paper and cardboard

I have been using a lot of the white WATSON watercolour paper for my comic project lately. The backing cardboard paper from those blocks has a nice grey colour, is really thick and stiff and has little texture so I started to wonder if I can paint something on it with my acrylic gouache. 

I went for something grey, similar to my Akihabara painting, to make use of the natural colour of the board. This is based on a photo of a bus depot near our house, and to be exact the trash and storage area of the depot. I really like the old bus stop signs stored there and the contrasting buildings of a university in the back.

The board proved to be really difficult to paint on. When wet it’s colour darkened a lot so choosing colours was a difficult task. I had to use a piece of scrap white paper to test them all the time. But still this was an interesting experiment. I wanted to make use of the nice grey colour of the board but would use Gesso to prime it if I ever do it again.

Technical stuff:

  • Medium: WATSON white block backing cardboard (about 3mm, grey paper board)
  • Sketch: F Mitsu-bishi Hi-Uni pencil
  • Colours: TURNER Acrylic Gouache.

製作中の漫画のために「ミューズ ホワイトワトソン」の水彩紙をいっぱい使ったら、裏表紙のボール紙がだいぶ余りました。分厚くて丈夫で良いグレーのボードなので、絵に使えないかと思い立って描いた絵です。




  • 紙: ミューズ ホワイトワトソン の裏紙 (3ミリの厚紙 ボード) 
  • 下描き: F  Mitsu-bishi Hi-Uni 鉛筆
  • 着色: ターナー アクリルガッシュ

A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde opens today!

Planned in anticipation of the centennial year of the 1917 Russian Revolution, this exhibition brings together 260 major works from our collection, tracing the period of artistic innovation between 1912 and 1935, and highlights breakthrough developments in the conception of Suprematism and Constructivism, as well as in avant-garde poetry, theater, photography, and film.

For more info, visit

[El Lissitzky. Proun 19D.1920 or 1921. Gesso, oil, varnish, crayon, colored papers, sandpaper, graph paper, cardboard, metallic paint, and metal foil on plywood. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Katherine S. Dreier Bequest]


This is some stuff I’ve picked up in the last seven-eight months and it’s actually incredibly useful.

1. Do not be afraid to use guidelines/perspective lines. They’re very helpful when drawing faces or landscapes, and unless you know the basics of portraiture or perspective inside and out your artwork could look a little off. Nobody is going to criticise you for using them to get your proportions right. You’re free to use guidelines until you’re certain you’re comfortable without them (even then, you should probably still use them). 

2. You can mix paint on ANYTHING. Seriously. Trust me on this one. You don’t need to go out and buy a fancy expensive palette which you’re just going to get dirty anyway. Use almost anything you have to hold paint - scrap paper, cardboard, plastic containers, paper plates, etc, etc. Egg boxes are the best in my opinion. There is virtually no point in spending money on a palette as most of them are ridiculously overpriced - yes, sometimes it can help, but as long as something is strong enough to hold the paint and it’s easily disposable, you can use anything and everything you can get your hands on (and anyway, scraping acrylic off a palette is an absolute nightmare).

3. I’ve said this time and time again but I need to save everyone from forgetting this like I did: PLEASE, GOD, DO NOT WORK SMALL SCALE. If you’re trying to draw something with small details, WHY, OH WHY would you squish it into the corner of the page?! Do not strain your hands or your eyes by making tiny illustrations. You can use as much space as you need. Use a third of the page, half the page - Hell, use the entire page if you want to! You’ll find that you can get much more detail in if you work on a larger scale. 

4. References will need to become your best friend. Please don’t try to wing it and have it come out wrong if you’re unsure of how to draw it when you could turn to your friend the Internet and let her help you? LET THE INTERNET HELP YOU, SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE’S DOING. I’ve found that Pinterest is the best place to find drawing references, and there are a lot of helpful guides for drawing and colouring as well. 

Speaking of references, don’t want to print out the photo or have to flip between your entertainment and the picture in different windows? Make the reference picture your wallpaper so you can just minimise the tab. For example, here is mine:

Very helpful.

This is a Zealot. No reasonable person salutes a damn paper cutout of Puppet President Trump. But his supporters aren’t what we’d call reasonable. More like fanatical shills worshipping their false white supremacist god Trump.


“a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.”

synonyms: fanatic, extremist, militant;

Card Board Game

James Id here.  I’m the programmer, modeler and animator for The Legend of Bum-bo, and I want to talk about cardboard.

Why Cardboard?

Edmund and I grew up in households where cardboard and office materials were more plentiful than toys and games.  After playing a video game for the 500th time sparked our imaginations, we would take to making our own fun using paper, glue, tape and cardboard.

Instead of creating the vehicles and weapons from the video games I’d play, I tended to work on making my own games and toys.  For example, instead of making a race car modeled off of the ones I’d play as in Pole Position, I would create a race car arcade game.  The track, complete with racers, was drawn on a coffee can.   A dollar store toy car would glide over the track, suspended by a Popsicle stick.

Besides mimicking video games, I would often make my own board games.  They were usually modeled off of something from my brother’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books, or the incredibly expensive and involved board games I’d see on television such a Volcano Island and the Grape Escape.

How Cardboard…?

I’m unsure of exactly how we decided on using these kinds of memories to inform the design of Bum-bo.  I do know that, once we had decided on using Bum-bo as our central character, Edmund and I would talk at great lengths about our childhoods; the lack of hesitation we had in regards to building our imaginary worlds, and ever present drama of our home lives serving as this ever-present backdrop to our childish art.  This seemed to fit without the world of Bum-bo and Isaac, and we agreed unanimously to create the game entirely of Popsicle sticks, tape, paper and cardboard.

When the aesthetic was chosen, it just seemed natural that it would take place in various cardboard boxes.  While the scope and quality of all the elements in the game are more exaggerated than what one child would be able to do, we still wanted to limit it within the realm of possibility.  Would an eight year old James be able to craft an intricately detailed sewer?  Not exactly, but I’d compromise by painting a box to have the details of a sewer, and add additional cardboard shapes where it felt lacking.

We had decided that all the pieces would then resemble the board game pieces I used to make.  Enemies would be flat, but stand up on their own, like doorways in Hero’s Quest. Items and puzzle pieces would resemble tokens from something like Dungeon!. Essential environment pieces like platforms and NPCs would be arranged and animated like the house in 1313 Dead End Drive.

A design like this establishes clear rules for creating the 3D models.  First, all models would have to appear to have been created from sheets of cardboard.  All 3D details would have to be created by either layering cardboard, bending it, wrapping it, or crushing it. Second, animation would have some real world explanation.  Cardboard elements with large frames of animation would make the characters seem to have a life of their own, making the real-world aesthetic redundant.  Fewer frames of animation, each a new cardboard object, more closely resembles how I would “animate” characters I created as a child.  My dopey barbarian got injured?  I’ll just switch his bad-ass paper figurine with one of his guts dripping out.

Edmund designs all the characters, items and the HUD using Adobe Animate, and I then use those illustrations to model a cardboard cut out.  Depending on the character’s size, I will create extra layers of cardboard or build it out more like a paper craft model.  I then create textures to put the illustrations on to appear like the character was drawn on cardboard, instead of the cardboard being made for the drawing.

To truly sell the aesthetic, I’ve relied heavily on scanning real elements, and creating textures for physically-based rendering. Using real scans and software like Allegorithmic’s Substance Designer, I can create cardboard that has the subtle wear and ribbing, along with illustrations that don’t quite cover the surface, as permanent markers tended to not do.

It is my hope that the focus we’ve had on the aesthetics of the game does more than break the fourth wall: We hope to capture the feeling of playing as a child who is playing with characters he has created.