I can feel my feet on the ground

I’m back from Oahu and it was GREAT!  I had this image in my head that Oahu was one giant city, and why would you travel all the way to Hawai’i to just be in another city?, but it was actually the best island experience I’ve had yet.  There are parks and hikes and tons of nature within walking distance from Honolulu, and some parts of the island look completely untouched.
Here are my travel sketches.  I would clean them up if I had more free time, but I’ve got to hit the ground running today on actual work-work.  Even if some of these are less-than-legible, I hope you enjoy!

I looooove the way that the island looks from the water.  The clouds passing over the mountains cast shadows that seem black in contrast to the bright light shining everywhere else.  It made this great layering effect on the mountains, depending on whether the shadows were on the peaks closest to you or further away.

Autobio travel comics:
In hindsight, these sound a little…boastful?  That’s not my intention; I just want to remember what we did.  It was an extraordinary trip and it looks like an embarrassment of riches when it’s all listed off in one place.

We notice every tiny little detail

I’ve been hording sketches since September, waiting until I had time to color them.  If it’s been 2 months and that hasn’t happened yet, it’s probably time to just post them.

 I overworked my right hand in August and September, and tried a lot of things to heal it.  I messed around drawing with my left hand, and this is actually the best thing I drew.  I want to print it out and put it somewhere I can always see it, so I don’t forget that I don’t really have a back-up drawing hand.


^Almost all of these are from my SPX/D.C. trip.  Traveling is so great for my sketches.


There are more, but I have to get back to work…I need to pick it up on a couple of my projects.  More later!  I’m going to Oahu next week (!!!) and hope to come back with some good stuff.

I love Paris in the rain

Sketches from life drawing last night (NSFW):

30 seconds:
30 seconds – 2 minutes:
 2-5 minutes:
5 minutes:
5-10 minutes:
10 minutes:
20 minutes:

I’m currently listening to:

The future’s not ours to see

I’ve been sketching a lot this summer; I’m pleased with myself for continuing to find the time to fill pages in my sketchbooks. My sketchbooks are a place I can really cut loose, and I see improvement in my comic work after periods where I’ve been sketching a lot.
Here are some sketchbook pages I just scanned in:

Where is my mind?

I am working on an education comic project for Wisconsin Public Radio right now.  Check out their Kickstarter, won’t you?  They have been wonderful to work with and I would really like to see them reach their fundraising goal.  I love the $1000 reward–sending 200 copies of the comic to a school of your choice!  Fantastic!

Here are a bunch of sketches from August:

(Brady and Cheeks from Husbands)

The Olympics rule my life right now.

I’ll never reach my destination if I never try

Periscope went to the Oregon Zoo on a life drawing trip Wednesday. I LOOOOVE our zoo life drawing trips! It’s great practice, plus all of the usual fun you get at the zoo. Cute kids, cool animals, friends, walking around outside, and drawing. The best things. You can see my sketches from our 2011 trip here.

This year I wasn’t thrilled with my drawings–a lot of these felt like steps backwards–but there were a couple I was really happy with.  We might be going again next month, and if we do I plan to spend a longer period of time with fewer animals, so I can actually nail down their constructions.

You’ll see the world like a bird

Sketch dump! :D I’ll be coloring some of these and posting them to my Tumblr, so be sure to visit.
I looooove gender-swapped fan art, but it really bugs me when people essentially just apply costume ornaments from a dude-character to a chick in a swimsuit.   That kind of fan art is about as true to the character as this is true to Santa:
“If Thor’s beefy for a man, he should be frickin’ beefy for a woman,” said Tally to no one.

That’s a little comic from my ALA Anaheim trip last weekend.  By the way, that was a good time.  I bought signed copies of Smile from Raina Telgemeier and July Diary from Gabrielle Bell, was surprised to sell out of books at my Image signing, met tons of awesome people, and even got to go to Disneyland.  I would definitely go to ALA again, and am considering the Seattle conference this winter.
People in L.A. show a lot of skin!  I had a bit of culture shock.  I feel really self-conscious when I wear a tank top.  Nonetheless it was nice being in that warm, predictable climate for a while.
Something weird happened on Monday.  I’d spent all weekend doing the convention and hadn’t had a chance to sketch for fun in daaaaays.  My family made a last stop before the airport in Huntington Beach, and I told them I wanted to just sit on an inconspicuous bench and draw people for a while.  5 minutes later, a nice woman asked me if I did caricatures!  I said sure and drew her, her husband, and her son for about 15 minutes.  She offered to pay me but we settled on her buying me ice cream xD  It was bizarre but also really nice to think that I might be able to survive if I was stranded somewhere with just my sketchbook and pencil.

And on with the DC fan art…. :D
My mental image of Catwoman comes from…
A) Darwyn Cooke,
 B) Adam Hughes
 C) Batman the Animated Series


Now our time is all our own

I’ve been trying really hard to diversify my faces and draw better men.  I’ve been looking at a lot of resources, ranging from painters like J.C. Leyendecker to modern artists like Phobs and Kreugan, and dozens of other awesome people that Tumblr has pointed me to
I’ve found animation character sheets in particular to be helpful.  They contain lots of different face shapes from every angle, making every expression, in simple line art! 
I’ve gone to cafes and tried cartooning a few people around me while I drink my coffee.  First I draw them fairly realistically, then I work off of my own drawing to push their features further and further and imagine how they would look making different expressions and from different angles.
I was in a slump on Monday, so I tried that Kreugan tutorial linked above and traced photos of male faces in Photoshop (pulled from Facebook to get some real faces and diversity, haha….not sharing!).  Then I made the background layer invisible and studied my own  line art, looking for the distinguishing features and proportions between different people’s faces.  From there I tried cartooning them by hand in a sketchbook to see if I could retain what made them look like them.  It really helped me to pick up little details I can employ, like that ‘v’ or ‘u’ shape some people have in the center of their upper lip.
I put my sketchbook and my favorite tools next to my bed and I’ve filled a page every night before bed for a couple of weeks.  Here are some colored pieces:


I’ll keep working on it.

Pulled under by an avalanche of lies

I’m trying out a tiny new notebook. It’s fine and good to say you’ll take your sketchbook wherever you go, but have you seen what fits in a lady’s pockets? Not much. Tiny Notebook is my latest attempt to always have SOMETHING on me to doodle in:

He was looking at the giant ad for the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum’s water park that is currently looming over West Burnside. I went last summer with a few friends and holy crap it was so much fun. We went a little bit ironically, but we left as earnest fans and we can’t wait to go back.

Ano hi yo ano hi yo ano toki ni nakushita michi o mise


Copyright © Natalie Nourigat