Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Ultimate Vermin!

Hey e’rybody! It's Hannah, and it’s also high time to introduce a few new people to our little blog! 
I am pleased to present Finnegan, Lalitya and Babe! I would introduce their friend Ashley, but she is not available today, so maybe another time.
Don’t get overexcited, they aren’t real. These four folks (well, three, right now) are figures of my imagination, but they get along pretty well, and have endearing snark, so I might as well pop them out here for y’all to see.

 Okay, left to right: Finnegan Flannery, Lalitya Jobs, and Penelope “Babe” Farrow.  Actually, I won't often refer to them with those names - they prefer the code names Fox, Coon and Possum. See the resemblances? You may if you're from the South like I am.
The reason I said code names instead of nicknames is that these three are actually spies, with abilities as well as appearances that match their titles. I got the idea for this quite suddenly while my dad and my uncle were talking about something that was eating my uncle's barn kittens and leaving just the feet behind. Sorry, I might've warned you that this was not for the faint of heart... or stomach. In any case, they were guessing at what it might be: raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, possum, bobcat... and got to talking about the different characteristics of the animals. 
For example, a possum, or opossum, if you're picky, is slow and waddling and not the brightest beach ball in the drawer, but they sure as Mordor have a lot of resilience. 
Raccoons are way smoother than possums and a glop of a lot faster. Those are the ones you don't want to let loose before you shoot them (hypothetically speaking, of course). They can climb well, get into small spaces, are very clean, and good at teamwork. Two raccoons can go into a live-trap and both get out - one holds the door while the other get the food, like a very civilized varmint. But their weaknesses are shiny things and vanilla-filled marshmallows. Yes. 
Now foxes... ooh-hoo-hoo, foxes are not rumored to be wily and sly for nothing. We personally had a fox getting at our chickens a couple years ago, and holy frijoles, we don't know how he did it. Somehow that little thing climbed up the side of our chicken coop - there were claw marks to prove it - straight up the smooth, vertical wall, up into the rafters, climbed down the inside of the coop, grabbed a chicken out of the roost, climbed back up the inside and back down the outside with the chicken and escaped into the woods.
It's ridiculous. 
Going back to when I was listening to my dad and uncle's conversation: my uncle was telling us about a YouTube movie he watched about a fox that was getting out of all sorts of traps. The people who were trying to get rid of it had a nighttime motion-detecting camera and several baited live-traps. On camera, the fox went around to each of the traps and got the food out of them without getting caught, going in, getting the food, getting out, and continuing to the next buffet. The fox-afflicted persons in question only ever caught him because he stepped in a snare that was in the center of the circle of live-traps. In other words, it took a trap in a trap to catch him.

My weird little mind began thinking about how cool it would be to have the skills of a fox. What an awesome ninja-esque spy that would make you. Being a writer, my mind began throwing up character and story ideas, and being an artist, I just had to draw these atypically clear pictures of characters in my mind. 

So, the story, quite undeveloped as it is, is focused on Ashley Doyle, better known as Ash. She's a rookie spy, and having just joined the as-yet-unnamed spy corporation, the rookie gets dumped on a senior agent, being Finnegan Flannery, also known as Fox, also known as Finn, also known as Finn Flann, depending on who's talking to him. Usually just Fox. And by association, Ash meets Fox's regular partners, Latitya and Penelope. Lalitya prefers Coon. Formally, Penelope's called Possum, informally, they refer to her by her nickname, Babe. No one has yet figured out how Babe is short for Penelope. 

Okay, so, anyway, this particular picture was not enhanced on Photoshop at all, it's just mechanical and colored pencil. Ta-da!

It started out like this. No color.

This is half-way through the process... There's not much technique to speak of, as far as I know, just the basic "This color goes here, that color goes there, and please let's stay inside the lines!"

And voila! The finished product. If you're wondering what Fox is holding in his left hand, that's a rubber ball. It's part of his arsenal of tools. Don't laugh, he once broke out of jail with a pencil! To be fair, it was a mechanical pencil.

And here you have a bonus picture! Fox, Coon, and Possum in black and white! A precursor to a future post in which you will be rewarded with the lovely color version and a written bit of Ash's introduction to Fox.

And a second teaser of a future post:

Here's me with one of my newest tentative pieces of artwork. Excuse the picture quality, it's an iPhone picture. This picture that is shown is not even the finished product. I am currently (meaning today) working on doing one of these on canvas. And if that works out, I may sell it! See if you can guess what medium I'm working with. 

To God be the Glory,

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