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An Awesome Scrabble Moment

Webcomic December 16, 2014

This was one of those too good to be true scrabble moments. Oddly enough, I could’ve actually used my letters somewhere else on the board to make even more points. But I thought it was just too funny that my mom mentioned it, and when I looked at my letters, it was right there. Mom ended up winning this round.

What awesome scrabble moments have happened to you?

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Nikki’s Pet Portrait Drawing Process

Cartoon Portraits December 12, 2014

1. I take a look at the pet photos you supplied.

For my Pet Portrait Drawing Process- it’s important to send great photos of your pets, from different angles, otherwise I won’t know what exactly to draw. Plus, come on! I know you have a stockpile of cute pet photos in your phone or camera!

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2. I read the description you entered about your pets, gauge what type of portrait you’re looking for, and decide how to tell your pet’s story.

Some people really like to get detailed in their pet’s description, and some people don’t even know what to write. Either way, it works out! I ask for extra information so I can draw not just your pet’s portrait, but it’s story.

If you want to gush on about who your tiara-wearing fat cat named Princess is, then you’ll get more of a storytelling element to your portrait. (Come on, if you tell me that how could I not get into character!) If you don’t give me any details, then you’ll get a portrait of your pet just sitting pretty, and that’s great too. It’s all about what you want to receive!

 

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3. I sketch out your pet with a non-photo blue pencil.

This is the type of pencil I use to draw my comics because non-photo blue doesn’t show up when it’s scanned. Even though colored portraits technically eliminate the need for a non-photo blue, I just feel right drawing with one.

4. I tighten up the pencils, and then ink it.

Once the blue lines are perfect, I can begin inking. This is the final drawing stage for the black and white portraits. My favorie inking tools are a variety of brush pens. Eeee!

5. Color!

I use copic markers to color the portraits in. They are very high-quality markers, and have the versatility of showing details like an extra furry and fluffy texture, or a sleek and smooth fur with little texture. When I color outside the lines, I touch it up with white ink to erase it.

 

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6. It’s not finished yet! Time to package and ship it.

I’ve got a one-lady operation here at OMG Nikki, so your finished cartoon pet portraits package is sealed with love & care from yours truly! Your package includes: your portrait(s) wrapped in a clear casing, a backboard for extra stability, and some fun OMG Nikki extras, all in a rigid mailer envelope.

 

So just think about it- these pet portraits could be be yours! Or your dog rescuing Mother-in-Law’s for a birthday gift. Or to celebrate you and your girlfriend’s first puppy you’ve adopted together. Or your grandma’s cats that she always wants to go on about when you call her… Either way, I’d love to draw some cute animals!

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Steve Looked Weird

Webcomic December 9, 2014

Shell’s definitely Steve’s sister, alright. I loved this exchange Shell and I had, and there were actually some other funny conversation snippets I could’ve gone with too. Including where I was threatened to not break her brother’s heart, then laughed and hugged, and then quickly threatened again. If that’s not a good sister, I don’t know what is.

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Say hello to Steve’s Sister, Shell!

Webcomic December 2, 2014

I don’t know anyone who likes moving, and that’s the one question you don’t want to hear when you’re helping someone move. Shell had no problem asking us though! …Well, “asking.” Hehe.

Shell (short for Michelle) is a hoot, so you can certainly bet she’ll be making more appearances in my journal comic. So keep an eye out for next week’s comic!

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The Walking Dead season finale

Webcomic November 25, 2014

ZOMBIES! This comic features the Walking Dead season finale from season 4’s second one, and man, it was so intense!

It’s very very weird for me that I watch the Walking Dead, since I have a personal rule to not watch television with extreme violence or sex. Plus, I’m like a two year old that loves rainbows, kittens, and unicorns, so to say the least… it’s not my usual style. But I did read the comics. And the comics are awesome, of course! So somehow the Walking Dead has sort of slipped past my ‘cute & fuzzy only’ radar and remains there.

I wonder if I’m the only one cringing and covering my eyes constantly when watching it, do any of you guys do the same thing??

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Want to Draw Comics? Start a Journal Comic!

Tutorials & Reviews November 21, 2014

I’ve been drawing journal comics, or autobiographical comics, for years.

I started long before I drew with cute, Sunday cartoon looking characters. Before this website got its facelift. Before I even had omgnikki.com. And, honestly… before I could even draw well.

You see, the reason why I started drawing journal comics in the first place was so I could learn how to draw comics. It’s the best way to practice for any cartooning beginner. And it’s much easier to have content ready to go if you draw from events of your life, especially if they are recent and stick out in your mind. Otherwise you might end up staring at a blank page and wondering, “What should I even draw?!”

So if you are an aspiring comic book artist or cartoonist, a doodler, or even someone who wants to keep a unique journal, journal comics are your best starting point.

 

Where do I start?

I always start off by cataloging recent events in my life just by writing them in a notebook. Whatever sticks out in your mind is important to you as a person, as surely deserves a spot in your journal comic.

Sometimes, when I revisit my notes, I realize something I wrote down isn’t important to me anymore or even that my idea wasn’t any good. Nothing wrong with skipping some notes and moving on to the good content!

 

What style should I draw with? What format do I choose?

These are things you’ll have to play around with. One thing to keep in mind about your journal comic- not every strip is going to look good. And that’s okay because, that’s the point! It’s all about experimentation. No sweat if you try out drawing super realistic, and then decide to go for a very graphic look. Or even just stick figures. This is your chance to try it all!

Same with format- maybe you start off drawing horizontal comic strips, and you decide you want more space so you can switch over to a manga sized page. If you want to start a webcomic of your own, consider what sizes are easily readable on computers and other devices.

 

Oh my gosh, my art looks horrible!

Well, you just started your journal comic, didn’t you? I’ll let you in on a secret… My art looked horrible too. I cringe looking back on my first little mini-comic that I ever made. But in order to get better, you need to practice, practice, practice! Plus, it’s pretty fun re-reading my old journal comics because, despite my earlier ones looking not-so-great, they are still precious to me because they hold memories of my life. And that certainly makes your efforts even more worth while.

 

Public or Private?

When making journal comics, it’s really easy to get super personal without intending to. This is why you should consider the purpose of your journal comic.

If you want to share it one day, try to just focus on special moments of your life that others can relate to. If you draw something that isn’t very nice about someone, they’ll find out. Trust me. If you want to have it be more of an actual journal, then feel free to vent all you want. You’ll probably feel even less restricted art-style wise if you keep your journal comic personal.

 

Whichever path you choose, journal comics are a great way to practice how to draw comics. Plus, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. I’ll be posting more articles about drawing journal comics, so stay tuned!

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Cat Cartoon Portraits

Cartoon Portraits November 14, 2014

My latest pet portrait customer, Starla, was so great- she has five cats and gave me a lot of information about each one, and wonderful photos too! It was really fun drawing their little quirks and their stories for each of their cat cartoon portraits.

She said that she didn’t mind if I shared her cat cartoon portraits with you, so here they are!

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Trohman is Starla’s baby. He’s a lap cat and likes to sleep on her chest when she sleeps. He meows distinctly, in ways that you know exactly what he is demanding. Hence, his little bossy facial expression.

 

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Starla’s husband Keith has a baby cat of his own, and it’s Donnie. Donnie mostly hangs out on the back porch, but when he’s inside, he’s hugging everyone who will let him!

 

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I got the sense that Arnold was a bit of an oddball, he definitely likes to go do his own thing and avoid everyone except Donnie, who took care of him as a kitten. But he can’t help peeking around the corner when something tasty is cooking in the kitchen!

 

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Zeke is mostly blind, so his eyes are very dilated. The only time you can see his brilliant blue eyes is when he’s out on his porch swing in the sunlight. Zeke loves potato chips, and has been known to climb into potato chip bags just to get some scraps.

 

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Paul is the playful one, and has a knack for finding plastic grocery bags in the house…  and eats them. He’s the most vocal cat as well. I’d easily assume he’s the trouble maker of the household. Poor Starla and Keith!

Like what you see? You could have your own cartoon cat portraits too! Check out the pet portrait ordering page here for more details.

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Steve’s Garden has bugs

Webcomic November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran’s Day! My eternal appreciation goes out to all of the protectors of our country. Coincidentally, this week’s comic is about my boyfriend Steve who is also a veteran. (Maybe I should’ve drawn something more appropriate to the holiday… but Steve is retired after all.)

I loved taking photos of everything as it grew in Steve’s garden, so I have practically a billion photos of plants in various stages of life. Which is COOL!

Gnats are just a problem in Savannah in general. At a certain time of year where it isn’t winter anymore, but it isn’t blisteringly hot and humid yet… that’s when you need to really take cover.

Also, it was very strange for me to draw Steve in this comic strip without his tattoos. I realized in my other comic strips he should have them down his arms, but I’m just so used to seeing them that I don’t notice them anymore. But since this is Steve topless (whoooo!) it looks very odd with his skin blank slate.

Yup, I’m dating a tattooed veteran who can garden. Be jealous, ladies.