Watercolor Wednesday: Hal and Dammerung Fanart + Sketch Dump

This has been a busier month for me as regards visual art. I haven't painted much, but I've been working on my sketching skills because one goal I've had for ages is to be able to sketch my own characters with some degree of finesse. I'm not going to be designing characters for film any time soon, but I'm pleased with my progress so far.

Halcyon and Dammerung: Sassmaster Shapeshifters
My watercolor this month is a fan art painting of Halcyon from Mirriam Neal's Paper Crowns and Dammerung from Jennifer Freitag's Plenilune. These are two of my favorite books from last year, and two of my favorite characters from those books. I'm moderately pleased with the way the tails and bodies turned out, but the paws and faces were a bit wonky. I'm still not sure how to make the backgrounds seem more integrated.

Step 4 is more of a guideline. I like to think of it as steps 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.

This hand-lettered piece was actually something I said in conversation with some writer friends when one of them expressed some stress and doubt regarding the edits she was in the midst of. At the time it was meant to be just the sort of exuberant encouragement that one gives via Facebook conversations, but as I thought more about it, I decided it needed to be a piece I could keep at the desk for encouragement on the days I doubted my own writing skills and motivation. (Using the word "fortify" was inspired by a text post I saw making the rounds a while back; it suggested using "fortify" as a replacement for phrases like "man up" that don't allow for the wide spectrum of folks' emotional ranges.)

Hard-core blacksmith slave-turned-wizard.

I actually wasn't sure what I wanted from this sketch at first, but the further it went, the more I decided it was Alosha from Uprooted, who is not represented enough in fanart. (That book as a whole seems to be underrepresented in fanart, sadly.) If I were any better with hands and objects, I'd have included something to do with her smithing, but I'm pleased with how this one turned out.

Creepy lady.
This one came out a good bit creepier than I'd anticipated. Maybe it's just the ashy shade and texture of the hair. In any event, this character reminds me of nothing so much as the Silver Lady of my first (and so far, unpublished) novel.

Pay no attention to the elf ear hovering behind you, dear.
Another sketch that just developed as I went. I'm not sure who she is, but the hair came out slightly anime-esque. I might make an argument for this being the protagonist of my epic fantasy book/quartet. (Maybe I should actually get around to laying out the multiverse for y'all so I can make more specific references moving forward.)

To the left: unnamed red shirts.
To the right: named narrators and random angry dude.
This is just a spread of face sketches. The left side has some mouth iterations at the top (I've also got a few pages of nothing but eyes attempting to refine my style in that area), with some elfin characters on whom I decided to experiment with hair. I'm very fond of the upper left character, who is demanding a name and a book already. The right-hand page features re-drawn sketches of the Albion Academy narrators. (I'd previously done some rough colored pencil sketches of them that, while pleasing to me, weren't as technically drawn.) There's also a random angry person who probably won't be happy whether he gets a book or not.

His hair is un-sketchable, but he doesn't mind.
Robin Goodfellow, aka the Puck. Enough said.

Okay, maybe a few more words on Robin. His hair is often wild enough to be accused of having its own consciousness, and I attempted to portray that here. I think this sketch might be improved with inking and coloring, but I will probably save that for a larger sketch that will allow me to properly color his eyes.

Thanks for stopping by! Before you go, is there anything you'd like me to draw in the future? If you're an artist, do you have particular styles or materials you prefer? I'm using a mechanical pencil and a sketchbook journal from Hobby Lobby for these, and sometimes I wonder if I should be looking for better materials.


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