November Drawing – Day 10, the Pirate Queen, plus a robot for coloring!


Color me!

If you like robots, here’s one you can color!

So the above robot is based on a doodle I did a few years ago. I love drawing robots, especially rusty, broken ones. With this guy, I included some of the highlights and shading, but you can add your ownif you like.

Anyway, once I got this guy done, I did more work on the pirate queen.


Pirate Queen!


I love how this is turning out, especially since Concepts has done yet another update, and now I finally know how to set up custom colors. I still have a lot more work to do on this one, but when it’s done, I think I’ll upload it to Society 6 as a print and maybe as a throw pillow or mug or something else.

Anyway, I hope you like both pictures, and let me know if you color the robot!

November Drawing – Day 09, Pirate Queen and Mushroom in Color!

Here’s today’s work!


Pirate Queen!

At this point, I’m slowly adding details like lip stick and scaly spots

I’ll get to the background (or are they foreground?) elements soon. Not sure yet how I’ll handle those.

Meanwhile, someone took me up on my offer to color the mushroom I posted a couple days back!


Oh, pretty colors!

Hello! I’m psychadelic!

Yeah baby! Isn’t he gorgeous?! This guy was colored by one of my very best friends, Patricia, and it makes me very happy to see her colors on my line art! And it inspires me to do another coloring picture. I have an idea of what to do, so come back tomorrow to see what it is!

November Drawing – Day 08, Definitely a Pirate Queen!


Pirate Queen!

She’s definitely a pirate queen… an UNDEAD pirate queen!

I’ve been having way too much fun playing with the colors on this one. The color palette is limited to Copic colors, with no way of mixing  your own colors, but that’s still a pretty big palette, and since I can EXPORT THIS IMAGE IN SVG, I can touch up the colors in CorelDraw. Yay!

November Drawing – Day 07, Pirate Queen of Hearts?


Pirate Queen?

I don’t know who she is yet, but maybe she’s a pirate queen.

I’m playing around in Concepts again today. They did a big update yesterday and added a new tool – the filled stroke tool. This tool does the same thing I’ve been doing with the brush tool in InkPad – tracing a shape and leaving a filled area with no outline around it. It’s great for setting up larger filled shapes too, like the ones in this drawing…  

Unlike InkPad, Concepts doesn’t let me adjust the nodes on the shape, so there’s no precise way for me to refine what I draw with Concepts filled stroke tool. And that’s okay! Because I want a different feel of drawing in Concepts, and having things be a litle different accomplishes that.

So I’m pretty pleased right now with Concepts. I’ll keep working on this drawing and on the other one I’m doing in InkPad and see what happens!

November Drawing – Day 06, the Mermaid and her Sailor

So I finished up the “inking” on the mermaid drawing, and here’s a view of what I got done today!


Mermaid inks!

Look! The mermaid has a friend!

I like my mermaids to be creepy and sort of predatory, and this one definitely fits the bill! I started doing more work on the colors as well, playing around with a color scheme. I’m not entirely happy with the colors of the dress yet, but I’ll get there.

No mushroom today, but I may do more drawing tonight in Concepts and post that tomorrow 🙂

November Drawing – Day 05, How would you color this mushroom?

I don’t know if this interests anyone or not, but I made another mushroom, and I’m making it available to anyone who wants to color it!

Color me!

Color me! It’ll be fun… or weird… I don’t know…

I will do my own colors in Concepts for this one, but I’d love to see what other people make of my strange little doodle. I will probably draw more skulls, for folks like me who refuse to let the Halloween season end, and I will eventually make the mermaid I’m working on available as a coloring image as well.

Speaking of which, I got more work done on the mermaid today as well. The inking is almost done and I’ve started playing with the colors.


A creepy, colorful mermaid!

Adding colors in InkPad is a bit like making a paper-cut image. I trace the shapes of the main colors using the pen toll, then go back with the brush tool to trace less precise shapes for shading and highlights. All the colors are flat, so it looks like layers of cut paper laid over each other to make an image. At least that’s how it feels to me.

Again, let me know if you like the mushroom coloring image, and I will work on making more to share with folks. There are so many coloring books out there on so many topics, but I don’t think there are any books that focus on creepy or gothic or scary subjects, so I think maybe we could fix that, right?

November Drawing – Day 04, Mushrooms and Mermaids

I spent this morning working in two different vector drawing apps, seeing what results I could get. I went back to work on the mermaid image first, working in InkPad.


Mermaid tentacles!

My mermaids tend to be more Ursula than Ariel…

In addition to working on the ink lines (which are actually made by using the brush tool to trace shapes instead of lines over the pencil drawing), I did a bit more work on the colors.


Mermaid colors!

Colors with shading andhighlights.

I’ve added some highlights and started work on the hair. I like how I can control the shapes of both the colors and the lines. I also like that I have a dropper to pick up the colors I’ve used so I don’t have to keep hunting for them in a color palette as I work.

After working in InkPad for a while, I switched over to Concepts to play for a bit, to see if I can get some results that I like. Here are the results.



The Fungus among us!

To get a line with variable width in Concepts, I have to set the pen tools to the smallest line width setting. Unfortunately, this doesn’t look very good on large images (at least to my eyes), so I drew a small box on the canvas and zoomed in to do this drawing. Now this is a style I like – shaky, creepy lines that aren’t too big and aren’t too small, that have a nice amount of line width variation. And best of all, I get to color this image the way I like, because Concepts doesn’t let me draw a shape for the fill or let me use a fill bucket. I get to color my drawing like it’s a digital coloring book page! 

(And yes, I love coloring, but I would prefer to color my own artwork as opposed to buying a coloring book. Nobody draws the kind of creepy stuff I love to work on. Perhpas I should make my own freaky coloring pages to share with everyone?)

So that’s the results from today. I’m very happily coloring and drawing away!

November Drawing – The Mermaid in InkPad



“The Mermaid” work-in-progress

There’s more than one way to draw with vectors. I’m working on this image in InkPad. InkPad is a more traditional sort of vector drawing app. While it has a brush tool, it doesn’t draw brush strokes in variable weight the way Concepts or Adobe Draw does. But you can mimick that effect by drawing the SHAPE of a brush stroke. In other words, I import a sketch from one of my drawing apps, then trace the shape of an ink stroke in a new layer above the original sketch, keeping the brush tool set to fill with no outer stroke. To color the image, I set up another layer below the “ink strokes” and trace the shapes of the fills. The shading is done the same way in layer between the inking and the color fills. It’s a little more complicated, but once you get the hang of it, the process goes pretty fast. And best of all, I can export the entire image in vector format to resize and touch up in Corel Draw, my preferred desktop vector drawing program. Ta-DAH!

November Drawing – Day 02, Skull in Concepts


Sugar Skull

Suguar Skull, by Helen Madden

I spent some time this morning experimenting with Concepts for the iPad, looking at how the different tools worked with various settings. Concepts offers vector versions of markers and various types of pens. The problem I have is getting the line widths to vary the way I want it to. There are also options for smoothing the lines, but I don’t really have the hang of that yet.

I do have a pressure sensative stylus for the iPad, so I will try that next.

November Drawing – Robots and Vampires

So I spent all day thinking about what I want to do for November’s creative challenge (because I did a creative challenge in October, so why not do another one in November?) and I decided this month’s challenge would be ART.

Or doodling, at least.

The idea for this month is for me to get back to a regular drawing schedule. I love to draw, but like a lot of other things I love to do, when life gets really, painfully hectic, I jettison just about all but the essentials from my schedule.

I am hoping that this month will not be nearly as painful as last month. October just about did me in with all the events and volunteer work and making costumes I had to do. I’ll get into all that later this week when I do a final review of the whole October Crochet thing.

But for now, the plan is to draw every day. Just like with October Crochet, I do not plan to finish a drawing a day, but I do plan to complete more than one drawing this month. AND I plan to get back to a regular schedule for the webcomic as well. Assuming this month’s schedule goes as planned.

For my first entry this month, I present to you two quick doodles I did this evening on my iPad. First we have robots…



“We are robots! We are handsome!”

And then we have a Vampire!

Both of these drawings were done in Concepts, a vector drawing app. Concepts is similar to the old Adobe Ideas app that I used to use a lot, but it handles a little differntly, so I’m still working on how I want to use it and what kind of drawings I can make with it.

Unfortunately for me, Adobe Ideas was “retired” and replaced with Adobe Draw. Adobe Draw works just like Adobe Ideas used to, except for one very important little details. It will NOT let me export my artwork in SVG format. It will let me export my work directly to Adobe Creative Suite, but I don’t own a copy of Adobe Creative Suite because it’s TOO FUCKING EXPENSIVE! The only other option Adobe Draw gives me is to export my artwork as a PNG of suck low quality that I cannot then trace and convert to vector format in any graphics program I have. So I have pretty much quit using Adobe Draw.

So I’m making the switch to Concepts. And I’m hoping that if I spend a lot of time working with it this month, I’ll get pretty good with Concepts.

So that’s what’s up for this month! More drawings tomorrow!