Pretty landscape and sketches

It’s Friday, which means … time to show off artwork!

I’ve been playing with this landscape on and off for a couple of weeks. I figured it was time to buckle down and finish it.

This was based on a screenshot from Destiny 2.

It’s a pretty area in game, but as you can see, there’s always room for improvement.

And now, for some sketches and things!

Character concept from a not-Destiny sci-fi. Just trying to nail down what the characters look like. The robots still look too Ghost-like, so I’ll be doing more concept sketches here in the next few weeks.

Since I’m redoing some Sonic fanfics as Real People Books, I get to reimagine these characters as humans. And they make awfully cute humans. This pic was just traced over a base and done anime because it’s fast and easy. I’d credit the artist who did the base, but I can’t track them down. It’s all over Pinterest, though.

“We’re waiting for your daughter?”
“Supposedly.”

Concept for the absentee father of the heroine of my last Destiny fanfic. I have this thing for forbidding, grumpy dads who are soft, sweet marshmallows on the inside.

And that’s all the art for this week. I’ve been grinding away at revisions on Guardian’s Wager, the third After Atlantis book, in every spare moment. And in every other spare moment, I’m writing this not-Destiny story that amuses me massively. You should have heard me boring my husband to sleep, explaining about the orbits of Jupiter’s moons and why Callisto makes the perfect hideout.

Nothing to show off–yet

Well, didn’t complete any artwork this past week. I have a landscape in progress, but all art is on the back burner as I work on my 12 Books Publishing Challenge.

My new year’s resolution this year was to do Dean Wesley Smith’s publishing challenge, which is to publish 1 book a month. You don’t have to write the books. This is just a way to kick those books out the door that are written, but just need revisions and a cover. I have three books just sitting here, staring at me. So out they go!

I’ve been working on the second After Atlantis book, and also updating the first book to bring it more in line with the worldbuilding in Vid:ilantes (due to be published in March, if all goes well). This is a light superhero fantasy series–hero teams having conflicts, mustache-twirling villains, robots, and superweapons. I wrote it a few years ago just for fun, and I’m just now emerging from my Destiny fugue and deciding to, you know, actually publish some stuff.

I was looking at my vast collection of Destiny fanfics and realizing that they’re all earning ad revenue for the sites hosting them. Alllllll those fanfics and alllllll those chapters … ads upon ads, day in and day out. And they get hundreds of hits a month.

This kind of burns me.

So I’m looking at just writing and publishing my own stuff steadily, the way I did my fanfics. I know how to do developmental editing, and I have a couple of very good copy editors lined up. I can also make my own covers. There’s literally nothing holding me back from writing and publishing as many books as I want. I’m not super concerned about making a ton of money as much as I am about making my stories accessible. Even my fanfics are only available on two websites. My books can be available on dozens and dozens of bookstores.

My end goal is to entertain people. People have hard lives, and a book can help them forget that hard life for a few hours. I want to write more books for my cozy mysteries, for my superhero series, and heck, maybe some short stories. I also want to mess with science fiction, the kind of space opera stuff that Destiny and Star Wars are, that I love so much.

So hopefully a new book will be coming along in the next week or so. Guardian’s Vow is in the second round of revisions, just polishing and deepening a few scenes. Have to do a cover for it and update the cover on book 1, and off we go.

Catching up with art stuffs

I have a bit of an art backlog to post, so let’s see what I have sitting in my files.

There’s this artist who paints these gorgeous landscapes based on videogames, so I wanted to give it a shot. Also I followed this tutorial and it was really fun and interesting.

Fanart for the book Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart. I had known of this book’s existence for a long time, but didn’t actually pick it up until a friend recommended it. It’s science fiction with space ships and stuff, except the only way to hyperspace jump between stars is to have a Mage use magic to do it. So the ships are all engraved with runes on the inside, and in the ship’s center is a simulacrum of the ship that the Mage interacts with to Jump. Magic and the runes it runs on work like circuits and computer code, so it’s very logical. I’m very pleased with book 1 and will probably have to read the whole series. The heroes are in constant hot water because they are just trying to do the right thing. I LOVE that.

Also, I sent this to the author and made his day. 😀

This is a comic making fun of the Christmas event in Destiny where you make cookies out of bits of monsters. World of Warcraft had this same kind of event, so I think they must just be how videogames do Christmas-themed quests. These are a couple of characters I’ve been working on, and I wanted to draw the girl with the scars to see what she’d look like.

A look back and a look forward

Welp, it’s 2020. I checked my resolution for 2019 to see how I did … I’d resolved to read all the unread books on my Kindle.

Welp. Failed that one. In fact, I now have more unread books than I did in 2019. Bad llama. According to Goodreads, I only read 15 books in 2019, and half of them were school books I read aloud to the kids. But hey, that counts, right? I’ve been in survival mode with a crawling baby, so that’s my excuse.

Over the course of last year, I wrote 12 more fanfics, most of which were novel-length, including two trilogies I’m very proud of. Now, if I could do that in 2020, only with original books, I’d be golden.

Speaking of which, Dean Wesley Smith is running a class challenge where everybody is supposed to publish 12 books in 2020. That’s 1 book a month. You don’t have to write them, only publish stuff that’s been sitting around, languishing and collecting dust. I think I could do 6 books, since I have three sitting around, waiting for revisions, and I could write a few novellas before June. I have another baby due in June, so after that I can’t commit to any work-related stuffs. That’ll be my sort-of resolution for 2020, is to try to do that challenge and see how I do.

I did start picking up art commissions in the end of 2019, so that was fun to get back into. I think it was Butch Hartman who said something like, “Go out there and do the thing. Eventually people will see you doing the thing, and they will come to you and ask you to do the thing.” And that’s what I’m seeing happen.

Here’s a big one I did and couldn’t post until after Christmas, because it was a Christmas present for the client’s boyfriend.

This pic took about three weeks of back and forth with the client and with critiques from an artist group. It came out all right, but I was kind of overwhelmed by the end.

So we’ll see how the year goes. I don’t really have a word for this year, since I really have no idea what will happen. Each year has been so drastically different from the one before, I’m hesitant to make any real plans. I have a couple of easily achievable goals, and I think that will suffice.

Arts from before Christmas

Here’s some artwork I did leading up to Christmas!

Unhealed Wounds for Destcember
Concept art for a character named Sorrel who is learning why you don’t touch weird black globes with stars in them.
Commission for a friend’s DnD character

This is a spoof news article based on the one about the family that found a live owl in their Christmas tree.

Family finds Ghost in their Dawning Tree

A City family was surprised last week to find an unexpected Dawning gift in their tree.

Gera Hurst and her two children, Freda and James, were eating dinner last Thursday when Freda, 10, made the discovery.

As Freda cleared the table in another room, Hurst heard her exclaim, “Traveler’s Light!”

“She enters the room very dramatically and goes, “‘Mama, that ornament frightened me!’ Then she burst into tears.”

Hurst explained that she’s a big fan of Ghosts. She had about a dozen Ghost ornaments on her Dawning tree. That’s why Hurst thought Freda had just seen an ornament. As she took a closer look at the tree, Hurst saw the ‘ornament’ blink his eye.

“And I’m going, ‘Oh, that’s a real Ghost,'” Hurst remembered as Freda ran into another room crying.

If that wasn’t strange enough, the Ghost had been in the family tree for more than a week. Hurst’s husband, Rand, told the news they had bought their tree two days after the Festival of the Lost.

“It was about to snow, you see,” said the Ghost, who called himself Dusk. “I was hanging out in the tree lot, looking for my Guardian, when this family picks the tree I was hiding in. I figured this was a great way to get out of the cold for a while, so I just kept quiet and hidden.”

“But didn’t you spy on the family?” our reporter asked.

“A little,” Dusk admitted. “But I stayed in the tree, and they seem like a nice family. I didn’t mean to frighten the little girl.”

That was all we managed to get out of the Ghost before Gera Hurst chased him out of her house with a broom.

Artwork in color for once!

I was tired of all the black and white, so I decided to do some art in color this week. Each pic took a few days, so there’s not as many, but they’re pretty.

Another artist was talking about using the selection tool and a gradient to make backgrounds very rapidly. So I tried it and this was the result. I kind of like it.

Fluffy fur collar! Hot chocolate and marshmallows!

“Merry Christmas, Guardian.” From a lore page that made everyone sad.

I wanted to draw this character named Osiris because he has a crazy complicated design. Look at all the feathers! He’s designing a new shell for his ghost.

Just trying different styles this week, studying artists I like and trying to figure out how they do it.

Week 1 of Destcember art

I’ve been participating in Destcember, which is Destiny art or stories for the month. Here’s what I’ve managed to crank out:

And there were a few very short stories in there for days I couldn’t do art. No point in posting them here, though, since they’re pretty Destiny-specific.

We’ll see how next week goes! There’s some blank prompts, and I plan to draw dinosaurs on those days.

Sketches and comics

Haven’t updated in a while, sorry about that. The whole family got sick, and in between, I was working on this commission I can’t show off until after Christmas. In between, I drew a few things here and there.

Hugs are hard to draw, so I did some practice on them. The arms are wonky, I know, it was just practice, trying to figure out the poses. I’ll do a better hug sometime.

Girl and robot guy, because even cyborgs need a little love. The textures in this pic were interesting to pull off.

A kind of sad comic I had in mind. In the end of Destiny 1, Ghost basically gives you this little speech where he thanks you for being his Guardian. I decided to invert it, have the Guardian say it to his ghost. There was supposed to be an extra panel at the end where things get better, but I couldn’t figure out how to draw it.

I drew this after I finished my huge commission, just to show how I was feeling after all that work.

In December, there’s this little thing like Inktober, only it’s called Destcember. I participated a little bit last year, and it was fun, but I had a new baby who limited my capabilities. So, today’s prompt was a New Look. So I went with a joke about the ugliest helmet in the game.

I guess I had more art to post than I thought I did. Scraping it al together makes a nice little pile. 🙂

Artwork: rejected layout sketches

Working on a couple of commissions right now that are kicking my butt. Well, that and a baby who has decided that 4 AM is the best time to wake up and therefore takes away mom’s art time.

Anyway, here are some rejected layout sketches. They were fun to do, though, so I thought other folks might like a peek.

You can see the ideas starting to kind of come together. Wound up going with a zoomed out version of that last one. My client liked the flirty expressions.

Have some other commissions that I’m super behind on. This week will have to be all about catching up.

Artwork: Two ghosts

I drew the lineart for this pic about two months ago, finally got around to finishing it.

This is Kari, who is finding that she can hear her husband’s ghost in her head as well as her own.

I’m trying to color in a more painty way, if that makes sense? Less total smooth airbrushing and more of unblended brush strokes to give an impression of texture. I also am probably way overusing my sponge brushes for backgrounds right now, but I just love their texture. Can you tell I’ve been watching tutorials about textures? 😀