Art: Thank you for 100k hits!

Thank you for 100,000 hits on deviantART and a great twenty-first birthday! He's drinking because now I can, too.... but he's a lightweight, like me. But he can make it through four... I can't make it through one. Awkward hands are awkward. When it comes to sketches I kind of stop caring after I finish the face...


Art: Steampunk Concepts

I have kept this project under wraps for about a month and a half now, but it's the main reason I haven't been posting so much. This is my entry for GameXpo's Steampunk Art Contest - a conference which is occurring this weekend. For me, it's a more formal foray into game artwork.

The setting draws from and visually defines the previous alternate universe Steampunk headworld of Rivek. I truly enjoy translating my characters into different worlds because it's a mental challenge of maintaining their personalities in the different environment. Like, how would their occupations change? Their clothing? Their histories?

"The Bow and the Rose" is the love story of a vigilante and a duke's daughter. In this universe, steam power (much like nuclear power) was invented during war. As a result, there are two classes: the people who use steam power and the people who make it. With Steampunk being itself an idealism of Victorian ideals, this story involves what kind of history-inspired idealism would be present in a Steampunk world. It also requires some (a lot) of suspension of disbelief ...

Ari Kovalev is a direct analogy to Rivek. Rivek's initials are A. A. R. I. and the history behind the Alisian religion mirrors that of Judiasm. He is a middle-management coal-shoveler, a peacetime position inherited form his father. He idolized his father and picked up all his mechanical knowledge through oral tradition and experimentation. Thus, he only has colloquial literacy. However, while the two of them were serving in the military, an accident happened. Ari lost his arm, and his father lost his life. The coat he wears is his father's, but modified to suit his form.

Ari has a Robin Hood belief that there shouldn't be such a large division between classes. After all, a low-life like him could build a working mechanical arm. He holds onto this notion frm his grandfather - that times were much simpler and happier prior to the war which produced steam technology. Hence, his prefferred weapon is a bow. It's primitive in design, but it hints at the meritocracy Ari would prefer. Unlike uncontrollable steam power, a bow can only be lethal in the right hands.

A close-up of the portrait. The wires are actually stitched to his neck... and he's always covered in dirt.

Solaris Williamsburg is from the other side of the tracks, a rich girl who grew up knowing all the wonderous luxuries provided by steam power. Her counterpart, Willowren is a princess whose spoiled existence is finally interrupted when she makes contact with people of different background than hers. Her uncle is a rich and powerful duke who prefers to treat her like a caged bird. However, when people are affluent, they tend to invest money in culture and the arts. Thus, Solaris knows all about history, and she is smitten with fairy tales of dashing men rescuing the downtrodden. So, any instance she can, she leaves her quarters and drops roses in places Ari will find them. She is not in love with him - persay - just the ideals he stands for.

I put quite a bit of thought into the arm. It's meant to be a replacement, not something superpowered. Therefore, it's modeled after human anatomy. There is bone underneath, providing it with mechanical force. However, during the accident, most of Ari's flesh had been damaged so badly it had to be removed. The brass arm requires regular maintenance and cleaning to avoid infection. The point where it joins into Ari's shoulder is his main physical weakpoint, and it has actually disfigured the anatomy there.

Ari is left-handed, so he continues to do most things with his biological hand - especially those which require fine accuracy.

During their courtship, Ari gives Solaris a mechanical bird he built. It's a music box made of brass. It's a swallow, his symbol. She returns in kind with roses.

I've been taking a Game Design and Development course. I like it, but I am learning that game mechanics is not my strength. I can easily implement things and come up with good art/settings - but like it bores me to tears trying to come up with the optimal equipment for my lovingly back-storied, Dungeons and Dragons character. (By the by, his name is Robin Ian Batman, and he is a sixteen-year-old druid boy with a bear... who turns into a bear... and has a bag of tricks which can make more bears...) But hey, if anyone needs a look or setting for there game, I'm so there.

Art: Zombie Lightning Round for Amy

Late zombie drawing for PhoenixElement. I have a hard time spelling "phoenix."