Tag Archives: watercolor

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. :)

Someone sent in the clowns…and corsets!

2 Apr

I went to Dr. Sketchy’s on Wednesday night, and it was a blast! The theme was “Clowns and Corsets”–you may recall that I drew a poster advertising it. I’ll admit it a bit odd at first, as I’ve never been a huge patron of the clowning arts, but we had two really great models. Plus, I love drawin’ me some corsets. I brought my watercolors with me this time, and that made the night both more challenging and more fun. I’ve come to really love working in color, especially with paint. Having this travel watercolor kit has taken a lot of the stress of painting away, since I don’t have to worry about carrying all my supplies separately and setting up/cleaning up takes so little time. I’m way more free now to paint casually and experiment more with the medium, which is a pretty big deal for someone like me who tends to agonize over every little aspect of a drawing.

Anyway, enough waxing poetic about my paint set! Time for some clowns!

Annabelle Buttons

Miss Annabelle Buttons, pictured above, is actually a professional clown! She was very animated and cheery and lots of fun to draw. We were a small and slightly quiet crowd that night, but she had us cracking up consistently. Well played, Ms. Buttons. Well played.

Funbags McGee

Funbags McGee was our other model for the night. She had this amazing tulle skirt on that was so much fun to paint! I’m afraid I haven’t fully done it justice in this drawing, although I am pretty proud of how it came out overall. She was actually holding a bunch of forceps in this pose that I didn’t draw due to lack of time…and, okay, mild squeamishness. I can’t help it–I get nervous when I see open scissors in such close proximity to someone’s rack! Perhaps I’m growing conservative in my old age. :P

I’ve got one more sketch from this session that I’ll try to post after I’ve put some finishing touches on it. In the meantime, I totally recommend finding out if there’s a Dr. Sketchy’s in your area. If there, you should definitely go…and if not, why not start one? :)

Oh, hello again, childhood!

22 Mar

Hey, did you guys hear that Kodansha is going to re-release the Sailor Moon manga? They’ll also be debuting Codename wa Sailor V, the prequel to the original series. I am crazy excited! I have almost all of the old Mixx “Pocket Manga” volumes, and I’d given up hope of ever reading the volumes I was missing. Now’s my chance!

I’m especially excited and nostalgic for this because Sailor Moon was my introduction to manga, waaaayyy back in the day when I was in middle school. I mentioned in an earlier post that I read a bunch of comics when I was young, but I kind of fell out of the habit in late elementary school (excluding the newspaper comics and the Ramayana comic books we’d gotten from my Indian relatives). My sister and I became obsessed with the Sailor Moon TV series, though, and when my mom gave me the first manga volume it just about blew my mind. I’d never seen anything like it before, and I fell instantly in love. (This was slightly before the big manga boom in the US, so there wasn’t a ton of anime or manga available yet. Series like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z had just made their way onto Cartoon Network, and the first volumes of series like Fushigi Yûgi and Maison Ikkoku were sneaking their way into the two-shelf manga sections of Borders. We also had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get our manga fix. True story.)

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Sailor Moon was what pulled me back into constantly reading comics. It also kept me engaged in drawing, since it provided a fresh burst of inspiration (albeit for some horrifically bad fanart, fanfiction, and “original” comics that completely ripped off Ms. Takeuchi’s ideas…but I digress. You have to start somewhere, after all!). It helped me discover fandom, which helped me discover other artists and comics that I liked, which helped me get where I am today. So, when I heard Kodansha’s news, I sat right down and painted a little picture of Mizuno Ami (a.k.a. Sailor Mercury, for the unfamiliar). She was always my favorite. :)

Mizuno AmiIt was fun to try translating Ami’s character design into my own style. Naoko Takeuchi has such a distinctive way of drawing that influenced my own work for a long time, so I had to really think hard about what Ami’s defining characteristics are and how they’d look in my own slightly more realistic style. I also tried to do it from memory, considering that I used to draw Takeuchi’s characters constantly when I was younger! I feel pretty good about how it turned out for the most part. Her uniform looks a little poofy, and I don’t think that it’s clear that the pen she’s holding is supposed to be her transformation wand. Ah, well…I’ll get it next time.

While I had my paints out, I went ahead and did this as well:

Paul's dreams

Paul‘s been feeling kind of sick lately, so I doodled this to cheer him up a little. He also never draws himself unless forced to, which seems strange to someone as narcissistic as I am, so every once in a while I do it for him. :P The idea of people riding on enormous, flightless birds is one that’s very close to his heart, so there was no question as to what to put in his thought bubble. (Okay, there was a little bit of questioning, but I figured that I couldn’t reproduce Soviet propaganda well enough or draw an accurate enough T-rex to properly represent his thought processes, so I went with the ostrich racing.)

I hope that those of you who are in school are having a good spring break! As for those of you that aren’t, well…I hope you are having a good ol’ regular week. See you on Wednesday!

What do stylin’ girls these days wear, anyway?

16 Mar

Gah! Sorry I missed Monday’s update, guys! Our design proposals for our thesis projects were due on Tuesday, and I was busy all day and up all night making a tiny model of a complicated packaging design and writing the proposal itself. The models and proposals go to a committee of alumni to decide which four students will receive the April Fog Memorial Scholarship (which consists of half the proceeds of the two pinball machines Alec and Jon keep in our media room–again, how cool is comics school?) to help them with the cost of their packaging, so I was really focused on making it great. It’ll be a close race for sure, though, since all of us submitted good designs!

Anyway, here’s a little painting I did this week:

Mana in SF

I wasn’t happy with how some of my watercolors were turning out lately, since the colors on the test page I painted for Eat Up, Cat turned out all muddy.  Aaron Renier–who veteran readers may recognize as my thesis advisor, or, I dunno, the guy behind the fantastic graphic novels Spiral Bound and The Unsinkable Walker Bean–suggested that I take a look at Hellen Jo’s paintings for inspiration on doing shading with purer colors. I’d read Hellen’s mini Jin and Jam last year and finally got my own copy of it this summer, but I’d never seen her paintings. And yeah, Aaron was totally right–they’re great! No one draws stylin’ girls not giving a fuck like she does.

This painting’s for my sister, Mana, on account of the fact that it ended up looking a lot like her. I added the Bay Area skyline since she’s up at UC Santa Cruz right now and loves going to SF for concerts and the like. She’s havin’ a tough week, full of those college delights like finals and d-d-d-drama, so I hope it helps her feel a little better. :)

Who doesn’t love a good hula-hooping?

21 Feb

I do, that’s for sure. I remember fondly the last time I took my hula hoop out of the garage and gave it a spin…

…okay, no, I don’t. But I do remember the last time I drew a hula hoop! Check it out:

Contemporary Vintage Sleaze sketch

This is a preliminary sketch for Vintage Sleaze, a nifty blog that specializes in 1950s “forgotten, anonymous, or neglected sexy artists” of comics, pin-ups, books, and other souvenirs designed to titillate. The blog’s co-author, Jim Linderman,  found Paul’s site a week or so ago and asked him if he’d like to contribute an illustration inspired by a vintage sleaze gag. Upon finding out that Paul attends a school full of artists, he opened up submissions to the rest of us CCSers. You guys know how much I love pin-up girls and 1950s ephemera, so it’s probably no surprise that I jumped at the chance. I kicked around a lot of ideas, including one involving an Indian woman in a sheer sari that I might revisit later, but ultimately I feel like this sketch came out the best. I ended up doing a full-color watercolor of it for the final version.

Want to see how my finished illustration turned out? Check it out here on the Vintage Sleaze site! Additional entries in the series will be posted once a week and will include work by Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, fellow CCS students Paul Swartz, Bailey Sharp, Max Mose, and Denis St. John, and hopefully many more!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

i've got my love to keep me warm

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, I hope you guys had a great day surrounded by the people and things that you love best. I know I did!

See you Wednesday with some more arts! :)

Some sad news.

10 Feb

Sorry this post is late, guys. I found out earlier this week that Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall series, died on the 5th of a heart attack. I loved those books when I was a kid, and it’s sad to see him go. I had a regular update planned, but instead I wanted to paint this:

R.I.P., Brian Jacques.

This is Tansy and Arven from The Pearls of Lutra, which was always my favorite Redwall book. I love anything with a no-nonsense heroine and lots of riddles, so it was totally right up my alley. I reread it this summer and still found it fun–it felt good to get sucked back into a familiar world, one I hadn’t visited in a very long time but still remembered loving.

R.I.P., Brian Jacques. We’ll miss you.

A brief interlude (and a blast from the past)!

28 Jan

Ohhh man, you guys, it has been so warm here lately! We are talking 30-degree weather, folks. SPRING IS CLEARLY ON THE WAY.

The warmer temperatures have led me to have an excess of energy. Usually in winter I want to just lay in my bed like a lizard under a heat lamp, but Vermont’s blatant disregard for things like the freezing temperature of the human body has made me appreciate above-freezing conditions so much that I went and painted something instead. Here it is:

You've gotta fight for love.

I was feeling pretty frustrated with my thesis yesterday, so I decided to sit down and paint something just for the sake of painting it. It ended up being a little pin-up of one of the first recurring characters I ever thought up. Her name is Arin, and last year when I entered CCS I initially assumed her story (tentatively entitled Goddess of Victory) was the one I’d be drawing come thesis time. That didn’t really pan out, but I have a soft spot for her nonetheless. I’ve been poking and prodding at her story for years now, trying to figure out which parts of it are worth telling, but she’s always essential to it.

Painting-wise, I’m pretty proud of how this came out. I feel like I’m really starting to get comfortable with my watercolors, and I like how the brush outline looks. I’m not sure I’d ink a comic in the same fashion, but it’s definitely something to think about–the 2B-pencil-over-watercolors look isn’t doing much for me these days. I might do some paintings like this (not necessarily of Arin, mind you, but of similar size and media) for MoCCA. Is that something you guys’d be interested in? I’m curious as to what your opinions are.

See you on Monday with more visiting artist sketches!

And now for something completely different.

8 Dec

Okay, I’m changing it up a little! I know I promised you guys more visiting artist sketches, but I have some new drawings I’m really excited to share. Colleen Frakes set up an awesome opportunity for us with Northern Stage, the local theater company; a bunch of us cartoonists got to attend the final dress rehearsal for their production of The Wizard of Oz and do some life drawing during the show! It was difficult, but oh man was it a lot of fun.

Dorothy, Glinda, and Professor Marvel.

A super-simplified Dorothy and Glinda, plus the beginnings of Professor Marvel and his magnificent moustache. Everyone in the show was fantastic, but I particularly enjoyed Jane Brockman’s Glinda–she played her with an amazing Midwestern accent!

A crow and a tree.

Sarah Cubbage’s costume design for this show totally blew me away. These were some of the extras: the crows from the Scarecrow’s introductory scene wore these great suits with sequined vests, shoulder pads, and hats (I used silver Sharpie in an attempt to capture it, but I’m not sure it scanned well), and the trees from the Tin Man’s first scene were all dolled up in these Lady Gaga-esque veiled tree hats and stiff-looking dresses.

Poppies, a doorman, and a flying monkey.

More costume design sketches: a poppy, the Emerald City doorman, and a flying monkey. The colors on the monkey are a little bit too vivid–the actual costume has more mottled colors and looks more like fur.

A Jitterbug, an Emerald Citizen, and Toto.

A Jitterbug,  a random Emerald Citizen, and a super-fast sketch of Toto. I’m not sure if you can tell from this sketch, but the eyes on the Jitterbug hat have little lights inside that glowed as the wearer danced. SO COOL ♥

So yeah: basically, I am just totally enamored with this show to an extent that I totally wasn’t expecting. I can’t wait to see it on the stage! Northern Stage and Colleen totally hooked us up, and I am super grateful. If you’re in the WRJ/Lebanon/Hanover area, you should definitely come see it! You can find a list of performance dates and times here.

It’s amazing what three hours’ sleep will do.

29 Nov

In this case, it gets me through 2 1/2 hours of TAing/standing in for the model, 3 hours of class, and dinner, with enough time to doze and fight with Photoshop about posting an update. Fun facts!

In any case, here’s what I’ve been losing sleep over for the past week or so:

The Game of Thesis-Land!

This is my poster for my thesis presentation later this week. Instead of one big long story, I’m doing several smaller projects that differ greatly from each other. I found it challenging at first to come up with a concept that allowed me to talk about the differences between these works without making it seem like, “oh, here’s a bunch of crap I threw together that I might work on,” but I think the game board theme does it well. At least, I hope it does–it’s the result of hours of brainstorming with lots of different people, plus a whole lot of inking and painting! Overall, I’m pretty proud of it–I especially like the drawing for Perfectly Fitting, although that may just be because that character is super fun to draw. You guys’ll be seeing more of him soon. I also like how the drawing of the sleeping me at the end of the path turned out…although maybe I’m just jealous that she seems to be sleeping so soundly.

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