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A* Episode 31 
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
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Here's a sketch I sent to a reader for supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign : D:

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Thank you very much! It's helping me keep bringing out new A* pages each day. ^_^


Sat May 06, 2017 6:29 pm
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Only one more panel packed with four faces to draw now, whew! = p


Mon May 08, 2017 10:13 pm
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Well, gotta go engage in that time-honored tradition of updating my credit card information at all my online merchants after someone got hacked and my credit card company sent me a new one. : P


Tue May 09, 2017 10:24 pm
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Wednesday original art archive sale! This week it's the very last big 11" x 17" ink piece that I'm going to feature, and I specifically saved this one for last because it's a special, vertically oriented illustration that's spent most of its time since I made it one weekend in 2012 in a big frame, shuttling between various art shows in which we've displayed it here in Seattle. But now you, fabulous you, can pick it up, unframed, starting at a very low price (okay at $19.99, slightly more than my usual, but certain trusted associates of mine refused to let me risk selling it for less) for the next week on eBay.

The auction listing there has hi-res pics but here are some tiny previews; it is called "Solstice":

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Aside from being a pretty far-out A* illustration, this was two specific things: a test of the spangly new 150 lb Canson Illustration Paper I had just acquired (I considered the test successful, and went on to use that paper for all the rest of the A* ink pages, starting midway through episode 15; in particular, the treated surface of the paper gave a neat sort of cosmically rippled texture to some of the background "outer space" ink wash areas), and an entry in a ComicFury art challenge: the theme was "seasons," so here you have a tightly clad Selenis as some sort of planet-shrouding embodiment of Winter (it was Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 when I posted it, so if I did it over the weekend as I said in that blog entry, I guess I did it on Saturday, December 31st 2011 or Sunday, January 1st 2012--anyway, winter was evidently firmly on my mind ; D).

Again, this is the last of the big ink pieces I'm going to put up, and hm I think also the last of the non-A*-comic-page illustrations I have left to feature from the archive, too, unless I suppose I come across a cache of some somewhere that I've forgotten about (there's one smaller sketchbook ink piece in particular I'm now sort of wondering if I still have somewhere, I guess). Anyway I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it finds a home with one of you. : )


Wed May 10, 2017 10:14 pm
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Recently I noticed my site getting a little traffic from a German pen enthusiast web forum, and I found that one of their members had linked to my first big Supermassive Eraser Round-up from a discussion thread about erasers (in German). And the post below that one mentioned an eraser I'd never heard of before; furthermore, it was one by Rotring, German manufacturer of fine artist's pens and pencils (my favorite is their 0.8 mm Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen), so now I just had to check it out.

Well I finally got around to needing more of my go-to erasers, the Kokuyo Campus B/HB Student Eraser, and I threw one of these new-to-me erasers, the Rotring Rapid-Eraser B20, into the order so I could check it out. It arrived and I gave it a rub!

Here it is in its stylish wrapping, below a Kokuyo:

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And here's how it fared (on the right) vs a Kokuyo at erasing my Mitsubishi Hi-Uni H pencil lead from the 300 lb hot press Arches Bright White Watercolor Paper I use for A* pages:

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Unfortunately, the B20 wasn't as good as the Campus B/HB at cleaning the paper; it also left a lot of little eraser shreds everywhere, instead of just a few big ones like the Campus B/HB does. You'll notice the B20's eraser mark is wider, too--the B20 eraser itself isn't wider than the Campus eraser, but it is softer, so when you're pressing down hard to erase tough marks, it spreads out quite a bit, which is not what you would want for precision work; this makes it harder to hold and handle, too. And it somehow feels greasy to the touch, even though it isn't (I don't thi-ink...)! : o Creepy!


Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
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A sketch for a reader who's supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : D :

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Thank youuu! ^v^


Sat May 13, 2017 5:07 pm
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If you were gonna grow a clone baby of yourself, you might do it using a simple arrangement of a plastic bag containing warm water and salts, in which the fetus will grow, with a gas exchange machine and nutrient drip connected through the bag via its umbilical cord, the pumping provided by the fetus' heart. Pretty slick! That's what a team at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia came up with and used successfully to grow baby lambs according to this BBC article, anyhow.


Mon May 15, 2017 8:52 pm
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Just a reminder that the my last big A* ink wash auction ends tomorrow! The bidding starts at just $19.99 on "Solstice," this big 11" x 17" fantasy illustration of Selenis laying a cosmic chill on a planet! : o :

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Thanks for checking it out! : D


Tue May 16, 2017 9:09 pm
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Wednesday art sale! We've gone through the oldest ink wash stuff, from episode 13, where I was doing the pages in an oversized 17"x11" format, so now I'm free to roam through the art archives of the later ink episodes, where I gradually worked down to smaller formats more fitting to the actual aspect ratio of the A* pages you see online--so less wasted margin space to confuse me as I tried to lay out the page. : o Today I bring you a pure old timey sci-fi page, namely the 17" x 7.5" ink wash illustration I made for episode 17, page 9, which is up for auction right here for the next week at a special low price--starting at $14.99, vs the $50 it would normally cost directly through my site.

The auction listing has hi-res images, but here are tiny preview ones to entice you:

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Episode 13 had Selenis trying to pry advanced cloning technology out of an archive held in a gigantic tree in a large greenhouse complex by the organization called "Earth's Revival." This is the page where we first see their famed "Bioarchive," from the outside.

This page was made during the phase (which lasted about until Selenis got to the moon of that planet, later in the episode) where I eschewed doing pencil layouts, instead just going right into the ink work from scratch! : o And I had this big thick crazy Japanese half synthetic, half horse-hair brush I would lay it on with. It was fun! ^_^ I have no idea how I managed to get the domes of the Bioarchive that nice and round just going freehand like that. : ooo

You can catch this and all my other A* art sales (including each new page's original watercolor art as they come out!) by following my eBay profile. : )


Wed May 17, 2017 10:29 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
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I thought I was gonna hafta take tomorrow off, but it looks like I won't after all! Uh but that means I guess I should get to bed. Anyway, there will be another page this week, yay!

EDIT 5/19 7:30 AM: Oops! Schedules have shifted in my out-of-town friend meet-up yet again, and it looks like I *will* have to take the day off. : o So, no Friday(/Saturday) page this week! Sorry for the late notice! Back with a new page on Monday!


Thu May 18, 2017 10:37 pm
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