Normal Life?

(Originally posted today at Patreon. There are a TON of posts that I’ve not gotten around to posting over to this site – please feel free to go check them out, if you’re into that! I’ll be better about updating the free-to-read posts here as well!)

My life has been topsy-turvy lately, but I’m getting closer to normal (for whatever that means!) I wanted to share with you where I’m at on our Typodmary comic books, because that’s why we’re all here, right?

I also need to be able to remind myself where I’m at, and know that I’ve been making progress, even if it seems I haven’t. So, to that end, some reminders as to where we are at this moment in time!

Era of Great Wonders:

I’ve been getting really detailed with the backgrounds in Era, but I think I’m getting really close (for yet another given value of that word!) I may end up using simplified backgrounds for the inside of Eoin’s apartment (like the one directly above, where he’s trying to sleep on the couch) to help differentiate the chaos of the outside world, vs the stability he’s trying to provide his children.

And the updates we’ve all been waiting for, All the Growing Things! I’ve been tinkering away in the my “spare” time (usually when I should be working on other commission work) and adding pages and moving things around.

The first and second page are copies because I’m trying to figure out the layout for the printed book – I think I’m going to have a different page 1 than the one here, something that will work as a nice “splash page” for folks that just pick up the comic without picking up the other comics.

I’ve really been struggling with the pages where Texy starts to remember things, and his memory starts to bleed through: the first set of pages 6-12 you’ll see below. I want to really hit home the fact that Texy and the people he sees in those panels are all reincarnations of people he’s… um… “wronged” or at least, been tied-up with for the past couple millennia!

I also included pages 1-8 of the NEXT  issue of All the Growing Things (although 7 and 8 look pretty blank!) but I want to show everyone that Maude is coming back, and she’s coming back with a vengeance!

I have a bunch of photos I’ve taken of my painting for the Dr. Strangelove piece, but I want to wait until after the art show on Friday to show everyone the “final product” (by which I mean, art hanging in a public space!) and the changes and problems I had with that piece.

For closers today, I wanted to show you the drawing I was working on last night, for our Pen & Stylus reboot podcast:

We’re going to be re-doing the way we do the podcast, where instead of doing a live google/youtube hangout and having you all suffer through our rambling, we’re going to edit things down, maybe even have theme music from the Creative Commons world, and basically, try to step up our game! I can’t wait to see how the new episodes come out, and I guarantee that I’ll share those links with you once we figure out what we’re doing!

That’s it for now, I hope to update more frequently now that the worst of my deadlines are over, and comic convention season is almost over! Thank you all for your patience!

-Jenn

Super Patient Patrons are Super Patient

posted in: Commissions | 0

(this post originally appeared at Patreon, August 12, 2016. I am super behind updating those posts to this site, so I will just start here, with this one!)

I’ve been scrambling around on commissions lately, and haven’t made time to post what I’ve been working on. I have a TON of stuff to show y’all, but if I try to get everything ready to be shown in one post, I’ll never get it done. So to that end, here are some images from the commission I’ve been working on:

Above: The splash page for the chapter where Peter has to decide which of the two paths he should take: the scary path or the nice path.  To the right is the chapter splash page for a creepy forest. I’ve started sketching it out, but haven’t worked on inks yet.

Below: The queen snake and a crowd of “baby” snakes. When I drew the baby snakes, I drew them in a mandala-type pattern so that I could then use them in another page (if we decide to use more art in other parts of the kids’ book.)

Below: A close up of Peter as he balances his wheelchair on the edge of a cliff. Also a study of Jay-jay, the keermat that is there to help him. I’m still not super pleased with the design on him looks, and I need/want to do some more design work on him.

Below Left: Peter at the edge of a cliff, from a distance further away.

Below Right: A sticky cloud-thing from the book.

Below: The drawbridge and gate that leads into the magical world of Telladoo.

Below Left: Peter at the Mall with his sister and her friends. There’s more background to this, but I apparently didn’t screen-shot that image. Because I’m just awesome, I guess.

Below Right: The funhouse that leads to Telladoo. I *thought* I had more background work done on this too, but I might be imagining it.

That’s it for now. This past week I’ve been painting a LOT.  I have to turn in an oil painting tomorrow for Jon Sanchez’s “Kubrick vs. Tarantino” art show. I’m almost finished with my Dr Strangelove piece, and I’ll post images soon(er rather than later, I hope!)

-Jenn

MOAR UPDATES!

posted in: comics, Era of Great Wonders, Patreon | 0

Hey! So I chatted with my Patreon supporters, and they’re all cool with me sharing my patreon-only blog with everyone! So I’m going to catch you all up here, and then when that’s all done, I’ll start updating things here as I post them there. (If that makes any sense?)

This was originally published August 13th, 2015:

#18 More and More Frogs

I *think* this is where I left you all last time:

I’d spent so much of my time on the middle panel, and had to force myself through to finishing the other panels on the first page. Most of the bottom panels were done, and it was just a matter of drawing the character running out the door in the (middle bottom panel) as well as the background. I ended up filling in the bottom right panel with a black background (see below) and then after doing that, I wanted to balance the black on the page, so I did a silhouette on the fist panel. (I will honestly use silhouettes given the slightest provocation. They save so much time when you’re drawing!)

I spent WAY too much time yesterday drawing the panel in the upper right hand corner. Below you can see a close up of what I did with it. Each of the three upper panels has more and more frogs, until I lost count with the upper right panel.

(Twelve. I just counted them, and there are twelve frogs. Mind you, it’s the one you *don’t* see that gets you!)

I then called it done, posted the page to the website, and started working on the facing page. I’d already drawn the middle panel, with Sgt. Smythe’s face really big, so I started with the detail heavy bottom panel.

I knew that I wanted to have it sort of separated from the other panels, without a border, but I hated the way the last scene of the Pangean Book store came out, where I tried cross hatching:

(Ugh, so awful!)

So I tried instead to go as “border-less” as possible:

I had to put in a thin border for the night sky, or else I would have either flooded the page with black ink (not a bad idea, now that I think about it, but then I’d have to go back and retroactively flood all the pages with black ink to make the whole scene cohesive. I try to keep the page boarders similar in style for each mini-chapter.)

I did a little bit of copy-and-paste with the car wreckage, but I think I was subtle enough with it that it doesn’t stand out. then I drew in boxes for the other stores and their windows, and moved on to penciling the upper panel, with the three survivors:

I’ll be finishing the upper panel today. It’ll be an interesting challenge to blend both details and heavy shadows (to help balance out the bottom panel) – we’ll see later if I succeed!

-Jenn

Patreon 28 Update – Out of Town

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

Quick update: I’ve been wicked sick (back to back colds, maybe even the same one just super extended?) and I’m now getting ready to head out of town for Viable Paradise, a writing workshop on Martha’s Vineyard.

Everyone keeps telling me how beautiful and amazing Martha’s Vineyard is, however I read that there are ticks all over the island. I’m packing tons of tick repellent, because ticks are awful. I plan to bring enough tick repellent that I can share with anyone who wants some!

Also, the fact that it’s an island that you can only get to with a ferry (that’s a kind of boat, right?) which is a little disconcerting.  The weather forecast also mentions rain and chilly weather. For a desert rat like myself, there’s going to be some extreme culture shock, but I know I’m still going to have fun. I’m also bringing copious amounts of green chile salsa, because green chile salsa is the best thing on earth, and I know there will be people who’ve never had any, who NEED to know about it!

Let me think. I also plan to take walks along the shore, while staring moodily out at see, while composing poetry. That’s something people do on islands, right? Perhaps I’ll try my hand at quoting Byron or Shelly, although, no, now that I think of it, that’s too close to that unreadable stretch in The Invisibles comic, so maybe I’ll just wander around looking for neat rocks. That’s more my speed.

(Also, I use the word “also” too much. BUT, if you do get The Invisibiles reference, I’m sorry. That’s a terrible stretch of scene, and it’s sooooo boring I never managed to get past it an finish the comic.)

Work-wise, I’ve been catching up on commission work, however I did manage ONE drawing of my own in the past three weeks:

I’m not a big fan of Zero (character from Borderlands 2) but so many people at comic cons keep asking for prints of him. I still have a few other characters I want to draw from Borderlands 2 – Gaige, Axton, Sir Hammerlock, Ellie, and Scooter.

Okay, I have to go finish washing clothes so I can pack before I leave tomorrow (I tend to leave stuff until the last minute. This is not a wise way to travel.) I’ll catch y’all up when I get back! Take care until then!

-Jenn

Patreon Update 17 – Draw!

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

…That title is supposed to be a bit of pun between the fact that I’m going to talk about how I can’t really draw guns well, and about… well… drawing. So… I dunno. I don’t think it works, as a pun, but as a title, it’s okayish.

After update #16, I worked on the following layout work:

I generally enjoy layout work. I always feel like it should move quicker than it really does (after all, it’s just a few scribbles to show what you’re REALLY going to draw – so how hard can it be?) but this took me almost all of Friday to draw.

Even though I really enjoy layout work, there’s always little worms of doubt, and so I find myself moving panels around, resizing pencils, questioning if the way the story is written can tell the viewer what is happening if you take away all the text. (And as usual, I’m not sure that it does, but this is the best I’ve been able to come up with.)

I started inking a little bit on Friday, and then did most of this work yesterday, on Monday.

I avoided inking in the pistol in the middle panel, and even inked some of the next page and last two panels (which I don’t have a screen cap of at the moment), until I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I ended up using a bunch of references (I couldn’t tell you what they are, technically if my life depended on it) and managed to cobble together something that looks vaguely pistol-ish.

(Pencil version and ink version)

Then I added frogs everywhere, and called it a day!

Patreon Update 16 – August Already

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

I’m not sure how I miscounted, but I did it. So we’re just going to go with what Patreon says is actually update 16, and not quibble over numbers. Goodbye post number 15, we never got to know ye!

This is where I left off last week, before I got hit by a ton of commission work:

I’m still a bit behind on commission stuff but I wanted to at least get this week’s comics done while it’s still THIS week. I spent what felt like forever drawing frogs yesterday, and trying to make them look like little monsters, but still frog-like.

I then drew the crowd of soldiers, making their last stand. I didn’t have the heart to draw too much detail, so I silhouetted some of the soldiers, and really liked the effect:

I then started going in and drawing the background. I wanted the water to look dark and dank, with bubbles and scum floating on the top. I also included more frog silhouettes (I liked the way the soldiers came out, so I wanted to carry that through with the frogs.)

I finally finished this today (less than a few minutes ago) and will update it in a little bit!

-Jenn

Patreon Update 14 – Still Under the Weather

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

I’m still a bit groggy and feeling down, but I wanted to share with y’all what I’ve been working on. The pages still aren’t where I’d like them to be, but that’s okay, we’re just going to go with it and move on with our lives, right?

I went in and touched up the last two panels on the previous page, adding more shadows, and moving the frog’s attack from the last panel to the one on the left. Again, while I don’t really like this page as black and white, I think it’ll look much better in color (should that day ever happen!)

I started the next two-page spread. I spent most of one day penciling things in and moving things around. Looking at it now, I realize I need to move “The few of us who had our weapons out” up slightly, so it’ doesn’t block too much of the panels below. I don’t consciously use a “rule of three” when I work but I know it’s there: the fact that the text is cutting off half the face in the 2nd panel on the 2nd page is unacceptable. If it cuts off 1/3 or even 2/3 that’s fine… just not 1/2.

Below: I started inking the faces, my favorite part. I really like trying to evoke emotion in my characters, which is why I like this cartoony style so much over the other styles I used to draw in.

I also found a ton of references for frogs and toads, so I’ll be drawing those little suckers in later today, so you can see what everyone is fighting!

-Jenn

Patreon Update 13 – Monday Thoughts

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

It could just be Monday, but I’m really not into this page I’ve been working on. The upside is that it’s almost done and I can start working on the next two pages! Each new page spread has the chance to be a page spread I really like!

Here’s what I was working on Thursday (or was it Friday?) of last week:

Even the frogs (which I usually like drawing) seem flat and boring. While I know that I want to show the group of soldiers sitting around chatting, I wasn’t quite sure what to draw for the last two panels. I drew the guy getting hit by the frog tongue-lance, and then him flat on the floor, but that’s too similar to a scene that’s already finished that’s coming up in the next chapter:

So instead of redrawing Robert’s death scene (and I’m bummed too, because I really liked Robert!) I drew Rodgers (also, note the similar name) as he’s teetering, right before he falls:


I’m worried that it’s overkill to have to images of him as he’s loosing his balance, but I REALLY like the way the gun sketch looks on the left, so I might keep it in. (That’s a terrible reason to decide how to do panel layout, but I’m telling you: it’s been a rough week, and I’m sort of flying by the seat of my pants these days!)

Here are the frogs and the last panel inked. You can see where I’m still indecisive about the lower left panel:


The full page (everything but that last dang panel!)

And now, all I have standing between me and finishing this page is that last panel. I’m probably just going to ink it, as is, just to be done with it and move on. But first, I’m going to stare at it for an hour or so, then draw some other doodles in my sketch book. Then maybe I’ll tentatively ink it, then delete what I’ve done, then re-ink it, and then finally get frustrated with it and call it done.

It’s just sort of how the donuts get made, I guess! Here’s to hoping the next page spread is more inspiring!

-Jenn

Patreon Update – July 23th 2015

posted in: Art Making, Patreon | 0

12 – The Week that Got Away

I saw someone else numbering their posts, and I thought that was pretty cool. They’re up to 380 or so! I hope to get there some day!

This week got a bit out of control from me, and I spent a little longer on commission work than I should have. That said, I did manage to get a page drawn yesterday, and I’m hoping I can get a little more drawn today and tomorrow. Here’s some screenshots:

Above: what this page spread looked like last week. I have some vague pencil drawings in almost all of the panels, but nothing really concrete (except in panels 1,  2, and 3)

Above: panel one was a quick portrait, and I didn’t even think to take a screen cap of it. Panel two is an establishing shot of the bookstore that the soldiers will be hiding in. I tried to do a white crosshatch on the outside borders of the panel, and I don’t think it worked as well as I wanted it to. I think that technique might work well for flashbacks – and although these are all technically flashbacks, I don’t think it works well. That’s okay though, not every panel needs to be perfect!

Above: after drawing the damp and moldy boxes in the foreground, I started drawing the soldiers exploring with flashlights. I realized quickly that they probably wouldn’t walk around without their guns at the ready, especially in a city-state as dangerous as Pangaea.

Above: tried to draw the soldiers so it implies they have lights on their guns. Maybe duct taped? Maybe held in their off hand? I don’t know. I’m making this stuff up as I go!

Above: the final inking of the panel with more clutter and junk coming down from the ceiling.

Above: last panel on the page. Soldiers eating rations and hearing a weird “singing” coming from the back rooms that they’d already explored!

Okay, I’m going to try to get as much done today so that I’ll have something to post tomorrow as well! If not, I’ll see you all next week!

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