Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni 2020: Has it been four years already? (Friday Flashback)

As you probably remember, four years ago this month, Jacoby, Angel and I moved to Sweden.

angelmovingIMG_4794

The movers came on 31 May. Angel was remarkably chill.

angelmovingIMG_4821

The movers coming in and packing everything up didn’t faze her one bit.

jakemovingIMG_4799

Jake, of course, was very helpful.

tessiemovingIMG_4780

Tessie wanted to keep the scratching posts.

jakeangelmovingIMG_4777

But mostly, the Abys just napped whilst the movers worked.

cattreemovingIMG_4848

cattreemovingIMG_4852

cattreemovingIMG_4853

cattreemovingIMG_4854

I was quite impressed watching the movers watching the movers wrap up the big cat tree.

carrierIMG_5197

A week and a half later, it was our turn to go.

carrierKEFIMG_5236

We travelled to Sweden on IcelandAir, which requires all animals to travel in a designated animal area in the cargo hold due to Iceland’s quarantine laws. I was lucky enough to see Angel and Jake’s carrier transferring to our plane during the layover.

jakeangelarlandaIMG_5243

We arrived in Sweden just fine.

jakeangelcarrierIMG_5300

And we made it home to our apartment in Skövde. And here we are, four years later, living our happily ever after.

Well…except we no longer have Jake…but still.

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.

frozen_earlysketch1

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

frozen_earlysketch2

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.

frozen_sketches

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

frozeninkandsketch

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

frozen_kyliearms

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

frozen_kylieink

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.

frozen_jake

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!

Happy birthday, Kylie!

Today is Kylie’s 15th birthday! She and Tessie are both healthy and happy back in Boston.

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…

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Tessie!

I can’t believe it, but Tessie is sixteen years old today! She is still very healthy and happy, although she has got a bit of arthritis. I miss her so much…but I know she is happy with Kylie back in Boston. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TESSIE!

Aby-a-Day: June’s over? Julying! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, I posted about how Canadian-born Jacoby tended to get a little confused about what to wear the first few days of July.

jake4thC02423

To prove this point, I dressed him up in an Uncle Sam hat along with a maple leaf bandanna and Team Canada sweater.

jake4thC02424

He was such a legend at posing with outfits on.

jake4thC02426

And his eyes…so expressive!

jake4thC02392

And then…someone came and photobombed our little modelling session. Jake knew it immediately.

jake4thC02378

“Tessie’s right behind me, ruining my photo, isn’t she..?”

jake4thC02380

“Tessie, do you mind? I’m kinda doing a thing here.”

jake4thC02416

“Right. Let’s get back to the posing.” I’m just sorry I never found a Sweden jersey for him to pose in.

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.

jakeorr-sketch

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

jakeorr-1stInk

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.

jakeorr-1970

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