well, HI

Trying to make another effort to do stuff on the Internet again.

The last time I posted in here was September.  September was a very eventful month for me.  I took a week off from work, and sometime during that week off, I managed to go off and get pregnant. 😛  I discovered I was pregnant at the end of September, but I wound up having a miscarriage about a week and a half later.  I am still going  back and forth from handling this well and being a total fucking mess, which I think is normal, but…yeah.

I am finally starting to draw again.  I kind of stopped after the miscarriage, but I stopped kind of functioning altogether outside of work.  I have begun watching loads of Youtube videos on various interesting topics, though, and that has reignited my desire to do stuff.  Namely, I’ve been updating my Flickr a lot.  Uploading to Flickr feels like a really lazy form of blogging.  I think it’s similar to using a platform like Instagram, but with less of that “hey-look-at-me” vibe to it, so that works for me.  I’ve been too lazy to, ya know, post the photos here with captions, but I want to do that eventually.  But the most interesting album in my Flickr is probably my thrift store stuff.  We also took a trip to the mostly-empty Sears in State College a week before it closed, so there’s that, too.

My other interesting-ish thing is that I’m actively listening to music again.  I got a record player for Christmas, and I got to dig through my parents’ records and take whatever I wanted.  My dad made me promise to bring back his Beatles records, but a) he’s never going to play them again and b) all of the discs I’ve played either skip quite a bit or are damaged to the point of being unplayable in spots.  I also have a couple Beach Boys records (Pet Sounds, which is wonderful, and Smiley Smile, which has its moments) and a bunch of early Dylan, which I haven’t listened to yet but want to give a fair shot to.  The surprise of the lot was mom’s Laura Nyro records, which I had never listened to before and grabbed on a whim.  It turns out that I adore them, and I’m working on getting more of her stuff.

I have also been getting back into my old CD and MP3 collections.  I still like some of it, but a lot of it is….not to my taste anymore. 😛  I downloaded Spotify, too.  I’m using rateyourmusic to catalog my collection and dusted off my old last.fm account for shits and giggles.

So that’s where I’ve been. 😛

 

scanner dump

I finally hooked up the scanner and scanned the first chunk of pages for Overqualified.  I have discovered that my finished pages look horrible once scanned.  My newish scanner works a little too well in some ways (white-out shows up extremely obviously and has to be photoshopped out, thus rendering the white-out useless) and not so well in others.  I did the shading in these earlier pages using gray Copic markers, and thank goodness I decided to stop using these because the scanner does not pick the grays up evenly and the end result looks splotchy.

Anyway, here’s some more doodles from my sketchbook.  I scanned them this time!!

Little mini reviews of the pens I ordered last week, plus the Copic pens I have had for years thrown in for good measure.  The coloring of the text were tests to see if the ink would smear in conjunction with Copic markers.  The Pilot Drawing Pen was my favorite, but it doesn’t play well with Copics, so I’ve been using the other pens when doing color stuff. I have since learned that the Zig Mangaka and the Deleter Neopiko Line 3 are the exact same pen with different packaging, thus why they performed similarly. 😛

Since then I also got some Pigma Microns, primarily to use for shading.  I didn’t like them when I tried them years ago, but I like them now.  Surprise.  These also work pretty well with Copics, but nothing seems to be foolproof.

Here is an example. 😛  When I have problems with Copics making ink smudge, it’s almost always on eyes/faces.

More smearing.

This is a spoiler, but nobody is reading this, so meh. 😛

Susan attempts to help Cliff with homework.

Doodles of Susan and Cliff, plus bonus boring notes.

Mmmm, more spoilers.

Just a test to see how easily my non-photo blue pencil lines can be shooped out.  Turns out it’s pretty easy.

Gonna finish cleaning up comic pages and set up a page for Overqualified this week.  Yay!

 

 

barf

Just realized that I scanned and edited these pages and never did anything else with it.  Here’s a comic from a couple of months ago.  I am on vacation this week, so I plan on hooking up the scanner again soon.

photo dump

The new season of Bojack is going to drop in an hour, and I am killing time until it does.  Here are some photos.  I am too lazy to hook up my scanner, so these are all pictures taken with my five-year-old iPhone. 😛

Crop from my journal…self-portrait doodle of myself in my big fluffy bathrobe.  It’s warm enough to start wearing again.

 

I rearranged my Copics in their case again.  I keep weeding out more and more colors that I never use so I can add new ones.  I have taken out most of the yellows, reds, and oranges.  They all look extremely similar, and I don’t reach for them often.

And here is a homemade chart of all the Copics I have.

Here’s a couple doodles of characters from my new project.  This is Dawn.  She’s angry.

And here is our main character, Susan.  She’s a librarian! At least that’s what she tells herself.

A new cheap thrill: an Ames lettering guide.  One of those things I never knew existed but am happy to have now.  Nice for placing lots of text, but I should probably use it all the time.

A drawing of my awesome new sweater.  I coveted it on Modcloth for months, then it disappeared and I found it on eBay for a fraction of the price.  As you can see, I am enamored by my cheesy braid with the teal streak. 😛

 

A page of comparisons of various pens in my pencil case.

And lastly, here’s my little collection of the old-style Pilot Precise pens.  These are probably 10+ years old.  I wish they still looked like this.  Or that I could refill and use these over again.  I have used zillions of these over the years.

Ok, that’s enough for now!

more bristol boring

Warning: this post is really boring.  But no one is reading this anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. 😛

In my previous post, I talked about my problems trying to use cheap Bristol board and the ink smudging I was having.

Since then, I ordered my old standby Strathmore Bristol online and tried it.

I had the same problem. o_O

The Strathmore Bristol I had been using up to this point was the leftover from the last time I was regularly drawing, which was probably around 2011-2012.  On the old Bristol, the ink soaks right in and drys almost instantly.  On the new Bristol, the ink just sits on top of the paper until it air-dries.  It sucks.

Anyway, this new Bristol board (I have 50 sheets of this stuff to use up) has a really slick, almost hard finish to it.  I came up with the idea to douse the paper in rubbing alcohol to take the finish off of it, and this works beautifully.  I just use 91% alcohol, squirt on a big blob, and then use a cotton ball to push it all over the paper.  Let it dry for about 5 minutes, and it’s ready to go.

The only thing is that this is a real pain in the ass and not really something I should have to do to expensive paper.  So I visited Jetpens and got a couple of new pens with quick-drying ink to try.

I mostly like the Zebra Sarasa Dry in .7.  I also got the .4 and .5 to try, but they are extremely scratchy on the Bristol.  They are all really nice and juicy on regular notebook paper, but they’re not meant for use on illustration board.  I do like the .5 for using with a ruler because it doesn’t smudge, but other than that they’re no good.  The Sarasa Dry in .7 gives a pretty nice line on the Bristol, but it’s not 100% consistent; lots of skips when I go around curves or try to draw quickly, so no go.  It also does not play well with lighter-colored Copics.

The other pen I tried was the Pilot Multiball.  I got the fine and the medium.  The medium is less reliable than the Sarasa Dry .7 so it won’t work.  I do really like the fine one for crosshatching, though.  Also, these pens don’t like Copics at all.

I’ve always used two pens for my drawing; one larger point for the “main” outlines and a finer one for details, text, and drawing panel lines.  So now I am using a combination of all of these pens plus the Pilot Precise pens I’ve been using forever.  I just wish they came in a sliiiightly bigger size.  The V5 and V7 are basically interchangeable to me.

So I guess the main problem is that I draw too fast. 😛  This causes the ink skips and the smudges.  But the line loses its spontaneity if I go slower and then it just doesn’t look right to me.

So I decided to try technical pens again. I had to use tech pens when I took art classes and hated them because the angle at which I hold the pen isn’t ideal for pens with tech pen nibs.  I end up wearing them way down on one side and they stop working really quickly.  I tried the Staedtler and the Sakura Microns, and had bad experiences with both.  I have some Copic Multiliners (some refillable, some not), and they are a little better but not ideal.  But since everything on JetPens is inexpensive and cool and from Japan and just generally superior, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try a few new pens to see if anything else would be an improvement.  We’ll see what happens. 😛