Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pines of Rome

Thing I made while listening to Respighi's 'Pines of Rome'... You may know it from Fantasia 2000 (it's the one with the flying whales). Earlier this month I watched the NY Phil play it on PBS, and it was mind-blowing. Then, my college marching band played it at the NYSFBC Championships last weekend, and it was also mind-blowing. This is just a quick thing I whipped up, experimenting with some new brushes.

You can watch the SUMB play here. 6:50 is when I start to freak out... some sweet gate turns rotate into a field-length company front. Classic SUMB at NYSFBC... hehe. This was always my favorite performance of the year. We would prepare one show especially for it, and it would be the only time we performed it. The high school band kids would lose their minds... we seriously felt like rock stars. I miss band a lot, but I've never been more proud of the SUMB! Go Orange :)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012


All the news about how Hurricane Sandy is going to decimate the East Coast (and therefore me), and how man-made climate change is a very probable cause for all of this ridiculous weather we've been experiencing's the essence of what Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke is saying (among many things). The film is all about the conflict between human civilization and the natural world, and how even though we can manage to find balance between the two, the conflict between man and nature can ultimately only end one way. The environment is something that I care about deeply. It makes me so angry to see how we abuse our planet, and rather than face the consequences of our own actions, we deny it, because sometimes it's just easier to be ignorant. ARGH, I say!

Anyway, here's San and one of her wolves. If you haven't seen this film, watch it immediately. It is my favorite movie. I've seen it more times than I can count (but actually though... I watch it a lot).


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Katniss doodle

A quick sketch before bed... it turned into Katniss from The Hunger Games. Experimenting with chiaroscuro shadows.


Little Robot

I have a dream that one day every little girl will have her own robot.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... yeaah.

Sisko, Dax, Odo, Kira, Bashir, O'Brien, Worf, Quark, Garak, Dukat

And if you want to flip back and forth between this and the sketch, which is always amusing, here's that:

So... that was fun. What show should I do next??


Sunday, October 14, 2012

ds9 cast - rough sketch

It's been a while since I've drawn the cast of a TV show. It's one of my favorite things to do, so I thought I might start a new one. I've been watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (a show almost as old as I am... what) and it's really good (just started season 6!). My brother's been wanting me to draw these characters for years, and now I understand why! I thought this might be a good opportunity to talk about my caricature process.

This is how I start - with a rough sketch. I find that the longer I work on a caricature, the harder it gets to capture a likeness. The moment I start to overthink it or overdo it, it doesn't work anymore. This rough sketch stage helps me really capture the essence of the character without much detail. I'm mostly concerned with getting the main features of the character down... things like head/face shape, eye, nose and mouth shape, etc with as few lines as possible. I try not to spend more than a few minutes on each face. And of course, I make sure to have reference photos of the character up on my screen to look at (though I find it easier if I focus on just one photo).
From here, the next step is to lower the opacity and go over this foundation layer with a tighter drawing. I'll fix wonky things that happen in the rough stage like symmetry (which you can check easily by flipping the drawing horizontally... the weirdness will be super obvious, if there is any). The next step is fun because the hard part (the caricature) is already done.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the finished drawing!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

10/13 Stuff

So you may remember a while back I posted a drawing I did of a girl riding a reindeer. I'd like to finish the piece, especially once it gets closer to winter, and this is a rough color comp I did for that.

Random Captain America.

And this is a puppy I drew as part of a sketch for another series I'm starting with YA Lit Magazine. I thought it was cute. It ended up looking sorta like my friend Morgan's dog, who she draws all the time... haha

Oh and I almost forgot, earlier this summer I entered a contest on the site WeLoveFine. The contest was to design a t-shirt with any Marvel villain on it. I figured why not, and on a whim did a quick illustration of Lady Loki (which I never posted on here, it was that 'on a whim'). The image ended up being selected as a Staff Pick in the contest-- you can check it out on their site here. If it sells well, there's a possibility that WeLoveFine could come back to me for more work, so... yeah. That'd be cool!

Friday, October 12, 2012

10/12 Sketches

 Some sketches from this morning. Catwoman, Anne Hathaway version.

The past couple weeks I've been taking care of my aunt's miniature horses. There's this cat that stays with one of the stallions at all times... it's like a bromance.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Updateeee

Haven't posted in a little while, so here are some doodles I did this week.

And here is the illustration I did for the October issue of Young Adult Literary Magazine. You can check it out on the website here.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This past weekend I went down to the city to see the NY Phil perform Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. It's an incredibly evocative piece based on The Arabian Nights, and I know it so well that I can sing along to all 45 minutes of it. By the end of the performance I was moved to tears, mostly due to Glenn Dicterow's emotional violin solo. His love for the piece, for the music and instrument, was tangible. It's hard to explain, but it was intense. It was one of the most powerful experiences I've had.

Weirdly, the performance sort of reminded me why I do illustration. It reminded me that the arts connect us in a way that nothing else can. In my mind, music, art, dance, acting, film, literature-- they are the most important and valuable things that we create and experience. To think that a story passed down through generations inspired Rimsky-Korsakov to write a piece of music in 1887 that would be played in 2012 by a group of musicians, each with a unique interpretation of the music, to be heard by a unique audience and interpreted once again. No two performances are ever the same, and neither are any two audience experiences.

The ability art has to make us feel something, to make us laugh or move us to tears, across language, culture, class, religion, and all the other things that divide us... it's unlike anything else. Art teaches us empathy and compassion and it makes us think. And then to know that the arts seem to be one of the least valued things in our modern society, constantly being cut out of schools and communities (the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra was recently forced to dissolve, and many responses from people in the community were incredibly disheartening). Art is the most important thing we can share with each other... and sometimes, when it's particularly amazing (as it was this weekend), it can remind us that magic still exists in the world, and that we create it.

You can listen to the NY Phil play it here-- Alan Gilbert Conducts Scheherazade


Monday, October 1, 2012

Bye Bye Ponds

For everyone who watched Amy and Rory's last episode of Doctor Who. Sadface.