last year/this year

The first big macro garden walk of the new year (so early!),  yielded a number of images, some of last year, some of this.  In these two 4 x 3s, that means last year’s oak leaf hydrangea,


and this year’s ghost crocuses:


The little purple tipped, purple veined ghosts are in bloom in Kekionga now, too.  This is more than just a February thaw– it’s an early spring.


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camera bag love

dsc_1986Feeling a fair amount of love for my new camera bag tonight after its first successful outing earlier in the day.

Cool things about my new camera bag:

  • Bought it cheap on sale in the hunting department at the local Big Box Sports Store.
  • It’s not black and doesn’t look like a camera bag.
  • It’s the right size for a bunch of different combinations of cameras and other gear I want to carry around.
  • It seems sturdy and has lots of useful pockets.
  • I was able to customize it with stuff out of my parts boxes in the studio–didn’t have to buy anything else to get it looking pretty cool.
  • Now it has a lizard on it.
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a banner day

Considering moving into the modern world and getting one of those way cool retractable convention banners. The final version will be in full color and look really snappy and polished if I do it right. But before the process gets to that point, I have to come up with a decent design. 

And, as I discovered this morning, this is far from easy. It’s way worse than coming up with a cover for a comic!  Here are the two finalists at this point.  If you have a preference, don’t be shy. And please excuse the moderately crummy photographs.

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arrows1-blog arrows2-blogSpent an hour or so yesterday with a brush and sketchpad, drawing directional arrows for an ongoing project.  If you are in need of a distinctly hand-drawn directional arrow, not guaranteed to be completely straight, drop me a line (comment, email, FB message or whatever) and I can send you a full sized file.

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animal world (two quarters)

Animal World.
Two Quarters.
Pink Elephant.

(Count this as a critical success.)

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morning haiku

A 100% increase in home coffee brewing capacity leads directly to a corresponding increase in early morning poetry output.

  • Coffee grounds in wet brown
  • filter. Do not dump them all
  • over the kitchen.

Or maybe a not-a-haiku is better:

  • Coffee grounds in wet brown filter:
  • Please do not dump them
  • All over the kitchen.
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reference photographs: bottle caps

bottlecap10-blogI need to learn how to draw a bottle cap, fast.  Here are some photographs I took this afternoon to use as photo references.  No idea whether these will be more useful at the drawing table (on my tablet? printed out?) than the actual bottle caps, which I am keeping to use as models.


For some reason, all these bottle caps are from tasty Mexican beverages.  You can guess which one I consumed.


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best of the drawing of the day: the observation unit

theobservationunit-straightened-blog“Got no idea what’s going on here,” the cartoonist said cheerfully, not bothered in the least to have drawn a scientist-type character looking out from a picture frame set into the side of a large Mysterious Animal (or possibly a Horrible Creature).  Is the Observation Unit a real thing, possibly a robotic Trojan Horse contraption for scientific research, or perhaps a metaphor for the Human Condition?

Because sometimes I feel like I’m riding around inside a giant beast that is bounding around the landscape as I look out and watch and take no control whatsoever.

(This is an unplanned drawing, hashed out in the scritchy-scratchy pen without the help of any pencil lines, and then fiddled with pretty seriously with both natural media corrections in whiteout and marker and with the 5 Pixel Paintbrush in post.  I find the 5 Pixel PB just about equals the lines made with the TWSBI Eco EF fountain pen on a 400 dpi Drawing of the Day.)

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auto show colors and color names: thank you, ford

autoshow-fusionlabel-blog autoshow-fusion2-tweak-blogThanks go out to the Ford Motor Company, who once again this year left the Monroney window sticker stuck in the window of every car on their display stand at the Chicago Auto Show.  For those of us who love car colors, and especially the names of car colors, it’s kind of them to make it so easy to connect a gorgeous, or at least interesting, color with its name.  I score these as two “gorgeous” and one …” interesting”.


autoshow-mintlabel-blog autoshow-mint-blogusethis2Do you agree?

As always, auto show photography is a particular challenge.  Oddly enough, my phone camera has fairly accurate color rendition, so it is often my best choice for this kind of work, but all of these Ford stand shots required a very slight boost to the blue channel to counteract the very warm lights.  (Color memory is vitally important here.) And, as always, rules of composition regarding the cutting off of heads, limbs and other crucial bits of the human body go by the wayside when you are shooting cars in a crowd. If you go somewhere like a big auto show, expect to appear, whole or in part, in the snapshots of others.  Everybody’s in the shot, all the time.

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sunset and sunset photographs

Decent smartphone sunset in the neighborhood./But the strange composition/ cannot be cropped/ into an effective square for Instagram./In spite of this,/ winter is passing.

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