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First Trip: Chanur Fanart

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Posted this last night via instagram, but had a chance to take a better picture for DeviantArt this morning (though I am going to need to rig up something better for taking pictures with lots of black so I can avoid that shine...). Started last night as a sketch of a goblin in my Fluid 100 8x8 block, but since I was finishing up listening to CJ Cherryh's Chanur trilogy I ended up turning it into a bit of fan art. The goblin start shows through with the bat-nose and the four fingered hands, but oh well. In the Chanur trilogy the Hani are a feline species trying to make it among a bunch of other aliens who have been spacefaring for much longer. The males stay planet side living short violent lives unless they can manage to win an estate, in which case they are pampered by the females, who run everything else--including space, so you only get women in space, until, as a side plot, this is challenged and changed by the protagonist of the books, who brings her husband aboard after he loses his estate. The Hani are typically represented as shirtless in Michael Whelan's cover art--I think this is also explicit in the books (can't remember), so I messed up here, and made my Hani spacer a redshirt to boot (but that is thankfully an unrelated franchise). I think I'm imagining this as one of the new male spacers, a young kid glad to actually make something of himself, maybe having picked up shirt-wearing from the Stsho on Meetpoint, or maybe coming from a northern clan where Hani actually wear tops. His gold coin shows he has had his first voyage, but here he thoughtfully has a hand to his mouth as he tries to sort out a particular conundrum with his limited spacer experience...

Technical stuff, since I am enjoying having my art supplies all unpacked finally: Fluid 100 8x8 coldpress block, 100% cotton; initial outlines with an ultrafine point sharpie; Daniel Smith extrafine watercolors; mostly Princeton brushes, plus a sable mix round I found on sale; Pentel Brush Pen for final outlines and the black background; and white ink for the stars, but the brand name got rubbed out on the bottle...

I think my pen and ink + watercolor pics end up being exercises in glazing. I do glazing in my landscapes too of course, but there it is more closely tied to the rendering, where here I get to focus more on the way the colors come through--I do wish I'd gone for some crisper shadows and deeper contrast in the shadows on the clothes, but I seem to have trouble making that work in these pics... One thing I'm learning when it comes to glazing is that my Princeton Neptunes aren't always the best choice, being so thirsty that they often end up carrying too much water, and you want less water with each layer to avoid backruns, from what I understand. Definitely seemed to work better here to use some of my other, snappier brushes here. I am frustrated that such a small, simple picture took so long (I was up way too late last night), but you just have to do so much waiting for things to dry. :/
Image details
Image size
1335x1333px 411.8 KB
Canon PowerShot SX530 HS
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Focal Length
4 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Sep 10, 2017, 11:46:22 AM
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The13Inquisitor's avatar

Okay, this is super neat. There's nowhere near enough Pride of Chanur fanart out there.