Bad Little Fish 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 is a scene from Part 99 of Escape From Manitou Island [link] The rather evil-looking character on the right is the bad medicine man Mishosha, a Bearwalker, and he's got hold of a young Nebanaubae (merperson) whom he's made a deal with. As this little fellow is about to learn, it's not wise to make deals with Mishosha, hence the theme "Misfortune." (Mishosha's left hand is not missing, it's inside his sleeve.)

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 "Smile" and I already have it sketched out.
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.
*****

The whirlpool of course attracted attention at first, though it took only a moment or two for the several Nebanaubae to realize that it wasn't natural, thus of little interest to them, and they turned and drifted away.

One of them remained behind, peering at it curiously. Its fins swished at the water as it watched the swirls, so unnatural to such a shallow stream...then it happened to glance up, and saw something even more interesting overhead.

Some little bits of something were hitting the surface of the water, and drifting northward.

The Nebanaubae blinked, then peered around itself, seeing if anyone else was about--for if its find was spotted by one of the others, there was no doubt that they would get there first. Seeing no one, it swam up and gingerly plucked a few of the little objects down into the water, sinking as it looked them over curiously.

They appeared to be bits of bark. With little scratches and sketches on them. The Nebanaubae's eyes lit up on seeing its prize, and a wide smile came to its face when it spotted part of the drawing of a lake, a bit of the drawing of a river. Water symbols. Whatever this had been, it had to do with water, which made it even more prizeworthy. A free gift, simply tossed into the water as if not wanted anymore. It clasped the bits of bark in its hands and did a twirl in the water, turning to head back in the direction of the others.

Something plunged down into the water and grabbed the Nebanaubae by the neck. It managed to let out a startled squeal before being dragged out of the stream with a splash, its tail waving over the water. It blinked and gasped, gills dilating and arms flailing.

Mishosha gave the Nebanaubae such a glare that it started shaking. "Well," he said, and his face twisted into an ugly sneer. "Look who's come back."

A rustling noise came from beside him and a woman stepped up to stand on the bank. She gave the quivering Nebanaubae the same look.

"Is this that one you struck that deal with?" she inquired.

Mishosha's mouth twitched. "That would be the one. I do remember that I told him to head back to his own people...and now here he is...in the very same place as that girl and her friends. Now why would that be?" He tilted his head in mock curiosity. "How is it that you just happen to show up here...?"

The Nebanaubae had to squirm and struggle just to speak, its voice coming out paper thin. "I...I was only looking around! Not following or anything! I didn't know they were here! I just..."

"An awful lot of excuses," the woman sneered.

"A great mouthful of excuses from a tiny fish," Mishosha added. His grip on its neck tightened and it started wheezing, grasping onto his hand and futilely trying to pry itself loose. "Normally bears like to eat fish...but this one is rather small...so I say we toss it back and wait until it gets bigger."

With this, he swung the Nebanaubae through the air and it let out another squeal before its body slammed into the stream, striking some nearby rocks. It could suddenly breathe again, but this mattered little, seeing as its ribs cracked and the breath whooshed out of its lungs in a burst of bubbles. It spun about in the water a few times--though not of its own volition--before slowing and beginning to drift with the current, slowly sinking toward the bottom. A thin trail of little bubbles followed it for a moment before dying away. Mishosha and the woman stood on the bank, staring after it until it vanished from sight; then the woman snorted and crossed her arms.

"Rather too easy on the little runt," she groused. "I think he rather would have made a good dinner."


Nebanaubae and Mishosha are from Ojibwa mythology. Makwaquae is © Tehuti.
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