Archive for kids

BLEEEAAAAARRRGH!!!!! (That’s zombie for “I’m back!”)

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Defiant Development, Drawings, Gormenghast, Heroes Call, Skyrim, Video Games, Welkyn Winwillow with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by gladlad

Hello, Internetland!  I missed you ohsoverymuch!

Hopefully you were busy and having lots of fun while I was away, gettin’ all dolled up and paintin’ the town shades of red not often seen in more run-of-the-mill town-painting hijinks.  As per myself, I have been up to things.  Secret things.  Missteeriusssssss things.  Also boring things and normal things.  But I’ve been drawing!

And not only have I been drawing, but April brought a couple of REALLY cool things:

– my kids’ birthdays, who are now 6 and 8 (obligatory parental age awareness shockwave), with attached first-time trip to Underwater World at the Mall of America (I refuse to use its newer, boring-er moniker).  This younger guy who worked there developed a man-crush on me as we went through the underwater observation tube after he caught me excitedly telling my kids nerd-facts about all the various sea-creatures we were watching, and proceeded to follow me all through the exhibit telling me I should get a job there and making sure I witnessed the (admittedly incredible) 9-foot, elderly alligator gar.  He came right out at one point and confessed “I’m gonna follow you on into the rainforest exhibit… because I really like talking to you!”  He was actually really nice.  But a little uncomfortable.  Whoever you are, you ROCK, my fishy friend.

– As if to offset the shock of how old I’m getting, I super-surprise landed a job drawing pictures for a *REAL* *LIVE* VIDEO GAME!!!  Holy freaking crap!!!!!!!  And it’s all thanks to this very WordPress blog!  Thank you WordPress!  Some guys from Defiant Development in Australia were Googling images to fit their new dungeon-crawler for iOS called “Heroes Call”, and stumbled on my old sketch of Gormenghast.  They asked if they could use it for a loading screen image, and then asked if I’d be willing to draw any more!  Of course, I told them that their petty, handheld game held no interest for a pro-league craftsman like myself– actually, I pretty much just rolled around on the floor and begged them to let me do anything they asked.  It’s a good think we weren’t Skyping…  Here are the images we ended up with:

It was extra awesome because they wanted all of them to be really raw and sketchy, like the Gormenghast image, so I got to hone my brush skills a little!  Man, brush pens are FUN.  If you like drawing, you should get the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  *NOW.*  It’s the handy-dandiest thing EVER.  Anywho, I just finished those up and will see how they look ingame soon.  I think I’ll be able to post a video of it in action in a little bit!  Until then, you can see more drawings from my creation process with those over at my *b-r-a-n-d* *n-e-w*……..

DeviantArt gallery!  Yep, I finally got the motivationalness to throw a whole bunch of crap into one gallery space, and DeviantArt is a good place to do it.  I have been SO inspired by SO many awesome artists there that I took a long time to feel brave enough to post anything along the likes of some of those picture-masters.  But I did it, and it rocks.  Head on over and take a look!

– I got Skyrim a few months ago, and got REALLY really really excited about it for a while.  I mean, I still am, but holy buckets was I ever liking playing that game.  It’s really great.  I liked it so much, in fact, that I started a whole new blog just to write a journal based on my character’s adventures.  It didn’t last very long but writing from that goofy POV and taking screenshots for it was really fun, and I might pick it back up again at some point just for the joy of creative writing.  If you really want to see just how nerdy I can get, take a gander at the mishaps and mayhem of the incredible WELKYN WINWILLOW!

I really do want to keep this blog updated better, so here’s hoping.  I actually have a couple more recent drawings to post, so I’ll do that soon.  Until then, choose a nice shade of red for me!

Skull Island

Posted in Drawings, Gormenghast, Literature, Movies, Skull Island with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by gladlad

For the last year I’ve been, periodically, telling my kids bedtime stories loosely based on King Kong.  I love pretty much every version of that movie, and it affords a wealth of ideas for cliffhanger moments; a whole island full of whatever crazy monster and dinosaur you can think of.  My kids call them “Skull Island stories”, and at first they followed the original Kong storyline pretty well, albeit with names changed and far fewer gruesome deaths.  But after months of the fearless ship and film crews searching for Kong’s lair where the actress is stuck alternately fighting and bonding with the gorilla, it started getting a little stale.

There were no children in the original King Kong story, so I though it’d be fun to introduce a little tribal girl named Kita from the walled island city.  She knows about the island and how dangerous it is, but after a mishap involving her doll, she gets stuck outside the city wall and has to get back in somehow.  And on Skull Island, nothing’s ever easy.

I’ve been meaning to hone my brushwork, so I finally drew a picture from our stories.  Here’s Kita and her doll getting swept out to sea in the throes of a suprised python at the base of the city wall.  (Just before this, she was riding a giant ant through the jungle, which I think I’ll draw next.)

In other news, I have been absolutely LOVING the novel ‘Titus Groan’, the first of the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake.  The story is about a handful of characters living their day-to-day lives within the massive, sprawling (like, city-sized) castle of Gormenghast.  I had first heard about this series in a book called, appropriately enough, ‘Castles’ illustrated by one of my art heroes, Alan Lee.  ‘Castles’ is a kind of visual encycopedia of famous castles from world fiction and mythology, and Gormenghast caught my attention due to its description of castle-as-world instead of a simple building within a larger story.  But Castles didn’t prepare me for the oppressively sumptuous writing this book contains.  Peake is a wordcrafter.  He is a sentence-sculptor; a paragraph alchemist.  He wields English like a sensual brush dripping with dark, brooding intensity.  There are no words to describe his words.

The book begins as playful, even cartoonish, and then begins to twist and wrap itself around itself; simple caricatures of characters so idiotic in their exaggerated weirdness gradually solidifying into intensely, horribly fleshed-out individual personalities much deeper than you are prepared to be faced with.  And the description!  The metaphors and similes, the alliterations and onomatopoeia…  It’s like drinking a book made out of dark, spooky, ancient wine made from fruit you’ve never heard of before because it’s from a black hole.  It is a gothic, somber beauty, made even more impressive after seeing Peakes original sketches of his characters.  For the love of all that’s literary, go look at them, man!  He was a writer-artist, of a sort not seen very often at all.  And certainly not in 1946!  It’s like e. e. cummings and H. P. Lovecraft went to William Burroughs’ opium den together and came out with a book-baby, delivered by Dr. Seuss.  And then it’s… not like that at all.

Anyway, it’s (insert hugely understated superlative here).