Christmas Suggestions (Art Edition)


Yes, I know, my face is doing something weird, but like a genius I forgot to take a thumbnail photo when I was recording this video so I ended up taking a screen shot. Fun fact, there is no such thing as a normal face when you take a screen shot. The fact I managed to get one where my eyes weren’t doing some strange half-open, half-closed thing is a miracle in itself.

This week I wanted to talk about some of my favourite art tools, books and supplies

If you’re not into art yourself and you’re looking to get presents for someone else the whole will-they-like-this-or-not debate can become a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully this video will make that process a little less stressful, and who knows, maybe you’ll spot something you’d like as a Christmas present to yourself ;)

Drawing Goblin and Human Clothes

Azure Oasis Cover Image

Now that is not a title I thought I would ever type out. One of the first things I had to send Nicoy for the second issue of the comic book were illustrations showing how the clothes looked. There were the humans in Einn, the Humans in the Azure Oasis and then the Goblins. All of which needed their own style of clothing to reflect their different cultures, social status and the climate they live in.


The Humans in Einn

Since Einn is a trading town I needed the clothes to reflect that. Einn is quite a cold town on the sides of the mountains, so I wanted the clothes to be practical and warm

One of the first ideas I had was to have a layer of clothing that works a little bit like an overall. If I ever end up expanding more on the culture of Einn I might have the design so that there are different apron/overall colours depending on the trade, but for the moment I have a hundred and one drawings that I need to get to before I start expanding on these ideas. 

Another thing I wanted to do was have it so that the humans wore two different pairs of shoes. A light pair for indoors and then a thicker boot which is worn with the first pair for outdoors a bit like Dutch clogs.

Azure Oasis

The Azure Oasis

Apart from being able to go into the backstory of all the characters so much more than I have in the books so far, I’m really excited that I can show more of the human worlds too. Places like the Gold Coast, the Azure Oasis and Bayswater have wildly different fashions, cultures and rulers.

For the Azure Oasis I wanted the colours to be vibrant, the complete opposite to Einn. I drew different sets of clothes, one for the wealthier travellers who would be in a caravan protected from the sun (and be able to afford blue dyed clothes), and the rest, who would be walking.  They needed plainer clothes and shoes which would protect them from the hot sand.

The Goblins

The Goblins

Now this part was fun! If you’re wondering why I drew them in their underwear that part was so that I could see clearly in my head how their clothes would layer up. Most of the goblins live on the plains. There are almost no trees so there is a constant cold wind and they need to stay warm. One of the most useful pieces of clothing they own is the veil (the same type Astrid wears) which can double up as bandages, a hood, even a crude tent if it’s completely unwrapped.

Apart from keeping warm the goblins also needed to be able to move fast. I didn’t want their clothes to impair their movements in any way, especially when they’re riding their bison. Since its quite normal for a bison or two to be toppled over by the heard when the goblins are hunting one of the most common ways for a goblin to get killed (apart from by the dwarves or a rival tribe) is being crushed under their bison. So when they ride they sit crouched on the backs of the animals so that they can jump off at a moments notice. Of course a fall like that, especially in the middle of a hunt means that they might end up with several broken bones, but their odds are a darn sight better than if they end up crushed under a bison. With an animal that size landing on top of you it’s game over.

Drawing the Goblin Sisters

Systa Close Up

Last week I finally got around to drawing Systa and Ótama, my favourite goblin sisters. It’s quite funny actually, while I knew that I wanted to introduce Ulf in the second book so that I could (hopefully) completely flip people’s opinions on who the bad guys really were, Systa and Ótama were not characters that I had planned for. They fought their way into the story and then refused to leave. Systa especially, who is too much of a badass for her own good. Speaking of Systa, I saw how she’s going to look in the comic book last week and she looks amazing! It might be a while till she appears in the comic, but when she does it’ll be good!


Ótama is the oldest of the two sisters by quite a few years. She’s also the only goblin who ever came close to killing Ulf in battle, so that gives you an idea of just how lethal she is. She is loyal to Ulf, but her sister comes first for her in everything, Systa on the other hand is completely devoted of Ulf and his vision for the goblins. I don’t want to give away too much of her backstory quite yet, but let’s just say she has a very good reason for hating the dwarves, other than the hæta of course.

What I used: Black Polychromos Pencil • Pentel Techniclick G Pencil • Pentel White Marker • White Gel Pen 

Systa was the first one I drew. As it turned out my Pentel G pencil really didn’t work so well on this brown paper, it reflected like crazy when I was trying to photograph it. So when I drew Ótama I used a polychomos black pencil which photographed much better. I think that the next time I draw on this paper I will use a mixture of a sienna brown with the black. For the highlights on both drawings I used two white pens; a normal white gel pen for the highlights on the eyes and outlining the face/hair, and then a broad nib white marker for larger highlights. For Ótama’s hair I tried something a little different and used my script pen instead of my mechanical pencil, I don’t know if I’m going to keep doing hair this way, but for a quick twenty minute drawing it worked quite well.


Drawing the Voices

The Sketches

I’ve had this image in my head for so long I’m just glad it’s finally on paper. In the book I could only describe the two voices Astrid has in her head as the ‘harsh’ voice and the ‘quiet’ voice. In the third book (which I’m still writing) I get to explore those two sides of Astrid’s personality more, but I really wanted to draw how she sees them in her head.

On the original sketch I had drawn Astrid’s wolf skin, and I was going to have it so that one hand had her wolf claws and other other didn’t. But in the end it thought it was trying to cram in too much information into the picture. Since it’s about the two sides of Astrid’s personality I wanted that to be the focus to the story, not her Vârcolac skin.


When I was about half way through the drawing I realised I’d drawn her damaged ear on the wrong side, so I had change that. If there’s one thing that drives me nuts about Astrid is having to remember which side her scars on. I keep drawing them on the wrong side and then only realising half way through that I have to flip everything onto the other side of her face.

Astrid's Face Pre ScarsHalf Way Through

I have a favourites video coming out next week on my second channel where I’ll be raving about my new mechanical pencil for at least a few minutes, but I have to rave about it a little bit here too. I only bought it a few weeks ago and I’m utterly in love with it. Apart from the art brush I used for blending, and the white gel pen, I only used the 0.3mm pencil for this whole drawing and it’s perfect for everything from outline sketches to very, very detailed shading.

What I used: Mechanical Pencil • White Gel Pel • Art Brushes for blending

Drawing the harsh voice was fun! While I was working on the face it occurred to me that the sketches around her back looked a little bit like the scars she has on her back, so I decided to accentuate that even more once I’d finished drawing her face, hair and tattoos.

The Dark Voice

The Kind Voice


Now that I’ve finished the drawing I’m really, really tempted to add some gold foil into the background. What I might do, once I’ve scanned this in, is paint the gold foil pattern I want onto a second paper and then digitally add it behind the picture so that I don’t risk messing up. After spending 11 hours on this drawing the last thing I want to do is wreck it.

Some New Art Supplies

New Art Supplies

This last month I’ve been re-stocking on some old art supplies, and trying out some new tools. Amazon knows me too well (or I shop there too much) because it keeps suggesting so many awesome new tools and I just can’t help myself.

Paint Brushes

Some of my long abused brushes broke last week, so of course I instantly went ahead and replaced them. Normally I stick to supper small brushes, size 0 or 000, but I also went and bought some larger brushes to try and get out of my comfort zone a bit. I bought the Pro Arte Artists Series 3 set and the Pro Arte Artists Pure Sable 6 set, I’ve been using both sets for watercolours, but the Pro Arte Round 10 brush is also really good for applying pan pastels.


Pentel 0.3mm  Mechanical Pencil

Since I’ve bought this pen my old Techniclick G pencil has been all but abandoned. I still use it sometimes, for rough sketches and doodles, but I’ve been reaching for this one more and more. I love the weight of it and the size of the nib, it’s perfect for everything from outlining to very detailed shading. In fact I did this whole drawing just with this pen (and a makeup brush to blend).

Pentel Broad Point Marker

My white gel pen is one of the most used tools in my art roll, I love it for highlights in the eyes and outlining portraits, but I’ve been looking for a similar tool with a larger nib. So I decided to give this one a shot. The nib ended up being a little larger than what I was looking for, and quite opaque, but it works really well for highlights in the hair and the background of portraits.

Bjargtre and the Wyvern

The Wyvern

Now that the Outsider Comic has been out for a few weeks, and we’ve started work on the second comic book, I’ve been drawing almost constantly. While Nicoy does all the beautiful drawings for the comic book I need to do illustrations, concept art and portraits for the characters so that she knows what they look like. Most of these end up in a small sketchbook I have just for Outsider and Defiance related drawings, and it goes everywhere with me. Nothing like 20 minutes on a train to draw a blind subterranean desert monster. Though you do tend to get strange looks from whoever is sitting next to you.

For the second comic book one of the first things I started sketching was Bjargtre. When I wrote out the history of the city the idea I had was that it was founded hundreds of years after Lǫgberg, and in many ways it’s trying to compete with it’s older sibling. It’s trying to be bigger, grander and more opulent in almost every way. The main thing (though I still need to do drawings of this) is that it needed to be more structured. Lǫgberg was started as a mining city, so it’s old and sprawling. Bjargtre needed to be different, like it’s founders had a vision for it beyond just mining when it was started. 

The Mad Gate Logburg

One of the first two sketches drew in this sketchbook was the entrance to Bjargtre and Lǫgberg so I had a crystal clear image of it in my head when I started writing about it. Lǫgberg, while it still looks quite cool, it’s essentially just a massive statue in front of a crack in the mountain side. Bjargtre had to be a little more obnoxious about it and build a gate and battlement that looked like a giant mouth. Because, you know, nothing say’s “we’re better than Lǫgberg” than a giant screaming face in the mountain side.

The Academy The Tunnels Before The Throne Room

If I’m perfectly honest landscapes and any kind of architectural drawings are not my forte, I like faces, clothes and figures, but I can manage a few rough sketches if I have to. The great thing with concept art is it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re not trying to draw the next great piece of art, you’re just trying to convey an idea to the comic book artist. They’re an artist too, they get it, and you need to trust them to know what they’re doing. You don’t have to spend hours making sure the texture of the stone looks just right. It’s stone, the comic book artist knows what it looks like.

The Wyvern

The Wyvern

Ok, I take it back. There’s one thing I like drawing almost as much as faces and that’s creatures. Especially creatures like this where you get to create something which looks amazingly freaky. With the Wyvern I imagined them to be blind creatures that live under the ground. They sit under the sand, or mud, and wait till they hear something moving on the surface. Their face is quite solid (it needs to be to dig under the ground) but the rest of their body is quit soft so they need to be able to move fast. They have no back legs, just a long, long tail and clawed wigs. They can’t fly though, only glide over short distances, which is very useful for sneaking up on larger animals. Just glide over, sting them in the back of the neck with and wait till they’re paralyzed enough from the venom to eat.

I imagined it would be a little like an anaconda with claws, wings and a sting like a scorpion just sitting under the ground. Listening for something it can eat to move on the surface. Not the kind of creatures you want to mess around with. Especially the big ones.

DIY: Autumn Masquerade Mask

Autum Leaf Masquerade Maks

With some of my tutorials there are so many ways you can adapt the tutorial to create something different. In my Leaf Masquerade tutorial I showed you how to make a very summery masquerade mask. Since it’s autumn/on the verge of winter, I wanted to show how you can paint that mask differently with spray paint, gold leaf and just a little bit of glitter.

I have one more idea for this mask which is more wintery, I imagined grey (concrete like) frozen leaves with frost and ice on their edges. If you want me to do a tutorial on that version let me know in the comments and I’ll get started on that. Oh, and if you end up making any of these please tag me on Instagram or Twitter! I would love to see your re-creations! :D

Enjoy! :D

DIY: Lava Horns


Welcome to what must be my fifth horn DIY tutorial by now. To be fair this is not a full DIY from the beginning, I uploaded part one on my channel a few weeks ago. So I guess this could be considered an extension tutorial.

You can also make the basic shape of the horns using this tutorial

I know spray paints can get quite expensive, and some times a wide range of colours are hard to find, so if you can only get your hands on one colour (black) you could use nail varnish as an alternative instead. It’s not as easy, quick or effective as using spray paint, but if it’s all you have to hand then it’s perfectly achievable to get a similar effect.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

The Outsider Comic

Outsider Series

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you’ve seen me mentioning the Outsider comic for the last few weeks. The reason I haven’t properly announced it on my blog yet is because I wanted to wait till the first two pages were out so you could sink your teeth into it at least a little bit.

Before you ask, no, I did not draw the amazing art work for this comic. The sketches, portraits and character designs that you have seen on my Instagram were done by me as reference material for the phenomenally talented Nicoy Guevarra who is illustrating the comic, and as I’m sure you can see from the photos above, they’re beautiful!

As for the script, that was (and is) being written by the amazing Chloe Owens. I can’t wait for you all to read and see what she has in store for the second issue! I’ve already read the script and started on the concept art for Nicoy and it’s going to be epic!

The Outsider Comic Book

So, what’s the schedule for uploading pages?

We have two pages a week going up. One on Monday and one on Friday. While it is going to follow the storyline from the books we we will be expanding the world of Ammasteinn a little further in the comic. We’re planning on explaining a little more about Sylbil and Arnbjörg‘s past, and a lot more than is currently in the books about Ragana once we eventually get to her part of the story.

Early Stages of Development

A little bit about the colours…

Some of you will notice that between the first and the fourth pages the colours change quite a bit. There’s actually a little bit of a story behind this, so let me explain. When we started working on this comic there were two things that I knew I wanted to do. I wanted to have each frame with darker more earthy tones but brighter colours to draw attention to the focal point of each frame. So what we decided to do is start off with bright saturated colours which would reflect how Astrid views that stage of her life, and then, as the tone get’s darker, the colours become darker.

It starts happy and carefree in the Aldwood. She’s never know anything else other than this perfect bright world she’s lived in. But once she hears the horse hooves everything is viewed through this muted view of the world. Once she meets a certain someone (if you’ve read the books you know who) these colours might change, but you’ll have to wait and see ;)

Once we are a few more issues in, I will make a video on my second channel all about the process of making the comic, the sketches, corrections (me obsessing over ridiculous little details) etc. But for the moment enjoy, and I can’t wait to share more of the world of Ammasteinn with you! P.S. If you’ve read the books which character are you the most excited about seeing in the comic?

You can read the comic here

DIY: Faun Horns

Faun Horns

I’ve made horns with tin foil, papier mâché, glue guns, and now  I’ll show you how to make them with an amazing new material called Polymorph. I found out about this around six months ago when I saw a friend of mine post a video on Face Book, and since then I’ve been itching to make some props with them!

If you want to you can even re-heat the plastic after you’ve used it and remould it

I also recently got my hands on some texture spray paint for when I was making my Attack on Titan wall, and it worked perfectly for the horns. Unfortunantly I can only really recommend an enamel or a spray paint for this. Regular acrylic paint doesn’t stick very well on the surface, but if you don’t want to invest in some new paints regular nail varnish is a good dupe.

I hope you like the tutorial :)