May 31, 2012

Hark, A Vagrant Madonna!

And now for something less completely different... or: back to webcomics!

The next on my reader list is Hark, a Vagrant! by Kate Beaton.

Honestly, this is one of my favorite comics out there right now and I'll tell you why... If some of these had been shown in my history classes I would be less bored by history. I have found that putting difficult subjects in comic form makes me want to learn more about that subject; make sense? Not really. Ok, I will try again: History is totes boring to me. Always has been. Except for Art History, that is... and what little "actual history" gets put into art history for context is all I care about. This pains my husband, who is a history graduate and teacher. Part of what makes it so likeable, is that the famous (or not so famous) people in these comics are all humanized. Meaning I can relate to them in some way, which makes their plight or circumstance something that maybe I might just give two cents about.

My favorites: the covers, the peasants, and sexy Tudors, or anything with wolverine, the pony or her younger self too. Even when I have no idea about the subject matter, I still end up laughing and maybe even learning something, after I go look it up. But SHHHHHHH, comics are silly and rot your brain right?

My doodle for this comic has been daunting. I knew I couldn't pass by without doing one, but like I said, I don't like history enough to try and learn something new just for a doodle. I thought about drawing my husband in her style, but I can't cause she's too good at capturing that essence of a person in so few lines. Then I thought about asking him what his favorite historical figure was, but then again I might have to go look something up, so no.

Today I thought, OK, if I did a comic like this, it would be about art history right? So pick something from that... duh. I wanted to do a comic about Dali in his limo full of cauliflower since that story has always stuck with me, but it is funny by itself. So I started looking through all the images I have kept from my art history classes... Oh lord, the Spiral Jetty... that is only funny to a certain few of us I think. Ahah! That will do.

This painting, so strange with the proportions... With a neck like that, it's no wonder Mr. Giraffe liked her. And I am pretty sure that babies do not look like that.

May 30, 2012

Holiday Weekends and Stuff

Yes, Yes I know. I was supposed to update Monday and Yesterday too. But I haven't. No excuses... Ok.... a few excuses. Memorial day weekend was exhausting; between helping people move, visiting relatives, having people over to the house, working on the lawn, fixing the pool, taking the dog to the vet and getting my hair dyed, I had almost no time to think, let alone doodle.

A hold over for now since the rest of this week promises to be super busy with work as well...

The gimpy puppy to be taken to a specialist.

The blue hair in question.

A new crochet project to work on.
The crochet project will get its own post once the 4 are done.

Thanks for your patience.

May 25, 2012

Skipped Webcomics 1

UPDATE: Sin Titulo is now back!! See this great Comic's Alliance article for another perspective.

So the list of comics that I read is ridiculously long (I counted today, there are 96 items in my RSS) and some of them I do not think I will do fan art for and some that I simply cannot, for various reasons, do fan art for.

Since I am super busy today, going into memorial day weekend, I will share the two comics that I have thus far skipped over. I expect as I skip more in the future I will do a few more of these posts, because even though I skip drawing them, they are all good for one reason or another.

First Up: Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart
This comic is not like the rest in my reader. It is dark, scary, gritty, full of unpleasant things to think about and some stuff that I cannot quite classify. This is a story! Unlike a lot of comics, you have to read this in order, and I would even say close together in time, to maintain your understanding of what is going on. Parts of it remind me of the Sandman comics, parts of it are vaguely Sin City or the Watchmen. It has not updated in a while, but I keep it in my reader because even though I am vaguely afraid of it, I want to know what's going on! It rapidly hooks you into wanting to unravel the mystery presented to the main character. The basic plot follows a man who goes to a nursing home to pick up his grandfathers items after he passed away, along with the items he receives a lot of questions, which lead him along a dark road for answers. Check it out if you want to be confused like I am.

Secondly: Married to the Sea by Drew and Natalie of the Sharing Machine
Possibly one of the most opposite comics to Sin Titulo that I could pull out of my reader... This comic is all one offs. By that I mean they all stand alone, usually. Each and every one could almost be on a t-shirt and often are. It combines an old-style ink line drawings with snarky up-to-the-minute dialog and jargon. You have probably seen one or more at some point as they are very clever. The topics range from politics, food, internet memes, video games and life in general. Be warned, there are over 1700 comics and the first time I found them I spent a good many hours reading through them all.

Hope you at least take a look at these two.
Monday I'll be back with something (and a doodle hopefully) relating to Hark, A Vagrant!

May 24, 2012

Tiny Kitten Teeth Fan Art

Today we move from the clean lines and yellow color of Savage Chickens to the bright and lush world of Tiny Kitten Teeth and Tigerbuttah by Becky & Frank. I think it is best to use their words when try to explain what this comic is about:

"Tiny Kitten Teeth is a hand painted online comic... The comic follows the slice-of-life adventures of Mewsli, a fish out of water in Owltown, a compact metropolis built around a particularly affluent arts college. Every week we take a break from the story and go visit our friend Tigerbuttah, a little tiger who doesn’t know much about life yet."

Personally, I sometimes find this comic's story hard to follow, but the art style is to die for and it reminds me so much of Animal Crossing, which I LOVE. The vignettes of Tigerbuttah I really like best and so for today's doodle I decided to try my hand at one.

I decided to sketch this one out first but left it un-inked since there are no black outlines in this art style, instead the colors create the creatures! I also used what I learned when working on my doodle for Para-Ten and tried to color this image with the watercolor Photoshop brushes I made, that did not work so well so I went back to the way I normally do things... And since any excuse to draw a totoro is a good excuse to draw one, I thought it might be fun to have them interact.

UPDATE: "...we absolutely love your fan art and thanks so much for sending it to us!! It's the absolute best!!" - From an email received 9/5/12

May 23, 2012

Savage Chickens Fan Art

Today I am sharing Savage Chickens by Doug Savage with you. As one of the more popular comics I read, I should hope that you are already familiar with this one. A few of my favorites are: Meh and I Love You More, the most visited of all time are also all really good. Since "jerk" is one of the most common endearments that I use for my hubby, the latter is especially meaningful to me. The simple style is so nice and clean that the jokes stand out on their own. Also, it is always exciting to think what the next guest character might be. This comic covers subjects ranging from Star Wars, movies, and office politics, to romance, poetry and cats.

In this instance I chose to combine my love of the Chickens with another person who likes chicken, from one of my favorite movies of all time, which you should know. I knew I had to draw it as soon as I started cackling to myself just thinking about it.

As a little bit on the process of this doodle, I first traced the square size of my sticky notes (4x6) on to some blank paper to try and get a layout I liked. Then drew in the comic in pencil. Since I do not have a light board, I got my clear lap desk and put my desk lamp on the floor and traced the image from the paper onto my sticky note and then inked it in. It was not a bad process but my neck is killing me from hunching over my lap for so long.

May 22, 2012

Para-Ten Fan Art

Para-Ten by William N. Gibbons (Ashwara)... not sure how I found it. Might have been from Happle Tea, or the other way around. It is complete and no longer updates, but I have not removed it from my reader because I love going back and looking at it. It has a style of watercolor sumi-e ink wash paintings and it is very beautiful. It started out being hand inked and then digitally colored and that was inspiring to me. Shortly after starting the author switched to all digital and it was fascinating to see how the style changed to fit the new medium, which was not very much at all!

It follows the main character, Paveline and as the author states "was washed down a river and winds up far from home. She embarks on a journey home, encountering fantastic things, beautiful things, horrible things, disgusting things. It is an exploration of balance, patience, and courage."

I like best when she was traveling around and thought that maybe once her journey was over that later she might still like to wander around with a new found companion. I tried to capture the colors and feel of this comic in my doodle. It was very hard and I tried to learn new ways to set my brushes in Photoshop to create a kind of watercolor affect. I have a good feeling this is NOT how the original was made. :)

Just fyi, that thing is something from the comic and they call it a Millipede...just sayin...

May 21, 2012

Johnny Wander Fan Art

OK so next on my list of web comics is Johnny Wander by Ananth and Yuko. Found this comic because I used to read Applegeeks, which Ananth also worked on. Applegeeks has gone by the wayside but had some really cool stuff going at certain points. Anyway, Johnny Wander is more like journal comics about their real life. What keeps me coming back is the charming style that Yuko has when drawing EVERYTHING! There occasionally are stories and characters like Death and Cecilia or Lucky Penny and like everything else they have a style that I love. I also follow Yuko's tumblr which is great if you like looking at pictures of dragons, Garrus or ASoIaF stuff. I should also mention that she is one half of two people who are working on a project evolving a creature called the Exquisite Beast, which is also really cool to watch. So obviously they are awesome and they do a ton of great things.

So here is a little tiny Yuko and a dragon. I too like drawing dragons, though I have not in a very long time so it was fun to do this again. I was also surprisingly terrified to add the lines for depth and shadow to the line drawing for this image. So I scanned it first without and then again after I added them, glad I did since it makes it feel more complete I think.

May 18, 2012

Happle Tea Fan Art

So, moving on. I've decided that I need something else to draw, something fun and something that might last a while. While reading through my RSS feeder this morning I realized that there was plenty here to draw. So for a while I will be doodling my favorite characters from the various web comics I read. Maybe it will help expose you all to new ones you might not know of.

So going in the order in which they are displayed in my reader the first up is Happle Tea by Scott Maynard. Do you like mythology? Of course you do, who doesn't... Then this comic might just make you laugh. Mostly revolves around Lil K and his dad, Sasquatch. Lil K meets all kinds of folks from all kinds of myths and legends. One of my favorite returning characters is Cat God.

So I started out drawing Lil K eating ice cream because it is summer and I wanted him to have a nice time with Cat God for once, who generally says some unpleasant things. Then, since I am obsessed with Kenku, which are loosely based off karasu tengu from Japanese mythology, I thought hey, lets add a kid one in. Who else better might hang with a kid Kenku then Lil K, plus they have similar fashion sense in they are always shown wearing hooded clothes. :) Not sure what type of ice cream truck would have frozen treats to appeal to all three, but I bet it would exist in this comic.

May 17, 2012

30DC: Congrats Banner for Finishing!

Wahoo! Done! Finished! Feels good to have stuck it out to completion. Now what to do next is a mystery... If you have suggestions for drawings drop me a line or leave a comment on this post.
Just a note on today's: Did a sketch for this award in my notebook and then made it perfect in Illustrator. I know I haven't done anything else in Illustrator for this, but I wanted it to look clean and crisp and I am not the best at drawing concentric freehand circles. And yes, there are 30 dots around the badge.

May 16, 2012

30DC: Day 29: A Place You Want to Go

Here is the penultimate post for the 30 day challenge... Also going up today to make up for my lack of a post yesterday and so I finish on time.

If someone said, you can only travel to one more place in the world for the rest of your life, where would it be, this is how I answered this question. I would want to go to the Ghibli Museum. That of course would mean going to Japan, which is something I hope to do before I die.

Not sure why that their movies resonate so strongly with me...I have never been big into the Disney fairytale world, even as a child, but the Miyazaki universe is so fascinating. Anyway. That's where I want to go. No idea what the actual museum building looks like so I decided to try to draw myself as if I were a character in that universe. I thought it might be cool to also neatly wrap this up with a nod to day 1. Pretty fun too.

Just for the curious, I looked at a lot of the heroines from his movies. Think I identify most with Haru from the Cat Returns and Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle. Neither has much going for them and are pretty ordinary until something messes up their life (ultimately for the better). I made my outfit be the same as Haru's school uniform.

30DC: Day 28: Anything You'd Like

Anything? Anything. I apologize in advance if you are offended. Also if you are, that's silly; everyone has a sense of humor!

My one of my drawing practicum final projects involved drawing a bunch of angel statues. I meticulously recreated the stony yet delicate expressions of sculptors who died centuries before I have ever even been thought of. Only after I finished three images (each of which took months to draw) and displayed them in a show did my professor say something that has stuck with me. "You know what would have been cool? To draw them with silly faces."

Too late then. But I haven't had a chance to do it. So I thought I might try it today. Of course I picked a day to do this when I have literally no time to spare for drawings. So that is why it is a day late.

I started off looking at images of silly faces from a Google search and found one I thought would be fun to try to draw. I had a general composition in mind and was originally thinking of a this angel I had already drawn. Thinking this might work, I placed the head to one side of my page... After getting most of the way though the face I decided I wasn't too happy with it, so I started looking for other faces to test. I found another I liked and since I had assumed these were tests before a real one on another sheet I placed it in the space next to the first. Only after I did that, did I realize there might be a connection between the two faces.

It was easy to see where it should go from there. These two, Gabriel and Mary, have been together in countless number of images already; why should they sit for all those serious paintings without doing a silly one?

PS: Thank you sooooooo much to you know who are, for giving me an awesomely amazing set of pens that made today's image possible.

May 14, 2012

30DC: Day 27: Someone You Love

Duh. Need I say more?

I always do feel like that part in Up where Ellie is putting on Carl's tie over and over... except I fix his cuffs. Now to go watch the first 8 minutes and cry... T.T

May 11, 2012

30DC: Day 26: Something You Don't Like

Might be a bit too honest, or unpleasant to think about. Sorry in advance.

I don't like a lot of things... and things I don't like develop into fears.
I'm working on it. Slowly.

May 10, 2012

30DC: Day 25: Scenery

This one is probably the toughest one out of them all for me. You might have noticed that my drawings are not set in any sort of space at all; just a line to denote a floor of some kind. That is because I draw fast, most of these sketches take 30 minutes at most and then I move on to work again. I took a lot of drawing classes in college for my Art major, and I know all about perspective lines and depth and shading. I can specifically remember one class where we were sat outside and told to draw what we see. I am at least an hour into this 3 hour drawing class and the professor walks by and asks how bad my eyesight is... "Can you not see the leaves on the trees and the blades of grass?" Very zen of him, but shit.

So, I can. But I don't want to. If I have to, then I will do something like what you saw in the drawing I did of the Totoros for Day 8. But what is the point of a challenge if I do not rise to meet it?

Well 45 minutes in and I am so tired of trying to draw things as they are! And I even used a ruler but it looks all wobbly. :( This is why I have never started a comic for real... Any kind of adventure has to take place somewhere

It is pretty lame of me. This is why people who can spend the time to develop fantastic realistic magical locations as well as rounded characters have all of my respect. (click those links!)

Here is the picture I based my drawing off of. It is a home on Prince Edward Island that I walked past on our honeymoon. Thought it looked like a place where some borrowers might live.

May 9, 2012

30DC: Day 24: A Couple

I did already draw a couple, and they are on my mind this week, since their wedding is this weekend. I feel like I should re-link that drawing from this wedding post as a kind of aside. However, since I feel like simply re-posting is cheating, and I have already kind of copped out once in this 30 days, I don't want to set a bad example and do it again.

So here is a drawing from memory of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. I only drew that dress and hair like a billion times when I was younger and only just starting to draw anime that I was watching. That was back when Magic Knight Rayearth was just new and I was watching all this stuff on VHS...

Some other couples I thought about drawings: (actual or otherwise)
Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks, Fiona and Prince Bubblegum, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline, Aang and Katara, Otonashi and Angel, Hellboy and Liz, Howl and Sophie, Porco Rosso and Gina, Captain Knuckles and Candy Wife, Wall-e and Eve, Fry and Leela, Corbin and Leeloo, King and Queen of All Cosmos, Yukino Miazawa and Soichiro Arima, etc......

May 8, 2012

30DC: Day 23: Something You Need

Need implies a lot. You can be needy and that is generally a bad thing. But it is ok to have needs. The human body has them and there is nothing that can be done about it. I prefer to think of this as something that I cannot live without... something essential to my life.

I once read or heard somewhere that in order for someone to feel happy they need something like at least 30 touches over the day. Doesn't have to be hugs or something big, but just to be in physical contact with someone else. That stuck with me for some reason. You might notice in your own life how often you touch someone else... and if you find a lack of someone else... do you notice how many more times you touch your own face, head, arms etc. Even now I find that I am sitting so that my feet are both touching each other without realizing it.

A "headpet" is common around my house. It is calming and loving. I never used to believe that notion that having a pet would lower your blood pressure; I do now.

It must be something comforting, reassuring that we need to do... or at least I think so.

Just as an aside, no one pets John's head, it's not manly. :P

May 7, 2012

30DC: Day 22: Something You Miss


You might like them or you might not, but at least you have someone to talk to! I only had a few jobs before my current somewhat cushy position working for my family out of my home... but I really enjoyed the people I worked with. At each job, there were only a few of us in my department, but I generally got along with everyone. Over the course of months working, awkward lunches would turn into conversations about kids, spouses, movies, music, sports, food, anything!

I might not be in contact with some of these people anymore, but I remember their names, faces and personalities. They each influenced my life as mentors, teachers, and role models (maybe some of them what I wanted to be, some what I would try to avoid).

I think it is important to surround yourself with others who will help you grow and learn and challenge yourself. Working from home, it is just me, so I try to do that through an online identity. This is part of it. Part of it is also learning and reading what other designers do. And consuming tons of art and creations by people more established and better than me. It gives me something to strive towards. I want to be like so and so.

Anyway I have rambled on enough... since I have been feeling sickly these last few days and I just realized that the drawing I did was for tomorrows post, here is an old drawing of a co-worker.

The story goes that he was changing a light bulb in a chandelier and was standing on an old chair rather than use the step stool which was shouting at him from the corner and so the chair split beneath him and he fell and broke his arm. We gave him misery for a week. As a kind of silly joke, one of my other co-workers said I should do a drawing of it and we could print them and put them all over his cube. They all knew about my doodling from simply walking past my own cube and seeing my desktop calendar. He laughed as well, since he was such a good sport.

May 4, 2012

30DC: Day 21: Something You Want

I guess I could have said something noble, like world peace, or something practical, like a home loan with a low interest rate, or something immediate, like a sandwich. But no. 

Want to know what I want? Irrationally, uselessly, stupidly want?

A life size armor of a Mondoshawan from one of the best movies ever, The Fifth Element.
Of course I would need the key to the temple and a Multi-pass as well, but those would be minor compared to the armor.

What would I do with it you ask? After I am done taking pictures and screaming and jumping about I would probably stand it in front of the door and scare people who open it to see that! Or just have it in my hall like some people have suits of armor or big statues of lions. Or maybe I could have someone put a hinge on that giant belly and make it a fridge. Doesn't matter really, like I said its a silly thing to want.

May 3, 2012

30DC: Day 20: Something Orange

If you have ever been to my home you would know that orange is one of my favorite colors. In the future I would love to have a terracotta kitchen with colorful accents. To that end a lot of the items on my wedding registry were orange. My wedding colors were orange and brown (fall wedding) and we had orange Chinese lantern flowers in the centerpieces.

The adjective "orange" could be applied to all these objects I own (and more):
Clothing                        Blankets
Trivets                           Pillows
Pots and Pans                Shoes
Strainer                         Hair clips
Toaster oven                 Glass Vases
End table                       Floral Pendant Lamp

Also, if you didn't know, this year Pantone has decided that the color of the year is Tangerine Tango. That name sounds more orange than the color looks to me, but I guess orange is becoming popular.

So choosing something to draw that is specifically orange is a bit difficult... How about the orange ground cherry and the young fox who carries it. (From Episode 18 of xxxHolic)

May 2, 2012

30DC: Day 19: Something New

Something new... something new. How about something I have never drawn before. Of something I hadn't seen before.

"I welcome you to our great day of deliverance. Hallelujah... It is the time of hydration!... Every Wednesday, just like clockwork."

Fitting that today is Wednesday and I am still thinking about how good Rango was. No one told me it was good. Passed under my radar; till last week. Then I had to go and buy it. Looks right purty on an iPad. Anyway here's a character inspired by the movie. She's a kangaroo rat. :)

May 1, 2012

30DC: Day 18: Just a Doodle

Well today I am at Scarborough Fair Student Day. I am chaperoning the Nolan field trip with my husband. I love to help out on this trip. I don't have to drive, pay or stay all day. It is a pretty sweet gig.

There is always one thing that I must do when I am there, and that is get some henna. As a person who is afraid of needles, a tattoo will never be able to appear on my skin, however this is a wonderful way for me to have just a little bit of adornment for a time.

I often think about what it is I would like to get before hand and decided to try my hand (hah!) at designing a henna tattoo for my hand. I often find myself drawn to the more traditional shapes and style of henna. However, I decided to make my favorite thing the focal point of this tattoo; a totoro!

Maybe one day I will learn how to do this myself and then this can become a reality, since I doubt I can explain this well enough to the lady at the fair today.