Details... can be rough

Yoda-Kitteh says: "Strange sleeping pose you has, little padawan..."


Gouache n Cats

I should mention that I had to write this blog entry TWICE because Hanni decided to jump onto the computer where the whole electic stuff is located and since she managed to jump directly onto the OFF button... well... :/

Treadle is such a photogenic cat. Mostly because he's not as active as his sister I guess.

Hanni... oh well... I have no idea how many nose shots I have... a lot.

And even if I actually manage to get a shot she doesn't look as cute as she is in real life. Dang! They grow so fast...

... which leads me to Gouache. I normally sketch on normal paper and transfer the final sketch via lightbox. Which means taping the paper makes a lot of sense.
The drawing board is from Boesner for those who wonder. 43 bucks that make my life (and finally non-existing pain the back and neck) better. :)
Gouache tubes in my wooden box (neccessary because the cats tend to stumble around on my table and kick off everything).
I bought too many but since those will be good for upcoming agency work I guess it is kinda okay... kinda.. gods, I am so broke =_=;
You can see the difference.. a bit. That's basically the elephant after 1 hour.
I started adding deeper shades and light shades on that point. I can't stop saying that the lanqauarelle is a wonderful paper...
Final details (brush size 1 and size micro something) with a mix of blue, red, white and black.
The very final details where done with prismacolor penncils and a white Signo.

Brushes that make no sense:
Morani retouch brush (which is my favourite for acrylics)
bigger synthetic ones

first time the Kolinsky brushes make sense...


Gouache- first attempt...

Gouache can be a real bitch.
I like the color as much as I dislike it. It's like taming a lion for me but I guess I won't give up.
I'll upload some progress pics later.

First thoughts:
- I started too dark
- used too much white (okay, next time no white)
- the grass is reddish-pink (actually better than I thought since I wanted to stick to 4 colors while mixing... red, white, blue and black).

I'm unsure if I really love the colors or hate them. I guess my first attempt isn't that bad but it's still a long way to go.
I started because I wanted to try something new and well, it is new. Acrylics are great when you actually found out how to use them right and I got bored of them after the last book. Maybe bored isn't the correct word.
Better: It doesn't surprise me anymore. Which is good but I miss the feeling "Dang, how the heck does it work?!"

My day started actually really WEIRD.
Every Thursday the garbagemen are busy in our street and I just ran into the "mob" when they started collecting the garbage cans. One of the men started staring as I walked by. Am I looking that gross?! (okay, I literally fell out of bed but oh my... )
He still stared when I passed him.
"Excuse me..."
"My son.. he's ... what is he doing again?... Oh, manga!"
Still unsure what he wants. AND late...
"Aren't you one of those girls?" (sounded a bit like I have a disease...)
"Uh... if you mean if I am one of those doing comics, than yes.."
He smiled.
"I knew it!"

Doh! I live in the middle of nowhere (for Berlin).


Gouache- my new best friendenemy

... after spending ridiculous amounts of money on little nasty tubes you can decide if you want to see pictures of fails and progress or not.
Since the medium is like an alien with four heads for me I guess I rather create fails.

I tried to find good tutorials on the net but nada. Maybe a good point for posting those... o_o


hello colors!

Color Testing on new paper (which is awesome!)
Hot pressed watercolor paper (Laneaquarell, 300 gr) with a smooth satin texture. You still see texture if you add pastels or oil pastels which is fine but generally the texture is practically non-existent.

My colors.... finally every space is filled. I just need to sort those o_o

What is really interesting is neutral grey. The first thing i learned 12 years ago in art-school was mixing neutral grey. It's my prefered color for light outlines and details and it's not as hard as black but still prominent. I think mine is from Schmincke but some more companies should offer it.

If you want to mix it yourself: Blue, red and yellow in same proportion (1:1:1). The result should be a neutral greyish tone.

Details of a test-illustration. I'm still unsure if water colors are the right medium. Right now I am tired of acrylics but a mix of water colors, gouache and oil pastel might be a solution. Which is kinda odd since I have like everything except oil pastels and gouache =_=; ... and I really have no idea if I can handle those but alas, I guess there's always a "first time".


Yes, No, Yes... No? Maybe... yes?

You know the situation when you are stuck in work and you get a phone-call and become like "Oh, ah, squee, omg, omg, omg!" .... and than you realize that you practically won't be able to sleep for 6 months if you won't say no.

I had to learn how to say no. Even without lame excuses. Sometimes it was really really hard, sometimes I was relieved, sometimes depressed (because it really would have been cool).
I think it's something you won't do when you start because ... everything is so exciting and crap, skip the sleeping part and you see all those €s and $ and think: Just another one and better too many than no jobs at all.
Ever made the experience? and if not: Would you say no?

I really wanted to work at the week-end but Nata hogged my couch after a very bad B movie and Sunday was our "Treadle and Hanni get their inoculation" day. Urg...

Since my deadline for some test illustrations is on Thursday I might take some fail pics of epic watercolor tests. Not that interesting alltogether but alas, it could be worse.

Rant of the week: Why on earth does a bigger Kolinsky cost around 30 bucks?
 It's a bloody brush and I don't see any gold on it. Poor marten anyway. But I can't use synthetics for the project. Dang!


omg, watercolors....

... again after 10 years of happy absence.
Bought hopelessy too many things because the last couple of years have been devoted to acrylics.
I hope I find some free time on Sunday to test everything.

And since it looks like I'll have to spend a lot more time with my watercolors within the next months I should reactivated everything I learned in artschool like... 1998 O_o

My test-illustration will be Hanna- I love her little pigtails. Last time I drew her was for a scouts cover (for junior scouts :) ).

....and a little - very little- details of an illustration for my publisher. Love to paint rough- if an illustration is too clean it tends to look kinda odd.


Shiver - Twilight without sparkling, vampires and DramaLlama

See my title -that's pratically the synopsis. :)

I bought the book by cover - i know you shouldn't do that- BUT it's actually one of the best of the last ... weeks. Suprisingly it's one of those stories that are unbelievable realistic by down-to-earth characters and a plot that is a lot more amusing and fascinating than fantasy stories tend to be. I wouldn't even call it a fantasy story although it includes werewolves.

As a child Grace gets attacked by a pack of wolves in the middle of winter. It's cold, they seem to be hungry and Grace's destiny seem to be obvious. But one wolves stops the attack.
Even as a teenage girl Grace can't forget the wolves although she should know better and be scared. She craves to see them every winter- especially the wolf who looked at her with those yellow eyes.
And there is Sam, who moves around Grace like the moon wanders around the earth but can't get closer. Till they meet in Summer- and finally the wolf and the girl find themselves in the middle of a relationship that is meant to last only that single summer. 

"Shiver" is a werewolf novel without all sparkling wonderboy and non-logical cutie-girl. I don't want to say Twilight is bad. It's just oddly unlogical and for my taste too happyendish-of-course-they-will-make-out-even-if-he-should-scare-her-to-death-sparkle-stalker-no-dates-in-100-years. I read all... so I can complain.

Anyways, hurray to Maggie Stiefvater, there will be a second book about Sam and Grace and if you happen to enjoy good stories with "realistic action" (car accidents, teenage rage and a lot of bites) and sadness you might like that book a lot.


finally Amazon offers something useful (for me)

I get asked a lot where I buy my pens. Mostly I can only answer: cons and fairs.
But... hurray just saw it today... Amazon is now offering the Pentel Slicci
Pentel Gel-Tintenroller Slicci BG207, schwarz
which means I can finally get that one easier (and I have to anyway since Treadle loves pens and carries those away frequently O_o ).

I use the 0.3 version like done here and here. If I did comics by hand I would prefer those but since I don't do comics by hand... oh well, nevermind. :)

Price is 1,69 (you only get it cheaper on a con if you make puppy-eyes and start a "But I want five!... Rully!" discussion) which is okay. My last one lasted 8 months which is good. The Signo didn't last that long. Or I sketched less but I doubt it somehow o_o

So... if you want a bundle try to bargain at a con, if not... it's fine. For all those who think: Hurray, plan B for copic liners and color illustrations: Well, not really.... I use the Edding Profi Pen black 0,1- 0,5 for it
for further information.

What I don't like abouth the Copic thingie is that I have a feeling they have less ink. And the 0,1 even less. I bought 4 of those and I was always dissapointed. Or Copic doesn't like me and I always get the dry ones o_o The only good thing you can do with those is playing with the cats because they have a rounded back. But I guess that wasn't the original intention of usage.


too hot for anybody and anything

we have 35 degrees here and even inside it's just hot. If I didn't wear my arm sock I would permanently stick to the Wacom o_o and the "studio" room is the coolest room of all with cosy 25° =_=
Treadle and Hanni (for all non-german folks: same pronunciation like "honey") are just sleeping everywhere they happen to tumble down.

Treadle and his new favourite game... I didn't knew sthat thing could make so much noise. If you have cats: Buy it anyway. Mine love it (literally to pieces)

He funnily tends to sleep fully stretched OR on his back (looking like shot XD ).
Hanni prefers her luxuy version of a scratching post... little princess. She mew-mews a lot. Attention? This way plzkthx!

Ever wondered why little girls love ponies? I wonder a lot... and especially if I have to draw those O_o Will di a lot more in the upcoming weeks and hopefully at least 50% together with Irene since it crops down the time we have to fight against the urge to sing "My little Pony" and puke butterflies and rainbows.

I am so not into horses and ponies... everything but not ponies.... =_=;
It's funny that although the topic is so utterly odd we both are happy with the results. Hope those horses won't grow on us.



... a deadline... f***@*#
I normally have a close look on time but this time... epic fail. Gods... and it's a cover.
Teeth ache, mobile literally dead, no mail saved with the mobile number of the customer, not in the office anyway, arg... I hate those days when everything is just an epic fail.


Stalker Kitteh mug

A DA fellow was so nice and took some pics.

Cool, isn't it?
Seems like they solved the color problem (mine turned out a tiny bit yellowish but that was like half a year ago).
I still have two unfinished mug illustrations on my computer (Sir Bogard and Hippo) and hope I can finish next week. All current jobs done which means time for private painting again. Hurray! I like working for projects but those kept me away from my own stuff for quite a while. O_o;

Stalker Mug can be found here btw. :B



Ty and me went to the vet today with Hannibal and Treadle.
Super nice and Hannibal didn't mew-mew all the time. Putting them into the box while sleeping seems to work. Kiki never was fond of boxes but those two seem to like it- kinda.
The vet oh and ahhed at Hannibal and talked along...

"Oh a little red tom-cat, well female red cats are so rare. He looks good anyway.. let's check..Oh!" Silence. "Well, as I said red females ARE rare but you happen to have one."

Uh.. what? "Should we change the name to Hanni in the system?"

Ty and me exchanged a large stupid grin. "Yes."

So Hannibal turned out to be a Hanni (honestly, I always thought "well, he's small... can't see anything because he's too young."). Cutie-Pie and Mini-Amor (Treadle weighs a lot more) survived the check and we enjoy a not too hot lazy afternoon before I start working on a mag cover again.
Hope I can finish tomorrow since I plan to update my homepage next week with all that stuff I did within the last weeks. Except those sock motives i did.. o_O ... winter season items.. I'll take pics when those are available though. Weird job... really.


all time favourite... rully!

I have no idea if I mentioned that book but it's one of my all-time favourites. If you like nerdy outfits, ridiculous behaviour and awesome writing you will love it.

You can read the synopsis at Amazon -though I would like to add that it doesn't even cover for 10% all the things happening in that way too thin book.
Hippie parents who explain the importance of pelvis muscle training to your fellow students in the cafeteria, wearing ugly clothes and doing water gym with 40+ ladies while you originally wanted to do Pilates are just some things everybody will keep in mind.

and because I won't stop annoying you with cutie-pie pics... just two of the kittens as well :)


Day 2: I know what a toilet is... theoretically....

They finally found out what a sofa is made for...except Hannibal... he doesn't understand the difference of "this is the sofa- sleep" and "this is the toilet- pee" ... hope he gets it within the next days =_=

And again they move too fast... but you can see: Cutie-Pies!

Amazing what cats can do with only 7 weeks...