Anna Dialog - July to Aug 2017

Advance Sketch by OnDrawnWings - 19th August 2017

A disagreement that turned to a purposeful agreement.




Sorry if I came off a little harshly,


A couple things I should have explained:


I think you mentioned that you didn't understand this comment from me: "PSSS__Please remember that I *don't* work directly from my hand-drawn sketches, rather, I sculpt 3D pieces BASED ON those visual and mental notes. Once roughs are approved, you will have another chance to weigh in on a preliminary." - 7/27/17


That means that we are truly only in a preliminary "Phase 0" (rough thumbnails) and you will get to weigh in on the actual sketch in its true form. (the best thing to say here is that "when you see what I mean, I think you'll totally understand.") I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you might even like this process once you see how I work it, because you'll still get to help me make it right in the next phase. The roughs are just the "idea." It does honestly take a lot of time and thinking just to get to this starting block., for now, I am going to concentrate on the two sketches that exist thus far, and that you have greenlit for the next phase.


Dorothy & the Manticore:

To that end, I have a scene sample from you where there is a cybernetic-looking manticore fighting a reptilian monster across a fallen tree. Is that the Lion, as a Manticore? May I please have the description of the Manticore as originally described in your story? (I always feel better if I have the author's original description)


The Bantam Village:

Tricky scene. Imo, truth be told, we don't want to graphically depict a "husked" (some of your description, which is good, scary stuff) baby girl but maybe a slightly older (age 4-ish) little girl in a tattered dress and (again, this is my opinion) we want the viewer to have to look closely at it to tell what it is, because the essence and eventually the liquids were drained out. Therein lies the horror--"Oh, that's a freaking little girl in the vine!" That's what we want people to say.


As for my style clashing:

It will stick out, thus far. But actually it wouldn't be a bad thing to have lighter, more sketchy color work, like what I've seen so far from your samples, and then, BAM! A handful of very detailed pieces. I will keep in mind that you want Middle-grade to consider reading this. I get hired a lot for Middle-grade work, and to me that means keeping the colors a little brighter.


Cool, I will keep going on those two scenes for now,


And we can both see how things go, and if you like it,




PS__I am without my workstation until tomorrow, sadly, as Frys is still troubleshooting the problem. Please adjust the schedule a tad to account, and accept my apologies. No one hates this ongoing saga with my new work station as much as I do.




Greetings Ryan,


Descriptive Text  (you made me realize that I needed to doctor it up...which I did...


Good Luck with the computer...they and their Foster Parents, Technology are more frustrating than women....


 In that instant, there came from the forest a terrible roar and a fierce lion-like creature bounded onto the road. With one swipe of his paw, he sent Scrobins spinning. In the flip of a flea, the lion-beast then struck the leg of the Woodman with extended claws. Though his blow caused no harm to the metal woodman, the creature struck with such force that the Woodman fell to the road and struggled to regain his footing.


Instinct thrust me from the sling. With a deep growl, I curled my lips back, and gnashing my buckteeth, I waddled swiftly between the huge cat and Dorothy. This was no ordinary Kansas barnyard brawler; this was a super kitty. With a thunderous snarl, it curled its lips from its teeth. As I stared into a mouth large enough for me to nap in, the raging beast charged.


What Kind of Cat is That or The Cowardly ????


 If not for William, distracting the brutal beast with an earsplitting bellow, I’d have been cat food.


While I backed up at light speed. My dear and brave Dorothy, fearful of my safety, and heedless of danger, rushed forward.


With a mighty slap at the nose of the beast, Dorothy screamed in its fearsome face, “No one messes with my dog…or shoes! Don't you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a massive beast like you, harming my friends and going after my poor little dog!"


William snorted. With a nudge of her head, she shoved Dorothy from danger and faced this magnificent cat-like creature. With a lowered head, the threat of William’s horns was great.


"I didn't bite him," it replied with wide wild eyes as it licked and pawed gingerly at its nose. “My, impressive horns you have there.” After a brief hesitation and a curious cock of its head at William, it continued. “I should like to know the difference between my teeth and your horns.”


“I can assure you that the difference is subtle. Pounce, if your curiosity outweighs your common sense,” William replied.


The creature dropped its gaze. Then looked up slightly. With hangdog eyes, and a downturned mouth, the beast almost whined as it spoke. “I have no desire to fight; I make terrible and frightening noises, but my heart is cowardly.”


Dorothy stepped in front of William and thumped the great creature on the nose again. “You are a coward at that,” she said…, “striking a stuffed man too, the poor scarecrow!"


With a shake of his great mane, his beautiful amber eyes narrowed as he watched Dorothy set Scrobins upon his feet. With its voice filled with amazement, “He’s stuffed…and, I see that I knocked the stuffing out of him.”


While Dorothy tucked straw, poked, and prodded Scrobins back into shape again, she replied with fiery eyes. “Of course, he's stuffed!"


“Well,” said Scrobins, “that was not one of my funnier falls.”.


"I’m not sure what I find more amazing, you stuffed with straw or your ability to speak. Is the other one stuffed also?"


"No," said Dorothy, "like you apparently, he's made of metal and is a mighty woodman, but his great weight makes him clumsy. I’m not strong enough to help you up, Woodman."


With a deep bow to the creature, Scrobins introduced himself and asked, “You appear to be of feline origin - you are a cat of some sort…aren’t you?"


“I am a male manticore in my prime.” The creature rippled his coat, fluffed his mane, and raised what appeared to be undersized wings as if to prove the point.


William ambled to the downed Woodman, “Take my horn, and not with your snipper, and I’ll pull you upright. Chip released his ax and gripped one of William’s horns. She lifted her head which easily righted the Woodman.


"That's why the woodman nearly blunted my claws," said the beast. "When my nails scratched against the metal, it made a cold shiver run down my back. What’s that little black creature you’re so fond of?"


"He’s my dog, Toto," answered Dorothy.


"Is he made of metal, or stuffed?" asked this strange miscreant.


 “What I am made of is none of your business,” I raged ferociously and advanced toward the brute, determined to show my authority. “But if you must know, it’s meanness. Pure meanness is the substance from which I’m made. I’m Mr. Toto, leader of this group, and Mr. Toto is the only name that you may call me.”


Dorothy over talked me. "Neither metal nor straw, Toto is a hothead and unique throughout the great state of Kansas. With those cute little bottom buckteeth, and dirty mop of a hairdo, Uncle Henry says there’s nothing scarier than Toto the terrier!”


Dorothy then shook her head and with a short smile, said, “Toto, what am I to do with you? Sometimes I worry that you’ve more bark than brains. Perhaps you need more than gizzards when you visit the wizard.”


Image of Manitcore... and yes it once was a lion or "the Lion".










Do the two scenes keeping in mind my objectives as well as you can.


The scenes created thus far were directed by me and have the characters as I desired them - so that art is likely more reflective of my tastes than not.  Also, I envisioned the art as being desirable for younger aged persons as well because the book can be enjoyed by middle grade up.


So proceed. I will not interfere. I do want things to look realistic though - Dorothy did not look realistic - her pose appeared artificial because in the story she was not unconscious as she mounted  the lion.  Perhaps, you could make her look exhausted....


I could not tell the plant was eating the baby without really studying it and  in the  story the baby was hanging there as a husk - the plants do not eat people they drain their life force and fluids.


In any event - proceed.  I have made many a mistake in life - the current direction of my art could surely be one.






hello Ryan how are you today? I suppose the first thing I need to tell you is that I thought I got rid of all the text that referred to lion and replaced it with manticore, image attached. I think I plucked the chapter from an old version. So I will check my final version and make those corrections, but otherwise and I very much welcome any corrections that you managed to catch, thank you very much! I am in the process now of doing that kind of proofing and am amazed at how much time I have spent and how long it has taken and I am only up to page 200.


on another note, I like the scene with Dorothy better than I like the other. The lion is really quite excellent by the way and expect you might could use your drawings fine face in the manitocore's body. However, there are a number of issues with this scene...Text Follows:


She is not unconscious


Her posture is not natural if she were unconscious which she isn't


She is seated, not lying


I would show her with severely damaged clothing, partly exposed back.


The manitcore should look vicious, scared, defensive, something other than smiling/relaxed.


I would consider going with this scene, but would like to see Jim being nudged by the Lion, Dorothy turning back to talk to him and Toto being carried by the scruff I guess the wolf has him.


Also, the characters would have to look like our existing characters


The scene would need to be more of a drawing of their surroundings...which it is pretty close compared to the bantam scene.


Regarding the Bantam Scene


It is too abstract and will be totally inconsistent with the current scenes and those under construction.


(I understand this is a draft - however )The characters will need to look like the existing characters


 I would like this scene to be created as it is seen in the eyes of the characters who pass by the caves as if they were to take a snapshot of what they see.


I hope this helps. I am attaching characters as an fyi


“Ouch…let go of me,” she cried. “I am a mess…where is my make up?” Dorothy giggled and sat up. The Lion stopped pulling her and looked about for spines tearing through the Valley floor.


 “Climb onto my back now,” growled the Lion.


“Yes sir,” she said with a salute. “You sir, are a real drag.”


As Dorothy mounted the Lion, a couple of the wolves bared their teeth, snarled, and after a few nips at Jim’s bottom, managed to persuade him to join us.


Jim wobbled as he walked and rubbed his eyes. “I git it…I git it…back off or I be making rugs of ye when I’m a feel’n better.”


Traveling was not easy for me. I hung by my scruff, and swung like a pendulum. Seasick, I longed for William’s saddle. The thought of her made me sad and helped to sober me up.


After a bit, Dorothy looked down from the back of the Lion and said, “Look at me. My clothes are worthless.” She wrapped herself as well as she could with her shredded shirt.


“I am filthy. My back is a trough of scratches, each filled in with forest floor gunk. Dorothy folded her arms across her chest and with a grimace said, “Jim Johnson, have you no decency? Quit staring at me.”


“But you just said…for me to look!”


“Jim,” she cried. “You just need to be quiet and keep your eyes to yourself.”


“Take my shirt,” Jim said as he removed it. He kept his eyes to the ground as he waved it about.


“Put your shirt back on…”


Before Dorothy could finish, a wolf snatched it from Jim’s hand and trotted it to her. With a deep sigh, she shook it out, sniffed it, and said, “This is really a sweet thing for you to do Jim.”














OK - I am not sure what this means but if I misunderstood something, it is just that. I intend no offence with my comments.






Hi Peeky,


OK, let's proceed slowly, because I don't want you to get the wrong idea at all. Please read my response with a polite tone, and I am not wishing to come off rudely or in a stand-offish manner in any way:


In response to the characters looking like what you have already: I will absolutely try my best, (match the shirts / clothing that you want / faces & builds as best as I can possibly do) but my medium is vastly different than the flat-ish, less-detailed comic-panel-esque paintings you have so far. In no way do I mean this rudely, but what I do is far more time intensive and more highly refined and finished than what you have thus far. My samples show this. The work comes out of me per the artist that I am, and I can only tilt it a little bit, try as I might.


In response to the scene looking "too abstract" compared to what you have already: This critique is hard to fathom for me. Compared to the scenes that I've seen, or others that I haven't seen that are in the works? I am a bit puzzled, because you gave me a large swath of the story (even before I asked for the whole shebang) and I have responded with my professional instincts. You asked me to encompass "the horror" and I chose the vine consuming the little girl. The "snakelike" shape of that vine makes it the best candidate for a dynamic print that people might actually want to own. Those round archways (blue pencil) are Bantam cave entrances, described as "ornate." All of this exists in the scene that you wrote, and is not abstract, but used for a "lyrical" and flowing composition. So, I will need exact direction if this scene isn't right for you. Which passage over this one do you want? (plus, see below about isolating elements--especially for horror)


Before we go any further, I gotta level with you about the pre-existing art work. I only have seen what you've sent thus far, but, it's not highly finished. It's not art that will be an easy sell for limited edition prints. The work has to be fully realized and "iconic." I don't believe in stuffing in a bunch of characters into a scene, just because they appear in the passage. *What makes a precise translation from text to art, is not necessarily what makes good art. It's better to freeze the moment between Dorothy and the Manticore alone, because it's very stark and "iconic." There are plenty of pages / illustrations with which to show the other characters. There is a "direction disease" we artists talk about, called "Everything-And-The-Kitchen-Sink--itus." It's a well-known misstep that authors and green directors try to shove in too many elements, per scene, just because they exist in the writing. Never be "literal" with your passages vs. your art. Let the art have its own life and breathe, and be the best that it can be.


If you can trust my 23 year, + 4 year degree illustration experience and multiple awards, then I will deliver artwork that is far better than what you have.


So, if we move on, if you want the Manticore piece, to maybe be our first, I can add a large wolf to the left side, holding Toto (and please picture a lot of mist around the ground), but I'd rather not add in Jim, here, as him being pushed by the Manticore changes the tone from ominous to somewhat comical. I think that scene is about "ominous" in total, no? There are plenty of scenes in your writing with which to depict the characters being comical.


As for the Tinman in the Valley scenes, I don't recall any dialogue or presence from him there? I am hype to depict him, if he is prominent for a scene, but I don't see him in these, per the illustrations.


You wore me out a bit, with the stipulations added to the contract, Peeky, but I never minded that you simply wanted clearer terms. But, I was assured that I would be "able to do my thing" as an illustrator.


If this is not the case, and you aim to wear me out the entire time, then my worst concerns are coming to fruition, and we should talk about dissolving the agreement. As per what I've seen so far, I have no doubt that my work would outsell any other prints, 3-1. I know it sounds arrogant, but it's just that I've been doing this a long time. I have an 8K and a 9K children's book slated ahead, and I guarantee that your other artists are not that much in demand. Do you want to allow me to give you some awesome work, or do you want to pick it apart and make it cluttered or literal?


When I agreed to make changes / revisions, I wasn't expecting them to be about micromanaging my base instincts. I was expecting "change the shirt color a bit here" or "tweak her nose there," etc.


Unless there are some awesome bits of work that I haven't seen, I'd say I am kinda your headliner. If you want me to lift this project up a bit, I would be happy to produce your best art work, but you've got to let me do my thing , so it is good.


What do you think?


Do we have any chance of working together?







Hi Peeky,


I've been working on your roughs a lot. I read all the pages about the Valley, twice. 'Very cool.


As an illustrator, I mostly pride myself on two things: One, on dynamic compositions, which come naturally to me, thankfully...And, two, on being able to suss out what passages need an art piece the most. To that end, I was hit by the image you wrote, of Dorothy slung over the back of the Lion. (I don't know the description of the Lion, incidentally, so I just drew a big lion)...But it was a strong reaction and it would make a strong illustration / desirable print, so, even though I have not been commissioned for it, I included it as a sketch, perhaps as a suggestion to hire me for that? If you warm to this idea, maybe we could add it on while I tackle the Valley work, so it's all fresh in my mind while I would do both.


If not, that's fine, too.


Also attached is my other strong scene instinct, the Bantam Village abandoned cave entrances, with the larger, snakelike vine eating the child head-first. We need to have a chat about what, precisely, Dorothy would be wearing at that point, after she changes at the pond, and if Jim took his shirt back?


I will now finish the Firewalkers sketches!






PS__If you want any help with grammar or small mistakes in the writing, I found a few minor ones.


PSS__*Per the ordeal with my new PC, Frys has advised me to swap in the same motherboard, to replace the current one that refuses to play nice with USB 3 / 3.1 ports...MSI has sent me a replacement, and I will most likely try this soon, where I will lose 3-4 days of work time. Please forgive the inconvenience, and add 3-4 days onto my deadlines...This is timely, anyway, since my wife and I aim to visit the Gulf at about the same time.






PSSS__Please remember that I *don't* work directly from my hand-drawn sketches, rather, I sculpt 3D pieces BASED ON those visual and mental notes. Once roughs are approved, you will have another chance to weigh in on a preliminary.



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