God bless you, and have a great day! --Ryan

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Characters, An Animated Slideshow

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. This week I have an animated gif from my old website. I created it to share some of the artwork I was generating at the time (Approximately 2002-2008). This file is a short slideshow presentation of characters. The file size is pretty small, because (if you recall) interweb speeds were slower back then. I was still on dial-up! *GASP*

Many of the characters pictured here are Chip Dugan, with different expressions. At the time I was working on a sequel for The Searcher, which would eventually become The Daydreamer. Chip and I are old friends, we go back just over 20 years now. Some day I hope to write and illustrate a chapter book starring Chip. These drawings of Chip were done for a couple of reasons. I have to keep drawing him, frequent practice is required to keep the skills up. And to figure out what he looks like from different angles, in different situations and with different expressions.

The other Non-Chip characters are take from Sketch of the week, which was my attempt to share on a weekly basis what I was producing in my sketchbooks. After about 6 months of that I discovered Illustration Friday. In order to participate in that you need to have a blog, so you can share your posts. So I shuttered Sketch of the Week, and began the blog you see here. I hope it brings you a smile, or encourages you, from time to time.

All of the drawings included in this pencil sketch were done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 80lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, or made you think. God bless you all, and have a great day! --Ryan

Friday, May 27, 2022

Happy Friday!

Hey howdy hey everybody! Today I have an illustration taken from a book project that never came together. As the illustrator I would love to blame the author for the project failing, but I'm the author too so that doesn't help at all. Suffice it to say that paying jobs and then stronger story concepts pushed this one aside.

This dancing elephant is a main character, and he appeared in most of the illustrations. Elephants are a favorite subject of mine. There are many animals that I repeatedly draw, which I attribute to my love of Richard Scarry's work. Not that mine are as good as his, but I appreciated his work as a kid, and still do today. Mr. Scarry's characters and environments were perfectly rendered, so as to overload your senses with whimsy. Scarry and Charles M. Schulz had a huge impact my style.

At some point I used the illustration to encourage a friend of mine on a particularly bleak winter afternoon. I hope he can give you a smile, or enhance your Friday mood in some way. This pencil sketch was done with a Pentel .7mm P207 mechanical pencil in a Pentalic Sketchbook on 70lb paper. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it encouraged you, made you think, or challenged you. God bless you, and have a great day! --Ryan