Tag Archives: mouse


19 Feb


Based on this tweet:

A grumpy cat walks and a jolly mouse hops into a bar. The cats ask: “What will it be? If you say CHEESE I will eat you!” #areyouamanoramouse

I know it’s rough, but that is the fun of it.


A cat, a mouse and the Force

21 Jul

A non-suspecting cat comes across this Jedi-mouse. This pussycat is getting slammed big time if he doesn’t control what comes natural to cats. I’m not sure he’s aware of that.

A cat, a mouse and the Force

That is all.

Mouse, part 9

25 Jun

I’m starting to get comfortable with my process, which is important if I want to get better. You don’t want to get bothered by the technical bits of your process, but rather concentrate on the creative parts.

Here is another sketch I ran through the process, from blue pencil sketch, inking with rollerball pen, scanning and digital manipulation in GIMP.

Mouse, part 9

And if you hadn’t noticed, I’m actually starting to like this drawing thing. Also, the character gets refined with every drawing I do. However, if you look closely, you might see the anatomy of the arms is kinda wrong.

That is all.

Mouse, part 8

24 Jun

Here is an attempt to draw some poses for the Mr. Mousestein character. Notice that the hand lettering was too loose, and should at least have been drawn on a straight line with a ruler. I tried to correct this in the cleaned up version, but there is still some irregularity in the lettering that needn’t be there.

Mouse, part 8 (rough sketch)Mouse, part 8 (cleaned up)

Also notice that while the face should be foreshortened in the right sketch, it doesn’t seem to be. I need to see my characters as three-dimensional objects.

That is all.

Designing Mr. Mousestein

23 Jun

This is my seventh try at drawing a cartoon mouse, featuring a facsimile of Albert Einstein. I also want to write about the process I used, so others may comment on it, or perhaps even learn from it.

I started with a blue pencil lead, sharpened and all, and drew a cute mouse figure, which is supposed to be a mouse-version of Albert Einstein. After I did that, I drew the Mr. Mousestein caption in blue pencil and inked the drawing with a rollerball pen by hand, using a magnifying glass for more accuracy. The letters were outlined with a fineliner. Because it looked so nice, I added the GULP! later, inside a speech bubble, first in blue pencil, next outlined with the rollerball pen and the fineliner.

Mouse, part 7 (rough sketch)

After scanning this inked sketch with the blue pencil lines into my Mac, I loaded it into GIMP, saved it as a new file (very important, because you never want to overwrite your original), and decomposed it into CMYK. I filled the C, M and Y layers with pure black and recomposed the image into the original (which is why you want to do this on a copy of your scanned file), so I was left with the black(ish) ink lines.

Next was the clean up phase, where I selected everything white (30 % selection criterium) with the Select Color tool and pressing the Delete key (which turned everything selected into the background color if the image has no transparency to it). I inverted the selection, and filled the entire selection with pure black.

The eyes and lettering was next on my agenda. I filled the eyes with black, by selecting the white inside the eyes, expanding the selection by one pixels and fill the entire selection with pure black. Next, I erased where I thought the highlights of the eyes would be.

The lettering got a somewhat different treatment. I selected the white inside the characters, expanded the selection by one pixel, and filled with pure black. Then I reselected all characters, diminished the selection by 3 pixels, and erased the selection by hitting the Delete key. This left me with a nice 3 pixel outline for each character.

The next part was finding the mistakes I made during inking and correcting those.

For this final retouch, I selected the white, looked for parts that were supposed to be white, but not selected, zoomed in, and erased the pixels to the background color, reselecting the white, and repeated the process until all areas that were supposed to be white actually were white. Then I inverted the selection, and filled the entire selection with pure black, so I was left with a pure black or white drawing. I think if you want your drawings to have a professional look, you should spend this time on retouching your drawing before committing to it and save it as your final version of the cleaned up ink drawing.

Here is the result.

Mouse, part 7 (cleaned up drawing)

Now this image is ready for coloring. You may use it if you want, as long as you write you got it from me (linking to the photo on Flickr) when you publish it, and don’t make any money on it (Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial).

Now I need to study character design to learn how to refine your character without over-complicating it. In a strip or comic book you want to be able to draw your main characters with ease, and not reinvent the wheel for that character every time you draw it. I have done some animation using Anime Studio Pro, and I’ve learned from that experience that time spent in preparation is time well spent, and pays itself back manyfold when you go into production (like animation or a comic book).

That is all.

Mouse, part 6

22 Jun

Using the new drawing method with a blue colored pencil, I tried a somewhat more elaborate drawing of Albert Einstein as a mouse, showing his theories can cause big booms.

Mouse, part 6

Of course, this cartoon isn’t properly designed, but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.

I realize that the coloring of the sketch wasn’t really good. That why I also want to show you the uncolored sketch, which is much better. This tells me I haven’t used the right colors in color version.

Mouse, part 6 (cleaned scan)

That is all.

Mouse, part 5

22 Jun

I wanted to explore another method for drawing characters, without the hassle of gray pencil lines in my inked drawings. Professional illustrators use non-repro blue (aka non-photo blue) pencils, which can be erased after inking, and whatever remains of the blue can be filtered out in Photoshop. In practice, you only erase the blue if your drawing will be offered for sale. In production you don’t waste time with erasing, because it is a simple action in Photoshop (at least, you can set it up as an action) to get rid of the color and be left with only the black ink lines on a white background.

Since I don’t own Photoshop, and non-repro blue pencils are expensive and hard to come by, I tried a blue colored pencil instead. Here is the original scan.


I separated this with GIMP into CMYK (cyan magenta yellow black), and cleared all layers, except the black layer (in GIMP you “clear” by filling a layer with black), and reassembled the result into a color image.

Mouse, part 5 (black channel)

After cleaning up and making it a pure black-and-white drawing, this is the result.

Mouse, part 5 (cleaned)

It’s clear to me that I have to do this process a lot before I have mastered it. It’s much easier than using a pencil lead and inking over that. There’s always some of the original pencil lead in the scanned image, however thorough you are with erasing any pencil lines. With this method, you can remove the original pencil sketch quick and reliably. The advantage is that your sketch can be much looser and contain construction lines and such without any of it appearing in the cleaned up scan.

That is all.