Sketch of the Day - progress on the Kayli windstone (dragon was finished yesterday September 15th 2014, nice photos to come soon) mostly a lot of blending and work on her coat to give it that nice coppery chestnut look which is important to her coat colour (bronze.) As a treat to myself, I let myself black in her eye sockets and nose!
She’s looking a lot like a shiba inu at this point which is rather giggle-worthy to me. The next step (the scariest step!) will be adding her stripes (ACK) and other details, like a bit of red in her nostrils to make her perfectly falcolfy. I’ll be using a very dark chocolate shade for her stripes and likely putting a red interference on her coat, because damnit she’s a god and she needs to shine. I may also probably add some pure white to the white bits of her coat where it’s being stubborn to lighten it some more.
I can’t wait to put her eyes in. That’s what’s driving me here! I wanna see her with her pretty eyes in! :D I am so grateful that I get to keep this one!
Sketch of the Day (September 15th 2014) - inspired by the lovely cliff rim that me and my mom perched upon on the edge of a little bowl valley in the wilderness yesterday by Christie Falls. Sitting there, I thought of how a falcolf like Anzi would love a place like that and how falcolfs would favour that kind of habitat, where they can perch on high then at will catch the wind drifts to soar into the sky. It’s certainly a falcolf’s preferred habitat and I couldn’t resist this image of Anzi perched upon a cliff rim like the one where my mom and I sat, viewing the secluded forested expanses below, not another human in sight, lichen covering the rough metamorphic rock of the cliff. I could almost hear the sounds of falcolfs keening over the wind and thought about how amazing it would be to see one fly up (not to mention terrifying.) On the cliff rim, falcolfs would be masters of the wind and not creatures to ever be betted against. It’s another place, such as in shallow water, where they are particularly dangerous ambush predators although being intelligent, they are strategic jacks of all trades - or, that is, hunting techniques to catch a wide variety of different prey successfully.
So, Anzi, looking back at Nick.
(Definately want to colour this one as it is nice and simple!)
Also, I intend for there to be lots of flying scenes in Dragon Knight, so behold this as wing practice haha. (I need to get better haha! :D ) This is to become the first fully coloured illustration for the story.
Progress on the winged wolf that is to be painted up as (well, like, the anatomy isn’t completely falcolfian) my divine immortal character Kayli Calmspring happened today! It didn’t go any further than this though out of a desire to let the paint cure. I need to temper my impatience to keep working and let the paint dry haha.
The big thing here is the eyes - I painted those. Yep, those are hand painted eyes and though I am now cursing my lack of proper photographic documentation, here’s how I did them (as much for my reference as for anyone else’s):
- First, I had to get flint eye blanks in the correct size to fit this Windstone PYO’s eye sockets - that meant 4 mm. (And yes, the term is for some reason ‘flint’ - not sure why.) If you’re painting eyes for a PYO, the Windstone Editions forum is an invaluable resource for finding out the correct eye size for your sculpt. I ordered my eye blanks from Van Dyke’s Taxidermy Supply and I’d recommend them, simply because they also sell the second thing that you will need to paint custom eyes too, so you can order them together. (Unless you already have Thing #2, then by all means get your flint eye blanks from somewhere else like Tohickon, though I personally found their customer service terrible seeing as they never got back to me back when I was trying to see if I could commission someone else to make me these eyes even though they do say that they create custom eyes. Grrr.) Make sure there is no wire on the backs of the blanks - you want ‘em flat backed. Also, get more than one pair, just in case you screw up an eye or two.
- While you’re ordering those eyes, order some of Gary Bowen’s Eye Protect - it’s a masking fluid that will protect the parts of your glass eyes that you don’t want painted, namely the fronts. One bottle should do you for a really long time!
- Supplies in hand, use a paint brush to dab the masking fluid all over the front (rounded, that is) part of the glass eye to protect it from paint. Allow to dry completely; the fluid, which is opaque upon application turns clear when it is dry. Now, take a rolled piece of packing tape (or whatever nice sticky tape that you have around,) sticky side out and stick your eyes to it, masking fluid side down. This’ll hold them nice and still for you!
- Using acrylic paint, paint your eyes to taste. Kayli’s were extremely tiny, thus not allowing for much detail so I opted to paint them first with a coat of straight iridescent Golden acrylic interference paint in a blue-green. Once that was dry, I did two coats of turquoise acrylic paint. Finally, after these coats were dry I sealed it with Golden acrylic varnish, the same paint-on stuff I use to seal my statues and paintings (because I personally find spray varnishes horrible. The paint-on kind works absolutely beautiful and has so far been Rosy-proof.)
- Allow to dry overnight!
- Using a toothpick, carefully pry off the dried masking fluid, taking care not to scratch paint.
- Enjoy your pieces having really freaking beautiful custom glass eyes made by you!
Obviously this specific project isn’t done yet and I have yet to test out the mileage of the above method that I used, but I am very pleased with my results, so pleased that I do believe that I will want to do this again sometime! In fact, I’d count on it, because this was pretty fun! I’m kind of glad now that my wishes for Kayli to have proper turquoise eyes necessitated this experiment and that nobody I contacted for commissions could do this for me. (Literally everyone was either too busy or they never ever got back to me, like Tohickon. I’m sure lots of people have had good business with Tohickon, but colour me very unimpressed with their customer service.) Anyway, Kayli’s looking great and I am dearly looking forwards to seeing how these eyes that I’ve made for her work out with her finished paint job! This particular Windstone PYO has been just a dream for quite a while but finally, at long, long last, this is a dream which is coming to fruition - yippeee!
It should come as no surprise that I am keeping this one. ;)
Some better WIP photos for you guys. :D I’m about to put a bit of antique on the underbelly, then that’ll be it before sealing and other finish work.
— No Sketch of the Day (September 14th 2014)
Sorry guys, I’m just too tired to post anything and what I would have to post is boring anyway. I tried to email myself a photo of tonight’s progress on the dragon but it never reached my computer somehow (effing hate my cellphone - touch screen cellphones need to die) and since the photo wasn’t much different from yesterday’s, I’m not going to bother with posting it up. I’m just going to do what my body wants me to do, which is fall asleep - I’m super tired! I had a great day out with my parents (though not really hiking like expected, I did get to drive for about an hour straight which was nice) and worked my butt off on the dragon and Kayli’s eyes. I won’t know if any of the four eyes that I painted for her turned out until tomorrow when I take off the Eye Protect masking fluid gunk. May or may not antique the dragon at this point.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know why there’s no sketch! Tomorrow of course there will be one. I had some great ideas for sketches today.
Sketch of the Day (September 13th 2014) - I’ll be calling this scheme ‘flame tabby’ probably - this guy is pretty much done, I just have to add interference and antique, then I get to paint the winged wolf that I have up like Kayli which will be awesome and probably mildly intimidating. (Dem facial markings - I’ve drawn them probably literally at least a thousand times by now, so I know very intimately how they are supposed to go on Kayli and Kayoss but when I do draw them there is often a whole lot of erasing and redrawing… which I definitely cannot do with acrylic paint!) Still, hopefully she will turn out awesome, particularly because I will also be custom painting her glass eyes which I just received from Van Dyke’s. (What?! I bought something from a taxidermy store of all places?! Um… yeah O.o - weirdest purchase ever, but it’s the only place where I could get the stuff from.) I plan on putting a thin layer of blue green interference on the eyes first so that they’ll have a really pretty reflective quality to them, just like the eyes of real predators! The eyes are teensy as heck though, so there won’t be much detail involved in their painting.
I finally get a day off! I’m going to spend the next two days sleeping as much as possible, working on digging through as much art as I can (Christmas is coming, so it’s time to get some projects done) and having fun in general. It was a freaking long week of work (sevendaysohgods) so it’s time to have some fun frisking about ‘in the pasture.’ (Yay, stupid animal analogies R me.)
Also crappy cellphone photos. Yay! (By the way, this dragon isn’t for sale. I’d be happy to paint another in the scheme though if someone really likes him.)
I must also apologize for not getting to my messages as of late, I haven’t had much oomph for going online except to post sketches. Sorry everyone! I will try to get to everything eventually.
Sketch of the Day - Anzi practice. Spending some time figuring out the differentiation between his chronological selves. I think I have a better concept for his younger self somewhere, but this is about how I want old Anzi to look I think.
I wanted to conceptualize more of Nick but noooo energy tonight. Tomorrow is the last day of my horrid seven day work week. I hope this isn’t going to be a regular thing. Seven days of work in a row, while nice pay-wise, is decidedly do not want. I feel like I have been living at work! :(
Sketch of the Day (September 11th 2014) - woo, more Nick and these ones are looking a lot better - in fact I feel pretty happy with them. He’s shaggy and scruffy as a farm boy, then trimmed and groomed as a cop. Not sure about the last one… I don’t think that I am going to keep it. It doesn’t make sense anyway, society-wise.
Woo, my computer grows ever more fritzy. I think I had two or three Blue Screens of Death today? It failed to restart at least twice before I get it to go again by pulling the battery. That seems to be one of the only things that helps, yanking out that battery when the thing gets stupid. (I guess massive and instantaneous power failure is a sure way to kick start any device.)
Nick Fiore! He seems to be well mannered, yet ever so slightly delinquent.
Tomorrow is day sixof my charmingly (sarcasm here) seven day work week. Funs. (I try thinking of the pay cheque this’ll give me but ughhh so tired!)
Sketch of the Day (September 11th 2014) - human design, why is it so much harder than designing animals? Anyway, trying to figure out what Nick looks like. I figure I’ll try figuring this guy out for a week, since the humans in Dragon Knight need a lot more work. Nick’s the most important one, sooo here we goooo.
Stuff I’m kind of iffy about:
- Do I make his hair blonde or do I make it auburn (reddish brown?) Auburn is less cliche than blonde, not that I personally have a problem with creating blonde characters considering that I already have four established blonde protagonists (Zack - AOH, Tanner - UR, Hunter - EB/KC/IS, Erinna - SW) and I am blonde. Thinking back (Nick is actually a very old character you see) I believe his hair is supposed to be auburn. I also rather like him having reddish hair because I can’t have red-haired protagonists in any of the books in which drakoon are involved.
- I am happy with his youth at least. It fits HO Escavian laws for adulthood. I’m determined to keep him clean shaven too, since Zack and Hunter both sprout facial hair like chia pets the second they encounter adversity it seems.
- Nick’s the second oldest of four kids, just as Anzi is one of five siblings. (I want to draw Anzi’s family all at some point.) Nick’s dad is a doctor/veterinarian (doctors on Rimer must treat all species) and the Fiores are farmers in the small, northern-ish interior buffer zone-ish town of Shakespeare. (Yes, it is actually called that.)
- I might try some other hair styles, but I rather like the rakish, messy look that he’s grooving right now, just like he’s a slightly delinquent son. (Though I think he’s pretty law abiding, considering that he becomes a cop. He’s only delinquent on his boring farm chores like weeding.)
- I like his eyebrows, though I think I stole them from Hunter haha.
Humans are stupid difficult to visually design for me; I have only vague impressions of what they should look like in my head to match their personalities. I basically just get notions for their hair colour; nothing at all for how they dress, only the most vague ideas for their stature and nothing really for their face. It’s quite aggravating.
I think I need to do some full body poses to work Nick out. I’m fairly sure that instead of being a hardworking farm boy (despite living on a farm) Nick would be a bit of a dreamer, riding off when he is supposed to be working or going into the woods. (Not a particularly smart move on Rimer, that.) It is this dreamer-nature which will lead Nick to befriend Anzi and later, to leave his childhood home behind.
I had no idea what colour to make his eyes. I made them greyish blue because that’s really common. My own eyes are blue-grey. Greyish blue seems to be fairly common in auburn haired people, so it is at least genetically sensible. I might change them to grey or brown still though. What do you think?