• The Inkspiller posted an update 5 months, 1 week ago

    Hey, I just didn’t know if my previous responses or comments had showed up or if Story Embers hit you with the notifications.
    Just realized that a couple messages we’d exchanged a couple months back never got followed up on. How goes it with that one piece you mentioned in the Research Topics thread? You also mentioned having need of Encyclopedia Edward and questions besides – want to share? I’m happy to be of help.

    • @the-inkspiller

      Yes! Things did get lost but that’s fine. I have to wait until the right side of my brain rin relinquishes control and I’ll have a follow-up!

      • @deeprun, I know exactly what you mean – I’ve been meaning to write but instead I’ve just been drawing all day! (And enthusing endlessly over the wonderful work certain individuals have so kindly been doing for me).

    • @the-inkspiller

      It is absolutely my pleasure to bless others with artwork. I believe it’s who God programmed me. I’ve got my own stuff I putter around on but I do my best work for others.

      That said, I do have certain medical questions AND… if… if you’d like to read it, I do have a few sections that could do with a merciless beta reader. Especially someone who’s got a medical and historical angle. Once again, my brain is highly addled by art and I’ll have to collect my thoughts and Google docs but I’ll get back to you by this afternoon. I do believe that art is good for writing. It “unclogs” my brain enough so that I can write. Most of the time. Once the right side of the brain unhooks its claws and I can put words together.

      • I understand – honestly I think I myself am stuck in a similar track. For the last two week I’ve found myself doing almost nothing but drawing, despite having plenty of stuff to work on – a stout outline to extend and a story begging to have its beginning written (and also that contest thing…. :{ ), but whenever I’ve tried to draw my own stuff lately, I seem to just produce nothing but trashy practice gestures and dead-end heads. (and I still have Beth20 and Purpleturtle to draw… AAAAAH (I’m not that good with drawing children)).

        I would love to read it! I have a passion for the medieval and I’m more than happy to lend my modicum of medical expertise, and if your fiction writing is as thoughtful as your conversation, I think I should find it an engrossing read on its own.

      • Alright, Story Embers is refusing to let me post in the Art Exchange, here we go
        @deeprun 😀

        She’s so…. imperious. I love it! Even though it’s, well, less picturesque, I love the aquiline nose (and the coin-like side profile you did). I CAN’T OVERSTATE HOW COOL IT IS TO SEE MY CHARACTERS IN SHADOW AND COLOR. And if there was just one character on whom a stoic expression would fit, Kyreleis is her.

        Honestly, I really like your paintings! The lack of delineation between character and background is very immersive and naturalistic, and yet you still have very fine details like the little tufts of hair running free at the nape of her neck and along her fringe. Truly, the way you’ve done her, she looks like she could actually be beautiful (in a very Roman Emperor kind of way) if she lost the armor and the terrifying death stare (but her armor is very very good and really helps sell her austerity and ‘warrior queen’ image).

        I am of the high quality English this morning.

        @claire-h, @arindown, @deeprun

        Thank you! I guess I’ve sorta kinda finally found my style. It’s neither painterly nor anime nor realistic either – I guess it’s a sort of half-breed of comic book art and my severe allergy to technology. 😛 With this one I tried to go for more stylized, simplified and angular forms, but it kinda ended up looking like my stuff usually does ( in my opinion).

        The expressions took  f o r e v e r. Part of the reason I draw so dark and heavy – is to hide the aftermarks of many, many, many previous failed attempts (there is no better eraser than more layers). But I’m really exceedingly indescribably happy that the expressions turned out well and didn’t end up looking derp.

        Anyways, I’m glad they were identifiable! I kind of imagined this conversation as I was drawing it:

        Jean: Nan, we’re just sweeping away cobwebs, not the armies of darkness. You look ridiculous.

        Nan: Danger might call at any time, ‘specially at dark attics – notorious spots for adventure they are.

        Jean: Nan, put that thing down, there’s nothing there –

        Nan: What’s that then?!

        Around the start of the lockdowns, I started watching a lot of art videos on YouTube – specifically by Sycra and Robert Marzullo – on figure, gesture, heads (Marzullo’s is the best in my opinion) and foreshortening (it changed my LIFE. Sort of. Not really. But it’s super cool and helpful!)

        Regarding expressions, Sycra has a video specifically on open mouths that I’ve found helpful in watching and re-watching it when struggling with open-mouthed expressions. One of the best ways I’ve found is to take pictures of yourself making faces (and try not to laugh mid-take) and then draw from reference – find the major forms in the expression (lines, shadows, shapes) and copy those and learn those.

        I require breakfast first, but I’ll try to summon up some pinterest references. In advance of that, I’ve found myself comparing Erhard to Prince Caspian recently, and Fritz to… uh… well he’s not exactly movie star material…

    • @the-inkspiller

      Alright. I got my brain in order. Here goes.

      I’m beyond thrilled that you like the The Countess! I’m hoping to go back in touch up a few things here and there but your comments were actually very helpful as I try to get a handle on this digital art thing. Finding not only my style but then how on earth to actually produce that using which brush etc, has been a real challenge. I still think it’s amazing how your description produced to very similar pictures of her. Bravo on writing that.

      I do hope to start work this week on some of your neglected male characters. The female ones were so intriguing I could’t help but get side tracked.

      So… Ok… I’m going to throw out the link for the first chunk of the manuscript I’m working on. My writing style is probably very similar to what’s going on with digital art. I know what I want to accomplish but it’s difficult to know how exactly how to get there. That and I’ve come to writing a little later than others and my grammar and mechanics are lacking. At least I’ve moved beyond elaborate sunrise descriptions. So, here’s the link

      and please feel free to comment if you’d like. Also, you want destroy me if you think something’s crap. That’s my goal this year, to accept critique so that I can get better. A lot easier said than implemented but I’m embracing it. Also, I’d love to read your story as well! I’ll dig back through the thread and find that link.

      Ok.. and medical question. I grew up in a house that mandated late 80’s and early 90’s movies as foundational for my development. I’m not sure about the validity of that but I’m heavily influenced by them. That said, there’s a movie called “The Abyss” with Ed Harris. In it, two characters are caught in a small sub, stranded from the deep sea drilling rig. Of course there’s only one suit. The one character, because the water is so cold, says, let me drown and then drag me back to the main rig and revive me. BECAUSE the water is so cold that it’d slow down body functions before she’d actually drown. Of course, they get her back on the rig and revive her and she’s fine… IS that possible? Because of so, I’m so using it. I want a character to slip under the ice and go hypothermic/drown/halfway die (sorry, that’s not a real term) and then potentially be revived? If any of that truly makes sense.

      • And holy bananas, forgive all the typos in that reply. I’ve run out of coffee and there’s only so much even strong black tea will do.

      • No worries about typos! Who knows how many litter my works and posts.
        At least you have some caffeine that works. Oddly enough, coffee just puts me to sleep – the only caffeine that does anything from me comes from those energy drinks, and, well, there’s certain downsides… I’d send you a shipment of joe if I could.

        I’ll get on the doc this evening (probably sooner), or at the very least tomorrow morning. I won’t sugar coat my critique, but I’d like to think I’m relatively well trained in delivering it in a constructive, diplomatic fashion. Any particular areas (i.e., authenticity, technology, culture, style, dialogue, characterization, themes, etc.) that you’d like me to focus on?

        [And don’t be ashamed about coming to writing later than others. I may have started early but I’ve been going at this a while and I’m still learning. Maturity in writing is at least partially a function of age and time – there are certain things that I simply could not have effectively written about when I was younger no matter how skilled I might have been relative to my peers. AND I’M STILL NOT PUBLISHED.]

        I really am genuinely amazed at the work you’ve done. I can make quips about figure and proportion, but the reality is that you are over the horizon in terms of your command of color, shadow, tone and saturation.
        And I understand getting sidetracked on Kyreleis and Myrrha. Though recently I’ve put a lot more love and attention into Erhard and Fritz, Myrrha and Kyreleis were the original MCs, and Myrrha is probably the best contender for primary main character. She is my favorite to write (if also the scariest to get into the mind of). Visually, Erhard and Fritz are just not quite as interesting to me as Myrrha and Kyreleis (I imagine some small part of that comes from being a guy as well… 😛 )

        So, commentary on the Abyss – well – at the depths that you’re using a submersible, would be crushed like an egg. No smear against 80’s / early 90’s – some of those are absolute indisputable literary classics (looking at you Conan the Barbarian of 82′).

        Buuuut, at close to surface depths (e.g., below the ice of a lake), pressure isn’t an issue, and there are documented cases of individuals all across the lifespan surviving prolonged periods (from between 5 to 20 minutes) in freezing temperatures trapped under ice, even deprived of oxygen, and being later revived
        the ocean pressure at would crush her like a melon.
        So it’s actually absolutely plausible that a character could fall through the ice and get stuck in a frozen lake for 5-10 minutes, be pulled ashore unconscious, and be later revived. Modern technology (e.g., defibrillators and CPR technique) are pretty important, but basic things that can be done include clearing the lungs of water (the heimlich is honestly probably a pretty ancient maneuver) and warming the person back up (which would be obvious to even the most backwards peasant).
        The odds of survival are always chancy and never certain, but fortunately for authors, the laws of chance are on our side (at least in our stories).

        Oh and to make things easier for you, here’s the link to Hearts and Minds again:


        My general critique to your story, as it would have been far too difficult to read were it compressed into a comment box. We can get more specific if you like, but I thought you might be most efficiently served by a general initial overview.
        Hope to hear from you soon!

    • @the-inkspiller

      OF COURSE SHE’D BE CRUSHED BY THE PRESSURE!!! AGHGHGHHHHHH! I knew there had to be something wrong with that movie. Darn it Ed Harris, all these years I swallowed that bit hook, line, and sinker… She’d have been crushed.

      Ok, I’m over it but I needed to know that it was plausible. I’ll not be deep sea diving in my manuscript so that’s encouraging that it’s at least possible what I had in mind.

      I did reply under your comments in the google doc. Yes, too extensive for a small comment box but greatly appreciated!!

      I do hope to tomorrow tackle or begin to tackle one the male members of your cast.

      • @deeprun
        I’ve seen your results and I’m impressed! I never knew the Lee Van Cleef look would be so good for Fritz!
        And I’ve been doing my best to keep apace of your updates / comments on Hearts and Minds – it’s really, really, super duper encouraging to see you engage so deeply with it. You and Eowyn have been super inspiring there, just in the comments alone.
        I’ve been making progress on Scullion Squire, and started outlining the ‘intermission’ story between that and Hearts and Minds which actually deals with Myrrha’s flight from Prague – but from Erhard and Fritz’s perspective.

    • @the-inkspiller

      Lee Van Cleef and Erhard resembles a young Dwight Schrute. I shall tinker. I broke my own rule of not posting anything the same day I make it. Things always need to sit a day or two before they are actually able to be shown. AND I also broke my second rule, always, always, always ZOOOOOOOMMMMM out when donig art. I got detail happy and lost sight of the big picture. I am glad you like them but I must tweak now. Keeps me humble though.

      I am in deep with Hearts and Minds! I should have asked before I started dropping comments everywhere, exactly what you needed or are looking for! That’s my usual commenting style. I usually don’t/can’t see typos and mechanics but I try to include my reactions and any over arching plot issues or details.

      After I get done, I hope to write up a summary of my thoughts, but thus far, it’s the kind of book that I’d pick up in the store … and then have to buy. It’s the reason I went gungho on Erhard and Fritz. I wanted to see them after reading them. I’m in deep. Pun intended.

      • @the-inkspiller

        For Erhard, what hair did you envision? Pinterest has let me down and I’d rather see what the author had intended anyways.

        Or if there are any other details, that you’d envisioned that could be added to either one? And yes… I’d tried to do a clever bit with Fritz putting on a glove to show the lack of a pinky. Since it’s looks maimed, not missing, I’ll rework that.

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