Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Equinox - 2017 (warning! very verbose and lots of photos)

Wow.

Almost five years since I began this blog/encyclopedia.  Wow.  And about 17 since I started drawing the Arcane Compass.  You'd think I would've made more headway by now ....

Excuse # 71 - I've been busy; life has thrown me a huge curve-ball; and I've been working on other things.
(And excuse #21 - I'll ramble all through out this and probably not make much sense).

Way back when, like about four decades ago, my mom introduced me to the old '66 Batman t.v. series, quickly followed by comic books.  It's totally her fault.  Giving such an impressionable youth, with an over-active imagination and the desire to create, such material.  In ways, more expensive than crack-cocaine .... I think I made my first comic book shortly there after.  A simple thing, really - just a bunch of stick figures, drawn on notebook paper (I only had a pencil to work with, so no inking) and lovingly bound with three short pieces of yard (I had to have a little help from mom).

Reflecting back on the past, I remember the days when all I had were colored pencils, ink pens and magic markers (don't think Sharpie© was around back then).  Even then, I was more of a design illustrator than not (I think that part is dad's fault) - but I remember making some pretty cool pieces - before I was introduced to painting, and years later - Photoshop.

Things have been weird the past few days.  Weird enough that I got to thinking about doing some old-style drawing again.  Kinda getting back to my roots, as it were (but not stick figures on notebook paper tho).  So, I broke out the old coloring pencils and Sharpies© -


Forgot to take a photo during the initial layout part, but here I've already inked it, and I'm putting a hex grid on the map.  Instead of doing it the smart way (which, after doing all those lines and such, you'd thought I'd taken the easy way), I decided to just use the hex pattern I already had (notice the single hex, bottom right corner?) .....


 So, after an indeterminate amount of time, I have the land mass and near-by waters hexed; some topographical lines are laid in, and I've started some coloring.


  

Here's a "distance" shot - showing the colored pencils.  No finished shot yet, I'm still doing some color shading and labeling and such - to finish up the map.  Talk about an investment of time ....
However, it'll be a "handmade" map, something that seems to be almost non-existent in the business world today.  I realize that doing a map like this is a huge investment of time.  I started a little before 11am, then next thing I know I'm looking at 3:30pm .... and I'm not even close to being finished yet.
Now, in Photoshop or Illustrator, I'm sure I would've been done with time to spare.

I guess the grip I'm trying to get to is that sometimes, technology isn't your friend.  With this map, I feel more invested in it, more like I've actually done something - instead of making a computer file, somewhere in the megabyte, or gigabyte, range.  Sometimes, the old way, the slow way, is the best.

Now on to what I was being distracted by before this distraction - a pirate ship!  A cardboard, to-scale, pirate ship! Cool, huh?



 So, yeah.  I start this a few weeks back, during the lull before the killer storm, I suppose.  It's been a rough time since Thanksgiving Eve, and my adult game is nowhere on spot - hasn't been since then.  Long story short, my mom passed away March 11, after a long medical battle.  So it might take me a little while to get all my weasels at the same rave again.

I think it's good that I'm easing back into artwork, especially touching base on how I started all those years ago.  I do intend to continue with the story of the Arcane Compass.  I just can't promise when that will be.  Don't give up hope, as there are still loads and loads of tales that I wish to share.  It's just that I have a more difficult time finding motivation, and/or time to work on my art.

So hang in there - I know I am.  And you can just bill me for the time you just used to read all this. 😈

Until next time,

Excelsior!

EDIT - right after I posted this, it hit me!  Please, no notes of condolences, no "I'm sorries," nothing of the such is necessary.  Please.  I've gone through enough of those, I'm ready to move on.  Thank you for understanding.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

A distraction .... or 12 .....

Ok, so - new year and no new page.  I'm working on them, I swear.  I'm just taking my time (again).  That and life seems to be insistent on not being agreeable all the time.


    As you can see, I'm building Stoneport in TrueSpace (yeah, yeah - I know - 4.0 is like 20 years old), and it's almost finished.  While in the current story line, this location doesn't play a big role, I still want to get it finished (as it'll play a larger role in the future of the current story line).

I found a copy of the last version of TrueSpace that was released - 7.6 - but there's a slight learning curve transitioning from 4.0 to 7.6 - so give me time.

Now, the distractions - (warning - lots of cool videos) - making gaming terrain from cardboard ....

DM Scotty
DMG Info
Wyloch's Armory
Black Magic Craft 
...among many others.


Not like I haven't been stockpiling old boxes & styrofoam for years


    So, after lots of research (see above links), I decided to try my hand at this crafting manner.  Since the outside temperature was below freezing, and since we'd had a few inches of snow, I thought I'd try some basic designs -
    In my defense, I didn't have all the resources that I needed for this - namely all the different paint colors, the water based gloss sealant, or double ply cardboard.  But I thought these basic sewer tiles turned out pretty good for a noob.  Then I guess that the idea of sewer construction grabbed onto my imagination, because what I had planned to do never surfaced.  I had planned on doing some interior pieces - tiles with wooden floors and such.  Yeah well .....
    Years ago I bought a new appliance and it had this cool piece of foam packaging.  I immediately thought "this would be a cool scene for table top gaming" and set about doing something with it.  I made it as far as mixing a cover/sealant for it from thin-set mortar, plaster, PVA glue, and painting most of the inside with it.  Then it ended up in the garage, to be stored, for years.
    Since I was outside yesterday, either bringing in firewood or shoveling the driveway, I noticed this lonely piece just hanging out in the garage.  So, my wooden floor tile project suddenly became a "Let's finish the main villain's lair in the sewers" project.
    The crushing part of this weekend was when I ran out of gluesticks for my hot glue gun.  And the roads were covered in ice.  And it was like 7° F outside *grumble, grumble*

I made it this far at least .....
    Not like I've done any table top gaming in years (with an exception here and there), nor have I DM'ed any games in quite sometime.  So it isn't like these are going to be used anytime soon, I just wanted to try my hand at building some of the awesomely cool stuff I've seen over the years.  For some reason, I have the sinking feeling that I've acquired another new hobby ...... *le sigh*

  So here are the excuses as to why I haven't posted a new page in a little while.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be off to try and requisition more crafting supplies (ie, hot glue gun sticks).

Until next time,

Excelsior!