Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pushing Daisies At Last (D and J)

About half a year ago we were ever so glad to introduce our offspring to the world.  As is often the case with newborns, we had a lot of downtime during which to watch a lot of TV shows and movies.  After a few recommendations, we decided to watch the sadly short-lived Pushing Daisies, which we enjoyed very much.  Then, these naturally happened, though for some reason they have not seen the internet-light of day until now (don't ask me why, it's been sitting on my desktop waiting to be posted for over three months).  So, here are our sketchbook tributes (which may or may not have been sketched on a Sunday) to a show that ended long before its time.
I think I could probably draw these characters a hundred times and never get bored, but for some reason I haven't drawn them since the summer.  I probably should do some more, especially since I think some of them could turn out a little better than they did here (especially Chuck, I didn't make her nearly wide-eyed or charming enough).  I love the aunts though.

And now, I turn the reins over to J to present hers:

Here's mine!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Frozen and Feathers (D & J)

Time for some BRAND new and totally fresh Sunday Sketches, hot off the presses pens as of yesterday.

Last week we went to see the latest from Disney animation, Frozen.  While I'm sure I'll forever wish it were hand-drawn animation, as it was originally planned to be, when I finally saw it most of my misgivings gave way to enjoying it a lot overall, as basically predicted.  It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.  I have not been able to get the music out of my head for days (though I would still would have loved to hear what Alan Menken would have done with this story...).  Anyway, the next time I picked up pen and sketchbook, this was the inevitable result:
You can probably tell by sizing and placement who I consider to be the star, ha ha.  Also, there are some issues with costuming and off-model elements, but I was operating on having only seen it once.

I'm still not on board with Olaf.  There's something about his design that just bugs me... and also his voice.  So, that explains the various redesign concepts on the bottom right.  (C'mooon, Disney... those took me all of two minutes, and I'm just me.)

And now, for something completely different from J, a dude with a rooster tail:

Just because.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sketches: Dolls

One of my friends from the ye olde teenager days recently published her first book, called The Dollhouse Asylum.  Naturally, I got myself a copy and read it in a few days.  And then, whilst doodling a rolling-pin-wielding knight the following Sunday the Mister suggested I draw the book's characters.  Duh!  So I did.  Later I did a quick coloring job for fun and now here they are:

I think I got some character details wrong, as I didn't have the book handy but overall they turned out how I wanted and envisioned.  T-B, L-R: Cheyenne, Marcus, Teo; Ana, Cleo and Bee.  

Congrats, Mary!  I send you an artsy high five from across the internet. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Team Team Team Team

I even like saying the word team!*  

About two years ago I was sitting at work and I had an idea for the greatest art EVER.  And then, just this month, I finally did it!  And it IS the greatest art ever, if not as timely as it would have been back then:

It was hard to get the details of his suit right, and I certainly simplified, but I'm happy with how it turned out.  It was kind of intimidating to work on, but so satisfying to have finally followed through with my idea.  And isn't Edward Scissorhands just one of the most beautiful movies ever?  I feel kind of stupid calling things "beautiful" but that movie is and so I say it is.    
(It would have been so much fun to put this on a shirt and wear it to a Twilight event, but since I haven't BEEN to a Twilight event in the last two(+) years, it wouldn't have worked out anyway.)

*Name it and claim it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Austen Apotheosis (D)

And now, after two previous posts, I present as Sunday Sketches from August and September my final character sketches from Jane Austen's novels.  These last two are very different from each other, though of course still very JA.

Northanger Abbey (published posthumously in 1818)
That Quixotic Catherine Morland, or, Beware of Any and All Thorpes
Persuasion (published posthumously in 1818)
Not SO Much of the Elliot Pride, or, Whatever Is Captain Wentworth Looking At?

And, to finish things off, a sketch of the authoress herself:
Clever Miss Austen, or, Pity She Herself Never Married

And that's that!  This was a really fun summer reading series, and it's nice to have read all of these classics at least once.  She had such an understanding of people and literature.

* Bonus alternate title of Somehow She's Still Ever So Sensible... Maybe even something about ever so many Charleses.  I just couldn't decide, ha.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Come Fly With Me (J)

One day I sat a'doodling and everything was coming out ugly.  This seems to happen a lot lately, maybe because my drawing time is more infrequent.  Anyhoo, it was kind of depressing and irritating but I tried again, as one must do with arts.  And that drawing turned out!  It turned out so well that I colored it later and was pleased as punch.

I really enjoy doing fanarts, but it is also fun to do something original.  Though maybe it's a little If-Ginny-Weasley-were-into-planes?

It's nice to know I can still do stuff with a pencil or pen or stylus, whatever the case may be. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Things I Almost Remember (D)

The other night we watched Anastasia, which I have been wanting to rewatch for quite some time.  I think this movie, along with a few others around the same time, had a significant hand in influencing and developing (read: improving) my art style in my teenage years.  This movie also always makes me think of Christmastime, probably in large part because of this song.
Background texture courtesy of here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hazel Grace and Mister Waters (D)

A little while ago we both read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, and it left quite an impression on both of us.  I don't usually read YA, but I really liked this one.  I did a sketch of these two youngsters after reading, with which I was NOT satisfied, but then this redo has been brewing in my mind and hands and tablet for a while, and now it has finally surfaced.
I like these kids.

(Special thanks to J for helping me figure out the originally-much-more-wonky background.  It's so nice to have someone on hand to critique your work along the way.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Family Peeps (J)

We had a baby!  I know, I know--old news.  Babies take a lot of time.  I know, I know--old news.  But seriously, they do.  Which means I don't have as much time for making arts as I used to.  I don't really mind this though, because I like that baby so much!  Even so, it was a lot of fun to pull out my beloved tablet and fiddle around in Photoshop with this little family portrait:

I'm still getting the hang of baby proportions, and he looks older than his three (almost four!) months.  Oh well!  He's cute anyway.  That bearded fellow ain't too bad either.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fourth (D)

Yesterday we celebrated our fourth anniversary!  It was a very busy and exciting year with lots of traveling, family activities and of course welcoming a new addition to our own home.  For this (sort of) surprise for J, I went back to a drawing that's almost as old as our marriage.  I originally sketched this in early 2009 as a memento of a most splendid and EXTREMELY highly anticipated reunion (I can't exactly recommend doing almost a year of long-distance relationshipping, but it does have its perks, one of which is several epic airport reunions).  This was one of our last reunions before we were finally dwelling in the same time zone, and just a few days after this world-stopping moment we were officially (secretly) engaged.
I've been meaning to paint this for a while, but I decided to save it for a special occasion, and here was one, so here it is.

Happy anniversary, Wife!  You're my favorite and my best.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Austen Again (D)

The Summer of Austen continues as I have now made my way through two more of her novels.  This post features character sketches from one of Jane Austen's least well-known and one of her most well-known (and one of my favorite) novels.

The Timidest of All Austen Heroines, or, Sibling Shenanigans

 Emma (1815)
No Inducements To Marry Indeed, or, Paired Off Ever So Nicely
A couple more to finish up the series are on the way by summer's end (or shortly after).

P.S.  We have J to thank for Fanny's pug there in the top right.  It's a most appropriate addition

Monday, August 5, 2013

Babyfaces (J)

We have a baby now!  He is very cute and funny and charming.  He is also giving me cause to practice drawing babies, which I have always found difficult to draw.  The proportions of their faces can be so tricky.  I don't have a lot of drawing time these days, but here are a couple of little attempts I've made recently:

It's so hard to capture his looks and little personality in a wee pen drawing, but it's fun to keep trying. Here's to many future attempts!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Austen Arts (D)

Last year I had an epic Year of Hardy, which you might recall inspired several Sunday Sketches posts.  This summer I decided to go for something pretty different, much less tragic, and much shorter, with a Summer of Austen.  I'd read two of Jane Austen's published works years previously (and of course seen many movie versions of almost all of them), but I thought it was a good time of year to work through all of them.  I have now read two, which naturally led to these:

The Disparate Misses Dashwood, or, Ever So Many Beaux
So Proud, So Prejudiced, or, Waaaay Too Many Characters to Draw Them All
There you go, a plethora of character sketches from two of Jane Austen's most enduring novels!  And plenty of Miss Bennets to go around.  I'm looking forward to reading her less popular (or at least lesser-known) books.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Unexpected Posting (J & D)

Once we saw the (first) movie in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit series.  Overall we liked it (not as much as his masterpiece that is The Lord of the Rings, but how could anything be as amazing as that?), and who knows if we'll like it more or less as the series goes on, but in any case, it did inspire a few more polished arts, so now we shall present them to you!  First, I'll turn the reins over to J to introduce her masterpiece.

In The Hobbit, you may recall, there is a certain villainous orc of significance called Azog.  He's big, pale and scarred and wreaks havoc periodically during the movie.  He also loses half of one arm and replaces it with a robot hand long, clawed contraption.  But I just couldn't stop thinking of a more practical thing he could stick in there: 

Surely every orc is in need of a good back scratching.  Weta is missing out on my brilliant ideas, you guys!!!!


Back to me!  Whatever issues I have with this movie, I think Martin Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo, and so one day he appeared in my sketchbook.  I liked the result so much that I decided to paint it, and so, here he is:
Son of Belladonna Took, Photoshop
Just for fun, here's the original sketch.  Sometimes it's worth seeing things in their rougher form too.
We'll see what happens this December with part the second! As far as we can tell from the first trailer, it features a lot of Legolas and a lot of Kate.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Speck Style (D)

The day came at last!  The Speck is for certain a speck no more.  Just over two weeks ago we welcomed our little one into the world, and naturally this inspired a couple of arts (though not very many as yet, since most of our time has been spent actually interacting with the little one and adjusting to his and our new schedule).  So, just to update the blog regarding the latest post, here is my first Speck*(-on-the-outside)-related contribution to Sunday Sketches.  I'm sure when J gets the chance she'll be glad to do a little something or other in honor of her firstborn too.
Happy birth, son!  I just love a baby burrito!
And now, just for fun, here's the first unofficial portrait of the little one, done in that most versatile and favorite medium, dry-erase marker and whiteboard.  It changed a lot here and there over the days we spent in that room, but I thought it ended up looking pretty good!  The nurses always seemed amused by it.
Welcome to the family and the world, Boy!  We are ever so pleased to have a whole new ever-changing subject for drawings!

* And yes, we still sometimes refer to him as The Speck, but decreasingly often.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Eight-Plus Months (D & J)

We're down to the last few weeks of expecting our little one, and naturally I figured J's delightful bump should feature in as many drawings as possible.  So I did a little drawing of her, then she responded by drawing her perception of herself.  Then she did another drawing of her as she felt sitting there as she was, and I likewise responded with a seated portrait.
She just draws smaller figures sometimes because that's how she likes to draw her Pen People.
You look beautiful, Wife!  Even if you do feel like lounging with your water bottle and putting your feet up all the time.  You go right ahead and lounge.  Not much longer!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Holy Fanart, Batman! (D & J)

A while ago the wife of one of my animation school buddies contacted a bunch of his artist friends asking them to do an art of his favorite comic book superhero in their own style to be compiled into a book as a birthday present.  I thought it was such a great and unique gift idea, and I was very glad to participate!  Although Batman isn't historically my favorite superhero, I was a HUGE fan of the animated series in my tween years, so I channeled that for this project.
I tried a few poses and ideas, but then settled at last on my original idea, which turned out I think just how I wanted it to!  I always loved when he glided into some location all cloaked in his cape.

And now, I turn the reins over to J:

A few weeks ago I finished the same 30 Day Challenge as the Mister.  One of the prompts was “A Super Hero” and it was the perfect opportunity to bring back an old, unused idea I had while in college—Batman making a grilled cheese!
I don’t know why, but this idea makes me giggle to no end.  It’s Batman!  Making grilled cheese!  I picture him coming home after a long night of detective-ing and wanting a toasty sandwich.  It’s probably for the best that I wound up switching majors and leaving the art program—all the ideas I ever had during that year were in a similar, kind of ridiculous vein.  And, of course, there’s no place for humor in ART. 

This was kind of hastily done, but overall it turned out just how I always pictured it.  And I’m happy to say it’s an improvement on my original sketch from *cough cough* years ago.  Consider this a teaser for the rest of my 30 Days, which will be forthcoming!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jace (D)

I actually did this a couple months ago, but I waited to deliver it to the intended recipient and hear back from them before posting it.  This is an art I did for a friend and his wife to celebrate the arrival of their little boy.  (Incidentally, it's a follow-up to this.)
I'm so happy for their growing family, and I tried to capture this little fellow's personality, though I've never met him.  It was a new and fun challenge to do an art of such a wee baby, but it made me excited to do some arts of our own little one, due in just a couple of months!

Monday, March 11, 2013

30 Day Challenge, Part 1 (D)

About a month ago my sister initiated a 30 day art challenge, which J and I decided would be fun to participate in too!  (Details can be seen here.)  So for the last 30 days (minus one day, during which I worked on the Valentine's Day art in the previous post) I have been working my way through all the prompts.  For these I opted to do them all in Photoshop.  Rather than posting them individually, I thought it would be better to wait until the end when I was all finished and post them all at once.  And now, as of Saturday night, I am all done, so here they are!
Click on it to make it big!
(They can also be seen individually and with brief descriptions here.)

It was a great challenge, sometimes pushing me pretty far out of my comfort zone, trying things that I never had/would have drawn otherwise, which I suppose was largely the point.  I learned a lot and it was really fun, and it gave me a LOT of ideas for other arts based on these themes for when I need some fresh inspiration.

J is working her way through these too at a slightly more relaxed pace, but she's just about halfway through so far, and she'll surely post hers here as well when she's done.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Day of Valentine (D)

This afternoon in honor of the day that this is, and as a surprise to my own sweetheart, I painted this Valentine's Day sketch I did several years ago back when we were still (long-distance, ugh) dating.  I had a bouquet of roses and daisies delivered to her apartment, and as she didn't have a vase, the next best thing was the hot pink pitcher, which worked just fine.  I had a little trouble getting the watercolor-flower pattern on the dress just right without making it look too muddy, but working with a few brush settings I think I managed to get the idea across.

Happy Valentine's Day, J!  You are the loveliest valentine I ever had.


P.S.  Thanks to everyone for helping us reach 10,000+ visitors!  I kind of think we had a glitch in our counter, and we might have reached that a little while ago, but now the widget reflects it regardless.  I wondered if we should do a separate post as a milestone marker, but I think this will suffice, for now at least.  Thanks to everyone to watching, following, commenting and sharing!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Sketches: Food for the Drawing (J)

Today I drew a girl with her hair in two buns, except the buns were apples.  I don't know why this happened, but it was funny and reminded us both of an artist on deviant art who sometimes draws human incarnations of food (such as this).  So then, inspired by a few Asian meals we had this week, I started on a theme of Asian food personified.  Sometimes things just happen!

Tonight I gave them a fast coloring (whilst waiting for brownies to bake...browniesssssss) and here they are!  You can try to guess what they are and then find out the answers below.

Some of them were harder than others, but overall they were fun to think about.  And now for a brownie...

(From l-r: stir fry, sushi, egg roll, potsticker (complete with soy sauce) and sticky rice.  Sticky riiiiiiiiiiice!)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Terminus To Thomas (D)

And so, 12 months and 14 excellent books later, the epic Year of Hardy is over.  This batch of Sunday Sketches includes drawings from January and February, featuring character sketches from Thomas Hardy's final two novels, as well as one of the author himself, just to make it another full trio and to pay some kind of tribute to him, which seems fitting after being inside of his head so much over the last year.  It's bittersweet to come to an end, but that's fitting considering the books that finished his novel-writing career.
Those Poor Little Fawleys, or, Psst! Arabella's Hair Is Fake
All the Men Are Jocelyn and All the Ladies Are Avice, or, Three Generations of Drama
And here he is:
The Man Himself, or, Ever So Much Angst
Whatever shall I read now?? Oh, I'm sure I'll think of something.  I may also smash all of these character sketches into one big splat one of these days, but we'll see.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Trio of...Princesses!

Now and then I feel like drawing a Disney princess.  Sometimes I feel like drawing three of them and making a trio of it.  The Ariel and Jasmine sketches are actually from about a year ago, then Belle came along about six months later.  Usually I only like my sketches for a few months, but I guess I still liked these--or I was too lazy to redraw them.  Either one is possible.

True story: After seeing The Little Mermaid as a wee lass, I spent several years drawing nothing but mermaids.  The best part is that it was always a back view of these mermaids, since I didn't know how to draw faces. 

Anyway, I decided for these I'd experiment with going lineless again.  I really wanted to feel more comfortable with it by the end of 2012 so I gave it another shot in the final hours.  Overall, I think Ariel turned out all right--part of this (like her hand) I really like and others (like her face) I don't so much. 

True story: Beauty and the Beast is my favorite animated Disney movie.  I tried to think of the reasons why, and then I decided there were no reasons why not.  But no, it did not start me drawing behind-views of French peasants. 

I like how Belle turned out overall.  Her face is nice, though I wish the colors had a little more oomph.  I have always had issues with being too light, no matter the medium.  It takes a lot of conscious effort on my part to push the contrast.  

True story: Aladdin is the first movie I remember seeing in the theater after we moved to Missouri.  My sister had a newspaper clipping that listed all the pop culture figures the Genie turned into, but I don't know how useful that was in a dark theater. 

I have never felt very strongly about Jasmine so I guess it's fitting I don't feel too strongly about how this turned out.  My favorite part is probably her right sleeve ("sleeve") and that bird.  Hee hee, that bird. 

True story: between finishing Ariel and doing the other two, Santa brought me a fancy pants new tablet (thanks, Santa!).  Aside from all the other fun bells and whistles, it was a jump from 512 to 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity.  I like to think I can tell a difference between Ariel and the others, and while I don't think any tablet gives you magical skills, I think the new tablet allows for more precision and control overall.  Anyway, it is a fun thing to work with and I've only accidentally stepped on it once.  

(The brushes for the backgrounds are located here: dandelions, birds)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Me Tarzan, You Jane (D)

I did these two sketches years apart, but when I was looking for arts to practice painting, I picked Jane, and then I realized I just had to paint her counterpart too, and then I smooshed them together as one.  I love this movie a lot.
The funny thing about this is that just a few days earlier I had been telling J about how the skin and hair are so much more challenging to paint than clothes, and then what do I do?  Paint a character who's almost completely skin and hair.  I do like how they both turned out though.  Thank you, Photoshop, for allowing me to adjust some issues with the original sketches!  (The proportions are still a little off here and there, but better than before, ha ha.)

For fun, here are the original sketches:
And now I have realized it's been a few posts since J has posted something.  I must stop steamrolling and give her a chance!  Hey, Wife!  Here's your chance!  Take a turn!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Fairy and a Princess (D)

I've been meaning to post these for ages!  But there were things like Specks that needed to be addressed first.  These are a couple of Christmas commissions I did for a friend to give to her two daughters.  They had a couple of pretty specific requirements (colors, primarily), but the rest was left up to me, with some guidance and requests from their mom.  I think they turned out fun, and the girls reportedly really liked them too!  It's always fun to draw something unabashedly girly, it gives me a chance to use some fun sparkly brushes and textures.
Happy Christmas, girls!  I'm glad you liked your presents.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Wife and Speck (D) (And Also J)

As was announced in the last post, J and I are expecting a wee little one next spring, which we have affectionately taken to calling The (Infamous) Speck (although it's no longer the size of a speck naturally).  J of course is (so far) doing the vast majority of the work in this endeavor, and she's working through like a champ.  A couple weeks ago marked her 20-week point, and we're pretty excited that she's made it more than halfway through (and hopefully through the majority of the pukiness...).  So to honor this most blessed halfway point, I did this little Sunday Sketch-turned-Photoshop painting.
I think she looks so great!  That bump!  And just look at her glow.

Also, as a bit of bonus content, while I was working on this sketch the other day, she did a couple of her own of her perspective on how she sometimes looks/feels these days, and she thought we should post those too, in the name of balance and "accuracy," as it were.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Latest Collaboration (D & J)

It was high time we worked on another project together!  This is one we've been working on for a few months now:

We are learning a lot, working in this new medium.  The little fellow will make his debut in the spring, and we look forward to teaching him to color inside the lines!  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday Sketches -- Thomas Teeters Toward Termination (D)

As the Year of Hardy gradually draws to a close, I present my penultimate set of character drawings from some of Thomas Hardy's later novels.  This post features Sunday Sketches from various Sundays from November through December.  I quite enjoyed all three of these books, and they're some of his most well-known, especially the one at the bottom (isn't Tess his most famous??  I think it must be).

The Perils of Drinking, or, Oh Elizabeth-Jane, Your Life!!!
The Woodlanders (1887)
Many Main Characters, or, Beware Country Storms and Sophisticated Doctors
 Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)
But Really Durbeyfield (Sort Of), or, Men Are Apparently Scum
(P.S. Sorry about the title of this post, sort of. I really wanted to keep the alliteration going with this series.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday Sketches of an Avatarly Nature (J)

We are still steadily making our way through Avatar!  Near the end of season 2 I did some drawings of all the major characters (I think).  Then we started season I need redraw half of them now, hah.  I am SO looking forward to the terrible movie adaptation and seeing just how incredibly terrible it is.  The cover box looks bad enough on its own.

Anyway, I digress.  Avatar peeps!  With the exception of Suki, I did them all without any reference at hand, hence any little inaccuracies you may find.  Overall I like how most of them turned out, and I look forward to doing an updated batch in the future.  Perhaps I will make my own picture of the Fire Lord from noodles. 

 Flameo, hotman!  (I finally get that reference!!)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Doodz, a.k.a. The Ice Cream Cones (D)

Sometimes on Friday night when I'm looking for something to occupy my time this happens:
Just a bunch of random dudes.  The a.k.a. comes from when J and I were listening to some of her music and she asked me who sang a particular song and I couldn't think of anything, so the only thing that came out of my mouth was The Ice Cream Cones.  We decided to apply the name to this group of fellows.   Maybe they're a big boy band or something?