Y’know, I never thought I’d get this far with the whole newsletter thing. It’s kept spooking me, so I’ve been putting off making a newsletter at all. And now that I have one, I’m putting off writing this thing until the last possible second. Probably because this feels more intimate than writing a Subscribe Star post, or something like that.
I’d thought this month’s newsletter was going to be lean in the Content Department™, but then a friend came to visit us and I’ve been zooming ever since. I think I’ve missed people, haha. Before shi got here, I’d been working on Her Fire (Previously titled The Summoning), and I got that up to 52.6k. I think, narratively, I’m at the halfway point in the story, but I’ve got no idea how that’s going to translate to total word count moving forward. Not that word count explicitly matters so much; it’ll tell me when it’s done. And so will my three betas I’m sure, snort.
Outside of posting some snippets on Twitter, I’ve posted the first 6k of the novel to my Subscribe Star. Hopefully this is the last iteration of this damned thing; It’s gone through four total/complete iterations so far, never mind the three or four different outlines I’ve picked at and diverged from. Turns out I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, when I’d thought it was the other way around for a long time. >__>;
So this piece sparked a revelation. I really want to do a tiny AU of Ila and Idris as Psyche and Eros. But there’s not really much for me to grab on and write with the original myth exactly, and I’ve got plenty of other settings that keep clamoring for my attention in that regard. But it’s been this itch at the back of my head for a while. Months.
The more I write (and read both good and bad writing and how to write at all), the more I realize I really like weaving narratives; the better I get at it, the more I want to do it. Visual art presents this… Disconnect that I haven’t quite figured out how to resolve; at least not with telling a story in a single illustration. It’s probably because I haven’t really paid much attention to learning how to, but more often than not it feels like this lack of room. I don’t just want to do one piece and call it finished - I want to do multiple in a series.
Which keeps leading me into this odd scenario where I don’t let myself plan to do a series of illustrations that are meant to tell a story in their sequence; I just plan to do one piece… And then get frustrated because I get this urge to make it a series, but I never resolve the feeling. I don’t have time or initiative because I never let myself plan to make whatever the idea is a series of illustrations - I tried to coalesce it into one piece. Which, I’ve realized, does not work. Comics don’t work either, that method of storytelling is too literal and my last experience with it was not very pleasant, to say the least.
This one was fun to paint! This is a commission for Thorphax of his red dragon as a Xenomorph King, based off of this maquette statue by Sideshow. There was an extra layer of fun here, because Thorphax loves bondage and latex, and figuring out how to get that on a xeno in a vaguely canon-compliant way was a really neat brain teaser. Just, use the dang resin.
From what I recall, this is going to go on his mantle above his fireplace. He’s been waiting a few years now, and I’m glad I did it now instead of a few years ago; I was able to give it the attention and care it deserves as a mantle piece.
So, I use DAZ studio to pose models a lot, and then I take them into blender to light them up for my paintings. I’ve always used eevee rendering for lighting because I didn’t really understand cycles. But my husband showed me how to fuss around with it yesterday and uh… Wow that’s a huge difference. I’m still clunking my way around blender - I still don’t know how most of the program functions - so I’d like to broaden my understanding of it in general so I can take more of an advantage of what it can offer me.
This is going to be a very macabre Beauty and the Beast type of illustration for Aainsleyy! It was billed to me as a “worst timeline” scenario for the characters, where the woman is possessed by a demon and her shape-shifter lover has given up entirely on his humanity and morality. I’m very very excited to paint this one! Going to be starting that today, I think.
… In writing all of this I just realized that I missed an important light source, so I’m adding that in now, haha. Eventually I’d love to work my way around blender enough to sculpt and rig my own body models; I’ve got a Xenomorph head sculpt I did in an afternoon, as well as very sketchy Ila/Idris faces, but I’d really like to do some more refined sculpts to make my life easier, later. Also body parts like, paws and tails and a couple generic animal faces - basically front-loading all of that work to make subsequent work with illustrations way easier.
That’s all for May; thanks again for signing up everyone. ♥