Detailing & Discovery

A while ago with my computer crashing I lost a “small” amount of my book. Despite backing it up to 3 cloud based sites I some how managed to have it die exactly at the wrong time. On the weekends I discovered a word file with 50102 words I had lost… not as small as the 4-5k I had thought i was missing.

Nothing like adding 50k to your book to motivate you to write! (book is now just a few hundred shy of 120k) and I hope to have the entire first write done by the end of September ready for edits!

Big shout out to the lovely @Gypsy_Syl on twitter for sparking my search (go listen to the Battlebards podcast she takes part in if you haven’t already, its really great fun!) is the weblink for those without twitter.


Painting wise I began working on the details of the painting now, with the left side of the work nearing finish.


As well as doing my own painting my twins finished their own first works, very proud of how they followed instructions and put their own spin on things. Very good work for 4.5yo kids in my bias opinion 😀

Gabs & Orlando’s paintings:


The Final Week of NaNoWriMo

As I write this there are 3 more days of NaNoWriMo to go. It has been the hardest one for me to keep pace with the required world count. Often this has been my own choice as conversations about being too busy or too tired are really good ways to take yourself out of the writing game.

I had poised on the edge of abandoning it but I am very stubborn and refused to surrender to situations and justifications.

So currently I stand at

Words Remaining 3,861



All this writing has taken a lot of my art time, unfortunately I have to split my time – with paid full time work and family life taking up the vast majority of it.

I did manage to do the following painting of the Night Elf Starting zone forest from World of Warcraft.

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Nanowrimo Struggles

Well I hit the wall a bit with my writing and fell under about 3000 word count required. I really felt like abandoning everything as too hard but took some deep breaths and threw on my headphones and found some epic fantasy music on Youtube to write too – and smashed out 3k words in an hour or so.

Fingers are still tingling and I’m about 800 behind now but closing back in.

Art wise I made a big switch to acrylic paints and increased my canvas size to A3 from A4 which gives me a lot more room to play with.  As with everything there will be a sizable transition period between what worked in water colors and inks and what works in acrylics.

While at the art supply store I made the exciting discovery of water soluble oil paints – a special type of oil paints that washes out in water. I was very tempted to buy a starter pack but wanted to work through all the mediums in some kind of logical order (well order in my head) so I resisted but will definitely transition to those next.

New Paintings: *first two are inks

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First Acrylic!

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Pottering Along


Nothing completed this week but a few projects started.

A mate of mine wanted a character sketch for a new 5th edition D&D game. After a bit of a conversation I threw together a quick sketch as below. I also need to do a few more styles and poises to find one that sparks the right feel for his character.

Its always interesting do thing these as you get to play a 10 questions sort of game with the person and in the end you both have a much better idea of who your character is and what they look like.

1 min sketches

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Basic outlines

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Bit more detailing

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So next round to be decided 😀

Also I continued along with my Hunter as below

Adding details – using charcoal pencil for most of this drawing

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Starting on the first crow


And first crow finished

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Further detailing and second crow finished

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And the most current update

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Elderscrolls Online

I have been continuing on with my “Druid” and finished the first quest lines.

As the skills opened up I have morphed them into anything that feels druidic. My Regen now ticks for more heals, my thorns disable longer and my Nightblade siphoning now heals near by friends as well as me.

Have been a bit quiet in other games – EQ and EQ2 but hope to pickup a little more activity over the coming week.


The 1st edition game I am running my players have reached 4th level and are currently trapped in a nightmare dimension. Working their way through the twisted shadowscape to find a demon that has them imprisoned.

Its funny how despite all its quirks and how long its been going, first edition dungeons and dragons can still produce a fun, challenging and memorable adventure.

On Wednesdays I am playing in a 13th Age game run by a mate and had stared with a barbarian and swapped to a druid when the expansion book came out. Last game play my druid had a nasty run in with a big orc boss and sadly did not live though it.

So I created a new character – a dwarven necromancer – to join in the party. This should be a lot of fun!


Finished off another chapter and continued onward – reduced the word count down to 105k which is only 5k from the total I was sort of aiming for.

Ratonga Finished and Back to Book Edits

I’m on holiday next week so I hope to finally make it to one of the local art supply stores to pickup some water color pencils and more paper/bigger paper.

In the mean time I am still having a ball on Everquest and Everquest2 and continued on with my Ratonga sketch. Ratonga have to be my favorite race of any game. Not only do they have neat style they also have a cutthroat lore and society.

Hopefully I did the Ratonga’s proud with this sketch.

Scribble continued.
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And the Ratonga finished.

As well as the Ratgona I have been continuing with converting one of my dragon sketches into line art – still along way to go as this sketch has a lot of details to be converted.

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As mentioned above what little MMO game time I have has been spent in Everquest(2) which has been about an hour this week. I tried to go gather some teir2 crafting mats but to my delight Antonica has been reverted back into the dangerous heroic ^^^ gnoll zone I use to love. Still it made me reconsider solo harvesting.

Other than that I have been watching a lot of dota2 – The Internationals has begun – with a prize pool of about 16 million dollars this is the top yearly competition for dota2.

Editing book one has been going well – knocked off a chapter and it is feeling a lot better. The break has done good things for my critical eye and this edit should have the book in a good solid state. After my edits I am sending the chapters off to my partner who is kindly doing a copy edit on them – one of the great advantages of going out with an english major.

Much Watching, Little Playing

To be honest I am in a bit of a “what game do I play” funk. For sure its a first world problem but still its making a mess of my limited game time.

Everquest is still there, enjoying the time I get to play it so its more to do with a secondary game. Maybe the problem is that I dont have time for a second game but my gamer brain says “must play all the games” which was fine when I wasnt writing a book, editing a book, drawing lots of pictures, working full time, raising 3 kids, trying to spend some time with my partner.

So because I couldnt settle on things I had a few goes with many things.

This is a really interesting concept, I cant help but feel that its ideals are much greater than its implementation. For all the cool things the generic feeling combat and generic feeling classes leave me wondering more “what if” than “wow cool”. The art style is ok, definitely a cute idea having classical Greek/Roman like gods mixed with tech but the actual questing and zones feel disappointingly short and small. It may open up later on but its hard to get to later on when this is my first impression.

Marvel Heroes
I ducked back into this game – it is a lot of mindless destruction at my level but again its not something I find very sticky. I managed to level up a few times with Scarlet Witch and she is a heck of a lot of fun. Tbh Marvel heroes does a fantastic job of making everything you do fun (except inventory space!)

Path of Exile
PoE had an expansion so I made a new Templar – still very early days but PoE is my top pick for ARPG. It does seem that the tempest level adds some cute additions to the game and that the drop rates of gear seems a lot better for newbies. If for some crazy reason you haven’t checked out PoE I recommend it highly.

I cancelled my sub to Wildstar – the game itself is solid but I cannot find a class or race that I find more than a passing interest in. The two faction and limited starting zones feel tired and overdone to me. Even although the races look differently that (at least at the start) is moot when you get tied to the faction story – perhaps what I really need is a sandbox fantasy game.

Book 2 is kicking along nicely, some more surprises and some more sadness for my main characters – I do know how the book ends but I have no idea how my characters are going to survive to get there!

Have been working on a dwarven wizard. I am trying my best to improve my skills and take more time on details and flow of my art. Also trying to make sure things feel like they have depth and texture. There are lots of bits I like in this art and a lot of “will like to improve that next time.” still my art is very much in its infancy so I am just trying to stay positive and keep working away at things.

Starting Concept

Refining part 1
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Cleaning up lines & add face
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Adding details
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And final WiP for now. (oops got the wrong one first post)

Elder Dwarf Warrior

I finished the line art of another dragon – you can see it on the line art page.

I also started an elder dwarven warrior – trying to make a character that was scared, old and looking grizzled. As you can tell by the sketch I am also going for a lot of dragon themes on this one.

Base outline

First detailing

Starting to fill in shading/details
Trying to work with detailing as I go now that outline is done rather than completing the entire outline and slowly bringing in details over the entire picture. Will see how it goes.

Latest WiP
And this is as far as I have got so far. May end up lightening up the face somewhat but the grizzled vet is starting to take shape.
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And the other WiP is another line art dragon
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I managed to get back into the swing of my story at last. Given the amount of sickness we have had in the house I am feeling well behind in where i wanted to be but still progress is nice. Remind me to never stop writing half way thru again!

I lept back into TESO line today, picked up my Redguard Nightblade who I am actually playing as a dual wield thief/assassin which is very odd for me for its totally normality. Actually really enjoyed the questing I did. The quests flow on nicely and I found myself just wanting to do another few more to see how the story unfolded.

If you can pickup TESO on a special then I recommend it, the buy to play option is really good.

In Everquest we are continuing our necromancers – got them to level 4 last night which took a bit of time but the game is so much fun to potter in.

I wish I could say the same for World of Warcraft – the patch 6.2 did not grab me and I am a tad bored outside of raiding already. Perhaps its not Blizzards fault but I will add my voice to the “Weakest expansion so far” crowd. When they announced WoD and all the technical changes and fixes they were planning I did express my concern that the amount of testing and rework that alone would require would leave them light on dev time.

Still it hardly doom and gloom, for the vast majority of players WoW is their game and I think that although there will be a sub loss next quarter report it should level off a lot more than the massive 3 million loss they had in Q1.