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.

To Ink a Deathclaw

An ill advised pursuit at best.

The phrasing could be misconstrued to suggest that the deathclaw is getting a tattoo, which would also likely be an ill advised pursuit. Unless you’d enjoy being eviscerated by a colossal lizard in an irradiated hell. Then it’s probably pretty fun. In any case, this is a digital work in progress that doesn’t feature any actual ink- but it’s the best parallel I’ve got to lining a piece crisply and cleanly. In many ways this is also the complete opposite of what I’d do traditionally, lacking many of the intricate and busy details.

Which might not be an entirely bad thing, either.

I’ve wanted to try and use less details in some pieces to get a feeling of how that would change the presentation, composition, and level of quality. I wasn’t necessarily hoping to do this digitally, but when the opportunity arrived (and the original approach wasn’t working out) it seemed to fit. It does look incredibly weird to me, though. I’m used to lines and whatnot being everywhere!

It’s also taking a fair amount of time to get even the basic elements looking as I would like them to. This is nothing new with digital illustrating or painting for me, which is something I’m heavily considering the reasons for with each new piece. In comparison to traditional art many of these pieces take several times longer. In all the worst ways. This could be inexperience with digital approaches showing through, or it may be an indication that I might need a higher specification tablet, as I currently use a Wacom Bamboo, and I’m not sure if that’s meeting my needs any more. Normally I would refuse that suggestion as even being a possibility but there might be some truth to it. I’ve been thinking about upgrading to an Intuos at some point anyway.

That’s quite an impressive maw you’ve got there.

There is definitely a disconnection somewhere between my brain, my hand, and my tablet. Something isn’t working as intended. Which, again, could simply be that the pressure sensitivity isn’t as good on a Wacom Bamboo. I know it isn’t via the technical specifications. But I also know that you don’t need the best materials to create high quality art. One of the things that novice artists tend to assume is that they need the highest quality everything immediately, which, in skilled hands, does provide higher quality results, but will not immediately make you a better artist.

An understanding of fundamental concepts will always take you further.

Which is why I’m committed to seeing this through to the end. I’d like to know whether the problem exists within my approach (which is likely) or whether it exists as a result of my tools (which could be likely). In either case, I’m not going to invest in an Intuos any time soon and I’ve already made great progress over the last year with digital art. So we’ll keep going.

I do enjoy working with digital approaches and I see an incredible amount of potential in them. They’re also helping me appreciate my traditional pieces in a new light. It’s an interesting side step towards something that is fundamentally the same but provides a different challenge, which, hopefully if I pursue it further, will make me a better artist overall. I’m not really sure where this piece is going in the future, either. I will more than likely finish it as a lined piece. I’ve been talking to someone I know (who does great deathclaw pieces) to add some colour to it when I’m done. I think their approach would suit much better than mine would. It would also be a learning experience to see how they would approach this piece (likely differently to me).

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 4, Deathclaws, Super Mutants, Pip-Boys, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Pug Life

I didn’t choose it- it chose me.

Here’s a digital painting that I’ve been working on recently. Which, because I’m writing this post, will never be finished. Or at least that’s what the general trend with my digital painting efforts would lead me to believe. That said, it’s not as a result of writing posts that digital paintings are likely to never be finished- it’s instead that because the painting is likely to never be finished that I decide to draft the post. If nothing else it allows me to use some of these attempts in a constructive way that’s conducive to further progression.

However, I’m still hopeful that this piece will be finished at some point.

I can’t say when that point will be and whether it’s in the immediate future or not. I’ve reached that (commonly arrived at) moment where I’m not sure how best to continue with this particular piece. It’s reasonably obvious that the next stages would be in painting the beige and cream fur on their face, it’s not as obvious, however, how I would go about doing that.

Which is another event I’ve identified as a quite common occurrence with my digital painting attempts. Each has their own moment where I suffer from my inexperience and am unable to move forward in a way that I feel represents the overall quality until that moment, thereby reducing the likelihood it will be finished and further adding to the innumerable list of abandoned pieces. Many of which were highlighted in Multiple Attempts. Again, that post exists for the sole reason of giving a visual indicator of the state of many of the previously mentioned digital paintings. In a way further reinforcing the point I’m making here, as, without some indicator of progression, it could be hard to understand the dissatisfaction (for lack of a better word) I have for them.

Fluffiness rising.

Fluffiness rising.

I also realise that digital painting has been a topic that I’ve returned to several times. Each time I’ve had a different opinion, a different approach, and a different way to solve the various issues as I perceive them to be at the time. I don’t disagree with anything I’ve said, either. This is (as I see it) part of the creative progression process. Exploring different options, using different approaches, exploring new materials, and understanding the results of those decisions are all important components in getting the results you want.

Not that I have been getting the results I want.

Then again, I have started to notice that as I’ve worked on this piece I’ve slowly begun to understand more about how all of the different pieces of digital painting come together. Most notably I’ve noticed many improvements by working with a larger canvas. I usually work with something reasonably large- but it would seem that bigger is better in this case.

I’m also starting to piece together a consistent illustrative style which isn’t too realistic but acts as a decent foundation for further improvement. Whether I’d like to move towards realism, towards coloured lined pieces, or towards something in the middle I’ve not decided yet. But I do find myself feeling more comfortable with digital painting. I’ve also felt my general brush/pen control has improved. Again, in comparison to traditional pieces, this process is accelerated to a significant degree, as I’ve been working with these digital paintings for just over a year. Which is why I’m not entirely disappointed in the results, as I’m aware that it will take significantly more time and investment before I’m seeing the results that (at the moment) seem almost unobtainable.

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.

Building an Abomination

The left leg is connected to the right shoulder blade.

That’s a pretty funny looking abomination. Then again- try to knock him down! See how he gets along just fine scuttling away like a malicious crab with his back legs? Who’s laughing now, huh? Probably not you. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. It’s okay, I don’t know either. You’re in for a treat, though. This is one of the rare times I’ll be able to throw together a traditional art work in progress post. Rare due to the fact that they’re cumbersome to create. All that scanning, cropping, and stopping.

Much easier to do with digital painting.

Pencil is one of the most forgiving materials for this sort of thing, though. It’s also been a while since we’ve had any exclusively pencil pieces here or on the site. So you’ll not only get to see progression, but you’ll also get an idea of where my pencil style could possibly be going. Honestly, I like leaning on the shading a little heavier than I probably should.

I’ve mentioned before that my pencil style is a great indicator of how much I’ve changed. I once had a very different idea of the style I wanted, I also had a different idea of how to achieve that style and how to bring materials together. To make sure they work together with the least resistance. However, we’ve seen great changes in the way I approach ink pieces. Ink used to be entirely consistent with pencil, too. Very light, crisp, empty lines. Developed into heavier, fluid, intricate lines. I’m still humouring the notion that ink may one day replace pencil as my primary choice of material. Not that the notion is very humorous these days. It’s actually very likely to happen.

An entirely malignant growth.

An entirely malignant growth.

This is a slightly different kind of paper than what I’d usually use, too. This is an older cartridge paper which is much heavier, much smoother, and more akin to bristol board than cartridge paper. As that is traditionally much lighter with a stronger texture. Or, at least, the cartridge paper I’ve used in the past was. I’m not entirely sure if I’m happier without the texture or whether the texture adds something to the piece. It’s easier to get smoother, fluid, consistent shading without the texture.

But textures are my jam.

I put them on bread late at night when I’m peckish and the pantry is empty. That said, the smoothness of the paper does allow me to transition to ink with little risk of damaging any of the nibs scratching against the texture. Especially that lil’ 0.05 nib. It’s so precious- I must protect it at all costs!

Those who are curious as to what this abomination actually is, well, that’s exactly what it is- an abomination. Those familiar with the Warcraft universe will most likely know of their existence. This is the famous named abomination Stitches. Referenced from his Heroes of the Storm standard skin. But still entirely relevant to the World of Warcraft incarnation. Abominations feature quite heavily around the frosty wastes of Icecrown (and pretty much everywhere the Scourge reside). They’re big, they’re tough, and they’ll hook you if you’re not careful. They only want to hug you, though. It gets cold out in Icecrown and they find little company amongst the legions of the Scourge. The hook just makes the hug happen that much quicker.

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.

World of Warcraft, Abominations, Stitches, Disease Expulsion, 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.

Leopard Warlock

Ever seen a leopard summon demons?

Those who have read Fluffy Chops will be aware that I’m working on a new digital piece. It’s quite an interesting piece as I’m slowly getting an idea of what makes up my digital style. Oddly, it’s completely contradictory to my traditional style(s). In that digital is more of a whirlwind of colours and textures, while traditional is (for the most part) careful and precise with intricate detailing to create unique compositions. That said- I’m glad. I’m really glad this is starting to make sense now.

It’s interesting seeing the piece evolve, too.

Leopard WarlockI’m not sure what it will look like when it’s finished, though. There are definitely hints of that careful, precise, and intricate detailing coming through. Especially with the lower mouth as it looks so fluffy like that. I’m not sure what my fascination is with fluffy things, either. It seems to be a trend in recent digital pieces at least.

I mostly wanted to share another work in progress of this piece as I feel this one is more coherent. It’s easier to see what it should be, how it will develop, and what it could potentially look like. You can also get a feeling for the size of the piece. The ears are interesting in this respect, as I originally planned to crop them out of the final presentation but I might leave them in. They too are so fluffy. I can’t exactly give a date for when this will be finished, though. I haven’t been feeling too well recently which has led to me not working on it as much as I would have liked to. Which, yes, is an excuse- but it’s hard to paint when you can barely see straight. Or paint in a straight line when you can’t stop sneezing.

Those who have been following the recent WoW: Adventures in Azeroth series will recognise my Orc Warlock below. Or, they won’t. As I’ve never actually shared anything regarding him. I wanted to do a few traditional doodles to stretch my traditional muscles. They’re not very big. Sadly. Though they’re more developed than my digital muscles. Like some sort of artistic behemoth with four arms, two for each discipline, both like noodles and unable to pump iron. Or pencils. I don’t know what I’d lift as an artistic body builder.

Leopard WarlockEasels? Supply boxes? Piles of sketchbooks?

I wanted to get that looser, lighter, sketchy style back. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to use that one reliably. I’d say it was a moderate success but needs work. Especially in terms of being able to carry the looseness over to the inking, which is often a little more rigid. It doesn’t feel as natural to me. But I’m sure I can fix that. Possibly. Maybe.

I think I’ve realised recently that when you lose something of significance that all of the things that used to seem so important no longer do. I’m not sure if it’s the urge to be comforted, or simply that you reassess what you’ve got and what that actually means. Or maybe you never cared that these things were pointless or worthless because you always had that something of significance. It’s an odd mental state to find yourself in. There’s definitely an element of despair, of sorrow, and of loss. But… it’s oddly motivating. In that creating things feels so natural that you want to create something good from all of those negative emotions. Almost as if I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t create something.

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.

World of Warcraft, Thrall’s Balls, Gnomish Engineering, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

Fluffy Chops

The fluffiest of chops.

One of my primary weaknesses with digital art is actually drawing anything. So- how about we combine something traditional with something digital? It seems like a fairly logical and straightforward idea, right? But let’s take this one step further and suggest the marriage of a traditional style and a digital approach. This piece has been sitting in my folder of collected artistry (which should totally be what that folder is called) for about four years.

I originally intended to continue forward with Faber Castell Polychromos.

But it does present a rather interesting opportunity to dive straight into this concept of combining pencil sketches with digital colour. Those who’ve been here for a while may remember I attempted something similar with Painting Pencil. However, here, we’re not using the pencil as a base for anything. It will be entirely painted over.

It’s also entirely unlikely I’ll return to this piece after four years and continue as was. It could be incredibly useful for this particular experiment, though. As I don’t need to worry about preparing something new. Which is one of the reasons I like to scan in various sketches and scribbles that I don’t use otherwise, as they’re useful for times like these. Where I like the sketch or scribble but don’t have any immediate plans for it but could one day. Some of them are also useful in the creation of new ideas as I’ll like the concept, or the style, or even the combination of the two- but it’s not where I’d like it to be yet. Basically it’s a huge balancing act.

That's a nice nose- but how does it smell?

That’s a nice nose- but how does it smell?

It gives me an opportunity to make more work in progress content, too. I know some people like to see that. Of which, regarding digital art, we have quite a lot more than expected this year. It’s difficult to find a point at which I’m happy sharing a work in progress, though. The first of which for this piece was a disembodied floating nose. I have a very traditional painting process whereby I don’t lay down a lot of base colours. At least not until I’m ready to use them. As I find the piece evolves more organically that way.

But I did try to fill out the face.

In terms of composition, compared to the original piece this version will likely be a little smaller as I’m still getting used to the process and the intricacies of the subject matter. I’ve not even started the advanced fur patterns yet. Still, I’m hoping it will be a fairly sizeable piece when complete. Also, as always, this is subject to change.

I can never make up my mind about anything when it comes to these sorts of things. I’ve been mulling over the style for a while, too. I like the texture that’s currently present for the fur and that nose is probably the best nose I’ve ever drawn. Human or animal. Not too keen on the eye. As it feels like it stands out too much. It doesn’t flow with the organic shapes created by the fur texture, either. Still, that’s the joy of digital art. I can always disable those layers, add new ones, paint a new eye, see if it’s any better, and then decide which I want to use. I’ll be working on this when I feel it’s appropriate to do so over the next week or so. Could be done sooner, could be done later- I can’t say either way. Unfortunately.

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.