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Revisiting Major Kite Physiology

I’m to a point in the second video where I will be drawing Major Kites in action. Before I do this, I wanted to re-examine their physiology to make sure I was drawing them right. Original Design The original idea for the major kites came to me when I wanted to make a species that…

1st Weekly Art Dump

Hello, sharing some art. All of it was done on Adobe Animate. Let me know what you think! Coal and Damsel walking and talking, this was a quick sketch that I did as a after putting in some work on the Redwood Class ship illustration (further down the page). I really love these two characters…

The Custodians and August (Part 2)

This post continues the story from The Custodians and August (Part 1). The Minimalists fell into themselves, debating how to best apply what they saw as the winning formula of Earth to humanity’s extended habitat.  There were multiple trains of thought.  Some wanted to lobby Earth Central to sanction colonies that did not follow set…

The Custodians and August (Part 1)

“We strive for balance in a universe whose final balance means our death. We believe in balance as if it is the way of things, but this is not true. If we want things a certain way, there must be affirmative action, a positive force to move to our destination. Because the natural order would…

The Aquians: Intro and Physiology

We’ve now covered the Earth Domains a bit. Over the years, the Earth Domains’ population has become more diverse, accommodating new species. However, the Earth Domains are predominantly a human creation and humans still comprise a majority of the population. The counterpart to the Earth Domains is the Aquian Habitat. As the Earth Domains are…

A small difference makes Wacom’s stylus superior to HP’s

I use a touch and pen enabled PC Laptop for illustrating Free Drove.  In fact, I bought the HP Spectre x360 – 15T laptop for this express purpose.  I have been pleased with this computer so far and I will probably do a more detailed review some time in the future.  But today I want…

The Earth Domains: A Political Menu

So you want to start a colony in the vicinity of the Earth Domains? Here’s what you need to know. The Earth Domains are a grouping of political units, each controlling a geographic location in space. Each of these units, naturally, is called a Domain. The predominant political unit of the Earth Domains is known…

Status Report

I’m adding a status report to the bottom of the home page to show how far I am on each video. One of the initial purposes of the blog is to keep me on track with video production. While I can’t yet give a certain date of when the next video will be done, I’d…

Step by Step

Keep plodding along. One of the hardest things for me to accept about work is that it takes time. Things that seem like they should take half an hour instead take an hour and a half. I discussed this in one of my early posts – The Trade – the feeling that things should be…

Chapter 1, Part 1

Yes it’s true, the first video of the Free Drove series is finally up!! This is the third video to be released on the channel, the first two being the intro videos (subtitled and un-subtitled). But this video is the first in the actual story proper. You might notice that the posting date of the…

The Mines (Part 2)

This post continues the post “The Mines (Part 1)”. Fear and Fact The mines’ ability to evade port-tracing filled many with fear.  If the Aggregate had technology advanced enough to port-in without being detected, the military outlook boded poorly for Proxima.  But the few communications that arrived from the embattled core worlds did not describe…

Organic Realignment

So I mentioned in my intro video post that I learned some things about myself and about the way I work. So here’s what I learned: 1. I have time constraints I have a full time job, which I enjoy, but limits the amount of time I can dedicate to the project. So you say:…

The intro video is up!

So obviously I have been MIA for more than two weeks. Sorry about that. By now I have broken my promise to post at least once a week. That’s ok, I’ve learned a little about myself and about my work recently, and I’ll be posting a bit about that soon. More importantly THE INTRO VIDEO…

The Crew

August has grown accustomed to sudden attacks from autonomous incursor “mines”. Even though the war that commissioned these devices ended 35 years ago, they continue to attack, their automated factory evading detection and disarmament*. Despite the real threat that these war machines pose, the Proxima Coast Guard stationed in the colony has grown adept at…

The Mines (part 1)

When the war broke out, Aggregate space fleets attacked August, landing ground forces to dislodge the colony’s defenders. Responding quickly, Proxima fleets arrived and scored a decisive victory against the aggregate, clearing the skies above August of all enemies. Most of the Aggregate’s ground forces were destroyed. But before all the invaders could be cleared,…

Preview of the preview

Here’s the first half of the intro video. I tried uploading it here but apparently I can’t do that. I also don’t feel like putting a partial product on YouTube, so we’ll keep this one as an underground release 😋. By the way, did you know that, on PC, pressing the Windows Button and Semicolon…

Weasel Work

Ever had to talk to someone about something you didn’t do? Ever had to tell someone that you’re not ready for something you were supposed to do? Ever had to call into work a little too late to let your boss know that you’re sick? This is what I consider to be Weasel Work. Just…

I’m working on it!

This week has been fairly busy and productive. As you can see I have a color image in progress, I wanted to post it as a garland for the blog, but the block editor is being a bit clunky and I’m done messing with it today. Even though the image is missing details, it is…

A Few Notes for 2020

Hello all. It’s been an exciting year. I started this project late in 2019 so I’m hoping 2020 is Free Drove’s first full year. Thanks to everyone who’s dropped in to check on the progress, this blog has helped me stay on track! I hope you had a good year in 2019. If not, please…

Character Design: Thoris

First, I want to make a shout out to Meeka from Meeka’s Mind. I love reading her blog and she just recently posted a short story: The Christmas Roast. Along with this imaginative story, she has included some sweet technical drawings that went into the story. I love the depth of thought that went into…

Sarine and Thoris

Today’s illustration is of the unit’s odd couple, Sarine and Thoris. I wrote a bit about Sarine earlier in the post Sketches: Human Armor. Sarine is a respected veteran far older than her appearance. While she is not the most extroverted or social person, she is known to be a reliable asset on the battlefield…

Present

Dropping an animated gif your way. This one shows the arrival of an armored Marvan Heron through some sort of teleportation method. This actual shot doesn’t show up in the video, but I’m not ready with the actual shot, so I threw a background behind the animation just so it looks decent. I like the…

I am not a binge watcher

Don’t know if you’ve ever seen this sentence before, but I haven’t: “I am not a binge watcher”. This is true for me, I’m not much of a binge watcher. In case you haven’t heard the term, binge watching is a term used for watching multiple episodes of the same tv show in one sitting.…

Speed Sketch: Coal and Damsel

Worked on some more animation today and decided to leave a footprint online. So here’s a quick sketch of the two main characters of the story: Coal and Damselfly. I am well into chapter five, which explores some of Coal’s backstory. Damselfly the not human one. The species has multiple names including “Free Drove” but…

Sketches: Major Kite Armor

I’ve written a bit on kites already. There are two major kites and one minor kite in the unit. Each has a very different role, so they have different equipment too. Lir’li’se (Leer-Lee-Seh) is a female kite and somewhat of an aberration among her kind. She first appears in chapter 1 (as part of the…

Sketches: Human Armor

Continuing with the armory sketches: Next we move to the human armor. The humans in the unit will have some differences between their armor designs, to suit their personalities, but for the most part the variations will be minor. The armor is basically unisex and the customizations allow for different body types. All armor worn…

Sketches: Marvan heron armor

Doing a sketch drop. I’m getting pretty close to the battle scene in the first video. And because representatives of almost all the species are in this scene, I have to figure out what each one of them looks like in armor. You might have seen the Marvan heron in some previous posts, now I’m…

Paper Kites

This one is mostly a visual post.  When I was drawing the sequence of the minor kites’ folding wings I started to feel a bit uncertain about the actual geometry of what I was drawing.  The first fold was easy, but when I flipped the hind appendages, my spatial rendering device (brain) started maxing-out. So,…

Kites (Minor)

Minor kites are mammalian in appearance and about a meter in length.  They accompany major kites, gliding in similar fashion and feeding on larger flying animals that majors don’t eat, as well as defending major kites from pack predators and parasites.  Minor kites have a furry body with bare flying membranes, much like bats or…

Write Anywhere

If you have access to a smart phone or other digital device, it is hard to make an excuse for not writing. If you have more than one internet enabled device such as a tablet, laptop, or PC, you are truly empowered to write anywhere. I have written in all of the following: TrainsMy houseOther…

Major Kites (continued)

Major kites have a broad, flat head. Large eyes on either side of the head allow them to keep track of their flock while in flight.  They have good eyesight in both dim and bright conditions, allowing them to range to either edge of their planet’s twilight zone. Their eyes also have pigment cells that…

Kites (Major)

Major kites look like large caterpillars when at rest. At an average 4 meters long, they are August’s largest inhabitants…

Daytime Job (doin’ alright)

There’s a line in Dire Straits’ famous song “Sultans of Swing” that I really like. If you don’t know the song or haven’t listened to the lyrics, you can watch the video below: The song is about a band of musicians who play on the weekends in a less-frequented venue in London.  The lyrics suggest…

Scarabs

Today I’ll be writing a bit about one of the species that inhabit August – the Scarabs. Scarabs are pillbug-like creatures about the length of a human forearm and hand. Curious and industrious, their calling in life is to build, tinker, and maintain.  They are as intelligent as humans and naturally fit into human habitats…

Gif Drop: Marvan Heron Cheeses it

Today, I’m presenting Free Drove’s first Gif Drop. From time to time, I will share a preview of the animation in the form of an animated GIF.

The Trade

…just because new words aren’t appearing on my screen doesn’t mean that the product isn’t growing – it’s just growing in my head instead of on the paper.

First Post from August

I constantly have ideas for stories and universes in my head and I feel like it’s time I committed one of them to writing… and drawing.

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