best of the drawing of the day: my window on the world

drawingoftheday-newnumber14-windowontheworldThe giant skull of an unknown and anatomically unlikely beast, hanging in the entrance of what seems to be a vast cave, half against a starry sky.  In the socket of its wide-open eye, a small figure watches with a benevolent gaze.

(What does it mean?  Who knows?  Nothing perhaps, except that I’m practicing describing the indescribable.)

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new looks on the ol’ blog

You may have noticed a new look or two on the blog today.  I have updated the fonts, revised the header page structure, and added some new photographic header images, which are supposed to appear randomly.  Please let me know which of them you like best and which fall flat– I plan to change them around fairly frequently now that I have figured out the process.

I’m particularly interested in comments about the readability of the new fonts across devices.  So if you think the fonts are either a big improvement or a big disappointment, please comment with a note about the device you are using to read this.  Or perhaps you’re trying to read it?

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young pioneers– drawing of the day color special

youngpioneers-blogThis started out as a simple sketch of some of the types of kids you might see in further reaches of the Knotted Rope: sphinxes and chimerae and demonics and rock goblins and sasquatch, oh my.

Matching neckerchiefs would seem to be a cheap and easy way to put a diverse group like this in uniform.  And then I thought it would be fun to play with second color and, well, I ended up with a group of Communist era Young Pioneers, ready to show their solidarity with the peasants and the proletariat through hard work and healthy play as they prepare to take their place in a better world.

Next time I think I will try a different color.

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shopping center coyote

kohls coyoteIn local news:  One of the coyotes that live in the woods behind the new shopping center (I never exactly knew that there were coyotes living in the woods behind the new shopping center, but it doesn’t surprise me a bit that there are)  decided to take a look through Kohl’s yesterday evening.  He made it through the first set of doors and not the second, and the store staff trapped him in the vestibule until the local police and representatives of the Department of Natural Resources came and let him out.  No harm was done to the coyote, any of the humans involved, or the cheap and colorful clothing within, and it was reported that the creature “ran away across the parking lot”.

I am sorry I did not get to see the shopping center coyote adventure, but I have written the coyote a poem:

  • Shopping Center Coyote
  • Coyote, why are you shopping at Kohl’s?
  • Target stocks a much wider range of merchandise,
  • Or Home Depot is right next door if you want something practical.
  • Unless you had one of those “10 dollars off any purchase” cards
  • Kohl’s sends out,
  • And you were looking for a free tie, or a free polo shirt,
  • or some free socks.
  • You’ll need two pairs.


Coyotes are medium sized wild dogs common throughout most of the United States.  They are omnivorous and extremely flexible in their habits, so they thrive in human communities and can be found living in most suburbs and many urban areas as well as in the countryside.

Kohl’s is a “discount department store” featuring inexpensive clothes in current styles, small appliances, and cooking and housewares.  It’s a staple of American suburban shopping centers.  Known for sending out coupons, particularly the famous “10 dollar card”, which you can use, if you shop the clearance racks, to get free clothes.  

Read the full story here.   Image courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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winter passing


We may nave missed the latest blizzard, but no black car is at its best at the end of a Midwestern January.

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bitmapped psychedelia

psychodelic josef“Psychedelic Josef” from my MS Paint Gallery.  There are certain days when there’s nothing to do but dive into this ancient drawing program for an hour or so and see what emerges.  MS Paint– a bitmapped direct connection to the subconscious, of not the id itself.

I am toying with the idea of exploring the concept that the spots on Josef’s hindquarters (normally a fairly sedate dark brown on a reddish brown background) should be drawn as rough spirals.  This will be a more serious issue than it sounds, since Josef’s character design has been more or less unchanged for more than fifteen years.  Looking into your subconscious is a risky business: you might learn something.

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DSCF2971-square2-useThis post is experimental.  First, because Edison the Inventor (Kekionga’s Radio Whiz Bang!) put in a lot of hours of experimentation creating his Wonderful Propeller Phaeton.


And second,  because I’m experimenting with downloading images for the blog straight from my Dropbox.  And it works a treat.  Let’s hope learning to draw the Wonderful Propeller Phaeton works as well.

(The reference model for the WPP is this 1932 Helicron from the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, photographed last fall with the big Pentax and the trusty 55mm.)

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best of the drawing of the day: irish yeti color special!

irishyeti-lineart-blogYou remember the Irish yeti from yesterday?  Here he is in comics form.  I think the Irish yeti is definitely a thing.  In fact, he is so much of a thing that I couldn’t resist making him into a color thing.  I like his green toenail polish.  I think yetis probably wear a lot of nail polish.


No idea why his pipe seems to have turned into a wooden cooking spoon.  Are there severe restrictions on smoking in the sketchbook world?  That’d be strange since I would think sketchbook world is one of the few places where you’d be safe to smoke whatever you wanted whenever you wanted.  Maybe they are having a dry summer and are worried about wildfires.

(Since this is a vaguely Christmas related drawing, I used the color palette I designed for the Christmas Wolves project.)

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strange macro 2- irish yeti

irishyeti-onthetree-blogMore of those strange blown glass holiday ornaments. When I first saw this little guy hanging on the tree, I thought he was a rather fashionably dressed yeti.  Further consideration involving his green costume and the pipe he’s holding made me decide he was intended to be a leprechaun.   This is certainly a much more interesting interpretation of that character type than the standard plump little freckly redhead.


My next new character may be an Irish Yeti.  I wonder how tall he will turn out to be.

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strange macro

pinkornament-full-blogMacro color is hard to find in the middle of a January cold snap.  But a friend offered me a chance to practice for summer garden shooting on some objects that are almost as colorful as the flowers, leaves and insects we’re all waiting for: her collection of blown glass holiday ornaments.   I am very relieved to report that all my subjects survived the experience intact.  The background is provided by some house plants.

This little pink and magenta harlequin seems innocent enough in full length three quarters, but she gets a little creepy-clown strange in closeup head on.


(Available light indoors makes for good practice at high ISO macro shooting.  Image 1: 1/100 second at f/4.5, -0.7 EV, ISO 5000, image 2: 1/100 at f/3.5, -o.3 EV, ISO 6400. Pentax D/FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro on Pentax K-5iis.)

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