Notes from the Oakland Museum of California – Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes

I am convinced that Dan Clowes draws the best faces of any comic book artist alive today. There is a video installation in the Modern Cartoonist show that displays morphing portraits of Clowes characters. It was hypnotic! Each face was beautifully rendered with intricate hatching. Of all my sketching sessions at museums this past year, I struggled the most with this one to keep a steady hand. I ended up fixing up some of my drawings with a Tombow brush marker when I got back to the studio.

I think that the appeal of Clowes’s women is in their lips and big teeth. The artist has great sensibilities for prettiness.

The cover art for Eightball 17 and 18 blew me away! They are both exquisite gouache paintings with fine detail and bold colors.

Sketching from this show was a great experience. I spent two hours in the Clowes gallery alone and I still felt that I didn’t spend enough time with the work.

Oh and by the way, I own a Dan Clowes piece. Clowes sketched this picture of Enid at the Alternative Press Expo back in 2004. I saw him at APE 2011 but didn’t want to bother him again. I still kind of regret requesting Enid and not a more obscure character. You know, to prove that I was a true fan.

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