Monday, October 24, 2016
This was a bit of a special MTGinktober for Day 19's "Flight." At first I thought I might do something relating to Kazu Kibuishi's classic Flight anthology, since it was one of my absolute biggest inspirations in college and even earlier (I aspired to be good enough to enter that anthology some day...). We even named the Yale Comics Club anthology Escape in homage to it (and by the way, how cool that the Flight prompt comes right after Escape!). But in the end, I decided to go with a special Magic Angel that's not strictly Magic-related, but pretty much kinda Magic-related, Sakura Tenshi.
I'm a huge fan of inside references nobody could ever hope to get (another reason I list them online is so I don't forget myself years down the road), so let's detail what's going on with this piece. First of all, it's a medley of all kinds of nods to The Vossfather, Algenpfleger, who's been an inspiration since college. Obviously we have Thalia, and slightly less obviously a quasi-Restoration Angel, two of his most famous illustrations. The Angel is not a direct cover of Resto, tho, it's his famous playmat design Sakura Angel or Sakura Tenshi. Not to brag or nuffin, but I pretty much Art Directed that whole piece, so in other words I basically drew it for him, trust me, don't ask him, just take my word for it what were we talking about again oh right the next section which is starting now ha ha hey look what's that over there.
Right, so next we get a little more eagle-eyed with the references. Thalia's little design details on her belt and sheath are actually little German B swooshy things -> ß. And then since we're using Thalia's background, I thought it'd be neat to mimic the playful side of his aesthetic and have little dooders hanging out on the grass. And not just any bugs, but references to his famous token series. I included a little seal because that's his mascot, of course, but I dropped in the little Germ because that was the very first token I ever got from him (I call him the "German Germ" and he watches over my Drafts from my Draft kit deckbox). The caterpillar balancing out the bottom right corner is my own design, but using the JV club style. And that's pretty much everything I snuck into this piece. If I can sum the experience in a word: edutainment.
Next, Day 20 was "Squeeze," so I decided to try to draw into a cramped space--the space of Japanese coins. I wanted a deeper meaning than simply drawing in a confined area, though, so initially I wanted to draw Owen Turtenwald and three rats, in reference to his command performance with Monoblack Devotion during Return to Ravnica-Theros Standard. But then I thought of his good friends Reid Duke and William Jensen, who famously have an incredibly tight bond--you might say they're squeezed together tightly.
They're so tight that their collective name is the "Peach Garden Oath," and Japanese money has flowers and stuff on it, so I thought it'd be neat to make a Peach version of our 5 yen coin to round out our yen collection's donut-hole-having member. I wanted unconventional expressions so I scoured the documentary Enter the Battlefield for interesting shots, but I knew exactly which scene I wanted for Owen, which I also knew was going to be a special challenge to capture the subtle emotions there.
Bonus sketch: I've wanted to do fan art of ETB for a while and this felt like a good opportunity to do a quick sketch--plus I wanted to test out my maru pen before using it on the actual piece, so I sketched this for the test run. I'm pretty used to the G-Pen by now which I've used on every MTGinktober hitherto, but the marupen (a finer-point nib) is still noticeably harder to pilot...Anyway, this sketch was inspired by one of the saddest scenes in the film, I tear up every time. Note the sketch depicts fiction, but I just wanted to capture the emotions I feel while watching that scene. I believe there exists a photo of Owen hugging William Jensen after falling just short of winning Worlds(?), so maybe that subconsciously influenced this sketch, too, but I just drew from the gut on this one. Owen is a controversial guy, but any critics really ought to watch this film. Regardless of how you feel about him, it kinda helps put stuff in perspective.
(The Chris Pikula storyline is also surprisingly poignant--man, that part where he talks about his kid and/vs. Magic...I don't know why that hit me so hard. I guess cuz I've decided to give up on all "real life" things for art? I dunno. I don't care about the real world so I literally don't even know what I'm missing. Friendship, love, it's all alien to me, but I do know--ignorantly--I would never forgive myself if I chose those over art. I'm obviously missing something, but I'm terrified that allowing myself to learn more would make me balk or unmask regret.)
I will say, though, the only real problem I've had with The Big O was when he posted a picture of himself smoking a cigar. My understanding of influential people (specifically people who kids look up to) smoking has taken a huge dive since living in Japan--the poor kids here are almost expected to start smoking. It's so incredibly sad. They don't even have a chance. Everyone--fathers, mothers, sports stars--they smoke right in front of kids, it's culturally normal. It's heartbreaking. Obviously it's the guy's choice to do whatever he wants and Magic sure doesn't pay enough to warrant influencing his personal life, but I admire guys like LSV and Reid Duke who nevertheless do put in an effort to accept that they are unwitting role models. You ever see that picture of LSV signing autographs for those little girls? My gosh! Another oddly emotional experience. Anyway. You know, for a Magic-centric post, it has certainly gotten pretty emo. Sigh. Wish my deck were emo, that way it could cut itself. ZING!
And yes, I'm fully aware Zero smokes, but that's because/so nobody likes him. Also I am a nobody.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Day 17 of MTGinktober was "Battle" and I knew I absolutely didn't want to do a traditional battle, so my mind first went to a rap battle (<--severe language warning), but as I thought more about it, as much as I wanted to draw a crowd going "OOOOHHH!!!!" I thought a dance battle might be more visually interesting.
I don't really take dance seriously as an artform, if I'm being perfectly honest, but I do know Les Twins are true artists--there was this interview with Laurent just sitting in a chair and grooving along to some music, and that alone was astounding. That is art. Plus his/their mentality is just wonderful, basically, "just kill it always." Anyway, I knew I wanted to draw two to four people in the battle, so I immediately thought of doing a Les Twins style piece, though I still kinda wish I coulda drawn the Planeswalkers in Les Twins gear. Still hoping to draw modern-day PWs at some point.
What's exciting to me about this piece is it debuts a new technique I thought of. Usually I just have a ton of references open while I draw, but this time, I mocked up the illustration I wanted to do by chopping up and collaging my references. I'd post that previz but I'd imagine it's a copyright issue. Anyway, this piece stars Kaya and Koth cuz, well, they be black, yo, and while I wanted to mimic Les Twins, I knew I wanted a guy and girl team, so it all worked out. I had a great time drawing Kaya cuz it felt like drawing Alexis Blight again and I always loved drawing her hair. By the way, this drawing of Koth marks the first time I've drawn a character without a shirt...Speaking of outfits, I turned a New York Yankees hat into a New Phyrexia hat. Million-dollar-idea royalties, please.
And then Day 18 was "Escape," which gave me quite a bit of pause to figure out what to draw. I read the prompts before leaving for dinner so I can think during the walk and while eating, and I was drawing a blank for a good while. I finally decided something small and ground level in a mad dash from something might be cool, maybe a homunculus weaving between enemy legs. I eventually settled on Squee fleeing imminent murder, as I understand he dies a lot (the Weatherlight saga was just before my time, but admittedly I have little interest in Gerrard and Co., though oddly enough, I love hearing Mark Rosewater talk about that era).
Squee turned out to be tough because there aren't any super clear depictions of him, and the best one is by Greg Staples, but his version looks markedly different (and buffer and more finger-having) than the preexisting incarnations. So for my take, I used Greg Staples' earring, hair, and fingers but the non-royal classic get up. Battle turned out not to be as action-packed as I had initially thought it would, so I made sure to up the action on this one.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
This was for Inktober's Day 15, "Relax," starring Tamiyo readin' like a noid. Ironically, this was not as relaxing as I'd hoped it would be; I'm kinda exhausted from working on these MTGinktobers daily, but it's a good kind of tired. I've been pushing myself on these all month, and after the first Liliana piece, I've been really winded, so I'm just hoping to keep chugging along and get these all done on schedule.
Tamiyo was mildly difficult cuz there are tons of little inconsistencies across her official depictions. Like the gloves--some have them open fingertips, some have palm-side trim, one rebel even has no gloves! I love details, so it was tough deciding what was "correct." I was delighted to find she tucks pens in her hair bands, so I gave her a G-Pen, like mine. Plus she's reading a scroll on Yale and Astrophysics, how about that!
Next for Day 16's "Wet," given my well-documented love of rain, I knew I wanted to do something with skytears, so after a couple quick brainstorm sketches (I try to keep pre-planning to a minimum so pieces can be as "live" as possible) I decided on a Totoro spoof starring Garruk as Totes and Kid Lil as Bobby Bouchet ft. her dead brother as the ghost of Encino Man.
I knew I needed a huge, bulky character to contrast with the tiny girl in the composition, so Garruk felt like the best choice since I could use his fur-trimmed, muscular silhouette to mimic Totoro's shape (I used his Relentless look). And I thought of Lil' Lil pretty soon after pausing to ponder who to "cast" for that role.
It clicked when I realized she had a brother who died, and the pose called for a little figure to piggyback. I also thought of that famous historical war photo of the Japanese kid who hiked with his dead brother on his back, so this image acquired an even darker subtlety baked into Liliana's already grim deadbro-carrying.
As a little bonus, this was almost the image I was going to go with before hitting upon the Totoro idea. It was Tibor and Lumia in their academy days, before they got married, where Tibz first kinda puts da mooves on Lumia, by which I mean offers her his umbrella on a rainy day. It was cute and I still kinda want to draw it...all these new ideas I want to bite into after Inktober. But for now, on with the show.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Onward ambles MTGinktober with Day 13's "Scared," starring Liliana Vess, terrified at a wonderful, wonderful world. I was pretty pumped to do this one, as I enjoy drawing these more unsettling emotions.
This piece took a ton of reference, including having to pose myself into my bigger mirror (my smaller mirror usually handles most reference). The boots were intimidating, but ended up being a lot simpler than I had thought they would be. I was surprised to find they only have half of the ring shoelace port things, though.
Easter Eggs: Kev Walker's Cavalry Pegasus in kawaii mode.
I had a couple of rejected poses I was working with, and I initially wanted to play it straight horror, with like blood dripping from the top of the piece or something, but then I thought it'd be funny if she were horrified by pleasant things. So there's hearts and stuff everywhere. I'm not a MTG lore scientist, so I don't know if actual scary things scare her, but I've decided to take liberties with these characters myself, such as the assumption that Nissa's bad with directions.
Next, for Day 14 "Tree," after such an intense run with Liliana, I was (and am) pretty tired, so I needed a little bit of a break, and thought I'd try something more minimalistic. I wanted the tree to dominate over any figures involved, so I was thinking I'd need tiny characters and negative space. That meant an excellent chance to try something like Jock's incredible cityscapes, but in a forest, using Algenpfleger's flying-dust sketch technique to help inform the void.
I initially wanted to draw Mina and Denn sorta recklessly hand-standing on top of a lone tree, but I was really feeling the tiredness and opted to just go with Selvala hanging out like Spiler-Mayne. That Tyler Jacobson art is just killer and I was happy to get to take a stab at his design.
Friday, October 14, 2016
MTGinktober lurches onward with Gisa and Geralf as our floor models for Day 11's "Transport." I unfortunately caught this prompt ahead of time and was somewhat dreading it since I don't really draw vehicles much. But I tried to keep it out of mind and focus on the given day's prompts instead.
I knew I wanted to avoid traditional concepts of transportation, and idea of piggybacking hit me, but then, rather than buddies, why not an adversarial take? I thought of the zombie bros. from Innistrad, Gisa and Geralf, as drawn by Karla Ortiz, who I've wanted to cover for a while. What if they were teaming up and used zombies as their personal rickshaws?
Fun Facts: The animals hanging out in the tree are two bats and a robin who thinks he's a bat.
Easter Eggs: The background echoes the faint zombies in Gisa's card. Geralf was inspired by Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Edward Scissorhands, and his hair contains Jack Skellington's curly mountain.
Next was Day 12's "Worried," and I was not sure what to do on this one. I was thinking maybe Pia Nalaar facing execution or something, but then I thought, wait, why not kid Chandra? I loved the idea of a menacing arm guiding the kid, which is terribly disturbing. I hate the idea of adults abusing power and bullying kids. I've had to be around people who disrespect kids and it's utterly sad.
The thopter was pretty fun and I loved getting really tight with the details there. I feel like I leveled up a bit on this piece because I managed to get the G-Pen to work with my ruler smudge-free (ish). Also, I liked that by using shadow, I could turn the Kaladesh guard's white sleeves almost black, but the black Evil Empire glove was a must.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
MTGinktober rolls on with "Broken" for Day 9, so I thought I'd draw some kind of artifact creature. Kev Walker's Patagia Golem was one of the very first card arts that I just loved, so I knew I wanted to depict a soft/delicate artifact creature. Another one of my favorite card arts from my early Magic days was Chippy's Beast of Burden because of how quiet it was, plus I loved the contrast of the loyal, huge machine versus the somber, little girl, so I thought I'd draw the pair's potential future.
A little girl and her artifact friend were inseparable, but one day they got ambushed. The girl defended her young robot friend as best she could, prepared to fight to the death, but the attack was so severe it ignited her spark! She had become a Planeswalker at that very moment and got flung to some far-off world she could not name. She trained for years, honing every skill she could, until she was finally able to planeswalk back home. When she at last returned, she immediately began searching for her old, robot friend. And then she found her friend. Broken. She collapsed, and they were unified in uselessness.
Easter Eggs: There's a little Planeswalker logo on her outfit, which itself is modeled after her younger version's getup.
Next, for Day 10, we have "Jump." I don't know the daily themes ahead of time (so I draw day-of for maximum excitement), and I had been wanting to draw an action scene for a few days now, so I found some posing reference and drew Nahiri jumping over an artmage...I mean archmage.
The archmage's hood was modeled after Jace's, but I refuse to draw that dude, so I went with some sakura leaves, angel feathers, and some kind of Germanic eagle logo dealio.
Monday, October 10, 2016
This weekend's MTGinktobers yielded Nissa for "Lost". The initial concept of the piece was Nissa frustratedly studying a map, since she seems like she would be the responsible navigator who can't stand getting lost despite her prep and affinity for nature, meanwhile Chandra would be haphazardly/futilely looking around from a tree, possibly Jace scouting out, too.
This is how it looks in its "prep"/"principal photography" mode, right after initial G-Pen inks. I am floored with how versatile it is, even on super fine lines like with the eyes, just need to get comfortable using a ruler with it. I do use my .03 Copic liner to strengthen/hatch the super fine areas, though, but the G-Pen can generally handle just about everything.
I was listening to a Jake Parker interview where he said he used to pencil tightly before ultimately letting his pen handle more of the detail work, and I though, maybe I'm stuck in this detail-obsessed stage...I pencil quite tightly not out of love of detail (though I love detail), I just don't like "guessing" at the inking stage. Inks feel like the performance, pencils are the rehearsal.
No time for this initial background concept, I just went with what I could safely pencil within my deadline, which was a landscape fusing elements from Ghibli and stuff. I knew I would be ok with live-inking finer details here because it's just natural textures and stuff, so less necessity to be exact. Plus, at a certain point, you've done enough of this stuff that you don't have to rely on pencils to texture-coach so strictly.
Next was "Rock," and I knew I wanted to do a planeswalker/rock-band piece. We ultimately ended up just trimming down to good ol' Domri Brown. This one's a good example of a purely live-inked background, though I did rough (then scrap) a similar stagelight concept (just circles and cones of light).
Here's our principal photography. At this point, I knew we were in a pinch: No time to pencil a proper background as initially concepted, and even the abstract stagelight idea would be too time-intensive. So that meant our only option was to live-ink something even more abstract. And of course that entailed using our seldom-used size 1 micron, which all too easily chews paper up into potentially dangerous ink-wads.
Fortunately when I went into town the other day to buy another eraser pencil (for the first time in my life, I finished--didn't lose!--an eraser), I also picked up a white pen in my continuing search for a strong enough white overink. This Zerba Kestick tends to stutter and flat-out-stop a little too much, but it was quite excellent when it did work. I'm happy to continue working with it, though it does have a super strong scent... As for the pencils, as you can see, we were going to have a little band scene, but not enough time for all that jazz.
Friday, October 7, 2016
MTGinktober continues with "Sad," which is probably my favorite emotion, featuring Jhoira of the Ghitu, as depicted by the legendary Kev Walker.
I thought for a good while what to do when I got this prompt, and initially started trying to think of my saddest Magic memory so I could maybe channel that into a more tangential fan art, but ultimately decided to see how emotastic we could go on an official character instead. Looking at my notes, I had Gisa, Jhoira, Feldon, Liliana, and Pia Nalaar shortlisted after briefly considering Chandra (even looked up reference from that old Chandra manga, which I guess is retconned away now?).
I was just about done with the face and when I pulled the trigger on Jhoira over Gisa (despite longing to interpret Karla Ortiz's work!), with the deciding factor being the hair: I felt Gisa's veil/helm/sombrero just limited how expressive I could go, so I costumed our figure with Jhoira's garb and that left me free to let the hair play a larger part in the emotion of the piece, sorta evoking despair or doom for Jhoira.
I don't usually like my stuff too much, but I have to say I'm actually pretty happy with this one. I tend to take on the emotions of my figures while I'm drawing them, and I even unconsciously make the same expression, so this one really got to me. Even looking at her now, I can start to feel the emotion welling up in me. Haven't felt that way with a piece in a long, long time. I took inspiration from Slow Motion for the background and gesture, but had to guess on most of the bracelet--I did manage to sneak a Planeswalker logo in there. In my head, she's getting left behind in a time rift or something, and is crying for the viewer to stay or take her with, or it's possibly even just her accepting severance.
Next was "Hidden," which I decided to use to depict Talinthas, from Tumblr, who wrote an incredible article on racial depiction in Magic (Kaladesh specifically), who I first noticed when he spoke some quiet, respectful, but powerful words at the PAX Kaladesh World-Building Panel Q&A.
I should note I am a dark-skinned Mexican-American, but I hold no particular fondness for my own race any more than say, how I think it's mildly interesting that I have looped fingerprints or that I like water as my beverage of choice. But I was almost moved to tears at the passion in his article; the utter frustration and disappointment in his account of Kaladesh rendering his identity hidden and relegated to tissue-thin window-dressing were incredible. Speaking of the broken promise of finally receiving an Indian-flavored plane to add to the pantheon of depictions in the Multiverse, he wrote,
Not only was the invite no longer in the mail, but the party was at my house, and I was sent outside to wait for it to end. --Talinthas, Kaladesh, you break my heartSo rather than a cheeky drawing of a girl commanding creatures with ninjutsu and morph or whatever, the article inspired a more "serious" take on what it means to be hidden in Magic. I wanted a sea of shadowy black with a chorus of cheery white faces to contrast his non-white optimism. I thought of simplified mask forms to echo that gorgeous Paul Laurence Dunbar poem, "We Wear the Mask," too.
From his article, I found it interesting that we share the same sentiment about self identification, which perhaps affects me more evidently as I must draw (that is, actively depict) people--there's always that uncomfortable moment not just on color pieces, but even BW, where I have to decide what skin tone I'm working with (a keen eye will notice I often just use gray drop shadows but leave the skin itself uncolored). As I've discussed before, my natural inclination is indeed simply to go "white." Not because I hate my race or anything, I just have been "programmed" to think "white." There's no maliciousness, just simple conditioning for as long as I can remember, "White is default/neutral/normal." And then when I look at my Copic collection, despite my efforts to collect darker skin tones, I simply have more expressive options for light skin.
In any case, I remember first really being confronted with considering these subconscious racial design decisions when reading fellow Mexican-American Jhonen Vasquez's posts on his Randy Cunningham designs, where he wrote, "I had Randy as a ginger and more of a regular looking kinda dude," (with the black guy being a bad guy, I noticed). This made me ponder, after Zim's all-white main cast (which was his show, unlike Randy Cunningham, which was just him being on character design), what did Jhonen Vasquez think about drawing white characters versus non-white? Were these racial decisions made out of obligation, were they even conscious decisions, was non-white even an option?
I recall from an old Zim DVD commentary that there was an issue Nick had when he wanted to use mariachi music in one gag, which is actually where I believe my interest in his take on racial depiction secretly originated. So I know he did at least have race in mind at some point somewhere during Zim, if only like me, in that I only care when race can contribute out of necessity more than anything (in the maricahi music's case, in service of a joke). I myself always feel this conflict between forcing self-identification (which, again, holds no personally strong relevance to me) versus "neutral" skin tones (which I understand is simply ubiquitous, but is in fact also my default programming).
I of course understand the viciousness of white-washing, particularly the cruel stupidity of robbing ethnic actors of movie roles they ought to have dibs on when the part "clearly" calls for an ethnic actor, like in the Avatar, DBZ, Prince of Persia, etc. movies. But when it comes to visual art, drawing white characters doesn't actually rob any non-white actor of a "job," so realistically, it's ultimately up to the viewer to feel unsatisfied with the art when it comes to race. However, the artist can choose to insert any projection they want, and more and more I feel compelled to "do my part" and at least have non-white depictions as much as possible whenever applicable rather than just mindlessly draw "normal." I remember realizing one day that my comic had no white characters, not out of some agenda, but because that was simply what the roles called for. I felt proud for not falling into the trap of "default mode," but then felt weird for feeling proud of that...but what does it matter? It's my art, I draw how I want, who cares.
I should note, as a "minority" (are we still called that these days?), I absolutely disagree with shoving race down peoples' throats for the sake of inclusivity; it feels insultingly phony--in the 90s, you'd always see these ridiculous pan-racial cliques on school-aged media, just sheer, absolute pandering--that offends me (plus, I mean, even as a little kid I realized the white kid would always be in charge, natch, and if any race had multiple representatives, it'd invariably be the white homie). All-white casts and stuff don't bother me (is it supposed to?) because I'm conditioned to perceive it as normal, but when it's in contrast to what a "role" calls for, then that's when it becomes an issue of poor depiction.
This is why I was so relieved to hear this guy, who has infinitely more qualification to speak on Kaladesh than me, to tell WotC Creative directly that Chandra Nalaar is bewildering. I mean, if she's white, let her be white; if she's not supposed to be white, then don't put on airs and cheap costumes. There was that mild curiosity that emerged back when Gideon suddenly got darker skin in the creepy little figures they put out, but WotC announced it was because they were officially changing this guy to be naturally more olive-skinned as they decided they had intended. So, if you have to use a mallet-based solution like that, then fine, who cares? Just announce "ok, we're changing Chandra to look more accurate to what we now envision her as," then change her, and be done with it. Or make it clear she's not actually supposed to be Indian-ish, and knock it off with the seemingly incongruous name.
Ultimately, I'd rather have an all-white cast that's white than an all white-cast that supposed to be multi-ethnic-ish; if the role calls for it, let that race have their due role and let that depiction flourish; to do otherwise is in direct opposition to WotC's ambitions to be inclusive (I believe this TV Trope is called "but not too black" or something like that). I myself don't particularly seek an Aztec-y or Mexican-y plane or characters because first, race as box-checking is insulting to me and secondly, my race as a general theme is largely uninteresting to me. But if a character is supposed to be from Azteckopia or whatever, seeing a white depiction there might be enough to make me feel how Talinthas does in his article about his own peoples' depictions or lack thereof.
Anywho, I love Magic for the gameplay above all else; the creative trappings have largely left me ever since, again as Talinthas so eloquently puts it, "Magic shifted from I am the Planeswalker to These dudes are the Planeswalkers and you’re telling their story through cards." I love the art, and as long as it's good, I don't actually care about racial depiction, assuming they aren't going around touting how great their racial depiction is meanwhile keeping all the true cultural representation under their sombrero.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Here's another batch of Inktobers for MTGinktober. This one is Vraska, who they say collects victims as statues, so I thought this a good fit for the Jake-Parker-endorsed "collect" theme, rather than something a little more on-the-nose.
So this is sort of her eagerly adding to her collection with one sap frozen mid-charge while the other chump is blocked mid-morph.
Easter Eggs: The guy crying is a ref to Killing Glare.
This one was fun because it just had room for subtle background elements like the mushrooms and vines, plus inking Vraska's outfit was also an exciting mix of improv and planning.
This is a riff on a funny outtake from a past Magic event, where Ben Stark and Tom Martell were on coverage. Ben S. thought he was off-camera so he went in for some Chipotle, but Tom swiftly indicated that they were still live!
The day's theme was "hungry," by the way. I did think about doing something with like Garruk or Domri going Luffy on some meat or something, but that felt too "easy," so although the final piece might be a little too inside, I'm happy I went with the final direction.
I find researching pieces to be pretty fun, and this one involved some nice sleuthing to put together the references. I abandoned an initial draft based strictly on the GIF linked above because it was just too grainy to get any clear detail, so I just winged it a little and moved the camera angle. I finished Tom in that one before realizing that version was going nowhere and besides, using such poor reference is agony.
Monday, October 3, 2016
I'm doing Inktober again this year, this'll be my 3rd year. I learned that the creator of Inktober is actually Jake Parker, so I thought I'd use his prompt list this time, combo'd with tying it into Magic somehow, so "MTGinktober," if you will.
So for instance, this is Venser, the blue white planeswalker, for Day 1, "Fast." He looks like Tasteless, Day9's brother, kinda, by the way. Anyway, since Venser teleports, that's like super speed, assuming you arrive at the desired location any faster than it would normally take...
To keep each prompt a surprise for me for each day-of reveal, I saved the list to a PSD file with each theme hidden behind a layer of black, so each day I delete that day's portion of the black sheet. Clever. Anyway, I wasn't sure if we'd just be doing planeswalkers all month, but I was surprised to find there's actually not too many PWs floating around...
This is my take on one of my favorite card arts, Screeching Skaab, by Clint Cearley for Day 2, "Noisy." I loved how surprising and arresting it was when I first saw it, and it still gets you.
Working on this piece reminded me of working on the Penny Dreadful, so satisfying working with ink. Using the G-Pen for the main lines, and then detailing and rendering in Sakura microns.
Not sure how in-depth I want to go with these, though...feel like simple character shots are kinda played out, wanna try scenes. Just lines? Copics, too? So many Qs to A.