Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mortar? CHECK!

I am pleased to report Project Bathroom is humming along smoothly.

Finished the mortar today

I was able to mortar all of the entryway and part of the bathroom yesterday and finished everything including the mural in the center of the floor today. It was epic but it was worth it.

Here is a video from when we (the royal we) were in process yesterday:

Wait, does the royal we mean just me?
That's what I mean.
Patrick always says "the royal we" and it occurs to me I don't actually know what that means come to think of it.

I am too lazy to Google it.

The thing about mortar is it really dries out your hands.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a baby about my hands, so this was annoying for me.
But, other than dry skin and slicing my palm open (CAUTION! Picture below) this project was very cool.


I was tired at the end of yesterday and like an idiot I thought I could just snap this little piece of tile in my bare hands. And when I tried; SLICE.

It was a bit like holding a knife blade and pulling fast with my other hand.
Man that sucker bled.

But in my defense I was tired. Also, it's just a superficial wound and should heal up nicely in a day or two. Next time Tana, don't be lazy. Use the damn tile saw (idiot).


I still have to grout the whole thing but I have let the mortar set up for 24 hours so I wont be absoutely done until Friday. But this gives you a good idea what the final place is going to look like.

Here is what the tile design was originally in the entryway:

And here is what I ended up going with:

I'm much happier with the revised design. It sort of looks like an area rug or something.

Here is a video of the final thing.
Seriously you guys, I am ZERO percent Asian.
I know what you are thinking: But Tana have you seen your own face?
But I am telling you the straight truth.
ZERO Percent.

And with that we can get back to the business of comics!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bathroom Update

Let the Tiling Commence!

When last we left our bathroom I was mid-painting, I believe.

In the time since I have laid the floor out.
Up next? Figuring out how to mortar and grout and also make mosaics out of tile that will hold up to foot traffic.

A few years back I was on a bit of a Gaudi kick. For those of you who might not know Antonin Gaudi was a Spanish architect most famous for his work in Barcelona, where Alex and I visited, back in 2001(ish). He used lots of broken tile in his work which often had fantastical elements. I find this interesting because the man himself was a total ascetic and religious fanatic.

Creepy and so beautiful

"From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "Skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars."

Anyway, I was on this Gaudi kick so I went up to my local Lowe's hardware store with a little courage and 2 page proposal and asked to see whoever the manager was. I presented my little two-page-printout that was mostly pictures of Gaudi's tile work and asked if I could have any broken tiles they had. I remember having written something about this Lowe's helping their local community (me!) and doing good for the planet. I was offering to reuse what would only wind up in a land fill and all they had to do was throw their broken tiles in my bucket instead of their trash.

I'd come in twice a month and pick up whatever they had.

And they agreed!

Some broken tiles

So, for about a month and half I think I went to the Lowe's to pick up my tiles.
I felt very cool about this.
Then, one day, the same manager told me I had to pay for the broken tiles, since obviously I was using them for something and his bosses told him he should charge me something.

I thanked him and went on my way.

Broken tiles cut into squares, mostly

Truthfully, I had more tile then I knew what to do with at the time and I got busy with other projects and never used the stuff - until NOW!~


Now then, getting back to Gaudi, I do not desire any of the creepier elements of Casa Batlló but I am working towards beauty using broken tile. The plan is to do a logo element in the center of the bathroom floor, then to cut all the shards of shattered tile I collected all those years ago into usable pieces. Mostly, squares and rectangles I can piece together to make a floor.

I laid out the logo element in the center of the bathroom floor before I realized I would have to move the whole thing anyway, when it came time to mortar. I'm such a rookie! That's such a rookie mistake! Gah! Anyway, after a tentative morning spent getting to know the tile saw (borrowed from some unbelievably helpful and sweet construction workers, the same guys who are building the actual bathroom) I got my confidence and started ripping tile like a pro.

Tile Saw Madness!

It turned out the Lowe's folks had hooked me up!

I had marble and slate and beautiful pieces of flooring and all of them were broken or had corners missing but soon they were all nicely cut blocks, ready to be arranged.

Here is a video I took of me cutting the tile with the tile saw. It's a boring angle and you can't really see what I am doing exactly, but it's the only spot I could put my camera where it wouldn't fall. Also, no comments about my amazing posture and dainty handling of such a mean machine.

Also, I have like a thousand layers on because it is cold in the shop.
Hello, it's November!

I spent the whole weekend after thanksgiving cutting and arranging.
I left a space in the center of the floor for the logo mosaic:

I made a design that looks like a rug for where your feet will be when you use the toilet:

And laid out the rest of the tile in a way that I found interesting and effective.

Here is a video of me showing what all I did.
I look exhausted, which is accurate. And perhaps you have noticed I wear the same work clothes everyday? That's intentional. Quit hatin'.

Laying out the tiles took much longer than I expected. And since I was doubled over all day, by the end of Sunday my back was screaming. I used the remaining tiles (the maroon ones were my least favorite but beggars can't be be choosers) to cover the floor in the hallway.

I don't love the design and will probably spend some time today reworking it into something less ugly. The amazing construction workers I mentioned said they are going to bring me whatever tile they have laying around (How awesome are those guys, right) for me to use in the little bit I have left to cover.

Anyway, that's our bathroom update!

Hope you had an excellent turkey day and got to enjoy some time off.

I'll be getting back to the business of comics very soon.

I have an amazing new secret project collaboration going with the amazingly talented Justin Hall and I'm also going to make a birthday comic about that time I turned 21 in Montreal with the lovely Alex.

Can you believe that was 10 years ago already?!

Yeah, me neither!
Catch you later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mural & Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my 31st birthday!~

Can you believe it?
This time last year I was moped-ing around Greece.

Ah, how time flies.

When we last left our mural it was in this state:

Then I spent the morning taping off the edges:

Here is a detail shot of the edges before I begin painting for the day:


This is so I can create sharp clean lines when I render the panels.
I laying in light and shadow which gave me this effect:


This is what the whole wall looks like after I have spent the better part of my birthday painting:

Then I peel off the masking tape and paper borders to reveal this:


Next I will go back in and render the rivets and do some detail art along the edges. Matthew mentioned wanting to put some quotes up. I am thinking "Work is Love Made Visible" by ~Khalil Gibran above the door since that is our unofficial motto here at the garage.

If you've got any good ones, send 'em my way.

Happy almost-Thanksgiving everyone!

Gobble Gobble!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mural Day Three

These pictures are all from yesterday's effort.

First I painted in some rivets.
Without shadows or effects they just sort of appear to be floating unanchored to the wall.
I used a warm brown which I hope will "pop" against the backdrop of the blue.

I've got electrician's currently diddling around in the bathroom so I am on hold presently, waiting for them to leave.

Yesterday, I added a bit of texture to the floating rivets .
This part is fun and free flowing.
I let the painting take me where it will.

Today I will paint in the base coat of the steel (or pewter or metal or bronze or whatever it looks like) and I think for that I am going to use a real paint brush, instead of my trusty Iwata Eclipse airbrush.


Here is a detail shot of the rivets.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Football Sunday 2

As promised (and since when so I keep promises?!) here is another comic page.

Good thing the Pats won this past weekend.
I am OVER losing.

More updates on the bathroom mural tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day One - Layout

I spent the day yesterday making little gear stencils and mentally mapping out the kind of visuals I wanted to put on the bathroom walls. This morning I was ready to go early.

Here we have the collection of hand cut stencils I plan on using. Gears and belts and things.

And the paints and tools I'll be using. I find it helpful sometimes to see what folks use to make their art. The tools I take for granted might shed some light on what someone else is trying to figure out how to do.

Then I start masking things off and laying some outlines down.

I know I want to make the bathroom look as though certain part are riveted down, like you'd see on sheet metal, and I want some cut away panels that reveal gears in the walls. Mostly I'm hoping to keep the main color of the bathroom bright white (we don't have any windows in there and without natural light the more brightness, the better).

I get a rough outline of laid in.

And then I set about spraying in the gears and starting on some detail work.
Today is all about just roughing it in.

I go back in with a warm gray and start adding texture to the walls.

I drop some shadows in the places where I'm going to paint rivets and trail out some shadows.
This is just the base coat but it'll help give form to the final painting.

And Voila~!

At the end of the day we've got a good start, I think.

Back at it tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bathroom Redo!

November is the season of bathroom renovation!

Take my word for it.

Here at Matt's Auto Service we are moving our bathroom across the building and, as of this morning, the room has been built, the toilet and sink have been plumbed and the electrician is due in by noon. That means I won't have to use that ghetto lamp to illuminate the place any longer.

After the construction crew installed the baseboard and hung the door, I went and got myself 2 gallons of white paint and went to work coating the strangely half-green room in pure white.



The plan from here is paint a mural of automotive themed excellence on the walls and then create a Gaudi-esque mosaic masterpiece on the floor. Doesn't that sound exciting?!

Stay tuned for daily updates!

And I've got another comic on Football Sunday dropping this Thursday.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Football Sunday

Let's do an update a week!

Football Sunday 1

How about Thursdays?

Here's today's installment. It's the first of a short comic about football Sunday!

The Patriots have been having a hard go of it the past couple of weeks. Here's a few observations about such sad, sad things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hot Tub 5 (NSFW)

Page 5

Here it is the last page.

Hope you have enjoyed my little recap of the hot-tub-fight-that-really-happened.

Also, on this night a lilac-colored bra was taken by the wrong party and returned to me (why me?) months later. The rightful owner had kissed that brassiere goodbye when I finally asked around to see if anyone was missing it.

These things amuse me.

I wonder if I should do more hot tub stories.
I have enough of them to fill a book, I'm certain.
You have done the hop-topless-out-of-a-hot-tub-in-a-snowstorm trick right?
Mine was to get the last bottle of wine out of the truck and MAN that ground was cold.
Also I slipped on the snowbank on the return trip.
Good times.

How about the house-sitting when the kid comes home and you are not alone in the hot tub trick? That one involves hopping out quickly and throwing pants on.

Oh, to be young again.


Are you moving your money on Saturday?

Don't sit still join the movement.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hot Tub 4 (NSFW!)

I don't think you can see the whole image on Blogger's new image viewer but you do have options if you actually want to read this thing.

You can go to my DeviantArt account and view it there or open the Blogger image in a new screen. I trust you can figure that out.

Only one more page to go and we are calling this one done!

CAUTION: piercings shown below.

Page 4

As always, feedback would be welcome.

(Drop me a line at duckacomic DOT gmail DoT Commmmm.....)


And here I am about to eat a lion!

Happy Halloweeeeen!