Aby-a-Day – 14 April 2020: Emma’s Baby Yoda (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day, Titti sent us an Easter drawing Emma made. Little creatures in Easter eggs: a lion, an elephant, and…

…Baby Yoda! This kid is going to grow up to be awesome!

Aby-a-Day – 10 April 2020: More PHOTOSHOPPED cats (Photoshop Friday)

Continuing last week’s Photoshop Friday, I did some more Photoshop challenges on the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I also posted the meme about the green screen dress Queen Elizabeth wore when she gave her COVID-19 speech last Sunday.

3jakequeen

And, of course, I had to give Her Majesty a Three Jake Moon shirt.

mya-gollum

When I saw this photo of Mya the Sphynx, I had only one thought and one thought only. Isn’t she precious?

Jezebel-chewing-down-tree

Jezebel’s original photo had her on her scratching post. I thought she needed a real tree.

Chonky-Hindenburg_disaster

THIS is one of my favourites from this week. When I saw this chonky girl, my brain instantly went to…well, Manchester Township, New Jersey. One member said that it should be a poster. It’s always interesting to work in greyscale.

Yoda-cirque-trapeeze

Athletic Yoda reminded me of a trapeze artist.

How-To-Train-Your-Void

This face! I had to do this.

Chandler_Central_Perk

This cat’s name is Chandler, so I had to do this…

chandlercentralperk

I didn’t think that sofa looked “Central Perk” enough, so I used this one instead. Much better!

chandlercentralperksmelly

Then Björn made a comment…eh, it was inevitable.

harleypowderwhitealbumjpg

Harley and Powder’s human wanted them ‘Shopped onto a rock album. Hey, no problem.

MIAbear

I had saved this photo of the bear and was waiting for a cat to fill it. I thought it was Mia…but I wasn’t so sure after I finished it. But her human loved it, so that’s good enough for me.

peso_owl_flying

Peso is a semi-celebrity in the group – I mean, look at those eyes! Behold, the majestic Peso Owl in flight.

williejoust

Willie’s human wanted him Photoshopped riding something “bad ass”…well, what’s more bad ass than Joust? This was a lot of fun…I learned how to pixilate photos with this one. It’s always nice when one of these challenges teaches me a new trick.

willieputin

Then, someone in the comments posted a photo of Putin, shirtless, riding a horse, and said, “Someone please put him on the horse with Putin!” Challenge accepted.

gilliganabydos

Gilligan reminded me of an ancient Egyptian cat, so I put him in the temple at Abydos. Not super happy with how it turned out…but Gillgan’s human loved it. Again, that’s kind of the point.

ColGentlemanFlipped_Sitting_Behind_the_President's_Desk_in_the_Oval_Office

This is Colonel Gentleman. His original photo looked like he was sitting behind a desk, so… Fun fact: the base I used was a photo of Socks sitting behind Bill Clinton’s Resolute Desk.

3kittens-nightlights

Another person posted her adorable foster kittens Meeps, Sully and Toque….it was the obvious choice. I wish Toque’s photo had been larger, though.

jawscatposter

Another obvious choice. I had fun with the bubbles.

peadaniel

Daniel had to have his back leg shaved for an operation, and his owner wanted us to cover it up. I used a photo of a peacock I took at Borås Djurpark last summer, and used feather brushes to fill in spots.

baileytrump-empty-chairs

This is today’s project. Bailey’s human wanted him to turn his blep against evil. This was the most evil I could think of.

baileyjoeexotic<

Well, either that, or this. Potato, potahto.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Mars 2020: How to Train Your Singapura…finished! (Cartoon Tuesday)

As you remember from last week’s post, I started working on a drawing of Izaak as Toothless the Night Fury from the How to Train Your Dragon films. The first step was the second, clean ink layer. I did something a little different than I usually do, though; I only used black for the outline on his eyes and his tail attachment. On the rest of his outline, I used dark brown, and on his collar, I used blues and silvers. And I finally worked out how the eyedropper tool works in Procreate! You’ll notice I didn’t outline the bones on the wings. I actually did, but then copied them to their own layer. I had an idea.

toothless-zak-undercolour1

toothless-zak-undercolour2

I did the undercolouring in two layers: one of the basic shades, and another on top of that with the eyes and collar colour and the wings and prosthetic tail. I found a marvellous texture brush in Procreate that was perfect for the wings and the tail attachment.

toothless-zak-undercolour3

toothless-zak-undercolour+Ink

Here are the two undercolour layers combined…and then with the ink layer.

toothless-zak-colourInk+wings

Then I worked on the wing details. These are the outlines from the inking…with some transparency, layer enhancements, and…finally, a use for the plastic wrap filter!

toothless-zak-originalbackground

toothless-zak-paintbackground

Then I switched to the background. I found a blank background from the movie art and deleted the bits in the scene I didn’t want. Then I added a paint layer to adapt the scene to what I wanted.

toothless-zak-finalbackground

Then I combined those and ran a few filters.

toothless-zak-transparency

But…when I switched from Procreate to Photoshop and put “Zakless” on the background, I discovered there was a transparency problem.

toothless-zak-transparencyClose

You can’t always see the gaps in colour when you’re working in Procreate on a white background. But I came up with an easy fix.

toothless-zak-opaque

I made a quick solid, opaque figure on a separate layer between the background and the colour layers. This would actually turn out to save me time later on.

toothless-zak-pretexture

Problem solved! Now it’s time for the collar and fur texture.

toothless-zak-collartex

toothless-zak-collartex-close

I did the collar first. I actually used a photo of Alfred’s collar and changed the hue and lightness to get Zak’s blues and lightened the opacity to get the braid pattern. This is on a layer between the second ink and the undercolour. I could have done a similar thing with his tags…but I liked the way I drew them.

toothless-zak-tailscales

Next, the fur texture. You’ve all seen my fur brushes, and I didn’t do anything new or unusual…except this: I found a wicked cool scale brush along with my feather and fur brushes. Never needed to use a scale brush before, and I really like the effect.

toothless-zak-furtex+whiskers

Here’s the finished Zakless, including whiskers and eyeshine.

toothless-zak-texture+background

And here he is with the background.

toothless-zak-final

Add his shadow (made using a copy of the opaque layer I had already made, just black, distorted, translucent and blurred)…and voilà! Here is the finished Zakless!

toothless-zak-final-final

Or is it? After I thought I’d finished him, I got a brainwave on how to improve the eyeshine…with the plastic wrap filter!

toothless-zak-final-finalclose

I think it looks more realistic. I also added a tiny drop shadow to the collar. It’s barely noticeable, but it adds a bit of depth, which I like. Yes…I think he’s finished now.

Aby-a-Day – 16 March 2020: Smol bols and pretty poses (Hipstamatic Monday)

I am kind of loving how the language of the internet is evolving. From L33t speak in the 1990’s to LOL cat speak, it’s really been a lot of fun to watch develop.

Hipstarory2

And now we have the newest internet dialect: DoggoLingo. Just as LOL cat speak was applied to dogs, DoggoLingo is being co-opted by kitties. It’s a world of heckin good bois, chonks, bleps and peets, and, of course, smol bols

Hipstarory5

Lorelai and Dashiell, especially, love to sleep curled up into the smallest balls they can. Rory making herself a tiny ball isn’t that hard; she’s a small cat, weighing only 2.6kg (just under 6lbs).

Hipstadash1

But Dash, who is almost as big as Alfred (who is 4.6kg, just over 10lbs), can make himself into a pretty smol bol.

Hipstadash2

I don’t know what he does with those gangly legs of his…but it’s impressive.

Hipstafreddyzak1

Freddy and Izaak tend to do a double bol. I am not sure if Freddy has much say in the matter.

Hipstarory3

Then we have the pretty poses. They have nothing to do with the language stuff above.

Hipstarory4

They’re just pretty.

Hipstazak1

Zak manages to make some pretty poses himself.

Hipstazak2

For about five seconds. Then he goes and ruins it. Way to go, Zak.

Hipstazak3

Yeah? Well…what you think is a moo point. You know, like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Mars 2020: The Northuldra (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted Izaak as Olaf the snowman from the Frozen movies. But there are some new characters in Frozen 2, and I had two cats who hadn’t been cast yet. Lorelai and Alfred are perfect as the Northuldrian brother and sister Honeymaren and Ryder. As always, I started with a sketch in Procreate.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_1stInk

Then I did a preliminary ink outline. I had a LOT of fun with this, because, unlike Zakolaf, I got to draw clothing, too. The Northuldra were based on the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia, and I have long had an interest in them from my SCA days (in fact, that was one of the reasons Björn and I became penpals). Drawing their clothing, and especially the knives (I have a collection of Puukkot, the traditional Finnish utility knife), was awesome.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_2ndInk

And then, the clean ink layer. More fun refining the clothing.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_flatcolour

Switching to the laptop and Photoshop, I did a flat colour layer.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_flatcolourInk

This was done underneath the clean ink layer.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_Texture

Then the ticking, and texture on the clothing. This took a long time, because I needed to experiment with fabric textures. For some parts, such as the trim on the neck and shoulders, and the puukkot, I found photos of actual Samí trim and knives, and overlaid and blended them into my drawing.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_Knives

You can see how the puukkot are slightly photographic.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_Background

Then I switched to the background. As with Zakolaf and the Zakdalorian, I took a generic Frozen 2 background and painted over it.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_Texture

As always, on a separate layer, I added the whiskers and eyeshine.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_LeavesShadows

And then, their shadows and the obiquitous leaf swirl.

RoryFreddyhoneymaren_ryder_Final

And here’s the final version. As with Zakolaf, I find it a bit dark…but the Enchanted Forest was shrouded in fog and mist, so it’s kind of supposed to be dark.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Mars 2020: Catatonic 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

You may remember, six years ago, I made this wonderful cartoon with Jacoby, Angel, Kylie and Tessie as Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Sven the reindeer from Frozen.

Zakolaf-frozen_sketch

Zakolaf-frozen_1stink

Well, of course, Frozen 2 came out last November, which made me revisit my original cartoon. Of course, Kylie and Tessie still live in Boston, and Dashiell can take Jake’s place as Kristoff…but it occurred to me that I now have the perfect cat to play Olaf! Izaak! Of course, Olaf should be a Singapura! I started with a sketch and then a rough ink on my iPad in ProCreate.

Zakolaf-frozen_2ndink

Then I did a clean ink outline.

Zakolaf-frozen_flatcolour

Switching to the laptop and Photoshop, I did a flat colour layer.

Zakolaf-frozen_whiskers

On a separate layer, I added the whiskers and eyeshine.

Zakolaf-frozen_background

Then I switched to the background. I took a generic Frozen 2 background (there are plenty of wallpapers available online) and painted over it, the same way I created the background of the Zakdalorian.

Zakolaf-frozen_leaves

Then I added a swirl of windblown leaves, to give it the feel of the film.

Zakolaf-frozen_noshadow

Then I painted the ticking and Zak’s other markings with my fur brushes.

Zakolaf-frozen_2Final

Finally, I gave Zakolaf a little shadow, to ground him in the scene. I wish this was a little brighter, but that’s just the way this scene is; it’s not as bright as the snow scenes, because it’s autumn. Can’t do much about that.

Oh, and don’t worry…I have characters for Lorelai and Alfred to play. Stay tuned…

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari 2020: The Zakdalorian again (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted a sketch and a preliminary inking of Izaak as The Child (aka Baby Yoda)

Zak_Baby_Yoda_2ndInk

Starting with the shaded ink layer I did last week, I changed it from black to blue-green and did a second, cleaner ink layer.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_2ndInkWhiskers

The whiskers and eyeshine are actually on their own layer. I really like having the whiskers as a separate layer from the rest of the drawing. There’s also a slight outer glow on this layer.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_colouronly

Using the clean ink version, I made a flat colour layer. This layer is about 70% opaque.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_colourtexture

Using the same colours, and following the shading done on the first ink, I added a texture layer, with the fur and ticking and the rough cloth of the robe.

Zak_Baby_Yoda Background

The background is a combination of the original screenshot I based my drawing on, and a painted background using bark and grass brushes, run through the oil painting filter.

Zak_Baby_YodaShadowBacklight

I also added a shadow and backlighting, to capture the feel of the original scene.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_brothsteam

One final, tiny touch: I have a set of steam/smoke brushes. One little stamp at 60% opacity, and…the bone broth is hot!

Zak_Baby_YodaFinal

And here is the final, complete drawing. I am pretty proud of this one!