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.

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.

He Who Brought Life – 2012 – Watercolour – click for full view on site!

When is a tree not a tree? When it’s a Harold!

This particular piece is going to get very confusing. Mostly due to the fact that it has remained as a work in progress since early 2012, yet it is being added to the site as a new piece- which it technically is- as I’ve never had it on the site before. Entirely due to previous versions of the site not having the Sketchbook section which was made for things just like this. Why add it now? That’s a good question and one that relates back to New Approaches.

As the post suggests I’ve been working on various updates to the collection of sites.

During the course of these updates I was taking a closer look at what was actually on the site, following up on what I said at the beginning of the year, and generally trying to get everything looking as good as it possibly can. Then I noticed this pile of work in progress scans and remembered all about one of the better watercolour pieces I’d started.

Those who have played Fallout 3 will recognise the lovely Harold in all his woody glory. I didn’t realise how many wood jokes you could make with Harold until I typed that. He was a prominent feature of the somewhat hidden area of Oasis. Hidden in the sense that you need to convince the people who live there that you’re not completely evil, drink some sap, have a hallucinogenic nightmare, and wake up surrounded by Those Who Worship Wood. That’s not the actual name of the people that live there- but it should be. Later you meet Harold (who has had many post-apocalyptic adventures of his own) and decide how to deal with him. One of the options involves fire. You can probably tell how that goes down.

He Who Brought Life – 2012 – WatercolourThe reason I have so many work in progress scans of this particular piece relates back to an idea I had at the time I was painting it. Work in progress scans were never a thing I’d usually do (and still don’t for the most part) but I wanted to make the effort here. I wanted to have maybe five-six at the end which I could compile and display how it had evolved from the initial line work, to the beginning of the painting stages, to the end of the painting stages. As you can probably tell, I never got to the final stages.

Why was that? Not really sure.

While my memory is usually pretty solid when it comes to remembering things from yesteryear… this one is hard to place. The most probable answer to that question is that I simply lost interest in finishing the piece, or, it could be, as I haven’t seen the original in some time, that something went wrong with it. Couldn’t really say.

I still think it’s a great addition to the site even in an unfinished state. It’s also slightly conceptual- as the style was an entirely new concept back then- and helps to show the progression through watercolour and ink pieces. Which probably means that being unfinished actually helps show that progression. Given that you can see the way I was treating the line work, the painting process, and the piece in general through the work in progress scans. It’s also a rare piece of Fallout 3 fan art from the days before. As, these days, I feel 2012 was merely the foundation for what was to come in the future. Once I had considered it the pinnacle of what I could achieve… these days not so much. Just one of many building blocks.

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.

Harold, Oasis, Vault-Tec, PipBoys, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Brahmin – 2015 – Watercolour – click for full view on site!

I’ve always wondered if having two heads (and therefore two brains) ever confused the poor ol’ Brahmin.

In a lot of fictional universes they depict creatures with multiple heads having a singular (often unintelligent) brain- but I like to think Brahmin have two. I also like to think it’s similar to those times you walk into a room, instantly forget why you went into that room, and then walk out again. One brain says one thing and the other says another. Maybe that’s why they’re so docile. They couldn’t be angry even if they wanted to!

But, yes, we’re not here to discuss the intellectual properties of the post apocalyptic pack animal.

It does pose a few questions as to why milk is so scarce in the Wastelands, too. Given they have readily accessible milk factories just wandering around. That said, I do believe their udders are horribly malformed (and likely filled with pus) so that’s probably why. Back to the piece! I haven’t had too much experience with watercolour in a (literal) couple of years. It’s something I really enjoy working with but has fallen a little to the wayside (as did most things not done with a pencil) for a spell.

I don’t think the time away from that particular set of methods/techniques has hurt, though. In fact, looking at the piece, and how clean/crisp the lines are, I’m starting to think it was a good semi-hiatus to have had. I suppose that’s also an indicator that my technique has improved in general, too.

Brahmin - 2015 - WatercolourStill leaning heavily on the ink and watercolour style I developed early in 2011 and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. I like the combination, and, given how my technique has improved overall, I feel it can only get better. More attention to smaller details and all that. This is also the first time I’ve used the heavier, more expensive, and better quality watercolour paper I bought a while back. I’ve also accrued a little more experience with my newer, better quality, and (once again) more expensive brushes. To be honest, I put a lot of money into watercolour (and painting as a whole) a while back.

While I wouldn’t say this piece breaks significantly new ground- it’s nice to see how it turned out.

It’s nice to see that there’s a small level of improvement in technique, approach, and control. I’m still not sure if I want to follow along a heavy wet on wet technique (as I used to) or whether I want to approach it more as you would approach illustrator ink. In either case, I count this a success and it does make me a little more optimistic for the future of watercolour.

As a sort of side effect to the new piece, reviewing the sites, and generally working towards better quality content I might be cleaning up the previously uploaded pieces on the site. Nothing major like completely new scans, crops, or what have you- just cleaning up the images to make them look as good as they possibly can. It’s a fairly long campaign to embark on and one that definitely will happen over the course of months (and depends on whether every piece needs it). So that’s something to look forward to!

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.

Brahmin, Gary, Vault-Tec, PipBoys, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Highlight – Grotti v2 – 2011 – click for full view on site!

Though the fish in question has gone to that great fish tank in the sky she was always a beautiful and friendly girl.

I do art. You know that, right? I would forgive you if you had forgotten after how long it has been all about gaming and not so much about the creative side of things. I think this piece was the first one that really allowed me to see the potential of watercolour in a style that I could manipulate. For some reason, most likely due to detail, I figured that the combination of ink and watercolour would be a good idea and I wasn’t wrong about that. I continued to develop this style in a myriad of ways with The Sacred Cow (highlighted previously) and others.

I had done the first version in pastel (and no you may not see it) and it wasn’t really hitting the quality or the result I wanted. I was thinking about other things I could use and how I could get the desired result and I narrowed down that I needed bold, flowing, expressive colours. What did I have that could do that? Watercolour!

In my usual way of doing things I started by dissecting the colours and trying to find a collection of colours that allowed me to achieve the desired result. Of course, until you added the grey and black markings, this was just the oranges and the light pinks. While the addition of the darker markings was the point where I thought I’d be scrapping this piece and it would never see the light of day again. However, the brushes were in my favour and I managed to pull off the desired result without destroying anything in the process. Oddly enough, as noted above, that was the entire reason I wanted to use watercolour- but it was also the reason I didn’t feel it would work out as I didn’t know if I could do it. My brain is a strange place. So strange.

Grotti v2 - 2011 - WatercolourThe original line work for this piece was pretty much an outline which was also an interesting aspect in hindsight.

Given my inexperience with watercolour at the time I was relying on the ability to fully create depth, textures, markings, and many other things purely with watercolour as the line work wasn’t really adding any. I mean the concept made sense. It was a logical idea. But I was relying on my ability to do something I’d never done before with a desirable result the first time out.

But, I think, when all is said and done, that is what makes this such a great piece for me. I tried to do something new and unique and I wanted to achieve something which I did. So, even though it’s a bit older and a bit rough ’round the edges it’s a rare example of how my experimentation led to something amazing. Something which I’m proud of. It’s also odd that this, The Sacred Cow, and Wisdom (three pieces I am notably proud of) are all animal portraits.

Maybe that was a calling I missed in life? Or maybe I just needed something new and different and that wasn’t fantasy or what have you to really get to grips with the limits of my ability. Back then I was of the mindset that I didn’t have limits and I could do whatever I wanted. Maybe that was a good way to be?

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.

Highlight – The Sacred Cow – 2012 – click for full view on site!

I’m sure if you look at this piece long enough you’ll find it very moo-ving. Get it? Moo-ving? …Eesh, tough crowd.

Do you like cows? Do you like paintings? Do you like mixed media? If you answered yes to two or more of these questions you may be in with a chance to win a new flat screen television. Post your entries to: Totally Not A Scam, 34 Fake Street, Simpletown, W6 3QP (please include a self addressed envelope to ensure hasty delivery of your new television).

I originally started using watercolours in 2009 as I felt it might be a nice change. Admittedly, I’d avoided them like some form of infectious disease up until that point as I never considered myself a painter and I didn’t really enjoy working with liquid media. All of that taken into account it was a nice summer, I was a successful young man, I felt like trying something new- and that age is particularly good for experimenting- so I did. I took up my brush and palette and mixed like there was no tomorrow.

Had I ingested some of the things I mixed with there is a good chance there wouldn’t be a tomorrow for me.

Initially I had much hesitation with watercolour. It was new, it was foreign, it was uncontrollable, there were no certainties, there was much to learn, and there was so much more to do. At this time I started branching out across various different materials. Pencil, watercolour, marker, ink, coloured pencil. It was all there. It was actually the basis for how I approached watercolours as I wanted to do something different with each one. Create a different style? Maybe not that far. But create different things so I wasn’t simply emulating pencil with watercolours. Early on I approached it with little to no line work but after the success of one piece I decided to radically change course and start using ink and watercolour together.

The original of this piece, as, technically, it is The Sacred Cow v2, was done without any kind of line work and very early on in my watercolour experimentation. I liked the concept behind it but I didn’t really like the execution. I felt that with other things I’d done and how many leaps I’d made I could make one here. I could better myself.

The Sacred Cow - 2012 - WatercolourThis later turned into a several month long project of approaching old pieces that had good concepts but that I felt lacked in execution and revitalising them with a new approach. Sometimes it would be a new material, sometimes it would be the same but using new techniques, and sometimes I would drastically change the elements of the piece but leave the concept intact. This particular piece started all of this as I hadn’t considered doing anything like that as I didn’t think I could better myself. Too much fear. Too much apprehension. Too many times I looked at things and doubted that I could go any further. Funny, in hindsight. But then most things are when it comes down to it.

Hard to believe that this piece is two and a half years old.

As I had done with other pieces in this style I began with a very simple lined version of the original pencil sketch. I tend not to add much in the way of shadows or heavy detail as I let the watercolour take care of all of the details and define all of the shape, form, tone, depth, and so on. It’s just the way I do these things. I’m not quite sure why that seemed like a good idea at the time- but here we are. Who am I to question myself? In later pieces I did add more details and more in the way of shape, depth, shadows, and general form. But that has a limited effect depending on how well the painting goes and whether or not you’re actually getting the result you want. If you aren’t then there’s very little way to salvage that as you can’t just paint over the blank areas. It’s there. It’s stuck.

The area I’m most pleased with is the nose and the lower facial area. Least pleased with the ears. Then again, it’s a learning experience and I try not to stress over each individual section as much as I probably should as I like to see progression between pieces. Which is pretty hard to do if you’re constantly “fixing” everything.

This is one of the signature pieces that I use for various things in and around the sites. I like it. I’m not completely satisfied with the result and there are things that if I were to approach a new animal portrait I would take into consideration, however, that said, I wouldn’t say I’m dissatisfied. It sits somewhere in and around the same sort of place where other signature pieces are. They’re the things that if someone said “What do you do?” I’d reply with those and say “This is what I do” without hesitation. Most of those pieces are older ones and there are few, if any, of the last two years. I guess that was a better time for me? Or maybe that was my usual time and this is just a worse time?

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.

Sherbet Afro – 2012 – Watercolour – click for full view on site!

Don’t ask what’s in that coffee.

One of the joys of painting with watercolour is how it reacts to the paper. It creates a texture like no other! It’s also really gorgeous to see the different colours swirling together like a prismatic maelstrom. For that reason alone we have this- a skull with a multicoloured afro. As I said, don’t ask what’s in that coffee. The iridescent afro was best approached with watercolour, as there are few other materials I possess that would have been able to create the same effect.

Marker could create a similar effect.

It could also be possibly more appropriate for the skull. But for the overall effect I felt that watercolour was the way to go, as there are ways to strengthen the detailing of the skull if I really wanted to (such as using ink). But, again, I felt that this would be most enjoyable as a pure watercolour piece.

Sherbet Afro – 2012 – WatercolourWhere did the inspiration come from? Places. In my mind. Why did I use this particular style? It looks nice, it’s fairly unique, and it’s something I’m not usually known to do. I’m a little more experienced with the use of colour than I used to be, but I’m not as confident with it as I’d like to be. I don’t tend to use it as much as I probably should. Which is something that I hope that pieces like this will help me with. It would be great if this paved the way for a great many colourful pieces in the future!

This is also one of the few recent watercolour paintings I’ve done without ink.

I’m still keen on using ink with watercolour, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to in order to get a result that I actually like. Which I do. As does my sister who describes it as (and I quote), “a Jimi Hendrix psychedelic cool skull thingy.” She certainly has a way with words, doesn’t she?

Enjoy your Sunday, 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.