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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Tauren, Taunka, Yaungol

What would a Taunka woman look like if she had the same facial structure as a Taunka man?
What does a Yaungol woman look like?

Perhaps something like this:

The Tauren is wearing the Lunar/Twilight/Raincaller set. The Taunka’s clothing is that worn by the guards at Camps Winterhoof and Oneqwah. The Yaungol’s outfit combines the clothing of Yaungol melee combatants with the chestpiece worn by Yaungol casters.

Figuring out the relative scale of the three races turned out to be trickier than I’d thought. I initially had the notion that Taunka were about a head taller than Tauren and Yaungol about a head taller than Taunka, as I’ve shown them in this picture — my initial sketches may make that more obvious.

Based on my extensive study of Taunka and Yaungol NPCs, however, it’s probably more accurate to say that the Taunka and Yaungol shown in my picture represent the low-to-middle range of a size distribution common to both subspecies.

Taunka men are pretty consistently head-and-shoulders taller than Tauren. My player character Tauren woman’s shoulder comes to the armpit of most Taunka men, or to the elbow of the larger size used for Chieftains and the male guards at some of the Taunka villages in Northrend. A few Taunka men, generally vendors, are a bit shorter, but still about a head taller than my character. The size of Taunka women varies quite widely. In Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and Grizzly Hills, some of the Taunka women are the same size as the men and some of them are only half-a-head taller than my character. Female Taunka NPCs who are very old or very young women, such as Greatmother Ankha and Nokoma Snowseer at Camp Winterhoof, tend to be about the same size as my character or even a little smaller. At Camp Tunka’lo in the Storm Peaks, however, all of the Taunka women are the same size as my character — I think the developers simply forgot to add the scaling factor!

The Yaungol invaders found in various locations around Kun-Lai Summit seem to be about the same size as the average male Taunka, with my player character Tauren woman’s shoulder coming to the armpit of a typical Yaungol melee combatant. The Yaungol casters found around Binan Village are somewhat smaller, perhaps only half-a-head taller than my character. The Yaungol at Deadtalker’s Plateau and Fire Camp Gai-Cho in Townlong Steppes are a bit larger; my character’s shoulder comes to the armpit of the smaller ones, to the elbow of the larger ones, and only to the waist of the “end bosses” of Master Snowdrift’s set of Shado-Pan dailies, Uruk and Cheng Bo. On the Timeless Isle, the Ordon Candlekeepers are about the same size as a Tauren player character, and Ordon Yaungol get continually larger as they get tougher going up the mountain, until one reaches Ordos, who is, of course, a Boss. On the extreme other end of the scale, the guards of the Bataari war banner located between Binan Village and the Chow Farmstead are very small indeed — smaller than my player character Tauren woman — so small that I think they must be mere youths, approximately equivalent in maturity to a twelve year-old human.

I always feel so bad about having to kill them all! And yet, it seems more merciful to do so. If you burn the banner after having only killed the pair you passed by on your way into the camp, the others yell “Ur-Bataar, Help!” and run around, panicked, until they run into the fire on the banner and catch fire and die anyway. This sad behavior reinforces my feeling that these wee little Yaungol are just children!

I can easily imagine this duty of guarding the war banner as one of the first martial opportunities a young Yaungol receives, a first step away from the chores of tending the camp and toward being a warrior who can help defend the tribe. If having enough strong healthy warriors is so important to Yaungol society and survival that even disputes of leadership are settled by non-lethal ritual combat (see “Dominance”), I cannot imagine Yaungol women being anything but warriors right alongside the men. I would guess that a Yaungol woman only rests from active warrior duties for the few weeks immediately before and after the birth of an infant, and that those who are too young for combat are mostly cared for by those who are too old or honorably disabled for combat.

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Whenever a new varation on the “answer N questions and then tag N other bloggers to do the same” meme goes around, I always get a little giddy with anticipation wondering who is going to tag me.

This particular variation on the theme is called the “Liebster Awards”, and it works like so:

1) Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award badge
2) Answer the eleven questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
3) Provide eleven miscellaneous facts about yourself
4) Nominate eleven blogs of relatively small readership that you think deserve to be better-known
5) Notify the bloggers that you’ve nominated them
6) Compile eleven questions for your nominees to answer

Step One
The lovely Amerence gave me the tip of the hat. Thank you, darling!

Step Two

1) When did you start blogging; What it’s all about and why?
I’ve been writing here at Kamalia et alia since March 2010, when I wanted to participate in a healing survey that was going around the blogs I was reading at the time. Prior to that, I’d been participating in the Harry Potter fandom and writing about my RL (mis)adventures using LiveJournal since 2001 or 2002. My poor LJ, it’s been so abandoned and neglected since I started this WoW blog and began using Facebook to keep up with my closest HP-fandom friends.
To me, blogging is partly a way for me to record the things I’ve enjoyed about the game and partly a way for me to share my love of the game with others. It’s also been a great way to make new friends, given that I am kind of shy and don’t tend to make friends or even just talk to new people IRL unless the other person approaches me. I have often, over the past decade or so, felt like I have more friends online than “in-person”.

2) Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!
Ever since Cataclysm, my default answer to the “favorite screenshot” question has been this picture from when I was out exploring the newly-Shattered world, enjoying finally being able to FLY IN AZEROTH!, and got stuck on a tree branch that wasn’t just an ordinary tree branch…

3) Favorite city in WoW to hang out in and why?
Thunder Bluff, of course! It’s relatively quiet and peaceful. If I’m going to be tabbed out or AFK for awhile, I will often log into a character who is in Thunder Bluff because I find the Thunder Bluff music to be calm and relaxing, so I don’t mind listening to it looping.

4) Do you play other games besides WoW? Do you use any console besides your PC?
When it comes to computer games, I just play World of Warcraft. We don’t own a console, or even a TV. I’m very fond of table games such as Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, etc.

5) What’s your favorite Transmog gear?
There are so many sets I adore, but I’m particularly fond of the Shaman T4 “Cyclone” set because not only is it a very, very stylish set, Karazhan was also my very first raiding experience, and I was fortunate to be in a friendly guild for it.

6) How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you play them all equally?
Hmm, let’s see… eleven on Bloodhoof, eleven on Winterhoof, eleven on Argent Dawn, and four on Thunderhorn makes thirty-seven. I’m usually only actively playing — leveling or doing dailies/farming/LFR at max level — three to five of them at any given time, and my Tauren get the bulk of my attention.

7) What’s your current achievement score? What’s your most favorite one and why?
I currently have 12600 Achievement Points. The two that are the most meaningful to me are having completed Loremaster before Cataclysm and, more recently, having completed The Black Prince, Chapter V and obtained my Legendary cloak.

8) What was your most memorable experience since you started playing WoW?
I don’t really remember my first Wailing Caverns run itself, but I do remember the nightmare-loop I was stuck in after I went to sleep that night, dreaming about being lost in the Wailing Caverns!

9) How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too.
Kamalia has a critter kill count of 9721. I’ve always felt a little guilty about accidentally killing critters with AoE.

10) What is the first word that comes to mind when you think about WoW and why?
“Wonderful” sums up the World of Warcraft in one word pretty neatly, because I love the art of the game and because there are so many great things to explore and do within the game world.

11) Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon! It’s the new expansion everyone is talking about! What are your expectations?
I expect a breathtaking new world to explore, filled with interesting characters to meet and fascinating stories to experience that will encompass a wide range of emotions. I will play through the Horde storyline first, leveling Kamalia to 100 in tandem with BTH. I plan to play through the Alliance storyline next, before I level any Horde alts, because, like Matthew Rossi, I’m feeling rather bored of orcs and their turmoils and am more excited about discovering what the Draenei were like when they were a flourishing civilization. I expect to spend a lot of time managing my Garrison.

Step Three
* When I was very little, I was a strawberry blonde. As I got older, my hair got darker; it was never the true bright shiny new copper penny color, it was more like the color of an old dull penny. Now my hair only looks reddish in just the right sort of sunlight, and I wonder if it is the color called “auburn” or not.
* During my teens and early twenties, I collected every color of Crayola crayons that I could find. Crayola hasn’t produced any new or interesting crayon colors for several years, though.
* Shortly after I first started this blog, BTH got transferred to Halifax, Nova Scotia for work. We lived there for a year and a half, then returned to the Twin Cities. About a year and a half later, BTH got transferred to the Halifax project again, and we will probably have been here in Nova Scotia for another year and a half before he gets assigned to a different project.
* I had a great temerity about fresh hot peppers and only ever used the canned green chiles from Old El Paso until my Mom gave me a Mexican cookbook for Christmas this past year. Now I enjoy using poblano, jalapeno or serrano, fresno, ancho, and chipotle peppers — but I am still timid about the really super hot peppers!
* I enjoy baking and would much rather bake my own bread than have to buy it. I take pride in doing the mixing and kneading by hand. When I do buy bread, I prefer to buy it from a small, local-business bakery.
* My Mom used to think she was descended from Priscilla Mullins, who came over on the Mayflower. Now, she’s not so sure if that ancestry has been correctly traced. We do know for certain, however, that we are descended from Joseph Knight, Sr., who, with his family, was one of the most staunch friends and supporters of Joseph Smith, Jr., during the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
* I’ve really enjoyed judging Dragonray’s Mog the World in 80 Days competition. I usually give 8.5/10 as my top score, but I have given a couple of 9.0s and even a 10! My favorite sets are the ones that effectively use both the colors and the motifs of the chosen flag while still being an oufit that I feel like I would be able to wear without having to explain that my outfit was inspired by the flag of a certain country and, more importantly, being an outfit that I would enjoy wearing myself!
* This winter, I’ve become addicted to Tim Hortons hot chocolate. I drink at least one cup a day, usually two and sometimes even three, and I go through about a cannister a week.
* Although the official timeline on pages 28 – 31 of the World of Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide allocates only one year apiece to the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions, it’s never made sense to me that all the war campaigns and especially all the buildings and construction that happened in each expansion could really be done in just one year of time. My headcanon is that the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions took as much time in Azeroth as we spent playing those expansions in “real time”.
* Despite what I said before about the $60 cost being prohibitive, I am really quite tempted to just boost my nine sub-level-60 Mages up to 90. It would be quite the heap of cash if I boosted them all at once, but if I boost them one at a time, as each one reaches level 60…
* I love a good bad pun, especially when I’ve managed to come up with it myself, so here are some lobsters that I painted in June 2011.

Step Four
(in no particular order)
Manalicious
Martha
Parallel Context
Plenty of Paladins
That Was an Accident!
The Pixel Lives of Lorelei/Zazzy Mogs
Mog’s Addiction
Ironyca Stood in the Fire
Jaedia’s Menagerie
Awaiting the Muse
Azerothian Life
Pretty Fly for a Draenei
Red Cow Rise (Akabeko, I miss you!)

Step Five
Oh, dear, I guess this means I have to go make comments on all these blogs, don’t I? Perhaps I’ll just leave comments for the folks that don’t stop by here regularly, and leave it up to the folks who do stop by regularly to decide whether or not they want to play along.

Step Six
1) Tell me about a game or games — video or table or both! — that you are really enjoying right now.
2) What classes, races, or roles do you find yourself most drawn to in RPGs, whether in D&D, a single-player video game, or an MMO?
3) When you make your first character in a new game, do you try to make a character that is in some way an avatar of your RL self, or do you make someone entirely different?
4) Describe a typical session of playing your current favorite video/computer game.
5) What was the very first computer/video game you ever played? How old were you?
6) Do you have more than one blog? If so, what is/are your other blog(s) about? (Blog names/links not necessary, and you don’t have to include personal/family/work-related blogs unless you really want to.)
7) Name three non-WoW/game-related websites that you visit frequently.
8) What was/is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?
9) Cake or Pie? What is your favorite flavor of your preferred dessert?
10) What toppings do you like on a pizza? on an ice-cream sundae?
11) What is your favorite writing instrument?

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click on the images to see the full-size versions of these pictures

I began this project last summer, as a follow-up to my rather crudely-assembled racial height and build comparison.

At the time, however, the sexism-in-WoW discussion was going around again, and I felt that it would be rather gauche to post what is undeniably an objectified image: I have reduced my models to shapes to be studied.

I’d been meaning to complete it anyway, but somehow BTH always seemed to already be using the tablet to work on his comic whenever I wanted to work on it :P

With all the wonderful new model previews being released, I figured I’d better finish this up quick, even though some of the subtleties of the stances and the shapes will soon be out-of-date.

I had been thinking I’d do a further follow-up of close-up studies of the front and profile shapes of the faces, because I feel like I still don’t have a really good grasp on how to make some of the races different from my standard way of drawing human people. I’d like to do a companion set of “beach bums of Azeroth”, too, because I feel that I understand the male shapes even less than the female shapes. Maybe I should wait on that until all the new models come out in 6.0, though.

Speaking of the new models, I’ve liked all the ones we’ve seen glimpses of so far, and I look forward to seeing the Night Elf, the Troll, and especially the Tauren. The new female Orc makes me wish I hadn’t deleted my level 35 Orc Enhancement Shaman. I do hope the shaved head texturing makes it into the final model.

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many whelps! handle it!

Visitors to my apartment, beware: if you show any kind of Leeroy-like tendencies, you may be swarmed by the dragon whelps lurking in my bookcase!

Two and a half years after I made the first one and several months after finishing the first set of five, I’ve completed the last of my planned set of dragon whelplings.

After I’d picked out materials for the original five dragonflights, seeing both orange- and purple-bellied dragons among the trophies of the Dragonmaw in Twilight Highlands gave me the idea of making an Onyxian whelpling, too. When I found some fun color-shifting fabric, making nether and chromatic whelplings gave me a perfect excuse to buy some. A white-on-black-on-black infinte dragonling would also be cool. And Lil’ Tarecgosa, with her fancy horns, presented an intriguing challenge. (more…)

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fancy braids

One Sunday while I was teaching Primary last year, one of the little girls came with her hair braided up fancy like this. It was so pretty I had to draw it!

I’ve often wondered whether a Tauren’s mane grows just from a relatively narrow strip along the crest of the neck, like a horse’s mane, or if the long hair grows from all over the dorsal surface of the neck, more like a lion’s mane. This hairstyle, a fusion of cornrow braiding and how a dressage horse’s tail is plaited, assumes the latter mode.

I’m looking forward to how the model renovations will affect hairstyles. I’m hopeful that the updated hairstyles will have more realistic detailing of the strands and locks, especially for styles with tails and braids. I also hope that the new models will eventually bring wider availability of current braided hairstyles and more fun braided hairstyles in general at the Barbershop. They did say at Blizzcon that they have designed styles that they haven’t yet released, didn’t they?

P.S. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could have our own personal Barbershop in our Garrison?

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the golden dream

At first, I just stared in dropped-jaw awe at Maiu’s mesmerizing background artwork for the most recent pages of Contested Territory. When I’d stared at it for long enough to think that maybe I’d figured out how to do it, well, then I had to try it myself. Having recently completed the Thunder Cleft questline in Krasarang Wilds with another alt, I borrowed Maiu’s “dreaming” theme, too.

I drew these art noveau-ish fronds a week or so ago. They don’t have anything to do with WoW, but I’m pleased with how prettily they turned out.

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Two summers ago, I designed a pattern for a stuffed toy dragon whelpling. Now, I’ve finally completed my initially planned set of five, representing the original dragonflights:


After making the first one with green velveteen, I decided to use fancy fabrics for all the others, too. The black is a costume pleather, the red is a glitter-dusted satin, the blue is a stretchy spangled stuff that was a real pain to work with on the sewing machine, and the bronze is a brocade with the “wrong” side out. The contrast material for all of them is crepe-backed satin, which can be edge-finished by singeing with a candle flame.

I revised the pattern somewhat after the first one, creating new, more symmetrical pieces for the belly and the top of the head. Two variations for the top of the head are given. The pattern pieces do not include a seam allowance. I cut most of the pieces with ~1/4th inch seam allowance and the wings with no seam allowance.

click to see the full-size pattern image, or send me an email to get the pattern in pdf format
Along with the main body fabric (A) and the contrast fabric (B), you will also need 6 mm pipecleaners to stiffen the leading edges of the wings, 5/8th inch (15 mm) double-faced satin ribbon to cover the pipecleaner on the wings, red 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) rickrack for the mouth, white 10/0 glass seed beads for the teeth, pea-sized beads for the eyes, black felt for the horns, and coordinating thread.
To make the horns, cut a circle of felt with a radius of the desired length of the horn. Cut the circle into pie-segment thirds. Wrap two of the thirds into cones and stitch up the edges with black thread, then sew the cones onto the head.

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One of my current favorite WoW webcomics is Away From Reality. It’s funny, the characters are likeable, and the art is totally unique from any other WoW webcomic I’ve ever seen. Instead of drawing, screencapping, or using WMV, Erik Jensen uses the program Poser to model and render his characters. Although this makes the art less immediately recognizable as being derived from WoW, I think the more broad-spectrum fantasy game look also makes the comic more accessible to non-WoW players.

On the “About” page, Jensen comments,

I would love to see someone with actual artistic talent someday render some of my characters or comics, but for myself, this is all I can do.

This invitation has been bouncing around in the back of my brain for awhile now, and out it came onto paper when I was searching for inspiration for something to draw yesterday.

Here we have the main cast of Away From Reality (well, sort-of):

night elf druid Alaxia
human prot warrior Gord
human warlock Morgatha
gnome mage Thizzible*
dwarf holy priest Hurgon

*Night elf hunter Targe is formally the fifth member of the “main cast”, but it’s seemed to me like Thizzible has made more appearances than Targe since the crew reached Pandaria.

The outfits in the picture are (somewhat loosely) based on the in-game clothing items that I thought best matched the clothing the characters wear in the comic — though these are not, obviously, complete Transmogrification kits because most of them are lacking gloves.

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Dynamic Duo

I finally convinced BTH to take our Monks out to finish Townlong Steppes, start Dread Wastes, and ding 90. I got distracted by which quest reward to choose at just the wrong moment, however, and totally photobombed my own “Dynamic Duo” achievement toast screenshot. Instead, here’s a portrait of Katewatha that I drew a couple of weeks ago.


Kate is fascinated with all things Pandaren, and while she uses the four “Tufts” Tauren hairstyle in-game, I imagine that ever since she came to Pandaria, she’s actually worn the Pandaren “Twin Loops” hairstyle.
This outfit is based on the leather version of the first round of quest rewards from the Wandering Isle.

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Although imagining, drawing, and posting the picture in my last entry was indeed an effective way of coping with an anticipated bout of depression, it wasn’t the blues that have kept me from posting again more recently — it’s been the busies. Between the flurry of end-of-the-semester responsibilities and packing my apartment to move back to Nova Scotia at the beginning of June, I’ve been rather worn-out. I can’t just leave that sad picture hanging as my most recent post any longer, though. I drew this picture in 2009 when the first STAR TREK reboot movie came out. I haven’t seen the sequel yet — though I very much would like to!


Female Draenei: “Don’t you think the Federation would just love our technology?”
Male Draenei: “Well, yes… but the uniforms are ridiculous!”

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