Lethrblaka Concept from Christopher Paolini’s Book, Brisingr

I’m going through Christopher Paolinin’s Inheritance Cycle book series again, and couldn’t resist rendering his nightmarish beast, the Lethrblaka.

As far as the monster concept, I also feel it could be improved dramatically to be even more creepy. I wanted it to have an insect and vulture quality. I do like the “meat hook” appendages designed to snare and tear. I also like the thorny, venom laced spines on its tongue.

Stylistically, I’ve been studying Gustave Doré’s engravings. His masterful art is incredible. I decided to try to mimic engraving digitally and this was sort of my first shot. It has a LONG ways to go to even look like an engraving. Well, this is sort of my second or third shot after playing around with dozens of digital pens and tools. The realization that Doré’s engravings have a tonal quality under the line work was a breakthrough, which I employed here. The problem is that there’s too many stylistic directions going on to look like an engraving, not to mention that the single scribe does not mimic the parallel lines of an engraving tool (which, I’ve used in the upcoming posts).

Compositionally, I’d like to leverage more dramatic perspective in the future. This is sort of plopped in the center without much visual tension. The lighting and contrast turned out ok.

Self Indulgence

The allure of instant pleasure always appears one way…then ends in another. We all joke about addiction, but for those in one, it’s like existing in an ongoing cyclone of hell. Self-loathing, chaos, self-delusion and destructive consequences are the underbelly of indulgent vice. Living for excessive pleasure ushers in the opposite of happiness. It’s akin to being enticed and swallowed by a writhing, deceptive beast in the dark. Nothing but black flames and lonely chains are in store for unbridled self-indulgence.

The contrasting chess board and distant mountains indicate thoughtful, intentional life can lead to something better for the patient. The curvy chessboard speak to the unpredictable twists and turns that confront even the best living strategies. No one gets a free pass; and yet, there is hope for the diligent.

I’ve worked on this piece off and on for the last few months. It’s probably the first 100% digital work that started and ended on the iPad Pro. Many of my recent drawings start on paper, I then scan and finish them on my iPad.


An epic journey into an underworld for the allure of perceived beauty. Upon arriving, what will the desire-driven pilgrims discover at the end of the rainbow? What might the entangled labyrinth beyond indicate, or the guarding sentinels aside the sprawling nude queen? She proudly sits atop an imposing trophy – the skull of a mighty, slain foe decorated with elaborate feathers and encrusted precious stone. How will the encounter unfold?