Tag Archives: color

Something’s a little sketchy here.

20 Oct

Lately, it always seem to rain the most on days when I have to run a bunch of errands. I’ve had some umbrella-related technical difficulties lately, though, and I had to upgrade to a newer model–namely, one that works.

Old Umbrella, New Umbrella

I know, I know: I live a glamorous life.

While scouring the archives of Natasha Allegri’s blog, I found a link to Stumpy Pencil, which is a fantastic resource for Photoshop brushes. I’ve been fooling around with their pencil brushes, and it’s been really fun! I used it for just about everything in the above drawing.

I also tried a little life drawing. Here’s Paul during one of our late-night drawing sessions/Home Movies marathons:

PaulIt’s funny, but I find it way easier to draw on a tablet with a brush that mimics pencil texture like this. Something about the way it handles makes sketching feels much more natural, and I’m able to relax and focus on the actual drawing instead of the brush. I’m probably going to use it a lot in the future. If you have some spare time, I’d definitely recommend downloading the brush and giving it a try!

As far as the color scheme goes, I was inspired by Julie Delporte‘s work. She’s one of the CCS fellows this year, and I met her for the first time at ICAF earlier in the month. She does some fantastic color work–mostly in crayon, I think. I used a more muted palette in the above drawing, but it was a fun aesthetic to keep in mind. Maybe I’ll try something a little brighter for the next update…

It’s not quite “Ebony and Ivory,” but it’ll do.

17 Oct

For our last Drawn Out Storytelling show, Paul and I collaborated on illustrating a story told by Aaron Wolfe and Naomi Azar. Check it out!

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 1Their car breaks down outside Falls Creek, PA, a small town near Punxatawney.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 2Aaron and Naomi outside their motel.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 3A previous stop on their road trip: Katz’s Deli, a raw foodist’s delight.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 4Their destination: the Azar household.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 5Naomi’s mom gives them a very special gift.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 6Aaron and Naomi reminisce about their Falls Creek morning routine. First stop, the local diner.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 7Next, the courthouse.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 8Finally, the mechanic.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 9Aaron and Naomi have different ideas about post-coital meals.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 10Aaron engages in a high-stakes game of chess with Naomi’s dad.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 11A really, really high-stakes game of chess.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 12But in the end, it all works out okay.

The story centers on Naomi and Aaron’s inherent differences and their attempts at compromising. To emphasize this, Paul and I drew the pair in very different styles with very different palettes. Paul always draws Aaron in purple, without any outlines, and I always draw Naomi in orange with a black brush pen outline. The locations they visit–specifically, Katz’s Deli and Naomi’s parents’ house–also take on these characteristics. However, in places where they are able to reach a compromise, the styles and palettes blend a little bit. It was challenging to do (especially since I don’t often use a monochrome palette), but ultimately I’m very happy with the result.

If you missed hearing (and seeing) this story live, don’t worry! We’ll include it in a later episode of our podcast. In the meantime, if you’d like to hear more about this story, you can check out what Paul has to say about it on his blog. :)

Long time, no see!

16 Sep

Hi, guys! I missed you! The reason I’ve been MIA lately is that I’ve been hard at work (along with Paul and Nisse) on Drawn Out Storytelling.

…What’s that, you say? There’s a link there? Why, yes there is! We launched our brand-new website just a couple days ago! It’s already got a few videos up for your viewing pleasure. We’ll be adding one episode of our video podcast at the end of every month, each of which will feature two brand-new stories (paired with, of course, custom artwork and music) plus some commentary and bonus artwork from myself, Paul, and Nisse. The site also features artwork from previous shows, producer bios, and information about our upcoming shows. LIKE THIS ONE:

Drawn Out Storytelling: Experimenting with Exploration (version 1)This poster actually comes in two different color schemes. I wanted to experiment with using non-literal color (e.g., not always coloring the sky blue and the grass green), and I couldn’t decide which version I liked better, so I printed them both! Here’s the other:

Drawn Out Storytelling: Experimenting with Exploration (version 2)Yeah, I know the grass still turned out green in this one, but I tried, okay? :P I’d be interested in hearing which poster you guys like best. If you have a strong preference, feel free to let me know in the comments.

If you like what you see, you should definitely come to the show! Paul and I will be collaborating on Naomi Azar and Aaron Wolfe’s story, plus I’ll be doing some artwork for Mimsy’s excellent experimental segments of the evening. It’s gonna be a really great show, so I hope you guys can make it! If you can’t (or, heck, even if you can!), you can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. That’s almost as good. :)

Two very different species.

25 Aug

This week has been a delightful balancing act between long stints of job hunting/city exploring and marathoning Mad Men while we draw. I’m still pushing myself to experiment with more all-digital work–plus watching all this Mad Men and seeing all these hip Brooklyn girls has gotten me all fashion-inspired–so I dusted off my copy of Illustrator and gave it a whirl. Here’s the result:

Mad Men and Brooklyn Girls

This was actually a lot of fun! I’m proud of the end result–particularly the back foot of each girl. I think this was ultimately a lot more efficient than my all-Photoshop extravaganza last week. It took a lot of time, but I think I made bigger strides in what I’m able to do with Illustrator and without outlining or sketching the figures first. I’d like to do a couple more like this, I think. Maybe some fan art is in order?

From California to the New York islands!

20 Aug

Phew! The past couple weeks have been a little crazy. There’s been a lot of packing, mailing, frantic box-buying, saying farewell, and driving to do. But it’s all been worth it, because for the past week and a half, I’ve been waking up in the city that never sleeps.

That’s right…Paul and I moved to Brooklyn!

Things are still kind of hectic, of course. (When are they not?) We’ve both got a lot of unpacking and job-hunting to do, but overall it just feels great to finally have completed the move we’ve been talking about all summer. It’s also fun to start really settling into our place–I’m notoriously bad at unpacking my stuff, and somehow I never quite get around to hanging all of the posters and prints I’ve accumulated for decoration. The fact that we won’t necessarily be moving out soon and the fact that there are two of us doing the unpacking/decorating has helped a lot, though. Here’s a little comic I drew about that:

Our new home.This is the first all-digital comic I’ve done in a loooong time! I do a fair amount of digital coloring, but I usually at least start with a physical pencil sketch or something. I’ve been reading a lot of Cucumber Quest lately, though, and that inspired me to give it a shot. It took me way longer than I expected it to, but I like the results and want to keep practicing. I want to try drawing a lot of new things, so if you guys want to see anything in particular, please let me know in the comments!

Rain, rain, come and stay…

25 Jul

Finally, a little bit of relief from the heat! White River and the surrounding areas had lovely overcast weather all day today, plus a little bit of rain in the afternoon. It feels absolutely heavenly after last week’s fire and brimstone! It was a nice treat for the first day of my second comics camp at the VAULT Gallery. I have nine great students this week, and I can’t wait to see the characters and comics they’ll create!

Anyway, considering today’s weather, I figured it’d be appropriate to post this today:

Rainy Day

Overall, I like how this one turned out–especially her outfit. Drawing fashionable (or even semi-fashionable) clothes is really difficult for me, and I rarely try to add patterns to the stuff I do draw, so this was a tough image to finish. I feel like I succeeded on both counts there, but I kind of wish I’d used a different method to color the rain. It turned out a little too uneven for my tastes; if the streaks were just a little neater or if I’d colored it digitally I think I’d be much more satisfied with it. The weather forecast’s calling for rain most of this week, though, so I should have a lot of time to practice!

It’s not the heat…it’s the humidity. AND the heat.

22 Jul

Okay, when I mentioned the heat in my last update, clearly I did not understand what I was talking about. If I had, I would have known that it could get so much worse–which, over the course of these past few days, it totally has. Walking around WRJ has turned into an endurance test. How far can you walk without stopping to sit in the shade, have a cold drink, or go stand in the river? (I actually did the latter today with Jesse Mead, Sean Knickerbocker, Jon Fine, and some other lovely folks, and it was delightful.)

In keeping with the smoldering heat theme the weather’s had the past few days, here’s something I drew earlier this summer:

Suntan

I am the sort of person who always wears shorts to the beach, so I end up with some ridiculous tan lines. I’ve never had one quite this bad, but let’s just say that I didn’t have to extrapolate too far.

I’m really happy with how this one turned out! It’s one of my favorite things I’ve drawn this summer. I’m thinking about branching out into the wide, wonderful world of sticker production soon, so what do you guys think? Would you like to see this melanistically-challenged young lady on a sticker? Please let me know what you think in the comments, especially if there are other images you’d like me to put on stickers!

That’s a wrap, folks!

15 Jul

Phew! Today was the last day of my first week-long comics camp at the VAULT Gallery. I had a really great group of kids who were all hardworking, funny, and great artists! They made some really fantastic illustrations and comics this week–I was totally blown away! I had a lot of fun teaching them, and I hope they had fun, too.  Here’s a picture of all of us:

VAULT Gallery Camp Week 1

From left to right, that’s Sasha, Josh, Gabriel, me, Jacob, and Rileigh. They’re all holding the diplomas I designed especially for the camp. Here’s a closer look:

VAULT Gallery Camp Diploma

Overall, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! I’m pushing myself to get better at digital coloring (especially at establishing and working with a limited palette of colors). While I didn’t try anything too crazy with this, I still feel like it was a success.

If you’re in the Vermont area and the idea of comics camp sounds interesting to you (or someone you know), why not sign up for the next camp I’m teaching? It goes July 25-29 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, and it’s for students 14 and older. The VAULT Gallery’s website has details on how to register here. We still have lots of room, and I’d love to have you as part of the class!

Okay…I had a pretty long day today and have to get up early tomorrow morning, so I think I’m gonna call it a night. See you on Monday, faithful readers! :)

In which I abuse the caps-lock key for my own amusement.

11 Jul

Apparently I am a horrible liar, because man oh man did I not get back on a regular update schedule after the first DOS show! I’m sorry about that, guys. The last month has been crazy hectic, as I may have mentioned before, and things probably won’t calm down until the beginning of August. I’m teaching a camp at the VAULT Gallery in Springfield this week (and again in two weeks), visiting home for a whirlwind weekend, and getting ready to move again on top of all that! HOWEVER. I am going to keep posting on a regular basis during this time if it kills me. YOU HAVE MY WORD, THE INTERNET.

Anyhow, before I get back into regular post stuff, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of Drawn Out Storytelling! Whether you performed with us, donated money, attended a show (or two, or three, or four!), or just told people about the show: thank you so, so much! You are amazing, and we really couldn’t have done it without your support! :)

In other news, here’s something I did for Ben Towle‘s Animal Alphabet blog:

O is for Okapi
I’d been telling myself that I was gonna paint something for the alphabet for the past two months and kept not being able to do it because of other commitments. When I saw that O was coming up, though, I knew I had to jump on it so that I could draw my favorite animal: the okapi! They look like a combination of a giraffe, a zebra, and…I dunno, maybe a tapir? Am I the only one who sees that? Either way, they are pretty fantastic. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you draw one (or see one in person!).

Okay, guys! I’m gonna go put together my lesson plan for tomorrow, but I will see you on Wednesday! FOR REALS THIS TIME. :)

Scratch that–who’s got two thumbs and her master’s degree?

21 May

Spoiler alert: it’s THIS GUY again! :D

Sorry for the extreme delay in updates, you guys! I was completely wrapped up in my nervousness about meeting with the thesis committee, and after that I was busy celebrating the fact that I TOTALLY PASSED! In fact, every single member of the class of 2011 passed, making this a first in CCS history! I’m pretty proud of us.

We had a fantastic commencement ceremony featuring speeches by Lawrence Lee Derks III (whose blog is brand-spanking-new) and Francoise Mouly of RAW, Little Lit, and The New Yorker fame! You can watch a video of the ceremony, including a somewhat-impromptu dance number, here (courtesy of Bailey‘s dad). While you’re at it, you can also check out our amazing diploma drawn by–who else?–my fantastic advisor, Aaron Renier! I’m gonna do a post gushing about everything next week (and reflecting on my time at CCS), but for now you’ll have to make do with this picture from the graduation reception:

Me and the fam!

That’s me with my mom, dad, and grandma. My grandpa is, as always, the one behind the camera. I’m wearing the smile of someone whose life suddenly includes sleep, showers, and chocolate-covered pretzels! (My grandparents brought me boxes of Sarris chocolate-covered pretzels all the way from Pittsburgh…and if you’re from the ‘burgh, you know how great those are!) I had a fun time showing them all around WRJ and introducing them to all my friends.

Now that they’ve gone home, I get to kick back, relax, and–oh yeah–get started on work for Drawn Out Storytelling! Pat, Bailey, Paul, and I all headed to NYC earlier this week to meet with some of the storytellers and plan out our illustrations. We’ve got a fantastic lineup for these shows! Kevin Allison (of The State and Risk!) Jeff Simmermon (of The Moth and And I Am Not Lying), Peter Aguero (of The Moth and The BTK Band), and Ophira Eisenberg (also of The Moth and As Is) will all be there on varying nights, plus a bunch of other incredibly talented storytellers, artists, and musicians! Check out the full lineup on our Kickstarter here.

And, speaking of our Kickstarter, guess what? We are 93% funded! :D Thank you guys so, so much for your support–it means everything to us! We’re just $125 away from our goal, and we’re incredibly excited. If you have a spare dollar or two, please think about sending it our way so that we can make this show the best it can be!

I’m about to wrap it up for tonight, so here’s a little drawing I did during one of our many summer thunderstorms this week:

rainy run!As someone who’s lived in California for the last eight years, summer rain is a new and wonderful phenomenon to me. I love it! I assume that someday the idea of it being 80 degrees and pouring rain will become normal to me again, but right now I’m content to spend a lot of time staring out the window, fanning myself and marveling.

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