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Happy Día de los Muertos!

1 Nov

I hope you all had a fun Halloween! I had a pretty good one, even though this was, sadly, the first year in a looooong time that I didn’t dress up. The Comic Boom! event was super awesome. The store itself is great–lots of selection, including a really fantastic 50-cent bin–and everyone was really friendly and fun to talk to. Corey, the owner, opened up part of the back room for us so that we could table during their normal business/Magic tournament time. Paul, Max, Canto, Bryan Stone, Denis St. John, Steve Bissette, and I were all there selling our work, and Ben came along for moral support. I finished the Día de los Muertos print I was talking about in the last post–it took me until 6:30 in the morning, but goldurnit, I finished it! I’ll post that (along with that visiting artist sketch I keep promising) on Wednesday.

On the subject of skeletons, though, I did some Día de los Muertos portraits of people on demand at the event as well. (Gee, can you tell I think it’s a really cool holiday?) They looked something like this:

Dia de los Muertos portrait

That’s skele-me in my dapper red hat, trying to convince people to spend a dollar on those portraits. I’m not sure if it came through in the scan, but the markings on the face were done in gold gel pen. Clearly, no expense was spared.

Steve and I drew each other as skeletons at the beginning of the event while things were slow, which was fun! You can see my portrait of him here, and his portrait of me just below:

Steve's Portrait

D’awww….lookit that face.

Welp, I’m about to pass out from lack of sleep and I’ve got to wake up at 5:30 in order to help teach a workshop tomorrow, so that’s it for me tonight. I’ll be back on Wednesday with lots more sketches and an exciting update on the calendar situation!

Halloween time is zombie time!

27 Oct

Seeing as how Halloween is in just a few days, I figured it was time for some theme-appropriate sketches. I’m a total zombie fan, even though I am a super huge wimp and hate hate hate blood and gore. I think it’s an interesting idea, and it was totally my go-to Halloween costume all through undergrad. I even drew 23 pages of a zombie comic for a final project in undergrad. Given all that, how could I resist the chance to draw some Halloween zombies?

at last, she can wear that monocle she always wantedThis is the as-of-yet-unnamed protagonist of the aforementioned zombie comic. I haven’t drawn her in ages, so this was fun to do! I love coming back to old characters and redrawing them; it’s a friendly, familiar feeling. She’s in a little worse shape here than she is in most other drawings of her–I figure this is her later in life when she’s worn out a little.

zombies can be nonchalant, tooI don’t know who this is, really, but I like how she came out. You don’t see a lot of chubby zombies in the grand scheme of things, which seems a shame. I had a lot of fun drawing her, especially her belly and ripped pants.

I’m trying something new with both these drawings. I sketched them in my normal way–with a drafting pencil during a lecture–but inked them with a G-nib. I haven’t inked with a nib since last year, when we were required to do it for a class assignment, and I hated it! I didn’t feel in control of my pen, I got ink all over myself, and I even made myself bleed a few times (not that that’s a normal experience with a nib; I just have a fantastic talent for accidentally injuring myself with my art tools). Some of my classmates swear by the G-nib, and Aaron also recommended I try it, so I picked one up earlier this week when I couldn’t find refills for my Pocket Brush. And here’s the thing: I kind of love it. I don’t want to, since pens and the Pocket Brush are way more convenient and travel-friendly, but I really like how much detail and line variation the G-nib allows. I’ll keep working with it, probably in conjunction with my other tools, but for a first experiment I feel like this went pretty well. I’m going to a Halloween event at Comic Boom! in Keene on Saturday and am thinking about doing some Halloween-themed pin-ups for that, so those’ll probably be my next experiment. I’ll post ’em on Friday if they work out!

In the meantime, though, I’d love to hear if/what you guys are dressing up as for Halloween. In keeping with the zombie theme of this post, I’m thinking of going as a zombie hipster, but man am I open to other suggestions!

Careful; the bird’s probably not housetrained.

6 Oct

Hoo boy. It’s been a busy couple of days! I still have lots of pages to work on, plus we’ve been working on updating our portfolios and writing cover letters and the like in our Professional Practices class, so I’ve had a lot on my plate. I haven’t been doing much sketching for that reason–all my drawings have been assignment-related–but here’s a drawing from my last sketchbook:

careful, the bird's probably not housetrained

Hmm, we seem to have interrupted her mid-musical number.

I went through a period last semester where all I wanted to draw was girls with really heavy-looking princess hair. This one was the most successful, I think. That’s probably in large part due to the colors (a good complementary pair goes a long way!), although I had fun with the white charcoal highlights, too. I’m also weirdly proud of her bird-holding hand, even though she has some strange stubby fingers on the other one. *shrugs*

Okay, back to work for me! I’m making okay progress on my pages, but, like I said before, I still have a lot left to do. There’ll be more miscellaneous art on Friday, and I should have a preview of what I’ve been working on (and what I hope to be selling at PIX) for you guys on Monday. See you then!

[Insert your own Baby 2.0 joke here.]

4 Oct

Just a warning: the next few updates are probably gonna be a little atypical, content-wise. My first big deadline for my thesis seminar is a week from today, and my schedule’s going to be nothing but art, food, and perhaps a little sleep until then. A few days after that, I get to hear a talk by Aaron Renier (my thesis advisor), and that night Canto, Max Mose, Paul Swartz, and I will be heading down to Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo (PIX for short)! Things will be back to normal(ish) in two weeks, and I’ll still be posting art in the meantime, but it’s gonna be crazy for a while so updates might only have one picture/be filled with sleep-mad gibberish. SUCH IS MY BURDEN, I SUPPOSE. :P

Anyway, here is a peek at one of the characters in the comic I have been slaving over lately:

and her robot babyHer name is Carla, and she’s holding her robot son. She looks slightly different here than she does in the comic–normally she wears her hair loose, but you can see the kid is going for it anyway, so it’s probably best that it’s pulled back. I shaded this with brush pen, which is why the grays are kind of streaky, but in general I really like the lighting in this image. I also like how Carla’s hands turned out. I know she should be supporting the baby’s head, but she’s in the middle of switching positions, and it’s made out of a resilient plastic and is probably easier for the baby to lift than a normal baby head.

Erm. Not that the baby does a lot of lifting of human heads, baby or otherwise. It’s pretty benign as far as robot overlords go.

More art (and maybe more of a sneak-peek into this story, depending on how far along I am) on Wednesday!

Life drawings, and why I’ll be posting them. (Some NSFW content.)

29 Sep

I’ve always been really interested in the human form. I love telling stories about people, and I love drawing them, too. It’s my firm opinion that, no matter how you draw, an understanding of how the body works and is put together can only help you in drawing and posing your own characters.  For that reason, figure drawing has always been one of my favorite classes, both in undergrad and here at CCS. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m even TAing for the life drawing class this year, and sometimes I get to draw along with them.  I’m proud of these drawings and want to post them, but they do involve nudity.

I thought long and hard about whether I should post these drawings, especially since up until now I’ve done my best to keep this blog generally work-safe and appropriate for all ages. This didn’t really require a whole lot of effort on my part–I blurred some swearing out of one of the visiting artist drawings, but that was it. I like the idea of anyone and everyone being comfortable looking at my work. The post I’m making today may change that. Not everyone wants to see drawings of naked people when they check this site, which is totally fine. I’m not going to censor my drawings, because I feel like that’s implying that these studies are somehow in bad taste or done with less than honorable intent, but I will label each post that features them with “some NSFW (not safe for work) content” so that you guys can skip over these entries if you’re not interested. I just fundamentally think that the human form is interesting, fun, and informative to draw, and hopefully I can convince my readers of that, too. :) So, on that note, here are some life drawings from Monday’s class.

just chillin'

A five-minute sketch that I inked over later with brush pen. I especially like how her stomach turned out.

time for a nap, maybe

A ten-minute drawing. Her foreshortened arm was really hard to get right–I’m still not sure I got it.

turned over

Another ten-minute drawing. I’m glad I got to add a little shading to this one–I think it’s a nice touch. Unfortunately, her other foot wouldn’t fit on my sketchbook page. I’ll have to plan better next time.

Yeesh…sorry for the Block Paragraph o’ Doom here, guys! I may be taking this entirely too seriously, but this entry does kind of mark a shift in content and I feel that’s worth mentioning. *shrugs* Tune in on Friday for another visiting artist drawing and a higher art-to-text ratio. :)

That’s a lollipop stick, not a cigarette.

27 Sep

Yeesh, I keep updating super late these days. IT IS LIKE I AM ONLY UP AT NIGHT OR SOMETHING, I DUNNO.

Anyway, here’s a quick character design sketch for an upcoming comic:

lickin' a lollipop

I don’t know what her name is yet (surprise, surprise). I’ve been thinking “Caroline” but that may be just because (a) I want a kind of everyday-sounding name (no offense to the Carolines out there) and (b) I have been dying to watch Coraline lately. *shrugs* We’ll see how things go. No matter what, she’s going in a comic for our thesis seminar class that has to be based in part on a dream of ours from the past few weeks. I’ve been working on the cover, so hopefully I’ll post a sneak preview of that later this week.

See you guys on Wednesday!

All my best friends are thesauruses.

22 Sep

As I started writing this blog post, I mentioned to the other people in the studio that I’ve got to start getting more sleep just so that I can start my blog entries with something other than, “Oh my god, I’m tired.” Immediately everyone around me chimed in:

CJ Joughin: How about, “Holy cow, I am tired.”

Beth Hetland: “Oh dear, I’m sleepy!”

Lawrence Derks: “My goodness, I really should get some sleep!”


The point is, I definitely went to bed at 8 am today. Because I feel it’s thematically appropriate, here’s a sunrise-related drawing from my last sketchbook.

and shine a light, 'cause I need your sweet sunshine

I mentioned before that I’m kind of obsessed with the Faber-Castell brush pens. They have a foam tip, so they do eventually shred and lose their point, but they come in a lot of fantastic colors that are really fun to play with! In this drawing, I was experimenting with using multiple markers to shade a figure instead of using multiple layers of the same marker. I think it worked pretty well for a sketch, but I don’t think I’d ever use this method for anything professional. The Faber-Castells are a little too streaky for anything more than sketching in my opinion, and I like the simplicity of just having two shades of each color in a drawing.

I have some character sketches and business card designs coming up later this week, so check back on Friday for another update. See you then!

What is that bright light in the sky? Oh, right, it’s the sun.

20 Sep

Ohhh my god you guys I am so tired. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I have been totally nocturnal for the past few days but then had to get up at 9 this morning to go TA for figure drawing? TRULY IT IS A MYSTERY.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been working on during all those late nights, though. I did a short comic based on Aesop’s fable The Wind and the Sun last year, and I think my first mini this year will be a follow up to that. It’ll be based on another fable called How Sun, Moon, and Wind Went Out to Dinner. Here’s Moon:

Oh, man, lookit those nails.

I’m working on updating her design, so this is probably not at all what she’ll look like. I’ve chosen to make each deity in the fable a different nationality–in the original, Wind was Norse and Sun was Indian. I’m leaning towards a more Korean-influenced design for Moon as of right now, so her costume will probably change entirely. I still think this illustration is kinda neat, though.

Here’s Star:

She's not judging, just observing.

Star is the mother of Moon, Sun, and Wind, so I wanted her to look a little more matriarchal. I was going for a kind of Aboriginal feel to her, but since I don’t know if that’s entirely apparent I may tweak her design a little more before the final version. I’m pretty proud of the starfield behind her–I’ve made them digitally, but I’ve never painted them by hand before now. I think it came out pretty well.

Ooookay. I’ve gotta go finish coloring a pin-up tribute to Art Frahm, and then I think I’m gonna pass out face down on the media room couch and see if I can get someone to drag me home to my apartment. See y’all on Wednesday!

Hooray for thick eyebrows!

13 Sep

Busy day today! It was my first day as TA for the first-year figure drawing class, which is hectic but super fun. It’s awesome to get a chance to see the new class work and get to know them a little better. They’re all talented, and they’ve been very tolerant of my tendency to talk their ears off about chamois cloths, brush pens, and the anterior superior iliac spines. I AM A HUGE ANATOMY NERD YOU GUYS. WHO KNEW. I didn’t have a lot of time to draw today, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a little sketching in during next week’s class.

And hey, speaking of sketches, I have some actual content for you guys! I started doodling during a lecture in our thesis seminar class today and came up with this girl:

check out those sweet threads

I have no idea what her name is or what in the world she’s wearing; I just thought that this image James Sturm showed us of old baseball uniforms looked cool and ran with the memory of that. I think she’s a keeper, though, especially since she looks so different from the rest of my female characters. She’ll probably show up in a comic before too long. Here she is again:

what the heck is that, anyway?

I am so disproportionally proud of that hand, you guys. :D Also, I am all about drawing wrinkled noses lately. Go figure.

That’s about all I’ve got for today. Now it’s back to designing business cards and listening to the Paprika soundtrack on repeat. See you Wednesday!

In which an introduction is made

12 Sep

Oh, hey, guys!

Welcome to my new blog. I plan to update this about three times a week with sketches, previews of upcoming projects, napkin doodles, and whatever else I’m working on. Since I’m just starting my second (and final) year at the Center for Cartoon Studies, you can bet that’ll be quite a bit!

If you’re looking for my portfolio site, you can still find it here. I’ll post the pieces that are most polished and representative of my work there, but all the extra backstage stuff will go on this blog.

Real updates should start tomorrow. I know it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make a post without any art, but I leave the first page of every one of my sketchbooks blank and I figure this blog shouldn’t be any different. :)

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