I was gonna do thunder gods, but eventually settled on this. Lots of crosshatching in both the traditional and the digital realm, and I’m not sure it was worth it.
This looks like a traditional piece but about half the work was done in digital and this involved scaling the figures and creating the reflection in the water. I would have done a few things differently today: for example I would have added some gray tones to the cloud and I think the lightning flashes should be more central to the drawing.
The original prompt was “Stretch” but that didn’t inspire me. Seeing elongated forms in other people’s submissions reminded me of a short vignette I wrote in Facebook comments a few weeks ago involving “Phil the milkman”, whose beard trailed behind him out of the window of his truck.
I am not a car person, and it shows. I only draw cars about once a decade. But milk trucks can be pretty cute. This one is actually a hybrid of two different cars that I found online, one of which was used by the actual oldest milkman in Britain, who, disappointingly, did not have a long beard. Indian ink on illustration board; first drawing with no smudges, smears or blobs.
And the story of Phil the Milkman as told in Facebook comments:
…I was disappointed that when Phil the milkman showed up in his van, he wasn’t a 100-year-old guy who’d been delivering milk since 1935.
I mean, just imagine Geezer Phil tootling by in his milk van, his floor-length beard flowing in the wind out of the open window, hoppety-skipping out with two bottles in one hand, in and out before the customer’s rottweiler has even noticed him. He’s an absolute legend, is Phil the milkman.
When Phil gets back in his van, his bakelite carphone rings. It’s his mum. She asks him to pick up some parsnips from Farmer Cyril, not the crappy supermarket ones but the cultivar Farmer Cyril developed in 1914, because those modern ones just don’t have the bite. Phil grumbles about the extra round trip but he doesn’t want to disappoint his mum, because she’s not going to be with us forever, is she? Besides, Farmer Cyril is a card, always ready with a great story from his days at Klondike or the Crimean War. They just don’t make guys like that anymore.
But when he arrives at Farmer Cyril’s Parsnip Growery, Farmer Cyril is unusually subdued. “I am feeling poorly,” says Farmer Cyril. “Can you take care of Minnie for a few days?” He holds up a small crate containing one black-and-white cat that looks like it’s inexpertly sown together from parts of other cats. Minnie the cat slowly looks up with her one good, yellow eye, as she continues gumming at a freshly-killed mouse that she’s taken into the cat carrier with her.
“Blimey, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Postman Alfie? He’s more of a cat person.”
“Postman Alfie has sadly passed away,” answers Cyril.
“Cor, when did that happen?” asks Phil.
“September 9. 1958.”
“He’ll be in no condition to take care of Minnie then.”
So Farmer Cyril bounces back into his van carrying a small sack of parsnips and a cat carrier with an elderly cat gumming away at a dead mouse with an air of malevolent indifference. In the distance, a bagpipe plays the sea shanty “Mrs. McGrath” at a tempo that is far too slow and a pitch that is far too high.
“Mum, we have a visitor,” says Phil as he drops the parsnips on the kitchen countertop. As Phil’s mum wheels into the kitchen, her old eyes brighten. “Minnie! I haven’t seen you in forever! Is Farmer Cyril all right?”
“He’ll be fine in a few days, he reckons.”
“What’s that in your mouth, Minnie? Oh, that poor thing!”
Phil’s mum reaches into the cat carrier, grabs the mouse in her hand, and brings it close to her face. She whispers a few words that Phil cannot make out, then blows on the mouse, which perks up and bounds away.
“Phil, pass me the towel. The old girl had slobbered all over that mouse.”
Phil hands his mother a towel. “That was a kind thing to do, mum,” he says. “Dad would have been proud.”
Phil’s mum nods. “He always used to say ‘Gladys,’ he’d say, ‘what is a person if they’re not kind?’ And he lived up to that until his last dyin’ breath.” She chokes up. Phil turns away and sees that Minnie the cat, still confined to her cat carrier, is mumbling on a freshly-killed mouse. This mouse’s fur is brown and dry.
In the distance, a child’s voice warbles “London Bridge is Falling Down” off-key and very slowly. But no children live here. No one has been born here in ages.
The faerie Sash normally wears squirrel hats that are literally the skin of a whole squirrel converted to millinery. However, the porcupine hat she saves for special occasions needed to be cut down to size to fit her head. It’s still a pretty dashing piece of headgear and protects against goblins.
I was going to be away for two days, but I realized that I had this lying around and it fit the prompt. A ten-years-old sketch that I had scanned just a few weeks ago while scanning the first batch of Inktober works, and then inked on my iPad for fun, so all the inks were even done during the month. Digital, Autodesk Sketchbook on iPad Pro.
This is how I kept a webcomic going on a grueling schedule in the early 2000s: by repurposing existing, half-finished work whenever the need arose. And as part of my Inktober efforts, I scanned a whole bunch of art from 2008-2012 that I may end up using in some form or another.
Publically, the witch credited her youthful looks to weekly mud baths in a secret, secluded spot. It was an easier explanation for people to deal with than the true one, and it’s not as if she didn’t have the weekly mud baths, so she might as well roll with it.
All-digital ink because I’m still low on time (and also coming down with something nasty) and don’t want to have to deal with drying times and having to fix smears and smudges. I think my artistic peak as far as this Inktober event is concerned may be behind me already.
Letting your roadies get drunk while touring is a mistake that can lead to other, expensive mistakes.
I have plans for tonight, so I knocked this one out super-quick. I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet! Fineliners on sketchbook paper, cleaned up minimally and caption added in Autodesk Sketchbook.
Well, this is a bit of a downer, maybe. But suddenly, I have recurring, individual characters.
What I wrote about this at the time:
I’ve been wanting to do some hand lettering for some time now. I’m…not good at it, but these days, hand lettering is a rare sight in comics online and even bad, sloppy lettering still has more character than digital. Don’t expect me to make this a regular thing though, because hand lettering is also very tedious, time-consuming work and less clean and flexible than digital. Indian ink, illustration board, digital edits in Autodesk Sketchbook, yada yada.
This one looks better to me now than it did back in October. I like the detail of the second guitar waiting for the performer behind the stack of amplifiers.
What I wrote about this at the time:
Indian ink on illustration board; cleaned in Autodesk Sketchbook; also shaded in Sketchbook using six values of Copic Cool Grey: C0, C2, C4, C6, C8 and C10. I thought it’d be fun to use one of Senshistock on DeviantArt‘s poses at least once during this month.
When I saw the “Scorched” prompt, I thought “haven’t we done this one already?” and after thinking about it for some time, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to have another stab at the scene from the “Roasted” prompt. So here’s our hapless alchemist one more time.
India ink on illustration board, touch-ups in Autodesk Sketchbook.
This one is one of my favorites from Inktober 2018, and led to a follow-up in November, because I liked these characters so much my brain started running. This is not necessarily a healthy situation.
What I wrote about this at the time:
It was that time of night again at the dive. Maybe Tag had said the wrong thing at the right time, or Zig had looked at someone funny. Whatever the reason, others at the bar were coming for them. Tag hadn’t prepared for a brawl but honestly he never needed to, as long as he didn’t order his beer from the tap. Zig, on the other hand, had packed her favorite gear.
Indian ink on illustration board, smears and smudges cleaned in Autodesk Sketchbook, no time to do the background.
Indian ink and copic markers on illustration board, digital touchups in Autodesk Sketchbook on iPad. Working in wet media late in the day meant that I had to wait overnight before scanning this, so it’s late. Will try to catch up.