The Sky Mother 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 no scene in particular, but I'll include a related snippet from Part 29 of Return To Manitou Island [link] This illustrates the theme of "Mother Nature." Seeing as there's no real concept of "Mother Nature" on Manitou Island, I decided to go for the next best thing, as when I thought of this theme I promptly thought of the Sky Mother, Geezhigo-Quae...who's close enough to being Mother Nature. She watches over Manitou Island from her gigantic Sky Tree in the Fairy Realm, by looking through various cabochon crystals set within its walls. That's what she's doing here. In the following scene, Charmian is meeting her for the first time. She's a very important spirit and is greatly respected.

Geezhigo doesn't seem very friendly here, but she warms to Charmian eventually.
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 "Cat" 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.

Charmian stood in the middle of the great tree room, staring at the strange tall woman who stared back. Her features were native, but her eyes were a dark royal blue, and her hair was long and white with pale blue streaks. She wore a long dress of what appeared to be white doeskin, decorated with beaded and quilled patterns of birds and moons and clouds. Her ears were pointed, even more so than Thomas's, and ended in feathery tufts. Behind her back rose the same sort of wings as Niskigwun's. They shifted slightly as Charmian looked at them.

"You're the owner of the tree?" Charmian finally managed to say in an uncertain voice.

The woman nodded once. Her face wasn't friendly, but neither was it as unwelcoming as Niskigwun's had been, so Charmian ventured to ask, "Where exactly are we?"

The winged woman started walking across the floor, and for some reason Charmian noticed that her footfalls made no sound. She approached one of the giant cabochons in the wall and put her hand against it.

"You are in the Sky Tree," she said, and the crystal let off a glow. Charmian, curious, went over to look at it and saw an image of the Tree itself appear. It grew closer, as if a camera were panning in toward it, and she could now see the different paths lining the numerous branches, and the entrances to various rooms all throughout its trunk. Michinimakinong moved back and forth along the branches, apparently carrying out their duties. She even spotted Niskigwun walking along one of the hanging bridges before the image faded and the glow disappeared. Geezhigo-Quae turned to look down at her.

"Why have you come here?"

Charmian bit the inside of her mouth. She hated that question by now, but at least Geezhigo-Quae didn't ask it in the same tone that Niskigwun had. She found herself scuffing her foot against the wooden floor anyway, unable to hold the woman's stare. She felt just like she had when she'd been chastised by her third-grade teacher for talking in class.

"I wanted to talk with the person in charge," she said in a small voice.

"This does not explain your presence." Geezhigo-Quae's voice was still disapproving, but sounded much more patient than she'd expected it to. She let out her breath and fiddled her fingers before forcing herself to stop and look up at her again. "The Fairy Arch was broken so that your people would not come through," Geezhigo-Quae continued. "Yet now you have trespassed on our land. Niskigwun told me how you had tried this before. The gateway has been closed for many years, and so I do not understand why you should be so interested in coming through now."

"It's important," Charmian blurted out.

Geezhigo-Quae lifted an eyebrow when she fell silent, then said, "Your explanation why?"

Charmian chewed on her lip now, then took a breath. Well, the worst thing she can do is take a ruler to my knuckles. "It's about the Island," she explained. "It's in trouble. I came here name's Charmian..."

"I know who you are." Charmian blinked on hearing this. Geezhigo-Quae turned and started walking back toward the large balcony. "Do not think you were not observed the last time you were here. Your name is already known to us."

"You've...heard of me here?" Charmian's brow furrowed and she tentatively walked toward the balcony. She'd known her fame had spread across the Island, but not into the Fairy Realm itself. Where did these people get their news...?

"You are the one who defeated the demoness." The old woman held up a hand when Charmian opened her mouth to protest. "With the assistance of others. You were noticed, as you managed to persuade the demon and the Wendigoes to help you. You have earned a reputation here." She glanced over her shoulder when Charmian opened her mouth again. "Yet this does not give you permission to enter our land."

Geezhigo-Quae is from Ojibwa mythology. Charmian, Thomas Leeds, and Niskigwun are © Tehuti.
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