drawing of the day for mermay …

Well, that was unexpected.

Around the Internet, some cartoonists and artists are celebrating “Mermay” with a month of drawings of mermaids and mer-people of all kinds.  I don’t generally do challenges of this kind (except Inktober, which I did last year and plan to do again).  But I’ve seen some interesting mer-drawings, and yesterday I thought I might try it for one day, if not a whole month.

So I blocked out the vague outline of a mer-person– and got this guy.

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 insulted camels

Today I made some digital art/ out of a layout that was insulting to camels/ (accidentally, I hope.)

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midwestern pagoda

A hanging lucky elephant and a tilted gutter transform an old house with gingerbread decorations into a Midwestern pagoda.  The real world is Kekionga is the real world.

(Street photography with the “wrong” lens– the 100mm macro on a flower walk.)

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Polaroid CUBE

Any self portrait I make in any medium is likely to be cryptic and symbolic in the extreme.

Selfies are not my thing.  I am not my favorite photographic subject. The best thing about being behind the camera is never having to be in front of it.

With all these things being true,  you may assume that you will very seldom see a photograph of me in these online pages, and one taken by me even less frequently.  But I guess I pressed the “activate” button on my Polaroid Cube toy camera as I was putting it away, and the above is the result.  Square crop from a 16:9 original: mostly cobalt sky, the red strap of my new favorite camera bag, glasses, boonie hat and iPod, and the little purple Crown Royal bag descending on the Cube to return it to my pocket.

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fifty superheroes: numbers 10 and 11

Heroes ten and eleven are the first superteam in the Fifty Superheroes Universe.  (Which is apparently a thing.) The Venn Siblings are pretty clearly in the “Wonder Twin” class: a pair of sibs whose individual powers combine to create effects that are more than the sum of their parts.  Some Wonder Twins may not even have powers of their own, but I think the Venns’ cloaks are pretty clearly individual Special Items or Gadgets– ones that probably provide and control some kind of abilities related to concealment or stealth.

Note that the Venns aren’t necessarily twins, and their genders aren’t specified.  They are drawn to the same model, which represents a strong family resemblance, but with slight differences in size and build. This may mean that one is a guy and the other a gal, but it could just as easily be a simple matter of random variation.  Maybe they preserve a sense of this mystery with their fictional acquaintances as well as the readers?

Artistically, the Venns are, frankly, a real pain in the neck to draw with actual pens.  A close look at this drawing will reveal some pretty crudely managed corrections, and the problems with repeating their cloaks over and over again in continuity are easy to imagine.  These characters would shine, however, in comics created in a combination of natural and digital media, where the empty spaces with their brushwork boundaries can be easily filled with automated colors or patterns.

The combined area of their cloaks (of course) represents the intersection of the set “Kinds of Diagrams” and the set “Things That are Named After the Person Who Invented Them”.

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essential neighborhood characters

If you have domestic animals in your story, whether in fiction or real life, you have a neighborhood veterinarian. And every vet practice needs an office cat.

This is Bumper, newly employed in that position at our own vet’s office.

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I’m personally not 100% sure that everything’s OK.  But if you can’t believe a tree stump, a pile of wood chips, some rocks and some dandelions, a set of wrought iron lawn furniture, and a purple house with matching garage, who can you believe?

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the origins of wild grapes

There is an old grape vine in the scrub at the edge of the vacant lot behind the post office substation.  My cameras and I found the grapes last year, rich and purple at the end of their working life, and this year I was determined to photograph them through all the stages of their progress.

Consider this the first installment. Yes, I could have showed you the trailing twigs of winter and the vine itself, sleeping at the edge of its territory, but the camera eye never found an edge to grab in those.  But now, this week, the vine is in flower, with pale new leaves, edged in in equally pale wine-red, unfolding from around structures that are pretty clearly clusters of  proto-grapes.  I

More on this story as it develops.  The camera is my faithful Pentax K-5iis “Kilo”, paired with the always-wonderful Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro.


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fifty superheroes: number 9

The fifty sketchbook superheroes return with a traditional flying heroine, the awesome Flying Wing.  Her costume is a classic Golden Age “girl’s” costume, with a modest chainmail bodice, little skirt, leotard under costume and oversized gauntlets and boots.  As a flyer, she wears a modified pilot’s helmet and goggles.  The Flying Wing was unable to choose between ear wings or a central steering crest so she boldly went with both. Of course, the Flying Wing is a very brave person if her gadget based flight system really is a flying wing backpack with dual jet engines!

The lively, rough style of this sketch (with all its whiteout and brush marker corrections) is my standard way of dealing with a big complicated technical idea I don’t really plan to pursue further.  If the Flying Wing was somebody I planned to include in a story I probably would have worked harder on the design of her Wing even in this first scribble. But as it stands, an impression of her costume is all that’s needed– the drawing is mostly of her character: passionate, impulsive, and serious about her work as a lady good guy of the air.

I am not sure whether she is real Golden Age character from Kekionga’s comics past, a time traveler, or a just a hipster chick with a retro style sensibility, but I thought any of them would enjoy having their drawing put through some vintage filters on Pixlr.

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hulk make moon

  • Happy Hulk meet big
  • goal photography: moon caught
  • branches backyard tree.

(Photography and poetry combine: Hulk and I have photographed the moon!  The “Loony 11” method was used, more or less.)

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