The art for this has been mostly done for like a week, I’ve just been struggling with the text. I think I’ve found it now. So here we are, passing the Car Marsh on our way downtown to fix the router.
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.
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.
I’ve been doing a ton of stuff this week, but unfortunately a lot of it is stuff I can’t show you yet – it’s either unfinished or a seeeecret. I have done some work on the portrait of Eric, though, so here are some details from that. The markers I’m using are… honestly really shit-terrible; I bought this giant thing of like 75 markers in a tube for $20 and got what I paid for, I suppose. They’re fine for now but I’m going to need to look for another option beyond pastels if I want to do a lot of really tiny detail work like this in color.
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.
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!
Meet Jeremiah and Eric. As all art imitates life, the house they live in is very much inspired by a number of places I’ve lived, and these two are made up of the men I’ve lived with and loved.
Jeremiah, the Lurch-lookin’ motherfucker on the left, is so literal a depiction of an old boyfriend that he could probably sue me for libel, but I honestly think he’d be pleased. He became even more of a Luddite than he already was when I kicked him out and he went back to Texas, so he’ll probably never see it. When we lived together and were speculating about our future, he promised me that, should I have a daughter someday, he’d refer to her as “Thunderhead,” because he felt it was an excellent nickname for a tiny girl. Thus, Ava inherits the nickname, because it suits her even better.
Eric, the bargain-bin lagoon creature in cargo shorts on the right, looks like all the other men I’ve dated who weren’t the enormous Texan. I like pale, skinny geek boys, what can I say? I look forward to working out years of unresolved domestic issues on these helpless ciphers of former lovers! I’m sure we’ll all grow a great deal as people while we watch them suffer for our amusement.
Today we get our first glimpse outside the Sects house. I realize zombies are done to death, so you’ll be pleased to know that they’re not a major feature of this world – this was not a zombie apocalypse; the zombies are the equivalent of an old man’s garage tinkering for one of our characters. He raises them, makes them march around the yard doing rifle drills, and tests the corgi’s reflexes and ferocity against them. So far the corgi has been rated insufficiently ferocious.
My new technique is to block out the light and colors with pastels, scan that in, tart it up in Photoshop a bit, then print it out and draw on the resulting print with the Micron pens. This protects the Microns from dragging through pastel dust, which I’m not certain would ruin them, but who wants to risk nice pens? And it seems to be working out really well; I’m very happy with the detail I was able to achieve here while retaining the depth of color and layering of the pastels.
Also, corgis are fun to draw, whereas zombies are annoying to draw. Still haven’t named the corgi yet; feel free to comment with great names for a perfectly ordinary corgi with absolutely no supernatural qualities whatsoever.