Concept of Merona

July 27, 2015

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this sketch of Merona, as it doesn’t seem to capture her personality the way I feel the first concept sketch did. But I still like it enough to share, and outfit-wise, it is a lot closer to my final design for the character. Plus it’s the first sketch of Merona with her dog that I did. He’s a lot bigger here than I plan on having him, and his face isn’t really at all how I picture him now. But that’s why it’s called a concept sketch. Right?

Merona2

One thing I noticed recently about my character and her design, was that before I had even written the first scene of my story, I had my initial sketch completed, and from that first image my lead was wearing her hat and hefty scarf, and was carrying rope, a rifle, and machete. I didn’t know how the story would go, or what she would need, but these few pieces of equipment and clothing just seemed a part of her character. And they looked useful enough to me, a survival non-expert.

As I wrote, I found my lead making her way around obstacles by utilizing these basic items in ways I hadn’t planned ahead for. Her hat, to me, looked cool, and seemed like nothing more than a guard against the elements, but in one instance it’s used as a makeshift bucket. Her stylish scarf was actually useful to filter bad air, or wrap up an injury. The rifle? Obviously for all those shootouts I never anticipated. The rope, which I had always seen as a lasso, became one of the most versatile items in her arsenal. And her machete? Well let’s just say, I thought she would use it to clear away pesky vines… not the other things she does with it.

In the end it was as if Merona herself had selected her attire and equipment, not me, because she knew exactly what kinds of things she typically ran into in her day to day job. It might have been easier for me, as the almighty writer, to just add to her arsenal to fit future situations, but I liked the way, with just a few items, she seemed to have things more or less covered. Naturally, I added a few things I pictured her carrying in her pockets that weren’t in my initial sketches; a lighter, dynamite, a rag to clean her gun. But I’m sure she would have figured things out even without my little additions.

She was one of those characters that seemed to know exactly who she was before I ever did. And to be honest, those are the characters I find myself most eager to write. The ones that seem to be alive before I’ve breathed life into them. The ones I feel like I’m uncovering, rather than creating.

Happy Robert Burns Day

January 25, 2013

2013 Celt

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Robbie Burns Day!

I recently did a sketch of a striking Celtic wild woman as inspiration for a short story, and thought I would share it today. Also, it seemed like the best way to make my extremely simple post a little more interesting.

2011. Dwarf Lass on Battlements

To conclude our Dwarf a Day week, surrounding the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I thought I would finish with a somewhat neglected member of dwarven society: the lady dwarf.

Shading each individual stone and finishing up all the details of her clothing, such as the Celtic knot work, beads and fur, actually took me several sessions off and on to fully complete, but I feel the result was well worth the effort. When I drew it I wanted to depict a dwarf maiden who was sturdy and tough, as well as feminine and beautiful, as this seems to be a rarity in the already scarce depictions of fantasy female dwarves.

The only beard you’ll find in this picture is the one on the axe.

2011. Standing Dwarf Warrior

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened at midnight last night, and as an ode to the book on which it was based, I thought I would post this sturdy fellow, who’s beard is tucked into his belt, much like the descriptions of many of the dwarves in the book.

I really enjoyed doing all the details on this one, and I quite like that his axe is actually somewhat small (for a fantasy dwarf, anyway) yet manages to look formidable all the same. Perhaps it’s the almost scythe-like pick on the back?

2011. Dwarf King

As dwellers of the mountains I often imagined dwarves having a fondness for furs and pelts in general, as the temperature high on the peaks where they make their homes would no doubt be bitterly cold.

The chain around this dignified dwarf’s neck is partly taken from the description of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit, who I recall wore a gold chain around his neck as well.

Dwarf a Day: Well Kempt Dwarf

December 12, 2012

2011. Kempt Dwarf

For day four, we have this interesting character. He has a little bit of a gnome quality to him, but I think he might just be more of an intellectual dwarf. They can’t all be warriors after all.

2011. Scarred Dwarf

Here’s a somewhat more detailed sketch of a gnarly dwarf face for today. Though he doesn’t have a full beard as is expected of a proper dwarf, I think with the combination of the scar on his head, and the look on his face, he more than passes in terms of required grit and brawn.

2011. Two Dwarf Sketches

For day two in my Dwarf a Day week leading up to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I thought I might as well post two little sketches in one picture. That doesn’t mean I’m going to do three for day three or anything like that though, this is likely where the synchronization of pictures and numbers comes to an end.

2011. Dwarf Profile Sketch

I decided to start posting a Dwarf a Day for the week leading up to the release of the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, because it features thirteen dwarves, and I happen to like drawing gnarly dwarves in my free time.

This is just a rough sketch of a dwarf profile to start off with, but there will be more detailed art to come.