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I’m finally getting around to reading Digger, and not really enjoying it much, to tell you the truth. But I’m still fairly near the beginning (just started Chapter 2), and maybe it gets better later on. Anyway, I’m trying to figure something out. Could someone tell me what’s going on in this panel here?

mystery panel

Here’s the whole page. I get what’s going on before and after that panel, the action of the page in general. But I can’t figure that one panel out. Here are the possible readings I’ve come up with:

  1. Digger is moving her left hand (the one not holding the pickaxe) horizontally for some reason. For a moment I thought maybe she was pulling a cover off of the pickaxe head, but the thing I thought might’ve been the cover I now think is just part of her vest. I can’t think of any other reason for her to be swinging her arm like that; she winds up with her hand behind her, which makes it less effective for the move she makes in the next panel.
  2. Digger is swinging her pickaxe back and forth. (The speed lines continue past the pickaxe on either side, so it would have to be a back-and-forth motion.) Seems plausible, but her right arm doesn’t seem positioned plausibly for the full extension that would be necessary for the head of the pickaxe to follow that arc. And this still doesn’t explain why her left arm is behind her.
  3. Digger just threw the pickaxe from her left hand (where we see it in the first panel) to her right. This connects the first and fourth panels, and accounts for the pickaxe moving from one hand to the other, but again, it’s weak as a prelude to the action in panel five (she’s using both hands for the pickaxe anyway; why waste time and risk dropping it to switch hands?). Also, the speedlines depict an arc of horizontal movement; a thrown pickaxe would have to arc vertically. And this reading doesn’t explain why the speedlines are continuing past the head of the pickaxe.

Also, when does the actual story start? Like I said, just started Chapter 2, maybe 70 or 80 pages in, and the characters are still just wandering around chatting. I’m thinking Ursula Vernon would have benefited from the discipline of publishing in pamphlet form. Cerebus started out crude, but that first 22-page issue contained a full story.

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New icon! It’s the same one I’m using over on Google+.

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3 heads

ShopperSo, November since I’ve posted any sketches. Turns out that five months is long enough for my scanner to acquire a layer of dust thick enough that I have to blow it off before using it.

This is all stuff doodled in local coffee shops — Ozzie’s on Lincoln and Seventh, and Tea Lounge on Union.

No, wait, I just remembered: The three heads at the top of this post were drawn while I was sitting on a park bench on Plaza Street, opposite the Montauk Club.

Big stuff behind the cut )
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The woman on the right reminds me a bit of [livejournal.com profile] sw_inku, even though it doesn’t really look like her. (It’s actually sorta based on a minor character from an episode of Children’s Hospital.)

some sketches

PS 9

Oct. 19th, 2010 12:10 am
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This building in Prospect Heights used to be a public school, PS 9. Now it’s a condo. Across the street is a building that looks like a prison, which is currently a public school.

Watercolor of PS 9

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sky monster

If I’d been thinking ahead, I’d’ve made this guy red or orange, to stand out against the clouds.

But anyway, I dug out some of my old brushes. Using a stiff bristle brush to pick up paint solved about 80% of my problems with watercolors.

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Female CerebusI started out drawing something else entirely, and wound up with this.

The screen tone is a scan, applied in Photoshop. I think it’s been well over a decade since I touched a piece of actual tone film.

I’m tempted to do a whole sex-reversed Cerebus cast. Not sure what I’d do when I got to Lord Julius, though.

(Leaving aside the issue of whether a female version of Cerebus is actually sex-reversed.)

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old man thumbnailBack on the art horse. Straight copy from this portrait I found on someone’s Flickr account. There’s a bigger image behind the cut tag.

Scary-looking old dude, at 600x600 pixels! )

This is pretty much all Pitt black and grayscale artist markers; initially the new “big” size, and then the old smaller size for details. I seem to just be using the three “warm” grays, mostly because the lightest gray in their range is one of the warms. But comparing them, there’s a pretty big leap in value between the light and middle warm grays, so I may have to start sticking the lightest cool gray in there to moderate things. Or maybe start working with ink wash.

For the whiskers, I tried using some Liquitex titanium white acrylic ink (or “ink!” — the label actually has the exclamation mark) and a dip pen (Speedball Hunt 56), but that came out all thin and watery. Maybe next time I’ll try dipping deeper into the bottle. But anyway, instead, I tried my trusty Sakura Gelly Roll white pen, and it performed like a champ. Seriously, I got a much more opaque white than I’m used to getting with this pen.

The paper is a page from a Flexi-Sketch sketchbook, the 6-by-8-inch one. These are made (or at least distributed) by Global Art, the same people who do those great hand•book travel journals.

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thumbnailMan, this art stuff is hard.

I want to do a bunch of watercolors of various TV celebrities, and figured I’d start with Jon Hamm as Don Draper, and oof, my skills are rusty. Though actually, I don’t think I’ve ever really drawn a celebrity likeness that satisfied me.

Complicating matters is a new artistic technique I wanted to try out: Shaving bits of color off my Inktense pencils into a palette cup, adding water, and using a dip pen. This works, sorta, but I’m having a hard time getting the color density that I want. Also, my collection of pen nibs has vanished. I picked up some Japanese G-pen nibs at Books Kinokuniya yesterday, and they’re OK, but they only had the Tachikawa nibs in stock. I hear the Zebra nibs are a lot more flexible, and that’s what I need to get a thick, juicy line. (Just realizing now how much my tastes have changed since I was a kid, and I was all about the thin, controlled line.)

Anyway, Jon Hamm has some remarkably thick eyebrows on ’im.

Four views of Don Draper )
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Drawing of overcast Denver skies

For those of you who don’t read Making Light, I just posted the sketchnotes I took at Worldcon. Here’s the background, and here are the sketchnotes on Flickr.

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Did some sketching today at the Tea Lounge, which has become one of my regular hangouts. (The one on Union St, not the soon-to-be-closing 7th Ave branch.)

The guy on the left is Howard Bloom. I’ve no idea who the woman on the right is.

Sketches of two heads

Wow, it felt good to do that. It’s like a muscle in my neck has been tense, and now it’s relaxed.


Mar. 25th, 2008 10:50 pm
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woman's head and monsterMore doodling in that pocket Winsor-Newton. I’m using Inktense pencils for the colors, and mostly they make me want to try real watercolors again. Well, that and seeing Enrico Casarosa work on the cover to his new book. And the juicy colors in this cute little Miyazaki sketch of an island.

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Woman's headI was digging through a box of still-not-unpacked art supplies, and I found that pocket-sized Winsor-Newton watercolor sketchbook I was so into a couple years back. Flipping through it, I found this doodle, which I apparently hadn’t bothered to scan. I probably drew it while still living in Jersey City.

This page, on the other hand, is from my hand•book sketchbook that I generally carry around with me nowadays. Both these were drawn at Prospect Perk, one of the very many coffee shops to be found in Brooklyn’s North Slope. The woman in the coat was done a few weeks ago; the ink drawing of the seated man a few days ago.

Big image cut to preserve your precious Friends-page layout )
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For people who were wondering about the relative weights of computers at Games-Club-in-Exile last night:

I think [livejournal.com profile] mnemex’s new laptop was a Lenovo ThinkPad X300, which starts at 2.7 pounds. If it’s the largest model, it’s got a 13.3” display (1440x900?), but I can’t tell how much that particular model weighs.

According to Wikipedia, the XO-1 weighs either 1.45 or 1.58 kilograms, depending on which battery option you choose. Call it around 3 pounds, so yeah, it might be a bit heavier than the Lenovo.

The ASUS Eee weighs about 2 pounds. If I were gonna get a lightweight, toting-about computer, this would probably be it.

The MacBook Air weighs 3 pounds and also has a 13.3” display (1280x800).

Update: Oh, right, and the thing I was trying to look up? Mike Rohde’s SXSW sketchnotes.

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I’ve been drawing again. Wow, I’m so rusty. I still don't really have a good place to set up my scanner, so it took my a while to get around to scanning this stuff.

First up, a sketch I took at the Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden a couple weeks back. I sat in the pavilion at the Japanese pond and sketched the spirit gateway:
Spirit gate

Yesterday I stopped off at Bryant Park and sketched one of the Art Nouveau-style streetlamps:
This one's pretty tall, so it's cut )
That lightly-sketched area in the background? This intersection, from a different angle. I missed the serious action, but I did get to see them knock some windows out.
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Some guy's head in watercolorsMore than a month since I posted any sketches here. Crap.

I watched a video Danny Gregory made, and figured out a bit of what I’d been doing wrong in watercolors. See, those nylon waterbrushes? They kinda suck for scraping paint off the watercolor pans and plopping it onto the palettes. Which means I’d been just pulling color off the pans and painting it right on the paper, which works okay for small regions of pure color, but crappy for mixing or covering large regions.

I picked up one of those Cotman portable brushes on sale at Pearl a while back, and a folding water container at Hudson County Art Supply, and today I tried using the waterbrush just as a clean water source, dripping it down onto the pans and palettes, and using the Cotman to grab color and paint, and mixed up batches of color on my palette, and it worked pretty well. This is a guy who was sitting near at the next table in the coffee shop. I’ve still got a lot of practicing ahead of me, but I can see a way forward. And now I’m psyched to try some watercolor techniques with acrylics.

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three heads

April 2017



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