Tuesday, 31 January 2017

down the hatch!

Going back to my post of the 22nd, in which I was using my new colourful sheep design and completely ruined a joke which relied on a fairisle jumper being very obvious.

I've tried my new sheep design in black and white, using a little hatching. It's something I want to be better at. I keep revisiting this particular file and having another go at the shading. Here's the current version, it's not looking too bad, and I think it solves the aforementioned problem.

I like the sheep as line drawings, it's something I might do again. Could be useful when it's snowing!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Exploding The Truth - Microwave Joke

Area 5.1 Comic about Microwave Ovens

I had this idea about the notion of never putting anything metal into a microwave oven because people think it would explode. My thought being that the people who think this aren't aware of what the inside of the oven is made of.

Area 5.1 - Expoding the Truth Cartoon

Clearly it helps to have a bit of an understanding about how a microwave works.

OK, disclaimer - if you are going to put metal inside then just read up about what to do and what not to do (unless you want a light-show), and remember running it without any food in (or very dry food) can be worse.

You can't beat a bit of jeopardy!


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The best drinking pun, bar none.

"No, I won't put it on your bill, said the barman."

I've been drawing and posting every day; while I'm feeling the enthusiasm I'm going with it.

I've said for a long time that I won't get involved with puns. I think it was this song that got this particular pun into my head, and I've been enjoying drawing Crow recently in various poses and expressions. (I've gradually twigged that the secret is not to be afraid of exaggeration. Not something Uncle Zap's had any trouble with but it takes some courage for me to make eyes or a beak a bit bigger.)

In mitigation, this isn't really about the pun, but the way Crow's toying with Maureen.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

disguising the joke

I've re-drawn one of my favourites using the new sheep design. Although the full colour looks great, I'm not sure that it disguises the joke a little. Here are the two versions for comparison.

Is there anything I could do to keep the colour and highlight the jumper a bit (short of drawing arrows pointing to it)?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


A nice wordy one, I do like words but still want to steer clear of the pun route.

Also a chance to see how the new design looks as a flock.

(They're all wrong, by the way, it's actually 'taters' today, which is a step above 'brass monkeys'.)

I've had the idea in my head for a long time, I've been meaning to write out the whole chart (from 'searing' to 'witch's left tit' and obviously all in the correct order) and simply post that as an 'observing from the outside'. But it occurs to me that sheep would be using these colloquial terms because none of them own a thermometer (well one of them did once, but Crow pinched it and we can only speculate about the reasons).

There's probably a name for this type of joke. Ever since someone pointed out to me that the dead parrot sketch is simply the thesaurus entry for 'dead' performed in sketch form I've noticed that finding alternative words for the same thing is funny, and something stand-ups use a lot in a more subtle form.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Feeling animated

Well I've committed to the new design now, there are some on the website and cartoon sites, I've included one in my spinning newsletter and sent out the digest email with some of the new toons.

One odd thing is that some of the old jokes (some of which I really like) don't seem to sit right with the new look - it's as if they've gained different personalities with their makeover.... We'll see what happens, but new jokes seem to be coming to me so I'll just go with the flow...

Another new development is trying animation for the first time. I've had it in mind to try for some time, but never taken the plunge. It definitely seemed right for this one - 'speed lines' to indicate that the turbine is turning wouldn't be half as good as actually having it discreetly turning in the background.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

So I've spent a couple of days making up this face expression chart

And felt ready to see how the new sheep look in a full cartoon.

As this one is based on New Year Resolutions, it was probably better published sooner rather than later because of course they're forgotten a couple of weeks in. Well I don't expect Maureen's resolution would be; she's the only one  who'll be keeping her resolution come December. Or come February come to that.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

lots of feet

Rather than draw another sheep yesterday, I tidied this one up and tried lots of different feet / hooves.

For me there's a clear winner, I'll be interested to hear whether you think the same.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Reboot - days 7 and 9

 I'm kinda liking the legs and hooves here, nice and chunky. The sheep looks a bit like another commercial design I've seen around but the similarity was really subconscious, I didn't really use anything for reference while I was drawing it. The idea of the face in the sun is nicked from one of my favourite comics.

Here is one I really like. Needs some work in certain areas but I love the look of it. Nice and friendly, the drawing is fairly smooth and geometric, which I like, there's plenty of room for expression with the eyes and mouth. Crow finally gets an eye. I wish I had more time tonight, I would have done a bit of work on his beak, made him a bit more cartoon-like to match this sheep.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Reboot - ideas - day 5

I copped out a bit yesterday, it was OK but nothing special.

I like this one quite a lot. Rather annoyingly, the bit I like the best, the body, is pretty much copied from somewhere else. A drawing I happened to see by accident earlier today.

I may develop this one, I do like the body, I'd like to try it with different legs and maybe alter the face a little.

I'm not sure why I put my glasses on her. But it made me laugh. Maybe the hero of anything creative we do is always ourselves.

I'm liking the blob of wool on the head. It does allow for different 'hairstyles' for my different characters.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Day 3 - real pen and paper

I couldn't be bothered to get out the graphics tablet today, and there's something I still really like about sharpening a proper pencil and making marks on paper.

After yesterday's foray into 3 dimensions I thought I'd try the cubist approach (remembering that Olympic mascot Cobi) and do the 'nose to the side, eyes on the front' thing.

After much scribbling and bringing the tracing paper trick back into play, I couldn't really make it work. I think it's at least partly a matter of courage - being bold enough to stick those eyes in the wrong place. Like playing a discord in music, it sounds wrong if you don't do it with enough courage, but great if you go for it.

Anyway, this is the version I like most, inked in. I've added arms this time, with Disney style anthro hands or paws. I can see this one standing up. I might give this some colour at some point.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Yvonne reboot, day 2

I didn't really want to go down the 3D / three-quarter road, but I'm going to try everything I can think of during this experiment.

There's something I still really love about sharpening a real pencil and taking it to a fresh sheet of paper.

I'm using a few ideas suggested by a Craftsy tutor (and her method of drawing 'picturebook' style animals). One is covering a big sheet with lots of variations on an idea (even if you try and make them the same, you still end up with a wide variation). You can also try various expressions, types of eyes etc. (a sheet of tracing paper over the top helps you to try various mouths, eyebrows etc on the same face.)

This is the one I ended up with. I love the floppy ears (I wouldn't have thought of it but saw them on a reference photo). She looks a bit younger and prettier than I've always envisioned Yvonne but hey.
You're right, I've totally copped out of thinking about the legs and feet today.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Yvonne reboot, experimentation, day 1

The current style isn't working for me. Yvonne started as a 'stick sheep', and over the last year or so she's become neater and more detailed (even gaining hooves and a bit of shadow) which now looks at odds with the 'cloud on two sticks' idea that I started with and the bare background. So for each day in January (starting today) I'm going to scribble an idea. This is day one:

(It's amazing how much difference a bit of colour makes.)