Earlier in the year I jumped on the chance to get a special rate for a lifetime membership to Pencilkings.com. It is a video based art tutorial community that offers a number of video tutorials, challenges and has a private community forum for sharing work. While the videos tend towards digital, game and animation work there are a couple of solid foundation course for beginners and a few more interesting ones one gesture drawing and environmental design that I’d like to take when I have the time.
During the past month the community had a 21-Day Sketch Challenge on the go. The requirements were simple: draw for 21 days to have your name thrown into a hat for a chance to win a NOMAD art satchel. Hell yes. Please and thank you. I’ve eyed this satchel since their Kickstarter got off the ground so the opportunity to win one really helped me commit to the full 21 days. We’re waiting for the contest to finish at the end of the month but I’ll keep you updated.
Until then, here is all 21 days of sketches collected for you.
Next up? INKtober and Month of Fear. Going to be a busy busy kitten during October.
I grew up with role-playing games. Many of my high school and university years were whiled away at a friend’s house rolling dice, eating Cheetos and, most importantly, telling stories. I don’t regret it one bit. When I move to Japan I spent some time playing computer RPGs but it never quite fills in the gap that interacting with others leaves behind. After a bit of searching I discovered MUs. These are text-based games that you write, in real-time, with other players. Thing of it like the proto-types of Second Life and World of Warcraft without the graphics. It was on one of these games that I met my best friend, and this painting is for her birthday.
It’s of a pair of our characters, Octavia (mine) and Corina (hers). Octavia the young wife of an exiled Roman senator and Corina is her personal slave. They are both the same age and Corina was bought for Octavia on her thirteenth birthday. Breaking down under the stress and shame of her husband being caught with the Emperor Augustus’ daughter and then exiled, Octavia eventually attempts to slit her wrists. Corina attempts to save her and runs to the Temple of Vesta for help. A Vestal Virgin arrives just as Octavia’s beginning to slip away. She can’t save her, but instead she turns Octavia into a vampire.
This image is what happens after Octavia awakens after her transformation. She realizes what she has become and in a wave of hunger and longing she decides to do the same to her slave. After all, that way they can be together for all eternity. Corina, however, is less impressed with having to serve her Mistress forever. The story then revolves around the next two thousand years as the pair try to come to terms with what they are and who they are to each other.
I knew that I wanted the image to be framed, much like my inked Diana drawing that I did earlier last year. I wanted to evoke the feeling of containment in the Second Style Roman wall paintings.
I found a stock image from DeviantArt that was just perfect and then also scanned some design elements like the column tops and the rose pattern from an old book that I picked up in a used book store in Tokyo this past April. Working in Photoshop I patched all the bits together into a composition that I liked, checking out the overall balance with a golden mean template.
Once I had that all worked out, I started on the sketch itself. This isn’t the final piece, just the basic drawing to work out the line-art, shadows and composition etc for the watercolour painting that this will become. Once I had the sketch done I sent to over to fantasy artist, Angela Sasser, for a red-line critique. She did a private video of her critique for me, drawing over my digital image and showing me how to improve on the composition, anatomy and over-all finesse of the piece. The stuff that she came up with completely blew me away. So, now it’s back to the drawing (well, Photoshop) board again to rework the composition. Hopefully you’ll like how it turns out the second time around.
I was inspired by a photograph that a friend of mine put up on Instagram for this drawing. My friend is the awesome crazy author Ksenia Anske who writes really weird and cool fantasy / horror books and gives them away for free (Or you can buy them, your choice)!
Recently I’ve tried to loosen up and work a little more fluidly, otherwise the perfectionist in me fights me all the way to redo tiny bits and things take forever. So for this one I drew on watercolor paper (that doesn’t take well to erasing) and worked only in 8B so that I really had to commit to where I was going to put lines down.
It was an interesting experiment and I have another coming up soon with the same technique so enjoy!