2020-04-14 – hypnagogic

2020-04-14 - hypnagogic
Spoiler alert: zzzzz

Even with all this stay-at-home time on my hands these days, I haven’t been able to rally any motivation to break out the ol’ drawing pad. It got me wondering how I was able to churn out a drawing every day of #Inktober. Then it hit me: I could use Merriam-Webster’s word-of-the-day and run with my OWN #Inktober-type thing. We’ll call it quaran-toons! Brilliant!

But then I checked the Merriam-Webster site and saw the word for that day: hypnagogic. I like obscure words as much as the next guy (OK, way MORE than the next guy), but I’d never heard that one before. A quick glance at the recent words of the day showed what I would be up against if I tried to use those words as drawing prompts. So I don’t think #quarantoons is going to be a daily feature. I’ll check the site and hope that something comes to mind. If it does, I’ll dash off a drawing…and you’ll all be the first to know.

2020-03-29 – “collect ’em all” (10)

(2020-03-28) Covid 19 (2)
Free inside: N95 mask!

So there’s kind of a global public health crisis happening now, and most of the world is under stay-at-home orders. I’d just as soon not dwell on this topic at the moment, so let’s move on…

With so much more time on my hands for indoor activities, I’ve been desperately trying to force inspiration for drawing. This has gone as well as it usually does.

Thank God for Beth, who texted me a picture of this product with the message “This is begging for a current events Wacky Package.” It so was. And here we are.

The usual few comments about the process: shout-out to the employee at Blick Art Supplies who pointed me to Smooth Bristol 100-lb paper, which takes the ink from the Tombow markers much better and provides more cover for my crude, brush-stroke heavy “technique.” I also continue to love the color options provided by the Tombow marker set I got a couple of years ago. On the down side, even the fine-point ends of these markers aren’t small enough to allow for detailed lettering work. I’m not terribly pleased with the “COVID” and the “Hell on us” in this drawing. Finally, I hate to admit this, but I find it increasingly hard on my hand to do detailed work for any length of time. I remember lamenting the increasing shakiness of later-year Peanuts comics (though not as much as I lamented the abject terribleness of the writing). I’m feeling more sympathetic to Charles Schulz now, God rest his soul.


2019-10-27 – coat

10-27 coat
…and profilin’

I feel like I’m limping to the finish as Inktober winds down.

Last Christmas Lisa bought me a new coat, which I desperately needed. It’s a Prana Bronson Jacket, and I [heart] it. When I went online to find a picture of it to refer to for this drawing (because heaven forbid I get up and walk to the closet), I was stunned to find almost NONE were available. I guess Prana has moved on.

Here we once again have the typical dark lines I always use to represent blue jeans, which is just about the only thing my characters wear. The problem is what to do when I need to make ANOTHER piece of clothing dark. The jacket here is supposed to be dark-ish green. As with the foreground/background issue with the “dark” drawing, I’m not thrilled with the result. And what was I thinking with the stippling?

2019-10-25 – tasty

10-25 tasty
Not Drakes. Not Hostess. Not Little Debbie…

I guess after almost 30 years of living in and around Philadelphia, it sinks it. So naturally, now, when you say “tasty,” I say “kake.” And, yes, I say it spelled that way.

I remember my first encounter with a Tastykake. In my freshman year at Drew, the dining hall had them for sale. I was a Drakes guy through and through, and I thought the very idea of the stupidly spelled “Tastykake” was ridiculous. And it was even worse, because the product was a “Koffee Kake.” To this day, I have no idea why they spell it that way.

Excuse the fuzzy/dark part of the scan here. I’m on the last page of my sketchbook, and I’m hoping to get through Inktober 2019 before going over to the new one I just picked up (along with the coveted Copic 0.3 marker I mentioned several posts ago) at Blick. So I’m cramming drawings on any bit of open space I can find on the sketchbook pages. In this case, that put me right up against the spiral binding, which made both drawing and scanning more difficult.

Not loving this guy’s Beatle haircut.

Gruss vom Krampus (2017)

2017 Krampuskarten 2017 (main)
One for the road…alas.

All of a sudden I’ve been drawing krampuskarten for four years. It still feels like a new tradition (my drawing them, that is). I’m clearly in the time-flying-by phase of life.

Anyway, here’s last year’s model. Maia and Robby got to star in the inaugural 2015 card, Beth and Lisa took 2016, so that left Todd and me. And here we are. Pretty obvious “plot,” really, given that this whole nonsense started over the annual pouring of Southern Tier’s Krampus Helles Lager.

Unfortunately, we’re near the end of that component of Krampusnacht. We noticed a sharp decline in the availability of liquid Krampus last year, to the point where Todd called Southern Tier and learned that they will no longer be brewing it. (In my mind’s eye I see a frantic, tearful Todd making this call, but I doubt that’s how it went down and I’m certain he wouldn’t appreciate that.). I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of Krampus (deeply discounted in Total Wine’s annual post-Krampusnacht sale)(no, not really), so we’ll be able to toast Krampus this year (and maybe in 2019).

As for this drawing, I once again employed what is perhaps my favorite computer-aided cartooning trick: blowing up an area where fine detail is needed, then shrinking it back into the original drawing. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, it’s too hard to see the fine detail once the drawing has been shrunk.

2018-10-18 – bottle

#Inktober #Inktober2018

Sigh. I’m afraid I’ve lost my Inktober mojo. Some of that is the uninspiring prompts (I got nothing for “angular” and “swollen”). Most of it is my inability to stay focused. Not giving up yet, but there’ll be a lot of gap days.

This one’s pretty obscure. According to my baby book (which my mom was quite diligent in maintaining), when I was very little (like, just-starting-to-talk little) I mistook Heublein Tower in Simsbury (near my home town of Canton) for a…baby bottle. Easy mistake, right? They probably still get that a lot up on Talcott Mountain. Anyway, I apparently got very excited whenever I saw it and chanted “bottle! bottle!” Even if Marts hadn’t dutifully noted this in my baby book, I’d still know it because this is a part of family lore. I’ve heard “bottle! bottle!” from my siblings all my life.

As an aside, as a little kid I apparently was also able to triangulate on Heublein Tower and use it to determine where we were going. So I had that working for me.

Anyway, this whole bit of nonsense is the first thing I thought of when I saw “bottle” as a prompt. It’s probably a good thing none of my family knows I have this blog.

10-18 - bottle - JS
I can’t swear to it, but I don’t think my car seat actually floated. For that matter, I can’t be sure I was put in a car seat at all.