Hello, birds on the wing….

Anteylope

I decided I should probably actually *draw* something for once — it’s been a while since I just sat down and made a proper ink drawing. Of course, scribbling things out on-the-fly never results in actual animals. The best you can hope for is some sort of semi-realistic lion-antelope, and that’s basically what I wound up with this time. Heavy on the antelope, though, to the point where you could almost mistake it for an actual animal (albeit one with pretty disappointing shoulders, now that I look it over).

Problem is, I don’t tend to draw large-scale. In fact, I tend to draw itty-bitty miniature things en masse when given the choice. This drawing was done in ink (a Tonka Equipment Company promotional pen, to be specific — I’m going to go ahead and give them that much free publicity, assuming they still exist, because it’s kind of awesome that there is an actual grown-up company called Tonka) on a piece of paper whose longest dimension is under 5 inches. That’s all well and good if you want to squint at it in person, but when I’m drawing actual things-to-sell they typically need to take up just a bit more space than that.

Sometimes I’m just out of luck — I slap it on a postcard or magnet and call it a day. But if it’s all one color or shades of gray, sometimes I dare to set aside a day to try and wrangle it into a vector file with Inkscape. It’s not that Inkscape is particularly complicated to use (though it has the inevitable freeware glitches once in a while), but it’s not a big fan of tracing complicated drawings. If you try to rush things, more often than not you end up with a perfect, sleek-edged, fully scalable blob of mashed-together smaller blobs. And just don’t even try orange. It doesn’t like orange.

Drawing in Inkscape is one story; you can make some impressively detailed images working entirely from the vector side (if you’re dedicated, which I’m mostly not). But in translation, well, something is inevitably lost. So after waiting countless minutes for my final amateur attempt at vectorizing to appear, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it actually looked pretty close to my actual drawing. So pleasantly surprised that I thought, “oh, this is easy, maybe I should try some other modifications while I’m here!”

Well, it’s the next day, and I’ve decided it looks juuuust fine the way it is. Moral: If something’s going well, don’t push it. You may end up wasting a lot of time waiting for unresponsive programs to shut down.

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Tinker, Tailor…

Armeon

*imagine meme here*

I don’t often draw fakemon… but when I do, I can’t stand calling them fakemon.

Except now I have twice, and I didn’t even word my imaginary meme correctly. C’EST LA VIE.

Anyhow, everyone knows it would be cool if there were a Steel-type Eeveelution. It wouldn’t necessarily be useful, but it would be cool. So, thinking back on a recent discussion to that effect, I decided to sketch one out in my free time (instead of learning Spanish like I should be doing … but I can practice my pronunciation while drawing! sort of!).

Since everyone knows it would be cool, everyone has also made hypothetical designs for said Eeveelution. I decided not to look at them beforehand so as not to influence my design (read: so as not to see designs from people who had the same idea but made it look cooler). For my part, I decided to use those old-timey armored war mastiffs as inspiration. I know Eevee and co. are just basic elemental (in more than one way) quadrupeds, but I can’t help but see them as dogs with little snubby noses.

That looked kind of boring and kind of like Rhyhorn-meets-Houndour (which is not a pretty combination), so I decided to give it a little tuft of red fur like it’s wearing a helmet, and a Tauros-style scourge tail just because it seemed somewhat appropriate and I couldn’t decide what to do with the tail. The mail armor and the helmet became a sort of flowy amorphous furblob because, let’s face it, “pretty” is usually the direction these guys lean (except for poor butch Jolteon, who doesn’t get so much as a tail whether it wants one or not).

The result is … not quite as “metal” (in any sense of the word) as I’d hoped, but maybe workable as the basis for an armored non-Eeveelution that doesn’t have to stick within the strict name limits of the Eevee family (Armeon? Gladeon? \m/eon?) or keep the visual consistency. Of course, I’m not *that* dedicated, so the safest bet is that it isn’t gonna happen. THIS IS ALL YOU GET.

I realize I got through this entire post without actually using the word “Pokemon.” This isn’t exactly an exciting achievement, since search engines are all about actually using the words when someone is looking up material on a given subject, but … let’s face it, if you found this post it probably wasn’t because you were specifically interested in the backstory of a nonexistent Pokemon that I decided to sort of give up on.

(but just in case … now I’ve said “Pokemon” three times. So there.)

We don’t need roads….

Delorean

So, it’s 10:30 and you realize you still need to scrounge up a picture for your blog. What do you draw?

Why, a hasty mashup of the last two movies you watched, of course.

In this case the requisite rewatch of Back to the Future/BttF2 and grumbling about how we’re supposed to have flying cars by now WHERE ARE MY FLYING CARS … plus How To Train Your Dragon 2, i.e. Vikings With Lightsabers. But anyhow, it’s a DeLorean dragon! A DraLorean? Dracorean? DeLoragon? No, there’s no good way to do that. Well, it had the potential to look a LOT like Toothless what with the blue glow and the little dorsal fin and all (even though those are totally parts of the car) … but I tried to steer (har har) away from that because gosh darnit a time-traveling DeLorean isn’t supposed to look like a cuddly axolotl.

I mean, I guess it *can* be if that’s how it really feels. But I like to think it’s just slightly more elegant than that. Or at least more 80’s. Yeah, that’s it — it’s a 1980s Night Fury. Those older models …. *shakes head* Not the most reliable, and repairs are a real headache, but you should see ’em fly — whew!

Speaking of which (sort of): Is “time-traveling dragons” a thing? I mean, there are talking dragons; telepathic dragons; telekinetic dragons; dragons that turn into people; dragons that make pretty sculptures in their spare time. There are also Amish vampires in space. So what I’m saying is, “TIME DRAGONS” seems like one of those inevitable clashes of two popular scifi/fantasy subjects, but I can’t think of any I’ve come across yet. Dinosaurs, yes. Dragons, no. I would definitely read about that if someone decided to write it though. Just saying.

Anyhow, the rest of this entry will be dedicated to quiet contemplation of the perfection that is: the scene with the DeLorean disappearing in a blast of lightning and: every facial expression Emmett “Doc” Brown has ever made.

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That is all.

Grr. Argh.

Faeries

So, last night/this morning I had a … well, either a dream or a very groggy idea. A Wonderful Awful idea.

One way or another I got to thinking about sparkly little fairies, and then that led (naturally) to the idea of parasitic zombie-making butterflies.

Okay, it totally followed in my head.

But I mean, it *sort of* makes sense. Everyone’s heard of that fungus that makes zombie-ants that get eaten by cows; why not go a step up and have the insect make zombies out of the mammals? Proboscis to the brain stem, six little legs laced up like a corset under the skin, and voila! Your very own tiny rideable zombie slave! I mean heck, maybe it could even be symbiotic in the beginning — maybe the fairy gets the power of flight in exchange for letting the butterfly live off its tasty brain juices? It’s just a little butterfly, how much could it possibly eat? But then slowly, Madame Butterfly gains more and more control over the littlun’s nervous system, using it to recruit more along the way.

Some manage to fight their way free or are “saved,” and often have no memory of the event — but the marks remain, and they are treated as outcasts, if they even recover. “Fairies” begin to flourish, while wingless imps become vastly outnumbered (and infinitely more cautious), no longer recognizable as creatures of the same species. Maybe with this, the wings yield a little more control back to their hosts, keeping them happy and healthy lest they risk their cushy food source dying off entirely. They can’t use them to death if there aren’t any to replace them with. The balance ultimately downshifts again to something symbiotic…ish, and no one can say who really won this round.

Meanwhile, some of the butterflies have taken to other diets — the remaining imp hosts are carefully guarded and strongly tied to family lines, given their increasing necessity and the dwindling surplus population — so they drain flowers instead. They relinquish the needle-sharp tips on their feet and tongues for more delicate apparatus. It’s not quite a hunter’s life, to be sure, but it’s a living. And with the growing population of full-sized humans, fairies are starting to lose ground, disappearing at an alarming rate in some areas. Some say they’ll vanish entirely, while others say they’re just biding their time in the shadows, slowly working their way up to larger prey….

So yeah, this is basically why I shouldn’t think when I’m sleepy (or after reading/watching fantasy/sci fi). Sweet dreams!