Currently browsing Posts Published December 2011

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Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Quick pencil sketch of Tweety, inked/colored digitally.

Up Next is the AP All American Football Team

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


I was watching “My Favorite Blonde” tonight, and decided to turn one of Bob Hope’s zaniest moments into a gesture sketch, which I then inked in sort of a Mad Magazine style.

Have You Seen Ariana?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Decided to break in my new Wacom Cintiq Tablet (!!) by painting the niece again.  The Cintiq is essentially a monitor combined with a graphics tablet, which allows you to draw and paint directly on the screen.


Here you can see I’m using my regular monitor to view my reference photo, as well as a wider view of the image I’m working on.

I think I inadvertently made Ariana look much older than she really is. Maybe I have a future doing age progressions for milk cartons.

Dork Noir

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


This week’s homework assignment is a portrait with hands. Speaking of hands, mine are covered in charcoal.

Some Thoughts on Drawing as Therapy

Here’s something I first noticed when I jumped back into drawing, and it’s even more relevant to me right now, as my family is going through some tough times with aging loved ones. But really, whether your day is mundane or tragic, your ultra-modern consciousness is probably a rattling cavalcade of noise from dawn to dusk. Drawing is one way to slow those gears, and for me the benefits linger long after I put the pencil down.

Drawing from your imagination helps, but if you really want to clear your head, try drawing something in front of you, such as your noggin, a bowl of fruit, or your creepy Hummel figurines. Really concentrate on what you’re seeing in terms of volume, contour, and shading. The required hand-eye coordination is enough to occupy your whole brain.

If you spend a couple hours drawing this way, like I did tonight, you’ll step back at the end, look at your horrible sketch, and wonder where the time went. You’ll wonder how you managed to spend a whole two hours without checking Facebook or looking up scary facts on WebMD. And, if you’re like me, you’ll probably get to sleep a little faster, because your brain kinda likes the leisurely pace you’ve set, and tries to keep it that way.

Of course, I’ll always advocate drawing, but I think this probably applies to anything that involves an intense level of concentration. So, juggling maybe? Tightrope walking?

Eh, just pick up a pencil and start drawing. Get over your insecurities; it doesn’t have to be your aspiration or your livelihood. You don’t have to post it online like some idiots I know. It can just be your therapy.

Challenging Your Belief In Dog

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

The backstory for non-family members: Sam the Dog was my childhood creation. A sarcastic talking animal who lived with a bachelor owner and slept in a cat bed. (I believe my previous character was “One-ear the Sailin’ Dude.”)

I’m not saying I’m totally against reviving Sam, but if I did, I’d definitely want to rethink his character, kind of like how Frasier totally changed when he moved to Seattle.

And yes, I’ll watch out for lightning bolts tomorrow.

Pre-Comic #2

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I’m doing these to familiarize myself with Manga Studio, a fantastic piece of software designed specifically for comic art. I’m also doing it to see how much work it takes to put a daily strip together. Not much, honestly. This one took under 2 hours from idea to posting, which is nothing compared to most of the stuff I’ve been trying lately. Obviously a lot of that has to do with the level of simplicity, but it also helps that inking is a breeze. In an all-paper workflow, I’d have to do a fairly finished pencil sketch, then carefully go over it with ink, thus removing most of the spontaneity from the drawing. Here, I can do a very rough sketch on paper, then a freehand “ink” drawing in Manga Studio.


So why do I even bother with paper? Because I’ve found that I’m much more likely to come up with an idea if I’m away from the computer. Sad, but true.