I did a lot of running around today and wore myself out (hey, those holiday gifts aren’t gonna wrap themselves!), so I don’t have a whole lot to talk about tonight. In lieu of my normal sparkling conversation, please enjoy this image of a kid lighting a menorah:
I draw girls way more often than I draw boys, so this was a nice change. He came out looking like a chubbier Irving Fleischman (of Paul’s The Magnificent Mockingbird), but that’s okay. Irving could stand to eat a little more, anyway. I tried to capture the intense look some kids get when they really concentrate on something, but he ended up looking a bit on the pouty side. His hand is awfully close to those flames, though, so I guess that’s fair.
I had been planning to get all fancy with the lighting effects in this one, but I kind of like the simplicity of the color scheme as it is. Maybe I’ll give it a shot and post another version in the next few days. Would you guys be interested in seeing that? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section. :)
Paul and I went to the City Congregation’s Chanukah party this afternoon, which was pretty exciting. Not only did I get to meet some fun new people, but we also got sent home with about two pounds of leftover latkes (in multiple flavors–be still, my heart!). I have some very strong feelings about latkes that can only be truly expressed through interpretive dance, but I tried to capture the essence in the drawing below:
I’m having fun with this Chanukah palette! I think I’m going to stick with it for the rest of the holiday posts. I just love me some thematic colors!
Just a quick post today, due to a little storm called Hurricane Sandy. While lots of people we know are experiencing crazy weather, Paul and I are pretty lucky in that we still have electricity and water (inside our pipes, not inside our house). All the storm has really meant for us today is that we don’t have to go to work and that occasionally the internet stops working for a few minutes.
Also, this happened:
In all seriousness, though, I hope y’all are holding up okay. My thoughts are with you guys.
Halloween is next week, you guys! I am super excited about costumes, candy, cryptozoological creatures, and (less alliteratively) books/movies that are kind-of-scary-but-not-really-because-I’m-a-huge-wimp! So, what better way to celebrate than with some ghostly fanart?
Anya’s Ghost is Vera Brosgol’s first graphic novel, and it is basically one of my favorite comics ever. (You may remember it from the post 2 years ago where I Photoshopped it into my hands.) It’s the story of Anya Borzakovskaya, a disaffected high schooler who falls down a hole one day and finds the ghost of a girl named Emily Reilly. Emily wants to be Anya’s friend; Anya, though she’s not exactly knee-deep in friends, isn’t sure she wants to be Emily’s. She begins to change her mind as Emily helps her navigate her school and social life…but Emily’s idea of friendship might be more than Anya bargained for. I won’t go into specifics, so you’ll just have to read it yourself! Vera Brosgol’s art is expressive and fluid–the series of panels where Emily tries to ‘grow out’ her ghostly hair is one of my favorite scenes–and her writing is natural, relatable, and (best of all) funny. You should definitely pick up a copy of your own from your local library or bookstore!
So, without further ado, here’s Anya and Emily:
…I have only just now noticed that Anya’s holding her cigarette backwards. That’s what I get for not having more friends who smoke! I feel like I’m failing some sort of hipster test, here.
Anyway, I’ve been really enjoying these monochromatic drawings lately. As I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes have trouble limiting my palette, so working in just one color has been a great exercise for me. Coloring this one was pretty simple, since this is pretty much the way the whole book looks (although I think the book’s tones are a little grayer), but I still really like the result. It was also fun to play around with the colors of my lineart. I don’t often do that–usually I’m black-lineart-only–but lately I’ve been trying it out here and there. There are times when black lineart just seems too blunt, especially if you’re working with lots of light tones or textures. When done right, colored lineart forms a cohesive link between the color palette of a page or panel and the lineart itself. I’ve gotten the best results in monochromatic drawings like the one above, but I’d like to try it out with more complex color palettes as well.
Last week (or the week before) I asked you guys what kind of art you’d like to see on the blog. The response was clear: I need to draw more cats. Fancy cats, even. Perhaps located in a specific borough of New York City. (You have very discerning taste, dear readers.)
So, without further ado: dancing cats, decked out in formal wear, in Brooklyn.
Street sign aside, you can tell they’re in Brooklyn because they’re doing all this ironically.
This was a bit of a challenge–how exactly do cats dance, anyway? I’ve never seen the movie, so I found myself at a loss. Nevertheless, I had fun drawing the little cummerbund and furry high-fives. I’m also pleased with the color scheme. I haven’t done anything monochromatic in a while, and it turned out to be a fun and easy way to color this drawing. Things fell into place fairly neatly, which was a nice surprise; sometimes I end up having to really fuss with a drawing in order to make sure I don’t have too many overlapping segments of the same color, but the colors in this came together pretty intuitively.
I had a lot of fun working on this, so let’s keep it going! Please feel free to leave a comment telling me something you’d like to see a drawing of. :)
And that means that I’m totally 25 now! I can’t wait to start reaping the benefits–namely, renting cars and…uhh…I dunno, telling people about times before the internet, I guess!
Anyway, I know it’s a Writing Wednesday, but I’ve got birthday celebrations to attend to. (Singin’ in the Rain isn’t going to watch itself, you know!) So, today I’m outsourcing the bulk of the writing to you guys. Please leave a comment letting me know what you’d like to see me draw for next Monday’s update! I’ve gotten a lot of sweet birthday wishes today, so I want to pay some of that forward and do something nice for you guys, my loyal readers. ;)
In the meantime, here’s a small doodle to hold you guys over until Friday. I only recently switched to Timeline over on Facebook, and I wanted to come up with something fun to do with the “cover photo” function. Here’s what I ended up with:
Fans of Hergé will recognize the background from the endpapers of certain editions of the Tintin comics and the profile picture from my attempt at drawing myself in Hergé’s style. It was pretty challenging, especially because of the difficulty of finding reference pictures of young women in his work. I looked at a lot of crowd scenes to figure out how to translate my features into a character who would fit into Tintin’s world. Never in my life have I regretted not looking like Bianca Castafiore so much.
All right, that’s it for me tonight! I’ll see you guys on Friday with some fanart. :)
…and that means (among other things) that it’s time to break out the sweaters! I’ve been thinking a lot about fashion lately, and not only in the narcissistic sense. I’ve mentioned in other blog posts that my drawings, like my wardrobe, tend to default to T-shirts and jeans if I’m not careful, so I’ve been trying to branch out on the page and in my closet. So, this is what I wore (and drew!) today:
See, I told you guys we’d be seeing more Illustrator work! I had a lot of fun with this one. It’s simplistic, but I tend to like that when it comes to vector art. I also like how the orange-and-blue color scheme came out–it’s a color combination I always love, and it seems appropriately autumnal. I am actually knitting a scarf that color, too…and, since I’m exhausted from work today, I think I’m gonna get back to it. See you on Wednesday with some writing!
(Shh…this totally counts as a Friday update because it’s only 9 pm on the West Coast, right?)
It’s a week full of innovation (or at least alliteration)! This is the blog’s very first Fanart Friday. I like to draw, and I like to talk about things I like, so this is what you get.
Hmm. That sounded like more of a threat than I intended. Here, have something cute to make up for it!
Here is a not-very-surprising fact: I totally love Kirby, you guys. He’s adorable, he’s super fun to draw, and Kirby and the Crystal Shards was one of my favorite games as a kid. (My other favorites will be making an appearance soon, don’t you worry.) I’ve also started playing Kirby Super Star at Paul’s behest, and the companion system makes me really really happy. It doesn’t matter what boss I’m fighting, though; I always pick Waddle Dee. I like to make him go on adventures with Kirby. ♥
This picture was also an excuse to mess around with Illustrator again. I recently upgraded to CS6, and it feels a little like I moved into a new apartment. All my stuff is there, it’s just arranged a little differently. I just felt like making sure I still knew where it all was. I was also lucky enough to have CJ Joughin and Micah on hand (er, computer) to help me out when I needed reminding. This was a nice reminder that I really like Illustrator, and I like the look of vector art. You’ll probably be seeing more of it in the near future.
Well, hey there, internet! Long time, no see! I know, I know–you thought I forgot about you. But don’t worry: I’m here to stay this time.
So, what exactly have I been up to during the past year? The short answer is: lots of stuff! The long answer is going to take me a couple of posts to cover, but I’ll at least start right now. One thing that’s been keeping me busy has been freelance work for the wonderful Story Collider podcast. (You may remember them from my earlier post about their comic anthology.) They recently launched their online magazine, and I’ve done several illustrations for them. Here’s an example:
This illustration accompanies Brian Wecht’s story about making the difficult choice between a musical graduate program and the woman he loves…and the surprising love he discovers after making his choice. You can read it (and see my illustration in its natural habitat) here.
I’ve been experimenting with limited palettes in my color work lately. I definitely tend towards an “every-color-in-the-box” approach when left to my own devices, but I’m really drawn to (no pun intended!) images with some color constraints. This illustration is a pretty simple example–everything is orange and brown, but that’s close enough to a realistic attempt at color that I don’t necessarily think it reads as having a limited palette. I pushed myself a little harder for my most recent Story Collider image. I can’t show you guys quite yet, since it hasn’t gone up on the main site, but I’ll post it as soon as I can. :)
And, speaking of posts, I promise this won’t be my last one for another year! I’m going back to the trusty ol’ Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule, but with a slight twist. To see what I mean, check back on Wednesday!
Today is Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights! It celebrates the return of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu and hero of the epic poem Ramayana, from his fourteen-year exile. (If you want to find out more about the Ramayana, I’d recommend reading Sanjay Patel‘s graphic novel adaptation or watching Nina Paley’s film, Sita Sings the Blues.) Celebrating Diwali generally involves setting off lots of fireworks and eating lots of sweets, so naturally it’s one of my favorite holidays. Here’s a little picture to celebrate:
The Hindi on the image is pronounced “Deepavali ki shubhkamnaiyen” (roughly), which is a traditional Diwali greeting. I haven’t written in Hindi in a long time, so my handwriting could probably use some work…whoops! I’ll have to practice some more.
Now let’s go eat some gulab jamen!