Year-End Book Wrap-up 2016

Books Read in 2016:
1. The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski
2. Puckster Plays the Hockey Mascots by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
3. Feminist Ryan Gosling by Danielle Henderson
4. Are You Dissing Me? by Simon Winheld
5. Seriously, You Have to Eat by Adam Mansbach
6. The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin
7. Monster Trucks & Hair In A Can: Who Says America Doesn’t Make Anything Anymore? by Bill Geist
8. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
9. Mark Twain’s Guide to Diet, etc… edited by Mark Dawidziak
10. Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sondheim
11. Freehand Drawing and Discovery by James Richards
12. Nightfall and Other Stories by Isaac Asimov
13. You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons by Mo Willems
14. The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
15. Fearless Drawing by Kerry Lemon
16. Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger
17. Drawn In by Julia Rothman
18. Lincoln’s Dreams by Connie Willis
19. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
20. Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
21. Torchwood: The Undertaker’s Gift by Trevor Baxendale
22. Animals Talking in All Caps by Justin Valmassoi
23. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
24. MegaTokyo vol. 1 by Fred Gallagher
25. The Cartoon History of Humanism: Volume One: Antiquity To Enlightenment by Dale DeBakcsy
26. To Sin Again by Beth McMullen
27. The Wrong Reflection by Gillian Bradshaw
28. Kate the Great Except When She’s Not by Suzy Becker
29. Wings of Madness by Paul Hoffman
30. Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell
31. What in God’s Name by Simon Rich

Books Listened to in 2016:
1. Fool by Christopher Moore
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
3. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
4. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
5. Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
6. The Mental Floss History of the World by Steve Wiegand and Erik Sass
7. Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman
8. My Antonia by Willa Cather
9. The White Cat by Holly Black
10. Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton
11. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
12. Mystic Warrior by Tracy and Laura Hickman
13. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
14. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
15. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
16. Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
17. America Again by Stephen Colbert
18. Food by Jim Gaffigan
19. Longitude by Dava Sobel
20. The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
22. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
23. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
24. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
25. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
26. La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
27. Earth: The Book by Jon Stewart
28. Death by Black Hole by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
29. Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke
30. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
31. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
32. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld
33. The Bat by Jo Nesbo
34. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
35. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
36. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

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Mom

This is my mother. After seeing how quickly I was able to draw my dead artists and my selfies, she requested that I draw her. Rather than make her stand around for an hour while I figured out her face, I snapped a quick cell phone photo and sat down later to draw.

Most of the reason I like to draw dead artists is because they don’t complain if I make them look wonky. So I was extra careful on this picture, telling myself that if I screwed it up, I didn’t have to show her. But it turned out okay, if I do say so myself. It helps to have such a beautiful model.

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More Selfies

Koosje Koene is the master of the selfie sketch. Inspired by her sillier self portraits, I snapped a few quick pics of myself with my cell phone one night and drew one of them:

Does it look much like me? I dunno. Some folks seem to have recognized it. But it sure was fun to draw. A friend asked me to draw a smiling selfie (she said I wasn’t recognizable without a smile, which is sweet of her), so I did:

I overdid the chin a little bit but overall I really like it. But you know I couldn’t leave it at that:

The show through from the next page is pretty bad, but oh well. It’s just a sketchbook. If I cared more I’d take the time to do more post-processing. But too much of that sort of tedium causes me to make this exact face. We try to avoid that in my house.

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Trying out Moleskine (again)

Moleskine has long been a favorite among the sketching community, and for a long time I really couldn’t understand why. I’d used loads of their notebooks and frankly, they kind of suck. The paper is extremely thin and smooth, meaning that ink smears and bleeds something terrible.

Not wanting to completely dismiss the brand, though, I picked up one of their sketchbooks and tried it out with my regular art pens. And you know what? It was fantastic. The paper is thick and sturdy with minimal show-through and no feathering. It’s lovely to draw on. I now understand the hype.

So now that’s my purse sketchbook. I was at a party and decided to do a couple of sketches – the hosts’ cat on his kitty tree, and my foot among the assorted detritus of eating and playing video games. Fun times. Maybe this new sketchbook will actually cause me to draw more while I’m out. That’d be nice.

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Sketchbook Peek: Manassas Train Station

I was wandering downtown Manassas and decided to take advantage of the lovely weather to draw the train station there. I sat in the gazebo across the street, which seems a common location to take photographs. To be honest, I’m not at all happy with this; I’m simply not very good at drawing buildings. But you know what? That’s why we practice.

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Diary Comic: Misheard

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Grandma Moses

It bothers me a little bit that Grandma Moses is known mostly for being old, but her paintings are nice.

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Sketchbook Peek: Fort Washington

Despite having grown up absolutely nowhere near water, I really like lighthouses. I stood in the wind as I drew, a man nearby flying a kite far above my head as the sun started to set. A lovely day, and I’m glad I took the time to draw part of it.

(I also love national parks because I can put the stamp in my sketchbook.)

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Berthe Morisot

There weren’t many female Impressionists, so Morisot’s work was new to me, but I like it.

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Sketchbook Peek: Oxon Hill Farm

It was a windy and chilly April day that I visited Oxon Hill Farm, far too windy to draw the cows in the field as I’d wanted. So I took shelter in this little building and drew the old tractor they had on display along with other ancient technology.

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