Happy New Year!

Before it's too late and I know I will spend tomorrow with swimming *yowzaa* and eating (honestly the swimming is just an excuse for the overboarding dinner) I hope everybody has a wonderful New Year's eve and can spend the time with sombody (or a whole bunch of people) you're close to.

Here the terror of fireworks and happy kids making a lot of kaboom has already begun (two days ago....) and sometimes it sounds like we live in war-zone. Actually we do since I live on the border to Neukölln and gosh, the district gets crazy with fireworks and basically everything making a lot of noise.

Happy New Year and make some good New Year's resolutions you can keep and motivate you. I already have three big ones and I'm willing to do (mostly) everything to stick to them and achieve my goals.

Looking back this year was crazy... and I wouldn't have changed one minute.

Let's rock 2013! :D


I got myself for Christmas....

 ... obviously not Hantje. As always she's in her floaty boat watching lazily as I work... on comic pages. Actually the one you see is a reworked version of "anger a kitteh"... a page hopefully finished tomorrow. I so want to work on a snow page right now.
I got myself a Spyder4 Pro.
This tiny little stinker is essential for calibrating my screens. I have no idea if you ever had the chance to calibrate *your* screens but having a good screen also means you might want to invest in a buddy who helps you to see the actually correct colors. Nobody wants to be shocked in the final print version. Though I have to admit: If the printer messes up you'll end up shocked anyway. But it's a good start and for me essential.
IF you think "Oh shiny... me wants" check the Datacolor hardware. There are different versions of the Spyder. I had a OneEye before which was fine as well.

Tretel normally hogs the heater place. I am amazed he still fits in.


Kniffel- Das Kartenspiel

It's one of the board games I did this year and it's one of the more abstract ones. And gosh, since I already have my printed version (whoot!) I can say the print turned out gorgeous and the colors simply awesome (ever tried to convert a pretty RGB violet shade to CMYK?... pure nightmare!). We had such a rough start and I struggled a lot with the concept but once I skipped the idea to adapt the old style and make it very 2012 the project was fun.

For those who know the old Kniffel game(s) and loved it you might fancy to check out this one as well.
Basic information and the backside can be found at boardgamegeek. Kniffel will come out in February after the Nürnberg fair (and three other ones I'll blog about as soon as I'm allowed to).

I'll show some pics after Christmas- at the moment I'm trying to squeeze so many different things into one day it's kinda scary. Duh. I'm happy when we can finally flop down on the couch after Christmas.


Big things that make life a lot easier....

I am currently inbetween game projects (though I still need to do 40 illustration sketches till January for one) and work (a lot) more on Chubs. The final goal is so damn close I could literally touch it... if I didn't have to paint everything. But... oh well... some pages take longer... some don't.
At them moment I have one of those "1 week for one page" thingies and it keeps unnerving me.

Anyways... when we started a lot of things were unclear. I had a rough plan of the cats' house but the more pages Lew and I did the more complicated it got.
Where's that cupboard? Where's the desk? If I have bird perspective will it look good. Should I zoom in? I had to do a lot of corrections because while drawing I realized the perspective sucked. Or didn't look right.

We decided to use Sketch Up. Lew was so patient and constructed the house up from scratch (isn't she great?!). We based it on the logic of the first comic pages and ended up with a pretty weird house probably nobody would built like that but it's cozy and I'd totally move in (if the kitchen was bigger...). Having a rough construction helps A LOT. If you ever decide to do something longer with a lot of interaction in one place you might be interested in using the (free) Sketch Up as well.

I still have to draw everything (digitally) and add a lot of details but the base is always correct and we can move the angle till the view looks perfect. It won't safe that much time in the beginning but the more I work with those screenshots the more I love it. Sketch Up doesn't love us back and is buggy as hell but that's bearable.



 *click for full view... it's huge*

It's just a detail of an illustration I did for Saskia as a gift. She had an odd doodle version in her sketch book and I wanted to do something full color when I had some more time.

I worked with those pastel like brushes on my last board game project as well and it was fun to try out something different. Though you won't be able to see the many details in the final format (worked on poster size for promotional material right up from the beginning) it was nice and fun and I think it underlines the age group it's made for and the actual concept. I hope people will like it and I hope nobody will complain about flying eggs (which are supposed to be owls actually).

The brushes were from Deviantart- I tried to remember which set it was but since my library grew over the last couple of years (at least for faking natural media) I honestly gave up. So before anybody ask: No effin idea and I can't provide a link. Sorry.

I want to try doing a live wallpaper in that style and hope it works. It would be cool to have something more... natural looking for the android.