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Monday, April 28, 2014

Bark 3 is almost here

Very soon I will release the last of the Bark stories I have written. This is the longest and most involved story of Bark I wrote.

 A villain has begun to threaten the city of Knoxville and nearly destroys Bark, Bolt, and Frost in their first encounter. Though they send the enemy packing after the battle, the lasting effects on Bark begin to show. His mutations manifest themselves again and he fears becoming the kind of mindless beast he saw in the others mutated like him. Bark struggles against his own paranoia while attempting to move forward in his relationship with Frost. To make matters worse, the enemy is far from gone.

The enemy returns and this time is more malevolent. It begins to destroy the city piece by piece, seemingly unstoppable by the heroes of the ULH. Bark, believing his hopes are gone and his future is grim, decides his only hope of salvation is through noble sacrifice. Facing the nearly indestructible enemy toe to toe, Bark risks everything to take down the villain that stole what little humanity he had left.

Will Bark marry the love of his life?

   Or will he succumb to utter madness?

Read the exciting story of Bark: Descent into Madness, coming out May/June 2014.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vita Brevis Ars Longa

What the heck does that title mean? If you don't already know than you aren't part of Sigma Alpha Iota. For those who aren't members, it means (roughly) "Life is Short, but Art is forever". It is a call sign for the sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota.

What is Sigma Alpha Iota?...which will be referred to as SAI.

From their home page: Sigma Alpha Iota is an organization which promotes interaction among those who share a commitment to music. Members of SAI are active in all areas of campus music and campus life, working closely with faculty, administration, campus and community groups, music professionals and patrons. In addition to personal encouragement and support, members may receive scholarships, loans and awards in many areas and at all levels of music-related study. Sigma Alpha Iota has long been recognized as a leader in the field of music and provides a lifetime of fraternity contact.

Notably, SAI is a woman's music fraternity. Why, then, am I discussing this? I am a member. 

No, I am not a woman, but I am very musically inclined. My mother joined SAI back in the early nineties when she went back to college. I started helping out with their stuff early on. Back a few years ago I was honored with the title Friend of the Arts, which can be given to men or women who have had an impact on SAI and music. It also grants the recipient the privilege of being considered an honorary member who can participate, almost, fully with the fraternity.

Since then I have worked hard to assist and be a part of my local alumnae chapter in Knoxville. It has been a fun time getting to work with the ladies of SAI and I am proud to be a member. I even got to help when we gave Dolly Parton an honorary membership a few years back. (Dolly was a charming person, a pleasure to meet and speak with.)

This year we get to do something unique again. Each year the separate provinces each hold a mini-convention called province day. Most fraternities do this. Each one of these are put on by one of the  college chapters. This year, unfortunately, the college chapter that was supposed to be hosting it cancelled at the last moment. Not sure all the details of why, just that it was not happening. Well, it CAN'T just not happen. So, we, the alum chapter, decided it would happen and that we would be the hosts of it. We weren't even sure we were allowed to do such a thing. So, we called our province officer and begged her permission....well we just asked and she was very excited that we offered. With her go-ahead and our gumption we charged full on into this.

It is no small undertaking to put on such an event, but it can be a lot of fun. One saturday morning, the very day that the original province day was supposed to happen, we gathered at a Panera Bread in Knoxville and started talking. Originally the meeting was just another monthly meeting. Someone brought up the fact that we should be having a province day and I suggested that we host it. I wasn't the first to have this idea, several had been talking about it before we arrived. Once mentioned it started the ball rolling. Around and around the table we went talking about who, what, when, where, why, and how we might go about putting one on. It would be short notice as most of these events take a year to plan and prepare for, we had a few best. What we did have were several people who had planned and run successful province days before and that vital experience was invaluable in getting this put together.

After 2 short months and a lot of planning and work, the province day is about to happen. A few prayers will be said and hopes will be high, but we all anticipate a fun and exciting province day for Psi A province of SAI. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Drawing Bark

Happy Monday all...yes I know that is an oxymoron for most but I'm gonna say it anyways. This week I wanted to show you the progression of a picture I drew. I like to demonstrate how a picture takes form and to show that most of what I do is merely shadowing inside the lines.

About the picture: This drawing features Bark and Frost for the fourth Bark book. I picked this one with a little more care than usual, so to follow the story better. First, it is a romantic scene as the love between these two is a paramount issue for book four. Second, you will notice that Bark is a bit more muscular than usual. That fits the story since he is working on his physique and the mutation process has reactivated and is causing him to grow a bit bigger.

About the book: Yes, Bark 4 is coming soon to an ereader near you. I will have more of an announcement at a later time.

 Okay, how did I get from the real models to the drawing? Check out the slide show movie below.

Please note: I took the progression pictures with my phone so they aren't as good as the scanned images.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Even more art

Hey everyone. I know it has been a few weeks since I last posted, though no one really missed me. But, here I am again. This week I am going to just post more of my art.

I love to create through drawing. I do not do this as a potential profession, though I have done some paid work before. What I do this for is my own love of creation. I hope you enjoy the work and if you like it please let me know. If you want to use any of this, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Now, enjoy.

Freehand Dragon: I was bored....which seems to be a major contributing factor in a lot of my random I started drawing on a dragon. I think it came out pretty cool.

Freehand Dragon in color: After I finished drawing it I loaded into my photo editing program. Looks like a T-Shirt logo to me.


Now this is a take on an old pic. I wanted to add color to this drawing and see if I could bring some more life into it. I spent a lot of time working on the colorization of the character and I think it paid off.

However, the background colorization of this pic looked extremely amateurish. I have said before that my coloring of pictures often comes across looking like a kindergartner playing with crayons. This couldn't be more true when you look at the background of that first pic. So, I threw this into my photo editor and superimposed him onto a couple backgrounds I spliced together.

A quickly drawn Frost: One style of art that seems to elude me is comic book styles. I think my handicap in this artistic endeavor is partly due to the fact that I use pencils mostly, not markers which seems to be the tool of choice for comic artists. But, that hasn't stopped me from trying. I used a very good book called Incredible Comics with Tom Nguyen It is the first resource of comic style art guide that has really helped me get a little better. However, by looking at this drawing, you can see that I have a long way to go. 

No, this isn't might mouse. This superhero is named Shirtless Mouse....powers still unknown. About a month ago a friend posted a facebook meme that asked for the color of your shirt and the object to your right, that would be your superhero name. I had just stepped out of the bath and thus was sans a shirt. When I answered that question it came back as Shirtless Mouse. As a joke I did a quick drawing of this new character and posted him as my comment.

I doubt you'll be reading the adventures of Shirtless Mouse any time soon.

Lastly, another Ashinaga pic: Mostly just had time on my hands and my drawing supplies with me when I did this one. I am highly considering working on the final book of this characters story. This image would be during the time he is searching for the enemy that stole his bride on their wedding day. Unfortunately, the community the story was written for hasn't shown much interest so I am not sure if it will ever be finished.

About the drawing itself: I wanted to do some more perspective styles, walking is least for me. Two issues for this one: One: The model was  carrying a  guitar, not a walking stick. That wasn't much to change. Two: he was wearing large sunglasses that covered half his face. That did give me some problems but I think I worked through them.

I hope you enjoyed my work. As I requested before, if you enjoy what you see let me know in the comments and share this to your friends however you share things. I'll keep writing and drawing, you keep on doing what you love to do.