Not Unnoticed 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 157 of Escape From Manitou Island [link] and pictures the theme of "Under The Rain." The Animiki (Thunderbird), Ishkode-Aanakwad, has just landed atop Manitou Island to check things out. He's quite surprised to discover that his landing hasn't gone unnoticed...and he's even more surprised to realize that his discoverer is a woman, and apparently a mere human at that. Little does he know that Silver Eagle Feather is also half demon and is probably the most powerful human upon the Island. Time for the arrogant Ishkode to eat some humble pie.
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 "Flowers" 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.
*****

The clouds had descended so low as to be almost unbelievable, but even as she watched, it was as if part broke off from the rest and gently flowed down into the ravine. It flashed and glowed as lightning zigzagged around within it, and Silver Eagle Feather furrowed her brow to see that its shape was vaguely birdlike. It was shrinking in size, and changing shape as well, until by the time it dropped out of sight beyond a crag in the rock it couldn't have been much bigger than herself; the booming and flashing overhead began to move along, and the gale of wind in the trees eased as well. The charge remained in the air, however, and Silver Eagle Feather held her place, realizing that something not quite normal had just happened.

She strained her ears for any further noise and at last it came, the soft shifting of rocks and earth from ahead where the cloud-shape had disappeared. A moment later, she could hear the distinct sound of footsteps, and something appeared from behind the crag. She frowned as the shape of a man came walking her way, his footsteps measured and forceful, as if he were impatient to get somewhere and get his mission over with. She did her best to disguise her presence as he came close, until he walked right past without even seeing her, and she noticed at last his odd clothing with its designs of clouds and birds and the silver feathers decorating his head, as well as the baleful yellow glow of his eyes. She stood up, but he was already past her, evidently seeking an easier way out of the ravine.

She stepped out of hiding. "You seek the Dreamspinner?" she called out, as she could think of no other reason why a Thunderbird would land practically atop Tal Natha's home.

"If the Dreamspinner is anywhere to be found," the Animiki called back, sounding a trifle annoyed. "Though I do have better things to do than go asking about how..." His voice trailed off and he at last halted, turning to look back at her. Silver Eagle Feather walked toward him and they both looked each other up and down curiously; the confused expression on his face was almost comical when he saw at last who he was talking to. "You are human," he exclaimed, as if both stunned and disappointed.

Silver Eagle Feather had to remind herself not to smile at his surprise, as that would have been incredibly rude. Instead she said nothing as he stalked toward her and looked her over again in disbelief. He scowled as he appeared to satisfy himself that she was truly just a human, and crossed his arms somewhat sourly.

"I will not bother asking how you even saw me, as I was attempting to conceal myself," he said in a voice to match, "though apparently my efforts have failed and my presence is now known. So I merely request that you do not go gossiping about this, as I have important things to do."

He turned away and began walking again. "The Dreamspinner lives just to the other side of this hill," Silver Eagle Feather called out after him, "and he's more quickly reached if you go this way." When he turned to look at her again, she changed into her Ocryx form, and flapped her wings and ascended from the ravine. She had just enough time to see the Animiki's eyes go wide before he was out of her sight, and she landed back on solid ground. A moment later he had joined her, and they started walking through the trees in the direction of Fort Holmes.

"I thought that you were human," he said, now obviously confused.

"I am half human," she replied. "The other half of me takes after the demon of the lake, on the west side of the Island."

He kept giving her odd looks, though those were nothing new to her. "You are related to this Dreamspinner...?" he asked, and she nodded.

"He is my half-brother. But he is fully demon, and so looks like I did a moment ago."

"These 'demons' have no relation to the Mishupishus, do they?"

She shook her head. "No, no relation. Until recently there haven't been any Mishupishus around here, as far as I can remember."

There was a pause. "And you aren't going to ask me any questions--?" he said.

She shrugged a little as they ascended a rise. "It would be rude to question an Animiki."


The Animiki (Thunderbirds) and Mishupishus (Underwater Lynxes) are from Ojibwa mythology. Silver Eagle Feather, Tal Natha/The Dreamspinner, and Ishkode-Aanakwad are © Tehuti.
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