AEDM2017, Day 8 [The Yzel]

Art Everyday Month is an artistic challenge established by Leah Koildas at her blog Creative Every Day. She explains it pretty well on a page dedicated to the Challenge. Essentially, those participating set themselves the goal of producing some one creative work each day for the entire month of November. In some respects it is like Inktober, which I opted out of due to a lot of scheduling conflicts...but maybe next year I can do both challenges. So, for this year, for Creative every Day Month, I will be posting fresh new drawings and other artwork here at my personal blog. some of these will get statted-up as critters for our Hereticwerks blog--you didn't really think otherwise did you?--but some will be just for the sake of trying some technique out, or to do something I haven't done in a while.

Today I did this...

The Yzel are sentient plants from Somewhere Else who engage in a highly ritualistic form of calligraphy despite not having any obvious eyes or visual perception organs. They are the very epitome of doing one thing at a time and doing it well...both in their art and their approach to combat.

You can find the Yzel statted-up for Labyrinth Lord over at Hereticwerks.


  1. Aaaaawesome, I'm totally into these Yzel!! Ritualistic calligraphy instead of sight?! Doing one thing at a time with total commitment to the moment?! Come to mama!! ;-)
    I don't like all scifi or fantasy but if I do, it's because the fantasy world is used as a vehicle for wisdom or to show a visionary world that is not conceivable within the borders of the usual. I'm an enormous fan of Tolkien and Robin Hobb for that matter ;-)
    So in what kind of world or book I can find these awesome Yzel creatures?
    Oh and my daughter (a total Star Wars fan indoctrinated by her father, lol) makes me ask what technique you use to create your beautiful work?
    PS Aaaaah victory, I'm commenting as Nelly!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Nelly! Thanks for dropping by and the wonderful comment today. The Yzel are creatures I've used in my gaming from the days of the Grot Age (Late Seventies) and I've only now gotten around to updating them for use with Wermspittle, a setting that I've been developing for a little while now both for gaming and for fiction. There are some Wermspittle stories here at this blog, and I am working on more fiction to go with the art and other bits. One big project I am in the middle of right now is revising some of older Wermspittle posts to make it easier for people to delve into this weird place of foragers dodging strange creatures and weird hazards like Weak Points (permeable apertures to other worlds/times) while avoiding the lingering traces of a Great a smallish city where everything seems to have gone mad, bad or worse. Our serial that did for a few years Bujilli eventually crossed over into Wermspittle and I do plan on compiling (and editing) all those posts into a book or two, after some other projects finally roll out the door.

      While I do respect Tolkein a great deal, I am very much inspired by Arthur Machen, Wiliam Hope Hodgson, L. Frank Baum, and H. G. Wells (among a few others) for what I'm building with Wermspittle. I have not read Robin Hobb's work. Do you recommend them? Is there a particular series or book I should start with first?

      As for technique...I am switching things up a bit from piece to piece, but generally I like to work with pens and markers, with some digital work in Photoshop or Artweaver. Sometimes I use pencils, old photos, watercolors or other things, depending on the piece and my mood...and the schedule. The Yzel was hand drawn, scanned, then digitally colored in Photoshop CS4 using a few layers to get the shiny-effect on the critter's armor. The textured background is from a photo I took on a recent road-trip.

      Congrats on posting as yourself again!

    2. That is so fascinating! Compiling it all sounds like a great idea, you should definitively make your unique world easily accessible. My whole family has become fan of your work!

      Thanks for explaining the technique to Norah, she found it very interesting because she's a line drawer and not a colorist -if you know what I mean- and she was fascinated by the idea of scanning the pure drawing and do the coloring and background digitally.

      Looking forward to your upcoming work!

    3. I am making some good progress on the compilation efforts, so thanks for the encouragement!

      I am very happy to explain whatever I can for Norah. Sounds like we both enjoy working with line quite a bit, so I think that she might have some fun experimenting with coloring things digitally. Definitely use a program that gives you layers so you can adjust transparency as you build one on top of the other layer. That might really open up some possibilities! There are a ton of pretty decent tutorials on YouTube for doing digital coloring so it could be helpful to go browsing around there for a bit. I hope to see more of Norah's work in the future!

  2. Your sentient plant is fabulous. I really like the background and of course, the way you weave the story around these creatures. I am so in awe of your drawings and your imagination.

    1. Glad you liked it, I had fun doing this was long over-due. Thank you for your kind words. I suspect that having been seriously ill for a large chunk of my childhood probably has something to do with my weird imagination...

  3. PS oh dear God, what happened to that picture of our blog in your sidebar? do you see that too? how come it's so blown up? is it me? the pictures all appear normal on the blog...

    1. I think it must be something to do with how the RSS is working, or maybe there's something going on with one of our platforms. What size/resolution are your images? If they are not reduced and you upload something that is still say 300 or 600dpi, it can do this sort of thing sometimes. I reduce all my blog-pieces to 100px resolution as a compromise for the HD monitors and it seems to work okay so far...fingers crossed.


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