The sewers are a pretty dangerous place for bugs when Michelangelo is around. Sometimes the resident party dude finds it great fun to practise his pouncing attacks on anything that happens to wander into his path.
(Alternative 'clean' version available - click here)
--- PLUS: Watch how I shaded this picture in my Video Tutorial on Shading and Lighting Effects - click here to watch on YouTube ---
Presenting the first actual NEW piece of artwork to be submitted to my Weasyl account!
As most of you are probably aware by now, my involvement in the furry fandom has diminished pretty significantly in the last year. To a point, this is because I have found it more and more difficult to find time or enthusiasm for doing artwork. It's also because I've lost some degree of interest in furry altogether in recent times. However, having taken a step back, I've also come to have a greater appreciation for the kind of escapism furry and artwork can provide for me when I'm in the right mood.
Since my last new picture - namely the most recent episode of the Snapshots series - back in December of last year, I have still been working on a number of projects (probably more than you would believe) but I just haven't been able to finish anything yet. Where in the past I tended to force myself to finish pictures even when I wasn't in the mood just to get something new into my gallery, now I am only doing artwork when I really actually want to. And as it turns out, that's not as often as you think.
Even so, I have been wanting to get something finished recently. And having gotten some much-needed time off work, I finally managed to complete something for the first time in nearly seven months - which, to my recollection, is the longest I've gone without submitting a picture since I first arrived in the furry fandom almost a decade ago.
The picture in question? An idea involving one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, more specifically Michelangelo.
Until my Leonardo piece last year, I hadn't drawn the Turtles in what seemed like forever. But in recent times, they've jumped firmly back into my thinking. As I've explained before, for all their different incarnations down the years, I have only been particularly fond of the 1980s and 2007 Turtles. I grew up watching that old cartoon series, in which Michelangelo was of course the comic relief. Having never yet done a picture focused specifically on him, I thought it was about time to change all that.
It was while looking for reference images for my last TMNT picture that I found the inspiration for this new piece. There was one picture in all the promotional material for the 2007 movie of Michelangelo leaping wildly through the air, and it just made me smile. Somehow it captured Mikey's wild, fun-loving side. And I felt I wanted to do the same thing - but with a slightly different part of his body in the forefront...
I started this picture sometime back in the Spring of this year. I tried to draw it fairly quickly as I didn't want to get bogged down obsessing over accuracy, hence why some of the anatomy might look a bit disjointed or out of proportion. But in truth, I actually had fun drawing this, which is precisely the quality I wanted to infuse into the subject.
The squashed bugs on Michelangelo's soles were almost an afterthought in this picture. I thought it would be nice to throw in that squishy element, but without it being anything too graphic. After all, I didn't want to spoil Mikey's fun-loving image, so I tried to make him look like he was just having fun jumping on a few critters. If that whole thing bothers you too much, there is an alternative 'clean' version of this picture with none of the squishing or dirt on the soles.
This picture also gave me the opportunity to do something else that I hadn't done for a very long time: A Tutorial.
When I rebuilt my website RipRoarRex's Realm back in 2012, I created a Tutorials section on the site in the hope of creating lots of content to help out artists. Much like all my artwork though, it kinda fell by the wayside over the years and I never got round to producing any new videos or step-by-step guides. However, before starting the shading work on this picture, I decided to record myself doing it.
Unlike my last tutorial video featuring Hux, this new tutorial is not a time-lapse. It is a step-by-step demonstration of how I carry out adding shading and lighting effects to my pictures. The whole process takes me many hours, but I have trimmed it down to around 15 minutes of the essentials which you can view in real-time. There is no sound on the video - instead the instructions are displayed through text on screen. If you'd like to check out the video, click here.
I would love to tell you that this is the start of a fresh flurry of work from me, but I doubt it. A number of the projects I have been working on this year are nudging closer to completion, but I cannot give you any estimates on when any of them will be submitted. For now, as this is my first picture of 2016 - more than half way through the calendar year - I'd say enjoy it while you can.