Saturday, December 12, 2009

In the Back

Now that I'm done with my database proposal, it's time to put that project out of my mind, relax with my little blog, and share some cartooning best practices -- I can't stress this enough. Always have a little notebook on hand and capture gestures from the people around you whenever you can. Most of them won't notice, as you'll soon see.

The primary reason for selecting campus classes as opposed to online ones is the presence of real human entities. It's fun to make connections with them and form relationships. They're also fun to draw! Can you ID these unique iSchool friends? Is one of them you? Eventually I'll comment with a list of names, but just play along with this little game I've created and see how many of your colleagues and professors you can identify.

Let the games begin AFTER THE CUT.


2. Bonus points if you can guess the classes I was in when I sketched these.







9. This one is pretty easy, even thought I think I drew him "meaner" than he actually is.


11. This is from last year...I think the fishnets were a creative addition.



14. Three people to identify here.

15. I don't think the sketch is all that accurate, but the cute shoes are a good clue. Hand and foot studies are very useful.

So what is the point of all this, besides priming me for more "important" projects, like silly comics about the Chinese guys? Do you think draftsmanship will become obsolete as we move toward a paperless, virtual, Twilight-Zone like dystopia? I hope not. I'll post the identities eventually, so please have a shot at guessing them!

Also: Thank you, iSchool for responding to our queries and adding more in-person classes to the system catalog -- er, the course catalog. I'm sure that I and many of my colleagues will be populating those tables with our charming physical presences.

After awhile, dystophile.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beat It

Hello readers. Thanks for choosing Bibliowhining as your finals week procrastination station!

Thanksgiving weekend has flowed directly, and without mercy, into two weeks worth of final projects, but I've had this little true story incubating since Thanksgiving day.

Last week, while waiting for certain components of my delicious Thanksgiving feast (including a pecan fudge pie from scratch) to do their magic in the oven, I took a walk with my mom in the woods behind my house. Loyal readers of Bibliowhining will recall that I live in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and my backyard extends into miles and miles of pine forest with deer, herons, snapper turtles, beavers and other wildlife. It's not some park like we have in Syracuse where you look in every direction and still see roads and cars and houses in the distance through the tree branches.

Anyway, in the woods, a bit off the trail, my mom pointed out something she had found earlier: a scattering of about 30 smallish, white birds eggs with brown and black spots all over them. Lying on the ground amongst the pine needles, they were vulnerable yet still intact.

My mom didn't know what kind of eggs they were. Turtle or snake eggs? No, reptile eggs are soft shelled. These eggs were hard shelled; definitely from a bird.

I guessed they were quail eggs based on my experience watching Iron Chef. I've never seen a quail in my woods, quails also presumably don't lay 30 eggs at a time on the ground.

Just what is going on here? The rest of the story, and a little watercolor drawing, can be found after the cut.

Like the silly exploratory kid I am, I picked open one of the cracked eggs, hoping to find the remains of a developing fetus inside that would help me identify the species of bird that mothered this little flock. Instead, I found a smelly surprise: A rotten, hard-boiled egg.

Returning later to sketch the scene, I heard a deer hunter loading his gun. Not wanting to leave this world face down in a pile of rotten quail(?) eggs with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, I left the area after catching some minimal details. I later used these details and notes to do the little painting below. One assumes they're hunting deer, but there's always the chance they're hunting people.

I'm kind of liking watercolor, and wish that my undergraduate art program offered a watercolor course. Looking back, I suppose that curriculum focused more heavily on using art to repeat political statements than on creating art which is beautiful, sensitive, spiritual and soulful (not that my art is as beautiful as I'd like, but the latter are my goals). The lesson learned is to research various undergraduate programs to find the best fit for you, rather than diving in blind based on its high ranking. I could also benefit from a flat brush. Watercolor is so much cleaner than oils, and also non-toxic which is great since watercolor paints taste so delicious!

In summary, the punchline: Somebody had dumped 3 dozen hard-boiled quail eggs in the woods, but gently enough that only a few had cracked. This is the kind of mysterious weirdness one finds in my home town.