Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Hollow Men: Black and White

This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, and now that a good amount of time has passed, I figure: why not now?
Above are the first seven pages of The Hollow Men (my story for Flight volume 8) in their black-and-white state. This was a new process for me, and it was extremely educational. Normally, I work in ink and lineart first, pure black and white with no greytones, and then go in afterwards and color it all at once.
I knew in general I really wanted to hone in on my storytelling, which is all about composition, which is all about value and emphasis. Anyways- I don't want to be redundant so if you're interested in how it came together, I went over some parts of my process for the Hollow Men in a few previous posts here, here and here.

When the comic was all finished in black and white, I had a really hard time moving forward. Looking back now, I'm glad I finished it in color and I'm happy with the result...but at the time I really felt that, once it had been drawn in greyscale it was finished. Every time I went to color it, I felt I was weakening and ruining the work I had done by inches.

The vision I had in my head for how it would turn out was definitely in color, but I felt that my ability wasn't equal to my vision in this case- and black-and-white allowed me to imagine the color and how it would work without having to actually deal with actually coloring it.

It was like there was unlimited possibility, and it was so exhilarating because it left color up to the imagination...but once you start making decisions, you start hacking into that possibility and it can run the risk of feeling overworked...squeezing out space for the reader's imagination to participate in creating the world and envisioning the story.

It's still something I'm thinking about...and it's hard because I love color SO MUCH. But I figure, since this is my blog and nobody can tell me not to, I'd post some more of the black-and-white work for everyone to see and I'll continue to think about the correct application of color in my work :) Sometimes less is more?

I think when you do less, when you start to stylize and pull back in different ways, you leave more and more up to the reader. I don't think I'm ever likely to let go of color outright, but limiting it and putting a value on simplicity has it's attraction (hence, Jellybots). Everyone's gaga over hyper-real art, even in comics, and it just leaves me high and dry.
I may be making a controversial statement here, but I personally am much more exhilarated and inspired to read this than this. I'm not saying the latter is bad, but I do think it pushes me out of the world much more than inviting me in. Perhaps it would be better to compare the former with this. :)
Anyways, I'm not comparing my chicken scratch to these much better artists' work- and maybe I'm just off on a tangent here and nobody's following, but I think a lot about the magic in simplicity.
It can be very impressive to render the hell out of every panel, but I am trying to learn how to hold back on trying to impress people with polished art, and start trying to actually tell a story. And in some ways I regret getting as rendered as I did with this piece in the very end.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy these pages! Maybe sometime I'll even post the rest of them :)

Much love,


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On God, Art, and Dragons.

I praise God that it is in the moments when we are the weakest, most broken and helpless that God is most glorified. I hope that, as I write about my life and my work, this comes across loud and clear- I am a small man sustained by the grace of God alone. I hope that, when I talk about spiritual things- about God, and about my faith (which is so important to me) that you don't hear me preaching downwards from some height.
I could just talk shop in whatever way feels safest: keep to the art-speak and pithy anecdotes from my life. But I find that if I am going to be truly honest, I cannot avoid talking about God.

To my mind, when I talk about faith, I am talking about art. There is no clear separation. If my work and what I believe fit neatly into their own separate categories, then neither would be much of anything. If my belief in God was all well and good but had nothing to do with why I make art, I would be in a sad state indeed- given that so much of my time and energy is devoted to making art. As I've been feeling the desire to wax a little introspective and I hope, as you all have in the past, that you'll indulge me again :)
I feel that God uses my work and my experiences with art to teach me lessons that suddenly become all the more vivid and true to me because they relate to things in my life that matter deeply to me. Or to put it another way: I speak "art", so God speaks "art" to me so that I'll understand. And because art matters deeply to me, it matters deeply to me when I find God stooping to my level just to really get to me.

So love: right? God is loving, we've all heard it.
It's so possible to just hear something again and again and again to the point where it means nothing anymore. You becomes desensitized, and you tune out because in the end it's just words. What are they talking about, anyways?
It's pretty impossible for me to get/relate to the love of an all-powerful deity. But I understand the love of my family. And God goes to great lengths in the Bible to communicate his love is like that of a 'father'. He's saying "I know you don't understand, so here's a you get it now?"
It's all well and good to say that God is beautiful and he is a loving creator, but it is so much more vivid when you can understand that his love is like the love of your family. Your actual ridiculous, boisterous, frustrating, wonderful, stupid family. You follow me? How does this relate to art? Stick with me.

I mentioned that God's use of the word "Father" is like a picture. I mean that literally. It's like an image: an abstraction, a representation meant to pluck at your heart and your associations and communicate something deeper than just the word itself. I'll come back to this.
So: beauty. It was never quite enough to me to say that God was beautiful, because that was just a word. And that word, in the context of church, in the mouth of a well-meaning pastor on Sunday morning meant to me that he was beautiful like worship-service stock photos of sunsets and pastel-colored naked babies with wings. Not terribly interested.

As an artistic soul caught up in the mainstream church-culture of America, I've sometimes felt ostracized. If you're like me, you don't really like the things it seems that everyone else likes- and you feel that your definition of 'beauty' clashes wildly with the church's. Which means yours is clearly a wrong one that you need to repent of. -_-
Really, the opposite is true. If you have a love of art and all things visual, you are closer to understanding what God means when he says beautiful. And if you follow that through to its conclusion, you may find yourself nearer to the beating heart of God than you'd have imagined possible.

It was a new and really profound thought to me: God's understanding of beauty encompasses my entire understanding of beauty. Hold on that for a second.

This means everything you've ever loved, admired, found striking, stood in awe of. Everything that moves you to tears. And if that's not pastel-colored paintings of angels: THAT'S OK.

For me that includes things like Miyazaki Films and good acapella. It includes comic books and mid-afternoon light. It includes good, heartfelt folk rock and ridiculous, candy-coated dance music. Chocolate chip cookies, musicals, rainy days, and well-chosen fonts.
I have spent much of my life feeling like I need to be making the 'right' kind of art...that It was all well and good for me to love fantasy novels and Disney movies, but the real ministry and work of God was done in tracts and comic-books-about-angels. Not that it can't include those things, it's just SO MUCH BIGGER, and if we miss that then we miss the point. And that's the very simple thing I'm trying to get at.
If we believe what we say we believe, then we believe that God made EVERYTHING. And before we get ahead of ourselves and decide we can judge what parts of creation are 'good' and 'evil' we have to remember that he declared everything to be 'good' first and foremost. All creation is still his. In the story of Genesis, the first act of God was to make art. "Let there be light" laid the foundations for every form of visual expression ever conceived.
When we paint, we paint with colors God conceived of. Every act of art is at least an accidental act of praise.
When I make art, I am playing Legos. God made the Legos, and I'm just...rearranging. That in- and-of-itself shows that, like a child made in the likeness of his father, I love to create because he loves to create. And that's enough to justify the action of creating. Praise God for Legos!
As a character designer, this has become clearer and clearer to me as I work. I design dragons for a living. And people love dragons.
(Aside: Not all people love dragons. In fact, generally the church-ladies of the world would have me feel guilty and heavy-laden for digging on dragons. They're 'evil', 'demonic' beasts, right? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY DRAGONS YOU WOULD HAVE TO DESIGN IF YOU WERE GONNA ILLUSTRATE THE BIBLE? A butt-ton, is the answer to that question. Not to mention the Leviathan, a monster which God describes as one of his favorite and mightiest creations. BUT ANYWAY.)
Something about dragons occurred to me when I went to the zoo.
There's a thing about the zoo- it's pretty amazing when you're a very little kid...animals are cool! Everything is new and astounding, bizarre and exciting. Then most kids (at least, I did) go through this phase where it's all just 'boring'. I mean- horses? seen em. A fish is a fish, you know what I mean? But dragons? Hell yeah. SUPAH COOL.
But I took a few character design courses, trying to come up with super-cool new designs and things that nobody's ever seen...I started to sense something was holding my work back. Everything felt derivative of things I had seen drawn before- I was regurgitating work other people had already done. I needed to strip my process back down to basics.
So I hit up the zoo. And HOLY CRAP. Suddenly all that jaded little-kid-stuff fell off in a heap. I was suddenly back at the visual source- the origins of all creature design. Maybe this doesn't happen for everyone, but it happened this way for me. I was suddenly enraptured like the littlest kid by watching manta-rays float and snakes coil. It rocked my world and I realized that dragons aren't cool for their own sake at all- Lizards are cool. Bats are cool. Dragons are cool because of that little spark of creativity that it took for someone to put bat wings on a lizard. See what I mean by Legos? The spirit of creativity?

G.K. Chesterton (who is a GENIUS like WHOAH) puts it better than I ever could:
"Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water."
I realized that I do nothing that God hasn't already done. And in that moment I realized that God loves character design more than anyone who'd ever designed a character. He was a better, more wondrous designer than I would ever be, and he wasn't looking down impatiently for me to put down my pencil and start praising him. He was waiting for me to realize that by picking up my pencil, I was praising him all along.
And it's so beautiful, because there's this other side to it, too. Why would God make art? That doesn't make sense; to just do something for no reason at all. But then I think about why I make art...
I'm an illustrator, so this aspect of it is very specific to my discipline: I make art to communicate. I make art to say things to people that don't make sense to say in words. I write, and I use words when it seems right to do so, but sometimes what is in me to express is emotional and wordless.
And then suddenly lizards and bats and sunsets all make a kind of sense to me. When we see something beautiful, we see the beating heart of God. And God gets this idea, because God communicates his love in the person of Jesus, most completely and for this reason Jesus is called the "word made flesh".
Is it so hard to believe, therefore, that every coiling snake and every color on the color wheel; every Lego in the whole set is stamped to it's very core with the message "I love you"? "I love you in this wordless, beautiful way and there's just no way to express it other than >beluga whale<" :)
Such that there is no combination you can make, no work of art you can conceive of that isn't covered all over in God's love, whether you intend it or not.
In that light, it is a delight...a wonder to study and to learn to love some small part of what God must have loved when he made a lizard. To delight with him in its scales, color, spines and forms. And to me, God is saying "you like that? me too!"
And moreover: "you know that green? I love you" "I love you enough to make you this green I knew you'd love."
They are little gifts, love notes all throughout creation and all we see, stuck everywhere. Here and there: whispering in every small way "I love you. You specifically. Here's how."

And we can get it wrong- I get it so wrong so often, and I put the gift before the giver. I open the present and become obsessed with its qualities and functions and forget to notice the loving parent who is watching me play and just waiting, aching for a "thank you".

That's as honest and open a window into my thoughts as any. And just as messy and stream-of-consciousness, too :p Call it a first draft.
Thanks for reading (if you have). If not, I understand :) I'm...wordy.
Short version: Thank God for Dragons, Color and Miyazaki Movies.

I am so grateful for your support and comments. I hope this finds you well :)

God bless and love you,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Prompts: Part 2 (Seattle Trip!)

"they move when nobody's looking."

Multimedia entry!
I just started taking photos for fun. It's like, the first time ever (on my very, very crappy camera)
and some of them even turned out alright (especially after reintroducing some contrast in know it's funny, it's one of the ONLY times I've ever used Photoshop on photos?)
So if you'll indulge me (and if I keep the habit up) I'm gonna pepper a few photos up on this blog as I go...It's become more and more related to my artwork, since I've been taking my watercolor on the road and my sketchbook has become more of a hybrid sketch/travel/prayer journal.

Last week I decided to take a trip to Seattle. One of my very best friends moved out there a year ago, and I promised him I'd come visit him sometime- so (realizing I have become a grown-up with a job and stuff) I hopped a plane, scheduled some time off and headed out there with my sketchbook & camera in hand. Even better- I went with 5 new prompts in 5 unopened envelopes tucked away in my bag.

I've been to Seattle once before, for an interview with Microsoft whereupon I was pampered with beautiful weather and expenses paid. I assumed, based on my previous luck, that I could expect Seattle's trademark rainy gloom to be in full effect this time around. Somehow I was blessedly wrong and ended up with the most beautiful 5 days ever! The result of which is that now Seattle ranks up there with my favorite places to be in the world. I'll have to see it when it's pissy sometime, maybe I'll like it less :/ For the time being, though, my good opinion remains untarnished. I love Seattle.

So- before I wax too lyrical, I should get on to the prompts and sundry (my favorite of which, I slapped some quick color on. It's sitting atop this post):

Day 1:
"something left, something taken"

I mean-'s a cute idea. But I was on a plane (dead alseep for most of the ride) and had to rush this out in between the hustle and bustle of arriving, getting settled, seeing my friends again and eating good food. And guys: let me tell you: I ate some GOOD food in Seattle :)
I think the prompt is really beautiful and evocative, and I feel a little silly for having only come up with the above. Ah well, it was my first instinctive response and I couldn't shake it :)

Day 2:
"deeply rooted"

Quite happy with this one- just a sweet little illustration, and the context of it is hard to explain. I just like the idea of giving-tree esque friendship between a child and an unmoving tree. Something transient and something intransient.

Day 3:
"the kid's table"

For whatever reason, this was the hardest prompt for me. I just didn't connect with it- sometimes you have an idea and sometimes you just don't. The top illustration is what I came up with, and I'm pleased enough with it, but "meh" overall :p It does amuse me as an illustration of the concept "God is very, very patient" The second illo is a pass at the next prompt...

Day 4:
"the unmendable hole"

Hopefully pretty self-explanatory. I had a few other solves for this one, but they got a little more personal than I'd like to publish. Still- enjoyed this one...less of a scene and more of a graphic solution.

Day 5:
"they move when nobody's looking"

This is my favorite. Favorite prompt and favorite solve. Hopefully it's self-explanatory. It was a real challenge to try and work out a composition on the fly in this medium...most of my watercolor stuff has been single characters, landscapes, or spot illustrations- but when you introduce the idea of a narrative scene, suddenly the composition becomes the thing. I'm not happy with this as more than just a study, but it was a step in the scary direction of composing in media without a ctrl-z. Sketching, erasing, and ctrl-z are a huge part of my composing process, so I definitely balked. It drives me nuts now, but at least I got something out on paper. More better in the future!

That wraps up the prompts, but I should mention, for honesty's sake: I had a 6th prompt, but I didn't finish it...not because I didn't want to, but I ran out of time and got frustrated. I guess I felt I should mention it because sometimes this happens: you fail. It's not the end of the world- especially with self-inflicted homework for fun, but it does suck to feel like I couldn't even keep up with voluntary sketch work :/ At any rate: a good lesson ^_^

But I didn't just do prompts while I was away- I kept doodling as the mood took me, and I figured it would be fun to toss those up here too, interspersed with some of my favorite snapshots :)

We climbed the space-needle and had lunch at the top- it was SO incredible up there. I know it's the most touristy thing you can possibly do in Seattle, but the fact that it was a cliche didn't cause it to lose any of it's lustre. I had spent a couple of days bopping around the city before we went up, and it was awesome to pick out places we had visited as the restaurant spun. (oh yeah- it spins. Did I mention that? Who has two thumbs, a blog, and was mildly nauseous the whole time? THIS GUY)

Since we were turning around and around, I was struck with a sudden inspiration to pass a note along the rim of the restaurant. Peter could freehand a passable map of the USA, so we decided to send this around and see what happened! In an hour, we were delighted to find that once we reached our note, several other people had responded! I was a little miffed that they had stolen my pen in the process, though -_-

We got fancy pizza downtown somewhere (don't remember exactly where we were) and right outside the pizza place was this ivy-lined alleyway with this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop hidden in it. I was so struck by how beautiful it was, I remembered it and drew it from memory later.

While at pizza, I did do some sketching. My friend Peter challenged me to draw him (which i did! and I was super pleased to find I caught some part of his personality in it). Then I passed the sketchbook around and made everyone else draw. It was like pulling teeth, but the humored me, and then I watercolored over their drawings :)
ALSO: near this pizza place we went to this place called WOW which was, get this, an overtly 'christian' bubble-tea joint O___O Like: seriously. I was slurping my slushee to worship music.
I was so amused, I texted my sister about it, which unleashed a cavalcade of puns including:
Tapioca Testimonies
Biblical Bubbles
Scriptural Slushies
Mighty to Mango
Lord over Litchi
Gummy Gospel
The Taro Torah
Parting of the Red Tea
King of the Juice
Frozannah in the Yoghest
Boba and the Whale
(and my favorite)
Slurpshack, Teashack, and Abendystraw

^_^ derpa derp. derp. derp. I have a good sister.

On our tour of the most-cliche-tourist-destinations-in-Seattle, we stopped over at Pike Place Market. Again, I was delighted...I just really really love big colorful overcrowded markets and street performers (of which there were several :D)

Taken in the Seattle Public Library. I had a day of exploring the city on my own, and I headed over there where I ogled at the architecture, found the reading room, sat down to sketch and promptly fell dead asleep. Like- totally gone, mouth agape, probably snoring loudly. I woke up to the sun setting through the angled windows of the building with my mouth tasting like library.

And then THIS happened. Gasworks park...on the most incredible afternoon-into-sunset of the week. It was the most beautiful location on the water in the middle of the city surrounded by harbor activity and the skyline , and it was so SO cold. I sat up on the crest of the hill and sketched as my friends wandered off in search of warmer climes:

This. Place. I am in love. F'real.

Before you ask- yes. Those are what you think they are...and my sister made them from scratch. Like I said- I have a good sister :)
Oh, and yeah- I got a haircut.

Alright, that wraps up my indulgent slideshow of snapshots and, I think, this entry!
I'll keep sketching if you keep reading :) And keep those comments coming- they are immensely encouraging (just knowing people are reading this crap is neat!) and I love hearing back from you're all pretty neat ^_^
Until next time- Much love, and may God bless you with life in abundance!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Daily Prompts: Part 1

"and then there were four..."

Ugh. YET AGAIN I have been absent for OVER A MONTH. No excuses, but:
I am officially making it a goal to update this blog a little more frequently than once-a-month-ish. It will tie nicely into my resolution to make more art more frequently! :)

I am still very much on a watercolor kick, and very much in my 'blue period'. Out of consideration for you folks (for being so patient and obliging!), I decided to break it up a bit and spent a few minutes tossing some quick color on the above sketch. I realize: not everyone is as in-love with Prussian Blue as I am (But. Guys. I am so. SO in love with Prussian Blue watercolor), and it might be nice to break up the monochrome.

Because I'd bet money that most of you don't watch this blog because of my monochromatic doodling- that you'd like to see some more finished looking work. Many of you may be getting a little impatient with all this scrawly sketchwork. I feel a (perhaps bizarre, perhaps unnecessary) need to make excuses for myself- this is something I need to do for me.

If you love this style of work, then please forgive me for not giving you the benefit of the doubt- you have much more broad and evolved tastes than I give you credit for! :)

I've said it often to myself and it's come up more than once in conversation: I don't much care if my color is pretty, my rendering is slick and my styling is confident- if my ideas aren't compelling/sincere/arresting, then it's all for naught. I spend all day at work doing very precise, 'rendered' drawings and sculptures- and I've found that I have been really craving to do...not-that!
I'm slowly realizing that, while technical skill has its place, in the end my joy in making art doesn't come from those things. I don't want to spend my life trying to render more precisely or paint like a renaissance master. Comparing myself to my peers in that regard is pretty dispiriting- I am by far not the best painter...and I think I don't want to spend time trying to be. And that is SO freeing :)

What gets me most excited is the dreaming- the conceiving, sketching, thinking and storytelling. I am more and more in love with work that shows the heart of the artist, and less and less in love with work that is technically excellent but empty. It's not a new thought, by any means, but it's taken on new meaning for me.

Perhaps it's more simply said this way: I am more inspired, my life is more enriched, by seeing a beautiful idea than by seeing a beautifully rendered bicep.
< / rant >

SO: to that end a friend of mine consented to give me a little homework. Each day for a few days at a time I would open a sealed envelope with a new prompt in it. Just a sentence or a word, and that day I would respond visually in some way or another.
What you'll see is pretty raw and unpolished. And I would say a lot of it is pretty boring and some of it fails completely. But I think it's probably more useful and interesting if I post them indiscriminately- I'm going to make a lot of mediocre work if I'm going to make good work. And I think there's something to be said for posting bad work as well as good.

Day 1:
"and then there were four..."

The first day is still one of my favorites, but it was a struggle from start to finish. I've found the more narrative/sentence-long prompts tend to inspire me more, but it's not a hard-and-fast rule. Day 1 I had a little idea, and I decided: "I'll make this a short little one-page comic! if it's sketchy and quick it won't take long and it'll be fun". So, I leapt right into trying to come up with characters and panels and assumed it would go quicker because of the style it was in. SO WRONG. I ended up having a mini panic attack and falling asleep early. True story.
The second image was to be the final panel in the comic, and it's the original idea, essentially. I still like it, and I thought about finishing the comic later but decided against it- I think it's more honest this way. Fact: sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, stress myself out, and become paralyzed. Comics are hard and style has nothing to do with why.

Day 2:

Day 2: chill out and breathe. Keep it simple. Something easy and, in the end, kind of 'meh'. They can't all be interesting :/

Day 3:
"the moment he knew"

lol. Hard to explain this first response- so I did a for-real one.

The final response I liked a lot, but it has little to do with the actual prompt. I had been thinking about this idea for Jellybots- herds of buildings migrating across the plains...

Day 4:
"...and that's when I stopped believing in gravity."

My first reaction to the prompt was a bit...obvious, I thought. And not particularly good. My first instinct is not often my best one (which is actually a really great lesson across all of these...often I had to do a little soul-searching and thinking to get to a result I was excited about- apparently it's not enough for me to just lash out on intuition alone), so I gave this one another quick shot...

ahhh...that's better. "...and a number of other things, for that matter."

Just because I had to think a little harder didn't mean the result would necessarily be more...intellectual. Perhaps 'thinking' is the wrong word- maybe it's that I had to stop 'thinking' about the prompt and start 'feeling' about it. That rings truer.

That pretty much wraps it up for my first session of prompts. I had a lot of fun when I wasn't panicking, so I asked her to do it again! I made a weekend trip to Seattle last week and took a few prompts with me! I'll post the results of those next (but I figure it might be less overwhelming if I break up the posts) :)

Bonus sketch! I am fond of the cut of this fellow's jib! Not to mention his Banjolele :)
If intrigued, please click.

Anyways, maybe this was an interesting look into how I think? Maybe it was a self-indulgent post full of introspection and meaningless doodling? Either way, I'm going to do it again until somebody stops me!

May the staggering beauty of what God has made give you pause and fill your heart up!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Loosening Up

In which I draw collars and shawls, just like always.

Hi guys! I've been meaning to get back on and post for a few weeks now...I just haven't had the necessary combination of free-time/internet access in which to do it.
But it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I find myself in the (rare-ish) position of having a little time to myself. SO HI. Long-time-no-monologue!

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster. And on a day like today, when my plans and to-do lists suddenly run out and leave me sitting here trying to occupy myself, it's important to remind myself that this is what I've been telling myself I've wanted all month :p
Actually, it's funny- reading the start of my last starts off with a similar sentiment. I guess I only blog when I'm feeling the need for a pajamas-and-tv day.

I don't have much in the way of 'profound' thought to offer today. But I DO have an enormous backlog of sketches I thought I'd share. Some of these I'm more pleased with than others, but part of the exercise of loosening up is letting rather than edit it down, I'm just going to post everything in a big bundle and move on :)

The encouraging lesson from watercolor is just that: move on.
Like ink, it can be an intimidating and unforgiving medium to approach. It's permanent and it doesn't like to be reworked. But it's as much a blessing as it is a curse: overlaboured watercolor looks awful! so you can't noodle on it. You actually HAVE to relax and get loose.
So I've been a lot more stream-of-consciousness about my sketchbooking recently...and it's so liberating! I find I am more excited about taking on art projects and doing little favors for people, because it's not the intimidating prospect it was before. I don't have to commit to pencils, inks, scanning and hours of color when I consider whether to do something or not; I can lay something down quick and be satisfied if only with the beautiful textures that the paint makes that have nothing to do with me. (Like that knee in the above drawing. It makes me SO happy. And I had, like, nothing to do with's just pretty paint.)

Enough about that! I think it's time I shut up a bit and showed some of the work I've been blabbing about.
A couple weeks back I went on a road-trip to see my family in Michigan. From here that means a 12 hour car ride. It's one I've made many times in my life...but it's always a new challenge to keep myself engaged for the entire trip. Luckily, this time I didn't have to do much of the driving...and I thought "why not, if I want to get all loosey-goosey, paint in the car? I mean, besides nausea." SO I DID! And I totally didn't throw up! It's not so bad if you keep your water in a water-bottle and use paint right out of the top of the tube :p
The next few pages are doodles from the car on the way up:

When I arrived in Michigan, I got to spend some much-belated time with my Grandparents. Particularly with my Grandpa, who suffers from MS and has been bound to a wheel chair as long as I can remember. Initially it was hard to see my grandparents and observe as they've grown older within the small rooms of their home. But as I was there, I was struck by how loved and cared for they are. It amazed me how full a life can be if even a few people love you. Despite his health and complications relating to his MS, my grandfather remains a canny and delightful was amazing to hear him talk. And as we were talking, I got to paint him.

Along the way in the car, there and back, I took come quick visual notes from observation of the landscape we were passing by. It's really interesting how I can more clearly remember the trip because I sketched it- even if I sketched it poorly. For whatever reason (I have a variety of theories that would comprise a whole new paragraph), watercolor makes me want to draw from life a lot more.

When back in Providence, I joined a few co-workers and went out to life-drawing (something I haven't done in a few years!) and It was good fun...It was a good excuse to take the paints on the road again.

I spent some time with a friend and professor, and after a while we both decided to bust out our sketch materials and just jam quietly between topics. It was great! It's something that is extremely difficult to do with a cintiq :p

Some of these I want to take into photoshop and color (like the self portrait from last post) when I get a little more time, I think that's the next step...see if I can't find a way to bridge the gap between both worlds.

I think that's it for now! Hopefully I won't go so long between posts next time. But it's nice to have art to share (I hope you guys like this sketchy stuff! I mean, I'mma probably do it anyways, but...) Thanks again for reading! Your feedback is valuable and encouraging! :D

Until next time!
Much love,