Wowphabet: A

Wowphabet: A As some of you may know, I play World of Warcraft.

I have also read the works of Edward Gorey.

Somewhere in my brain, these two neuron communities bumped in to each other, and thought that a joint venture would be fun.

Beginning today, I'm posting one page per week day.  I have a nice healthy buffer, but I'll be continuing to work as I go, so this is a learning exercise. (By 'learning exercise' I of course mean 'motivation by threat of public ridicule and failure.' ) I'm trying to learn to work consistently over time. It's not that I haven't done so before, but I've been more sporatic in my working habits than I'd like.

Today, we have a foolhardy undead warrior. I'm guessing he got bored looking for minerals in Tanaris, and decided to pick a fight with Anachronos and the Bronze Dragonflight outside the Caverns of Time. As one might guess from the fact that he's guarding the frickin' Caverns of Time, Anachronos is about to have a late lunch.

Please note that the image above and all subsequent images in this series depict characters and other stuff that doesn't belong to me. Legal-ise version will be posted at the bottom of every entry in this series, so I don't get my pants sued off.

World of Warcraft™ World of Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. 


bunnies1.jpgbunnies2.jpgbunnies3.jpgbunnies4.jpgbunnies5.jpgbunnies6.jpgbunnies7.jpg This is why I hardly ever scan raw sketches and post them. In order to see pencil sketches, the contrast and darkness have to be messed with, which makes the scan look kind of like crap. However, I did it in this case because I thought you might like to see what my sketches look like right before I'd go ahead and ink them. Also, to give you some idea of how damn much I draw something when I'm learning it. I haven't tried to draw a realistic bunny in years, which means my ability to draw them trails far behind my ability to draw my 'steady diet' subjects (Y'know. Ladies. Dragons. Swords.) so I have to sit down over the course of a day or two and play catch-up. What's extra-cool about putting all these drawings in order is you can actually see me getting better in strangely abrupt steps. Somewhere on page two I figure out the ears, and a few bunnies later I nail the paws, but it doesn't happen in any sort of balanced or logical way.

And yes, the text on the first page is a list of the main characters from Watership Down, with some physical description pulled from the text.

Watership Down is one of the first books I can remember my Dad reading out loud to me (His memory focuses mostly on keeping all those different voices straight. To paraphrase: 'Damn it, you died fifteen chapters ago! I don't remember what kind of voice you had, but I bet my kid does!') and I think it strongly influences my concepts of epic and hero.

Thlayli is still my definition of Hardcore.

Cariama Cristata Titanus

big-bird-final.jpg The title, and indeed the whole existence of this image can be blamed on Wikipedia.

Once upon a time, I was trying to remember the proper species name for terror birds, the ostrich-sized carnivorous birds that lived in the Americas and probably shared territory and prey with Smilodon. (Smilodon is totally cool enough to deserve its own illustration, and will no doubt receive one at a later date.) By searching for 'terror bird', I found the genus Phorusrhacos. While reading about this group of what I presumed were extinct birds, I found out that there is in fact a living modern relative.

Don't get too excited. They're less than a meter tall.

Seriemas are stalking grassland predators of snakes, frogs, small birds and rodents. They've also been known to eat corn, if they're hungry enough. They are tameable, (Raise it to think it's a chicken, and it'll defend your chickens from snakes) but not domesticated. Also, to quothe Wikipedia, Seriema have an "extensible second claw that is raised from the ground. Although this resembles the "sickle claw" of Velociraptor and its relatives, it is probably not used in the same way."

Probably not? Hot damn!

So I found some pictures of Serimas, some pictures of ostriches, some pictures of people riding horses, and some pictures of Centurian-style armor. The result is entirely the responsibility of Google, Wikipedia, and the internet at large.

Before & After

skindragonlines.jpgskindragon.jpg Today, we have a lovely Before and After for you.

The first is the original scan, the second is post-Photoshop, with no background for simplicity.

I am pleased with the structure of the sketch overall. It flows naturally, even though much of the form overlaps itself. This is a fairly typical dragon for me, although the head is of a more rat-like and less horse-like then I tend to.

The color was done with a method I am still working on streamlining, which involves extensive use of the erase tool set to a low opacity. The shadowing will be move obvious when there's a background, or really a ground of any kind.

Somewhat Indecisive

horsecycle.gif Work in progress. I have taken it this far to reach something of an impasse. I think that the reason it's been sitting in my 'in progress' folder for months is that I haven't decided on how realistic I want to be. I don't think I'm managing to maintain a consistent level of realism through the entire picture, and it's only going to get worse. The cycle itself is consistent, but I'm not sure how to make the background match, and I don't have a clear mental image of how the shadows are going to work.

Therefore, stuck.

I am very pleased with the horsecycle though. I usually shy away from machinery, but I had a neat idea and I executed it without too much hemming and hawing. Also, I planned through how the critter moves and functions well enough, instead of skimping and drawing something pretty but fundamentally 'locked in place'. I may never draw the horsecycle again. If I do though, it will be much easier to position it as I like, because I know how the limbs fall and the gears work.