Spooky Toucan

Toucan pam (1001x1024)

I drew this bird a while ago.  Missing out on sunlight in the thick of Swiss autumn, I had it in mind to make an image for myself that I could hang on my wall and look at to be reminded of sunnier, happier climes.

The end product ended up looking awkward and spooky.  This toucan appears to know something that the rest of us don’t.  He is Sam’s darker and less-loved sibling.

How very appropriate for Halloween!  So, instead of vultures, owls, crows, and ravens, I propose my vaguely sinister Halloween toucan.

boy in the striped tee

For blog

More ink practice with darks and lights. Shadowing in comics is, I’m finding, one of the most challenging things to do. There’s a level of committing to the ink that takes a lot of trust.  You can tell when a line has been demurely laid down, or not.

I have a feeling I should start studying Ingmar Bergman film-stills…

My gal Groucho


Just a little inky doodle today.  Was liking this character’s androgyny, so I decided to run with it and invent a group of Saturnian gender-ambiguous beings (with slight myopia).

This particular person happens to be stuck on planet Earth, and has melancholy dreams of going back home, to a place where stubble and lustrous Zooey Deschanel fringes go hand in hand.  One can dream, can’t they?

You will also notice that they are a group of beings for which Groucho Marx is no laughing matter.

Two faces


Two faces today.  I got the idea for the second while perusing a pair of jeans at a thrift shop.  “Dear Darlin” started playing in the background and, finding myself more and more susceptible to pop music of late, I went home to google the singer…  Maybe this is a sign of age, but my musical immune system isn’t what it was during my critical and selective youth.  These days, music comes in through the ears–while doing groceries, or walking down the street, or in a cafe–and tends to stay where it ends up, looping through my head at the strangest moments.

The first face was an exercise in feathering–a technique common to comics for making gradations from dark to light.  Any tips and tricks out there on how to actually feather with a brush?  I’ve been practicing for many months, and am beginning to think that the manual dexterity required to do it is beyond human.

Materials-wise, lots of ink under ink here.  I discovered that mixing my green with my red  produced… purpleDoes this not defy the long-standing principles of colour theory?  Oh, the strange and secret properties of ink and it’s magical chemistry…

Sketch book



Just a few entries from my sketchbook today.

One way of getting more comfortable with inks, I’ve been told, is to try free-hand work, or working in ink without the ‘safety-net’ of penciling in the image underneath first.  I didn’t follow that advice completely here, but I’m learning that it’s freeing to explore ink as a medium in and of itself, letting the brush go where it likes, and allowing it to produce images where it will.  The element of surprise is always fun, and keeps things new.  I would even say that a lot of the images which I’ve come to like are often the ones that happen completely unplanned, when I’m taking ‘drawing’ the least seriously as an endeavor.  They are “happy accidents” as my old art teacher used to say.