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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Only Her Hairdresser Knows For Sure!"

A sketch for a Red Robin restaurant storyboard...
Digging around for source material for another project, I ran across this and another storyboard frame, from a script I can barely remember. But, I must have had fun working on it because it was probably a concept that was fun to illustrate. Too often, I drew storyboards about perfect people doing perfect things with products that help make them even more perfect.

It is always fun to run across sketches and finished frames that somehow escape my filing system and end up in my "who knows where" files which are apparently scattered, who knows where! I believe I actually went to final on this board because I recall rendering her face full of a light blue skin cream mask. Now, the trick is to find the original file and put these two "escapees" back where they belong.

Miss, I think I'll have a plate of reality with a skoosh of ... 
By doing that, I'll find out just who the art director was and for what agency and exactly what client! It is the kind of investigative searches that turns up a laugh or two... if I can afford the time to solve the mystery!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Another Hurry Up And Wait Sketch!'

Taking a load off!
I don't know where this guy got the fold up lawn chair or if he has given up on standing in line or has been seen by whoever he is supposed to see and is now basking in the glow. He sat still with his iPhone and ciggie and I took advantage of the entire scene!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Table Cloth Art #3..."Look Through Any Window!"

Look Through Any Window...
Look Through Any Window... and tell me what'cha see. And then, draw it. 

This is another in a series of sketches I enjoy doing on restaurant paper table cloths. I just put the pen to paper and doodle away while I am waiting for service or, if the art is promising, continue on as I eat.

Naturally, I would never ignore a lovely lady or someone else sitting across from me sharing a knosh in order to accomplish this. It is best performed solo, preferably at lunch. The sketch is from a restaurant in downtown Covington called, "Mattina Bella", which serves up some pretty interesting Italian lunches besides great all day omelets and benedicts.

Today, I just had a hamburger and fries, ha!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Long As I Can See The Light"...

I rather like this sketch...
This is a twenty-two minute sketch I did in ball point pen while having breakfast at a restaurant on a very gray, wet Thursday morning. I'm pretty happy considering it is a sketch full of ellipses. I started at the top and tried to not look at the oval aspects of the glass top, but the deca edges messed me up. It has been my experience to assess the ellipse degree and then just draw it from muscle memory instead of trying to continually look at the hole as I draw it.

Once I get the circle drawn correctly, it is much easier to follow up on the rest of the ellipses. Because I didn't get the top piece perfectly correct, I spent much more of sketch attempting to justify all the other ellipses in perspective.

Still, I rather like this sketch for all the other aspects one might enjoy this piece!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Agent Orange, Sketching A Conversation"...

Agent Orange Checkups and Paper Work...
I'm not a Veteran. I've been lately visiting our local office to obtain benefits, as vague as they might be, for my aged mom, who was a Marine for a short period of time in World War II. When I am here in the waiting room, I keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open... whether I am sketching or not. The conversations about life in and outside of the military abounds here and you can't help but feel concern for some of those vets and what they have to do to continue receiving their benefits for serving us and the country.

The African American with the cane, though quite friendly, had little to say, but I could tell he was listening... for sure. The bald headed man with the starched button down shirt was conversing with everyone about his condition, which seemed to be brought on by Agent Orange.

The half dozen patients in the lobby, awaiting their turn, were all ears when this man went into the office to discuss his unique situation and get briefed his continuing benefits.

You could hear a pin drop!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"VA... It Seemed A Suitable Canvas..."

Back cover art...
This is a sketch of two men who were sitting next to me awaiting their turn to check about their benefits. The man with the walking cane, I sketched a few times, because he was so "sketch-o-genic." Of course, I never anticipated that only six vets ahead of me would take so long and I ran out of paper.

No, I didn't bring my sketchbook, so I scrounged around in my computer bag and decided the back cover of the VA Benefits Handbook was a suitable canvas.

This is what I came up with!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"I Was Having Fun Until..."

Leave four and you're an...
Here in the south, there is a restaurant that, over the years, has gotten real popular. It is called, "The Cracker Barrel." I don't think any exist in California, which is why I am prefacing this article. The restaurant is a corporate one, but with a down home country feel. It's gimmick, if that is what one would want to call it, is a combination country style porch with rocking chairs, and over sized checkers board atop wooden barrels, a general store with all kinds country knickknacks and patti-wack and a restaurant.

Most of their food is rather safe and nondescript. Country fried steak with biscuits and gravy is a local favorite, but their breakfasts are incredible and quite filling. While enjoying the early morning food fest, I'll buy a USAToday or bring the local rag to catch up on the latest news, but if I don't or I forget to bring a newspaper from home, there is a fun triangular board game to pass the time. It is a combination of checkers and tic tac toe.

The basic premise of the game is to find a way to jump one peg with one move until all but one of the pegs is left. Like checkers, you can double jump pegs to help you acquire as many of the pegs as possible before there is no longer any more pegs to legally jump or no more moves to allow you to make another jump.

If you leave only one peg, you''re considered a genius.

If you leave two, you're considered pretty good.

If you leave three, you're average and if you've left four or more pegs, you're an idiot!

It was fun. I got pretty good at being, at least, not an idiot. It was all good just like my pecan pancakes with two over easy eggs and a slab of sugar cured honey ham. That is, until one day, one of the waitresses told me what the secret to winning the game almost every time was. The game is based off of the game of baseball! 

Can you believe that? My favorite sport... wow! 

Apparently, your first move is one jump like a single hit and then the next move should be a double jump which means you've now picked up three pegs with just two moves. So, by the time you hit your home run, by natural progression, you should have almost all of the pegs picked up leaving only one, or two pegs left, which would make you a genius... or at the very least, batting three hundred and on your way to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

And now, armed with the secret to unbridled success, I've yet to come out on the winning side of being idiotic! Now, the little blue triangle with the multi-colored pegs is my nemesis. It haunts and taunts me the whole time I'm eating breakfast daring me to, once again, make a fool of myself. It's no use trying to ignore the baseball form of winning by playing the game the way I used to. Even if, somehow, I accidentally attain genius status, it is but a hollow victory.

I feel there's a lesson to be learned here though I'm not sure what it exactly is. Maybe, it is about the cost of winning at all costs. Maybe, it is about appreciating what one has instead of greedily longing for more. Maybe, I missed a signal like a bunt or a sac fly? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was perfectly happy playing the game"incorrectly" idly frittering away the moments while waiting for my meal and winning occasionally!

I was perfectly happy until that woman tempted me with breakfast and her insider information. Who was she and why did she care about my winning or losing? What was in it for her? A bigger tip?

Come to think of it, I've been to that Cracker Barrel many times for breakfast since then and I've yet to see her.

Maybe she was Beelzebub! A devil in disguise! An evil presence in waitress clothing! Then again, maybe, she was just a fan of baseball!

I am sure of one thing. I will never play this game the same way I used to!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III