Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ways of Drawing Walks in the Woods...and Terror

In the graphic memoir I'm working on, I have to draw myself and my dogs walking (or running, or standing frozen in shock) in the woods.  A lot.

So I've been looking at other comics artists who have drawn people moving through the woods, and copying them, learning from them.

I've already posted some of the work I did learning how to draw "Watterson trees" from Calvin and Hobbes strips.

Here's a sketch I did inspired by Jeff Lemire's work in Roughneck.  A wonderful book, by the way.  Full of astonishing visual complexity.

It's that interesting perspective, that sense of conveying a vast space but a narrow focus that I really admire and want to use.  The sort of tunnel vision of the terrified...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Favorite Author's New Title: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

If you asked me to name my favorite graphic novel, I'd have a hard time picking just one.

Fun Home?  Blankets?  Rosalie Lightning?  The Dark Knight Returns?  A Soldier's Heart?  Calling Dr. Laura?  and soooooooo many others...

But if you asked me about my favorite series, or the ones I wish I had written, or the most delightful, I'd name, without hesitation, the Lunchlady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

There are a dozen of these terrific, funny, smart book in this series and I've read them all over and over.  I've copied the drawings to learn how he does simple yet impactful drawings.  I just love these things.

I've also loved the one volume of his Platypus Police Squad that I've been able to find in my library.  They are on my "to read list" for 2019.  Can't wait!

Anyhow, in 2018, Krosoczka came out with a more serious story, a graphic memoir about his family and growing up with some hard truths.

This book has been named a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

I finally ordered my copy and while I wait, I've checked out some reviews and interviews I thought I'd share.

NPR Interview here.

His blog post on the NBA celebrations here.

School Library Journal here.

If you haven't read any of  Krosoczka's work.... what are you waiting for!?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

St. Francis Statue and Thinking About DeCluttering

In my household, we have a lovely St. Francis carving.  I used it as inspiration for a sketch.

This got me thinking about something I read once (I forget where) about a great strategy for decluttering a house. 

It said something like:  if you have items you keep for sentimental value, but you don't really use them, consider sketching them. 

Why not write details about the item, even a story about it or the people and places associated with it.  What a great way to fill a page in your journal.

Then decide if you want to still keep the object, or if you can donate it to someone who will use it.

Sometimes, giving the items some moments of focused attention, and commemorating them with a sketch, is all it takes to feel like you can let them leave your home!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Loving Early Snowfalls

Inspired by an exercise provided by Jill Badonsky during a workshop at SketchKon 2018 (more on that in upcoming posts!), I drew this little comic.

Love this season of early snows!

This is a great way to make a journal entry of a delightful moment in the day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thinking about Dressing Up and Turkeys

Just a quick sketch for fun, this holiday week.

Drawn with my eyes closed, except for the eyes.  Watercolor added with my eyes open.

Confession:  that lovely turquoise feather and pink hat?  When my eyes were closed those lines were supposed to be her head.  They got disconnected from her body... but the rest held together pretty well.

So when I opened my eyes, I fussed a bit with how to save it.  So I created the feather, added her eyes, and splashed on the watercolor.

Great fun! 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sketchnoting and Comics Workshop with Big Read Educators

About two weeks ago, I had the wonderful good fortune to do a short workshop with local educators who are participating in the NEA Big Read Lakeshore program. 

The Big Read program coordinates one community reading one book at the same time.  The Lakeshore program includes all kinds of amazing programs, classes, speakers, opportunities as we read Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven.

I got to think with the educators about how to incorporate comics and sketchnotes in classrooms at all levels.

We had a lot of fun thinking about how combining the verbal and the visual aids learning, thinking, and communication.  It helps students pay attention, synthesize material, consider what they value, and think about the relation of things as they design a page.

In a few days I'm doing a public workshop on making comics! Looking forward to it!