Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it the snowtimes?

Yes! I've now officially broken in the Totoro inkwell and it worked brilliantly! The mouth now has an expected ring of black ink on the inside and I stupidly decided to pour just a wee bit of glaze in the mouth and not properly allow it to dry before inking so there's now a small paintless patch on the inside, but it's otherwise perfect! Held the ink just splendidly, the mouth was exactly the right width for me to swirl the brush around in, and despite moving Totoro around like crazy, he never once spilled! As an added bonus, the teeth proved to be an excellent place to quickly wipe off any excess ink from the brush since they're a ledge hanging inwards!

Here's what I decided to make tonight during the testing-just a very quick doodle that all said and done, probably took about an hour total, which is absurdly quick for me. Plus, I stopped halfway through the sketch and played "who's a big dumb head that just got their nose bopped?!?!!!!" with my cat for a bit.

This was so much fun to just knock out! I'm definitely going to experiment more with my inking, and the first step I've definitely got to take is getting some real brushes! I have no idea why, but basically every single brush I was able to find tonight was either a falling apart white nylon brush, or a falling apart 'comes in a pack of five but are totally the worst brushes you'll ever use' discount brushes. I KNOW I used to have some decent ones, but they're either buried in the chaos of my hallway closet, or they were lost in a move. Either way, it's probably about time I upgraded to well-informed growed-up art brushes and that's exactly what I intend to do! Well... Sort of.

I spent a large chunk of the night looking for advice on what brushes to use, and the internet seems to have come to the conclusion that all hope is lost as all brush manufacturers are either crap, expensive, expensive crap, or expensive crap that just isn't like how it used to be. So I've settled on ordering some brushes from Rosemary and Co. because heck, they're cheap and so am I! Besides, if I'm going to take a chance on good-quality brushes being horrible I may as well go for a brand that not only gives a money back guarantee, but will instantly replace any product that you report to them is unsatisfactory, no questions asked. Now try getting THAT kind of deal from Windsor & Newton.

Once I get around to figuring out just which Rosemary brushes I want, I think I'll do a review of them, since I really appreciated the recommendations I found online for different brushes and like to think that someone else will be as grateful for the advice of someone who actually experienced the product as I was.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Inkwell Totoro

So I was reading this post on comic tools and pretty much flipped my lid. First of all, I've been looking for something decent to put my ink in while working that I wasn't afraid would tip over when I nudged it or my cat decided to be naughty and hop up next to it and dip his paw into [he's actually really good when I'm working and almost always patiently waits, curled up next to me, for break time. But I'm always afraid that he'll get brave and jump up here and murder whatever I'm working on, just like he used to when he was a kitten.] and get ink EVERYWHERE. I don't know why it never occurred to me to just make something but MAN the instant I saw Amalgamated Biscut's little ceramic inkwell that reminds me surprisingly of Astroboy, I knew what I had to do. So last night, I got to working on making my own out of Super Sculpy!

I mean, just look at this guy!!!!

I'm pretty much certain that this is basically the coolest thing I'll ever make.

Now obviously, my concerns were much different when making this than Biscuit's were, but it is EXACTLY what I wanted, and needed. My BIGGEST concern was stability, because as of this morning alone I've knocked at least three brushes, a round container, a roll of tape, and the lid to something off my desk... Knowing this about myself, I knew it would be best to make sure there was something that laid flat and reduced the chances of spillage dramatically. I was also looking for something that I'd be able to put ink into easily but also be able to take ink out of without too much hassle, either by brush or by the little drip squeezer that comes in my ink. A lot of times when I'm inking, because I'm worried about being messy and I don't have anything decent to put my ink in, I'll squeeze out a couple of drops of ink from the eyedropper onto my pen or brush EVERY SINGLE TIME I need to refill it. It's tedious, it's a pain, but it's not messy or wasteful and it gets the job done. Gosh darn though, I'm so excited about this Totoro inkwell and I can't WAIT to take it out for a spin! Now, I'll be spending today coloring more of the comic, but I've got exactly the PERFECT piece in mind to break in My Inkwell Totoro and I simply can not wait!!!

And, for those of you who either don't know who Totoro is or who DO know who Totoro is and love him just as much as I do, here's a spot that Cartoon Network ran when they premiered it on their channel. It's even got the part of the film that I based my inkwell off of in it! Yay!

Double bonus!!! Orchestral version of one of the Totoro themes!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And what's the deal with those October snowstorms?

Finally! Halloween came and knocked our socks off with a kind of random and uncalled-for snow storm. Luckily, in my area there was only a light... smattering... of snow, but a couple of my friends reported having gotten up to 2 feet of snow! Holy moley! Sadly, the snow canceled my plans to revisit the Renaissance Faire on its final weekend, but I had a darned good time anyway. Linvilla Orchards had some AWESOME pumpkins up for grabs, so I took the opportunity to carve a rather swell Totoro [from My Neighbor Totoro] pumpkin... Which is not pictured below. Instead, I'm spreading the love by 'accidentally' hitting 'put that preview of Little Red Men' up on this blog. Whoopsies, clumsy me! Kind of the same concept as when you're making yourself a nice pot of grits and you just happen to trip and drop a block of cream cheese in while crossing the kitchen. [Wise advice from Paula Deen, let me tell you...]

This page was a lot of fun for me to color, because I really liked playing with the skyline in the first [heck, ONLY] panel. Really brings me back to when I was a kid and we'd sit on the roof of the house and just watch the stars show up.

And, since it's been a while since I've shared anything from Misa, here's something else to add to the 'not getting used this time!' collection!

We've got a new line of treatments coming out soon, and the owners wanted a quick header card so they could send out an advance package of them to Trade Secrets. When I asked if they had any imagery or themes or colors that they wanted incorporated into the design, I was only given "Fresh and clean." Which caused me to hum "So fresh and so clean, clean" while doodling that. We've decided to go in a more photographic direction, so that means I'm free to share that little gem! And as an odd sort of treat, I'll leave you with this video.

What a random song to suddenly have stuck in my head.