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.

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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

Stopping by woods on a summer evening…

Okay, so on the one hand, don’t go out for a walk in the woods in the middle of the night. It’s dumb, because you will probably be ax murdered/fall in a hole/get eaten by bears or whatever, and there will be mosquitoes everywhere, and weird birds that sound like angry old ladies yelling, and you will forget there’s a bridge and almost trip over it; and you will definitely forget about that stadium that means even in the relative middle of nowhere it will still be too bright to have any hope of seeing the Northern lights no matter how long you hang out there.
 
HOWEVER, on the other hand, definitely go for a walk in the woods in the middle of the night, because no one else will be out there (not even ax murderers really, because someone who camps out in the middle of a low-traffic path in the middle of the woods on a Sunday night is going about axe-murdering all wrong), and all that light pollution will actually make it just bright enough to keep to the white gravel path, and to see the wings of low-flying bats or glimpse the fur of a young raccoon scooting up a tree; but also there will be places where the cottonwoods and the creeper and the wild grape all meet overhead and in those moments it will be friggin’ Miyazaki-level magical because there will be nothing but dark trees, pale stones, frog song, and more than enough fireflies to make up for the stars you can’t quite see.
Woods
Also your phone has a flashlight, so what are you even worried about.

Right round….

Me, meeting a yellow fidget spinner for the first time:

“Oh hahaha it looks like those things that go in the middle of records

IN FACT….”

FidgetSmall

Alternate song lyrics I could have used for this post:

“Too much time on my hands….”
“I think I need help….”

Happy weekend!

Like buzz, buzz, buzz….

This zombee is a terrible pun, and I will display it SHAMELESSLY.

zombee

It is various pencils, not ink, and it is not actually drawn using any of my own possessions unless you count my hands, but there you have it.

Speaking of things that are not mine, how did I not know these little rainbow scratch board things existed?

kiki

LOOK AT THAT, MARVIN, MAYBE IT’S NO MASTERPIECE AND DOESN’T HAVE A BOW TIE AND I CAN’T ERASE IT WITH A MAGICAL SWIPE OF MY HAND BUT IT IS STILL WAY BETTER THAN YOUR STUPID CAT FACE, I HOPE YOU FEEL BAD FOR MAKING ALL THOSE KIDS IN THE 90s FEEL INADEQUATE ABOUT THEIR CAT-FACE-DRAWING SKILLS WITH YOUR SHOWING OFF AND YOUR STUPID MAGIC DRAWING BOARD, MARVIN.

I may harbor a tiny bit of repressed resentment regarding Marvin’s Magic Drawing Board. Don’t judge me.

Anyhow, requisite sketchdump.

inktober16-22

Duck? Superhero? Neither? Both? I dunno, but his buddy’s a fish.

inktober16-21Furry quadruped. Boring, moving on.

inktober16-13-20

Questionable skeletal anatomies and grumpy dogs, plus a bit of dragon. Very little happened during this class, obviously.

inktober16-12

Gross grub-beetle dude. I was all set to draw more here, actually, but someone brought a REAL LIVE ACTUAL BABY to class and it was right by my seat so obviously nothing was accomplished during that 40-minute period. Not that it was fussy or anything — it was actually more interested in the lecture than we were, as far as I could tell — but it had some very opinionated commentary and none of it was actual words and we were all very entertained.

It Begins (The Runty Pigeon, pt. 1)

September is traditionally a month when not a lot happens, art-wise, for me. No Inktober or NaNoWriMo or winter gifts and so on. Not tons of free time, either. However, I’m trying to do something about that this year, so I’ve forced myself to (almost) complete a sort-of-short story I thought up when I was … I don’t know, 13? For the sake of authenticity (hahahaha no I’m just lazy) I’ve kept the original title, “The Runty Pigeon.” All you need to know, I suppose, is that it’s a variation on “The Ugly Duckling” with some of my least-favorite parts of that tale changed up a bit. Also it’s all pigeons. So there’s that.

Since this is ostensibly an art blog, I will *try* to include an image of some sort with most entries, though that may not end up happening. Today’s “cover image” was the work of half an hour or so, most of which consisted of cutting a pigeon out of scrap paper and trying to shade over it without destroying said cutout (because using stuff to fasten stuff to other stuff instead of just mashing it against the paper with my other thumb was … too technical I guess?). The rest was making rectangles in Inkscape. Don’t judge me, I like squares. Even if the end result is basically a 90’s mass-market paperback.

Anyhow, here we go!

Pigeon

Prologue

Once upon a time, in a city just like yours, there was a bridge just like any other bridge. And under that bridge lived a flock of beautiful pigeons with feathers of every color. On a cloudy day you might have thought they were all the same shade of wet gray as the bridge and the road than ran beneath it; but when the sun shone, their soft feathers flashed with purple and silver, green and bronze. On those days, the pigeons would stand a little taller, knowing how beautiful they looked in the light.

The First Egg

One cool spring day, two gray pigeons were more pleased than any other pigeon, despite the clouds covering the sun. The first of their two eggs was beginning to hatch, and Mother Pigeon was certain it was going to be a big, healthy baby.

CRACK! One gangly pigeon foot kicked out from the egg, then another. “Such a strong little squab!” cooed Mother Pigeon (for a “squab” is a pigeon baby). “Just like Grandmother Columba!”

Columba was well-known among their flock as a brave bird. It was said that she fought off the Old Fountain Cat, a fierce and hungry creature that had hunted the pigeons’ favorite feeding spot for generations. Perhaps the cat had found a tamer flock of birds, or perhaps her owner had finally returned for her; but either way she had never bothered the pigeons again.

“Yes,” sighed Mother Pigeon as the first squab flicked the last bits of shell from its stubby wings; “I will name you Columba, and perhaps one day there will be stories of your great bravery, too.”

And so it was. Columbus (who turned out to be a boy pigeon, when he was old enough to be one or the other) grew plump and strong and handsome, and had many daring adventures. But this is not his story.

The Second Egg

It took a little longer for the second egg to hatch. Father Pigeon was on the nest that morning, and he had been hoping very much that the second squab would arrive during his watch.

CRACK! Sure enough, one little pigeon foot kicked out from the egg, then a little featherless face. As blind as any new-hatched pigeon, the tiny baby could hardly see more than light and shadow. Still, it somehow seemed to stop and look around.

“Such a curious little squab!” cooed Father Pigeon. “Just like Auntie Olivia!”

Olivia was more of a great-aunt, or possibly some kind of cousin — but she was everyone’s Auntie just the same. Known for her great age and her great cleverness, she was one of the first pigeons to live Under the Bridge. It was even said that she had been the one to discover the bridge after their flock left Brown Barn. Only Auntie Olivia was old enough to remember for sure; but either way, Under the Bridge was a good home. It was cool in the summer, sheltered from the rain and snow, and would not burn down in an autumn drought the way Brown Barn had in the end.

“Yes,” cooed Father Pigeon as the little squab pressed closer to his warm feathers; “I will name you Olivia, and perhaps one day there will be stories of your great discoveries, too.”

And so it was. But Olivia (who turned out to be a girl pigeon after all) ended up having a very different kind of adventure. This is her story.