Monday, January 29, 2018

New Art for an Old Friend

It's high-time I kicked off 2018 into some kind of proper gear.

This is a gift-art piece for my best friend (and roommate) Matt of his cutesy cat-girl Skitchens.

Normally she's not depicted wearing as much clothes here (as she's inspired by the likes of Felicia from Darkstalkers/Nekomata units from Disgea) so outside of her hat and some shorts, she's normally topless.

The choice to put her in overalls is actually two fold. Firstly, Matt just likes cute girls in overalls. Secondly, Matt has made a ton of personal sacrifices for the last few years, all for the sake of making a better life for the both of us. Thus I felt compelled to draw Skitchens in worker's clothes, ready to put in some manual labor, just as Matt has all this time.

It's almost needless to say, but I had an absolute blast making this one, despite the excessive cross hatching work I needed to do to create her fur. While I'll admit it was a bit time consuming, it never once felt tedious, and I think it's well worth it to go above and beyond for my best friend.

Materials used were Micron pens for the inks on 9x12 in. Bristol board.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Season of Changes, Pledges, and Updates!

Salutations faithful readers! May all the joys of the season find you well, and may your eggnog be spiked with only the finest of alcohols!

That wondrously festive time of year is upon us once more, and yours truly has not really been taking a whole lot of time during it to enjoy himself. Unfortunately I've been encumbered throughout most of 2017 with personal issues (such as my mother's ongoing health problems) coupled with the high-volumes of exhaustive everyday work that stems from my regular night-job.

I know it isn't much of an excuse to leave this blog as barren as I have, but hopefully you all do try to understand my circumstances, and appreciate that I do at least update once a month, so as to not let the site go stagnant.

Regardless of my admittedly poor performance here, I do feel like I've made notable progress in several other places. For instance, I began my live art-streams in May (as I had promised everyone I would) and have been doing them ever since then without fail. While they're not perfect, I will say that they've been an excellent way to keep me active and productive, despite my numerous days of feeling completely uninspired, or without energy to effectively perform art.

The streams have had some positive bleed out, as they have lead to me being more socially active on other venues. For instance, I have a Twitter account now (of all things) that I'm honestly (and surprisingly enough) enjoying my time on there. While my follower count isn't large by any stretch as of this post, I can say that my followers there are active, and that I've made quite a few awesome connections.

I've also been putting more efforts into creating/writing fiction more than I have in previous years, and I am feeling far more confident in my ability to tell stories in print at this point then I ever have in the past. One of my personal goals for 2018 is to have a fully written novel or novella by the year's end, and with a fair amount of effort (and perhaps a tiny bit of luck) I'm sure I can meet that goal.

In the hypothetical, if I do manage to pull that one off, I will without a doubt shoot to have the story published and made available digitally, but I'll worry about all the details for that sort of stuff when we arrive to it.

As I've made the pledge to do so in the past (and yet I somehow always fall short on in some way, shape, or form) I still aim to put more effort into this site, along with all of my other endeavors in 2018. I want to do far more recordings for Blood-Code Radio, along with getting my usual ilk of film/game/comic reviews back into top form. I saw many movies, played many games, and read many comics this year (with several of them being good to great) but found myself with little personal time to do any of the reviews proper. The Con Reports totally need to make a comeback, as there were quite few shows I attended this year that certainly deserved to be talked about, and 2018 looks to be a year worth discussing, starting with Magfest.

If nothing else, I want to end this post by extending a simple, but extremely heartfelt thank you to everyone reading. It is because of this very site that I began to get the ball rolling for a lot of my creative projects. I may not have felt the compulsion to post on my Deviant Art page, create my radio show, or even attempt my live-streams, if not for this blog. And it's because of all of you, my faithful readers, that I continue to pull myself in front of my computer screen and produce to this very day.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart for that, and may you enjoy this time with family and friends alike. I'll be seeing you in 2018!


Let's make it a great year everyone!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Archive Dive- An Old Sketch for an Old Friend

Skitchens has a surprise for you.
Greetings one and all folks! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I certainly hope you've enjoyed a hearty meal and good times with family and friends. If you don't celebrate the holiday, I hope you're just living life as the lavish rock star you always knew you could be deep down!

I know updates on the blog have been somewhat sparse these last few months (and for that I profusely apologize) but things have been sorta crazy on the personal end with me over these last few months. While a lot of the fervor is seemingly dying down now, I'm going to be honest and say that I've still got a ways to go before I can free up the time necessary for me to be more creatively productive here.

Unfortunately what that means for the time being, is that this post is going to be (yet again) on the brief side of things, but hopefully that will all change in the near future. Believe you me, I want to get back to doing the reviews, the editorials, and the Con-reports, not to mention my radio show BCR.

Far too many projects that have all been woefully neglected for far too long.

In the meantime though (to help tide you all over) not too long ago I was going through some of my old sketches in my near mountainous pile, and I came across this little number. Drawn nearly a full decade ago, I remember when I first drew this piece as if it were yesterday.

The character in the image is not of my own mind, but instead originates from/belongs to my best friend/roommate Matt, and her name is Skitchens. As you can see, she's obviously a cat-girl (try to think of her as being something like an homage to Felicia from Darkstalkers) who actually started out as an exceptionally badass Nekomata class unit from the Disgea franchise, but that's only surface level.

Over time, Skitchens quickly evolved into a far more notably personal character out of Matt's robustly colorful cast. From her hat being a personal reference to a dear relative of his, to her being one of his first attempts at doing digital colors, I knew back when I first drew this that there was a great deal of heart Matt had put into her, and I had to make her embody what she ultimately represented to him.

At her core, there is a child-like purity and innocence to everything Skitchens says and does, an unbridled joy, and genuine emotion that comes from her at every moment. Matt has to told me numerous times he feels that this sort of authenticity with a character is significantly lacking in fiction today (coming off mostly as pandering when it does crop up) so he created Skitchens as not only his answer to that problem, but also as a way to ameliorate the personal dilemma he felt he had in lacking those emotions himself.

Skitchens was in essence created as a means for Matt to try and put forth something positive into the world with fundamentally no strings attached. A gift given, simply for the sake of the happiness that gift can bring, a way of finding a bridge to a complete heart and a fulfilled soul. That's why I drew her getting ready to present a gift, a loving token for none other than the mind that birthed her all those years ago.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Special 2017- Hilda Hekate

Here's a super spoopy addition for the gallery to help usher in this year's All Hallow's Eve.

Featuring an OC of mine I created all the way back in 2006 (named Hilda Hekate) she's a sultry succubus who wanders the land looking for new pleasures to indulge. Primarily she acts as a friendly rival/foil to my other OC Bast Katt.

If nothing else, my good friend Shonuff44's Elvira Cosplay Line-Up inspired me/gave me a fantastic reason to resurrect Hilda from the sketch pile. I figured she would be perfect for his piece, seeing as how when I initially created her, one of my biggest influences was Elvira herself. Never mind that by doing this piece I can kill a few birds with one stone. I'd like to think that I made good on Inktober in some way, as well as doing a Halloween image.

Overall think of Hilda Hekate as my blatant Elvira analogue for the Bast Katt Inc. story/world, and this will certainly not be the last you see of her, as I'm sure I'll depict Hilda and co. getting into all sorts of sexy hi-jinks.

I had a blast creating this piece, and I'm very happy with the way it turned out in the end. I'm also surprised at how quickly I managed to manifest this one, given that I went from a loose concept sketch to finished work in just a few hours.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shina Arakawa- Commission

Here's yet another commission officially done and taken off the list. This here is my good friend Michael Surbrook's character Shina Arakawa, a wandering sell-sword dedicated only to the purity of her skills with a blade.

This piece (while certainly time consuming on some of the finer details) was an absolute blast to do. More than anything else though, I'm glad that Mike loved it so much he immediately had it framed and mounted on his wall within a matter of hours.

My favorite part of the image is easily the details in the armor and Shina's hair. It isn't often I get requested to draw a character wearing Japanese style armor, let alone a character with two-tone hair/colored tips, so it was a very nice break from my usual pace.

Materials used were Micron Pens for the inks, Copic Markers/Prismacolor Markers for the colors, Watercolor Pencils for the hair, and all on my custom 11 x 17 in. art board. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Mane 6- Fanart

Power-Lifter Apple Jack
Animal Care-Taker Fluttershy
Major League Gamer Pinkie Pie
Dare-Devil Rainbow Dash
Lounge-Singer Rarity
General Twilight Sparkle

During my time at Bronycon 2017 I had the distinct honor and pleasure of being a part of the Roan RPG booth, where I took the liberty of creating/selling some custom pieces of the "Mane 6" characters from the cartoon show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

My idea going into the image series was that the characters would not only be in human form, but would be working modern jobs that were fitting to their character. Of course, I always feel like I have to be somewhat subversive, so I tried to think of them being outside some of the more obvious vocations for them to have.

While I'm somewhat pleased overall with the final results (as each picture's composition I enjoyed rendering) I also fundamentally think I didn't do the best job exactly of evoking the concept for some of the characters.

For instance, Apple Jack (who I initially envisioned as a power-lifter) just looks like a cowboy-themed fitness model. Twilight was supposed to be a cute government official who honestly just looks more like a stereotypical "sexy secretary" trope, and Fluttershy is simply a woman with a puppy, that I originally intended to be a park ranger.

I guess this just goes to show that while an image can be fun to create, not every idea manifests onto the page flawlessly.

There is another series of images I'm currently working on that I think more effectively embodies the concept that I'll be sharing soon.

Materials used were Micron pens, and Copic/Prismacolor markers on custom cut 3.5 x 5 in. bristol board.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Oracle- Commission

This here is yet another commission piece off of the long long list of "Things N8Dogg5k Needs to Finish Yesterday Dammit!"

While I can say that I had a great deal of fun working on this picture, I can also say that I didn't have a whole lot of enjoyment getting it to the final stage of its completion as you see here now.

I can state with absolute certainty that no other commission I've worked on out of the whole list gave me as much trouble as this one did. I had easily done no less than nine different versions of this character before I finally came upon a composition that I felt not only looked cool/sexy, but also felt right by the character.

Despite the nearly endless struggle I had with this image, I'd like to think that I managed to capture the character's essence. Oracle has a somewhat interesting (albeit brief) character profile you can read here, that I feel alludes to a "sad and tortured soul" type of personality. Always knowing the results of how things are going to go isn't exactly a nice ability in certain contexts, and I think the chains that wrap around her body create a nice motif of a "bound by fate" theme.

Overall, I'm glad that I was able to complete this one after so long, and I can only hope that Densuo feels it was worth the wait.

Materials used were Micron Pens and Faber Pens for the inks, Copic markers for the majority of the colors, with a touch of white Pigment pen for the highlights, and watercolor pencils for the hair, all on my 11 x 17 in. custom card stock.