Paddleball

Paddleball
In my defense, she did encourage me to swing harder.

My family and I were recently introduced to Paddleball by Jayme, my sister-in-law. Jayme and my wife, Jodie, were avid racquetball players before the onslaught of our children. A few months ago Jayme started playing a similar sport, called Paddleball, with a group at the local High School on Saturdays. She invited me to join her, and, naturally, I said “maybe”. My history with racquet sports isn’t a pretty one. I was the kid in high school that spent more time fishing tennis balls out of the bushes than hitting them. I was also the dude who screamed like a girl every time I played indoor racquetball with Jayme or Jodie. Simply put : They’re good. I’m not good. But, it’s more than a machoistic thing…

“I’m really not a fan of claustrophobia, 80mph balls, and swinging racquets in close quarters”, I told Jayme.

“It’s not a racquet, it’s a paddle”, Jayme encouraged me.

“And, it’s outdoors”, she continued.

“And, the ball is softer and doesn’t travel as fast.”, she finished.

“Maybe.”, I replied.

I eventually did join her, not to play, but because my youngest daughter, Kaylee, who had been going with Jayme, wanted me to meet “Grogu”, the “cutest puppy in the whole world” that frequented the courts. And, Kaylee was right, of course. Grogu absolutely was the cutest puppy in the whole world. But, I ended up playing a couple rounds of Paddleball, too, and, as expected, hit several balls over the wall in the process. But, everyone encouraged me to keep playing and had tips on how to improve my game. I remember coming home, sore and tired, but excited to tell Jodie all about it.

Fast forward a couple of months and Jodie and I now have our own paddles, made by Gearbox, a set of balls, portable chairs, and lots of new friends. We play Saturdays with the San Diego Elite Paddleball Group.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life.

-Scott


#paddleball #gearbox #racquetball #paddle #tennis #comic #drawnandcoded

Unicorns, Trolls, and Breakfast

I drew these pictures for Kevin and my ongoing endeavor, a children’s book, titled “Jalapena”. If the name sounds familiar, that’s good, because my last post was over eight months ago. If not, well, it’s a story about a young troll, Jalapena, and her human friend, Raven, as they journey to save their world by means of saving a unicorn. Kevin based it upon stories he told his daughter when she was younger.

As per my last post I’ve been putting a lot more effort into drawing “au natural”, with pencils, pens, and paper. The first two drawings were done entirely on my Surface Pro using Clip Studio and Gimp. The later three were done using a blue pencil, an HB pencil, Micron Pens, and a sheet of printer paper. It takes a little more work, but is a lot more rewarding for me. At some point, if there’s enough interest, I’ll do a quick post on my process.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life.

-Scott

Abbington
Jalapena, Raven, and their new companions, a couple of wizards named Tholaman and Choinard as they evade the evil Bolziks in the town of Abbington.
Japapena's Family
I’m a big fan of noisy family meals and wanted to sketch what such a meal would look like in Jalapena’s household. This is what I came up with.
The Unicorn
Six years into my self-bestowed title as “amateur illustrator” and you’d think I’d have drawn a horse – uh, unicorn by now, but nope. It took some effort. Maybe I’m a little biased, but my initial sketches all looks liked long-legged dogs. It’s been said that for every good picture there are thousands of bad ones leading up to it. I have stacks of bad horse pictures, maybe not thousands, but enough to make a equestrian whinny. I hope you like them.
The Unicorn
The Unicorn

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Character Sketches

Here are some character sketches for the book that my friend, Kevin, and I have been working on. Some characters turned out to be very different than Kevin had initially written in his earlier drafts. Tholoman, for example, was supposed to be a grizzled old human male. Now he’s a “young” elf. We thought by making him younger we could have fun with the chemistry between him and the young girl protagonists. 

We’ve also been involving our daughters’, too. Kevin runs all his revisions by his daughter, Clara. As for me, when I was sketching the Bokziks, a group of sometimes-half-animal antagonists, I didn’t realize my oldest daughter, Ashley, was peering over my shoulder.

“Dad, you should make her a half-squirrel.”, she said matter-of-factly. “It’d be cool.”

“Yeah?”, I looked up, startled.

So, I erased the crude “were-dog” that I had been working on and in its its place quickly scribbled out a bushy tail, squat hips, and tiny legs and feet.

“Like that?”, I asked, unsure.

“Yeah!”, she smiled back.

So, yeah, collaboration is fun. Sometimes it might even take you somewhere you never expected to be.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life.

-Scott

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A Map

Map Atlas Jalapena Book DadsWriting CreativeDads
I’ve always liked maps. They tell you where you’ve been – or better yet, where you might go. Here’s a map for a book that my friend Kevin and I are working on.

I’ve always liked maps. They tell you where you’ve been – or better yet, where you might go.

Before there was MapQuest or Google Maps there was the Thomas Guide, a hefty, seemingly indecipherable, yet indispensable tome of colorful road maps. Mine was gifted to me by my parents on my 16th birthday along with my first car, a 1972 Volkswagen Bug. Weighing in at three pounds and measuring over an inch thick mine only covered San Diego County, but in an era before cell phones it saved my rear more times than I like to admit. My Thomas Guide rode under the driver’s seat of that Bug and several others before it met its ultimate demise. I kept it far longer than it was useful. MapQuest’s printable turn-by-turn instructions knocked the books’ usefulness to its knees, Google Maps and the Apple iPhone severed its head altogether.

Although the Thomas Guide was practical I always preferred those with, well, a little more imagination. As a kid that meant the park maps handed out at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, or Wild Rivers. I enjoyed plotting my adventures along the colorful pathways and trying to figure out what attractions changed since my last “adventure”.

During our last meeting, Kevin, the author I have been collaborating with, and I decided that our book needed a map. After sketching out a ( very ) rough draft with him I returned home and pondered what such a map should look like. I decided it needed to be practical, like a Thomas Brother’s Guide, but also fun like the park maps handed to me at amusement parks. This is what I came up with. If it makes you smile, I succeeded. If not, well, at least I tried!

Oh! Any my daughter, Ashley, helped me with the design and color for this one. I’ll make an artist out of her yet!

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life …

-Scott

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Spiders!

My second illustration for a project that my friend Kevin and I are working on. This scene is called “Spiders!”.

I am in awe by how much work goes into the writing of a book. There’s the book itself – and then there’s all of the world building that takes place behind the scenes. World building is the history, characters backstories, creatures, cities – basically everything that goes into creating a believable world, or “atmosphere” in which the story takes place. It’s “frustratingly fun” to conjure up – frustrating in that much of the generated content may be omitted entirely in the actual book, but incredibly fun to dream up. My friend, Kevin, the author, and I are having a great time.

Here’s an excerpt from the book for which the above illustration was created. I hope you like it.


There was a loud crack of thunder and lightning beamed down from the sky brightening everything in the trees around them. Jalapeña and Raven looked at one another with wide eyes, realizing for the first time that they weren’t alone.

“Are those spiders,” asked Jalapeña?

“ Um yeah, Uh I think so? What should we do?”

“Just keep walking and hope we can see better when the lighting strikes again.” Jalapeña couldn’t believe what she had seen and Raven didn’t seem too sure about the spiders either. The sky suddenly lit up brightly and thunder shook through the treetops. They could both see clearly now, hundreds of bright red eyes glowed in the light. The spiders were getting closer and it was clear they were as big as the two girls, maybe bigger.

Jalapeña screamed, first a loud screech and the “RUUUUUNNNN!” Raven was already running ahead of her. Jalapeña started to run but was quickly pulled upward by something and swung forward through the trees.

At the next crack of lightning, she could see that she was swinging above where Raven was running and she continued moving forward as if on a pendulum. “Raven!” she screamed. She didn’t think Raven had heard her, the rain was now coming even harder and in large drops, the size of golf balls, splashing off of everything and causing small rivers and waterfalls to form all around them. The next lightning bolt Jalapeña saw Raven continuing to run along the muddy trail, not too far below her. What she saw ahead of her was even more terrifying than the spiders; a giant wall of water was rushing down the trail, pushing trees down ahead of it. It was headed right for Raven but there was nothing Jalapeña could do but yell futilely as the noise was now far too loud to hear or be heard…

( To be continued )


Take care. Stay healthy. Live life …

-Scott

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Next : A Map


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Jalapeña

Jalapena Book Dads Writing Books Dads Book Club Be Creative Illustration Kids Books Kids Fantasy Books Mythical Creatures Book Lover I Love Books Drawn And Coded
My first illustration for a project that my friend Kevin and I are working on. This scene is called “Jalapeña and Raven meet the Royals”.

A few months ago my friend, Kevin, asked if I would help him illustrate a book he had been working on. The book is based on a collection of stories he had told to his daughter, Clara, at bedtime and over long plane flights to keep her preoccupied. The stories tell the story of “Jalapeña”, an 8-year-old red-headed troll and her human friend, “Raven”, as they go on a series of adventures. Kevin shared his manuscript with me and, although I really enjoyed the story, I was hesitant to illustrate it. His story was epic. It contained a huge cast of characters and creatures and traversed a wide variety of places over different time periods.

“You know”, I told Kevin, “I’ve never done this before!”

“…I’ve just drawn comics…”, I continued, before he could interrupt. “… and, it’s almost a given that my artwork will improve as the book progresses. The illustrations might be inconsistent!”

“That’s okay!”, he replied, calmly.

In that instant I realized that Kevin and I were in the same boat. He wasn’t a professional writer any more than I was a professional artist. It’d be a learning process for both of us.

And then I smiled.

“Okay then.”, I said.

“Let’s do it.”

The experience so far has been nothing short of awesome…

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life …

-Scott

Next : Spiders!


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Happy Birthday

happy birthday hippo purple birthday card comic art
Who likes the color purple and hippos? My friend, Kaliope, does. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, instead of a 9th birthday party Kaliope’s mom elicited all of her friends to draw her pictures and mail them to her. Happy Birthday, Kaliope …

#happybirthday #hippo #purple #birthdaycard #ilovehippos #ilovepurple #sketchbook #drawnandcoded

Homonyms

kitten cat lover snow flake the fluffy white cat pet lover cone of shame spay nuder
My friend, Aymie, asked me to draw her kitten, “Snowflake”, a recent victim of the scalpel. For more Snowflake you can visit her Instagram page at snowflakethefluffywhitecat. Yes, the kitten has a Instagram page, too – and arguably more fans than me!

#kitten #cat #catlover #snowflakethefluffywhitecat #pets #petlover #coneofshame #sockofshame #spay #nuder

Facial Hair

facial hair shaving puberty beard mustache parenting comic
This was inspired by my daughters’ friend, Allan. He’s proud of his single solitary stubble. Maybe I’ll buy him a bottle of aftershave for his upcoming 11th birthday.

#hair #facialhair #shaving #puberty #beard #mustache #parentingfail #parenting #parents #drawnandcoded #sketchbook #comic #funny

Minecraft Easter Egg Hunt

Logo

“Dad! Can we do an Easter Egg Hunt on Minecraft?”, my oldest daughter, Ashley, asked me.

In years past we would go to the Westwood Club, our community center, for an annual Easter Egg Hunt with our friends and neighbors. However this year, due to social distancing restrictions enacted to slow the Coronavirus, the community center would be closed and the Easter Egg Hunt, cancelled.

“That is a great – wait, no, fantastic idea!”, I told her excitedly, “Let’s do it!”

So, during the week leading up to Easter Sunday we created a Minecraft World, populated it with a bunch of colorful “eggs” ( we substituted in-game colored wool blocks ), and scheduled a Zoom teleconference so that the participants could talk.

We kept the rule simple. 

  • Each participant would be provided a “basket” ( an in-game chest ) that would reside in the starting area. 
  • Each basket would contain tools ( a pickaxe and shears ) which would allow the participant to “mine” the eggs.
  • A hunt would last 15 minutes. 
  • During the hunt each participant would have to find and mine as many eggs as they could and return them to their basket before time ran out. Only eggs inside the basket at the end of the hunt would be tallied. 
  • And most importantly, the participant with the most eggs wins.

For each hunt we also hid a special “golden egg” ( an in-game gold block ) which would be worth ten regular eggs.

To get by Minecraft’s 8-player limit we would hold two hunts. The first would be for the older kids who would re-hide the eggs for the second hunt, which would be for the younger kids.

The hunt had it’s hiccups, but everyone seemed to have a good time. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to once again meet up with our friends and neighbors at the community center for a real, in-person Easter Egg Hunt, but desperate times call for desperate measures and this measure, in my humble opinion, wasn’t so much desperate as it was fun.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life. And stay safe everyone.

-Scott

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