Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti: Dashiell as the Serlot (Cartoon Tuesday

When Emma was visiting, we watched Raya and the Last Dragon again, and this time I was reminded of the Serlots from the region of Fang. Their name is apparently a portmanteau of “Serval” and “Ocelot,” but they look more like Caracals. Watching the movie for the third time, I thought that Dashiell would make an excellent Serlot.

DashSerlotInk

So I started with the sketch and the ink layers.

DashSerlotBackground

Then I needed a break from detail work, so I switched to creating the background. I played around with different textures to create the landscape.

DashSerlotUndercolour

After the background, I went back to the undercolour later, which I also did a bit differently than the way I usually do it; I used fur brushes rather than airbrushes.

DashSerlotFur

I didn’t spend as much time on the fur layer as usual, probably because of my using fur brushes for the undercolour.

DashSerlot

And here’s the finished Dasherlot. It’s different from some of my other works, but I kind of like it.

DashSerlot

As usual, here’s the Procreate video in Flickr. It’s a little different from the other videos, because I exported it after two different drawing sessions and then edited it back together, but you get the idea.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Augusti: Marlin on the cover of the NEMO show catalogue (Cartoon Tuesday)

Iris sent the cover of the show catalogue to all of us members today, and I thought you would like to see how my BBQ Marlin drawing ended uo being used. I don’t know if it will be printed in colour or greyscale, though…Probably greyscale. But I can still wish for colour.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Agusti: Alfred as Pepita the Alebrije from Coco (Cartoon Tuesday)

After the other movie-inspired artworks I did, I got to thinking about Pepita, the flying jaguar Alebrije in the Pixar movie Coco.

FreddyPepitaInk

I could see Pepita as Alfred, so I went with it. I took a different approach with the one; instead of just black line, I used the colours of Pepita to create the outline.

FreddyPepitaUndercolour

Then, as usual, I did the under colour. But instead of using the smooth airbrush to do the colour, I used an oil-painting brush which gave a very different effect..

FreddyPepitafeathersandfur

Then I did a fur and feather layer. It really made a difference!

FreddyPepita_justPepita

This is the combined fur and feather layer.

FreddyPepitaBackground

Then I started working on the background.

FreddyPepita

This is the final, combined image of Freddy as Pepita. Not only am I pretty proud of this artwork, but I TOTALLY LOVE the lighting on it. And OMG, getting to play with colour was amazing!

Freddy_Pepita_

Here’s the Procreate video of my drawing process; click on the image to watch it in a new window in Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Juli: Marlin’s BBQ completed (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted my latest NEMO art project, Marlin eating a fabulous spread of BBQ. Last week, I had gotten as far as the sketch. This week, I finished it, starting, of course, with the ink.

marlinBBQundercolour

Then, underneath the ink, I laid down the undercolour.

marlinBBQfur

Over the ink, I painted the fur.

marlinBBQundercolourfur

Here are the undercolour and fur layers together.

marlinBBQincolourfur

And here’s the completed Marlin.

bibpattern

That was as far as I could get in Procreate. But I almo needed to create a pattern for the bib. I found an image of a New England-style lobster/clam bake bib. It had anchors on it, but I replaced them with Nemo fish. I know, subtle, and I was probably overthinking it, but it’s the little details that make good art.

marlinBBQdetail

Then, also in Photoshop, I added details to Marlin’s eyes, silverware, whiskers, and the creases on his bib. You can see them in this close-up.

marlinBBQfinal

And here’s the completed Marlin! I am pretty pleased about how it turned out…even though it’s probably going to be printed in greyscale on the catalog cover.

marlinBBQ

Of course, I also save the video of the inking and colouring in Procreate. Click the image to watch it in a separate windo on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Juli: Another NEMO project (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, Iris asked me for a Marlin drawing for the cover of the catalog for our show next year. I didn’t want to do yet another version of Marlin grilling; I wanted to do something new.

marlineatingSketch2

I thought about it a little bit, and, because the big theme this year is the outdoor barbecue dinner on Saturday night. So, I got the idea to do a sort of 1950’s-style guy eating at a table laden with barbecued meat, holding up a knife and fork with a napkin ties around his neck-

marlineatingbbq

This is Marlin with the table of meat I found; it’s from an early 60’s Andy Griffith’s BBQ Sauce ad. I modified it in Photoshop and I may do more with it. Marlin’s feet won’t be in the final drawing; it will cut off at the bottom edge of the table, but I wanted to draw a complete Marlin in case I want to use some of the layers in another project later on. I also have a really fun idea of something to put on the bib. Stay tuned.

marlineating

Here’s the video of my preliminary sketches in Procreate; click on the image to watch it in a new tab on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juli: Izaak as Baby Tuk Tuk (Cartoon Tuesday)

Two weeks ago, I posted my drawing of Lorelai as Sisu the last dragon. Well, there’s another creature, sort of an armadillio/pillbug/hedgehog mashup called Tuk Tuk. And in one of the early scenes where he’s a baby, he reacts to a cat in a way that really reminded me of Izaak. this is the first sketch; I liked it so much I was almost going to keep it as the outline, and skip the inking stage.

zaktuktukink

But I did the ink anyway, just to see how it looked. As it happens, it came out even better than the sketch did!

zaktuktukundercolour<

Next, I filled in the base colours, underneath the ink.

zaktuktukink+undercolour

Which looks like this when finished.

zaktuktuktextures

Then, over the ink, I did the shell and fur textures. This is just the textures…

zaktuktuktexture+ink

…this is with ink…

zaktuktuknoeyeaffects

…and finally, with the undercolour.

zaktuktuknobackground

Add some whiskers and eyeshine, and we’re ready to go into Photoshop.

zaktuktukhand

zaktuktuk_no lighting

I added the hand and the background there, along with a bit more eye details. But there was one more thing I wanted to do.

zaktuktuk

Finally, I added some lighting effects. I really like the way this one turned out!

zaktuktuk

And here’s a video of the Procreate process, which you can watch in Flickr. There are a LOT of layers on this one – fifteen in total!

Aby-a-Day – 6 Juli: Marlin redux (Cartoon Tuesday)

NEMO is having a cat show next month, and Iris asked me for an outline of our mascot Marlin. Well…there were a few problems with that. Back in 2013 when I originally drew Marlin, I did it old school: ink on paper, scan, and fill in Photoshop using the paint bucket tool. Eight years ago, it was fine…but I can do better now. Also, back then, I didn’t put outlines and colours on separate layers, so I literally didn’t have the outline handy.

NEMOlogo2021Outline

I put the old logo into Procreate and redrew Marlin. I wanted to keep him as close to the original as possible, because he’s our brand, so I didn’t change anything. I just refined him.

NEMOlogo2021Colour

Then, also in Procreate, I did all the colours except the base cream coat.

NEMOlogo2021Undercolour

Then I shifted back to Photoshop. Sometimes, the old tools are the best tools. I duplicated the outline and filled it all with cream using my trusty paint bucket tool.

NEMOlogo2021QAlllColour

Here are both colour layers together. Keeping with preserving the original, all the colours are eyedroppered from the 2013 drawing.

NEMOlogo2021

And this is the result, a shiny new NEMO logo for the Roaring Twenties!

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juni: Rory and the Last Dragon (Cartoon Tuesday)

We finally got to see Raya and the Last Dragon on Disney+, and I was absolutely mesmerised by the dragon Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina. She reminded me so much of Lorelai that I had to draw her as the dragon. Here is my first sketch.

rorysisu-ink

Followed up by the ink outline.

rorysisu-colours

I did colour layers both underneath and over the ink outline, and then covered up some of the black lines with matching colours.

rorysisu-nobg

This is the finished Procreate drawing, sans background, before shifting to Photoshop.

rorysisu

Add a background and some outer glow on some of the layers…and here is the finished piece.

rorysisu

As always, here’s the video of the Procreate drawing process. Click on the image to watch the video in Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni: Complete this cat for the laughs (Cartoon Tuesday)

There’s a fun meme going around that involves a simple line drawing of a cat’s head and four paws, captioned “Complete this cat for the laughs.” Well. I like cats, and laughing, so sure!

DrawThisCat_Dancing

As a warm-up, I did this silly sketch of two cats dancing.

DrawThisCat_jake

Then, I decided to play with colours and brushes, so I drew Jacoby in his parka.

DrawThisCat_wings

Painting fur was fun, so I decided to paint some feathers. I also made the kitty a little happier. Silly, maybe…but any excuse to draw, right?

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj: Isle of Dogs WIP (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last weekend, we watched an amazing movie called Isle of Dogs. It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I find rather hit-or-miss, but I did like his first stop-motion animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looked intriguing, so we gave it a shot. And, oh, was it worth it!

For a movie with the word “dog” in the title, it was actually, surprisingly, quite focused on cats. It’s an interesting Japanese pastiche in which the cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi has banished all dogs to Trash Island. In the introduction to the film this is all explained with some beautiful illustrations and scenes. My favourite, which is only seen for a minute or so, is the incredibly elaborate Cat Temple (seriously, look at that link; they did an incredible amount of work to create something that’s basically only one scene)! Of course, I instantly noticed the five cat statues to the right of the temple doors…one large, one tiny, two medium-sized and one small. I had to pause it and point out how the five cats matched our own five!

IOD-templeSketch

And then…I had to draw it. This is the sketch…

IOD-templeInk

And here’s the ink. Covid aftereffects have really been kicking my butt this week, so it took me a while. I know where I want to go with this, and how I want the colouring to look, but it’s taking me longer to actually do it than I planned.

IOD-temple

If you want to see the time lapse video of the work in progress, click the image to open it in another window.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Mars: Happy Birthday to my sister, Karen! (Cartoon Tuesday)

My sister’s birthday is tomorrow. I got her a card, but things being what they are, I didn’t mail it in time. So, I reckoned I’d just sent it to her electronically. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I always draw a little cartoon in the cards I send people. But if I’m Messaging my sister her card, what’s the best way to add my traditional drawing?

KB Birthday Sketch

With Procreate and Photoshop, of course! And this card drawing is better than most, because I was actually able to do a sketch beforehand. Usually, I just freehand the drawing in ink.

KB Birthday Ink

This is the ink version, done in Procreate.

KB Birthday

If you’re interested, you can watch the Procreate time-lapse video of the sketch and ink on Flickr. Click the image to view the video in another tab.

KB Birthday Card Inside

And here is the inside of the card that my sister will get tomorrow. The Swedish translates to: “If you were a cat, you’d be turning a hundred and eleventy-twelve years! Congratulations on your Birthday!”

Aby-a-Day – 5 Januari: Izaak the Üumlaut (Cartoon Tuesday)

One of the bright spots of quarantining has been Disney+. I’ve been watching all sorts of movies and shorts, one of which was Tangled: The Series. It’s set between the events of the original Tangled movie and the short Tangled Ever After. I had no idea this series existed, and binge-watched it over the last few weeks. I was intrigued with the art style in the series. And then, I saw the episode The Way of the Willow…featuring an odd little creature called Üumlaut. Well…when I saw Üumlaut and her rattle, I knew what had to be done. So here is Üumzak.

ZakUumlaut

And, because I know some of you like to watch the process, here’s the Procreate video (click on the image to view it in Flickr). The only things I did in Photoshop were straightening the Üumzak and creating the shadow on the rattle. This was actually more of a challenge than it looks; borderless characters are harder to do than you’d think, and I learned how to do a couple of new things in Photoshop. Still, I think I captured the style of the series pretty well.

Aby-a-Day – 29 December 2020: Not throwing away his shot (Cartoon Tuesday)

It’s finished! I finally finished Dashiell Hamilton! It was a real process, too. But as I mentioned last week, I got a new Paperlike screen protector for my iPad, and it makes drawing on the screen so much more natural and organic. In fact, I did most of this in Procreate. Only the last few bits were done in Photoshop.

DashHamiltonBase

And the very first bit. I started with a photo of the suit and a photo of Dash in Photoshop. Then I went to Procreate and did the sketches.

SuitLayers

Getting the suit just right was my biggest challenge. It took five layers to make it look the way I wanted it to. I did two base colour layers in Procreate, and a low-opacity layer of the actual suit (done in Photoshop) to add the sheen and texture. Then the ink layer was moved above the colour layers. Finally, I discovered a lace brush in Procreate, which was perfect for his sleeves and cravat.

DashLayers

Dash himself was a little easier, because…well, I’ve done more ruddy Abyssinians than I’ve done 18th century emerald-green silk suits. All layers except the top fur texture layer were done on the iPad.

DashHamilton+Shadow

Put all the layers together, along with the whiskers and a little shadow, and put him onstage…and, finally, history has its eyes on Dash!

DashHamilton

And, just because I can, I saved the video of the whole Procreate process for anyone who’s interested. Click on the above image to watch the magic happen in Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 15 December 2020: Dashiell Hamilton inked (Cartoon Tuesday)

I finally got the ink layer done on my Dashiell Hamilton drawing.

DashHamiltonInkStroke

But, since I wanted a thin ink line, it’s not very visible, so in Photoshop, I added a stroke to the lines to make it more visible. Now it’s time for colours and textures!

Aby-a-Day – 14 & 15 November 2020: Learning curve (Serious Saturday and Sunday)

Okay, so the new laptop arrived on Friday. I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday transferring data from the old MacBook Pro to the new one.

boys_1836

Problem is, I had to upgrade the system. I don’t have a choice; there’s a Magic Keyboard that I don’t think will work with the older software. However, I must say, the thing is wicked cool. The functions you have change depending on which application you’re using. In Facebook, you get predictive text like on the iPhone. Listening to music on iTunes, you have the play, pause and skip functions. And in photo apps, you get controls for whatever you’re doing.

boys_1837

Also, no need for passwords; there’s a Touch ID button so you can log into everything with your index finger.

boys_1843

However…I am absolutely bereft without Photoshop. I did everything I could find to work around it…to no avail. I have been using Photoshop since…1997, I think. I can do everything so reflexively…Why, Adobe, why?!

boys_1844

Well, I absolutely do NOT want to pay $20.99 a month for a subscription. So I’ve been investigating other apps that have very high ratings. I’ve downloaded a couple of trial apps. The first one I tried was Acorn. It is highly rated, especially for Macs, and it’s only $29.99. It’s pretty nice…but I couldn’t figure out how to do simple tone, colour and contrast corrections (the things that are so easy to do in Photoshop). I’ll go back later and play with it. The other one I am trying is Affinity Photo, which is a LOT easier to figure out. It’s much more similar to Photoshop, and it can open .psd files. I can also import all my special brushes into both Acorn and Affinity, which is awesome. It’s $49.99…but it seems worth it (and, okay, it’s a lot less expensive than Photoshop was).

girls_1830

As a bonus, in learning about these two apps (and another one, Affinity Designer, which looks interesting), I discovered I can also import my brushes into Procreate. That means no more having to finish drawings in Photoshop…I may just be able to do everything on the iPad now.

girls_1832

Still, I really want Photoshop back. I have a lot of work and research to do in the next ten days.

Aby-a-Day – 10 November 2020: Izaak and Major (Cartoon Tuesday)

Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.

ZakMajor2

Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.

ZakMajor

I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 3 November 2020: “There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today’s post is very much a rough work in progress, because I only thought of it yesterday. Because, yesterday, I finally watched Hamilton on Disney+. And it was amazing. One thing that particularly caught my eye was one of the outfits Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) wears. It’s a stunning emerald green silk suit.

DashHamilton2ndSketch

That green…is perfectly suited to be worn by either Jacoby or Dashiell, so I chose Dash. I did both the first and second sketches today, and whilst I am still working out the shapes and proportions and still have a lot more to do with this…I like the direction it’s going.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Oktober 2020: Paws Across the Sea (Cartoon Tuesday)

I know, I know…I dropped off the face of the world for a week. Part of that was due to me getting a new medication that was kicking my butt until I got used to it. The other part is that last Monday I got this email from Iris:

Your former region (Region 1) and your adopted region (Region 9) are joining forces for a virtual qualifier show for the CFA International Top Cat Challenge, and Sharon asked me to help with promotional copy and/or a theme. What I came up with is really crying out for some kind of sketch that we can use on the flyer and platform. It’s “Paws Across the Sea.” I don’t have any visual ideas other than two paws reaching toward each other with an ocean in between, but I thought maybe you could come up with something better. Please let me know if you’d be willing to work on this. The time frame is short but not an emergency. . . If you could do something by the weekend I think that would work.

My mind instantly went to vintage Disney “It’s a Small World” art. I made a globe/earth that featured the US Northeast and Europe and then made the quick sketch above to map out the international breed representatives. I had many ideas, but finally decided on featuring a Siamese, a Russian Blue, a Maine Coon (Marlin, the NEMO mascot), a Scottish Fold, and a Singapura. I had wanted to include a Japanese Bobtail, but I realised that if you couldn’t see the tail, it might not be clear what breed it was.

PawsAcrossSeaGeneric

I started by making a generic cat sketch. I enlarged it for Marlin, made it smaller for the Singapura, and stretched it out for the Siamese.

PawsAcrossSeaAll5

I made sketches for all five breeds, and combined them on one layer.

PawsAcrossSeaInk

Then I did the ink outline in Procreate.

PawsAcrossSeaUndercolour

I did the undercolour layer beneath the ink layer in Procreate as well. Colouring tortoiseshell-and-white cats is difficult, but fun!

PawsAcrossSeaTexture

My best fur brushes are in Photoshop, so I moved to that to work on the texture layer.

PawsAcrossSeaColourinktex

Here are all three layers combined.

PawsAcrossSea

Then I add the whiskers, eyeshine and shadow, and voilá: a graphic for an international virtual cat show!

PawsAcrossSeaAbypaw

A slight postscript: I couldn’t fit an Abyssinian into the graphic…but who’s that holding the Siamese’s other paw?

Aby-a-Day – 15 September 2020: Cat Petting Preference Chart (Cartoon Tuesday)

There’s a meme going around involving the above image created by Darien McSweeney. Apparently, it started in 2018, and seems to have been resurrected. So of course I had to do it for our lot. And it was harder than you’d think, for the most part.

catpettingchartAngel

Angel, despite still being a bit skittish, is mostly happy to be petted anywhere…except her mouth. Because of her past history with Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions and bad teeth, even though the pain is gone, she still doesn’t like to have her muzzle touched.

catpettingchartZak

Izaak is pretty easy-going, but he does not like it when I try to wipe his eyes!

catpettingchartRory

Lorelai is equally compliant, but she hates to have her claws trimmed.

catpettingchartDash

Dashiell, on the other hand, loves to have his paws played with. Not a big fan of having his ears touched, though.

catpettingchartFreddy

And then there’s Alfred.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti 2020: Seasonal Abyssinians (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was reminded of the two Abyssinian drawings I did for the Fall and Spring issues of the Abyssinian Cat Club of America. I made some marble magnetswith the images and just noticed them again the other day.

springsketch1

When I drew my cartoons before getting the iPad, I would do the sketches, trace them in ink, and then scan them and put them together in Photoshop.

springsketch2

I also had some inkbrush pens that I was experimenting with. Since the cover of the newsletter was printed in black and white, I wanted to do a different sort of springtime drawing. Plus, the snowdrops coming up through the snow is one of my favourite signs of spring. On the final version, I added the shadows and added an “icy” filter to the background.

fallsketch2

I immediately knew what I wanted to do for the fall cover. Sometimes I would do several versions of a face or other parts to get the best drawing assembled.

fallsketch1

I remember drawing these leaves. I sketched a few different styles and then traced them over and over again to get the look I wanted. It’s so much easier now that I have leaf brushes in Procreate and Photoshop! Even so, there’s something satisfying about drawing on paper…Someday I should finish the series with summer and winter.