A public dumping ground for words and pictures. Contact me at ThomasTamblyn@Gmail.com

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Banshee and Bittervile

This is a banshee, because I was thinking about undead a lot. Sadly she's pretty generic. Still looking for that hook.

I feel bad about the low-cut gown. I think that was a mistake. It looks pretty classless. At least I didn't use the shading layer to define breasts. I want her to be ethereal flowing spirit, so I'm not looking to emphasise any human features. It's not immediately apparent when viewed on her own, but compared to human figures in this style she has circular "creature" eyes and actually has a mouth.

The mouth has a lot more shading detail then normal. It really needed the teeth to sell itself, but defining them with a line seemed too clumsy. However, since I ended up using a dark purple to outline them, I might redo it with lines when I fix the neckline.

My slacker approach to lightning was deliberate this time, because I wanted her to look ethereal. I'm not sure it's the best way to accomplish that, but it seems to work alright.

Now down here we have a bittervile. That's him on the top left. I like those colours; necrotic, ghosty and pepperminty.. Top right is a recolour I did because I wanted to see what it looked like in fire. The answer is "boring". The other two are just me playing around. Flamey/energy things are the easiest to recolour. Something about those flowing pointy shapes begs to be hue-shifted. Same happened to the werewolf with his jaggy fur.

Bittervile is a good name. If I'm going to have the convention that a *-vile is an elemental creature with a skeleton, then bitter is nine times more fun than "necro-" or "morti-"as a prefix.

The linework is pretty simple but I feel like there's a good energy in the twisting flames. The spinal column's unconvincing; I think the perpendicular lines should have been slightly curved. The skull's weird shape I'm ok with as it's meant to be a spirit rather than a physical skull. Those teeth are wrong though. I got confused and arrayed the lines rather than the teeth themselves. Silly me.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


These are what I made of the "liche WIP" I mentioned before. I'm not sure exactly what they are. Probably undead, certainly death-themed. Some kind of evil wizard or overlord? I'm happy enough with these guys that I want to make an undead theme just to give them a home. I don't want it to be moring and generic though. Maybe if I come up with an interesting hook. Focusing on the "death elemental" aspect rather than walking corpses? I'm not sure. It'd need to incorporate the bloaters too.

I like yhe way that their horns aren't lazily symmetrical pairs. The way the colours give them substantially different looks while staying on-theme. #1's golden belt buckle thing is a bit weak compared to the floating details on the other two (tattered cloak and gorget). I got a nice gleaming gold effect on #1 and the shine on #2's horns is cute too.

#2's eyeball-on-a-staff has more detail than usual. I just couldn't get it to work without both defining and detailing the iris. #3's staff caused problems because the skull on it was drawing too much attention from his real head. I darkened it right down and nixed all detail shading from it. After that, the glowy eyes in his helmet seemed to do the trick.

Bonus!  A dapper cindergroom. Doesn't he look civilised? See this is what I mean when I mention an interesting hook. Like the way my fire elementals are very proper gentlemen. I'm not sure how to justify it except that it appeals to me.

No variants for him. The more minimalist a design, the harder it is to mix up. I couldn't bear to ruin the cut of his suit. Ok there's something odd going on with his inside leg but I'm willing to overlook it for now.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Angry kiln

Not sold on the name, but he's a clay golem with a fire in his belly. Fire belly? Kiln-gut? Chamber core? The pot that walks?

It's meant to look like his body is malleable clay with the head amorphously twisting out of it. His hands (on the other hand...) he's baked in his belly until they're hard. I think the legs are pre-baked to withstand the kiln's weight and heat.

I want the head to be the soft part, so maybe I shouldn't have put the fire in his eye. And his fingers appear to be spoons. I tried a variety of shapes for the fingers, but theses are what worked best so I went with them.

The blue shape behind him is... well I don't know what it is but it makes him present a little nicer I think. There's probably a name for them that I don't know of. Better than a zoom layer and doesn't require actual effort like a background would.

I've had the "internal furnace" idea for a while. My first try was this burly architect but he looked better as a strange alien. Glad I finally got a furnace-belly done finally - I like the imagery.

I'm pelased with the shape of his body. The sketch started out as exploring those curvy hips and stubby legs. The slightly pointed shoulders made me think of clay and so I added the head and then the belly.

Moderate success!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Lots of things I don't like about these. I didn't exactly rush them, but I forced myself to keep moving rather than dwelling and fixing because I worried I'd abandon them before I got them looking good.

So first, the things I do like:

The name. "Bloaters" is so perfect I'm surprised it's not been used before - slang for their fatness but also what can happen to a corpse after death. The patterns of ... lividity maybe? The patterns around their tumescent growths are cute and evocative of their deadness. To a lesser extent the blotchiness around the gaping wounds, though I worry that two different patterns of the same colour is too much fussy detail. And #3's hair. Patchy hair is something I've not done before. Finally, those cute stubby little legs.

Things I don't like

The way #2 looks like an apple core. I went overboard with the gaping wounds there but it wasn't entirely apparent until after colouring. Could probably lose the rightmost and shrink the centre one. As is it looks like his bottom half is pulling away from his torso, which isn't what I wanted. And a bit too gross besides.

Lack of swappable detail. it's heads and bodies only. I suppose the torn trouser patterns are unique too, but nobody but me will ever notice those. I'd like to have had two sets of detail on each body - chest and belly maybe.

The detail inside the wounds. Did not know what I was doing there. #1's is brainish and #3 is gutsish, but I think that's trying too hard for this style. Something less distinct would be more suitable. I need to play around and come up with something that looks suitably stylised and evocative. #2's blobby mess isn't doing it for me either.

Their wrists. I've taken them a step too far from being stick-men. The arms should have slimmed down to lines before they reached the hands. It's important to stay away from the awkward middle ground between stylised and explicit.

Finally, identity. I didn't decide what I was drawing other than "fat zombie" and so they're all over the place in character. The wounds imply fantasy necromantic zombies, but the infected blobs imply disease zombies. They might make good surgical zombies if I swapped out the blobs and wounds for stitches and patchwork. Lots of lovely space for that sort of detail. Maybe give them fuses and have them be walking bombs. Possibilities.

Not sure if I even want to do traditional necromantic undead as a theme. It's so very tired. I like the way I have things at the moment where zombies and the undead crop up as part of some other themes. I do have a funky liche WIP I mean to come back to, but he's not enough to hang a theme on. Also skeletons are crazy-hard to do when even the living are stick men.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Squamus magi

Tarted up from the first squagus. Though now I look back at him there's some niceness that got lost along the way. The original isn't staring into the camera, which makes the pose look more natural. On the other hand, head-on view gives them a priestly air.

It took a long while to get three compatible variations that I was happy with. I'm still not certain what #2's back fins are, or exactly how #3's tail is coiled but I can live with it. The first one is still my favourite. I completed him, colours and all, before even the linework for the other two.

Number three had to be hue-shifted at the last minute because I'd accidentally coloured him like a dratini (pokemon). This fleshy pink suits him.

There were a few patches of detail that I decided to remove. Mottling on the tentacles and so forth. Id gone too far and it made the few flat areas look bad. Even now #2's borderline overwhelming.

Conceptually these are the priests of the sea cult, devotees of the elder fish god. They don't fight, they just summon and inspire their minions. They might also have creepy fish-god magic such as ink clouds or a hypnotic gaze.

Friday, 10 February 2012


I was so pleased with the new hospital staff I've made recently that I took a crack at revamping the mad docs. Sadly it didn't work out, but I recovered these from the ashes:

They use their syringe guns to inject people with dangerous helpful medications.

I like them overall, but there's a few issues. #1's goggles are a bit too space-man, #2 needs more line detail on the and #3 just lacks pizzaz.

I do like the fluids in the guns - the laval-lamp style blobbing makes it look nice and toxic.Unsure about #2's zipper along the neckline. Might be too subtle. Maybe I should have made the zipper a line-detail? The guns are cute and their beige plastic + bright rubberised grips colour scheme is perfectly on-theme.

I'm wondering whether I should try harder to unify the colour schemes across variations. It depends on exactly what they end up getting used for, but  if they're all just different looks for the same game entity then it's important that you recognise them easily. On the other hand maybe I could turn the bug into a feature and make variations mechanically different. I don't know.

Also "medicators" is a lacklustre name. I thought about making them phlebotomists and making the syringe guns full of blood, but I really wanted some drug-injecty guys. Vaccinators is inappropriate because the meaning is too specific. Pharmacists maybe? Ooh - ballistic pharmacists? That has potential. Not there yet but along the right lines.