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Hmm. Magnificent Minimalist behind the scenes.

January 21, 2011

I didn’t think that it was possible to draw using a mouse.  I mean, I draw *stick figures* using a mouse, but stick figures allow for a lot of improvisation when it comes to accuracy.  In a fit of curiosity, I opened up GIMP (beloved GIMP!) and drew a little something.

Like every other reasonably adept and uninspired woman with an urge to doodle, I drew a bookish girl with sad eyes.


A girl exists. We assume that she is bookish and that she has sad eyes.


Only I drew her with a mouse. (CURSE YOU BUCKET FILL! You make the wrong colors go in the wrong places at the most unexpected times. I *was* going to make her background a sort of burnished, copper-penny orange, but BUCKET FILL had other ideas, and I kinda liked the way the black turned out.)

The mouse leapfrogs somewhat and glitches and horks and generally goes in the wrong direction occasionally, and it’s hard to find the right thickness of paintbrush–but a little bit of patience and practice might yield acceptable results.

This was an experiment.  If I can draw actual people with GIMP, maybe I’ll start drawing ACTUAL people in the Magnificent Minimalist panels.  Survey says: not yet, Wendy.  Learn to draw better first.  The truth is, while I have *some* rudimentary sense of perspective and proportion, I can’t execute them for rich, foamy, flatulent beans.

And, furthermore, I believe our World Wide Intartubes have too many pictures of bookish girls with sad eyes ANYWAY.

So I bought a book and a sketch pad and my darling Juanster gave me a variety pack of artist’s pencils, so I’m going to study MOAR drawing. No, wait. Not going to. Have been.  I’ve been studying drawing and I’ve been having a great deal of fun with it.

I’ll keep experimenting with GIMP.  If I can bring you images that aren’t static, images the flow and have line and drama and interest and pizzazz and some amount of beauty to them, I shall.

Until then, there will be stick figures, and I love me my stick figures.  The POINT is; maybe drawing a little something using a mouse isn’t impossible–just cumbersome.


I’m totally saving up to buy a touch-screen drawing tablet. Totally.


32 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 5:36 pm

    Hi just found your blog, and love it! Your pic looks great with the black background. I love how mistakes sometimes work out like that.

  2. dhaami permalink
    January 21, 2011 6:00 pm

    hey! Me too.. dabbling with drawing and painting that is. Your bookish girl has really pretty green eyes. And i love the stick figures. They are minimalist 🙂

  3. January 21, 2011 6:39 pm

    Hey, don’t knock it, this is gorgeous! There’s something in the free form of the lines, the shape of her brows that brings her to life. It’s gorgeous.

  4. January 21, 2011 6:56 pm

    Though not quite minimalist, this is good. I look forward to seeing more of your mouse experimentations.

  5. January 21, 2011 8:37 pm

    Great job on this drawing! Keep it up.

  6. January 21, 2011 8:54 pm

    I totally just watched Robin Williams in World’s Greatest Dad. OMG. That movie is bizarre and twisted and brilliant.

  7. Emily permalink
    January 22, 2011 4:38 am

    If you want to draw really detailed faces… it’s all about proportions, baby.

  8. Emily permalink
    January 22, 2011 4:39 am

    By the way peoples, can you QUIT ASKING ME HOW TO DRAW THE NOSE! If I tell you, THEN will you be happy???!!! ….Obviously, yes.

  9. Emily permalink
    January 22, 2011 4:42 am

    you draw a noddy car with the wheels coming off cuz there going over bumps… a big circle in the middle with slanted ovals out the side. draw the bumps for noddy (whic will be the nostrils) in the gap underneath and between the wheels and the car body. Sounds complicated, but try it. Its verry simple.

  10. Emily permalink
    January 22, 2011 4:42 am


  11. January 22, 2011 6:15 am

    You’re right. Drawing with a mouse is not an ideal situation. Most artists use a digitizing pad. Wacom makes the best. Even their smallest and least expensive model is waaaay better than using a mouse, and they head off that monster Carpal Tunnel too.

    • Emily permalink
      January 22, 2011 6:51 am

      you know what the best is for drawing?
      A pencil.

      • January 22, 2011 2:51 pm

        I quite agree, Emily. If you hop on over to my blog, you’ll see. 😉 I’m a fan of the good old no. 2, myself.

    • January 22, 2011 8:35 am

      I’ve so been drooling over various pads and tablets. WANT! I will have one, but I’ll have to juggle a few money geese first, and wait for their yearly migrations and so forth.

      Wow, that came out weirder than I intended it to…

      • January 22, 2011 2:54 pm

        I understand the money thing. Wacom’s cheapest is $69 and you can get it at Best Buy.

  12. January 22, 2011 10:28 am

    I find it really hard to draw on a computer. I just draw on paper and then further play with it on the computer.

  13. January 22, 2011 1:59 pm

    I love the stick figures. They are so… er… minimalist. 🙂 (I bet someone already wrote that in a comment.)

    I’m positive I’ll enjoy whatever you do. (Your bookish girl with sad eyes is WAY better than anything I can do in terms of drawing. In fact, your stick figures beat my stick figures.)

  14. January 23, 2011 5:47 am

    I like your stick figures. Are you familiar with the work of David Shrigley? I think you have a lot in common with him. His website is

    • January 23, 2011 7:41 am

      I had never heard of him–but I just clicked on his site and I’m *enthralled*. Thanks for the tip!

      • January 23, 2011 12:33 pm

        No problem. I love Shrigley’s stuff. Funny, surreal and sometimes very sinister. Enjoy!

  15. January 23, 2011 6:38 am

    But… but… I LOVE the stick figures!!!!!!! ):
    They’re so minimalist! It’s perfect for the blog!

    Keep practicing and show off your drawings. BUT PLEASE DON’T CEASE THE STICK FIGURES!!!!

  16. Emily permalink
    January 23, 2011 2:21 pm

    Stick figures are soooooo your thing. If you cease to draw them, then you will be doomed to a bad doom!

  17. Emily permalink
    January 23, 2011 2:23 pm

    by the way, right now if you click on my name it comes to a deleted site…
    My actual blog is
    My sister’s blog is

  18. January 24, 2011 1:49 am

    Were you inspired by Hyperbole and a Half? Your artwork is cute. I used to be on a gaming website which had avatars you could dress up plus a form of currency called gg. I actually managed to sell some of my stick figure images of avatars on the site for gg and my art is on par with yours.

    By the way, I use the Powerpoint freeform line tool to draw and then save the image as a Jpeg in Paint. Somehow it evolved into a distinctive style – I feel with art that you can have a voice, just like in writing.

    • January 24, 2011 8:09 am

      Thanks for this! I totally love Hyperbole and a Half–she’s a brilliant woman. I think it’s true that art can have a voice; you have a point. I think my art has a long way to go before it’s as voicey as my writing, but I’m having a lot of fun learning how to make it. =)

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