Artwork: face studies

I’ve just been drawing my characters this week, trying to really nail down what they look like. These are collectively from After Atlantis and Vid:ilantes, since they share the same universe.

Tane is top right, hero of the After Atlantis books. James Chase is middle left, hero of Islesworn. Jayesh Khatri is the hero of Bloodbound, which I’m still writing. Three nationalities, one unstoppable team.
Concept art of Jayesh with fire wings.
Quick sketch of a Destiny Guardian in the new casual robe in season 9.

The rest have been commissions and I can’t show those off for various reasons. Got more to do, too, so I’d better get with it. Islesworn’s launch this week has kind of thrown off my artwork.

A little art and a lot of writing

This week I only had time to finish one pic. And it was a pic I drew ages ago and just got around to coloring.

Just Destiny stuff, as usual, heh. I just really like drawing the armor and stuff from it.

I did a speedpaint this morning, but I only got the first couple of stages done.

Just the big colors and shapes blocked in at this point. The armor is really detailed and fiddly, and I want to spend more time on it than I had.

This week I buckled down on edits for Vid:ilantes, the superhero youtubers book. It’s looking pretty good so far, just needs some more polish. I’d love to kick it out the door by next week, but that depends on how fast I can do a cover.

I also finished the first draft of a sci-fi story this past week, which felt really good. It’s very soft, as sci-fi goes (not much math, heh), more space opera than anything. I’d love to launch it next month, but we’ll see how many revisions it actually needs when I read back through it.

My next project is a sequel for Vid:ilantes, since I’ve been carrying it around in my head for months, now. Time to get it all out and see how it goes. It’s fun, because the After Atlantis trilogy deals with Island 1, Vid deals with Island 2, and the sequel will bring in Island 3. Then the book after that will be the big, fat crossover, where everybody unites the islands to face a bigger threat. I’m having way too much fun with this.

This week’s art: fake oil paintings

I’ve been in a bit of an art slump these past few weeks, so I decided to try something completely, totally different. How about a tutorial about digital oil painting? Oh yeah!

My first attempt, I couldn’t really get it to work right. Especially since I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Defaulting to my Destiny characters, as usual.

My second attempt, I hunted down Chris Saper and studied how she does portraits, because her portraits are sooooo gorgeous. And, you know, she’s still alive and stuff to give tips. (John Singer Sargent? I love you, man, but you’ve been dead a long time.)

Not sure about the expression on this one, but I was working with fewer brush strokes this time. Kind of hard to control. I’ll get better!

So then, I took what I’d learned and did this one.

Uldren the space pirate

Hey look I made a real art! Again, trying to keep my brush strokes minimal and not over blend. This whole pic was just a black silhouette with highlights painted onto it. And the planet in the background was just derped together with spraypaint brushes. But the overall effect is very nice, and you can’t tell how long I didn’t spend on it. *shifty eyes*

This pic gave me the bug to try to do some spaceships, so I did this one as practice.

I just grabbed some renders of Destiny ships off a model viewer and shaded them up, trying to figure out how people do this nonsense. NASA kindly provided a nice view of Earth to mess with. This whole pic was nothing but ghetto shortcuts, but I was practicing. I’ve never been good at mechanical things, but I have people asking if I can do science fiction book covers. So I need to get good at this kind of art.

So that’s been what I’ve cobbled together this week.

Only a little art this week

I feel like I’ve been off my game all week, and I haven’t been satisfied with my art. I’ve been pushing to get edits done on Guardian’s Wager, and that’s all done, finally. But I think my brain is tired and needs a break.

Here’s what I managed to draw this week:

A sparkly outfit from Monster Hunter World (the Astral set), and I drew it mostly so I could draw sparkles. I’m not really satisfied with it, but I ran out of time, so here it is.

Tane and Glad from my After Atlantis books. For some reason, Glad turned out looking like she’s not wearing anything BUT SHE IS, DANGIT. Not super happy with this one, either. That’s why I shouldn’t draw when I’m tired.

I was trying to make a sweet new book cover to show off today, but it’s nowhere near being ready to share yet. Hopefully next week, when the book launches.

So that’s this week. Brain-dead. Tired. Artistically underachieving.

Art this week: concepts and comics

This week was battling against my own fatigue and lack of inspiration to make art. Surprisingly, once I sat down and started poking around, I was able to come up with this and that. So here’s what I made.

A pic from the end of my last fanfic, where Sorrel is pretty messed up.

Giftart for a friend who needed concept art of his steampunk characters. I haven’t done any steampunk before, and it was fun to mess with it.

In Destiny 2, there was this quest where you could travel through time and find your own grave. I had to make a comic about it.

Concept art for a character I’ve been thinking about. He’s basically a Mad Max vigilante with his Ghost worked into an energy shield usually carried by enemy aliens.

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.

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.

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. 🙂