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06 June 2007, 02:04 PM
Michael Dashow is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: 'Wandering Monsters' (

06 June 2007, 02:07 PM
I knew I'd see you here. Best of luck Michael, it'll be a pleasure to follow your progress on this challege.

06 June 2007, 02:10 PM
Hey hey Micheal!!!Nice to see you're in.This thread will rock!!!Your first challenge as a father all along!Wish you ooads of fun!

06 June 2007, 02:11 PM
Well, here we go again! :)

Before it was announced, I wasn't sure whether I would have time to enter this one or not, but even with a baby to take care of, four solid months should be enough time for anyone to finish a Challenge! (and yet, some people will still enter and "complete" their entire entries three days before the deadline, go figure!)

But given that most of the art I would be doing anyhow fits into the Strange category, I should be okay. See you all around... Have fun, y'all!

06 June 2007, 02:21 PM
Hey Walrus it's nice to see you again. Waiting for your art mate ! :beer:

06 June 2007, 03:09 PM
hey mike:)glad to see u here,im sure this thread will rock big time:scream:

all the best and good luck

06 June 2007, 04:06 PM
hey mike!

great you joined and best of luck and fun to you :D

maybe we see some cuddly aliens or so from you ;).

it realy would be great if you come up with something :D

06 June 2007, 04:24 PM
Welcome back Mike

Expecting great things as always

Good Luck in the Challenge


06 June 2007, 04:28 PM
As soon as I saw the title I hoped you'd join, I'm sure this will be a fascinating thread to follow, best of luck, Walrus!

06 June 2007, 05:46 PM
Heya Mike, Welocme to the Challenge and Keep it Odd!

06 June 2007, 06:05 PM
Well Michael , I'm a big fan of yours and I cant wait to see what you will come up with :twisted:

06 June 2007, 09:30 PM
Always a fan of your works, Michael. Best of luck.

06 June 2007, 09:38 PM
ayeah walrus is in welcome my purple fiend:D! wouldnt have been half as fun without you, good to see you join this :D best of luck and have lots of fun mate, let it rock :D

06 June 2007, 09:43 PM
hi Walrus :) glad you have time to do this challenge I know you are going to do something ermm strange....

06 June 2007, 09:59 PM
Wotcah Michael... I'm gonna join you on this one, i just couldn't resist...

Good luck! (And i hope everything in Zachland is going wonderfully!)

06 June 2007, 11:00 PM
I think this summs up Zachland pretty well right now:

Lots of smiles, much happiness.

But I think we all have an agreement around the house that I'd go crazy if I weren't working on something artistic, so it might as well be this. Zach doesn't begrudge me my need to create as long as I spend time with him too. It mainly means my art time is not late at night and early in the mornings. :shrug:

Anyhow, it's good to be back. This part of the challenge is like coming back to summer camp after having been gone for almost a year, or getting back to school after summer vacation, and catching up with all your friends you haven't seen in a while: Hey, how's it going? How was your summer? What'd you do? What are you studying this semester? :)

06 June 2007, 11:28 PM
good luck man, lets pull out another winner =)

06 June 2007, 12:50 AM
OMG, that is the CUTEST baby ever! Okay, apart from mine...heh!

Glad to see you entered, Mike! Looking forward to your nonchalant and astounding brilliance.... ;)

06 June 2007, 12:54 AM
Hey Mike, I'm glad fatherhood isn't keeping you out of this challenge. That's one mighty cute baby by the way. Good luck mate. I look forward to watching your work develop

06 June 2007, 02:46 PM
Saying hi to some of the guys i remember from a few challenges we are again.

Looking forward to it.....good luck to you.


06 June 2007, 03:33 PM
yosh! good luck dude!

06 June 2007, 05:22 PM
Great to see you in on this one! You have a new mascot now... zach! You should update your avatar to show him being hugged by the walrus. :)

I'm looking forward to stalking you for this one...
*sits on the couch with her coffee*

06 June 2007, 05:30 PM
Hey Michael good to see you in. What a cute baby boy, you must be so proud.
Expecting great things from you as usual, have fun! :)

06 June 2007, 11:36 PM
hehe good to see you in :) :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 07:24 AM
Great to see you again Mike! What a CUTE boy you have. :)

06 June 2007, 01:54 PM
Hi, everyone! Good to see you all again (or meet those of you who are new!)
Yeah, Zach is really cute, isn't he? I'll try to do my best not to spend the next 4 months worth of Challengeness posting shots of him, but I doubt I'll be successful! :)

Still thinking about the topic... It'll be a little while 'til I get my thoughts together. We have four solid months to do this thing, longest time ever, so there's no need to rush into anything. I want it to be something worth working on for one third of a year. Given that almost anything can have strange behaviour, I'm just trying to settle on what I feel like painting and what its normal behaviour would be. I'll probably want something/someone else in the scene to react to the main character, so that you can tell that the behaviour is atypical (and incredulous expressions can be fun to draw!) I've got a great idea involving trolls... but as I'm almost finished with a new painting full of trolls, I may not feel like going there again (but if anyone feels like seeing that one in progress, check out the link to my sketch-blog below.)

Anyhoo, that's all for now... Good luck everyone!

06 June 2007, 04:25 PM
I say go for no. 7 or no.8. I like the strength of no. 7 and the green of 8. :twisted:

06 June 2007, 06:53 PM
Sorry, the voting has already closed! You'll get to see the final color choice eventually... I'm hoping the process will turn into a magazine article soon, but that's not nailed down quite yet. :shrug:

06 June 2007, 06:57 PM
As long as it's 7 or 8, I'm happy... :scream: It sounds like you're considering trolls for this time around. It'll be hard fitting that into the theme without being too cliche. No better man for the job, though. What sort of ideas do you have so far?

06 June 2007, 07:02 PM
HI Walrus, just checked your sketchblock and love it!Personaly I prefer the "7", as theble colors make it easier to travel your eye through in some kind a way.And it's more eye-catching I think personaly.The others sketches rock also, a lot of imagination in there.great!
IndeedZach is cute,haha!A lot of inspiration han?Me love to have them around while drawing, and hear their opinions about the things they see in yor drawings.
Yap well, that was my little drop by.LAter buddy!

06 June 2007, 09:31 PM
awwwwwwwwwwww is all I can say about Zach, he is so CUTE (ok so I said more ha ha) :bounce:

06 June 2007, 02:30 PM
woot!! cyb smells a walrus!

good to see ya again..

lets see some great work :)

06 June 2007, 06:47 PM
Theresa - Naw, I've abandoned the troll idea: It works much better with Elves, which is spiffy because, as I said, I'm already doing a piece with trolls. But I don't want to tip my hand yet. With a 4-month challnege, I've got a month 'til I really need to nail anything down. Remember 'Journey Begins?' I took forever to decide between some of the different concepts I had. (And if I recall correctly, you weren't a proponent of the one I ended up going with! And similarly, I chose a different color scheme for the trolls than the one you liked - but maybe it might be good anyhow.) But anyhow, sometimes things sound good on paper but don't work in a sketch. I won't really decide or even talk about anything 'til I've had a chance to sketch them out.

Remko - It'll be exciteing when I get to the point where Zach can give me opinions and comment on my work. But right now, he's too young... and when he's awake and I'm home at the same time, I'm with him and not doing art for the most part!

Linda- Yup! Feel free to say it all you want!

Simon - Good to see you here again! Missed you last time around - looking forward to seeing you work on a new piece!

06 June 2007, 06:41 AM
Good luck bud! Look forward to your progress!!! :)

06 June 2007, 01:11 PM
hi walrus wellcome to the challenge :)

06 June 2007, 02:24 PM
Hey Michael, loved your master and servant piece! I look forward to seeing what you come up with for strange behavior!

06 June 2007, 12:30 AM
hey walrus! looking forward to your first sketches :D every challenge with the walrus is a good challenge :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 12:32 AM
Ah mike, sure you should know by now that I exist only as a counterpart to you, i.e to do exactly what you DON'T do and to act as a devil's advocate. :scream: Either way, you usually have a winning formula, so I'm not complaining....

Just wondering though, will zach be part of it?

06 June 2007, 01:30 AM
hey dude!! :scream::bounce: a very very warm welcome back! :D looking forward to great works from ya!

cheers mate! :scream:

06 June 2007, 03:01 PM
Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I'm not actually going to post any sketches... I'm just trying to see how long I can get this thread without posting a single piece of imagery. :D

Just kidding, I've just started preliminary (read as: ugly) sketches for a couple of different ideas, but a lot of my free time is taken up finishing up a new digital painting (what timing!) so when that's wrapped, I'll be able to concentrate on this more.

No, Zach won't be part of this painting. But I am thinking ahead to 14 years from now, and it's possible that teenagers will figure into the final piece. Because everything teenagers do is Strange Behaviour!

06 June 2007, 03:29 PM
Bring on the good stuff.

Good luck


07 July 2007, 04:01 AM (

Okay, so here's my first concept: A cute teenage vampire girl who wants to join her friends (or is it fiends?) to go hang out on the beach during the summer time. In the bottom sketch(es) she's trying to convince her folks to let her go. She's got her whole bag of stuff, and she swears she'll use her SPF-4000 sun-screen! Her coffin is right behind her, btw, coverred with posters of teen idols and the like (Vlad Pitt is one of them.) And her poorly-drawn aprents are in bathrobes bewcause, if the sun is shining, it IS the middle of the night, right?

In the top picture, she's at the beach. Despite the sunscreen and the umbrella, she let one of her feet hang out outside the shadow. It's now smoking... ouch! There are some guys checking her out in the back left. One of them is a teen Frankenstein. (See the scars?)

Yes', it's all poorly drawn at this point, mainly all there for the purposes if composition and basic mood and emotion. I doubt this is the one I'll stick with. I'm not sure if I'm even the best person to draw this... Hey, Aly, need an idea to work on? :) I have another idea to still flesh out- but hey, at least I get an image thumbnail next to my thread now!

07 July 2007, 04:27 AM
Your theme good luck as always micheal.:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 06:14 AM
Hello Walrus !
Happy to see you in the contest.
Your first idea is cool to have a thumbnail thread, not an idea :wise: lol
It's not strange that's young Vampire girl, want to have a sunbath... Cause : teenager are strange ; and Vampire too. Imagine vampire teenager !
Trust in me to say you when your sketch will be powerfull and the idea exellent. I Bookmark your thread, and I will be here often.
Have a good and creative day ;)


07 July 2007, 08:20 AM
I love the top sketch! So cute!
The facial expressions are great and I like the idea.
Looking forward to your next sketches!

Aly would make a sexy vampire out of her who isn't afraid of the sun ^^

07 July 2007, 09:07 AM
Great to see you in the challenge Walrus.
Good luck with the strange ideas... though it doesn't seam like you need any luck... :D


07 July 2007, 10:52 AM
Nice to see you Walrus. Im shure you doing another great Illustration.
Lovley greets to your Family.

07 July 2007, 03:40 PM
Hi Michael! Nice to see you again and enjoy your painting process one more time.

07 July 2007, 05:25 PM (

Deevad, you hit the nail on the head when you talked about teenagers: To an aduly, just about anything a teenager does might fall into the category of "strange behavior." But even amongst teens - a typically harsh, merciless, conformist bunch - there is behavior that is considered strange. So I'm depicting the perpetual pariahs of high school, the role-playing-gamers!

Only in this case, just depicting high-scholl kids would be too boring (and too autobiographical) so I've reset the scene to a village of High Elves. Because elves playing RPGs is strange too. In the background, some haughty/hottie elfen maidens scoff, as they wander by on theri way to battle traingin or something more important.

Oh, yes, and pretty treetop villages in the background.

07 July 2007, 05:26 PM (

... and here are some doodles of the female Elves.

07 July 2007, 07:08 PM (

Deevad, you hit the nail on the head when you talked about teenagers: To an aduly, just about anything a teenager does might fall into the category of "strange behavior." But even amongst teens - a typically harsh, merciless, conformist bunch - there is behavior that is considered strange. So I'm depicting the perpetual pariahs of high school, the role-playing-gamers!

Only in this case, just depicting high-scholl kids would be too boring (and too autobiographical) so I've reset the scene to a village of High Elves. Because elves playing RPGs is strange too. In the background, some haughty/hottie elfen maidens scoff, as they wander by on theri way to battle traingin or something more important.

Oh, yes, and pretty treetop villages in the background.

Great new project ! I like it.
This one is perfectly hilarious & strange !
( and I love role-playing-games cause I spend all my studies on it ! )
Don't forget the funny detail of the tryptic folding screen of the "master" ;)
Nice sketch of course :applause:

07 July 2007, 07:38 PM
Hi Mike, Finally got some time now, so I can look at others entries! Great sketches! Just wondering whether a landscape'd be better for the idea rather than portrait...?

07 July 2007, 07:44 PM
Ah! now that's a good one man :thumbsup:

Can't wait to see this piece finished

07 July 2007, 09:03 PM
Micheal, looking forward to what you gonna chunk out this time! :)

07 July 2007, 11:28 PM (

Thanks, folks. Interesting idea about making it landscape, Aly - I'll give it a few more tries (in my first attempt, it made the women look like hte main characters... or maybe that was your idea...?)

Anyhow, some sketches of the elf rolling the multi-sided dice. I don't have names for any of these guys yet. Any suggestions...?

07 July 2007, 12:57 AM
You have an interesting idea Mr. Walrus, can't wait to see how it will turn out.

How about Henry for a name? :D


07 July 2007, 02:11 AM
hahaha great sketch :D

maybe one suggestion, give them one girl in the group i assure you thats considered even weirder ;). female roleplayers (at least pnp) are realy rare. although one can see more playing vampire than most other stuff.

*puzzels off to draw a dungeon for fridays dnd*

07 July 2007, 08:02 AM
the last idea is just great... goes to prove that elves and rpgs just dont always mix right:D... good luck Micheal...

07 July 2007, 08:12 AM
i prefer this idea.

07 July 2007, 08:20 AM
Mike your sketches are always nice, remembering back to oyur sketching with a wood pencil out on the tables in Navato @ Blackpoint.

You could always put some mix into the gaming group, through in a dwarf, (you can just hear him thinking, man whats a dwarf gotta do these days to get a good gaming group)

looking forward to more sketches and such... good luck as always, keep it odd

07 July 2007, 10:31 AM
This last one is fantastic, Mike! whish I had the idea first ;) :thumbsup:

Definitely hoping you'll go with this one, the sketches are a riot alteady.

07 July 2007, 04:59 PM (

Zane - Interesting concept... So the "strange behaviour" actually predates these characters and goes back to the previous generation, where one of these elves' parents preordained that he would be a social outcast by saddling him with such an un-Elvish name like Henry? Huh, I hadn't thought of that.

Anyhow, as you can see, I've given poshspice's suggestion a try, and to great effect. Thanks, Aly! I think these do rather work better as a landscape.

Llynna - I've also given your try a shot too, as you can see in the bottom image. I like the perspective and proportions more in the lower one, but the table is getting a bit crowded, and having a girl theremaybe lessens some of the tension/excitement/what-have-you with 3 other girls walking by, so I'm not sure what I think about keeping her at the table ('though I like the concept.)

By the way, I have started coming up with names for some of these fellows, so that I do0n't have to keep referring to them as "the 2nd one from the right." The chubby guy maneuvering the miniatures is Beliobir. The one rolling the dice is Aggrolas. The third guy from the left is Normiel. (There are accents in those names, but I don't know how to type them.) Other names to follow...

07 July 2007, 05:06 PM
Lol at the concept. ^^ Were you one of those teenagers?? I can just imagine one of those fellas wearing a yarmulke. :p I like the character designs, particularly belobir (sp?) and the girl walking past with a condenscending look on her face, esp. the top version.

I prefer the top perspective. Sorry for the short post, but I'm very busy today (looking after my 3 nephews under 6 years old takes a lot of work!)

07 July 2007, 05:11 PM
hey man! i always end up stalking your threads. good to see you upped something now! definatly keep an eye on this one.

07 July 2007, 08:18 PM (

Theresa - I was the 3rd guy from the left. But a yarmulke? This is a Dungeons and Dragons fest we're talking about, not a Bar Mitzvah!

Anyhow, glad you like beliobir. Here are some more sketches of him. Good luck with all your kids today!

07 July 2007, 11:36 PM
I guess I was remembering that photo (picture??) of you at your wedding...


I like the far right version of beliobir and I think you do, too (hence the full body) I like the way he seems to be thinking 'Will I put it here? Or, ooh, I could do this instead and...'

Will you have a cheater in the game? I'm not sure how you could cheat at D&D (having not played it) but I'm sure there's some way! Actually, which brings me to my next point. What exactly IS Dungeons and Dragons and how do you play it?? If that requires too long of an answer, I can just google it!

07 July 2007, 05:52 AM
I think in all role-player-gamer group their is a "Beliobir" as you draw (he look familiar ).
That's sure : this one is great for your scene !

07 July 2007, 06:31 AM
Well, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and other Role Playing Games (RPGs) are games in which you get to play the part of some sort of fantasy character - a super-hero, a space traveller, or in the case of D&D, some sort of fantasy character like a mage, a barbarian warrior, a dwarf, or even an elf. There are lots of statistics you have about your character - your "hit point" (life energy), your abilities and skills, and the points they take to use, your "armor class," or level of protection, etcetera. Lots of conflicts are solved by seeing how your stats compare to the difficulty of the task at hand, and are resolved by rolling dice... All sorts of dice: 20-sided dice, 12-sided dice, 8-sided dice, 4 sided dice... One person (the dungeon master or game master) runs the game and tells you what you're seeing, acts out how the characters in the world respond to you, and serves as the arbiter for all conflicts. (In this case, it's the guy in the lower left with the tri-fold screen, often used by "DMs.")

In some games, or in some peoples' versions of games, you show where characters are placed in the world with metal figurines, miniatures of the world's characters and monsters. Some people put a lot of time and effort into crafting and painting these miniatures - they attract the artistic types! ;)

There are also lots and lots of resource guides full of places you can go, pre-made dungeons and adventures, books with the stats for all sorts of adversaries (Monster Manuals.)

I thnk that about covers the basics. Each game and its approaches to all of the above vary. Sometimes the games are all just about stats, while others toss out the numbers and just have fun doing true role-playing, almost like an improvisational communal story. And all sorts of settings are available. D&D just happens to be one of the most widely known example.

Back to art, i think I misspoke earlier - i like the top layout better too. The 2 planes of characters are different sizes, which is more visually interesting.
As for the characters, thanks Deevad - I'm trying for the types of players that everyone's seen. Glad Beliobir succeeded. I hope the others will too, in time.


07 July 2007, 08:54 AM
Beliobir looks very nice... i especially like the drawing on the far right... very geeky and very true... the expression is just right imho...

07 July 2007, 04:23 PM (

Glad you like that one, George, but I'm going to continue to design the character a bit more. Here are some head sketches for Beliobir.

07 July 2007, 09:22 PM
I love to see all the steps you post as you work Mike. These are great :)

07 July 2007, 10:13 AM
hey again Michael... I like the following faces... second row first head and last column, the first three sketches... keep it up..

07 July 2007, 11:51 AM
It's lovely watching someone who can really draw and has a great sense of humour doing their stuff, Michael. A real treat.


07 July 2007, 05:51 PM (

Thanks for the notes, folks! George, you've reminded me of the necessity during challneges to number and/or label sketches so that peopel can refer to them easily. I don't normally do it when I'm making sketches, and I don't want to entirely give the impression that it's a vote, but it certainly does make it easier for folks to post comments when I number things. So this time around, I won't leave that part out.

So here are various sketches of the Elf Maidens who are walking by the gamers, with various reactions, from mocking and disdainful to amused ('though there aren't many images of the altter emotion on this sheet.) More to come...

07 July 2007, 07:37 PM (

Here are more sketches of the elves.

07 July 2007, 12:18 AM
Hi matey
Great to be back :-) Nice sketches there, can't wait to see which ones you pick.
Cute baby. I will be shamelessly posting photos of my 2 week old son soon too ;)
Anyway, best of luck, keep it coming. :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 12:40 AM
Great stuff!!:) :applause:

07 July 2007, 02:22 AM
Those sketches are looking really good. It's no wonder your work looks so 'right' when it's done because you clearly do your preparation. I agree with your earlier comment about 4 months giving us plenty of time. It shifts the emphasis from deadline back onto creativity. Or at least it does in these early days!

07 July 2007, 02:39 AM
nice sketches :)

07 July 2007, 08:40 AM
2,4 and 6 for the Elf Maidens looks great but the expression i like most is the 3rd... Also for the rest of the sketches i live the guy with the glasses on the far right, bottom row the 3rd sketch (the bored face) and top row 3rd from the right...

keep feeding us with great sketches...

07 July 2007, 10:24 AM
my..u sure are good in studying facial expression,im always suck in that:scream:nice sketches all and all,i dont know which one i'd go for as most of them looks just good to me

07 July 2007, 08:39 PM
HI Michael,

I have just discover you, (I am new sorry) your are awesome!!!:applause:

I love all the ideas, and I perfectly understand the strange about your illustration, I kind of identify with it on the girls side haha! Since I never found any fun in watching my friends doing those games, I used to work on fashion so it was totally un cool for me, so the point is, I recommend the following expressions since I have seem them in real life, (except the elf part) and I found them really funny, so I like them all, but more appealing to the subject for me are; number 4, 3 and 2nd sketch bottom 5 the big one. The guys the all look good since they look as are totally into their game and living their own world at those moments as the should!:thumbsup:

By the way-your baby is lovely perfect for a character !but I leave that to you!

07 July 2007, 10:01 PM
Wow! Very good character!


07 July 2007, 06:24 AM
hey man,
Just checking out your entry, and I must say... ahha I guess I was a little impatient eh..? You absolutely right about having 4 months, but I suppose I'm trying to get it done for monday's deadline for exotique... a few days really may be a little tight eh?

anyhow, I really like that you are letting time do its thing and doing a barrage of sketches is a much better way to pull together your ideas... I might have to do another one once I finish this ...

07 July 2007, 10:28 AM
hey hey some good stuff here as usual ! Looking forward to your next sketches

07 July 2007, 11:48 AM
look at that, full of action already again :D tho i really loved the sunbathing vampiress you already seem have moved on the elves ^^ great stuff and very you, looking forward to your further development, no crits just a go go go :bounce::bounce::bounce:

07 July 2007, 12:01 PM
Good looking char studies!

07 July 2007, 02:33 PM
Elves roleplayers! :)

Good idea and great work on the charcters faces epressions. I think your characters will be unforgettable.

Waiting next update.

07 July 2007, 03:19 PM
Wow, check out all these posts! Thanks everyone for stopping by! Yeah, I'm just taking my time, there's really no rush. I might not feel the same if I were doing the short film, but 4 months should be plenty of time for an illustration. Here's a tip: Drag out your entry for the full period of the Challange. That way you get the benefit of the most feedback on your piece and get the best piece possible. Sure, anyone could ram this thing out in a few weeks, but what would be the fun in that? It's not a race! Take advantage of all these cool people offering to give you input on how to make your paintin better - that's the only sure prize you're guaranteed from these challenges anyhow...

Dale - post pictures of your boy soon, I'd love to see him!

MichaelZHsee - soundslike it's time for you to do a challenge entry with lots of characters in it, for the practice!

Axel - thanks! As long as everyone can relate to someone in the picture, it's all good!

Kingjai - there'll always be another Ballistic Book to enter your entry into - take the time on it to make it the absolute best you can. I spent yesterday looking at my new copy of Expose 5 and man, it's full of fantastic stuff. The competittion is fierce, so don't just rush off an entry if you really want to get in. Either way, good luck with your piece.

Sacha - Yeah, the vampiress was cute, but this felt more right. I was looking through the other Challenge entries and I even saw the exact same concept - Dracula sunbathing at the beach under an umbrella - the that idea couldn't have been all that original. Haven't seen an RPG-playing elves yet, though...!

...and to everyone else, thank you so much for your words of encouragement!


07 July 2007, 05:33 PM
Man, I already know your art from previous challenge and your 2D gallery submission. I'm sure I'll look at another masterpiece this time too.

Can't wait to see more,

07 July 2007, 08:31 PM
yeah i think ur absolutely right =P

07 July 2007, 10:58 PM
hi there my friend! Its so nice to see u here :) Love the new idea with playing elfs. The previous concept with vampires was also nice but maybe too simple for this challenge. I agree with Aly for landscape format, but I'll vote for a less widescreen, more 4:3 maybe? So the background would be more visible and also u'll have more room under the table, which is quite squished at the moment (hmm... hope its the right expression) Just a suggestion. I'll stay close for ur further development. Cant wait :) good luck!

07 July 2007, 03:34 PM
Aww wicked exploration sketches Michael! The faces look great.

07 July 2007, 04:55 PM
This one's right up your alley!

07 July 2007, 07:45 PM (

Hi, all. Thanks for the notes! Good to see you here again , Blaz. I don't have an exact proportion in mind for the ladscape yet so I'll take that into consideration. Not sure why you think it's important to see underneath the table, though - is there something under there I shuld be drawing but am somehow missing? :)

Meanwhile, I'm continuing to explore the various Elves' faces on paper. I really like the face for Beliobir down in the lower left - the one thing that didn't work about some fo the earlier ones was the bulbous nose, which made him look less Elf-like. I've been likign the sketches where he's chubby but still has a smaller, more angular nose.

I've also got a lot of sketches on this page of the 3rd player form the left: His name is Normiel. And of course more of the haughty Elf hotties. I'm still trying to figure out what the Game Master (Noïdal) and the guy rolling the dice (Aggrolas) look like, exactly. So more sketches to come, of course. thanks for tuning in, and for the kind posts.


07 July 2007, 07:13 AM
Dont you have a hand cramp already with all these sketches?:D lookin great... i dont think the larger nose made him look less elfy but this one is great too... the other characters look great also...

07 July 2007, 07:54 PM (

So here's an entire page of the Game Master character, Noïdal (pronounced No-i-dal.) The ideas are all over the board here - I'm still trying to decide who this character is. Any ones you like? I liely won't use the thinner-headed ones like 12 and 16 because they inadventantly look like Brent Sienna from Scott Kurtz's 'PVP.' Oops!

07 July 2007, 06:58 AM
9 and 11 looks the most elfish to me right now... they all look very nice though

07 July 2007, 09:19 AM
ouch :eek: I wonderring how you can do so a lot of sketch & variation.
I like the 8 for the vicious spirit in the eyes, and the 13 cause it's remember some friend, always talking in the game while reading in the rules & books to contest some point.
The 13 look to say: " You see ; here they write that you can't do that... don't be angry, it's not me who said that , it's the rules ; "

07 July 2007, 09:42 AM
That's a shame- I was going to say no. 16, it looks the most like 'a person'. I also really like no.5 (great personality), 5 & 11 (ditto).

Actually, now that I think on it, no. 5 makes me want to go back and look at him again. He could be the cute nerd of the group. :D

07 July 2007, 10:15 AM
2, 5 or 9
Great sketches buddy!

07 July 2007, 10:20 AM
Like N°18 as it seems to be this kind a hippy, intelectuel elf.Which fit's great in his role.My 2 cents haha.
Superbe sketches mate!

07 July 2007, 10:21 AM
11, I find in him a curious expression of mischief.

07 July 2007, 11:21 AM
u do so many sketches for one caracter.. i would be bored to tears. i usually ahve an idea in my haead and it usually is the first hing i go bakc to... ant wiat to see the full composition... great work

07 July 2007, 11:42 AM
Hello, Always a good blow of pencil here:)

07 July 2007, 12:49 PM
I think 16. has the most's really important (if you go for it) that you capture the "character" and life that you have in that head drawing.......stunning!


07 July 2007, 02:05 PM
great studies.
I agree with davison, nr16 and nr14 has the most potencial. they lookz amost like a elve. I think the others are great but they dont look like elves. rly great work walrus, I learning a lot from your art.

07 July 2007, 04:38 PM
Wonderful sketches so far!


07 July 2007, 05:12 PM
I agree with paulwdavidson... Im voting for no.16 but if u really dont wanna go with that one, my next suggestion would be no.9 just with bigger glasses.

07 July 2007, 06:45 PM
Definitely 18, extremely elvish and going full steam on some point of the plot I'd say. :)

07 July 2007, 07:59 PM (

I feel like the title of this submission is missing something, like it just needs a few more words to be a really cheesy movie title. Like "Sexy Teenage Elf Maidens... in Heat" or "Sexy Teenage Elf Maidens in Bondage" or "The Revenge of the Sexy Teenage Elf Maidens from Mars." Or maybe that's just me. Anyhow, as we have these haughty elf hotties walking in the background sneering at the RPG-playing Elves, I'm just doing some body studies.

Thanks everyone for the "votes" and such on the sketches of Noïdal. Everyone seemed to like different ones! No clear consensus, by any means... guess we all played D&D with different people! But at least a few votes for 9, 11, and 16. I have one or two others on another sketch somewhere that I think could work, too...

The next step there for me is to start pasting some of these different faces into the larger layout and see how they all work - one face may look great in a small sketch like this, but not work in the greater scene, or not work with the otehr characters. I'll post more soon. Thanks again for all the comments and feedback, it really means a lot to me!

07 July 2007, 08:03 PM
11 looks good. He has good expression that stick in my memory, eye's especially.

07 July 2007, 08:10 PM
haha I like the checkingout each other elves on the bottom left hand corner...looks like ur having lots of fun, as for the vote, I couldn't really choose, there isn't really one that stands heads above the other... so yeah hehe I copped out...

07 July 2007, 12:50 PM
the two on the far right and the naughty one eyeing the players are my favs in this new batch of sketches... they all could work though...

07 July 2007, 03:15 PM
Amazing sketches Mike! they all look good so I hold my vote..

07 July 2007, 03:29 PM
I really like your drawings! Theyve got so much dynamic and personality!

07 July 2007, 04:30 PM (

Thanks for the notes, folks!

So I was in a meeting yesterday at work, and somewhere along the way I was thinking about how all fo the elf bodies would fit together on the page without one obsucring too much of another. I doodled this little sketch on the upper left. Then when I went home, I copied the small sketch onto a larger page in my sketchbook. The big image at the bottom is the result.

I'll still be refining their faces, hairstles, weapons, and of course adding clothing. (I started costume sketches this morning.) Hope you like...! :)

07 July 2007, 12:43 AM
LOL! I know this update was more about how the characters will fit into the composition, but the expressions on their faces are perfect! Very funny stuff. I've been following this thread and really haven't been able to suggest any crits. Great progress Michael

07 July 2007, 02:21 AM
The middle elf is unbelievably cute! :D I wish I looked like that, heh.

07 July 2007, 08:44 AM
this looks very nice but i do have one remark on this one... they seem like they are marching... even if the legs that are forward are not the same, they are in the same position/stretch and they give out that impression... just my thoughts

07 July 2007, 10:21 AM
Hahaha ! Cute design and really great sketch !

07 July 2007, 10:26 AM
The ladies' expressions and overall presence are great!

About the position of the legs... it does not bother me, in fact IMO it's natural that, when walking in a group, people tend to fall on step with each other...

07 July 2007, 10:33 AM
I'm looking at all your sketches and I just simply and truly amazed how well you doing them. They are all so lifelike! You have gift to create personality of character just with few brushstrokes... Again, AMAZING!

And this son of yours - how precious is he! :D

Best of luck mate, gonna watch ya ;]

07 July 2007, 10:33 AM
Just wondering- are the elves going to be naked in the final?? I hope they have fig leaves to sit on in class....

07 July 2007, 12:01 PM
Good luck Mike :)

07 July 2007, 12:25 PM
Hi Mike, So you've gone with a landscape... cool! Great characterisation coming through... are they going to be nude?

07 July 2007, 01:16 PM
Naaaw, they're not going to be nude! (And apologies to those who are disappointed by this fact.) I'm just getting the forms and shapes of the bodies right before I add the clothing. Also, I haven;t designed their clothing yet and I am doing that in seperate sketches. I'm going for some sort of cross between contemporaty school-wear and "traditional" elf-wear: Fantasy boots and jerkins and flowing shirts and such but redesigned to look more similar to clothing a modelrn American teenager would wear. Expect short skirts and some midrift-revealing wardrobe.... only Elfin.

so Aly, are you going to go ahead with the 'furries on the couch' concept while I get to draw the sexy women? That would be Strange Behaviour, indeed!

Interesting points abut walking in time with each-other. People, when walking, do tend to synch up with each other, as Tizano pointed out. Even so, I've tried to alter each one's gait so that they don't look entirely in lock-step. Maybe I'll alter it some more, nothing's set in stone yet. Thanks for bringing it up, George!

and Marek, thanks for your note about Zach. Yes, he's doing wonderfully! Thanks to him, I have a bit less time to devote ot this challenge than usual - I may be glad we have the extra month. :)

07 July 2007, 01:22 PM
Midriff-baring t shirts are kind of out of style these days- you need to keep up with the times! :D Or maybe you just like bare midriffs......?

07 July 2007, 02:11 PM
Out of touch or fond of bare midriffs...? Guilty on both accounts!
Got any more contemporary wardrobe suggestions, then?

07 July 2007, 02:19 PM
I think there's going to be plenty of girls in mine now Mike. As for bare midriffs being out of fashion, I guess Manchester must be behind the times then... I see loads of them! It's terrible, truly awful seeing all these naked tummys... makes me quite shocked... really... ahem...

07 July 2007, 02:23 PM
You can surf the style magazines online. Being the up-to-date elves that they are, I'm sure they'd read Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and wear all the latest styles. For example, this slide show of dresses...,,1613124,00.htmlHave fun. :)

Aly: Chavs wear midriff-baring tops. (there's an idea for your own entry!) Also- manchester isn't the epitome of style that it used to be. :p

07 July 2007, 02:50 PM
You can surf the style magazines online. Being the up-to-date elves that they are, I'm sure they'd read Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and wear all the latest styles. For example, this slide show of dresses...,,1613124,00.htmlHave fun. :)

Aly: Chavs wear midriff-baring tops. (there's an idea for your own entry!) Also- manchester isn't the epitome of style that it used to be. :p

Was it ever... really... ! :) Keep your styles classy Mike! Maybe midriffs are indeed out this season!

07 July 2007, 10:11 PM (

Theresa - that link you sent didn't work, even with the "Have" edited out of it at the end. But I should be able to get my hands on some copies of "Seventeen magazine" from somoe coworker, so it's all good.

In the meantime, while we take a break from the sexy Elf maidens, here are some sketches of Aggrolas, the elf rolling the tice and hoping for a '20'. I'm not sure I like any of them... :/

07 July 2007, 11:22 PM
I like no. 7 & 9.

9 looks devious, whereas 7 looks as if he has already rolled the 20. 3 is quite good too.

07 July 2007, 12:31 AM
I like number 9 too. He looks kind of determined, which I think suits it well

07 July 2007, 11:02 AM
man i'm glad you jumped in the challenge :)
another adventure in these strange behavior theme
the idea is great i love it....can;t wait to see your concept of the dungeon master :D
the guy thats rolling for 20 looks kinda evil, may be work a bit on him (imo i think that his broken nose is somehow strange for an elf ) the ladys are just amazing
keep up mate i'm definitly watching you :)

07 July 2007, 12:11 PM
9 for me, so focused on what he's doing. :)

07 July 2007, 12:48 PM
I totally love the expression on number 7, he's really enjoying what he's doing.

07 July 2007, 02:47 PM
Great character design so far walrus! I'm looking forward to seeing this progress! It looks like you'll put a lot of effort in every stage, not immeadeately rushing to the end line.

Good luck with the challenge!

07 July 2007, 02:57 PM
I agree too, 7 & 9 seems good choices, I like 8 also!
Btw great work meachel as always!
Gl, :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks, folks! Well, in a pleasnt coincidence, instead of people liking all different sketches, everyone seems to be settled on one or two favorites... which also happen to be my favorites on this page too! Unfortunately, noen of them work all that well when inserted into the entire scene (I'll post it soon, I promise!) #9 was close, but needed his mouth open to really work with the fist raised pose (which I really like) - It just needed him to be yelling something, lke "C'mon, 20!" or "Boo-yeah!" Anyhow, I did a sketch or 2 last night that I really like - but the iron test will be to scan it in and see how it looks in the whole scene. And as I said, I was never in love with any of the faces on that last sheet.

I do have a new sketch of Noïdal (the Dungeon Master) that's really working well, and a good one of Normiel (the geeky innocent guy) too. Evewrything's starting to come together. I appreciate some of you still staying tuned - with all of the other color comps out there, my sketch image thumbnails currently don't grab peoples' eyes in the main forum thread... so I apprecaite those of you who still manage to pop your heads in to peek! But like you said, Rico, there's no rush. Four months should be plenty of time to sketch everything out and calmly work our way into color.

Catch you all soon...!

07 July 2007, 12:18 AM
just popping in for a peek :) I can't really pick any fav sketch I like them all, I hope you get the problems sorted and they fit in ok. Looking forward to your next batch of sketches Mike.

07 July 2007, 07:05 AM
Hi mike, sorry i haven't post until now but your thread is somthing big to read in one sitting!

I know your pain... more or less, i have only one girl to deal with for this competition and she's making me nuts, the more options you draw the harder it is to pic one... but here is my little imput:

I think you have the girls landed, the one in the middle makes perfect sense and the other two are so sassy. Maybe the front one could be buffer, you know, more of a tomboy....

for aggrolas i'd go with No.6, but you are right, he should have a more open mouth and show more exitement... i mean, he is the most dynamic of all.

For Noïdal (i had to cut and paste that):) what if you try a more sneaky expresion, rising the visible eyebrow, big smile, like he's has great plans for his friend's puny characters...

And one question? are this the real sheets the way you scan them? if so, i have to bow before you:bowdown:, my sketches are so damn messy i would never show them on internet the way they are........

BTW, the "farewell kiss" was what brought me to the GC Society for the first time, and seeing you in my thread was the coolest part of the competition for me so far, Thanks a big lot Mike!

07 July 2007, 07:19 AM
7,8,14 and 17 in order of preference... i like them all but they some look too mean...

07 July 2007, 08:25 PM (

Linda - Thanks, as always, for popping by to see what's new.

George - Ditto: glad you consistantly keep coming by to offer your opinions on varios heads and designs. Thanks!

Gabriel - Thanks for the long post! I'm so flattered that "Farewell Kiss" is what brought you here, and now your entering yourself. Thanks!

As for my sheets, yes, most of them are just direct scans with a little bit of Adjust Levels and some Dodging to clean them up. The alst page of Aggrolas heads and the maidens beofre that are direct scans, with very little touch up. By contrast, THIS page is a lot of touch-up - it's everything that I've scanned so far brought in, cleaned up, sketched on top of, free-transformed, etcetera. For example, compare the Maidens her to the sketch in post #117 and you'll see all the places so far that I've adjusted - moved them further apart, added some hair, cut and pasted in faces from other skethces, redrew the eyes, and so on.

I've now got Noïdal (Far left. Yes, I have to cut and paste his name, too!) looking like the brain of the bunch, which was the goal. Here he's just pinting out some rule, but I do like your idea, SteevieWoo, about making him grin about some plans he has - I'll see how it looks.

Tastatura commented back a few posts that Aggrolas (rolling the dice) was looking a bit evil. It's a fine line- making him look.. well, aggro and into what he's doing without making him look psycho. I think I finally managed to walk the line.

For Normiel (3rd from left) I'm going for dweeby but cute. Another fine line to walk. Did I hit it yet? (My wife thinks so... But then, she likes geeky guys.)

And as for Beliobir, I'm really happy with this head - he looks so harmless and somewhat socially inept - but obviously, his body isn't done yet. I'll doodle over it or draw some new bodies seperately.

And as for the girls - Gotuel, Aloriel, and Nosindier - Their bodies and faces are mostly done. I'm okay with their legs being similar, but I may have to change one of the weapon-holding arms to be more varied from the other. Now I'm just trying to work out what they'll wear. I've been looking at 'Seventten' magazine, believe it or not. And clothing ads in the Sunday paper.

Anyhow, that's all I have time for now. Hope you like...! :)

07 July 2007, 09:03 PM
That's just great Mike :bounce:. I love your images because they are always full of detail. You look a character after another and everyone of them has his own personality. You have a winner here. Congrats Mike . I hate you.

07 July 2007, 07:03 AM
the characters work great together... i really like the romance implied by the looks between the two characters... I still find the marching of the girls strange though... keep it up Michael..

07 July 2007, 07:43 AM
The all seven character at the picture seen very impressive for behaviors, and when I see it, I can visualise in my mind. Good luck!!:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 08:33 AM
Hello Mike,
The gathering of sketches are great and work together. I think you will have to take care to add a strong perspective lines to draw the table and background.
Result look good and interresting.

07 July 2007, 08:29 PM
Hmm, in a way, Normiel and Aloriel have a lot of similar lines in their faces (even their names look alike) ... almost as if they're brother and sister. :shrug:

Beliobir reminds me of an old class mate, so makes me smile a lot. ;)

07 July 2007, 08:52 PM
Rico - That's a really good point about Normiel. I don't think his face is final yet... he may look too normiel, er, normal. I think he might need to look a little geekier, like someone you would expect to play a role-playing game... kind of like what you said about Beliobir. I'm also concerned that the first three male faces are all tending towards a similar shape and would like to avoid that.

David - Yep, still have to do a lot with the background. They're going to be on a balcony, so there will be a railing behind the girls and a panorama overlooking trees and elf-"buildings" and a pretty landscape.

Smik - Thanks!

icedeyes - Thanks. I know you don't like their legs, and I even tried to mix them up a bit after your last comment. It didn't work, though: I like these better. Sorry!

Ramitxon - :P

coming up soon - some silly costume sketches for the girls, new tries at Normiel's head, and a lot more work on Aggrolas.

07 July 2007, 12:14 AM (

...And as promised, some costume design sketches of the female Elves' outfits. They won't be red, and blue, of course, I just happened to have those col-erase pencils on me. I'll probably tend towards browns and greens. I've tried to add some hint of elfiness with the hints at swirly decorations, some of the necklines, layers, etcetera. But I dunno, do you think they might still be too contemporary and not fantasy enough? Which ones, if any, work for you? Keep in mind, some of them are only parts of outfits. In fact, I only just realized that there isn't even an A9 at all. I'll be curious to see how many people vote for that one...! :)

07 July 2007, 01:55 AM
hey michael, your work is always a treat to follow. thanks for sharing.

07 July 2007, 10:47 AM

hehe seriously I guess those are my favs:

Really nice sketches buddy! Looking out for more!

07 July 2007, 12:59 PM
My favourites are:

I'd wear those ones. :D

07 July 2007, 01:14 PM
hehe goro^^

very nice sketches, my fav's are...

A6 (A2 looks also rly interesting)
I think B needs a Cheerleader look like B8 (or B2 without trousers)
C4, C6 looks good, she looks like the rebel in the girl group, and for me that wear reflect this rebel (pirat) look. C3 have a nice top.

Ah not eazy man, all looks rly nice and thx for post this, i had a lot of fun with combinate this wears. good job.

07 July 2007, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the opinions! I can see why you like B7 and B10 (they're pretty much the same outfit) - they are really cute, aren't they? But after I thought about it for a bit, I realized something: Given that I've established in the face that the middle one is the "cute, likeable" elf, the baby-doll halter-top over the tee-shirt seems TOO cute, like it's hammering the "cute" thing home too heavily. I think she needs something less obvious.

My wife and I went through them all last night and even ended up cutting and pasting from all different outfits - these arms, this neckline - and might be getting closer... but I love hearing which ones resonate with folks. :)

07 July 2007, 01:23 PM
For the new ones B1, A2, C4, C6 and B9 are my favorites... As for the feet, i am sure it will blend in very nicelly in the end and i am sure that if you think it will work, then it will (you do have a lot more experience in illustration and composition than me)... It wasn't that i thought it was bad, it just felt akward to me at this stage... keep us posted Michael..:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 01:26 PM
What's wrong with making her wear supercute outfits? I know I remember a LOT of girls from high school who were into that whole cute thing and dressed accordingly (over the school uniform, of course. :D )

I'm just saying, it's something actual girls wear to solidify their image to the outer world...

07 July 2007, 04:11 PM
I just prefer to let the face do the talking. Also, I want to give the impression - in part with her clothes - that she could, potentially, be as sneering as the other two. But somehow, she finds one of these guys somewhat cute. Maybe hers is the image's strange behavior, didja ever think of that? Huh, huh? Did you? :D

07 July 2007, 04:17 PM (

On another topic, I was sketching Aggrolas today and thinking about how he might look if he were a really nerdy guy instead of a scruffy, dumber guy. What do you think?

07 July 2007, 05:03 PM
hey walrus .. its really nice concept .i like ur style of draw..
best of luck!


my post --- --Strange Behaviour (Illustration) (

07 July 2007, 11:12 PM
Great work on characters :thumbsup:

But the last one, hmm ... for me, he looks human-like. Maybe it's because of his hair style or glasses :curious:

07 July 2007, 07:17 AM
I like him but he looks too Harry Potterish at the moment (especially the one on the right)... i think i prefer him without the glasses though (he looks more nerdish too imho)... keep us posted...

07 July 2007, 07:23 AM
Hi Michael.
For Chic teen Elf-wear - A2,B3,C6
Nerdy Aggrolas - love first, but with wear, he look as gang band, the new - it something kind wizard or ets.

07 July 2007, 09:53 AM
Hmm, Michael...something doesn't seem right with Aggrolas and I think you see it too. Try a few more sketches?

07 July 2007, 07:54 PM (

So here are the final (or close to final) outfits for the Elf girls. For those keeping score, the outfits selected were C4, B2, and a cross between C1&A5. (I'm bummed I couldn't use the sleeves from A1, but they weren't practical for an archer or a swords-person, and I liked Aloriel's bare arms. :shrug: )

All fo the outfits will be in greens and tans and browns, and will have all sorts of intricate elf filigree and decoration.

Theresa - I don't understand what you mean. Perhaps if you can explain why the sketch or sketches aren't working for you...?

07 July 2007, 09:28 AM
very nice progress here mike :)
i liek the outfits that you have chousen, and for you doubts about the aggrolas i like the naked arms sketch one also, maybe just put him some t-shirt with some nerd logo on it. maybe also try some more nerd haircut, but overall the new updates are wonderfull especialy the outfits of the girls. keep on rockin mate:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 11:12 AM
Ooh! Those outfits are really cute! I particularly like Nosinder's- That's the sort of thing I wear, that is, if the skirt were jeans instead and with a rather higher neckline- but congrats on makign all three elves look very believable indeed!

About Aggrolas- ignore me, I don't know what I'm talking about. :D

07 July 2007, 01:27 PM
ah hell yeah.. it's-a-nice!

07 July 2007, 03:41 PM
Oh, my gosh!

Michael, tis is wonderful =D

I love it how you dedicate so much time to make the characters and their expresions look so natural. Just like a snaph-shot of a real "strange behaviour" moment =)

I will definitely check on you again!

Keep it up =)

07 July 2007, 06:32 PM
HI Mike,

Cool Fashions here!

I like their facial expressions a lot, particularly Aloriel.:)



07 July 2007, 08:36 PM
Hi Michael.

Just dropping by to say that it's great to see you in this challenge. Had pleasure following your entry on the last one, will be happy to see this one develop too.

Best of luck to you.

07 July 2007, 09:10 PM (

Hi, everyone! Thanks for all of the kind notes! I'm really happy to hear that the faces and poses of the characters are working well for so many... especially the girls, on whom I've been lavishing the most attention recently. But today I've so far had a lot more time to spend on the guys. I maxed out my vacation time at work and wasn't going to accrue any more 'til i took some off. So today's an impromptu vacation day, thus far spent assembling our intrepid band of would-be adventurers!

No one seemed to respond well to the more nerdy Aggrolas (except for my wife) but one of the characters has to be overly geeky looking. That's one of the general perceptions of RPGers so it has to be here somewhere. So if Aggrolas isn't too geeky then it has to be Normiel. Besides, he was looking too cute and normal. So after much sketching, here's the solution: A stringier, rangier Aggrolas (back to the original concept) and a slightly geekier Normiel... but not so geeky that you can't picture Aloriel finding him kinda cute. Or at least that's the plan. How'm I doing?

I still need some clothes for Noidal and Beliobir ('though at least he's looking more dressed.) One of them will have an Elfin Hoodie. I tried one on both Aggrolas and Normiel and they looked great but didn't fit the characters exactly. But if I'm doing Tolkienesque versions of contemporary teenage clothing, it's got to be in there.

I hope you all didn't think from the previous shots that Aggrolas was going to be topless.... Don't be silly! It's just important to understand and correctly render the forms beneath the clothes before just jumping in and drawing shirts without a clear idea of what's underneath. You get a better, more accurate sketch that way.

Anyhow, that's what's up so far today. Let me know what you think of the whole layout in general, and the new takes on the male characters in particular. Thanks!


07 July 2007, 07:49 AM
Hi Michael,

just read through your posts and must say really nice concept... quit controversial and therefore very strange indeed :thumbsup: I´ll be following this to the end... great work keep it up!

07 July 2007, 07:57 AM
right now, the chracters fit very nicelly together... Aggrolas looks much better with this expression and style... I agree that stereotypes should be kept (geecky players and the lot) and i love the new Normiel but i really think that he looks a little femine at the moment (i can't really trace the details that make him look so but i am sure you will)... Beliobir would looks extremelly nice with tha hoodie i think as long as its not tidy...

07 July 2007, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the notes, guys. Interesting point, George. I'm curious to hear what others think: Do you all agree that Normiel (3rd from the left) looks too feminine, or does that just add to his looking young/cute? If you do agree, any suggestions what I should change without making him look too manly? I'm just interested in hearing from a few more voices before I make a change... thanks!

07 July 2007, 04:17 PM
Hi, Mike!

Normiel looks fine for me: cutish and a bit shy. I don't read him as feminine, rather (as you know perfectly well) elves in RPGs are tipically defined as androginous, so the problem (IMO) would be if he looked too much masculine.

I wouldn't change him.

Love the exchange between him and Aloriel, and the girls' outfits.

07 July 2007, 04:50 PM
Jep... same for me... he looks a bit androginous but as long as he is in the "regulars table" the viewer will interpret it correctly... maybe you could change his haircut a bit or add some details to his skirt which will help? Just some humble thoughts :)

07 July 2007, 05:12 PM
Hi Michael

All characters looks fine for me and Normiel too. Agree with theuni, about haircut.

07 July 2007, 06:25 PM
Great details in clothes. Awesome design ! :thumbsup: Keep this good way.

07 July 2007, 08:42 PM
It's looking great, Mike! I didn't read through all the comments yet, but the one thing that strikes me as very slightly off is the girl on stage left, her right foot seems to be at an odd angle. I also thought you might want to check out this john k drawing of 3 sexy girls walking in a similar pose (your sketch brought it to mind for me):

07 July 2007, 01:25 AM (

Thanks for the feedback, folks! I appreciate hearing which parts are working and what isn't. So here's a new version... though no one will notice because the thumbnail is almost identical. LOTS more work on all fo the characters, 'though a lot of it is subtle: A new arm for Beliobir, a hoodie for Noïdal, a slightly squared-off chin and wider shoulders for Normiel to make him look a tad more masculine (but still nerdy.) A fix on Nosindier's foot (thanks,m Alex!) A table, now too, and at least placement for the railing in the background (eventually to be overlooking the rest of an Elvish city-in-the-woods-or-maybe-cliffs in the background.) And some stuff on the table... Detailing that is going to be a lot of fun! I also need to flesh out the weapons for Gotuel and Nosindier, the 2 female warrior-elves. (Aloriel just gets books.)

Anyhow, that's all for now... but that's a lot!

07 July 2007, 03:47 AM
superb details Mike! :eek: i especially love each characters' personality, very diverse and well thought of :p ... me just can't find anything to crit here .. alls well done! :p :applause:

07 July 2007, 05:06 AM
Now you're speeding up, i see you're confident with the attitudes now, and the detail in these clothes is going to pop up so nicely once it's done!!

If i could comment on something ii would be that having Noïdal (Hey this time i actually typed it... so proud) wearing a hood and a ponytail could be messy. but I'm sure you will pull it well,
so, oh now I'm speechless.:surprised

Great work!

07 July 2007, 05:27 AM
it might be amusing to have your elves roleplaying to be human roles. Like class 3 policemen, soldiers, scientists, firefighters etc.
have this reflected in carefull crafted figurines of said roles.

07 July 2007, 05:58 AM
it might be amusing to have your elves roleplaying to be human roles. Like class 3 policemen, soldiers, scientists, firefighters etc.
have this reflected in carefull crafted figurines of said roles.

i really like this idea.

07 July 2007, 10:24 AM
Hey once again Michael,

This is a great update i love all of the changes in details (btw the new chin works fine) and the clothes for the last two of the bunch...

I only have one remark that might (again) just be me but i just noticed the hand of Aggrolas and it looked way too twisted for a man (or elf for that matter) rolling dice... it just feels like a forced motion that is contrasting to the laid back feeling of all the guys in the table... like someone has grabed his elbow and pushed it inwards suddenly....

As i said, it might just be me,

Have fun,

07 July 2007, 04:13 PM
George - Well, I think saying the pose is too twisted for a man is a bit extreme: after all, I look just like that when I roll dice. I know because I based Aggrolas' pose on several photos my wife took of me, as well as sketches done in the mirror. (NO, I will not post them. :) )Keep in mind, he's not just calmly rolling the dice, he's really, really into it right now...

Harris-ejaz (and Alex) - Thats a neat idea! I like it too... I'm going to try to run with it. Thanks!

Steevie - I don't even know the correct keystrokes to type an 'ï,' I have to cut and paste it every time myself. How do you do it? I'm not too worried about the pony-tail, though, but thanks for bringing up the concern.

Nwiz - thanks!

... oops, I just noticed that Noïdal's proportions are a bit off, his body size compared to his head... oh, well, an easy fix!

07 July 2007, 06:17 PM
Great Michael.

I like the expression and all the characters studies you did :)

I want know if the elfs in theyr roleplay game will meet some monster like... a Wild Policeman :P

07 July 2007, 08:01 PM
I LOVE the idea of elves playing RPG. I think it's very funny and clever. Somehow this idea was lost on me at a first glance because I was distracted by other things in the scene. Your character development sketches are wonderful to watch. Good luck.

07 July 2007, 10:00 PM
Hi Michael,
I love all the expressions:thumbsup: I can tell they are all very real for each one of them , and the girl elf from the midle, she’s so adorable… great work your style complement very nice your idea…keep up the good work! It’s looking fantastic

07 July 2007, 07:04 AM
Man.. I got to see these pictures:scream:...

But yeah... I just haven't played in a while so i forget how caught up you can get in this... I will take your word for it:D...

07 July 2007, 11:07 PM
I am amazed how clean your lines are, well the elvish girl in the centre hubba bubba! Have you figured out your background yet?

You have to have them role playing the characters from the village people, policeman ,native american, builder etc or the scooby gang, just go crazy man,

I love to watch this all the way through, makes my concept look like something my mum used to stick to the fridge when I was five LOL

Got to go need to sharpen the nib on my wacom


07 July 2007, 12:08 AM
Hello Michael, I just have to join the troop and be obvious. I just love your sketch, so full of details and nuances. In addition, follow your progress it is a drawing class experience. I will be watching you and try to learn a thing or two.

07 July 2007, 04:35 PM (

Thank you for the notes, everyone! Glad everyone likes how the character sketches have been coming. With those mostly done, it's now time to focus on some other details" The game on the table, and the environment. These are obviously doodles for the latter.

I took the last post you saw and printed it out on plain old standard 8.5x11-inch paper to draw upon more. I do this a lot in my process: Print what I have out, and then doodle over the print-outs. These two sketches show roughly the direction I'm heading in for the environment: An Elvish city set in the trees and cliff-tops. You can see other balconies, to give you the idea that this foreground is another one of those. And some waterfalls, lots of trees, mountains in the background... More firs and evergreens in sketch 1 while there are more oaks and deciduous trees in #2.

I'm worried that they may be borrowing too much from the Peter Jackson movies. (Curse him and his team for developing such a wonderful, well-crafted vision to subconsciously stick in our heads so that I'm finding it hard to diverge from the paths he forged! :) ) Anyhow, that's where things stand now. I'm open to other ideas for the setting, as long as they're in this general direction...


07 July 2007, 05:29 PM
Hi Mike,

Either background looks great, but if you're worried about the similarities with PJ's vision, how about a more fairytale castle like Neuschwanstein (just do a Google - you'll recognise it from movies I'm sure). And a little thing... Gotuel's eyes: I can't help thinking it'd be her eye closest to us that would be wider with the higher eyebrow, and the other narrower. I just practiced it in the mirror and that's how mine came out!

07 July 2007, 08:34 PM
hi walrus, great development! I was a bit off lately so your latest image is quite a jump from ur early character sketches. I see I missed a lot :/ Anyway, Im voting for no.2 (Im so happy when I can choose from many options that u gave us :D its so fun to participate, hehe). the reason why is mostly because if this is a fantasy landscape its always nice to see fresh colors and nature in the back rather than crowdy cityscapes, even if they are fairy looking.
And I absolutely ladore the middle girl, u drew her really well! keep up the great work buddy!

07 July 2007, 08:42 PM
My vote is for number two as distribution of shapes and masses and kind of vegetation (I somehow can't see Elves in a 'high peaks' sort of environment. Only problem I see with number two is that it reminds me quite strongly of Rivendell...

What about a change of building materials? More wood, maybe, and shapes that mix more with the natural environment instead of standing out?

Or if you like to keep evident pinnacles and ornaments (which are wonderful) what about giving a look at some Thai architecture?

07 July 2007, 11:29 PM
Hey, I really like the background you have going on here! How about a few signs to show where they are- are they in an open air park type of thing, at school, in a mall....?

07 July 2007, 01:14 AM
Very nice picture, I also vote for number 2, but some of the waterfalls close to the top center make the sky a bit busy in my opinion, the image has plenty of elements so showing a bit more of sky like in the number one could help to have a most epic atmosphere on much more deep scene also when you finish the wall seeing it I imagine it will be a kind of fence so some element will be seen through it so some elements between the background and foreground could be showed there.. so that is another reason I like number two the most. Also I agreed with Blaz.

It is very inspiring to see your work and enjoy the way you help everybody with your wise advices, so I feel a bit insecure making critics to your work but better out than in. Best regards and good luck (but i dont think you need any luck with your skills)

07 July 2007, 03:22 AM
I'm another one who prefers number 2, although they really are both good. But I guess my preference for 2 comes from a few things - I prefer the look of the oaks/deciduous trees and that tree in the foreground on the left seems to frame the scene really well. But I also think the architecture in number 2 looks a little less crowded and also seems a more relaxed setting, with what appears to be less buildings and more nature - I really like that. So I'm speaking from a highly subjective viewpoint here. This is coming along really well, by the way :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 04:55 AM
Hey Walrus, I'm back from a long break and I just wanted to say, awesome work, awesome concept.. as always.
I like number 2 :)

07 July 2007, 07:16 AM
I like both wersions Michael! My only concern is that curved fence behind the girls. It sort of devides the forground from the background to much. And it is also in the way of the walking direction of the girls (unless they are walking around the table ). I don’t know if I`m making sense here, but that fence bothers me in a way…

Anyway like always I`m truly impressed by all the work you put into your sketch process! How can you go wrong when you think things through and test out so many different solutions to the composition!:)

07 July 2007, 08:57 AM
Hey Walrus,
You know, it would not be all that strange for fantasy characters to be playing a fantasy game? Maybe for an added level of humor the game they can be playing could depict something mundane like an IRS RPG or waiting in line at the DMV. "Yes, I rolled a 4 now I can take two steps closer in the cue!"

I didn't read all the pages so this may have been mentioned.

Best of luck and the drawings looks great.

07 July 2007, 11:01 AM
nice nice Michael, you a machine so many cool sketches in ur progress. I vot for 2, but without the tree on the left corner.

07 July 2007, 11:24 AM
My vote goes to 2 as well... it just feels better and vegetation is a crucial part for elves concealing...

07 July 2007, 04:39 PM (

Hi, all. Thanks for the wealth of comments! I'm glad everyone has stopped by to add their thoughts and opinions, most of which have been extremely helpful!

First things first, thanks again to Harris-ejaz and DigitalMonkey and PaLantir and Kory who brought up the idea of setting their RPG in (for them) anachronistic times. After all, that's what role-playing games are all about, right? So as you can see with this small update, I'm running with that. Lots of little pewter figurines in a contemporary (for us) office setting. I've tried to keep the dynamic body poses common to miniatures.

Also added some dice and a dice pouch, and if you could see the entire frame, you'd see that I changed Gotuel's eyes (Aly's note) and adjusted the curve of the balcony railing (Per's note.)

Aly - thanks for the observation about her eyes. You're totally right, and I've already fixed it. Good call!

Thaldir - Interesting note on the building materials. Even though no one liked background #1, one of the interesting things in it is the railing, which is not carved but wood that grew into a railing. I was thinking about pursuing this course with more of my architecture as well. The suggestion of Thai architecture is really interesting, and something I'd have never thought of. What a neat idea! I've grabbed some photos off of Google image search and will fool around with the idea.

Reinaldo - Yes, of course, the background will be seen through the gaps in the balcony railing. It will not be solid. And thanks for leaving a post - I really do like hearing from everyone, that's what these challenges are about, for me. I could work all by myself with no input, but I much prefer hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions as I go!

Mark - Well, of course you're speaking from a highly subjective viewpoint. Aren't we all? I like hearing different peoples' opinions.

Try - thanks for the thoughts on the balcony railing, I changed the cirve to be less extreme as you suggested. I'm not worried about how it divides the background because you'll be able to see through it - it won't in the end be as solid as it may look right now in these comps.

Kory - Good to see you around again! Thanks for the independantly-arrived at idea of the mundane RPG - as you can see, I'm running with it.

And to everyone else, thanks for the thoughts and notes. Back to work now... :)

07 July 2007, 07:48 AM
great miniatures Michael... I especially like the one on the center, he looks like a cross between Superman and Elvis... nothing to comment right now... keep it up

07 July 2007, 10:10 AM
It's great Michael! Background on num 2 with waterfall, very good characters for the game , but they can't to be vision on this big ivironment and details of the picture. I'm with interest your next details. :)

07 July 2007, 07:30 PM
I want some colour! greta compo and little fig's are great.... cant wait for the colour though

07 July 2007, 07:44 PM
Though that the orcs are playing with humans... in a reverse manner... its a very cool concept.

I dont know if that was your intention with the last image... maybe i would differentiate more and enphatize the human that are being roleplayed. :P


Great concept.
I cant wait to see more work ;)

Keep going dude.

07 July 2007, 08:14 PM (

So obviously, from my background sketches, there are going to be lots of railings around. There's the big one in the forground, and lots of small ones in teh back. I don't want them all to look identical, so I need lots of designs, and here are some of them. I like the idea of the railings not being carved stone or hand-crafted but instead just grown there, as though the Elves had some sort of magic over nature that they could influence it to grow into forms that they needed. (There was a computer graphics pinoneer who created shapes like this but I can't recall his exact name right now. Anyone?)

So anyhow, I'm tending towards the more organic forms that look more grown, like the top left one.

Color, Wil? Sure, we'll get around to color. There's a lot of design-work yet to do, and then the final line art. You need the foundation before you build the house. And we have over 3 months left in the Challenge! So I'll see you back here about a month or so.

darckon - There'll be some maps and other human-looking things on the table, but not too much mroe than that. The whole point of the picture is not that they're role-playing humans so there's no need to call an undue amount of attention to that. There are other strange enough things going on in addition to that.

Anyhow, not an exciting update, I know, but it's all ground-work that needs to be covered as the piece progresses... Later!

07 July 2007, 11:49 PM
They all look really nice. I like your sense of design and it's an excellent idea to make them look 'grown'. Like you say, the top left one is already a 'grown' one, but I think all of them could appear to have been magically grown with the addition of a leaf or tendril randomly sprouting here and there. I really like the irregular look of that upper left one to. I'd imagine that some of the Elves were good at the magic and made their fences grow in neat, regular patterns, and others were not so good at the magic and so their fences would look a bit messy

07 July 2007, 12:36 AM

You have too many pages for this time of night. I'll look at it properly in the morning at work :)

I just wanted to say thanks for giving me the heads up about my first idea already being done by someone else - it was welcome and prompt! (I better have a look at Swizzles pic :)

ANyway - I had another idea... your opinion would be greatly appreciated.


07 July 2007, 08:33 AM
top left looks great... third column first and last row look great too..

i also love the idea of them growing...

maybe some of them will have a more iregullar shape (not all trees and plants follow the same rules when growing) like vines wrapping around the main rail and the top...

keep it up

07 July 2007, 09:02 AM
Color, Wil? Sure, we'll get around to color. There's a lot of design-work yet to do, and then the final line art. You need the foundation before you build the house. And we have over 3 months left in the Challenge! So I'll see you back here about a month or so.

So thats why my house keep's falling down. Thanks mike! lol.. was joking .. it was a comment on how much detail you put into everything in the picture in your foundation phase. unbelievble. my foundations are form perspective and composition.. as long as that is right i go ahead, then all little details arise as i proceed through the painting follwing the image in my head... so yes i do know foundations are important (bloody patronising, cheeky ... grumble grumble...) j/ks ;)

07 July 2007, 02:18 PM
Sorry, Wil, your humorous intent didn't come through in your text. Next time use more smileys! ;)

Not to say your way of working is incorrect, I just have my own way and tend to take my time.

07 July 2007, 02:36 PM
i ment i am very impresed by the detail you go into. i couldnt do it. peace

07 July 2007, 05:10 PM
Fractals Mr Walrus,

The artist in question used a program to draw a stick then add a branch to the stick, the branch assumed the qualities of the parent and the daughter (ie branch) assumed the properties of the parent till it looped continuosly on its self, add a colour trait and the daughter would assume the opposite colour of the parent then a massive fractal was born. Oh my poor head hurts,:scream: anyhow I could not remember the name of the SCIENTIST who did this but it is in a book called moving pixels.

Love what you are doing Mr Walrus you could write a name on a envelope and it would be beautiful, i am really really jealous

Lots of regards:)


Now smashing up my wacom tablet and turning to the priesthood/mafia whichever accepts me first?

07 July 2007, 06:41 PM
Just popped in for a little peek at your latest sketches. Love the idea of an organic looking railing, maybe twist some of the stem looking things together... or maybe not that might be too much work with the work you are putting into this already. Sketches are beautiful Mike, the little figures are a great touch to what is going to be an awesome work of art. :)

07 July 2007, 06:41 PM (

Yay, lots of time to work on this this morning! So here's what we got: The railing has been planted and grown in rather nicely. No, it WON'T be so dark behind the railing. I used the warp tool to mock up a big blue area where the railing should go (you saw it in previous posts) and then put the rialing in to fit. I kept it in for now because it makes the railing easier to read. It won't be in the final.

I added all of the weapons and books for the girls on the right. And I just did a lot of small little tweaks all over. The adjustment of a face here, or a hand there. I did a lot of that with the canvas flipped horizontally so as to catch things I might have missed otherwise, it's a really great tool.

Richard - Nah, my envelope sketches are nothing special. This whole, long thread should demonstrate nothing if not that it takes me umpteen tries to get the sketches right! :)

07 July 2007, 06:47 PM
I think you may have taught me something about my artistic style, I tend to rush in and try and get it it done, you have a meticulous and measured approach, that is why your work is good. You take your time with this. I am too busy trying to keep up with my peers thank you Michael for the epiphany.

thanks Rich

BTW I didnt turn to the priesthood as I dont like working sundays, and the mafia wanted references.........better stick to being a bad painter LOL:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 02:26 AM (

I spent this afternoon working on Elvish decorations that will go onto the table. I envision the table being wood, with metal patterns set into tis side and top. To create these, I created the 2 texture maps you see in the upper right (the short one is for the table sides, the tall one for the top of the table.) In 3DSMax, I created a 72-sided cylinder and mapped these images to the side and the outermost faces of the cap. I used a FaceMap, which applies the same image to every polygon: Voila, repeating texture! It's a fun technique I ended up spending a lot of time with last challenge.

It took a lot of tries to match the camera angle to the one in my drawing, getting the maps right, adjusting the number of faces on the cylinder, etcetera. Once I was done, I rendered out the cylinder with the 100% self-illuminating maps on a black background. So the only thing there were the white decorative patterns on black. Bring them into Photoshop, load them as a selection, fill them in a new layer, and there are my decorations! I'll likely use a similar tecknique - mapping sketches onto cylinders - to refine the swirly branch columns on the background buildings, too.

Rich - Thank you, glad my thread and all my blathering has been some help to you. Just keep plugging away at it!

07 July 2007, 06:26 AM
You just don't stop right? i picture you being an octopus more than a walrus:)!

See, maybe it's just me but i think the table detail is a little busy, but you know what you're doing, that i can't doubt. so let's se how it works.

You're doing a great work Mike!

07 July 2007, 07:33 AM

nice table... are they parts of tolkien words or did you make them up.. either way very cool.

07 July 2007, 08:38 AM
i think this will work Michael as soon as you put a colder color on the pattern and a warmer on the actual table since now my eye is drawn directly on the pattern... keep it up

07 July 2007, 11:33 AM
Great job, I love your paintings and this one seems to be turning into a really nice one. The only thing that bothers me in your sketches is that one of the elven girls, the one on the left, seems to be walking with both left limbs (our left, her right) back. You can see that her hands are almost in the same position as of the girl on the right, but since her legs are different, it seems a bit... weird.

Other than that, everything seems really nice, I especially like the expression on the girl in the middle (sorry for not knowing their names! :) )

07 July 2007, 12:47 PM
I'm really really diggen the detail Michael :) , can't wait to see this one finished ( let's see if it beats that farewell kiss image- which was THE image that actually gave me a push to learning digital painting :D ),,,,, amaze me again,,,

Cheers man!

07 July 2007, 05:55 PM (

So, using the same technique as in the last post, here are some gazebo-like buildings make with simple black and white opacity maps. Of course they all look flat, but these are all going to be in the background... and this is going to be a painting, not a 3D render. So I'll use these types of renders as a base for painting over. In the paint process, I'll add whatever 3D effects, extra branches, and texture that's needed. But before you all start critting, remember that these are just experiments and tests, not final anything...

Just like the last post. Come on, you folks don't seriously think I'm going to leave all of the decorations bright red on a white table, do you? I AM planning on coloring this picture eventually, not just leaving it as line art! I just made them red so that you could see them better. The table will be wood and the inlayed deco will be some warm, burnished metal. They'll all blend right in and be very subtle, don't worry!

WIL - No, they aren't Tolkien's Elvish writing system (called Tengwar,) just decorations I drew in a similar style. There will be actual Tengwar writing on all of the RPG stuff, the maps and books and the tri-fold screen.

amitame - Sorry, i've tried to see wht you're indicating, but just don't see it myself! But thanks for posting - I'm flattered that your first post here is on my thread.

jassar - Thank you! I'm very happy to hear that it was such an inspiration for you. I hope this one will be as good, too! I'm excited about this one because there are so many fun characters to paint. :)

07 July 2007, 06:17 PM
he he, looks like few folks want to drive you mad :thumbsup: You'are doing great, all clear. Good luck buddy!

07 July 2007, 08:29 PM
man you are progressing very good, i like everything so far :)
some notes that i have brosing the last few pages with posts
- do more foliage in the enviorment to get the elf feeling nature balance ;)
-the girls are hot :P
-the maping technique is wonderfull that will definitly take care for the repitable
decoration (details that as i can see you will have a LOT in these illustration)
can't wait to see all these in one quick sktcky composit just to get the overall feeling

07 July 2007, 05:40 AM
Wish i understood 3D. What applictations are u using...? it would certainy help in making uniform patterns like this if i ever need to. Does this take along time to render? Like the designs.... just a funny though not to be taking seriously.. with all the tolkien esque writing and tree designs maybe right in the distant hardly visible you could have frodo and sam making a cameo as they trek off to mount doom . . . soemones got to save the world if all the younger generation are playign rpg;s or worrying about popularity and make up!

07 July 2007, 06:07 AM
Heya Mike,

Its looking like it is coming along nicely.

07 July 2007, 06:09 AM
Oweron - Thanks! :D

tastatura - Oh, there'll definitely be more foliage. I figure a portion of the foreground, especially the lower right, will be shadowed by dapple light of sunshine through leaves in the trees. Then even if you can't see the leaves, you'll know they're there by the distinctive light. But we won't see that for a while yet... In the mean time, glad you liek the girls!

WIL - I'm doing these all in 3DSMax, although what I'm doing could be done in any 3D app. I'm just drawing very simple texture maps - just black and white - so it is very easy to render. No fancy shadows or ray-tracing or complicated, layered textures... or in the top case, not even any shadows. It's the simplest stuff possible to render! But all of the stuff I'm doing could just be done in Photoshop, like with the Polar Coordinates filter. I just find this way more intuitive for me because I work in 3DSMax every day and know it pretty well. I like the idea about Sam and Frodo, 'though I'm not sure where in the world I'd fit them in, there being so little space in the foreground. Cute idea, though!

07 July 2007, 06:33 AM
very cool update Mike! :bounce: i especially love ur technique! easy .. quick .. informative! ... was just wondering ... since these shapes are gonna be in the background ... will u be adding some thickness? ... in other words ... far objects = less detail ... close-ups = more detail ... me curious :D

cheers mate!

07 July 2007, 06:58 AM
A quick post to say I love how those foreground fence posts came out.

07 July 2007, 08:51 AM
I can't wait to see how you'll merge all these elements together!

I'm ready to drool :P

07 July 2007, 09:34 AM
I really like the way you work Michael... the patterns look very good... my only comment is that because they look so complex and generally have a very interesting look, they might draw the viewer away from you middle ground or foreground where all of the real action will be at... just something to keep in mind...

have fun,

07 July 2007, 11:42 PM
oh yes the sunrays punching trough the leafs are very nice trick to show foliage presence ;)
i knew you that you will figure it out....the girls ooooh man i don;t have words
just for the record i don;t the the sam and froido idea to much
, reason: i find these ambient characters and overall illustration like a part from mikes imagination so all credits for it is on him go for it MIKE !:thumbsup: use you creativity to the maximum

07 July 2007, 12:18 AM (

I showed this to some of my friends who are serious RPGers (Hi, Ted and Matt!) and they pointed out that one thing that was missing was junk food and sodas, an essential part of any gaming gathering. I couldn't think of any way to show bags of Doritos without being completely anachronistic, but instead wokred out a way to get some soft drinks in there: Elven goblets with a perhaps recognizable design element down the side. Picture the designs being overlaid in light Elvish silver while the glass or wood behind them is a nice, burnished red and you'll get the right idea. Even got a 'Jolt' goblet in there too, 'though there's no room on the table for more than one of these. I am showing you all of the doodles, but I am using the one in the lower left.

Tastatura - Thank you! Hooray for credit for Mike!

NWiz - yes, when I paint them in I'll make them look like tree trunks and all, not flat. But that's easy to do with a brush, so these 3D mock-ups are just to show me where to paint. Think of them as line art.

07 July 2007, 01:04 AM
This is outstanding, all your meticulous work is fascinating... the drinks and food idea is good in fact, I dont know if adding some bread or maybe some fruits...dunno...
Just one thing is killing me, the 3rd miniature from left to right is killing me, it is Freddie Mercury for my eyes, is he? or is just my twisted imagination :S
Cheers for you warlus, another outstanding piece is coming from you

07 July 2007, 01:18 AM
No, that's a big wide open mouth, not a moustache. So no Freddy. But I guess all figurines are open to interpretation and whatever paint job you want to give it, so who am I to say it can't be Freddy Mercury for you? :buttrock:

07 July 2007, 02:21 AM
Neat! I picked the lower left one before reading! is the best by far

Congratulations Mike You are a detail kahuna!

07 July 2007, 07:33 AM
Waiting to see how it all fits togheter. :bounce:

Top right goblet is my favorite.

07 July 2007, 08:27 AM
nice way to integrate them into the image... i love the gatorade one... keep it up

07 July 2007, 08:30 AM
lmao... those goblet ideas are great. what about pringles too with the little moustache guy subtle on something... once you poop you cant stoop.. or something

07 July 2007, 11:36 AM
yea yea you got em right, love those goblet designs :)
how about some fruit bowls, elfs are know for their healthy food opssesion, elixir's and other potions RPG style.
I havent played D&D but i'v had a lot of magic the gathering tcg gaming gatherings and one important element was the music in the bacground you can humm it when you fell lucky and winning or you shout! turn the damn thing off its bad luck :P so a drunken barrd laying on near the table floor with instrument in hand could be fun :) <- just an idea :)

07 July 2007, 01:14 PM
Thanks, folks! Sorry, while there are many good ideas, there's just no more room on or around the table to fit anything else - see the earlier posts with more of the layout showing. It was hard enough just to squeeze in one goblet, and even then I had to rearrange how Normiel was holding his book. All fun uideas, but no space for pringles, potions, or anything else. Aside from some chair-backs (sketched but not scanned in yet) and the tile pattern on the ground, the foreground is completely done.

07 July 2007, 06:57 PM
The line art is beauutiful! The composition, characters, expression and attention to detail is amazing. I'm very very inspired after seeing all the thought you're putting into this piece. All the very best and I'm really looking forward to seeing more updates. :)