That moment when your mojo crashes

So, this week wasn’t supposed to be a nightmare week. It was supposed to be a nice week. I was going to catch up with the weeds in the yard, and it rained a bit, and it was nice.

Then on Tuesday one of the big girls landed on the 20 month old on the trampoline and broke the baby’s ankle.

Nice week instantly shot. I’ve gone back and forth to the ER, bounced around appointments for the orthopedic surgeon, etc. etc. all week long. The baby now has a massive cast that she uses to club people with. (Her ankle is already well enough to do that, which I find amazing.)

In the midst of this, I tried drawing a golden age of scifi book cover for a friend.

Me: Hee hee, this is fun.

Her: Wait, the girl is supposed to be black.

Me: mojo crashes and burns because that means the whole pic has to be redone

So now it’s Saturday and my poor hubby has to work. Next week, 3:30 wakeups, which turn both of us into zombies. I just can’t catch the mojo again.

This morning, I scraped out a quick drawing, just to keep in practice:

So that’s been my week. I’ve been so tired and stressed that when I sit down at my computer, I’d rather stare at the wall than create anything. But maybe things will calm down now? Maybe?

Catching up with arts

It’s been so long since I updated, WordPress updated their interface and didn’t tell me. Yikes. Things have been nuts lately around here. I post my art in so many different places, I forget about my poor blog. Anyway! Here’s some new stuff:

A couple of Destiny guardians on a speeder.

Ice powers are hard to control.

That’s the stuff I’ve been drawing in between commissions and stuff. Here’s the giant commission that cleaned my clock for the last month:

This was done for H.L. Burke. These are the main superheroes in her book series, the Supervillain Rehabilitation Project. It kind of takes the drama of the Marvelverse and moves it to the page, where you can employ all the special effects in your mind’s eye. 🙂

Very small art post

Just a smattering of artwork this week. I’ve been working on a commission and haven’t had time for much personal stuff. Here’s one where I was concepting my heroes as kids. Too much time spent looking at the sketches for the Valiard Mansion, a graphic novel that never got released.

I wanted to draw more Sonic the Hedgehog art this year, so here’s a fan character:

Zephyer

She made my Sonic fan followers very happy this morning. 😀

Finishing artwork and stories

I didn’t draw much this week because of five hours of sleep every night. And also pushing hard to finish a story. I wrote The End this morning, and it feels great. In between, I drew a few things, so here they are:

Bowhunting
My character Maximillian Ross when he was about 16, before I started writing him and ruined his life. 😀

Mostly just drawing stuff as I think about what I’ve been writing. Drawing helps me think through plot twists and stuff. Finishing a story this morning felt great. Now that’s out of the way, I can focus on this story I’m writing for a Beauty and the Beast anthology. I’m trying to hit the story beats while writing my own story, but I’m afraid it’s veering off into left field. Ah well, whatever I wind up with, it’ll be a good backstory short for a character.

Finishing a project is a big deal, whether it’s a story or an artwork. Seems like lately I’ve seen a lot of people asking how you finish a thing. My only answer: perseverance. Lots and lots of perseverance. It also helps if you like the thing you’re working on. That helps you muscle through the parts that aren’t so fun, like fixing plot holes or correcting your perspective. Ugh. Has to be done, though.

End of November art

I tried to a bit more artwork this week, so let’s see what got made:

Fanart for a character in Destiny 2. I’ve waited for this character’s storyline for two years, and now that it’s starting up, I am very happy.

Giftart for a writer in my Discord. This is her steampunk cowboy dude.

“I did, and I’m so sorry,” Kari said. “You deserve better. I see that, now. I hope you can forgive me, because I don’t want this to end. You’re too wonderful.”

“I forgive you,” Jayesh said softly. He cupped her face in both hands and stroked her cheeks. Healing magic still poured from his touch. He pressed his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. “I’ve been an idiot,” he whispered. “I let you suffer. I’m so sorry.”

“Kiss me, then, you big idiot,” she whispered back. “I’m giving you permission.”

His eyes opened, inches from hers. He smiled, a little nervously, then touched her lips with his own.


Bit of a story excerpt from the next After Atlantis book. Not Mercurion, the one after it, which I’m already writing it. Maybe I should get Mercurion finished and published, huh?

A girl falls in love with a dead man’s soul trapped in a gun. Based on the game Transistor.

I wanted to try to paint a pic in this particular style, so I went with one of my Destiny characters. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly do the concept art style I was trying for, so it wound up being my own thing.

That’s it for this week! Been writing a lot and not drawing quite so much. Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving! We’re now rocketing toward Christmas.

November art and books

Man, where did the last few weeks go? I feel like I just woke up and it was mid-November. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on.

Guardian’s Awakening and Guardian’s Vow are both available in paperback, finally! I’ve spent a whole week fighting with the formatting and cover art. I just need to get the third book formatted, and that’ll be the first After Atlantis trilogy. Then I can start on Vid:ilantes. I’m going to have to rebrand the series name as After Atlantis, since they’re technically books 4-7. I’ve also been putting book 7 through final edits, hopefully to catch a January release. I’ve been bouncing back and forth with my editor and beta reader, and they’re holding my feet to the fire, like usual. 😀

Sooooo you can see why I haven’t actually been drawing very much. My art mojo has been going into another book cover for H.L. Burke (go see it here! Is pretty!) and redoing the art for my own paperbacks. But here’s a smattering of art I have done around the edges.

Trying out this style. I cheated soooooo very much.
Giftart scribble of a friend’s character. He turned out looking like David Tennant.
Jayesh is too distracted to notice that his dragon, Suntala, is eating his fries.

And that’s it for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully I can actually draw something decent this week to show off.

Figure practice makes for hot bods

A friend gave me George Bridgman’s Constructive Anatomy, so I’ve added that to my study alongside Andrew Loomis’s Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth. Now I really feel like I’m taking an extremely challenging art class. Here’s what I’ve done this week:

I left the construction lines in the sketch, so you can see all the detail. I did my yuppie armor treatment (all black figure, three values in basic shapes for the armor, a few details here and there) and it turned out looking great.

This was when I started working on Bridgman’s book. He builds figures a bit differently than Loomis, concentrating on the masses. Lots of twisting figures, so I tried to draw some. Then I tried to figure what in the heck a real person would be doing to get into some of these poses. Looking over their shoulders, obviously.

Jayesh and Tane from Vid:ilantes

I figured I’d draw a scene from what I was writing this morning, so here are Jayesh and Tane. Tane is a really huge guy, and Jayesh is average, so there’s quite a disparity in their sizes. My grasp of anatomy isn’t great, but I’m working on it. Wish I could say I only had one problem area, but at this point, everything is a problem area. More practice needed!

Artwork: Dresses and guns

It’s been a few weeks since I did an art post, so here’s what I’ve done lately:

Fall fashions

A hastily-painted character in a sweater and scarf, just to show off some possible fall fashions.

Max and Zero sketch
Max and Zero, colored
My hubby’s character from Phantasy Star Online 2. He had this cool dress on her and I was like, dude, can I draw that?
Jadyn and Marcus. They hate each other except when they don’t. They belong to a friend on my Discord server.
Sorrel and Max

This last one took me two days to get the perspective working. You don’t want to know how many layers of discarded sketches this file has. I’ve been trying not to use my 3D reference models, but in this case I had to cave in and use them. Argh. I’d like to color this one eventually.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Different styles and angles and experiments. I love drawing other people’s characters for the challenge it offers. If you have a character you’d like a sketch of, let me know. I always need more fodder.

Last week’s sketches a few days late

“Wait a minute, I think I can figure this out ….”

I kind of missed doing a blog on Friday because the days are kind of blurring together. Also I don’t feel like I had much to show. I’ve been studying Andrew Loomis’s art instruction books and basically learning the basics from scratch.

James Chase face practice

I’m just doing a lot of studies and things like this, concepting characters while trying to apply what I’m learning.

Jayesh face practice

I feel like the more I study and practice, the worse I get.

Figure studies

Anyway, I’m basically putting myself through a very tough art class while juggling babies and older kids starting school. It’s nice to exercise my brain. 😀

Changing art styles

This past week, I decided that I really need to learn the Disney style of faces. So I started studying and practicing. It’s a deceptively simple style that absolutely demands a solid anatomy grounding. People who diss cartooning as “not art” have obviously never tried it.

Kari and Jayesh, Destiny versions

The expressions in the Disney style are the most immediate change. It’s very expressive and fun to look at. It’s also an attractive style that a lot of people like. But it’s not easy!

Expressions practice

I feel like the longer I practice, the worse I get. But I won’t feel comfortable with this style until I’ve sunk a couple of hundred hours into it.

T-rex panting in the heat

Random t-rex I painted in 20 minutes. I was thinking of the way reptiles pant, and wanted to draw a dinosaur panting, too. Giving a t-rex a funny forked tongue amused me unduly.

Jayesh petting Mist the griffin.

Mist gazed at him, her ears flicking backward, then forward. “All right,” she said after a moment. “I won’t interfere with the Bloodbound. But first, pet me.”

Jayesh stroked her feathery head, scratched the roots of her ears, and the back of her neck. Mist made a purring sound and closed her eyes. Jayesh had always wanted to bury his hands in the mottled gray feathers, but he’d never dared before.

“The touch of the Bloodbound brings blessing,” Mist crooned in her throat. “Grant me your healing touch.”

“Are you hurt?” Jayesh asked in surprise.

Her nearest brown eye opened and focused on him. “No.”

“Oh, so you just want to feel my healing magic. I see how it is.” Jayesh summoned his magic and stroked her with healing warmth in his fingertips. It gave him a sense of her bones and muscles, the vibrant life within her. “You’re very healthy. How old are you?”

“I’ve been here since Atlantis fell,” Mist replied, eyes closed.

Jayesh couldn’t hold back a grin. “So … you’re three hundred years old. No wonder you’re turning gray.”

The eye on the side of her head nearest him opened slowly, the third eyelid sliding aside. “I was born gray. Are you making fun of me?”

“Of course not,” Jayesh said hastily. “I’m just used to talking to the wyvern on my island. He’s kind of a jerk.”

“Oh, him.” Mist closed her eyes and rolled her head against his hands. “Yes, he is a jerk. Also, he is old. Tell him I said so.”


It’s fun to draw these silly little scenes. This is from the work in progress version of Mercurion, third book of the Vid:ilantes trilogy.