Monday, June 29, 2009

Toronto Pride! The Day After!

As I mentioned before, this weekend was Toronto's Big Pride Weekend! It was all laughter and tears, sunshine and rain, hotties and more hotties! Typical Pride! I took quite a few pictures of some very inspiring men...who I will endeavour to draw over the next few days. Above is a sketch page I drew up after hanging out at Woody's on Thursday night.

One guy in particular, the fell in the "A" shirt, was absolute perfection! I saw him as he entered the bar with his friends...but didn't see him for the rest of the night. I tried to take a quick mental picture so I'd be able to draw him later. I wasn't entirely successful. Most likely he's an out of towner so my chances of seeing him again are slim.

Or so thought I!

On Sunday it rained. Poured! Just sopping, cold, icky rain first thing in the morning right up until after lunch. The parade was scheduled to start at 2pm and I knew it would still be going on. A little rain has never stopped Pride in the past. I grabbed my dollar store umbrella and headed over to the parade route to find a spot. All the wetness was keeping the crowd numbers down so it was easy to find many open areas along the street. After ruling out a few spots due to rudeness (a chair gently but firmly being pushed into the backs of my legs to let me know that someone wanted to SIT right up at the cattle I left her to it), smokers and trumpet players I settled on a quietish spot with regular folk. In fact the guys in front of me were speaking in American Sign Language so I knew they weren't gonna be loud and obnoxious!

And whom should I spot standing up against the guard rail with his "A" shirt from the bar! Gadzooks, what luck! His boyfriend joined a little later and I was treated to TWO hot guys smooching and dancing to the parade music! *sigh*

Needless to say you will be seeing drawings of them. Again, I wished for the nerve to speak to them but still lack the courage or words to introduce myself without appearing crazy!

Oh yeah, as for the rain? It stopped just as the parade began. The sky remained clear and even let a little sun shine through for the entire parade. I don't know what more proof you need that Mother Nature loves her gays!


Here's the close-up of the balcony dudes from my Pride Guide cover, as requested by Javier.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Pride!

Toronto Pride is this weekend and, in fact, has already started. I was out on Church street just the other night and already traffic is finding it difficult to get through the gathering crowds. Patios are FULL! The weather is fantastically hot causing many men to strip down to the least amount of clothing allowable! Thank you Mother Nature!

Unfortunately Toronto's city workers also chose this week to go on STRIKE! That means no garbage pick up (in this heat? Ugh!) and no ferry's to Toronto Island...and Toronto's nude beach!! AARGH! Denied!! How could they do this to US?

Despite the strike it appears as though most Pride events are continuing as planned (although the Beach Ball at Hanlan's (the nude beach) was recently cancelled. Bummer. I'd wanted to go to that. But there's plenty to do on the mainland, and it can all be found in your copy of the Pride Guide put out by XTRA!

When I sketched up the cover I wanted to include as much of the street crowd and diversity of Toronto's gay community as possible. Every year I see the dude on the stilts, numerous bears in full leather (shweaty!) drag queens, and increasingly over the years - families!

Hopefully I came up with an image that people can look at over the course of the weekend and not tire of! If you're in Toronto grab yourselves a copy and please pop into the comment section and tell us which events you're looking forward to and enjoyed!

Happy Pride!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Drawing You In!

I was reading Alan Bennett Ilagan's blog the other day. Alan had just attended Albany's Pride parade and posted pictures including a few of his Pride outfit...which I I think looked great (which is why I wanted to draw it). He was mocked for channeling Richard Simmons and/or Olivia Newton-John. I think the outfit was fun and slightly sailor-ish (it's the striped shirt, I think).

First is the drawing with just the black line art and the abstract Photoshop drawn background I based on the original photo ref. I drew planning on coloring all of the line art which is why you get such heavy shadows on his legs and shorts.
Here's the color only layer. After that "accidental" Josh abstract I checked out the Alan colors and sure enough it has the same kinda cool look. All it needs is a little detail in the face and shoes and it could totally work on it's own.
And finally, the piece as I'd intended it. I love the shirt and socks. The single blue stripe on each sock is almost reflected in the blue shadows of Alan's shirt and the metal dog tag.

Toronto Pride is nearly here! I was asked to draw the cover (THE COVER) to Toronto's Pride Guide this year! Holy SOCKS!! I was thrilled beyond words to get such an awesome opportunity! Wow! Getting a gig like that usually stifles the heck out of me...but I just tried to relax and draw what I'd want to look at when flipping through a booklet to find the events of the day! Something busy so you can spend some time staring at it while waiting for a drag show to start (c'mon girls, how long does it take to get ready ;) but not too busy that it's a mess when seen from a distance. I hope I succeeded. I'll post the final image next week, after the guide comes out in tomorrow's Xtra!

It's gonna be a great summer!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Wiggam Does It Again!

Wow! Michael Wiggam, colorist supreme, hit a home run with this one! I love the light color outline around the jock and his buddy! The coloring of his football jersey is also cool. . He's created a dreamy silhouette with the darker foreground elements and fantastic use of monochrome for the background helps all the right stuff stand out!