Doodle Swap #8

January 27th, 2011

For this one, I did this big drawing (with the gridlines) so I could split it up and each person would get a little piece with a little bit of detail. Here’s the whole thing:


A few more doodle swap doodles

October 17th, 2010

The dog nose one was actually in a dream I had. It was incredibly, incredibly creepy at the time. That was probably 15 years ago, so you can see it stuck with me.








Ol’ Sphincter Business is Done

October 16th, 2010

…but I think I am keeping him. Sorry, theoretical doodle swap recipient! Click for big, of course.


Another Doodle Swap

October 12th, 2010

here’s another one for this sessions “Dreams & Nightmares” doodle swap. Another crummy photo rather than a scan, though. Once they’re all done I’ll scan them.


doodle swap WIP

October 10th, 2010

The theme for this session’s Doodle Swap is “Dreams and Nightmares.” I’m working on this guy at the moment. Others, too, but I’m happiest with Ol’ Sphincter Business here. The actual size is pretty small (this image should be about the right size – 2.5″ x 3.5″ – click for big) – and this is just a photo, not a scan, so it’s not super fantastic. Soz.


October 6th, 2010 - A short message to font designers

(hopefully our regularly-scheduled programming will resume soon. It’s been a busy summer.)

When you make your “free” font available only for “personal use” you not only guarantee that I shall not download your font, because I cannot keep track of who lets me use their fonts for what purpose, you thereby guarantee that your font will not make an appearance on the television spots my work appears in, the big-name web sites I work on, the small-name web sites I work on, or any other commericial work that might actually cause people to see your font. If you’re not a big name font designer (and sometimes even if you are), making your work available for free gets your name and your work out there.

…Just a small message from my other life as a graphic designer-type-person.

October 4th, 2010 - Remarkable anonymous works

some things about nibs

July 18th, 2010

Oy, summer is busy around these parts. I have some of my doodles colored and some more begun but in the meantime I have a huge pile of work and we are out of town next week and it’s just all kind of crazy.

I did buy a big pile of nibs from John Neal Bookseller – which is super, if very difficult to navigate (I can’t seem to link directly to products, for one thing) – and I have been trying them out. So I thought I would put my thoughts down here. I should note: my choices of what to order are somewhat arbitrary. Some nibs (brands, at least, if not specific nibs) came recommended from more than one source, some were based on the notes at John Neal, and some were whimsy.

The John Neal people are hardcore Lettering Folks, so a lot of their recommendations are based on what’s best for certain kinds of lettering (especially, apparently, Spencerian, which I guess is like the holy grail of hand lettering) which is not at all what I am doing. That said, they sure do know what they’re talking about. They also sell Dappen Dishes, which I still wish were even narrower, but which are a hell of a lot better than the shot glass I was using before getting some. I hate wasting ink.

Brause Rose – The John Neal people seemed to really love this nib. I thought it was okay. Definitely not my favorite, though it does have a fair amount of flex.

Brause 66EF – Also kind of so-so on this one. Holds very little ink (as many of these do.)

Principal EF – Another one they absolutely raved about. More ink than the above, and it’s one I’ll try out again, but not my favorite.

Nikko G – Medium flex and easy to work with. I’ve gone back to this one since my test page.

Gillott 170 – Gillotts are favorites amongst comics inkers. I liked this one quite a lot and it is very flexible.

Gillott 303 – Also quite flexible and smoother than the 170. I liked it better than the 170 in general.

William Mitchell 3.5 Roundhand – Nice if you’re doing Roundhand, not so much if you’re…not.

William Mitchell 4 & 5 Roundhand – a little better (esp. the 5) but still really roundhand nibs.

William Mitchell 6 – Bought this after seeing Laura Barnard’s lovely work, and I do like it. Still a little bit roundhand-y but really not bad at all.

Hunt 512 – Reasonably smooth but fairly stiff.

Hunt 56 – Not very smooth but fairly flexible.

Hunt 99 – Crazy flexible. Almost impossible to handle. It just bends willy-nilly all over the place.

Hunt 108 – Also incredibly flexible. Marginally easier to manage than the 99, but still very difficult.

Hiro – I liked this nib quite a bit. Quite flexible but still smooth on the paper.

So far I have particularly liked the Gillots, especially the 303, the Nikko G, and the Hiro. I will probably experiment more with the Brauses and the Principal, but most of the Hunts were not my thing and the Mitchells seem fantastic for their purpose but other than the 6 not helpful for me personally.


Doodle Swap beginnings

July 14th, 2010

I’m doing the Doodle Swap this round and did not realize I had to do TEN doodles (way to go reading things.) Still – very fun. Also very fun to get doodles in the mail (three so far!) So I’ve started doodling, though one of these is for IF and I am not sure if the guy in the lower left is going to survive. With a business trip Sunday through yesterday and lots of work to do, 2.5″ x 3.5″ is about the best I can manage, so hooray for size limits!

Click for quite a lot larger. The pencil is all still there, sorry. It’s several kinds of pens – a nib or two I’m getting used to (mostly the Gillott 303, possibly some of the Nikko G), Pentel Brush Pen, Micron .005 in a couple places and also my Namiki Falcon fountain pen which I wasn’t sure if I would like and wound up using constantly (with a converter so I can use Noodler’s ink)


Illustration Friday: Giant

July 5th, 2010

This is all-digital, much to the chagrin of my wrist, and many thanks to the amazing stumpy pencil photoshop brush.* But I think I like it all right. Any thoughts would be most welcome.





One of the things I learned about myself during my all-too-brief time with Pikaland’s Bootcamp was this: I will repeat nigh-identical sketches for a subject if I am not entirely confident about what I’m doing, until I either solve the problem, run out of time and do it anyway, or give up. In my mind I think I am solving entirely different, usually extremely minor problems, but in fact I am just redrawing the thing until the light bulb goes off in my brain indicating the thing that is actually wrong. In this case (having doodled a bunch of things first and selected this as the one I liked the most,) the giant’s legs were originally much longer, with his knees tucked up almost to his chin. While that was of course much more physically probable, it worked far less well visually than these stumps my poor giant calls legs. I probably drew it six times with long legs, and then another two or three with short ones.

The funny thing is that I am a very fast learner when it comes to learning information. What is turning out to be true, however, is that I am an inexorably slow developer of images. Even the seemingly simplest of my images winds up taking just ages. Maybe that process will shorten with time and practice. Or not.

* And which I heard about from Jon Davis, who deploys the brush with great flair.