I realized today that I haven’t really drawn a single thing since moving … between the new apartment, new job, new city, and delightful flash flood that drowned one of my favorite sketchbooks (see my Instagram for a few shots of what’s left of those sketches), it’s been a bit hectic.
Anyhow, I’ve been listening to a lot of music (especially for the first week or so where I was without internet or TV), and one that I was enjoying on the radio recently was Billie Eilish’s “you should see me in a crown.” Naturally, this meant I’d eventually have to sketch something to go with it.
A unicorn in a flower crown felt just sweet enough to provide the dissonance the song seemed to demand; and you know how I love wordplay and drawing shaggy ponies, so a Fell Pony was the natural inspiration for the unicorn’s general color and appearance.
Her “crown” is a pretty mess of poison sumac berries and nightshade flowers, with a sprinkling here and there of bittersweet and poison ivy. There … might be something dark spattered on her horn and whiskers, and dripping in the dust in front of her feet.
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.
One of these days I’m going to draw something that doesn’t require so much backstory.
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:
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….
Furr, by Blitzen Trapper
It turned out to be the howling of a dog
Or a wolf to be exact/The sound sent shivers down my back
But I was drawn into the pack and before long/They allowed me to join in and sing their song
The age is all wrong for the range presented in the lyrics, but I felt like drawing a wolf-kid so here we are.
Family Affair, by Mary J. Blige
Let’s get it percolatin’/While you’re waitin’
So just dance for me
Honestly I just liked the mental image of a unicorn saying “crunk.” Also, to make it a proper family affair I threw in some horses, the tail end of a pony, a goat (unicorns are kind of horsegoats after all), and of course an ass on the dance floor. Don’t ask why it’s one of those 70’s light-up disco floors, it’s after midnight and the pencil draws what it draws.
PSYCH, that’s not the song this one is about (although it does involve Smaug).
Actually this one’s kind of cheating, because it’s inspired by a song so much as an opportunity for both wordplay and a rather unlikely Miss Congeniality/Hobbit mashup. I think I might actually make a slightly bigger, cleaned-up version of this for an actual design in my shop, but until then:
Hurricane, by Panic! at the Disco
They know, I know/That they don’t look like me
Oh, they know, I know/That they don’t sound like me
You’ll dance to anything/You’ll dance to anything
Naturally we were going to get a Panic! at the Disco song in here eventually since they’re on tour right now … anyhow, these songs always make me think of dancing birds, and even more so for one that actually mentions dancing. But Velociraptors are more fun to draw, so that’s what you’re getting.
For this one I imagined a fella from a neighboring region, with a slightly different type of plumage and courtship ritual, stopping by to check out the local ladies (sort of like what you get with modern songbirds of closely-related species when ranges overlap). Those proper males in the background are not at all impressed with the little newcomer’s fluffy crest and rather modest feather-sideburns, but the female (the taller one, because raptors) seems to be enjoying this dance….