Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Holiday Madness (?)

What?! People giving gifts and having fun on ...Christmas?!?! Yeah, so the Christmas season has definitely set in, and if you can make it through a store without letting the crazed mobs and looping Christmas songs drive you into an utter frenzy, I commend you. Also, try to not run anyone over on the way out of the mall. That could have seriously hurt.

On a brighter note, I felt like drawing something mushy and happy. Every now and then I have to do something like this, maybe just to prove to myself that I'm a normal (?) person and I can still relate to other normal people. Artists tend to take a sideways approach to anything considered mainstream, which is not bad, but can make you feel a little lonely on certain days of the week. Usually, Wednesday.

The update schedule will be changing again! (Like you didn't see it coming) It will now be RANDOM! I'm not too keen on the quality of some of these sketches, so I'll probably cut down the quantity in favor of quality. An update every week would still be my goal, but I can't say I'll be able to stick to that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Famously Aimless

When I'm trying to work out a rough idea through thumbnails in my sketchbook, I often distract myself by doodling bunny trails and silly characters that are not related to the project, especially if I don't have a deadline. While it keeps me from progressing quickly with my project, it also provides a convenient outlet. Sometimes it even helps me to resolve a problem with my current project; a totally unrelated solution may present itself that I would not have otherwise thought an acceptable answer to my "problem."

It's like looking for a missing object. You look in all the right place, all the places it should be, while conveniently forgetting that the reason it was lost in the first place was because it had been moved to a place where it shouldn't be. Logically, you should look in all the places you were sure you would not have stowed said object and that is where it will be.

Who says art is useless? You'll thank me later when you can find your wallet.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A New Face In Town

Character creation strikes again! This time it's a gun-slinging, anthropomorphic, dinosaur girl. I intended for this character to be a perpetual scarf-wearer, but because I could never completely rule out the option of showing her face, I designed it as well. One can never be too careful.

I wanted to stay away from the things that are commonly anthropomorphized, like cats and foxes. I'm not sure I did much better by picking a lizard/dinosaur base, but it makes for an interesting challenge. Dinosaurs haven't typically been portrayed as beautiful creatures (at least not in the sense that you'd want a picture of one in your wallet) so when I decided to make the character female I had an interesting task on hand.

I plan on continuing this idea; I would like to see how far I can take this particular concept before it degenerates into a primordial soup of graphite.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Dragon of Many Faces

When I was a child, I thought dragons were gigantic, fire-breathing lizards with huge webbed wings and scales who hoarded treasure usually for evil purposes. As I got older, I realized that this view of what is commonly called a "dragon" was rather narrow. Their design could vary from the Western canine format (if that's even the correct term) to that of a streaming ribbon common in Eastern depiction. A more well known example of a dragon designed from an Eastern perspective would be Haku, from Spirited Away. Seeing as this is usually considered a fictional creature, I was surprised by the plethora of guides to how the creature functions, all the way down to habitat and health care. Fertile ground for the creative mind.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Creepy, Kickable Birds

I Googled the phrase "scary canary" and actually found a bar by that name. I was a little surprised, but upon reflection, I shouldn't have been too surprised since most bars or pubs pick interesting names to attract clientele. This prompted me to investigate other interesting pub/bar names. Thanks to the internet, there are a couple lists of interesting names collected by interested parties. One of my favorites is "The Hung Drawn and Quartered." Not sure I'd actually want to go there though...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Late Post Is Late... on that theme, my doodle of the week is a black kitty. I also happened to attend a late Halloween party with some excellent friends of mine. Now, I'm not normally a person who celebrates Halloween, but I definitely appreciate a well decorated party with detailed costumes (I don't mind dressing up either). And food. Can't argue with that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steampunk or Gearpunk?

My doodles journey into the realm of Steampunk this week. I've been exploring this avenue mostly because of the Halloween season and all the various costumes that accompany it. In my travels I have come across some fun projects/art pieces created by steampunk artists. While the steampunk fashion scene is amusing and very useful for gathering some inspiration, I find it is often very pricey. There are some sites that are pretty reasonably priced for those hard to make pieces like shoes.

On another note, I will be changing my update schedule to once a week on Friday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Doubly Scrapped

I've recently taken an interest in doodling on scraps of paper. Sometimes I get tired of the traditional format and just have to scribble on something unbound. You can move it around better that way, and there's no love lost if you ruin it because it's scrap paper.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Deadly Ties

This is a yeti. He has a tie. Isn't he charming?

Here is a link on how to pick a quality tie. Thankfully, I'm a girl, so I don't have to worry about wearing one of these fashionable garrotes. While I do enjoy some wacky interpretations on tie design, there's something to be said for a sophisticated choice in ties, namely, the kind that don't make you wish you were blind.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Semblance of Order

So today, I bring you a sketch that will be developed into a full-fledged piece eventually. It still has problems to work out, but at the very least I'm enjoying the movement in the piece.

The content isn't as interesting as I usually aim for, like swords and vicious animals, but it's got good flow. I might add something. Maybe bats. Hey! They can be vicious. Well, with the help of the government.

Friday, October 9, 2009


So I found out yesterday that NASA was planning on shooting a couple projectiles at the nether regions of the moon. Their thirst for water has no end apparently as NASA seems determined to prove there is water on both Mars and the moon. Who could blame them though? It's exciting to think about a lunar base, or thinking even farther ahead, a lunar colony.

Some people got up early to watch the event which was scheduled to occur at about 7:30 am (EST), but I had a hunch it wouldn't be worth getting up "early" to see. I think the 10-year-old's comment in the article from the Associated Press says it all: "I wanted to see the debris flying out. It was still interesting to watch, but it was less interesting without the flying debris."

As for all the data they recorded, that will take longer to analyze, but I'm looking forward to some juicy details (no pun intended). Wired has a great article about the after-impact routine . If you can call it routine.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do something comical. There may be more on this later since this is as close to science fiction as we have been in a couple years.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Typical in Nature

So here is a scan of my little, pocket notepad. This is more orderly than I usually manage, but I think I was rather fond of the idea and wanted it to be as coherent as I could make it on the fly. I hope to revisit these thumbnails in the future.

For those who are wondering, the large, deer-like animal that the lady/figure is riding was based off of an extinct megafauna known as megaloceros giganteus. Known as the Irish Elk or Giant Deer, it was about the size of a moose and had a far more impressive set of antlers. Although, I feel they fall into a more impressive category than antlers. They're more like giant, bony Tostitos Scoops with spikes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Secret Minds of Trees.

A sizable population of artists and writers like to carry around a notepad and pen so that when inspiration strikes, they wont be disadvantaged by trying to remember what that important epiphany was later. I am one of those people; my purse always has some paper and a writing utensil stuffed in its crevasses. When I leave the purse behind, usually for a walk outdoors, the notepad and pen jump to my back pocket, awaiting the appearance of the Inspiration Oracle.

For me, nature has always been a great place to find said inspiration, especially trees. There was a period in time where all I could see when I looked at a tree was some farcical combination of knots that made a face. They just seemed to be everywhere.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ah! Foxes (Obsessed)

Yes, I have an obsession. I think that is clear, but how many ways can it manifest itself? This time I anthropomorphized the fox and gave it a sword.

Foxes are just so darned cool! They are a strange combination of canine grit and feline grace. Do you think those slitted eyes are suited to benign fancies? They can only be plotting evil, just as surely as their ears are listening for squeaking opportunities in the grass. Don't forget that luxurious tail, both their pride and downfall.

Characters as varied as their appearance, foxes appear in folklore all over the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sickeningly Cute Often Gone Sick

So I recently became acquainted with the art of kawaii which is something that originated in Japan. Wikipedia describes it best, but the basic idea is that the art is cute beyond all reason.

At first it seems harmless. What could be wrong with making things cute? Well, this "cuteness" often gets applied to things us Westerners would consider serious causing a bit of a paradox in our brains. It's an interesting movement with quite a few spin-offs.

I don't think this sketch really captures the essence of kawaii, but I did enjoy using ridiculous looking faces on inanimate objects to humorous effect.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Okay, so maybe this doesn't qualify as new content, but sometimes it's just fun to pull things apart and put them back together in different ways. Like Legoes or Linkin' Logs. It never gets old.

Digital collage is fun, and it definitely has its advantages over traditional collage in that the material is almost endless. Well, it's almost endless. How creative can you be with pictures and scanned images/objects? The drawback is you never get the fun experience of meshing things together, nearly tearing a delicate magazine clipping that stuck to you with classic Elmer's Glue. It's nerve wracking, but very satisfying if you can manage a successful piece. There's always "undo" on the computer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Queen's Document

This sketch was inspired by a variety of sources. One was the Roman Centurion helm. Other influences would be a lion's mane and a patch of flowers. Combined with a flowing gown, it gives the impression of royal power.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gunslinger in Space. Spaceslinger?

Perhaps this is a weak attempt at monster creation, or a mediocre rendition of some gallant scoundrel who slings guns for personal benefit. I like to think that those two things go together rather well. What, pray tell, would our gunslinger "sling" at if there weren't these alien monsters inhabiting the ruins he's exploring?

That's what I thought.

The color is truly nothing more than an exercise in using digital media.While I prefer traditional media for my finished pieces, such as acrylic or watercolour, there are simply no excuses in this day and age to not know how to use the digital equivalent. Unless you are already rich.

I believe I was in the mood for a good Sci-Fi program when I drew this. Then I remembered that almost every other show on basic cable was cop related or who done-it escapades, only to be delivered by the phenomenon known as Hulu, where science-fiction classics abound.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Running with knives.

Who says it's not good to run with knives? I'm pretty sure most mothers say that, but sometimes they run with knives too, especially if they are going to defend king and country. Although infrequent, there are some notable women in history who have taken up the sword, so to speak, and have been lucrative in their field, albeit for a relatively short period of time. Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni and the Tru'ung Sisters of Vietnam are good examples.

A more successful example could be found in Hatshepsut, a royal, female Egyptian who declared herself Pharaoh and reigned for about fifteen years.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three is a crowd.

I enjoy the many uses for masks, especially in fiction. They always have a a unique role in the story, either exaggerating the wearer's character or by becoming the cause of the character's affliction (i.e. Batman, Spiderman). They are the fixed representation of an emotion, or the wall that blocks it. Sometimes they're just darned pretty.

Masks can also be menacing; evildoers wear masks to protect themselves from being caught by the authorities. This is probably why the Anti-Mask: New York Penal Law of 1845 was created. According to this legislation, it is illegal for three or more persons to wear a mask in public unless it is for the sake of a masquerade, party, parade, or other benign entertainment. Also, most banks wont serve their customers unless they have removed all head coverings and sunglasses.

This particular sketch is going for the mysterious look. He should be fine as long as he doesn't have a couple buddies that want to hang out with him in New York.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Favorite Poison

Sometimes it's just nice to take a break, pick a cloud and smoke your favorite poison. If you have one.

My work is often influenced by Japanese block prints. Their stylization and flowing lines always captured my eye and pretty soon, as I studied art history, it became one of my favorite things to peruse. Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon was probably my favorite collection.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ending with a face.

This is Cropall. Cropall, like most little girls, doesn't like to be scared. Especially by something as ... interesting, as Blegha, the little winged terror there. I think she's taking it rather well though, all things considered.

Since both Cropall and Wizlewaud were thought up in the same day, I decided that they should be related. Cropall is Wizlewaud's kid sister.

They have an adventure they are supposed to be going on, and it might have something to do with the book Cropall is holding, but since I haven't thought up the rest of the story, Wizlewaud and Cropall are getting a vacation. For now...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beginning with a name.

Words often inspire sketches, especially for me. Writing and drawing has always been closely linked in my eyes, one feeding off the other by turns.

When I write about a character, I almost always pick a name. This time, a pair of names started a pair of sketches. I often carry small pocket books with me when I go out so I can sketch or write whenever I want to, and every one I have usually starts with a phrase or title. This time I picked a title, "The New Adventures of Wizlewaud and Cropall!" even though there were never any "old" adventures. The names were so interesting I had to assign them a story, and of course, identities.

This is a sketch of Wizlewaud.

Friday, August 14, 2009

To start with...

I am addicted to sketching. I imagine quite a few artists have the same love of pencil and paper. Sketches always comprise the beginning of a new piece. They set the mood with composition and shading (not shown here, but I do use that fairly often before execution of a piece).

Many sketches never make it to a finished product, falling to the wayside like unsung heroes; they pave the way for that perfect composition you see in a finished work.

They aren't all illustration worthy, but dear companions on a bumpy road, announcing by turn failure or success.