Sheep’s clothing…

SheepdogWell, this is what happens when I decide to draw a sheepdog.

I mean, sure, a Bedlington Terrier would have worked just as well, but this was way more fun (and just slightly more unsettling). I think if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this blog so far, it’s that I can’t be trusted with compound words. In fact, fair warning here, there’s a good chance we’re due for another sheepy mixture sometime in March, what with the whole “out like a lamb” thing. What can I say, I was born in a Ram month and a Sheep year, and next month they’ll double up again. Might as well embrace it, eh? After all, I certainly have the hair for it.

Something Old, Something New…


This one is a “traditional” ink drawing that seemed a little boring in blue-and-white, so I decided to do a little digital coloring for once. I generally leave that to my plain line drawings, since otherwise there’s a lot of shading and detail that gets in the way, but I think this one turned out well enough considering. It’s actually been sitting around a while, but due to various Reasons it worked out better to give some other pictures priority. I got tired of waiting for this one, so here it is in the middle of the week as a sparkly little bonus.

It’s kind of your generic theropod/lizard thingie (no, I could not help adding the “raptor claw,” which is apparently not as subtle as I’d assumed), but with some of the colors and feather patterns making it a bit of a tribute to Quetzalcoatl and various mythical dragons/reptiles. Frankly, I gave it the least-detailed wing feathers I felt I could get away with, what I think of as “sparrow wings” though there’s a little more heft to them than that. The obscuring property of the color layer was actually a bonus for that part, since it helps downplay the wobbly edges on some of the less-defined feathers.

I don’t think this drawing really came from the recent Jurassic World hype, since it was actually finished before the Super Bowl trailer and all that came out, but it definitely gets me thinking about how all of us (I think you will pretty quickly recognize if you are an “us” ) are kind of excited and kind of horrified about this movie — it can’t possibly be as good as we want, but no way are we lowering our expectations to spare them the inevitable squashing. Even if it is truly awful and cringey overall (I’m potentially looking at you, Raptor Squad), parts of it are going to be awesome by nostalgic default and may very well redeem it against all objective movie logic. We know that’s exactly what they’re fishing for. WE DO NOT CARE. WE WILL GIVE THEM ALL OUR MONEY. It doesn’t work for every audience with every remake/sequel, but there’s usually that core group that will happily fall for the same thing again and again, no matter the track record (*cough*Godzilla reboots*cough*).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a hankering to listen to my playlist of “iconic movie scores that can make any new trailer seem epic if you introduce a slowed-down version in the correct place.”

It’s been a while…

…so I might be making a couple blog posts in a row this time (or at least more than one in a seven-day period — let’s not get too ambitious here).

For once I practically have a backlog of drawings, but for Valentine’s Day (and for no particular reason) I give you Vaguely Pensive Bear.

BearHe’s not reeeeallly a bear, strictly speaking, since I cobbled him together from dog, fox, human and teddy-bear pieces. That doesn’t sound like something you can actually do with a pencil drawing, but believe me, if you haven’t drawn a lot of actual bears (and are unwilling to go to the trouble of looking up an image) it is something of a necessity. I know what a dog’s muzzle, a hamster’s paws, a fox’s ears, and so on look like, and have a decent amount of experience drawing these things. Stretch/shrink/tweak/round off the edges as needed,¬† and you have a slightly uncanny-looking bear that is both somewhat realistic and somewhat “off” in a way that’s difficult to put your finger on if you’re not looking for it. Like one of those monkey-fish mermaids. And of course he has clearly human/cartoon eyes, but that’s where the teddy bear part comes in (that and too many Jan Brett books).

I did not bother sharpening the pencil while drawing this, so things were getting pretty rough by the time I got to the body and upper arms. It was one of those long-term spur-of-the-moment things where you go on for quite a bit but can’t stop or the spell is broken. I just felt like actually drawing a full-page animal for once, and Vaguely Pensive Bear was completed roughly one hour and 16 songs later (64 minutes, I suppose, if you average them all out to 4 minutes in length — it would be far less accurate to average the length of the titles, which ranged from the straightforward “Riptide” to the rather magnificent¬† “For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti”).

Anyhow, that thar is a bahr. I kind of forgot halfway through whether I was drawing a grizzly or a black bear, so the lucky fellow gets qualities of both. Perhaps that’s what he’s Vaguely Pensive about. We may never know.

Happy Day-Before-Another-Massive-Candy-Sale!

Betcha on land they understand…

Because I had some paper and found a much nicer fine-tipped pen, I present for your viewing pleasure a Catfish (i.e. a Mackerel Tabby):

CatFishHonestly, I don’t have that much more to say about this one — the Catfish idea isn’t new, as I made several full-color ones (including a Maine Coon fairly similar to this one) when I was younger. The pearl necklace was an afterthought, since I figured she ought to get some fancy mermaid jewelry in lieu of a cat collar. As usual, I am far better at drawing the cat half than the fish half; I’m fairly certain a mackerel is significantly more sharky-looking around the tail, but in all honesty I didn’t actually think of the tabby pun until I had started filling in the stripes.

My only other comment is that I am typing entirely in the dark, and so far I’m actually doing okay except for those pesky hyphens. My mother would take this opportunity to insist that that Mavis Beacon software payed off in the end, but I clearly remember bluffing and lying my way through that program so it looked like I could type (shhhh). I think it was probably the years of posting on message boards, where there’s often enough time to type a lengthy paragraph but rarely enough to hunt-and-peck your way through every sentence, that compelled me to learn my way around a keyboard. I would still totally drop all of it for one of those keyboards where the letters aren’t arranged to slow down your typing, though. No one could stop me then!

(it would probably be a better superpower if I were a writer rather than an artist/library clerk, but who am I to sneeze at potential superpowers?)