Friday, 5 June 2015

SKETCHBOOK FURY, Part 4 - Rule with an Iron First

As I've mentioned here once or twice, or a million times, I like fantasy. So after getting all excited about drawing superheroes, I got bored, and moved onto another idea I had, and now I'm just expecting you all to go along with it.

A few years ago I was irritated by the fact most  main characters of fantasy, science fiction, or any adventure story were young and handsome. Which is weird, 'cos I can completely relate to that. Ghandi said 'be the change you want to see in the world' and I'm certain he was talking about comics, so I came up with an older character. He's fun to draw. A weathered but humoured look, strong jaw but kind eyes, grey hair and an iron fist. I'd heard the phrase 'rule with an iron fist' when I was a teen and I ended up taking it rather literally.

I like the idea of an elf with bad habits and a shaved head. Someone who's almost embarrassed to be eternally beautiful. I like the idea of a female blacksmith because why the hell not, and a warlock decked out in ripped jeans and a black hoody because cloaks are for those dull sorcerer types who take things way too seriously. In general, I'm against civilians owning weapons. But if they were ancient war axes, crossbows and pikes... I'd at least see the appeal.

Griffins are part lion, part bird. But what's the top half? Bird, or lion? I drew both. I'll pick later. I know they tend not to own suits but 'griffin' could so easily be the name of a powerful corporation. That scorpion lady is my version of a gorgon. Traditionally, they're snake-haired and serpent-bodied. But we've seen that before. Hair of scorion tails. Claws wrapped around hands. How does she open doors, you ask? I'm sure the people fleeing ahead of her will solve that problem.

Though all those tentacles and eyes tested my patience, I at least had the cyclops to balance it out afterward. I made each of those eyes look in different directions. Who knows what they're really looking at, or where, or when. Whilst drawing him, I thought it would be interesting that not only would he have a giant, central eye, but that it would be the only one that is always closed. The cyclops, having only just one, tends to make a big deal about it. Like the griffin, they're in suits. Monsters in suits. There's something about it.

Was Smaug the first dragon to be depicted upon a mountain of treasure, or was it a traditional idea that Tolkien used in his own story? I sure hope it's the latter, 'cos this would be mine. Hence the title. 'Not Smaug.' Drawing those coins began as a chore, but I ended up drawing so many my mind switched off and I almost enjoyed it. Almost. Making up random treasures to dot around was fun though.

That big dragon pic was the climax of my sketchbook. As tempting as it was to draw another figure so that I could end my first book and hold it proudly, I wanted to end big. Now I can *really* hold it proudly. Thanks for looking.