Aby-a-Day – 18 Mars 2020: Wordless Wednesday (The faces of Izaak)

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Aby-a-Day – 7 Mars 2020: Happy Birthday, Kalle and Björn! (Swedish Saturday)

Since Kalle’s birthday is today, and Björn’s birthday is the 10th, we generally celebrate them both together. Björn always makes the cake…and this year, he made a Coronavirus cake.

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Kalle is is turning 17, so instead of candles, Björn put 17 gumdrop Coronaviruses on the cake instead. Because, you know…blowing out candles would spray germs all over the cake, right?

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Izaak says, “Really? A Coronavirus cake? Do you really think that’s appropriate?”

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Björn did a really good job on the viruses, though.

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Lorelai wanted some of the viruscake.

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“Look, mom! I am washing my hands and everything!”

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“What do you mean, NO?” Rory is channelling her inner Abernathy here.

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In no way related to the Coronavirus, but oddly apropos, my birthday gift to Björn was a Swiss Army gas mask from WWII. I ordered it in December (after getting him a Swiss Army pair of snow goggles for Christmas from the same seller), way before we knew about the pandemic.

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Björn was pleased with his gift.

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…and then he started posing with props.

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Emma was really happy to get to spend time with the cats.

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Happy birthday, Kalle and Björn!

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)

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Aby-a-Day – 18 Februari 2020: The Zakdalorian (Cartoon Tuesday)

Like 90% of the world, Björn and I watched the The Mandalorian a few weeks ago. and the minute I saw Baby Yoda/”The Child” sipping a cup of bone broth, I knew what had to be done.

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So far, it’s just at the sketch and ink phase…I am trying to decide how I want to colour it. The green of Baby Yoda’s skin is almost the same colour as Izaak’s eyes, but it won’t look as much like Baby Yoda if I colour it in sepia tones…so I am still deciding how I want to finish this. I also have an untested idea of doing a pale green background, with an overlay of sepia ticking.

I need to think about this. Stay tuned for the finished version!

Aby-a-Day – 6 Augusti: “Railroad trains are such magnificent objects, we commonly mistake them for Destiny”

The thing about going to cat shows in Sweden is, you have to travel all over the country (and also to other countries). We sometimes rent a car, but usually the rail and bus system is good enough that we don’t have to. It’s tough sometimes because the luggage for cats and humans gets heavy, and if the elevators are broken it can be a struggle.

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But our new super stroller makes it a million times easier. We can put things on top of it, or inside with the cats, and it can be steered with one hand (that was a problem with the previous strollers).

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And we get to see a lot of interesting things. This is Södertälje Syd station, closest to the show and our hotel. The swoopy thing is just a shelter to wait for taxis or cars to pick people up.

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I just thought it was wicked cool. It could have been plain and boring, but instead they made it look interesting. I like that.

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Riding the train is nice. Sometimes it can be crowded, or there can be screaming children or annoying people having FaceTime conversations. Since we have to travel in the pet compartment, sometimes we share it with dogs.

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Usually the dogs are well-trained and polite, but on the trip to Södertälje, there was a Labradoodle who was not so nice. His human was seated across the aisle from us, and he was on the floor at my feet. Lorelai was chilling on Björn’s bag under the table, and Izaak was on my lap, closer to the dog. Zak’s okay with dogs, but he’s more used to small dogs. At one point the Labradoodle lunged at the cats with no warning! It even surprised the dog’s owner, it was that sudden. After that, Zak decided to sit on the table and shoot stinkeyes at the designer mutt. (I wanted to get a photo of it, but after the altercation I was afraid the woman would see me take the picture. But it looked almost exactly like this.)

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Even Rory, who likes dogs, decided that sitting on the seat next to Björn was a better idea after that.

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Sometimes Zak gets bored on the train and walks around. He likes to climb up the backs of the seats, too.

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This is from the trip home, which was blessedly canine-deficient. Rory was fascinated by the passing scenery.

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Zak also had to check it out. I love watching them crawl all over Björn…it just shows how comfortable they are riding the rails.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Maj: Singapura Stinkeye, Pixie-style (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I did some sketches of Izaak in the style of Pixie from the webcomic Pixie and Brutus. There is one particular cartoon that really inspired me to do a Singapura Stinkeye PixieZak. So…here it is.

I tried to do this entirely in Procreate on my iPad Pro, but I had to do a couple of things in Photoshop after I had finished. One, Björn thought Zak’s eye was too big, so I made it a little smaller…and two, I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to paste my signature into the drawing on Procreate.

However, whilst Procreate may be lacking in layer-pasting abilities, it does have a very nifty feature: it records your drawing, which you can then export as a video! So…here is me drawing Zak as Pixie.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Maj: Another set of pro photos from Djurmagazinet (Fashion Friday)

You may remember last year when I bundled everyone up in the Strollercat stroller and got professional photos taken of everybody. Well, they had another photo shoot last month, so I took everyone back in for another round of photos.

I mainly wanted to get photos of Angel and Alfred, because they don’t go to shows, and we don’t have as many opportunities to have them photographed. Angel actually did really well, considering she doesn’t get out much.

Lorelai, of course, is a natural.

She’s been getting professional photos taken since she was 11 weeks old!

Still, even a seasoned poser can take an slightly awkward photo every once in a while.

Izaak is pretty good at the posing thing, too.

*Sigh* At least, when he isn’t throwing the Singapura Stink-Eye around.

And then there’s Freddy. He is an excellent poser.

Except…when he isn’t. It’s really hit or miss with this silly boy! Still, I would rather have goofy photos of them than no photos at all. It’s funny…the last time we got the photos done, we had just four cats (because Zak hadn’t joined us yet)…and this time, we also had only four cats. SOMEday I hope we’ll be able to a photo of the whole family of five.