Monday, March 26, 2012

SpiderForest Comic of the Week!

This week the focus turns the dark cyberpunk world of Cetiya! In the future, the USA is a burnt-out shell of its former self, having succumbed to corruption and the always-horrific nano-virus plague. People can exist in a mesh of physical and virtual worlds, downloading powers to help them on their quest to right some major wrongs. As you might expect, this dark tale can get heavy at times, so kiddies watch out! The rest of you, get immersed!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Request week 2!

First of all, thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! (For those who *didn't*, you're now on the enemies list.) Since, despite all my efforts, no one wants to give me a gift, I will give to you instead! It's time for another request week!

Before I jump into the next long-ish arc, I want to play around a bit. Thus, the first week of April will be dictated by you readers! If you want a refresher of how that went last time, click the image above or the link here.

So here are the rules: What I'm looking for are simple ideas or set-ups I can play with. I am not looking for story arc ideas. I am not looking for you to write punchlines for me. This is not an opportunity to make your fanfics into canon. You should be able to get your concept across in seven words or less.

Some examples of good requests would be:
"The stuff inside the clubhouse toy box"
"What happened at Ms. Monster's birthday party?"
"If Precocious was a sitcom"
"You know what's awesome? ROBOTS!"

You can submit ideas as replies to this post on the sketch blog (if you're reading on the Precocious home page, click the post title) or through my email. I'll also start a comment thread over in the Precocious Facebook group.

Submit as many ideas as you'd like! (There's never as much reaction to these things as you'd think.) You never know what'll spawn a good idea in my mind, so quantity can lead to quality. (The sample ideas above are in play too. If you'd like to see one of those, add it to your list.)

Let's have fun with this!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Copper Road! 3/22/12

Vote here to see it!

This strip goes out to all the Twitter warriors. While I might not have gone to the extremes of panels 1 and 9, I ride the emotional roller coaster of 2-8 regularly. (Well, maybe not 5. I'm not popular enough for that.)

Also, I think it's about time to do an archive update, so those horrible readers who don't keep up with their voting can see the Copper Roads they missed. I've added four more recent pages. Enjoy my generosity!

Finally, the next Copper Road should appear on April 1st - probably right at 3am EST - to try and get me that new-month boost. I would have posted another before the end of the month, but I've dropped out of the top 20 and I'd rather save my ammo to make a better push next month. Let that be a lesson to you, readers: The more you support me by voting, the more Copper Roads you get!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I survived my first con!

Much thanks and love to all who came out to see me at Furry Weekend Atlanta! I was blown away at how many of you were there! I can't properly put into words how amazing it was to meet readers and watch their excited reaction. Let me assure you, I was way more giddy than you!

People-wise, FWA was great! I had my one of my professional dreams come true: I got to meet Bill Holbrook, an idol of mine whose work I have read for 20 years. When I first discovered newspaper comics, I latched onto On The Fastrack, and Safe Havens when it began. When I got to college and moved to reading webcomics, Kevin and Kell became a daily stop. What makes this a true fantasy? Bill came up to me! He reads my comic! HE LIKES MY COMIC! You'd better believe I fanboy'd so hard I nearly scared him off. When I wasn't bouncing off the walls from that, I was chatting up the creators of Last Res0rt and Bug Pudding, who were so kind, inviting and helpful in calming down a con newbie's nerves and offering advice. Finally, gotta give some wuv to Ceiling Cow, who convinced me to table with her in FWA in the first place.

Business-wise, things weren't so great. From all accounts, the dealers den was abnormally quiet on Saturday and Sunday, and it was the new and unknown entities that suffered the most. I came *close* to breaking even, which is actually good for a first con, but of course I'd have liked to do better. I will learn from my experience and get better for Anthrocon in June!

One thing I found out was that I really enjoyed the table commission work. I enjoyed the challenge of taking on other people's characters with my style and the idea of "live" drawing was rather thrilling. I drew art and badges continuously on Friday and when the day ending I wanted to keep going! I'm going to try adopting the quick-drawing method in the future so I can offer cheaper, faster commissions to you guys. (Watch this space around early-mid April!)

To all those who got badges and art from me, I would love for you to post photos or scans for me to share! I was pretty bad about taking photos of my finished pieces, so it's up to you to spread the word! I have a DeviantArt and FurAffinity account for you to link to. The FA is empty for now, but I want to start stocking it with con commissions and character badges.

So all in all, it was a pretty cool time. Is this the beginning to turning shy old me into a con person?

Monday, March 19, 2012

SpiderForest Comic of the Week!

This week's Comic of the Week installment is another family-friendly strip comic: School Spirit. The comic is about capturing the wonder of being a child. The plot involves some Australian schoolkids discovering and interacting with the spirits of a nearby cemetery - in a cute way! Check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Furry Weekend Atlanta!

Where should you be this weekend? In Atlanta! Hanging with me! And buying things from me!

Yes, it's my first-ever con. I'm super nervous, but also excited. Anyone in the area, please come out and say hi! I'll be at table #77 in the Dealer's Den, drawing pics for people and selling those snazzy buttons you see above!

For more information, check out the Furry Weekend Atlanta site. And, to make it easier to find me among the crowds of silly (and sometimes scary and creepy) things, here is a map showing where I'll be. (click on the image to see it larger.)

For those who can't make it, I'll be sure to post pics and commentary via my Twitter feed. You can follow the carnage from the safety of your own home - but what fun is that?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What is color theory?

Here's the Ms. Bard watercolor as it stands now. I made the mistake of diving into the piece without planning. One part of my brain told me a gold bikini would look good. Another part of my brain wanted to try using only cool colors in the piece. The result is a mishmash that I'm not happy with. It's going in the con portfolio, but I'll probably redo it for the actual commission piece - this time with some color tests done first.

As a test, I desaturated the image and upped the contrast. When *that* looks better than what I made, it means I should start over. Darn it.

Darius Love!

Because I've been ill, Tiff Ross from The Cyantian Chronicles was a sweetheart and began working on a teenaged Tiffany watercolor.

Because she just had a birthday, I had to give a gift of my own! Here's an oblivious Darius about to get surprise snuggled by the darling Sheana!

Awww. <3

Monday, March 12, 2012

SpiderForest Comic of the Week!

This week's featured comic is The Only Half Saga, by Darwin! (Warning you now, it's an mature comic. Kiddies beware!) This is one of the many compelling long-form comics the collective offers. Only Half is about the half-vampire Cabal as he navigates an apocalyptic world (and deals with some serious parent issues).

A suggesting starting point for new readers is the "Sins of the Father" chapter. Happy reading! Oh, and if you like what you see, do go check out her *other* comic: Gemutations: Plague!

Rawr! It's a dragon!

I'm not posting *every* sample image I've done today (god... no one wants to see my attempt at an anthro ferret) but this one was so stupid, I had to show the world!

I realized I should have a 30-minute colored pencil drawing in my portfolio, so I set out to make one that also added some variety to the freaky creatures I've already created. Enter: The DRAGON! Now, let me go on record as being totally racist against dragons. I think dragons are lame. I'm sorry if we can't be friends because of that, but it's true. Dragons suck.

Buuuut, certain potential clients LOVE dragons! So I will stop judging and I will start drawing dragons! (Dear dragon-loving future clients, please don't read this post until after I already have your money.)

Anyway, this is my attempt at a dragon. The scan, as expected, is awful - that gray in the background? It's ORANGE in real life - but it's enough to show what 30-minutes of effort will get ya.

It's hard to draw dudes

Since my portfolio at the moment is nearly all ladies, I had to draw a dude to prove that I can! (Wait. I can draw dudes? Since when?)

Since I only got one dude request, I went with our friend the bobcat/tabby. Eh, I tried. I should probably try another dude body shot at some point, but we'll see.

Next up is some watercolor action, which will be executed between laundry cycles. After that, I'm focusing on Precocious for the rest of the day. Oh, and I'll also post a new Comic of the Week tonight. I'm delaying it a bit so the Copper Road post gets its time at the top of the front page.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Oven Family Portrait

Here's one of the much-delayed commissions. Thanks to a very timely Skype call, I was conscious for enough hours this evening to get my colored pencil on. Considering how incredibly dizzy I got just by standing up and walking across the apartment to scan this piece, I don't know if I'll get the second commission done tonight. I will try, though!

The scan isn't nearly as nice as the actual piece. A lot of the lighter colors got filtered out by the scanner. (Works great when you're scanning line art. Not so much when you're scanning a soft-colored piece.) I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I wanted to do a fade effect with this (and all the family photos maybe) and I think it came out OK.

New Copper Road! 3/11/12

If you were wondering why the recent flurry of posts on the sketch blog suddenly died down, the latest Copper Road can help explain why. Vote here to see it!

I lost two good days of work to this persistent bug, but I'm trying to fight through it now. I intend to be healthy to greet all of you at Furry Weekend Atlanta! There will be a few more blog posts popping up this week before I leave for Atlanta on Thursday. The art ones won't be mirrored on the front page, so you'll have to wander over to the blog and see them yourself.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Grayscale forever!

Yet another blog post in this recent burst! Expect two more by the end of Friday.

I didn't get as much done today as I'd have preferred, what with the whole illness thing and all, but I tried.

While waiting for replies to commission emails I thought I'd settle in and do another marker sketch. So I got up from my computer, walked over to the studio, turned on a stupid basketball game... and immediately passed out. Seems walking across my apartment was too much for me in my weakened state. I got really dizzy, had to lay down and only got up when my phone alerted me to the B-52's concert airing on PBS.

After TV, internet, email and some false starts due to dizziness, I finally settled down and did a character study for another commission. This pose is rather static, because the focus was on figuring out the hair and the dress. I'm not sure how this sketch will match up to the final version, but that's why I'm doing the sketches. Gotta figure this lady out!

After finishing her, emails came in giving me the go to color the other two commissions. They'll take priority tomorrow. (Man, I hope I feel better tomorrow.) Since I don't want to ruin any coloring with woozy work, I may do another marker sketch as a warm-up. This time I should try drawing a furry dude. Any non-fox requests?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Large and in charge

(My 5th post in 24 hours! Don't miss all the new content below!)

Despite being sicky, I am pressing on.

Next week I go to Furry Weekend Atlanta, my first convention. I know I've got a ton of rookie mistakes coming my way, but I want to do my best for a first showing. I want to have enough stuff on my table to tempt those walking by to come up to me and spend some cash. GIANT CARTOON CRITTERS SHOULD DO THAT!

I don't have a banner yet - I will for Anthrocon - so I have to improvise. My plan was to make 11x17 prints of my main kids and mount them on foam core. I can then scatter them on my table in order to catch some eyes. Good idea, right?

So far so good. It took longer than I'd care to admit to figure out how to load my printer and format the file in Photoshop so it printed correctly - but that was a success in the end. Next up... how the heck to I mount them on the foam core? I bought some spray adhesive, since that seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I mentioned the plan to my FWA tablemate. "Um, where are you going to spray that stuff?" Oh. Right. I don't live in Virginia anymore. I don't have access to a porch or a well-ventilated open indoor space. Hmmm.

SO WE'LL FIGURE THAT OUT LATER. For now, I stuck them to the foam core with scotch tape just to get them out of the way. Ideally, I'd mount the prints and then cut out the figures, but that sounds hard. I might just throw the prints on 11x17 chunks and leave it at that. Time will tell.

There's evil inside me!

(The blog-spamming continues. Be sure to look around for all the recent posts)

First off, here's the inks for one of my watercolor belly dancer commissions. Isn't it nice? I wanted to have it finished already, buuuut....

I'm sick. Booooo.

I've been fighting this for a few days now, and today I chose to give in and let it turn me into a whiny weaklng. No luck so far, but it *did* put me behind with my work schedule... so yay? This is one of those sicky things that won't make up its mind. I'm not sniffly or anything. I'm not in full-blown flu mode by any stretch. Instead, I've been steadily hovering on that border of "sleep if off" and "fight through it." I've got what feels like a slight fever, I'm continuously nauseous and I've got persistent head and body aches. It's enough to make me miserable, but not enough to justify a complete shutdown.

I'm gonna fight as much as I can today (the plan was to get three more blog-worthy things done) but I'm not sure how much progress will actually be made. Wish me luck!

Oven Family Portrait

(My third post in three hours! Told you they were coming fast and furious! More to come tomorrow!)

Here's the (proposed) line art for a commission that shall also double as a con portfolio piece.

The task here was to draw family portraits of the main four Precocious clans in happy photo studio style. This is to be a colored pencil piece, if I remember correctly. Up first: The Ovens!

I can't stop playing with markers!

(FYI, the next few days are going to be FILLED with posts over here, so keep checking back)

Same process as with the sketch in the post below, I did a simple Google image search for "cute cat" and turned it into a furry chick. BECAUSE. Once again, I had NO PLANNING at all in how it came out. Everything but the face in this picture was probably erased and redrawn three times.

Anyway, this is totally fun to do. I hope I can pull this off at the con.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Adventures in markers

So I needed to create some promotional art for my trip to FWA. I plan on having in my art book some watercolors, some colored pencil stuff, a few Precocious strips... and some examples of marker sketches.

Wait, I've never done a marker piece. These Copic gray scale markers haven't been touched yet. I SHOULD PROBABLY TOUCH THEM.

So, since furries like the cute, I went to Google and did an image search for "cute fox."







(Hey, it's another thing furries like!)

It frightens me that this is what happens when I start sketching without a plan... but it's kinda nice for not having a plan! Marker vets might cry at my horrid work, but I don't care. It's my first time using the darn things for a project and I liked messing around with them. (I also found out I bought the WRONG KIND of Copics tonight. Whoooooops. Oh well, these are fun too.)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Copper Road! 3/6/12

Once again, my suffering causes you pleasure. Enjoy this strip inspired by recent events, including this morning. Vote here to see it!

Also, warning you now, there may not be a Copper Road next week. I'll be prepping for my trip to Furry Weekend Atlanta! It's my first con and I'm very very nervous about it, so I'd love it if some of you could stop by and make me feel happy! I'll post more about FWA soon!

By the way, even if there's no new Copper Road next week, you should still be voting every day! TWC is a great resource for growing comics, and the visits I get from it are directly related to how high my ranking is. Help Precocious grow!

Monday, March 5, 2012

SpiderForest Comic of the Week!

Hey, folks! The gang over at the SpiderForest webcomic collective are doing a comic of the week promotion again. The collective is home to many exceptional comics and I highly recommend diving in and seeing if any of them tickle your fancy.

The first honoree is a grand master of comics, Kez! Aside from the beautifully epic fantasy comic, The War of Winds, she also does the gritty post-apocalyptic tale What it Takes.

I'm always happy to give a shout out to this exceptional artist. If not for Kez's help and enthusiasm, I might still be fumbling around on the web without any support or any useful comics knowledge. She is the best!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Copper Road! 3/1/12

OK, folks, it's the first of the month. That means TWC has reset the rankings. NOW IS OUR TIME TO STRIKE! Let's give Precocious a boost! The reward for your voting service is a new Copper Road strip to enjoy! Vote here to see it!

This wasn't the Copper Road I had planned. That one features way more drawing than my hand can currently take. I still like this one, though. I've been watching college baseball recently as background - I don't actually like basketball that much, so there's little urge to actually pay attention - and I guess some of it got inside my head. Anyway, enjoy the comic and be sure to VOTE EVERY DAY!