Monday, January 31, 2011

You desperately need to know these things.

One, I am the only person I know who can sleep for 12 hours, drink two cups of strong coffee, then go to bed and sleep for 8 more.
Two, I officially have more blog entries for the month of January than I did for the entire year of 2010.
Three,  Jersey Girl was a terrible movie. Don't ever see it.
Four, bullet points are for the weak and uninitiated.
Five, if you go to bed with a little dog sleeping on your feet, you will wake up and he will be sleeping on your face, a-like this:

Six, California has the biggest damn snails I've ever seen. I saw one with a shell the size of a golf ball.

I think that's about all you need to know for today. Also, a joke:
Q: What do you call a short summer?
A: A summary.

You're welcome.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Failing at mountains with Bob Ross

Dear Blog,
Today I had a unique adventure in painting. I came to San Francisco to visit Tim and have him show me how to load Rosetta Stone onto my computer so I can learn Spanish. Then he showed me his latest Bob Ross attempt painting and we thought it would be a good idea to put on a Bob Ross video and try it together... just to see what happens.
Before today, I used to poo-poo that painting-as-a-process technique, but let me tell you it's much more difficult than it looks (especially if you haven't used your oils in a while, like a certain unnamed person I shall not mention). Here is what the finished painting was supposed to look like:

Here is what Tim came up with:

And here is mine.

Note the addition of the Loch Ness monster on the left side.

So that was my attempt experiment with oil painting. I shall like to do more of these once the weather gets nice. The reason I have to wait for the weather to cooperate is because I will have to paint in the garage, as my bedroom is not large enough to accomodate an easel, canvas, and the inevitable mess I will make.
Now I am enjoying a glass of wine and watching Duke go to town on his chew stick. It has been a productive Sunday.
Ay Kay Bee

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rocking the Casba

When I was little, my mom used to call me "Doodle Bug." Or just "Doodles." My dad called me "Spanky," but eventually that morphed into "Spanks," "Spankerton," and "Spankerton Detective Agency #101 Manderson Drive." He also called me a variety of derivatives of "Amanda," including but not limited to "Manderson," "Mandible," and "Mandrill."
Sometimes my mom would call me "Amanda Kay in the Milky Way," but I didn't appreciate that because it usually meant she was irritated with me or wanted me to do some chore. (This was also the case with "Miss Amanda.")
Anyway, the title of this blog post comes from an incident at work today. This song came over the store music and a coworker said, "Why are they so mad at the casba? What did the casba ever do to them?"
Naturally I was a little confused and asked him to clarify. He replied, "Well, aren't they saying, 'F*** the casba! F*** the casba!'?"
It was amusing.
Aaaanyway,I don't have much for my dear viewers today, just some random doodles. I kind of like them though. Especially the frog ladies.

Spankerton Detective Agency, #101 Manderson Drive

Friday, January 28, 2011


Lots of things happened today. I got to work and found the IT department had lost my computer. Sergio and I saw "Tangled." We got home and discovered it was my roommate Cailin's birthday.
I could go into much more detail, but I had several glasses of wine as part of the birthday festivities, so I don't really feel like it. Instead, here's a picture of a giant quarter. (Seriously, this thing was like 4' in diameter.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Now, Brown Cow?

Dear Internet,
Today for most of the day I had a migraine, which sucked. So I took Tylenol, ibuprofen, and aspirin all at the same time to see if one of them would work. At least one of them did, or at least it took the edge off enough so I could function at work. Is this safe? Probably not. But damnit, I was able to make it to the end of the work day.
After a nice bubble bath, I trekked to Santa Rosa so Serg and I could draw at Aroma Roasters'. I don't know what it is about that place; maybe it's the ambiance, or the music, or the really killer chai milkshakes. Whatever it is, I always seem to get a lot accomplished there. (Also, it's where Sergio and I had our first date. :) )

This is what I came up with tonight.
The scanner kind of crapped out towards the bottom there, but in case you couldn't guess the entire thing was done in green Micron. (I went to Aaron Brothers last night and made out like a bandit in their clearance pen section.) I just started drawing mouths, and then all the other stuff around them. I guess the mouths symbolize how everyone talks and talks, but no one really listens. I don't know what the hands represent. I didn't really think that far ahead.
It is also worth noting that this is the very first page in my brand new sketchbook (also courtesy of Aaron Brothers. If you buy two Canson sketchbooks, you get a $2 mail-in rebate! Woot!) Traditionally the first page of any sketchbook is the hardest one for me to fill; all those blank white limitless pages are both intoxicating and overwhelming.  But I feel encouraged by the way I completely filled up my last one (seriously, there is not a single blank page left) so I approach the new sketchbook with an unhampered optimism. New year, new pages!
Aaaand Serg is playing with his iPod, which means I must go.
Thanks for listening, Internet. I will see you tomorrow.


Dear Internet,
I want you to ask yourself, what is the cutest thing you can possibly imagine?
Whatever you answered is wrong. The correct answer is: a baby unicorn eating strawberry ice cream.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seeking Inspiration

Two things usually inspire me: President Obama and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. I listened to both tonight, but didn't feel inspired. And it's all me, totally not the fault of the two men listed above. They're both trying as hard as they can.
Working on a new watercolor tonight. I'm trying some new techniques, and they're not going as well as I pictures, which is probably why I feel discouraged tonight. But on the other hand I have the space heater blasting my room to a comfortable 80 degrees, and a Hansen's Diet Tangerine Lime. Mmmmm!
No drawings tonight, but I do have this Sprint junk mail flier that I modified...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eve's Misunderstanding - NSFW

So this is going to be a quick post, because Serg is playing with his iPod and that means he's bored. I just wanted you to know, Internets, that I finally finished the comic I've been working on for months.
I mostly wanted to work on shading and pen technique. Think of it as the world's most elaborate setup for the world's stupidest joke.


Today at work a lady took my picture. She says she's a stylist and wanted to get the side view of my haircut to use as a reference. Whatever, I'll probably be all over the internet by tomorrow.
A man came in and bought a whole case of cat food. As in, four dozen cans of cat food. I said, "You must have a very hungry cat." (It's one of my pat lines to say to customers during those situations that come up over and over. I have a whole stock of pat lines; someday I might do a post about them. Anyway. Onward.) He answered, "Three cats, actually." I'm glad he told me that, because I was thinking he either had multiple cats, or one big gigantic mutant cat. I started thinking about what it'd be like to be that guy with the big gigantic mutant cat (it gets boring behind the cash register) and decided to do a comic about it once I got home. Here it is:
Because I am using the computer that my brother-in-law generously let me borrow when I accidentally got mine drunk on champagne, I don't hve access to Photoshop at home. I have Corel Photo Paint. I hate Corel Photo Paint. It's almost exactly like Photoshop, but just different enough to mess me up. For example, if you have a selected area (which CPP calls a "mask," not a selected area) you can't just click outside and deselect it; you have to go to a drop-down menu and scroll down to "Remove Mask." Things like that. But like I said, it's nice of Tim to let me borrow this computer, and as they say, beggars can't be choosers. And at the end of the day, CPP gets the job done.
My scanner is another different story. One of these days it too might get its own post...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Inspiration for this post brought to you by Minnesota Public Radio

Currently listening to 89.3 The Current streaming online. I haven't yet found a radio station in the Bay Area that I like half as much.
I was only slightly productive today... but then again, it's hard to be productive when you're working the 2-10 shift at your quirky grocery retail chain. At least at my other job, when it gets slow I can sketch without anyone noticing... I mean... forget I said anything.
Last night I saw The Green Hornet with Serg, Jamie, and Bryce. Entertaining enough, although it didn't help me understand why Seth Rogen is famous. (Seriously, he's like that guy everyone knows in college - the loud, obnoxious, belligerent, perpetually drunken one who shows up at every party, bar, and dorm room get-together. No one is quite sure who he is friends with, or who keeps inviting him. His overbearing voice grates on your nerves as he dominates every conversation and hits on anything female and breathing. You see him for the first time at your first house party freshman year, and by the time your super-senior year rolls around he's still around, causing you to wonder if he's even a student at your university. Yeah, that guy. Seth Rogen reminds me of him.)
All and all, it was an enjoyable movie but only because of Michel Gondry's superb directing. I don't know if I even would have seen it if not for him. I also enjoyed Christoph Waltz, but I wish he would have been given more to work with. Not to mention, that brief cameo with James Franco was totally boss. Oh, James Franco... someday you will come to your senses, and come to me. Unless you are gay, in which you will come and be my sassy gay friend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Night Blues

I didn't get to Illustration Friday this week, because I was busy rearranging my room. Okay, I was busy watching Wife Swap and THEN rearranging my room. Yes, I know I could have gotten drawing done instead of watching Wife Swap, but Jesus Christ, everyone needs time to chill. I hate having everything squeezed and penciled and scheduled in; I need time to decompress and detox. (Also, I didn't really like the topic for this week... "Chicken." What the hell am I supposed to do with that?)*
You've probably noticed I'm in a bit of a dour mood tonight. Maybe it's because it's January; maybe it's because I'm PMSing; maybe it's because the space bar on this keyboard is not working particularly well.
But at the same time I feel like I should offer you something, so here it is: a doodle of a 3-headed monster I did on the plane back to CA.
* By the way, I am fully aware that in three days I will wake up in the middle of the night with a fabulous idea for "Chicken," and think, "Shit! I should have done that for last week's IF!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hugs for All

Dear Interwebz,
I know y'all have been waiting a long time for it. Okay, I know you haven't really, but I like to imagine you have because it's easier for me to stay motivated when I'm imagining hordes of cheering fans anxiously awaiting my next move. Anyway! Onward!
I made a new fairy. She is the Hug Fairy. I did her with watercolors, then scanned her into Photoshop and tweaked a couple of things. She had a long and arduous journey getting here, and she can't wait to give you a hug.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thank YOU, Billy Blanks!

Today I did a session of Tae Bo, and Grendel tried to help. And by "help," I mean he ran tight circles around me while stepping on my toes and biting my butt. I suppose his help is somewhat helpful in that it encourages me to continue with my dorky workout videos until there is less butt for him to bite.
Note to self: it is neither prudent nor efficient to aerobicize with an unruly Neapolitan mastiff in the house.
Now I am freshly showered and pondering what to reflect on out of all the events of this spectacular exciting day. Uh... I beat my old score in the new game I downloaded on my Blackberry. And I came up with some new fairy sketches.
Today at work some builders came and extended the cubicles until they completely encroached upon my desk space. It's really annoying to answer the phone and know that the only thing the customer hears on the other end is "Thank you for calling DC PoweBRRRRRRRRRR! GGGGGGGGGGG! DDDDDDDDDDD! BRVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV!irect your call?" However, that minor inconvenience is rectified by the hilarity of listening to the construction workers give each other shit. I got to hear all about one of the workers' New Online Girlfriend.
Well, I'm gonna go draw some stuff. Thanks for listening, Internet.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thoughts for Monday

Dear Blog,
I am tired of customers whining to me how they forgot their bags. I honestly do not give a rat's ass whether or not they brought their own bags.
I am tired of customers who get a cart and only use it to carry around a single banana and a pint of half-and-half. Then when they are finished paying, they leave the cart at the register for me to deal with, taking only the bag with their paltry two items which did not even justify having a whole entire cart.
I am tired of dialog boxes that pop up when you are right in the middle of tying in a field, and you don't notice right away, and the last six words you typed are lost in... I don't know? Where do those words go? Somewhere outside the universe in another dimension, there is a cache full of sentence fragments from people who were trying to finish a sentence right when their computers desperately needed them to know that it was  time to upgrade their software.
 Thanks for listening, Blog. Now here's a bunny.
Did you know that it is very difficult to draw with a touch pad?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How is it possible for anyone in this day and age to be bored?

Seriously. Whenever I hear someone complain about how bored they are, all I can think is, "How?"
There's always something to keep you busy. I have two jobs, a boyfriend, a portfolio to polish and submit to publishers, a line of greeting cards to develop, a website to maintain, Spanish to learn, and just the activities of day-to-day living in general. And that doesn't even include all the stuff I would do if I had time: roller derby, dance classes, writing group, stitch-n-bitch, being in a band, creating artwork to display in a gallery...
It just astounds me that while every single second of my life is scheduled and every single errand and activity must be squeezed and penciled in, there are people out there who cannot find enough things to occupy their time.  Who are these people? And can I borrow some of their time?
If you're bored, it's your own damn fault. That's all I'm saying.
Thanks for listening, Internet.