Melty Black Goo

It’s a recurring concept.

Here’s one of those rare moments where I’m losing track of what I have and haven’t shared in various places. I’m usually a little more organised than this, but that’s what happens when you’re working in three-four different sketchbooks at once. I’ve got to keep flipping back through them to make sure I’m still aware of the things that I’ve done. I know that I’ve shared this particular piece over on Twitter but I’ve not shared it here, so that’s some clarity through the confusion. But I couldn’t say if there are any other pieces that I’ve missed along the way.

Or how many pieces that could be if I had missed some.

So, let’s talk about this sketch. It’s a concept that I’ve had in my mind for quite some time, but one that is evolving further away from the humanoid approach present in Corruption Collection and towards something alien. Melty black goo alien. Which is quite an interesting development as I’m not sure where it’s going from here, either.

I can confirm that it is going somewhere. I’m just not sure what the finalised version of this concept will be and whether ink, pencil, or even watercolour would be the best approach. I’m also not sure if there’s going to be more humanoid features in the finalised version. I’m mostly conflicted as the humanoid features will add an emotion to the piece, but the alien features will afford me the opportunity to be wildly more creative with a likely more unique final result. With both of these concepts I’ve been happiest with the faces and the emotions. Which might suggest that it’s best to lean towards the emotional approach. That said, I could explore each of these approaches as there are no restrictions as to how many of these pieces I do.

He’s more goo than man!

The version present in this post was actually a direct response to the fact that I haven’t felt too good about the faces I’ve been drawing recently. That particular issue is peculiar as I’ve always been interested in drawing anatomy, which makes it odd that my current displeasure comes from anatomy. It’s been a weird few weeks in more ways than one. I was surprisingly happy with how this piece turned out, though. It was mostly done without reference and more as an exercise to see how much of that information I retain.

Which, again, given it is anatomy, should be a substantial amount.

I’ve been looking to change various aspects of the process of creating things recently, too. I know that this has resulted in a more erratic posting schedule for which I apologise. But I would hope that you’d agree that the recent content has been of higher quality, is more interesting, and is more engaging to interact with. Which is a standard I intend to maintain.

Creative content has been particularly erratic despite a strong and steady flow from last year. There are more than a few reasons for this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to be more consistent and to produce more content. I’ve been looking at new ways to develop content, too. I’ve been thinking about either video recording or streaming as a possible expansion of what I’m currently doing, but there are issues which I need to address before I’m ready to do those. I’ve also got a few things I’ve been working on recently, which will hopefully come to a satisfactory conclusion and provide a steady stream of creative content for a time. There’s also some older content that I might revisit as well.

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.

Mushroom Inspired

They’re really growing on me.

Not that I’ve ever had anything against mushrooms. They were one of the first things that made me truly appreciate the creativity behind The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Those alien landscapes composed of gargantuan plants, trees, and mushrooms. The local customs and cultures which made every region feel different. The fact that the local races lived next to active volcanoes and that these same volcanoes were evident in the world around you. It’s one of those moments that remains unique in The Elder Scrolls series as nowhere else in Tamriel is quite the same.

Tangential conversation at its finest.

Intricate and tiny mushroom details.

I’ve had more than a few thoughts regarding all things creative recently. Firstly, that I don’t use watercolour as much as I would like to. Secondly, that I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the changes to my creative process. Thirdly, that thinking about things doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do anything about them. Which is why I’m actively doing something, too.

The first two of these attempts are currently works in progress. I’m trying to see how viable it would be to approach new pieces with watercolour, and whether that’s something that I would like to do more frequently in the future. I enjoy the fluidity of watercolour, how it blends, the textures of the paper, and the fact that I can reinforce it with ink. So I’d like to take more advantage of that. That said, I believe that my state of mind is still one that suggests that watercolour is a special material. Meant for special things. Which is a silly state of mind. Much like how I wouldn’t think of using ink as a default material due to always regarding it differently. Now it’s just ink. It does what ink does. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that these attempts will be successful.

But that is of little consequence with watercolour. Those tubes last a very long time as you’re only using a small percentage of paint as you thin them to the desired consistency. While it’s not too much of an investment to experiment with the actual tubes, the paper is slightly more expensive than my usual cartridge paper. Which is why the sketches are smaller and there are multiple on the page. I don’t really want to burn through two or three sheets of paper wastefully. That and I’d like to start a little less ambitiously while I’m still working on the approach.

Inspired by the areas surrounding Davon’s Watch.

I’m hoping to do more watercolour sketches, too.

Particularly character concepts of some description. Those are notably missing from the two approaches with the closest being the deathclaw, which exhibits some human anatomy (and a more demonic look) but it’s not a human character. Or alien character. It’s a weird irradiated lizard that lives in the various wastelands that remain after the fall of nuclear fire.

The last of these attempts is pretty much the reason why I thought about watercolour painting in the first place. I’m starting to realise that approaching landscapes with pencil or ink alone might not be the best idea. There’s certainly nothing wrong with either of those approaches, but I feel as though I have more potential adding some amount of colour to those and thereby creating something more unique. I still love ink as an approach for trees and the like, though. Pencil, too. Those are most definitely still valid options. It’s interesting as both scenic pieces and watercolour are two things I can identify as things that I enjoy but don’t do enough of, but they’re both things that I haven’t made any significant attempts towards yet.

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.

Fallout 3, Deathclaws, Super Mutants, Pip-Boys, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.
The Elder Scrolls, The Elder Scrolls Online, Morrowind, the Morag Tong, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Bethesda.

Multiple Attempts

There’s definitely a trend in my digital painting attempts.

They’re either animals or trees. For the most part. That said, I wanted to bring this compilation of unfinished pieces together so that I could share some of the efforts I’ve hinted about in posts such as Momentary Regret and Happiness Hat. It’s easy for me to explain them to you- but it’s easier if you can see these attempts for yourself. It may also help you to understand why I feel the way I do about some of these. You can also see the follow on from Anatomical Fish. As one of these was the painting that I switched to.

You might also wonder why I’ve never finished these pieces.

I do, too. But I’ve discovered that I’ve been looking at things the wrong way around. Or at least I feel like I have. As I have concerned myself with the presentation of the content for a while, but I’m starting to notice it’s the content (or lack thereof) which is the actual problem. That’s why some of the small changes I was going to make never came to fruition.

I started to realise that I could change around the presentation infinitely but it wouldn’t quell the disappointment (for lack of a better word) that I felt regarding the content itself. Therefore, I’ve started to work towards finishing more pieces. Some of which have been sitting around for far too long. Like the subject of Building an Abomination, which I’ve repeatedly put off working on for various reasons and it’s still unfinished. I could make countless excuses but I won’t. That said, I enjoy the aforementioned posts which bring together things I’ve been working on and I think they illustrate (pun intended) my creative journey nicely. So I’m not looking to lose those posts entirely.

They're a colourful bunch!

They’re a colourful bunch!

I’m just hoping I’ll be able to commit myself to more finished pieces. It’s something which I feel I’ve let myself down with more than anything. That said, I can’t control the myriad situations which have put me in this position in the first place. But, again, that’s no excuse. It’s a problem I’ve created and one that I’ll need to fix. In happier news, I’m rather enjoying the selection of pieces in this compilation which highlight some of my best digital painting attempts. There are some we’ve seen before and some we haven’t.

Those we have seen are a little different now, too.

On the other hand, I’ve also included a couple of traditional painting and illustration attempts. One was a painting which was sort of finished but I wasn’t too happy with the outcome of, the other is an illustration that combined a dozen different styles into one very confused piece. Both taught me something, though. Which is all I can really hope for from an unfinished piece.

It’s also an interesting compilation as there many different styles present in it. It highlights the rather eclectic nature of my creative efforts. I rather enjoy that about my various pieces, but I am starting to wonder if that’s causing me more problems than I realise. That said, through some of these unconventional styles and approaches I’ve started to understand things about my creative process I hadn’t realised. Like how I tend to ink things with incredibly stiff and rigid movements. I don’t have the fluid, loose, expressive approach that I use when I’m sketching with pencil. It’s an interesting realisation. Mostly because I hadn’t noticed that despite the similarities between the application of materials my approach changes drastically.

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.

Happiness Hat

Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

I’ve been thinking about things recently. Mostly about the collection of sites, what I’m doing, what I’d like to be doing, and how best to take everything forward to balance the content output and the quality of the resulting posts. I’ve also been making small (but meaningful) changes here and there. I haven’t done much art in this period, either. There was a small flurry of posts related to digital painting which resulted in Momentary Regret, which was another setback to add to the innumerable list of them. But I still believe digital painting could work for me.

It’s just a matter of figuring out how.

"Half price bran flakes?!"

“Half price bran flakes?!”

Traditional art has been a little hit and miss, too. Which is entirely my fault. I’ve been thinking about changing a few of the approaches, styles, and materials I’ve used for some time. That decision isn’t particularly conducive to a consistent quality output, though. So I’ve been frantically sketching and doodling a variety of different things. Most of which never reach anything.

That said, there are a couple of those sketches in this post. The first is a standard abomination from the Warcraft universe, who is surprisingly health conscious and wears a rather dapper small hat. Likely stolen from a Worgen. Or from any race that would wear a top hat. It’s a little small mostly because they’re so large. But that’s what you get when you stitch something together from a collection of other, unrelated, likely deceased creatures. I’ll admit- it’s a little odd. But I wanted to do something a little less serious, a little less thought out, and a little more enjoyable. Just for fun. I’m still allowed to have fun with creative disciplines, right? It’s amazing how often you’ll find people suggesting you can’t or shouldn’t.

One of the things that this sketch did reinforce was the notion that ink is a pretty good material for me. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, too. It’s interesting how both pencil and ink appeal to different kinds of work I’d like to do. Then again, that’s also a situation which is entirely my fault. As I could have chosen to work with a couple of materials, but instead I’ve worked with quite the list. Of which I’m still enjoying the majority of them. So it’s hard to place which would be best for what and which would be the default choice.

That's a turban... not a bandage.

That’s a turban… not a bandage.

You really don’t want to stress about materials as much as I do.

Which then brings us to the second sketch. I’ve been wondering if it’s better to approach character concepts with pencil or with ink, there are arguments to be made for both and there are styles present for each. In this case the topic of choice was the Occultist from Darkest Dungeon. A character design I’ve always dearly loved and felt was particularly apt for their role.

One of the things I really like about this sketch is how it all comes together. Admittedly, the turban is a little wonky and probably wouldn’t fold like that. Also, the nose is a little odd. Likewise, there really isn’t much development in his clothing at all. But besides all of that- it’s not bad. If that’s even a logical sentence at this point. Then again, one of the points I’ve often emphasised for anything that I do is that it’s about the journey. That’s what we’re discussing here. The journey, the experiences, the better, the worse, and everything that goes with that. I’m not looking for perfection (not that I’d ever be likely to achieve that). Just consistency and enjoyment from creative disciplines. I think I’m getting closer, though.

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.

Darkest Dungeon, the Occultist, the Ancestor, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Red Hook.

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.

Fishy Abomination

Something smell a little funky to you?

It’s logical why undead abominations smell so bad (being rotted corpses and all) but I wonder what a fishy abomination would suggest. Perhaps some kind of fisherman mutated into one of the endless legion of the undead? It’s a good question. One that I’m pondering for far too long. I wanted to bring together two entirely unrelated yet equally interesting pieces in this post. One of which won’t be finished, while the other is likely to see some kind conclusion be it in ink or as a digital painting. Or both.

The first was a watercolour painting that I started but was soon abandoned due to one of the elements of its composition going terribly wrong. Still, that’s one of the joys about turning failures into successes- you can always learn something new from them! Or wallow in unending despair. Not that I would suggest the latter.

Even if that’s how I usually respond to those incidents.

These are the eyes that stare.

These are the eyes that stare.

As with all of my watercolour paintings, there’s a good selection of colours in this piece and they’ve come together surprisingly well. I haven’t used these brushes much since I bought them. So they’re still a little finicky when it comes to actually applying the paint. As I’m not entirely sure how they feel. I realise that probably sounds ridiculous, but you really do get used to how the brush feels in your hand and you develop your confidence in your ability through that. Like any other material or tool, really. This isn’t the worst watercolour painting I’ve ever done, though. You should see some of my earlier attempts. Not that you ever will, for I shall hide my shame in the depths of my art folders for none to see.

The second is a work in progress that I’m not sure about. That said, what am I sure about? The only thing I’m truly sure about is that I’m not sure about anything. Yeah. You figure that one out. Referenced from the endless abundance of grotesque monstrosities hailing from Darkest Dungeon, this piece has a fair amount of potential and I’m actually quite interested in seeing flat colours applied to it once finished. Or, rather, if finished. The paper texture does something quite magical with it.

It seems to fit the style that Darkest Dungeon has. Maybe even throw a little shading onto it. Something akin to the way an older comic book or graphic novel would be illustrated. It’s definitely got potential and remains an interesting consideration while working on this piece, which could even change the approach I take to the line work from here on out.

I'm not sure what's wrong with him, either.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, either.

Obviously I can’t rework existing lines.

But I can adjust them ever so slightly. A stroke here, a stroke there, and slowly it will form into something glorious. Or start purring. That’s usually what happens when I apply strokes to things- most specifically cats- as they seem to like them. I would be slightly concerned if my paper or pens started purring, though. It might be time to cut back on the coffee should that happen. Or seek psychological help. Or both. Given the recent flood of creative posts, I felt this would be an appropriate time to share some things I’ve been working on (or have worked on before). Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the finished version of the second piece (if there is one).

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.

Darkest Dungeon, the Caretaker, Swinetaurs, Templar Warlords, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Red Hook.