A simple, black-and-white drawing done in pen and ink. Elegant. Easy to understand. At least, if you can get past the weird little kid inside a birdhouse who has apparently saddled a mutant pigeon-sparrow. The black and white is the essential underpinning. The bones of the idea.
So, adding color makes things a little more complex. I started with the girl’s face. Here is where I establish the basic color-theme. And give more character to the surprised face peering through the portal of the bird house.
Much of the work in coloring this little articus projecticus is a matter of pattern. I like doing wood-grain patterns in colored pencil. It looks good when it’s finished. But it also takes time to do line after line.
The last step is to color the bird-riding fairy-kid. Here I am completing the color-echoes and the pattern-making. More lines. More care with giving the shapes volume by using light and shadow. And now we are at the final destination. The picture is complete.
This drawing is not done. I have plans. But this pen and ink Paffooney is a good example of a doodle-point I probably need to make. The plan does not occur before the ink hits the drawing pad. No, this one started with a circle. And for no good reason, I had to draw the girl’s face in the circle. But what was the face doing inside a circle like that? I next drew the bird. But if she’s so surprised to see a bird inside a birdhouse… Well, you get the idea. The story comes after the scribbling.
And here comes the controversial conclusion. This is exactly how life happens. Stuff becomes… and the reason why only becomes clear later. Curse me for a doodling philosopher!
Remember this picture that I said was unfinished? It was supposed to be a picture called The Stag in Snow. But I was always reluctant to dab the snowflakes on over top of the picture I basically felt was good the way it was. So, I have experimented with art editing programs to the point of putting snow flakes into the picture without risking spoiling the original with blobs of white paint.
I successfully added snowflakes to the blue background. I couldn’t help but feel like it is a starry night in the background rather than snowfall. And so I saved this product separately before continuing to experiment.
The final product faithfully carried out my original plan. And it does look like a rather mechanical snowfall. But I don’t like it as much as I like the starry background step. It makes me truly glad that I did not put white paint on the original. I would be happy to have your opinion in the comments. Of course that is also a tricky way to make you reveal whether you are actually reading the words of this post or just looking at the pictures.
The Toonerville Post Office and Bert Buchanan’s Toy Store.
Toonerville is not only a wonderful cartoon place created by Fontaine Fox in the 1930’s, but the name of the town that inhabited my HO Train Layout when I lived in South Texas and had the Trolley actually running nearly on time. The train layout has not been restored to working condition for over a decade now. The buildings which I mostly built from kits or bought as plaster or ceramic sculptures and repainted have been sitting on bookshelves in all that time. I still have delusions of rebuilding the train set in the garage, but it is becoming increasingly less and less likely as time goes on and my working parts continue to stiffen up and stop working. So, what will I do with Toonerville?
Wilma Wortle waits on the station platform for her train at the Toonerville Train station. I built this kit in the 1970’s, hence the accumulations of dust bunnies.
Loew’s Theater has been awaiting the start of The African Queen for more than twenty years.
Main Street Toonerville at 2:25 in the afternoon. Or is it three? The courthouse clock is often slow.
Grandma Wortle who controls all the money in the family likes to park her car near the eggplant house when she visit’s Al’s General Store.
But I may yet have found a way to put Toonerville back together through computer-assisted artsy craftsy endeavors.
A two-shot of Bill Freen’s house and Slappy Coogan’s place on the photo set to start production.
Bill Freen’s house lit up with newfangled electricical. (and I do believe that is the way Bill spells it all good and proper.)
Bill Freen’s house cut out in the paint program.
So I can make composite pictures of Toonerville with realistic photo-shopped backgrounds. Now, I know only goofy old artsy fartsy geeks like me get excited about doofy little things like this, but my flabber is completely gasted with the possibilities.
Bill Freen’s house at sunset… (but I don’t get why there’s snow on the roof when the grass is so green?)
The new method.
The old method.
Being all artistical and everything, I struggle a bit with being able to reproduce my artwork on this blog. Sometimes I can get a good picture, and sometimes I simply can’t. The biggest problem I have encountered is the problem of light. I can lose so much quality in the color and the detail because of bad photography that it bothers me to the point that I seriously consider whacking myself on the side of my own coconut with a brick (with the intent of knocking some color back into my eyeballs). Of course, I am smart enough to realize that probably wouldn’t work, so I haven’t actually tried it yet. Do you see the difference in the two pictures of my painting above? Do you fixate on all the yellow-gray mud in the second picture the way I do?
I found a light fixture that I could put a 300 watt bulb in, and I managed to set the whole thing up for under ten dollars. It helps a lot. It was able to put some of the color back into my work. Now, I have to clean up my studio/bedroom a bit so it doesn’t look quite so junky. I need to find that old bottle of cleaning fluid that I rubbed last time and discovered Clean Gene the Cleaning Genie. I have found that cleaning stuff up requires magic. It also makes me realize that I have just revealed one of my magician’s tricks as far as posting artwork. A magician is never supposed to reveal his secrets… Oopsie! Never mind. Pretend you didn’t read today’s post.
As terrible as my first published novel turned out to be, I have not given up on the idea of Aeroquest. I am interested in whipping a part of it into the shape of a graphic novel. So I bought a sketchbook and noodled down some Baby Mutant Space Ninjas gunk into it in full color. But it is only a rough draft. It is not finished artwork. I can’t get over how pretty and colorful it is turning out to be. I thought I would show you how it is going so far.
There are obvious signs that the dialogue and text boxes need to turned into a more finished form. And serious editing decisions probably need to be made about moon shots.
Here is what it looks like to use computer editing to try to fix some of the problems.
I will continue to work on it, but I needed something to post today. And sometimes you need to consider the work-in-progress warts and all.