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Santa Claus

As you may know, I did a special event in this blog known as The 12 Drawings of Christmas where each day from December 21, 2018-January 1, 2019 I uploaded a new drawing. It’s similar to what I did for Inktober with a few exceptions: 1) I only did 12 drawings over a 12-day period instead of doing 31 drawings over a 31-day period and 2) unlike Inktober, where the drawings have to be done in ink (pencil can be used as an underdrawing as long as the finished drawing is inked over), I permitted myself to use whatever drawing medium I wanted. It helped that this was something I did on my own instead of an organized event like Inktober so I could control what media I wanted to use. It also helped that I only had to deal with doing 12 drawings instead of 31 drawings.

It was pretty liberating to allow myself to use any media that I wanted, in contrast to Inktober where I am only limited to just ink. I’m financially struggling at the moment so I have to limit myself to using cheap pens that I can find on sale at Target and Five Below. These pens don’t really have a wide variety of shades, especially certain colors like brown (which I can only find in dark brown among the cheap pens). Buying something like Copic markers is just not in my budge at the moment. At least with the more media variety I allowed myself for The 12 Drawings of Christmas, I could switch to colored pencils if I didn’t have an ink pen in a certain shade that I needed (such as light brown).

Working on The 12 Drawings of Christmas was basically a more laid-back experience than Inktober since I only had to worry about 12 days. I did one drawing based on a song lyric and one political drawing but the rest was basically fan art. The only real snag were the two-day period where I drew Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen followed by Abbey Bominable from Mattel’s line of Monster High dolls the next day. I drew both drawings based on the dolls that I currently own in real life. Both dolls wore a piece of clothing that was made from tulle and both tulle clothing had snowflakes on them. It was a bear trying to simulate tulle with my ink pens then trying to draw snowflakes on top of that.

The results were worth it, especially since these two drawings face each other directly in my sketchbook, which created a certain kind of unity between my drawings of these two very different females.

After spending two days in a row on relatively challenging drawings, I spent the rest of that 12-day period doing simple drawings based on free tutorials I found on websites like How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials and Easy Drawing Tutorials. I find that it doesn’t hurt for a trained artist like myself to use tutorials because I could use a refresher on how to draw something a certain way every now and then.

Unlike Inktober I never approached the feeling of being burned out. That’s because I worked on far fewer drawings than Inktober so I only had to worry about creating 12 drawings instead of 31 drawings.

Like Inktober I wrote blog posts about my drawings and I uploaded them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Jobcase. The main difference is that I also uploaded the drawings in the off-topic section of this political discussion forum that I belong to. I usually don’t do this but I thought that my online friends could use some cheering up after the recent death of a longtime member known as Moomba so close to Christmas. I got some pretty positive response to my drawings in that forum.

I also got some positive responses from my Facebook friends whom I know in real life. One night I went to a local cafe where one of them asked me in person when I was going to upload my next drawing. That was cool.

I also did a video version of The 12 Drawings of Christmas that I uploaded on to YouTube on New Year’s Day (the same day that I did my last drawing in that series). In case you’ve missed all or part of my series, you can view the video below.

You can also look at The 12 Drawings of Christmas blog category to view the original posts.

Ever since Inktober I figured out how to count “Likes” on Twitter (which I wasn’t able to figure out before so I didn’t count any Twitter “Likes” when I tabulated the original Inktober “Likes” a few months ago). So, for this round of counting “Likes” on the 12 Drawings of Christmas, I was able to include Twitter for the first time along with counting “Likes” on Instagram, Flickr, and this blog.

While I was working on The 12 Drawings of Christmas, I tried to predict which of my drawings would get the most “Likes”. I thought that my drawing of Elsa from Frozen would be the winner because that film still continues to be popular plus I’m still seeing new Frozen spin-off products in the stores (especially toys) years after Disney released that film. I also thought that my drawing of Kizuna Ai would also have a chance at the number one slot mainly because she is a virtual YouTube star who has gained a huge cult following plus I had her along with Santa and Mrs. Claus attempt to emulate that distracted guy meme that has been passed around the Internet for the past year.

I was wrong on both counts. I found out that the first place winner by a landslide was my drawing of Wysa the penguin mascot of the Wysa smartphone app. My drawing of Kizuna Ai and the Clauses ended up in second place but it was a very distant second since Wysa got 90 “Likes” while Kizuna Ai and the Clauses only got 28 “Likes.” (Remember, the counts were based the reactions on three different social media sites and this blog.)

Here’s the complete list of the drawings in my 12 Drawings of Christmas series ranging from the most popular (or most “Likes”) to the least popular (or fewest “Likes”).

First Place: Wysa the penguin.

Second Place: Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Kizuna Ai.

Third Place: Partridge in a pear tree.

Fourth Place: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Fifth Place: The Grinch.

Sixth Place: Abbey Bominable from Monster High.

Seventh Place (Tied): Krampus taking Donald Trump away and Olaf the talking snowman from the Disney movie Frozen.

Eighth Place: Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.

Ninth Place: Christkind.

Tenth Place: Baby New Year.

Eleventh Place: Nutcracker.

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Santa Claus Baby New Year

Here’s my latest drawing in my 12 Drawings of Christmas series: Baby New Year.

Baby New Year came from a free tutorial I found on How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials. I found the instructions pretty easy to follow and I was satisfied with the results.

This drawing represents both a beginning and an end—the Alpha and the Omega. This drawing is my first art of 2019 and I did it on the first day of a brand new year. This drawing is also the last one of my 12 Drawings of Christmas series. All good things must come to an end sometimes and the 12 Drawings of Christmas is one of them.

After today I’ll still do the occasional drawing in my sketchbook and upload it online but I won’t be doing it on a daily basis like I’ve been doing for the past 12 days. Anyway I hope you enjoyed my drawings and please feel free to come back to this blog for updates on any projects that I’m working on.

And on that note, Happy New Year!

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Santa Claus Baby New Year

For my New Year’s Eve drawing I drew a nutcracker.

I drew this one using a free tutorial I found on How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials. This drawing represents my last art project of 2018.

I’ve always loved nutcrackers. I currently have three nutcrackers at home. If I had more money and more space at home, I would definitely have a larger nutcracker collection. Since I don’t have unlimited funds or space, I have to content myself with just taking smartphone photos of any nutcrackers that really interest me on the store shelves.

I have loved the music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite ever since a music teacher introduced me to it when I was in elementary school. In addition many of the songs are frequently used in radio and television ads that are played this time of the year so it’s pretty hard to avoid hearing any songs from The Nutcracker Suite.

Earlier this year I went to the Artechhouse in Washington, DC, which had a special interactive exhibit based on The Nutcracker Suite that I really loved. I went on one of the last days of that exhibit on the first weekend of the new year in 2018. I trudged through below-freezing weather just so I could get to that building, which shows the lengths I’ll go through sometimes in order to enjoy something like The Nutcracker.

I have the DVD of The Nutcracker ballet performance that features Macauley Culkin in the title role. Personally I felt that he was the weakest link of that production (he was far better as a child star in comedies like My Girl and the Home Alone movies than as a ballet performer) but the music and the other performers (who were all professional ballet dancers) more than made up for Culkin’s weaknesses in that film. I generally play that DVD at least once during the winter holiday season.

Tomorrow is the last day of the 12 Drawings of Christmas. I hope you’ll return to see what I’ve drawn.

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Santa Claus

For today’s installment in my ongoing series, I did fan art based on the Grinch from the classic Dr. Seuss story How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I did my drawing based on a free tutorial I found on How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials. I found the instructions very easy to follow and I was happy with the result. I did most of the drawing in ink, with the exception of his eye pupils, which I did in colored pencil.

I’ve been a fan of the Grinch ever since I used to watch the original cartoon special on TV each year and I checked the original Dr. Seuss book out of the library. I loved that story. In fact, it’s probably among my favorite Christmas stories.

One year my mother gave me a DVD copy of the original animated show and my then-husband and I used to watch it each Christmas. After he left, I started watching it on my own.

Back in 2010 National Harbor had a special exhibition featuring ice sculptures based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I remember buying tickets for that exhibition that I gave to my then-husband as a Christmas present. I took a bunch of photos of that exhibition, which you can see right here. That exhibit was amazing to see in person and that remains among my more fond Christmas memories with my husband. (It’s also poignant because just one year later he would leave me for someone else whom I thought was a friend. It happened while I was still recovering from the hip surgery I underwent just three months earlier.)

There have been a couple of other versions of that same story, both of which were made for movie theaters. One was a live action version that starred Jim Carey. I remember seeing the previews and I found them so underwhelming so my then-husband and I didn’t bother with seeing it. (I also remember that this version had pretty bad reviews.) This year there was yet another remake of the same story. This one was a CGI animation. Apparently this version had better reviews than the Jim Carey version but I haven’t seen it due mainly to tight finances. Right now it doesn’t make sense for me to go to a local movie theater and pay $10 or more to see the same story that I already own on DVD. It’s just cheaper for me to watch the DVD in the comfort of my own home while I can pop my own popcorn in the microwave oven and pour my own soda.

There are two more days and two more drawings to go until this series is over.

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Santa Claus

A few days ago I drew Elsa from Frozen as part of the ongoing 12 Drawings of Christmas series. I decided to draw another character from the same movie after I came across a free drawing tutorial and I decided to try it out for myself.

Here’s my own drawing of Olaf the talking snowman.

I found a free tutorial on how to draw Olaf on the Easy Drawing Tutorials site. The instructions were easy to follow and I was happy with the result.

I have just three more days and three more drawings until this current series ends on January 1, 2019.

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Santa Claus

 

Here’s some fan art I did of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

I drew this based on a tutorial I found on Easy Drawing Tutorials. It was a pretty easy tutorial and I’m basically satisfied with the results.

I used to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” each year at Christmas when I was growing up. Of course I also used to watch the annual Rankin-Bass television special that was based on the song. I loved the fact that they used puppets and I used to think that there were puppeteers located just off the screen who were controlling them like marionette puppets. (This was years before I learned that there was such a thing as stop-motion animation).

A few years ago I picked up a DVD copy of Rudolph that was on sale for around $5 or $10 at Target. I thought it would be cool to watch it again for old time’s sake. I watched it and I found that, as an adult, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did as a child. I found it jaw-dropping that Santa acted like a total grouchy asshole when he first learned about Rudolph being born with that glowing red nose. That’s not the kind of behavior I expect from Santa Claus. Towards the end Santa’s negative attitude towards Rudolph softens when the skies grow very foggy and he needed Rudolph’s nose to help guide his sleigh around the world.

What was really amazing is that I didn’t notice Santa’s nasty attitude when I used to watch that special each year as a child. Yet watching it as an adult I kept on thinking about how much of an asshole he was throughout the special until he realized that Rudolph’s nose is useful. I’m not the only adult who noticed Santa’s bad attitude. Here’s a list from 2010 on Cracked.com that mentions how awful Santa is. This year the Huffington Post raised ire for being accused of political correctness because a reporter had posted tweets from people criticizing the special.

There were some enjoyable parts to that special (such as Burl Ives as the voice of the snowman and he sang his classic “Holly Jolly Christmas” during the special) but seeing the grouchy Santa along with seeing Rudolph getting bullied by everyone from Santa to his father to his playmates really got me down. I ultimately ended up wrapping that DVD and taking it to the white elephant table at the annual post-Christmas party that my support group for people who are separated or divorced holds between Christmas and New Year’s.

A few years ago I learned of an earlier animated version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that was done in 1948 by Max Fleischer (who’s best known for creating Betty Boop and he also worked on the early Popeye and Superman cartoons). I found that cartoon to be way more charming than the one I grew up watching. Also, the Santa in that one is far less of an asshole.

There’s one other thing about Rudolph that I didn’t realize until after I was an adult. That character was originally created as an ad campaign for the now-defunct Montgomery Ward department store chain. That store chain may be long gone but Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer still lives on each Christmas.

As of today I’m two-thirds of the way through The 12 Drawings of Christmas. I have four more days and four more drawings to go until I’m finished. Come back tomorrow to see what I’ve drawn next.

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Santa Claus

Here is some fan art I did of Abbey Bominable of Monster High fame. I drew her mostly in ink with the exception of her pupils, which I did in colored pencil.

Abbey Bominable is described as the teenage daughter of the Yeti (a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman) who is originally from the Himalayas. And nothing says winter like the Yeti/Abominable Snowman. Ditto for the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas (which also includes the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest). You can read more about Abbey Bominable right here. I purchased this doll for only $5 at a toy show that took place in Timonium last year. I have a few other Monster High dolls but this one is among the prettier ones that I currently own. I thought she would be perfect to draw for my 12 Drawings of Christmas series.

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Santa Claus

Today is Boxing Day and it is also the first day of Kwanzaa. Here’s some fan art I did of Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.

I used an Elsa doll that I own as the model for my drawing. (I’ve previously posted photos of this doll way back in April.)

I know that Frozen isn’t a Christmas movie. But, for this latest ongoing project, I intended to include drawings that were either Christmas themed or about winter in general. Since Elsa is capable of creating snow and ice, she definitely fits here. And that’s not to mention the fact that Frozen is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. (By the way, this link has an interesting comparison between Frozen and The Snow Queen.)

By the way, I am now halfway through The 12 Drawings of Christmas. Come back tomorrow to see what I draw next.

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Santa Claus

Merry Christmas, everyone! I thought about drawing Santa Claus for today but I had already drawn him just a few days ago and I wanted to draw something different focusing on one of the less-known Christmas present givers. Today I did a drawing of the Christkind, an angel who delivers presents to children on Christmas Eve. (The name literally means “Christ Child” in German.) In many parts of Germany and Austria children believe that it is the Christkind who delivers the presents instead of Santa Claus.

Even though the Santa Claus imagery can be found all over the world, there are people in some parts of the world who have rebelled against it by insisting on believing in the Christkind instead of Santa Claus.

When I was in the second grade my school did a unit in December called “Christmas Around the World,” where I was briefly exposed to other figures who brought gifts instead of Santa (such as Befana and the Three Kings). That was the only time that this subject was even discussed when I was in elementary school. (By the way the Wikipedia has a list of all of the Christmas and winter gift-bringers listed by country.) Last year I went to the Christmas Village in Baltimore on opening weekend, where I got my first-ever glimpse of the Christkind, who was brought over from Nuremberg, Germany to help with the Christmas Village’s opening ceremony.

It was pretty refreshing to draw something different for Christmas Day. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Since today is Christmas Day, I’d thought I would once again embed an animation that I did last month called The Gift of the Dinosaur. I originally made this animation with the expectation that it would be shown on the video screens of the Greenbelt Makerspace that are located in the front windows so any passers-by would see it. Except the video screens currently aren’t working and no one has found a way to fix them so my animation was never shown. Anyway, here is The Gift of the Dinosaur. Enjoy!

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On Christmas Day last year I did this drawing of the famous Christmas demon Krampus taking Donald Trump away, leaving the White House behind while Trump threatens to attack Krampus on Twitter. (LOL!)

I came up with the idea for doing another drawing featuring Krampus and Trump before Trump decided to shut down the federal government just days before Christmas. Thanks to that, this drawing is even more timely and relevant than ever before.

Even before this shutdown I’m starting to see more signs that the misbegotten Trump Administration may crumble sometime within the next few months. Robert Mueller is continuing his investigation into the allegations that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 elections. It has resulted in a few indictments and plea deals. And it’s definitely not over yet—not by a long shot.

On top of it, more Democrats will be taking office in Congress next month and they have stated that they will look more into the many allegations surrounding Donald Trump and other officials in his administration.

If I was Donald Trump, I would resign then go into exile in Russia (where his BFF Vladimir Putin lives). It would be the best option for him. If he gets asylum in Russia, he would be immune from being prosecuted in this country. However, with his huge narcissistic ego, that’s not very likely so there will probably be a nasty battle going on in DC.

So I decided to do another drawing of Krampus taking Donald Trump away. This time I decided to do it on Christmas Eve and I focused more on the two figures and I enlarged them. (The only thing about last year’s drawing is that when I did it as a landscape drawing, Donald Trump looked so small that he would’ve been less recognizable if it weren’t for that word balloon I placed over Trump’s head. I decided to rectify this by keeping him out of Krampus’ basket this year and have him in chains being led by Krampus.) I also didn’t use any word balloons this time. Overall, I think it’s a better drawing than last year.

This is the only political drawing I intend to do in this series. That’s because thinking about Trump too much gets me either angry, upset, or both and I really don’t want that orange-skinned buffoon to ruin my holiday spirit. He doesn’t deserve for me to give him that kind of power over me.

If that asshole stays in the Oval Office for another year, I’m going to do another piece of art featuring Donald Trump and Krampus. Next time I’ll do a painting in the style of Jon McNaughton, except it’s going to be far less adoring towards Trump. (If you want to know what I mean, I highly recommend that you check out Respect the Flag, Teach a Man to Fish, Make America Safe, Expose the Truth, Crossing the Swamp, You Are Not Forgotten, a portrait of President Trump, and his latest work called All-American Trump.)

By the way, I’m now one-third done with my 12 Drawings of Christmas series. Yay, me!

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