Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 21 Gets Angry

"Angry" is a common facial expression for Bit. She has quite the temper. You'll notice that when I finish one drawing I stop after doing the base structure of the next. The reason is that if I do too many facial expressions in one setting, they inevitably become sloppier as I lose interest.

I'm shooting for 6 different expressions here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 21 is Back in the Ring to Take Another Swing

Maybe I should make a point of quoting some famous/classic rock song at least once a week. Maybe.

Anyway, finally settling in some and back in the drawing saddle! This week will be a character expression sheet of Bit, since I've already a done a full-body rotation. The neutral, forward-facing drawing will be colored but the rest will be simple line art.

One of these days I should learn how dreadlocks really work and figure out exactly how many she has.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Week 20 is a Beginning and an Ending

I did not do much sleeping the night of the accident. I kept feeling that strange inner wobbling that happens when you've been on a boat all day or obsessively using a tire swing. I also kept re-seeing the blur of the world as my car tumbled into the median and hearing Mom wailing, both of which would rob anyone of sleep. But Mom and I were sharing a bed, which helped, and Starz was feeling as snuggly as usual. The latter calmed all my fears that the cat was bleeding internally and could randomly die.

The trauma made me exempt from driving the next day, so my brother handled about seven hours of travel as we followed Mom to Casper, Wyoming. We also met some family for lunch who were headed in the opposite direction, oddly enough. The Mexican restaurant we met at was dubious and when I first arrived I thought a really short waitress whom I thought was someone's kid. I feel kinda bad for that part. Not that bad though, because their burnt bacon messed up the roof of my mouth. Besides being exhausted and sore I couldn't eat anything crunchy without pain for two days.

The day after that I had regained enough courage to drive a bit, so between my brother and I we made it to Kansas (Kaweeney or something) and drove about 11 hours. All this time Starz was back to being dramatic despite the lack of carrier. We had some cat pheromone spray to calm her down but it took a good thirty minutes to kick in and she can be more than obnoxious in that time span.

I don't know how many of you have seen “A Goofy Movie”, or have both seen and remember it, but when we arrived I kept thinking of the final scene in the movie. Let me recap:

Goofy and his son Max, after a crazy vacation of father-son bonding, Sasquatch sighting, waterfall adventures, and a concert, arrive back in their home town at the house of Max's crush. When they stop, their already battered car loses a few more pieces, including the back bumper.

While “Ivan” was still functional and did not drop his bumper, I couldn't help making a comparison. Also the chunk of plastic in the back window that holds up his top break light fell off.

And here I sit in the lobby of my mom's apartment complex (which is a very fancy place. Pool, rec room, and all) waiting for her to arrive from work and offer me a ride back to our apartment. It's not far but it's rainy and I don't want to walk.

To end things well, have a photo of Starz bird watching out the balcony door, her new obsession:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week 20: I Guess This Counts and Progress 01

I am a country bumpkin to my core. I may have been born near Seattle (Bremerton Naval Hospital, actually), but 90% of my life has been spent in Idaho, an 80% in the Northern part of the state. This may seem like an unnecessary distinction, but considering the different landscape and density in population, they might as well be two different states.

About two years ago, due to the poor economy in the area, my mom moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to live with her brother for a while until she was able to take care of herself financially again. Her roots lie in Northern Idaho even more than mine do, and since my brother and I both stayed where we were, I imagine it was incredibly difficult for her to stay here when my brother and I boarded the plane home without her. I know it was difficult for me at least.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was finishing up school at the University of Idaho and eager to move back to Coeur d' Alene, the place that my heart considers home. My family, childhood friends, and everything familiar to me are there. I started looking for a place to live and a job back in April, but it became more and more apparent that there was nowhere for my cat and I to go.

My family is huge and awesome and generous, so please don't make any bad assumptions there. If any of them had the space and financial security and the space for my cat they all would have jumped at the opportunity to provide shelter while I found a job and saved money for my own place. The idea of joining Mom half way across the country had occurred to me, but I had snubbed it because Tulsa is large, confusing, miserably hot and a humid, and about 1800 miles from “home”. As finals week drew ever nearer, however, I finally stopped being stubborn and had to admit that Mom and my cousins down in Tulsa had a point. I could go there. So I did.

So last Sunday, the morning after a glorious graduation party put on my by aunt, my mother and I set out for Tulsa with my brother along for a temporary trip. My Dodge Durango (affectionately dubbed “Ivan”) was full to the brim with things I wanted to bring, though they were strategically placed so I could see out my back window. My cat rode with me (shotgun after whining in her carrier and drowning out my music for two hours – she quieted down after being out of it), and my mother and younger brother either leading or following in her sedan.

We first passed into Montana, which is a beautiful state. My favorite part of the drive was the gently rolling and fading hills as we passed out of the Rockies and into flatter lands. I would have photos of these had my camera not rebelled and lost them forever.

About five hours into the drive was when this trip, quite bluntly, began to suck.

It was raining and cold and nasty in Montana on the road towards Billings. This made stopping for gas and potty breaks uncomfortable, but while inside my car I had no issue with the weather...until a point. This point came when I rose over the top of the hill and quite suddenly there was stopped traffic in front of me for some reason. I had a millisecond to assume it was an accident before I realized that I could not stop.

I was in the passing lane and figured I'd just turn, slide into the median, and then motor my way back out once the coast was clear. No collision, no muss, no fuss. Except not.

Perhaps the bank was more slick than I anticipated, perhaps it was more steep, perhaps both. Whatever caused it, the next instant up was down and the reverse was true, and my car came to a heavy stop on its wheels in the grass and mud and several of my belongings were scattered nearby, growing muddier and soggier by the second. It was at this point that I realized my car had just done a barrel roll and landed perpendicular to both sides of I-90.

By some Divine intervention (and I truly believe that), I was not injured. No blood anywhere, and if I was hurt internally I couldn't feel it yet. My panic-stricken but quiet brain was busy realizing that my cat was no longer in the seat beside me and I needed to find her. I shoved open my door to the sound of my mother in hysterics rushing towards me from my car and several strangers gathering around to ask what happened and lovingly gather my belongings from the mud. Starz (the cat) was in the back seat looking the most confused I have ever seen a living thing. I pulled her out and herded her into her carrier, then closed it. Or I assume I did that. I remember picking her up and her hissing because she was scared, but the action of securing her isn't really in my memory.

I do remember mom's continued screaming, clinging, my brother being the cool cucumber as always, people asking what happened, police men, and some Army personnel in uniforms helping out, one of whom insisted that I sit down and grab a blanket from the back of my car because I was probably in shock. I think that was a fair assumption. I was stubborn for a bit and didn't get back in the car, but I finally obeyed. Thinking back I wonder if he would have sat me down himself and shut me in the car. I wouldn't blame him.

At some point an ambulance showed up to check me out. I was... impressively coherent and still not in pain. I even noticed the paramedic writing the wrong birth year on my documentation.

I don't like thinking about this event to begin with, mostly because it costs me sleep. Beside that, the rest of the day was very technical and I spent it in a stupor. My car was towed to the nearby tiny town of Big Timber, we stayed in a Super 8, I had a shower and was the most hungry I had been in a while after a couple of hours. The soreness also started about an hour after the fact, but that part wasn't surprising. I was in a far less serious collision almost two years ago (not my fault), and once the shock wore off everything hurt due to the tension in my body from the shock of the accident and the lack of control of my car. Except more things hurt this time because I'd been on an unwanted roller coaster ride.

At the moment he's parked outside my mom's apartment sporting plastic sheets held over said windows with duct tape.

That's right, my car was still drive-able, also by Divine intervention. Mom drove it the rest of the way while my brother and I took turns piloting her car, but it held together for the rest of the journey and is still in (more or less) one piece. I drove it out shopping today.

This seems more than enough for one entry, so tomorrow (or soon after) there will be more.

Week 20 Will Be a Painting in Words

As I warned last week with the crafts for my updates, life turned crazy as I was uprooting and moving halfway across the country. But I'm not going into detail now. It's a very long story covering about five days, four of which were spent travelling. So Week 20 will be something of a generic blog entry, mostly text but with personally taken photos to try and spice it up. I've tried to avoid that with this blog, but stories are also an art form, and this one happens to be a great deal more complex and traumatic than I planned or anticipated when I left my beloved Idaho.

Stick around, though. Week 21 will be back to your regularly scheduled drawings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week 19 Gets Crafty

Due to the current chaos of moving half-way across the country and most of my art supplies being packed (those that I did not give away), I feel like Week 19 being simple is not only understandable but unavoidable. I also finished these days ago, before everything I own was in boxes, but they were gifts for people who see this blog and I didn't want to ruin any surprises.
This one I finished first. It's a gift for my cousin who runs the Gurgle Burp blog and loves Octopi. She also loves the box! And somehow Chrome does not recognize that plural of "octopus" as a word.

This next box was a birthday gift for my mother, which was yesterday. It's made to match the awesome bedspread in her new apartment, with an accent of her favorite color. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I actually have one more to finish, which I hope will be today. I'm staying with aforementioned cousin and there's a ton of craft supplies here that they're cool with me borrowing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Week 18 Is Finished But Not Done

It's finished! The client rather likes it, so I consider it a success. The matching turtlenecks are because the reference picture was an "ironic" Christmas card of all of them wearing said turtlenecks, though I assume they were photo-shopped onto the cats.

Also I played around in Illustrator more to learn how to make patterns that are less... awkward.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week 18 Does Some Experimenting

It does indeed do some experimenting, but first, the next step in the commission in which the pets make more sense proportionally and everyone is happily inked.
I've decided that since I am aiming for a creative profession, I should learn to do more digitally. Yes, I can draw in various art programs, but there are whole other beasts entirely, like Adobe Illustrator. Many art professions expect you to know your way around Adobe, especially Illustrator. So I dusted off the CS5 version that I bought two years ago and used maybe a total of twice for a class that I actually hadn't needed it for at all (sigh) and started going through tutorial videos to figure out the various tools.

I spent yesterday afternoon learning to use the blob brush, and figuring out the selection tools. This is far from perfect, but I spent a long time on it and it's not too bad.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 18 Is More Paid Sillness

Since I'm only doing one drawing this week, the last of the commissions, I'm going to pace myself more with the completion. I'm happy with the sketch aside from the pets - I feel like they need to be more proportionate.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week 17 Gets Colorful

Next week will be the third and final commission! I'm glad these are done early, I have an insane amount of packing and studying to do this weekend, as well as going to the local spring festival for the sake of my sanity.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Week 17 Ambles

 The lines for the second commission, my client's sister, are done. My next plan of action is to color the two that have been drawn and inked, and then do the third image for Week 18's art. Her sister is a cosmetics specialist, and my client said if her sister had a super-power she'd be like some sort of wonder woman saving people from bad make-up products. So...

Also I am proud to show that my Frida Kahlo painting is almost finished! Did I post the progress images here? I can't remember. All that's really left to be finished is her bow and her shirt. I have no intentions of doing anything further to her face and accidentally ruining it somehow.