Monday, December 11, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The dog

A couple of sketches of our dog Kia. She's a mutt though from her colouring we know she has rottweiler in her somewhere and her excitible personality, penchant for sniffing and head shape also have us thinking she's got beagle in her. Maybe basset hound too as her legs are too short for her body. Then there's her tail. It looks like it's not attached right, a last minute addition someone rammed into her backend.

But she is a lovely, loving, wonderful dog.

The full body sketch looks okay in the front end but the backend doesn't work.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More sketches

These are more little face sketches I did the night I did the ones in the last post. The blonde with the curves actually looked like something out of Mad Magazine (I can't remember what artist and yes, I used to be an avid Mad magazine reader) until I overworked her. In two pencil strokes she went from something really cool that evoked Mad art to just another blonde. Sigh.

I like the last one myself.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Okay, I'm back.

And I'm back because I noticed this morning that my little Lexmark icon on my toolbar had a red 'x' on it. I ran my mouse over it and beside the 'exit' choice, in brackets was, 'disables scan & copy buttons...'

Um. Could I have clicked exit on the Lexmark icon? I've restarted the computer since then, so what if I tried one more time...?

I plugged in the printer, tried a scan and voila...It works.

I just cannot communicate how completely stupid I feel at the moment. I mean, it's a complete and utter feeling of absolute stupidity. Feel free to laugh at me.

Oh boy. So the blog will probably still be slow until after christmas but then whenever I say something like that, declare my intentions, I generally turn around and do the opposite so who knows?

Anyhow, a few sketches that I liked. The first one was done a week ago but sort of captured that moment of exposed dumbassery when I realized my all-in-one was most likely fine. I call that sketch, "D'oh!"

Friday, November 17, 2006


This is miserable. My other scanners (I had two old ones) would probably work if I could find the damn power cords and cables. But who knows where they are? So I'm left buying a new all-in-one...After Christmas.

To be fair to the family though, I'm supposed to be baking and decorating right now so if my scanner had to go, now was probably a good time. So let me take a break until Christmas is over and done with and I have a shiny new Lexmark cheap-piece-of-crap to scan my drawings on. I'll stick any work I do away for the new year and there will be a whole pile of good stuff waiting to be viewed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scanner dead

Darn it. I went to scan some sketches today and when I pressed the little button my machine did nothing. I'm suspicious because it looks like little hands were playing with the paper feed function (which doesn't work now either. The whole machine is snottily unresponsive).

However, it's a $50 all-in-one printer we bought last January because it was cheaper then buying cartridges for our last printer so I think we got our money out of it. Now it's probably either go buy another cheap one or fire up the ten year old scanner I've got tucked away in the basement. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Drawing box pictures!

I have to apologize for how long it's been between posts. Starting with Halloween we moms enter our busy season. I'm not optimistic about frequent posts between now and Christmas either. As a canuck mom I don't have to worry about Thanksgiving (that was back in the beginning of October for us) but I'm a big believer in celebrating Christmas as a season so I'm already starting the baking, planning, christmas cards, etc. Busy stuff. So apologies if my posts thin out for a couple of months.

I do however have the completed drawing box that my dad built for me (my contribution was passing him the wood glue or nodding knowingly at key moments) so I can post a picture.

It's a rough plywood box (Mom and Dad are renovating so free building supplies! Whoo hoo!). The top, where I draw, has a thin piece of pressboard on it for a smooth drawing surface and a lip at the bottom to hold pencils and paper. The top is a bit bigger then the box and measures 19 inches by 24 inches and is attached to the box by a piano hinge. The piece that holds up the drawing surface is neat. I had visions of a couple of sticks, one at each corner to hold the surface up but dad cut a support that's hinged to the bottom of that surface and he or mom glued some velcro on to hold the hinge when it's folded flat and not in use. He regretted not putting a latch or handle on it and thought we should have used a much better grade of plywood but heck, I'm thrilled. The drawing surface is fantastic to work on and the angle is perfect. And the making of it made for a great memory with my dad.

I love it.

Unfortunately, the kids love it too. It's been used for drawing and a jigsaw puzzle surface almost nonstop since my mom dropped it off yesterday. Here's a picture...

The back's of the heads are, from left to right, my neice Maddie, my son Harry and my daughter Catherine.

Friday, October 20, 2006

About all the non-comic book stuff...

I know most of my recent posts have not been comic book related but I was looking at sample comic book scripts a couple of weeks ago and realized that MOST of what a penciller is required to do is not superheroes. It's planes, cars, buildings, scenery, spaceships, robots, animals and ordinary people. So I'm lightening up on the superhero sketches for awhile to focus on other subjects and I think I will be inking after all, not because I want to do it in the future but more because it makes me really work on finishing pieces (the discipline thing). Not that there won't be superhero pictures too, but they'll be a lot more stuff that seems unrelated.

Woman in ink.

Yesterday I picked up a couple of pens at the local drugstore for inking. I know they're not inking pens or brushes or anything and I'm saving my pennies for whenever I finally get in to an art supply store in town but they're better then nothing. Inking isn't something I thought I really enjoyed but then I inked my yoga sketches and neice's coat sketch from the last two posts and though their crappiness was spectacular (don't know if I should boher posting them) at least they got me to realize that inking is quite enjoyable.

So today I picked out a stack of National Geographic (is there really any better source for beautiful subject photos?) and went through until I found an absolutely beautiful woman to draw. I did the pencil sketch and it turned out so nice. I was afraid to screw it up with pens. But being afraid never gets you anywhere so...

This is the finished product;

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nude Ladies! Beware!

Another post! I've been in a drawing mood tonight so I went over to and did this month's drawing jam. It happened to be nude yoga poses. Very quickly done but I think they turned out pretty nifty. I have to admit that I love drawing nudes as they have all the most interesting lines and shadows.

Almost had a disaster though. One of the neighbourhood kids that plays with my daughter (they're both 8) just about wandered into the kitchen where I was drawing. I screamed, 'noooooo!' just in time. Whew. I really don't want a call from his parents asking why I'm looking at porno on the computer while he's over.

My niece's coat

I went back and darkened it so it would scan better. The darkening changed it a little for the worse because my shading was pretty light and now the shading contrasts too much with the lighter parts of the jacket. Anyhow, it gives an idea of what I had done originally and it's still interesting to me.

REAL drawings

No comic book heroes or fun with Gimp this time. I took out my pencil and started drawing stuff around the house. A great pine tree I can see from my kitchen window, my neice's coat, my hand holding a cup. Great pictures I was eager to show. But my scanner sucks. The quality of the scans is just horrible. I might pencil over them again but some of them, especially the coat seems really nice just as they are and I don't want to ruin them. I have one anyway. It's the pine tree again with a woman's face stuck in front so that I have didn't have to draw more boughs. I was getting tired of drawing at the point. It's the only one that shows up after scanning and it's still awful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Drawing Box

I was talking with Melchior in past comments about needing something to draw on besides my lap and mentioned that I had an idea for a wooden box with a top that could be held up at an angle for drawing on. This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving (which is why I've been remiss on posting for the past week) and I was at my parents with the kids for a few days.

My dad has a shop filled to the brim with metal and wood working tools. Plus he and Mom are renovating their house so there was a lot of scrap wood around. He and I figured out what I needed and built the box. Almost. He needed some small wood screws to attach the box and cover to each other by piano hinge but I expect to have within a week or so. I'll post a picture when I'm finished and if anybody's interested I can do up and post some plans as well. It's very simple but looks like it will be perfect for what I need.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Poison Ivy

Okay. I joined the Newsarama art group. They have a little group of people that draw to a weekly theme just for fun. This weeks theme was Batman villains. Now, all these challenges are nice and I'm giving Gimp a good workout but I DO need to get back to figures and other things...Boring things like animals and rooms and landscapes. I don't want to do covers and pinups. I want to do the stories.

But this looks nifty anyway so I'm going to post it. She still needs finishing somehow and the pictures look better if you click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

First pic I posted, redone.

I went back and revisited one of my first batch of sketches with Gimp. Turned out sort of neat. I could have done a better job with a pencil but not bad. I'll probably come back to that again when i'm more practiced with Gimp because for a really quick and sloppy sketch, it seems to have had some good bones. I'm beginning to learn to save old sketches that I previously would have thrown out. Both this one and the Gert and Old Lace pictures were older sketches I thought I was done with but with Gimp I found some more in them I could explore.


So it was my birthday...

...Yesterday. It was nice. My husband took the kids out for the day and I did nothing for a few hours but watch TV, eat chocolate and work on the pics I posted yesterday. Then he came home and brought a cake, Chinese takeout and a present. The present was a sheet of bristol board.

I know most women wouldn't be thrilled with bristol board but this one came with a small backstory. When I decided I was going to start drawing again and become a penciller I didn't say much to my husband. I started the blog and mentioned it to other people but not really to him. I thought he'd think it was silly, think it was another hobby but nothing serious. So I held off.

This blog and the sister blog have done fairly well though. My drawing got better and is now almost half decent. I started buying a few small supplies. And I started to tell him about what I wanted to do and showing him my drawings. He doesn't get really enthusiastic about stuff I do, or doesn't seem to, so he'd look at a picture and say, 'That's nice,' go back to watching some version of Star Trek and I'd take it away a little deflated. One day however we were talking a bit about what I was doing and I mentioned that I'd read awhile ago that pencillers generally work on bristol board and their work gets reduced to comic book size. I said I've have to work at scaling up my figures and drawings. Something said and then forgotten, a throwaway line.

And then yesterday he gave me the bristol board. Shucks. You think a guy doesn't much care, doesn't listen and then he picks out this perfect little gift that says not only has he listened but he has every confidence in your ability to do what you want to do.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gert and Old Lace

It's Gert from Runaways. There haven't been many other comic book deaths that had me choked up the way I was when she died. Probably NO other comic books deaths in fact.

Not completely finished but I sort of like it that way.

Chubby, smart, funny, jewish, near sighted, in love...what a great character. I'll miss her.

As always, just click on it to enlarge.

Oh yeah! I'm 33 today.

It's my birthday today...Forgot all about that.


Another drawing jam over on I decided to do these regularily because I really don't have a lot of discipline and tend to leave pictures unfinished. The jams are pretty informal but there are artists over there I'd love to earn critique and compliments from so I'll work at this. This month's superhero jam was focused on characters who are or were dead. I chose Magik because she was the character who drew me into Marvel with the Claremont/Buscema mini-series.

I have to admit I really don't care for inking and colouring, at least not yet. Once I get more practice or once I get some real tools instead of doing it digitally that may change but there's just something about a slightly worn 2b. The way it still has a point but a slight turn gives it a perfect shading edge...

Anyhow, the pencils and then the unsatisfactory Gimp-finished final version.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Nightcrawler/ Wolverine

I think this is a failure. I did it for a drawing challenge thread on a comic book forum but looking at it this morning, it's messed up. The whole right side seems undersized and the structure of that side isn't right either. Still, it's much better then I could have done a few months ago. His face is okay I think. It feels nice to be getting comfortable with a pencil again and getting back to what I could
do when I was younger.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Flapper girl inked!

Well, I downloaded GIMP and using my cheapo optical mouse managed to ink the flapper girl picture. Granted, if I was using real pens and ink or I'd had a tablet or even just an optical pen mouse it might have been easier but I don't think I EVER want to ink again. Not that I won't have to but I'm convinced the penciling is the easy stuff.

But wow, it sure makes a picture look better.

EDIT: You know what you should do before you spend several hours cramping your wrist to ink a picture on a program you've never used before? Google. Because apparently there are MUCH easier ways to go about the inking thing.

Ah well, I never look before I dive when it comes to learning new stuff so why stop now?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Another picture I did for a drawing jam on, this one had a roaring 20' girl theme. I don't think I'm done with this one though. And I sooo wish I had some inking supplies.

New sketch

Sorry for not posting for a few days.

I joined, a forum for artists whether amateur or proffessional (Stuart Immonen posts there!) so I could get more critiques and see the techniques of other people out there. They have a monthly drawing jam and this month it was Keira Knightly. I did a 5 minute sketch and thought I'd share it here. No, it doesn't look like her but I think it's okay.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The time? The space?

Holy crap. Now I know I'm going to pencil a comic book one day, that's my goal and there's no way I can get out of that now but finding a time and place has turned out to be more difficult then I thought.

Actually, time isn't so much of an issue. I can always get some drawing done between stuff, it's just that without a commited time it's often unfocused sketching and it comes in 15 minute intervals. And a place...Oh boy. This is a 760 sq. foot house and the only half decent drawing surface is my cluttered kitchen table. I'll have to get my ass in gear and clear it off though because drawing on a nursery rhyme book while sitting on the couch can sometimes create weird angles that mess with perspective.

And I may need some actual supplies. Not that the Barbie pencil and smiley face pencil sharpener aren't cute but my daughter would like them back soon.

So a tupperware container, some good pencils, an electric sharpener (they're sexy - trust me, the other doodlers reading this know that) and my own dedicated stash of paper. Oh, and one of those white erasers. I can stash them away in the container at suppertime and bring them out when I need to work. On my soon-to-be-clean kitchen table. And work (especially now that it will compete with my course homework) may actually have to be scheduled. The, "Let Mommy draw or risk losing your head," time.

Anyhow, here are a few little sketches. The slumped over lady is a frustrated me. I really like these little sketches. And Melchior, I think you're right about me being able to do dynamic, that superhero flying toward the viewer is pretty good, eh? :)

Any comments or suggestions about them?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Faces and expressions

I was sketching faces last night. I think I'm not bad at expressions and i really enjoy them. It's pretty damn neat how with just a few pencil strokes you can convey emotion. A reminder, clicking on the image will give you a larger picture.

1) that was an attempt at Wolverine and I think the nose is right but the face is too soft.

2)She didn't get pupils because she looked a little evil without them. I like her.

3)I just like that one a lot.

4) An attempt at Northstar but his chin was too strong.

I think the men turned out okay. Do the faces show something of a consistent style though?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nude references for drawing.

One of the comments for Muscle Men included a request for a link to some of the references to nude men. I found a great thread in a art forum that has a huge resource of links so I'll add it to my permanent links in the sidebar for any other artists needing the resource. There you go TL!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Screw the last post.

DUMB post. Who am I to think I shouldn't be working on backgrounds AND lively characters? I don't even have a style. I should be working on all my drawing skills and seeing what comes out of the mix at the end. It's all about (*sigh*) work.

Dynamic drawings

Not MY dynamic drawings. But Stuart Immonen. He's the penciler for NEXTWAVE: Agents of H.A.T.E. It's a fantastic book written by Warren Ellis that, incidently stars Monica Rambeau as the leader of a group of superheroes. Immonen and Ellis' Monica is better then my redesign (earlier post) and much better then any treatment she's gotten before. But I'm off track.

Dynamic drawing. Stuart Immonen.

I realized something when I was reading Nextwave, namely that Immonen is not big on backgrounds at all. Often, there is no background and when there is, it's not piled up with jaw dropping detail. I think that's because his people are so active. His characters are always moving or expressing something with their faces. Who needs background when the characters are so full of life?

What I think is that to tell a story in panels the background can play as much a role as the characters at times. When that's the case you don't need characters who are expressive. But if you lay off the background, you've got to make up for it in how you portray your people.

One of my problems with penciling is I don't do backgrounds. The detail bores me. Which is not a good admission to make, I know, but it's a lot of work. But my characters aren't dynamic either. They're static, they sit on the page and pose. Either I've got to buckle down and work on backgrounds or I've got to buckle down and get to work on drawing more characters in action. Since styles like imminence appeal to me, I think I'll have to work on the action bit.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Look at that body!

I mean seriously, check this girl out! Her face is questionable but everything about her pose is solid. I like!

The only thing I don't like is the quality of the scans. I've got a cheap little Lexmark All-in-one but it doesn't really show much detail on my pencils. A new scanner is NOWHERE in our budget however so I think I may just have to do bigger pencils.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Muscle Men

Men have generally been harder for me to draw. All the muscles (a requirement for comic book men), the bumps, the lack of familiar curves... Women seem easy because the lines are longer and gentler. Or at least that's been my excuse. I sat down this morning with some paper and websites with nude men (whoo hoo!) and found something out.

When you actually sit down and put some work into drawing men it's not hard. Men, wonderfully enough, have beautiful lines too and are very similar to women. Who would have thunk it? I mean, it's almost like men and women are from the same species or something! The hips have the same bones, the breast tissue connects with the same lines. I can do men.

Draw men I should say. eep.

The only problem with finding reference photos to work off on the internet is that the vast majority is porn. The poses, male and female, are seductive or downright dirty and not good at all for comic book reference. Well, okay, Greg Land and all the 'bad girl' artists might disagree but *I* don't think they make good reference pics.

Anyhow, a sampling of torsos and faces below. I've got to work on legs too as I have a real problem getting them right in relation to a body. I'm quite happy with the sketches though.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh shit.

This is perfect. I just realized my address was


Yep. That's something I'd do. :)

Monica Rambeau and Sue Storm

Okay, Monica's new duds. Simple I know but her uniform from her last series (when she was still Captain Marvel) was just godawful. This is a powerful women and someone who has led the Avengers at times. She needed something simple but a bit more authoritative. So classic black and white, short gloves for punching, real boots, a half mask around her face and an optional tan jacket with a slight military theme. And no more secret identities, I mean, her last name is Rambeau! Sounds tough enough for me!

I also did Sue Storm from Fantastic Four - Just because I was interested in drawing her. I'm not convinced either sketch has a head that works well but they didn't look half bad and I didn't want to go back and mess them up.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I did a comic strip!

This isn't a complete strip or anything and it was knocked off quickly to show in an thread on an athiest forum (I'm christian myself but I like to hang around with the bright and thoughtful people there) to make a discussion of a story about Elijah in 2 Kings a little lighter. It surprised me because the panels mostly worked. I didn't think I could compose panels well but this isn't bad! I do like the evil kids too though they're very cartoony. Elisha himself has a head that's a little to big for his body but he's getting there.

Basically it's about some kids teasing Elijah (or Elisha) about being bald. He curses them and then a bear bursts out and eats the 42 kids (or lads depending on translation).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some pictures.

I have three little sketches I did last night to display my weaknesses.


Pretty lame and obviously I'm not to strong on anatomy. Heck, I drew big monster feet on the guy because I wasn't sure how to draw his legs and feet. And I think he looks a little feminine. Not a bad thing mind you, but all my guys look girly because I tend to draw women a LOT more then men.


Not horrible but not strong or confident. Not much for details and I'm not sure about proportion.


Okay, I just threw her in. She's not really what I want to draw but she demonstrates for me why women like her get drawn. She was easy. A few quick lines, some long legs and perky boobs and she's good to go. Flawed but passable because of the boobs.

Anyway, criticisms are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Gone, gone, gone.

I have looked all over my house and all through my basement and can not find the box that held all of my sketches from my teenage years. I must have thrown it out. All that's left is one duotang of sketches I did in my early 20's.

I'd been holding on to that stuff because I thought I'd miss it. And you know what? I don't. Sure, I'm a little put out that I don't have it to post here and to contrast what I do now with what I did then but aside from that I'm not feeling much regret. It was just stuff. I can make new stuff.

I really AM starting with a blank slate I guess.

Next post I'll see if I can put up some of my current sketches.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm GONNA be a comic book artist.

So, it's establiched that I want to be a comic book artist but I should say that I am going to be a comic book artist.

Well, yes I'm just about 33 and sure I'm a mom who homeschools her two kids and has other commitments and activities but why should that present any roadblocks? I have enough talent to do the job. What I need are discipline and skill and heck, all that's required to master those is practice. Lots and lots of practice.

Oh cripes.

But it can be done. Drawing is easy. You need just four things; a pencil, paper, an honest eye and a trained hand. Check, check, check and check.

Wish me well.

Actual drawings coming soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

First post

So. I want to be a comic book artist. A penciller to be specific.

I've wanted to be one since I was a teenager and I plowed through issue after issue of Uncanny X-Men and Avengers. Pretty much all of my money was spent at the local corner store where they had one of those, "Comics sold here!" racks. Looseleaf meant for school duotangs ended up all over my bedroom floor, covered with sketches of my takes on John Byrne, Alan Davis, Jim Lee, Mark Silvestri, Art Adams, John Romita Jr. and many more artists I adored.

I could draw too. Sure, most of it was pretty derivitive but heck, I understood proportion and scale. I had a good sense of movement and was great with expressions. Or so I remember.

I'm going to dig through some of that stuff and post it here. Then we'll see how accurately I remember it. My weak points were pretty obvious though. Men looked girly and I never did backgrounds. But heck, after seeing Rob Liefeld and Chris Wozniak's stuff and one particularily godawful penciler in a couple of issues of Alpha Flight I knew I at least had a chance if I stuck with it. If those guys could suck and still find work, there was hope for me.

However, I did not stick with it. I floundered a bit after high school not working or in minimum wage jobs. I was involved with provincial youth politics in my spare time and drawing devolved to an occasional thing. Then I met a guy, got pregnant and married (yes, in that order) and then didn't really draw, aside from the odd neopet or dragon for the kids to colour for about 8 years. 8 years. Holy crap.

But I dug up my old comic book collection 6 months ago. I read a couple with some gorgeous stuff by Art Adams. I just recently read Astonishing X-Men with John Cassaday (oh good lord, a new idol to worship!). And boy, I have that bug again. And boy, my art now sucks the big one.

Got to go tuck some kids into bed.
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