Paint-ober 2021

During October, I tried a self-prompt monthly challenge that I decided to call “Paint-ober!” I checked to see if this was an official or unofficial prompt anywhere, and didn’t find much for it. I’m sure it’s been participated in before, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular. I’ve never been interested in completing a monthly prompt like this before, but “paintober” sounded like a fun one to me!

Below are the artworks I did over this month, arranged in chronological order:

Guild Wars 2 Commission Process – Multi-character “Poster”

I recently started a commission project I’m excited about, and thought it might be fun to chronicle the process here! I’d like to try and do things like this more on this blog. I plan to update this post with future progress of this piece, Thank you very much again to the commissioner for such a fun project!


11/22
Third work-in-progress crop! Continuing to block out the major forms.


Here is the second work-in-progress crop! This shows about the bottom third of the painting:

Here I have started blocking in the major shapes of the figures. Guild Wars 2 characters tend to be on the more complex side, and because of this, it’s important for me to block out the major shapes in the clothing and armor, before considering smaller details and refinements later on in the process.

Here I’ve begun blocking out the major forms for the “Seer” armor on the bottom charr character, who is a necromancer from the game. She holds a “Sunspear Greatsword” in her hand, brandishing it powerfully ahead! Behind her, we have a male charr Firebrand character, who is conjuring spells using pages from the magical tome he materialized. Above these two characters are a sneak peek of a few additional characters, who will be revealed later on!

These are not the final colors, and are more exploration colors to see the possibilities for where the piece can go. They’ll continually be adjusted as we go further in the process!

This is part of the “sketch” stage, which means we are only in the block-out stage! Details and refinements start after the overall forms of this stage are settled on and approved by the client. Additional block-outs remain for this stage, and it is one of the most fun parts of the painting process, because it is where much of the problem-solving takes place!

Below is an earlier WIP, also from the sketch stage:


Below is the first work-in-progress sketch! Here I have roughed out basic forms and poses for the characters.. This is to help I and the client decide upon a composition they will like!

The colors here are also not final, and are more generalized to communicate a basic tone for each character, as well as the piece overall.

I did three thumbnail sketches for this piece, and will probably update them to this post after the piece is finished!

GW2 Roadrunner Mount Painting! | Plus thoughts about cynicism in current entertainment media

My sylvari warrior from Guild Wars 2! Crop from the full painting.

I was inspired to paint after seeing the new mount option in Guild Wars 2! It’s a “roadrunner mount,” but I was very excited because it reminded me of a mount idea I had a while back:

Mount idea based off a “greater prairie chicken” from a while back!

This mount idea is based off a greater prairie chicken, which is one of my favorite chickens! They are beautiful creatures.

I tried to recreate my mount idea in-game using the dye system, and though I did not really succeed, I am happy with my turkey mount, haha:

My sylvari warrior with his turkey mount!

This screenshot is heavily edited, as I’m currently on a laptop with integrated graphics. GW2 runs surprisingly well on it, but I wasn’t able to find an area that lit the character models well enough for us to see them. I’ll post the original screenshot below!

Original screenshot! It’s fun to compare the two.

Anyway, here is what I ended up sketching!

It’s a bit of a chimeric melding of my greater prairie chicken mount idea, the GW2 roadrunner skin, and the greater prairie chicken itself. The painting manages to look nothing like either my sketch or the in-game mount, haha, but it was really fun to paint tonight.

Here’s how the rest of the painting looks.

And now for the thoughts about cynicism in today’s media entertainment!

Thoughts about cynicism in today’s modern shows

While painting the above tonight, my mind started to idly wander about general thoughts regarding media entertainment. We finished the season finale of The Boys earlier tonight, and I’m sure this what prompted tonight’s meandering thoughts.

The primary thought is this: I can’t get into shows that revel in celebrating the worst in humanity.

There is a certain cynicism that pervades many of today’s most popular entertainment media. I think this is why many modern shows haven’t clicked with me, and the ones I do enjoy seem to be fighting for a widespread audience (with Cobra Kai being a welcome exception). My two other recent favorites, Person of Interest and Dark Matter, were both cancelled after only 3 or 4 seasons!

Let’s take Cobra Kai as an example. Cobra Kai introduces itself in a very deliberate way, which in the current media climate of “dark and gritty, humanity is irredeemably evil,” you think will go in a predictable way.

The show then shatters this expectation. Instead of taking the predictable route of a villainous, irredeemable main character – as he is introduced – the show instead invites us to ponder the idea of bettering ourselves and, in doing so, bettering the world.

It allows us to ponder this in a way media like Westworld, Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, The Boys, or The Witcher instead seem to choke out this desire in its audience – the desire to believe there is good in humanity, and that people are redeemable and can become better versions of their past selves.

These shows seem to desire bludgeoning their audience with a sledgehammer under the premise that humanity has little to no positive qualities, and that humans are overwhelmingly irredeemably flawed creatures.

Maybe I’m an overly optimistic Star Trek fan, but as long as we aren’t naive about it, I don’t see any negatives to aspiring to be our best selves.

It’s 2020! Five years! Let’s start posting again with some artwork of Vaknaa

Some recent artwork of Vaknaa.

Wow! It’s been five years since my last post to my sketchblog. Are blogs still a thing? Do I even know anyone who still keeps a blog?

I don’t think I do!

I’m kind of drawn to the relative anonymity this blog must have now. I loved blogging, and the only reason I stopped was because posting would take too much time with each entry. That, and also because social media basically replaced casual/personal blogging.

I think I’ll try writing some entries here though! I miss writing in general. I’ve been doing more personal writing lately, and it’s been great fun developing stories and themes.

But first, let’s update this blog with some recent work.

I’m not even sure which artwork I should post here first – where to begin after five years! This post will likely be a little haphazard, but let’s embrace it for the time being – I can always do more concise follow-up posts later on.

Vaknaa rough painting – trying out different designs for her.

Let’s start with something I posted earlier today on social media – a rough painting of Vaknaa! Vaknaa is now one of my older characters. She is the same character in my last post from 2015.

I’ve been playing around with her design lately, though I’ve tried tinkering with it in all the years since 2015. I’ve always wanted her design to combine human and avian features, but I was never completely happy with the designs I came up with so far – I’m not sure if I’ll keep this current design of her, but it’s been a lot of fun to paint with in the meantime!

I should post some of those other designs here sometime – there are a lot of designs I haven’t posted anywhere because they don’t seem like things I particularly want to share on social media, but they’d probably be suited to a personal blog like this.

I’ve made a few other sketches of this design this week – actually, I think I’ll post them here now. It’s interesting how used to I’ve become with social media – things I’ve become used to adhering to, like staggering posts as to not potentially annoy anyone with too frequent updates.

It’s kind of freeing to not have to consider that at all with a blog like this, since this is mainly just for my enjoyment, as I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have traffic to a blog nowadays.

Anyway, more artwork!

Vaknaa – rough sketch.

Rough sketch of Vaknaa – I’ve been playing around with a much looser, possibly more expressive style lately. It’s been really enjoyable so far, which is a little surprising for me, because traditionally I’ve been told my artwork can be on the tight side, sometimes too much.

Vaknaa – rough sketch, ‘Smoke.”

These were all painted this week, mainly as either warm-up paintings or break paintings. I’ve enjoyed painting them, and want to explore more paintings in this style!

Recap from 2015 – 2020

Now that we have some artwork here, I thought it might be fun to do a brief recap of what the past five years have been like. I’ll probably put these thoughts under a cut.

Continue Reading