Repeating One Song for Hours

It’s the end of the year and Spotify graciously created a playlist of my top 100 most played songs for 2017, conveniently called “top songs for 2017.” It’s my second such playlist (2016 was jammed full of good music, some new and plenty not so new) and let me tell you, this playlist is full of songs I remember putting on repeat and just letting them play endlessly.

Sometimes a song is so freaking good, so well made, speaks so clearly to my inner being that I simply have to listen to it… over and over and over. Constantly, without stop.

Here’s a couple:

  • “Let Go – Sir Sly Remix” by RAC, Kele, MNDR
  • “Warrior” by Steve James, Lights
  • “Strong – RAC Remix” by London Grammar, RAC
  • Stranger than Earth” by Purity Ring

In other news, I painted a picture of Dianne. ūüôā
Journey before Destination


“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – Dr. Seuess

Bedtime! The Best Time to Post a Blog <3

Interesting things happen when you decide to sketch for an hour or so before bed, instead of consuming YouTube videos.  When you decide to work instead of play.  Things get done.  The ball moves forward and you are that much closer to a goal.

I should do this again and see if I get similar results.



“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake ‚Äď you can‚Äôt learn anything from being perfect.” – Adam Osborne

Dianne Masantra (part 3)


I believe I’ve said this before, but I don’t need to start my drawings/paintings out as portraits and then convert them to a full body rendering. ¬†It is quite the pain in the butt, but as I’ve done it a couple times now, it pains my arse less than before. ¬†ūüôā

Off to work with me.






“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” ¬†– H. G. Wells

Dianne Masantra (part 2)


So, when I started exploring Dianne again, I decided to take everything I liked about the last drawing and push it further. ¬†I’ll probably end up changing the patterns on her forehead and end up adding some more elsewhere. ¬†Some of the extra details for the uniform came from this digital painting as well. ¬†Eventually I’m going to have to do a serious breakdown of the uniform and how it works… It’ll be fun to finally reveal how the extra long under-sleeves work.


I think initially I was scared that the previous drawing had Dianne’s eyes a bit too small, so this time around I enlarged them. ¬†I might go back and find a balance between the two.


Fortunataly, I can be quite hard headed sometimes, because I almost quit working on it about here. ¬†I often forget there are what I call “ugly stages” during the process. ¬†These places where you’re moving from one plateau to the next where the work looks better in the last stage, but will look better than it does right now in the next, you just gotta make it that far. ¬†I kept at it.


I have a bad habit of loosing the structure when I’m moving forward… I gotta remember that the line work acts as the skeleton, so when I’m fleshing them out in colors I can loose that framework.


I kinda like that her braid looks like a tiara, I might push that further.  It got crooked during the course of this painting.


I actually used the patterns on her forehead as a guide like a wireframe on a 3D model so I could tell where the planes of her face were.  Same thing with the ears and sides of her face.




I found it humorous when I associated her large ears with the Ferengi from Star Trek.  lol


So far, Dianne is the tallest character in the story at just over 6 feet.

Zoomed out this far, I can see more of where I lost the shape of my head when I was adding the lighter tones to the sides of her forehead and cheekbones.

Work, work, work, work.


“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” ¬†– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dianne Masantra (part 1)


Figuring out who Dianne is has been quite the interesting experience. ¬†As with most of my characters that weren’t Red and Blue, they started as little shadows, hazy two dimensional characters that acted like Dr. House’s team, basically there for Red and Blue to bounce things off of and help move the two of them through the story.

But as time passed, they’ve grown and taken on a life of their own. ¬†Each one taking turns in the spotlight, each one stoically sitting under the¬†microscope as I scrutinize their every action, motive, and emotion. ¬†With each session, I become surer of who they are and they in-turn become more firmly planted in reality.


I first started with general shapes, looking to help keep a consistent look by being able to have shapes and proportions to refer to.  Then I looked through a library book about people from India.  I wanted her to have a lot of those features and general feel, so my next couple of sketches pushed in that direction.


My initial results were lack luster, but they held some characteristics that I liked. ¬†I was looking at a couple different reference sources,¬†playing with facial feature proportions in order to achieve a younger look. ¬†But I got weird results and I decided to take a break and spend some time on another character instead (translation = I got down on myself, came to the conclusion I couldn’t draw, threw a tantrum and consumed large quantities of entertainment to forget the pain of my failure).

But then I got my Wacom back, got myself inspired and charged head first into the unknown (weeks later).


My source of inspiration came from being bored and picking up one of my many library books laying around my work room. ¬†This one was Walter Foster’s How to Draw Classic Heads and Faces.


There’s an elegant/timeless quality about the illustrations in the book and when I ran across this image I knew instinctively who it reminded me of… which is a weird thing to say about someone you’ve only ever imagined.


Using this as a point of departure, I began to lose myself in the process.


(I like the third the best)
At this point I’d already decided to no longer keep the story contained on Earth and had¬†begun to writing the rough history of the planet and its people groups.¬†The circle on her forehead was in the original sketch to help with the consistency of shapes and structure, but seeing as I was already leaning towards making Dianne’s features somewhat South Asian, I left it more pronounced.

The idea to make it a tribal like tattoo came from a couple of different places that eventually connected together and became inseparable.

  • The tattoos are an older cultural symbol of the early Dhiatian warrior class,
  • Children who reach a certain age are given these facial tattoos by priest/artist like peoples (who are revered because of the culture’s love and respect for all things geometric and symmetric).
  • The tattoos aren’t limited to the face, but are suppose to compliment the person…
  • This people groups modern descendants don’t really follow these ways anymore, those that do are considered¬†traditionalists (need to search through a thesaurus for a better word) like Dianne’s father.
  • Dianne is a daddies girl and is into history because of her father’s interest into traditional Dhiatian customs and values
  • Her name is a variation of an older translation of the word Dhiatian.

To Be Continued…


“The best advice I‚Äôve ever received: ‚Äėno one else knows what they are doing either.” ¬†– Ricky Gervais