Well, about half of my workplace called in sick this week, which was pretty interesting. It was less “interesting” and more “really really awful” for the people who actually wound up sick in this little adventure, but for once I was in the “healthy” camp. The place couldn’t really open at half-staff, but the rest of us came in and made sure things kept running. Our duties included gathering in the entryway and watching with interest as fog, then drizzle, then hail, then snow, then A LOT OF SNOW fell in quick succession on Thursday (all intermingled with peals of thunder that would make the day’s namesake deity proud). Our duties also included hastily scurrying out of the entryway before a wayward would-be patron saw us and thought that we had miraculously changed our minds and decided to re-open in midafternoon during a blizzard.
None of this really has anything at all to do with today’s art update, except as yet another excuse for why I never get anything done. There was also a bit of an incident involving the air conditioning system and ridiculous amounts of plaster dust, but that one is mostly cleaned up by now. Well, off the important things at least. Suffice to say, most of the progress I did make was back on Sunday, before all heck broke loose. Here’s hoping for a bland and uneventful end to the month!
Yes I know, I’m late I’m late I’m late. Yet again. I even had a drawing ready and everything, I just apparently had some trouble scheduling “being home” and “being awake” to coincide with one another for more than a couple hours yesterday. Belated Valentine’s plans and all that; and I assure you, whatever you’re picturing for “Valentine’s plans” is inaccurate, unless you’re the sort of weirdo who instantly goes to “beef-heart chili, Super Mario and obscure literary references with slightly drunk friends” when you hear “Valentine’s plans.”
Anyhow, I’m supposed to be talking about the drawings, at least a little, and possibly more so since it’s a day late and all. I don’t know what the protocol is really, though hopefully this isn’t going to become enough of a habit that a protocol needs to be established. I’ve got what may or may not be the final sketch drawn up now, and so begins the nerve-wracking coloring process. I *always* manage to do something wrong at this point, which is why so few of my large trad-media drawings are colored in, and none have backgrounds. Right now I mostly have a semi-realistic hibiscus finished without too much excitement, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m also going to have to learn how to draw pomegranate leaves, which is a bummer but also a potential new skill set, so yay? Ah well; happy belated Valentine’s and wish me luck.
So, this week was not a drawing week. At times it also wasn’t a “getting my blog posts done in time” week, and in several cases it wasn’t even a “being awake more than 12 hours at a time” week. Therefore, I’m only going to apologize slightly for the fact that this week’s picture barely has a drawing in it, and was taken with a wrinkled bedspread as a backdrop. I will also apologize for the sorry state of some of my dear little Prismas; it’s been a while since I used them, and longer since I replaced/sharpened some of the more popular colors.
Anyhow, I decided on an avian color palette for my critters, to balance out the overall mammalian basis for the body shape and ornamentation. This also allows for a little more male-female color difference than you’d get from fur-bearing beasts. Much as I love peacocks, parrots and the like, I did want to keep things within the realm of believability — or at least maintain good trade relations with it — so I settled on the red junglefowl and the American kestrel as my color guidelines. Despite approaching the flashy side with some of the males’ reds, greens and blues, overall they have a fairly modest brown-grey-buff-gold-black palette that wouldn’t look wildly out of place on some of your more flamboyant mammals.
In the kestrel’s case, I particularly like the sketchy black face markings, which I can incorporate into the existing “tiger” motif, and the fact that the female pretty much has the same colors/markings as the male but with some pattern variation and a steely grey wash over the blues and golds. The junglefowl conveniently sports the bird version of a “mane,” so the appearance of the cape and saddle should translate nicely.
Basically at this point I’m just typing out everything I think, one to two seconds after I think it, for the sake of proving to myself that I actually am still working on this despite having a sore throat, dry mouth, cough, headache, stuffy ears, and an increasingly weird-feeling stomach (which last is possibly unrelated to the other ailments). If it helps, I find myself somewhat — though not entirely — convincing in this matter.
Draft #2! A bit different from the last one; the biggest changes are the male’s horns, which now curl like a ram’s to better match the female’s (intentional) and the fact that the male and female have swapped places on the page (completely unintentional, and something I didn’t even notice until comparing to last week’s post).
I’ve also decided that, despite the mane, the cat influence will mostly be tiger rather than lion, at least around the face. The mane will take more from the gelada, possibly down to the mane-less patch on the chest — we’ll see. I liked the way the tahr’s legs looked, with the different sections marked out in light and dark, so I borrowed that for the forelegs.
If you think all this information is a bit dull, you should see the sheets and sheets of paper I’ve covered in minute variations on horn curl, leg stripe, face pattern, and flank stripe. Of course, I actually enjoy doing that sort of thing, but it is a bit ridiculous-looking when you take a step back from it. It’s not like I have big plans for this drawing or anything, I just had the idea and I need to do something with it now. Next will probably be the color scheme, which is going to take forever because I can never settle on that sort of thing. Maybe I’ll color it digitally just so it isn’t so permanent … only time will tell!