It’s a bird….

It's a bird....

I’ve put off this ferocious beastie for far too long; I had an unfinished draft lying around waiting to be painted or inked or digitized or whatnot, but today I decided to just scrap that and sketch out a new one in graphite. He’s not a masterpiece or anything, but by gum, I finally finished the drawing!

I typically draw my dragons with only four limbs (be they four legs, two legs/two wings, or four wings), so I realized it seemed a bit silly to be drawing my griffins six-limbed. So here’s my conception of a “proper” four-limbed griffin. I got a little sloppy around the neck/chest area, but that’s mostly because my hands were getting tired from all those feathers….

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The Griffin & the Minor Delay

In all the excitement yesterday (yes, there was excitement, some fun and some less-so), I clean forgot to put up my post and picture! That being the case, I believe I owe you two images under the unwritten conditions of the blog. One is actually a compilation of images, so to avoid overpaying you I have balanced it out with a second bad pun in addition to the usual title joke.

These are older drawings, but I’ve never looked at them all together like this. I had the idea for a cute little pet-gryphon, the sort you could keep at home and that would wear a little collar with a bell on. He went through many incarnations, starting out entirely wingless, and I had a devil of a time working out the facial markings (settling on a blend of owl and tabby cat, which worked better together than I’d expected), but once I decided he’d be adorable things were much easier.

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The third image down on the right — the study of tooth and claw? Although I knew I wasn’t actually going to be showing the Gryphling’s teeth (and yes, I pulled the name “Gryphling” pretty much out of thin air just so I’d have something to call the thing), I knew he’d have some and tried to plan out the facial features accordingly. See, ever since the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal, I’ve been sort of in love with the idea of incorporating teeth in with a beak  (as well as the way it was done in that movie, giving just enough lip behind the curve of the beak to be able to conceal them or snarl). So, teeth it was.

My “final” version of the Gryphling turned out … well, interestingly. The eyes clearly did not work; I had to rearrange them midstream and couldn’t erase them properly, and ultimately ended up with a really unsettling facial expression. Attempts to draw a background for distraction were met with the usual realization that I am terrible at backgrounds and don’t particularly like drawing them either way. The beak and ball of yarn were great fun, though — it’s just a pity I never did end up getting to draw a proper bell on the collar!

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Froggy went a courtin’….

Froggy went a courtin'....

… and almost ended up smashed on a shoe. This is the little guy who surprised us on last week’s mulberrying trip. He is, as far as I can tell, a Cricket Frog, and not much bigger than a cricket in real life.

It took a ridiculous amount of shuffling, grabbing, poking, and awkward maneuvering to get one proper photograph of the little guy, so needless to say the drawing was done some time after the fact. I do love the way frogs’ skin feels when dry; it’s like the soft velvety throat-skin of a lizard, but all over. I was afraid to hold him too tightly lest I should squish him, and the others were (quite sensibly) hesitant to do so for fear he’d pee on them. It’s quite the effective defense method for frogs, to the point that even the remembered prospect of it can deter a mammal the size of a human from bothering them. Fortunately, all made it out of the experience unscathed.

Birds of ill omen….

Birds of ill omen....

It’s been a busy 4th of July week, and I’m afraid I don’t have much to show for it art-wise. Hopefully I’ll have something a little better following tonight’s berry-picking expedition, but for now I have another quick car-sketch; this time of the vultures that were roosting somewhat ominously in a gangly pine tree around where I had hoped to practice driving.
During my previous excursion I had just managed to avoid making more roadkill for them while running a gauntlet of two fawns, a baby rabbit, a doe, some overly-confident killdeers, and two extremely territorial farm collies who figured I’d turn around if they could just head me off….

Being rather exhausted from the festivities anyhow, I ended up calling it a day!