Maybe it was only the sun behind the clouds

It Girl & the Atomics #11 comes out on Wednesday!  Be sure to pick it up.  Solicitations are also out for the big second trade, collecting issues 7-12.

I went to see Man of Steel on Saturday with Madeleine Flores.  So fun!  We made reaction comics after; check ‘em out!

I’m still taking French classes and practicing however I can.  It was really funny to learn a couple of weeks ago at ICAF that Jen Vaughn also listens to Coffee Break French, and we found out on Twitter that Monica Gallagher does, too! :P Woo comics ladies learnin’ French!  Here’s a hilarious snippet from April’s French Elle magazine:


In other news, I dragged my giant bin of original artwork out of my storage shed and performed an inventory check on what I have.  It’s…insane.  10+ years of drawing comics will give you one massive stack of artwork.  Jamie S. Rich is going to take over dealing my artwork for me (yay!!!).  I couldn’t be happier–this stuff shouldn’t be gathering dust in my storage shed.  Jamie can actually market and move it for me, so people will have a chance to buy my originals.  More news on that soon.


What’s this?  What’s this?? #teaser


My youngest brother, Neil, just graduated from high school.  I could hardly believe it when this happened at the ceremony:

Portland summer is in full swing.  Graduation parties, long sunny days, open swimming pools…it’s wonderful.  I’m trying not to get distracted from my projects, but to a certain extent I have to give in to a little summery fun while it’s here. :) I’m a part of a small miracle this week: 6 cartoonists leaving town for a vacation together.  It’s ridiculously hard for us to take time off, let alone coordinate our freelancer schedules.  I’ve been trying to put this vacation together for over a year, haha, and it’s finally happening!  So excited!

Little pieces of the sun

I’m going to be in Hawai’i for the next week (!!!), but I’ll leave you with some art and an Obama video.  Back soon, hopefully with happy sunny sketches to show~

(Panel from a mystery book I am SUPER excited to be a part of.)

I’ve got something to say my friends

The big SDCC news for me this weekend was Oni Press’s announcing my book with Jamie Rich, A Boy and a Girl.  I believe there will be more news at NYCC in October.  Here are some of the teasers you may have seen me post over the last year and a half:

In totally unrelated news, here are some animal sketches I did this weekend:

Dare to be one of us girl

Here are some sneak peaks at my project with Jamie Rich:

I only have 24 pages left to draw! It’s racing by. I am thumbnailing the last pages for my other graphic novel this week as well. I’ve only been working on these books for 10 months, but it’s going to feel like the end of an era when I wrap them up.

My roommates and I are watching THE CUTEST cat this week. We are considering adopting her, but she tested positive for Feline Leukemia Virus and we need to learn more about that and whether or not we’d be able to give her a good home.

At least for now, though, KITTY!!

I really hope that it works out. We have been talking about getting a cat since we moved in last year, but we need a cat that is grown, well-behaved, can be alone during the day, and is alright being an indoor cat. Until now, we hadn’t found one. Toushe is a tiny, grown, female cat whose needs I think match ours. She’s quiet as a mouse, loves people, and has a calm demeanor I just LOVE. Having claws and long hair were not on my list of ideal traits, but the more time I spend with her, the less I care.

All the joy life sends family and friends

New art:

It’ll all get better in time

I drew my holiday card design last night, and thought I’d post the process for those interested:

I came up with a couple of ideas that I thought would work for the card, but as soon as I drew the girl with her reindeer, I didn’t want to draw anything else.

I searched Google Image for reference. I liked this site a lot, and I found my reindeer’s pose here.

I posed for a reference shot to use for the girl. Necks, shoulders, and arms are the most difficult for me to draw correctly from imagination. Even a somewhat similar reference pose is a big help. I used things like my hood and wrinkles around my elbows in the final drawing as well. I used this expression, but tried to change the face shape.

I penciled with non-photo blue lead. Pros: don’t have to erase after inking, so ink scans nice and dark, paper doesn’t degrade from erasing, and I save time and energy. Cons: can’t erase, so pretty much have to get it right the first time, and the original will have lots of visible blue lines.
At this point, I generally know what the setting will be, but I get my characters in place first and leave drawing the background for later, since it should complement their pose and composition.

I inked the foreground first, and went left to right whenever possible.

I inked her hair without clear pencil lines, and ended up with the braid being out of perspective. I have to remember it’s worth the time to put down my brush and tighten up my pencils when I run into these areas…

I started to stray from my pencils in the background. I realized that the hay/wall division was too high for the perspective I was using.

I used a photo of the image and messed around with it in Photoshop to test out a new background composition.

I added a spot black in the background to help frame the important part of the composition (reindeer face, girl face, hands). That left hand looked ungrounded, so I increased the shadow that it cast.

I scanned the image into Photoshop, cropped, adjusted the levels to get rid of any visible pencil lines and make the ink dark, converted to bitmap, and saved as a Photoshop file. I closed and reopened it, edited the line art, and converted to grayscale.

I converted the image mode to CMYK, added a layer set to ‘multiply’ called ‘flats’, and began flatting the image. My black and white line art stayed untouched on the background layer.

I colored the reindeer on a new layer so I could push color around with the brush tool and not ruin the flats around it. Then I selected the areas around the reindeer on the flats layer, moved back to the reindeer layer, and deleted where I went outside of the lines. I merged the reindeer layer down onto the flats.

I made some adjustments to the flats like differentiating the foreground and background wood and changing the levels and saturation of different areas to complement the girl and reindeer.

I added some highlights and color to the flat layer (blue reflection in sleighbells, pink flush on her cheek, white highlights on reindeer and her hair). On a new layer called ‘shadow’ set to multiply, I add shadows in a reddish gray.

I made a final layer called ‘effect’ set to multiply and added a radial gradient in the same tone that I used for shadows. This is a little cheat to pull the eye to the center of the image.

It’s not for you to know or for you to even wonder

I’ve been a-hankering to do some Utena fan art. Today was finally the day, as I finished freelance stuff early! :D

Some other chicken-scratch pose ideas:

Hnnn, I can’t wait to get back to Over the Surface…! Chapter 3 has been thumbnailed for almost a month, but I can’t start pencils until Between Gears is done (for my own sanity).

Oh, the things I draw before sleep. So weird.

I can be myself, how ’bout you?

Here’s another new art piece–an original character I’m developing for the same story as this character.

Also, a commission of David Tennant as Doctor Who:

I feel the break

Faith fan art, from Graduation Day part 1, the line starting with, “Look at you…” (around 6:30 in this video). I loved that confrontation!

There will be colors eventually.

Whose house are you haunting tonight?

Copyright © Natalie Nourigat