It’s been a long haul, but the hiatus is over! Back to the show.

Thanks again to Pezwolf and Wolfcry for your donations of guest art during the break! They’ve been removed from circulation to avoid messing up the flow of the story, but they’re forever immortalized over in their own part of theย Archives section, for those who missed it and want to take a look.

It’s good to be back and back on my feet. Thanks also to everyone who stuck around to wait for me and to cheer me on. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!

Or at least very, very close! And yes, I mean the comic buffer. I’ve spent the last week in a sort of assembly line fashion of action, finishing painting and shading pages before putting them on the computer desk for Tim to scan, clean-up, and edit. So much editing. While I was scribbling and painting away, he was on the lookout for missing earrings, those half dozen times I forgot Kolben’s little spiky bangs, and that one time I put Myrnak’s hand on backwards. Somehow. Seriously. God if I know. It’s been a long month.

Now all those things are fixed! We scoured the text for typos and grammatically “ehn” moments, debated and pondered out loud about stupid things, went back and forth over niggly detail decisions, and then we both finally said “Good enough!” and now I’m about halfway done putting the pages into queues for publication on its various platforms. So far the comic pages are ready to launch from the homepage, Patreon (lacking write-ups, but I’ll get that done shortly), DeviantArt, and Tumblr. I’ll get the links up in Twitter and Facebook via Buffer tomorrow, and then I just have to get the pencils and inks posts up here on Patreon, which is just another couple of hours of file-editing and posting and little write-ups. Then it’s done and I’ll have a ten week buffer completed that should serve my sanity well as long as I keep on top of it. Bonus, I should have at least a couple of days to recover before the deadline too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe just Sunday. Whatever. It’ll be good.

For those who stood by me, cheered me on, and sent me little comments, messages (and even a couple of texts from close buddies) of encouragement through this fracas, thank you! I got through it because you guys believe in me. For those who’ve been just patiently (or, sometimes, impatiently) waiting for me to get off of my bullshit and get back to being a human being, I’m sorry, I’m coming, I’m coming, I promise, I swear. XD

But no, honestly, I’m excited for you guys to see. I think they look really good and I’m feeling awesome about the whole shebang, though. One thing I found out by accident is that the oil paint marker I picked up a while ago makes some fantastic highlights overtop of my watercolors for Jahrd’s story. I’ll give you folks in the behind-the-scenes a peek at a sample of that. The rest of you will see it this next weekend if you’re in the $1 tier, or else next week when it all goes public again.

I’ve made a sort of decision to have this last month’s suggest-a-sketch carry over to next month because I honestly didn’t have even five seconds to think about drawing anything else and only just got this whole project wrangled with like… two days to the end of the month? If you want to add more to it for next month, feel free! I’ll actually make some then for sure.

After all, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel again. So glorious. So good. I’m gonna make it this time. ;;

But for now, I’m really tired. Sleep now.


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Well that was easy. Laying down the colors with the airbrush last night took about half an hour for all ten pages, and a chunk of that was just doing tests and practice and realizing that I needed more water and having to run fetch it… etc. The results have been good! Thanks to this speedy process, I already have a quarter of my pages finished and ready for Tim to process by putting panel borders in and sharpening the inks. Four of those are Jamet pages – pencil work’s quick – and the Jahrd pages are going to take longer by a good amount, but I should still have it all done in about a week, ten days at the most, barring surprises. Kind of incredible!

We’re well on track to hitting that March 5th deadline. ๐Ÿ˜€

I need to practice with the airbrush more. I’m good at using it for broad strokes, but I know from watching my dad that there’s a hell of a lot of detail that one can do with an airbrush with enough practice. Turns out it’s a fun tool to play with and not so scary. Who’da thunk. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I probably would have actually had those finished sooner, but there were just a lot of days all the last couple of weeks where so many small things piled up to completely take the wind out of my sails. It’s been a long time since things have been so hectic that I was basically coming home from work and going straight to bed, but that’s what it’s been. It actually drives me slightly to embarrassment when that happens because I just like to be accountable for why my art is flowing nicely or not.. but it was just those kinds of days where it’s not necessarily some over-arching crisis, but a series of unrelated issues that keep you so focused on problem solving and strategizing and burning up the reserves of personal energy that by the time you get home you’re just utterly done.

We all get times like that. That’s all there is to it. This is, ultimately, the whole reason I’m building the buffer in the first place: because days happen when I just can’t, and that shouldn’t cause me more stress than its worth.

So instead, we celebrate! The inks are done! Today I’ve started shading the Jamet pages and tonight when Tim gets back from the last day of filming cosplayers at Tsukino-con for his next video, he’s going to give me a hand with using this fun little tool my dad got us last year so that I can lay down my flat colors on the Jahrd pages a little quicker. He’s used it a bunch since we got it, and it’s time that I did, too.

I’ve never used an airbrush before because I’m a nervous nellie, but this is the year of trying new tactics until something works. If I’m right, this’ll shave a few hours off of my painting process and that makes a world of difference.

I’ve also been toying with something, and if you’re viewing this from the website… then you know part of what I’m talking about! Patreon recently released a new app that lets me post patron-only content directly to my website, so I’m cross-posting the Prophecy of the Circle related Patreon posts to the homepage just to keep it all consolidated. If you’re already a patron, you just have to sign in and let it check out your pledge-level before you can see the content of those posts. It seems to be working fine, with the exception of a few bugs owing to it being a new app (and also to a missed step the first time during installation; my bad). While getting friends and family to test it, we’ve encountered two different errors, but both were related to caching issues where the link was serving up the wrong version of certain pages and resulting in confusion. If you see those, clearing your browser cache generally fixes it. If you’re still having trouble, message me on Patreon and I’ll see if I can get things rolling for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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“Jacind Ardeana (or maybe one of the other elders, back when he was Kantreska) telling A campfire story to some younglings. With an almost ghostly image of a Tekk in the clouds spreading it’s wings ready to pounce, hanging over them. It’s not about any of the characters in particular. It’s all about the awesome image itself. This little group of kids safely huddled around a campfire with a single elder in the middle having this image of a great powerful being hanging over them.”

I went with Vendess for the elder. He’s always been the one with a flair for the dramatic, after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This one took me a while. It’s a bit of a complex idea, but I like the result as a sketch. I messed with the composition a bit and went a bit rougher with the pencils this time because the effect seemed right on: smokey and spooky.

And that’s all of them for this month! I’ll open a new post for February tomorrow (I’m actually a bit too tired to be eloquent tonight, but I at least wanted to get this posted before January’s end). Curious to see what you guys’ll have for drawing ideas for me next month. ;D

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