Friday, May 10, 2024

 


Another old sketch, some humans in Neopets wardrobe items. (I wish the Space Grundo outfit looked that good on Hyren, but his site artwork makes him so stubby.)

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Some old Pokémon illustrations. I maaaaay have submitted something (not one of these) to the Pokémon TCG illustration contest last year. Would be cool if I placed. I guess we'll see when they announce the results later this year.


 




Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Here are some old sketches of anthro Neopets wearing customization items from the website.






I will be completely honest, I feel like the idea of allowing you to dress up your Neopets sounded fun on paper, and the old site artists came up with some really lovely clothing items (as evidenced here), but I think a lot of the clothes just didn't translate well into the fact that on the website, owned Neopets have much more animal-like physiologies than many canon characters. As a result, wardrobe pieces that would look really good on something shaped more like a human just come across as a bit doofy on, say, a stubby-legged quadruped or a cartoony-proportioned dinosaur.

For example, back when I still played the website, it annoyed me that the real(?) Blynn's pose had her sitting on her haunches, so any tops, pants, or skirts I put on her made her look squat and fat, when Zafaras are actually quite svelte. Clothes looked just as bad on Hyren, and it didn't help that the new Grundo artwork gives them even shorter torsos than before, when I consistently imagine Grundos looking like Gorix from the Return of Dr. Sloth plot. There's a huge discrepancy between how Neopets are portrayed in canon material and the graphics used for user-generated Neopets, and you can't just slap clothes on the latter and assume it'll come across the same as the former. 

I just feel like overhauling the pet graphics and introducing a dress-up system was unnecessary, somewhat devalued painted pets who used to have unique (i.e. non-palette-swap) artwork, and in many cases actually made the species designs less appealing (cough Zafaras and Grundos cough). Unfortunately, it was a decision probably made by the fact that offering wardrobe items for real money would likely be a great source of revenue, because plenty of site players aren't as pedantic about design as I am and just want to stick some shiny clothes on their virtual pet.

I mean, it worked, and that's where most of Neopets's revenue has likely been coming from since they introduced pet customization, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

At least it's better than (shudder) NFTs.

/opinionated rant

Tuesday, May 7, 2024


Character design for a story idea I've been tinkering with. Cyberpunk kitsune because why not?

Friday, April 26, 2024

 


Color study for Wix, the fairy knight from the story I'm working on. I've been having a lot of fun incorporating bits of Celtic, Irish, and Welsh mythology as well as medieval fairy folklore. This is in keeping with the fact that what we now call "fairies" actually evolved culturally from the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology, a race of highly magical supernatural beings who are largely cognate with Celtic deities. Which, honestly, I think is a lot more interesting than little butterfly-winged women sitting on flowers, in the Victorian tradition.

The book explores how the once-powerful Tuath Dé lost the British Isles to mortals and became reduced to diminutive, rarely-sighted beings, and what might happen if the fair folk ever decided to try to take the mortal world back. It also details a journey through Annwn, the otherworld, where time and space and physics don't really work the same way as humans are used to.

Also, in the book, fairies don't always have wings, just when they need to fly.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

 


And more sketching from the Idaho Museum of Natural History. As part of their super fun timeline of Earth's evolutionary history since the Devonian, they've got a beautiful 3D print of a Dinogorgon skull, and I've attempted to do a life reconstruction before, but it keeps staring me in the face every time I walk past it and I just really wanted to try a frontal view. I feel like one sees an excess of side views of gorgonopsid faces in both paleoart and photos of fossils, and while they did have very lovely profiles, let us not forget that these creatures also had a front end.

I went for a bit of hybrid media this time--brush pen for the line work, put down some grayscale marker for the shading, and added color with colored pencil (and white gel pen for a bit of highlighting, but gel pen doesn't really play nicely with pencil).

Dinogorgon didn't have a fat face--it's got these wide flanges on its skull that likely anchored powerful neck and jaw muscles.

Friday, April 5, 2024

 


Finally got to doing another sketch at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Here's their oviraptorosaur mount from a different angle because ovis just have the most lovely profiles.

(Also because - to my deepest shame - I only recently learned that scleral rings are actually located inside the eyball, not outside of it, and thus most of the eyes on my life restorations are actually too small. My hunger for scientific accuracy compels me to therefore re-draw every fossil mount with correctly proportioned eyes. Alas, this is the sort of thing that happens when one majored in animation in college instead of paleontology.)

You may notice that I don't usually restore a dinosaur the same way twice. That's because I don't really have a "headcanon" for how any particular dinosaur ought to look, outside of what's been confirmed by fossil evidence (for example, Borealopelta was reddish-brown with a lighter underside, Microraptor was extensively feathered, etc.). So I enjoy experimenting with different looks, including feathering extent/patterns, pupil shape, and the like. Honestly that's one of the fun parts about paleoart for me, is that there's a considerable amount of creative wiggle room.