August 19th, 2009


The Ten Young Sages of the West and the Rest of the Twelve

    And other things.  Did you know how hard it is to figure out kanji and hanzi when you've got absolutely no clue what it is you're writing?  Well now I know and I wish I didn't.

    It's been two months that haven't been as productive as they should've been.  Again.  Ah, well.  I've got a handful of sketches, including the remainder of the Twelve Wizards that I mentioned... (looks back) over a year ago.  I'm not terribly worried, though I think I have enough money I can actually buy Photoshop and a goodly-sized tablet to actually seriously try those ImagineFX tutorials and workshops I keep reading and sighing over.  And anyway, in the grand scope of things, a lack of professional tools is the least of my concerns.

    Also, I went back and compressed a lot of what I liked most about those shotgun-approach ideas I wrote for character profiles back in the series of Unluckies posts and I made one definitive, easier-to-manage stable of characters that I might be able to work with.  Though all the ideas I didn't scoop up and compile I'll always at least have for use later.  All but two of these characters I've written about elsewhere on the LJ (which I must constantly tell myself is no substitute for an actual blog or website!  But alas, laziness)  in some form or another, even in the form of minor footnotes or namechecks.   And those two are relatives of Silva Mage Association characters so, well, they're not terribly new in effect either!

    I've done a bit of trimming down on older, somewhat more melodramatic ideas I thought up a while back.  For some reason, it seems like restraint helps keep my head grounded.  It also puts the even subtler weird moments in pretty stark relief.

    (On the topic of drawing landscapes and the like, I've come to terms with the fact that I will never outgrow my reliance on photoreference.  And, nowadays, Google Maps.  No, seriously.  You can zoom in and see street-level views of cities and not only is it fascinating it also makes for a cheap and dirty substitute for actually getting real photos of these places I intend to draw!  Like London.  No seriously, try it out sometime. This is helpful because traffic in the Greater Seattle Metropolitan area makes me all kinds of frustrated.)

    Anyway, I'll put all the pictures down below the LJ-cut.  Before I get to the ensemble (or part one of it), I'll also get some words in on those members of Jupiter's Twelve Consuls that had been waiting for basic designs since, well, I forget since when.  They were around longer and therefore kind of deserve top billing here.  Though I didn't give it to them because they're high-level villains and not exactly something you toss some starting-level characters at.

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    Now that I've gotten that out of the way and finally updated my LJ after a summer of disuse, I should also draw a picture of the Ladies of the Ten Young Sages of the West to complement the Gentlemen.  But I get the feeling I'd have to constantly fight the instinctual urge to make it a very naughty picture, and that's hardly a productive thing to do.

    Then again, I'm not a terribly productive fellow.