His and hers….

His and hers....

Okay, I warned you the butterfly thing might not actually make it into this post. I ended up realizing I could do something even cooler with it, and then that sounded like a lot of work or a lot of orange pencil, depending on which option I went with. And then I thought of something even more fun that I wanted to do instead, with a lot more potential for pages and pages of trial drawings.

I’ll be honest here: I love doing the practice pages. I’m no Terryl Whitlatch, but I can’t resist an opportunity for creature research. I get to look at pictures (which I really missed in November, as you recall) AND I get to draw pictures, then go back and start all over again. Tomorrow I’m most likely going to have four — five? GIS tabs open; let’s see, we’ll need one for the gelada, baboon or some other maned monkey (maybe a cotton-top, those guys are amazing); a bovid and a cervid; probably a lion; something with cryptic coloration — oh and I’ll need males and females, so make that ~8 tabs.

This is going to be fun!

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Palette swap…

Palette swap...

Okay, yeah, I missed a day. That one’s my bad. Yesterday afternoon *was* a big flaming pile of stress, though, so chances of my remembering anything important after that point were pretty much nil. The end result of all this is, another bad sketch on worse copy paper. After making all those dragons, it occurred to me that you can put the patterning of a regular animal on *another regular animal* instead of something fantasy and/or cartoony. I know I’m a little late to the party on that one, and my tabby dog looks suspiciously like the animal from the cover of Sheri S. Tepper’s “Companions,” while the husky cat looks like a stoned Klee Kai or something, but … well, I actually drew something, I’m putting this one in the “win” column. I’m totally doing something artsy with butterflies next week. Well, over the course of next week; no promises that the finished product will show up for next week (less one)’s post. By the way, I unashamedly know all the lyrics to the CatDog theme song, and I hope you can appreciate how tempting it was for me to use the first line as the title today.

The better to hear you with….

The better to hear you with....

I’m not sure what this guy is — Little Red Panda off to visit his grandma? A raccoon in panda’s clothing? An extremely hirsute Chihuahua? Also, am I the only person who will periodically type out “dlkjgf” or a similar string of convenient random letters for the sake of checking whether I’m typing in a form that doesn’t have spell-check or I just managed to spell that many dodgy words correctly in a row?

I mean, for the most part those squiggly red lines are the bane of my existence and I should just disable them; after all, half the words they underline are correctly spelled, they’re just the crazy names of family members or the species names of animals that apparently are not typed about often enough to warrant inclusion in my browser’s limited dictionary. I can’t even type about wyverns with confidence here. And yet … sometimes, particularly when typing quickly, we make mistakes. Little mistakes. Very little, but exquisitely stupid-looking mistakes, like swapping one of the t’s in “little” with the i, or leaving out the u in “stupid,” or accidentally inserting an e in “swapping.”

As you can see, I have perhaps more trouble with this than average. I’m something of a hasty typist (fine fine fine “typer” isn’t a word, I’m just going to concede on that one rather than claim the right of cutesy colloquialisms), and I’d rather make five mistakes and erase them on the fly than type a little more slowly and end up with zero mistakes in what is ultimately the same amount of time. This is true with my talking as well, where I’ll simply insert extra words while I think of other ones, rather than using pause fillers or — heaven forbid — actually pausing. It’s done wonders for my vocabulary, having to fill up every second of thinking time with random words, but it’s not great for my actual conversational skills. I’ve actually memorized two whole long-winded quotes about being long-winded, because I’m so long-winded that I find myself constantly referencing the fact. One is from Will & Grace and one is from Gilmore Girls, and believe you me I will recite them at any chance; but typing them out isn’t the same (though obviously I ramble just as much in this format), so you’ll have to survive without them tonight.

Oh, and this is an ink drawing on copy paper. I basically just needed a picture of something and this is what I ended up with. The proportions and perspective are quite odd, but given the overall quality expectations for something drawn on a sheet of used printer paper with winery advertisements that you can very nearly read through the other side, I figured that was acceptable.

Hi, Dakota….

Moluccandraco2

Well, it looks like we’re back to posting pictures that aren’t actually traditional-media artwork … but frankly I’m still reeling from having to look at those 50 pencil sketches every day for two months. I needed something in color.

Yes, there are colorful things to draw with in real life, and I did actually draw something in colored pencil the other day — a cute (if I may say so myself) little monster inspired by our local city bus. But that was a gift, long since given away and never photographed. Oops.

Instead, I present to you a somewhat elegant, very pink fellow of dragony type. Yes, he is a “he” — my muse in this case being Dakota, a very pretty boy who resides in a much less pretty pet shop in town. He is a Moluccan cockatoo, and when not wolf-whistling, quacking, giggling or screaming he prefers to greet his adoring public with, “Hi, Dakota!” Okay, perhaps he hasn’t quite grasped the nuances of human naming conventions yet, but we still love him.

His endless entertainment value is marred only by the wretchedness of his calls when everyone leaves him at last, drifting on to go find what they came there for, and he is left alone in his cage with no flock to “talk” to. I think he has a friend of sorts now, another Moluccan next door, but they hardly seem friendly; the younger one raises its crest and lunges when passersby get too near, while Dakota keeps his distance from it and solicits head-scratches and arm-perches from the human visitors.

Alas, I suppose few if any pet-store creatures truly live well; it’s a holding area, nothing more. Hopefully, those that do go on to life beyond bars have a much more pleasant existence than they’d formerly experienced. I know, from seeing the original homes of my own pets, that this is not always the case … but even then, there’s hope. My own gecko, I like to think, is living out a much happier ending after gamely enduring the “care” of easily-distracted young boys for many years. He has a dark warm place to sleep, lots of things to climb on and under, fresh water, and tasty food that doesn’t bite back. Hopefully that pretty much crosses off everything on a gecko’s wish list … he’s certainly earned that much.

Alas, it was to none but me….

Happy Gregorian-calendar New Year!

Well, this is the last of my December Refs posts. I don’t really know what I’ll do to keep myself busy in the coming months, though I definitely have some ideas. I may go back to weekly posts, or I may find something else to post daily; I doubt I’ll be able to keep up daily posts of any quality for the whole year, though, so perhaps I’d best get back into my old rhythm.

One way or another, here’s a dragon-y sort of person. While, as I said, continuity more or less went out the window weeks ago with these, I can guarantee that Shale was second-to-last and that Lin here was the last drawing, finished one month ago. I went and threw on all the ornamentation that I was in too much of a hurry to bother with on the other 49. She’s weighted down by some of it, but then I like to think she’s a bit vain.

Alas, it was to none but me....

Name: Lin
Habitat: Unknown
Likes: Forests, mountains, clouds
Dislikes: Bestiaries, destruction, giraffes
Personal Quote: “Please stay off the grass!”