The Mawwidge of Pwincesses, Pencils and Paypah

Now that I've finished the main, non-baddie cast, I thought you folks might enjoy seeing the character drawings from the movie The Princess Bride that I did this week. I started with Pwincess... er... Princess... Princess Buttercup. This is from the scene where she dreams she married Prince Humperdinck and gets booed by her royal subjects...

And here is her true love, Wesley (in Dread Pirate Roberts mode). He's only lying there because he's been Mostly Dead all day.

Of course I had to do my personal favorite character, Inigo Montoya... (say it with me, folks: "Hello: my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.".... Ah! Feel better now? I do.)

I also thought it would be fun to draw the ever-nefarious Vizzini-- as inconceivable as that might be...

And this morning, I put the finishing touches on the beloved strong man Fezzik, as played by the late Andre the Giant. ("My way? What's 'my way'?")

So now? I must close the book on this post. May your weekends all end up "happily ever after!"  --Jenn

Where Have All the Plural Pants Gone?

It arrived in my Inbox this morning. "The Soft Pant."

The email claimed to be from DressBarn, but my instinctual mistrust of the denizens of the internet suggested to me it probably was porn spam. Because if there's any soft panting going on online, that's usually where it'll find ya.

But no. Further inspection revealed a strange new perspective in fashion marketing. Somewhere along the way, it seems our bum-covers have become all feisty and leg-independent-- lone wolves, toughing it out in a statement of personal destiny, rugged individualism and polyester blends.

I'd seen hints of this leghole-based libertarianism a few months ago. There was one sign in Express, and another in New York & Company, proclaiming the chic awesomeness of this or that particular "pant." I had only just mentioned it to my friend Linda, when she promptly discovered this ad in her own email...

The "tummy control pant." One pant to control them all! 

Ah, if only Frodo had enjoyed the benefits of this singular garment of belly-bulge-bracing resolve, he might have been able to finish his epic journey in the span of a standard two-hour feature film.

I admit, it has me curious just how far the ramifications of the solo "pant" go. I mean, plural pants have been a part of our language for a while now. And I don't know if I'm ready to adapt. For me, it brings up questions of consistency.

Now do we tell someone to, "Put your pant on one leg at time"?

Do we talk about who "wears the pant in the family"?

After a big meal at the SuperPanda buffet, do we lean back in our chairs and exclaim, "My pant is too tight!"?

For my British friends, in a moment of dismay, are we required to exclaim, "Oh, pant!"

And if a film really sucks, must we proclaim, "That movie was pant!"

Also, I want to know if this applies to synonyms for the two-legged garments. Will we soon be up to our navels in "trouser"? On the weekend, will we slip into our favorite pair of "jean"? Do we now go to the meeting in one fashionable "slack"?

Is this some insidious ploy by the shirt and sweater marketing associations, who've secretly felt bitter all these years for having two sleeves yet being referred to as one piece of clothing, forcing them into being united for a single cause? Is this some sly chance to urge conformity among the soft cloth funnel wearing masses?

I want to know.

In the meantime, I glance suspiciously at the "headphone" on my desk and wonder. And wait.

Humorous Sci-Fi $0.99 Sale Cosmicness!

Heads up to my reader buddies on here!-- I decided to have a little summer sale for my humorous sci-fi books during the next week. Both There Goes the Galaxy and The Purloined Number are now available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords for $0.99 a piece. They're also available proportionately cheap in the UK, Canada, etc. on Amazon-- I just didn't want to overload folks with too many links.

So if you were looking for a good time to pick up a copy of either of those to books, this might just be the time to snag them. Or if you know someone who enjoys sci-fi in the general Hitch-hiker's Guide or Terry Pratchett tradition, I'd love it if you would pass the sale info along. The details are as follows:

Kindle US:









Thank ye much, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled Tuesday! :)

Happy Thorsday from Me and Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grand Uncle Thor

After the slaying of the Cumberbatch from my last post, I was feeling pretty confident that, with blood, sweat and many eraser nubbins, I might just be able to draw whoever I'd like to a reasonable degree. So in between writing, gardening and my Day Job Thingy, I launched myself into a series of portraits of my favorite movie characters.

To celebrate #Thorsday, I HAD to attempt Chris Hemsworth in the role of my family's demi-god ancestor-- a superhero forged of stardust, steel and quality hair care products.

I also chose Mia Wasikowska as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, in armor, preparing to fight the Jabberwock. (And -- major ALICE IN WONDERLAND NERD RANT-- I love this movie, but I'm sorry, Mr. Burton-- the creature is NOT a "Jabberwocky." That is the name of Lewis Carroll's poem. The dragon is the "Jabberwock." It's right there on the page. This bugs me every time. I understand taking liberties with the plot to create a new film, but there's simply no reason to tweak the name of the Jabberwock. It is totally non-frabjous and someone needed to say that... Ahem.) Look-- Alice looks concerned about it, too.

Post-Alice, I decided I would tackle two favorite character actors at once, by drawing Paul Bettany and Alan Tudyk as Chaucer and Wat from A Knight's Tale. Interestingly, it took me less time to draw both of these guys than it did a single Cumberbatch. All drawings for me are now going to be evaluated for their difficulty on the Cumberbatch Scale.

I've been wanting to draw Paul Bettany, anyway, because if my There Goes the Galaxy books ever became movie fodder, he would be my very first choice to play my character Rollie. Sometime, if I'm feeling brave, I may try to draw him in the role. He really only needs the orange eyes and madder hair.

Another film I've watched a million times is Ever After, so I decided to draw Drew Barrymore in the scene where she's headed off to the ball. I had to use two different reference photos to get this right since the photo of her costume didn't show her face clearly and at the angle I wanted.

And my FAVORITE of the bunch is this Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. I wasn't sure if I could pull this one off, so when the drawing actually began looking Depply, it was really exciting!

I post all of my drawings as I become happy with them on my Pinterest account here:

So if you enjoy them, I hope you'll follow me there. (After the many hours of drawing I've done, I'd be all excited to see folks repinning something other than that one pink moth photo I pinned off of someone else six months ago.)

Ah, but such is the Interwebs. :)

Happy Thorsday, good people!

Slaying the Cumberbatch: The Saga of Drawing and Redrawing the Elusive Benedict

I've been drawing portraits lately in the evenings, and a couple of my friends innocently requested my next project be Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame. 

Then I lost four days of my life to stalking the wild and wily Cumberbatch.

For folks who have visited lately, you've probably seen some of my drawings. They're of varied success, but usually they bear a reasonable resemblance to their subject matter. And my last two, I had considered actually decent... The interesting and complex-looking Colin Morgan of Merlin...

And my childhood hero, Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman...

So when my buds suggested Mr. Cumberbatch, I was psyched. 

I was cocky.

Little did I know that Benedict Cumberbatch is not of this world. His unusual features (and ALL of them are unusual) are not easily pinned down to paper as actual human faces are.

So after an evening's worth of work scrutinizing my DVD case and spreading graphite around, I was left with this...

Um... no. Not only is he a disembodied head, but that head bore more resemblance to Dexter than Sherlock. Where was the prominent nose? Where was the large distance between nose and mouth? What was up with that hair?

Not to be daunted, I set out on a second quest on the trail of the sly and stealthy Cumberbatch. A second evening of effort using the same photo produced this rough sketch...


More Disembodied Head-a-go-go with a TOUCH of Hardy Boys' Parker Stevenson. Also two ears on very different trajectories.

Perhaps it was the photo that was the issue! I decided I needed a different photo, a different angle. That would solve my problems! 

Then I found my paper covered in this...

Is it Beethoven? Napoleon perhaps? Definitely a bit of 18th century composer with French revolutionary tucked in.

I began contemplating how a person could have a large nose, but a short nose at the same time. How can a person's nose be rounded AND pointed? How can it be aquiline AND have a dent in it? How can eyes be small and narrow and angular, yet not look like they're squinting? How can they be pale AND piercing?

But I had promised to do this. Friends were counting on me to come up with the goods. This is a guy lots of women adore-- I had to do the man justice! So I put my sketchbook aside and set-out to rework it the next day...

More Cumberbatchly, YES, but an Angry, Snooty, Cumberbatch. Aged Dickensian Cumberbatch with a bit of Alan Rickman for good measure, and only half a lip and a chin that could cut bread. This old, craggy Cumberbatch clearly smells something he doesn't like... 

And it's US.

By now it had become a point of honor. I would not be defeated. I would draw Cumberbatches until my fingers were claws and I had drawn my last breath.

(Or until I ran out of paper. Whichever came first.)

So just as I was about to question the very meaning of Art, of Life, of all that is good in the world beyond compelling BBC detective series, finally, FINALLY, last night, a different, larger photo helped me see a break in the Case of the Cumberbatch Conundrum. And it was after a night of restless sleep where Baskerville Hounds and Moriarty Minions pursued me, I rose with fresh eyes, to put the finishing touches on this...

"And hast thou slain the Cumberbatch?
Come to my arms, my beamish girl
O frabjous day! Calloo, Callay!"
She cheered and gave a twirl.

(Apologies to Lewis Carroll)