Journal


Love following links from Twitter. Following @Bonniegrrl’s re-tweetof Gizmodo’s sent me to this one: shttp://superherosquad.marvel.com/create_your_own_comic. (yeah, I know. that’s a lot of social jargon. sorry). May even use it for my 100 panels. I’m already behind a day of panels, sorry to say. I’ll catch up. Ultimately, there will be 30×100 panels. Three thousand?

O.

Well, this will count as four!

mini strip from Marvel

The Silver Surfer Arrives

I started National Novel Writing Month very early this morning.  There are people who are not writing novels this month.  There are lots of other people doing other creative things this month as well.  Seems to be a good time to undo the bonds of resistance to our creativity.

I’ve decided that I need to do something constructive about my drawing, so I am starting a project for this month.  I’m calling it NaPaDraMo–National Panel Drawing Month.  OK, so it’s not national, but it could be.  It’s definitely about drawing panels and I’m limiting it to the month.  What exactly am I limiting?

I am limiting myself to drawing 100 panels a day.

Whoa! That’s a lot, you might say.  Not really.  I’m defining a panel as a little rectangle on a page.  I am limiting myself to just filling up that panel with some drawing.  I’ve made a list of what I want to accomplish.  And I’ve made a good start.  I already did over 100 panels today.  All of the panels fit on one page in my sketchbook.  I didn’t say how big the panels have to be!

Why one hundred?  I got a lot out of the time I spent posting entries to the 100Words.com site.  Besides rhythm and editing, I learned how to manage the barriers I felt to engaging writing on a daily basis.  This is what I hope to get from making 100 panels a day.

So, the plan?  I won’t be posting all the work here.  Instead, I’ll post the pages/panels I like the best.  I am starting another blog to discuss the project and will possibly post some on Flickr.  Meanwhile…off to start the new blog.

Edited to add: Blog is here!

Been making a doll panel for Spoonflower using Inkscape and Gimp.  Now that I’ve got the panel up in time for the contest, I need to figure out how I made it!   I do that a lot: jump in and do something then back track to figure out what I did and how I did it.

Fortunately, this means figuring out Gimp and Inkscape for real.  Not haphazardly.  One thing I discovered about tracing an imagae by hand is that there is a strategy to choosing which marks to make and in which order to make them.    I also found myself more invested in negative spaces, seeing possibilites for further design.

Now that I’m settled in a graphic pursuit, I have more confidence that I will finish the Drawing Words Writing Pictures course.

Oh.

That’s what happened.

I just realized that fabric is the part that has been missing in this endeavor.  The ability to create images that are then printed on fabric opens up whole other possible narrative displays.  I’ll explain my revelation this way:

My first ever cut-and-paste celluloid film was called “Patchwork”.  One second of film is 24 frames long.  How many pieces of film (frames) can we really see?  How many pieces is half a second?  What does it do to the “narrative” to start the visual story in the center of the strip of film.  The patchwork pattern “log cabin” begins in the center.  Each strip is a length equaling the side of the center piece and the width of the attached strip.

This is how I made the movie.  I used identical bits of subject matter and laid out the pieces in segments of a second based on the “center” being 1/4 second (6 frames).  When it’s run through the projector it’s easy to feel and see the progression of images, the impression of there being a story.  But from the center to the end…not so easy.  Not easy to see that it’s a reversal of the first part.  It feels jagged, unsettled and the ending unfinished.

In comic books, the page doesn’t have quite the limitations of seeing one frame at a time.  A flow can be found, eventually.  Even a comic strip, as linear as a film might be, still allows the viewer to compare one end of the strip with the other.

A quilt is not a film and a film is not a quilt.  The possibilities of investigation, though, are rich and inviting.

Heart The flow of elements in the body move from very disparate places.  They are connected by means of the blood that our hearts pump to and from, here and there.  Heart is at the center of all things, the measure of which determines the lengths to which we will go and how much courage and encouragement we need to get there.  It is at the center of every venture and Adventure, drawing us on, fueling our dreams and desires.  Let the center panel be a heart and tell the story of what comes and goes.

so… I thought the bunny upload of the day should reflect that.

 bunnies and pollen

bunnies and pollen

I finally got the tablet up and running so I did this on Gimp.  It’s fun finding out what the program will do within the framework of a task.  I got the idea about pollen from the way the brush tool worked.  That and not wanting to keep doing the thing over.

For the bunnies, it’s the same doodling effort.  Still starting from the ears and making that and the head in one line.  For these I used more than one line because I wanted to work the tablet a bit more.  The baby bunnies was a one-line exercise, though.

OK.   Off to blow my nose again.

Still no tablet, but I decided I prefer what I can do in Gimp better than what I do in Paint.

bunnydoodles

The original task I proposed for myself was to draw a bunny with a single line.  Some of these are done that way.  However, the nature of the way they were drawn required me to go in and add lines to keep the paint in.  While a few look like pathetic attempts of turtles to adopt bunny disguises, there are a couple that are passable as bunny-type gestures.  They seem to capture the essence of the bunny, the rabbit and all it’s manifestations.  That is what I was going for with both the exercise and this post.

The method of comic books is draw and trace.  I forget this a lot of the time which leaves me feeling inadequate to the task of making something expressive and creative.  The more of these kinds of one-line doodles I make, the more I will have to choose from when it comes time to create a story about rabbits.

I didn’t realize how much a perfectionist I was until I did this image.

srrange creature that it is

srrange creature that it is

I don’t like it.  I did this because I don’t know how to draw with shapes in Gimp. So, I used Paint.   It’s times like this that I miss my tablet.  I miss the movement of drawing that the tablet simulates even though I’m stll not used to the feel on the surface.

That tension is how I choose pens for daily use.  The paper in my journal suits the pen I use, a Pilot Precise V5.  It’s too fine to use on paper with any real tooth to it.  For drawing paper, as an example, the V7–which is way too heavy for the journal paper–makes a line similar to the finer pen on smoother paper.

My journals?  Miquelrius, a Spanish brand.  I originally found them at Barnes and Noble.  Then, I guess the Moleskine popularity suggested they market themselves directly.  Now, they can be found online in all their variety.  I prefer the red covers for some reason.  Love the weight of the volume.  Don’t know how many pages, but I expect 300.

I’ve been lazing about for the last couple of days, having a couple of extra days off work.  I have also been doing some preparatory work for future lessons, so get your tools ready.  We’re coming up to story pretty soon!

OH, before I forget… A doodler to add to the rolls: Doodlage.  Her site is dedicated to doodling of all kinds with some amazing collections.

Danish artists Doodled installation

Danish artist's Doodled installation

I didn’t even use the tablet!

the view from my window today

the view from my window today

I knew I would take up digital drawing again so I thought this would be a good place to start getting familiar.  I remembered that I used to doodle leaves as well, such a long time ago.  I was staring at the leaves on the bushes outside my window, marveling at how closely the colors match my “home decor”.  So, getting to know Gimp, I decided to put it together  (I think I got the background color as close to Sacramento Blue as possible).

Let’s say, for the moment at least, that I am putting away the pedant and taking up a challenge  (knowing me it will only last for about a minute or two, but our hope springs eternal).  I think it’s time to call out The Bunnies.  Using Ed Emberley for inspiration (since I seem to have missed out on all his fun) I challenge both of us to bring out mutual Bunnies to life.  Portrait panels.  I’m keeping mine at ATC size since the WordPress likes them. Even if it is only one Bunny, what are its manifestations?  One a day till next week.  I’ll leave off the pedantics till then.  Maybe I can even find the tablet!

Oh, and try and talk Eric into playing along.  Would love to see his digital wonderfulness.

Heart: In the whole process, focus on appreciating the movement of your hand, how well it coordinates with your thoughts, how–even in hesitation–the hand is listening for the voice of the mind.  Appreciate how the hand and mind work together in all the actions of the day without your conscious attention.  Appreciate, also the quiet curving of an infants hands, the groping of a baby’s hands, the dexterous touch of toddlers as they grasp minutiae as their own universe.  Marvel, with joy, the abilities of hands in all the world to make magic.  Images from nothing more than movement through dirt.  Sound from the surface of the water.  Healing from a touch.

For a moment, stop and feel the heart as it connects through the pulse to the hand.  Delight in its own pleasure at being able to act so beautifully in the world.

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