I'm participating in the Summary of Art meme again. :) Here's a quick look at some of my favorite art pieces from each month of 2018.
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I'm participating in Inktober this month! Here are my first seven entries:
Day One: Poisonous
This is a scene from my novel, Catgirl Roommate, in which Nyla the catgirl was not allowed to steal Sam's mint because she'd already had hers, so she decided to take her mint-acquiring needs into her own hands... by chewing the lid off of Sam's mouthwash.
It did not end well.
For that matter, neither did drawing this picture; it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. I guess that's what I get for trying to hand-draw something at print resolution.
Photoshop hardcore SUCKS at drawing long, smooth lines without a pen tool, and I had to zoom in so far just to get a smooth line that I couldn't properly see what it would look like zoomed-out while I was drawing. I used the pen tool for some of the lines, but having to use it for almost ALL the lines really kills the fun, at least for me.
I tried a couple of my other art programs, but they kept on failing at basic tasks until I got heartily sick of working on this picture, haha.
At least day 2 turned out better; I drew that one at a more reasonable size.
Day Two: Tranquil
The characters in this one are Maxwell and the Ancient Guardian from Don't Starve. Spoilers ahead...
Once you unlock Maxwell as a playable character, some of his lines indicate that he and the Guardian were once friends, but the Guardian has since been corrupted and driven mad by overexposure to nightmare fuel.
Before they were permanently separated, I imagine those two took a great deal of comfort in each other's company. Maxwell was probably the first form of intelligent life the Guardian had encountered since his civilization was destroyed by the overuse of nightmare fuel, and the Guardian was probably the first for Maxwell since the day he lost Charlie.
When examining an ancient obelisk, Maxwell comments that "I can't believe I've forgotten how to read this." I suspect the Guardian was the one who taught him how to read it, which makes the loss of that ability all the sadder, since it would mean his knowledge of that language was one of the few pieces he'd had left of his fallen friend.
It's the tragic tale of a boy and his pompom rhinoceros, doomed to be separated.
In this picture, a much younger Maxwell is enjoying some tranquil time with the Guardian, who is teaching him how to read the ancient stone mural in front of him.
Day Three: Roasted
Thanks to a plethora of prior commitments both inside and outside the house, I didn't have time to draw something with my graphic tablet before I had to get out the door. Once I had a few minutes to draw, I also lacked a pencil with which to make a sketch.
As a result, today's Inktober entry was an adventure in quickly drawing with a pen while waiting in an apartment lobby, with no option to erase lines that didn't end up where I wanted them, and then taking a picture of it with my webcam.
As with the first entry, the hapless hairball in this picture is Nyla, the titular character of Catgirl Roommate. When she isn't drinking mint mouthwash, she sometimes manages to set her own tail on fire.
Day Four: Spell
Inktober's kind of been holding up the production of the next page of Just Cause, so I decided it was time to kill two birds with one stone and use today's entry to do the lineart for one of the panels.
Today's theme is "spell", so... Undyne's magic energy spears count as a spell, right?
Day Five: Chicken
C'mon, Woodie, don't be a chicken! Wigfrid just wants to spar with you.
Seriously though, Don't Starve Together (the multiplayer version of Don't Starve) has some awesome quotes, especially when you read them in conjunction with each other.
Wigfrid, examining a back scratcher: "Finally, a safe weapon with which to spar with my new allies!"
Woodie, examining said back scratcher: "Wigfrid keeps using it to 'spar' with me and Lucy. We're afraid."
I mean, let that sink in. Wigfrid is an actress who thinks she's a Valkyrie. She just wants to spar safely. And she's wielding a freaking back scratcher.
And yet, the burly lumberjack AND HIS TALKING AX are afraid of her.
Day Six: Drooling
The monster towers over her, ready to impale her on its icy claws... and Wigfrid is already drooling over the small butcher's shop worth of meat she's about to carve out of this thing.
This piece was very experimental in several ways:
1. Drawing in white on a black background.
2. Using the same color for both the outlines and the highlights, and trying not to give Wigfrid a mustache and beard in the process.
3. Using a 1 pixel brush for most of the picture, as opposed to my usual 2 or 3 pixels. Photoshop doesn't have very good anti-aliasing (the thing that stops lines from looking jagged) for 1 pixel brushes, so the lines were rougher than usual as a result.
4. Foregoing some of my usual artistic crutches, such as the Zoom In tool and the Pen tool. Once again, this resulted in rougher lines, but it was also more fun and hands-on, and it forced me to give myself some leeway not to make all the lines perfectly smooth. I think I'm going to do this more often in my side projects, though I'll stick with smooth lines for Just Cause.
5. Using widely-spaced lines for weaker shading as opposed to low-opacity brushes. This is an area where I definitely have room for improvement, since I have next to no experience with it, but it was interesting to stretch myself that way for this picture.
Day Seven: Exhausted
I had a family reunion today, so I ended up drawing today's and tomorrow's Inktober entries in pen, with no references and an unclear memory of what Wigfrid's sleeves look like, on the road to and from the gathering. Don't worry, I wasn't the driver. :P
Today's entry is based on the BS I get up to when I'm playing as the uncompromisingly carnivorous Wigfrid in Don't Starve.
My playstyle tends to fluctuate between meticulous, calculating caution and reckless bullheadedness, depending partly on how many resurrection methods I have prepared. (If you die with no resurrection methods in place, it's game over.)
I was recently in the Ruins, which is the most dangerous area in the game, and I was mapping a biome with no food sources. I ran out of food, and instead of retreating to resupply, I continued running around until the area was fully mapped, I was actively losing health due to starvation, and I was reduced to using my healing supplies to counteract the health drain.
Oh, and I was also being chased by a group of 6-8 Nightmarebeaks and Terrorbeaks, all of which move fast, hit hard, and can take a lot of punishment. I was so badly and constantly outnumbered that all I could do was keep running, heal whenever I got a bit of a lead, and try to get enough of a reprieve to get some food, climb the rope out of the cave, or SOMETHING.
That resulted in me imagining the conversation Wigfrid would have with a campmate if she came limping home in that condition, still starving, half dead, and reduced to eating disinfectant to survive (because video game logic).
If you like what you see, and you want more...
There are more Inktober entries coming, so stay tuned!
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In the centuries since Maxwell was dragged into The Constant, he's begged his tormentors four times.
As his pleas fall on uncaring ears, he resorts to increasingly desperate measures in his quest to escape his prison.
This fanfiction contains spoilers for the end of Don't Starve's adventure mode. It also includes mentions of death and suicidal desires.
Click the "read more" link to see the story.
Stephanie is the author of My Fugitive and several upcoming books. She enjoys connecting with her readers and building a community of fiction fans here on this blog.