Bit late in posting this – Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2010 beats the heck out of 2009. Not holding my breath though…
And a detail…
I really thought this was done… but I was wrong. While I really loved the rendering in the original version, stepping back for a few days I realized that I lost the “story” somewhere along the way. Hey, it happens. Here’s the new version, which I think does a much better job of conveying the protagonist’s metamorphosis.
This is another scene from my story The Reaper King (which incidentally has hit a major road block around the 100-page mark…). I’m calling this one “metamorphosis by moonlight.” I really like this one. I don’t use watercolors, but it has a watercolor-feel to me… if that makes sense.
It recently occurred to me that I have a lot of older work that, while amateurish to my eyes in the rearview mirror, showed a lot of potential, and I wondered, to myself, if there were some salvageable concepts in the lot. Turns out, there are quite a few, and I’m having some fun revisiting these old bits and polishing them up. Added benefit: The portfolio thickens…
I forget the impetus for this one. It’s probably long forgotten me as well.
I put some sweat into this one. I hope it shows.
Our theme this week appears to be revisions. If you’ve browsed around the site a bit, you’ll be familiar with the illustration below. It’s a scene from Chapter Two of a bit of children’s/YA fiction I’m working on. I was initially quite pleased with it, but the longer I let it sit, the more its flaws seemed to grow. In any event, I much prefer this version, and I hope you do as well.
A while back I thought this was finished. Thank goodness I came to my senses, in no small part to some valuable critique over on ConceptArt.org. I fought a lot of battles with the composition on this one. Ultimately I ended up experimenting with panels and I ended up really really liking them – Hope you don’t think I’m nuts!
In the past I haven’t posted any WIPs (works-in-progress) here…but there’s a first time for everything.
Below her, tiny black dots were emerging from the stone fortress, winged beasts leaving their roosts in pursuit of the escaped child. They screeched, and cawed, and violently gnawed on the rusted bits wedged between their dagger-filled jaws, gagging and bucking at each pull of the reins. A bareback rider equally horrific as his mount gripped each set of black leather reins. The riders reminded Quinn of a cavalry of albino apes with their small, watery eyes and broad, flat noses. Their teeth were thick and oversized, and their lips did not comfortably sheath them. A sparse tangle of barbed wire-like fur projected out from the chins of some, but the things were completely hairless otherwise. These were goblins, Quinn decided (hobgoblins, to be more accurate, though Quinn had no way of knowing this at that moment), and she thought, under different circumstances, they might have even been cute, if encountered in a zoo or textbook rather than at that moment, brandishing firearms with hate and fury etched on their faces.
A piercing shriek split though the noise of gunfire and made the feathers on Quinn’s nape quiver. She knew the voice at once, and craning her neck, her eyes confirmed the sinking feeling in her stomach. His molted boa seemed to have consumed his body, covering his legs and torso in ugly, bile-colored feathers. Wings like those of a gigantic condor had sprouted from his back, though his gangly arms and gnarled hands remained unchanged, creviced with septic-green veins and tipped by tar-black fingernails. It was as if the being could not decide if it were man or vulture, and the only thing on which it was in agreement was its malice. Even the thing’s moustache looked filled with rancor, and it soared towards her with maleficent intent, the hovering hat above the crown of its head trailing slightly behind, straining to keep up.
UPDATE: I’ve revised this one. New version here.
The moon seemed full enough to burst, deliciously bloated like the belly of a chortling old man. Distant suns were burning like votive candles hung from rusted eye-hooks, infinitely high; while down below, the breeze rustled hair-thin grass blades, noiselessly to all but the smallest of eardrums, to whom the hum in the wind seemed gentle, like tiny violin strings plucked by tiny fairy fingertips. There was a flavor to the air that savored of magic, and since it seemed so improbable, Quinn recognized it for what it was: a fantasy full of whimsy flickering subtly as she slept.
The bird upon her windowsill looked that way now. His neck was bent just the same, and his body looked equally ruined; and the melancholy of his death seemed all the more tragic when Quinn imagined him animated. How beautiful he must have been in flight with the starlight gleaming on his feathers, which were deep shades of indigo and violet, and not at all black, as they had seemed at first. She settled at once to bury him in the root cellar, as she would any other dear friend.
On her first day of school the other toddlers had teased her mercilessly because her eyes were golden and feline, and her hair was white like a snowy fleece, and it cascaded in intricate coils and spirals that seemed to hang suspended from their roots like satellites of curls straining to escape gravity’s pull. Those bit-sized brutes told her that her eyes were strange, and her hair was strange, and her name was strange. She was strange.