illustration is art


Aloy WIP 2


There’s a stage I get to, doing a painting, when all the rough suggestion becomes visible coolness… I love that stage, the work goes from hopeful slog, to ‘phew, I’m doing this!’… Aloy is just at that stage! From now on, it’s all awesome… I’m creating something beautiful that I love, and it makes me feel so good. I got to the stage, a few years ago, where I knew this stage would always arrive, it was so good, all those years of trying had payed off… there was a time, most of my life, actually, where I’d start paintings (back then, they were always physical paintings) and I’d never get to the sweet stage, I’d just give up, because I couldn’t do what I wanted to. It wasn’t till I started my degree, and had to produce paintings to a deadline, and could spend every waking hour working on them, that I learned to work through my crippling self-doubt, and began realising my life-time aspiration to be an artist. So, yay for me (:

I now have the time to work on this painting, having completed the main story in the game (which was joyfully sucking up all my spare time), and most of the side quests (I always do as many side quests as I can, so my character will be as kick-ass as possible for the main, huge battle you know is always gunna happen)… the game stats say I’m 75% through the game, they don’t give hours played, but I’d say it was in excess of 40. I hate finishing the main quest in such a great game… you can still dick around doing side stuff, but it’s not the same, you can no longer level up and, if you are like me, by the time you complete the main quest, your character is as powerful as they possibly can be. My Aloy is now practically indestructible… she can take out dozens of bad machines, any single one of which would have been really, really hard, literally with her bare hands (her spear), so it kind of detracts from the challenge. Anyway, really loved the game… I seldom replay such games, as you go from indestructible to pathetically weak if you restart, and pathetically weak sucks once you’ve known real strength/power.

Sam, Trish & Frazey; revisited

SamTrishFrazeyI first posted this, when I finished it, four years ago. I was just looking through my many folders on my original, wonderful Mac, and ‘refound’ it. This was the year I began teaching myself to paint digitally. Paintings took me as long as 30-40 hours of work! My absolute favourite bit in this one is that floral-print dress! No recollection of how long it took, but it still blows me away… both the print and the fabric folds… I think I really nailed that dress! These woman are, of course, the fabulous Be Good Tanyas (:

Aloy WIP 1


As promised, I have commenced a painting of Aloy, the awesome, red-headed protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn (: HZD is a gorgeous game, the scenery is constantly, breathtakingly beautiful, and the costumes are magnificent! And they are just backdrops to the excellent gameplay and character development. I love this game to bits!

Every Last One of Them


Here is battle-hardened, indomitable Ellie (:

Every Last One of Them WIP 3


This is where I’m at with Ellie today (: As you can see, the girl has been smashed around… but don’t worry, she will have made sure her attackers never hurt anyone, ever, again.

Every Last One of Them WIP 2


Clever, intense, driven, lethal Ellie is gorgeously taking shape beneath my Wacom stylus (: It’s so nice to be working on something beautiful again! I am giving Ellie slightly less attention than I would like, however, as I have a new digital babe crush… Aloy, the main character in Horizon Zero Dawn, which I began playing the day it came out, 3 days ago. I love open-world games, much, much more than limited, linear games, and HZD is about as open as they come. Another game with beautiful character development… you are introduced to tough little Aloy, when she is only six, and I dare anyone not to fall instantly in love with her! The game is gorgeous, mind-blowingly so! And the game-play is fabulous. Teenaged Aloy is gorgeous, too, right down to her dry, cynical sense of humour. I can totally see an Aloy painting after the Ellie one (:

The Lizard King WIP4


I started working on this repulsive creature as a kind of exorcism of my loathing for it… I am having fun depicting it’s true sliminess, but… it and it’s crowd of appallingly stupid, dangerous, repugnant lackeys continue to beggar the mind with their obscene, bizarre obsessions, which make them perfectly suited to be pals with Kim Jong-Un, running some hideous, poisonous little kingdom of sycophants and buffoons, but not to be the gang in control of the most powerful nation on the damned planet, and to have gotten in that position due to that nation’s chronically escalating political dysfunctionality… there is simply no exorcising that level of horror.