"...So everybody knows they love each other."

The character on the right began as an absent-minded doodle. It was a simple line drawing but he looked fun and quirky-cool to me, so I thought I'd render him a little bit and throw on some color, just for kicks. As I worked, my five-year-old daughter walked up and eyed him cautiously. "Is he... is he scary?" she asked.

I had to admit, he was creepy; but I explained in soothing tones that he was a good fellow, he just looked different. He probably had friends and a job, I said, and maybe even a girlfriend. With wary curiosity, she asked: "What does his girlfriend look like?" And thus my aimless doodle became a serious project with a built-in impatient audience fused with a potentially fussy art director.

I pondered the problem of a girlfriend for the creepy fellow, and – after a rough sketch and a few refinements – my daughter's tone changed; she approved of the pairing and thereafter regarded them both with convivial kindness. My daughter argued forcefully that the girlfriend should be all pink, every bit of her – horns to shoes! I suggested that pink skin could be enough pink, and I pointed out that the front of her dress kind of looked like a tulip. That was met with approval and did the trick!

Open in a new window for a much larger image.

As I worked on the finishing touches my daughter said to me, "Be sure to put a heart up in the air above them!"

Puzzled by this sudden introduction of more work, I growled and asked. "A heart? Up in the air? Why?"

"You have to put a heart above them so everybody knows they love each other!"

"Hmm," I said, eyes narrowing with mischevious intention. "Good idea!"

And just so you don't think I'm a completely horrible father, the finished drawing – the one I've shown to her – is below. 

Drawn in Clip Studio Paint EX and Photoshop.

The End.

Four for the Price of One

Here is another post featuring past work. I don’t believe I’ve addressed any of these projects here, altho I might be wrong about that. If so, I’ll adjust this entry later.

The “Marriage under reconstruction” and “Holiday headache” pieces are from 2013. Remembrances of the creation of either of them are wispy, vague. Sometimes, looking back on old work – even small, informal sketches – I can recall where I was, what I was snacking on, things I was thinking about while doodling; other times I might not remember squat about a larger piece that clearly took much time.

For “Marriage…” I have next-to-nothing in the memory bank. Hmm. That’s kind of me as a model on the right, except skinnier and taller; so much so that it doesn't look like me at all. I used the excellent pencil tool in MangaStudio and most likely colored it in combination with Photoshop.

For “Holiday Headache” I have a recollection of drawing a tiny, sinister looking face on the figure in the house behind the curtain. You probably can’t even see the figure in the image here – click on the images to embiggen. I got rid of the face when I realized how small it would be in print.

 “It takes a neighborhood” ran in 2015. I intended to have the little old lady falling from above and the neighbors looking up, ready to catch her with the safety net. That was probably too silly for the story, or maybe it was an unnecessary hassle to design a page layout that way.

“Yoga takes you higher” was great fun! I don’t know why I didn’t put this up before. Maybe I thought it was too goofy, or maybe the process was so easy and simple that I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say.  "It was fun to do and it was over way too quickly! I made a John Lennon style cartoon and then spent most of the time trying to get the spattery effect looking alright." Yeah, that's about it.

More art soon... maybe even NEW art! (Maybe.)

P.S. I included the layouts this time because, in each case, they clearly improve the art. Ahem, well, that might be the case all the time, but I re-discovered these while looking at full-page pdfs from the archive and I liked them better than when I saw the illustrations alone.

The page designer for all of these is, most likely, longtime colleague Jennifer Schaefer, who has improved (or saved!) many many many of my efforts.