Dinos and dragons

Worked on it a bit more in a few scraps of spare time. I’m blocking in the main masses right now. Trying to grasp rocks, you see. I’m trying to compose them like big messy jumbled stairs. Also used a few references to make the human figure look better. I’ll post some closeups next time. Like, when there’s something to see close up. 🙂

Using a figure tutorial

I wanted to brush up on my figure sketching tonight. I did that rough little comic last night, and my figures were pretty bad. So I went sniffing around my favorite stock archive on DA, and lo and behold, she’s updated it. And what’s more, she had a nice tutorial on the basics of figure drawing. So I used it and drew some figures.

Also, I realized that I need to keep up on my Sonic sketching, because my cartooning skills have slowly been deteriorating the longer I don’t use them for awesome. And hey, you can use figure sketching for cartooning, too.

Hence:

If I just do a few of these every night, my Sonic art will be back up to awesome in no time. Give or take a month or two.

Book review: Finding Angel

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=thedomainofne-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B005JSZFAS

Angel lives with her foster parents and no memory of her early childhood. But she wishes that magic, and unicorns, and dragons, were all real.

One day a strange boy appears, and she gradually figures out that not only is he from her true birthplace, but he can take her back with him. And so they do, in search of Angel’s missing memories, and to stop the madman who banished her in the first place.

This was an okay book. I found the first half slightly tedious, as Angel and Gregor work around Gregor’s farm, and meet minor characters, and nothing much seems to happen. Angel and Gregor are well defined and interesting, especially as Angel’s memories start to return, and her magic gets developed. The Elves were also interesting characters.

The second half of the book speeds up quite nicely, and held my attention as the intrigue really got rolling. The identity of the bad guy kept me guessing with a few clever bait-and-switch tactics. One thing I appreciated is that although the author is a Christian, she kept her faith in the background. Unless you went looking for it, you wouldn’t even notice it. There were no tedious conversion scenes or even mentions of God or Jesus. It was just pure story all the way through.

My biggest gripe was the Romeo and Juliet thing. I wished that the author could have come up with her own plot, rather than retelling a previously-used story. Fortunately, Angel takes the place of neither character, which made it tolerable. I did wish that the “Juliet” character had been developed a bit more, because when she died, I didn’t care too much, and I felt like I should have.

Aside from those gripes, this was a pretty good book. It entertained me through a day of being sick, and I was glad to have it.

Fox in snow, nearly done

Worked on this for a while tonight and got it mostly done, I think.

Here’s the black and white layer.

Here’s the color layer on the fox. It’s subtle.

Now her eyes look alive!

And then the liberal amount of blue airbrushing for the background.

I think the fox’s coat needs another layer of lighter hairs and some snow sprinkles. And I want some red holly berries. Think I could get away with some kind of red berries, because pine trees totally have those?

Fur and pine needles

Fur and pine needles get painted in similar ways. Lots of short, definite strokes. Fur you need to curve, though, and pine needles need to look bristly.

I put the snow on top of the branches with the same strokes that I used for the pine needles, but with a fatter brush. Looks like the snow is kind of settling down into the needles, doesn’t it?

Black foxes only seem to be a variant of red foxes, so they have a black undercoat and a funky light overcoat, so they look like this.

Aren’t they pretty? They remind me of a cape hunting dog, for some reason.

Anyway, I’m working from dark to light on my fox’s coat, trying to duplicate that wonderful salt-and-pepper look.