Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 200-204

Got a bit behind again; here's another 5 doodles.

First is another architectural drawing.

A manticore.

Some mischievous pigs.

Iron Man.

And a goblin.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 194-199

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Playing a little catchup today, with 6 doodles.

First, to finish off Raptor Week is a group drawing of all the raptors I drew for Raptor Week with relative sizes.  The largest is Utahraptor, with Saurornitholestes behind him to the left and Deinonychus behind and to the right.  In front of Deinonychus are Velociraptor on the right and Dromaeosaurus on the left.  In the air are Rohanavis (left) and Microraptor (right.)

Next is a drawing of my friend Alex.

And my friend Kris as The Joker.  I got a little way into this drawing before I realized that I had drawn his mouth a little too wide and scary.  Instead of fixing it, I decided to go with it and make him into The Joker.

Some sort of man-shark thing.

A cartoony Angel.

And a wolf.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 190-193

Kind of dropped the ball on Raptor Week a little bit.  The last four are going up today.  I think that I'm going to try and make up for it tomorrow with a really cool raptor drawing to finish it off... we'll see.

First is Microraptor gui.  This small, Early Cretaceous, Chinese raptor shocked scientists when it was preserved with full feathers on its legs as well as its arms.  This fossil suggests the possibility that birds may have gone through a four wing stage at one point, or at least that some dromaeosaurs did.

Next is Dromaeosaurus albertensis, a Late Cretaceous, North American raptor that, despite being the namesake of the entire group, isn't that frequently brought up.

This is Rahonavis ostromi, an extremely small, very birdlike dromaeosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar.  I have had to take a few liberties in this one as Rahonavis is known from only a few fossil remains, and it's status as a dromaeosaur is debated.

Finally is a Late Cretaceous, North American dromaeosaur: Saurornitholestes langstoni.  Saurornithosaurus is found in the same places as Dromaeosaurus and they would have been contemporaries.  That's kind of neat.

That about wraps it up for Raptor Week, except that I might do one more drawing tomorrow, assuming I am not too lazy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 188-189

Raptor Week continues!  Missed yesterday, but I am very proud of both of these drawings, so it's alright.

I should say that only a day into Raptor Week and I have already made an inaccuracy.  It is more likely than not that Velociraptor had winglike feathers on it's legs as well, as the basal dromaeosaur Microraptor had them.  It could be argued that that is not the case, but I think the general consensus is that most dromaeosaurs did have back wing feathers.  So unless an expert comments to let me know that I am wrong, I will probably be drawing them for the rest of the week (though reduced quite a bit in the case of the two raptors I have today.

First up is another oft-mentioned dromaeosaur: Deinonychus antirrhopus.  Deinonychus was a relative of Velociraptor that lived quite a bit earlier, in the Early Cretaceous of North America.  It was a bit larger than Velociraptor, but still relatively small compared to a human, probably reaching up to a person's hip or so.

Second is another fairly popular dromaeosaur: Utahraptor ostrommaysorum.  Utahraptor lived even just a bit earlier than Deinonychus, and also lived in North America.  It is the largest known dromaeosaur, and is about the same size as the "Velociraptors" from Jurassic Park.

I think the most fun part of doing these drawings is coming up with cool color patterns for the feathers.  I really like that Deinonychus actually.  I wonder if I will draw one I like more before the week is out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buffy Season 9 No. 3

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 No. 3
Freefall Part 3

This issue felt very much like a "plot"-issue.  It mostly seems to exist to get us from issues 1 and 2 to issue 4.  The last issue felt like this quite a bit too.  I don't really mind too much though, as we get some nice character moments and some interesting plot twists.

We begin pretty much where we left off, with Buffy musing about how Severin's powers work.  She hypothesizes that it's not that he is doing magic, it's that he is removing magic from the vampires.  The two escape from the cops and Buffy asks if Severin knows a place she can stay.

The detectives turn up at Buffy's house, when her roommate answers.  They inform her that Buffy is on the run from the law, something I'm kind of surprised she hadn't heard already.  Isn't her face all over the news?

Spike interrogates a Realty Demon as to the whereabouts of the baddie that wants to hurt Buffy.  I find it an interesting idea that there is a specific realty agent that seems to specialize in housing demons.  The little guy even offers to get Spike a nice crypt!  Spike gets all threatening, and the demon reveals that the baddie is at Alcatraz.

The next morning, Severin reveals his backstory to Buffy: he wanted to be a vampire.  Well, actually, his girlfriend wanted to be a vampire.  She made the connections and got everything set up.  The plan was that she would get sired and then sire him.  This struck me as particularly sad.  Two dumb kids, in over their heads in things they don't understand.  This line especially:
"I should have stopped her... but I didn't.  I stood there and watched my girlfriend die."
When Clare woke up, she wasn't Clare anymore.  But not in the way I was expecting.  I was imagining something similar to when Spike sired his mother and realized that his mother was replaced by a demon.  But this was more drastic than that.  Something went wrong when Clare was sired.  She wasn't evil, just feral.  Wild.  Her jaw gained the ability to open far too wide.  It was then that Severin's ability first manifested itself.  He turned her human, and then back into a corpse.

Severin reveals that it wasn't just Clare that turned like this.  Every vampire that is sired now becomes a feral animal.  And he has been using his power to kill them.  Buffy deduces that vampires are being sired wrong is because she destroyed the seed.  (Yay!  Another thing for her to feel guilty about!)

The cops arrive at Xander and Dawn's place, where they claim not to have seen her in days.  The cops ask what they've been fighting about, and they claim it's because Xander forgot her birthday.  Which seems completely ridiculous to me, and I don't buy it for one second.  It seems far too trivial.  I think either they must be arguing about something else, or as Whedonesquer aphasia suggested, they aren't fighting at all and are instead housing a mystery person on their couch.  After the cops leave, Buffy calls a Scooby Meeting, which only Dawn and Xander show up to.  Willow ignores the phone, either because she is angry at Buffy but also because she is at work (probably both.)  Spike can't come because he is on a boat to Alcatraz.  And Andrew can't come because... um... he's building a robot?  What the heck?  Also, why didn't she invite Riley?  He's still around, right?

Buffy gets Willow on Dawn's phone.  As soon as she admits that Willow may be right about the seed, she perks up and is willing to listen.  Which, honestly, kind of bothers me.  I still think Buffy is right, and I think it's very immature of Willow to not speak to Buffy when it might be important just because she wants Buffy to feel more guilty than she does.  They begin to discuss the problem, and Willow deduces that demons can no longer cross into this world to inhabit vampire corpses.  Without the demon inside steering, the vampire is, as Xander coins, a Zompire.  This makes quite a bit of sense to me, actually, and fits well with the mythology we've seen before on the show.

Severin randomly suggests that he and Buffy go take out a nest that he knows about it.  This seemed odd to me because they were currently discussing a general problem and he moved it to a specific situation of a single nest.  Anyway, Dawn and Xander intervene and suggest that Buffy go to the cops.  After all, now that everyone knows about vampires, Buffy and the cops should be on the same side.  This seems like another example of our theme: Buffy needing to face the real world and real life.  Going to the cops would be the adult, real-world thing to do.  So of course, she decides to go after the zompires.

But first, we see Spike finally meet Eldre Koh,. the baddie he's been searching for, who turns out not to be so much of a baddie after all.  Instead, he is bound by honor to Buffy, for she indirectly freed him from his magical prison when she destroyed the seed.  Honestly, I kind of saw this coming.  Not really sure why, but I had this suspicion that this guy was going to turn out to be good.

Eldre Koh reveals that the rumors Spike has been hearing are not of him, but of something called The Siphon.
"I know demons older than your kind.  They all fear the arrival of the siphon.  A being who rips mystical energy from all he touches.  All who possess supernatural power.  Vampire, demon... even slayer.  And he's heading straight at your friend."
This, though.  This was a twist I hadn't seen coming.  Severin tells Buffy that with everything he kills, he becomes stronger, and that he might even be stronger than her when they take out the nest.  Uh oh.  Buffy kicks open the door to find it filled with corpses.  And I mean FILLED.  So many dead bodies.  I have to admit that this genuinely gave me chills.  I don't remember being this worried for Buffy in a long time.  This is good writing.  Buffy, shocked, says that they're already dead.  Severin, crackling with power and an evil grin, turns to Buffy.
"I know."
Oh $%&#@!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 187

So I foolishly decided to start Raptor Week on the same week as my father's birthday.  D'oh!  I still have six more days of raptors planned, so that will continue tomorrow.

But first, Happy Birthday Dad!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 186

Like I said yesterday, this week is going to be a theme week.  7 drawings based around a common theme.  And that theme is...  Raptor Week!

So anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time will be aware that I have quite a fondness for dinosaurs.  (It's more than a fondness, really.  It's kind of a lifelong obsession.)  I love to draw them.  However, I recently discovered that I do not always draw them particularly accurately with the latest research.  After stumbling upon some wonderful paleoblogs and particularly blogs about paleoart, I find I've become quite enamored with it.  Paleoart is about balancing science and art: making something beautiful while still upholding rigorous science.  Using the evidence we have today to reconstruct a creature long dead as well as we can.

There's a certain poetry in this to me.  Accuracy sounds boring to some, maybe, but it feels to me like a way of honoring the past.  So many species once lived on this planet that are gone now, and the least we can do is try and figure out what they were like when they were around.  I am going to try and be a bit more accurate in my dinosaur drawings from here on out.  Of course, I will not go to the extremes that a professional paleoartist would, and I will not claim that my drawings are completely accurate.  I don't really have time to do a ton of research, though I will try and do enough to pass and hopefully not make too many mistakes.

So, why Raptors?  I like to draw dinosaurs on this blog that the average person doesn't really know.  I like to try to steer clear of animals like Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, etc. in favor of lesser known things.  While many raptors, or dromaeosaurs, are quite well known, I would argue that few people have seen them portrayed even close to accurately.

When you think of a raptor, you probably think of something like the "raptors" in Jurassic Park.  While I love that movie, this image is far from correct.  To show just how off this portrayal is, I have decided to do my first drawing for this week of a Velociraptor mongoliensis, probably the most famous dromaeosaur of them all. 

Velociraptor was a smallish dromeosaur that lived in the deserts of Mongolia about 72 million years ago.  Unlike popular depictions, it likely had advanced feathers covering its body and certainly had wings (though it was flightless.)  It also was quite a bit shorter than seen in Jurassic Park, only reaching up to about knee-height on a person.  Finally, the position of the hands are important to note.  Velociraptor (like all therapod dinosaurs) could not bend its wrists in such a way as to produce the "bunny hands" usually seen in movies.  They were held to the sides, with palms facing inwards.

My Velociraptor isn't quite perfect I'm afraid.  It's tail is quite a bit too short for one thing.  I fear I foreshortened it a bit too much.  It is supposed to be going back from the plane of the page, but it just looks short.  Oh well.  I chose to model it after the Secretary Bird, which is a desert bird alive today.  I guessed that because the secretary bird and Velociraptor share similar ecological niches, it would be a nice model.  While the Secretary Bird is not flightless, I liked the way it looked enough and figured it was an okay guess for the type of feathering on Velociraptor.

Finally, for those who are curious as to how I do these drawings I do, I scanned this doodle at various points in the process.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 180-185

Coming at you live from Doodlesville, it's another batch of Harrison's Doodles of the Day!  Got a bit behind again this week, so here's 6 doodles.

An old truck.

A quick sketch of my friend Sean.  (His eyes are very wrong.  Oh well.)

Gandalf the Grey.  This is how I see Gandalf in my head: the mischievous bringer of adventure.

An owl.

A sea turtle.

And a free couch!

I think tomorrow I'm going to try something a bit different and do another theme week.  Check tomorrow to see the first of seven doodles on a theme I have yet to announce.

Also, my review of the 3rd issue of Buffy Season 9 is going to be a bit late.  Maybe tomorrow or friday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Doodle-A-Day 171-177

Well, it finally happened.  I missed my deadline.  By a day.  It has been seven days - a full week - since I updated with new doodles of the day.  Which is extremely unfortunate.  I was doing so well.  170 days without going over the deadline.  I could make excuses, and they would be good ones.  My mind has been very elsewhere this past week.

But, hey, I'm an artist.  Frankly, it's incredible this is the first time I've missed the deadline.

I am going to try my hardest not to go more than 5 days again.  (5 days = 6 doodles, because I also do a doodle for the day I update, in case that wasn't clear.)

Hopefully I will have time to do a really awesome doodle this weekend or something to make up for this.

Anyway, on to the doodles, of which there are seven.

First is my take on the oft-forgotten Spider-Man villain, the Hobgoblin.

Two anatomically ridiculous people.

A flying bottle of some kind.

A computer mouse with wheels.

My wilted pumpkin that I carved last week.  He was so cute when I carved him.  (Seriously, damn cute)  But now he's dilapidated, but somehow still manages to be cute in a sad way.  There's probably some sort of pretentious artistic meaning behind this drawing.  Something about fall and the inevitability of death or some such.  Whatever you like really.

The USS Enterprise.

And... a pigeon.