Oooh 😯 fancy ascii art for the coding aficionados (front end developers) among Flickr users
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html code of page source, showing ascii art

I always wondered why my cats are so strong…
πŸ’ͺ🐱🎨

ballpoint sketch of cat eating spinach from a can

My Microblogvember 2022 (so far…)

I didn’t compete in the very first microblogvember in 2019. It’s a self-challenge to blog every day on the timeline of microβˆ™blog for the month of November. This year, 2022, will be my first attempt to beat any procrastination to create that might come up during a month. I’ve done 29 of the 29 days so far, with only one day to go. I think I’ll manage the last one.

Here are 29 word prompts (and my solutions):

collage of 29 ballpoint pen sketches for Microblogvember 2022

  1. Figure (Musk buying twitter)
  2. Feast (guinea pigs)
  3. License (Microβˆ™camp)
  4. Admiration (Gollum)
  5. Exemption (House owners)
  6. Echo (Beethoven)
  7. Insight (spacecraft)
  8. Consensus (superheroes)
  9. Certain (Sherlock Holmes)
  10. Minister (TV series)
  11. Display (Adrian Black)
  12. Suspicion (Hitchcock)
  13. Adjust (heating)
  14. Leave (of senses)
  15. Aluminium (the chemical)
  16. Franchise (Superman)
  17. Barrel (beer vat)
  18. Tire (kitten from playing)
  19. Novel (fantasy)
  20. Repeat (Commodore 64)
  21. Ice (age)
  22. Graze (box)
  23. Update (Microblog News)
  24. Retain (Medieval prison)
  25. Ritual (Black Friday)
  26. Commitment (Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  27. Motivation (Willy Wonka)
  28. Trend (life lesson)
  29. Fish (barracuda)

Mind you, I’m not stopping when November 30 ends. I will keep going, from “November 31” up to and including “November 61” 🀣 After the last official prompt for November 2022 from the @challenges@micro.blog account, I’ll continue with randomwordgenerator on my own. Hopefully by then I’ll have colored ballpoint pens, so I can make it more interesting to look at.

So, my self-challenge ends with the year 2022. Until then, it’ll be nose to the grindstone and solve the current daily prompt with a sketch and some words. I guess I’ll evaluate how it went in the New Year.

If you’re asking yourself why I drew in a notebook with lines, it’s a self-depreciation built in, so I can’t worry about such silly thoughts. It’s already bad for drawing to begin with. I can only make it better.

ballpoint pen selfie shrunken to a postage stamp size ✍️

Fish

When Jacques-Yves Cousteau wanted to swim with the fishes, he had to invent self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (S.C.U.B.A.). What he saw made him want to protect it, since we humans were (and still are) destroying it with our exploitation of the sea.
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ballpoint pen sketch of a barracuda fish in its environment

Trend

I can see my (hobbyist) art getting better with each year I practice, yet still have ebbs and flows in both quality and quantity. It’s frustrating to seemingly have crossed a threshold, only to see my enthusiasm wane because of some outside force or event.
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ballpoint pen sketch of man with cat and text A situations tends to get worse before it gets better.

If microblogvember is any indication, I’m able to write about 1000 non-random words in 30 days, or 1/50th of NaNoWriMo. No wonder I never won the writing assignment; I’m a very slow thinker, hence writer. Words (and ideas) come to me like boots in molasses, even when I was young.

Motivation

The little people don’t need much to make them do what you want them to do. Refined sugar will often do it, hyperactively so.
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ballpoint pen sketch of Willy Wonka motivating a young girl with candy crush

I’ve done some research on drawing with a ballpoint pen, and it seems it’s in the indelible nature of the medium that practice is quintessential.
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Ballpoint pen sketch pages with practice exercises

I’ve ordered some ballpoint pens on Amazon for more drawing happiness:

  • Paper Mate InkJoy several colors
  • Pilot Super Grip black

I’m told the Pilot Super Grip are more opaque than the Paper Mate InkJoy, and since black is rather important for ink drawing…
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Commitment

Romantic involvement often doesn’t lead to immediate engagement or even infatuation, maybe a slight tolerance of being close at best. It’s recipe for disappointment and tragedy as life put its claws into a budding relationship.
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ballpoint pen cartoon sketch of quasimodo giving esmeralda some wild flowers

Of course, Wednesday season one launched on Wednesday November 23 globally on Netflix. It wasn’t bad πŸ“Ί

A new profile picture, drawn in ballpoint pen, scanned, and digitally retouched and colored. I’m curious how long it’ll take before my avatar is picked up. I suppose most Fediverse users don’t update theirs regularly.

Digitally colored ballpoint pen selfie sketch

Ritual

It is said all things come in threes. Black in the numbers, black in the thoughts and black (and blue) in the face. Online buyers, beware of all kinds of shenanigans today!
πŸŽπŸ˜ˆπŸŽ¨πŸ‚βœοΈ

ballpoint pen sketch of baby’s third birthday party cartoon

Retain

How do you keep your employees in your failing social media company? Well, those who aren’t bound with feudal bonds as foreign workers you lock up with strict contracts under NDA, and throw away the key. It seems ye olden days of cruel overlords are back, baby.
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ballpoint sketch of medieval building with two towers

Since Tumblr is ganing traction because of what’s happening right now to a certain birdy site, I decided to start using it again, as not to clog this feed with my inking foibles.

thumbnail of a ballpoint pen portrait sketch

Update

We get the latest news about microβˆ™blog from @manton@manton.org.
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ballpoint pen sketch comic of manton as a newspaper boy

I guess there are lessons to be learned here.

  1. Keep that point clean!
  2. Spend more time on analyzing the big shapes, then carefully draft then looking at the reference, not the drawing.

ballpoint pen sketch of VW car

Other than that, I’m pleased with this messy drawing, for now.
🎨✍️

Great ballpoint drawing tips from Jess Karp on YT. The most important:

  1. forget it’s a ballpoint pen; treat it as a pencil
  2. use a paper scrap to regularly clean the tip
  3. build your values in layers

Inspired me to sketch some faces from the microβˆ™blog Discovery Tab.
🎨

ballpoint pen sketch of several bloggers on the microβˆ™blog timeline

As per that previous post for microblogvember, I need to teach myself to draw everyday objects to a level that it’s recognizable as the object. Random scribbles aren’t going to cut it.
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Graze

I had no idea there were boxes filled with delicious food you can mindlessly eat from, like a sheep in a meadow.
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ballpoint pen sketch of a graze box

Ice

Her frozen lips felt odd. Days she had been looking for her herd. There’s warmth and safety in numbers. More eyes see further. The biting wind makes it hard to think. Soon sleep will come, everlasting slumber.
🦣🧊πŸ₯ΆπŸŽ¨πŸ‚βœοΈ

ballpoint sketch demonstrating the concept of ice

Maybe we should have a competition for amusing server error pages πŸ’‘

Repeat

In the olden days we all could still write computer programs to illustrate today’s prompt. It isn’t old, though, but retro. It was a brief period when one person could still fully grasp every aspect of their computer and create carefree.
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ballpoint sketch of Commodore 64 computer and monitor, displaying basic program and its output from a for-next loop

I suppose I’ve decided not to run the marathon in eight days from when I write this. Too much has gone wrong in the past four weeks that haven’t yet been righted, not in the least this nasty cold I caught two weeks ago and just keeps buggering on.
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Novel

Tell me a story, one you haven’t told me before and can be read in a book or any medium stories are told in. Make it a good story I can get lost in.
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ballpoint sketch of the concept of novel