Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spring CCA Extension Courses!

I'm happy to announce the courses I'll be teaching this coming spring through the California College of the Arts Extension program. These are weekend hands-on workshops with reasonable class sizes that allow for plenty of one-on-one time. The facilities at the Oakland campus are excellent and use the latest hardware and software.

My Wacom Tablet Intensive has been particularly helpful to traditional fine artists and illustrators who are ready for the benefits of a digital workflow. I've had a lot of success with helping to find digital translations of their individual styles and processes.

Here are the course listings in detail:

Digital Drawing and Painting: Wacom Tablet Intensive

OAK Campus
Instructor: Eugene Young
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March 1-22
4 sessions. $325. Noncredit
Prerequisite: Photoshop Basics or equivalent. Previous drawing, painting, or illustration experience recommended

A growing number of animators, illustrators, fine artists, concept artists and designers prefer the convenience and versatility of the Wacom tablet. This hands-on workshop introduces the Wacom tablet as a digital drawing and painting tool using Photoshop.

The first three sessions focus on the tablet hardware and software and adapting traditional concepts to a digital workflow. Students will learn hand-eye coordination, confidence, and spontaneity with the tablet through mark-making, quick studies, and basic methods of building value, texture and form. Additional skill-building exercises cover custom brushes, and coloring existing line art or grayscale images. 
During the fourth session, students work on individual projects based on their area of interest that give greater context to the skill-building exercises emphasize creativity and problem solving.
Bring to first class: Examples of your work or work you find inspiring, USB flash drive for saving exercises, sketchbook, and pen or pencil. One student per Macintosh computer.

Adobe Creative Cloud Intensive

OAK Campus
Instructor: Eugene Young
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., February 1, 8, 15
3 sessions. $290. Noncredit
Prerequisite: basic computer skills, Mac or PC

Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for digital imaging and publishing. This four-day intensive introduces students to Adobe's InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, combined with an overview of Adobe Acrobat PDF workflow, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The first day is spent learning to draw and alter vector images in Illustrator; the next day covers learning the basics of photo editing, color correction and manipulation in Photoshop. In the third session, the class puts it all together in InDesign, learning layers and multipage document setup while exploring type styles and basic layout. 
Throughout, participants explore the tools, palettes, menus, and essentials of each application through a series of hands-on, in-class exercises designed for beginners, with optional intermediate take-home work if desired.  Course topics may change to best suit the individual needs of the class.
Optional: Participants may bring USB flash drive or CD-R/RW  to class for copying exercises or class work. One student per Macintosh computer.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Black Comix Arts Festival Coming to San Francisco!!

Great news!

January 2015 brings a new and exciting event to San Francisco, California. The Black Comix Arts Festival takes place January 18-19, 2015 in Yerba Buena Gardens.  Artist, designer and scholar John Jennings is curator of festival, which will include artist and writer panels, films, cosplay and more!

Illustration by John Jennings

from the website:

The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation is pleased to inaugurate a new annual event during MLK2015, the Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF).
BCAF’s mission is to celebrate the creativity and subjectivity of African Americans in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. It includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.
Join the thousands of MLK2015 celebrants at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens, and experience the launch of BCAF!
The expo and activities are free and open to the public. - See more at:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cartoon Art Museum Halloween Sketch-a-thon!!

 Last Saturday, I had the honor and privilege of drawing alongside artists Vincent Kukua, Jeff Plotkin, Brian Kolm at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. We donated our time and talent to museum visitors from 11am to 5pm. The event was a great test of my imagination and cartooning skills and I ended up with a few personal favorites that I almost wanted to keep for myself, including a candy corn bat (not shown).

 It's always fun drawing for kids and adults, and the time just flew by. Towards the end, I started in on a few black and white only alien and robot heads that folks seemed to like as much as the colored ones.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guest Artist @ Quick Draw SF!! (10/30)

I am very excited to share that I will be a guest artist at this week's Halloween edition of the Paint Pens Collective/Neverending Radical Dude QUICK DRAW SF event.

The lineup of artists is phenomenal and it's a huge honor to be included with Alexis Amann, Steven Russell Black, Jean Chen, Justin DeVine, Megan Kott, Jeff Plotkin, Norio Fujikawa, Zachary Sweet, Ben Jelter, and Annica Lydenberg.

The plan is to craft a series of wacky kaiju based on my favorite TV legends on four wheels including K.I.T.T., the A-Team van, the General Lee, and more! Although, I might just settle for a series of cyborg hats and caps with stingers, claws and spindly legs. And yes, the work will be for sale! 

I should also thank everyone for the incredibly positive response to my Funk of 40,000 Years series. I will have the drawings with me to share and sell if anyone's interested. It's turning out to be a challenging but fun series.

This QUICK DRAW SF will take place on Thursday, October 30th from 6pm-9pm at F8 Gallery/Bar located at 1192 Folsom (cross street is 8th) in SOMA.  21+

More info can be found at:

Monday, October 13, 2014


Thank you to everyone who came out to Flourish 2014 to support Oakland Art Murmur. I was in the "Artists in Action" section working along side some excellent artists, including Heather Day, Martin Webb, Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh. Charlie Milgrim and Taylor Brown. I donated a small selection from my "croque debris" series of watercolors which sold for $40 each. It was bittersweet parting with a few of them, but I know they have found new homes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Funk of 40,000 Years (An Inktober Event)

This will be my second year doing a series of drawings for INKtober. I chose the phrase "The Funk of 40,000 Years" from the Vincent Price cameo in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' as a focus for the series. The drawings will be inspired by lyrics, images and themes from some of my favorite 80s funk, disco and soul songs. With Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos happening this month, I thought it appropriate to keep things crazy, creepy and surreal like the music. Here's my target list for the series:

The Funk of 40,000 Years

1. Alligator Woman
2. Atomic Dog
3. All-Day Sucker
4. Flashlight
5. Fantastic Voyage
6. Brick House
7. Skin Tight
8. Lady Cab Driver
9. Thriller
10. Erotic City
11. One Way Bus
12. Storm King (Bob James)
13. Bootzilla
14. Fire (Ohio Players)
15. Love Gun
16. Starfish and Coffee
17. The Groove Line
18. Super Freak
19. Lady Cab Driver
20. Stomp (The Brothers Johnson)
21. Strawberry Letter 23
22. Rubberband Man
24. Soul Finger (The Bar-Kays)
25. The Thing With the 40 Eyes
26. Freaks Come Out At Night
27. Knee Deep
28. Brick House
29. Serpentine Fire
30. Mind Blowing
31. Tamborine 

Below are the first ones. I should also attribute my attempts at incorporating text on some of them to the shining influence of Megan Lynne Kott and Justine Lawrence Levine. I like their stuff. By the way, I finally broke down and bought some Rapidograph white ink for my technical pens, so you can expect more white-on-black technique on some of these.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stages Sunday!

Sharing a couple of WIP files today for “Stages Sunday”. Sometimes, i forget how influential artist Jim Burns how I imagine spaceships from other worlds or in the distant future. His designs almost always looked elegant, organic and suggested some unimaginable technology.

I used an old iDough model exported as a .obj file and used simple round brushes to further “sculpt” the rasterized model in Photoshop CC. It’s a fun and intuitive way of working. Back in the early 90s, it would have taken me at least a few hours just to mask out the shapes and set up my airbrush to make something like this.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Work In Progress

Stages Sunday!

Still plugging along on this one in my free time. I finally figured out ye olde Divine Proportions tool in Corel Painter XI last night. I never use that stuff, but I recently came across easy to follow derivation of harmonic proportions and root rectangles in Juliette Aristides' Classcial Painting Atelier ebook. Old work that uses that stuff still looks clunky and static to my eye, but I'm curious about the philosophical, symbolic, and psychological underpinnings of the grids.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Opening Receptions at the Richmond Art Center tonight (6-8p)

Opening Reception at the Richmond Art Center tonight from 6-8p in Richmond, California

Closely Considered – Diebenkorn in Berkeley

Gallery: Main Gallery

Frank Lobdell: the Tamarind Prints

Luminous Space: Paintings by Tom Holland

Gallery: West Gallery

Social Discourses: In Print

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dr. Sketchy's SF @ Creativity Explored

Last week's Dr. Sketchy's SF event was a fundraiser where we drew Eva Von Slut at San Francisco's Creativity Explored. Creativity Explored is part studio, part gallery and all magic. The organization provides art education to developmentally challenged adults. We met a few of their students who drew the glorious Eva along with us. If you visit the link below, you might spot me in one of the pics drawing on a tiny art card in the middle of a vortex of diagonals.

Precious Time (WIP)

A few weeks ago, an educator who was seated behind me at a Dr. Sketchy's SF event asked if I had a book of my sketches for sale. I then remembered that I had started gathering every scan and photo of sketches from past events in to an InDesign doc just to get a feel for the potential of such a project. It might be a valuable record of growth and exploration that hopefully celebrates the "precious time" we have with the model and how those spurts of intense concentration informs our work and skillset. It's all pretty "blue sky" right now, and I don't have a release date in mind yet. Maybe regular progress posts regarding the project should keep me on track for a "sooner than later" delivery.

The project currently includes close to 100 linked images from drawing events in Brentwood, Berkeley and San Francisco. The challenge will be in organizing the work in a way that is cohesive and appealing. I also started writing a brief foreword and compiling a list of the models and performers.

Stuff like this still brings up unpleasant memories of struggling with my undergraduate book design project at CCAC, but I really want to make happen. Sadly, I'll probably never "get" typography, or even care about it enough to master its fundamentals or develop my own aesthetic. Nonetheless, the text will be as important as the images, so I had better do my best... or get help.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oakland Drink and Draw

I'm still recovering from some end-of-the-semester burnout and blues, but I do have some good news to share. City College of San Francisco has reinstated its summer classes and will remain open as it works to resolve its accreditation issues. For me, this has meant teaching a section of beginning Illustrator this summer and the opportunity to develop the school's FIRST visual development for animation course to be offered in the fall.

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to the Oakland Drink and Draw (ODD) group, founded by Megan Lynn Kott and Justin Lawrence DeVine. It's great to have another low-key and welcoming group of artists so close to home. The group meets Wednesday nights from 8pm-11pm at The New Parkway theater on 24th @Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. This month, they are hosting a 30-day drawing challenge on their Facebook page and the work has been fun, quirky and inspiring.

ODD also periodically holds themed sketch challenges. This month's challenge was from the Miyazaki film "Princess Mononoke". My submission actually won and was lovingly framed and hung in the upstairs café area of the New Parkway.

It's also really nice that the group doesn't meet in a bar. Sure, there are plenty of adult beverages available, but there's no pressure to drink. Plus, the food is good. I've had their veggie burger a couple of times and once treated myself to a slice of cake.

I don't think I've ever felt this motivated to draw and paint such a variety of subjects and share them with such a solid group of artists. They're doing smart and creative things with text, image, humor and symbolism using a variety of mediums. These few weeks of involvement with the group has reintroduced me to what I guess is an "ideas first" approach to illustration that I still gravitate to, in spite of my focus on concept art. (Wait, do I even have a focus anymore?)

So, I am still learning, and some of my teachers are 10+ years younger. And, I'm spending time in Oakland at night again and enjoying it.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ivy Study

A while back, I decided to return to a favorite watercolor technique learned from Camille LaPointe-Lyons during my MFA studies at the Academy of Art University.

The technique begins with a layer of zinc white gouache that is allowed to thoroughly dry. I'm working with a small Canson 5" x 7" Cachet spiral-bound sketchbook. The binding allows the sketchbook to lay flat as I work. I can also work with the used pages flipped to the back of the sketchbook if I need a more compact setup. I am left-handed, so I usually work with the binding on the right side of the page. The paper has just enough tooth and weight to accomodate a variety of techniques and some experiementation. It also has a warm, cream color that gives my watercolor and water-soluble graphite studies a subtle "antique" feel that is harder to achieve with stark white paper.

Choosing a subject is always a challenge in a familiar place. The creek is low this time of year, revealing small rocks and debris, pebbles, roots, sand and mud. Sometimes, I choose a simple subject to study when my surroundings aren't inspiring.

It was a cool, still and overcast morning with the sound of mostly birds and squirrels above and the barely discernible trickle of the creek which flows from a spring high in the hills. I decided to make the light reflected from the horizontal planes my subject. The morning overcast is a bit of a chameleon. It appeared white overall, but when I stared at it long enough, I saw hints of blue from the sky and yellow from the rising sun scattered by the water vapor. A tinting of the sky blue dominated the swirling mass overhead.

I then turned my attention to the creek and its surroundings. Every damp, horizontal surface reflected the light blue I had just observed. Some of the angled surfaces also picked up a bit of the sky. The debris, mud and foliage also created their own "passes" of color that would later help me to plan the steps of my watercolor study.

Recently, my favorite subject has been clusters of leaves or blossoms that form elegant and asymmetrical compositions. This partially chewed and isolated bit of ivy had a waxy surface that reflected the sky, a rich range of values and details, and just enough dry debris and earth beneath it for an inspiring and textured background.
My Winsor & Newton watercolor set includes viridian, cerulean blue, raw umber, cadmium orange, sap green, pthalo blue, alizarin crimson.
I prepared a page in my sketchbook with a thin layer of zinc white gouache and let it dry thoroughly. I used an HB graphite pencil to lay in the basic contours of the shapes I wanted to study. While I am capable of drawing every last bit of detail, including the dirt and debris, I didn't want to spend more than an hour on the sketch. So, I chose to concentrate only the ivy, its vine and a few brightly colored leaves embedded in the dirt. The rest would be indicated with broad strokes and minimal detail.

Dirt and mud always has a base color that peeks through the intricate form and cast shadow shapes. I saw a warm, earthy yellow with violet shadows, and started with a loose wash.

In order to give the first wash time to dry, I turned my attention to the shadows on the leaves. I do my best to "draw" the important shapes with my brush and leave the white of the paper open for highlights and veins. I also noticed a few patches of red-orange intermingled within the greens of the leaf. I was also hoping that allowing some warm colors from the into the leaves would help to unify the sketch in terms of hue.

At this stage, I had mixed a deep violet and started applying it to the soil/background. My thinking here was that the lighter colors from the initial wash will keep the ground from ever reaching the pure white of the gouache. After the green for the leaf shadows dried, I worked strokes of sap green and cerulean blue, still being careful to avoid the white shapes reflecting the sky. This process, at least when I use it, does reconstitute the white gouache, causing some of it to mix with the watercolor.

The gouache tends to stay in place with one or two gentle strokes with a brush loaded with paint. However, more pressure, and repeated strokes will bring up the white. When I sketch, I often enjoy having a few technical wildcards to explore. When a technique goes awry, the experience leaves me a bit more familiar with its strengths and limitations.

Physical discomfort should always be considered as a potential influence when sketching outdoors. I can handle extended periods of discomfort, much like an experienced model holding a pose for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes it's necessary to stay in place in order to avoid losing a certain vantage point. Insects, head butts from neighborhood cats, wind and the sun can all sneak up and affect a sketch session. During this one, I sat with the sketchbook resting on my knees as I sat on a slight incline facing into the creek. There was a point after maybe 40 minutes where a combination of pain and running out of things to paint made it necessary to wrap things up.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Contra Costa Open Studios May 3, 4

This weekend, I will have drawings on display at CR Framing and Gallery in Brentwood as part of the Contra Costa open studios.

One lucky evening at the San Francisco Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, I saw for the first time the work of master caricaturist Al "Big Al" Lopez. Al had his own easel, and was drawing in pen and ink the old fashioned way by dipping a metal nib into the ink. His lines were confident and full of life.

"The Last Sarah"
(20 min)
Colored Pencil
7.5"w x 11"h
Eugene Randolph Young

I had heard of the Brentwood drawing group, but the distance from Richmond always discouraged me from attending. Eventually, I decided to make the trek and I've been hooked ever since. The smaller drawing venue means an intimate and relaxing experience. No crowding, blaring music or bombastic hosts. Plus, the models are fantastic.

I will be selling some of my favorite sketches of Rasa Vitalia, Sarah Christine, Aja De Coudreax, and Sgt. De Wies. Hope to see you there! (flyer w/ maps below)

Themed Figure Sketching Workshop
Hosted by Discover Art League
Coordinated by Big Al Lopez. 
Monday evenings on a varying schedule, 6-9 pm
CR Framing and Gallery
700 Harvest Park Drive in Brentwood. 
Models are clothed, often in costumes
inspired by dance or the theater.
Sessions consist of a series of short,
creative poses, five to twenty minutes long.
$15 for DAL members and students,
$20 for non-members
For more information and a schedule of
upcoming sessions visit
or e-mail

The Machines Have Already Won

It's hard to believe that it has been over a decade since the completion of my undergraduate degree. Today, one of my students at Dominican University of California pointed me a TED talk with Neil Harbisson. ( The idea of relating patterns of sound to patterns of color and value is absolutely fascinating. Whenever possible, I try to get my students to relate the process of drawing and painting to other art forms such as music.

I had completely forgotten about my 2001 undergraduate thesis project on mechanical click phenomena (MCP), which to this day still feels unfinished. I even let go of years ago. The project is on old Zip disks, DAT tapes and mini DV tapes in a closet, but I would love to look at that stuff again, especially the videos. As I approach the completion of my MFA, I am already imagining a doctorate degree focusing on yet another focused, but scholarly project.

My dreams since graduation back in '01 almost always involve something related to a thesis project. I am either working on mine, or looking at someone else's that is lightyears ahead of the curve. And yet, those shimmering images and ideas from the fog of dreamspace are completely my own. It makes me wonder if the thesis experience was in fact a mild form of trauma that plays itself out in different ways night after night. (I'm not exaggerating. A former classmate shared with me a recurring nightmare involving Jennifer Morla humiliating him during one of our Friday morning crits.)

A deep catharsis seems to spawn from successful authorship and the ownership of an original idea.

Friday, April 25, 2014


As a new patron of the Richmond Art Center, I'm looking forward to a summer of healing and relaxation through the pages of a sketchbook as I put my new North American Reciprocal Museum Association sticker to use at participating museums.

Vimana Screenings in London and Los Angeles

Faroukh Virani's USC student thesis film short is "in the can" and set for its first 2014 release dates:

SCI-FI London
SATURDAY APRIL 26, 11:30AM, Stratford Picturehouse:

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
WEDNESDAY MAY 7, 9:00PM, CGV Cinema, Los Angeles:

USC Thesis Screenings
SUNDAY MAY 18, 2:45PM, USC Norris Theater, Los Angeles

Set in the near future, three Indian astronauts are on a one-way trip to a distant planet, Gliese. Unfortunately, the ship's captain, Rishi, passes away after an adverse reaction to the hyper-sleep. Now it's up to the two remaining astronauts, Pankaj and Naaz, to come together and land the vessel in his memory. To complicate things, India's mission control requires them to jettison the corpse in order to avoid bringing biological contaminates to the new planet. But Naaz, who has fallen in love with Rishi, refuses to let this happen. Digital, 17 min., color, narrative, in English and Hindi w/E.S.

Congratulations to the producers, directors, cast and crew. You are making cinematic history!

P.S. The spaceship and space probe in the film are pretty cool!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Note to Self...

Sometimes, waking up is the worst part of dreaming…

Joshua Darden

Not much to say here except that this Joshua Darden guy is a wizard with type, and I'm seriously considering adopting bits of Omnes Pro for my design business. The lighter weights are a bit hard on my eyes, but overall, it has a nice flow. (My mildly dyslexic brain keeps seeing "Ormes" as in Jackie Ormes. Look her up too if you haven't heard of her.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Many thanks to my now over 50 followers on Instagram. I am honored by your kindness, curiosity and support. Plus, several of you have phenomenal work. The app has been a simple yet effective tool for sharing sketches with people who have similar interests as well as unique and inspiring styles.

My sketchbooks are once again a personal outlet for exploring new ideas, mediums and techniques. There also seems to be a certain catharsis tied to making pictures that express things that might be hard to say aloud. Others may follow me there at or by clicking the icon below:


And now, back to more drawing and painting!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hugging Vectors

There was a time when the prospect of working on a project using Illustrator would leave me feeling anxious. In fact, even after two semesters of Illustrator at City College of San Francisco with John Seckman, it was my "last resort" tool for illustration.

I have taught Illustrator at the California College of the Arts, City College of San Francisco, and Dominican University. Last year, I was asked to craft a series of Illustrator workshops for a group of MFA students from the Academy of Art University. And yet, I still feel a tiny bit of anxiety when sit down to begin work with this wonderfully awkward tool.

Last weekend, I sketched a young barista at the Starbuck's on Solano and Colusa in Albany, California. She was tall and slender and had features that reminded me of several of my favorite femme fatales from science fiction, including Aeon Flux, Ellen Ripley, and the android from Blade Runner. Her heavy black eyeliner accentuated a pair of bold, expressive eyes that shifted repeatedly from stoic calm to bright and caffeinated. I thought it would be fun to imagine her on a poster for a science fiction thriller.

Because we are getting closer to our final handheld tool illustration project at CCSF, I felt compelled to improve on last semester's handout and create a more detailed example of one of the image deconstruction methods I teach. But this little sketch kept nagging me, so I decided to take it a bit closer to something finished. I enjoyed the subtle irony of rendering a Starbuck's barista in a style similar to local designer Michael Schwab who designed posters for Peet's Coffee. But I am also a student of design history and a child of the 80s, so my stack of influences and motivations include boredom, Nagel, experimentation and the need to practice and improve.

I think another round of tweaks and critiques will take this image to that elusive "print me" level.