I took a little break from my Inktobering (which is now officially a word no matter what anyone says) so I could finish this page of Just Cause.
I'll probably still draw today's Inktober prompt because I like the idea I have for it, but I decided it was time to hurry up and share these ominous hints about this story's future and past. :)
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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!
In the meantime, if you want to be the first to see my completed art, and to get exclusive access to works in progress, please consider supporting me on Patreon.
If you want me to draw something specific for you, visit this page to get the pricing and details for my commissions.
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The 9-panel work in progress for page 37 of Just Cause is available on my Patreon! Here's one of my favorite panels:
You can get access to the full WIP, and be the first to see the completed page, by supporting me for $1 or more on my Patreon.
The longest-ever page of Just Cause is done! Enjoy!
Bet'cha didn't see that coming.
To support me as an artist, and to get exclusive access to the prose version of page 37 and other cool rewards, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon!
P.S. I don’t normally make the white walls enclosing the battle or Frisk’s soul glow like this, but I figure the walls would probably glow if they were flaring up because someone was pressing against them.
Frisk’s soul is casting more light than usual because they drew it outside their body themselves, which takes an extra expenditure of energy on their part.
This page was an interesting exercise in translating two-dimensional game graphics into 3-D movement.
Between that and the extra elements like blood and sweat to keep track of, multiple light sources, numerous moving components whose positions relative to the floor and pillars had to stay consistent, action shots, unusual angles and poses, and needing to keep the light direction consistent and remember all the shadows the people and objects were casting on each other, this was probably the most artistically challenging thing I’ve ever drawn.
The 34-panel work-in-progress preview of page 36 of Just Cause is ready! Become a Patron for $1/month or more to get access.
Here's a sneak peek at a few of the panels:
Most of the time, accidents in Photoshop have weird, creepy, or just plain messy-looking results. But once in a while, you get something cool.
While I was working on one of the pages of my Undertale webcomic, Just Cause, I accidentally hid the color and shadow layers in one of the panels, leaving only the outline, face and highlight layers visible.
The result was an eerie, glowy, oddly beautiful look at what a couple steps in my drawing process look like by themselves.
Page 35 of my Undertale fan comic, Just Cause, is FINALLY ready! WOOHOO!
FINALLYYYYYYYYY. The next time I commit to drawing multiple panels in zero gravity with two strongly colored light sources, somebody slap me and remind me of this page.
On a more story-related note, I've noticed that many people think Sans' decision to snipe you if you spare him was based on anger or revenge, but I think it's more a matter of practicality. Here's my reasoning:
1. If you fall short of the requirements of the genocide route by so much as a single monster, Sans won't fight you, even if you killed as many of his friends and family as possible and the monster you spared was a stranger to him. This indicates that his decision to attack you is based on the need to save the world, not revenge.
2. By this time, he's figured out that Frisk's backward time jumps are triggered by their death. If Frisk wants to spare him, repent, and undo the damage they've done, they'll need to die in order to do it. He can't just let them walk past him, because he still doesn't know how they're going to destroy the world or if his survival will preempt the disaster.
3. Sans' attacks are the most efficient in the Underground, with the possible exception of Flowey and the obvious exception of Frisk. If Frisk has to die, it might as well be at the hands of a person who can get it over with quickly. In that regard, his attack is actually kind of merciful.
To support me as an artist, and to get exclusive access to the prose version of page 36 and other cool rewards, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon!
As you could probably guess, there's a story behind this one.
A few days ago, my dear friend, Mica Kole, sent me two pieces of great news:
One was that her short story had won second place in the Sapiens Plurum contest.
The other was that her boyfriend had proposed to her, and she'd enthusiastically said "yes" - by throwing him in the lake and then jumping in after him.
As the icing on the cake, all this happened just in time for her birthday. And what better way to celebrate her birthday, her engagement, and her literary victory than with a piece of fan art that includes an in-joke from her proposal story?
To my delight, she enjoyed the picture, and gave me permission to share her birthday gift and her great news with my readers.
Here's a version without the dialogue, in case you prefer that:
If you want to get the context behind this picture, you can read the 3,000-word short story for free here: http://sapiensplurum.org/2018-2nd-place-winner.html
It's about a man whose inability to make basic day-to-day decisions wreaks havoc on his personal life, until he buys a flying robot named Tempest to make those decisions for him. The robot's good at her job, but even she can't do everything for him. Eventually, he's going to face choices that he has to make on his own.
How much of this picture is based on the story and how much is based on the proposal, I won't say right now, because SPOILERS. Just go read the story. Go do it. Shoo.
And if you want to get early access to stories like that, as well as useful writing tips, don't forget to support Mica on Patreon!
Speaking of supporting people and getting cool rewards...
If you'd like to get early access to art like this, and exclusive access to works in progress, please consider supporting me on Patreon.
If you want me to draw something for you, you can see my commission prices and policies here.
And if you want to get my art on your bedding, mugs, wallpaper, or other physical items, take a look at my print-on-demand store on Society6.
Last weekend, I stumbled upon an art contest and decided to participate. This scenario takes place in another Undertale AU called "Underfell", which is basically an edgier and more dangerous version of Undertale.
The monster hiding in Sans' sentry station is the contest owner's original character, and she's having a panic attack - which is a perilous situation in an alternate universe where showing vulnerability can get you attacked.
Luckily for her, she's got a skeleton friend who will hold her hand and drive away potential threats with terrible puns.
This took forever, but I'm happy with the result. It was nice to spread my wings and push the limits of my artistic ability like this, and I finally took a lot of people's advice and started using more clothing folds. I probably made Ink's arms a bit too small, but I had to cram them into that little sentry station and make it feasible for her to clamp one of those hands over her torso.
My favorite part of this picture is Ink using her giant claws to hold Sans' teeny tiny baby hand, haha.
Here's a version without the dialogue:
To get early access to art like this, and exclusive access to works in progress, please consider supporting me on Patreon.
If you want me to draw a character of yours, you can see my commission prices and policies here.
And if you want to get my art on your bedding, mugs, wallpaper, or other physical items, take a look at my print-on-demand store on Society6.
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.