Thomas realizes that he’d left the oven on before leaving for work that morning.
Guardsmouse Mikel, performing a Zornhau. I have a huge interest in German medieval swordsmanship. Johannes Liechtenauer was a swordmaster in the 1500′s who pretty much started the tradition, or at least wrote most of it down in code.
The Zornhau is the “strike of wrath”. If you are holding your sword in the “Vom Tag” position, basically at your shoulder, the Zornhau is performed by taking a step forward with your leading foot as you swing the sword in a downward arc at your opponent. You’d block this blow with the “Ochs” position, and bind your opponent’s blade.
…I also learned that mice are hard to draw like this, because their knees are ambiguously placed somewhere in fur. No worries. David Petersen’s Mouse Guard is still awesome.
This is illustration 4 of 365 in my 365 Drawing Project. Thanks for reading.
I’ve been absent for a few weeks, and they’ve been a bit busy. The good news, though, is that I’ve been doing a lot of sketching. That means that this is going to be largely a post consisting of iPhone pictures of those sketches, a bit of commentary, and a few bits of inspiration and what ifs.
I’ve been looking through my copy of Brian Froud’s Goblin Companion – a book that I’ve had for years and years now, but never really browsed through. Some of the sketches below are inspired by Froud’s work from the Goblin book, or else they are copied from the book to try to improve my technique. I’d like to think that I’m learning bits and bobs of technique from the books I’ve been looking over recently.
Several of the sketches are faces and costumes that I’ve done from memory, and yet others are inspired by the works of Justin Gerard(whom I mentioned in an earlier post).
Another great artist that I’ve just discovered is Paul Bonner, who does fantasy illustration of the best sort. He just did a very long guest post on the Muddy Colors blog, describing his process on a wonderful painting that features dwarves and a great big upright beastie based loosely on a musk ox.
Direct link to the blog post here: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2011/09/guest-blogger-paul-bonner.html
And now the big bunch of sketches:
…uploading images to WordPress is a pain in the butt. Anyone have a faster way to do it? I hope everyone enjoys the art post… I’ll try to be back sooner next time, so that I don’t have to go through such a lengthy image-inserting process again. Whew!
Dragons are magic. There’s no other way to put it. I’ve been fascinated by the big scaly things for as long as I could remember. I can’t recall when I first found out about them, but it was at a really young age, because I’ve been enjoying stories about dragons since I was a tiny child. Whether your dragons are winged with four legs, or winged with only two, or even with no legs or wings at all… they’re incredible.
One of the first books I remember reading about dragons was called The Book of Dragons, by E. Nesbit. It’s a tiny, slim little volume. Collected inside are stories of dragons from myth and legend, with enough fire to spark any boy’s imagination. Then, in fourth grade, at a school book fair, I picked up Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. The book is about a young kid who, running from bullies one day, gets lost in a fog and finds a magic shop. There he buys a dragon’s egg, and hatches it, and gets to watch the young dragon(whom he names Tiamat) grow up. It’s completely magical and wonderful. In high school, I read the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. That led me to Dungeons and Dragons, and in my time around the gaming table I’ve killed a dragon or two.
The other day, inspired by my long love of the dragon, I sat down to do some inking. I sketched a few ideas first, and when I was satisfied, I broke out the steel nibs and black ink. I didn’t want to do this project in Micron pens. I wanted the old-fashioned method. A while later, I had a dragon skull sitting on paper in front of me. I’m not quite sure it’s done yet, but it was fun to do, and I can’t wait to try further projects with the steel nibs and ink.
Here are a few pictures:
Last year I decided to start an Etsy shop to sell some of the smaller items that I like crafting. It was a fairly easy process to set up, and listing items is simple and clear. I listed several items, and then waited. And waited. And waited. It wasn’t until January, four months after starting my shop, that I had my first sale, and it was a great experience waking up in the morning to the “you made a sale!” email. I’ve had several sales since then, but by the end of February things had dried up. I listed more items, and renewed my current listings to bring them to the top of the queue, with no luck. Even now I’m still trying to make more sales. It’s a bit disheartening, to say the least. But I’m keeping at it, because it’s important to me and because I like the feeling of giving customers what they want to the best of my ability.
Recently, though, I’ve come across several instances of resellers on Etsy. For those unfamiliar with the website or the term, Etsy is a place for selling handmade and vintage items. A “reseller” is someone who takes mass-produced items bought very cheaply in bulk and resells them listed in his/her shop as their own creations. It’s against Etsy rules, although from what I have seen and heard the Etsy administrators are willing to let resellers slide… because they bring in a lot of money.
It was one such instance that prompted me to look at other places online for selling items, and I found a place called Zibbet. Much like Etsy, it’s a website where sellers can list homemade, crafted items and sell them to internet customers. Its setup is slightly different from Etsy’s, in that it’s free to list your items and you take all profit, whereas Etsy takes a small fee from your sold items. On Zibbet, you can sign up for various types of seller accounts, from the free basic account all the way up to the Premium account. I’ve since created a free Zibbet shop in hopes of increasing sales a bit more.
The Zibbet community is also very friendly and open compared to Etsy’s. Etsy recently changed their forums, and created what they call “Teams”, which are inclusive groups focused on specific crafting items, themes, and so on. It used to be simple to go on Etsy’s forums and ask for help regarding crafting techniques, materials, how-to’s, and so on. The creation of Teams makes that much more difficult, because now you have to search for a team dealing with your situation, and then apply to join that particular team before you can even ask for help. It’s part of what frustrates me about the recent Etsy changes. I’ve found the Zibbet forums to be helpful and welcoming so far.
One site that Kathryn likes to check for updates is Regretsy – a site that often pokes fun at ridiculous Etsy listing. They have their own forums, and a team on Etsy itself, and I’ve also joined efforts there. Regretsy is what ties everyone together, and they are also a tight-knit community. I’ve already gotten a bunch of helpful advice, and I plan to take steps to improve the quality of several of my item pictures and listings.
What I would really like to focus my efforts on are period costumes, ranging from the medieval to the Renaissance to the Victorian, and including subcultures like steampunk. However, at the moment I craft mainly smaller items like dice bags, purses, smaller messenger bags, and decorative houses. I have a Youtube channel dedicated to showcase videos of my products, and a Facebook page as well – look up Greyed Out Productions for more information. To find my shops on Etsy and Zibbet, simply search for “Greyedout”. That’s the name of the shop.