Art Nouveau style book cover

 

 

dance

 

Oh yeah, I have a blog…

Sort of forgot about it since I haven’t really drawn anything in months… too busy writing.  This last week or two however, I have drawn quite a bit.

First, a facebook friend, a girl I grew up with (literally the girl next door, or one house over to be exact), has a animal rescue/shelter in New Hampshire (PeaceandPaws.org) and she mentioned that they were getting a set of wheels (like an HC chair) for a dog named Derby who was born with seriously underdeveloped front legs.  The post said something about tee shirts for fundraising/awareness and I offered to do a drawing.  I did a pencil sketch of the dog and added a harness and wheels using sample pics from the web.  As it turns out, he wound up getting just about the identical style harness, though the tee design we went with was option 2, showing a bunch of dogs running, with one of them on wheels.  As soon as the shirts are printed I’ll devote a post for those drawings and more info on the shelter.

Second, I stumbled across another tee shirt project… a competition for Dungeons and Dragons upcoming game redesign/themes… the new “season” is called “Tyranny of Dragons” and follows a storyline centered around Tiamat, the 5-headed queen of dragons (remember the 80’s cartoon?).  The pisser was that the deadline was 1 day away… it had already been out for 3 or 4 weeks… so I hurriedly did some sketches and came up with a couple designs… not my best stuff but not bad for short work.  The contest actually opens for voting today, but from what I gather, have the entrants are professional design firms that do these all the time and have the networks for “ballot stuffing” which is allowed.  Its kind of like all star game voting where popular stars, especially if they are from, say, the New York Yankees, get gobs of votes simply cause the size of their market, not necessarily cause they merit it.  Anyways, I’m not gonna kill myself getting the word out for the “public’s pick” and hope for a nod for one of the “judge’s picks.”

And finally, we come to the sketch/paint above.  This was another “you have one day to do it” projects.  It is for the PYA: the PanCretan Youth (Association/of America?).  The Chicago chapter is hosting this year, and they are putting together an ad book for fundraising.  Someone called someone else, who called my mom’s friend, who called my mom, who called me Monday night and said:

“They need a cover, can you do something?”

“Sure, when do they need it?”

“Wednesday morning.”

Luckily, Tuesdays are my day off… so my day involved yardwork, cleaning up the garage after a ton of woodworking (did I post about that already? the Viking stuff? I’ll have to check), 45 minute bike ride, draw 2 hours, make dinner, draw for many more hours with a couple breaks to catch an inning of the White Sox game and watch a little bit of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart take their shots at Liberty Valance.

The sketch was supposed to be about dancing since the kids have dance troupes, and as I started framing the drawing with Cretan elements like the Minoan styled columns, things started to look Deco/Art Nouveau, so I ran with it.  I love the look of Nouveau, but oddly enough I’ve never attempted anything in that style.  It was kind of a pain painting it, there are methods that didn’t work so well as I went along, and realized that it could have been much easier if I had considered how the paint program works before I drew anything by hand.  It would be easier if I drew less to begin with, and took advantage of the computer’s ability to draw in layers and such…

Anyways, in the end I am pretty happy with it, especially since it was one of those drawings that just “happened” and was not planned.  I definitely need to try some more A.N. styled art, and take my time to make it more complex than I was able to do here.

Ukraine: the Soap Opera

What good is a political crisis that affects millions of people’s lives if you can’t mock the idiot politicos that create them?

 

As the World Spins:

A soap opera based on the Ukraine crisis

 

Cast:

Eunice: (Ukraine) shares an apartment with her husband Viktor

Viktor: (Russian leaning govt. of Ukraine) abusive husband of Eunice

“The Bear”: (Russia) Viktor’s Mafioso uncle, landlord of the building Viktor and Eunice live in, has important business dealings with E.U. West.

E.U. West: (Europe) night club owner who lives in the apartment across the alley from Viktor and Eunice, often flirts with Eunice

Sam: (USA) close friend and ally of E.U., richest, loudest member of the country club across the street.

***

(Scene:  EU’s and Eunice’s apartments, split screen view, EU and Eunice on the phone, looking at each other from across the alley thru their apartment windows)

EU:  “Hey.  You’re looking cute this morning.”

Eunice:  (giggles) “Thanks, you too.”

EU:  “Mmm… I can’t wait to get my hands on you.  How long till your divorce is finalized?”

Eunice:  “Just a few months, then I can kick Viktor out.”

EU:  “I’m counting the days.  I’ll call you later, I have plans with Sam this afternoon.”

Eunice:  “OK, love you.”

EU:  “Uh-huh.  Bye.”

***

(Scene:  Country club, EU and Sam teeing up on the 4th hole)

Sam:  “So, dude.  You get in Eunice’s pants yet?”

EU (bragging):  “I’m working on it… using my charms, you know how it is.”

Sam:  “Not me, dude.  I see a chick I like, I’m just like, Bam!  You’re my woman now!  So anyways, you love her?”

EU:  “Puh-lease.  She’s cute, having her on my arm will be nice for a while.  It’s delicate though, her husband’s uncle and I have dealings… messing around with her could cause problems there.”

Sam:  “Who is the uncle?”

EU:  “Bear, the mobster.”

Sam:  “Oh, I hate that guy!  He’s like, my arch enemy, dude.  He’s been kicking my ass all over the golf course lately, too… making me look like an idiot in front of everybody.”

EU:  “Yeah, everyone has talked about it.”

Sam:  “Duuuude.  I hope you get Eunice, just to stick it to the Bear.  I’ve been telling everybody you two make a great couple… that she should be free to love who she wants.  You know, trying to get some good vibes all up in this place.”

EU:  “Yeah, I appreciate it… but maybe dial it down a little.”

Sam:  “No way, bro.  Eunice should be with who she wants to be… I totally believe in like, free choice and all that shit.”

***

(Scene:  EU’s apartment, 3 am, phone rings)

EU:  “Hello?”

Eunice:  “It’s me.”

EU:  “Me who?”

Eunice:  “Eunice! Who else?”

EU:  ”Oh, hey.  I was just teasing.  What time is it?”

Eunice:  “Three in the morning.”

EU:  “Oh.  Why you calling so late?  I just got home from work, I’m kind of tired… can we talk in the morn-“

Eunice:  “I’ve left Viktor.”

EU:  “You what?”

Eunice:  “We had a terrible fight.  He hurt me, so I cracked his head open with a frying pan and chased him out of the apartment.  Now we can be together.  Can you come and pick me up?”

EU:  “Ummm…..”

Eunice:  “Its ok, Viktor is not here.  He probably ran off to his uncle’s house.”

EU:  “The Bear?  Aww, shit.  You didn’t tell him about us, did you?”

Eunice:  “Of course I did.  That’s what the fight was about.”

EU:  (mumbles) “You stupid bi—“

Eunice:  “What? I can’t hear you.”

EU:  (looks out the window into the alley between apartments)  “Nothing.”

Eunice:  ”So are you coming over?”

(multiple black sedans drive up to the building, Bear’s henchmen pour out and surround the place)

EU:  “Ummm….”

Eunice:  “Hello?  You still there?”

***

(Scene:  Country club driveway; area is crowded, members from all the surrounding neighborhoods gossiping about the Bear’s actions)

Sam:  “Come on bro, we gotta rescue Eunice!”

EU:  “Why couldn’t she wait?  Just a couple of months and she could have been free.”

Sam:  “What’s done is done, dude.  We just can’t let the Bear go and like, take over people’s apartments and girls and stuff.”

EU:  “He kind of does run the building already.  Besides, he sort of has me by the short hairs.”

Sam:  “No way, dude.  You should go and like, slash his tires… teach him a lesson.”

EU:  “I can’t mess with his car.  I get the gas for my car from him… I told you, its complicated. “

Sam:  “Well, what about Eunice?”

EU:  “What about her?”

Sam:  “I thought you loved her.”

EU:  “Ahhhhh, no.  She’s not worth this trouble, that’s for sure.”

Sam:  “Well, we gotta do something!  We can’t just let the Bear do whatever he wants and get away with it!  Next thing you know he’ll go after all the girls in the building!  Don’t forget, most of them are his exes!”

EU:  “Seriously, they’re not worth it.  I like to flirt, maybe get a little action now and then.  Not going to get into a fight over it though.”

Sam:  “Dude!  I’ve started fights for less!  Sometimes out of boredom!”

EU:  “Yeah, I know… ah, just let it go.”

Sam:  “I can’t!  I got a reputation to uphold, dude.  I’m always talking about freedom and all that shit, I can’t back down now!  It’s all about respect!  Everyone here in the club looks up to me.”

EU:  “You know, you’re not as popular as you think you are…”

Sam:  “No way, bro.  Everybody loves me.  I rock!”

EU:  “Ugh…  I suppose we should do something though, everyone is watching…”

Sam:  “I know, let’s kick the Bear out of the country club!”

EU:  “You can’t… he’s got a lifetime membership.”

Sam:  “Well then, let’s ban his tennis court privileges.”

EU:  “Does he even play tennis?”

Man in crowd:  “Hey, isn’t that Eunice up in the window?  I think she’s trying to get your attention.”

Sam:  “Where?”

EU:  “Don’t look.  Act casual.”

 

To be continued….

(Cue dramatic organ music)

Creature Design (Fabelwald Ogres)

 

ogredesign

Above are a bunch of sketches from a couple months ago when I was trying to design the main antagonists for Fabelwald Book II, “Dandle & Lion – The Ogre’s Lair”.  In the series, “monsters” are corruptions of common animals/life forms.  Ogres, according to their own folklore, are the product of the Dark goddess Orsho having taken the form of the giant Mother Bear, and devouring whole any dwarf warriors she came across.  This made her pregnant, and she spawned the race of Ogres, who vary in appearance from dwarf-like to bear-like.

The characters seen above are of two different clans, the female “Sneaky” is of the mountain Tor Clan, and more resembles her dwarven ancestry.  The male, “Hungry” is of the forest Bear Clan, and more resembles his bear ancestry (although others in his tribe are much more bear-like in appearance).

What I decided to do was give them big arms, stocky legs, and heavy set bodies to resemble bears.  As far as the face goes, I made their ears rounded and sitting high on the skull, and gave them elongated snouts and close set, rounded eyes.

Thorny Rose (Fabelwald)

thorny-rose

Free download !!!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/381528

 

Above you see a manga-styled cover for a free short story I have published on smashwords.com.  The story takes place in the Fabelwald world, approximately thirty years before the events in ‘The Mythic Forest’ (available in print/ebook at amazon/apple/createspace/etc… search by title or by my name!)

The story serves to introduce you to one of the major supporting characters we will see in Fabelwald Book II, as well as a couple of new races/creatures.  I have too many origin stories laying around, and as much as I’d like to get them into the main books, I’m afraid they would just distract from the main plot line.  I remember reading Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring) and thinking ‘what’s up with all this Tom Bombadill crap?’ …. And I am no Tolkien, lol!

Fabelwald: Fremde the Strange

fremde

Here is a paint of one of the characters in The Mythic Forest.

Fremde the Strange, a self-exiled hermit, was once called Rikard when he lived among other humans.  He is also called Stranseir by the Elves, and Prexnos by the Faeries… all names that translate as “the strange and curious one.”

He turned away from his own kind, fleeing what he saw as humanity’s ignorance and cruelty, and wound up living in the wild.  There, he met an Elf, a forward thinker who set out to prove men were just as capable and deserving of magic as his own race, and who bound magic to Fremde via tattoos of spells and runes.  These tattoos had the unintended effect of further ostracizing Fremde… the superstitious humans found him frightening, and the elitist Elves saw him as a fraud, a cheap parody of themselves.

It was the faery folk however, who knew his heart and chose him for an important task…

https://www.createspace.com/4461608