Tag: drawing

5-Step Drawing Walkthrough!

Today is many things: Daniel Boone Day, National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and National VCR Day.

It is also the day I got around to a walk-through of the illustration below.

 

^ Here’s the final drawing. Click to make it bigger.

If you’re interested in reading and playing along, grab some paper, ballpoints, cheap watercolors, crayons/colored pencils, a Sharpie, and white acrylic paint.

Or you can just read, which is totally easier and involves practically zero effort. It’s what I typically do with other people’s tutorials. I toss cool ideas in the junk drawer of my skull. (Sometimes they even find their way back out.)

Here we go.

^ Optional prep work: Find a reference. You can draw from your imagination if you want, but I often use Flickr Commons (copyright-free images), Sktchy (a phone app, more info here), or Reddit Gets Drawn for starting points.

^ 1. Ballpoint. I used the girl’s face as a reference. Once I was done with the face, the page felt empty, so I drew some other crap. A Minnie Mouse thing happened.

^ 2. Watercolor. I used the source portrait to choose face colors. Afterward, I tried to carry those colors into the rest of the page.

I use a cheap-ass palette like this. It’s quick, easy, and under $5. I guess if I ever grow up, I’ll use the nice ones people have given me.

^ 3. Highlights & lowlights. The watercolor mushed everything into a mid-tone. I added white acrylic touches for highlights. A permanent marker delineated the blackest areas.

^ 4. Screw around. I felt like I needed to make the image more “interesting.” Sometimes doing this irrevocably fucks everything up.

I tried some color-changing crayons I bought on a whim at Target, and they were total trash. They were too waxy and kept snapping. They are dead to me now. After abandoning those crayons, I switched to tri-tone colored pencils my brother got me. They’re a million times better.

You can use anything you want for this part, or skip it altogether.

 ^ 5. Final touches. I went back in with white acrylic and dialed the background back. The “hero” of the piece was mouse-girl, not all that psychedelic dicking around.

You could argue that doing all that work in the background, then painting over it, is pointless. However, I think that the light variation in the background makes it much more interesting than just nothingness.

In Photoshop, I touched up the dark spots in the dress and on her cheek. They’re two small area tweaks, but this isn’t quite the drawing in my physical sketchbook. (See digression below).

I also made the image square so it’d turn out correctly in Instagram and back in Sktchy. (Gotta share it, especially with the girl who was the source material!)

Done!

Thanks for following along! Feel free to join me for a discussion below.

And now for a digression: Is Photoshop “cheating”? Should drawings be presented online exactly as they are in real life? Is the drawing I’ve presented here a “lie”?

When I was in college, a professor told us that our work would be seen online 99% of the time.

Most people are going to catch your latest creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, whatever. They’re never going to know you flubbed that line or fucked over your color scheme unless you tell them. The original work can be like me in middle school — untouched, unseen, unneeded. (I went through a really prolonged Ugly Duckling stage.)

I think that the most important thing is to show everyone whatever your vision is. If your materials or your hands betray you, that shouldn’t stop you from expression. So sure, fix those colors. Erase bits. Rearrange things. Split it apart and smash it back together. You aren’t entering the “I Did This By Hand And No Photoshop Came Into Play” contest.

Or are you? If so, ignore this part, you Cheaty McCheat-Pants. You’re a horrid person.

These 5 sketchbook spreads will make you more stupid.

“Do male Medusas go bald?” 

You can’t un-read that dumb-ass question.

Space Banksy says: “I flew millions of light years to leave my art in your craps!” 

What if crop circles are “real”? Are they the equivalent of a teenager with a can of spray paint?

Are crop circles left by cosmic assholes who are actively disappointing their parents?

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world. But I’m a vegan.” 

To extend the animal metaphor, you can’t win the rat race if you’re not in it. But who wants to be a rat, anyway?

Why are all of the metaphors about getting ahead always animal-based? What does that say about the nature of success? That we lose our humanity to achieve it?

I know. That’s something a nihilistic 14-year-old boy would say.

 

 

Ninja Turtle to Squirrel: “… Dad?”
Squirrel: “Oh hell no. I always use condoms.” 

At what point did Splinter have to tell his kids that they were adopted?

Or did they figure it out on their own?

Donatello: “There’s no one in the universe that Pops could’ve banged to make us come out.”
Raphael: (storms out, breaks stuff)
Leonardo: I’ll go after him, I guess.
Michaelangelo: I’m going to eat my feelings. It’s a 3-pizza kinda day.

Ghosting: “I’m not going to text you back.” 

Was ghosting started by Casper-being passive-aggressive to his girlfriend?

Does your skull hurt from just skimming your eyes over that question?

I hope you found your visit to my sketchbook fun, if not intellectually enlightening.

5 Ink Brush Paintings From My Sketchbook

I’ve begun the arduous frenzy of scanning my last sketchbook. The scanner yawns and shrieks as the images get slurped into the digital realm. I love to touch the pages, feel the bumps of the acrylic and gouges of quill pens, before each scan.

My entire home is filled with skulls. Fanciful depictions, not real ones. My husband has a “no corpses in the house” policy.

^ I can’t remember precisely why I drew this little rabbit boy, but I suspect it had something to do with my in-laws’ tradition of cycling through A Christmas Story repeatedly over the holidays.

Both “dodo” and “poop” are funny words.

Even sideshow carnies need nice home decor. Perhaps especially sideshow carnies.

We lost Gene Wilder this year. I had to take a moment to celebrate Willie Wonka. And the Oompa Loompas.

God love the Oompa Loompas.

Any suggestions for what to draw next?

Save

A month’s worth of illustrations, plus bipartisan suggestions for the next 4 years.

While thinking (fretting) (panicking) about what the next four years will be like, I wondered, is there literally anything Donald Trump could do as president to to make me like him?

In between these illustrations, I have a few non-partisan suggestions that everyone in America can get behind.

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Make the Barenstain Bears the Barenstein Bears again. I think everyone would feel better if this creepy alternate-universe conspiracy were set to rights. Just make them officially the Barenstein Bears and we’ll all feel better.

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Cleaner gas station bathrooms. Sit to poo without fear, America.

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Bigger fireworks. Bigger! Sparklier! Make ’em ‘uuuuuuuuuge!

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Taco trucks on every corner. The Donald needs to reconsider disparaging this notion. It’d really perk everyone up.

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Banning the Chicken Dance from Large Gatherings. I wrote a letter to my wedding DJ about how he must not play this song on my Special Day under any circumstances. I’m not above writing a letter to President Trump to the same effect.

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Puppies. His family should adopt a shelter animal. A really cute one. Preferably a dog, not a cat, because everyone likes a dog. Cats are the snooty pets of liberal, elite ivy-tower types.

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Ticks. They’re the grossest, most terrifying threat to our nation. I just scratched my bosom and found one. I’ve never been bitten by an undocumented immigrant.

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And, most importantly,

Let us see inside Area 51. Please, Donny. We’re all dying to know.

A Few Good Mensch: How The Jews Saved Earth, Again, in Independence Day Resurgence

The original Independence Day was about a lot of things: stinky alien corpses, Will Smith hitting things, the White House exploding, Data from Star Trek getting possessed, unspoken words between lovers, families reaching across distance, and nerdy Jews.

The two main characters were a studly action star and… geeky, scraggly, hairy, fussy, introverted Jeff Goldblum.

Independence Day was mostly considered “Will Smith’s summer movie this year.” People said “Did you see the new Will Smith movie?”, not “Did you see the new Jeff Goldblum movie?”

It’s surprising, therefore, that Independence Day: Resurgence is a Jeff Goldblum movie. While there is a “Will Smith” character (a similar-looking actor who plays his adopted son from the first movie), he’s hardly on screen at all.

The franchise’s sequel-switcheroo changes everything. It even changes the way I think about the original. 

Mensches

To briefly summarize Independence Day Resurgence:

On the 20th anniversary of the attack, the aliens return. They want to kill us again.

The aliens blow up our satellites and most of our defenses. They wreck our landmarks. The odds look bad.

The president gives a rousing speech. Humans rally. There’s a fight. Some live. Some die. The aliens win. The end.

Just kidding.

After watching the movie, my husband was confused about the huge part that David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum)’s father, Julius Levinson, played in the film. This time around, he doesn’t have any brilliant ideas. He just putzes around and uses a lot of Yiddish. He could have been removed from the movie entirely and not affected the plot a whit.

Mr Levinson is the comedic relief,” I said. “This movie is basically a Jewish comedy with aliens.”

And I realized, after I’d said it, that it was true.

In my heart, David Levinson had always been the protagonist/mastermind. Will Smith was a pawn in Levinson’s game of mental chess against the aliens.

This was the movie version of Garry Kasparov (who had a Jewish dad!) vs Deep Blue — humanity versus the Other.

What’s interesting here is that humanity typically treats Jews like the Other. They’ve historically been treated like second-class citizens, yet they’re the ones spearheading the campaign against the aliens in these films. Their oddness — their unconventional approach — is what usually makes them loathed. But it gives them the intellectual edge here.

Jews are the underdog of humanity. Humanity is the underdog of this fight.

The Independence Day series is a David and Goliath battle, maxed out. 

It’s basically Bible storytelling.

With aliens.

Which makes the plot really simple and archetypal.

Depending on your point of view, that makes Independence Day 1 & 2 either classic or stupid.

Most critics agree that the movie didn’t need to be made twice. Independence Day 2 was a re-hash of the first, with a deluge of callbacks and references. Though it doesn’t break any new ground, it did make me re-consider the first movie in a new light.

And also? It was a shit-ton of fun.