Monday, February 11, 2008

Pinkwater Portrayed

If you listen to National Public Radio, you’re probably familiar with the velvety voice of commentator Daniel Pinkwater. He’s also the author of many brilliant absurdist books for young people, including The Big Orange Splot and Fat Men from Space.

According to Wikipedia, “Pinkwater tends to write books about frequently obese social misfits who find themselves in bizarre situations, such as searching for a floating island populated by human-sized intelligent lizards.” I sketched him from life at an author event in the basement of a nearby library.

The enlargement shows his characteristic expression when he’s talking: wide eyes, raised eyebrows, and smiling mouth. He was constantly moving during his talk, charming the audience with his anecdotes, but he kept returning to a basic pose, with both hands resting on his cane.

Podcast interview: "Just One More Book," Link.

Tomorrow: Juste Milieu


Erik Bongers said...

For a pencil sketch, your shadows are really dark.
May I ask what you use for the dark accents?
Or is the contrast 'photoshoped'?

Unknown said...

The hands are wonderful, suggesting a sense of impending movement.

Dan Gurney said...

I love the note inscribed on the margin: "I have an unerring instinct to avoid prosperity." Gadzooks, I thought I was the only one!

Pinkwater's book, The Big Orange Splot, is among my very favorite children's books. We devote a center to it each year. I'd never seen Pinkwater before; TBOS's main character, Plumbean, resembles the author.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful drawing! Unfortunately, that is not me, but obviously some kind of elf, a good deal fatter and about 20 years older than I am. And you say you drew this from life, Mr. Gurney? It wasn't on Halloween by any chance? OK, there is a slight resemblance, but anyone who wishes may visit and compare the benign, not to say cute, Daniel Pinkwater with the gnome depicted here. DP

James Gurney said...

Dear DP, The drawing was made a little over eight years ago at your reading of "Bongo Larry" at the Red Hook Library on December 8, 1999, and I'm sure you recall signing it. If it looks older than you do now, then you must have the good fortune to be experiencing reverse ageing, and I congratulate you.

Erik, I usually use two or three pencils, ranging from an HB to a 3B or 4B. I did adjust levels in Photoshop, but the darks are pretty dark in the original, too.

Shane White said...

Hah...this is great. I've always love Daniel's voice...