Mel Concept Scribbles

“Hrug’s War” offers a couple of visual challenges to me … things I’m carrying around in my mind for a long time … somehow … however not as elaborate visual ideas, but more of a vague, shadowish impression.

There’s no other way than to close in on the final goal step by step, patiently. I’m stuck in kind of a struggle for my creativity at the moment anyway, after several – let’s call them “distractive” – events and influences across the last year, so I decided to take my time and make quick concept scribbles whenever I have time and mood.

One of the biggest challenges is “Mel”, the airy home of the Salharin (I won’t write much more about it at this point, things shall be revealed at their time 🙂 ).

Here’s a couple of them, without further comments (but note: colors 😉 ):
The Great Ones, some faces


Cin'Thele Draakhrider

Cin'Thele Draakhrider

Cin'Thele Draakhrider




Well, a few days ago I read through the first boy love story ever in my life, drawn by Aero Zero, a really stunningly talented fellow comic artist at Webcomicunderdogs. Even if the genre is not mine, it was a fun read, and it reminded me of a couple of illustrations I painted a few years ago, on the serious NSFW side of things too.

In fact, it inspired me enough to rework one of them a bit, one I liked, but whose screwed up anatomy and proportions I could not endure anymore these days … and left me with the intention to do some more of that kind of work, at times (in fact, I even had plans once to draw an erotic short comic, a small episode of the Telaya & Dioman saga which lends itself to it … we’ll see about that).

Remark: I usually don’t use reference images, but take time instead to allow me to see, understand – and fix – the flaws my imagination likes to produce in the first instance … at least, if there’s no timeline to be kept.

Here is the result of the beautifying process. Unfortunately that yellow smiling pill sneaked itself into it, and to my great displeasure now destroys all its effect. Anyway, enjoy:
Just A Smiley

More might follow. At times. 🙂

Citing Frank Frazetta

Well, in a way the whole project is inspired by Frank’s great paintings.

However, there’s a scene in “Hrug’s War”, which lends itself to a close-to-literal citation of the master’s works: Cin’Thele tries to convince a great jungle cat to spare her friend Sneaks, who hides somewhere below big tree trunks.

The idea made me use colored pencils again – did not know that I still had a box of these, almost untouched, forgotten since a couple of relocations:
Cin'Thele Catgirl, colored pencils

Also forgot how much fun it is to just scribble in colors, on real paper (had to throw in *any* color in the box, obviously 😉 ) …
However, the citation probably will be more verbose, resembling Frank’s Catgirl more closely (quick digiscribble):
Cin'Thele Catgirl, Digiscribble

As I’m talking of hommages to Frank, here are a couple of others, not related to the scene idea, but hey …

The “Wolf Queen”, Cin’Thele the warrior, done in 3D with background matte:
The Wolf Queen

“Snake Girl”, my largest-format gouache painting (roughly DIN A0):
Snake Girl

Enjoy. 🙂

Chapter 6 is online

Comic Action in Essen is over, too. This means: three exhibitions within one year, one organized by me, one attended on my publisher’s invitation to sign my book, one with our own booth, Jenny’s and mine.
Wow. From complete newbie to … well. Almost newbie. 🙂

Comic Action has been another cool experience.
The nice guy from even caught us on photo:
Jenny Dolfen & Helmut Schulz at Comic Action, Essen

(Katharina joined us at Saturday, but managed to evade the fate of public visibility.
Next time, then. 😛

Anyway, it’s a good opportunity to present the next chapter of “This Side of Darkness”:


Ulog, Nala, Morm … aaaand: HORSES!

To be honest, I’ve always been afraid of drawing them.

But now, they just slipped in somehow, as besides Anukhai and Onoghu, there are also the Moruk, another human people living in Olveare, and they use to ride on them: horses.
As it happens, I’ve lived the last four years in immediate neighbourhood of a farm with a paddock, and I used to walk along it’s fence almost every day. Strangely, I did not pay too much attention, at least not from an artistic point of view, because when I came along it’s inhabitants, I usually had Sayuri with me, our four-legged wolf descendant companion, who likes to attract a lot of attention to herself.

However, when finally approaching the Moruk theme, I relied on the super learning effect: it would somehow just work magically, out of the box.

And, in conjunction with my relaxed digital shape finding technique, it almost did!

Hrug on his new mount

Not perfect, but hey … enough to enable me to work on the scene.
Which I did.

Still, I’m one scene behind completing the Ulog-Nala-Morm-thread, which is a bit … exhausting, from a mental point of view, because closing the gaps always tends to feel extra-tedious, and gaps magically grow larger, the closer you get on them.
However, this one is almost finished, and it once again brought forth new, cool and unplanned aspects of the story and ways to tell it.

If you want to have a look, click on the image below to open the PDF file (be warned however, it’s “lettered” manually, and it’s Pidgin English).
Ulogs Moon Wanderer

Fighting threads

The relocation is done … sort of.
Forseeably, it kept me away of T&D for quite a while, and it still continues to pull effort.

However, I fought myself back to my freshly set up working space, and actually managed to get into it again.

Book One’s plot had two (and a half) threads. Book two will feature four, if I did not forget any. One of them is dedicated to Ulog, Morm and Nala, the young Anukhai, who survived the battle of the Melondel ford.
This part of the story is my current “battlefield”. My next milestone is the completion of this thread. I’m not far away, and I really enjoy how things have evolved so far … mostly without my (active) interference, it’s more about leaving these three doing their stuff, watching and trying to make a sketch of them now and then.



I did not forget that I promised to publish the next chapter, by the way … stay tuned. 😉

In the meantime …

… work on book 2 continues. As it seems, the upcoming volume of Telaya & Dioman will be quite a couple of pages stronger than it’s predecessor, and will also feature much more dialog – in short, there will be much more to read. 🙂

It’s title isn’t yet final. At the moment I think about naming it Hrug’s War.

I don’t want to spoil anything by revealing too much, so I’m going to be niggard concerning scene scribbles, WIPs, sketches and so on. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to show you some fragmentary stuff now and then, carefully selected to keep the greater workings hidden. 😉

To make a start, here are a few:

… Cin’Thele, wearing something:
A Pinup

… a scene idea:
A Pinup

… part of another scene:
A Pinup
Humans are naked at times, too … even if they’re male. 😉

During the Seelbach exhibition, Katharina and I talked a lot about ideas finding, sketching technique and related stuff. I tried to explain my usual digital workflow for page scribbling, which is probably best described as a stripped-down digital painting style, reduced to a few discrete shades of gray, cell shading only, characters often – but not always – blocked in as shapes first, outlines drawn later.
Unable to provide a proper description of how to find shapes by gradually refining contours of color blobs instead of immediately working on outlines, I gave up on verbal explanations, and went for a demonstration via tablet and beamer instead … turned out to be a bad idea, because I plugged the HDMI cable into the wrong tablet port and immediately shut it down. :/

So when she left, I promised her to capture a scribble session … which i finally did. Here it is:

This has not been particularly fast, about 60min to complete.
Right before, I had done my daily gymnastics routine, resulting in an exhausted and extremely tremulous hand, I completely failed in drawing smaller detail …