Another froggin’ hamstring incident!


“Oh Lordy, pulled me hamstring   a g a i n  !!

The idea of the hamstring incident came to me yesterday. Fittingly, I watched Adam Hills’s show “HAPPYISM” today, which I highly recommend! The advice given to Adam by fellow comedian Dara O’Briain was, as it turns out ‘touch the f****ng frog!’. And I do agree: Yup! Still needs some touching up. Just as well I

The frog is probably a male moor frog – Rana arvalis – during the mating season, hence blue rather than green. just had a look at Bromus hordeaceus – soft brome – at the weekend, left me at least with an incling of how grass blades will bend and twist.

I have been asked how the hamstring incident came to pass. My take on things is that, when clutching at straws and both bend away from you, you are certain to pull something.


Bufo – buffoon – Mr Toad and the alcohol


This toad has been to the costume rentals getting himself a frog prince outfit (bling thing) and now says: “By the time she twigs I am a toad I’ll have hopped it!”

Amphibian in alcohol-based medium. No worries, no semi-terrestrial tadpole was harmed in the making of this post. Unindorsed by any manufacturer of art supplies, still, some praise has to be sung.

The beauty about alcohol based markers like COPICs, Letraset Promarkers and the like is their blendability, the layering and mixing of colours, and their sheer range of colour, obviously. The available shades and achievable hues make you feel almost like you are modelling the image on your page in a 3D medium.

If you feel comfortable sketching on paper already, you can use your linework or coloured sketches and concentrate on improving your digital inking skills by scanning in your images and taking them further.

Whereas we are now used to undo any mistake or to dismiss entire layers, even stages an illustration is going through on a computer using software, working with pen and paper urges you to work with your mistakes. There is a more of an immediate ‘relationship’ with your subject matter and materials.

What can be achieved using drawing tablets and software is utterly amazing. But seeing the magic happen on paper without the option to ‘ctrl-z’ your last move can make you actually more adventurous instead of timid as you might expect.

You can lay down flat colour and build up depth. Depending on the paper you are using – I prefer matte and toned papers – these markers also lend themselves perfectly to be combined with other pencils, gel pens, fineliners etc., for building up textures.

Scecialist papers keep your colours from bleeding onto the next page, but if that is of no big concern to you, you can use pretty much any decent sort of paper, even brown paper. Just give it a try and make sure the paper can hold a good  saturation of colour.

And there needn’t be the classical divide between traditional and digital media. Just as you can mix your traditional media so you can with hand-drawn and digital artwork. What matters is that you achieve your objective in a reasonable timeframe and that you keep learning while you are enjoying yourself creating and pushing your ideas.

Hoping for some ribbeting pieces of work!

Moonfish – Oha! It’s an Opah – first warmblooded fish ever to be found!

Astounding news: Listening to the BBC today and as the journal Science reveals, warm-bloodedness is not exclusive to mammals and birds. Instead of what wisdom from our school days had us believe, it has been discovered that the silvery Moonfish – or Opah – generates heat and uses this to its definite advantage.

It is not so much any lack of need for an electric blanket to snuggle up to on its ocean bed setting Lampris guttatus apart from its pelagic pals. But a body temperature app. 5 °C above its surroundings enables it to warm its muscles and entire body, thus easily providing the energy to swim and hunt at top gear – faster than its competitors or prey.

WATCH IT GO! Mooning the competition whilst overtaking them at double-speed. Nifty!Mr Giggles

Is it the Jeremy Clarkson of its family tree? Or rather family coral? True, it is huge, white and somewhat unshapely, but we currently have no information on whether it has a hot-blooded temper to go with its inbuilt feature of endothermy (Claims from the Irish sea of the Opah punching some lantern fish’s lights out are still being investigated and at the time of publication no offishal statement was available.)

Apparently it is the combination of heat producing fin-flapping in conjunction with heat loss minimizing – brace yourselves – counter-current heat exchangers making the Opah go faster, sometimes  around the bend, too! IT’S ALL IN THE GILLS!!

Any more news of the kind and we’ll have Aqua-TV broadcasts hosted by Opah Winfrey.

Makes you wonder, whether this will remain the only fishy discovery concerning endothermic underwater qualities.

And I cannot help but notice a slight similarity to ‘Mr Giggles’ the heliumfish featured in this blog, albeit being the very opposite of pancake flat, especially when inflated. There is a picture of that floating around somewhere. Must try and retrieve it from the deep sea of imagination.

Anybody can help with remembering what the heliumfish Mr Giggles would be called in Latin? For now, Lampris….dubitabilis?

(artwork & comment by thatzjazz, 15 May 2015)

absence makes the art grow fonder

a number of, shall we say distracting things have been happening of late. But now it seems: back to the drawing board – quite literally. An analog working style, i. e. drawing using pen and actual paper on an actual drawing board with revolving disk (supplied by animation gear specialist Toonbase) is, actually, quite refreshing. PLUS: you can still have the best of both worlds and work digitally with a WACOM or other drawing tablet of your choice alongside or as part of the production pipeline.

For shading these cheeky chappies, for instance…