Coming Down – Cover Art

Another big project!

3250×4998 pixels

stonework2

 

Cover Version:

9996×6500 pixels

Coprstonework cover.png

The form is meant to mimic the inkblot of a butterfly, which follows the time-related elements of the novel.

I worked on this alongside another recent piece, Winter, and I think the style is very similar. You can find that one here: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/art/Water-Mage-Full-Size-741323220

Cheers!

-Blu

____________________________________________________________________________________________

My Portfolio: https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My Deviant Art: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/

My Design by Humans shop: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

2

Love Kills – Artwork

This was deceptively complicated to figure out and structure. I struggled quite a lot with making the face not derpy and even tried out using fur textures. Ended up running the opposite way and killing most of the detail on the wolf person to draw focus to the emissive window I put together (as it was much cleaner and ultimately more interesting).

 

Love hurts4

Challenge: Drawing a dragon eye using a leaf as a canvas? (Hybrid composite drawing)

So this was kind of a weird challenge, I wanted to make a trippy wallpaper, but instead of “drawing” it on a blank canvas like normal, I wanted to see if I could do the majority of it in textures, on a texture. In other words turn a benign leaf into a spooky water dragon.

SO, this was my canvas (licence free). lol…

abstract-art-artistic-459301

I picked something hard on purpose, as a rule I wasn’t allowed to erase any part of the canvas. I had to turn this leaf into the eye of a dragon.

Here’s the thirty layers of shading and textures I added to my already busy canvas:

without canvas.png

I needed really heavy blacks to obtain any sort of com-positional balance. That was already void from the leaf photo. So I blocked out the blacks and sketched the form of the eye, making sure to keep the important parts away from the leaf’s busier channels. The main challenge was molding the shading around to fit the leaf, because it’d be very easy to blow out the wrong areas. For this reason, my shading and structure probably looks very rudimentary and inconsistent, but this has more to do with drawing around the problem areas.

How it turned out:

13

I’m pretty happy with the result. It looks…weird. The water droplets on the eyelid don’t really make sense but they look cool if you don’t think about it, and my heavier mix of textures on the eyeball alongside the quick sketchy drawing of the skeleton on the crucifix ended up looking pretty intense. It is admittedly a cluster-expletive and completely unbalanced in a lot of ways, and it could use some cleaning up. But given the restrictions and how unmanageable that leaf photo was, I feel good about it. And being real, it does have a rather unique look. 🙂

Anyway, feel free to use this image for whatever as long as you credit me. If anyone wants the .psd or a .tiff format (full size) version of the image, be warned that it is seventy megabytes, but I can send it over google drive or something.

 

PS: I’ve had a few blog posts accidentally be released unfinished because I’m dumb and forgot I scheduled them. I’m going to stop slotting unfinished things assuming I’ll get back to them at some point, sorry for spam!

Cheers,

Blu ❤

Revamping the Wall-Spider (Artwork)

Having recently completed the general and rough manuscript for Butterfly Gate and passing it off to a trusted editor, I suddenly have time to work on my other stories and art projects. Re-reading and editing the same 460 page story three times within a week is hard work, but also really engaging and fun for me.

So this week (Spring Break!) has been all about planning new art for my other work-in-progress Saving Hadley and tackling a new arc. I also had time on the side to start writing my third project, Wall-Spider in a more serious capacity. As soon as I finished the rough short story (now chapter one of Wall-Spider) I knew I wanted to take it farther, but I already had a few engulfing projects. It was great to really delve into developing a new book, and infinitely less stressful than the first two times.

It’s a little mind-blowing and encouraging how visible the improvement has been. I started by  re-working the short story. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to my current standards or style, so I improved the flow and counter-play between the first and third person narration. Then, having a good six months of ideas and notes about where I wanted to take it, barfed out a cool sixty pages, which was a new record for me.

But there’s other clerical work I do when I approach a novel. Part of that was taking the art I’ve already done for Wall-Spider and reworking it.

Before:

Hunger Demon
Hunger Demon

After:

Hunger Demon

The main challenge was retroactively fixing the perspective issues with the first sketch. Then I drew as realistic of a padded cell backing as I could in Photoshop. The rest was simple lighting.

Obviously there are still some lighting and perspective issues, but I felt good about it for a simple three-hour session. One of the main takeaways from this for me is to really spend more time planning perspective. Messing up the two-point as badly as I did on a drawing that was otherwise very solid and emotionally personal/important to who I am was a little silly. I could have avoided the issue by spending two minutes with a compass to measure the two-point, but I free-handed the lines and rolled with it.

Creepy Doll

Creepy Doll

That clay-mold doll,
Strung up on our wall,
Is funny.

Stare out to the night,
An insomniacs call,
Red eyes stare me back,
Coarsened with fright.

That clay-mold doll,
You strung on my wall,
Is daddy.

A pale moon flight,
Three hallows prior,
Mom found him at sin,
Before stealing his light.
That old clay doll,

Strung up on my wall,
Is stretching.
Bending and breaking,
Clacking and creaking,
Faux-sect protrusions,
Of potters good wake.

That clay-mold doll,
Strung me up on the wall,
And started to sin for the old days sake.

Daily Prompt: Zoo

via Daily Prompt: Zoo

 

Zoo

The way I am with you,
No excuse could do,
For why I never left.

That time you caved my nose in,
_______________________________  Like a babe screaming murder,
_______________________________________________________________ ‘Bout a thing I never did.

The way you beat our kid,
Should have broke my lid,
If that didn’t, well nothing ever did.

Just tear me asunder,
Call me your bitch,
Let your friends know I’m worthless,
A stone-cold witch,
So you can feel something,
Let ignorance be bliss?

I could have run home,
Brought Martin there too,
But,
I chose to stay here,
And let you do me,
In.

The backstroke was vicious,
The words; they were cruel,
I should have saw it coming,
That day in our zoo.

A broken dormant wolf,
Snarling over the years,
My mom saw it coming,
So you cut off my ears.
Whispering a sweet poison,
I only ever believed,
Because I was too broken,
To just fucking see.

So rape me again,
__________________Please kill me this time,
_________________________________________I’m too afraid to do it,
_________________________________________________________________And leave Martin behind.

 

 

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

Saving Hadley: Chapter 19

The continuation of chapter 16, and Simon’s decent into revenge and anger, a shadow of his former self. A disheartening chapter, as it really illustrates how far he’s fallen from the kind and altruistic nature he displayed in Act 1, before the accident, before the suicide.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

 

XIX

May 25th, 2017-Simon

                As Simon finished compressing his largest syringe, he looked to Clifton. The man’s face was sullen, empty, resigned to his fate. His sweat and feces had fused into one, with a hint of red introduced by the tears of blood streaming from his left eye. He smells about right. Simon approached Clifton, smiling, and asked, “You look strong, Clifton. Do you work in construction?”

Confused, Clifton replied, “I’m a personal trainer. I work in a gym thirty hours a week.”

Simon made a show of nodding, feigning interest, before saying, “Well, you did work in a gym thirty hours a week. You might find moving difficult after this next one.” A shadow of fear fell over the man’s face. “You see, the problem with large muscles, is that they become stronger than the supportive organs and tissues surrounding them.” Clifton’s working eye opened wide and his lips began to quiver. Simon got onto his knees, leaned forward, and brought the syringe to his victim’s right quadricep. Clifton frantically struggled away from the needle, only managing to gain an inch. Pausing, Simon whispered “Relax while you can, Clifton, you’re about to get a workout.” He cut a small hole into Clifton’s pants using a large hunting knife.

Whimpering, Clifton rasped in response, “Please, don’t, man! Just please, I get it man, I get it!” Simon forced the large and unwieldy syringe deep into the muscular tissue of the man’s middle thigh. After forcefully injecting about half of the neuro-muscular toxin, he withdrew the needle. Clifton’s leg began to slowly spasm as Simon rapidly injected the rest of the solution into Clifton’s right glut.

Simon stood, stepped back, and watched as the muscles in Clifton’s legs started to spasm. Like tectonic plates shifting, the defined muscular tissue bagan contracting, pronating, and extending randomly. Clifton was screaming again, but little sound left his frayed vocal chords. A large crack filled the quiet air, as Clifton’s own quadricep broke his knee against the restraints. Impressive, Tibia’s aren’t soft bones. No longer held back by skeletal restraints, his legs movements grew more erratic, and tore skin from bone. A moment later, a small pop radiated through the quiet barn, as Clifton’s upper quadricep tore, shooting violently towards his patella. Unfortunately for Clifton, his hamstrings, antagonistic to the quadricep, remained intact, and kept firing. Disgusted, Simon spat, and said, “You really should have stretched more, looks like your hamstrings are a little more flexible than the other parts of your leg. Stretching really is important for body building, you know.”

Clifton’s head fell backwards, eye closing, mouth gaping, as his Hamstring dislocated the proximal end of his Femur, where it met the hip. Well shit, he’s going into shock. I suppose he’s losing a little bit of blood with the bone sticking out like that. Simon stood there a moment, letting a wave of sick euphoria crash down his spine blackening his sweltering heart, and allowing the twisted ice to spread, erasing the pain. Regretfully, Simon left the perverted reverie, and said, “Okay buddy, I know it hurts. Don’t die on me now, Dr. Sheffield has exactly what you need to keep that heart ticking.” He doesn’t appear responsive. Simon rushed to his briefcase and pulled out a small solution comprised of adrenaline and type-two vasoconstrictors. The solution would keep Clifton alive while reducing bleeding and increasing pain. Carefully, he drew a generous dose into a small syringe before compressing it. He moved towards the listless man, and said, “This might sting, just a little.” He brought the small syringe to Clifton’s neck with his right hand, using his left to palpate the common carotid artery. Finding the weak pulse, he released the solution into the major artery.

Simon stepped back and waited for the disheveled man’s consciousness to return. After about ten seconds, Clifton gasped for air, breathing harshly, and his hands began to quiver; good eye darting back and forth in confusion. Delirious and crying, Clifton asked, “Dad, is that you? Where am I, why does my leg hurt so much.” That’s right, Clifton, experience the confusion, the pain, she felt. “You…You’re not my dad, help, my…my leg. It hurts so bad.”

Cruelly, Simon sneered, and responded, “No, I’m not your father. I’m your god, and your soul is mine. You did a bad thing Clifton, this is divine penance.”

A haggard shadow of his former self, he murmured, “I’m innocent, you’ve got the wrong person. I haven’t done anything!”

“Shh… it’s almost over, Clifton.” said Simon, walking to his briefcase, and taking a surgical scalpel in hand. “You’re close to peace now, just a little bit more, and you can rest, forever. Would you like that?”

Crying, again, Clifton responded “I…I don’t want to die.”

“But you don’t want to live, not like this? Do you?” he countered, moving towards Clifton with the scalpel.

“Not like this…no.” Clifton whispered, choking.

“Then let the good doctor set you free, just a few swipes, and it’ll be over.” responded Simon, tears welling. Simon pinned Clifton’s right arm, making a quick and clean horizontal cut at the base of his wrist, beneath his palm. Clifton cried out, voice cracking, and Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Silent now, the bleeding man hung his head, giving up.

As Simon moved back to Clifton’s right arm, Clifton whispered, “I’m so sorry about your son, and about your wife.” Simon paused, jaw tightening, suddenly numb as he cut about seven inches vertically along the radial artery. Across the woods, then down the river. To hell and back we roam.

Coolly, Simon responded, “Not…good enough.” Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Feeling empty, he dropped the scalpel, backed away, and watched his wife’s murderer die.

As Clifton grew still, the bearded man, still standing near the barn’s entrance, called out, “Well that was something, wasn’t it?”

Saving Hadley: Chapter 18

An interesting chapter, I had fun re-working some of the subtler mechanics here. It introduces some of the first adventure elements in the story, something that’s more salient in Act 3. I think the chapter would be very dark without the elements of comic relief. It has a bi-polar structure in a lot of ways, and it experimental in that regard.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________________________

 

XVIII

Present Day-Silgan

            Silgan locked the apartment behind him, anxiety high, as his thoughts raced for a solution. Where do I go now? The Governor and the Police are going to be on my trail once they find out about Harold. Silgan had forced Harold’s limp body into the industrial-sized freezer near the back of his room, neglecting the blood-stains in the kitchen. He’d also grabbed Harold’s house key, which he now used to open Harold’s apartment. The room was huge, and disgusting. Old clothes, pizza boxes, soda cans, and ambiguously stained porno-mags littered the floor. I need to find the phone he was using to communicate with Haskell. If they used a text-based channel, I can throw Haskell off my trail. Silgan only had forty minutes to meet Alex, and an hour and twenty minutes until Nessa would, hopefully, awaken.

Hurrying forward, he examined his surroundings, scanning for loose electronics. Harold’s bed was a luxurious looking king-size, disheveled and blood-stained. I don’t want to know whose blood that is. There was a ladder in the back corner of the room, leading to a small loft. Silgan set his briefcase and duffle down before climbing the ladder. Reaching the top, he found a small desk with an intense looking desktop PC. Probably has crazy specs. Approaching, Silgan noticed that Harold was still logged in. Hurrying, he sat at the computer and looked for any open communications services. All that was open on the desktop was an amazon shopping cart, filled with differently colored knives and an unsavory looking pornographic film from the nineties, entitled, ‘Rubber Ropes’. The fuck, Harold. Using the dark web to buy porn? Disgusted, Silgan closed the tor browser, navigating to the “advanced search bar” where he unchecked all of file types aside from the common note taking extensions. Then, he typed “Password”. The first result popped up as a notepad file labeled ‘Passwords and sht’. Harold, you always were a dumbass. Silgan clicked the file and reopened dot onion browser. Choosing the “maximum mirroring” option, Silgan opened his personal email server, before clicking back to the file. There were eight different passwords:

“Sinusoid2Rhinodick”

“RobertEL33reborn” No surprise there, I knew he was a supremacist scum-bag.

“BiglilBrain1969”

“569142”

“HaggardHaroldDomYourSub” You wish, Harold.

“ElvisKilledTupac1996”

“PickleRickReturns2019”

“Passwordword”

Amused, Silgan drafted an email to himself, and clicked ‘browse for files’. He searched “Passwords and sht” and attached the file before pressing send. Closing the email server, he shut down the computer. Getting to his knees, Silgan crawled behind the desktop and under the desk. Shame, it really is a nice computer. Silgan reached into the open system and unplugged the hard-drive before removing it entirely. He secured it in his pants pocket for the time being. I’ll destroy it later.

Crawling back, Silgan stood, and turned to the ladder. Carefully, he lowered himself onto the small, wooden ladder, before climbing down. Next, Silgan walked towards a small night-sill to the right of Harold’s ominously stained bed. A green Digitex alarm read 8:20 AM, but the rest of the sill was empty. Silgan reached down, opening the sill’s drawer. Oh, come on, man…fuck. The drawer was filled with various sex toys, male and female, two of which had dark-black blood-stains. Silgan backed two steps away, kicking the drawer closed. Looking to the bathroom, Silgan thought of places where he’d hide an important phone. Do I really need to see what Harold has in his bathroom? Nobody deserves that kind of exposure. Maybe later. Decidedly, Silgan moved around the foot of the bed towards Harold’s three-drawer-dresser. Opening the first drawer, Silgan ruffled the clothes around, searching for any solid objects. Nothing. Silgan closed the drawer before opening the middle. Rummaging, Silgan paused, suddenly grateful for his latex gloves.

There were sticky pictures of a young woman Silgan didn’t recognize. Could this be the woman he mentioned? Turning through the photos, Silgan started to feel sick. The photos, clearly amateur, clearly predatory, and clearly taken without permission. The first was a shot of the small, brunette, woman through what was presumably the window to her kitchen. The second, pictured the woman, smiling, surrounded by other people in an outdoor hot tub. The point of view of the photo was disconcerting, as there were trees creeping into the side of the frame. He was stalking her. The next three photos were like the first two. The sixth, however, showed the poor woman sedated, retrained in an upright cross-like position. The seventh, from the same scene, pictured her awake, clothes torn, tears streaming, and blood gushing from several small wounds. Silgan had to put the pictures down after the eighth, in which the woman, still on the cross, was screaming as a small blow torch was being held to her breast.

Silgan tore the sick, darkroom style, photos to shreds before throwing them into the nearby trash, where they belonged. You sick and perverted bastard. You really did deserve to die, no regrets there. Moving back to the wardrobe, he opened the final drawer. Ruffling the clothes, he found nothing besides a few boxes of cigarettes. Turning, Silgan headed to the bathroom, directly across from the wardrobe. As Silgan approached, he noticed the lights were on. Interesting, all the other lights were off. Why leave the bathroom lights on? Apprehensive, Silgan pushed the door, letting it swing open. Christ be spared the cross…There were towels covering the entire bathroom floor. The showers curtain was drawn, a pale hand protruding from out behind it. Silgan noticed a phone on the bathrooms sink. Moving forward, he grabbed it, and stashed it in his left suit-pocket. Do I even want to know what’s behind that curtain? No. Creeping forward, Silgan grasped the curtain, and pulled it aside.

The blaze returned. How could he do this to a person? In the tub, rested the remnants of the woman from the photos. Her midsection and legs had mostly dissolved in the corrosive acid. Probably a mix of hydrofluoric and fluorosulfuric acid. The bubbling gives it away. Her face had a permanent expression of fear and disdain on it, as her upper body sank lower and lower, dissolving. The right-hand Silgan had seen, was detached from the body. The acid had eaten through the bone of her forearm before she had sunk low enough to pull the rest of the hand into the tub. A large, diamond, ring remained on her slight, young hand. Poor girl.

Crestfallen. Silgan left the bathroom and opened the burner-phone. It was locked. Quickly, remembering the password list, Silgan pulled out his smartphone before opening his email app. The smartphone quickly downloaded the notepad file. Glancing over the list, only one password could be entered, because the burners animated keyboard had no alphabetical input. Holding his breath, he typed: ‘569142’. He smiled as the phone played a small unlock animation, leading to the home screen. He navigated to the phones history, which contained texts to a lone number.

Interestingly, any reply from the number was either deleted, or nonexistent. Well, that makes things simple, doesn’t it? The most recent sent message read, “He’s just left the room” dated today, and sent at four thirty AM. Silgan typed out a quick message, similar in style to the previous messages “It sounds like he’s gone to sleep.”