Saturday, June 27, 2009

puppies in the tub

Yes, it's time for a ridiculously cute dog photo.

My poor little darlings. They didn't like the bath. It was their first, and as you can see, they are desperate to get out.

Now that they are older, they don't mind bath time so much, however, they prefer being dirty.

Friday, June 26, 2009

summer revision smackdown: week four

This week, the last pledged to the Summer Revision Smackdown (phase one — there may be more to come!), I decided to focus solely on my manuscript revisions. Trying to accomplish manuscript revisions and finished illustrations in the same time frame wasn't working for me. Could be a left brain right brain conflict. Who knows!

Anyway, I just wrote. Now I have eight pages left to revise. I aim to finish by tomorrow afternoon so I can post my progress on Cuppa Jolie, where Jolie Stekly is hosting the last postings of this Smackdown session (the other amazing woman in the Summer Smackdown dynamic duo is Holly Cupala, of Brimstone Soup).

Now, back to revisioning. Go, Karen, go!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

color monday: the red sea sharks

Okay, so it's actually Tuesday. Details, details!

Today's Color Monday palette is inspired by the cover art of THE RED SEA SHARKS by Herge. The colors are bold, bright and near primary. The scene is of three men and one dog on a rickety raft in the ocean.

Color is emotional. Would we be scared for the subjects if the colors were soft and serene? Herge brings not just color to his scenes and characters, but emotional life.

Having a command of the emotional content of color is inherent in visual storytelling. I love Herge for his masterful integration of storytelling, design and color. THE RED SEA SHARKS is just one of the many books he created that inspire me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

maximo headrest

It's that time of the week when I post a ridiculously cute dog photo. Though this might not be quite ridiculously cute, but more like, super cute. Regardless, it's cute!

Lulu is using Maximo's back as a headrest. She often does this. It might be a dominance thing. Yes, she's the boss of the two. Girls! Maximo is just a lowly headrest. It sure beats being an ottoman.

summer revision smackdown: update

I got off to a slow start in spite of my ambition, but am gaining momentum now that the Summer Revision Smackdown is almost over!

I have revised half my graphic novel so far, taken out one character, changed the housekeeper to a wife (the feminist in me wishes it weren't true) and built some comic obsession into one of the character's voices.

It's going better now that I decided only to write, and to tackle the rest of the illustration sample until the writing part is finished.

Thanks again Jolie and Holly for organizing this event. I'm with Sara Easterly; are we on for next month? Summer Revision Smackdown is a hit. Ow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

summer revision smackdown: week three

Progress, not perfection, Right?

Although I haven't achieved the exact goals I set in my first two weeks of the Summer Revision Smackdown, I have achieved a fair amount. I am close to finishing the finished artwork for page one and I started the manuscript revision.

The artwork required more than I thought when I set my goal to finish page one and two within the first two weeks. Some things like Nik's notebook, and her pen, which feature often in the story, required templates to help me keep their visual consistency. And I've been struggling with the handwriting that appears in Nik's notebook. It is a cursive I designed off an Emigre font called Matrix Script. The challenge is to hand draw this cursive lettering while ensuring a legibility for the age group who will be reading my graphic novel (9-12).

I would still like to get the whole graphic novel packet finished and ready to send out to the publisher as my Smackdown Grand Finale — that was my very first stated goal — but to do that, I will have to put in twice the hours, which is possible, as the work I've done thus far has been very part-time. I think I can do this! Wish me luck!

color monday: koi

Today's Color Monday palette is inspired by koi; those big, beautiful fish the Japanese breed to all sorts of specifications. They breed fish for certain colors, markings, fin type and even reflective scales that turn a different color when the sun hits.

I love koi, and kept some small ones, no more than an inch, in a pond in my front garden. They didn't last long. Our local urban omnivore, the raccoon, went fishing every night until they were all gone. Nasty raccoon.

The pond now hosts a couple rubber fish that sit down on the rocks looking very real, except for the fact they don't move. In homage to these beautiful fish, this palette carries their name. Koi.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

dogs and lawn daisies

It's been awhile, but the ridiculously cute dog photos are back. I'll try to post one a week, because really, if you can't handle at least one ridiculously cute dog photo per week, well, there must be something wrong with you, and you should have yourself evaluated by a psychiatrist.

This photo was taken in Lower Woodland, on the georgous lemonade day in May that inspired my last Color Monday palette. Can you smell the grass? Feel the breeze? And through the trees, Greenlake sparkles like the cobalt heavens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

color monday: lower woodland

In Woodland Park, where I walk with my dogs, a color theme asserts itself, with lawn daisies, grasses and a weeping wisteria tree. The whole feeling is like a tall cold glass of lemonade with ice. How I love the park and its simple pleasures.

I apologize to any readers who have missed Color Monday. I know! But it's back, and this week's palette is inspired by a sunny May day in Lower Woodland.

summer revision smackdown: day eight

Week two of the Summer Revision Smackdown begins, with a long list of writers and illustrators who posted their progress in week one on the blogs of our incredible organizers, Jolie and Holly. It is energizing to read about other people's successes and struggles, and the goals that were announced, attained, exceeded, or not.

Whip of the week went to Helen Landalf and Kjersten Anna Hayes who both set out to accomplish a lot and then accomplished even more than that. With these examples of industry before me, I'm thinking I better get back to work!

But first, this week's goals for the Summer Revision Smackdown:

Last week, I had partial success on finishing the final art for page one of my graphic novel submission. This week, now that I'm primed, I am going to finish the final art for page one and page two, and do one read through of my manuscript before I start revising.

Okay! There they are. My goals for week two. Tick tock!

Monday, June 1, 2009

summer revision smackdown: day one

This Summer Revision Smackdown, organized by Jolie Stekly and Holly Cupala, began June first. That's today! TODAY!

On her blog, Holly wrote about her weekly goals, as the big goals need to be broken down into smaller tasks, and suggested that all of us Smackdown participants (and the region will be running out of licorice whips, to be sure) get our weekly goals established.

My big goal is to revise my graphic novel manuscript and finish the four page booklet (plus cover) so that I might finally submit it to the mystery recipient. Now for the weekly goal.

This week's Summer Revision Smackdown goal: create finished artwork for page one.

I dare not set a goal greater than this, though my brain tells me more! MORE! But I would rather err on the safe side of success, than put myself through the dispiriting defeat of over-ambition. I'm rusty! I am going to give myself all the help I can get. And that means, for now, one goal at a time.