Wednesday, November 9, 2016

OgunquiTangle 2.5

I now have about two weeks worth of school work to make up - but I was lucky to get a chance to sneak away for four days. OgunquiTangle is labeled as a "retreat" for Certified Zentangle Teachers - but I found it to be even more intense, and with longer hours, than my usual school day.

The wonderful part for me was to be back with the ladies who I consider to be my Tribe! There was so much laughter and chatting and hugging. And Ogunquit, Maine is one of my most favorite places in the world. I really needed to See the Ocean and remember to step back from my Drama.

The days started very early each day with a beautiful sunrise over the water. Our classroom had lots of windows and a view of the ocean.

We had a nice mix of teachers and projects. Here are some pics of my finished pieces...

I'm not putting any details since the teachers all teach these classes in other locales too. But here are some more photos of my students' work from my Fragments class on Friday night. We did eraser carving of 1" Fragment tangles:

And... here's the progression from "normal" folks to... well... the Tangled Ladies...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Quo Vadis Journal (Comic!) Review

The pages are reproduced much larger below and I'll transcribe the comic's text too in case you are visually challenged. ;-)
In July, I had this Genius Idea (i.e.: "what was I thinking?!"). I would force myself to draw a Cartoon-A-Day. By using a planner/journal - if I missed a day - it would be glaringly obvious.

I asked my friend Sandra Strait:

ME: Hey, Sandra, which planner/journal has nice paper for ballpoint?
HER: Well, Sandy, anything with the Clairefontaine paper...

(she reviews art supplies on her blog, Life Imitates Doodles.

She connected me with Karen at Exaclair who then overwhelmed me with choices.

I chose the QUO VADIS NOIR 16-17 Academic Planner. I liked the simple page layouts - and it started in August (as would I!)

It has smooth white paper. Although the entire month of October has wrinkles pressed into the pages. The only other "flaw" is the bottom corner is perforated. Convenient to tear off to mark the current week... but a lumpy pain when drawing.

For ballpoint pen (my favorite) the paper is perfect. There is no show-through with the PaperMate ballpoint pen except for texture from the pressure put on the pen.

Here are some other possible choices:
Sharpie Pen, Sharpie Markers (these bleed through), Staedtler Fineliner, Tombow Brush and Flair felt-tip -- these all have just a tiny shadow showing through, but not too bad.

I like the small size too. (~ 6"x9.5") If I HAVE it with me - I will USE it!

If you'd like to keep up with my comic journaling, follow me on PATREON (

When I started the comics in this planner, my son (the language expert) told me that "QUO VADIS" means "Where are you going?" (Latin). It's what Jesus said to Peter as he took off... so I altered the title page...

Here are a few of the Calendar Comics from this planner/journal...

And once again - follow my comic journaling on PATREON (!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Behind the Scenes - "Nesting Instinct"

I admit I have an ulterior motive here.

Usually, I would post this kind of behind-the-scenes thing on the Glyphs & Glitches blog. But if you aren't following that blog, or the Comic Blog, I want you to know what you are missing! ;-D

If you'd like to see more like this, and learn about interesting artists that visit my school, then you still have time to back my Indiegogo project. You'll also get pdfs and fun stuff throughout the year. Take a look HERE and share the link with your friends (Thanks!)

Here's a behind-the-scenes for a recent comic page, "Nesting Instinct"...

I start with a rough sketch of the panels (boxes) and what I want to happen in each box, then I begin adding more details (in pencil)...

I used to make the lines with a ruler and also rule out all the lettering guides... but now I just freehand them. Either I am lazy or I LIKE the slightly wonky look.

My favorite part is the inking. For these journal-type comics, I use a PaperMate ballpoint pen (sometimes a BIC Crystal pen). I Trace over the pencil lines, but also add more details and refine (look at the lines on the squirrel's purse). I put in some "shading" and crosshatching with the pen now - I will add more later, after the pencil is erased.

When I erase the pencil lines, some of the ink gets rubbed off too...

... so I go back in with the pen and add the dark areas and shading. Compare the acorns in the panel above, with those in the panel below...

I work in a Moleskine journal that has very thin paper and it is creme colored. The book is lightweight and convenient to carry with me everywhere. But it's a pain for scanning. If I were working on bright white paper with dark black ink and no grays... I would scan it, threshold it, and call it a day!

But I insist on doing things the hard way - and I really like the "sketchy" look of the ballpoint pen and the many grays it creates. That means that I have to eyeball it when I'm adjusting the lights and darks. I want to get rid of any stray pencil marks, but not lose the grays from the pen. Then I have to zoom in and do a lot of careful erasing and adjusting. Lastly, I'll straighten any seriously wonky panel boxes or off kilter text.

Here's the final comic page:

If you'd like to read these comics as they are posted, please back my Indiegogo campaign!
If you are reading this after it has ended, take a look at my Patreon page.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Two Great Weeks with The Kid

Lilah and I spent two weeks at the apartment in White River Junction while she did Cartoon Camp at The Center for Cartoon Studies. The camp only went until noon, so in the afternoons we...

 ... hiked down into Quechee Gorge...

 and dangled our feet in the Ottauquechee river...

... explored local shops and made new friends - this is Petey, chatting with Lilah at OODLES...

... we went Questing, also known as Letterboxing, like a scavenger hunt following historical clues..

... We discovered the Four Aces Diner - they have great pancakes and crepes - and Magic 8Balls at every table!

 ... we spent many afternoons at The Montshire Science Museum - building pinball machines...

... and boats...

... and watched Vermont artist, Dan Snow, building an incredible sculpture by the front door...

... and I saw "School of Rock" at the Northern Stage theatre - a great way to end the week.

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's a Go on Indiegogo

The Kickstarter was a success - fully funded! Indiegogo, a similar crowd-funding site, asked if I'd be willing to try out their new InDemand program. It picks up where the Kickstarter program left off.

So I have 30 more days to raise the rest of the money that I need for school! And YOU have 30 more days to back my project (if you missed it the first time) or get another Reward. ;-)

I added the Glyphs & Glitches Comic blog to the rewards as well as the new Fright Before Christmas comic book. I'm working on the Inspiration Sketchbook - Comic Boot Camp book this summer. That one will go to the upper Reward-Backers this fall.

I also just completed We Will Never Leave You - a comic interview with my inner demons. I hope to have print copies of that available by the end of the summer too. If I can get those worked out - I can test out a cool feature of Indiegogo... Secret Rewards! I'll be able to send you a special code that unlocks a Reward only you can choose.

OK - back to work!

Oh - I hope you will continue to help me spread the word about the blog project!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Solstice Sip and Paint

We've been cleaning out my mom's house for weeks. This past weekend, my sister, Jen, and her husband came up to help clear out the barn. There were tons of paint cans that needed emptying, so Jen and Brian decided to dump them on sheets of cardboard on our old sandbox.

Then Brian brought out a few bottles of Prosecco and the "clean up" became an event!

And my sister became Jackson Pollock!

And my mom showed up as the paparazzi...

And a neighbor wandered over to see what the fuss was about...

It started to look really pretty! My sister, the photographer, was in heaven.

Even her feet looked artsy!

There was a lot of depth and texture to the paintings - some of that paint was really old and thick!

Really thick!

And they tried adding cat litter - but I think that was a mistake.

When my friend Debbee, the art teacher, showed up, she was sad to have missed the paint throwing portion of the party, but had the brilliant idea of pulling prints from the splatters.

It took a few days for most of the paint to dry. We ended up cutting up the giant, very heavy pieces of cardboard, so we could drag them to the dump. I think my lawn is destroyed.

Then this painted gnu wandered into the sandbox and it looks like he left his - very colorful - contributions to what we have been calling - "the world's largest litterbox".

It was a very original way to spend the Summer Solstice, don't you think? I will never look at "Sip and Paint" Parties the same way again!


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