It's been a month, and I've managed to get back into form, after a few false starts, some grim failures, and some lessons learned. This will be a long one, so enjoy.
I don't rightly remember starting or finishing this. I was sleeping a lot during this period, and every so often I think I'd wake up and jot something down. Eventually this was done. It's ink, as I hadn't dusted off the watercolors yet.
This is watercolor. A self portrait, because I was accused of never doing any. Just a sketch, really, if I ever get vain enough to draw myself again I'll do a better job with this idea.
This was the first thing I'd done in ages that I actually liked. I need to do more like this. I don't have this one anymore. An old friend showed up out of nowhere one night, and we got to talking. He liked it, so I hacked it out of my sketchbook with my trusty old viking knife and gave it to him. It was supposed to be the first in a series of things involving this naked horseman, but that didn't pan out. I got out the watercolor for the first time in months and found my abilities rendered unto the void. I painted 2 or 3 pages and ended up tearing them apart because it looked like the muddied scrawlings of a mule-kicked simpleton. This ran me aground for a few more days. Then I started getting ideas again.
A little bit of a religious kick started me back off on the right foot. Olde time religion is something I love, and to me that always means flint knives and standing stones.
This was run-up to the next one. After my catastrophic return to watercolor, I decided to stick to ink for awhile. It was a good decision, I've got plenty of techniques to refine with it, and I'm working here in a much larger format. Anyhow, another olde time religion painting.
If the term "Religious crocodile sacrifice opus" has never been applied to any work before, let it be applied here first. I'm quite happy with this one. In-process, it went painfully wrong toward the end. Those light rays can be tricky. But thanks to the total opacity of black ink, no one will ever know.
I decided to to a quadtych incorporating skeletal remains in landscapes. I'd thought to do this awhile ago, but not until working on a larger scale was I able to get enough space for detail. I also used a different ink mixture for the wash on these, and will be doing a whole hell of a lot more of that in future.
The trees on these first two came out much better than I'd anticipated. The teeth on this one need work, but I'm loathe to touch it up for fear of ruining something I'm basically happy with.
This begs detail shots, because those goddam buildings took ages and are gorgeous. Half-timbered Tudor houses are now my favorite kind of buildings to paint. Aside from the background, this is entirely done with black india ink at different levels of dilution. Versatile business, that stuff.
More Tudor houses, a giant's skull with a Saxon sword jammed through it, trees. Yep. I like all of those things.
Someone from the frozen north requested warpaint. This inspired me to get some business done on the Ulf Kingraper saga I've been kicking around for a bit. I'm going to start it with stories of the future barbarian warlord's youth, here seen with some goblins who he is forcing to rob a caravan. A new method here, applying ink to light pencil sketches, then filling in lines later for definition.
And most recently this. Large portions of Ulf's adolescence was spent befriending this baby mammoth and killing unicorns. This story is bound to take ages to finish, but I've got nothing but ages to spare.
There we have it. The last month has been interesting. A couple weeks ago an old friend emerged from the woodwork. Just strolled on up while I was at work, after 2 years of total silence. The man doesn't even have an email address. He's been in China, studying international relations at Tsinghua, which is Zhongguo's equivalent to Harvard. We talked about old days and updated eachother on the present whereabouts of the old pack. Scattered to the four winds, we are, but we still manage to keep pace. Good times.