Art · Uncategorized

Space Armor Concept Art

Some success, but I gotta figure out how to make it more unique and visually interesting, something that says Spectra, and not “just a random guard in a video game.” The chest armor needs some kind of cool and practical structural element.

I drew it in gray and then colorized it, I usually lean towards imagining black/gray or blue armor, but I tried out the green color just for fun. Most of Spectra‘s settings are urban or in space, so green armor never made as much sense, but I do like the color for itself.

Painted a bit more today, I’m glad I’m getting used to drawing it, but the design hasn’t clicked with me.

Art · Comics · Uncategorized

Spectran Nonsense Comic

A few days ago I was itching to draw a comic and get my stories out there, but also knew I would feel too daunted if I tried to do an “official” “real” comic, so I went for something sloppy that breaks the fourth wall so I wouldn’t waste time with perfectionism.

It started off very low effort, but by the second day I got caught up in details again and felt less inclined to work on it. I want to do quantity over quality for the sake of building consistent momentum.

In which Dale is a little too rude, but even he had to fall short of God’s glory.

And what does Tristan have to do with this? Just that he is the main character for the other major series vying for my attention. Thus this next nonsense comic I spent a whole day on (with a significant amount of stalling, hence the problem of perfectionism/too many details rising up again).

There should be window panes there, but it would be visually heavy and more lines to draw.

I like painting pictures over drawing them line by line…except I’m not good enough at painting faces like that (last panel), so that discordance makes the whole process less enjoyable. Pilots in full helmets gives no room for Uncanny Valley, but Tristan, man. There was a drawing made last year, I saw the thumbnail for it and it looked nice with an interesting background of a snowy city, and Tristan in the center. “Why didn’t I share it on the blog?” Opened it full sized and saw the Uncanny Valley stare present itself.

Even if I could set aside SoA, and work on a faceless scifi hero’s story, I still find myself with very inconsistent energy levels. Sometimes there’s only drawing in me, sometimes writing, and other times I’m filled with a bunch of “Should’s” answered by “But I don’t want too.” I am capable of better art, but this is really an issue of project management. At least I’m doing a little bit a week even if not everyday.

Art

January 2022 Art – Part 1

See intro post here.

The year began with art studies.

Jan. 4, 2022 – Art study of Master Chief

Naturally that led to sketching space armor for Spectra:

Jan. 4, 2022 – Royal void mage, space armor

And then Spectran foes:

Jan. 6, 2022 – Terrible Aliens

From the top: Xytari, a wimpy Ruthkani, the one major alien race I still haven’t named with the note “More crouchy & monstrous”, and finally the star of the drawing, the Shadowfang with an energy/plasma spear.

Then the afternoon took a light turn compared to the morning with some quick left-handed drawing practice. The last image is right-handed for comparison.

I’ll end for now with a drawing started on the 6th, but finished on the 19th. In-between that time I drew some detailed concept art for Spectra which I will cover in the next post. A blue mage.

Stories · writing

Methinks the Stories I Want Are Risky Territory

Reading this post by E. Darwin Hartshorn I got to musing about my own conflict with storytelling/art vs. money and how that all goes.

On the face of it, I tend to feel my most Presentable or debut-able stories that would likely be good options to draw readers are also the ones I have the least interest in. Certainly, there are times I enjoy them, but they don’t constantly draw me in. They are light, comedic, and fun, and one or two have room to be a series. All good things for drawing loyal readers to you to have the potential of making a living.

But they simply don’t intrigue me.

The stories that do draw me back again and again, that cling to my soul and wish to be told, instead feel like they will only ever be for a very tiny, niche audience. And unless that audience contains millionaires I won’t be making a living off of that.

But of course, I do not know how my stories will be received. I just think it’s a rather logical deduction to make. The stories that matter most to me involve the darkest of topics, from the personal to the societal scale. Suicidal despair in the face of a world (or galactic) system bent towards evil, destruction, and even genocide. Well, that is how a lot of us feel about the world today, but you know, it’s still pretty heavy to dive into as a story. But then, it’s the only thing I see as valuable enough to work on.

A lot of people view stories as simply entertainment. Often meant for mindless enjoyment. And while that’s probably just as well a lot of the time, I think stories are really meant to be a way to communicate the full human experience. Some stories need to be sad, heavy, tragic, and not particularly entertaining in that light, fun way, because stories are often the first time someone going through something realizes they aren’t alone, or gives them a way to open up about something hard. While it will undoubtedly have a level of entertainment from an intrigue and drama aspect, I think these sorts of stories are meant to be a tragic sort of comfort. As though sitting with someone in a desolate, ashen wasteland. It’s not pleasant, but there’s an undeniable sense of meaning within it.

Such stories are meant to be a gateway towards somber reflection and deep contemplation. That’s not to say they should be so tragic and harsh that they are utter misery to read through. They shouldn’t be tiresome, and it may only take the right balance of pacing to manage that.

Some stories are meant to entertain. Others are there to help you cry.

Some stories are meant to be a total escape. Others help you reckon with the world.

Some stories are all fun. Others let you say that God feels very far away in this messed up world.

That last one, I’ve lately realized, may in fact be the thematic thread through all of Spectra.

It is certainly Dale’s theme through the story.

Which is why I’m starting with him as I develop my art skill in preparation for Spectra.

I guess there’s only one way to find out the answer to the money question, draw this story and find out just how many people care about it.