I have to really resist not adding my own text in here, but I thought this would be kind of funny. I’ve been feeling sketchy lately, and going to visit Malfurion for Childrens’ Week sparked this idea. I obviously have some notions as to what they might be saying, now I want to hear what YOU think. It’s a contest of sorts but I don’t know if there will be prizes, apart from the delight of putting words in Malfurion and Tyrande’s mouths. Click the image to see a larger version!
Posts tagged ‘Tuesday art day’
A weekly tradition that I’d let fall by the wayside a little. I’ve been feeling lately that in-between From Draenor and my other work, I really want to draw with tools that aren’t digital. Unfortunately, my studio looks like a bomb went off and I haven’t seen the top of my drafting desk in years. Anyway, that can’t prevent me from doing small sketches in charcoal and other media until I can get things cleaned up, such as this one. I’ll admit to doing a bit of digital touching up before uploading, although it was mostly in the vein of trying to recover detail I felt was lost in the scan. I feel like Manalicious should have some kind of slogan related to my draenei. “A draenei a day…?” No, I don’t even know, honestly. But it’s always fun to draw my characters. Especially since Voss tends to quiz me about it.
“Oh, what are you drawing there?”
“Oh. And who is your MAIN?”
“Good. You better keep answering that question correctly!”
(That might sound harsh, but he does have good historical reason for keeping me on the straight and narrow in this regard).
Here’s a Tuesday Art Day that is not necessarily WoW-related, if you’ll forgive me! This is my glacially leveling SWTOR sage, Nima. Like all of my “main” characters, she is blue and has Freckles. Well, she’s sort of a turquoise. But the freckles are essential. The blue thing is the punchline of a recent From Draenor With Love – I like things and people that are blue with a disproportionate love. I don’t know why, but it’s always been true!
I haven’t really been playing SWTOR very much, when I have a hankering to play a game lately I’ve logged into WoW, but I’m sure we’ll pick it up again soon. It’s been an enjoyable game for the two of us leveling together, the story is quite engaging. The few instances we’ve done have been fun. Nima herself is pretty awesome, Voss said she is stuck-up but I don’t see that. In a world where Twi’lek are often exploited (and even slaves) she has to work especially hard at making it pretty clear that there’s no price in the galaxy that is worth her integrity. Also, she will throw a droid in your face. DROID TO THE FACE. So she’s straightforward, no-nonsense and a bit of a hardass. She trusts the Force, and that’s pretty much it.
This was my contribution to the Twitter Secret Santa Art Trade this year, done for Fyreuni of Daily Quests. There’s a version with text, if Fyreuni chooses to use it as a guest comic I’ll link to it, otherwise here is the non-texty version.
I decided to do both Fyreuni and Vas because most times they are together in the comic and interacting (i.e. Fyreuni is griefing Vas in the best possible way). You’ll notice that bunny is totally messing up his hair. As far as the pets go, I included all pets that Fyreuni actually has, with a bias towards ones that I wanted to draw (d’aww little armadillo, boo Lil’ Taregosa). I am especially fond of the armadillo and the panther cub Fyre is holding. I did this more or less the same way that I do From Draenor With Love, which is very cartoony/chibi-esque and with no lines. It’s a time-consuming way to work but I like the results, at least for now.
As far as backgrounds go, I changed the background a few times, initially having them be in the Dalaran pet store but later changing to the little parkish area alongside the sewers. I didn’t like the indoor lighting, and it’s actually pretty dim in there. This is better. It’s actually unlikely that Horde would hang out here, I think, because it’s really more on the “Alliance” side of Dalaran. (Neutral city isn’t as neutral as they’d have you believe!)
Anyway, I hope you all had/are having a good holiday. This is really more of a “Wednesday Art Day” post, but I’m sure that doesn’t really matter.
First of all, here is a doodle I did yesterday, not expressly for the purposes of Tuesday Art Day, but it works! Some people have asked me how doodley is a doodle (i.e. how long do I spend on something like this?) I’d say this is about a half hour doodle. So, above the ranks of an in-the-margin of a notebook type doodle, but not hours and hours either.
Secondly, I’d like to share with you a piece of art that is not MY art, but rather something I commissioned from the talented Aly Flock.
This was a surprise gift for Voss of the two of our characters; I just gave Aly some reference images and character info and this is what she came up with. It is perfect and I’m thrilled with it. Also, cupcakes?! How could she have known? Well, Millya’s love of baking was in her character description, but STILL.
These were the cupcakes I brought to Fannon’s barbecue. I’m just saying. Remarkable likeness, don’t you think? If you’re interested in the recipe, it’s here: Pink Champagne Cupcakes, and yes they were as awesome as they sound. They had a sort of…fizzy taste to them? I made mini versions too, but something odd about the champagne was causing the tiny wrappers to peel away from the cakes. They still tasted good.
(p.s. Yes, that is a cupcake caddy. What else do mages without access to magic carry their cupcakes in?!)
I’ve been trying some different experiments with my art lately, mostly centered around getting away from so many lines. I have a bunch of stuff in the works that’s in this vein, but this is one of them I did of Voss a few weeks back. I’m pretty happy with it, as far as “experimental sketches” go! If you look closely, you can see there’s a Naaru-esque pattern on his tentacle rings, something perhaps Voss himself wouldn’t necessarily wear, but I thought they looked too plain otherwise and I’d always imagined draenei jewelery contains a fair amount of embellishment and personal meaning.
Just over a week ago now, Canadians were preparing for our version of stuffing ourselves silly and being thankful about it. Thanksgiving! (Yes, it’s the same holiday as in the U.S. pretty much, except ours is a little earlier). We’d acquired a turkey, friends were due to arrive, and as with any major holiday – I happily took a welcome excuse to do some baking. The centerpiece of my endeavour was to be pumpkin cupcakes. Voss, who doesn’t especially like pumpkin, asked if I could perhaps bake something else on the side for him. Some cookies, maybe? (Insert big pleading eyes here.) Chocolate chip cookies, maybe? It doesn’t usually take much to get me to do more baking, so of course I agreed.
And here I paused. For years now, I’ve been experimenting with lower fat baking. It’s possible to do and still have recipes taste good. My low-fat chocolate chip cookies are pretty decent – but they tend to be a bit harder, definitely “dippers.” You have to be so careful with the dough not to overmix it. I hesitated. Did I want to make the “healthy” recipe – or did I want to go back to my tried-and-true?
I haven’t made this recipe in years. It was faithfully copied from my Mom’s recipes when I first moved away from home a decade ago. I looked at that recipe, carefully written out. It has twice as much butter as the other recipe. I know they aren’t as “healthy” (if any cookies can be considered healthy). The thing is, butter serves a specific role in baking, just like all the other ingredients do. It helps with texture, establishing both moisture and crispness. It’s possible to make things with much less of it (I hardly use it at all in “regular” cooking) but in baking it’s a tough thing to do away with.
I made my Mom’s recipe. They weren’t as pretty to behold as their low-fat counterparts. I watched them cooling on the rack a bit uncertainly – they’d flattened out more than I’d expected. I wasn’t sure how they were going to be.
I took one bite of that first cookie and the taste of it exploded in my mouth. It tasted of a hundred happy moments mixing with my Mom, adding vanilla, adding eggs. It tasted of licking the beaters of the electric mixer (raw egg be damned! I came through childhood just fine). It tasted of the time that our old, long-departed cocker spaniel opened a container of cookies and helped himself (one by one, at his leisure!) It tasted of home. It just tasted right, and in that moment I didn’t care that the cookies had twice as much butter as the other kind. They were perfect.
I have to admit, I’d been having a tough time getting into the Thanksgiving mood. For awhile now, I’ve been labouring under an indecisive funk. I wrote all about how I felt playing retribution all the time. I’d even planned to write a “Thanksgiving” Warcraft post that never materialized because I just felt like I was going through the motions. The thing is, I have a lot to be thankful for (both in and out of game) but I wasn’t feeling up to expressing it. I’d begun playing my paladin at the start of this tier because I felt that it was how I could best help the guild. I felt that it was best for the guild. What I didn’t consider deeply enough was whether it was what would be best for me.
For years, I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies as a treat that are “better for me,” but they aren’t RIGHT. I’d rather eat them half as often but enjoy them twice as much. Or actually, what I’m trying to say – in an extremely roundabout and cookie-based way – is that last week, I took Millya into Firelands for the first time. (It’s appropriate if mage metaphors include baking, you know).
The first raid, I was really nervous and I definitely didn’t play my best. There’s an element of wanting to “prove I’ve still got it,” and focusing on that led to a few bonehead maneuvers. But it was okay. The second raid, I was feeling more comfortable, and I really let myself exult in the feeling. I love being a mage. I love everything about it. I love blink, I love firing spells off like a deadly turret, I love conjuring cakes for everyone and seeing my mirror images sprinting all over the place and even my stupid flame orb wandering off on its own to explode and attack, seemingly, nothing. I love my serious little goat woman and her wild hair and earnest horns. I love wearing a dress. I’m crazy about it. I always have been. I missed it when I was a priest, and a druid, and now a paladin. I missed it because it was the right thing for me to be and I never should have lost sight of that.
“You always preferred your mage,” a few guildies have told me gently. I’ve received more than one whisper from people saying they’re happy to see my mage again, and that it feels “good” to have me be a mage. It does feel damn good. I am still feeling pangs of guilt, as our discussions about two versus three healing came to an uneasy commitment, and I know that me leaving that team leaves us one healer down and bloats the DPS roster. If we need to, we’ll have to recruit another healer in the next tier. It is selfish of me – I’ve admitted I was wrong to switch characters. Not because I can’t do it. I think I was a pretty good paladin, and a pretty good healer. But it’s not what I love the most, not like my esteemed paladin friends – who live and die on paladin news and are really, some of the best folks I know. I was proud to be among them, and it has nothing to do with the class. I don’t want to attribute too much meaning to a video game, or a virtual persona, but there is a thin line between what you play and who you are.
I don’t want to have to write another entry like this in one tier, or two. No matter how much I think “I could help out” as a healer, I shouldn’t do it. When I stepped into that second raid, my eyes actually momentarily stung, I was so happy. The familiar sensation rolled over my finger tips as I spammed two like my life depended on it. This character is home. I regret the inconvenience it causes my guild and my guildies, but I need to be selfish about this. It was silly of me to think I could be as happy playing anything else. Every time I’ve switched has been to try and fill a niche or role we’re lacking, but I’m no good to anyone if I’m playing something but secretly and sadly miserable. Thursday’s raid was an absolute blast, and I don’t know if it’s because good moods are infectious or what but it felt like everyone had a better time. We have a secret paladin turned warlock going back to his paladin and I think he’s as happy as I am to trade his robes for plate. (He probably didn’t tear up about it because he’s far too stalwart for that, but I’ll bet he sang a song). I remember that this is the right thing to do every time I wonder what reputation grind I need to be working on (re-doing) now and then I remember, I don’t need to be re-doing any of them because I’ve already done them. This is my main we’re talking about. I’m baaaaack.
Oh, and P.S. – The cookies are going to be a rare and occasional treat, but when I make them, you better believe I’m going to make my Mom’s version.
P.P.S. – I used eight images in this blog post, but I probably had twice that many I could have used. More evidence.
This is an image I was recently commissioned to do as a super-secret surprise painting gift, so I can’t tell you more about the character except that she likes to fish. I also like to fish, so this was really fun to do. My client wanted a sort of dreamy, hazy feel and greens from Feralas or similar, so we went with that. I liked finding the right fishing basket, also called a “creel,” which I didn’t know before. So I also learned something new!
I recently did this watercolour painting as a surprise gift! (Not a gift from me, a surprise gift from one girlfriend to another of their WoW characters). I really enjoyed trying to capture a dynamic between the two characters and giving them some scenery. I took a few progress images with my phone/scanner, so I thought it’d be fun to share those.
This next image is a bit shadowy because of being taken with my phone (I don’t scan at this stage because the paper is often still a bit damp and I don’t want to chance dirtying it).
In case I haven’t mentioned this…photographing a painting is hard. Especially when you have to hold the painting in one hand, and the camera in the other (without getting your hands into the photo).
The above still needs detailing on the shaman dress primarily.
This is the final image, scanned in and colour balanced as best I can. Scanning watercolours is tough because some subtleties always seem to be lost. I’ve found that the best way to handle this is to not use the scanner driver (my scanning software has an option) and then to turn off “Auto Tone” in the more advanced settings. This seems to prevent the scanner from washing out the lighter areas by trying to pre-set the contrast itself. Anyway, that’s Teeny and Claire enjoying an afternoon in Nagrand! You know I love any commission that involves draenei. No, I don’t have a problem, why do you ask?