Unbeknownst to his captors, Erziah dreamed of devices that would not enslave, but liberate; while they had him forging beasts of steel that devoured human beings, he imagined crafting wings that would take him from his hell. His wishes were so unlike theirs they never stopped to question him when he asked for new components, and when these went missing they blamed other slaves. They did not think he would rebel as long as Jarne, his only son, was given minor liberties within the compound’s bloodstained walls.
Erziah’s vision seemed simple, but it took years before his greatest work was done. By then Jarne was on the verge of manhood. While Erziah had told him stories of the better lives free people led, Jarne had more ambitious dreams. He did not just want to escape the only home that he had known. He yearned to leave the world behind, to soar beyond the brooding clouds and the poisoned tears they shed, and find eternal paradise.
Another year passed, and finally Erziah had finished two pairs of wings. He could not promise they would work, but his options were success or death. He ordered Jarne to stay with him as he made his final checks. Jarne assured him that he would. Then sirens screamed and spotlights blazed as the two made their escape with a screech of microjets and stench of burning biofuels.
The wings worked better than expected; for all the noise and smoke they made, flying was intuitive. Erziah turned to check on Jarne and saw, to his horror, his son was speeding not away but up. He followed, calling him to come back, but Jarne climbed faster; he was lighter and had the better pair of wings.
Erziah had no choice but to turn back as more ominous alarms rang out. Jarne had passed the boundaries no human being was meant to cross. As he soared ever higher, the hideous spires that had mocked him all his life grew dim and distant far below. The haze dispersed, the sky turned blue, and even through his mask and goggles, he felt a wholesome light and warmth unlike any he had known.
Jarne was never seen again. Some say he reached his paradise, but the undercity scavengers who found the remnants of his wings naively, if poetically, assumed he had flown into the sun. More likely he was shot down on the orders of the transhuman elite, who resented this mere mortal’s presence in the realm they called their own.
“You want to cross the Bone Desert.” His voice was a metallic rasp that issued from behind a mask as scarred and pitted as the landscape. “It’s not easy, but it can be done.”
We had no choice; we followed this stranger, though we could give him nothing but the knowledge we were doomed without him. You may have heard of the dangers we faced: storms of ash that clogged our filters, rain that burned our exposed skin, and creatures that might have been shadows of men, were it not for the charnel fires in their eyes. Throughout it all the Wastelander tirelessly led us on; he rarely spoke and never complained. He seemed less a mortal guide than a cache of knowledge and equipment imbued with an indomitable soul.
We have left the savage lands that turn machines into debris and humans into scattered bones. When I look at my family now, I wish I could repay the one who made my new life possible; but the Wastelander has gone back to the lonely regions he calls home.
“As the veils of smoke dispersed I gazed upon a murdered world. Lighting ravaged the glowering mountains, bathing their peaks in spectral flame, while cold rain lashed the lifeless plains. Mighty cities lay in ruins, their shattered buildings crumbling like so many fallen tombstones, and fires burned above mass graves. In the blackened shells of sacred precincts I saw factories fuelled with corpses, furnaces that fed on pain, strange devices oiled with blood and labourers of tortured steel. I looked skywards, seeking solace – and beheld incarnate evil riding on the charnel winds. A cacophony of screeches rent the desecrated air; I clutched my aching head and found release in blessed oblivion…”
Knuckles is a pretty cool character design, I like the way he looks, even if I know almost nothing about the Sonic universe.
I wanted to make Knuckles look more feral and fierce than he does usually. I rarely do multi-figure compositions with as many figures as this, so testing my abilities in that respect was a major aim of this piece, although I ended up just winging the figure placement in the end....
Feedback and critique would be much appreciated.
Acrylic on paper, 42cm x 29.7cm / 16.54 x 11.7" Knuckles (C) SEGA
This was for a brief that called for us to illustrate many different owls in varying states of stylisation, and is the most highly-polished and conventional of the final images I created.
For some reason this was very popular with both my tutors and fellow students, and after being hung in the main stairwell for a fortnight (part of our owl mini-exhibition) now resides in its frame on the classroom wall.
Little dude is meant to look all innocent like that, as if it doesn't know how evil it is.
so the idea was he was pointing at the curtain as the show begins. lol i have others that continue this. i did them for fun XD ehe. well i sure hope u like it 0.0 i need more practise with the background.....
I had a lot of fun wallowing around in the steaming mud of the Retrozoic swamps, and have returned refreshed and energized to the grim future world of grotesquely distorted post-humanity!
This being represents one possible variant of a Plioperson. I pictured these sea turtle analogs representing a dead-end offshoot of the lineage that eventually converged on cetaceans (the Cetipeople or Anthrocetes). In terms of heredity, this guys forebears would be the Pelecanipeople by way of the Platypeople. The discrete digits on the paddle-like forelimbs were inspired by Dactylosaurus. (Which I am aware is not a pliosaur but instead a pachypleurosaur, for those of you who are nit-picky about such things. You know who you are.)
Another heavily modified, far-future human. I definitely pictured these guys being the result of self-imposed genetic redesign, versus something naturally evolved. The idea was supposed to be humans adapted for a high-gravity planet, with a stout, lumbering body, but with hands (and trunk) free for more dexterous manual tasks. Again, I was floored to see something very similar in Nemo Ramjet's amazing book "All Tomorrows." I wonder how many spec bio/evolution artists work along the same lines and reach some of the same conclusions and results. I'd love to see more of this stuff--I can't get enough!