Round Balls No. 12 clone found!

I came across another page of The Ever Continuing Saga of the Round Balls, this one from June 1986. It claims to be No. 12, making it the second unfinished No. 12 out there. I can’t even blame a printing error on this one. Maybe I lost the other one and started over.

This Round Balls comic is noteworthy for the fact that the Round Balls do not actually appear in it. I’m not sure where I was going with this one, but I do like the stick man. He seems very business-like.

I thought I was very hip at the time by dissing on both Nancy and Doonesbury.

A quick doodle in Zen Brush 2

It’s a tree or something, like they show in the tutorial, but a little wonkier.

Anyway, this is a simple sketch program for iPad that simulates Japanese ink drawings. My next effort will be a fire- breathing koi.

My first terrible sketch in Sketchbook: Gum Gum Person

This quick sketch (that’s my excuse, yeah) was made using Autodesk’s Sketchbook software on the Mac mini, using a Wacom Intuos tablet.

It’s a gum gum person and the color is off, the lines are weird and the face/head are not in proportion (I know my gum gum people), but you gotta start somewhere.

For comparison, here’s a pair of gum gum people I drew on actual paper way back:

Gum Gum racing
It just seemed obvious that Gum Gum people would race on magic bananas.

For my next trick I will try drawing something decent. Or maybe another gum gum person.

A drawing per…month?

One of the things I did when making my resolutions for 2019 was lower the bar. In some cases I didn’t just lower the bar, I gently set it down on the ground. I wanted as little friction as possible to make progress, hoping the ease in doing so would provide sufficient psychological boost to push me beyond my terribly modest goals and reach for the sky, or at least something that requires me to stand on my toes.

One might make the argument that since I obviously know I’m trying to “trick myself” into improvement, it will never work. And that’s possible. But I like to think I’m at least willing to meet my brain halfway on this.

And so I am adding another resolution for the remaining 11 months of 2019: A drawing per month. Not one per week or day, just one every month–a modest goal that can be built on.

I have 20 days to keep pace going forward. Will I draw a blank (lol)? Find out on February 28! Or hopefully sooner. You never know.

A collection of drawings and other attempts

Yesterday was the first day of my “write something or draw something or photograph something every day” thing.

I did none of these things.

Actually, that’s not accurate. I did get out the iPad and pencil and did some sketches in Linea, none of which I liked enough to post. But then I didn’t promise quality and you have to start somewhere, so here are all of the sketches in a gallery, with commentary. Enjoy?

This time I’ll really do it! (write, take photos, draw)

Or not. We’ll see.

What will I do? Parade through downtown in the nude? Don a wingsuit and glide down to English Bay from Grouse Mountain? Attempt to lift five times my own body weight? Pull a fire truck with my teeth?

In a word, no. I will do none of these things, for the following reasons:

  • likely arrest and fine
  • probably not physically possible, likely to result in devastating injury or death or both before possibility can be verified
  • would result in arms popping out of sockets or other less entertaining permanent injury
  • teeth would be really sore, fire truck would remain unmoved

But what I am going to try to do is at least one of the following on a daily basis:

  • write something
  • take a photo of something
  • draw something

The “write something” I’ve been pretty good with for the last few years on this blog, though the daily part slips occasionally and the quality varies wildly. I am in no danger of writing a Pulitzer-nominated essay is what I’m saying. But This one I’ve mostly got down. (We won’t mention my fiction writing. That is a separate and semi-tragic discussion.)

Since my kidney infection–which is admittedly a curious trigger–I’ve been more interested in taking photos of flowers and things and often catch myself observing angles and shots, even when I’m not actually taking pictures. I find it relaxing, engaging and possibly a tiny bit therapeutic, though I’m a ways from writing the book How Taking Photos of Simple Things Changed My Life and Made Me A Better Person. Since I don’t always have a ready subject, I can’t rely on a photo a day, but this will encourage me to look for more opportunities. I now also want a phone with some kind of optical zoom. That costs less than a thousand dollars. Make my dream come true, Apple (ho ho, as if).

For the drawing, I’ve wanted to do this for awhile but never seem to find the inclination to just sit down and draw. Part of it is fear of mediocrity–I was never especially great at drawing, though not awful, either. But to improve would take the kind of dedicated practice I’m unlikely to engage in, so I may have to content myself with artfully arranged stick men or something. Still, I do not lack for media–I have pens, pencils, paint (sort of–some dried-up watercolors tucked away in a drawer), sketchpads, plus technology like a Surface Pro 3 with pen, an iPad Pro with pencil and also my own uncoordinated fingers and smartphone (which I used to produce an apple).

In the end I’ll mostly keep writing, but I’ll try to mix in some photos and drawings, something every day. And maybe I’ll post these things to some social media, though I generally think all social media is awful and truly one of current society’s ills. Facebook is terrible. Instagram is owned by Facebook. Twitter is largely a dumpster fire of hate and misinformation. Maybe I could lead a revival of Myspace. Or local BBSes. A man can dream.

The first result will come tomorrow. What will it be? I have no idea!

D is for Dinosaur

This crudely drawn T-rex was done in almost a single continuous line due to how the Autodraw site works. As far as I can tell there is no erase function, though there is a generous undo ability.

But I don’t have the patience to keep doing and undoing so here’s my stick man dinosaur.

Autodraw threw out a ton of completely random guesses so it wasn’t too terribly impressed by my artistic ability. As I mentioned in the previous post, I was never great at drawing or painting and I’m okay with that.

It did include a T-rex head as one of its guesses, though. I’ve included it below my masterpiece.

Program used: Autodraw, Photoshop CC 2017
Hardware: Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet, my uncoordinated mouse hand

D is for dinosaur
Poor one-armed dinosaur :(

Autodraw Googlesaurus Rex
Autodraw Googlesaurus Rex



C is for Carrot

Yes, I realize I am way behind on these. I’ll catch up somehow!

Program used: Sketchable, Photoshop CC 2015.5
Hardware: Surface Pro 3 and pen

Photoshop was used to crop and resize the image and to add the text.

I bumbled my way through Sketchable, learning a few more things. The following is a very crude depiction of Angry Carrot, with no shading at all. Think of him as an untextured polygon from a late 1980sPC game.

I’ll try to revisit this one later if I make it through all 26.

C is for carrot (Angry)

B is for Ball

I actually struggled with this one, even though there are a billion things that start with the letter B.

And then I cheated.

B is for Ball.

Program used: Photoshop CC 2015.5
Cheat used: created ball using ellipse tool. Freehand drawing is for losers.
More cheating: used the Lighting Effects filter to create a pseudo-3D effect

In other words, I used about the least amount of my own minimal artistic talent as possible. I’m okay with that because I dig the totally retro border and Cooper Black font. Also, you can see the pixels on the ball because I was too lazy to figure out how to apply antialiasing. That makes it more retro.

B is for ball

A is for Apple

I am going to do the old shtick of going through the alphabet and draw something each day that starts with the appropriate letter.

Today, A is for Apple.

A is for Apple

Drawn in: Paper (iOS app)
Tool used: My finger

The combination of an inadequate tool (my finger) with inadequate drawing skill (my brain) has produced something vaguely reminiscent of an apple. It could also be a tomato. Possibly a short-stemmed cherry. Maybe an apple.

Probably an apple.

Edit: I went back and edited the image using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5, adding a snazzy (?) red border and explanatory text.