Now that I’m not using wi-fi and not using my iPad, I inked this picture on my desktop computer with my Wacom tablet and Affinity Photo. I felt like a clumsy beginner. But I will get better as I do more work. I used a plain round brush with no personality except for the characteristic wobble that my lines normally have. Wobbly lines have become the hallmark of my style.
Today was chore day. We pulled weeds under our four 90-foot deodora cedars, pruned some branches that were dropping over the gate to the driveway. I wielded the weed whacker and cleared the walkway. I love to whack weeds. The artist in me left a few dandelions on the pathway to achieve a wabi-sabi effect. Then it was off to do the laundry. Between loading the washer and dryer and folding clothes, I had time to tweak some pictures that needed attention. I even played with a little color while I was at it. Now, I’m ready for Saturday family time.
This drawing is 100% digital. I had to recreate the “Buddy Takes the Blame” picture because I used the original version for the “Buddy Asks to Join the Jay Family” picture. I got lazy, and today was payback time. This picture took about one hour to draw. Momma Jay looks a little upset!
Momma Jay is scolding Jimmy because she thinks he broke here commandment against playing around the chimney. She’s warned the kids that the chimney swallowed her brother the previous year and he was never seen again and she doesn’t want that to happen to them. The problem is that she doesn’t realize the Jimmy didn’t intentionally break her rule. He was only trying to rescue his friend who had just fallen down the chimney.
I haven’t seen many modern children’s books where the hero is scolded by his parents, but I do recall that in the tale Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack was called an idiot for trading a cow for some magic beans. In that case it turned out that the adults were the idiots, not Jack. We’ll have to wait to see how Jimmy Jay’s story turns out.
This is image #29, and I still have about 5 more pictures to re-ink. My new dilemma is that I want to keep the book to the standard for children’s books, 32 pages, and I’m going to have about 38. Some of the images will not make it into the book.
I have only a few more pictures to re-ink and then I’ll move on to painting. My publication date is May 15, but I won’t be ready. I’ll push back the deadline a couple of weeks. Fortunately, in late May and early June I’ll time off my day job to work on the book, complete it, and then start working on the next book. I’ve got a plot in mind that involves Jimmy Jay, Buddy Butterfly, and a trip to Mexico!
After doing quite a few iPad drawings over the last 5 months, I’ve learned that I really don’t sync with digital drawing. It’s not me. I fiddle with everything endlessly and my drawings end up looking “digital.” I’m doing all of the drawings for the next book using traditional media, pen and ink all the way. I’ll still do the coloring digitally, but once I’m more comfortable with watercolor, I’ll do all of the painting using watercolor. All of these decisions mean I’d better write “practice painting with watercolor” on my to-do list.
In this picture Momma Jay is asking Bernie the Buddhist Dachshund, the owner of the house, if he’s seen her son. She’s in for several big surprises!
The point of redrawing Bernie’s ears was to make him look like a dog, and to make him look startled. I think he does look like a dog, but I don’t see any surprise. I see concern.
I’m thinking that I’m not able to draw a startled cartoon dachshund at this point in my career. My plan “b” is to change the writing to match the vibe of the picture. I won’t write “Bernie was so startled his ears flew up.” I’ll say, “When Bernie heard the racket coming from inside the stove, he thought, “Oh no. Not again!”