Thursday, August 1, 2013

Body language sketch dump!

Body language is important! My goal is for every character to be recognizable just by their silhouette. Too lofty? I will at least try. Here's some Prince Waldimar, first of all. A little bit hunched, a little bit slouched, but not too much - he's royalty, after all.

A little too handsome in this profile shot, perhaps:

And then Rada. She's a pain. I might just be particular, but I feel there needs to be a balance to her that my pencil really needs to work to achieve. She's kind of rigid. There's confidence, but there's also insecurity - she's very much not on home turf. She's furious and terrified and overwhelmed and trying to keep a stone face over it all.

The Castle

Not much to say at this point (although wait until you see the BACK of it!). I wanted it to be huge and foreboding, if not outright forbidding. Got to practice perspective and study castle architecture and it was an absolute blast. So much fun.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I decided to do a practice run of the first five pages of the script. Here's an excerpt. I plan on using greytones or perhaps bluetones to add some literal depth to the thing. 


I might do more thorough character sheets closer to the actual due date, but here's what I have for now. The ones I've gotten around to name were done so according to the first-thing-that-comes-into-your-head principle. They might be subject to change.

The Heir - a young squirt. Proud, curious, rebellious.

Benjamin Dewey, of Tragedy Series fame, named this one Herbert, so there you go. Not quite a father figure to Rada, but an ally at least. 

Irene is sweet and quiet for the most part. The scars on her left side are from a man-o-war.

The long-suffering Queen. 
Head Chancellor Kor. Not happy with Rada at all, for reasons.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Deadbeat Prince.

Prince Waldimar (Rada's target) and his bodyguards. The guy on the right's name is Eskil. I don't know the name of the other one yet. He has a tendency to talk a lot and somehow that's led to no one ever saying his name. I'll figure it out.
Waldimar has had a great night before and I don't know whose coat he's found, but it's clearly not fitted for him. He may or may not have lost money to the guy on the left and that may or may not be why said guy is whistling.

Prince Waldimar has been a breeze to write, unlike SOME characters.

Monday, June 3, 2013


This was an exercise in various things (light/dark, composition, texture, etc). It was humbling realizing just how hard it can be to properly render billowing smoke.
This is an actual scene from the story, but the design of the site could use some sprucing up. Hydrothermal vents are much more graphically interesting in real life. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Home of the merpeople.

I wanted the design to be stark and kind of crude, conveying a people that are still at the mercy of the elements and possibly nomadic. Their individual homes are the small holes in the mountain wall and the larger caverns are public gathering halls.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Our protagonist. Roll the 'r' and say "ahhh".

I wanted a mermaid design that seemed more like something that could actually live in the ocean, than a lonely sailor's wet dream.When I first designed the facial structure, back in highschool, I thought of sharks, but it ended up looking more like a cat's face. Fine by me, it means I have reference handy.

I might add some rank markings eventually, but for now, I like her sleek and clean.
Let's not question the tiny stick - I just wanted her to have something to hold and I haven't designed the merpeople's weapons yet.

The merpeople's eyes are reflective, they can NOT breathe above water and they communicate telepathically.They have very sharp teeth, with two extra long canines that tuck into their lower jaw. I figure that their skeleton is cartilaginous, like sharks, but I have yet to read up on whether that would work well with having arms. (It has no bearing on the story, I just like to know these things.)

Rada as a human:

Not terribly much to add without spoiling things. I wanted her to look solid and strong and worker-ish without making her look like a powerhouse. 
Her face has been giving me trouble lately, especially in inks. Not sure why.
I need to devote plenty of doodle time to it until it's second nature.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Coming up.

Shake it out.

The story didn't really come together until I put on Florence & the Machine's "Ceremonials". It really inspired the tone of the thing and after twelve hours sitting with a Word document, it was done! Well, as done as it can be at that stage. I had the bones and the sinews and a pretty firm idea of what this baby was going to look like.

I did not write a full script, exactly. Instead I sat down with the outline and started sketching full-size (8.5"x11") thumbnails of each page. It might be too time-consuming a process to make a habit, but I wanted to really see how the words and art worked together right away, and solve the worst layout problems before I sat down to do the finished art. 

Right in the middle of all this, I developed tennis elbow and couldn't draw or write for six months. As insufferable as I was, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise - since I couldn't do much more than read, I found myself plowing through books I'd impatiently ignored before; books like "Story" by Robert McKee and "Bambi vs Godzilla" by David Mamet. I learned that Hollywood sucks and that my story needed a lot of work.

For six months, I moped and mulled it over in my head. It improved! Now, the first full set of thumbnails are awaiting review from my husband, the sagacious Jesse Hamm. (Who is also giving my blog the once-over, apparently.) Until he can find a gap in his busy schedule, though, I will have to get cracking on character designs and  scenery. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

What if the little mermaid became human in order to kill the prince?

That was the premise for a graphic novel I wrote and penciled back in high school and, frankly, it wasn't very good. I stashed it into a folder somewhere and went on with life, but the premise wouldn't leave me.

Fourteen years later, I dusted it off and here we are  - the tale of a mercenary mermaid and a deadbeat prince is on its way to being told.

This blog is, in large part, for my own sake. I want to be able to look back after this is done, remember how it happened and maybe learn from mistakes I made. And if others should be interested, too, then that's the ganache on the double chocolate cake. There will be mostly art here; don't be deterred by these wordy first posts. I provide pictures.