Tag Archives: black and white

I’m back, baby!

1 Oct

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:

Brian Wecht

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!

1001 uses for a trenchcoat!

29 Oct

Well, okay, only four. But still!

Trenchcoat CostumesI ended up going with “private eye”–at least for the Halloween party at work today. I lost my voice, though, which unfortunately made my investigations a little bit difficult. I’m hoping I’ll have better luck on Monday!

Press Start!

25 Oct

The excellent Mr. Mike O’Malley came to visit this weekend. (Have you checked out his album yet? If not, you should!) One thing led to another, and of course we ended up talking about what our stats would be if we were characters in a fighting game.

…well, what do you talk about when you’re on the subway?

Fighting Game LenaI think the watercolors work like a poison attack: they do a small amount of damage, but the effect lasts for a long time and can really add up. I don’t know that this is a very good caricature of myself, but I like how the paint blobs and the pose turned out. I’d like to say it’s the pose that I usually paint in, but I can only hold it for a few hours before my back starts to go out.

Fighting Game PaulPaul’s cougar impression is pretty fantastic to hear, but I’ll admit it’s hard to draw. I think I got his hair right, though.

Fighting Game MikeThis was my first attempt both at drawing Mike and at drawing a bouzouki. I think both of them came out pretty well, considering.

Overall, I like this set. If I have the time this week, I think I might add some color to them and see where they go. :)

24 must be my lucky number!

10 Oct

‘Cause today I (a) turned 24 and (b) got a bunch of great news! If you’ll allow me some birthday narcissism, let me tell you all about it!

First of all, the Minneapolis Indie Xpo (or MIX, as we affectionately call it) announced its programming schedule! I’m going to be part of Salon Saloon: The Comic Show, and I was totally psyched to find out that my co-panelists are Danno Klonowski, Corinne Mucha, and John Porcellino! MIX will take place on November 5-6 this year, and my panel is at 3:30 on the 5th. I’ll also be hanging out at the CCS table with Andrew James, Max Mose, and (of course) Paul Swartz. (Rumor has it that one Miss Beth Hetland might drop by, too!) Hope to see you there!

Secondly, I’ve been working my butt off lately doing a Very Special Project for a wonderful show called Story Collider. For those unfamiliar with it: shame on you! This podcast (and live show) is so good that you should be listening to it as we speak (er, write. Or read. In fact, nevermind). Story Collider features 10- to 15-minute stories about people’s experiences with science, both mad and otherwise. Erin Barker, Ben Lillie, and Brian Wecht (the show’s creators/sustainers) are awesome, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with Erin and Ben a few times in our Drawn Out Storytelling shows. They pay for Story Collider out of their own pockets, which is a sizable expense, so they’ve started a fundraiser to not only keep Story Collider going but to improve it as well. They have a lot of great incentives for donating money, aside from the standard warm fuzzy feeling of doing a nice thing. If you donate $50 or more, you’ll get an exclusive book featuring four comic adaptations of Story Collider’s greatest hits! It’s totally worth it, if I do say so myself. It has stories by David Dickerson, John Rennie, Erik Hofer, and Margot Leitman, with art by Joe Wierenga, Maki Naro, Paul Swartz, and myself, respectively. Here’s a sample of my piece:

The AIDS Cookie (adapted from Margot Leitman's story) Page 1

There are four more pages where that came from, but you can only find them in the exclusive Story Collider: Science in Comics book. Any donations you make are also tax-deductible, so why not give a little?

Speaking of comics work, I also have a piece in another anthology! I have a four-page story in Lies Grown-ups Told Me, edited by Nomi Kane, Caitlin McGurk, and Jen Vaughn. It’s called Earth Girls Are Easy, and here’s a sample page:

Earth Girls Are Easy Page 1If you’d like a copy, come see me at MIX or contact one of those fine ladies!

I can’t beat this heat!

20 Jul

I just got back from a very brief (but very fun!) visit home, and man oh man did I forget how muggy Vermont is! My folks live near the water, so even when it’s hot the air is nice and dry when I come to visit. On the East Coast, though, it was so humid when I got off the plane that I practically had to swim to my car! But enough of that–here’s something I drew on the flight back:

Faaahhshion~I always default to drawing short, hourglass-shaped girls whenever I’m doodling, so this time I tried to branch out and draw someone a little different. (…Well, she’s taller, at least!) I’m also trying to learn to draw clothing better. A lot of my characters dress in T-shirts and jeans, probably because that’s all I wore up until a year or two ago, and I want to be able to draw clothing that fits them better. I like how this one turned out, though–maybe I’ll color it later.

Speaking of liking things (and isn’t that a smooth segue?), here’s something I overheard at lunch today:

Overheard at the Polka Dot

So far, that’s the best retaliation I’ve heard to a child not liking something. I look forward to having the opportunity to use that line myself!

Welp, I think that’s about it from me for tonight. I’m gonna get back to the important things, like doing laundry and draping my body over the box fan in the living room.

Promise, consider yourself kept!

13 Jul

What’s this? An update appearing on the day for which it was originally scheduled? Be still, my heart~! ♥

I think that being on a regular, slightly-less-hectic-than-average schedule has been good for me, guys. Look at me, all wakin’ up during daylight hours and organizin’ my stuff and updatin’ on time! (I’ve also been rereading quite a bit of the Achewood archives, in case you couldn’t tell.) I’ve even been trying to exercise a little, although the results on that end have been…shall we say…uneven. I think this comic explains it best:

The Ab Slider!

I’ve gotten slightly better at it lately, I think, but the only tangible result so far is that my stomach hurts a little more than usual. I’m gonna try to keep at it, though. Should hilarity ensue, you folks’ll be the first to know!

Little doodles and big news!

27 Apr

Hi, guys! Thanks for all your feedback in regards to my crests. I’m still making my final decisions, so I’ll leave the polls open for a few more days in case you’re still interested in voting. I’m planning to screenprint them sometime in the next two days, so I’ll let you know what the results are then!

As you can probably tell, things are getting to be super hectic here. I haven’t had a chance to do much non-thesis work, but I do have a little doodle for you today:

Thesis Warrior

I’m not just busy with thesis stuff, though! I’ve also been working with Nisse Greenberg and Paul Swartz to organize a pretty awesome show called Drawn Out Storytelling. Check it out:

Drawn Out Storytelling

Drawn Out Storytelling is our entry in the Brick Theater‘s Comic Book Theater Festival. It’s a show that combines live, note-free storytelling–the kind you might hear on Risk! or The Moth podcasts–with comic art! Performers like Nisse (and several others that I can’t reveal just yet) will tell their stories on stage, accompanied by either live drawing or a prepared slideshow of illustrations by artists like Pat Barrett, Ben Horak, Bailey Sharp, Paul Swartz, and myself. We’ll also have live musical accompaniment by Mike O’Malley, Jonathan Anderson, and possibly more. We’ve got four shows scheduled:

Saturday, June 18th at 5:30pm

Friday, June 24th at 8:45pm

Sunday, June 26th at 8:00pm

Wednesday, June 29th at 8:00pm

Interested in coming to the show? You can buy tickets here. Want to help us make the show happen? Check out our Kickstarter! You can donate as little as $1, and we’re offering some great prizes in return for donations. (Can you say, ‘custom original art’? AWW YEAH.) Even if you can’t attend or donate, we’d love it if you’d help spread the word. I’m really excited to be a part of this show, and I hope it’ll be a big success!

We’ll eat coconuts and mangoes under the next waxing moon.

21 Apr

Just a short update for you guys tonight! I’ve been super busy working on my thesis project, but you know who else has been busy? My thesis advisor, Aaron Renier! He’s been providing me with lots of great feedback throughout the year, and he’s also been hard at work on the second volume of his comic The Unsinkable Walker Bean. Recently, the nominees for this year’s Eisner awards were announced, and guess what made the list? That’s right: The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Vol. 1!

I’m a big fan of the book (and not just because Aaron’s my advisor–I read it and loved it before we were paired together), so in my excitement over its nomination I drew some fanart.

The Unsinkable Walker BeanGenoa’s one of my favorite characters in the book, so of course she was the one I chose to draw. I hope it’s clear what she’s got in her hands! It was a real challenge to do the background in this image because of my attempts to mimic Aaron’s use of black and attention to detail (specifically, the wood grain and all the little objects on the shelves), but overall I’m proud of how it came out. Maybe if I have time later I’ll add some color. That would be a lot of fun, too. :)

First hula hoops, now hobos and hipsters!

23 Feb

What h-word will I draw inspiration from next? Comment if you have any suggestions. :P

On the (only slightly) more serious side, last week White River Junction hosted its very own Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session! For those of you that haven’t heard of it, Dr. Sketchy’s is this lovely Venn diagram of figure drawing, burlesque, and elaborate themed costumes. I was super excited to go for the first time, and it was pretty awesome. Here are a few sketches:

20-minute Dangeresque sketch

Dangeresque may have had the best stage name of everyone there. I guess that could also have been her real name; maybe her parents just knew that she’d be a superhero/villain, international spy, or eccentric burlesque model. I’m proud of how her hand and the perspective on her legs turned out, but I wish I’d done better with the bindle and suitcase.

10-minute Adora sketchWe had really great models at this session. They had funky costumes (as you can see) and gave us a nice mix of five-, ten-, and twenty-minute poses. Adora–pictured above–was my favorite, I think, but I think that may just have been because she had the same knee-high sneakers that I do.

…Man, that was just about the most hipster-y thing I could have qualified that statement with. Oof.

But speaking of hipsters, that hipster Little Mermaid meme that’s been going around lately made me think of this:

Hipster Nausicaa

This is something I drew a while ago when we were reading Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and were simultaneously making a lot of hipster jokes. Is it funny to anyone else but me? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW.

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!

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