The long-awaited lineup of my original characters!  And this is just some of them - I have too many.

DeviantART Link:

I’m curious - if you’re read my writing: does anyone look different than you imagined them?  If you focus more on my art posts - what archetype/role/personality would you assume these characters have based just on these designs?

Starting today until November 21 (my main character’s birthday), I’ll be uploading a new piece every day, featuring my original characters!

Here’s Rivek and Willow stealing a kiss in the fog. Can’t believe I’ve been working on this story for sixteen years now. That’s older than a decent number of internet folk have been alive. :| Gosh, I’m old!

More Art Featuring These Characters:

DeviantART Link:


Taking a class where we have to design a character, robot, and glove controller for a mechanical battledome.  When I design, I refine every aspect into a “pitch statement” that helps inform all my decisions.  

First, I make a line to describe the whole story.  I make sure it has a relationship that can be related to viewers outside of the story world.  For example, How to Train Your Dragon is a “boy-and-dog” story despite the “dog” being a dragon.

A teenage girl and her father bridges their emotional gap through their family pet.

Though, in this case, the girl is a telepath; her father is an ex-military engineer; and he creates her pet by housing the brain of her dead dog in a battle robot.  When I design the individual parts of the story, I come up with another pitch for each part.

Perrin Maier is a teenage girl whose hot temper causes her to lose control of her telepathic powers.

I use this to inform the rest of her design:

  • I want her to be extremely expressive in her ‘normal’ state - to contrast when she loses control over her abilities and her expression goes blank.  This extends to wild, black hair that covers her face, defies physics, and never stops moving to symbolize the telepathic unrest in her psyche.
  • I want her to be pretty, but sunspots and bags under her eyes to visually depict the stress from her powers.  I opted for near-white skin to bring more visual focus to her hair and eyes.
  • I want her to wear something low-maintenance and tough but still feminine and young.  So I opted for a flapper dress contrasted with combat boots and a leather jacket.

Hope that helps explain my thinking process.  Expect more of this all week - I can’t fit everything into one photo-set!

Related posts: Character DesignController DesignRobot DesignBeauty Render.


Designing props for Mika's room.  

  • Mika is consciously concerned with the visual feel of her room, so she buys matching wood furniture.  The look uses lots of soft corners and panels carved to depict Vanglorian folk tales.
  • Most hard surfaces are softened with some kind of fabric covering.  Fabric edges are further softened with curling brocade or fringes.
  • Furniture is low to the ground to create an airier atmosphere that focuses on draping fabrics.

I used Ikea to help me figure out how big objects should be. Haha. It’s a California King, by the way.  Orthographic views are easy when you make a grid.

Related Posts: Floorplan, Furniture I, Furniture IILighting Tests, Lineart, Values, 1-Point Final, 2-Point Final, 3-Point Final


The sun rose over Rivek’s shoulder.  He sighed, “I need to leave for work.”

Willow twirled his tags between her fingers and muttered, “You’re going to fly away and put a knife in someone, aren’t you?”

"Wouldn’t dream of it." He whispered. “I’m smarter than that - it’ll be an arrow.”


For Rivek's birthday (I have an hour left…), I decided to do my first, original, entirely digital, painting.  From sketch to value to color, it’s probably also my best with a full, lit, setting. Looks like my classes have paid off. Twenty-five years and one Cintiq later, I’m no longer afraid of Photoshop.  :)

Teksperum.” Test. - 077/100 Themes.

Professor Enos is a strange man, but without him, Willow and Rivek would not share the bond they have.  Enos gives Willow an advanced opportunity to work with him in surgery, and forces Rivek to do lab cleaning to bring up his grades.  However, he wants to teach more than science, and he has ulterior motives for all his actions.

View on DeviantART:


Willow never remembered blood smelling this bad before.  The white walls of the emergency room threw it back into her face, doubling the odor.  They stood in stark contrast to the gaping carcass before her.  Wit every breath, its abdomen oozed black blood.

She had never seen this symptom described in any textbook.  Only fiction came anywhere close.  The fluid smelled sharp and radiated heat.  Sweat beaded on her brow as she put her gloves on.  At least she had this minor protection.  The thought of touching the patient made her shiver.

Enos, the professor, motioned for her to continue.  “Go on.  This is a test, after all.”

Willow took a deep breath of foul air and spread the wound with a retractor.  Swallowing, she dipped the forceps inside the body cavity.  Her hands wavered, and her knuckles grazed the open tissue.  She cringed as she felt the organs move around her knuckles in time with the patient’s breathing.  “Abdomen has been punctured,” she muttered.  “Resulting in intestinal injury.”

“Good,” the professor nodded.  “This man was injured while working in a mine.  A magical device for detecting noxious gas exploded in his presence.  So what do we do?”

“Search for and remove debris.”  She bit her lip and nudged the tissue with her tools, looking for shards of iron.  A sliver appeared as she poked, and she lifted it out, dropping it into an alcohol solution.  Two more appeared as she continued.  She rescued the first, but when she reached for the second, it dissolved as she touched it with the tongs.

She scanned around once more for debris, but the cavity was empty.  It seemed impossible for an explosive to leave so little shrapnel, but every search turned up clean.  Maybe the patient had been lucky.  

“Next, suture internal injury.”  The professor nodded.  Willow used her clean sleeve to wipe the damp hair from her eyes.  She reminded herself of her brother’s advice: this is just like sewing.  She took the needle with her forceps and slid it through the tissue.  She looked down at her first successful stitch.  Perhaps this would not be so bad.  But as she watched, the thread dissolved in the liquid around it.  She tried a second, and it melted again.  

As she moved, the breathing tissue around her became more erratic. She threw her magic into it, forcing the tired cells to double.  But her tendrils of energy faded as they pushed into the veins.  Still, her fingers darted back and forth, suturing an organ within.  But no magic could help.  It would not close.

She almost didn’t feel the heart fail.  Her work kept her too distracted to notice the flesh settle.  When she finished the stitches, it no longer moved.  Her own heart began to race, foiling her attempts to check the patient’s pulse points for a beat.

“I’m afraid you can’t do anything else.”  Enos stood and put his hand on her shoulder.  “What would you have done last?”

“Finally, repair external injury and dress the wound.”

Enos nodded, “ I cannot afford you full marks, but you will pass.”

She wiped off the forceps.  Once cleaned, she noticed the steel tips of had begun to corrode.  “What kind of gas does this?  What mine did he work in?”

“The prison work-camp a few miles north of here.”

Prison?  “How did he get there?”

“Running an illegal gambling ring.  As doctors, we pledge to rescue the injured.  Even the worst people.”  He led her to the sink and turned on the tap for her.  She threw the gloves. which now had holes worn in their fingertips, in the garbage.  As the water ran down her shaking hands, he sighed, “There will be some people you cannot save.”


:D Every year, I try to post awesome and original art on my birthday. Here’s all the collected, colored, environment pieces that I’ve done.  It kind of speaks loads to all the artistic progress I’ve made this year.

Sorry for the text-spam, but quick summaries for each location, if you’re curious:

  • Willow in the school chapel.  Praying that she hasn’t made a mistake by leaving her home to marry a foreign prince.  The gods are the same in both countries.
  • Belsamel's dining hall. A wedding feast to honor his new, foreign bride.  His first wife is none too happy about this.  The staff has been clandestinely replaced with a band of Vanglorian robbers. Talk about awkward family dinners.
  • Sorian's castle interior.  A sky-lit laboratory where he conducts human experiments to research genetics.
  • Sorian's castle exterior.  Carved into a mountain and surrounded by a fjord, the fortress is nearly impenetrable. The royal family hangs prisoners’ bodies at the gate as a warning to lawmakers. Rivek has to make his shot now, before the military party is unreachable inside.
  • Willow plays in her father’s study.  Her older brother, Andell roots through the possessions, hoping to find something to alleviate the war debt he inherited, but Willow still doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
  • Willow's castle is modest compared to the stone and concrete structures of neighboring countries, but it feels more like a home when her friends and family return from battle.
  • Mika's room, coffee table.  Intrigued, Mika offers Rivek a glass of wine. Strangely enough, the Tyrisi assassin is asking to borrow money, not her usual services.
  • Mika's room, windows.  Mika waves good morning to her regular client, rescuing a handkerchief she’d dropped on the floor the night before.
  • Mika's room, bed.  Mika sits back in her bed on one of her few nights without a client. It is relaxing but uncomfortably lonely.

So happy birthday to me! Yay! (I’m so old…)


Adding values to my Mika drawings - I felt light and translucent fabric are the biggest players in capturing the correct feel of the room.

Related Posts: FloorplanFurniture IFurniture IILighting TestsLineartValues1-Point Final2-Point Final3-Point Final

Other Environment Value Drawings: IIIIIIIV


So, we’ve met the character and her remote controller. Finally, the robot.

When Perrin renders her dog paralyzed in a psychic storm, her father transfers its brain to a weaponized, mechanical body.

As a result:

  • I wanted the robot to have an innate connection with the user.  The owner-pet relationship naturally capitalizes on the character’s psychic powers.
  • I wanted the robot to be a guardian, helping emotionally substitute for the character’s missing parent.  Therefore, I opted for a dog which is already associated with loyalty and protection.  The large, black dog can also be considered an ill omen.
  • I wanted the robot to be recognizable as a dog, so its mechanics are based off on dog anatomy.  It behaves and moves like a dog in daily routine, but can become bipedal for combat.  

I like to think that it still wants its belly rubbed and still tries to eat off the table when Perrin and her dad have dinner.

Related posts: Character DesignController DesignRobot DesignBeauty Render.