Today, I’d like to share with you some concept art of a Siren. I did it for my ongoing project called the Odwyn Chronicles. I’ve been doing world-building for the Odwyn Chronicles for over a decade, and in May of 2019, I decided that I’d both write and illustrate the stories. I started to post concept art of the Odwyn Chronicles to my Instgram, just so I’d have something to post, and maybe draw an audience for my work. But, after several months of posting the concept art, I decided to shift gears. The Odwyn Chronicles is my baby, and I don’t want anyone else to get their hands on it. But, I realized that if I was going to be able to do it justice, I needed more practice of both writing and illustration, not to mention the funds to give it the proper polish. So, I put the Odwyn Chronicles project on the back burner and switched to a new project called the Marsborn (working title), a sci-fi story. More about that project later. For now, here’s Cerulea the Siren.
As with most of my work, I started with a pencil sketch. I didn’t have any particular idea in mind, besides wanting to draw a pretty woman. I’ve struggled with drawing women for quite some time. I must admit, I avoided drawing them because I had difficulty doing it. But, then I realized that if I wanted to get better at drawning women, I had to practice. Hence the art in my last post, and this one.
After the pencil sketch was satisfactory, I started to ink. I focused especially on the hair and eyes since they’re both also things I’ve struggled with. This time, I attempted a manga/anime style. At a young age, around the same time I became obsessed with American comics and cartoons, enough to want to learn how to draw them, I also got into Japanese manga and anime. This led me to read How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, and several different books on how to draw manga/anime style. Over the years, my art style has incorporated elements of both.
After I decided that if I inked her anymore, I’d ruin her, I decided to color her. I used markers. But, I didn’t have any good colors for skin tones, so I made her blue. She didn’t quite turn out the way I would have liked. I’m not sure why, but the color came out kind of streaky. Maybe it was the markers or my lack of skill using them. Either way, I didn’t like it.
But, fortunately, I still had the photo of the inked phase of my sketch. I uploaded that into an app on my tablet and colored her there. I much prefer how this version turned out, with even skin tones and shadow. I still made her blue, with the black and pink eyes, because I decided that she wasn’t just a blue woman, she was the prototype of how Sirens would look in the Odwyn Chronicles.
Many years ago, I decided that the story would incorporate my own spin on the traditional fantasy races, like Orcs and Elves, as well as creatures from Greek mythology. That decision was heavily influenced by Tolkien, of course, as well as what I learned in school about Ancient Greece. I asked myself, what if these supernatural creatures weren’t treated like inherently evil monsters or inherently good beings, and were instead treated as a race of people? A lot of my world-building grew out of that. Every race will have their own cultures, architectural styles, clothing, etc. So, while I’m working on Marsborn (WT), I’m still world-building for Odwyn Chronicles. Over a decade of work, and counting.
It’s going to take a lot of work. I’m currently over 18,000 words into my first draft of Marsborn (WT). It’s a sci-fi story, set on Mars colonized by humans. It’s shaping up nicely, but I’m still l not sure if it will be a novella or a novel. It being 18,000 words makes it the longest draft of anything I’ve ever written in my whole entire life, and it’s still not even close to done. But, I’m enjoying the ride. I’ve even started doing concept art.
Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed it, I’d be grateful if you shared it. Until next time.