Are We Being Watched...? WIP Picture

PLEASE comment if you fave! I worked hard on this.
All right, I'm going to try to take part in the 100 Picture Challenge, or whatever it's called here. Basically, you draw one picture each for one of 100 themes. I just started learning how to draw human faces about two months ago. I was going to hold off on entering the challenge until I'd gotten bodily postures down better, but figured that if I waited that long I'd never get anywhere. So I know I still need a lot of work. Maybe doing this challenge will help me improve, maybe not. I like to hope that maybe someday I'll be able to redo this picture and it'll look a whole lot better. For now though, it's much better than what I could have done a couple of months ago.
This illustrates a scene from Part 34 of Escape From Manitou Island [link] and pictures the theme of "Eyes." Charmian et al. have entered a sea cave to flush out an ornery Thunderbird but aren't having much luck locating it. The scene below tells the rest...

I have to admit, I laughed my ass off when I finished this sketch.
This is just the inked sketch. I cropped off a bit of the background for now. I'm planning on filling it all in with colored pencil, as that's the only medium I have, that and a photo program which mangles my pictures when I resize and try to up the saturation a bit.
Anyway...the next theme I believe is "Abandoned" and I already have it sketched.
This will be scrapped later on when I upload the finished version. Just wanted to put this in my gallery to brag a bit.
Criticism not desired as I already know all the flaws this has, thank you very much.
*****

She at last found the lefthand edge of the cave, and started feeling along it. She rather wished she hadn't been so hasty in putting out her fire, then decided that it would be best not to call it back, and possibly startle the Thunderbird. He hadn't killed Manabozho, when he'd certainly had the chance and ability to, so perhaps he wasn't as bad as it sounded. Still, she crept along slowly, feeling the jagged wet rocks and chewing furiously on her lip the entire way. Several times she came across tiny openings in the walls, but they were so small that out of all of them, only Marten could have easily fit inside, even Winter Born probably having to squeeze. She made a circuit of the entire cave before coming back to the others and frowning.

"You did not find him?" Niskigwun asked, seeming perplexed.

Charmian shook her head. "No...no bird." She bit her lip. "Come in and help me look. It's dark; maybe I missed something."

The rest of them, save Manabozho, entered, and started feeling around; Charmian and Winter Born again took the left, while Thomas and Niskigwun took the right, and Marten clambered up the little ledges set into the wall and started poking around near the top. Charmian meekly called up a little flame so they could see a bit, though she didn't like doing so. They slowly worked along until reaching the middle of the wall, and all looked toward Manabozho, who still watched from the entryway; he stuck out his tongue at them, and turned away. Charmian looked up at the little holes all over in the wall and sighed.

"I don't get it," she murmured. "He has to be here. Do Thunderbirds practice invisibility?"

"Only when flying," Niskigwun said with a frown, feeling at the stone. "And then it is only the storm that conceals them! Where might he be if not here...? I could have sworn that bolt came from here..."

"I looked when we came in," Winter Born said. "There's no other tunnel out behind us."

"And he's not in the room," Charmian finished, rubbing her head in bafflement. "So where would he go...?"

She pressed her back to the wall and looked all around the cave, yet of course with still no results; Winter Born leaned back beside her, Thomas and Niskigwun standing near the other side of the cave looking disconsolate. Charmian's head sank a little.

"Maybe he left on his own," Marten suggested, hopping down in front of them and shrugging. "Could happen!"

"I don't know," Charmian sighed. "Why would he stay here all this time and then just up and leave? Makes no sense."

"Maybe Manabozho scared him off at last?" Winter Born suggested; Charmian elbowed Niskigwun when he snorted, and he nearly dropped his spear with a grimace.

"I guess it's as good an idea as any," Charmian admitted, though of course Manabozho was no longer in the doorway to hear her comment. She pushed herself away from the wall a bit. "We should check out the other caves just in case he found another tunnel into one of them. He could've just moved a bit, and we never would've noticed. I should've told somebody outside to keep their ears open." She lifted her head. "Thomas, maybe you can go on ahead and try to convince Moon Wolf or somebody to take a listen--?"

Thomas opened his mouth to answer, then shut it. His eyes grew round and his face slowly went white. Charmian stared at him in growing alarm, then saw that Niskigwun was getting much the same look; when Marten dashed to stand beside them and puffed up like a Halloween cat, she felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle, and not just from anxiety. It felt almost like the air itself was charged with something.

Winter Born turned her head to look up at her, brow furrowing. "Charmian? What is it...?"

Charmian turned her own head, then shivered when the distinct feeling of being watched passed over her. She saw Winter Born's eyes shift just barely to the side, to look at the cave wall that they leaned against; they grew wide, and her mouth slowly fell open. Charmian followed her stare without a word.

One of the numerous little holes was situated in the wall right above and between them. When Charmian turned her head to the side, she noticed that what had looked to be an empty hole wasn't quite empty. For a gigantic yellow eye was within, staring back out at them.


Manabozho is from Ojibwa mythology. Marten is from Micmac/Abenaki mythology. Charmian, Winter Born, Thomas Leeds, Niskigwun, Moon Wolf, and Kenu (the Thunderbird) are © Tehuti.
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