Mello the Molekin


This mole brought to you by morajel over at the character drawing subreddit. He asked for a mole monk, complete with cassock, holy symbol and snow goggles, and I did my best to not make it look like Redwall.

Items of note- doing better with contrast (having a good range from brightest to darkest) in this, but haven't got it arranged well to good effect. The lighting isn't wrong per se, but it just isn't helping anything. It's not dynamic.

I used texture overlay layers here, and I don't think I'm doing it right. The cassock is ...passable. It's clear what I meant to do, I just don't think I did it. The fur texture works better, it really helps the transition on the nose and adds a sort of stumpy fluffiness to the head/neck, but it's not quite as good on the extremities.

I'm pretty proud of my solution for not knowing what the 'holy symbol' was supposed to look like. Though while I enjoy his giant mitt hands, and I think I didn't do them justice. Too flat, and I'm not sure how to fix it. Probably just draw them better in the first place, but ain't it always the way. :D



Battle Dragon

Battle-Critter This prompt is from a subreddit called Artbattle, which I admit I haven't quite gotten the hang of yet. There are... fights? Except kind of more like a rap-battle, because there's this one-upsmanship turn taking thing. But with drawings.

I didn't win this round. Despite deciding that there was no way I could make it in color before the deadline, I still didn't get it done in time.

On the bright side, I finally figured out how to armor a dragon. It just bugs me when fantasy armor doesn't make sense, and a dragon is a particularly tough case- the armoring needs are kind of like those of a horse, but the critter is flexible like a cat, plus it has some of it's own naturally grown plates and spikey bits that have to poke through.

This scene came out of this old story, but I've made a few changes: There are only two sizes of dragon (the ones shown here) and the difference isn't species. It's gender. Humans have only legends of the big ones and consider them mythical, but are quite familiar with the small ones and think of them as clever animals, so tame them much like hunting hawks. Although they are confused as to why the critters won't breed in captivity...




Comfy Chair

comfy-chair Prompt: Anthropomorphization. Which doesn't sound like it's a real word, but apparently is. It turned out a bit 'Brave Little Toaster', but that's kind of hard to avoid when you put eyes on furniture and then try to get it to not be creepy.

This one's a bit autobiographical, because we just bought a big sofa-chair thingy. It's huge. And squishy. And occasionally prevents me from getting work done by virtue of its sheer comfyness. The fringed blanket actually exists, although it's usually on the back of the couch. I moved it to give the chair a hairline to help define the face.

On a nuts-n-bolts note: I discovered brush settings. Texture incoming.



Military Mech Sketch


A proper sketch for once. When I saw that the prod from sketchdaily was mechanical in nature ('chicks dig giant robots') I knew I had to do it. Machinery and I have historically not been friends, but it seems that things are getting better. I think this one turned out so well because I could mimic muscular structure (which I understand very well) to make up pistons and armor plates (which I'm not so familiar with.)

The person in the capsule is a chick BTW, I just didn't go far enough in the drawing to make that clear. Other conceptual details that didn't come through- this is a multi-grav general use 'workhorse' unit. It has a compressed gas pack which is good for low G maneuvering/jumping. It can work in a variety of gravity environments, with a range of about .1 to 2 Gs. It has one 'working' arm, and one 'protection' arm- because these environments are not lifeless.


Absolutely awesome prompt from sketchdaily: Draw yourself as a pokemon! Now I will admit, I never actually played pokemon myself (a little too old to have caught that particular wave) but doing a personality portrait of a person by drawing an animal? That's one of my favorite things. Plus the 'evolving' aspect really appealed to me.


The Wild Hunt Begins

Damn Sketchdaily. You keep coming up with awesome shit for me to draw. In this case, the prompt was pretty broad: Norse Mythology. Being at least passingly familliar with Norse mythology, I thought I'd draw Sleipnir. But since Sleipnir is Odin's horse, I thought he should be ridden by Odin. And one of the best ways to make it clear that you're drawing Odin is to include Geri, Freki, Huginn, and Muninn. And by that point I realized I'd drawn the beginning of the Wild Hunt.



This turned out much more awesome than expected. It will definitely be worth returning to at some point to do a full-color rendition.

And yes, that is actually the sort of thing horses do with their legs over high jumps. It's just that it's only very, very athletic horses that can clear jumps like that, so it turns out looking more deer-like.

Fractured Crow

Totems This is a revamp of a very old drawing, curtsey of SketchDaily. (Prompt: Totems.)

The 'fractured' style was something I was very into for about a year in highschool. Of course I was making this sort of thing entirely with Sharpies, so can only assume I was high on marker fumes a lot of the time.



Sketchdaily Roundup: I lost count

Prompt: Scary Story One of my favorite scary story classics (although really it tends to be more sad than scary) is the ghost with her head held on with a ribbon. Unfortunately my drawing turned out a bit more on the 'governess' side of things rather than 'winsome dead lass'.



Prompt: Storybook Characters.

A bit late to the party on this one, but no one had thought of the Gruffs! Apparently, this blog is developing a bit of a 'goat' theme.gruff


If anyone wants to follow along, (or participate!) the prompts can be found on r/SketchDaily. Just be warned- if you get sucked into the reddit vortex, I take no responsibility.


Sketchdaily Roundup 4

Prompt: Scene from a Book. Watership Down is sort of a major book for me. It was one of the first books I can remember being read to me, and when I came back to it as an adult I was pleasantly surprised to find that it holds up. It's actually sort of two classically structured myths in sequence: The Journey, and then The War.

This is a scene from the Journey portion, and I won't tell you any more because it's dear to my heart and SPOILIES.


Prompt: Self Portrait.

I will explain... no, is too much, I will sum up. I am in the process of doing a moderate personal overhaul, both of physicality and personality. I'm hoping these will be my before and after pics.

Prompt: Insects

I think mantises are cute.

Prompt: Illustrate a Recipe.

I didn't finish it, but I do think it has potential so I may at some point finish it. It's also one of the least intuitive and most difficult prompts I've done to date, so I may not finish it. I may just eat the damn cookies.

Prompt: Still Life With Wine

While most of my Sketchdaily prompts so far have been posted in groups, this one was so interesting that it deserved prime billing.

This picture is a great example of why Sketchdaily is good for me: I would probably have never tried this on my own. I had no idea of how to proceed past the initial laying down of colors, and it was clearly going to be complicated. But since it's 'just a sketch', I produced the best transparent objects I've ever drawn. I can see in retrospect that I set myself up for success: The single strong light source simplifies the shine/transparency on glass, and to my surprise color is actually easier than greyscale. Previously I'd always tried to draw transparent objects in greyscale, because most solid objects are easier that way, but as it turns out objects that would have the same greyscale value are easily differentiated by color.

Also the glow from the candle required no thought: It did what I wanted it to do the first time. Trust me, light sources rarely behave so well. And the colors in the wine are far better than I could have done on purpose–that's the kind of awesome that only happens when I stop paying attention.

The picture is based on an old pen drawing that I've been meaning to work up properly for years, and this prompt seemed like the right time. Here's the original:

If I were to try it again, I'd improve the composition a bit. But I'm so ridiculously pleased with how the glasswork came out it's hard to be too upset.



Sketchdaily Roundup 3

Prompt: A Trip to the Playground. All that sprang to mind was this.

Prompt: Deities.

I was late to the party on this one, so first thoughts like Artemis and Thoth had already been done. So I went with Miyazaki style Kodama.

Prompt: Personification of Subatomic Particles.

Quarks. All I have to say is that particle physicists must have very interesting dinner parties.

I would have liked to develop this in a watercolor style, but I just didn't have time this week.

Prompt: Goats.

Since I did quite a workup on goats not too long ago, I kept it simple this time.

Sketch Daily Roundup 2

Prompt: Gunfight. Having just done a western sketch last week, I wanted to take this a totally different direction. Since I find buckles, snaps, guns, and anything mechanical to be very difficult I decided to push in that direction, but promised myself I'd stop while it could still reasonably be called a sketch.

Prompt: Pareidolia. Shortly, it's the human tendency to perceive randomness as significant. Things like seeing a simplified face in a light socket, or hearing words in Beatles songs played in reverse.

Prompt: Freeday. And also this song on youtube, and the sad fact that I did absolutely nothing for Halloween. This is Baron Samedi, a loa of Haitian Vodou.

Sketch Daily Roundup 1

As part of my attempt to get back to myself, I'm listening to the sage advice of Ira Glass. Which mainly means producing more work, more regularly, and not dwelling on how it falls short of what I had in mind. To that end I've starting trying to keep up with the SketchDaily subreddit. Life being the way it is I'm not really keeping to an every day schedule, but having an ongoing prompt-engine certainly helps with actually doing it and with pushing me on subject matter.

Prompt: Western

Apparently, the high plains don't look like much of anything without color.

Prompt: Eastern

Her reaction isn't totally unreasonable- Nara deer can be pushy!

Prompt: Southern

I didn't want to do something too stereotypical... and also I had just watched a Dirty Jobs episode featuring Alligator Snapping Turtles. Oh Mike Rowe, I'd watch you read the phone book. (Actually I kind of did. The dictionary anyway.)

Prompt: Northern

I grew up in a place that had a yearly dogsled race. They started at night, and it was tradition to have outdoor parties/gatherings at trail forkings near town to help the non-local mushers not get lost. In my memory, this is what the teams look like coming towards you.