Corruption Collection

Decaying souls housed in failing flesh.

There are a couple of trees in there, too. It wouldn’t be the same without a healthy dose of foliage. I’m starting to think I have a problem, but none have taken me seriously when I mention my obsession with my wood. I’m not sure why, either. They seem pretty understanding about the foliage thing. In any case, it’s a good time to throw together this sketch compilation. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and this one highlights a rather rare attempt at a Dark Souls inspired sketch.

I do love the visual style of the Dark Souls series.

There’s a certain quality that persists throughout the series which produces some utterly gorgeous suits of armour or weapons. Each usually telling a story about a previous owner, a previous age, or even a previous instalment. Highlighting the many realms and many inhabitants that have come and gone through the span of time that precariously knits each instalment together.

Many of these sketches have been previously highlighted over on Twitter. One is new-ish. That said, they were previously presented cropped and without as much context as they have here. Which, for the coloured pencil and ink tree sketch, is actually an interesting distinction, as you can see how the original pencil sketch looked and how things unfolded from there. It provides an interesting contrast to the graphite pencil tree sketch, within which you can see how the two approaches are surprisingly different despite having the same subject matter. Then again, the two were intended to be entirely different in their final presentation- but they remained fairly consistent in their original sketches.

I have a thing for trees. Colourful trees.

It’s interesting to me as I’ve been thinking about consistency for a while now. I was starting to question whether I had any which may have been slightly misplaced, as, while the two presentations ended up entirely different, they did start fairly similarly. Perhaps I’ve been looking at consistency the wrong way around. On the other hand, I’m pleased that these sketches maintain a level of quality which ranks with the best work I’ve done. Maybe I’m finally becoming more comfortable with my myriad styles, too.

Or maybe I shouldn’t have myriad styles.

I’ve also been working with a singular type of paper recently. I wish there were reasons for that, but the closest I have to a reason is that I can’t be bothered to disturb the cat by moving the supply box around to get my other bristol board. I know it’s in there. Somewhere. I’m starting to warm to cartridge paper, too. It tells all the best stories and keeps me warm on cold winter nights.

Been shuffling pencils around as well. Indulging in the pleasures of HB rather than my usual choice of B. No real reason for that, either. Just that it feels natural at times to select certain pencils over others. Almost as if I’ve gained some fundamental insight into how I approach things and what would be best to use, based on situation, instead of experience, to provide the best possible result at the time. It’s also fun experimenting with different materials from time to time. It’s surprising how something as simple as switching a pencil can drastically change the presentation of the finished piece. I’m still smitten with 2B*, too. (*The pencil not the android.)

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Hollows, Bonfires, the Elite Knight set, Estus Flasks, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by FROMSOFTWARE.

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Bomb – 2016 – Coloured Pencil – click for full view on site!

An explosive disposition.

Here’s a spontaneous and entirely unexpected piece. Following the attempt present in Murky Lioness, here’s a more developed approach to the same style that leans a little heavier on ink than coloured pencil. It’s an interesting balance. It’s also an interesting way to create this kind of thing. Usually I’d start with strong line work and then apply colour, whereas with these pieces I’m starting with much weaker line work and adding to it as I go along. Working alongside the flow of the pencil.

As such, this technique produces a rather interesting style.

But the technique isn’t without merit elsewhere. I could see this same approach being useful in the creation of more detailed, highly intricate, and ultimately more interesting watercolour paintings. Opening up the potential to approach an even broader range of subject matter. It holds a surprising amount of potential for something done on a whim.

Final Fantasy also has a great number of creatures which suit this style well. Given their earlier, less realistic, more stylised art styles which were almost whimsical in their own way. Not to mention the recently released World of Final Fantasy which will undoubtedly house many creatures great for this style. Bombs are one of the common recurring enemies in the series, featured from as early as Final Fantasy II and mostly staying the same throughout. Except in Final Fantasy XIII where they take on more of a mechanical construction. They even feature as a part time summon with their signature explosive attacks. This particular variation is referenced from Final Fantasy X.

Bomb – 2016 – Coloured PencilI liked the more mischievous style they had going on. Bombs exist to do one thing and one thing only- self destruct. However, they seem quite harmless from a distance. A floating, likely elemental, easily defeated foe which can’t cause you too much trouble. Until they explode and one of your party members goes down as a result of it. Then you’re always one click away from casting Blizzara on any and all of them that you see. They’re sneaky, though. Some enjoy ice and cold attacks. So you just avoid them all together.

The mechanical approach was a nice touch, too.

As you get the feeling that creatures like this were probably created by someone or something. It’s not like there’s anything else in the natural order of things that exists purely to not exist via self destruction. They almost feel like a weapon of some sort. As perhaps hinted by the early events of Final Fantasy IV.

Honestly, readers must love these posts as they come to see traditional art and leave with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Final Fantasy series. I’ve had a lot of fun with this piece, though. It’s one that I enjoyed creating as it’s not only a subject matter that I love, but it’s a style which is still new and fresh and ready for further refinement. I’m excited by the prospect that even after all of this time I’m still able to find new, interesting, and engaging styles and techniques to pursue. Not too long ago I had started to feel that there wasn’t much left for me to pursue as many of my ideas were falling flat. Now I’m feeling revitalised and ready to explore any number of unknown possibilities.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Final Fantasy, Bombs, Moogles, Genji equipment, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Square Enix.

Murky Lioness

It’s amazing what you find under cats.

That sentence may or may not be relevant in the second half of this post. It’s kind of relevant to the first half of the post, too. Given that she sleeps on my art desk quite often and I keep all of my old sketchbooks under it. But that’s okay. Every cat owner knows that everything they once owned now belongs to their cat. Including, but not limited to: expensive brushes (that they nuzzle), pencils (that they also nuzzle), paper (that they sit on), and erasers (that they knock off of desks).

I say this like I mind- but I don’t- it’s one of the joys of having a cat.

Just focus on the mouth. It'll be okay. I promise.

Just focus on the mouth. It’ll be okay. I promise.

The first of the two is one of the rare acrylic painting attempts from before this year. This was one of the first I had finished, as there was only one before it and I didn’t get too far with that one before realising I had no idea what I was doing. One thing that I noticed about this piece is how similar (yet equally different) it is to what I’m currently doing. It has strong textures, good attention to detail, and an emphasis on layering colours. That said- it is amateurish at best. Especially around the eyes. But it’s not without some degree of merit. Especially when you consider that I want to illustrate my artistic journey, which this piece contributes to by showing I always had some understanding of how acrylic painting worked.

It’s hard to recall exactly how this piece was painted. I don’t think I would have been painting from dark to light, as I currently do, as I likely would have followed a similar technique to the one I used with watercolour painting. It is interesting how there are slight hints of my current style in this piece, though. Just less refined than it currently is.

Which is one of the reasons that I like to refer to older pieces on a regular basis. More often that not you’ll notice slight hints of things which have come into play much later, almost as if you were always capable of doing those things but you weren’t able to bring them out just yet. On the other hand, it’s equally interesting to see how some things have evolved in ways you would never have imagined they would. Like with my pencil style. I’m definitely leaning much harder on a smoother, blended, less graphic style than I ever expected I would.

It's not like anyone has ever been eaten by a murloc before, right?

It’s not like anyone has ever been eaten by a murloc before, right?

This is where the second piece comes into play.

Those who know of Heroes of the Storm will know of Murky. The adorable, lovable, somewhat slimy murloc who would never consider eating you. Not for a second. This piece refers quite a way back to the adventures of Ol’ Hooty, who was featured in Aquatic Owl. The marriage of Faber Castell Polychromos and ink.

Blessed by fluffy bum cheeks, Murky came into this world with the same indistinct gurgling that he is known for wrapped in a style quite unlike any I’ve used before. It’s only because of the sketchy nature and size of the piece that it isn’t featured somewhere on the site. He’s well loved, too. It’s probably one of the best received pieces I’ve done in some time. The only slight drawback to this entirely consensual (and in no way shotgun) wedding is that I have limited colours. Which, unlike watercolour painting, or even marker illustrations, is actually a limiting factor. I can always lean towards subject matter that suits the colours I currently have, though. So there’s hope for more in the future.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Mgrrglgrgl, Murky, Octograb, Heroes of the Storm, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

Aquatic Owl

The adventures of Ol’ Hooty!

Following Equal Opposites is another post in a similar vein. Except this time we’re looking at a range of different materials, which includes the previously discussed use of Faber Castell Polychromos with cartridge paper. The result is heavily carried by the use of ink but that could just be the subject matter. That said, it does have a texture which I’ve tried to preserve in the scanned version but remains a nuisance. Mostly because I think I’m used to not having that texture.

Not that it looks terrible.

It’s just that I think I still value bristol board for its smoothness. On the other hand, I would always encourage artists (of any level of experience) to try different combinations of materials from time to time. In the two-three hours I spent with this owl I learned a lot. Which is why it’s important to actually work on things, rather than just think about how they would work together and create assumptions from that. Mostly because you’ll never know unless you try. It’s not a combination I would avoid in the future, either. Just one that requires a different subject matter or a different approach to really come together. So it’s still useful even if not immediately so.

These posts remind me of the old Unreleased Artsyness sketch dumps I used to do. Which I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to doing again, but they’re kind of unnecessary nowadays as I tend to share a lot more of what I’m doing in a shorter time frame than before. But such is the evolution of distribution on this crazy artistic journey.

Mixed up confusion.

Mixed up confusion.

The leftmost sketch is a mirelurk from Fallout 3. An interesting if not ridiculously complex creature that may not be instantly recognisable- especially concerning their face- as I was working with three different pieces of concept art simultaneously. I also have no idea what a mirelurk face looks like. All I know is that (unlike the rest of their body) it is squishy and should be fired upon mercilessly. Those claws aren’t just for show- they hurt! They’re probably pretty tasty, too. That’s how I’ve always envisaged the consumption of mirelurk meat.

Again- not that it looks terrible.

But I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with anything that I do. Which is why I continue on this journey trying new things, combining different materials, and generally looking to improve anything and everything I do. It’s an impossible dream, too. I realise that. You’ll never stop learning unless you simply give up. Which I don’t really have any plans of doing any time soon. I’m still willing to give it a shot, though. Right in its stupid, squishy, entirely vulnerable face. Then I shall have crab claws for dinner! Unless they’re horribly irradiated, which they probably are given that mirelurks don’t look like any crabs I’ve ever seen. At least, not after I used the shampoo for two weeks. Weird times they were.

Mostly I’m just glad that we’re still seeing a steady flow of creative content coming through. I want to improve the level of quality present on my personal site, while I also want to bring more quality creative content to Moggie @ WordPress (and even Twitter). It’s quite the investment, though. So it’s going to take some time to get everything under way.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Fallout 3, Mirelurks, Molerats, Vault Suits, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Diversification

All of these are different yet similar.

I’ve wanted to do a post like this for a while. One of the things I’ve tried to do with my personal site is to create an artistic journey from where I started, to how I’ve developed, through what I’ve tried, and (finally) to where I’ve ended up. Or at least where I’ve temporarily ended up. If I know anything about myself with any degree of certainty it’s that I always change. I always look for something new. Be it a different material, a different subject matter, or a different style.

DiversificationI’d like to think this post will capture a glimpse of that journey. It’ll also highlight some of the older pieces that some newer readers may not have seen yet. As always, there’s a whole heap of creative posts over on the Art page so feel free to stop by and have a read! You might find something you like. (I hope you’ll find something you like.)

DiversificationOver the last ten years of traditional art shenanigans I’ve tried a wide range of materials. I’ve also changed my style(s) quite consistently, looking to keep each material unique and interesting. Trying to use each one in a way that would be instantly recognisable. Some of these pieces have influenced the development of my style(s), too.

DiversificationI’m glad I was able to fit in some fantasy pieces. I do, however, wish I could have included some scenic/landscape pieces. That said, while scenic/landscape pieces were prominent earlier on (2006-2009) they’re pretty scarce these days. If I’m entirely honest about it- I just really like trees. That’s all there is to it.

DiversificationStill, as is the point of this post, there’s quite a bit of diversity here, drawing from a range of different inspirations. I’ve certainly adopted more inspirations over the years. Can’t say as that’s a bad thing, though- more things to work with as I create newer and more interesting pieces. Which I hope to do for some time to come.

DiversificationIn any case, I hope this has been an interesting change of pace. I’ve never really done anything like this before. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you. I liked it, taking more of a curator approach to my own work and highlighting some of the things I’ve really enjoyed. We may see another post like this at some point in the (distant) future. It’ll take some time to work towards another collection of pieces like this. 2016 is certainly looking like the year for it, though.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Marvel Comics.
Dead Space, Necromorphs, Isaac Clarke, Plasma Cutters, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Visceral Games.

Highlight – Wisdom – 2012 – click for full view on site!

This piece is a personal favourite and always been a bit of hoot! Get it? Hoot? …Oh why do I bother.

I could write pages of text covering the origins, inspirations, techniques, frustrations, and successes behind this piece. Yet, even with all the information I can give in hindsight- it was once nearly never finished. After doing as much as I could with the beak and the eyes I had become frustrated with how the rest of it was progressing. Naturally so as I feel confidence is a big part of art. You have to know your materials, how they work, how they mix, how they react, what they can do, what they can’t do, how they do it, and what not to do with them. Faber Castell Polychromos? Never used them before. Bristol board? Only ever used for ink and marker pieces. Everything here was new and there was a certain amount of hesitation. I’d also picked one hell of a reference photo for the first time out- there was nothing simple about this piece.

Still, one of the primary reasons I chose to do this the way that I did is because I wanted the challenge. I wanted to push myself. At the time I’d felt I’d become lazy and complacent with the kind of pieces I was doing and despite having many different materials they were hardly used.

The other major reason was that there are some really incredible pieces of art out there. Oozing with the blood of the artists that made them through their style, or their use of colour, or unique approach to form, or the use of negative space- there are so many reasons- but I had never done a piece like that. I was once told a long time back that I had a very angular style (it’s true) and I notice that’s a part of my style. But the other big thing that I’ve always had about my art is the graphic quality. I’ve never really been one for realistic or smooth shading. It just doesn’t have the same impact as the graphic style which feels sharp, edgy, crisp, clean, and has a lot of uses which is the way I tend to do shading these days.

Wisdom - 2012 - Coloured PencilSo this was to be something recognisable yet unique, graphic yet soft, unique enough that it could be recreated but never exactly, and something that I hope would be one of the best pieces I’d done. Or would ever do. Kind of like how some musicians have a long and successful run but they always have those key hits from earlier in their career. If it was unique enough then there would be no way to realistically compare this to other pieces and therefore it would stand, alone, but proudly alone, as the key unique piece I’d done.

I mean, realistically, I could recreate Wisdom- I could make it more realistic or with more accurate colours or even bigger so the composition is looser.

But would I? No. It is what it is and there’s no point in changing that for the sake of finalising or perfecting the last bits here or there. Perfection is as ever-changing as your own motivations and you’re never going to reach that point where you know everything and can do everything. So, Wisdom kind of sits, shifting around time, bringing something fresh to everyone who looks at it but representing a very specific part of my artistic journey.

Finally, Wisdom was featured in the Winsor & Newton Ink Exhibition as one of the pieces entered into the competition. This was a defining moment for me as I felt so proud of myself, but I really appreciated seeing the public and hearing their views while having people coming to see my art and talk to me about it? There’s nothing like it. It’s a really gratifying feeling. Luckily it was in London so I was able to attend personally and was probably one of best moments of my life. Actually there was no probably about it- it was the best moment of my life. Maybe one day something like this will come around again so I best keep my skills sharp and my pencils sharper, huh?

Have a nice night, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Ball of Fluff – 2013 – Coloured Pencil – click for full view on site!

You may have noticed that birds (and their relative degree of fluffiness) please(s) me greatly.

One of the better parts of my new personal site design is that there’s a section for things like this. Things that don’t quite make the cut but are still pretty decent. That said, I’ve had a positive reception about this piece from those who’ve seen it. So maybe it’s just me that doesn’t know what they want. Which, to be entirely honest, wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. So with the realisation that this section of the site exists, the fact that I sort of like it, and that other people seem to like it- here, have this.

This was another piece I approached with the seldom used Faber Castell Polychromos.

It is actually those which have left me in a state of constant indecision regarding this piece. I took a different approach to make this bird appear extra fluffy, but that didn’t really work out as I had anticipated it would. On the other hand- it does have quite a unique quality to it. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing remains to be seen.

Ball of Fluff - 2013 - Coloured PencilThis is also reinforces what I’ve felt about creative topics (as a whole) for some time. You can’t always get what you want- but, if you try, sometimes you find you get what you need. No, not that. Though it is a slightly apt reference to The Rolling Stones. It’s that you never really know how other people are going to receive your work. Sometimes you’ll find that the things you think aren’t particularly good are better received than those you feel are. It could be the opposite, too. There really is no way to tell.

Which is why I think it’s important to do what you do because you love doing it.

How a piece is received is definitely important. But it should not be a deciding factor in what you choose to do, as, again, there really is no way to tell how others will react to it. I’m not even sure what made the people who saw this be so happy with it. That’s okay, though. It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe. Like why some people dislike cats.

Have a great Monday, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.