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Sunday, July 24, 2016

I must be a cat who really is gone.

So I look at my blog stats, and hey lookithere I have all these hits from Russia. At first I figure "Check it, Russians dig me," but then I look it up and the internet tells me it's all bots, and it's very bad that the bots are doing that. When I try try to determine exactly why it's bad, the explanations very quickly become incomprehensible gibberish.

So, like most of my problems that I don't understand, I figure it's best if I just ignore it. If you're actually a Russian person viewing this blog, then Добро пожаловать! If you're a bot then I dunno, keep on keepin' on, I guess.

So now we've got that out of the way, here are some drawings.

These pretty much have nothing to do with each other except that they were all done by me when I likely should have been doing something else. Actually, why don't we go ahead and make that the definition of Art in general? "Things that people make when they probably should have been being productive." Works as well as any other definition I've ever read.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Less Talk, Mor-lock.

"Idiot," he spat through clenched teeth, and he flung the stone at Dhorn with the all the force of his petulant temper. Slow as Dhorn's intellect was, it didn't apply to his body or reflexes. He ducked nimbly aside and the stone sailed past him. They both watched it arc across the small courtyard they were standing in, watched it hit the ground, bounce, roll, and then come to rest at the feet of… something.

It stood at the edge of the courtyard, not more than twenty five yards from them, squinting and blinking at the light although the day was still dark and overcast. It stood about four feet tall with long pale limbs that had an unpleasant rubberiness about them, as though they were underdeveloped in some way. It had a shock of white hair on top of its head that splayed in all directions, and it was dressed in soiled off-white rags. It peered at them with black and sunken eyes, in stark contrast to its puffy, loathsomely shiny white face.
All this they saw in a moment; then it was gone, as it leapt with simian agility through a dark hole in the decrepit stone structure beside it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Flotsomy Jetsomish

They move your desk, you clean it out, you find some stuff you forgot about.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chroma Dwarf

It's obvious I haven't done much colour lately. So bucking the trend, here's a dwarf that I've actually taken the time to splash some virtual paint on.

Snazzy. And because I happen to have them kicking around, and because it's important to understand creativity doesn't just pop fully formed out of the void, but mostly because I care, dammit, here's some other pictures that lead up to this one.

I don't know about the rest of you, but most of the things I make start like this: a cruddy little scribble with the germ of an idea I like and I think I might want to pursue further. As a rule not very big or involved so I can do lots and pick something out of the flotsam that may be worth monkeying with a bit.

So then a rough pencil. If this was for an official gig I probably would have noodled it some more, but as it was just for fun it's more or less what I just dropped on the page. The exception, of course, being the shield. Didn't like the first version, so I just drew a new one and scotch taped it on top. At this point, I should probably note that I'm not one to work fancy. Yellow HB pencil on photocopy paper.

Then a very light photocopy and an inked line with a black Bic ballpoint. Did I mention I don't often work fancy?

Photocopied again, did some big black areas with a sharpie. I tend towards heavy inks on my drawings, they're fun and I like how they look.

To Photoshop! Color flats.

Aaaaaand highlights, shadows, gradients, what have you. Colour. Like I said.

So if you like to see some steps, there you go. If you don't like to see the steps, well now you're at the bottom of the post so it's probably too late.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Almost Something

I feel like it could be something, with some tinkering. Did it without any sort of plan, the "wrong way" to draw. Drew a tree, drew the ground around it, drew some more ground sticking up and a bit farther away. That bit of sky seemed too empty, put a whatever that is there. This can be good way to work, to just kind of get something down without thinking about it. If an image or idea comes out of it that seems like it's worth exploring, well now you have it and you didn't before so that's a good thing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I'm two scotches in, why not an excerpt?

Why not indeed?

“It’s a pretty good scam, Kilbright,” admitted Dhorn. “Wonder why he didn’t let us in on it? Could have faked our deaths.”

“Probably didn’t want to split the payoff three ways,” growled Kilbright.

Valenya shook her head sadly. “Proving my point.”

Kilbright ignored her. “Regardless,” he said, “this could not have come at a worse time. We are both extremely busy men, you know. There are other matters requiring our attention.” He paused thoughtfully, peering into his goblet. “Perhaps it would be wise to delay our current Quest. At least until this business with the Wergild is sorted.” Without preamble, his right eye fell out of its socket and landed in his wine with a plop.

Valenya stood up quickly, almost upsetting the small table. “What…what…”

Kilbright peered glumly down into the cup. His eye bobbed gently in the crimson liquid, seeming to glare balefully back at him. “Of course, the Hunt must take priority. Our own petty legal concerns are of no consequence.” He looked back up at Valenya, who was pointing at him with a shaking hand. “You seem troubled, my lady. Is something amiss?” Both of his eyes were now perfectly normal, if a little bloodshot from fatigue.

“What…what the hell was that?”

Kilbright raised his eyebrows.

“Don’t give me that look! Just now! With your eye!”

“My eye, dear lady? I’m sure I have no idea what you mean.” He smiled sourly and took a sip of his wine.
Dhorn sidled up to Valenya. “He’s a bit sensitive about it. Best not to mention it, really,” he said.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I'm on Team 4. That's why the "4".

I have a job I go to every day. Not an artist-y job. I have had a few of those, but this is more of an office-y, phone on the desk with paperclips and sticky notes and numbers and florescent lighting and filing cabinets and posters with a (largely ignored) mission statement and one lady with a glass bowl on her desk that always has mints in it kind of job.
Some of the people at this job have noticed that I used to have artist-y jobs. They sometimes ask me to draw a thing, because sometimes a thing happens in the office and when a thing is happening it's sometimes nice to have a drawing to go with the note that gets tacked onto the bulletin board.
They had a food drive, and while I've had artist-y jobs, office-y jobs, drive-y jobs, clean-y jobs, lift-y jobs, and one time a poison all the vermin-y job, there are some people without any job. So I contributed some actual food, and also a couple of drawings to go with the note that got tacked onto the bulletin board.

I would never say that through my drawings, I single-handedly guaranteed the success of the food drive. There's no way for me to prove it. But I probably did.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Happy nevermind

Trying to post every month, new year's resolution already broken. Good to get it out of the way. I have nothing finished, nothing is ever finished, it just goes on and on and on...

Odd spot for an ear.

Does a lizard man riding a dinosaur make sense? Its like a man riding a gorilla.

Actually, it might be cool to ride a gorilla. Although probably less trouble to just get a person to carry you around.

Too much back story never gets used.

Just got a part in a play, although I haven't acted in 18 or 19 years. Was there a time when I could just keep lines of dialogue in my head to be recited upon command? I remember doing that a few times, although now it seems somewhat improbable.

Also improbably, I've been typing up my Nanowrimo story. Here's a bit  chosen more or less at random:

They had not needed the priestess’ warning to stay on the straight road; the passage they followed was the only one they encountered that seemed to go up. All the side passages they saw looked as though they were either level or dove back into the depths again. Besides, it was the only way that was lit, albeit with candle stubs and the stumps of torches, and the occasional brazier of foul-smelling dung fire.

The exception to this general rule was a chamber the tunnel intersected about halfway along their journey. Near the ceiling was a creature that appeared to be some sort of glowing serpent, which coiled and slithered through mid-air as it made a circuit around the room. It trailed a small plume of bluish smoke behind it, and it made a low chuckling noise as if it were enjoying some quiet private joke. Dhorn stared at it covetously as it floated overhead.

“Don’t be a fool,” Kilbright signed to him in the Thieves’ Secret Tongue. “Haven’t you noticed the lights have been going out behind us after we’ve passed? They’re following us. Filling one’s pockets is a fine thing, but there are times when one’s own skin must take priority. We must leave this hole with as much haste as we can manage.”  Dhorn continued to stare at the snake’s hypnotic movements as Kilbright pulled him through the doorway, and they continued on.

Got a long way to go before I'm finished, nothing is ever finished, it just goes on and on and on...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Map versus Map

I'm usually the mapper in our gaming group. I like drawing maps, I like knowing where we are relative to where we were, and no one else seems to have the slightest interest in doing it. A couple of the other folks seem to be able to keep at least a vague idea of the layout in their heads, but not me. I gotta have it in front of me.

The thing is, I'm really not very good at it. I don't use graph paper (the DM doesn't usually give exact measurements of rooms anyway, usually just "large" or "small"), I tend to get my East and my West mixed up for some reason, and OK, I'll admit it, sometimes my attention wanders a bit during room descriptions. It's not that my head isn't in the game, it's just that if an interesting feature gets mentioned it tends to draw my focus towards it. For example, if the DM says "There is a large altar with a demon head carved into it," my mind immediately starts running through all the things it might be for and what I want to do with it, and I don't really hear anything he says after that.

So just for fun, I've got here a few of the maps I drew while we were running through the 5th edition starter set. I've found the actual maps from the adventure on the internet for comparison, and wow, they do not make me look good.

The published Cragmaw Hideout

My Cragmaw Hideout

Published Cragmaw Castle

My Cragmaw Castle

Published Redbrand Hideout

My Redbrand Hideout
Now, we didn't explore the whole Cragmaw Castle, we found what we needed pretty quickly and then got out. If the notes on the maps seem cryptic, don't worry; I can't remember what I was trying to say either.

You may also note that I still doodle that stupid goblin after all these years. I know what you're thinking, and I don't care. He's my pal.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Somebody say back to D&D?

That's right. I did.
A dwarf fighter may not be very inspired, but I happen to like hitting things while speaking in a bad Scottish accent.

What I dislike is drawing chain-mail, but you can probably already see that.