Death’s Handmaiden Cover

book1-cover4

This is (probably) going to be the cover image for  Death’s Handmaiden. Click on the image to see the process images which were used to create this.

I don’t use much postwork in my images (because I suck at it), but I had this idea of creating a ‘dark reflection’ sort of image for this cover and that means doing some compositing. Basically, two similar images with the foreground one having the mirror replaced by a mask colour. Most of the better image editors can create layered images with a mask to allow parts of one layer to show through the one above. I use GIMP.

What we end up with is the light version of Nava seeing the darker side of herself in a mirror. I may redo this with a darker background on the image in the mirror. I’ll probably try it and see how it looks. Lighter images work better when they’re turned into greyscale or shrunk to a thumbnail, so maybe the lighter background is better.

Anyway, have a good New Year and I hope 2020 starts out well for you. (Or, for some of you, please read that sentence in the past tense.)

Merry Christmas

nava-89

If you happen to be celebrating something other than Christmas, merry that too.

This young lady is the star of  Death’s Handmaiden, which will be coming out around the first of February. Her name is Nava. She doesn’t normally have a tail and she doesn’t usually wear makeup, but I had this idea and I thought I’d troop her out for it. She looks better with darker makeup, actually. More pictures of her should be appearing after Christmas. I got an idea for the cover of the book which I plan to do an art dump for because it took several images to get it right, so it’s more interesting than usual.

Anyway, enjoy your holidays, don’t eat too much turkey, and let’s all hope 2020 doesn’t turn out to suck too much.

The BBC Christmas Cat

If you go hunting on YouTube, you can find all sorts of ways to waste days of your life on things so pointless it’s untrue. One such are the ‘8 hours of…’ videos. ‘8 hours of Anime Characters saying “baka!” (I have no idea if that video exists, but it should). ‘8 hours of a relaxing fireplace’ (Likely doesn’t exist with that name, but you can bet there are several where that’s all you get). There are several that play one song, over and over, for people who can’t be bothered to put something on continuous loop.

Now, the British Broadcasting Corporation, that august institution that brought you  Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, brings you ‘9 hours of our Christmas cat hoovering #XmasLife.’ It’s a classic. Yes, you can watch a fixed camera scene of a Christmas tree with presents around it, and a long-haired cat on a Roomba sliding from left to right in the foreground. Then it does a right to left sweep. Then… You get the picture. Now I know where my licence fee was spent.

I admit that I haven’t watched all nine hours. Something insane might happen at hour five. Maybe the cat sneezes. Or gets off and chases the Roomba for a few seconds. Or it falls asleep, falls off, and then pretends it didn’t really do that. Or its tail gets sucked into the hoover! We just don’t know! If anyone does watch it all the way through, don’t spoil the ending for the rest of us!

Dumb Things to Do On Election Day

Next Thursday (December 12th for those reading this in two weeks) is election day in the UK. The fate of the country will be decided by its citizens (or the ones who can be bothered to vote). Will we be governed by a less charismatic Donald Trump or a far less charismatic Bernie Sanders? Who knows? Are we doomed either way? Probably.

So, I’ll go vote and then I’m going to go do something which means I can’t possibly hear anything about the election for a couple of hours: I’m going to watch a subtitled Japanese movie!  KonoSuba: Legend of Crimson is coming to UK cinemas on the 12th and I’m a sucker for  KonoSubs so… I have never in my life gone to a cinema to watch a subtitled movie, so this should be interesting. Who am I kidding: it’s Megumin yelling ‘EXPLOSION!’ while wearing her school uniform. I’ll enjoy it (certainly more than election night coverage).

If you’re interested and want something pleasant to do while waiting for the world to end, check your local Odeon or Vue cinemas to see if they’re showing it. There’s an enormous list of which places have screenings on the Crunchyroll web site.

The Girl Who Dreamed… Art Dump

Isekai Map 1

I’ve uploaded a load of images for the characters from ‘The Girl Who Dreamed…’ to ArtStation. Click on the map above to be taken there.

Included is the world map I built using Wonderdraft. It’s a program for building fantasy (and, I suppose, other types) maps for role-playing or whatever. The results aren’t bad and it’s fairly easy to use.

In other art news, I tried my hand at a simple animation recently. I may put it up somewhere at some point, though it’s not exactly great. 12 seconds of video at 1080p/30 fps resolution: 13 hours of rendering time.

In other writing news,  Death’s Handmaiden is going well. At this rate, it might get a sequel straight after because I can’t get the world out of my noggin. We’ll see.

The Girl Who Dreamed of a Different World

cover-1

Is now available (despite my not being awake yet).

Yes, I’ll be doing an art dump at some point this week.

This is the Girl Who Dreamed

cover-1

It’ll be out tomorrow.