ACW Episode 250!!! Row, row, row your boat!

September 11th, 2014

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Wow! 250 webcomics and I’m still here. Which is pretty surprising considering the above cartoon did happen. Row the canoe out to the middle of the lake… tip the canoe… turn the canoe upright… get back into the canoe… row the canoe… tip the canoe… etc., etc.

It’s taking me longer than I’d like to get the webcomic done. I do work on it every day, usually for at least an hour, more when I can. But I am slow. Script writing goes very quickly, but penciling takes me forever to get done. Inking is a bit faster, as is coloring and adding dialog, but it still all adds up to a lot of work.

I think part of the reason why is because I’ve gotten more ambitious in what I draw. The backgrounds are more detailed. And every now and then I try to do something I’ve never done before, like drawing a canoe in perspective (that was a huge challenge this week). I think it makes the webcomic better, even if it does slow things down.

So I will keep working, and do what I can to get faster at putting out the comic. Hopefully all the time and effort I put into it is worth it :)

ACW Episode 249 – It’s fitting time!

September 4th, 2014

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Princess is 11 years old. Seriously. Keeping up with school uniforms is getting expensive.

The kids are back at school, and I’m trying to get to work on a schedule that will let me get comics done on a regular basis again. Of course, I’m once again juggling volunteer work with my own personal work. I’ll have to see how this works out.

I’m also trying to do more blog posts. You may start seeing quick posts that are just shots of whatever my current work in progress is. I’d love to start doing some posts on craft projects, like some of the crochet toys I’ve done, but that means I’ll have to find time to do the crafts as well as write the blog posts.

Anyhoo, if you start to see lots of quit photos of drawings and weird cat or crochet pictures, that’s just me flailing around, trying to do some blogging.

Ya know, strangely enough, it was easier for me to write blog posts when I had a pre-schooler and an infant that it is now that I’ve got a pre-teen and a grade schooler. What happened to my time?!

I lurve DOODLING!!

August 25th, 2014
Last Saturday I think I fractured a rib. Today, my back started going out. Obviously, the school year has started, because I can't recall a school year in recent history that hasn't started with me being sick or injured or both.
But that's okay, because now that the school year has started, it means I can once again indulge in my favorite past-times – watching really bad horror movies on SyFy while doodling and working on webcomics. The image above is the warm-up doodle I did today while watching some abysmal crime against cinema called “Headless Horseman.” It's not a huge piece of art, but I'm glad I can steal some time to doodle and watch bad movies. I can't do that while the kids are home during the summer, so at least there's one good thing about them going back to school.


ACW Episode 248 – Karate Camp!

August 19th, 2014

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At the beginning of the month, the whole family went to a 4-day karate camp in National Harbor. This was a major event, since 4 of the instructors there were from Okinawa, including the son of the current head of our style of karate. We did 3 hours of karate the first day, 6 hours on the second and third day, and by the fourth day we couldn’t move, so we didn’t.

I’m still sort of recovering from that camp. Of course, I had Girl Scout volunteer training all weekend, which has left me exhausted, and I’m trying to get ready for a kobudo (Okinawan traditional weapons) test this coming weekend. I am very, very tired.

ACW Episode 247 – Swim test, anyone?

August 11th, 2014

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File this one under the category of “things that really happened.” The lifeguard at our pool is the son of our next door neighbor. I’ve known him since he was about 6 years old. Now he’s in college and taller than I am.

Of course, Princess (who is only 11) is going to be taller than he is very soon.

The webcomic is late, so enjoy some filler art!

August 4th, 2014

I was hard at work on last week's webcomic when I had to set everything aside to go off to a karate camp for 4 days. When four of the highest ranking instructors fly all the way from Okinawa to teach someplace you could actually manage to get to, you drop everything and go.

But I am home now and back at work on the webcomic. It's still not ready yet, though, so here's some other artwork I've been working on. Let me know what you think!

(It's BMO, but not exactly BMO. I'll explain it when I finish if, if it needs explaining then.)


Artwork – “Adventure of the Heart”

July 29th, 2014

“Adventure of the Heart” by Helen E. H. Madden

I finished this drawing a lot faster that I thought I would. I'm still not sure why I decided to draw this or what I was trying to do. Finn looks like he's either been made out of fuzzy yarn or he's been taking a lot of psychodelic drugs. But this is “Adventure Time” fan art, so I guess either would be about right.

This was drawn in Sketchclub on my iPad. I love the brushes and tools in Sketchclub, but I recently discovered that another app, Procreate, has a feature that may soon make it my new favorite. In Sketchclub, you can record while you draw, and you can export that video afterwards. BUT you have to select the record button before you start to do the recording. In Procreate, the recording is done automatically. You don't have to worry about hitting any buttons, it just happens. It seems to work a lot better than the Sketchclub video recording as well, in that it doesn't seem to slow down the app at all, or cause it to crash (I've had both happen in Sketchclub while recording video, though the crashing doesn't happen very often).

If only I could combine Sketchclub's brushes and tools with Procreate's video recording ability. Maybe someday that will happen. Until then, enjoy this very fuzzy drawing of Finn from “Adventure Time.”


Work-in-Progress – Adventure of the Heart

July 27th, 2014

Work-in-Progress – “Adventure of the Heart”

I'm too lazy to do much of anything this morning, so I decided to doodle instead. This hopefully looks like Finn from “Adventure Time.” No great dramatic pose, just some doodling and playing with colors and brushes. I'm doing this is SketchClub on my iPad.

Have a fun Sunday morning. I'm finally going to get up and move now.


ACW Episode 246 – Shear horror

July 22nd, 2014

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Well, once again I’m a little late getting this done, but there is a good reason. I’ve been working to draw better comics, and that means more active poses for the characters, more detailed backgrounds, improved inking, drawing the word balloons by hand, etc. I use Manga Studio 5 EX to draw the Cynical Woman comics, and it’s got a lot of interesting tools and features for making comics. Honestly, I’ve only just scratched the surface of what this program can do, but it seems like every week, I discover something new I want to try. While learning the ins and outs of the program does slow me down, I also think it improves the comics a LOT.

Anyhoo, yours truly will be doing a lot of gardening this year. I volunteered to work on the school grounds, pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc. Honestly, the school could not have found a worse person for the job, I think. But no one else had stepped forward to help this summer, so I decided, what the hey? I’m good at killing plants, so maybe I can at least put that talent to use to get rid of all the weeds.

Unless they get rid of me first, of course.

Let me know if you think the artwork in the webcomic has improved. I’m going to keep working at it regardless, but feedback is always nice.

ACW 245 – Letters from the Doctor, finale!

July 16th, 2014

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Both Pixie and Princess have sent and received letters back from the Doctor. I have no idea how this happens.