Friday, September 28, 2007

The comic I'll some day draw

Whenever I find myself between projects for other people, I drag out one of my own projects. (I think my priorities might be a bit backwards, but oh well.)

One of the ones I've had kicking around the longest is for a webcomic that I will some day actually start producing. I've been planning it for two years, mostly because I know that any artist + writer combination is doomed, since the writer inevitably quits halfway through, the artist has to keep writing, and the comic jumps the shark since they don't know where to go from there.

No thanks. I'd rather do all the prep work up front.

Anyway. Here's something experimental for the comic that I may some day finish. It of course will contain elves, because if I'm going to draw millions of drawings, I want them to be of elves dammit. (I know fantasy comics are a dime a dozen. I don't care. Mine won't suck.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More finished artwork

It's been a few weeks since I'd done any serious art-production, and there was sufficient impetus to want to distract myself from other matters. So I've been working on finishing some unfinished projects that have been kicking around a bit too long.

I dusted off the illustration that I've been working on for Thou Art But A Warrior. I changed it around, since my initial drawing was completely incorrect, historically speaking. It still needs work - the sword needs finishing, there are spots where the colors overlap, the color of his hands doesn't quite match his face. But overall, I'm really happy with how it's going so far.

I'm still thinking about whether or not to do a background. My gut feeling is that it will need at least something simple.

Something else for Ben. I had fun with the wacky perspective.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life interferes with art

Things haven't been terribly conducive to art lately, what with a few personal crises conspiring to destroy my productivity. In particular, one of our rats - Hippo - was very sick and needed a lot of attention as we tried to nurse her back to health.

Sadly. We weren't able to nurse her back to health.

I did the following letter for Ben's upcoming game, Drifter's Escape, as an attempt to distract myself. It turned out well, considering I've never owned a dog.

And because I can, here's a picture of our rat Hippo - the world's tiniest and fuzziest hippopotamus, and the only rat I've ever known to jump three feet straight up. She was the smartest, and the weirdest, of our rats. And I miss her.

Here's to you, hippo. I hope wherever you are they're giving you lots of yogurt drops and peanut butter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thou Art But A Warrior illustration, continued

I've been continuing to work on the illustration that I started for Thou Art But A Warrior. Since I did the drawing, I discovered that the boring armor I had drawn was about 150 years out of date. Hooray! Which means I get to do something much more awesome. It doesn't look awesome now, but it will.

Getting the skin tones right is something I have been really self conscious about. I played around lightening and darkening out of paranoia about not having euro-centric illustrations. The last thing I want to do is white-ify people.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that there's no way to know what skin tone the native Spanish people had before interbreeding for several centuries with Moors and Arabs and just sampled photographs of modern Spaniards. It's a compromise, sure, but it's the best I can do.

I'm loving coloring this, because I get to go crazy with rich colors. And I'm going to add awesome patterns. Woot.


I'll continue to update as I make progress. I've got a lot of other stuff on the go, so work on this is going to be pretty sporadic. And I'm holding off on other illustrations so that I can pirate material from what my playtesters come up with.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Our game of Grey Ranks

A while ago, we started playing a game of Grey Ranks over Skype with Bacon, our old gaming group from Ohio. The unofficial Bacon mantra is "take it to 11", so I knew we were in for some pretty heavy stuff. Even so, we wound up surprising ourselves a bit, I think.

One thing that's challenging for me about playing over Skype is the lack of face-to-face interaction. Roleplaying itself isn't a problem, because I know the other players so well. It's more that my brain is incapable of doing less than two things at once. So I find myself drawing a lot during our sessions, because I need to occupy the half of my brain that isn't roleplaying.

I did drawings of people's characters during the first session (although sadly one player's character is not shown here because he joined a session later).

That's my character on the left, there. For some reason, I tossed out the idea that Bronka was too poor to own shoes, and that was a total hit. Weirdos. My husband's character is Zodiak, the dumb mouthy kid.

The first session was more introductory in nature, even if a minor character did get killed by the Germans for pretty much no reason.

Chapter Two brought out all new levels of horrible. In our most recent session, we had (in no particular order)

* a burning building full of prisoners who were shot by the Germans as they tried to escape being burned alive

* Mar, one of the PCs, get beaten to within an inch of his life
* A contingent of the home army drowned when they got trapped behind a rockfall in the sewers while our characters listened to the screams from the other side.
* Nena prostituted herself to a German soldier to get information about where Mar was being held. Then later, when she ran into him while trying to rescue Mar, she shanked the guy without saying a word.
* Zodiak, upset that his 13-year-old cousin Teresa was dating Crombie and not him went crazy and raped her. Crombie walked in and when Zodiak attacked him, Crombie shot Zodiak, and ended up killing Zodiak and Teresa by accident.

...The worst was that last scene, where Kit destroyed Teresa just because he could - not even to try and achieve any kind of goal. I did drawings to try to capture the awfulness, and wound up discovering that the captions are almost more important than the drawings.

It's been a good game, if tough to get through at some points. I'm interested to see what's going to come out of my pencil next session, since these have all been pretty stream-of-consciousness drawings.

None of this is to say that Grey Ranks is a bad game, mind, because it's quite the opposite. It's a very good game. But you definitely need a good group to tackle it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Things that don't suck

When I came home from GenCon, I did a couple sketches of games that I'd played in over the weekend and wound up with stuff I liked. Then I started trying to catch up on stuff I needed to be working on, and of course I found I couldn't draw to save my life.

It's been about a week since I've been able to draw anything that I liked, which means I haven't gotten anything done for Drifter's Escape that I would actually show to another human being.

I gave up last night after a few hours of beating my head against a wall and decided to see if I could shake my brain loose by doing an illustration for Thou Art But A Warrior. And man was I surprised when something awesome came out!


I liked it so much that I scanned it and played around with it a bit more before bed time last night and wound up with...


So I'm pretty darn thrilled that I'm managing to draw things that don't look like dog vomit once again. Hopefully that means I'll have some things to post from Drifter's Escape before too long. But at the very least I can post some of the pirates that I did for Vincent before GenCon.