Keeping the booty warm

Hante loos a bit like :S in the photo but honestly it'd hard to get a pic of both without one having a funny face.
Tretel seems to keep on growing. No wonder Hantje hisses all the time he pops up for "play time". I wouldn't like having the big boy bullying me as well ;)
I normally find them on or next to a heater now (in winter). As long as the booty and tummy are warm everything's okay.


Winter Pong

I'm a sucker for interactive stuff. And I'd really like to animate around and do this and that and make a Kiki LWP but no time right now =.= Still it's on my agenda and I reallly want to have a cat live wallpaer that makes you ogle the screen for hours and get that high on rainbows cross-eyed face people normally get when they look at cute baby cat photos... or maybe it's just me getting that expression.


Art Academy Contest

... totally forgot to blog the information.

You can find all information on my homepage (onmipresent sign on the front page, you can't miss it).

The contest is world-wide, no restrictions except age. As long as you have a shipping address that isn't "moon" it should work. And of course if your postal service isn't as crappy as my DHL one. ;)

IF you have questions, you can ask those here. Otherwise happy drawing & painting!
Please keep in mind that I don't like cheaters so if something looks weird as in traced or copied, you'll have to prepare for the entry NOT being accepted. Sorry, but play fair.

You don't have to create a masterpiece. If you check my favs I have some really charming pieces in that are quite not a daVinci. If it's personal and charming and has something special, it's a good chance you'll get a DS.

Questions? Shoot! :)

The signed DS, first price, will be personalised for the winner. I won't draw on it before the contest ends. If the person happens to love Kiki or wants a toad/shoe/fingerprint/addfunnwishhere and I doodled Kulla on it might be odd.


the problem with cats and Christmas

Clearly Christmas is totally cool for cats. At least when it comes to decoration and paper wrapping. Tretel decided to chew on our chain of lights last year (when it was ON) and Hantje loves paper wrappings. Most interesting part might be half packed gifts... you have no idea how fast they can undo the whole work.

A shame we love our cats anyway.... ;) I guess we'll buy paper and stuff twice this year.


Artist= Vampire... We need no sunshine

I feel like being glued to my screens. I miss the sunlight, sports (actually got very very fond of my nearly daily training), I wanted to read books and reduce my coffee consumation which happens to be pretty much too high at the moment.
The working space looks pretty dark on the pictures but it's light enough to get no sore eyes. I have mostly closed curtains since the natural light bugs me too much and looking outside and seeing sunshine is totally depressing if you can't actually GO OUTSIDE. Arf. Vampire mode is not my most beloved mode at the moment.

Otherwise I finished the last corrections on the third board-game on Friday and it's coming out in Febraury already. If you like animals and to draw, laugh and make nasty fun of ugly doodles this will be 100%ly something you'll like.

So looking forward to get out again and see daylight.


The bed shrank... really!

 Now.... 2 Cats squeezing in 1 bed... quite a challenge. And Tretel doesn't like to share. Hantje either. It's quite rare they cuddle together. Sadly a bigger bed doesn't really fit on my table.

Than... so much bed and so tiny (slim) teen kittehs.Tretel looks like a troll planning world domination but I couldn't find any better pics. He made gruesome whacko face on the others.


11.11. impressions

 From the lovely Mirjam. Can't show the other thing since I got the prototype :3

 My Marimos: Herbert, Kurt, Gundel, Hank and Frank.
 I hope I won't fuck it up.... always wanted a cube, never dared to buy one. Hantje & Tretel are looking forward to get Marimo and Pawn TV.

Tretel looking very important.

Thanks for all the wishes I got. Actually the most impressing one came from the absolutely great team of Burton. You guys rock so much! 
I'm currently working in a maddening speed together with Irene and Lew on graphics for them (and a pretty cool app I'll show off when it's available). It's one of those things you think you can't finish on time. But we did last year and we'll do it again. I hope so... at least.



Where's the kitteh? One of the older pics when Hantje was still only Babyhan and a camou-kitteh.... cat+ freshly washed clothes= instant blissfull sleep I guess.

Since today's the only day having 25 hours, it's Sunday and I'm working anyways I feel like I'm not really getting out of that weird zombie mode which started one month ago. I guess one reason is that it's getting dark so early. The other might be that I'm tired of animals and those are haunting my dreams...
     17- Goat
                  21- Crocodile
23- Mouse
                             26- Bunny... arg brown or muddy or white?
30- Cow
and so on. I haven't drawn so many pigs in... practically never and though I have to admit my ability to draw cheeky pigs went from -5 to 120% it's kinda unfunny to see how many hours you can spend with inks and flats and thinking about giving a camel a mohawk or not (it has one btw...).
So much for jobs. I should work on my comic pages. I really should. I should also learn to say "no" to awesomely interesting jobs but it's like telling an alcoholic beer's a totally bad idea to order.

My birthday's in 2 weeks btw and I want to have a Marimo. If anybody wants to make me happy you know how ;)
Doh... I should work on 16- MohawkCamel now... and 15- Frog .... ElephantBadGoldfishDogPolarbearsomething... arg...

Ever had a job haunting you so much you just wanted to finish ASAP?


Lidl Puzzle

Now how cool is that?! One of the puzzle motives I did where released today.... in Lidl France. It's only the fairy which is a bit sad since the pink princess was my favourite of those two but alas... I can't have everything.
If you like faires and puzzles grab it as long as it's available. And no, I have no information if the puzzle(s) will be released in another country as well. Sadly.

The motives were requested like that so if anybody feels like vomitting rainbows- I'm sorry ;)


Tretel and Hantje again

Tretel is 100%ly too big for this napping place but alas, the other place was already taken by Hantje and she's in bitch mode every time he tries to sneak in hissing like a maniac. Poor Tretel... ;)

Since they are practically out all day sitting on the balcony watching birdie& bug TV they get winter fur and... I daresay gain another pound of winter coat by eating more.

Tretel is much more open for evening cuddling than he was half a year ago and Hantje is still very very possessive and naps on my back/stomach every time I'm on the couch. Wierdo cat stays weird.


Space Mission promo poster & Calendars

A1 huge and the quality came out perfect.... Those will be given out at the game fair in Essen in October. Whoot!

And because I just got my calendars from Deviantart...


Space Mission Final Trailer

Yay!!!!! So looking forward to get my copy of the game and the posters.


Grass... again

... and I never get tired of it.
I'm still cleaning up my brush presets- throwing out a lot of things I got from other people or found on the net. Probably 95% of those brushes aren't really useful.
Normally I use the one I already >blogged about< and it's still the most useful although it looks so plain. With nature it gets a bit more tricky. Of course it looks awesome to paint every single blade of grass but mostly you'll end up needing ages to do that.
Since I colorate my comic panels 100%ly and the backgrounds NEED a lot of work I redo my preset-list and try to create grass, flowers (those above are self-made as well) and mostly leaves for bushes or trees.

Since some people seem to be eager but have no clue how to do it... (and you SHOULD do it):
This video explains it pretty well

Keep watching it till the video end. The last part is the most important part of the whole process. Defining the brush presets will take a while and you have to test a lot but it's worth the work! :)

And because it's pretty interesting and I just got it: If you happen to have the awesome artbook of "Open Season" check the background paintings again. There's one page showing some custom brushes they actually used and it's interesting to see how those simple brushes work together and how amazing the final result looks.


Chubbanimals Calendar 3

The third calendar is finally done and available and can be purchased >HERE<
It's A4 landscape (A3 on the wall, upper part illustration, lower part the actual calendar.

How the print quality looks like can be seen here: http://trenchmaker.blogspot.com/2009/01/snow-queen.html
It's semi-gloss and very smooth and I like how the colors come out on the Deviantart calendars. Definitely worth the shipping costs since most stores tend to have a problem with violet-blue shades.

Win, win, win for only 1 Like on Facebook!

Whoa... getting competitive!

Schmidt Spiele, myself and hopefully all of you will rock the boat with a tiny like on Facebook.
Normally you have one spot for a game. We made two... :)

Basically the graphics have the same base- animated by my awesome 3D superheros Mehran and Amin- and a concept we finetuned over the last couple of months.
For Version B Bobby Soulo, a wonderful colleague of mine and very talented musician you should keep an eye on, made the music and lend us his voice.

Long talk, short info: The music and voice-over differs a lot and that's where you can decide what you like best. If you don't speak a word of German: no matter, listen, experience and like. It's your choice!

What you can get for participating?
A lot!
<b>The Prices:</b>
- The very first game package we get (game languages are German, French, English, Italian and Dutch i think... English 100%ly!)
- a signed A1 promo poster (i just finished 2 days ago...)
- aaaannnnd.... the original design of one alien (of course I chose one of the cuter ones...) made on paper.
The only chance to get an original piece for free :D

I'll upload the piece when I get a chance to get it scanned properly. But trust me: I'd really like to keep it >____<

An example of the look of the designs can be found here: http://cliquenabend.de/spiele/062100-Space-Mission/bilder.html
Of course the one somebody will get is not displayed but you might get a hint.
Where to vote?

Questions? Shoot! And be so kind to spread the news. We made a bet how many votes we get and I really wanna get the cookies! :yum:



Christmas -whoot

Short gif animation of the last illustration for my calendar.
Not as fancy as I wanted it to be but I like it anyway and it looks nice in a quite bigger version. Funny (and really annoying) is that the colors are massively changed in the screenshot mode and the final image looks radioactive in the gif version. It's actually something inbetween both color saturations you see.

If anybody knows a solution for the screenshot problem let me know. >_<


1 Poster... in layers

Actually some layers seem to be missing in the screenshot... O_o *scratches head*
Anyways, that's a good way to show that Photoshop isn't always click and done and not everything can be fixed with one layer. Especially when it comes to 50% non-painted art, I found it very useful to carefully layer effects over each other instead of trying to stuff everything in one.
Since I've got the bad habit of NOT naming everything I can strongly advise to NOT follow my example. ;) It's pure madness but in the workflow I totally forget resulting in massive swearing afterwards.

If somebody wonders: I work with both the English (home studio) and German (studio) version. Results in pretty funny files.


New Homepage is UP, UP, UP!


ist finally relaunched. It feel a bit weird to have the video online but I hope some people will find it usefull. We're fixing minor bugs and correct some things but basically it's done.

Regarding the video: I know the japanese one is out of space awesome but at some points me and my colleagues discussed if it's even possible. I think it is possible (to achieve those results with AA) but again, for me the DS is mostly a thing for total beginners, sketching on the road and color concepts (again it comes in handy to have something that's small and uncomplicated).

Therefore the tutorials will show only the basics and images you can do in half an hour. Not more. I spend around 1 1/2 on a paprika, which is fine and I like the result but it's not the main point using it as a pro- in my opinion.

There will be a little contest in some months- so if anyboy is keen on getting a DS and Art Academy for free keep an eye on the blog. :)

Regarding my gallery and the more than honest words on the homepage: It sucks a lot if people steal your art. Really. No matter how much I'd like to be cool and stay above... it doesn't work. I get angry every time somebody sells my artwork for 200 bucks upwards and I can't accept answers like "I found it on Google images, what's the problem?!"
The problem is that it's illegal and the bigger problem is that it's my stuff.

So until we find a solution I have to keep the homepage gallery like it is. I am totally sorry (I already had all images ready :/ ). IF anybody knows how to technically prevent those rips let me know. Maike and me are trying to find a solution and every help is totally appreciated.

If you have any questions- let me know. I'll try to repost the text in German language later.

Please keep in mind that you need to have an account to post something here- it's the only solution to prevent massive spam posts from companies offering stuff you don't want to buy.


Christmas.... still unfinished

If the animation doesn't start click on the image ;)

... this will take ages to finish. I have to admit I'm having trouble with the colors but maybe it's good to know that my color schemes aren't always perfect. I suggest that whenever you have the feeling the one you chose doesn't work: Try to change it instead of finishing without trying out other combination and ending up with a result you're not 100%ly pleased with.
I changed the whole composition as well since the original one in my Moleskine didn't look very good on the new format.

I'll post a gif with the complete process when I'm done. Maybe it helps somebody... ;) It's the best attempt of something close to a tutorial I can do.


Hell yes! New board-game coming soon...

More information in English can be found >>HERE<<

Available in October this year. :D


Meadow-ing... takes ages

Still far far away from where I wanna go with it. I'm frustrated with game manual graphics. Perspective-photoshopping is one of the things I find really annoying and it doesn't do any good if you have a game with like 1 gazillion parts and all have to look "at least 90% correct".

Anyways, I hope I can finish my Hippo next week- somehow. Though I doubt it... but till now it looks like I'm gonna like it. I just have no idea why I decided for a medaow with a lot of flowers.



Die Grafik darf ich jetzt ganz offiziell verwenden und rumprahlen.Hach ja :D Nein, ganz ehrlich ich bin stolz wie Bolle. Vor allem, weil das Spielbrett fast meinen PC ermordet und mich einige schlaflose Nächte gekostet hat. Von den ersten Erfahrungen mit "wie wird eine Holzfigur gefräst" mal ganz abgesehen.

Wenn ich bedenke, dass ich vor einem Jahr noch null Plan hatte und heute bei einer Besprechung mich vor lauter Enthusiasmus über "Werewolf" (auf alle Fälle mal angucken!) und anderen awesome Brettspielen nicht mehr eingekriegt habe... Wahnsinn.
Die finale Nominierung freut mich total, auch wenn es natürlich nur zur Hälfte meine Arbeit war. Im Oktober kommt das nächste raus und es ist nicht das letzte.;) Ich nerde weiterhin fröhlich herum.

Auch nominiert ist "Eselsbrücke", was ich immer noch allen wärmstens ans Herz legen kann, die gerne in größerer Runde spielen.Ich habe es jetzt schon einige Male durch und das "Transvestitenhuhn Herbert, das eine Kokosnuss über die Mauer warf" ist mir noch genau in Erinnerung.
Grundsätzlich geht es darum, Eselbrücken aus einzelnen Begriffen zu bilden. Belohnt wird man für besonders gute und wenn man auch noch ein Elefantengedächtnis hat.
Die Spielregeln sind einfach und spätestens ab der zweiten Runde bin ich jedes Mal am Feiern, da einige Begriffe durchaus bizarre Geschichten ergeben (siehe Herbert, das arme Huhn).
Zu finden bei Amazon  >HIER<



it's actually funny how much the color concept resembles a three-years-old painting.
Something still flying around on my desk. I hope I can finish *some* of those things I wanna do within the next two weeks. Unfortunately I had some sad happenings in my family and all those things went back into prio list.

And Hantje didn't take our vacation well and started scratching herself till she got some ugly wounds. Now she's wearing one of those odd "lampshades" and wallows in self-pity. =.=


Forever - quite never

I gave up... 100 pages and I simply gave up. I couldn't read the totally emo story anymore. Back, forth, back, forth... after book 2 I wondered if Ms Stiefvater had a clue where the story should head but honestly: I doubtit was meant to end and she'd rather let the characters chase fate forever.

It's not satisfying, it's depressing and gets worse with every page you flip and if you loved book 1 (and maybe book 2) keep your hands off book 3. Because there won't be any problem solving and the title is kinda off since I didn't see any forever. Except chasing forever.

Unhappy =.= Otherwise no news since I catched the flue and wobble around in the appartment.


Hantje-Fanart by Lew

Hantjezilla... obviously. 
We are still working on graphics for an American customer and the final stuff for Schmidt Spiele and ... Chubbanimals Calendar. I am so looking forward to finishing all and having my well-deserved vacation. Oh yay!


Bao Fireflies- Details

.. some details. Painting fur wasn't the problem. I lost patience doing the water =.=
Painting fur is fun. Most people do it wrong- smudging everything dead which ens up looking plainly ugly. Creating a proper dot brush AND adding like 1 million hairs by hand does the job a lot better.



I think Lew came up with the name variation "Trödel" first. We had mostly everything you can make out of his basic name.... Knödel, Knetje, Tretje, Trödel...
Hantje is "Flantje" at the moment, because her fur looks like a flan (pudding with dark caramell spots on her back). Oh well... 

Btw it took dozens tries to get a pic of Tretel with crown. He doesn't like it. Otherwise he pretty much ignoes stuff I put on his head.


Jaja.... ich beschwer mich nicht, aber wer hätte gedacht, dass es SO VIEL LÄNGER dauert.
In Farbe ohne Outlines eine Seite fertig zu bekommen dauert praktisch ewig. Heute sitze ich mal wieder an einer, die ich schon gefühlt vor drei Jahren, praktisch vor drei Wochen angefangen habe.
Warum so langsam?

Weil ich nicht wirklich anders arbeite als auf der Leinwand. Im Vergleich zu schwarz-weiß sehe ich prinzipiell keinen Unterschied, außer dass man alles, was sonst schwarz-weiß wäre, vernünftig füllen muss. Eventuell liegt da die Krux. Plötzlich ist auf so einer Seite einfach viel mehr. Mehr Details, mehr Formen, mehr Strukturen..
Ich hoffe, mein Arm hält durch und ich lasse irgendwann davon ab jeden verdammten Grashalm einzeln zu malen.

Ansonsten gibt es für alle deutschen Comicleser eine "awesome" News, die eventuell noch nicht wirklich die Runde gemacht hat. Daniel Lieske hat in seinem Blog nun endlich den Verlag genannt, der "Wormsworld Saga" herausbringen wird.
Natürlich Tokyopop! Ich freue mich unendlich und bin schon neugierig, wie der Comic im Druck dann angepasst wird. Ich gehe mal nicht davon aus, dass es eine Endlosrolle wird ;)

Falls jemand nicht weiß, was "Wormsworld Saga" ist, möchte sich auf Augenbluten und einen visuellen Orgasmus vorbereiten und HIER KLICKEN.

Endlich kommt frische atemberaubende Farbe in die Verlagswelt. Vielen Dank!


Oh noes! So blue!

If you read via RSS you happen to miss all the fun. I'm still trying to find the best text format but otherwise you have to deal with cats now. ;)

I happen to sort through illustrations and finished comics right now and it looks like I didn't really do anything in the past year. Which is not true but ... didn't do a lot for Chubs. Hopefully that will change soon and a lot. I already feel like "whoa, crappy" seeing the old pages but it's a good sign. 
The bad thing about it is that I want to redo everything O_o

As always, Lew is my flat-cat. so if you want to know who's the best flat-cat on earth visit her blog and enjoy funny comics about my cats behaving stupid. >_<


*drooling* Fan-Plush Kulla

That is SO FREAKING cool! I love the plush (and already asked for one I can have XD). The girl who made it can be found here. Isn't Kulla cute? Isn't she???? Aww.... *drooling at the screen*


need a little magic

burned my fingertip today... which makes hitting keys pretty hard and mistyping all the time. Argg...
A bit work in progress... with a chubby fairy version of Kiki requested by somebody from Deviantart.

sketched in my moleskine with blue pen (thanks to Lew!)

Lew scans it and cleans it..

 Flats... done by Lew as well (I feel pretty useless without her to be honest XD )
correction of base colors and first color blocking done... by me...

soon to be pretty without outlines. At the moment looking rather odd.
I think the best or worse part is finetuning when the details come out nice (or not) and the shapes get clear and everything looks just "right". At the moment the dress doesn't look right but it's okay... not finished and i think it's good to show the steps between messed up and "pretty" ;)

Kiki recently got a lot of very ugly and stupid outfits. The more I make the less I think she's not gonna end up in another butt-ugly costume. Alas, she wears those with grace.


Yoga Tretel

Lew requested more pics of my cats... so here we go. I would be able to post 1 odd pic per day.. seriously I have no idea why Tretel loves sleeping with a blanked or on his back (like a dead cat) or like this.
Anyways, always worth a smile or a pic ;)
Hantje looks like a pudding cat. She got very fluffy (and a bit fat) and seems to melt on he ground like a blob. O_o


new sketches

... love the cookie jar.:D


Hikari No Densetsu- Tonkam

Anybody still knows Hikari? Good news for those who loved the old series: Tonkam publishes it. I already wrote about "Aishite Knight" and this is just another pretty old series some of the "older generation" of manga fans and ogling anime watches might know.

1 BD (manga) will cost 9 euro and I guess they will be as thick as Aishite Knight (which is.... very thick!). Volume one will be released at the end of this month. If you can read French and love Hikari: buy them. :D I certainly will buy the fist volume and write a review about it. Nothing better than some old-school charm.



One thing I can warmly suggest to everybody is making your own custom brushes in Photoshop... I made a lot in the last months. It makes sense if you need highres and printable brushes and some matching to your style.

Brushes will be brushes after all and you'll likely recognize those but it also means that you have a result without people saying "Ah, I use those as well...." well... doh... not good.

Sometimes people complain: It's all brushed! Oh well, and on canvas it isn't? I use a feather brush for grass, so that's not "cheating"? Or a broken brush for small flower-spots? See, I guess it really depends if you can mold those into your idea or not.
Worst is if you are too lazy and use one that "happens to be available".
Take your time and create some on your own :)



 Ty and I finally managed to finish (or start) to bar the balcony. Obviously curious cats would do some very bad things without a net. It took 2 days and alltogether around 11 hours. The balcony is old and has everything but a smooth surface which meant being... very creative.
 Hantje loves the new view and Tretel found out that you have excellent birdie-TV in the evening when swallos fly around.
 Longcat is long (and looks fat... though he isn't O_o)
 Hantje yesterday... unsure if she likes what she sees. Hard to please...
 Tretel yesterday... he as well didn't really know if the balcony is a good thing. At the moment he's napping in the doorway and I think they both love the additional space.
Best situation ever... cats on two legs look hilarious. No way to have grace in those moments.

Otherwise no news. Limping around, trying not to work though I have to. Having the balcony "back" offers doodling outside and that is really great (and resulted in 12 sketches already).