At some point during the history of my high school, some nameless administrator read Lord of the Flies and experienced a mental glitch. Instead of understanding it as a cautionary tale, they seemed to mistake it for a lesson plan. Yes, they thought to themselves, stranding a bunch of mostly unsupervised teenagers on an island with no outside contact is a great plan.
Thus, Senior Survival was born.
Every year, all the seniors (that’s grade 12, ages 17-18 for you non-Americans) in my high school took a little trip to South Manitou Island, which is basically just a big forested dune in the middle of Lake Michigan, a couple hours by ferry from the mainland. The trip was four days and three nights, and it was a camping trip. Everyone had to bring their own gear, their own tents, and their own food, and then the school would bus us to the ferry port and load us on to a boat out to the island, accompanied by a pair of beleaguered staff members. Once on the island, we would hike a couple miles to the campsites (one for boys and one for girls, each with their own chaperone) and pitch camp. Four days later, we would all line up at the pier to get back on the ferry to go home, and hopefully nothing catastrophic would have happened between those two points.
It is clear that the trip planners at my high school were optimists.
Shockingly, they were also mostly correct. The most notable incident during my older brother’s trip was a student attempting to smoke a banana peel like a cigar (didn’t work); in my year it was the student who boarded the ferry with nothing but a single whole pineapple(it turned out she’d flirted the boys into hauling all her gear); and my younger brother’s year managed to lose a student in the woods for most of a day, but otherwise escaped unscathed.
(My year also chose to drag all our sleeping bags out to sleep on the beach in a very literal pile for the last night, and I woke up the next day with a two inch sand spider in my hair and a trauma that would linger for years. But otherwise we were fine.)
In fact, the trip was so much fun that various configurations of people from my high school have been recreating it after graduation for years. My brothers have both taken their own friend groups back, and I’ve hauled a few buddies out more than once. This year we decided to go all in–both of my brothers and I would take some friends from high school, and we’d take a large party out to the island for maximum nostalgia and shenanigans.
We met up at the ferry port, each with a fifty pound backpack and a can-do attitude. That changed into a can-hide attitude when we recognized our old high school’s buses in the parking lot. We immediately conducted a hasty retreat to a nearby souvenir shop to avoid running into any of our former teachers and having to explain the copious amounts of alcohol we had stuffed into our bags. With masterful stealth and only a little knocking into display racks with our giant backpacks, we boarded the ferry unspotted.
We got a campsite near the beach on the side of the island facing the bay, and the forecast for that weekend predicted northern lights. We pitched camp–three large tents, one for each sibling’s friend groups. My friends and I wowed the boys by making mac and cheese for dinner–they had survived on previous trips by eating nothing but jars of peanut butter and uncooked cup noodles, and this kind of gourmet campfire cuisine was unheard of. We followed this incredible feat by making lemonade in my 64-ounce thermal water bottle, and adding a truly ungodly amount of vodka to the mix. Some whiskey was also produced, and we kicked back and watched the lake for a while.
Things were going well.
And then my younger brother Seth got the bright idea that we needed to go up to Sky Beach to watch the northern lights. The Harbinger of Seth backed him to the hilt, as he usually does.
Now, Sky Beach is just what we call it–it’s actually a dune at the top of the island that overlooks Lake Michigan. The views are spectacular; open water to one side, the whole of the island, including its internal lake, lighthouse, and several old farms, laid out on the other. The route from there to our campsite and back would be a little over ten miles, with a large portion of the hike being up the steep sandy side of the dune.
Seth was adamant: we needed to get to Sky Beach. His bad judgment is apparently genetic, because my other brother and I agreed with him. It would be the best view on the island.
So we secured the campsite–fires out, tents zipped, boots on, flashlights grabbed, and mosquito spray applied.
The first stop between us and sky beach was the water pump–everyone filled up their bottles and we kept going, passing bottles between us, as we rapidly realized that not all of the boys (some of whom had never been camping before) had grabbed theirs. I had mine, of course, and my friends were well equipped as well. The person-to-bottle ratio was roughly two to one. It was a little too far to double back, and we figured it wouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The second stop was the lighthouse. Next, the internal lake, which refracted gorgeous colors in the low evening light. Then the dune where the coastal shipwreck was visible, gloriously eerie in the sunset.
And then things got dark. The sun was down and the trail took a turn away from the coast inwards towards the deeper woods, where even the limited light was gone. Our group staggered onwards, following the paths blindly through the dark.
It occurred to us slowly that there was maybe more staggering going on than could be explained by dark, sandy trails. We collectively had a realization several miles too late: over half the “water bottles” we’d tallied up earlier were full of wonderfully ice cold vodka lemonade. (Mine included, but my friends and I had planned for that, and had water to share between us. But not enough for all the boys.)
This was a problem, as we were now several miles away from the water pump.
We had a choice. We could continue forwards as only idiots would, go to Sky Beach, catch our breath there, and then go back. Or we could turn back then, probably miss the northern lights under the tree cover, and go back to camp.
There were more than half a dozen literal MENSA candidates in our party, with an alphabet’s worth of graduate and postgraduate degrees between us.
We also had enough stubborn belligerence to headbutt a stampeding elephant into submission. There wasn’t a chance in hell we were turning back.
We forged onwards, more and more bedraggled as the miles passed.
I have owned one belt and one belt only since the age of sixteen. It’s black leather with silver pyramid studs, two screwdriver bits, a hex bolt, and a bottle opener in the belt buckle. I wore it my first time on the island, and I was wearing it still this time. By the time we reached the dunes proper, I had taken if off and slung it across my chest like a post-hiking apocalypse bandoleer to better support the half gallon of gloriously frigid vodka I was hauling.
Luckily it got lighter as the miles passed. Mostly because we were drinking it really, really fast.
By the time we reached Sky Beach, we’d found that in addition to the bad-decision genes, my brothers and I had also been granted robust livers. The same could not be said of our friends. They were wasted.
Sky Beach was spectacular, even though the northern lights failed to show. Less spectacular: the small desert’s worth of sand in our shoes, which had already started turning into bleeding blisters. I distributed all the bandaids I had.
It turns out that it’s a lot easier to wrangle drunks when the ground is too sandy for them to run. It’s a lot harder to convince them to get up off the nice soft ground and hike five-plus miles back to camp. You have to bait them with water to get them to do it.
Somehow, my two marginally-less drunk brothers and I managed it, without even losing someone over the edge of the dune or getting lost in the woods. My trusty belt may have been reassigned from vodka-hauling to attach a couple of the more wandering drunks to each other like errant kindergardeners. Nonetheless, we made it back to camp, dehydrated and drunk but otherwise unscathed.
I wish I could say that we learned an important life lesson about taking water instead of alcohol on hikes, but honestly, aside from the blisters, it was a pretty dang good time. We’re not big on life lessons.
We got out some fruit and made popcorn in a kettle over the re-lit campfire. Seth and the Harbinger of Seth were sent on many trips to the water pump in penance for their poor judgment. It was, after all, a deeply unintelligent decision.
My older brother tried to smoke a banana peel like a cigar. It still didn’t work.
[ID: A digital sketch of Lup, a slender elf woman with long hair, riding a horse with three unicorn horns. The horse is rearing back on two legs and Lup is holding onto its mane with one hand. She has a trans pride flag partially wrapped around her body, and the loose part of the flag is billowing in the wind. Her other hand is skeletal and is held up in the air, covered in flame. She is looking at the viewer with a defiant expression. End ID.]
What if Lup had a Phantom Steed? 🤔 This is an oollldd WIP that I keep looking at wistfully thinking I’ll fully render it some day… I still might… But here’s a sketch :)
Happy Trans Day of Visibility! Lup says “Light them the f🔥ck up!”
It’s weird that Aragorn has a reputation for being a Loner™ when every time the heroes go to a new place they find out Aragorn Has Friends There. If you couldtheoretically have friends there, then Aragorn Has Friends There
They meet Aragorn in Bree, turns out he’s Friends with Gandalf, then makes Friends with the hobbits, then they arrive at Rivendell and what a twist he’s also Friends with the Rivendell elves! especially Arwen and Elrond! There’s an elf from Mirkwood in their fellowship who was already his Friend, but he also quickly becomes Friends with the dwarf from Ered Luin who hates that elf’s guts. Boromir of Gondor initially WANTS to hate him but within a couple weeks he’s calling Aragorn his brother. The Fellowship arrives at Lorien and oh Aragorn didn’t bring it up but he’s also Good Friends with Galadriel and Haldir and Celeborn and all them too! They travel to Rohan and Aragorn’s like “oh yeah I didn’t mention it before but I’m Friends with the people of Rohan, I knew King Theoden as a kid, and–”. He even makes Friends with his horse
Aragorn tries to befriend everyone, from a 3-foot tall hobbit who’s not yet an adult to an elf-queen-sorceress older than the moon. He doesn’t seem grim/lonely because he’s friendless, he seems grim and lonely because he has so many friends, in so many places, that he’s always missing someone
Hi, Anon! I’ll definitely try my best. Horns are a little tricky since they’re so subjective and the styles/textures vary so drastically.
Mostly I’m going to be talking about texture here and I’ll try to keep it simple since they’re time consuming to draw.
Smooth horns are great and easy, can come in any and all shapes, but if you want to add more interest and character to the horns, it all comes down to how you texture them. Here’s a simple smooth horn. It’s okay, it’s basic, but it works and will especially work better once it’s colored if it has a sheen or a matte look.
You can add simple lines to it to give it a bit more interest, but you can take it farther than just the cylinder look like drawn here. The lines give it the easy, quick illusion of being more dimensional, but it’s not the most interesting or dynamic.
You can play with the lines however you like to give the horns more uniqueness, such as a line down the center to sort of pinch it inwards. Still more dynamic than the smooth horn, but more interesting than the rounded one.
You can leave the lines as they are for an easier horn, or take it a step farther and use them as guides to texture them. This is where it gets fun, but time consuming. Definitely look up references of what you want to go for if you’re not sure. I highly recommend Ram, Ibex or Antelope references, Antelope being my favorite. They have so much texture to them in the forum of smaller and larger ridges, so here’s a horn based loosely (artistic liberties taken) off a mix of Ram and Antelope.
Getting into plates which are my favorite, there’s little to reference off of. Here’s a more dynamic, spiky look with plates using the guide lines as a base to get an ideal direction you want the horn to shape into.
Just take your guide lines and then extend outward. Add as little or as much wear, tear and damage as you want. Horns can get dry and crack, they can take a hit and break, age can cause grooves, your imagination’s the limit.
Outside of plates, you can look up any horned animal to get ideas for texture, anything from steer to deer and elk (if you want to get more into the antlered look), or mix and match textures from a few horn styles you like. Hope this helps! Sorry I can’t go more in depth, but I tried to explain it as best as I know how. Good luck with your horns!
Shows up late in the movie with little explanation. Gandalf’s like “you should do a suicide-mission march on the Black Gate” and Aragorn’s like “eh sure I guess I wasn’t planning on doing anything else today.”
All in all he’s not as funny as the other Aragorns, but he gets points for Just Rolling With It and for that sick helmet.
Funniness Level: 7/10 love how his fashion sense is the polar opposite of Bakshi Aragorn
The musical in general is a hilariously amazing mess and I love it. It was also drastically rewritten many times over its run, so Aragorn’s characterization varies depending on the version.
In the the bootleg I listened to, I *think* what they were going for was.
Aragorn hides his true identity from everyone until the second act. Then he finally reveals he’s the Lost King of Gondor to Boromir, as Boromir is dying. And while that’s a compelling idea it’s also funny bc Boromir’s just like:
“You couldn’t have told me this sooner???????”
If I remember right the musical implies that Arwen is also one of the few people Aragorn has told about his true heritage? I think this means Musical!Aragorn apparently only reveals he’s the Lost King to a) the pretty girl he’s crushing on and b) the handsome man he has homoerotic subtext with. VALID
Funniness Level: 9/10 your crush would probably be more impressed to hear you were the Lost King of Gondor if they weren’t busy dying from multiple arrow wounds
3. Book Aragorn:
FUN FACT: Aragorn sings more in the books than he does in the actual musical. The musical cut all of Aragorn’s songs. The cowards.
He’s only a “loner” for the Aesthetic……. He makes the hobbits feel sorry for him by saying “a hunted man often wearies of mistrust and longs for friendship” right before introducing them to his friend Glorfindel, and his friend Elrond, and his friend Arwen, and oh yeah he’s friends with Bilbo too, and—
Also. There’s a moment in the “Tale of Aragorn and Arwen” where Aragorn’s like “I’m in love with Arwen” and Aragorn’s mom says “well she’s out of your league” and Aragorn responds “so I have to be sad and alone for all my life???” and his mom is like “yup.” Iconic
Aragorn has way too many names and way too many of them have to do with his long legs. Strider, Wingfoot, Longshanks, Telcontar (Strider in Elvish, the last name he takes as King.) He’s got 50 names and half of them are variations on “Daddy Long Legs”
Funniness Level: 100/10 would be a lot higher but I deducted points bc I’m kinkshaming his obsession with legs
2.Peter Jackson Aragorn:
PJ Aragorn is so terrified of the burden of being king that he tries to hide from it. He just wants to be free.
In the Two Towers Aragorn and Eowyn discuss what to do with an unruly battle-scarred horse. Aragorn tells Eowyn that the horse should be set free.
It doesn’t matter if the horse is kingly. It doesn’t matter if, as Eowyn says, he’s a royal horse that once belonged to the king’s son. Because the horse is sad.
Even if he’s akingly royal horse, he is very sad.
People are expecting too much from the horse and it’s making him scared!!!! He’s not a bad horse, he’s just panicking because he feels trapped!!!! So they should set him free, Aragorn insists. He just wants to be free.
“He has seen enough of war,” Aragorn says as he walks away. And you wonder if he’s talking about the horse…………... or himself.
Because PJ-Aragon just wants to be free! Free, like the horses! He relates to the horses! The horses are like him, because they too feel trapped and they’re rebellious and unruly and desperately long for freedom!!!!!!!!!
“You just don’t understand me, mom Elrond!!!!!”
Funniness Level: 20000000/10, he’s the protagonist of a Horse Girl Movie who somehow stumbled into a fantasy epic
Ralph Bakshi Aragorn:
Ralph Bakshi Aragorn is serious, sober, noble, and regal.
John Hurt voices him, and his performance is honestly one of the best parts of the movie. He’s legitimately a good Aragorn!!! And on paper, he seems like he would be the least funny Aragorn.
He’s a Very Serious Aragorn but he dresses like:
The hobbits walk into the Prancing Pony and Aragorn’s sitting in the corner, no pants, with his bare legs stretched out like he’s trying to seduce them.
And no one ever comments on this!!!! Aragorn is always Rolling to Seduce but none of the other characters acknowledge it!!!!!
Then there’s the animation. The Bakshi film was made by a team of inexperienced animators who relied on tracing over live-action footage as a crutch, which is why the animation looks Like That™. The character’s faces float around their heads and their movements, especially in the battle scenes where the live-action reference wasn’t that good, are always…….hmmmmmm.
Every night, it curved into his dreams, folding into view from around impossible corners, one gaping socket always on him as it silently glided. He thought putting some distance between the thing he’d found in the attic and himself might help, but no, it met him on the road.
Would you ever do a simple tutorial of how you draw horses? I want to make centaur OCs but lord horses are difficult creatures to doodle 😭
Mmmm there are so many guides that cover what I do, and I really
don’t do anything more than those. Still use the whole blocks and sticks and
form building and whatnot. And a buttload of references. Anything I could say different would kinda step beyond the stage of simplicity?
To offer something though I would like, suggest tweaking the use of circles when
it comes to drawing horses. Or anything, really. Circles are great and highly accessible for fast, general
drawing, but few natural things are perfectly round. Look at a horse from the
front or back - it’s square and flat and meaty and saggy too, depending on your
So like, I dunno, if you wanna step it up a notch, try
changing your use of building-circles into something like this
And especially practice being able to see these shapes in
And then piece them together. The triangle will really help guide the line up. Highly recommend.
Honestly I just follow the same gist of Hubedihubbe’s quick
tut (please check it out, very good points made, much cleaner, actually labelled) so I kind of feel like I’m parroting here but.. I break down the rest in
lines and diamonds.
As a personal preference, I like marking in the shoulder
blade to elbow and the hip to knee, as they create pretty important shapes towards
horse recognition. If something keeps looking off, check your leg length. A super rough way to get a close idea of what you need can be found in using most of the shoulder block for a landmark? It’s not perfect maths, it’s a rough tell. The hind legs are then worked out via the red line, setting the hocks above the intersection across the knees
And uh, it goes on from there. You gotta look at pictures, do
the study, and learn the meats. No real other way around that part.
There’s a horse bod.
But the reason of learning how to see those shapes in
dimension is so that you can push your poses further! Try piecing it together with your front-view knowledge. And
look at references, always!
Shoulders are pretty narrow compared to the belly and hindquarters, unless you start looking into the draft breeds - then both ends more or less square up together. But moving on, more leggies are slapped on that thing
And fleshed out with all that meat knowledge :P (I know I haven’t gone into heads but this was about centaurs anyway. This guy just felt like he needed one)
And when it comes to practice
and learning, don’t be afraid to simply draw
these shapes directly over an image. It will help familiarise you with how
these base forms interact with one another, how far they can squash and stretch
and look at a whole variety of angles. It’s just practice!
Doing that helps to gain a
solid concept of the subject, so that when you do set out on your own you can
find that convincing territory.
So hey, this has been a very long and terrible not-tutorial. More like insight or something, and would only be helpful if you’re somewhat familiar with horses and already got the fundamentals of drawing down pat, since I skipped over a lot.
Haven’t drawn a horse before though? I recommend you the Shrimp method