Artwork in Progress + Steps

 

I recorded many of the steps along the way: 

Outline work:

IMG_7096

 

Minor shading and reinforcing line-work:

IMG_7122

 

Watercolor overlay and deeper mid-tone base:

IMG_7143

Water-color detailing (Bad Picture, the light is reflecting off the heavier painted areas):

IMG_7152

Heavy oil and pen shading+detailing in addition to skin shading and texture work (Current Progress):

GhostV4

It has taken on a bit of a surreal vibe with the self-harm symbolism being echoed through the blood-tinged smoke, the wrist, the smoking, and standing in front of a moving train. I like how dark I’ve managed to get the shadows as well. I need to go in with some white and highlight a few things, but I want to get basic mid-ranges handled on the train and grass before I do so.

The scene itself is from Finding Happy: Chapter 11, which hasn’t been released yet. I need to spend a week or two re-editing the flow of part one as a whole, at which time I’ll start releasing more hard-content. Another issues with these pictures is I couldn’t submit .Tif files, which really hurts the shadows in the current drawing, especially the hair. I’m going to try to figure out which compression file works best for it in future uploads, but I just wanted an update on artwork put out since it’s been almost a week and a half.

-Cheers

Bluebeard

The Whimsical Misadventures of Red and Blue (Ep. 1)

Episode 1: Death’s in the Mirror

Blue: Sweetie, don’t look now, but I think love wants us dead.

Red: You don’t say? (she smiled here)

Red: Wait, I see it too, that’s death in the green mini-van, right?

Blue: Yep. (Man, was Blue stony eyed, focused like an eagle)

Red: Well I mean, it had to happen eventually. (Giggle)

Blue: Yip.

Red: Just because love suddenly wants us dead doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with using words that aren’t words.

Blue: *Thinking…. (How best to trigger…)

Red: Okay, bud, death is literally in our fucking rear-view mirror and you’re choosing now to give me the silent treatment? Couldn’t you have done it yesterday, you know when you wouldn’t shut-up about how the particles at the center of a light bulb–

Blue: Yip!

Red: What the fuck! I wasn’t done… (Scrunches face in that cute way that makes Blue wanna flick her cheek)

Red: Hey! Stop flicking my damned cheek!

Blue: K.

10 slow seconds pass as the couple drive down the old 42. Blue notes the rugged and deep cracks whizzing by, trying to focus on individual cracks in detail, but failing each time. Red is seething, furiously slotting her brains available RAM into a single task: realizing a vicious yet sensitive retort to her lesser half. That was it! Her lesser half…perfect!

Red: Blue, before death catches up, I just want you to know that–

Blue: No need to say it, I wish we had time for Pistachio flavored Gelato too, in fact, I distinctly regret not binging on luscious Pistach–

Red: Honey! (Makes a sad face, the one with the faux-puppy dog eyes) Stop interrupting me when we are running from Dea–

Blue: You know, that was kind of rude, dear. I mean I appreciate and support what you have to say, but I was talking. These kinds of lapses in courtesy really grind my gears. Especially when Death is literally in our, and I can not stress this enough, the literal robed-life-snatching-scythe-guy is chasing us in a raggedy green mini-fucking-van.

Red: We should drive faster, shouldn’t we?

Blue: Do you really think we can outrun death?

Red: Yeah, he’s in a min-van.

Blue: Oh, wow. You’re right. Floor it!

And that Red did, floor it, that is. Blue, feeling a sudden rush of confidence, rolled down his window and waggled the center-most flesh-pointer of his right hand at the forlorn-fellow in the green mini-van.

Red: That’s a bit much, what if he makes it hurt more because of that? Wait, oh…shoot.

Blue: Nice going, how are we supposed to outrun death and the law? Especially when the law is in an armored Mustang with a shit-tier paint job?

Red: You gave me the go ahead to do this thing!

Blue: I don’t recall. Wait, don’t slow down! I already lost my licence, what do we do if you get too many points?

Red: Oh shit, you’re right!

As Red slammed on the accelerator, the Law-man, who’d started to pull left, mirrored her wanton acceleration with the vigor and poise befitting a man of his station. 

Blue: Oh shit baby, he’s swerving across traffic! Look Red!

Red: I’m going 98 in a 65, Blue, I can’t look right now!

Blue: !

Red: Why are you waiving your arms around like that?!

Blue: I can’t even right now…Baby, you can slow down.

Red: What? Why?!

Blue: Well death totally just broad-sided the law and the two cars are rolling down a cliff in a brutal and fiery, yet romantic, fashion.

Red: Well…I mean…that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? (Her brow had curled into a thoughtful furrow)

Blue: There are worse ways to go!

Suddenly, without a word, Red swerved left towards the cliff. If only I knew what the cliff meant to her. Maybe, it meant hope. As they fell, a stoic and euphoric haze engulfed the two lovers. Neither had ever felt so utterly complete, let alone content, with their menial lives. 

Wait, no. Actually, it was shit-show.

Blue: OH GOD!! What are you doing Red?! (A look of terror spread across Blue’s pubescent face as the ground disappeared from under the small car) 

Red: I THOUGHT THIS IS WHAT WE WANTED!

Blue: WHY WOULD YOU MAKE THIS KIND OF DECISION WITHOUT CONSULTING ME?!

Red: MAYBE IF YOU HADN’T KEPT INTERRUPTING M–

Unfortunately, the car’s impact against a jagged rock twice its size robbed Red of the chance to realize the irony of her last sentence. If the meaning of that last sentence wasn’t clear, here is Neil deGrasse Tyson with the details: 

Neil: The unrelenting G-force of the car’s descent through gravity whilst maintaining its significant velocity was met with an equal and opposite reaction from the rock. This collision, of sorts, caused Red’s head to meet the steering wheel with such a force that it immediately caved in, spraying her brain-stuff all over Blue, who miraculously, despite a really nasty sprained ankle, made a full recovery.

 

Battles

Everyday is an uphill battle, every stream a journey, and every hill is steepest near the peak. At the end of each battle, we get to rest. A momentary bliss before the next hill, a new peak, and after we’ve suffered enough, surmounted all our peaks, we get to rest forever.

So march-on through the black, for fear is an illusion, and strength is more than how you survive. It’s how you live.

Jagged

Jagged

_______
You’ll never believe:

Some people break and stay broke,
Some people break then make,
the best of the rest.
Others,
Try to put the pieces back,
but the jagged edges stick out,
and cut those who try to help.

Please,
Shatter my rotting soul,
Grotesque and festering mold.
So,
I can put them back right.

Please,
Bring me that light,
and,
let it pierce my shell; so cold.
Do we need to grow so old?
Just want to do what I’m told.
Tell me.

Saving Hadley: Chapter 20

Okay, I have a hard time calling this a chapter as well, it’s not just you. Especially in contrast to the previous two chapters pulling around three condensed pages each. I’ve come back to this snapshot, time after time, only to find it adequately expresses what it needs to. It’s placement is necessary, but brief, and I value concision in my writing.

Start at the beginning, if you’re so inclined: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

_______________________________

XX

Present Day-Nessa

 

Nessa felt hot. It was dark, but she could feel the sweat and grime saturating her pores. An unrelenting pressure bore down on her, making it difficult to breath, to move. Not that she could anyway, her senses were numbed, her extremities frayed. What happened? Where the fuck am I? Suddenly, as realization hit, Nessa panicked. I’m in a body bag, shit, the knife, where’s the knife!? She struggled against her bodies unresponsiveness, pronating in a vain effort to make room so she could reach her back pocket. How come, every fucking time I need my knife, it’s just out of reach? What is this weight on top of me? Okay, Nessa, stay calm. Don’t scream, you can get out of this, but not if you alert those fucks that you’re still breathing. 

As some of the feeling started to return to Nessa’s extremities, she tried hard to remember what the man had said. He said he’d find me, unless he couldn’t make it out. What if he didn’t make it out? Finally, she managed to roll onto her right shoulder. The bag must be engulfed in something, its being compressed in different areas when I move. With difficulty, she forced her left hand behind her, feeling for the small knife the man had given her. There it is, okay, carefully now, I don’t want it to stab me. The liquid panic, adrenaline, was creeping in, despite her best efforts to keep calm. Pulling the knife from her pocket, she pronated her left-hand outwards, attempting to pierce the bag. Her breathing started to quicken as the bags plastic held strong against the small surgical blade.

Breathing heavily, her lips started to quiver as she frantically dug the blade back and forth against the body bag, as the crushing weight smothered her remaining vitality. A moment later, the small knife pierced the thick plastic body bag. Nessa’s quick sigh of relief was soon replaced with renewed horror and fear as she felt dirt fall onto her small hand, through the bags new hole. They’ve fucking buried me! Unable to contain herself, she screamed in terror. Bladder releasing, she began to struggle violently against the, stoic, prevailing earth, before inadvertently cutting her arm on the scalpel. “Not like this!” She screamed.  

Finding Happy: Chapter 3-To Normal

Ignorance is a bliss that most fail to appreciate. Truly, sometimes not knowing, forgetting, is the purest mercy life can deal you. How knowledge can taint an otherwise euphoric reality. 

Enjoy!

Start at the beginning, if that’s your thing: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/third-degree-part-1/

_____________________________________

III

To Normal.

Casey had regained control of her emotions by the time her mom pulled up, twenty or so minutes later. I still can’t get up…The pains only grown sharper. Her mother nearly tripped as she raced out of the car. Her hand covered her mouth, tears flowing, as she flew to her daughter’s aid. “Baby, what happened to you? Oh God! Sweetie, you’re bleeding. Can you stand up? We need to take you to the hospital!” Bleeding?

Apologetically, Casey muttered, “I can’t walk…my stomach feels like it has a hole in it.” Pale and distraught, her mom wrapped her arm under her daughter’s knees and back, lifting her with a wordless grunt. “I’m really sorry, mommy. I went to a party last night. I know I was drinking, but I don’t know what happened. The last thing I remember is being in the hot tub with…” Best to leave that out.

“With who sweetie? With who?”

Lying, Casey said, “I…I don’t remember.” Straining, her mom managed to open the old VW’s passenger door.

“Don’t worry about it sweetie. Everything’s okay now. I’m not mad, don’t worry baby.” She said as she lowered Casey into the VW’s shabby and torn faux-leather seat. She’s always mad when I do bad things, why not now? I almost like it better when she just yells at me.

Casey pulled out her phone to check the rest of the messages as her mother started the engine. She tabbed to Matt and read:

‘Hey, Casey! I got the drinks and came back to the tub, where’d you go?” Where did I go, anyway? I just remember waiting and thinking how he was taking forever. ‘Hey, kinda worried, these parties can get pretty crazy, hope you’re okay <3’ Damnit. Now I feel even worse. I probably ruined his night, too. ‘Hey I’ve been looking around down here for like thirty minutes. If you headed home or something, I just wanna say how great a time I had with you. I know you think I’m a bit of player or something, but I’ve never really had a real girlfriend. Like I’ve gone on a few dates but I’ve never really connected the way I did with you there. Oh goodness, look at me getting all cringey. Sorry about that, but I mean it!’ He’s so sweet. I felt that too, though. ‘Alright I’m heading back with Jacob now, he drank wayy too much lol, I’m good to drive though, so don’t worry!’ I hope he was… ‘Hey, I made it home safe, hope alls good on your end <3’

Casey jumped, yanked from her reverie as her mom said, “Just a few more miles to the hospital, Casey. Hang in there!”  

Casey looked back down at her phone as it vibrated twice, indicating a new message. It’s from that same unknown number…It read ‘You get my msgg, bitch?’ Furrowing her brow in confusion, she tapped the new message notification and looked at the previous message, an ill-lit still frame with a play-symbol in the center. What the fuck? An ominous wave of anxiety surged up and down Casey’s sore limbs as she tapped play.

The video was black and void of detail, aside from two guys laughing softly. Is one of them carrying something? It’s so hard to tell with the piss-poor quality. Where does this dick get off calling me a bitch anyway? Wait…Is that someone? It looks like a body…The camera moved erratically and she heard someone whisper, “Take the camera so I can fuck the bitch.” What the hell is this? “Turn the flash on, dumbass.” Casey’s eye’s widened as a light illuminated what looked like a corpse on the bed. She’s not moving, what the fuck is wrong with these people!? No…The man who’d handed off the camera got on top of the girl and started to touch her.

Casey’s hands started to quiver, silent realization paralyzing her, as if she’d kissed a train that had somewhere to be. The man–the coward–pulled his large frame off of Casey’s limp body and started to undo her shorts. Broken, she held the power button, letting her phone die. Her entire body started to shudder, in shock, as the excessive vasoconstriction stole her viscera’s light, their liquid life. Again, the tears fell, but no sound left her gaping mouth. As the pain started to ravage her fast-fading willpower, she shut her eyes tight, let out a quiet choke, and leaned her fore-head against the back of the raggedy front-seat. In a vain attempt at stealth, she bit down hard on her tongue, and tasted crimson-iron. Why?

Noticing, Casey’s mom screeched, “What’s wrong, are you okay?! Casey!” Casey couldn’t respond as naked and utter despair washed over her sense of self. Failing at suppressing the pain, she let out an agonized, blood-tinged, wail.     

 

Blood-Hound (Poem + Drawing)

Blood Hound   —–>PDF with proper formatting, manuscript below. 

 

Blood-hound

________
I’ll be your sick-bird,
you be my blood-hound,
My hearts in your mouth,
Breaking neck spins round.
But,
You’re not the one to blame,
You see; I can’t complain,
This is all you’ve known.
Blackened bloody mold,
Just doing what you’re told.

Your love was a warhead,
A straight time-bomb,
You taught me this lesson,
That I ain’t so strong.
Take your pound of flesh,
Don’t matter if it’s right,
Hit me while I’m fresh,
You know I’ll never fight,
As long as you let me,
Love you more than this life.

So here’s to that jaw,
Tightening ‘round me,
I’m just your dead-bird,
So be my blood-hound,
‘Cause baby,
You’re the one with teeth.
And all I am is meat.

_______________

7×11 cut watercolor, Pen and marker. Edited fox

Quotes of a Cynic #22

I’m about to go for a run, and when I do, I’ll imagine a purpose for the movement. I like to think that one day, when I get fast enough, strong enough, and the breaths come easily, that I can run at a pace to a place no-one can trace the past remnants of me. A place where I’m enough, a place where I can just be, in peace.

 

Finding Happy: Chapter 2-A Long Way Back

Chronologically, this is the fifth chapter, but three of those are marked as introduction. It’s less confusing in the manuscript, but in this post-style format it’s worth mentioning.

Casey wakes up after the catastrophic events of the night before, and her memory is gone. This, for now, is probably a blessing, as the truth is much worse than she suspects.

You can start at the beginning here, if you so choose: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/third-degree-part-1/

________________

II

A Long Way Back

November 1st 2018

 

Everything hurts so damn much. It’s cold. Where…Where am I? What happened last night? Casey rolled right, blinking rapidly to un-blur her dry vision. A sea of violent greens and mountainous browns focused into a sharp anxiety, as Casey registered where she was, and more importantly; where she was not. How did I get to the dump? God that smell. Groaning, she attempted to push her knees under her slight frame, and failed. My stomach…It feels like I got shot, like there’s a hole in my abdomen. She rolled onto her back and examined herself. Where are my fucking clothes! She wore nothing but athletic shorts and her white bra, the strapless one she liked. Sighing in frustration she leaned her head back, looking to the overcast sky. Wait…It’s cloudy but the sun is up. Fuck! Mom is going to flay me alive!

Scrambling, Casey searched for her phone. Why is it not in my pockets, what the fuck! She looked around frantically, desperately searching for her hand-held salvation. There! About five feet to her right lay her phone, damp in the dew-lidden grass. Still sore, she opted to crawl instead of try to stand again. Grunting in effort, she reached the phone and held it to her face. Why is it cracked? What’s going on! I just got this for my birthday last month too. The phone unlocked with a satisfying ‘click’, recognizing her face. At least it still works.

Dreading what lay in wait, Casey tapped the ‘Messages+’ application. Okay. Thirty-seven texts from Mom, eight texts from Matt, two from Ally, and a message from an unknown number. That could have been worse, I guess. She tapped the frame that read ‘Mom <3’ and her heart fell into her stomach. Shit, she’s worried sick. I really fucked up. Why did I go to that stupid party? Quickly, she tapped the ’info’ button in the top right of the phone before pressing ‘Call this number’. Frightened from guilt and confusion, she brought the cracked phone to her ear and listened.

 

Ring…

Ring…

 

“Casey! Where are you sweetie?!” her mother half-shouted. She froze in anxiety, like a deer staring at her oncoming demise. “Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter, sweetie. Please! Just say something so I know your alive!” Why isn’t she mad? I’ve never heard her like this…

Casey opened her mouth and tried to apologize, but all that came out was a mortified, “Uh…”

“What’s wrong, Casey?!” asked her mom, shouting again.

“I’m okay, I think. I just…I woke up out here and it hurts…and…” answered Casey, pausing as everything caught up with her. “I don’t know how I got here, mom. I think something bad happened but I can’t remember anythi–“ Casey choked on the last word as anxious tears overwhelmed her. Everything’s spinning out of control.

Panicked, her mom cut in, “Please sweetie, don’t cry, it’s going to be just fine, you’ll see. Please tell me where you are so I can come get you. Do you know where you are?”

Struggling to speak over the viscous dread rapidly metastasizing, Casey choked, “I’m out b…by the old dump. The one a mile out from Apple-Creek farms, that w…wealthy neighborhood.”

Voice cracking, her mom replied, “Okay. I’m coming, stay where you are, sweetie, it’ll be okay.”

____________________________

Thanks for reading!

More coming soon.