Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

Sketch Card Set: Island Dreams

Here are a few of my cards for the sketch card set, Island Dreams available November 1st.

In 2011 Marty Kuklinski of WLRA’s Saturday mornings Big Burrito Radio came up with Island Dreams, a tropical themed sketch card set, the sets sold out in less than a day and we raised $2000 for the charity. So far the charity set has raised over $15,000!!  

This year the set is the girls of the island. Each card pack will contain a deck of playing card (yes, real playing card) as well as 2 hand drawn sketch cards by one of our great Island Dreams artists. So get ready for some great artwork to support a great charity!

Artist List (Subject to change)

William BJ Kunkle

Michelle Lewis

Jon Riggle

Kylie Johnston

Del Perry Nayra

Jeff Sornig

Scott Glenn

Walter Rice

Christopher Chamberlain

Jenny Creech

Mel Uran

Chris Zarichansky

Bien Flores

Lynne Anderson

Johnny Townsend


Ryan van der Draaij

Wu Wei

Jeff Abar

Nikole Jones

Anastasia Catris

Amy Fletcher

Clinton Yeager

Dani MacMullen

Robin Mies

Diana Greenhalgh

Laura Ingils

Cayce Moyer

Paul Cowan

Lily Z Mercado

Jason Durden

Drew Lopez

Chris Foreman

George Leon

Chris Thorne

Dianne “Greenwoman” Wickes

Natalya Tasha Nez

Brooke Safken

Jason Shoemaker

Jesse Hughes

Prassedes Ciappolino-Williams

Alfret Le

Barush Merling

Rivana Art

Mohammad Jilani

Terry Pavlet

Alex Riegel

Mark Martino
Christina Ranburger

Sal Galindo

Solly Mohamed

Pierre Beauchemin

Jonty Gates

Elisa Chong

Kevin Munroe

Matt Slusher

Christina Baker

Rusty Gilligan

Stephanie Rosales

Jenni Gregory

William Withers

Helga Wojik

Kate Carleton

Louis Small Jr.

J. Ryan Abney

Huy Truong

Vincenzo D’Ippolito

Norvierto P. Basio

Elfie Lebouleux

Dani Hoy

Shane McCormack

Gary Rudisill

Chris Papantoniou

Merryalina Drew

Jon Rademacher

Michael Sumislaski

Randy Kintz

Sharon Gauthier

Matthew Stewart

Elias Gambet Melendez

Kelly Greider

Aaron Beylerian

Courtney Rose Hennessey

James Morgan Jr.

April Goulart

Alfredo Galicia

Isabelle Angell

Jose Carlos Sanchez

Luro Hersal

Linda van Ballegooijen

Ben AbuSaada

Katie Cook

Robert “Floydman” Sumner

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary · Tutorials and Posts

Charcoal Painting. My YouTube Channel

I have had a YouTube Channel for a few years now.  You can see anything from digital drawing, clips from my favorite models, tutorials on color separating for screen printing, some short clips of me drawing or inking.  It’s a mixture of everything.

In the next few weeks I will be posting newer videos and deleting some older ones in an attempt to organize things.

Here is my latest video.  My daughter, Tori and I were experimenting with equipment and set up.   Usually, I have her prepare it and edit it for the final, but this time I attempted it.  With that said, there is a section that is MISSING A LINK, just forward through it.  This was a bit of a crash course for me.   As I add more, this one will surely be deleted.  But for now, I wanted to give you a preview of my technique.  In the coming future, there will be more start to finish time lapse videos.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel CLICK HERE


Tutorials and Posts

Making of Crissy Gold Card Step by Step

This is a double size ACEO card.  (3.5″x5″) done completely with colored pencils.   I normally use paints or markers for an under painting but on this I wanted to just try out straight up colored pencils.
 Started with the outline in light graphite. Added some flesh tones and shadow areas.
More flesh tones and shadows. When using colored pencils, I use a lot of colors to get the flesh tones right.  I don’t have any specific colors I use.  I do tend to use a brownish red and a golden yellow/  I determine what colors after studing the reference picture.  Depending on the lighting dictates the color direction I will be using.
Now, I am just relayering the midtones and shadow to give it contrast.
Using the reference pic, I decide to use the same brown in the sweater.
Adding red to the flesh being careful not to over due it.  Too much red would make Crissy look like she has a sun burn.
Now onto the hair.
Adding red to the sweater and working on the hair some more.
Here is the final
Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

High School Art Teachers- How I got to Where I am Now Part 2

As an artist who makes a living from his art, it really warms my heart to see just how much a role our local High School art teacher, Lisa, plays in the lives of her young students.  My daughter, being one of them. Let me explain.


Tonight, after a long day of running Nikki to the airport an hour and a half away. Not to mention, we left the house at 1:30am.  Pretty much stopped long enough to dump her off. Tuck and Roll, we refer to it as. Headed back home, just in time to get the kids off to school, get a shower and get to my scheduled business appointment at 10am. Which was in Carlisle, a half hour from my house.  Ate lunch, drove home by 2pm at which now I could lay down on the couch. (Kids blaring the TV and dog nudging and licking me)  Back up by 5pm, with the voice of my daughter, “Dad, wake up! We have to go to that thing tonight.” “What thing?” I asked still half asleep with dog spit on my left hand.  “That thing Mrs. Harman is having.”  So, back up I got, brushed my pearly whites (teeth) and back out the door we went. Now you are all caught up.

Ok, now we arrive at the Adams County Arts Council, where they are having their First Friday Events.  These are my people you know.  I have my studio there. Well, I had a studio. Gave up the Studio. And now I am back to the Studio.  I just need my own space, that’s another story.  Anyways, the first thing in the door, I’m already hunting down Bert.  Bert is my studio neighbor and life advisor.

It’s not hard to find him, he’s the one with the camera taking everyone’s picture.  He grabs both Zachary and Tori and gets their picture.  He’s about the only person I ever met that could convince these two to get close enough to one another to even get a picture.

Chris, the lady who runs the Adams County Arts Council, (we will just refer to it as ACAC, for simplicity) grabs me for a brief conversation.  At this time, Tori’s friends are making their presents known and with Bert taking their pictures too, I know it’s safe to leave them unattended.  When returning, I see that Tori’s art teacher, Lisa is there talking with everyone.  She takes Tori over to her art that is being displayed and gets her picture.  Now, for bragging sake, this was not the only piece Tori has ever had displayed at the ACAC.  Anyway, I, who am a self proclaimed student of life and part time people watcher, notice that she does this with each student.  Then she uploads them onto the School’s Facebook Page.  I realized that for Lisa, being an art teacher doesn’t stop when the last school bell rings.  She has been a part of Tori’s life since 9th grade, I would suppose.  Tori has helped her several times at her Gallery, The Blue Brick Gallery CLICK HERE  for link to their website and CLICK HERE for their Facebook Page. And several First Fridays at the Gallery, doing pottery.    It’s honestly, very enlightening to know that a teacher is more than a teacher to a child.  And not just one child, but many.  It made me realize how much of a part my High School Art Teacher, Miss Gunnett, played in my life.  Even though I didn’t take art until my senior year and only did so to earn an easy credit.  But just for the record, I knew I could draw way before then. But that’s another story too.


I would have to say, that it’s not odd to me at all to see that the teacher my daughter will always remember, like me, was her art teacher.

Tori is graduating High School in a few weeks and then in October she is leaving for Art School.  I know from experience, that in my past, Art School was not a so called Good Choice.  Because artists don’t make a lot of money.  Everyone wants to be an artist, but only few ever make it.  Art is a hobby, not a profession.  Or so this was reaction I had upon announcing my decision to go to art school.   But with her, she decide to go and then one day (half way through her senior year) she changed her mind. Now, this was the child who would literally sit in the dark and try to draw.  All the time.  Every night, she was drawing something. And now, her mind had been changed about not going.  I asked her why.  Of course she stumbled around excuses.  So, I finally just said it.  “Who persuaded you to give up art school?”  “Let me guess” I said.  “Art is not a good career choice.  Which one of your friends told you this.”  I knew it couldn’t have been a teacher.  They all knew that Tori’s dad is an artist and that would seriously be the wrong thing to say to a daughter of a professional artist.  I say professional, because I do it every day no matter how I feel. She finally fessed up and told me.  My response, “Artists can make a good living.  You see it every day.”  I explained to her, that I did not have the support she has.  I did not have the resources she has.  I had already paid my debt and earned my stripes so to speak. And I was always willing to show her. Tori has literally been a professional artist since 14 years old.  She doesn’t realize it.  She has designed logos. She has sold art for online scrapbooking. She hasn’t made a fortune, but she got paid for her art at a younger age than me.  Just a side story. I think it’s funny when people I know ask me, “Do you think she will ever be as good as you?”  My response, and I’m sincere when I say it, “Yes, she will be better than me.”  The puzzled looks I get are priceless.  But it’s true.  She has a passion and unlike me she has the resources.  I didn’t have the internet.  I didn’t have the support she has with family and other artists.  I only knew a few artists when I was her age.  Through me, she has met hundreds of artists that are friends of mine, from all over the world.

But the fire is always started with the spark.  The spark is the art teacher.  She may have gotten her talent from me, but that passion came from the role her art teacher has played for years.

Back to the Drawing Board with Gary

How I got where I am now. Part ONE

After graduating art school, which was an entire story of it’s own, in fear of being one of those jobless graduates you hear about. (Those people that either can’t get a job or are just too lazy to put forth the effort and go on some tree hugging, mind clearing, find yourself expedition.) I decided to work full time at a local T-shirt printer. A job that I got, on my own mind you, between semesters until I found a REAL JOB (as my parents would put it)

The Art school gladly took credit for me getting a job, to add to their job placement credits. (Even though my employer had never heard of them and better yet, the school never heard of him either. ) I was asked what position I held. I answered that I printed the shirts and did some artwork. They listed me as ART DIRECTOR. I suppose since I was the only employee and I now held a degree in art, I was the only qualified person to be ART DIRECTOR. I have never stated this on any resume I ever wrote. But then again, I wasn’t trying to convince parents of graduating high school students to attend my school over a community college or worse yet a state university.

I worked at this shop with what my father referred to as state of the cave equipment for eight years. I stayed as long as I could tolerating half ass quality due to antique equipment and fly from the seat of your pants management. The average human being can only tolerate 8 years of being micro-managed. So after seeing my boss walk in the door just one too many times looking way too happy for my taste. When you get to the point the only thing that goes through your head, is wanting to wipe that ridiculous happy look off their face… it’s time to quit. So I did. Just like that. Walked right passed him, handed him a resignation that I spent the last hour on his time writing on a scrap piece of paper and never looked back.

I went right down the street to his competition, got a job immediately and regretted every since. Talk about jumping out of the pot into the fire. I jumped past the fire, went straight to hell and was now working for the devil himself. I spent the next year not getting paid while listening to every excuse in the book and believing it. I finally got the shits of it, took a job as a pizza delivery dude (free stupid looking uniform included) and just decided not to ever go back. I prayed to god that neither him or my previous employer would every order delivery. If you think I wanted to slap a look off of someone for being happy, what the hell would I have wanted to do seeing that, “Oh Look at you and where you ended up” look.

I plead the fifth.