Decemboobs 2015, Day 21

Gonna start going a little more slowly now.

Day 21:

Digital drawing of a woman with big hair, in a low-cut dress, standing before a poster.
A woman with big hair, in a low-cut dress, standing before a poster.

What I wrote about this at the time:

I was home from work earlier today, so I picked a slightly more complex image to work from. Indeed, this was the sort of picture I’d completely lose myself in, and if I’d had a day to spend on it, I’d have added all the details of the hair, the plants on the left, and so on. I might even have tried painting it instead of doing just a pencil drawing. I don’t quite have time for that, so instead it gets some quick inks slapped on. It’s… not quite as satisfying, but necessary for clarity and to stay close to my comics-drawing process, which all art I do has to support somehow.

Even with the rush to completion, this was a lot of fun to do: the folds of the dress, the 1908s Janet Jackson hair, the model’s face, the framed art in the background that was a poster for some sort of early 1970s rock festival (I’d like to have another crack at this drawing just to draw that background properly) and the plant on the side. Lots of interesting stuff. Wish I could do it all more justice.

The Tumblr link no longer works.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 14 and 20

There was a long break between days 14 and 20 of Decemboobs 2015. I don’t remember why, probably something to do with work or preparations for the holidays. I think Dave Sim was right when he wrote that all the stuff you deal with on a day to day basis is entirely forgettable but the art you create, the things you make that are yours, remain. I mean, stopped clock and all that but it seems to work that way for me. Even shitty art created during a shitty drawing challenge has more lasting value than anything I’ve done in my day job and most things I do in my private life that aren’t creating art.

Day 14:

Digital drawing of two nude women running
Digital drawing of two nude women running

What I wrote about this at the time:

Based on Escape to Freedom by Micky Jenver. Another one where you look at a photo of people who are running, and you think “That doesn’t look like how people are supposed to look when they’re running!” But between, shall we say, the key frames of running motion, all sorts of stuff happens.

I got very sleepy while drawing this, and for once, I won’t blab on at length.

Day 20:

Digital drawing of a nude woman posing for a picture. Behind her, there's a mirror, so she's seen from the front and the back.
A nude woman posing for a picture. Behind her, there’s a mirror, so she’s seen from the front and the back.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Today, for the first time in a week, I had some time and energy to spare to do a quick Decemboobs drawing. I have a few more reference pics saved up, but don’t know if I will get much of a chance to draw them. After my day job, I am trying to crank out one more page of a comic before the end of the year, and there are a number of other non-decemboobs pieces I would like to draw. Also, a member of my family will be moving out of the house over Christmas. So, I don’t know.

Today’s drawing is based on From several angles by TN-Exposed. Mirror images are alwyas fun, and the pose is interesting. I find myself having trouble drawing those forward leaning poses without reference and have been avoiding them in my comics work, which means that the characters’ range of motion has become a bit limited in recent years. It was easier when I didn’t care about realism at all…

TN-Exposed’s DeviantArt account has since been deactivated.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 11 and 13.

We’re now at the stage of the Decemboobs drawing challenge where things started to get rougher for me, with day 12 being missed entirely and the 13th artwork ending up kind of unflattering towards its subject. Though three years on, that artwork doesn’t look so bad.

Day 11:

Digital drawing/painting of a nude pregnant woman in bright body paint colors. There's a phoenix on her torso.
Digital drawing/painting of a nude pregnant woman in bright body paint colors. There’s a phoenix on her torso.

What I wrote about this at the time:

From The Gothamist’s photo series on a body painting event in New York, last July. The photo report is a fantastic source of different body types, with the added complication that their paint work tends to distort and obfuscate the normal challenge. It was fun working on this image, and I could easily have had many more hours of fun getting all the details right. The photos were made in a public place, which renders the issue of permissions from the models moot. This pregnant lady with a phoenix on her body was one of about a hundred participants in the event, and was prominently featured in one good, clear photo. I didn’t do the background this time – instead I wanted to focus on painting just one part of the scene.

Problem is, I can’t paint worth shit. Never have been. I can draw a little, on a good day, but when it comes to painting, I’m never sure what I’m even supposed to do. This will have to change in 2016.

Basic drawing in Sketchbook Pro, 2 layers, pencil layer on top. Heavily adjusted in Photoshop so that at least the magentas more or less matched what was in the picture. Learning how to use Adjustments and what their limitations are has been an unexpected bonus to this project, but eventually I will have to sit down and get my drawing tablet properly colour calibrated, because the level of deviation between screens is ridiculous.

My inability to paint properly did not end up getting worked on in 2016 but I did practice it a bit more in 2018. Back then, I had the idea of featuring the phoenix lady in a comic, probably Spun Off. Unfortunately, work on that comic really slowed down during that period, so it hasn’t happened yet and I kind of forgot about it. But it might still happen.

The report in The Gothamist still exists and the link still works.

Day 13:

Digital color drawing of a middle-aged woman standing nude before a shower curtain. Parts of her skin are red from sunburn.
Digital color drawing of a middle-aged woman standing nude before a shower curtain. Parts of her skin are red from sunburn.

What I wrote about this at the time:

I’m back on the horse after missing two days. I will try to finish the one for Day 11 and backdate it but I should consider Day 12 to be a goner at this point. Now, for my next trick, I should try to bring the quality back up again.

Source
The source image is added to the pic, because it probably hasn’t been published before.
It’s my friend Becky from California after overdoing the nude sunbathing a bit. The drawing at least gives a basic indication of her colour zones – the yellows and browns as well as the reds of the sunburn. I had to adjust it heavily in Photoshop because of the calibration issues – not that it looked right on my Cintiq, mind. Also, once again, the face is a mess. You can’t win them all, I guess. When you’re learning to do new things, you occasionally get a drawing that just doesn’t come out right.

Drawing and posting of reference image by personal permission of Becky.

Tumblr seems to have removed the source image and while Becky would probably be OK with me reposting it, I’m not going to.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 8, 9 and 10

The second week of Decemboobs 2015, an annual drawing challenge in which sad, mostly male cartoonists refresh their knowledge on how to draw titties correctly, saw some better art than the week before. Well, from me, anyway. I wasn’t exactly hitting my stride, yet, but I was figuring more things out.

Day 8:

Digital drawing of Amber Rose, based on a still from her Walk of No Shame video
Amber Rose in digital color, based on a still from her video ‘Walk of No Shame’

What I wrote about this at the time:

I’m a little earlier than normal today because I decided to start the day with a drawing from reference, instead of doing one at the end of the day. By the way, today is the last day of my vacation and future submissions will probably be back to being sketches instead of inked and colored drawings.

The reference for this one is the Walk of No Shame video by Amber Rose. About 15 seconds in. In this one, I cheated a bit: after I’d erased the face for the fifth time, I decided that I didn’t want to be working on that all day, so I made a screenshot and traced that for the head. The screenshot was discarded from the image prior to inking and from there on, I used my reference the normal way. I also traced a few of the straight lines in the background before removing the layer with the screenshot, but as the background was going to be simplified anyway, it’s no big deal. You don’t learn as much from tracing and it’s not a panacea anyway, but in this case I needed to get past an issue that was blocking my progress with the image.

Coloring this image was interesting, not least because I never got the calibration on my Cintiq right. I didn’t get to see the final colors until I was getting ready to export the image. Normally I stick to a fixed template in order to compensate, but not for this one. Also, Amber Rose has a lot of yellow color zones in her skins, or at least that’s how it looks with the light. The yellows still look a lot more conspicuous than they do on my Cintiq, even after toning the layer of shades down to 50% opacity. But if you look at the video, those yellows are there.

Anyway. Large breasts made to stand out even more by a push-up bra. Sparkling personality. Reasonably funny video, though the video script has made its point about 30 seconds in and the rest is superfluous. Big tattoos, unexpectedly a lot of yellow.

Because it’s not on YouTube, the video still exists.

Day 9:

Digital drawing of model Nicole Nudes, standing nude in front o a house, on tip toes.
Digital drawing of model Nicole Nudes. See credits in the blog post

What I wrote about this at the time:

I’m back to work so from here on, my images will become much simpler again. For this one, I decided not to work with colour, highlights and shading but instead to just do a straight line drawing. You may notice a little hint of a grid – the reason for the grid was that when I looked at the reference photo, it turned out the figure was on the vertical center, the head at about 3/4 from the bottom and a lot of the action seemed to be based around the quarter lines. It’s another symmetrical photo, but masquerading as an asymmetrical one. There are other ways in which a lot of effort went into making the shot look artless: the pose has model Nicole standing on tippy-toes and wearing an attention-grabbing collar, and while you can’t see the makeup work in the drawing, it’s there in the photo.

I wasted a lot of time today trying to find good reference material; there are some photos that I want to draw but I can’t trace where I got them from (tineye didn’t work). At least with Nicole’s gallery there are some ground rules for when it’s OK to use them.

Reference: http://nicolenudes.deviantart.com/art/Run-Away-568247142
Model: Nicole http://nicolenudes.deviantart.com/ | http://www.tumblr.com/blog/nicolenudes
Photographer: Yammon
Make-up artist: Meghan Victoria
Drawing: Reinder Dijkhuis
PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THESE CREDITS.

This one actually makes me feel like I can draw a little bit.

Reminder: Nicole has a Patreon. At the time of writing, her Tumblr is still up but her DeviantArt account has been deactivated.

Day 10:

Digital drawing of model Belenen sitting in front of a window in a skirt and top.
Digital drawing of model Belenen

What I wrote about this at the time:

Day 10: Summer Poise

The working day was rough, so today I thought I’d be easy on myself and draw a simple, cartoony image without trying too hard to make things realistic. The process did stretch out over an hour or so, but that’s because I was multitasking. Oh, and that hour included looking for a reference that would be fun to draw.

Today’s model is Belenen, who I’ve had some good interactions with. Years ago, I used one of their photos as a body model for a pencil sketch of my character Aleas. There was a great sense of fun in all the photos they modeled for, and from their writing, they’ve always come across as a very thoughtful, compassionate, spiritual person.

Please note: I have only just become aware of changes in their public identity and pronouns-of-choice. I am now checking their livejournal to see if the name above is still the correct name. Will update if necessary.

Reference: https://belenen.deviantart.com/art/Summer-Poise-71622804
Terms of use for using Belenen’s photos as a reference: https://belenen.deviantart.com/journal/support-me-recieve-art-using-me-as-reference-465309267

Update: updated with the model’s correct name. “Belenen” is strictly a userid and should be treated as such.

Yeah, that last update was a bit unclear. I don’t really know what I meant with it either. I do remember having to explain the whole non-binary pronoun thing to the initiator of Decemboobs and not getting very far with that. I still haven’t got any better at explaining it, though fortunately, society as a whole is starting to get caught up with the concept, so maybe in a few years, I won’t have to.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 5, 6 and 7

At the end of the first week of Decemboobs 2015, an annual drawing challenge aimed at cartoonists because cartoonists are a bit notorious for not being too great at drawing convincing breasts, I did three not-very-good drawings in a row.

Day 5:

Drawing of activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on a beach, while dressed in swim boxers and a hat.
Activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on a beach, while dressed in swim boxers and a hat.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Again, we had visitors over so this ended up being the only piece of art I did today. Luckily, I had planned my subject in advance. And I knew I was going to work faster and not look for perfect reference. In fact, the subject’s right hand wasn’t visible in the video still I used at all, which is why it’s even cruder than the rest of the drawing.

This time around, I wanted to use a video reference and luckily, I found this via my Tumblr dash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=613vuoNchPw&index=1&list=LLVI-gTq0TMLvUIhYXiH0zBQ . Topfreedom activist Chelsea Covington throwing a ball on the beach while bare-chested, videoing herself to show how few people actually respond or notice. I think it helps that her beachwear is about as ungendered and unsexualized as you can get.

We are taught from an early age to spot the differences between male and female bodies. However, in many contexts, the differences are slight. I have another video reference lined up that will explore this further.

This being YouTube, it’s no surprise that the video is gone.

Day 6:

Rough impression of a scene from a video showing nude oil wrestlers at Burning Man.
Rough impression of a scene from a video showing nude oil wrestlers at Burning Man.

What I wrote about it at the time:

This is not going to be my favorite drawing from this month-long challenge, but I thought drawing a scene from Naked Oil Wrestling At Burning Man would be worth a try. What struck me the first time I watched is was that despite everyone being nude, it was unexpectedly hard to see if there were men or women having a match. Not, obviously, impossible, but with the sumo-based positions that everyone took, the visible difference between male and female bodies was reduced. And the shadows did weird things, making the breast of the woman on the right look pasted on.

Or it was the quality of the video! It was OK as long as the images were moving, but as soon as I paused, the figures looked tiny and blurry. On the still I took, I had no idea where the left arm of the woman on the left actually was and I had to guess at it. I also ended up filling in the faces with generic cartoon faces in my style.

This was fun to do and possibly educational, but it wasn’t the sort of conditions in which I can make the best possible drawing. Tomorrow I’ll draw from a high-quality photo again.

The video is on Vimeo and still exists.

Day 7: Running through Corridors

Digital drawing of two nude women running through a corridor that is painted in Sanatorium Green.
Two nude women running through a corridor that is painted in Sanatorium Green.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Yeah, you know that feeling when you look at where your work has got to and you realise that either you should have stopped working on it a long time ago or you should double down and spend another five hours turning it into a proper painting. I’m gonna do neither, but just quit right here.

I had the reference image ( https://www.deviantart.com/p11oto/art/Free-101787300 ) in my DeviantArt favorites for years, and it is something I could actually use as reference in a comic – the odds that there will be a scene in Abúi’s Travels in which two nude women are running down a corridor in the next six months are considerable.

Have you ever noticed that photos of people running never look like you expect? The woman on the right runs reasonably like you would see in a book teaching you how to draw bodies in motion, but even in the photo, the woman on the left looks very stiff; only the blurring and the bounce of her breasts and hair provide cues as to her movement. The drawing is even worse – I didn’t replicate the blur but exaggerated the bounce, out of desperation more than anything.

And yeah. I simplified the background. A lot.

Better images are coming, I swear! It turns out that daily drawing challenges are really good for helping me develop but the first week is always shaky.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 3 and 4

Continuing my series of reposts from Decemboobs, a drawing challenge focused for cartoonists who don’t want to end up on Sequential Tart’s Bizarre Breasts. These two drawings are from December 2015, the first year I took part in this. Previous

Day 3:

Third drawing of Decemboobs 2015, done with Sketchbook Pro making extensive use of the Symmetry tool
First image to feature the fantastic Nicole Nudes, one of my favorite models.

What I wrote about this at the time:

No human body is exactly symmetrical, but this pose and shot from Nicolenudes were so close that when I picked it to draw from, I immediately decided to try doing the pencils using the symmetry tool in Sketchbook Pro. And that worked: that’s how precise Nicole and photographer Tamnphoto were when they created this one. The symmetry is only broken by the light from her right side (left for the viewer), her haircut and a slight tilt to her head. The hair in particular would have been interesting to draw in detail, but I had already spent much more time on this than I anticipated and I was getting frustrated with how the greyscaling was going. Of course by that time, I had turned the symmetry off.

Despite the fact that I’m doing this as part as a challenge called Decemboobs2015 (more info at http://decemboobs.tumblr.com/image/134299584860 ), I found the face and the hands much more interesting to draw than the model’s breasts. In fact, I was so focused on the face, the hands and the symmetry that I rather messed up on the breasts and they ended up not resembling Nicole’s all that much. Then again, what the image shows is how much I still have to learn about drawing from observation. I will revisit Nicole’s gallery later for a second attempt as part of the challenge.

Original: http://nicolenudes.deviantart.com/art/Honestly-372537377
Model: Nicole http://nicolenudes.deviantart.com/
Photographer: Tamnphoto (http://tamcnguyen.zenfolio.com/?)
Digital pencils, inks and greyscales in Sketchbook Pro – I had no idea what I was doing with the greyscales.

Nicole has a Patreon, which I support because over the past few years I’ve drawn her quite a few times. More of that to come. Her DeviantArt account has been deactivated.

Day 4:

Nevaelleh, a professional model, in a light top
Digital drawing of model Nevaelleh in a light top. Done in Sketchbook Pro using only the pencil tool.

What I wrote about this at the time:

I think Decemboobs2015 will make me a lot better at drawing hands.

This is the only art I’ve done today, because I had family over for much of the day. I mention this to indicate my dedication for making one drawing from reference per day.

Reference: http://nevaehlleh.deviantart.com/art/Rainy-Day-Woman-864-168215480
Model: Nevaelleh http://nevaehlleh.deviantart.com/
Photographer: Josh LaCunha
Location: Castro Valley, CA
Date: 10.13.09

Ms. Nevaeh is one of my favorite models and I’ve folloewed her for years. She hasn’t been active on DeviantArt or on her Tumblr ( http://nevaehlleh.tumblr.com/ ) for some time. I could not find a permissions policy on her gallery but she has favorited fan art of herself on DA. In any case, please do not remove the attributions above, and should you feel inspired to draw from her photos, please do attribute them fully.

The Tumblr may or may not still exist by the time you read this. At the time of writing this repost, it was still live.

Decemboobs 2015, Days 1 and 2

Between 2015 and 2017, I took part in an annual drawing challenge started by a French comic book artist, called DecemBoobs. It was intended as a way for cartoonists to practice drawing realistic breasts; this is something that many cartoonists apparently struggle with. While a number of other cartoonists took part, many just drew cartoons of conventionally attractive women. I was one of those who looked for a diversity of body types to draw, and also included trans women and non-binary people as subjects. This year, the challenge isn’t happening; I have moved on to a different event called Fatvent Calendar and will start posting results from that on this blog soon.
I posted the drawings from this and other art challenges in a few places including Tumblr and DeviantArt; these days, I feel like neither of these sites are good for preserving the material I’ve posted there, so I’m going to move them over here.

Day 1:

Sketch of a nude woman, based on a 1938 movie still.
Digital sketch based on a still from the 1938 “Documentary” The Exposé of the Nudist Racket

What I wrote about this at the time:

Decemboobs, Day 1

This is day 1 because I didn’t hear about the Decemboobs challenge until this morning. I’ll do Day 2 today still.
This first sketch is based on a still from a 1938 documentary, The Expose of the Nudist Racket that someone on Twitter referred me to. This film is in black and white and consists of footage from an American nudist resort or park, with no interviews and only voiceover mixing straight reportage and commentary in a very free form. I don’t know enough about the state of the documentary form in that era to know if that sort of thing was typical of the time. In any case, it’s probably the earliest of its kind to be about nudists, and is notable for having no airbrushing or clever camera angles to hide all the bits that prudes insist be hidden.

Having said that, it’s not very good. It’s very male-gazey and there were some highly inappropriate jokes in it at the expense of one of the subjects, the lady in the sketch – the only fat woman in the entire film. I hope the fact that her body is memorized here, presumably long after her passing, makes up for that a bit.

Digital sketch made in Sketchbook Pro. The Expose of the Nudist Racket can be seen on Vimeo. The Decemboobs challenge is on Tumblr.

Day 2:

Digital sketch of a nude woman, based on a Tumblr photo
Digital sketch of a nude woman, based on a Tumblr photo.

What I wrote about this at the time:

Decemboobs, Day 2

Well, this should establish some sort of baseline. This looks like a quick sketch, but it’s not. Not really. It took far longer than a sketch like this should and if it had been a ten-minute pose, I’d have been screwed. But this is what I can currently do with photo reference.

I’ve mentioned before on my Tumblr that I like images of human bodies framed by rock – if a photo has a combination of these elements, odds are I’ll like it even if it’s not a masterpiece. So when I saw this photo on my Tumblr dash this morning, I thought that it’d be good for Decemboobs. Several of my comic characters including Neive and Aleas have body types similar to this lady.

But man, do I suck at drawing faces from life. And that arm gave me a lot of trouble until I changed the angle from what was in the photo.

Oh, Hi

This blog has been more or less dormant for almost two years, and sporadically updated for some time before that. I’ve decided to start giving it a little more love. Given that the date today is December 7, the Tumblrpocalypse has happened, Livejournal is a Russian site that is covered under Russian censorship laws and basically every other platform that exists is at best untrustworthy, it is time for me to Take Back Control so that every word of my writing that I don’t want to disappear exists in a space that I own.

Of course, this control is to some extent illusory. When I post stuff here, I’m still dependent on a complex piece of software whose inner workings I don’t really know or understand (less so now that I’ve updated it to a new major version of that software that works very differently to what I am used to. Did comments get turned back on? Does scheduling still work and if so, how?); I am dependent on a web host that may at some point decide, arbitrarily, that my blog is too mouthy, too sexy or a liability for other reasons; I am dependent on a system of laws and social norms that may suddenly change so that my words become Undesirable entirely. And, because it’s December 7, 2018, I am dependent on platforms anyway because without them, no one is going to know that I’m saying anything at all.

But you can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I have a lot more control over what I post here than over what goes on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, anywhere. Even if the worst happens, I can grab my database and move it somewhere else where my words will be preserved.

Over the next few weeks, I will make an active effort towards preserving my words by copying over long-form posts and image collections from my presence on other platforms to here.

I have also decided that I can probably shift some of the power of those platforms back to myself by simply playing them against each other. For that purpose, below is a list of (almost) all the places you can find me at. If I disappear from one, look me up on another.

Mastodon:
https://mastodon.art/@reinderdijkhuis
https://mastodon.social/@Reinderdijkhuis
Pixelfed:
https://pixelfed.social/reinderd
Other social media
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Reinder (currently infrequently updated but new SFW content goes up as free updates. NSFW content is patrons-only)
DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/reinder
Tumblr: https://reinderdijkhuis.tumblr.com/
Furaffinity: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/rocrspecies/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoguesClwydRhan (Inactive but being worked on)
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reinderdijkhuis/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/RoguesofClwydRhan/ (webcomic page)
https://www.facebook.com/Chroniclesofthewitchqueen/ (webcomic page)
On all of these, including the federated ones that I trust more than the corporate ones, users are at the whim of admin who may or may not be honest and competent, and of policies that may change with no notice. So everybody, self-host if you can, as much as possible. I have the following websites:
Main webcomic site (Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan): http://rocr.net/” – this site has also been inactive for a while but is now being worked on again.
Comicfury alias for Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan: http://rocr.thecomicseries.com
Spun Off: http://spunoff.thecomicseries.com
Abúi’s Travels: http://abuistravels.thecomicseries.com
Chronicles of the Witch Queen: http://cotwq.thecomicseries.com
The Lives of X!Gloop: http://xgloop.thecomicseries.com

I will update and repost this list occasionally; a master list lives in the public section of my dropbox.

Albums acquired, October 1 – December 31, 2016

Here, at last, we go.
Amsterdam Klezmer Band – Oy Oy Oy (vinyl w. download code, 2016)
Anne Briggs – Four Songs (vinyl)
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (vinyl, used)
Heart – Dreamboat Annie (vinyl, used)
Kate Bush – Before the Dawn (4LP, 2016 AND downloads from Qobuz)
Kate Bush – The Dreaming (vinyl, christmas present)
King Crimson – various individual tour downloads (Downloads, DGMlive)
King Crimson – Beat (40th Anniversary Edition 2016 Reissue, CD+DVD)
King Crimson – Three of a Perfect Pair (40th Anniversary Edition 2016 Reissue, CD+DVD)
King Crimson – Radical Action to Unseat the Hold Of The Monkey Mind (3CD+Blu-Ray, 2016)
King Crimson – Thrak (2015 reissue, CD+DVD)
Marek Bili?ski – Best of the Best (vinyl, christmas present)
Marek Bili?ski – Ogród Króla ?witu (vinyl, christmas present)
Lobi Traoré – Bamako Nights (download, Bandcamp)
Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina (download, Bandcamp, 2016)
Opeth – Sorceress (vinyl, 2016)
Pentangle – Finale (2CD, 2016)
Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake (vinyl, 2016)
The Tourists – Reality Effect (vinyl, used)
Various Artists – Lazarus: The original cast recording to the musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh (2CD)
Yes – Talk (CD)
Yes – Union (vinyl)

Yeah, having friends in Polish means I get to hear some Polish music now. My favorite albums of 2016, in no particular order:
Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Zeal and Ardor – Devil Is Fine
David Bowie – Blackstar
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
It is unusual for me to have two country albums among my favorites, AND an album of synthesizer-based music, and an alternative metal album.

For 2017, I plan to slow down a bit with the buying of records. I see some financial belt-tightening in my future – or rather, in everybody’s future. Also, I want to focus on going to live performances over listening to records, so I will need to make money available for that. I expect I will be digging more deeply into my existing record collection including vinyl bought over the past 30 years, and streaming more.

Albums bought, July 1 – September 30, 2016

Yeah, I don’t really post here much anymore and I even let the deadline, if you can call it that, for these quarterly posts lapse. Collecting records is literally the least demanding hobby I’ve ever had, but I’m still not keeping up with it well.
Not that I didn’t buy any records! I did, and the first few for the final quarter are already in as well. More on that at the end of the year, when I put up an end-of-year list. That would be a first for me, because I have never bought as many records in the year of their release as I have in 2016.

Here’s the list, with albums from this year clearly indicated as well as the format, source and other details I may want to reference later:

Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge (vinyl w. CD, 2016)
Betty Davis – The Columbia Years 1968-1969 (CD)
Imarhan – Imarhan (vinyl w. download code, 2016)
Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer (vinyl w. download code, 2016)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – Synergy (download, Bandcamp, 2016)
King Crimson – Islands (vinyl w. download code)
King Crimson – The Wake of Poseidon (vinyl w. download code)
Marsh Dweller – The Weight of Sunlight (download, Bandcamp, 2016)
Nemesis – Early Days (download, Bandcamp, EP)
Nemesis – Early Days 3 (download, Bandcamp, EP)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä (Download, Bandcamp, 2016)
Peter Gabriel – So (vinyl w. download code)
Steeleye Span – Parcel of Rogues (vinyl, used)
Stick Men – Prog Noir (download, Bandcamp, 2016, preordered)
Tuner – Pole (download, Bandcamp)
Zeal And Ardor – Devil Is Fine (download, Bandcamp, 2016)

Singles:
Imarhan – Imarhan (Moscoman Remix)

I had a bit more of an interest in metal this quarter than I’ve had in the past five or six years. Another interest early in the quarter was music recorded on Fostex four-track cassette recorders, which explains the presence of two obscure records by Finnish ambient electronica duo Nemesis (not to be mistaken for any of a dozen other bands by the same name).

For records released this year, I now have three different Spotify playlists:

Best new albums of 2016
Best live albums of 2016
Best reissues of 2016

All of these are incomplete because releases not on Spotify are obviously not included. All will be both expanded and culled as I prepare for a final end-of-year list.