September 2021

September 30th, 2021

I’m writing this while my right hand is wrapped in bandages after a rogue blender attacked me. Kept all my digits, so I might as well still work on this blogpost before I forget.

September was a pretty productive month, and I’ve been feeling more confident with my art, which is nice. Here is a handful of pieces to show you a quick overview, as usual~

Starting simple, a quick and messy Eloise sketch I drew sometime near the start of the month. A while back I found a nice, soft pencil brush for Clip Studio, which I had been using on my laptop a bunch. Recently, however, I discovered a whole new dimension to the brush, as it turns out it supports a new feature Clip Studio introduced recently, which is the ability to tilt the brush to get a different texture. This brush, if you tilt it on a tablet that supports this action, makes a thicker, lighter brush, imitating using the side of the pencil when drawing traditionally.

I discovered this fun little detail after I transferred the brush over to my copy of Clip Studio on my pc, as my tablet over there supports tilting. This makes the brush so much fun to use, so I became a little obsessed with it,,, Worth it, though, as you can see from the results above. It was sketched out with that pencil brush, and coloured with my trusty watercolor brush.

Been on a bit of a MLP kick recently, a mixture of nostalgia for G3, and a general love of the aesthetic of G1. So, after seeing scans of a favourite MLP picture book from my childhood, ‘Wishes Do Come True’, I decided to draw these two favourites of mine! The pink horse is called Sky Wishes, and the white horse is Star Catcher.

I used my usual retro toon method of a good, inky brush, flat colours, and a background that took far more effort than anything else in the picture. I had a bunch of fun with this one though, deciding to just use abstract colours, shapes and pretty clouds instead of my usual nature scenes. Very pleased with how it turned out, and it did well online, so double win~

Well here’s a face we haven’t seen in a while! I realised this month that the reason I wasn’t drawing Kapy at all was because I wasn’t happy with her design. It had never been particularly stable, no one knew how to draw her, and I was gradually coming to the conclusion that I found her colours quite ugly. Every other sona of mine had been redesigned to some extent, even Caby, so it was definitely Kapy’s turn.

I made her colours warmer and softer, and made her white markings cover more of her body, as well as help smooth out the gradient by using the lighter orange as stripes as well. I also hope the face remains a bit more consistent, as that was always the biggest issue before. No one, including me, could get it right,,

Also! Plushie form, because they’re always good and adorable,,

It was a certain lynx/snake/bori boy’s birthday this month, and I always like to make an illustration to celebrate a friend’s birthday, so this year I made this for him! From left to right you have the neopetsonas of dcb, Borb, me, Cammy and mon, celebrating with party hats and a big ‘ol cake!

Little easter eggs are the cake itself, as it is in fact the design of the cake item released to celebrate Neopets’ 18th birthday, and the colours of our hats! I made them match with the role colours we have in the Somnol Discord server.

The gift went down well, so I’d say it’s a win!

So now for something completely autistic and super fun. It all started when Cammy was imagining having an otter sona, as he loves water and swimming. It gradually evolved into the idea that Cammy, who is usually a Eurasian Badger, has the ability to transform into other animals if he so wishes, though his colours remain the same. This specific Cammy happened because he had a wolf emote in his status on Discord, and it got me thinking about a wolf Cammy,,

I kinda love him, he looks like someone’s sona on Yerf or something. Real 90s furry boy. Cammy likes him too, which is much appreciated~

More Pinede! This time, a chunk of concept art for the big spooky dragon boye, AKA the blood dragon. The general idea is that he’s big, powerful and dangerous, but currently fast asleep under the core of the planet. If he tastes blood, he awakens, and wreaks havoc. It’s a great incentive for the people of Pinede to avoid war, and the world is overall very peaceful because of this. There’s evidence of ancient battles scattered across the landscape, old battlefields and castles, as well as the occasional piece of armour adorned with blood crystallum hidden in a dusty, old chest.

Drew him with a little ground dragon for size comparison. Might make the blood dragon a bit bigger, we’ll see. Also, thanks to Borb for the neat idea of the big veins down his sides! She designed a cool blood dragon version of Polaris which can be found here, and she included that detail, so I decided to use it for the big boye himself, too. Cool and gross and spooky, it’s perfect.

Bonus! Because talking about this month wouldn’t be accurate without mentioning the decent number of adoptables I made. I’ve been saving up for both a new guinea pig cage as well as the liners that go with it (might make a page about that, we’ll see), and adoptables have proven to be a fairly quick, effective way to make some cash. They’re also pretty fun to design. Have one I’ve yet to sell, a bookish tiger girl. Once again, fun with the pencil tool!

August 2021

September 1st, 2021

A post on time? What a world…

I did a whole bunch of redesigns of characters this month, all for Pinede, and all turning homeless characters into lads suitable for various parts of our comfy little fantasy world.

First, meet Fairbanks, a black girdled lizard who specialises as an ice mage, living on the outskirts of Volkhov. She’s a bit of a loner, and fiercely dedicated to her craft, having been given the gift of eternal warmth by the ice deity, allowing her to live safely and comfortably in a barren, frozen world no other lizard would ever survive in.

She was originally a salamander character that my good friend Borb adopted but never found a use for. You can find her old art here, in case you’re curious about the initial design. I liked her colours and the idea of her powers, and wanted to give her a more solid home. I even kept the northern lights idea, as her latest experiment of combining ice and lightning magic to form bright, colourful lights in the sky.

Another redesign for Borb! She has a few old, dear characters lying around after a project fell through, and she was wondering about redesigning them to fit into Pinede. I was asked to redesign a dragon lad named Trick.

A bit of context here, I’ve been bouncing the idea around for dragon species in Pinede, and as a group we decided it’d be neat if there was one dragon species for each deity, so Water, Fire, Ice, Magma, Ground, Lightning and Blood. I’ve been gradually pondering different dragon designs since then. The three most concrete ones so far are Water, Ice and Ground. Trick here is an Ice dragon, with a sharp horn on his nose for breaking through ice, a thick fur coat and thumbs on all four feet.

He’s also “calidistic”, a term I made up for a warmly coloured Ice dragon, a callback to Trick’s old designs. Another quirk of the mutation is weaker ice magic, meaning he’s far more sensitive to the cold and not as capable casting spells. Hence his little locket made of ice crystallum to boost his powers.

I also started redesigning another character of hers, so I might as well throw that here too, a more adult Ice dragon with a few battle scars. His name is Jenju. The marking on his shoulder is another experiment, a potential decoration a dragon might use.

A redesign for myself this time! A couple months back someone who wasn’t old enough to pay me asked for me to draw their character, offering a character as payment. I, as a gigantic softie, accepted this, and ended up with a little pink alien cat thing called Spoon. While rather cute, I had no use for Spoon, so he just sat on my toyhouse for some time.

That is, until we started brainstorming dragons for Pinede. One of the immediately popular ideas was the idea to make Ground dragons anthros. The idea behind this is that they’re the most neutral, accessible, common kind of crystal, so the dragon would be the same. As such, these doofy, squishy dergs were born…

Not long after, I had the overwhelming urge to turn Spoon into a dragon, so I did just that. He’s fire-aligned, due to his colouration, and is a peppy, hopeful student in the University of Murad. Due to his alignment, he feels a bit cold in Murad, despite the heat, which has triggered a cute trait of Ground dragons, growing a thick, fluffy coat of fur in chilly weather. He’s also rather clumsy, hence the singe marks on his cape…

And now for something completely different!

Out of the blue earlier this month, I received an email from a very kind person requesting a commission of Minty from G3 of My Little Pony, drawn in my G1-inspired style. I gladly accepted and got to work.

Took a little while, but they were a very polite client, and I ended up with this! Had a bunch of fun with this, a bunch of different little experiments going on here. I experimented with different ways of painting tree leaves and grass, as well as using a new brush to line the pony herself. Also, the first time I’ve drawn water in one of these! Overall, very pleased. Did crazy well on Twitter too, totally unexpectedly. Bizarre but appreciated~

First off, read the story this was inspired by if you haven’t already, it’s one of Cammy’s best so far, super vibey. Doooo iiiit

While reading through the chapters Cammy had gotten done already, I ended up with a strong visual in my head of Gonzo, sat in the driver’s seat of his camper, reading through his latest copy of Cyclone Monthly with a concerned expression on his face. And thus, I had to draw it,,

This is what came out of that, and I’m happy with it. Used a bunch of warm tones and a slight glowy effect to make it look as hot as possible, meant to be a heatwave, after all. I went fast and loose with the perspective, but I think it looks okay. The vehicle is based on a 1986 Winnebago that I scoured the internet for photos of the interior. Doesn’t look like I used much of it, but it was very useful for figuring out how to draw the chairs and the dashboard, as well as the detailing on the bits of wall you can see and the shape of the windows. It’d be a cosy little haven if it wasn’t for the fact the air con’s broken.

Went into one of my fabled art tunnel vision moments where I just drew for a couple hours, not moving or checking my messages, but it was worth it because I got this thing done in less than a day. I would’ve liked it to be more cluttered, but I drew this on my laptop and the poor thing was struggling by the time I saved the flat image. Ah well, at least I got a bobblehead luau alien in there…

And something simple and self indulgent to finish us up… Cammy and I have long since pondered what it might’ve been like had we met earlier in our lives, or simply how our old sonas would’ve interacted. That topic of conversation came back recently, and I ended up getting the urge to doodle something for it. So here, have my wonky first attempt at drawing a honey badger Cammy :>

We like to imagine those two are relaxing together these days, playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2-3 on the PS2 and going on long walks. It’s like a retirement for old fursonas, catching up on some good times that they missed out on back in the day.

This was drawn on Paint Tool SAI by the way! I was feeling extra nostalgic, so I went and found an old cracked copy, similar to the one I used back in the day, and doodled a bunch with it. Lotsa fun.

To end this post off, have this extremely accurate representation of baby Caby and Cammy interacting.

July 2021

August 16th, 2021

Art Fight month! As always, it overtook the entire month, though not quite as badly as last year. I only hit 50 attacks instead of 100! Still, there were some favourites I did, so I’ll throw them in here where I can.

An Art Fight attack on Twitter user Doekis, and two of her lovely characters, Kissy and Dove. These two were perfect for this sort of retro style, and I had a lot of fun with it! I experimented with both a looser painting style and also with adding a foreground to my pictures. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I’m very happy that Doekis liked it too ;w;

Here’s one I really recommend you open in full! One of two big group pictures I did this year. They’re various MLP characters I found while browsing the Art Fight site, all enjoying a nice, sunny day in a G1 inspired environment and art style. I had a whole lot of fun with it, and the second one too, which you can check out here, as well as the night version which I made for funsies. :3

It was an interesting challenge, as I had made smaller retro MLP drawings before, but nothing of this scale before. It let me both develop my style for drawing the ponies, and also the backgrounds. Very glad I did it.

Gosh, what’s this?~ An Art Fight attack on someone familiar,,,

Yes indeed, this year Cammy went ahead and made an Art Fight account, to post his very first digital drawing as an attack on me! It’s of my Pinede lad Dai, and you can check it out on his DeviantART. Give it a favourite if you haven’t already, it’s so cute~

As such, I of course had to get my revenge, and I did so by drawing one of his Pinede lads, Nicholas. I chose to draw him fishing on a warm day, as it had been rather warm over here too. I had a bunch of fun using my watercolour brush to paint the background, and a funky pencil brush to line it all. The colours came out way more vibrant than I was expecting, but I’m not complaining, hue,,

Can’t remember quite what spawned this idea, but it was probably a mixture of things. Browsing Yerf again, poking through some vintage webcomics, and just general spergery.

I’ve been pondering restarting Capy Comics for some time now, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The whole “sitting home and doing nothing for a year” thing definitely didn’t help. But I also wanted it to be something a bit more substantial. I started Capy Comics when I was a very isolated, introspective person, so it was all just me and random thoughts and happenings that occurred to me. But I have friends now, I’ve got people to talk to, and that sort of removed the need for it in my life.

I’ve also just had a whole lot more I need to draw between personal projects and commissions, so that removes a lot of mindless doodling opportunities for me.

But this was a fun idea I had, as a potential rebirth of the comic. A late 90s, early 2000s webcomic centered around my friends and I, and the goofy shit we say and do together. Cammy came up with the idea that we’re all running a computer repair shop in Cardiff, which I loved.

So yeah, still nothing set in stone, but everyone seemed really into the idea, so when I have a bit more time to draw, it’s something I’d love to do :>

And now for something completely different! I’m not sure if I posted it to the blog, but you can find it on my Toyhouse, a while back I drew a “fantasy Wyn” in his usual anthro style. I believe it was pre-Pinede, so he wasn’t meant to fit in that world. But it did plant an idea in both Cammy and I’s heads.

So after a lengthy discussion recently about another far-flung idea for the future, I redesigned his fantasy form to fit in with Pinede’s style, all doughy and far less anthro. He’s an adventurer and a thief, though he means well. What is that idea, you may ask? Well, let us figure out the logistics first,,,,

This is so stupid, but I felt like I had to put it somewhere. While once again browsing Yerf, I came across a “personal photo”, AKA the 90s version of a selfie, of a man showing off his new toy furby. This man, bless, looked for all the world like a bootleg Styx. I showed it to Cammy and he agreed.

One thing lead to another and I ended up sketching a Styx fursona. He’s a Siamese cat. Hue

June 2021

August 15th, 2021

Horribly late again? Yes indeed I am! I’ll just make the next few posts in bulk and then set them to post one a day until we’re back up to speed, all good~

At some point, I decided I’d make a desktop background for Cammy’s XP machine, in a style inspired both by art I’d seen on the Yerf archives and also on the countless desktop screenshots people used to post to DeviantART. Therefore, a character done in a faux-traditional style pasted onto a very shiny, busy digital collage background.

I also made one for Lince in the same style! Is only fair, seeing that he also has a good, chunky retro computer in need of a background. You can check out that one in this here blog post, which is an interesting read on top of that.

Much of this month was spent on an art challenge I took on, in which I drew an LGBT couple of my choosing each day using a prompt. I chose Riley and Giulio, the retired pair of artistic dweebs who run the Art Gallery in Apricot Bay. I’m really pleased with a lot of the stuff I drew for it, so it’ll take up most of this month’s entry.

This first one was for day 14, where the prompt was “Lazy Sunday”, which immediately made me picture their regular trips down to the riverbank near the Gallery. Riley doesn’t do lazy, so he’s still up and painting. Giulio on the other hand is happy to be lazy enough for two,,,

This next one is day 22, the prompt was “Swimming”. Cammy suggested to me that they should be swimming in the rain, and it sounded like a fun idea so I took it. I guess I decided to make this image as challenging as possible for myself, as not only was I drawing water, I was also drawing it in the rain, underwater, and also at this curious, dramatic angle. It was all worth it though, because I’m really pleased with the outcome.

I pictured it as Riley and Giulio visiting a local watering hole to splash around and relax, and they invited Colton and Madeleine along too. At some point, it started raining, but Riley and Giulio didn’t mind, and in fact enjoyed it as aquatic mammals. Madeleine on the other hand appreciated the umbrella Colton held above her. Not much rain where she’s from~

Another big challenge I made for myself! This was day 25, and the prompt was “Festival”, so I chose to illustrate some sort of harvest festival in Apricot Bay, inspired by the harvest festival in Stardew Valley :>

I chose the various fruits and veg by finding out what time of year Apricots are harvested, and then what else was harvested around the same time. Beyond that, it was just a matter of trying to keep the perspective decently accurate and fitting the characters on it correctly. Some character sizes are off (Diesel’s supposed to be smaller than Penny, oops), but other than that, very happy with it.

Day 30! The prompt was “Wedding”. Have some context for this, too, the day before’s prompt of “Proposal”.

There was a couple issues with this, seeing that Pennyverse is set before gay marriage was legal. Though I don’t know how closely that universe follows our own history, that seems like a pretty huge commitment for all these funny animal people,,,

Beyond that, my main issue was actually that I don’t feel like they’re the kind of pair to want to get married, even if it is legal. They’re free spirits, especially Riley. But I found the idea of a “wedding party” cute so I went with that. A show of love and commitment without getting the boring old law involved,, (character opinions, not mine, hue)

Other than that, I’m really happy with this drawing. I experimented with some new brushes and lighting/colouring methods, and I think it came out about as good as I could make it, really.

One more Riley and Giulio thing, day 31, a free day. I asked Cammy if he had any ideas and he suggested a Pinede themed one. I was pretty tired out by this one, but I still had a lot of fun with it. Giulio’s design stayed the same, but I gave Riley a more dull, natural colourscheme to suit the Pinede universe, and I of course gave them some new outfits.

Just a relaxing day by the lake, painting and daydreaming~,, And I checked to make sure easels were a thing back then, and it looks as though they were, so that’s neat.

And lastly, a random doodle I did to show Red’s original design as a red-and-white red panda, dressed in the sort of clothes I wore back then for added authenticity. And yes, I had those same shoes with the cherry pattern on them. They were my favourite shoes,,,

May 2021

July 15th, 2021

Several days late posting one of these? How out of character for me!

Mostly concentrated on my social media presence and commissions this month, so I don’t really have anything to post here that hasn’t been posted elsewhere, so let me start with a drawing of Bunny holding one of my pet piggos, Rosemary!

Continuing the theme and aesthetics of the retro style, I have a lot of fun with it. Gradually figuring out new ways to make it look all nice and aged. Not entirely sure why she’s holding Rosemary, I think I just felt like drawing something a bit different.

A little piece of fanart I drew for a Twitter account I follow. They post regular updates about the wildlife that visits their garden, especially a family of badgers, the patriarch of which they’ve lovingly named “Mr Lumpy”.

He has a little wooden shed in the garden which they set up for the badgers, and it’s got a sign across the top of the door saying “Lumpy’s Shack”. I could just picturing him sat in a rocking chair outside his little home, so I had to draw it!

I had a sudden urge to redraw something, and so I redrew one of the first things I drew in Clip Studio when I got it about a year and a bit ago, a drawing of this cat lady relaxing in a green dress. I’m actually rather pleased with the results, I hadn’t realised I’d improved in subtle ways in that time. Both in my general art skills and also my ability to work the program.

Here’s the original, too, in case you’d also like to compare. It’s from January 2020. I might’ve posted it in my entry for that month on this blog, but I can’t be bothered to check right now.

Sidenote, I just noticed that the filename for the original version is a song title from the band Fairport Convention, when the design is blatantly inspired by the lead female singer of Pentangle. What the heck, past Caby.

(Click him to see the animation, the preview is just a still image -_-)

Ah yes, the rare random piece of animation from Caby. This time it’s a real quick and dirty sketch of Seb turning a page in a book. Despite the fact it’s like 20 minutes work and super scribbly, I’m pretty pleased with the general gesturing in it, so that’s why I included it here. I should draw Seb more. I should draw pennyverse more!

Speaking of pennyverse, the last two entries in this post are gonna be just that,,

So, as most artists at least know about, if they don’t take part themselves, Art Fight happens every July. And I love it, it’s great fun. And this year was the first year where I was truly happy with Cat’s design, so I decided to add her to my list of attackable characters. Each of the pennyverse lads on my profile have their own custom icons to show a tidbit of their personality, so I had to make one for Cat too. And here it is!

I’m real happy with this, how she turned out, how the background turned out. It’s her sat on her porch with a cup of tea, watching the sunset. And despite the fact I couldn’t find the brushes I used for the initial batch of icons, she fits right in with the rest of them. Have her totally-not-boyfriend Seb, and resident good boy Colton as examples.

And lastly, a random idea I had, that I might do someday, maybe. I watched a bunch of Soldier, Poet, King animation memes back when those were relevant, and it’s one of my favourites. I always thought it kinda suited the pennyverse trio, too.

So now I have editing software and am decently competent with animating in FireAlpaca, I might have a go at making that idea a reality when I have some free time. Until then, have a doodle of it instead.