In Animiki Land 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 61 of Escape From Manitou Island [link] and pictures the theme of "Stars." Charmian and Manabozho, the Ojibwa trickster and culture hero, have entered the realm of the Animiki, or Thunderbirds, and Charmian is surprised to find that when not in their Thunderbird form...they look a lot like regular humans. Including their ill-tempered chief, Nigankwam, whom Charmian asks for information regarding an old story about a flood. Nigankwam takes her on a brief tour of his camp.

This is just the inked sketch. 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 "Hold My Hand" and I already have an idea in mind.
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.
*****

"Hey! Look!" Kenu exclaimed, running over to one of the groups of children; he pointed at Manabozho, who halted and blinked. "THAT'S Manabozho! THE Manabozho!"

Charmian turned her head in time to see him get mobbed by the children, who crowded around him and started tugging on his arms and pulling him further into the camp, yelling and laughing. Manabozho yelped in a panic and tried pulling himself free, to no avail; all that Charmian could do was watched as he was dragged off out of her sight. She saw Nigankwam still walking, and bit her lip before following; Manabozho would just have to look out for himself.

"So...what exactly is this place?" Charmian asked, panting a little as the ground was sloping upwards; Nigankwam may have looked old, but he got around pretty well. "I mean, I know it's where you guys live, but...how is it that we're in the sky..."

Nigankwam stopped and turned his head to look at her. He pointed ahead of himself and somewhat downward. Charmian frowned, then scrambled up the slope. She nearly vaulted over it before jerking to a halt and gasping. Her eyes felt ready to fall out of her head.

The other side of the slope...was no other side. The land ended abruptly and she could see the patchy edge of clouds...and more clouds spreading out into the distance...and patches of color below them. She blinked a few times. Night had fallen, but she could still make out the black of the land and the glittering blue of the river, bodies of water, treelines, hilly rises...it looked just like the view from an airplane, and at that moment a cool gust of damp air decided to buffet her, and she gingerly raised her hands to rub at her arms. She had to force herself not to chatter. She looked skyward at the glittering stars still overhead, brighter and closer than they'd ever been, then down at the land again, seemingly further away than she'd ever seen. She tried to take it all in, awed beyond belief.

"Wow," was all that she could whisper.

"Our land travels upon the clouds," Nigankwam explained. "It is never in one place for long, nor in another. We move with the storms and the rain. In the winter, we head back into the west, and stay above the mountains, until the ice thaws again. Then we head east, over the great lakes, and keep the Underwater Lynxes in check. This is our duty, as it has always been. This is where we live, and what we look like, and all that we do." Charmian reluctantly turned away from the view and faced him again. His stare was as unfriendly as Geezhigo-Quae's had first been, and she briefly wondered if they might be related. "You mentioned that you wished to hear more of this flood story," he said, and she hurriedly nodded.


Manabozho and Geezhigo-Quae are from Ojibwa mythology. Charmian, Kenu, and Nigankwam are © to me.
Continue Reading: Places