Sunday, December 23, 2018

The New and Improved Christmas Movie/Special Bingo!

Happy Night Before the Night Before Christmas everyone!  I have a very special present for you: an actually usable version of my old Christmas Movie/Special Bingo game!

 Click here to play right in your browser!  Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

On Moleskine Altenatives - Again...

Here at the old art blog, I like Sketchbooks a lot.  And I like testing Sketchbooks that are sometimes promoted as Moleskine alternatives.  Over the years, I've met and drawn in quite a few Moleskine alternatives and their quality can vary wildly.  So, in the spirit of the holiday season, here are the four most recent Sketchbooks, reviewed:

I talked a bit about the ZenArt Supplies B6 Sketchbook before and much of my opinion still stands.  I did learn that this Sketchbook takes art markers very well (with insane bleed-through) as seen above, which helps alleviate some of my criticisms.

This awesomeness is the Illo Sketchbook and it is so good.  The pages are nice and thick, and I think I could've easily got away with drawing on both sides, which is a very unique feature among the books I'm reviewing today.  It loves watercolor, pencils, inks, markers and more.  This is, after all, the Sketchbook that saw me through this year's MerMay.  The Illo is my favorite Sketchbook out of the lot and I've already got another one waiting in the wings.

Unfortunately, this means our next two Sketchbooks aren't so great.  This is the Leda Art Supplies Sketchbook.  If you bought a Sketchbook from Amazon recently, you've almost certainly seen it advertised.  I really didn't like the thinness of the paper and that floppy flexible cover is a killer.  And speaking of covers...

We've come to my current Sketchbook and... Look, I love all me Sketchbooks like they are my babies.  This is the Handbook Flexi-Sketch, and about halfway through it's rating a big old "Yikes."  Those pages are thin, thin, thin and they even roll over and give up at the sight of one of my trusty ballpoint pens.  But it's the cardstock-thick cover that seriously messes me up.  What a shame; I really liked the other Handbook I tried way way back in that first post.

So there you have it, four different Moleskine-alikes reviewed.  My verdict is get yourself an Illo, then maybe get another for your Secret Santa.  Have a great holiday season everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Go Get the New Edition of _After Man_ (SPOILER Review)

Or ask Santa for it, of course, since it's nearly Christmas already?!?  Good lord, that snuck up on me.  I apologize in advance for not doing anything crazy this holiday season; I'm still rather burned out after Inktober.  Head here for Christmas things.

But anyway, yes.  Get the new edition of After Man.  I pretty much had to get it anyway because, as you can see from the above photo, my old edition is pretty much loved to within an inch of it's life.  How much?

I'm holding it together with duct tape, staples, and prayers.  The new version is a sturdy hardcover with tough, glossy pages and it is very very nice.  Like, have it as your official coffee table book for the delight and confusion of your holiday guests nice.  It's THAT nice.

It is also *slightly* altered from the original 1981 edition.  I'm happy to report that this isn't an outright George Lucasing, the original text and illustrations are left basically alone.  There are a few edits to the introduction, but the biggest one helpfully cleans up the circa-1980's "protomammals" mess and the others are treated more as footnotes of the "Look at the cool things we've learned about this since then" kind.  Two creatures have been redesigned, however, and so here come the Spoilers.  First,

Art of the Week:
Speaking of fictional creature redesigns, here's my silly attempt to give Detective Pikachu less... *jarring*... anatomy:

11.13.18 - Detective Pika

But also...


Okay, here are the new After Man illustration spoilers.  Note that both the original and revised illustrations are credited to Diz Wallace:

So the new Reedstilt is fine.  Weirder than the old design, which was already deeply strange to start with.  I don't like it as much; the old version is a lot more graceful.

Okay hang on to your butts, here comes the new Nightstalker:

Okay, it's redder.  And more... sinewy...  I'm not a fan, but I admire the stones it takes to redesign one of the very few creatures in After Man who can truly be called iconic

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

2018 National Dog Show Sketches!

I've done this three times now, so it's officially a tradition.  My current Sketchbook is on the small side (more on that later) so you're getting two big table-wrecking montages:

11.23.18 - National Dog Show Studies

11.23.18 - National Dog Show Studies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inktober Finale -and- "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" Tweetmentary!

Got a big group of Inktober art for the finale and a hugely important Halloween movie to comment on.  As usual, click on the pictures to see them on Flickr.

10.13.18 - DAVID PUMPKINS!!!

10.14.18 - Lil' Nuthatch

10.15.18 - Swirls and bubbles

10.16.18 - Brushy Eagle

10.17.18 - Brushy Eyes

10.18.18 - Doodled Some Dudes

10.19.18 - Dragon

10.20.18 - Ink Wash Loon

10.21.18 - "I Am Totally a Hawk!"

10.22.18 - "Floon?"

10.23.18 - Witchy Pika

10.24.18 - Ink Wash Hunter's Moon

10.25.18 - Heron Portrait

10.26.18 - Bees!

10.27.18 - Turacoooo?

10.28.18 - "Hey, I'm Woody!"

10.29.18 - A Powerful King Condor

10.30.18 - Beak!!!

10.31.18 - Spooky Landscape


I don't always have a "Go big or go home" attitude.  But when I do, it's doing a Tweetmentary of "E.T." on Halloween.

Part the First
Part the Second


Friday, October 12, 2018

Inktober Week Two -and- "Return to OZ" Tweetmentary!

Time for another weekly Inktober wrap-up along with a Halloweeny movie Tweetmentary.  Lots of nice botanical studies and experiments with paintbrushes in this batch, if I may say so myself.  As usual, click on the pictures to see them on Flickr.

10.8.18 - Gnarly Tree Study

10.9.18 - Branch study

10.10.18 - CapWolf?

10.12.18 - Little Swirly Dragon

10.12.18 - Little Brushy Blue Jay


For this week's Tweetmentary, I have a movie that I find endlessly fascinating: 1985's "Return to OZ".  I had quite a lot to say about it, so this is going to stretch over two Moments*.  Since embeds don't appear to be working, here are the links to Part One and Part Two

* - So how about that rumor that we'll soon not be able to make new Moments on Mobile?  Ha ha!  Ha ha ha ha!  (Cries...)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Inktober Week One -and- "Hocus Pocus" Tweetmentary!

It's Inktober!  This year I am going to make myself do a weekly wrap-up of my Inktober drawings by accompanying each weekly wrap-up with a Tweetmentary of a Halloweeny movie!  We'll get to our movie in a minute; first Inktober Week One!  Click the pictures to got to Flickr for more info.

10.1.18 - Crappy Venom

10.2.18 - Potions

10.3.18 - "Hocus Pocus" Crocodile

10.4.18 - Fraidy Cat

10.5.18 - Chicken

10.6.18 - Pumpkin...

10.7.18 - Chickadee

Our first Inktober Film Festival Halloween Tweetmentary is a doozy: 1993's "Hocus Pocus"!  I hadn't watched this movie since 1993, so this was a heck of a time. 

Here's the Link...

And here's the Handy Embed: