Welcome to my character portrait gallery

For anyone who is wondering, Wednesday became 'black Wednesday' for me because I cannot draw mid-week!
In fact I'm sure the rainforests mourn Wednesday too by the amount of paper I tear through in frustration... so this is a blog for all who know what like it is to regularly shout at their pencils
Oh yes it's also all about fictional characters plus interviews with them, yeah, that too :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fao (and Amber Aarona again)

This is our first outdoor interview, mostly due to the subject’s size but also because even if we were able to find an indoor space large enough to accommodate Fao we’re pretty sure it isn’t wise for us snack-sized people to shack up in a tiny enclosure with the world’s largest living predator. Not that the ability to run in any given direction would make a difference but I’d personally like to stretch my legs before being devoured. 

It’s not surprising then that few of the staff are eager to leave their studio sanctuary in order to stand just feet away from a ginormous potential killing machine, even with the vague assurance that Amber will be present. To be fair Servs are the biggest known breed of dragon on the planet and they are feared for good reason. Those of us stupid enough to sign the liability disclaimer are not disappointed. Fao is certainly a colossal and powerful beast whose image fulfils all our childhood fantasies of meeting a legendary lizard.

Fao is a male Serv and currently the largest of his kind. Physics dictate that Servs probably shouldn’t be able to fly and yet they can. Amber explains that despite his bulk Fao is relatively light; with hollow bones and an impressive wingspan he has no trouble getting airborne.

A great deal of any Servs magnitude is comprised of their wings, lengthy neck and long whip-like tail. These beasts are powerhouses of muscle and sinew wrapped in an impenetrable foil of fluted scales. The species boast lean limbs, dexterous clawed toes, rugged beaks and mouths dripping with curved sabre teeth that are as sharp as scimitars. The two yellowed and elongated canines that protrude from Fao’s ridged lips are also standard issue although we are informed that the size and frequency of these vary from one individual to the next.

Contrary to their size and decorative death scythes they are not the most ferocious of dragons and as Amber proves they can make good companions if you have a large enough personality, oh and a sizeable canyon in your back yard.
Whilst widely known as carnivores Servs are actually omnivorous and will eat pretty much anything including bones. They are also quite adept at swimming and like to fish. The population is however a dwindling one as Servs don’t breed often and when they do they only produce a singular offspring.

We are assured that unless directed otherwise Fao has a calm temperament. Still it’s hard not to be intimidated by his sheer vastness, let alone his jagged beak and ferocious looking teeth. We are told that his outer canines, ear flaps and patterning are more for display than hunting. The biggest threat Fao is likely to face after all is either a challenge for territory or the charms of a female.

It’s hard to grasp Fao’s true size on paper so we decided to create another Amber portrait to give you a point of reference and sense of scale. Remember Amber is only 5ft 2in tall and (if you will excuse the expletive) holy shit his tooth is longer than her head! 

We only managed to fit his beak in her portrait and in case you were wondering, yes that does mean Amber is able to sit atop his crown like some lofty queen of the dragons.

Amber’s presence is greatly appreciated during the interview, as we would not like to meet such a monstrosity in the wild or without a trained handler present. It strikes us that one would need Amber’s stubbornness and bolshie tenacity to gain control over such a magnificent creature. It wasn’t until after the session we discovered that she has in fact had no training whatsoever.

Amber and Fao have lived alongside one another since childhood. Growing together brought a bond of loyalty between them, a dependable unison not unlike family wherein they defend each other to the hilt. Fao is capable of this due to possessing a more acute level of awareness and understanding than other dragons. Amber considers him sentient, or as she puts it, ‘he’s as sentient as Draygun citizens only with slightly better language skills and manners.’

Whilst Fao was never trained per say he does respond to the pitch of Amber’s whistle. The pattern the whistle is swung in acts as a signal that allows the two to communicate over greater distances. This whistle is fine tuned to Fao’s hearing and often out of earshot for those of us with regular hearing. Amber explains she has commands such as ‘follow’ and ‘stay’ alongside more informative swings of ‘friend’ or ‘foe’ and most importantly, ‘food.’ We hope she never directs Fao to look at us with that last one in mind.

As her companion she insists he has always had his own free will and jokes that he eats anyone who treats him like a pet. Her jokes make us nervous. Yet the creature himself seems to be easy going, he is not bothered in the slightest by us and seems to enjoy beak rubs from those brave enough to pat him.

Dawww we must admit that Fao is like a big loveable Doberman, you know if said Doberman were scaled and prone to eating all the smaller dogs in the park.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Orin Deyaander

A seemingly innocent and normal looking character Orin is 27years old and stands at a rather modest 5ft 4in tall. Were it not for the tan and dual pointed ears we would have mistaken his ethnicity as to our knowledge most Dryad don’t have blonde hair or sky coloured eyes, but then Orin isn’t most Dryad.

In person he is the friendly and talkative type, a helpful and resourceful fellow who is quick to charm with a blue-eyed wink and cheeky little grin. He at first appears ordinary, an honest and genuine interviewee who is open in conversation, that is, until his second persona arises. It fast becomes apparent that Orin is not exactly what you would call normal. Whilst he can talk himself in or out of almost any situation he is unable to control random outbursts caused by having a split-personality.

When we say split we actually mean entirely ruptured as Orin is either blissfully unaware or refuses to acknowledge that he has a second persona. He calls this other persona Yaani and thinks it is his twin brother. In direct opposition to Orin, Yaani has a sharp tongue, is quick to judge, rude and discourteous. He is brash and speaks more brutal truths than Orin whose main concern seems to be buttering his audience. They also often argue, which basically equates to one man standing in the studio shouting at himself.

However between the two Orin details how he managed to coax and persuade his way into the roles of both steward and runner for the renowned Canzerth household. Unofficially we were tipped off that Orin is also the resident thief. Described by Ezra no less as, ‘devious, mischievous and perhaps a little delightfully mad.’ 

Orin explains how Yaani likes to misplace items about the house but that Arian finds his talent for legerdemain most amusing, which suggests to us that she isn’t opposed to the odd acquisitioned trinket every now and then. He says he dislikes several members of Arian’s staff, particularly Ruok but that he gets on surprisingly well with Jacob. Having previously had the displeasure of interviewing Jacob this worries us somewhat. 

We try not to let this jade our final impression of the otherwise amiable combination we have come to know as Orin and Yaani.

Editor’s note: Apologies for the delay, this interview would have been finished sooner but our artist had a temporal misplacement of materials. 

Which Arian has now rectified.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poorly :(

No post this weekend I'm afraid due to being laid out ill all week :(

Am on the mend now though (hurrah!) and picking up pencils as I type...or after I type, or erm, hm maybe I'll get a snack first as I'm a little rusty, that and a nice cuppa tea.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Staph Aureus

Staph is quite an imposing man, at 55yrs old and 5ft 8in tall he carries an air of dark intent. The silent and sturdy as a rock type; his expressions and moods are hard to read. He arrives to the interview fully suited with his arms and legs wrapped in bandages. His facial markings are immediately striking, especially as we know that these patterns are not tattoos but part of his natural colouring. As requested he removes his jacket and several of the bandages to allow us to capture more of his unusual markings in the portrait.

Thankfully we were pre-warned not to shake his bare hands or otherwise make contact with his skin. Being a poison dart frog anthropomorph his skin is highly toxic.

Aside from being so venomous he might accidently kill you with the slightest touch, Staph appears to be a centred, calm and well-adjusted individual. His voice is deep, softly measured and rather soothing to listen to.

A keen observer, he listens and watches. He appears to dislike idle chatter and only responds when directly spoken to.  A balanced, logical thinker Staph is far too good at reading other people’s reactions and calculating consequences. He states he distrusts everyone as a rule of thumb (or at least until they prove otherwise.) 

Clearly physically fit Staph boasts impressive shooting and marksman skills particularly as he is able to poison his arrows and darts simply by rubbing them between his fingers. This is probably most handy as he is Luka’s top assassin. He seems unconcerned that anyone viewing this interview will now know the exact nature of his work, which we figure translates to being so efficient at his job that secrecy isn’t even necessary.

Whilst he enjoys being an assassin he maintains that he does not kill for pleasure, he believes in equality, in respect for all aspects of the natural world and tells us he often enjoys meditation.

Staph is also quite the family man, married to a fellow dart frog anthropomorph named Strep he speaks with great affection of his wife and their two children. It almost warms our hearts to think he takes the kids to the park and then settles down to a nice Sunday roast. For a moment we are drawn in by his velvety voice and a painted picture of happy wedded bliss.

Then we remember his profession.

The thought you might wake one night to see him perched on the end of your bed or staring out from the darkest corner of your room is quite frankly terrifying.