Here is the A Round Of Words in 80 Days update for Sunday, January 28. Also a little bit of art at the bottom to let you know what I was doing on my Wed-Fri "weekend." (Which, unfortunately, wasn't much this week.)
Wednesday Day 24 - 76 minutes. I played with drawing widgets. I like having 200 x 200 pixel artwork for the blog (kind of like the ROW80 log to the left), so every now and then I'll just pick a concept and play with it. Today I decided to do a Scarlet Pimpernel, while watching an episode of Leverage. It took almost exactly the length of the show -- about 45 minutes. I also created another quick thriller cover.
Thursday Day 25 - 70 minutes. More drawing. Playing with cartoon silhouette figures. I need practice, though, so you won't see these here.
Friday Day 26 - I took the day off, did some other things. This weekend is also going to be very busy, so I am going to do a little reviewing, so I can maybe get a jump start tomorrow.
Saturday Day 27 - 113 minutes. Not as much work as I'd like, but it was choice! I did an hour of exploratory writing on the break into act three -- that is, the moment where Mick realizes just what's going on, and he and Casey confirm his suspicions. However I still didn't have a vivid idea of the ending itself. I had some rich ideas. So tonight, I did a little more exploratory writing from the middle to get my mind off things... and when I was done I came up with a zinger of an idea for what the ultimate evil plan is, and how it is revealed. I still am a little hazy on how we get to that scene, but I have a feeling I'll be ripping it up a bit with that.
What I've Been Drawing
As I mentioned above, I didn't do as much art as I would like, and some of it is simply not ready to post. But here are the two things I was playing with on Wednesday.
The first is a very quick mock cover concept. Again, not for anything I have in mind. I don't write thrillers, but they are so easy to do a concept for. Once again I was playing with textures, only this time I was looking for a metallic sheen. All I did for the background was create a gradation from light iron blue to dark iron blue, on the diagonal across the whole image. Then on another layer, I did a reverse of the gradation. I used a grunge brush to punch holes in the top layer so the bottom layer showed through.
Then I decided it looked... sharp. A little dangerous. Icy. And I needed a contrasting color for the type, so I just came up with a "blood" oriented thriller title. Then I played with the font. The texture on the font is a "satin" blending effect, and there's a drop shadow to make it stand out.
This is the easiest kind of cover to do, you know?
The other thing I did is less slick, and more work, but still fun. I've been looking at the decorative elements in old books. Some illustrated caps, some just bars and boxes for the beginning or ending of a chapter -- full of plants or wiggles and curls. Sometimes they'll have an animal or something. I like to do these little 200 x 200 pixel illos, because it's a nice size to add to a blog page.
One of the motifs I came across reminded me of a pimpernel, and I decided to play with that. The Scarlet Pimpernel, as you may know, is the mysterious hero of a series of adventure romance novels by Baroness Orczy. His calling card was a sketch of the pimpernel, a common wayside flower with five petals, remotely related to roses. The real thing has pointier petals which are not folded or anything like that, but this is more like the stylized versions you see in deco elements in old books.
Frankly, it makes me hungry for strawberries. I also love using the dots for background shading like they did in a lot of the old printer decorations. Oddly, that's easier to do with a pen than it is with a graphics tablet.
See you in the funny papers.