Tag Archives: sketch

Zentanglement

All Sharpies, all the time: black, red, silver.

All Sharpies, all the time: black, red, silver.

I’ve seen some people call this kind of free form, stream of consciousness, space filling doodle a Zen Tangle, but I was doing them for decades before I realized that people outside my family drew like this. My mom doodled constantly on the backs of envelopes and the edges of calendars, in a style similar to this. Typically, it’s an absent-minded thing: I would mostly do it on the edge of school papers and the margins of notebooks. Supposedly it’s a soothing, centering thing, like a mandala, but without the rigidity and focus.

This one I did in a single sitting. It took an hour, and it seems kind of threadbare to me, but it was definitely helpful in terms of getting my head out of video mode and into art mode. Usually, when I’m just doing it absent mindedly, a lot more ink gets on the page.

If there’s a pen in my hand, I want to use it, even if I’m just drawing hearts or writing the alphabet over and over. It feels good to draw

Further adventures in line drawing

Two more examples: on the left, black and silver Sharpies; on the right, the back of a save the date card from our wedding.

If you can’t make something representative, at least you can make something.

I’m working on a new T-shirt design, which should be pretty stunning when it’s done. When I started I said, “Hey, you can pull this off in a night.” After 3 days of drawing, I’m about halfway done. It will be a digital painting of a passion flower, which is an astonishingly bizarre sight, and more so because they only bloom a couple days out of the year. So that will be exciting. It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded a new design.

Yesterday, by the way, I sold 2 giralicorn pillows. They look like this:

This is what a giralicorn throw pillow looks like.

This is what a giralicorn throw pillow looks like.

I wish I could meet the customer who made this purchase. I imagine the person who wants to decorate their home with not one, but 2 of these creations, is probably a fairly interesting individual. Perhaps even more interesting than I am, because I drew this picture, but don’t see any way in which an item like this would fit in with my home decor.

Sketchy Stuff

You didn't hear it either.

You didn’t hear it either.

Submitted for your approval: a few more degrees of weirdness from my fevered brow.

The idea of invisibility is a tempting one, but obviously, people don’t use it for anything other than breaking the law. Sure, some of us are Harry Potter and we’re just employing our ultimately power for the purpose of sneaking into the restricted section of the library, but, by and large, people want invisibility for the purpose of spying. By and large, people want invisibility for the purpose of spying on people in various states of undress. The Invisible Man is not, in fact, someone you’d invited into your home. Of course, if I were invisible I would totally Robin Hood it. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor would be my calling in life. For real.

I like his leather boots and gloves, and his trench coat and empty scarf. He’s totally inconspicuous in that getup. No one would ever look twice.

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect 

Here comes Tax Day. This year I swore that I would file early. I really have no idea what to expect. We have with withholding incorrectly since we got married and there’s a strong possibility that we’re going to owe the federal government some sum of money we do not actually have on hand. The worst part is that I hire someone to do my taxes every year, because it’s cheaper than spending 3 days crying about how much I hate doing taxes. And I’m still not ready to file, even though I brought him our 1099s and W2s in February. This is 97% my fault.

Anyway, this ballerina, with her oddly muscular arms and her surely uncomfortable thong leotard had to settle for her second choice career. Stay in school, kids!

Clearly, we're missing out on a lot of things that excite dogs.

Clearly, we’re missing out on a lot of things that excite dogs.

Fire hydrants are like newspapers for dogs; everyone knows that. They read smells. I think I read that a dog’s nose is 10,000 times more sensitive than a humans’. I guess this dog is maybe a dalmatian/beagle mix. A dalmeagle? Or a beaglematian? At any rate, he’s picked up on something, recalled that it’s something he’s picked up before, but decided to resmell it. You know, just like some people do with books.

The hot and the cold are both so intense, put 'em together it just makes sense!

The hot and the cold are both so intense, put ’em together it just makes sense!

See, the fire spirit is hitting on the ice cream cone. And the ice cream cone is interested, but ultimately knows how things will end between them. Better safe than sorry, ice cream cone.

Yep. I have like a million of these things. And it absolutely doesn’t matter if anyone else likes them, or even understands them.

Basically What It Looks Like in My Brain

Walking Eye: So I'm a walking eye Green Vegetal Forest Spirit: Forest spirit. And my friend's a forest spirit too.  Wee Glowing Forest Spirit: Hey

Walking Eye: So I’m a walking eye
Green Vegetal Forest Spirit: Forest spirit. And my friend’s a forest spirit too.
Wee Glowing Forest Spirit: Hey

For a while now I’ve been doing a lot of the same thing, and I’ve learned a lot doing it, but ordinarily, when I’m just drawing to draw, I don’t draw the same thing over and over. There are definite themes, and there are topics that I mine again and again, but when I draw, for instance, Little Red Riding Hood, today’s Little Red is a different Little Red than yesterday’s Little Red.

I can tell already we're going to be the best of friends!

Little Red Riding Hood: I can tell already we’re going to be the best of friends!
Wolf: ::slavers::

Although, there does tend to be a lot of sexual tension between the girl and wolf.

There are lots of birds and fish and flowers and stars. Animals and fruit come up as often as fairy tales, and the style tends to be fluid. My friend the Vampire Bat once remarked that my art doesn’t have a recognizable style–this changes from image to image, I guess because I’m still searching for my style, or rather, I’ve never been satisfied with the way I draw.

This is basically the way I draw when I’m not trying to draw like someone else.

Turtle: I could absolutely *murder* a strawberry right now. Strawberry: Oh, god, please, no! I'm too ripe to die

Turtle: I could absolutely *murder* a strawberry right now.
Strawberry: Oh, god, please, no! I’m too ripe to die

Dragon Comics are fun, but these are the kind of comics that I draw constantly, without thinking about it. They don’t take hours. They don’t always make sense, although usually that’s part of the humor. They sort of make sense to me. And they always amuse me, which is the standard, right?

A snail licking the rim of a margarita glass for some reason

A snail licking the rim of a margarita glass for some reason

Usually I scratch stuff like this out on the backs of junk mail envelopes, keep them around for a couple months, perhaps thinking that the designs could aspire to be something greater, and then, eventually throw them in recycling when I find them jammed under the leg of my desk covered in cat hair. I’ve got dozens of notebooks from high school and college, the margins filled with these little guys. I’ve been thinking I should do something with my favorite parts and recycle the rest of those notebooks, too.

When I first started with the tablet, little cartoons like these would come out very rough and basic. I sort of advance in fits and starts: learn a few things, get comfortable with them, get dependent on them, then suddenly realize that there’s more to learn. Then I pick up a couple more techniques. Probably it would be more efficient to read a book about Photoshop and the manual for the Wacom Tablet, but that’s just now how my mind works. I’ve got to figure it out myself.

Dragon Comics 7

Three cheers for insomnia! Weirding up my world since 1977. This is the comic that Dragon deserves, but not the one that Dragon needs. 

Is this a webcomic? Everything is confusing when your brain forgets to power down once in a while.

Is this a webcomic? Everything is confusing when your brain forgets to power down once in a while.

Truthfully, silencing my demons is a full time job. This comic is OK. The lettering is influenced by my lack of sleep. Sorry about that first word bubble. Too tired to see straight. If only someone would buy some T-shirts, I might have more time to write better comics. 

This is a litmus test to see if your sense of humor matches mine

If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough, you might have noticed a certain exuberant satisfaction to his voice whenever he describes the eating of one unwilling organism by another faster or stronger or more clever organism. “Take that, life” his intonation seems to say. “You have been consumed by one more powerful and more deserving than you, and in any case, ha! There is a finality to all things, and yours has come. Now let us celebrate the continuation of life through the destruction of life, admiring the rightness of the situation.” Or maybe I read too much into his tone.

Original scan, Squid vs Whale

Original sketch, Squid vs Whale

Anyway, like many nerd girls, I vastly admire cephalopods in all their forms, and like anyone with a spark of imagination, I cannot help but sit in awe of any sort of megafauna: giant squids, of course, and just as naturally, the world’s largest animal, the blue whale, who is really a remarkable creature. This is probably the fastest and easiest finished design in my Red Bubble store. The sketch itself was done after looking at a few photographs, and the digital design required no augmentation. It’s a bit threadbare in one sense, but I love the way the colors pop on a black background.

A T-shirt for people who enjoy hugging.

A T-shirt for people who enjoy hugging.

You can get this T-shirt in a variety of colors and styles, but I do think the black backgrund works best. If you’re going to go for this kind of dubious humor, you might as well make it stand out. It is also kind of cute as a tote bag or a sticker.

Wear your heart on your shoulder.

Wear your heart on your shoulder.

Ode to the World’s Most Horrible Cat

This is actually a sketch of Algernon, who passed away a few weeks ago. If Lupin noticed I was drawing her portrait she would deliberately move every 15 seconds.

This is actually a sketch of Algernon, who passed away a few weeks ago. If Lupin noticed I was drawing her portrait she would deliberately move every 15 seconds and probably try to take the pencil out of my hand. Just imagine a fluffy black ball of evil with poisonous yellow eyes.

I’m not much of a poet. But Lupin is not much of a cat.

Lupin, a Long-Hair

I am a kitty with fur so fine
I sit on your things to prove that they’re mine
I know that you love me because I’m divine
I love you too but won’t give you a sign

You scream at dead mousies? I’ll bring you some more
You don’t need these books, right? I’ll knock them to the floor
You’re trying to sleep now? I’ll scratch on this door
You cleaned up my fur dread? I’ll just shed four

When your stepkids pet me I’ll scratch at their faces
When your husband gets dressed I’ll eat his bootlaces
When you drop your elastics I’ll hide them in places
When you invite friends in I’ll lick without graces

Because I’m the queen I must always be free
Because there’s a window I must climb up to see
Because I’m the kitty I’ll tell you the key
Because you’re my person you must always love me

(This sketch is from an exercise in the Trickster’s Hat that I did not do properly. But it’s a nice sketch of a cat much more lovable than the one in whose honor I dashed these verses.)