...and the boring apple
Some days, I swear you just want to draw some weird sea creatures, and nothing else will do until you’ve got some weird sea creatures in your sketchbook. At least this is what I am telling myself to rationalize why I have a murloc in my book. We won’t mention that I pretty much dropped everything that I was doing (in-game) and logged onto my rogue so that I could stealth my way into the dungeon and stare this cute ugly thing in the face and draw him. Yes, I’m talking about World of Warcraft. Yes, my rogue was level appropriate to go into this dungeon. Let me disclaimer here before I get sued when I haven’t even hardly gotten started. The murloc I drew is the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment. I paid for their game and their subscription and virtually but physically took my character into a dungeon they created because I did not have the flight path or get summoned, it took a bit, and used their in-game monster as my reference to draw this in-sketchbook monster. Specifically this one, because normal murlocs just don’t do it for me. They don’t have that angler fish vibe that makes them so terrifyingly adorable. And they’re not as shiny. And this version (the Blindlight Murloc found in the Blackfathom Deeps dungeon that they created) has a tail….fin? tailfin? butt appendage?
Yes, I totally could have just looked up a screenshot of this little dude on Google, but then I wouldn’t have had the joy of walking up to it’s face (in stealth, because let’s be real here, it’s an elite mob two levels higher than my squishy, squishy rogue and it would eat her face for lunch). I swear, other than the sheer joy of drawing WoW fanart, this guy turning to look at my character because he thinks he saw something made me so incredibly happy. It was like he was turning so I could get a profile and front view for what is probably the best drawing I have made to date.
What I love: All of it. SO very much all of it. I want to make him real…or plushy, I’ll take either option. And then I want to name him. Side note: I was so freaking proud of this drawing that I showed it to my mom, who I was sure was going to lecture me about how I should not be drawing monsters instead of real things to get better at drawing. She did not. Though I’m sure she thought he looked weird and awful… but not because I drew him badly. She even named him. I forgot what she named him though, because I’m a horrible daughter.
What I can improve: His tail looks a little weird. Kind of like a flat, scaley poop. I think maybe the lines are too dark putting more emphasis on it than should be? Or the angle is off a bit? I’m not really sure. I just know it’s weird.
I wanted to say that until this sketch, I had been sketching using erasable colored pencils, because someone somewhere once said that they help make skin tones look more alive when you add color. I’ve heard this a few times, so I can’t actually pinpoint where I heard it first. But if I said that, it would be a lie. Because there was Anubis.
I drew, sort of, an apple. It’s more of like a rough apple outline and then using varying grey values to imply shape and light and all that. See? Look at that. I learned an art term. “Value.” I feel better for having learned something this day.
This wasn’t particularly fun to draw, but it’s one of those things that I know I’m going to have to draw more of. In fact, if I can make myself get to it, I have a lawn gnome that’s going to be drawn in a similar way. If I remember correctly, this is called a “Real Life Study.” I imagine it has many many uses. Like getting you to see value instead of colors so that when you add color, it’s not a hot mess. And it’s probably very useful in realism drawing.
What I love: Not very much. I enjoy that it looks like an apple. I ‘kind of’ like that top part where the stem comes out because you can kind of tell with the directions of the lines that it’s curved. That’s about it. This wasn’t a very fun drawing to have, despite being enjoyable to have made? Does that make sense? I enjoyed the process even though I don’t care for the product. That’s what I’m trying to say.
What I can improve: All of it. The line quality and direction, smoothing shadows and shading… I don’t remember, but I think I was in a hurry to be done with the exercise because it’s a boring apple. I did this as an assignment and counting it for this project because I don’t think I would have done it had I not been doing the project, especially since this was right about the time that my ceramics class was about a week away from its last day to work with wet clay.
Despite that I didn’t really want to draw an apple, I am happy with myself for doing it, and it does look nice in my sketchbook as proof that I can do something real. Everything up to this point looks like a cartoon… or is a cartoon. I do want to be able to draw realistically, and not just cartoons, so I do think that it’s important to learn the skills required to draw this way, despite it not being as much fun and my desire to put wings and dragon scales on everything. (Like a sketchbook coming up in a future post that I will also link to here when that post gets written.)