The Little Stone People 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 43 of Escape From Manitou Island [link] and pictures the theme of "Stripes." Charmian and the Huron/Wyandotte, Walks-On-The-Shore, are on the run from an evil spirit and so have been shuttled down into a tunnel, where they meet the Mizauwabeekum--the Little Stone People! One of them has stripes. That was honestly the only theme of "stripes" I could find in any of my stories.
Oh yeah. "Baggitiway" is lacrosse.

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 "Breaking The Rules" and I already have it inked in.
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.

A new crashing noise made them all jump and look back in the direction of the commotion. The blood fled Charmian's face; the Pukwudjininee hurriedly ran at her and tapped its spear against her foot, drawing her attention. You must flee this place at once! Or else face the unending wrath of he who commands the dark manitous! It lowered its spear to point at the base of the nearest tree. That hole!! Right there! Git!!

Charmian blinked, then decided not to bother. "Where are we even going?!" she yelled as she scrambled toward the opening under the roots, the Pukwudjininee hopping atop the main root and waving its spear.

The little people who live beneath the earth! it exclaimed. We live among the trees and air, while they live among the roots and soil! When the trees are not safe, we take to the ground. When the ground is not safe-- It cut itself off and started hopping up and down, screeching. Just get going already!! Does it really matter where you end up?!

Charmian stuck her feet in the hole and was surprised when she discovered how wide the tunnel actually was. "We'd BETTER not end up even WORSE off!" she threatened. "And what the heck are YOU going to be doing--?"

It waved, staring ahead toward the crashing bellowing noises rapidly approaching. I will fend it off, valiantly, to my last breath if need be! I will smite it down and play baggitiway with its skull-- It hopped up and down again, waving the spear. I'll smash its damned head in if I have to!!

Charmian decided that it was better to just get going rather than speak with it further. She pushed herself into the tunnel, gasping and almost fighting, then making herself go along with it when she practically zoomed down into it; she heard Walks-On-The-Shore above her, and shut her eyes, hoping that at least she wouldn't break her neck. It took her a moment to realize that she wasn't falling or sliding after all, but rather, she was being propelled, and she at last felt scores of tiny hands passing her along like a person surfing over a mosh pit. She blinked in surprise and twisted her neck to glance at the wall; it was practically black by now, but she did see countless tiny yellow dots glowing around them, glittering back at her.

She shut her eyes again and ground her teeth, fighting a whimper. Just a tunnel. Just a tunnel, she started saying to herself, and hoped that it wouldn't go on like this too much longer.

She couldn't believe how many little people there must be under the earth like this, nudging them along; were they working in relay teams, or running ahead and taking up new positions--? She was too flustered to think about it too much, and let out a yell of surprise when something hit her in the head. "Watch it!!" she shouted back, assuming that it must have been Walks-On-The-Shore; she heard the little people start talking to each other, and blinked a few times in the darkness. Their eyes were all that she could see.

"Where are we going--?" she finally thought to ask them. Their speech made no sense at first; she fiddled with her necklace and at last the noises began to fade into English, and she was surprised to learn that they all seemed to be talking--or rather jabbering--at once.

--East--east--keep going east--

--Gotta keep moving--

--Really really fast--

--Keep going east--

"Um--? Guys--?" Charmian glanced from side to side. "Where--AAGH!!" She suddenly pitched over forward and landed on her face in a small opening, and sputtered out a mouthful of dust; she yelped when she was pelted by a barrage of pebbles, then shot upward, hitting her head on the low ceiling and then collapsing again with a grimace. Walks-On-The-Shore promptly slid into the room and fell on his face as well.

Charmian whirled around and clenched her fists. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!" Her voice rang loud in her ears and she suddenly realized just how small this space was, and immediately fell silent, peering upward uneasily. She held up her hand and opened her mouth to call for fire, but something pressed against her mouth and she nearly yelled again.

Something sparked in front of her, and the room lit up; her eyes focused on a piece of flint held in a tiny hand. Then moved to the side to take in the tiny creature standing in front of her. Her eyes grew and she noticed the scores more tiny creatures surrounding them on all sides, even coming out of the walls and ceiling. She felt the blood drain from her face.

They were about the same size as the Pukwudjininees, with the same basic build, and the same large dark eyes with the little yellow pupils, but that was about it. Instead of being furry, their bodies were dark and glinting, and she started when she realized that it looked like they were all carved out of stone and minerals. They didn't even possess the regular soft curves that most creatures had; they were all angles, like someone had hurriedly chopped them out of a hunk of rock and left them unfinished and unpolished. They didn't carry spears like the Pukwudjininees. They all seemed to be carrying tiny tomahawks also made of stone, and they waved these and started talking.

Charmian winced and waved her hands. "HOLD ON! One at a time! This thing isn't a party line, for cripes' sakes!" She pointed at one of the little stone people, its body black striped with red, and gestured it forward. "You! Um--striped...rock thingie. Where am I? Who are you guys?"

The little stone person held up its tomahawk. You are friend of the forest people, yes--? Are we mistaken--?

Charmian shook her head. "No, you're not--if you mean the Pukwudjininees--we know them! They shuttled us down here! Who the hell are you guys?!"

We are the stoneling people, the Mizauwabeekum, the little stone person answered. You have never heard of us--?

Charmian's face screwed up. "Can't say as I have, sorry! Do you mind me asking what the heck the plan here happens to be?"

The little stone people pointed at the wall ahead of her. Keep going east--? they suggested.

The Pukwudjininees and Mizauwabeekum are from Ojibwa mythology. Charmian and Walks-On-The-Shore are © Tehuti.
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