Drawing 0: Christmas 1887

About this time last year I did a post – Drawing 0: Pirates – because it was my intention to draw every month in 2020. Alas like almost everything that plan went down the drain. To be honest my 2021 goals are basically “same as 2020 but I really, really mean it this time!”

This was an illustration of a christmas flashback scene in my Sanctuary fanfic Our Darkest Hour. John/James/Helen ship obviously. Now there’s quite a few things that I’m not happy with. For a start I still need to work on likeness, and skin shading and facial expression. Lighting sources/appropriate shading for the lighting very much too.


This is my “art timeline” over the past few years. I know it’s hard to see small but for the most part there has been an improvement. I’ve definitely got better at doing hair! In some of the older drawings I can pick out things that I think I did better. I’m particularly pleased with the belt sash thing Myka’s wearing in the pirates drawing for example, and I think I did the clothing on Jedi!Belle pretty well.

Now likeness is a tricky one because yes the two Bering and Wells drawings look a lot more like Bering and Wells, than the above Sanctuary drawing does of John, James and Helen. BUT that likeness was achieved by finding and copying an exact reference which meant I was limited on pose. The biggest leap forward with this Sanctuary drawing was in developing the pose.

The 2016 and first 2017 drawing were straight tracings over a reference I found on google. The other two 2017 drawings, the 2018 drawings and the first 2019 drawing were straight referenced from 3D modelling poses. I think I used 3 different programs in that time. The two Bering and Wells drawings were just done from photo references. Again very specific, no deviation. I could only do what I managed to find.

With this Sanctuary drawing I had a picture in my head that I wanted to bring to life. I tried to do a 3D model reference and gave up pretty quickly. Instead I found some references that were close (a starting point), and then I found more references and I even took some selfie photos of myself for arm positioning and stuff. It was all very hacked together. I’m pretty pleased with it to be honest.

With the last drawing I did (the Pirates one) my primary criticism was the lack of narrative. It was basically just a portrait, there was no action, which I think added to the lifeless/emotionless feel of the piece. That isn’t a problem with the Sanctuary drawing, it’s a much truer illustration. However, the trade-off with drawing more from my imagination, is I don’t have such specific references – which has hurt capturing the likeness. Same with clothing folds and the like but I very much believe though that it’s a step forward.

I have January’s project in mind already – an illustration of John and James dancing at the club from the fic I’m currently writing. Cross fingers that by this time next year I’ll have at least 12 new drawings for an art timeline, and hopefully showing considerable improvement over the course of the year. That’s the goal!

WriYe: Year in Review

The blog circle on WriYe has been absent since March but quite frankly it’s been that kind of year. I just went back and read my 2020 January post detailing my plans for the year… oh we had no idea did we?

A real gem here: “It’s going to a brand new decade. I really hope it’s better than the last one.”

2020 is almost over (yay!). In a very unpredictable and unstable year, sum up your year of writing.
Did you meet your goals? Did you survive? Barely hung on?

Right my goals were as follows:
“150k target. I want to be consistent with my writing. 4thewords – I intend to use it everyday next year. My aim is to maintain the 444 word streak on the site to make incremental progress everyday. I want a couple of drafts by the end of the year – I want to feel like I made progress ultimately!

In 2020 I intend to move forward with my writing, with the goal to being in a position to start publishing in 2021, and I also want to leap forward with my drawing if I can and do a drawing a month and complete the ‘How to Draw the Marvel Way’ course that I was given ages ago.”

Did I meet them?

Bwhahahaha yeah no. Not even close, not even a little bit.

My 4thewords streak is technically intact but that’s only down to rampant cheating. I’m not sure how many days I actually wrote for but it’s possibly in the region of about 50, if that and only then if I include planning days probably.

I have zero novel drafts. In fact I have zero progress on any original work whatsoever. You see what happened is (well I’m going to quote myself again). I wrote in that 2020 January post: “I know how rusty I am and that everything I write to begin with is going to be even more shit than normal. However I’m not going to get past that and write anything ever potentially decent if I don’t forge on.” but unfortunately panic doesn’t understand logic.

Even before 2020 took a turn for the crazy I wasn’t doing well. I spent a good chunk of January planning out an original novel and I was all set to start, I sat down and kept having panic attacks. I think I wrote 500 words and hated them all. I couldn’t get over how awful I felt it was and I just felt like I would never be good enough.

I haven’t done a single drawing this year. I’m working on one now (in December) but that will be my only 2020 drawing. I didn’t touch the course. I basically achieved NONE of my goals.

Give us your biggest triumph and what you are most proud of!

Well I survived the year. So there’s that.

I’m going to end WriYe with about 70k and that’s entirely down to November. I did the Sanctuary fanfic and I smashed it. Almost 67k and The End. That is my singular success story this year. I suppose that proves that I can write, just in a limited fashion. It wasn’t original work so I managed to bypass the paralyzing panic/fear that stops me from writing normally.

I’m glad I managed to write something, even if it was fanfic, because something is better than nothing. I mean I said that in my NaNo post, “this might as well happen” because nothing else was happening. It was fun writing that in November. I liked writing again. I liked completing the quests on 4thewords. I want to do more of it but I’m just not sure what right now. I need to have a think.

It’s that time of year

Ok let’s be real writing has been a disaster for me since November 2016. I tried to keep writing after it but within six months I’d ground to a complete halt. I’ve not successfully completed a single story, and definitely not NaNo, ever since.

2017. 2018. 2019.

All gone, didn’t happen, I don’t think I even attempted it last year at all. I had big plans for this year but well it’s 2020 – the year of the unexpected. I’m trying to not be too hard on myself for it.

Anyway, I’ve been going back and forth over what to do. NaNo used to be the highlight of my year, it used to be magical and I miss that feeling. I had some time to think this morning and I came to some conclusions:
1) not doing NaNo isn’t an option. I need to try. It matters to me.
2) whatever I write has to reach the 50k or I’ll feel like it doesn’t count.
3) I love my ideas I really do but I’m too scared to attempt them and if I try I won’t get very far.
4) I remember Her Happy Ending (yes it is story time).

Continue reading

Ok so watched the Sanctuary webisodes last night.

That feeling of déjà vu I mentioned where they’d maybe re-used footage? Yeah that was only on a couple of scenes, the bulk of it was different including 100% alternate origin of John Druitt.

I am so glad that they changed it to The Five and the source blood in the TV show. I mean I know if they hadn’t that I wouldn’t know any different and I would be cool with the time travelling teleporter story but without the Five there would be no Watson? No Tesla? TV show did good with that.

Ashley was distinctly weirder/more bloodthirsty than I remember from the show. That scene in the kitchen with her discussing the kills? That was downright creepy. I get maybe they were playing into her being Jack the Ripper’s daughter a little bit but I’m pretty sure they balanced that better in the actual show.

Honestly what stood out to me most was the incredibly obvious (and in some incidences absolutely awful) CGI. Now I know most of the sets on Sanctuary (even the normal looking ones) are CGI but while I can usually tell if I think about it, it’s well done enough that I can accept it/ignore it. These webisodes? Man I was laughing. I get that as webisodes the budget was probably significantly less and honestly I am amazed at what they managed. It’s just it was pretty bad.

The title sequence was cool. Clearly Sanctuary has a knack for that because it’s great in the regular show too.

Interesting that it ended on a cliffhanger which was kinda resolved on the TV show but also not really. These webisodes technically never happened as the events were rewritten. I guess perhaps maybe they were hoping that would help with getting a series pick-up/more funding to produce more webisodes if people were wondering what happened next.

I’m glad I watched them. I’ve done similar with the original SG-1 Children of the Gods and the remastered DVD they put out. Compare, contrast, it’s quite fascinating really.

Lol @ myself.

When I first started watching Sanctuary the juxtaposition of Helen (Amanda Tapping) with that accent threw me. It didn’t sound right.

I’m just watching some behind the scenes stuff and she has a real drawl and I thought “hang on what did Carter sound like?” So I pulled up some SG-1 clips (and I really need to watch stargate again) and that was the same accent, her natural one I’m presuming but now that sounds really weird.


Well at least I’m seeing Helen as a completely different character. It takes a quality actor to make me completely believe in them as more than one person.

I found that my Sanctuary boxset included the original webisodes. I swear that they reused some footage for these for the rewritten episodes once they got picked up for TV.

My version of fun is spotting what I recognise and also pointing out what’s different.

Aka I’m watching these because I had a mighty need for Sanctuary and I’m trying not to burn through the remaining episodes too quickly.

My obsession is growing 🙄

You know those stories you tell yourself when you can’t sleep? Alright ok the stories I tell myself when I can’t sleep :p 

Well at the moment I’m stuck on the idea of alternate universes.

Some people are born to be extraordinary. It’s not what happens in their life, they’d be incredible no matter what world they were born into.

So I’m currently playing with Helena ‘HG’ Wells in a world without a warehouse working with Helen Magnus at the Sanctuary because of course.

Or alternately the same, in a world with no abnormals or source blood, Helen Magnus would make an excellent agent for Warehouse 12.

Tesla was a big deal in both universes something which I’m sure he would be very smug about if he knew.

I just have a mighty need for these three (HG, Magnus and Tesla).

I just made the mistake of looking to see how many episodes of Sanctuary Tesla is in and how is it only 17? I am sad.

But unfortunately right under his name there was Abby (of the annoying one I half ranted about last night) with 9 – 9! That means I have to see her 7 more times. That’s not sad, that’s tragic, that really does make me want to cry. Hopefully it’ll just be background shots or something so I can ignore her.

Anyway today for some reason I wondered if fanlistings still exist. I was big into them like 15? years ago (wow way to make me feel old self) and so I googled. Yes they still exist but obviously have majorly declined as there’s nowhere near as many I don’t think. It was funny all the notable ones I thought were missing. If I was still into that I could clean up but alas I no longer care. It’s just not my thing anymore.

Total nostalgia bomb though.

This One Night episode of Sanctuary kinda sucks.

No Helen.

Abby is an idiot. I mean seriously she couldn’t find a phone? She just rushed back into captivity and she’s supposed to work for the FBI. How is that helpful?

I liked the Big Guy praising the Italian food. Better than? Oh yes. Seriously that’s the best bit of the episode so far.

Ok a little bit of Helen and her big picture thinking. That is making it more interesting after all. Plus with the schemes of his #2 running contrary to Helen’s plan. That’s too bad she got killed because in her own way she was trying to do the right thing. I guess it worked out because the Sanctuary could then arrest the bad guys and save the trafficked abnormals.

Awww I was hoping the end line would be Helen saying to Will “you’ll never know” because using her name wasn’t exactly cool. But I guess as Alfredo is pissed Will is going to have to steer clear anyway.

You know what I totally forgot. I watched Hangover before this obviously and that came after the city stuff and Tesla wasn’t there! It was obviously some time later as Helen had gone on a debrief about it. Still inquiring minds want to know whether Tesla was gone when they got back, or if he left once they returned. I’m thinking the latter because he’d want to be sure the job was done, he’d have a lot of snarky comments to make about leaving the best at home, and then I bet he snuck out next morning without saying goodbye having stolen something interesting, or at least taken several bottles of expensive wine.

I am in such a love/hate with Sanctuary right now because man I love it and I want to watch it so much! But on the other hand once I have watched them all then there is no more episodes – it’s a dilemma!

In the Martian Chronicles Kara was a bit of a brat. I did enjoy how she fell all over herself to go “no nope no no way” about Mon-El but then they wrecked it by making her take an interest when she thought his interest was lost. Plus there was the whole thing with Earth birthday. I get she was disappointed but poor Alex. Also Kara is still being all ridiculous over Guardian. Like I said brat.

Anyway then there was Luthors.

“Kara Danvers you are my hero”

And all is forgiven. I love, love, love how Kara believed in Lena and never once doubted or let her down. I mean there was no evidence that Lena was innocent (and plenty of evidence that said she was guilty) so it was blind faith but you know what I like that. Kara knew Lena as a person, knew her character and that she wouldn’t do it and that was enough.

I guess I don’t have to like everything about Kara as a character. Hey I just called her a brat but she’s still a good person and I still want her to be happy. Plus come on that awkward “no no nope” with Mon-El honestly I was just yelling at the TV “just tell him you are gay” because really it felt like that should be where it was going.

I feel super sorry for Lena. Her step-mother is such a bitch, always going for the emotional manipulation. I’m glad Lena has Kara as a friend even if it’s not anything more than that right now (though it should be). Lena you get the last laugh darling, you are the final Luthor standing so you get the lot, good and bad, but you also get to write the ending.

A Luthor and a Super working together. Gotta love it.