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Sketchbook Month Day 5

Nabbed from my Blogger (
Also posted on the Deviant Art (

I realize that I didn't post the other 4 drawings here, but I haven't been very diligent.


Testing to see if the dA embed code works...

mandrills by ~StudioCutie on deviantART

All I get is a "deviation does not exist".

More sketches

Here's a link to the Blogger:

Meanwhile I've been super-busy with dayjob stuff. I'm exhausted and needing a break away from the work. Unlike other periods of burnout, this one's punctuated with the need to be drawing/sketching/making things, so I guess that's a plus.

I'm still unsure where to post images of the things I've made. Blogger/ flickr/ picasa has data limits on free accounts. Deviant Art doesn't seem to have such problems, but it does not look like you can link to the art either. Maybe I'm missing something. If anybody out there has any suggestions, please share them!


Hourly Comic Day

I attempted Hourly Comics Day and kinda flamed out midway through. It seems that my brain is not in shape for that kind of thinking, but it was a good exercise overall. I just it wasn't when I had three books to letter. LOL.

The "comics" are posted here: It starts at Feb 1, 3pm (!).

I envy everybody else who did some really awesome pieces!

Oh yes, blogging...

Well, haven't had time for any of that stuff at all. I've more or less posted short thoughts to Facebook while I decide where I'm going to post my blearghing. Right now I'm leaning toward my already existing Blogger account.

I've been super-busy and super introspective, but not in a sharable kind of way. The lettering business has shrunk to the point where I've taken over all of the books myself. So I'm technically still as busy as I ever was, but unable to contract the work out.

This has made me bit of a sad panda. That plus not succeeding in doing a sketch a day. I failed spectacularly in my first couple of weeks. Then I spent the rest of the year trying to figure out why (that's the introspection not worth sharing part).

In my need to take brief breaks from lettering and not face my inability to draw things, I've run to arts and crafts. I made a bunch of kumihimo cords and finished a few off as bracelets, photographed them and didn't like the pictures. So I took a break from that.

Then I made glass tile magnets and pendants over the summer and didn't feel to being frustrated with taking product photos. I think there's a pattern here.

Then our house had an internal water leak and we shut down our kitchen and the room below it for two months while it was dried and rebuilt.

When the reconstruction team was done, I had a brand new hobby room with brand new cabinets. I set up my drafting table sat there for a bit.

Two months ago, I was told that the dayjob is switching over to InDesign (rather than Photoshop). The switch has been relatively painless once I got going. Before I started though, there was a lot of internal sturm and drang about how it was going to mess up my current workflow. Then for some reason, I was hit with the need to condition polymer clay again. Are the two events related? I don't know, maybe?

On the other hand, I had a really good six weeks from Cafe Press and Zazzle. Since I upgraded my CP account, my products are finally showing up on internal searches and getting bought. This really encouraged me to play with a few more designs I have rattling around in my brain. Add to this DivaLea's tweet about Von Glitshka and I ended up buying a bunch of his how-to books for myself while I was Christmas shopping. Of course, the first thing his books say is to draw, draw, draw.

So here we are again. I think I probably need to be doing more creative things to stay sane. I think it's a no-brainer that if I pursue the drawing and it took, that I'd probably make more money per hour than I do from the lettering. But that's not the reason to do it. That's never a reason to do anything related to creativity. Oops, that was more of that internal stuff coming out. Sorry.

So long story short, hopefully I'll be making more time to post stuff to look at. Yay!

Dr Sketchy's Portland-Jan 2011 edition

I actually went out and drew!

The venue was unexpectedly busy that evening and was packed so Dr. Sketchy's didn't start until a bit later. So me Andy and Mike D. bellied up to the bar and had dinner and drinks first. By the time we were done, they had already started the session. Mike confidently grabbed a seat up front while Andy and I grabbed seats in back. My peach cosmopolitan didn't fortify me THAT much.

Cut because it"s image-heavy. You know, drawings...Collapse )

I really enjoyed myself last night. I hope I can make time for next month's Dr. Sketchy's.

(X-posted to my Blogger account because I'm not sure what to do with it.)
Andy bought the tickets last month and I thought I was easily going to be done with volume 16 by the time the screening happened. Nothing really turns out the way their planned. I ended up working my ass off (literally, my legs are kinda numb and my back is shot) since mid-December and just finished Gantz vol 16 (and Bride of the Water God #8 and Oh My Goddess #17) yesterday.

I was really tired and didn't want to go anywhere, but dammit, we already paid for the tickets. So we treated ourselves to a nice dinner out. I fortified myself with some coffee-based drink with a boatload of whiskey and peppermint schnapps and topped it off with a creme brulee. I was all good to go!

I really dug the big old commercial for Dark Horse's edition of Gantz volume 15. Yay!

And then there was the movie. Huh. Well, it looks awesome!

Kinda boring and really spoilery...Collapse )

Now I think I'm going to crawl into bed and watch really crappy movies and make sure my sore throat doesn't turn into a full-fledged cold. It wouldn't surprise me if it did though. I tend to get really sick right after long drawn-out periods of high stress.
*ETA--Now you see, THAT is a sign of how tired I am. Yeesh.

Is This Thing On?

This is a test to see if this bit of code works on LJ.
But the listing is real. (~_^)

</lj-embed></div> </div> </div>

ETA--Good old LJ broke it. But you should be able to go to my store by clicking on the store name under the photo. I'm disappointed though since the point is to not have to click around to buy it.
For me, Gantz has always been a problem book to work on. It's a retouch book where all of the backgrounds are filled in with toned backgrounds NOT constructed with Zip-a-tones. This posed a problem for me because I couldn't drop a tone from my vast collection of scans and be done with it.

The absolute worst part of the retouch job for me was the spheres from Gantz itself. It's a radial gradation and no amount of sampling from the same area will make a smooth transition. So I ended up hiding the transitions behind the words. If you look at the original, the lettering is a mixture of type and some fine lined handscrawling. I couldn't do that because I needed to cover as much real estate as possible. From the first volume, I had to choose a font that was kinda chunky to provide as much coverage as possible. I would have loved to do the ransom note-ish combo of font and hand work, but the scrawly parts would end up being really thin. The results were serviceable, but kinda ugly, sometimes bordering on tragic, and the process was time-consuming.

Gantz Vol 12, page 95. © 2004 Oku Hiroya, published by Shueisha, English edition ©2010 Dark Horse Comics

Details on how it"s done now. Complete with broken formatting. :-(...Collapse )
Of course, as soon as I share how I made this task easier for myself I look at volume 16 and see that there are speed fades over the Gantz sphere as a gloved hand wipes over the surface. I have no idea how I'm going to solve that. I'll probably just fudge it.


How I spent my Saturday

There were so many options for this weekend that I thought I'd be able to at least participate in SOMEthing.
Earlier this month Andy bought some coupons to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Coming from Los Angeles/San Diego/San Francisco, this would be a unique experience for us and we thought it'd be great outing to take our mothers out of the house for. PLUS I'd be able to sketch interesting things for Worlwide Sketchcrawl while we were out.

Sometimes things don"t go as planned...Collapse )

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