Hrug’s War WIPs

Work in Progress stuff concerning Hrug’s War

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



The Crossroads Battle

Time for more “Hrug’s War” WIPs again.

I’m about to block out the comic’s first “real” “military” combat action:
south of the Great Cataracts of Melondel, two ancient roads cross – one, which once connected the North of Olveare with the ancient seaside towns at the Oriador opening, and another one, which leads from Eastern Olveare right to the Cliff (note to self: need to provide a map …).
It is Moruk land.

But Hrug’s minions and allies do not care.

Horseback Moruk warriors are about to drive a band of their old enemy, the Boneheads off, when they run into another enemy: a company of Northmen, well-trained elite warriors clad in iron, on their way to strenghten Hrug’s advancing forces …

Crossroads Battle #1
Crossroads Battle #2
Crossroads Battle #3
Crossroads Battle #4
Crossroads Battle #5
Crossroads Battle #6
Crossroads Battle #7
Crossroads Battle #8

C&C welcome.

Into Oriador!

Time for some new WIPs!
I’ve started to concatenate some scenes of the book’s PoV threads, which resulted in a consecutive sequence of 167 pages so far.
Things are gaining momentum slowly, but irresistably – the second-last scene of the sequence:

Descending into Oriador #1
Descending into Oriador #2
Descending into Oriador #3
Descending into Oriador #4
Descending into Oriador #5
Descending into Oriador #6
Descending into Oriador #7
Descending into Oriador #8
Descending into Oriador #9

At the moment, I’m indeed thinking about splitting Hrug’s War in two parts, as there’s almost a rated break point in it’s middle, which would provide a very nice cliffhanger, and yet result into two parts with sufficient pages to read, probably >300 each.

I’m also thinking about color.
A quick experiment: adding a quick color layer to a greyscale image:
Cin'Thele Cat Girl in B/W
Cin'Thele Cat Girl colored

Not sure yet, and there’s still plenty of time to make that decision … if you like, write me your opinion.

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 …