May starlight guide you home tonight…

A shabby start to Inktober — two days of nothing, and the third is aggressively ink-free. Nevertheless, there are musical dinosaurs, so I like to think it was worth it in the end.

“But there are ALWAYS musical dinosaurs in this blog,” you might lament — and you would be entirely justified in this complaint. But you see, this one is actually PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT.

What mad musical mash-up has caught my fancy today? It’s a doozy, so you might want to sit down: Graphic novel + song + Robin Hood (THE ANIMATED ONE, I.E. THE ONLY ONE)  + dinosaur action figures! + birds, sort of! Whaaaat?

Let’s break this down. Basically, it started with the book In Other Lands, which has nothing to do with this at all but got me in an anachronistic-old-timey-fantasy mood (yes, that is one of my many possible mood settings). I also had to read a very enthusiastic chapter about Chaucer for one of my classes. I also also found a graphic novel with an amazing title (Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli — plus there’s a skeleton in a hat on the cover?!) so I had to grab that. And about half that graphic novel (which is about a traveling skeleton minstrel?!?!) is a song about a wanderer and a sort of spooky haunted fog … and at the end there’s a link to a recording of the song. Which is over nine minutes long, but I digress.

Around the same time there was a fanart display being hosted by Creative Beast Studio, who makes aforementioned dinosaur action figures! with coloration based on living birds, and I was thinking how some (particularly the kestrel/dromaeosaur, my best friend), with their poofy little arm feathers, reminded me of that rooster minstrel from  Hamster Dance Whistle-Stop in Robin Hood. He was the best. Anyhow, in the winding caverns of my brain, rooster minstrel met skeleton minstrel and also dinosaurs, so obviously (?!) I had to make a traveling dromaeosaur trapped in the fog, maaaaaybe returning to skeleton form himself, on the Road to Epoli.

Epoli

One of these days I’m going to draw something that doesn’t require so much backstory.

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Swingin’ With The Rhinos….

Once again, it takes a public competition of some sort to get me to draw anything. This one was fun though — there was a a “Weird and Wonderful Creatures” category, so naturally I had to take that one.

The inspiration was that crazy old-timey woodcut of a rhinoceros that clearly just took “well, it looks like it’s covered in armor…” and ran with it. At first I tried copying the actual shape and placement of the armor pieces so I could just change the position (and add the fun bridle, obviously), but that was a minor disaster I scrapped in the sketch phase:

RhinoDraft1

In the end I decided to just go with the impressions I got from the original image but use my own design for the actual pieces of armor and hide. I do kind of wish I’d remembered that wave pattern from the brow band in the old sketch, though; I could have used something like that for a tooled-leather kind of effect on the “saddle” portion in the finished piece.

RhinoDraft2

I used a slightly different graphite pencil for the pieces I considered “armor” and the ones I considered to be “skin.”

RhinoDraft3

That idea got harder to implement around the face because I kind of had no idea what was going on anymore, but I managed.

RhinoSig

Yes, I forgot the throatlatch until this part. I’m not sure whether I forgot the noseband or purposely left it out or if that little bit near the bit was supposed to be it and then I got too focused on drawing the horn … it was around midnight at that point so I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I could have been.

SIDE NOTE: thank you internet for allowing me to find “If I Didn’t Have You” from Quest for Camelot when literally all I could remember is that it had the words “the rhinos” in it and thus would be appropriate for this post. I’m not sure how I forgot that song (and that movie) existed, but it’s gonna be in my head for a whiiiiiile now.

Out with the old….

I did a picture way-back-when of a modern raptor (a Harris’ Hawk) perched on a fossil raptor’s skull for “Clever Girl”; it took forever and I was never quiiiite happy with the results, though it did teach me how to draw hawks (a skill I somehow lost again after a few weeks).

“Fallen Tyrant” is a variation on that older idea, but whipped up in one night after a rather depressing scroll through my Facebook feed. Instead of raptors I went with a tyrannosaur (“tyrant lizard”) and an avian rainbow of modern birds perched and nesting on its now-harmless fangs.

Size reference … well, mostly didn’t happen aside from roughly establishing the size of the dove and raven and eyeballing the others against that, then strategically placing the peacock so it’s not entirely clear how far away it is. The skull …  tyrannosaurs come in lots of sizes, shush.

Obvious symbolism is obvious, but I feel most subtlety is wasted these days anyhow….

TyrantSmol

Stay low to the ground….

It’s one of those enforced lazy days where I don’t have any really pressing errands, but I’m not feeling well enough to go out and Do Stuff for the heck of it. Days like this I’m thankful for the radio, and for the fact that I enjoy low-activity pastimes like reading and drawing.

After all that screen-staring required for Counting Sheep, I decided to go low-tech and break out the graphite and Prisma pencils. I also didn’t feel like looking up any more reference images after Googling 25+ sheep breeds, so I went with an old familiar character, my owl/kitten Gryphling, in a slightly birdified version of a pose any cat lover (or even cat acquaintance, really) can pull up reasonably well from memory:

GryphlingMouse

 

As usual I had some issues with the wings and paws, but it nicely served its purposes of killing some time and justifying my purchase of that “artichoke” colored pencil. I’m … not really sure “Artichoke” is any more accurate for this shade of brown (the main pelt/feather color here) than that AI’s infamous choice of “Turdly” was, but I suppose it does sound a little better….

Count me away before you sleep….

Sheeps! So many sheeps! And another P!ATD title, sorry about that, but really how could I resist with this one.

Turns out, these RedBubble challenges are often the only way I can be bothered to do anything remotely constructive art-wise. I did feel pretty awful yesterday, but it came on quickly and wasn’t really the reason I’d been lounging around for most of the morning. I just don’t like, y’know, doing stuff.

Anyhow, along those lines, I originally wanted to do 50 sheep, which working alphabetically through the Wikipedia list would have taken me roughly to the cool polycerate Jacob sheep (skipping the ones without articles or pictures as well as some of the not-so-distinctive meat breeds). Halfway through, though, I decided maybe 25 was a good number and I could finish it up for a special 50-sheep edition some other, more ambitious day.

Even so, there’s actually a ton of variety considering I literally just grabbed the first 25 names for the most part. I skipped one that looked too much like the Beltex, for example, but dang, what is with the Beltex in the first place? I didn’t realize until now that putting a bunch of extra muscles on a shortish ram turns it into a sort of unsettling woolly hog. Likewise, bulking everything up evenly and taking off the wool, like the shorn Australian White rams I saw, gives you tiny cows with floofy (or missing) tails and adorable noses.

Look, we don’t have a lot of sheep where I live.

All in all it was a pretty fun project, once you past the crippling headache and the difficulty of finding reference pics for a lot of the lambs. And yes, I cheated and included the Jacob anyhow, because somehow it seemed more sportsmanlike than skipping all the way down to the Navajo-Churro. What can I say, they’re too cool to leave out.

AllSheepHalf

The days when we were on the same page…

…which is really just my way of using Fitz & the Tantrums to say “this is whatever you call a sketchdump that’s only one page because I’m running out of paper to doodle on during class”

ling322

It’s okay, I swear the megalodon was actually relevant for this class! And … wordplay is totally relevant to all linguistics classes, right?

I want honey on my table….

Black Honey, by Thrice

I keep swinging my hand through a swarm of bees/I can’t understand why they’re stinging me
But I’ll do what I want/I’ll do what please/I’ll do it again till I got what I need

BlackHoney.jpg

Really, this is such a Honey Badger-sounding song, I couldn’t resist (even though I’ve never really drawn a ratel before and probably won’t attempt it again). If the poor guy here would just look up, he might be able to get the stinging over with a lot faster…

Speaking of looking up, while looking up images of the honey badger I discovered that apparently the “fact” that they follow honeyguide birds is more secondhand folk wisdom than something that has been properly documented … anywhere. Who knew?