Monday, August 31, 2009

Running out of time

Gotta get my daily post in!

Nothing much to show for today, so here's a bad sketch exercise I did earlier. They can't all be winners. I need to draw a celebrity next time. They are more fun.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

No time to rest!

I'm in DC with the grandparents until Thursday, and priorities are shifting. I got my comic far enough ahead that I don't have to think about it during this stay. That's great, right? Problem is, in order to get the comic ahead, I had to put off everything else!

I owe a ton of people emails. I need to get back on some message boards and be a good productive member of my webcomic collectives. I need to get Precocious scripts in order for the next few months. Basically, I gotta write a lot. I suck at that! And I have to, y'know, be a family man for a while. Busy week! Oh, and I have a few paintings to finish. (It allows me to blog with pictures!)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

30-minute meals

Y'know, if art is food for the soul...

This is part two of my "I have toys!" experiment. I had 30 minutes, watercolor pencils and PJ Harvey as background music. Inspiration!

So there's my stylized Polly Jean portrait. It was quite fun to do, even if the hurrying precluded perfection. Oh, and if you're wondering, the dark spots on the image are places where water made my paper warp dramatically. Hey, watercolor paper is precious! Bristol board I have in excess.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I have toys and I'm dangerous!

I had a half hour until I headed over to Dana's. I had watercolor pencils. I had no will to work on Precocious. I had Twitter open. Recipe for disaster!

I wanted to play and asked the twits what I should draw. Tiffany Ross, of The Cyanthian Chronicles (among a dozen other titles) joked about me drawing something for her website. Well, that was the only request, so I drew a little treatment of my favorite character of hers, Chatin. (In her younger days.) Maybe it's not home page material, but it's not bad for about 20 minutes of work!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Build that buffer!

(Picture shrunk to hopefully hide spoilers.)

I'm getting ready to head back down to DC on Sunday, so I have to make sure my comics are done to cover that stay. This means working the proverbial butt until it falls off. Proverbially.

Things are progressing nicely, with the dailies almost done and Copper Road readied for its inking. The one hold up is the blasted Sunday strip again. I am completely out of ideas! Well, good ideas at least.

I know a few of the dailies I'm going to do in my free-form September, but Sundays have been lacking. I have a Sunday for the NEXT week in my head, but this week I am forced to choose between two rather weak ideas. Forgive me if end up going with one of 'em.

I'm looking forward to this DC trip because I'll have no pressure to get the comic done - and I haven't felt that freedom in a while. The plan is to get my butt scripting, so I can look to September with a little more confidence. I don't even have to script September's strips! October is when the next Precocious story begins, and I want to have that bugger knocked out so I know how to fit it into the grand scheme of things. If I touch on some ideas in the October story, I can use the September strips to remind the readers such themes exist. For example: Autumn really hates Max. That's been covered a grand total of ONCE so far. I either have to reintroduce that topic or scrap it from the October tale. (It's a throwaway gag there, not anything important.)

A few good scripting marathons can really give me a peace of mind, provided they are effective. But first, I gotta get this buffer properly built up. I'll be in a panic the second I get home from DC, as my buffer would be only at two days then, so productivity during the trip is vital.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hey, free pen!

Today marked the beginning of a long and arduous journey that is my return to dental health. Unfortunately, I am cursed with pathetically weak teeth - They dissolve in water! - and this means I'm a walking cavity factory!

Today was my first drilling, with a cleaning on top! During this, I was introduced to a device that is shoved into my mouth to force my jaw open no matter what - with a suction device added as well. In sci-fi movies, this thing would DRAIN MY SOUL. To top off the sci-fi fun, I was flat on my back, with a soul-sucker in my mouth, looking up at a tv screen, wearing headphones playing the audio and two bright lifts (THERE! ARE! TWO! LIGHTS!) over my head. It was not unlike a brainwashing scene... if there was some evil conspiracy for me to memorize ESPN highlights. (I wouldn't put it past ESPN to do that.)

Anyway, I'm sort of in pain right now. I don't remember former drillings hurting this bad - and I'm out of druuuuugggggsssss. (Advil.) Eh, on the bright side, the dentist gives out freebies! ("Free" meaning "makes you feel better after the dental bill.") I have some magnets, some strawberry-scented lip balm and, woohoo, a new pen! Which I used to make the above drawings! It's a uni ball vision elite, and actually quite nice. I must steal another when I go back! They can afford to give it up, considering I'm such a cash cow for them. My face is a dental ATM.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The best type of procrastination

Rather than do the inking I'm supposed to be doing, I decided to go back and work on my latest bite-sized painting. I really like where it's going. Heck, it may qualify for done.

I'm not fully satisfied with the left side of the painting, but it's not bad considering the original (awful) paint sketch that led to this bugger. The swirly balls (technical term) came out nicely, though. I had worried they would be the ship sinker.

Anyways, I hope this gets that pesky art out of my system. I still need to get that inking done...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I got the music in me

In a week of low motivation, a guiding light has emerged: Imogen Heap. I have her new album, Ellipse, now and I've started listening to it. (Good so far!) To get some inspiration going, I decided to groove the music via painting. This is what popped out. Not bad so far, although the bite-sized paintings never seem to translate well online. I have no clue where it's going next, but with painting I never do.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

She me what you got!

If an idea and productivity mugger were to come by, display a gun and try to mug me, they would sooooooo be out of luck, because today I. GOT. NOTHING.

I did some web design (which isn't live yet) and lettered a bunch of next week's strips (which are more visual than verbal) and... and... nothing. I sketched a few pages, but this is the best that came from that. Ahh, sketching... what I do when I can't do anything else!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yes, that's right. Three iPods, one iPhone. And I'm still typing this post on a PC.

I've previously documented my ongoing struggle to play my music. The struggle continues, with dysfunctional absurdity. I have a player and four devices it can play - all of which fail to meet my needs fully! Let us review!

Black iPod: My first iPod. My baby! 8gigs of love and music, it has served me well over the years. Now, like me, it is old and breaking down. Its screen is busted, meaning it only works about 10% of the time, if that. You can imagine the frustration involved in this, with me constantly resetting and rebooting the bugger in hopes I see text and not a squiggly blue line. And there's still the problem if my player not charging the nanos! Bah, I can fix THAT!

Enter the iPhone: I hate to say it, but this thing really is amazing. Never before in my life have I kept a calendar, yet it's so easy to do it now! I love the little beep I get when an email arrives! I love having it all in one nice device. Heck, I don't even mind that there's a pesky phone involved as well. These have all been plusses, but what I really wanted was that upgraded, chargable iPod! Hey, I needed a new phone too.

So what's the problem here? Gravity. Why on earth did a device designed for iPhones not factor in that iPhones are HEAVIER than iPods? (iAm getting sick of doing this iCapitalization already.) This means the connection with the player is tenuous at best. I have to remove the bottom of my protective case and use it as to prop the player up. Even better, this is a 3gs, which is just different enough from the 3g to make the phone whine that the device is too foreign and scary. (It whines, but it plays fine.) Ok, so I can prop it up. Good enough. That's when the vibrate option comes in, shaking the phone just enough to silence it. The solution is simple: TURN OFF VIBRATE - but I'm lazier than that. Here comes the next solution!

Red iPod: This was a holiday gift to me by my former employer, with a spiffy logo and color! Problem was, it's only 4 gigs. I stuck with my double-sized friend at work and regifted the player to my littler brother. Years go by, and I'm showing off my iPod player to him at my grandparents' house. I tell him the story of my busted screen and he whips out old reddie here. Since *he* also has an iPhone now, he had no use for it anymore. Reregifting ensues! Well, it works - but now I can only put half my playlists on the bugger. The iPhone has 32 gigs! Oh, whatever. Red is easier. I just wish there was a way to get my other playlists....

Silver iPod: My other brother, the sleazebag jerkoff of the family, managed to scam a 4 gig iPod out of my softie of a mother when they went to buy my first iPod. (Chrispmas gift.) My bro, lacking in both sense and brains, naturally put his player through the wash a few times and killed it. Unfazed, he simple started borrow players from other people, leaving his dead iPod with me.

A long time went by before I found this iCorpse again. I was cleaning and found it in a bin of spare change. It had been a long time since the accident, so I gave it a shot and threw it in the charger. Whaddaya know, it worked! I guess it finally dried out at some point. Do I give this iPod back to my brother, who WILL ruin it with his idiotic incompetence, or do I bring this little fellow into my dysfunction iFamily? Yeah, finders keepers.

So that's the story of how I failed my music needs so hard. If the black iPod works, I play it every night until the battery dies. If not, I move to red for a specific playlist, or silver for my umbrella playlists. After two days, I pull them off to charge. When in the mood for something esoteric, the iPhone comes out. I suppose it works, but it sure works in a stupid, stupid way.

I hope you enjoyed my story, because I've worked on the comic all day and I'm too tired to do any painting or sketches tonight. I'll do better tomorrow. (Maybe.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

We come from the land of ice and snow

I'm 25% Danish, donchaknow! 100% of that 25% is my grandfather, who - as you might have suspected - has a birthday today. Also, he's a retired rear admiral, if you couldn't suspect that.

I was tasked with making him a card. He has Alzheimer's and it's kinda lost on him, but grandma should enjoy it. Anyway, here's my dramatic composition, Apologies to the owners of the images I stole...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The natural look

You know, with all the recent costume changes, it's been a while since I consistently drew my kids in their standard Precocious looks. With the supervillain follies going on now, I look below and see a full Dr. Oven in yesterday's sketch. (He was just supposed to be wearing the glasses.) Since Dr. Oven in full is probably funnier anyway, I left him in the Sunday strip it inspired, but I have to laugh. So many times when I drew Bud in baseball gear or lab coat, I had to go back and erase his black vest. Instincts said Bud = vest! Now I've done gone and reversed everything!

Don't tell me, I'll get him back to basics just in time for fall weather to put him in a jacket!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spectacular failure!

No, I'm not talking about me. I've been sketching out some ideas of when Precocious activity goes horrible wrong - which translates to horrible RIGHT for you, the viewer! Here we have our cast in the aftermath of some failed experiment.

They are remarkably upbeat in the face of failure! Why? It is the scientific method! Trial and error! Experiment! If you survive, then you've learned! That is so much easier to say when dealing with fiction.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Enough guppies can eat a whale, right?

Look, it's been documented that I'm ADHD, like FOR REALS. It's not that fun, because concentration is really kinda important in getting work done. Over the past few days, I have been hard core scrambled for some reason, bouncing between project after project and taking nibble after nibble. The result: LOTS OF UNFINISHED PROJECTS! Booyah!

In theory, if I keep going around, thinks will start getting done. Copper Road is now sketched and ready for inking. Saturday's strip is ready to ink as well. Sunday's? I'm FUCKED. Got nothing for that yet. Next weeks' strips have been lettered, so it's time for some (rather extensive) sketching. Stupid elaborate compositions. Web design is in the corner with Sunday's potential strip and my pride. I'll work on that stuff LATER.

Between all this chaos, I've been painting. It's better than sitting around in a daze or playing video games. I'm gonna pay with this EVEN MORE because I'm still not satisfied, but it is progressing. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm attacking the darkness!

This is it, the final sketch of the latest sketchbook to be conquered by my mighty pencil! It took forever to finish this bugger, since all my drawing time was spent on the comic, but that's a good thing.

As my life is so comic-centered, what you see here is prep work for next Sunday's Copper Road. It's clear to anyone who knows the signs what it's about. Gotta say, Vincent would be a terrible dungeon master, but sacrifices must be made if Quincy is going to play along to give Kaitlyn an introduction. Besides, RULE OF FUNNY! No questioning it!

Anyway, today is going to be a production day. (Assuming all goes as planned.) I have to finish this week's Precocious strips and start on the next batch. I'm out of Sunday scripts, so that may skipped over. Even when I'm ahead in the dailies (which hasn't been for weeks now) Sundays always get done last minute, so this is nothing new. This is why I have to work in batches. Creativity is not a constant stream, and even if it was it would not be homogeneous. A constant flow of creativity is sometimes mostly paintings, sometimes all about sketching, sometimes writing, etc. Time of low creativity can bring a flow of high grinding productivity, such as lining templates, lettering or a good focused inking session. I have to play it the best I can and go with the flow. I've wanted to ink for days, but creativity has been telling me to paint. I have one last day to be whimsical before cruel deadlines rear their ugly heads, but let's hope it doesn't get that far.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I don't *do* serene

My painting has turned to the side of busy! Don't fret too much, as much of the background is my version of underpainting. I intend to lighten it up a bit and embolden the foreground. How? I don't know. When? Whenever I want to avoid working on the comics?

Oh, and if you're wondering, the feeling I'm going for is driving the interstate through Atlanta when not familiar with the rout, on which the left and right lanes may veer off or end at any time. It's so obvious, isn't it?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Drawing inspiration from strange places

I started work on a new large-format painting! Hey, after the bite-sized babies, 3'x2' is MASSIVE!

Why did I start painting instead of working on all the Precocious stuff I need to do? Blame my iPhone.

I was connecting it to charge when I looked at my current wallpaper. It's a dim shot of one of my bite-sized paintings. (This room has terrible lighting.) I wanted something brighter, so I searched the room for something well-lit. No dice. Maybe if the painting was bigger it would show up better... so I grabbed one of my giants from the other room and snapped a shot of that. (Lighting was still too dim, but it's a NEW dim wallpaper!)

Holding that massive work of art in my hands inspired me! I had some bigger canvases lying around and it was about time I started working on them. Screw Precocious, I want to paint circle-ish things! In Precocious I have to draw things I am rather unskilled at drawing, leading to unsatisfactory results. In painting, I can do whatever the heck I want!

It's a nice start, but I'm not certain where to go next with it. Oh well. It's not a problem as I'm sure I'll have something in mind by the time I can get back to working on it.

Now, back to drawing some Precocious strips! Dammit.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweet dreams are made of these

Here is the latest version of the Tiffany painting. Her coloring is done, with black touch-ups next in line. I'm playing with the background, and I'm not sure where to go with it yet. I could do the red as a carpet and blue as background, go all blue or go with another color. Feel free to chime in if you'd like. You are also free to make an offer to buy this thing! Highest bidder chooses the background. Oops, my greed is showing...

Oh yeah, I nearly spaced on the date AGAIN! I've had this painting ready to post for hours, but I got distracted by football/Big Brother/Photoshop/shiny objects. My brain needs unscrambling. Maybe I need a nap...

Oh, snap! I forgot Thursday existed!

Well, here's what I was GOING to post before I forgot that midnight marks the end of the day!

As you can see, I've been hard at work at making comics. I've also been hard at work actively goofing off with video games. (Final Fantasy VII, a decade behind the curve!) Add in a bit of geeky socializing and no need for a morning alarm, and you get a distracted Chrispy.

Oh well. I'll try to get another post together later. My daily blog streak has been broken, but I'll even things out by doubling up today!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Schizo painting!

No, not a painting BY a schizo, dangit! This little painting, of the bite-sized variety, has gone through several incarnations. It began as pink and green, and now it is... less so. I formerly has little black, and it is... more so. It began with no yellow and all, and yet yellow is now all up in its business. Whatever the case, the painting is now more FUN! And slightly unstable.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cootchi cootchi coo!

I believe I worked on/started about a dozen projects today, most of which was not blogable - be it OFFICIAL BUSINESS or just too boring to share. What I can share with you from my frenetic day is the updated linework on the Loving Family commission. Next up: Color! Oooh.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hu's your daddy?

With the launch of Copper Road, it's time to nail down the final, puntacular member of the Hu family. Meet Hiram Hu. Hi for short. That name beat how How Hu mostly because Howard Hu is a few letters short of Leonardo DiCaprip saying, "come in with the milk." (The Aviator is one of my favorite movies!)

Now... which one is Hi Hu? I'm not sure yet! You can see the themes I am playing with, but what combination is the one for him? Is it even in the image?

I know I want him to have some faint Siamese traits to him, but more along the line of lavender points, which have light coloring. In Precocious, only Autumn's clone-y family is allowed to be of "pure" breeding. That was half the reason I brought in Wen, even though his two lines might be the only ones he ever gets in Precocious' run. Wen hinted that daddy Hu isn't another pure Siamese. (The other reason for Wen's introduction was, of course, my need to populate Copper Road with a cast of crazies.)

So what traits work? I know I want the ear points, be them half-shade (like Wen) or black tipped (like Tiff's brother, Mikey). I also want the scruffy beard, because Hi isn't the most together person and it gives him a casual look. That less-than-formal look has extended to his hair. For that I took Kaitlyn and Wen's looks and went with several hybrid styles of the two. My original leaning was towards the Kaitlyn side, but the Wen-ish sketches do look good.

Point is, I don't know. I can delay his appearance in Copper Road for a few weeks, letting the idiotastic Shii Ann speak for both when the situation calls for parental failure - Hi's not much better than his wife in the common sense game - but the obsessive world builder in me wants to nail it down soon. Any advice?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A new era of vote incentives

Sometime on Monday I launch my Precocious spin-off comic: Copper Road!

You see, friends, I crave attention. I validate my existence by the numbers beside my comics name on toplist sites. And those numbers have been DROPPING! Something drastic must be done!

There is a thing called vote incentives - little bits of bonus art that, in theory, entice people to vote for one's comic. I have been using small things here and there, with lackluster results. FINE! Let's go for gusto!

Copper Road will be my new vote incentive. You wanna read my new comic? THEN YOU MUST VOTE FOR ME!

Copper Road will appear sometime on Monday, so get your voting fingers ready!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Consider my media mixed!

Instead of doing real work today, I played around with a set of watercolor pencils. It's drawing and painting combined into some grotesque chimera! Or maybe it's just how I use it. Me and watercolors haven't hung out since high school, and even then we didn't click. They're delicate and require time and patience. Screw that, I'm hanging with acrylics! We go wild, dry off and GO WILD AGAIN in the time it takes for me to impulsively ruin a watercolor by painting on a still-wet surface.

Ahh, but this was a fun bit of playtime on a day when nothing else would be done. Gotta pack up the painting for a return home tomorrow, had to throw out the India ink because it was too old and empty (just like me?) and the only tech pen I had available was a surprisingly useful 1 pointer. I got a lot of work out of that bugger during this trip!

Anyway, art is done for the evening. It's time to get my stuff together and prepare for REVOLUTIONIZING MY VOTE INCENTIVES tomorrow.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A loving family, part 2

Work has started on my first commissioned Precocious painting!

What we have here is a detail of the paint sketch feautring a young Harvey and Deirdre Linkletter adoring a newborn Jacob. If it's too rough to be clear, Deirdre is doing the coochie-coo thing and baby Jacob is giggling. Harvey, like any doting father, is armed with a camera.

The next step is shoring up the figures and solidifying the lines. I'm not content with Harvey's rendering yet, but I assume it'll work out in the end. The giggling Jacob came from an errant brush stroke, but I think it really adds to the piece! (He was originally supposed to be asleep.) Yay happy accidents!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Voting for my site on toplists is way down across the board, and I can't help but think it's due to my lack of vote incentives. That, or EVERYONE HATES ME NOW!

Anyway, I apologize for the incentives becoming more sporadic. I've been scrambling recently and I figured the meaty stuff should get the most attention. I never want to miss a comic update, and it's a personal goal to make a blog post every day - even if the post sucks. (I'll try harder!)

So, fickle incentive people, I do vow to get the first Copper Road ready for incentivizing soon. I have to get back from DC, to a more work-compatible environment, before anything big gets done. I'm aiming for Monday the 17th as Copper Road's launch, but we'll see.

Until then, I'm aiming for two incentives per week - and that means I need one soon! Here's to hoping inspiration strikes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This is a sketch

This is a blog post. This is a sketch blog! This is the daily obligation.

Today was a travel and social day, so no time to be an art hero. Sorry!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What fairy is this?

It's another comic work day as I rush to get things in the queue to cover my next DC visit. Enjoy this spoileriffic view of the upcoming Sunday strip as I continue production! Work work work!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I love it when people do things for me - especially since I rarely do things for other people! It means they care enough to overlook my jerkass nature!

Today was a Metric day. When I'm down, I listen to Metric's "Fantasies" and rock the frak out. Track 1: "Help, I'm Alive!" Track 3 includes the line: "I'm not suicidal, I just can't get out of bed!" And, despite the seemingly dark stuff, it's all in electro-pop, inspirational rockitude. It really gets me pumped up. "Every living thing/pushed into the ring/Fight it out to wow the crowd/Guess you thought/You couldn't just watch/No one's getting out/without stadium love." Meaning: Suck it up and fight on through!

So a sluggish day began looking up. My trainwreck interview with WCRI was posted and Tom of Alone in a Crowd drew me some fan art! That gets the spirit going.

Now, I leave you to go work on the strip. Maybe. (I'm still looking at that magnetic bed...)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Same name game

More Final Fantasy VII sketching! This time it's my Vincent as their Vincent!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I have a lot of obligations right now. I'm down to wire every day in producing Precocious. I've fallen behind in getting my commission painting done. I'm about a WEEK behind in replying to email. I've got to sketch some more fun stuff for Rune Master. Ack!

Alright, fine, one thing at a time. I'll tackle obligations as they arrive, and hope the emailers don't hate me for the delay. For now, enjoy this "I don't know what to draw next!" doodle.

I could use a burst of inspiration, but I'll settle for pressured productivity.