Bunson Hoppydew as Napoleon Crossing the Alps (based on Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps aka Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass aka Bonaparte Crossing the Alps)
It’s an interesting and challenging thing, trying to draw classical art with a stylus on an iPad, especially when your drawing style is so different. Still, it was interesting building up the colors, pretending I was working for a session, then adding a new layer to impersonate drying time. It makes me want to get a bunch of paint and go to some life drawing classes… which ain’t a bad thing. The human body is something we’re all so intimately familiar with that grappling with the challenges of representing it is good for any artist, whether they are an abstract painter or an ultra realist.
The challenges of drawing this caused me to buy new styluses to play with! Getting a sharp edge can be tricky sometimes – has anyone had good luck with the Wacom brush? I gave it a go, but I just couldn’t get into it. In the end I return to metal fabric styluses of one sort or another. I wonder if there are rubber tips that give better edge, but they feel so icky to move across the screen.
For “See Your Face” I played around with a range of pens. The idea was to show the different textures, approaches and using whatever tools come to hand to draw our friends the things. For a long time I’ve been doing all my analog drawing on printer paper, pencil, cheap terrible erasers, sharpies and one very old micron 01 pen. As part of my line weight challenge I splashed out and purchased a range of other pens to play with. It’s amazing what a good eraser does and the different feels you can get with different tools.
I think the drawing paper is to absorbent for the copic pens. I may have to fiddle around a bit before I find the right paper for the copics to shine.
Here’s the snippet of video that survived Sketchbook crashing twice. I’m sad all the brain storming and mad scribbling got lost.
I guess the drawing isn’t terrible, but it is lacking magic and its composition is made of meh. I think the comic I finally came up with for the day was a better spend of 100th comic celebration. I’m glad this drawing was a disappointment and not good enough!
Zomg! 100th comic!! It’s kinda exciting, kinda strange to think so much time has passed, so many comics have happened, and hopefully this is just the start of the journey for the things.
I tried do a big elaborate pinup plus process video for the 100th comic, but software crashed and deleted my process scribbles, plus random layers, and I wasn’t happy with how anything turned out anyway.
Today as I was walking to breakfast with my sweetie I found myself thinking about practice, practice in many different parts of my life and how much I struggle sticking to a practice schedule… I struggle and I could say I suck, but then I thought about all the practice schedules I have stuck with, especially the ones with external motivators. I thought about what Chip Delaney said in one of his essays somewhere, we are what we practice.
Practice is so hard and practice in one thing builds practice muscles for other things… And so I came up with today’s comic. The Things have been an ongoing practice for many months (a year come the end of June). I have not always practiced them consistently, but I try. I’m learning to build my rhythm, learning to be ok with not being perfect, learning to sit with the knowledge that maybe none of my comics will be as good as some of my early comics like Belief or Bad or Thinking or Vulnerable, but if I keep creating who knows what other surprises will come round the corner… I didn’t know those comics were coming to me until they happened, so I just have to keep going and keep discovering and keep wondering what the Things will teach me next.
Thank you for helping me in my practice, may you travel well in yours.
Sketchbook has a record what you’re doing function. And youtube means I can spend too much time considering music to set it to.
Unfortunately Sketchbook has a slight delay between pressure and response that means I think I’ll go back to drawing with Procreate unless I have to do a lot of coloring. Sketchbook just isn’t as much fun or as responsive – and if a do a certain impatient combination of actions it will crash and randomly delete layers.
As I was inking this I found myself thinking of Rajan Khanna’s short story Flowing Shapes (you can listen to it free on Escape Pod).
I love shape shifters and the interplay of consciousness with physical form. It’s always cool to see someone else do interesting things with shape shifters. I bet Rajan’s ocular physics composting in my subconscious inspired this comic.
Edit: And my sweetheart has pointed out that I am hysterically funny when I try to wink. He is an excellent winker, apparently my winks look more like I’m scrunching up my entire face with a very strange blink. So my sweetie’s awesome, well practiced winks are also inspiration.
And that is why creative influence and inspiration is often more like compost, sneaky sneaky compost than a direct line… and it’s important to manage your compost well. Manage the ph and make sure it doesn’t get to acid or sour, water it and grind up lots of things into it.
Thing 1’s eyes are drawn as forward leaning lines with dots, instead of two ovals with dots.
Thing 2: How do you do it?
Thing 1’s eyes are lines with dots drawn differently.
Thing 1: Do what?
Thing 2: The thing with your eyes
Thing 1 has it’s eyes drawn slightly differently.
Thing 1: Practice
Thing 2’s eyes are several lines looking weird and all over the place.
Thing 1: Maybe lots of practice
I’ve been struggling to clean up scans to make you some more animated giffs. My brain has not been awesome enough to succeed now that I don’t have a working copy of photoshop. I ended up drawing this in a free downloadable app… only it doesn’t export as a giff the way I assumed it does… so assume it’s a looping giff, cause otherwise the end message will make no sense!
And it’s quite possible the recommended links will be random heat exhaustion vlogs from my first trip to America years ago (YEARS I TELL YOU YEARS). The sound quality is terrible, and I’m sure I don’t make sense and possibly say terrible things/don’t make sense. I don’t recommend you watch them. I’m just too technology fatigued to lock them all away as private!