Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Michael Dashow


Michael Dashow is entered in the “Uplift Universe Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Adorable Alien


Hi, all! Well, here I am. Given that I was the first person to realize that this would be the David Brin Uplift Challenge, you’d think I’d have been on the scene earlier, eh? But they overbooked the Challenges and started this while the Dominance War III contest was going on, and so I had to finish that challenge first. But that’s all done, so here I am.

My image is going to be about an alien ceremony. When you’re a wolfling clan like the Humans, you’ll spring for recognition from any alien clan you can find in hopes of making new allies. So here we find the humans formally invited to take part in a ceremony on the homeworld of some really tall species with four arms. To adequately take part in the event, holding four candles and wearing the proper respectful robes, a bit of improvisation was necessary…

This is still rough. I like the humans - or at least most of them except for the feet! - but haven’t thought much about their uniforms yet. The aliens I will undoubtably completely redesign, but no matter what, they’ll be tall and have four arms. Anyhow, see what you think.


a prerequisite of these candle ceremonies is having four arms to hold not 2 but 4 candles :? YEAAA!! millions of years of evolution lead to this unatural advantage over humans…HAH.

interesting narrative, already mike, seems like some poor two armed souls are being accousted up the back there…could it be the poor performance of their representatives?.

Well after the incredible effort for DW the third, i can’t believe your here so soon…

good on you mike…

(out of interest, how long have you been illustrating for now, mike?)



Very cool concept idea! Judging by your previous work I’m sure this will be grand!

Good luck and all the best!



hi Mike, I was not sure if you were going to enter this one. Awesome concept and glad to see you in :slight_smile:


haha, there you are already, huh? :slight_smile: Lucky bastard, I still need to finish my DW3 :stuck_out_tongue:
Nice and lively sketching as always, dude!
You are all resolved about your idea already it seems which is great!


Goodluck with the challenge Michael.


Hey, look who’s here! :):bounce:

Really really glad to see you in, Mike. Great idea, I’m definitely suscribed.:thumbsup:


He’s in! I can see another superb illustration on its way. Good luck Mike


The idea is simply crazy and funny :slight_smile: , but are you not afraid of doing all those characters!

Cheers and good luck


Welcome to the challenge. This is for sure a thread I will follow. :thumbsup:

Good luck with your entry.



Very amusing concept :slight_smile: I loved your ‘Strange Behavior’ entry so I look forward to how this develops.


i like the cartooned style of your sketch! cant wait to see how this develops


Welcome back Micheal. I like the idea. I am going to enjoy watching your process again. I’ll be waiting for the next update. :thumbsup:


Hi Mike The Walrus! Long time no see! You do work very fast! I went to look at your DW3 entry and its really nice.

May i ask what the candlelight ceremony is about? Oh, if those aliens practised the custom, shouldn’t they be using a special alien candle, ones that don’t look too humanised.

I’ll be waiting to see further developments of your concepts! All the best and have fun!


Hey, all. Thanks for the notes and hellos.

Marley - Being able to hold 4 candles isn’t their only racial advantage. They can also reach things off the top shelf a lot easier than we can! Oh, that and the fact that they’ve had star flight for about 2 and a half million years longer than we have. As for how long I’ve been Illustrating, guess it depends on what you mean by that. I’ve been a professional for almost 20 years now, but never a full-time illustrator. I’ve been drawing a lot longer than that.

Jassar - No. I’ll do all the characters I need to do to tell the story I’m trying to tell. It’s not right to trim characters just to make things easier or faster for myself, I’ll paint what I need to in the time that I have.

Jerome - They’re celebrating some holiday or such for the race. Just like a religious even here on Earth, perhaps, only different. As for the candles, I don’t want to make them so weird that a viewer doesn’t recognize what they are. But I’m still designing everything, and I’m open to suggestions…?

Anyhow, here’s another pass at the alien. Is it better, or just different? Any preferences out there? (Oh, and I redrew the bottom human’s feet after doing some reference sketches of my own feet int eh mirror. These feel more accurate now.)


Hey Mike, great to see you in the challenge! I love your concept, looking forward to seeing it progress. :smiley:

Matt :slight_smile:


haha this looks like it’s going to be fun. I look forward to seeing this progress.


Here’s a layout further along, with a more finalized alien design and concept for the aliens’ ceremonial robes (and how they don’t fit on humans.)


…And here’s a detail image from the background. Still needs work, especially the human woman’s legs, but it’s a start.