Vectober 10: Abyss.

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, falling fist-first into an abyss.

Mike’s work is a masterclass in chiaroscuro, and in saying “fuck it, this part is hard to draw, I’m just gonna leave it out/drop it into silhouette/cover it with something else”. I leaned on both of these skills while drawing this.

(Where’s Vectober 9? I did it on the floor of Geek Girl Con, but it got ambitious, and it’s not done yet. It’ll be up when it is.)

Vectober 8: Blur.

I drew this on the floor of Geek Girl Con and didn’t get around to uploading it until today. It’s another illustration to the story I wrote in the previous Vectober piece; this one is the first few lines about everything going grey when the King died.

It could use some more work if I want to actually put together that little illustrated story, but it’s done for now.

Vectober 7: Decay.

When the king died, the land died with him.

All the color went out of everything.

The Queen tried her best to keep it safe

But in the end all she could do was let it lie fallow. The peasants had gone for more colorful climes long ago. The stray sheep had grown too unruly to be worth keeping.
Time passed.

Nothing much happened.

Then it didn’t happen again.

This went on for quite some time.

One day, a young dragon came to the ruins of the castle. She was looking for a place to make her lair, and she had hopes this land would be it.

Remote. Quiet. Solitary. These were all things that suited her. And that herd of feral sheep would do just fine for her meager appetite.

Soon, she had a room high in a turret all tidied up. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for her.


I said I wasn’t going to draw my own stuff for this, but this morning I had an idea for a little fairy tale that’s a metaphor for how my transition involved me rebuilding my personality from the inside out. And “ruined fairy tale castle” was what came to mind when I looked at the theme I chose for today.

Will I draw the rest? Will I figure out how much more story it needs and finish it? Who knows.


Illustrator, 1:30. Lots of use of a couple of ‘brick’ art brushes and the ‘roughen’ filter so I didn’t have to draw every little detail.

Vectober 6: deviation

A friend tweeted about “tactical espionage djinn” scenarios, with a unit logo inspired by Metal Gear 2’s fox logo. This made me giggle so I decided to draw it instead of trying to come up with something for “contrast”.

Vectober 5: Pencil

Still listening to Kobra and the Lotus’ “High Priestess” on repeat. Because it seems to be that kind of day.

This is a straight up photo trace because I didn’t wanna have to think about anything but the materials experiment. I am not entirely happy with the likeness (especially the nose, geeze)  but I spent a half hour on it and that’s enough, especially given that this particular tool was drawing a little bit offset from where I expected it to.

This “pencil” is actually a bristle brush, with some effects added:

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Vectober 3: Pairing.

Vectober 3: Pairing. Featuring Ursula’s Biting Pear of Salamancia.

I had a lot of other stuff to do today so this one is simple and stupid. And a dumb pun on the prompt I wrote myself. But it makes me laugh.

Woulda been just under the wire for getting done on the 3rd but Illustrator crashed on me when it was like 75% done and I hadn’t saved it yet. Feh.

Vectober 2: Outlines.

“Outlines”, I thought. “Outlines.”

What would I draw with the exact opposite of my usual Illustrator style? I didn’t know. Then I went to Morsel for breakfast and read the next story in Michael Swanwick’s collection “The Dog Said Bow-Wow”. The title story is about a couple of conmen in a Dying Earth; Surplus (a dog-man) and Darger (a guy) run a con involving an ancient modem that lets a cyberspace demon out of the now-closed-off networks from before the Vaguely-Hinted-At Apocalypse. Swanwick clearly enjoys writing them, as he’s gone on to write two novels featuring them. Which I enjoyed a lot.

But a few stories later, we come across “An Episode of Stardust”, in which a dwarf on a train encounters a con-man who tells him the story of how he paired up with a vixen, then perpetrates a daring escape and an expensive heist. It feels like another take at the same core idea of Surplus and Darger – a charming pair of cons in a fantasy world. But it’s in a fairly ordinary modernized fantasy world, and Nat Whilk and his nameless vixen companion never really quite gel as a pair. They vanish off the back of the train into a thousand other stories we’ll never hear. If Swanwick hadn’t written “Bow-Wow” I would happily read more about their cons, but he did, and I think he’s quite right to explore the crazier world and better chemistry of Surplus and Darger than to play in pretty much the same territory as “The Iron Dragon’s Daughter” and its sequel.

Still: I liked Nat Whilk and the Vixen. Or perhaps the Vixen and Nat Whilk given that she seemed to be the brains of the operation, hiding behind his pretty-boy distraction. And they were in my head after thinking about how they failed to become quite as well-developed as S&D.

So I drew them.

Fare thee well, Nat and Vixen. I hope you have a long and rougish career swindling your way through the Twilight Realms.

Illustrator, 2h, partially because it crashed near the end, partially because I started trying to do very traditional-looking “inks” on my rough before switching to this more mannered and mechanical look.

Vectober 1: Scribble.

“What will I draw for the first day of Vectober?” I asked myself. I didn’t feel like drawing my own characters. I didn’t feel like drawing some random object or scene. Or like scribbling until something presented itself.

How about… fan art? Fan art for something I’ve been watching in an intensely analytical mode? Yeah, that sounds good. I think I’ll keep the same aspect ratio as the Vectober banner I made, too.

This piece is not perfect but it’s done enough after an hour and a half. Fool around, stretch myself, try something different; that’s the goal.

(For what it’s worth, I am a couple episodes from the end of the whole show.)



Rules: Every day of October, draw something in a vector app. Use the list for inspiration if you want; it’s not required. Bonus points for leaving your comfort zone of techniques or programs.

Will I manage to do this? We will see.