Happy New Year Blog Poston January 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Happy New Year!!! Out with 2011, in with 2012!
As someone I know once said, “Hey, cool, that’s, like, my favorite Rush album!” I let him live.
No, don’t bother looking up to see the new comic, because there isn’t one yet. It’s in the works, but it’s coming along slowly for several reasons. One, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the holidays. My partner Maggie is still home on vacation for them, it’s still the holidays, so I’m relaxing. Two, I’ve been fighting a cold, and when I have a bug, I get moody and cranky and several other dwarves and don’t want to do anything stressful, so the page I’ve started isn’t done. But rest assured, I have the base art for at least 8 more pages shot and ready to process, so I have plenty to work on.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve just been sitting back for the past two weeks, playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Well…not just that. (It’s fun.)
I’ve also been working on my drawing. I’m slowly reading my way through my Bridgman and Loomis. I took a few lessons over at Drawspace, but I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of it, so I looked around a bit, and found another site for something called the “5-Pencil Method”. I watched some of the videos out of curiosity, and it’s remarkably good. The techniques will mesh well with the Bridgman and Loomis material, and with what I learned from Rod Ramos, giving me a lot of good grist for my own mill. I also received a lesson from a friend of mine who’s a fan of the comic and an artist himself. We did it over Skype in a video conference, which was different and interesting. I learned some new stuff about the construction of the neck and shoulders that made a lot of sense.
I’ve tried a number of new drawing tools, and experimented with some old items that I had lying around from other uses. I have a set of Faber-Castell drawing pencils that are quite nice, if a tad lightweight. They just feel like a stick of balsa wood in my fingers, insubstantial. But they hold a good point, are of consistent quality, and don’t sharpen to nothing before achieving a point. A set of Creatacolor Monolith “woodless” graphite pencils are very nice, but they are all in the softer “B”- range, none in the harder “H” range. I wish they made a 2H and 4H in the woodless variety, but I haven’t found a manufacturer that makes anything harder than an HB. I did find that my favorite writing pencil, a Dixon Tri-Conderoga, in a #2/HB, works very well as a general-purpose sketching pencil, with a very middle-of-the-road hardness and good consistency. The triangular cedar shaft is easy to hold, and the non-skid coating make it comfortable to use.
The only thing I didn’t get before was a decent sharpener. I didn’t realize there was a difference in the length of point until I started working with them in different ways, and noticed that the sharpeners I had on hand were very short point sharpeners, and what I really needed was a long point sharpener. So I’m looking into the sharpener issue. I do have a small magnesium KUM long-point wedge that came with the woodless pencils, but it’s hard to use and messy. I don’t like the reviews of the electric sharpeners I’ve been seeing — too many little plastic gears that break. So it’s research time. Maybe something more later.
The only thing I don’t have a good solution for yet is the drawing board situation here at my recliner. Moving to a table isn’t an option. I may need to go back to the lap desk I had found that fits into the chair. We’ll see.