Cute character art

I’ve been beating my head against a commission this week. Around the edges, I drew some cute, fluffy things:

The first Sonic characters I ever invented back when I was like 14, and they are also the most visually boring. And the same color, lol. Still, people on deviantart were happy to see them, which surprised me.

Kari and Jayesh flirting at breakfast. They don’t even notice the tiny dragon about to steal the coffee.

My lightning super and healing/fire super from my Vid:ilantes books. They’ve been dragging out this relationship for three books now, and it’s about time they put up or shut up, if you know what I mean. 😀 It’s finally 2021 so I can finally publish some more of their books. Next project: Book cover art!

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. 😀

2020 creativity recap (and 2021 resolutions!)

2020 was quite a ride, wasn’t it? At the beginning of the year, I decided to take the Publishing 12 Books in 12 Months challenge. I had a baby due in June, so I figured that I would be doing really well to publish 6 books. I wound up publishing 5 books and a novel-length fanfic, so I figured that counted. Here are the books:

They’re all the same series. I have to figure out how to have the Vid:ilantes series labeled as happening inside the After Atlantis series. You’ll notice that Guardian’s Vow is book 2. I redid the cover for book 1 when I launched the paperback:

Once I had the baby, my writing mojo went out the window, of course. I wrote a few very short fanfics because fanfics are easy. I also drafted all of the next Vid:ilantes book, where the HeroTubers meet up with the characters from the After Atlantis trilogy. It’s still in edits, and I’m hoping to launch it late January or early February.

My goals for 2021 are to write one more book. And one more. And one more. I don’t have a set number. But I’m halfway through writing the book after the next book, so that’s at least two books for 2021 already. Maybe this year I can actually get some advertising traction so folks will hear that this series exists. It’s superheroes who film their own exploits and put them on HeroTube for those sweet ad clicks. And everybody’s powers come from Atlantis, which sank and is a modern-day island chain visited by tourists and cruise ships. It’s terrific fun, and I can’t wait to write more.

As for resolutions, my only resolution is to write and improve my writing, and to continue to improve my artwork by studying fundamentals. We’re hoping to move sometime in 2021, so I’m not planning anything beyond that. Moving is a brain-suck, just as much as having a baby. I’m going to keep on posting my weekly art blogs, with the occasional opinion piece here and there.

Speaking of art, here is a Destiny Christmas art, which I finished on New Year’s Eve:

A warlock takes his daughter to the City to see the decorations.

And that’s my very simple goals for next year. Let’s make it a good one!

Artwork catchup

I guess this week is Christmas, isn’t it? I’d better draw something Christmasy! In the meantime, here is the random things I’ve been drawing over the last week or so.

I wanted to draw a robot guy with a sweater, glasses, a book, and a cat in his lap. I just love the contrast of the harsh, man-made angles and the soft curves of the cat and the sweater. Also, a robot guy with glasses amuses me unduly.

This is concept art for an upcoming Vid:ilantes book. Kari, a lightning super, has burned herself out. Possibly she’s been struck by lightning, I’m not sure yet. And Jayesh, the overpowered healer, is having to exert his strength to save her.

Concepting Jayesh’s armor. It’s the kind that mountain bikers wear, and the idea is that Jay’s team is sick of him always getting hurt, so they outfit him in this. There’s a helmet, too, but I wanted to draw his fluffy hairs.

That’s what I’ve been working on. I guess now I need to draw something Christmasy. Holly! Bells! Snow! Candles! Angels!

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.

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!

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.

Lots and lots of sketches

I feel like my brain is backlogged with all this art I’ve wanted to do and couldn’t. So, every chance I got all week, I drew something. Here’s the results:

Jayesh and Cirrus face off.

This was me trying for more dynamic positioning. Jayesh and Cirrus, from Vid:ilantes and After Atlantis, respectively, are facing off.

Fire and ice wizard

I wanted to draw something with a lot of really bright colors. So here is Destiny Jayesh, keeping the ice at arm’s length and the fire close to his heart.

More Destiny characters

I’m trying to draw a bunch of poses I haven’t tried before. I have a huge pose library in Clip Studio Paint, and I’ve only used a fraction of them. This pic came out all right, but not as dynamic as I’d hoped. Ah well.

Drawn for a friend on my Discord. She wanted her character dressed up as a Titan with a pet warbeast. Somebody remarked that warbeasts aren’t cute. I said, “Sad eyebrows make everything cute!”

Kari and Jayesh, Destiny versions

I’ve wanted to draw these two with the gun Lumina for a while (in the story, they built it together). But it’s hard to draw a romantic-looking pic and have guns in it. But I’m going to … wait for it … take a shot at it.

Ba-dum tish

Now I really should work on commissions and stuff. 😀

A little art for Friday

I kind of swing from writing, to drawing, and back. The last week has been all about writing, so I haven’t done much art. Also the baby doesn’t think she should ever be out of my lap, heh.

Waiting for help

Finished up this pic. I wound up compositing in a lot of photos for textures because I didn’t have time to paint everything.

Cal Kestis from Jedi Fallen Order with a bogling pet. Boglings are just Eevees.

I highly enjoyed Jedi: Fallen Order, so I had to do some fanart for it. It’s a throwback to the original Star Wars movies and does characters and friendship the way Star Wars is supposed to be. I’ll probably play it every year like rewatching a movie. The way I do Portal 2 and Bioshock Infinite. 😀

Quick sketch of Robin Stephanos from my After Atlantis and Vid:ilantes books

I’m trying to draw more concept art for my original characters. It really helps to have visuals. I’ve done the heroes, but I haven’t done the villains and supporting cast. Trying to rectify that. Robin is a bounty hunter who sides with whoever can pay the most money, preferably in jewels. She first appears in Guardian’s Awakening, which technically takes place slightly after Islesworn. She’s in Islesworn, too. Heck, she shows up in just about all of them because she’s always harassing the heroes. She’s kind of fun and utterly amoral. 😀