Clara & Pong

In 2016, I started my own web comic revolving around a girl named Clara and her best friend Pong, a red panda. These were just short weekly strips, which I initially inked by hand, scanned in, and colored digitally. Here’s one of the first episodes, where Pong receives his name:

After about a year, it was time to start a bigger story about my two heroes! I didn’t realize how big it would become, though: The story has now reached 70 pages, with one published page per week. The final book will be around 100 pages, hopefully finished by the end of 2018. It’s only German so far, but I hope to do a translation once I’m done with the first pass. Here are a few sample pages:

This continues to be a huge and rewarding personal adventure. Just as in software development: When you don’t even know what you don’t know about what it takes to finish a project, that’s where the fun is and where the best learning happens.

Urban sketching

My main day-to-day sketching activity, in a watercolor sketchbook. I mainly use a small watercolor kit, a fountain pen, and/or a ballpen.

For a 100-day project, I varied my urban sketching a bit: The task was to add some fictional element to whatever I found in the city. These are a few of my favorite sketches. They have all been inspired by places in Munich – can you find out which?

Characters and portraits

These are a few character studies, in digital, copic markers, and inkbrush:

Being interested in characters, I do portrait practice as often as I manage, in various degrees of stylization.

If you want to see more of these, check out my Sktchy account @koljakaehler.

Inktober

For the Inktober challenge, the task is to produce one ink drawing on every day of October. I usually follow the official prompts, and set myself a subject matter for the month. In 2018, I created a small sci-fi story setting for each prompt – here are my favorites:

In 2017, I wanted to draw animals and be a little more experimental with various types of ink. These were all done on toned kraft paper, which doesn’t take copious amounts of ink so well – sorry for the wrinkles!

Landscape sketching

Every once in a while, I’ll try my luck with landscape sketches in gouache. I like gouache because it allows painting opaquely, and together with my small watercolor kit, it’s still convenient enough to carry around.