Thursday, February 27, 2014

Update, With Ant

Last year I did some illustrations for a role-playing game book called "Isles of the Sun" by CB Droege.  That was fun, because I got to draw some things that I don't usually get to.  Like evil minions!  I did a few designs for undead mechanical golems (which were great fun), a couple illustrations, but I think this was my favourite:

It is a cart pulled by a giant art!  I think I like drawing giant insects.  This is a change from my childhood, when I was so traumatized by an oversized picture of a grasshopper in an animal book that I spent a good 20 years freaking out over insects.  Then I got a garden.  Now I'm just like "okay, small many-legged thing, get back in the compost pile where you belong."

Currently I am working on some chapterbook illustrations (personal work) that I would like to put into my portfolio, and a couple of paintings.  I've just finished up another illustration for Spellbound.  A lot of things are in the process of being completed or submitted or published, so there isn't much to show.  I've really tried to change my working schedule since the beginning of the year, and it has been a mixed success (but at least it has been a success rather than a big failure).  I think I'm starting to narrow down what I'd like to work on, which is books.

One consequence of this is that I'm writing more often.  I've submitted a fairytale retelling to the Spellbound anthology.  I don't know if anything is going to come of that (I expect not, because that is what happens to writers) but it has made me think more about stories.  Maybe all those books I am inhaling are helping that along as well.  It's nice to have stories to tell again.  Maybe even I'll be able to get back to writing things that I've had to abandon when the stories suddenly ran out, although I promise nothing.

On the weekend I'm going to try to write up a proper post, probably about how I managed to get more work done this year.  For now, though, I'd better move if I want to maintain that productivity streak.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hourly Comics Day 2014

I do Hourly Comics Day just about every year, largely because I really like journal comics and getting a glimpse into someone else's life for a while.  It seems to be steadily migrating from the Hourly Comics Day forums to Tumblr, which I'm kind of sad about because it's much more difficult to see everyone's work on Tumblr.  It's the most disorganized place on the planet.

So this year for Hourly Comics Day I actually caved in and created a Tumblr blog.  I just toss random sketches on there for now, and the hourly comics.  You can follow me there if you like, or wait until I post a sketch-dump here, probably at the end of the month.  I guess I really do need a place to post random cruft and Tumblr does seem ideal for that.

Anyway.  Hourly Comics Day!  Every year a bunch of comic artists make one journal comic (or panel) for every hour that they are awake on February 1st.  When you read them, you get snapshots of people's lives in different parts of the world, all on the same day.  Since we're mostly comic artists, the snapshots don't differ all THAT much but it's kind of interesting anyway.

Here is the one I did for 2014:

(Click for bigger.)

This year February 1st was pretty busy, as I went to the Urban Sketchers sketch-out and a party.  I didn't have much time to draw on that day, and soon after I got sick so everything was shifted over by one or two weeks.  However, it was worth it, getting to draw some friends for a change.

You can see some of my previous Hourly Comics Days here:

2012 part 1 2012 part 2 2012 part 3
2013 part 1 2013 part 2 2013 part 3

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February Sketchcrawl

 I ended January feeling like I was coming down with a cold, and Neil and I ended up postponing our anniversary dinner on Friday.  I wasn't sure whether I would be up for everything I had planned for February 1st.  I did really want to do Hourly Comics Day, though, and it is rather boring drawing comics about how you lay around all day reading books.  And I felt all right on Saturday morning so I decided to go out sketching after all.

The Muttart conservatory is always a neat place to sketch.  The last few times I went I concentrated on the show pavilion because they always have something new on display.  This time they had it set up for Chinese New Year.

I sketched this little foo dog sculpture, which someone had decorated with a wilted azalea flower.


After the foo dog I had just enough time to sketch this neat lily-like plant I found in the tropical pavilion:

Then we had a break for lunch and showing off sketches.  We had a nice turnout and several new sketchers.  I especially like the work that some of our watercolourists do.  It's quite lovely.  There are so many interesting, different styles represented.

After we finished I still had some time before evening festivities, so I went back and sketched one of the bonsai trees set up in the show pavilion.

It was a nicely productive sketch-out, but a very busy day overall.  Next time I'll post the hourly comic I made of this whole experience.