Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Giant Scorpion


"What should we do today?"

"A giant scorpion."

We had a little chat about the time I was bit by a scorpion. It happened in the shower just a few years ago. As the water sprayed down, a desert scorpion hung upside down, unbeknownst to me, under the shower drain cap. I'm sure it was unhappy with the unexpected rainstorm and stung my toe when I got too close to it. My toe felt like it had been stabbed. A strong burning sensation immediately followed. I suspected that my toe had caught a rough edge of the drain cap, however, there was no blood. The pain didn't go away, so I bent down to take a closer look at the drain. Shivers ran up and down my spine when I saw the scorpion in an aggressive stance, still hanging upside down. I jumped out of the shower and limped to my iPhone. I did a quick search to learn how serious a scorpion bite is. Luckily, the pain subsided after I applied an ice pack, as per the instructions I found. I don't recommend allowing yourself to be stung by a scorpion. It was not a pleasant experience.

I got started right away and forgot to make his lunch first. When I realized I still had to do that, it was almost time to head out. I rushed to finish.

"Ooo! Scorpion! Awesome!"

I smiled. My hard work was rewarded with his reaction.

"Did you take a picture?"



It's nice to be reminded of how much he likes these sacks and how much he wants us to preserve the memories.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap

"What should we do today?"

He sat thinking for a while. A long while.


"I'm thinking."

"How about something from the Amazon?" I suggested.


"Oh, I mean the rainforest."

"Oh, I thought you meant the store or something."

"No, I meant the Amazon rainforest...since you've been talking about it," I clarified. His class has been studying the rainforests.

He thought about that for a moment. "Okay, a Venus flytrap!"

He searched and searched making comments about many of the options. He picked a weird scorpion, spider, combo thing that I didn't want to do. He asked if I could do it over the weekend. I prodded him to pick something for today. He finally picked this one of a regular Venus flytrap plant. This plant was more elaborate than most of the others, but I finished in relatively short order.

"You should have drawn a fly being eaten," he said when I was finished. He looked at it some more and added, "Or my name being eaten."

"Yeah, I should have," I agreed. "That would have been cool!"

Monday, April 28, 2014

How about an old school catapult...


"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Godzilla Minecraft," he said with a wicked grin.

"Haven't we already done that?" I asked. At this point it's hard for me to keep track of what we have and haven't done. I do know we've already done at least one Godzilla.

"No," he answered confidently.

I ran a search for "Godzilla Minecraft" and took a look at the options. "Hmm," I said, "it won't look like anything." I handed him my iPhone so he could see for himself.

"This one looks awesome!"

"Yeah, but it won't look like that if I try to draw it. Can you think of something else?"

He didn't argue. He thought for a moment, then suggested, "How about an old school catapult?"

It's always amazing to me how quickly he can shift gears to something completely unexpected. "Okay," I said and ran a new search.

"Do you want easy or hard?" he asked. "This one is cool."

I took a look at it. "Really, that's what you want? It doesn't look much like a catapult."

"Yes it does," he said, pointing out the various features. "It's so awesome."

I was surprised that he picked this particular drawing out of all the other options. "Okay," I said and got to work. This one took longer than expected. I had to pay a great deal of attention to the details to get it to look right.

"I like it Dadda. It looks cool!" he said staring at it. He looked up at me and asked, "Why'd it take you so long to do the snack sack? It looked pretty easy."

"I took my time, I guess." I said. In fact, it wasn't easy at all.

Friday, April 25, 2014



"What should we do today?"

"I don't know," he said without giving it any thought.

"What do you want?" I pressed him.

He hesitated and then he exclaimed, "Alligator!"

"Alligator or crocodile?" I asked, not even sure myself of the difference.

"Crocodile!" he shouted right away, although I doubt he remembers the difference either.

I ran a search and he found one he liked immediately. "The face looks like a dragon," he remarked.

I became impatient today and rushed through the details, especially the scales. Once I had finished, I realized that I didn't like the look of the crocodile simply floating on it's own on the sack. I decided to add just a touch of scenery to place him somewhere, something I rarely do.

"Ooo, I like it! It looks furious!" he said excitedly.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Fortune Teller

A Fortune Teller

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Angry Birds," he said, trying to convince me yet again. He knew I didn't want to draw more Angry Birds.

I shot him a look. I suggested, "How about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?" He had a new straw cup with the turtles on it.

He didn't want that. I know because he ignored me. "I'm having a really hard time this morning," he said. He thought for a while. "I know...a fortune teller," he said with confidence. He was actually playing with a paper fortune teller he got from Chuck E. Cheese's last weekend. It was his first experience with this classic paper toy and he was enamored by it.

"That?" I asked.

"Not this fortune teller. Like a real fortune teller."

I ran a search on my iPhone. This time I picked it myself and showed it to him. He liked it. This one was fun to draw, but I got impatient toward the end when coloring in his cloak. I had to do it ever so carefully to create the effect and I just wanted to be done!

When he saw it, he exclaimed, "Ooo, cool!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Monster Piranha

A Monster Piranha

"What should we do today?"

"Can you do another piranha, but one that looks like a real one?"

"Um..." I uttered. I guess yesterday's Piranha wasn't a real piranha. I know what he meant though.

"You know, yesterday I saw one that looked like a real piranha. Can you do that?" he asked.

"I guess," I said, handing him my iPhone. He smiled widely as he scanned the images. 

He showed me a "real" piranha but didn't pick it. "Never mind. Instead, can you do this monster looking thing? I'll call it a monster piranha. It's so awesome!" He looked at me with excited anticipation hoping I'd say yes.

I said, "Yes."

"Yay, it's soooo awesome!!!" he squealed.

As I was working he came over with some encouragement. "It's looking awesome," he said. "I'm so going to show this to my teacher. I'm so going to show this to everybody."

It's sweet when he seems so proud.

When he saw the finished drawing, he shouted, "Oh-My-Gosh!" He smiled, shook all over, and hugged me. "Thank you for drawing it for me Daddy!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014



"What'll it be today?"

"Just the Angry Birds."

"No. I'm not going to do something I've already done," I told him. I've already done Angry Birds, Angry Birds Go!, Star Wars Angry Birds, and most recently, Red in a Race Car. I like Angry Birds, but there isn't much variety in drawing them.

He gave me no reaction. "Rainbow loom bracelet," he said out of the blue.

"That won't look like anything," I told him. I showed him options. 

"You're right. That doesn't really look like anything."

"So, what'll it be then?"

"I don't  know."

"Be creative. Think of something new."

"Give me a category."

I listed lots of them. 

He ignored me and said, "The Wishing Star."

"That won't look like anything either."

"I've seen one," he said brightly.

I showed him options and again he agreed with me that none were suitable. I challenged him once more to think of something new.

He thought for a good solid minute and then said, "Piranha."

I nodded my head. Finally! Something new. I ran a search and he picked quickly.

"I knew you'd pick that one."

"How did you know?"

"There's just something about what you like that I could just tell."

He was genuinely surprised that I had guessed it. I enjoyed drawing with the fat tip of the Sharpie today. I used the thin tip only for some fine tuning.

"That looks exactly like it. How come every time you do it, it looks exactly like it?"

"Because I focus."

"And you draw what you see, not what you think you see," he said remembering the mantra I recite in my head as I draw. It was my 8th grade art teacher who taught me that.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Red in a Race Car

Red in a Race Car from Angry Birds Go!

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"You pick."

"Me? You said you had a bunch of Easter ideas. What are they?"

"But it's past Easter."

"What are they?"

He sat thinking, expressionless and silent.

"You forgot?"

"Yeah. And then I had too much fun this weekend." We had spent some time poolside with friends.

I ran a general search for Easter related drawings but he didn't even want to browse.

"I kind of want you to do another Angry Birds Go!."

"But I just did that not too long ago."

"But you've done three dragons."

"Yeah, buy they're all different. The Angry Birds all look the same every time."

"Well, you can just do a different one today. Then another one tomorrow." He's been drawing the Angry Birds Go! characters himself lately. On several occasions he's brought home from school drawing pages full of colorful renditions of each bird. I suppose he wants me to draw them all too. I'd prefer it if he'd broaden his thinking a bit to come up with new options.

After some more back and forth, I relented. I ran a search and picked this one myself. I held it up for him to see. He agreed it was a good option. He kept to himself as I drew.

"What do you think of the sack?" I asked him when I was finished.

"I like it."

That's all I got from him. I think he was as frustrated with me as I was with him.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Oggy and the Cockroaches

Oggy and the Cockroaches

Yesterday, he went on a school field trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park so I didn't draw a snack sack. I thought he might choose something Easter-y, but he didn't.

"What should we do today?" I asked him.

He shouted without hesitation, "Oggy!" On Wednesday, I drew the The Cockroaches.

I made a few mistakes but you can't really tell. Today was a relatively quiet morning. I drew and he watched TV.

When he saw the finished sack, he said, "Gooood. That's good!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Cockroaches

The Cockroaches from Oggy and the Cockroaches

"How about something Easter-y since it's finally close to Easter? You said you had lots of Easter ideas."

"How about today you do Oggy and tomorrow you do The Cockroaches. Then we can do Easter stuff." He's been watching the cartoon, "Oggy and the Cockroaches," this week on YouTube.

"But Sunday is Easter," I protested. "So if we do that, then there's only Friday before Easter."

He ignored my comments and I could see he wasn't going to change his mind. I ran a search and he quickly picked an image of the three cockroaches, Marky, Joey, and Dee Dee.

"Thanks for picking quickly today," I said. Apparently, I'm doing The Cockroaches today. Perhaps Oggy will be tomorrow.

I started from left to right. I drew the first cockroach too skinny and his mouth too small. I sighed.

"Are they a little hard?"

"Sort of."

He came over to take a closer look and said cautiously, "Can I tell you something?"

I nodded.

"You made a little mistake."

"I know."

"It's the tongue."

"Yeah. The whole mouth is too small...and...I made him too skinny."

"Yeah. It's okay."

I worked diligently trying not to make any more mistakes.

"Yay!" he shouted when he saw it finished. He laughed a big laugh and hugged me tightly before we headed out the door.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yoyo Dodo

Yoyo Dodo

"What should we do today?"

"Looney Tunes character!"

"Okay. Which one?"

"Daffy. No. The Dodo. The Wacky Dodo. The last of the Dodos."

I wasn't sure which character he was talking about so I looked it up. "His name is Yoyo Dodo," I told him.

"Yeah! Yoyo Dodo."

"Why'd you pick him today?"

"I don't know. Yoyo Dodo is one of the weirdest characters I've seen."

I did a search, but there weren't too many options to choose from. He wasn't thrilled about picking this particular reference, but I pressed him to just pick something after he browsed for several minutes.

I like a thick stroke for cartoon characters so I tried my hand at the thick tip of the Sharpie today. As always, it was tricky to control the ink flow. Plus, the tip wasn't a full point anymore, making the whole process more difficult than it would have been with the thin tip.

He came over to take a look. "That actually looks like the picture of the Dodo, but it doesn't look like the Dodo because that's not how the Dodo acts." He pantomimed a series of gestures to relay the difference. Yoyo Dodo is a zany character and I suppose this view of him walking away didn't do his zaniness justice. After watching the cartoon in which Yoyo Dodo appears, "Porky in Wackyland," I see what he means. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just a regular troll...


Victor was off for spring break last week. After having picked a Hydra from the book, "How to Draw Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts," just before the break, he was inspired to make his own book of artwork. He titled it, "Victor's Mythical Creatures book." He copied a Phoenix from the book and drew several of his own creatures including: the "Deth ray," "Mad giy," "Mad Monster truck," and the "The Epik comper." He asked me to draw a large flame on the back cover including a flaming "The End." He worked on the drawings over a couple of days. He also made a second book of drawings, taking an idea from an OmNom (the character from the game Cut the Rope) Stories short. In it, a young boy observes OmNom eating and playing with various foods. The boy makes a book with drawings of the foods, checking off which were OmNom's favorites. Victor basically did the same thing. His drawings of different foods were very cute and imaginative. For each food item, he was able to relay full stories from his imaginary encounters with OmNom. There may have been no snack sacks last week, but it was a week full of drawing!

This morning, I asked as I always do, "What's for the snack sack today?"


"From the book?"

"No, just a regular troll."

I ran a search but he didn't like the options.

"These are not good trolls," he said annoyed by the lack of quality trolls. Then he found what he was looking for. "Oh my gosh! Can you do this one? This is the best looking troll I've ever seen!"

"Sure," I said, surprised that he like this one so much.

After he was done with his breakfast and brushing his teeth, he came over next to me to watch me finish the drawing. "That looks exactly like it," he said encouragingly. "You're so good at drawing. I'm so happy to have you...and Mama."

"And we're so happy to have you!" I said genuinely.

"It looks kind of freaky," he said. He looked closely at the details. "Well, the club doesn't look as freaky. Did you kind of mess up?"

"No," I said a little defensively. I showed him the reference for proof.

He looked at the reference, then back at the drawing several times before noticing that I missed a little triangle hanging off the club. "You missed that little thing," he said, pointing it out.


"That little part makes it look more freaky."

At this point we were running late and needed to head out the door, so I didn't make any changes. Leave it to him not just to catch every little defect, but also to note how it impacts the overall mood of the drawing. While I don't like the criticism, I do like the critique.

Friday, April 4, 2014



Yesterday, he brought home the book, "How to Draw Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts," from the school library. I flipped through the book last night. When I hit page 20 I let out an involuntary gasp. My wife asked me what was wrong. "I know what he's going to pick tomorrow," I said, horrified.

Sure enough, he did pick it. In fact, he went right to it this morning without any prompting from me. "There's this super cool dragon thing with 9 heads!" he exclaimed, reaching for the book. He flipped quickly through it. "It's this one!" he shouted, pointing excitedly at it.

I read out loud from the book: "Hydra. The Hydra in Greek mythology was said to guard the entrance to the underworld beneath the waters of Lake Lerna. Heracles killed this hideous creature as one if his twelve labors."

I had plenty of time today so I just went for it. I took my time, never sure if it would all come together. I was fearful of running out of time, but I managed it pretty well, working faster as I got further along. It took me about 35 minutes to complete.

"Oh. My. Gosh." is what he said when he saw it.

OMG, indeed!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dragon Head

Dragon Head

"What should we do today?"

"Remember what I said yesterday?"

"Um...I forgot."

"An ice castle."

"Oh, you mean the ice hotel we were talking about?"

"Yeah, ice hotel."

He's been enamored lately by the idea of an ice hotel and we spent some time yesterday looking through pictures of the famous JukkasjÀrvi Ice Hotel in Sweden. I looked it up again. He searched for a suitable option, but there just wasn't anything that would work.

"Remember, it won't really look like ice on the sack," I reminded him.

"Can you help me pick something else?" he asked. Before I could help, he looked up at me and suggested, "How about my ceramic dragon?"

"Dragons and dinosaurs are your favorite," I told him. Last week he had painted a dragon ceramic figurine at a local paint-your-own-pottery studio. The now polished dragon painted in red, black, green, yellow, and purple-brown was staring at us on the kitchen table.

He smiled.

"Do you really want me to draw the ceramic dragon?" 

"No. A dragon."

I ran a new search. He picked this interesting dragon head relatively quickly for a change. I got started and ran into trouble right away. He heard me mumbling to myself.

"Is it hard, Daddy?"

"The details are hard to get right," I admitted.

He came over to see. "I see one part where it's not like the picture. The eye kind of looks like the scales, not the eye."

I nodded in agreement. I did my best to cover up my mistakes. Luckily, it still looks pretty cool.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How about a battleship...


"What should we do today?"

"Does Mobzilla look exactly like Godzilla?" he asked.

"I don't know. Let me look it up," I said casually. I actually had no idea what he was talking about, but I didn't want to seem out of touch. "No, he doesn't look the same to me." I handed him the iPhone.

After browsing for a while, he suggested, "How about the Ender Dragon?"

"What's that?" I asked. I don't know much about Minecraft.

"You'll see."

Before he showed me, however, he switched gears and suggested, "How about a battleship?"

We had done a funky artistic rendition of a battleship back in September, but I figured why not try another. I think he picked this scene because of all the action in it. It all took a lot longer than I expected it to. Plus, I found it difficult to manage the proportions and perspective. This is one where I was happy to put the Sharpie down and call it finished.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Today, I didn't ask him what he wanted. Instead, I directly ran a search for "Minecraft Godzilla." He had watched a video of a Godzilla mod for Minecraft last night and asked me if I would draw it.

I handed him my iPhone and, "Oooo," was his response.

While he was browsing, I read him the options for school lunch.

"Thpptt," was his reply.


"Yup. You know the sound."


"So what is Godzilla anyway?" he asked picking a regular Godzilla, not a Minecraft one.

"I don't know exactly. It was a movie made a long time ago where this monster destroys Japan."

"What!? A monster destroys Japan!?"


"Are you serious!?"

"Yup." I guess he had no idea.

He came by to watch me work. "Did you make a mistake?"

"Not really. Not yet."

"Good, because I want Godzilla to be perfect. Godzilla is so cool right!?"

And the obsession begins, I thought.