Hard werewolf questions

This is continuing on from my previous post on werewolves and Christianity.

I guess with Halloween coming on, I’ve been slipping into that appetite for horror I get once a year. It’s pretty hard to ignore when one of your neighbors decorates their apartment in lime-green cobwebs with a Zombie Crossing sign outside. Once it got dark outside, inside you could see they had plastic skulls hanging from their ceiling fan, spinning round and round and looking frankly hilarious.

Everywhere you go, there’s spooky scarecrows and witches and ghosts and pumpkins and decorative gourds. The colors alone make my heart go pit-a-pat.

Pumpkin and Gourd Display, via Wikimedia Commons by Sdwelch1031
Pumpkin and Gourd Display, via Wikimedia Commons by Sdwelch1031

I read so many wolf books growing up, I guess werewolves are just my favorite monster.

That and any woman who has experienced PMS knows what it’s like to change into a monster once a month.

Maybe that’s why I don’t do vampires–I can’t figure out how to identify with them. Parasites just don’t strike me as adorable, I’m afraid.

My mom had this old, old book about the animal kingdom, and when I was feeling daring, I’d get it off the shelf and see how far I could get. It started with the small stuff–paramecium and amoebas and such. Then it worked up to worms and parasites. Earthworms I can handle, but not the tapeworms. All detailed with nice closeups.

Eventually I’d be so grossed out, I’d slam the book shut and shove it back on the shelf.

Vampires, to me, are about as attractive of those closeups of tapeworms.

I know there’s books out there that have vampires wrestling with the dual nature–their thirst for blood and their attempt to remain human. But that doesn’t excite me like seeing the werewolf do the same thing. The vampire succumbs to appetite, while the werewolf succumbs to insanity.

To me, slipping over that edge and losing your humanity–and your mind–is the truly frightening thing.

George McDonald played with wicked people evolving backward into beasts. At its root, that’s the werewolf myth. And who hasn’t seen evil, debased people who were far below any self-respecting member of the animal kingdom?

That’s why I think it’s a shame that Christians don’t write books dealing with monsters more often. I want to read a book about a classic werewolf like a Christian Lupin (from Harry Potter)–who struggles with his faith and his monthly craving for raw meat. Who is desperately seeking redemption, even though it might mean his death (you can’t kill Hyde without also killing Jekyll).

That’s one reason I just loved Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather books. His lycanthropes are the truly frightening ones, and when one of the heroes gets turned into one, it makes it all the more sad and terrifying.

I want to see someone tackle hard questions like, when a person loses their memory and their personality changes, are they still saved? How much of the evil coming through is their fallen nature, and how much is the true darkness of their soul?

Where does a Christian take that? Is God’s grace and mercy still bigger than the demented werewolf?

More character sketches

I’ve been trying to write a bit lately, and when I need to think about characters, one of the best ways for me to do that is to draw them. Drawing takes a while, and I get to contemplate things while I do it.

Anyway, I have to be in a certain frame of mind to write Michelle and Indal (the werewolf), so this sketch was an attempt to get into the right frame of mind. (Doomed romance is tricky to write.)

Here they sit, on the hood of Indal’s Mercedes, discussing their future. Although technically Indal would have to be in human form to discuss anything, since I’ve made a point in the story that he can’t talk when he’s the wolf. This is artistic license.

I doubt I’ll color this pic, because the front of that Mercedes is a pain to draw, and Indal’s legs don’t look right. He’s supposed to be leaning back, but because we’re looking at him head on, a lot of foreshortening comes into play, and I’m not sure I’ve got it right.

Ah well, tis but a sketch.

Worgen Sonic, basic shading

Back to work on Worgen Sonic in Warcraft armor. I actually would have gotten a lot farther on the background, but every time I clicked in the top right corner of the canvas, Painter would crash. So finally I just threw on a solid black layer and erased through it to show the gradient underneath. It’ll be fun to put on the highlights and details, but I thought I was lucky getting this far tonight, with Painter being ornery.

Previous posts:

Worgen Warcraft Sonic sketch

Basic values on werewolf pic

First off, I finally figured out that the wolf’s head was just too big. He’s not very tall, as werewolves go, so the head size I had started with just turned out to be too large. I shrank it a bit before chucking on some shading in the background.

Anyway, I got all the shadows in there, and just erased them to let some background gradient shine through for the highlights. And I’m liking where it’s headed so far. She’s in the light, he’s in shadow … all symbolic, wooo … anyway, I know not everybody likes werewolves, but I like them. And if this was a vampire instead of a wolf, certain people I know would be drooling over it. >.>

More toying with a werewolf

Well, I got the body improved, but now the face is too much like a real wolf and not like a monster. He just looks like a sad-faced dog. I think I could go ahead and start shading it, though, and the lighting I have in mind might make this look pretty good.

They say it’s good to take risks as an artist and have your work keep you half-terrified all the time for fear it won’t work. That’s when you’re learning. I can safely say that this pic is that for me.

But his hand. Blah. I’ll have to unearth my disembodied wooden artist hand mannequin.

Another werewolf pic, hee

I wanted to do some kinds of Valentine’s day pic, and of course my affinity for weird romance reared its head.

I’m currently thrashing out a second story in my husband’s story universe, Spacetime Legacy (we finished the first one! Hooray!) Basically it’s taking all of his characters and doing whatever I want with them, which involves kidnapping the main character and developing all the other ones with him out of the picture.

One of the developments that happens is the main character’s sister falling completely for the cursed/scrambled werewolf character.

The trouble is, he fell for her a long time ago, but he feels that he can’t say anything because, well, he’s a monster. So it’s one of those hopeless relationships that are such fun to read. I’m aware that Rowling did something of the same kind with Lupin, (in Harry Potter) but after book 5, we almost never see Lupin again, and when we do, she’d forgotten what his personality was, so it’s not like him at all.

Anyway. I want to take this sort of thing and write it and see how it turns out. I have an idea that I can give it a good ending, but we shall see how many stories it actually takes.

Art-wise, I used many references for the girl, and I’m not quite satisfied with the werewolf yet. It’s funny to see one with a sad expression, isn’t it?

Snow worgen

Now that the Cataclysm expansion is finally out for World of Warcraft, pictures abound of the new worgen models.

I thought worgen were awesomesauce since I ran into them back when WoW was new, so I’m really jazzed about getting to play one.

So here’s a male and a female out for a stroll in the snow.

I’m pondering putting them in red and white. The female is supposed to be wearing a cloak or a shawl of some kind. I’m not happy with their limb placement, so I’ll be refining that. I haven’t played a worgen yet, so I’m not familiar with how they walk. I might look up some videos.

Stretching it

Well, payment’s due for netraptor.org, and I can’t ask for any more commissions in clear conscience, what with four more sitting here for me to do. So I’m downloading all of my backups.

I don’t think they’ll shut me off until the end of the month, and we’ll get our next paycheck about a week after that, so hopefully I can negotiate with my host to not delete me until then. Just giving folks a heads up.

Also, a sketch, so this post isn’t a complete waste.

Indal the steadily-more-vicious werewolf menacing Carda, who can only think to throw up a shield.