Currently browsing Posts Published January 2013

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Mick Ehhh

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another attempt…think I’m getting worse! Actually, Mickey’s not so bad, but my hand cramped up by the time I mangled his telephone and tried to letter with a brush pen. Ouch.

A Trace of the Past

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I’m such an awesome Disney employee, I go back and re-do work dating back to the 1930s!

Actually, I was thumbing through the copy of the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics¬†and marveling at the level of detail Mickey Mouse cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson was able to cram into panels printed less than 2 inches high. I did a little research and found some originals for sale, their descriptions indicating that he drew these panels at a whopping 5 3/4″ tall! So, I printed the panel at what was probably the original size, traced it in blue pencil using my light panel, then inked it with several of my Zebra and Pitt disposable pens. I added the halftone digitally in Manga Studio.

No, it’s not creative to trace other people’s work, but it can be good practice. Reduction helps my inking a whole lot, which is kind of the idea, but even full-size comic inking has a sort of confidence that I’ll only be able to match with lots of practice.


Treading Gingerly

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

The title could refer to the way I’m carefully navigating icy sidewalks, or it could refer to the pace at which I’ve been drawing in 2013. I’m torn; I know I need to practice continuously, but I’m more likely to draw every day if I have a defined project in mind.

So, I do have a couple ideas, which I may expand upon this weekend.

Brrrrr It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Is this me? I haven’t even touched a cigar in 2013, but this is what fell out of my virtual pencil when I thought about how much I love the personal space 12-degree weather affords me, when even the born-and-bred New Yorkers are huddled by their radiators.

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Ones and Zeroes

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Just another pen test, but back on the tablet. I bought a set of digital brushes for Manga Studio 5. They were created by an artist named Ray Frenden who takes a lot of pride in creating brushes that mimic the feel of real-life tools when using a digitizer tablet. For instance, when using his “stiff nib,” you should feel like you’re applying the same amount of pressure as you would when creating a similar line with a real pen. It’s not an exact science, but they definitely work better than the default brushes. I would have spent hours on my own inferior attempts at brushes like these, so $5 is a steal.

Story Time

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another pic from Reddit. I’m usually put off when Reddit users attach a sob story to a request–in this case, “my grandpa is very sick”–but I thought it could make a cute pic in a loose, cartoony style. Done with real ink for once!


What’s My Line

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Just auditioning some new pens I bought. In my opinion, the disposable Pilot fountain pens are better for drawing than the $25 (albeit refillable) Lamy fountain pen I just bought. And I still love Zebra pens (also disposable, and a joy to use when they’re new).

Stranger O’ The Week

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another drawing request from Reddit.