Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni 2020: Freddy the cat burglar (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had an idea today that I just had to sketch out. I was musing that I draw a lot of cartoons witch feature Lorelai and Izaak (especially Zak), but not so many starring Alfred. And I had a lightbulb go off in my head. I started out with the above sketch and a sneaky walk animation sequence I found online.

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This is my final sketch. Freddy the cat burglar! He’s got keys and a crowbar because his specialty is breaking and entering.

Fredburglar Sketch

Because Procreate has a recording feature, and I did all this work on my iPad (unlike some other drawings that go back and forth between Procreate and Photoshop), I also have a video of the drawing developing. Click on the image to watch it in a new tab/window on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj 2020: Prints and sketches for the ‘rents (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had intended a better post for today, but we’re all well knackered from the trip to the vet…wrangling five cats on the bus is exhausting! But I had ordered some prints of my recent art projects to send to my mom and dad in the States, and they came today, so I got them ready to mail them tomorrow. My mom hasn’t got a computer (well, she has, but it’s on dial-up and is still running Netscape, so…), and I don’t know if my dad still has his since he’s in assisted living.

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Anyway, I put each set into a greeting card, and as always, I did a little cat sketch in each card. I had a certain cat in mind on each sketch…can you tell who I drew?

Aby-a-Day – 19 Maj 2020: Kiipi and her kitten – Work in progress (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, my friend Sanna-Leena posted this awesome photo of Kiipi and her kitten on the Facebook group This IS an airport, please announce your departure: Aeroplane ear posting. I love Kiipi, and I have drawn her before. When I saw this photo, I wanted to draw it.

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I tilted the photo a little, so I could add in their tails. This is my preliminary sketch.

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I decided I wanted each cat on its own layer. This is my second sketch of Kiipi.

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And this is the second sketch of the kitten.

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And here they are together. The next step is ink, and then after that colour and texture. Stay tuned!

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj 2020: Behind the scenes of a classic (Cartoon Tuesday)

I know you’ve all seen my version of Tessie, Kylie, Angel and Jacoby as the main characters of Frozen. I wish I had the Photoshop file with all the layers…but somehow, all the PSD files of my cartoons after number 80 have disappeared.

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When I got the idea, it started as Kylie being Elsa and Jake being Kristoff…and it just took off from there.

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Elsa (Kylie) and Anna (Angel) went through a few test sketch ideas, but Jake’s Kristoff and Tessie’s Sven were pretty much set from the beginning.

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This sketch is where I finalised Angel’s Anna pose.

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Not wanting to waste paper, I would do pencil sketches and final inks on the same page. This is one of those.

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I worked on getting Kylie’s arms just exactly right. A LOT.

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I also drew Kylie separate from her clothing (Jake and Angel were always drawn with their outfits on). I wanted to be sure her body looked right under the translucent costume layer.

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When I was inking Jake’s face, I did a few trials before settling on his final face. In some ways, it’s way easier to draw on the iPad than it was to draw on paper!

Aby-a-Day – 24 Mars 2020: How to Train Your Singapura, a work in progress (Cartoon Tuesday)

I finally watched How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World a couple of weeks ago. And, of course, Toothless reminded me a LOT of Izaak. So…

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I had to do it. First, the pre-sketch, and then a main sketch.

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This is the preliminary inking.

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And here’s the whiskers and eyeshine. I still have to do the second inking, base colour and texture (obviously)…but I am excited to finish it and see how it looks!

Aby-a-Day – 17 Mars 2020: Probably our last pub quiz for a while…(Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Wednesday, we did our usual pub quiz since Björn was working downtown and I had an appointment. Seems like such a long time ago, now.

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It seemed a little quieter than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. I sketched some cats without names whilst I was waiting for Björn, as a bit of a test. He actually guessed wrong at first. Take a look at the two sketches above. Can you tell who they are?

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Well…this one is Dashiell. You can tell by his funny back legs.

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And this one is Izaak. You can tell by his cheetah markings around his eyes.

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The quiz started out being focused on Scotland and Scottish things, and one of the questions was “Vad är en ‘Scottish Fold’?” Well, of course we knew that one! And of course I had to illustrate what a Scottish Fold is, too. We won the quiz – 800kr, which paid for our dinner and drinks. I wonder if we got extra credit for the fold sketch.

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And, since today is St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a rerun from seven years ago. Sláinte!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari 2020: More Pub Quiz sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn and I did the Pub Quiz last week (mainly because they’re having a 25% off food deal for members), and we did all right; we tied for third place. And we won paper plates (which is way more awesome than it sounds)!

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But as always, the best part of Pub Quiz was the fact that they gave me a pencil, some paper, and waiting time between questions…and when I have that, I sketch cats.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti: Remembering Jacoby in Helsinki (Cartoon Tuesday)

When we went to Aino, the Finnish restaurant in Helsinki, I noticed a sign-in book.

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When we visited Helsinki with Jacoby in 2016, we ate at this restaurant.

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I just thought they needed to be reminded of that event.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli: Random practice sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found a couple of sketches I did back in SFI that I never posted. The first, I think we were talking about Swedish wildlife, so of course I started drawing lynxes. Then I started trying to compare a lynx to an Abyssinian.

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This one I did before we got Logan. We had one teacher who lived on a farm and loved to talk about all the animals she had. I guess that day, it was all about chickens. After I got tired of drawing them, I started practicing the differences between Abys and Singas. I haven’t gone to SFI for about a year now (they moved to a different location and changed teachers and we just got unengaged busywork – stuff I’d actually already done a couple of times already). But it was good for something: it made me draw more regularly than I do now.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli: Sketches in London (Cartoon Tuesday)

Even though the posts have been coming regularly every day, Björn and I have been in London since last Thursday evening. We came mainly because I got tickets for both games of the two-game series of MLB games between the Yankees and the Yankees, the first time major league baseball has been played in Europe. Even though Boston was the official home team for both games, and despite there being more Red Sox fans in attendance than there were Yankees fans…the Evil Empire ended up winning both games. But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ll be home Thursday afternoon.

When we weren’t at the games, of course, we have been doing a lot of sightseeing and shopping. One necessary stop, of course, was Harrod’s. Whilst in the souvenir shop, there was a display of pens, 3 for the price of 2. Whilst Björn hunted for pens, I decided to test them out on the provided pads.

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First, I drew Jacoby…but I didn’t like the way it turned out; the ears were too small. So I tried again, with Izaak. This one turned out much better. Still not as good as I’d have liked…but then, the pen I was using wasn’t the best.

Harrod’s is known for its souvenir shopping bags. I bought a rather generic one back in 2002 the last time I visited…but this time I found something much, much better! And, not to mention, Cartoon Tuesday-appropriate.

One last thing: at the first baseball game, we were sitting just in front of a Red Sox fan, Charles, from Connecticut who had come all the way to London to see a game. After the first inning, he started sketching, saying he was “a bit bored.” He was a wonderful artist! Here is the drawing he did of the game; Björn is in it, but I am not…the lines to buy merchandise were insane, so I sucked it up and went to stand in those. For four innings! If you ever happen upon this post, Charles…it was great to meet you!

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juni: More Pub Quiz Sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our friend Roger joined Björn and me at the Bishop’s Arms for the pub quiz last week…and of course, I had to decorate our answer sheet. My first doodle is Izaak with his chirpy mouse.

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Next, Lorelai…just looking cute.

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And then, Alfred…looking innocent (or trying to).

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And, finally, Angel, just trotting by.

Aby-a-Day – 28 May: Reliving history (Cartoon Tuesday)

The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals started yesterday, and they are quite exciting. The Boston Bruins are in them, of course, and if they win they will be the THIRD Boston team to win a championship in a year…and they’re already up one game. They face the St. Louis Blues, who haven’t been in the finals for 49 years. And even more interesting, in 1970, the team the Blues faced was…the Bruins!

Ray Lussier took a now-iconic photograph of Bobby Orr celebrating scoring the winning goal against the Blues in 1970. This image is such a part of Boston’s culture that there is a statue commemorating that moment in front of the Garden, and it has been reproduced on T-shirts for 49 years.

My ex found me an unofficial playoff shirt (the kind that can only be found in Boston) with the Bruins Bear recreating Orr’s flight (modeled by Tessie), and it kind of inspired me.

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Using a photo of the moment, I did a sketch of Jacoby as Bobby Orr.

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I did a first ink, but I didn’t like the pen I used; it was too thick and clunky. So, using that ink as a reference, I made a second inking.

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That inking turned out so much better! I’ll colour it in and finish it for next week…the day after Game 4.

Aby-a-Day – 2 April: Birthday pub quiz sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, we did the pub quiz again. It was our friend Roger’s birthday, so I did a birthday-themes sketch with Lorelai.

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I also did one with her beloved red dot as well.

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And, of course I wanted to practice Izaak, too. It wasn’t our best night, but we had a really good time.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Mars: That next step is a doozy! (Cartoon Tuesday)

My sister’s birthday is this weekend, and, as I always do, I sent her a card. And, as I usually do, I included a little cartoon of Jacoby.

My sister is five years younger than me, and thus is turning 49 this year. That next step really IS a doozy!

Aby-a-Day – 5 Mars: Game day sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn has been a roleplaying gamer since 1982, starting with Dungeons and Dragons. I also played D&D and Heroes in college. Björn has been working on a Call of Cthulu campaign he wants to run with some friends, and, whilst I have never been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft…it is set in Boston in 1920, so how could I resist?

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My character, Ivy Poole is a widowed photojournalist who lives on Peterborough Street near Fenway Park (she’s a big Red Sox fan; hey, they won the Series two years ago, how long can it take to win again?)

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During the game, I tried to sketch her so the other players would know what I look like. However, I got discouraged because A) she looked too much like me (at least how I looked 20 years ago when I was my character’s age) and B) I’m crap at drawing humans. So I resorted to sketching what I sketch best…cats. First I started with Lorelai, because she had come to see what we were doing with the dice.

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Then Izaak wanted to sit on everybody’s laps, so I switched to him. This one had funny eyes…

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…but this one…this one I really like. I think I may have to finish this one!

Aby-a-Day – 19 Februari: Valentine’s pub quiz sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last year, Valentine’s Day fell on a Wednesday, so Björn and I celebrated by doing the pub quiz Our favourite pub, The Bishop’s Arms. This year, of course, Valentine’s Day was on a Thursday, but we decided we wanted to celebrate the same way, so we did Valentine’s Day a day early.

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And of course, I drew on the answer sheet again. First Jacoby with a big heart sign, because Valentines. But then I wanted to draw someone else. I started it out intending it to be Izaak, but once I got the face done…I realised it wasn’t Zak at all. It was Alfred! Which, considering he wears a heart on his collar tag, seemed quite fitting.

Aby-a-Day – 8 January: Pub quiz doodles (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our favourite pub, The Bishop’s Arms, holds a pub quiz on Wednesday evenings. When Björn works downtown, and I happen to be downtown too, we’ll go play. As a team, we do pretty well; we’ve won everything from 800kr, to hair salon vouchers, to glasses, a package of napkins, and Bishop’s Arms reflectors.

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They supply us with pencils and paper, and the golden rule is NO SMARTPHONES. So…paper, pencil, no phones and downtime..? Yeah, I started sketching on the quiz form.

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I also did a little drawing of Jacoby as the Bishop in the logo. Even with a ballpoint pen, drawing on paper napkins is HARD! I guess Picasso must have done his art on cloth ones.

Aby-a-Day – 18 December: Luciatåg (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Thursday was St Lucia’s Day here in Sweden (Luciatåg), and it is another religious day turned into a secular celebration. December 13, under the old Julian calendar, was the date of the Winter Solstice, an important event in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries because the sun is only up for a few hours, and the nights are extremely long. After the Winter Solstice the sun returns and days get longer. The name Lucia actually derives from the Latin word for “light” (lux), so Swedes took Lucia’s saint’s day and turned it into a non-religious celebration of the lengthening of days and the return of light from the darkness of winter. Luciatåg becomes a part of the larger Jul celebration which officially starts on the first Sunday of December (although decorations start going up after Halloween) and continues through Christmas to Twelfth Night. By “tjugondag Knut” (20 days after Christmas), the decorations are taken down and the Christmas tree thrown out (if it’s a real tree), traditionally with a party but that custom has begun to disappear.

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Lucia is celebrated by girls dressed as St. Lucia (being chosen to portray Lucia is quite an honour) and Lucia’s handmaidens (“tärnor”) and boys dressed as star boys (“stjärngossar”), gnomes (“tomtar”) and gingerbread men (“pepparkaksgubbar”) who sing Natten går tunga fjät (“Night Walks with a Heavy Step”) and other songs celebrating light.

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So, naturally I had to draw Lorelai as Lucia and Izaak as a star boy…

Aby-a-Day – 11 December: Mini and Maxi (Cartoon Tuesday)

Recently a new cartoon has appeared on the internet: Pixie and Brutus, about a tiny kitten and a retired military war dog. Now, I know Pixie has stripes on his back…but other than that, he looks and, more importantly, ACTS just like a Singapura.

I know my sketch is a bit disproportionate…but I imagine this is what the Maine Coons felt when they first met a Singapura…inspired a bit by Pixie and Brutus.

Aby-a-Day – 20 November: Just a random little sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I needed to find the Wi-Fi password to our router, which, for some reason, lives only in a little cookie note pad from the Danish Flying Tiger store.

Yeah, we really need to record that in a more permanent place.

But I came across a little sketch I had done. Not sure when I did it, or why I did it in a little round cookie-shaped notepad in blue ink…but I think it’s Jacoby and Alfred.