Artwork: Naomi – Snowy Day

(from DA)

I wanted to do a quick little profile drawing of Naomi in a window, in casual clothing. “Quick” soon became “Weeks” as I decided to add details, like a stone arch window frame, or the bookshelf or the background.

I tried to work in as much little detail as I could. I wanted to make a ‘scene’ more so than a portrait and I’m pretty happy with the results. I wish I could have done certain things better, but I think when working on a large project, that’s unavoidable. Also tried to work in tiny little setting related stuf, but nothing too overt.

I’m pretty happy with it

Artwork: Reese with Heckler and Koch Mark 23 Pistol

(from DA…)

I frequently draw Reese dressed very casually and usually give her a Luger P08 as a handgun and was thinking about how she’d look and load her self out when she was actually expecting combat. While the Luger has a special place in her heart, it’s an old handgun that wasn’t particularly effective during it’s time. I considered giving her the rare .45 Luger to compensate some for power, but that seemed like a cop-out. I wanted a gun a specialist would use — no oversized Desert Eagles or anything. I wanted a gun for a serious and professional operator and eventually settled on the H&K MK23 in the SOCOM configuration. Modern, battle proven and, with the LAM module, really fucking awesome looking.

Other candidates included the 1911A… which seemed overdone and a little silly considering I was ditching the Luger due to it’s age. Not exactly fair, as the 1911 is a better service pistol now than the Luger probably was when it was modern, but it seemed inappropriate. Also considered a Five-SeveN, and might have also drawn her with a P90 if I did and while that might be a configuration she’d use, since I was drawing the handgun first and foremost, I wanted the gun choice to stand on it’s own right.

Also wanted to ditch the short, belly exposing tanktop and the shorts for this one. Sorta felt like I was overdoing that to begin with. The elbow and knee pads look a bit wonky though. Getting the shape right for those is a pain.

Posted in Art.

Art: Young Naomi vos Cruz

Obviously already posted in the blog post under this, which has all the appropriate information. Still, sorta need this for organizational purposes. If you want the details on this picture, read the appropriate blog post over here.

Posted in Art.

The Evolution Toward Artistic Mediocrity

One thing I’ve always done as an artist is keep a pretty good archive of my old work. Even though there is plenty of stuff that still isn’t scanned (back in my ‘paper’ days), the majority of relevant art is and it’s always fun for me to comb through it and really look at my improvement. I don’t particularly think of my self as a particularly good illustrator, but over time, despite my rather dodgy drawing regiment (I manage a drawing every few months it seems) , I’ve seemed to have improved. This, added with the fact that I keep characters around means that I have a pretty long lineage of drawings of particular characters, some of them over 10 years old! So lets look back at my old art and laugh a bit, shall we? I’ll also be talking about the development of their actual characters.

Kayin Nasaki

Kayin started as a player surrogate mostly. The first drawing — drawn during the days of dialup and AOL, is probably the oldest drawing I have of a character who is still around. It’s basically a self portrait of me in highschool. Same haircut, same clothing and a sword (though Kayin’s was at least sharp). He had all of my opinions and interests and was only different in that he was better than me. Surprisingly the first picture of him will not be the worst thing I show today. The picture communicates surprisingly well for it’s age.

Sometime near or approaching 2000, I started working in Gimp. Kayin also started becoming more of a character. Kayin, already a small swordman, drew some inspiration, admittingly, from Kenshin to round out his personality. A small, quirky Japanese swordsmen. Fortunately even then, personality wise, he didn’t draw too much from Kenshin. Kayin was more like a strange uncle who enjoyed fucking with people in friendly and comical ways. The second picture was the first representation of him in that style and also the first digitally colored piece I did. The background came from a friend whom was using bryce. I used 3d backgrounds for quite awhile after that, though I mostly made them my self.

Kayin hasn’t changed terribly much since then, but my ability to present him improved. He bacame slightly more westernized — basically having a history similar to Ramírez’s from Highlander, but due to the ethnic ambiguity of anime inspired art, it never particularly mattered. The second to last picture of Kayin shows a little variety in what he might wear and the last picture is meant to be Kayin during his time in Japan. This series of pictures represents roughly 15 years of slow improvement, with the latest having done within the last year. It’s also the only picture of Kayin I’ve done while possessing a tablet laptop, which represents a large change in my line quality when it came to digital ink.

Cassara Nasaki

Cassara is probably the character on here who will have changed the most. She possibly also has the most pictures drawn of her — I had to skip more pictures of her than any other character.

The first Cassara picture has it’s genesis sometime before Kayin’s second picture. There are older pictures of a “proto Cassara” but I sadly don’t have them on hand. Either way this the first picture where she is somewhat identifiable. She has her scar (though the side switches soon after), long hair, trenchcoat, t-shirt and jeans. It’s (and the one following it) are also probably the worst pictures I have! God, everything is so super distorted and wrong. She also has a katana. In fact she used to dual wield katanas and be a fast, speedy character, like every other female character ever. Personality and style wise, she was meant to contrast with the voluptuous babes that were populating the AOL chatrooms at the time, but she was far from her current form, basically just being a cranky punk bitch.

The second picture is also cringe worthy. The sarashi is kinda cool, but the Sephiroth armor kind of hurts. Cassara became progressively more of a brawler and had, for special occasions, a giant sword that she could summon up from the earth to deal with larger enemies. The next two pictures came into existence sometime in the early 2000s and sort of remained the ‘standard’ pictures for Cassara for far too long. For their time they were some of my better work. The one with the green trenchcoat still communicates quite well I think. Obviously it is done by a relatively young illustrator. Both were hand inked — rather sloppily. After that I began inking with my mouse, which lead to the more blocky style that lasted for a good 6-8 years. The fire punch picture also began changing the direction of Cassara and is what began to solidify her character. Cassara became more fiery, vicious and filled with rage. Her style also began to normalize to a degree. While I would still draw her occasionally in more elaborate outfits, the black coat, red undershirt and glasses became the typical look.

Around 2005 or 2006, my good friend Katie drew a piece of art for me that solidified her design. Katie did away with Cassara’s disgusting, inconsistently drawn mop of hair and introduced elements that would occasionally reappear such as the turtle neck and duel seamed shirt. More importantly, Katie brought more dignity to Cassara and her style. While I still had issues copying that style, it influenced how Cassara was played. Cassara7 was the first attempt to copy it and didn’t go over too well. Between that and Cassara8, there are numerous other attempts, each with various levels of success. Cassara8 was a picture I was very happy with at the time. I was using my tablet laptop at the time so I had nice lines and I managed to have fun making my own fire effects… but there was something I always struggled with and that was Cassara’s body type. She was always supposed to be muscular, but that is a hard thing to do with a female form. Cassara 8 was too voluptuous and… boobly. Other older attempts just turned out feeling gross.

Cassara9 eventually hit it. Cassara had her dignified look, and under her clothing, a lean but powerful body type.. I also began drawing lips a bit more prominently, which helped try and add what I think is a bit more character to her face. The slender body type also captures her height better, as she’s supposed to be somewhere around 6’2.

I ended up not totally discarding the sloppy haired Cassara. Instead, I decided that the separate characterizations represented Cassara at different ages. I figure she’d clean her self up as time went on.

Makoto Shojuro

Oh, adorable Makoto. While I always had to fight the instinct to not draw Cassara voluptuously, I ended up totally embracing it over time.

Makoto started as a throwaway character for a homebrew PnP game a friend was running. Most of her character there at the time — Japanese/German, emotional wreck, murdered father, deadbeat mother, sword smith and sword fighting prodigy, total nerd. Her appearance only somewhat changed over time. Mostly in proportion, but also slowly in her hair style. The primary change was her hair. Her parted hair slowly merged between the first 4 pictures into a hime cut… Not for any weeabooish reasons, I just really liked Uma Truman in Pulp Fiction. Makoto4 was done sometime after 2000 and were probably the best things I drew at the time. By Makoto5, we are in 2006 and Makoto has ditched the headband and has gotten with one of Katie’s characters, Sydney.

Katie at this point influenced my art again. The jokes at the time were A) Makoto has a really big butt (though I have no SFW pictures that illustrate this) and that Makoto has always taped her boobs down and they were really actually pretty big. Now when I meant pretty big, I was thinking somewhat realistically. When I drew her with less clothes I also always drew her chubby. Well, assuming, like with most men, that when I said big boobs, I meant BIG boobs, Katie drew me some amazing gift art. When I mentioned that’s not what I meant to big, she offered to change it, and I did the only sane thing. I said “Absolutely not”.

Boobley Makoto6 was the first little doodle I ever did on my tablet laptop. I immediately had an easier time doing a lot of things I usually found hard. While it was clearly rough, it gave me hope for things to to come. Makoto7 overdid the boob thing a bit too, but captured the look I wanted in her face quite well.

Character wise, Makoto never changed much, outside of an improvement in my ability to show her mental issues. With her increased body size she also got characterized as more out of shape. Since she has a huge katana, the implication is often that she can only fight for a short period of time before becoming horridly winded!

Naomi Vos Cruz

Naomi doesn’t have the legacy of a lot of history like the above three, nor the same amount of art. Sadly I’m also missing her original pencil drawing (I have it in a binder, but have no scanner right now). What I do have, for fun, is Naomi’s PIXEL legacy.


Naomi was originally conceived purely for the purpose of making a Symphony of the Night-esque game. I made her sorta crazy small and also gave her some CRAZY one pixel boob bounce that looked ridiculous.


Eventually I revised this. She still had some boob bounce but the resolution made it more tolerable (barely). She also got her loin cloth and more obviously plate armor.


By the time I really had a chance to consider Tower in the Sky, I realized I should probably totally redo the sprites. Sadly they will probably never be used as they are too labor intensive to make. There is still some boob swayage in her segmented armor. She really should have that more secure and I really shouldn’t have such a horrible boob addiction. Actually part of the reason I worked bigger was to make more more pixels for bouncing armored boobs. Kayin, you are the worst.

NES Style(2x)

When I decided to do Prologue, part of the appeal was NES graphics, which worked out here. The rules of NES sprites are not strictly followed, but she’s in style enough to fit in. Due to being more oldschool Castlevania-ish, her brisk run has been replaced by a slow, purposeful march. Also learned my lesson about low pixel boobs and just left them in place. THEY’RE ARMORED ANYWAYS, GOD WHAT IS MY PROBLEM!

Naomi in her art hasn’t changed much. She’s gotten darker, and has shed some armor compared to some older art. The chainmail midriff went, replaced with more tasteful leather. The above shows about 5 years worth of improvement from the first to the last picture.

Other Examples

Reese’s first picture probably was done sometime in the early 2000s, which is frankly embarrassing. That was a time of rapid improvement though. 2001-2002 is basically the difference between this and Makoto3, as I got used to the digital process and also figured out how to just draw better. It was probably the time where I actually drew the most.

More interestingly is Reese2 and Reese3, both seperated by about 5 years or so, with reese2 predating my tablet laptop. What’s the best about this is that they are basically the same picture in a lot of ways, making them more interesting to compare than a lot of other pictures.

Vayn gets the same treatment, though there are some obvious changes to characterization there, as Vayn has been changed to better suit her personality and come off as less stuffy and, well….. old.

Anyways god damn that’s a lot of pictures and it was fun to go through all of that. It’s probably more interesting for me than for other people, but I had fun doing it. If I find any other examples (or create any more examples by redrawing old characters), I’ll probably post them.

Posted in Art.

Art: Vayn Character Sheet

Wow this only took me a few days. I’m the slowest artist in the world, so that makes me happy. Usually I work of something for like a week. Anyways, heres the rundown.

Took a break from game design to make some art. I figured since Vayn was in the game and working, I might as well draw her.

Vayn is a character who came up as a random throw-a-way character for an RP session. She was one of several hired assassins. One of the other players decided not to kill her and she became, on accident, a permanent character of mine, though I feel a little dirty playing her!

Vayn is half-succubus, which is quite burdensome. While she lacks obvious demon markings, she still has the same desire and a poor control over her fear inducing abilities. With her sex drive, it is hard to keep people as ‘just friends’, and with her fear inducing touch, it is extremely difficult for her to even keep a relationship. As such, Vayn tends not to keep friends long and is very lonely. While very friendly, Vayn has a hard time forming deep bonds with people due to her issues.

Vayn just doesn’t suck and feel bad about her self though. She can float and phase through stuff, which is a pretty bad ass skill, especially if you want to bum around the world. Vayn basically lives as a vagrant, stealing and squatting in abandoned houses. Occasionally she takes up assassin work to get some actual money, though she doesn’t really care for killing. This is aided by her being a skilled sorceress, though her greatest strength is still her mobility.

In short, while she can kick some ass, she mostly just bums around, mopping around and being a ho. Usually when I do roleplay her, she has her shit a little bit more together (and actually has a FRIEND), but in the upcoming Brave Earth game, she’s so lonely that she actually makes small talk with the protagonist while being hired to kill her.

Posted in Art.

Art: Cassara Character Sheet

This took a disproportionate amount of time to do. Not because of anything you actually see now, but because I spent so long trying to make an holder drawing of Cassara work. I eventually ended up redrawing basically everything and I’m glad I did. I’ll let the rest of the image speak for it’s self. Also I got layers!

5 Layers
4 Layers
3 Layers
2 Layers
1 Layer

Art: Slash Character Sheet

This one was a bit of a struggle! No history post either, though maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

Not entirely satisfied with this. I dig a lot of parts of Slash but obviously I don’t draw a lot of guys and it shows. The layout also isn’t as nice as the Naomi one, but I had less material to work with for filling the layout. Still, it’s pretty cool and I had fun messing with Slash’s muscles. Not entirely satisfied with them, but it’s the first in a loooong time I’ve taken that sort of a stab at male anatomy.

I need to go to bed, so no added history this time around. Maybe I’ll dwell on it as I sleep and add it later.

Art: Naomi vos Cruz Concept Art

I’m a horrible concept artist. I spent like a million years during this, but now it’s done. I’ll probably append this description later to include full sizes of all her clothing layers, but for now, I just wanna upload it.

So here we have, in full, annoying nobility naming, Naomi Isabella Victoria vos Cruz. Naomi is the lead character in the Metroidvania title, Tower in the Sky that will be finished sometime before our sun morphs into a red giant. Still, I wanted to get a better understanding of her design as I plan to experiment with 3d modeling. We’ll see how well that goes, later. Either way I drew every layer of her outfit, front and back. Theres only a few snapshops in this picture, but they exist.

So what of Naomi? I found it hard writing some of her descriptions because Naomi in Tower in the Sky is a different from the Naomi I’ve roleplayed. She is younger and naive, more trusting and faithful. She doesn’t quite yet have the resolve of her older self, nor has she begun to truly yet question her faith, a big point of the character. These things will all, hopefully be addressed in the game if I ever get it done and properly execute the story. As such, I kept a lot of her listed traits as things that are consistent with her in almost all incarnations.

I have more information about her up in various other pieces of artwork, which you can look at if you’re interested. Some of it is out of date — I’ve been revising everything and solidifying what I can. Once she’s in a game (even if it only comes out after most of society has collapsed), her history and details are then sort of set in stone unmovable, unless I employ the jackhammer of ‘retconning’. I’d rather avoid that.

Anyways this was a lot of fun

Layer 6
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Layer 1

Art: Zero Gravity: Rory McLochlainn

Well this was a fun little challenge. I’ve been tinkering with this for about two weeks (though I only really sunk a lot of time into it over the last week). I watched all of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross while drawing it (which hasn’t aged well!). Anyways, heres the post from DA. Not a lot of fluff for this one.

Another Picture of Rory McLochlainn, the legless starship mechanic.

So anyways, when I was coming up with theoretical spaceships for the future of the Brave Earth setting as a thought experiment, I settled on the fact that ships would use rotational gravity (as seen in 2001). If they used rotational gravity, parts of the ship would exist at zero G, one of those parts being much of the engine room and such. I thought up a picture a few months ago of Rory drifting with her legs disconnected, working on something and I actually got to drawing it. I’m very happy with the background. It’s not perfect (it’s a bit muddy, for sure), but it has a lot of cool things going on. I’m feeling much more comfortable at tackling backgrounds these days.

Her legs were supposed to be in the background but I decided their was no room, compositionally for them, especially when I didn’t want the room she was floating in to look huge. This was also one of my first experimentations with perspective. While the picture is far from perfect, I feel very happy that I was able to tackle something that seemed so far out of my skill level and do a a ‘decent’ job at it.

Posted in Art.