Design a site like this with
Get started

Of Character Design, Goats, and Batman ~ a dump truck of art

Hello Lionhearts!

Well, here we are again. I feel like I just did an art dump… but then on the other hand, I have art that I’m long overdue in sharing. My siblings and I had our annual fan art exchange almost nine months ago, and I still haven’t shared all the AMAZING art they created.

So I will be sharing that today, along with some other pieces or art that I recently (or not so recently) created.

I started this one sometime last year, I think. I was in a bit of an art slump, and I wanted to do something new. So I just took a dive, and started sketching this out, straight on my drawing paper (instead of doing my sketch on cheap paper, and then tracing it cleanly onto my nice paper). That kind of helped me break past the barrier of wanting everything to be perfect. And I’m starting to realize that the best art happens when you’re just pouring it out, and not worrying about it being perfect.

After that, I went right in with the shading. I also decided to finger smudge this one, because I’ve been hooked on that recently, but I’d never tried it on a full sized portrait.

Well, I finished the head pretty quickly, but I was too lazy to do the clothing. So this one sat with my WIPs for quite a long time.

I’m noticing I kind of have a knack for leaving art unfinished. And then coming back at it months later with a burst of renewed passion and energy.

And I’m glad I finished this one, because it’s become one of my favorite “just for fun” portraits. I did end up using a blending stump on some of the darker areas, because my finger couldn’t quite get those heavier strokes blended out. And I’m looking at it now, and realizing I could make some of the shadows on the face darker, but ah, well.

For my friend and fellow Star Wars fan: I have a very bad feeling about this.

Ah, yes. Homework given to me by my siblings. I was to draw a portrait in Paint, and I wasn’t allowed to use reference. I think they had too much fun lecturing me on lighting and brush strokes along the way. (And telling me everything that was wrong with it while I was working.) But I’ll be honest, I enjoyed it too.

My brother told me I should draw a WWII pilot.

I had just finished reading Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (about the life of Louis Zamperini), and I had been trying to talk him into reading it too (because I know he would like it), so I thought to myself, what better way to con him into reading the book than to draw him a picture of Louis Zamperini.

…Yeah, there are definitely better ways to con someone. And my plan was a failure (he still hasn’t read it). But I’m really happy with how the drawing turned out!

I really enjoy drawing portraits like this, where you have a full scene and it kind of tells a story. And there’s something rather nostalgic about drawing from an old photograph.

I’ve found the quickest way to draw clothing is to tone the paper with your mid-tone before hand. Then you can darken your shadows and lift out the highlights with an eraser. Just a tip on what has worked well for me. πŸ™‚

Halfway there. I always get a kind of the nightmare is over feeling once I’ve finished the subject. πŸ˜†

And it’s done! The plane was probably my favorite part to draw. I had a lot of fun doing all the little details. And it was so satisfying to see it come together.

This next bit of art was for a friend who was involved in the making of an animated movie. She was interested in having me do some character design and she asked me if I had any examples of anything I had done.

*cue brain-racking to remember if I had anything*

I did not.

More homework, hehe. I wasn’t sure what all was involved with character design, since I don’t do a lot of that. But I was able to find a good article online that answered my questions. And thus equipped with knowledge I picked up my pencils and got to work.

Practicing different angles and expressions.

I have no idea where these characters came from, or why he has scars… I’m sure they have a story, but I haven’t quite put my finger on what it is. So there they are.

Your obligatory happy elderly couple. I promise I don’t just draw teens and young adults.

I had a little too much fun designing this character. But I never realized just how hard it is to draw the same little face over and over… and over. There was a lot of erasing along the way.

Anyway. I was informed that the animation project had to be put on hold. But I really had a good time with this project.

My older brother and I recently had a little art party in preparation for our writing/art group’s monthly meeting. The theme of the month this time was Portals. We decided to do a little Urban-Fantasy twist on it. He would draw a modern day person coming into a fantasy world, and I would draw a fantasy person entering the modern world.

And thus this sheriff guy with stork-wings was created.

He was born to a race of winged men, who were given the charge of guarding gateways to other worlds. However, in their arrogance of the power they held, they left their calling as guardians behind, and began using the the gatewaysβ€”the portalsβ€”for their own selfish gain.

To protect him from corruption, his dying mother opened a portal to the late 19th century America. There he was taken in by an understanding cattle drover and his wife, who raised him and taught him morals, hard work, and humility. He went to school, graduated from the University of Arizona, became a lawman, and set out with high hopes to rescue his own world. Thus began a long, difficult journey. With every ounce of courage, he fought his own race, traveling through time and space, striving to bring forth Truth and Justice and the American Way.

Whether he wins this battle in victory, or heroic tragedy as is typical to many westerns… WE SHALL SEE.


…I’m sorry, a complete backstory doesn’t usually come to me after drawing these random characters, so I just had to put that here too.

My brother also created a portal piece that was just so subtle and epic. We had a lot of fun comparing the similarities and contrasts between our two pictures. But I think I’ll let him have the fun of sharing it, and telling his own story. πŸ™‚ (Seriously, he’s been making some epic art lately. I’m trying to talk him into posting his own art dump. 😏)

And then I drew this sketch of Obi Wan the next day during the online meeting, while listening to others read snippets of their stories. ‘Twas a pleasurable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Goats. Not a subject I would have chosen on my own, but I’ve really come to love this one.

Alright, now the moment you have all been waiting for. The Annual Art Exchange!

We had a hard time deciding on the theme for the year. So far we’ve done Guardians of the Galaxy, and Lord of the Rings. This last year we had five siblings on board, and had a hard time all agreeing on a theme. So we settled on the wide spectrum of Superheroes.

And then one by oneβ€”without knowing what the others were drawingβ€”we all drew Batman… I’m not sure what that says about our sibling bond, but I think there’s certainly something there. 😜

The entries from youngest to oldest:

Can I just say, I’M BLOWN AWAY!! My younger sister did this one of the Lego Batman… and you’re telling me you didn’t trace that?? Get out of here. Even the shading… #ProudMoment

This is just awesome. I love comic feel, and the spotlight/shadow element, with the red background and hints of blue shading. Well done, brothah. *slaps you heartily on the back*

How? Just how? You have to understand, my siblings don’t spend a lot of time drawing. But then we do these art exchanges, and they’re like, “Oh yeah, just gonna whip out this hidden talent…”

That be mine.

My older brother did Alfred, of course. (Not technically Batman, but close enough. πŸ˜…) This is the one I got from the exchange, and I just love it. πŸ˜€ All the little details, and the cross-hatch shading… It’s wonderful.

Alrighty. That wraps up this art dump. I feel like this was rather long winded, so thank you for sticking around! Did you have a favorite piece? Is there anything you’d like to see me draw in the future? The sketchbooks are beginning to pile up, so I’m welcome to ideas! πŸ˜‰

Until next time, stay lionhearted!

~ Chalice


30 Replies to “Of Character Design, Goats, and Batman ~ a dump truck of art”

  1. Aaaahhh your art is always so gorgeous!! And HOW are your siblings so talented?? Must run in the family πŸ˜‰

    BUT THOSE GOATS. I did a double take because it looks like a vintage, black and white photograph. SO GOOD. 😍

    And thanks for the clothing shading tip! You always manage to make clothes look so realistic, and I haven’t quite figured out how to do that. XD Any tips for getting darker shading? Like, ultra ultra black? I’ve been trying to do layers and building up to 8B but it just…doesn’t get dark enough πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elisha! And I know, right?? πŸ˜„

      You’re welcome! And thank you! (: Clothing is actually one of my least favorite parts of the drawing, because it feels so tedious, but when I figured out the toning hack, it really helped things along! πŸ˜›

      Ooh, okay, well, if 8B isn’t black enough for you, you should try charcoal! It’s definitely a bit messier than pencil, but it’s way darker too, and it doesn’t shine and reflect light like graphite. It has a kind of warm tone, and it’s just a really lovely medium! (That’s actually what I used for the goat drawing!) I hope that’s helpful. 😁


  2. Wow, where do I begin??? Seriously, Chalice, your perspective and shading is just stunning! I was going to say the very first picture is my favorite… but then Louis Zamperini, Obi Wan Kenobi… okay, I seriously can’t make up my mind, they’re all so good!

    So I can’t draw to save my life XD And I’m so blown away by your siblings’ artwork (oh yeah, definitely some hidden talent there!) I loved seeing your guys’ artwork; thanks so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lillian!!
      And I’m sorry, but I hold firmly to the belief that anyone can draw. βœ‹πŸ˜” Maybe you’ve been trying the wrong kind of art, and you just haven’t found your style yet… (Alright, I’ll stop trying to convert you here. πŸ˜‰) But thank you again! πŸ’›


      1. You’re welcome (and feel free to call me Lily; everyone else does πŸ™‚ )
        Aww, thanks so much for your encouragement! I used to draw cats with glasses (cute, simple sketches after seeing someone else do it in a drawing book.) I might have a love for cats… Lol.


  3. I clicked so fast when I saw this!! xD
    Your art, man. No matter how many times I see your art, I am always in astonishment. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. ❀
    I had been hoping you would do an art dump, and then you posted, and I was not having a good day but this honestly made it so much more okay. ❀ You are one of my favorite artists, I can honestly say that, and thank you for sharing your beautiful work with the world.
    (also kudos to your siblings and you for drawing together! fam goals right there. xD)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Chalice! I am awed every time! And I go and show it off to my parents and grandparent- Pawpaw especially, who taught art in school, and is also really good. I’ve shown him your art before, but this time he was so impressed with your Loui Zamperini! (By the way I totally suggest the book! It’s awesome! And a favorite for one of my good friends!)But anyway Pawpaw loved the way you captured Zamperini’s smile, and he gave you the best compliment that he could give an artist!
    And I absolutely LOVE the goats! you captured that perfectly! And since they are my favorite animal I love them even more.
    And all your siblings art is fabulous too! I’m so glad you share your art and theirs too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OH. MY. GOODNESS. CHALICE!!!!!!! those are SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You always do such a GREAT job!!
    WOW! They’re just SO AMAZING!!
    The goats are just so cute! And the picture of Louis Zamperini was incredible! What brand of paper did you use for him?…
    Thank you so much for sharing your art Chalice!πŸ˜€ It always makes my day!


    1. Ahh, THANK YOU!! πŸ˜„πŸ’› You’re so sweet, Eliyah!
      I did the drawing of the goats and the one of Louis Zamperini on Bristol vellum paper. It’s one of my favorite papers to draw on, because it’s really durable and affordable. 😁


      1. 😊 Thank you Chalice! I’ll be sure to check it out! I hadn’t heard of vellum until the other day but it looks like great paper!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My goodness, your art is gorgeous! They look like photographs! You do such a great job shading the clothes.
    Your siblings’ art is amazing as well. Looks like you’re all a family of artists.
    (I think this is my first time commenting here. I’ve been reading your blog for a year or so and really love seeing your art.)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: