Monday, September 15, 2014



"So what am I going to draw today?"

"What" he trailed off and thought for a minute. He went on to tell me random things about his friends, school, and how he's, "not a super fan of watermelon, because it's kind of weird."

"What's for the snack sack, Buddy?" I asked, interrupting his stream of consciousness.

"I don't know," he said, pausing again. With a spark, he suggested, "How about Yoshi?" The other day, he bought a small Yoshi toy at the store. He had seen it the weekend before, then decided to buy it with his own money this weekend. For him to exhibit that type of planning is unusual. The toy brought him a lot of joy. He played with it for that entire first day and has been working on his impression of the small dinosaur Nintendo character. "Yoshi!" he exclaimed, imitating his voice. He's pretty good an mimicry.

I'm not even sure who Yoshi is exactly except that he's part of the Mario set of games from Nintendo. I made quick work of this one, happy to use the thick tip end of the Sharpie like I used to do. I enjoy working on outlined drawings, especially when they are of cartoon characters.

When he saw it finished, he said, "Wow! Whoa! That's quick! That was quick."

I smiled.

"Do you want to do another one?"

"No, I don't. I don't need to do more than this one."

"But you can add to this one if you want to."

"Not today," I said. I've learned that I can get him off my back when I defer instead of decline. It worked. He didn't press anymore.

The next morning I asked him about the snack sack. "What happened to Yoshi? I see you didn't bring him back."

"Yeah...well...let's see...there's this kid. You know those rocks I brought home the other day? Well, he had more"

"You traded the snack sack for the rocks," I said, connecting the dots. I could tell he was worried how I'd react.

"Yeah. He really, really wanted Yoshi like really, really bad. And he said he'd give me all of the rocks if he could have it."


"Let me show you," he said, on his way to retrieve them.

Looks to me like Victor probably got a good deal. The rocks are the type of translucent blue decorative rocks you might put in a vase. They're real nice. So that's new. The snack sacks are being traded as currency. Interesting.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bugs Bunny with a Giant Gold Rock

Bugs Bunny with a Giant Gold Rock

Twice this week I found his snack sack in his backpack with the snack still in it. It was clear that he has not been eating his snack everyday. What's more, it seemed likely that he hasn't even been taking the snack sack out of his backpack. A lot of thoughts raced through my head. I tried to learn more.

I asked him if he was playing instead of eating. I asked him if he takes the snack sack out of his backpack at all during the day. I asked him if he shows the snack sacks to his friends. He gave me no direct answers to my questions. I pressed some more, but he remained vague and I don't understand exactly why.

"Do you still want me to draw?" I asked him, fearing he might say, "No." I thought about the time and effort I put into drawing these sacks. I thought about the past sacks that likely weren't even taken out of his backpack. I felt emboldened to add, "I'm going to stop drawing if you're not going to eat your snack."

He sheepishly apologized saying he hasn't been very hungry.

"Do you still want me to draw?" I asked again.

"Yes. I'll eat my snack from now on."

I felt relieved that he still wanted me to draw. After asking that second time, I was pretty nervous that he might say he didn't want me to draw anymore. "Okay, so what should I draw today?" I asked, moving on.

"You get to choose anything from the iPad."

"Oh, I get to choose?"


I grabbed the iPad and opened the Photos app to browse the stockpile of Looney Tunes screenshots he captured over the summer. In the cameral roll, there were a few recent pics he took at school. I found a funny selfie he took of himself yelling at the camera. I showed it to him and asked, "Should I draw this?"

He smiled and said, "No, don't do that. It's weird."

"It's funny," I teased.

He shot me a look, knowing I wasn't being serious.

I browsed for a bit and ultimately picked another snapshot from, "Barbary-Coast Bunny." Yesterday I drew Bugs Bunny in a pile of gold coins from the same cartoon. Here, in this scene for today, Bugs runs into this giant gold rock. Once he recognizes it for what it is, he does backflips and cartwheels across the grass all the while yelling, "I'm rich! I'm rich! I'm faaaabulously wealthy!" That clip is a memorable one from my childhood. I can remember repeating those words all the time when I was young.

I took my time with this one and like the way it came out. When he saw it, he said, "It's good. It's good. Except that it'd be better if it was colored in."

"I agree," I told him. He was right. A giant gold rock should look like a giant gold rock.

As we headed out the door, I couldn't help but wonder if he'd take this one out of his backpack today and what it might mean to our project if he doesn't.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bugs Bunny in a Pile of Gold Coins

Bugs Bunny in a Pile of Gold Coins

"What should I draw today?"

"What about I get something on the iPad and you put it on your phone...because I've got a good one."


As I was prepping his breakfast, I heard the trash truck down the street. Normally it comes much later in the morning. I rushed outside to get our bins out onto the street in time.

Victor walked out of the house after me with his iPad causally carried in one hand. "I've got one, Dadda," he shouted over the noise.

"Go back inside, Victor," I scolded. I was worried he might drop the iPad on the sidewalk.

When I got back in the house he showed me what he'd picked. "This one!" he yelled with excitement.

It was the same exact screenshot of Red Hot Ryder that I'd drawn a couple of weeks ago. "I already did that one."

"No, you didn't."

"Yes, I did. I'll show you." I took out my iPhone and found the image.

He looked at it carefully not wanting to admit that he'd completely forgot. "No, this one is different," he said confidently.

He showed me on his iPad that there were two frames he'd captured. One with Red Hot Ryder's belly sticking out a little bit more than the other. They were almost identical. "It's the same thing!"

"No, it's not."

"It's the same thing!"

He picked this one of Bugs Bunny in a pile of gold coins pretty quickly after he relented. In this scene from, "Barbary-Coast Bunny," Bugs uses this slot machine thinking it's a telephone. He asks his Mom to loan him a few bucks and hits the jackpot.

When I showed him the finished drawing, he said in a cute mousy voice, "Ooo, pretty good!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

We didn't draw a snack sack yesterday because he stayed home with a headache. He was feeling better today, although I wasn't feeling my best.

"I need a snack sack idea," I told him.

"How about an iiiiPhone?" he suggested, elongating the pronunciation.

The Apple Watch was announced yesterday and I'd shown him some of the pictures and video of it along with the newer iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. I did a search for, "iPhone drawing," but he, of course, did not pick a drawing. He picked a color glossy of an old first or second generation iPhone.

"That's an old one," I said.

"It looks exactly the same as yours."

"No it doesn't. Look at it more carefully."

He looked for another. He found a newer one, but it still wasn't the latest. "This looks exactly like yours."

"Let's do the iPhone 6 since it was just released."

"They made a new iPhone too?"

"Yeah, I showed it to you yesterday."

"No. You showed me the watch."

I'm not exactly sure why he didn't ask me to draw the Apple Watch. He was very enthusiastic about it yesterday telling me, "You have to buy one! That it is the coolest watch in the world! Can you play games on it?" When he saw the watch face with apps on it, he screamed, "Oh my gosh! You definitely have to buy one!"

"I showed you the new iPhone too," I reminded him. I went to and showed him again, but he didn't really like any of the promo shots. I did a new search for, "iPhone 6." He picked this image which looks to be a fake mock-up and not the real thing. I didn't want to go back and forth anymore so I just accepted it.

It wasn't a fun or easy subject to draw so I felt very uninspired today. I also wasn't in the best of moods. I've been feeling extra tired all week. I rushed through it and it shows. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.

At least he liked it when he saw it. He exclaimed, "Wow! You drew all of them!" referring to the app icons. He was pretty excited. I guess I have to remind myself sometimes that that's what it's all about.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Minecraft Steve with a Diamond Sword

Minecraft Steve with a Diamond Sword

Victor got up, prepared his own breakfast, ate it, and got ready for school all by himself again today. He was ready to go even before I made it downstairs.

"What'll it be today for the snack sack?" I asked him. He was relaxing on the couch playing Minecraft.

"Can you help me pick something, Dadda?" I love it when he calls me "Dadda."

"You don't have any ideas?"


I wondered if he was tired of the Looney Tunes snapshots or if he just didn't want to pause from playing Minecraft to flip through them.

"How about something Minecraft?" I suggested. At the moment, he was building a lighthouse and I couldn't help but think that Minecraft building blocks are like LEGOs for the digital age.

"That will take a long time for you to draw, Dadda."

"I mean a Minecraft character."

"Oh, okay."

"Which one?"

"Do a search for Minecraft characters."

"Okay, I will."

It didn't take him long to pick this one. Drawing it was much harder than I anticipated. If I had to do it all over again, I'd use a different strategy  one that would help me plot out the grid better. The proportions are all wrong here, but it looks okay as a finished product.

"What do you think of this guy?" I asked him, pushing the snack sack in front of his face.

He was too busy playing and hardly looked up. "Good. Good. It looks a little bit messed up."

"I told you it'd be hard." Looks like he's back to being critical. Oh, well, I try.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Daffy Duck Stomping on a Genie

Daffy Duck Stomping on a Genie

"What should we do for the snack sack today?"

"Let me see," he said. He browsed the screenshots on his iPad and picked another snapshot from the cartoon, "Ali Baba Bunny."

"I'll do it, but I wish you could tell that it's a genie." I searched through the other screenshots but there were none with the genie's face visible.

"Look. See. There's the lamp," he said in rebuttal.

"I know, but when I draw it, it won't be as obvious." He didn't seem to care. "I'll do it if you want," I told him. So for the 6th time, I drew a still from, "Ali Baba Bunny." Here, Daffy is upset by the appearance of the genie. He stuffs him back into the magic lamp, fearing the genie wants to steal his found treasure. It was pretty easy to draw and I always enjoy drawing Daffy. He's such a character.

"What do you think?" I asked Victor when I finished.

"Yeah, that's good, but the Daffy is messed up a little bit."

He was right. I'd messed up on the mouth just a little bit. He's always so observant!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Skeleton Popping Out of a Graveyard

Skeleton Popping Out of a Graveyard

Last night he asked me, "Dad, tomorrow can you do a skeleton popping out of a graveyard?"

"Yeah, sure! Why do you want that?"

"Because I'm making one for a friend."

"You mean you're going to draw that for somebody."

"No, you are."

"Oh, someone asked for it?"


"Someone in your class?"


"Someone from your after school program?"


This morning I ran a search for a skeleton popping out of a graveyard just like he asked. I knew which one I wanted to do and I knew which one he would pick. I don't usually tell him which one to pick, but I did today. He liked it but, of course, he scrolled and picked the other one.

"This one looks easy. It's just the skeleton head and a hand reaching out."

It was, in fact, very complex. It was mostly black and looked like a charcoal drawing. "That doesn't look easy at all."

"Okay," he said. Fortunately, he let me draw the one I picked.

We were up early and I didn't have to make lunch today. I had plenty of time and finished relatively quickly. I was amazingly done early, something that rarely happens. It was a nice feeling not to have to rush for a change.

After having shown off the Bugs Bunny at Pismo Beach snack sack from yesterday, he was excited to bring in old snack sacks to school today. When he woke up he told me he had taken out the ones he wanted to take. He had a mess of sacks on the floor. He grabbed a random armful of snack sacks and started to head out of his room.

"That's too many," I told him. "I thought you were picking out your favorites."

The next thing I knew he had put them all away. "I decided not to take any today."


"Because I have to go over 300 snack sacks to pick my favorites again."

I wanted to press him to pick a few but decided to just let him go play. We're rarely done with breakfast early, so I knew he'd relish the opportunity to just mess around at home before school. I did feel a bit sad and responsible for bursting his bubble, though. I sighed as he ran to his play room. I'm sure he'll bring a stash of snack sacks in soon, especially as the artwork draws more attention.

When I picked him up after school, I asked, "Did you give the snack sack to your friend?"


"What did he say?"

"He said, 'Oh my god! That is sick! Oh my god! Your dad is the best drawer ever!'"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bugs Bunny at Pismo Beach

Bugs Bunny at Pismo Beach

Today he picked another screenshot from, "Ali Baba Bunny." I'd guess he took about fifty snapshots from this one cartoon. I suppose he's taking us through the major scenes in order. This one is toward the end.

"Is that really what Pismo Beach looks like?" he asked me.

"I'm not sure. I've been there, but I don't remember."

I got to work and tried my best to pay attention to all the little details of this scene. I was a bit disappointed that Bugs's head is turned, but I'm too much of a stickler to alter the reference. That, and I'm still not very confident making any real changes to what I'm looking at.

When he saw it finished, he yelled, "Whoa! That's good!"

When I picked him up after school, he was excitedly showing off the snack sack. When he saw me, he came right up to me and waved the snack sack in front of my face. He said, "People were like, 'Whoa! Whaa-!?!'"

He waved the sack in front of one of the leaders of his after school program. "What's that? Did you draw that?" she asked.

"No, this guy did," he said, point at me with his thumb. "My Dad!" he added proudly.

"Oh! Wow, that's cool! Are you an artist?" she asked.

"Not really. It's just something we started back in Kindergarten," I explained. I pulled out my iPhone and showed her the album of all the snack sacks we've drawn. I gave her the run down of how we got started.

She was impressed and visibly excited. "That's really cool! He's gonna look back and think, I had the coolest Dad in the world."

That made me smile.

Victor continued to show it off to the other people in the room. He came back up to me. "My teacher said it's okay for you to come in!" he blurted out.

"Oh, you finally showed her your snack sack today?"


"And did you show it to the other kids in your class?"

"Yeah, a lot of people were so surprised. They were like, 'Whoa! Your Dad did this?'"

I guess I need to start thinking about what I want to do for the classroom drawing session this year. It will be fun sharing our project with the kids in his class at this new school.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Daffy Duck Hugging a Pearl

Daffy Duck Hugging a Pearl

"What are we gonna do today? It's got to be easy because I don't have a lot of time."

He browsed through his collection of Looney Tunes screenshots again. "Got it!" he shouted.

This one looked easy enough and I always enjoy drawing Daffy. It's yet another snapshot from the cartoon, "Ali Baba Bunny." Here, Daffy has been miniaturized by a genie after having desecrated the spirit of the magic lamp. He follows Bugs's rabbit hole to Pismo Beach and grabs hold of this pearl. This is the fourth still we've done from that cartoon. We've done Bugs and Daffy in a cave full of treasureDaffy popping out of Bug Bunny's head, and Daffy Duck Swimming in Treasure.

It didn't take me too long to finish. Victor looked over at it and asked, "What's he holding?"

"A pearl."

"We've never found a pearl."

"No, huh." We've never been anywhere near a real clam shell, I thought.

"Dad, would you want to be shrunk and find a pearl?"


"Why not?"

"I wouldn't want to be shrunk."

He considered the thought, but made no comment. I suspect he'd be just fine being shrunk, especially if he could hug a pearl and yell, "It's mine! It's mine! All mine!"

Friday, August 29, 2014

Daffy Duck Swimming in Treasure

Daffy Duck Swimming in Treasure

"What should we do today?"

"This one," he said, pointing to another Looney Tunes screenshot on his iPad.

I was excited to do it the moment I saw it. It's another snapshot from the cartoon, "Ali Baba Bunny." This is the third still from that same cartoon. We did Bugs and Daffy in a cave full of treasure a couple of days ago, then Daffy popping out of Bug Bunny's head yesterday.

I drew Daffy quickly, then I got to work on the coins. I had visions of filling the entire snack sack with coins. I knew it would take a long time, but I underestimated just how long. The minutes slipped by and progress was slow.

As soon as he'd finished breakfast, I asked, "Do you want to help me?" hoping he'd say, "Yes." I continued, "You could do that side and I can do this side."

"Sure," he said.

I reached for another Sharpie and handed it to him. "But don't press too hard," I reminded him. "See how I do it?" I drew a few coins to demonstrate. "I don't hardly press down at all."

He drew a few of his own coins. "It's hard not to press down," he admitted.

"No it's not. Just try," I said, trying to encourage him. I swished out several more coins. He did the same.

A minute hadn't passed before he said, "I'm tired." He said this after having drawn about 20 coins. I didn't expect much from him so this wasn't a surprise; but, I was hoping to get more production out of him. "You're too good," he said. The compliment was meant to deflect any attempt to convince him to continue. He put down the Sharpie and went to go mess around.

I worked fast and furiously to add as many coins as time would allow. I worked well past our normal leaving time, but ultimately had to call it quits. I may not have reached my goal to cover the entire sack, but there are a lot of coins here and it does look pretty cool.

He agreed. "It looks awesome!" he shouted when he saw it.