Categories
Animals Digital art Drawing Gouache Sketchbook Pages

Herding Elephants? Rallying Rats?

Elephant & Rider, Ink & Gouache
Elephant & Rider, Ink & Gouache

I drew this elephant to illustrate an interesting blog post for my job last week. The post is about change and uses the analogy of an elephant and a rider. The “Rider” is our rational, analytical side and the “Elephant” is our emotional side and the author explains why you have to work with both to make a change.

Elephant, ink drawing painted in Photoshop
Elephant, ink drawing painted in Photoshop

I drew the elephant in my sketchbook, scanned the line drawing and painted it in Photoshop. That’s the one I used for that post. Later I painted the line drawing at top with gouache in my sketchbook. Which do you like better?

Rats Rally the Herd, Ink & Gouache
Rats Rally the Herd, Ink & Gouache

I did this illustration for the same article, but it got rejected, theoretically because two pictures were too many for the one post, but I suspect it was because rats are a little too creepy, even though it is the acronym of a group that was highlighted in the post (RATS: Reading Apprenticeship Teachers and Supporters).

RA Rats, ink drawing recomposed & painted in Photoshop
Rats Rally the Herd, ink drawing recomposed, painted in Photoshop

I used the same line drawing for the final illustration above, but cloned/altered some of the rats and painted and sketched more in Photoshop. This is the one I proposed for the post and got rejected. I didn’t mind, it was fun to do.

Categories
Drawing Food sketch Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting Sketchbook Pages

How to Make Yogurt, Illustrated

Making Yogurt, ink & watercolor
Making Yogurt, ink & watercolor

After much trial and error I figured out just the right steps and ingredients to make delicious yogurt and so of course had to sketch the process. I wanted to make my own yogurt so that I could get the mild, creamy flavor I like without adding more plastic to the landfill; I already have a lifetime supply of empty yogurt containers.

Ingredients for 7 cups:

48 oz. Organic 1% Milk
6 oz. yogurt at room temperature (I like Clover 1.5% Plain Yogurt) or use 1 cup from previous batch
2 T. Organic powdered low-fat milk (optional)

Quick-read Thermometer
1 Quart measuring cup
2 Quart Pyrex casserole dish
Whisk

Directions:

Pour 48 oz. of milk into Pyrex casserole dish, or pot (if using stove)

Cook until 180° F. (almost boiling, 15 minutes in my microwave)

Remove from microwave and allow to cool until 110° F. or room temperature. If skin forms on top, use a fork to skim it off.

Turn on the yogurt maker* and put the jars in place so they can pre-warm.

Pour a cup or so of the milk into the 1 quart measuring cup.

Whisk the 6 oz. container of yogurt (should be at room temperature) and the powdered milk (optional) into the milk in the measuring cup.

Pour the milk/yogurt mixture back into the big bowl of milk and whisk all until completely blended.

Pour the mixture into the individual jars.

Put the dome lid on the yogurt maker and set timer for 8 hours.

When it turns off, place lids on jars and put in the refrigerator to cool.

When cold, eat as is or add fresh fruit.

Yum.

*The Waring Pro Yogurt Maker comes with reusable plastic containers but I replaced them with 1 cup glass canning jars which are more appealing. I eat the yogurt right out of the jars, wash them and use them again. The Waring helps to make the process simple: it has a timer and holds the yogurt at the right temperature for the number of hours you set it to run and then it turns off. The longer it “cooks” the more tart it becomes. But you don’t really need equipment to make yogurt; you can use a thermos, an oven pilot light or even a crock pot, but for consistent results the Waring is great.

Categories
Cartoon art Definitions Illustration Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Word Play: Hubris Meets Hirsute; Labial goes Labile

Hubris, Hirsuit: Excess Pride, Excess Hair, ink & watercolor, 7x6"
Hubris Meets Hirsute, ink & watercolor, 7x6"

Lying on the table, stuck full of needles in a room painted soft peach, with monks softly chanting in the background, my mind wandered to the acupuncturist’s use of the word “labile” in our pre-treatment conversation and the realization that labile and labial were not the same word. While the needles worked (or didn’t) their magic,  I pondered two other odd words I like to ponder: Hirsute and Hubris.

I’d finally looked those two up in the dictionary a few years ago. Hirsute, which  so perfectly sounds like “Hair Suit;” is defined as “excessive hair.” While the definition of Hubris is “excessive pride,” Hubris always makes me picture ancient Egyptian gods and hieroglyphics. Maybe a Horus/Osiris/Hubris connection?

As soon as I got home I grabbed my sketchbook and introduced the two (above). Then I looked up Labile and Labial to see which was the right word when describing fluctuating energy level or emotions.

Labile Labial, ink & watercolor
Labial Goes Labile, ink & watercolor

I was delighted to discover that Labial refers to Lips while Labile refers to Slips! (see the actual definition below).

Definition of Labile

Labile: Unstable, unsteady, not fixed. Labile comes from the Latin labilis, meaning liable to slip.

Definition of Labial

Labial: Pertaining to the lip. A sound requiring the participation of one or both lips is a labial (labium in Latin means lip) sound or, simply, a labial. All labials are consonants.

The word “lip” can be traced back to the Indo-European “leb” which also produced the Latin “labium” from which came the French “levre.” The German “lippe” is just a slip from the English “lip.”

I love words just as much as I love pictures!