Alas, it was to none but me….

Happy Gregorian-calendar New Year!

Well, this is the last of my December Refs posts. I don’t really know what I’ll do to keep myself busy in the coming months, though I definitely have some ideas. I may go back to weekly posts, or I may find something else to post daily; I doubt I’ll be able to keep up daily posts of any quality for the whole year, though, so perhaps I’d best get back into my old rhythm.

One way or another, here’s a dragon-y sort of person. While, as I said, continuity more or less went out the window weeks ago with these, I can guarantee that Shale was second-to-last and that Lin here was the last drawing, finished one month ago. I went and threw on all the ornamentation that I was in too much of a hurry to bother with on the other 49. She’s weighted down by some of it, but then I like to think she’s a bit vain.

Alas, it was to none but me....

Name: Lin
Habitat: Unknown
Likes: Forests, mountains, clouds
Dislikes: Bestiaries, destruction, giraffes
Personal Quote: “Please stay off the grass!”


My money’s on the witch….

I had a book on snow leopards checked out from the library, but as yet unopened, when I started drawing this. You have no idea how strong the temptation was to just glance at the cover, especially when it came to the tragedy that is now poor Shan’s face.

My money's on the witch....

Name: Shan
Habitat: High mountains
Likes: Sheep, caves, cold
Dislikes: Shepherds, magpies, heat
Personal Quote: “The tail IS attached, you know….”

I may be ewe, I may be ram….

…and apparently Liam is a ram, or at least a wether, given his name. His lack of horns may have some connection to the fact that “his head is too big” (the first comment I got when I showed this one around to people; I realized around then that I probably shouldn’t show these to folks unless they were too far away to actually blurt out their first impressions). You know, that or the fact that I really don’t know how wool works and just slapped it on there in a way I hoped was convincing, if not precisely accurate. I’ll just blame cartoons for his puffy head, and for the fact that I drew sunglasses on the sun for an embarrassing amount of my childhood years, despite actively wondering why exactly the source of the light would need shades….

I had to cheat a bit here, since I apparently don’t have the magnolia pod anymore. It’s actually something of a relief, since it probably wouldn’t have fit on the paper anyhow. Fortunately I have an older photo from when I was still keeping track of these things.  Don’t worry, though, if you keep scrolling down past the crusty tree-bits you’ll get to the actual drawing part.


I may be ewe, I may be ram....

Name: Liam
Habitat: Meadows
Likes: Grass, hills, salt
Dislikes: Mud, caves, dogs
Personal Quote: “Stay where I can see you!”

Three-horns NEVER play with long-necks…

It’s *not* Pachyrhinosaurus, m’kay. Completely different ceratopsid. The timing does make it seem a bit derivative, but I swear I only saw one Walking With Dinosaurs advertisement. The design actually owes more to those crazy spots and bullseyes Gregory S. Paul likes putting on things — not that they shouldn’t have spots or stripes or whatever, but they do have a way of standing out.

Three-horns NEVER play with long-necks...

Name: Shale

Habitat: Plains

Likes: Plants, watering holes, mud

Dislikes: Asteroids, ice ages, deluges

Personal Quote: “Unicorns are just jealous”

Am I haunted….?

I just went all-out with the head ornamentation on this one. “Hm, this lizard is okay, but you know what it could use? That’s right, a THIRD LAYER of neck frill. Yeah. Yeah, that looks good.”

Name: Rocky
Habitat: Desert
Likes: Flat rocks, sunshine, lady lizards
Dislikes: Slippery rocks, cold, unexpected shadows
Personal Quote: “Is she looking? Is she looking?”

Is that a slug…?

The sharp-eyed reader will note that there was already a Bubba; from the I Went Swimming in the Caribbean post on the 18th. The sharp-eyed reader will also notice that the former Bubba’s name is now Doug. This is not a last-minute change, much as it may seem from the name choice. I label things poorly as a rule, and this project is no exception. I was relying on a combination of memory, process of elimination, and vague intuition to work out which name on my list belonged to which drawing. While fixing this terrible system a few days ago, I discovered that Bubba’s name had been mis-assigned. The fish was actually supposed to be named “Doug,” and Bubba was the slug’s name.

If I had thrown my hands in the air and said, “Well, it really doesn’t matter whether a fish is called Bubba or Doug,” all might have been sorted out right there. However, I instead threw my hands in the air and said, “Well, it really doesn’t matter whether a slug is called Bubba or Doug.” And you can’t say that aloud, or even in your head, without instantly hearing that “slug” and “Doug” rhyme. I just couldn’t bear to have it look like I picked the name Doug to rhyme with “slug.” As I said, even I have my standards, strangely arbitrary though they certainly are. And so, here we have Bubba the banana slug. I suppose the partial alliteration is just something I’ll have to live with….

Is that a slug...?

Name: Bubba
Habitat: Leaf litter
Likes: Damp leaves, damp bark, damp soil
Dislikes: Pavement, sunlight, salt
Personal Quote: “Shells are so overrated.”

You guys made me ink!

Okay, it’s more of a squidtopus than anything, I suppose. But the stubby little tentacles make me think of a flapjack octopus, so there you are.

Also, it’s bothering me much more than it should that large parts of my new word “squidtopus” are pretty much linguistically irrelevant, compared to the elegant straightforwardness of at least one of their forbears; “-to-” isn’t a number and “-pus” no longer has anything meaningful to modify it — squid-foot? It’s some sort of freak meta-onomatopoeic portmanteau, a garbled mimicry of  sounds associated with words associated with objects but with no regard for their individual meanings; heck, it’s almost as bad as “chocoholic”…


Here we come a-rambling. Apologies for that incoherent and oddly violent digression. I mean, I myself (as opposed to I, you? woops, digression again) don’t know where the word “squid” comes from, and half the time I can’t even sort out the different parts of speech. I just like long words. Here’s a squidtopus and a Christmas light to make it all better:



Name: Jules

Habitat: Under the sea

Likes: Mollusks, caves, sand

Dislikes: Eels, open water, nets

Personal Quote: “Now you see me….”