As I was looking back through my alternate histories I noticed that I'm not too kind to Mexico, they're almost always conquered or have some other cruel fate. So I decided to do a quick standalone alternate history to make up for it. I also tried out a new style, and I like it. I'll definitely be using wrinkles from now on, it looks nice and is easy to do.
GREEN :: EMPIRE OF MEXICO, SAN FRANCISCO WHITE :: REPUBLIC OF LOUISIANA, NEW ORLEANS YELLOW :: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PHILADELPHIA BLUE :: REPUBLIC OF QUEBEC, QUEBEC CITY RED :: DOMINION OF CANADA, RUPERTVILLE (FORMERLY KINGSTON) PURPLE :: KINGDOM OF CASCADIA, VANCOUVER
As the map says, this is a map of the Empire of Mexico on the eve of the year 1899, and in this world it appears it will be Mexico that dominates the Twentieth Century. For this world, the French Revolution was just a footnote in history, with a far more competent King Louis XVI brutally crushing the rebellion after the storming of the Bastille. As a result France remained a powerful and rich absolute monarchy, and kept its New World territory.
The United States is less powerful in this world, having been limited by the lack of westward expansion. It is much poorer, and much of its population is made up of poor rural families. This has lead to a more Jeffersonian interpretation of the US Constitution, creating a more conservative federal government that upheld libertarian policies. Slavery was abolished far earlier than in our time line (1837), as most Americans were fairly well educated and humanistic in their views. And, of course, Thomas Jefferson is held to a standard of excellence equal to Washington, if not better (Jefferson served three consecutive terms in this time line, being the third, fourth, and fifth Presidents of the United States).
The history of Mexico remains essentially the same up until the establishment of the Empire of Mexico in 1821. Rather than last only eight months, Agustin de Iturbide reigned as the First Emperor of Mexico and Protector of Granada for thirty prosperous years before finally dying at age 69. He was succeeded by his son, Agustin Jeronimo de Iturbide, who was crowned Emperor Agustin de Iturbide II in 1853. The tradition would continue and the House of Iturbide would slowly gain recognition by the royal families of Europe.
Sour relations between Mexico and France eventually culminated in the Franco-Mexican War of 1866, which expanded Mexico's territory and established the Kingdom of Louisiana. Relations between Louisiana and Mexico quickly collapsed when the monarchy was overthrown and replaced with a republic. In 1869 Mexico invaded Louisiana in the hopes of reestablishing the Mexican-friendly monarchy, but with the British and Americans siding with the Bayou Republic, they soon backed out and signed and armistice. Tensions are still high as Mexico and Louisiana have yet to reach an agreement regarding the disputed Cheyenne Territory.
Throughout the 1840's and 50's rebellions had become increasingly common along Canada's west coast, with the people there in support of an absolute monarchy and absolute independence. Mexico secretly supplied the rebels, and was rewarded with an ally in the Kingdom of Cascadia, which crowned the "father of Cascadia," James Williams, it's first King in 1860.
Quebec also gained independence from British Canada in 1884, winning it's war of independence with supplies secretly smuggled in from Louisiana. It is a French republic, with the French Canadian minority ruling the entire nation with an iron fist. Civil unrest is common and civil war may not be too far off.
As for Canada, it is far less significant to the British than it is in our time line. It remains mostly unsettled and sparsely populated, and receives very little attention from the Crown. Talk of independence is beginning to spread throughout its populace and the idea of a free Canadian state is a common topic of conversation in Rupertville.
I doodled this on the back of one of my US government worksheets. My teacher, who is awesome btw, liked it so I cleaned it up and made a copy for him (since I had notes on the back of the original, haha). I had this image stuck in my head since we read a couple of the essays from the Federalist Papers, both Madison's, not Hamilton's, though.
Of course, since I did this in class, I didn't have any references! lol, so they probably look off in uniform/dress, appearance, and anatomy But I tried to give them 1776 appearances because I haven't practiced drawing adult-sized Hammy very much and I more or less --less, now that I look at it again, lol-- remembered him from The Dreamer: [link] . So in this, he's 19 (I say 19, but I'm aware that he could've been 21), and Tommy J is 33. I actually asked my teacher for Jefferson's age in class and he looked it up for me, w00t! lol
And yes, I have indeed formed a habit of calling them "Hammy" and "Tommy J" in my mind, and sometimes I call them that verbally, but when I need to be formal I still call them Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson
Colonel Banastre Tarleton rests in a Carolina meadow between rides.
If you couldn't tell, I've been making a series of historical pin-ups. I work on these between working on jewelry and my more serious paintings right now. They make people smile and it's fun for me and good practice.
I'm almost done with my painting... Will post that when it's done.
EDIT: I fixed this up quite a bit. The first version is here, if anyone is interested in seeing its progress:
This one has been sitting around for quite some time, and longer still in the ol' noggin'.
In fact, you can even say that the image has been haunting me since I was quite young, as I vividly remember a rembrandt-like painting that an older lady, a family friend, had hanging on her living room wall. It was a large, foreboding painting of an equally dreadful looking conquistador, covered mostly in shadow. You could make out a bit of his mustache, a gleam of his amber coloured eye (without actually seeing the eye ), and tinges of red, orange, and brown bringing out his aged and pocked armour from the darkness.
Of course, my imagination likely embellished it up just a tad, and what you see here is a partial result of that embellishment. Not surprisingly... my Barbarian Dead character is likely linked to this imagery somehow.
Anyways, I really wanted to do something reminiscent of the old painterly masters, while trying to avoid the 'it's digital photoshop' look as much as possible. All done and finished in Painter 8.
The brief glimpse of this machine (and the surrounding text) fascinated me, and got me thinking about the potential design aesthetic of the technology employed by the actual Mythos races--how it would ideally straddle those fine lines between both "anachronistic" and "sophisticated" as well as "scientific" and "metaphysikal." And that it should also look exotic, and perverse, and sculptural, and should appear to defy the laws of Euclidean geometry, and......well, that's a pretty tall order, so I decided to start with the basics.
I did want the artifact to look disturbingly hybridized, as though it represents an uncomfortable intersection between biology and technology. (To some extent I felt like I was recreating the conceptual process that must have led Giger to his "Biomechanoids.") To this end I envisioned a device composed of both living tissue and fabricated (or at least congelead/precipitated/secreted) inorganic components, acting synergestically to channel psychic energies.
A - Cultured bone fairing. The living bone generates the morphogenetic Kirlian field or "aura" necessary for the device to interface with the hyperspatial ("astral") realm and detect/amplify subtle etheric energies.
B - Metallic fixtures and ergonomic (?) grip composed of an unidentifiable (and unreproducible, by terrestrial science) alloy of iron, copper, silver, platinum, and trace stable transuranium elements. The surface layer is inexplicably tarnished to an iridescent patina that seems to reflect visible light along scalar vectors into Planck space.
C - Hollow glass bulbs filled with an unidentifiable organic polymer emulsion containing suspended droplets of liquid mercury. The mercury responds to signal input (downshifted into the EM range) from the amplification apparatus and alters disposition accordingly. It is impossible to determine if the shapes thus formed are three-dimensional representations of hypergeometrical figures or merely iconic characters in an unknown language, though the distinction may be irrelevant.
The shape of the object, the channels and ridges in the fixtures and bolts, even the patterns in the annealed metal and the bone sutures, all act as waveguides for esoteric energies. So in a sense they can be seen as glyphs or sigils as much as circuits or antennae, thus illuminating the indistinct boundaries betwixt arbitrary ontological categories. Attention to such considerations may be what gives "magickal" artifacts their unique stylized shapes, in this scenario.
It should be noted that the device appears to contain a rudimentary "brain," which is apparently in a state of progressive atrophy or which may be actively retreating into a higher mathematical domain upon clumsy human attempts at intrusive analysis (via CAT and MRI scans, etc.).
With apologies to Gene Roddenberry, extraterrestrial avifauna inspired by the illustrations in Les Beletsky's Bird Songs From Around the World.
An opportunistic predator with a very specialized bill designed to produce a kind of "jeweller's loupe" surface-tension aqueous lens when dipped in water (perhaps aided by colloidal secretions from mucous tissues in the bill itself). The bird enjoys a symbiotic relationship with some unrelated animal of another species that employs the hoopoe's lens as a magnifier or refractor for a biological laser gun. The two symbionts then split the spoils of a successful ambush.
An owl with a salticid-style optical configuration. The secondary eyes might register light in a different portion of the visible spectrum (infrared sensors for night hunting?) or may be something even more exotic--perhaps lenses for biological lasers complimenting the hoopoe's refractory/magnification apparatus, q.v.
The least imaginative and most gimmicky of the trio, just an African Fish Eagle with the head turned upside down. The implied z-axis reversal reminded me of the Zando-Zan from The Last Starfighter. Of course, one must ignore the obvious practical problems of such an arrangement (declinated eyes result in reduced field of vision, increased potential for damage to exposed optical organs from depending food/prey, etc.).
I've got a couple more bird-brained ideas waiting in the wings so to speak--stay tuned!
(EDIT: I added some better context. Omgosh... Harry!! )
"‘Hey,’ he greeted her, smiling gently. He reached out, touched her arm gently, and sat on the bed beside her. ‘How did you get in?’ asked Pippá, ‘the doctors wouldn’t let you if they knew—’ ‘I snuck in, silly,’ he said fondly. ‘Of course I would.’ ‘You’ll get tired and fail your exams,’ Pippá protested. ‘Rubbish!’ Harry exclaimed with a fierce whisper. ‘Who cares about exams? Pippá,’ he said seriously, ‘you’re... you’re sick, and of course I’m going to come and stick it out with you and try to cheer you up. You did it for me when you didn’t even know who I was.’ Pippá smiled weakly and took his hand. ‘Thanks. Don’t take me wrong, Harry; I am glad you’re here. I’ve been lonely.’ ‘How do you feel?’ he asked anxiously. ‘Cold,’ she whispered, shivering. ‘Well then,’ Harry said, standing up a little and pulling the covers up under her chin and around her shoulders. He then went and brought a new blanket over and tucked it around her, carefully and tenderly. ‘We’ll just have to see about that. Better?’ ‘It is,’ she said. ‘Thank you, Harry.’ ‘Oh! I’ve brought some others who’ve missed you,’ said Harry reaching into the pocket of his hoodie. It was only then that Harry looked unexplainably fat in the deceiving shadows and poor light. She strained her eyes, trying to see him better. But before she had hardly tried to see, Ember emerged from his pocket with an excited squeal, rushing forward with delicate wings to greet Pippá. And while Ember planted warm kisses all over Pippá’s cold cheeks, Harry unzipped his hoodie and let Drazéarrä out while Twicup hopped from Harry’s shoulders. Harry stood up and ran around to the window to open it while Dazzy romped up and down the length of Pippá’s bed all in a hyper tizzy at being with Pippá again. Twicup lumbered over with his clumsy gate, grinning his large, toothy grin. He sat down on the pillow beside her head; Dazzy continued tearing at the blankets, trying to get in under them so that she could cuddle with Pippá, while Ember hovered near, humming brightly and luminously. Pippá hadn’t yet had a chance to take it in, when Harry threw the window open, letting the warm sunset air in, and with a whirl of white feathers and soft wings, Willow emerged from the shadows, alighting on Harry’s arm. He brought her to the metal railing of the bed, where she alighted and greeted Pippá warmly. ‘I’m not the only one to miss you,’ Harry grinned. ‘Thank you, Harry,’ Pippá said gratefully. ‘It’s nice to see you... all of you all over again.’ ‘We thought you were going to die!’ Twicup exclaimed, wide-eyed. ‘Sorry to worry you,’ she apologized as Drazéarrä finally settled for nuzzling just under Pippá’s chin. The warmth she gave off was comforting and Pippá almost felt she could fall asleep. Harry saw the sudden ease and cut in. ‘You haven’t slept hardly at all, have you?’ Pippá shook her head. ‘It still hurts,’ she confessed. ‘It was brave of you, child, [removed because it's a major spoiler],’ said Willow. Ember squealed sadly, sniffled and embraced Pippá’s cheek. Pippá almost thought she could feel hot tears falling on her face from the firefly. ‘Oh, Ember, it’ll be alright,’ Pippá cooed comfortingly. ‘Really. I’m fine.’ Harry didn’t say anything, but the same, troubled nagging worry clenched his stomach tightly. Pippá looked beyond hope of recovery. She was still white, and in pain; there wasn’t any improvement, no matter how many days passed. He said down, depressed and sad, hoping his fears didn’t show on his face or in his eyes. But so far, Pippá was almost far too occupied with the return of her [spoiler! ]friends to notice the pained, sorrowful look in Harry’s eyes, or that Harry sat down at the food of her bed, rubbing her ankle through the blanket, thoughtfully and absently— wondering what would happen if Pippá didn’t recover."
Ahem! Again with the 'If My Heart Was a House' art actually... THIS time it's for a contest And that was the them ;D So of COURSE I entered.
I actually didn't expect to finish this up THIS week... or today in fact, I was pretty sure it'd be a while But my internet was almmost dead today-- We got snow, and then some, and some more. SO it's been crazy here. We've gotten probalby close to 20 inches So I got this done today in THREE hours. Guys! That's like, a WORLD record for me!
Plus I got another 'project' done today... so I thought I'd celebrate by doing something I REALLY wanted to do. And I experimented with some more blending and another 'brush' that's similar to the initial brush I love using.
I even went out of my 'normal' colour scheme it's not blue guys!
It's SUPPOSED to be sunset, but I don't think it comes across that way.
Anyhoo-- the theme of the contest was 'If My Heart Was a House' and you're supposed to ship your favourite OC characters. Sooooo, I drew Harry and Pippa. Pippa's very ill (it's canon with my book ) and Harry comes to the hospital tell her a story, along with Pippa's friends (Willow (the owl), Ember (the firefly), and Twiccup (the bed monster)...). And he uses his compass to help tell Pippa the story to take her mind 'off things' ;D
Even though right now this is 'friendship', I think it's off to a very good start as far as blossoming into romance. Pippa and Harry have a very 'intense' friendship as far as, both were very lonely and both were desperate to be accepted just once...
Harry has brown eyes, and that's so UNCOMMON it's the most 'beastly thing' that could happen to a ryndel to be born with brown eyes. All ryndels have green, blue, or grey eyes. Never, ever, EVER brown. And very rarely does a ryndel have black hair like the Frustan trio. All the kids make fun of him. Pippa meets him and the first thing she notices is obviously his eyes-- but she likes them. And she befriends Harry, who is dead sure she won't 'last out' being his friend.
Pippa, at the same time, is an Elf, living in an elf-hating culture. She has no real friends. She doesn't even really have a family to call her own. And Harry accepts *her* as an Elf...
Soon after they 'met' Harry was sick, and Pippa came by to cheer him up with some of her 'stories'. And Harry was so shocked and pleased...
...so Harry's returning the favour. By now, it's the end of their first adventure, and Pippa is broken, crushed and deathly sick. And they do those things for each other-- always there for each other.
And it's why they'll be able to potentially fall in love with each other when they grow up. They just get each other, and they helped each other through the roughest parts and never gave up.
And that's what real love and real friendship is like
osooooo, anyhoo. I know I'm behind on comments again Today I honestly had a hard time getting on because of the snow. Like-- everything in our town was closed down. The electricity kept flickering, and a lot of people had NO power. The snow was so wet and heavy that it broke some trees and tree limbs.
Anyhoo, tomorrow I'll be back on track. I promise (unless I die! )
a three hour speed paint, guyz!! i'm doing better!!
Art (c) me Pippa Jean Feallen; Harry Frustan; Willow; Ember; and Twiccup (c) me