Tag Archives: digital

Light the candle; everything’s all right.

11 Dec

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:

Careful with the shamash, please!

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. :)

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Getcher Chanukah blog posts here!

10 Dec

A few weeks back, Paul was teaching a weekend class about early Jewish immigrants to the United States, focusing on their experiences as peddlers in the mid-19th century. As part of his lesson, he designed an activity in which his students pretended to be peddlers in order to better understand the challenges that many new immigrants faced. Each student playing a peddler was assigned a particular product to sell–engine oil, medicine, rat poison, or makeup, for example–and had to convince their customers to purchase it without using a common language. As an added layer of difficulty, the students’ products all looked the same, so they had to communicate that difference as well (to prevent their customers conflating rat poison with medicine, or some other tragedy). Paul was pretty busy prepping the other facets of the lesson that weekend, so I threw together a little illustration of the peddlers’ products to help him out.

Long story short: Paul designed a cool history lesson, and I designed a (hopefully) cool bottle:

kidschool_bottles

This was a fun image to make because it’s not something I’d normally work on–my sketches, as you can probably tell, tend to be of human figures. I don’t usually draw inanimate objects unless I’m purposely challenging myself to draw something that’s in front of me. It was also a way for me to test my Illustrator skills. I had to do it pretty quickly (since I had other projects I had to work on), and I tried to do it without a reference. I had the most fun making the cork–there’s just something profoundly satisfying about using the compound shape tools to punch holes out of other shapes. It’s not the flashiest drawing, but it got the job done! All in all, I feel pretty good about it.

(Also, in case you were wondering, the Yiddish on the label says “Swartz’s”.)

Latke love!

9 Dec

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:

Tell us how you really feel.

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!

Don’t forget to vote!

3 Nov

Hey, guess what I did this week?

…No, go ahead and guess. I’ll wait.

If you guessed “played video games”, “made comics”, or “drank too much coffee”, you are correct! However, if you guessed “voted”, you are also correct!

OMG BALLOT

I would’ve taken a picture with the actual ballot, not just the stub, but I was in a big hurry to get it to the post office.

Anyway, I really hope y’all are planning to exercise your right to vote this Tuesday! Here are a few reasons why:

1) It’s the responsible thing to do.

2) No matter what party you’re voting for, there are a lot of important issues on the table this year. You’re not only picking a president, you’re choosing local and state politicians and laws, too. (Especially if you’re from California–what I got in the mail was more like a short choose-your-own-adventure story than a ballot!)

3) Lots of businesses will give you free things on Election Day if you show them your “I Voted” sticker. I don’t know if a voting stub like mine will do the trick as well, but I’m sure as hell gonna try.

And if all that isn’t enough incentive, here’s something to help remind you:

Please don't forget to vote!

If you have a ballot like the letter E up there, remember not to follow my example and fill your ovals completely. And if you have a ballot like the letter O, you may want to (at least temporarily) move out of Florida. This election is important, after all.

(By the way, I used paper texture #89 from S3PTIC-STOCK‘s lovely set of paper textures for the background.)

It’s raining, it’s pouring…

30 Oct

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:

Is there a "no wind" option? No....?

In all seriousness, though, I hope y’all are holding up okay. My thoughts are with you guys.

Happy Diwali!

27 Oct

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:

Happy Diwali!

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!

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…

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!

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