Save Some for Me Next Time

I just started a new job, which I love, except that it’s terribly exhausting and long hours sometimes. As a result, though I’ve been working on the art for the next bit of Sects, the narration is somewhat eluding me so far.

All of this is by way of saying I’ve been playing a lot of Hades, and here, have a bad sex joke because my brain is fried. I googled “pert man butt” for reference images, and got exactly the level of pertness and impudent jutting I required. NSFW, obviously. Unless your workplace favors pert man butts, in which case, by all means invite your coworkers to join our cult. Open enrollment floggings on alternate Wednesdays.

Too Dear

This update is five pages and it was fuuuuun; there will probably be more of this inverted look because I love how it came out. Feels appropriate to the world of Sects.

Little bit of backstory here, about the night the world ended. It wasn’t supposed to, but… they told us what we’d have to sacrifice to save it, and the price was too dear.

See the rest over on the page where we have Sects.

Terrible Child

Two new pages for Sects! I loooove this brush-pen more than most men I’ve known and I think I’m achieving a style that’s a little more usefully detailed for scenes – like this one – with a lot of movement or exposition. So finally we can jam some plot up in there. It feels like my style changes every time I draw? I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; certainly I’m learning a lot every time, and I’m happier each time with the result, so let’s call it good.

All the rest of it (which is more colorful than this portion) is over hereaways.

Stand Down

I’m home, darlin’! It was a wonderful week in a number of ways. I found a few bits of myself still knocking around where they used to live, keeping an eye on the ghosts. We talked for awhile and agreed that we can go now. The war is over.

The best I can hope for on a given day.

I did some drawing as well, though less than I intended – girls are distracting. You’ll see the girls in question below; two of the beautiful women I love. Any imperfection in evidence is the fault of my clumsy hands, not a fault in the models. I’m terribly clumsy; I try to cultivate an air of well-meaning bumble in the hope that it will be considered my “brand” rather than a serious handicap. Whether I’m a charming eccentric or an active danger to myself depends upon both the day and your perspective.

Eric – more outlines

I went back in and did some outlines on the portrait, and I’m pretty happy with how that came out. The Photoshop portion I’m less happy with; I may end up just scrapping that texture and going back to the original scan and trying something else. I’m not sure what I want to do with the background; might need to do it by hand with pastels. And I’m not sure that all the text I want to put in will fit in that circle, but… that’s a worry for another day. So, a qualified success, I suppose?

Honestly, it’s super hard to think about anything else when what I really want to be doing is playing Hades, my new favorite dad-fighting simulator. Three-headed dog petting, check. Incredibly responsive, beautiful and satisfying gameplay, check. Eternally renewed opportunities to work out deep-seated issues by beating the disappointment out of my dad, check. Game of the year.

Precious Cargo

Okay, so I promise I have an explanation for this. I don’t promise it’s a good one.

I’m goin’ to the game and I’m gonna be strapped. With cats. Cat-strapped.

The explanation is that first we were discussing the sexist bullshit associated with cargo pants. TL;DR: Apparently women’s purses are terrifying vectors for terrorist acts on sports stadiums, whereas men’s pockets, even if large enough to contain an army of ferrets each with their own submachine gun, are totally safe and definitely don’t need to be searched or excluded from the building.

This lead to my wife’s defense of the noble cargo pant, which I was ready to endorse – I’m a practical creature with zero fucks to give for your male-gazey fashion, and I appreciate pockets I can fit not one but two hardback books in. Women get screwed on pockets constantly; it is known.

In trying to describe the pair of cargo pants we have in this house, I suggested that a person could, if so inclined, attend a sporting event with a full-sized adult cat in each side pocket and four separate sets of kittens holstered for quick access. And then, because I was so reckless as to put that image out into the world, I had to draw it.

I decided to just use the Pigma brush pen that I’ve hitherto been too chicken to use, and as with most things I’m initially afraid of and then forced to spend time with, I’m now in love with it. Wait. Maybe that’s a bad comparison. Lemme start again.

I decided to use the Pigma brush pen, with which I am in a mutually consenting relationship, and I’m loving the variability in line weight I can get. Fear keeps getting in my way with my drawings but I think I’m getting past it. This brush pen might be exactly the combination of control and lack of control I’ve been looking for, we’ll see. I’m gonna keep practicing with it – I’m fairly happy with how this came out, never mind the ridiculous subject matter.

Ink and Inkscape

Today I’ve been laying in some art nouveau-style outlines on the portrait of Eric from the other day. I’m loving Inkscape for this purpose; up until now I’ve done stuff like this in Photoshop, but this would have taken me three times as long and looked ten times as shitty if I’d tried to do it that way.

I have a couple of thoughts about how this might end up looking. I want to fill in the larger negative spaces with some detail and smaller drawings, so I’ve printed it out to go back in with the pastels and pens. After that’s done I also want to make an attempt at laying strong outlines over Eric himself with the brush pen. Might not work, in which case we’ll roll back to the version without. I’m enjoying this process of back-and-forthing between the computer and traditional media, and I like the combination of the softer pastel drawing with the art nouveau frame.

What can I say? I love combining things that don’t go together. No matter what you give me, my first impulse is to misuse it. Hand me a snowglobe and I’ll gnaw on it. Tell me one thing doesn’t work with another, and my first thought is, “Challenge accepted,” whether it’s clothes, food or art. Radical synthesis is how I break past creative blocks – when I get stuck, I reach for the most off-the-wall idea I have, the one that fits least well with whatever I’ve got going, and start chopping bits of both off to make ’em fit. The tagline of this site used to be “perverse pastiche,” and that’s why. When I’m working, I throw in whatever comes to hand and sort it out once it’s in the pot. Can’t promise you that this mess will always be tasty, but it’ll always be a flavor you haven’t tasted before. Like broccoli and jam!

Never Have Enough Teeth

Finally recuperated from the tattoo enough to do some drawing. Today we have further damnfoolishness with the undead. Teeth are the currency used between sects in Sects (and also sometimes between insects), at least in Tooth City. It’s possible they use other forms of currency elsewhere, but we don’t travel much – the roads aren’t great, ever since all the left lanes simultaneously became sentient.

I’m trying some new stuff both with the color and with lettering. I don’t like the way the fonts look over the hand-drawn stuff, so I’m going to start doing it by hand with the sweet Pigma brush pen I have, which I am otherwise too chicken to use. I like the way it came out much better. We’ll see how it does on more color-dense pages.

Water Carries Us From Here

So, low-income mental healthcare is a constant delight! Every three months or so I have to spend a few days calling various people over and over, asking them to do their jobs. This is the only way I can ensure the continued supply of the drugs that permit me to be a person for, oh… maybe a total of fifteen hours a week? without my spleen leaping up my throat to throttle my brain. When there’s any kind of hiccup in this utterly asinine process, like for example a holiday, or twelve inches of snow, or a computer glitch, the result is almost always a week or so of sliding back into the Well, remembering how steep that slope is, how hard it was to get to the basic level of functionality I now occasionally enjoy.

Winter is a pretty frustrating time for me as a result. At the moment I’m about a week into lacking one of the four pharmaceuticals I require to provide you the half-assed entertainment you’ve come to expect and demand. Without Adderall, Bupropion, marijuana and caffeine, I’m just about capable of showering once a week. No promises, and no pants. So this week the Adderall’s out, which is much better than the Bupropion being out – weariness and OCD ruining my productivity > suicidal despair – which is why you’re getting something half-finished. I want to do more with this but I’m in a lot of pain and very tired so it will happen tomorrow. I’m happy to feel like I’m getting better detail out of the pastels than I have before. They’re unpredictable little fuckers but I seem to draw better when I’m in less control of the process. It seems like I’ll improve when I can stop thinking so hard about what I’m doing. Isn’t that everything, these days?

At any rate, here is Eric, one of the four people currently living in Johnny and Ava’s family home and comprising their very underwhelming cult. I want to fill out all that negative space with some art nouveau designs and detail about him. There’ll be a portrait like this of each of our main characters. Couldn’t tell you why there’s a hairbrush on his desk, as he doesn’t have a damn bit of hair. Yes, he uses an old Macintosh that he found in a dumpster. He interfaces with it primarily via his chin-tentacle, so it sucks a lot less than you’d think. Yes, he’s naked. He doesn’t wear clothes around the house much. Just imagine all the majestic views of fish-dicks to come!