Character design

Time to revive my blog!

While I am working on something new, I am updating my portfolio with some older illustrations that I did a bit more than a year ago. Now properly scanned in. The idea was to practice character design. For this I chose the title Take Your Pet to School Day.

New Year, New Adventures

It has been a while since I have been active here. Time to get back to drawing.

I was somewhat in a creative low and this was my first attempt of the year to get started again. Did this for a draw this in your style challenge by Poopikat #poopidtiys2023

I am really happy how it turned out and it was also the perfect opportunity to try out my new scanner!

Inktober – Day 27 – Interlude

Trying a different kind of spread layout…

Welcome to day 27 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Following the fairy to the end of the dark street, she stops in front of a gully cover. Waving her wand she removes the lid and starts going down.

Grog was anything but delighted about their underground journey, while Sasha felt quite at home in the cave like environment.
“Where does the tunnel lead to?” she asks.
“Have some patience, will you?” the fairy says. “None paying clients are always the worst” she mumbles to herself.

Inktober – Day 25 & 26 – Tempting & Ego

I was a bit at a loss of what to draw for these prompts, so decided to combine them both in the story…

Welcome to day 25 & 26 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

“So if you are a fairy, can you make my wing grow back?”
“Ah, I am afraid that is beyond my abilities. However, there might be other solutions. Let me make you a suggestion, I can grant you one wish or I can help you find what you lost,” the fairy says.

“Only one wish? And I cannot wish for a second wing?” Grog asks.
“That´s correct” the fairy replies.
“What kind of fairy are you if you cannot fulfill a wish? I thought that is the purpose of fairies?” grumbles Grog.
“Well, I am what I am. So take it or leave it,” the fairy snaps back at Grog and starts turning away from him.
“Make up your mind,” Sasha hisses at Grog. “The night is almost over and we are still no closer in finding your wing!”

After another moment of thought and seeing his reflection in a puddle of water, Grog forgets about his ego and starts jumping after the fairy who is slowly flying down the street. “ Alright, alright! Keep your wish, but I want your help, if you say you can help” he barks at her.
The fairy turns around and smiles at them. “Alright, follow me.”

Inktober – Day 11 – Eagle

Welcome to day 11 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Grog quickly jumped out of reach of the crab´s claws.

Still being puzzled by the content of the nest, Grog and Sasha did not pay any attention to their surroundings.

Suddenly they heard a screech behind them. Is this the owner of the nest returning? Either way, they did not want to find out and made a run for it!

Inktober – Day 10 – Crabby

Welcome to day 10 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Grog swiftly climbed up to the nest. Although he was not able to fly anymore, he still is an excellent climber.

However, the nest held a surprise that he did not expect at all!

Inktober – Day 8 – Match

…still attempting a very slow catch up on my Inktober drawings…

Welcome to day 8 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Together they start exploring the streets of the city.

Walking past a window, Grog sees his reflection. For a moment it looks like his wings are a perfect match again.

Inktober 2022 Day 8 _ Match_Melanie Franz

Inktober – Day 7 – Trip

Welcome to day 7 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Eventually Grog comes to the conclusion that his wing was not in the attic. 

“Maybe it simply fell down the roof?” Sasha said. 

Together they decide to leave the building and explore its surroundings. 

Inktober – Day 6 – Bouquet

Welcome to day 6 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

Grog and Sasha, who has nothing better to do, decide to keep looking together.

Meanwhile the flames surround a dry bouquet. Their dancing startles a group of moths that had been sleeping in it. While the moths take flight, Grog looks at them and their flapping wings with envy.

Inktober – Day 5 – Flame

Welcome to day 5 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

“Maybe they know where my wing is?!” Grog yells, pointing at little white lights that seem to be dancing.

“What is a wing?” the dancing flames reply. “We are having a party. Come and join us!”

But neither Grog nor Sasha were in the mood to join in the wild dancing.

Inktober – Day 4 – Scallop

Welcome to day 4 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

“Let me put on my glasses”, Sasha the bat, said.

“You wear glasses??” Grog replies, wondering.

“Nobody is perfect!” Sasha sneers at him. 

Meanwhile Grog climbs up another pile of boxes to look at what is inside. The top box tips and its content comes crashing down. Grog finds himself buried in a mountain of scallops. 

Inktober – Day 3 – Bat

Welcome to day 3 of my Inktober story. Missed the beginning? Here is where it starts.

The closet was empty, except for a large bat staring right at him with big eyes.

It took Grog a moment to get over his surprise.

“Have you seen my wing?” he asks. 

“Do I look like I see something?” the bat sneers back.

Inktober – Day 2 – Scurry

Last year during Inktober I put the focus on character design and had fun creating little children´s illustration. This year (after a way to long break from drawing and feeling out of practice) I decided to put the focus on storytelling.

Follow me for whatever story this year´s Inktober prompt list will lead to. Every day´s prompt will be a new page of the story.

Day 1 – meet Grog, the gargoyle. Now you might have notice something different about him.

Day 2 – still a work in progress. Will finish it tonight.


One morning Grog woke up, discovering that one of his wings was missing.

Grog jumped off his usual outdoor wall spot. Maybe someone had put his wing in the attic? He scurried around, looking here and there. But his wing was nowhere to be found. 

Work in progress

Getting more worried, he spots a big closet at the other end of the attic. Maybe his wing is in there? Slightly out of breath, he opens the door.

He jumps! That was not what he expected to find!

… to be continued on day 3.

Lunch Buffet

Summer was so busy with work and other things, that I have been neglecting the blog and my art for the last couple of months!
This definitely needs to change! First step was taken last weekend when I finally managed to clean up my drawing desk. I now have no excuses not to start drawing next weekend.
I am also planning to do Inktober again, so I will hopefully start positing some warm-up sketches next week, just to get back into a drawing routine.

Meanwhile I started colouring in scenes from my own capybara drawing book.

Take Your Pet to School Day II

Some of the initial sketches of the class room.

Have a great weekend! I will be out enjoying the sun.

Take Your Pet to School Day

Continuation of the drawings I did a couple of months ago. Some of them I forgot I actually drew, some of them where unfinished and I finally put the final touches on it. The whole idea was to practice more elaborate scenes with several characters and happenings.

Any feedback more than welcome!

I also think it is also about time to buy a new scanner instead of using my mediocre phone camera.

The Dream

A Folk Tale from Russia

One day an old, old man was wandering about the earth, and he asked for a night’s shelter from the peasant. “Certainly,” said the peasant—”I shall be only too glad; only, will you go on telling me stories all night long?”

“Yes, all right! I will tell you stories; only, let me rest here.”

“Then, pray, come in!”

So the old man entered the hut and lay down on the sleeping bench on the top of the stove.

And the master said: “Make yourself ready, honoured guest. We shall have supper. Now, old man, tell me a story.”

“Wait a bit; I had better tell you one in the morning.”

“As it please you!” And they lay down to sleep.

Then the old man went to sleep, and dreamed that there were two candles blazing in front of the images and two birds fluttering in the izbá. He felt thirsty, and wanted to drink, got off the sleeping bench, and there were newts running about on the floor. And he went up to the table, and saw frogs jumping and croaking on it. Then he looked up at the master’s eldest son, and there was a snake lying in between him and his wife. And he looked at the second son, and on the second son’s wife there was a cat which was yawning at the man. Then he looked at the third son, and between him and his wife there was a young man lying. This all seemed rather queer to the old man, and rather strange.

2202 Folk tales_Melanie Franz

So he went and lay on the corn-kiln, and there he heard shrieks: “Sister! Sister! come and fetch me!” Then he went and lay under the fence, and there he heard a cry: “Pull me out and stick me in again!” Then he went and lay on the cauldron, and he heard a cry: “I am hanging on the cross-beam! I am falling on the cross-beam!” Then he went back into the hut.

The master woke up and said: “Now tell me a story.”

But the old man replied: “I shall not tell you a story, only the truth. Do you know what I have just dreamed? I went to sleep and thought I saw two candles blazing in front of the images and two birds fluttering inside the hut.”

“Those are my two angels fluttering about.”

“And I also saw a snake lying between your son and his wife.”

“That is because they quarrel.”

“And I looked also at your second son, and there was a cat sitting on his wife, and yawning at the man.”

“That means that they are bad friends, and the wife wants to get rid of the husband.”

“Then, when I looked at your next son, I saw a youth lying in between them.”

“That is not a youth, but an angel who was lying there; and that is why they are on such good and loving terms.”

“Why is it, then, master of the house, when I slipped off the sleeping shelf that there were newts running on the floor; and, when I wanted to drink at the table, I saw frogs leaping about and croaking?”

“Because,” the peasant answered, “my daughters-in-law do not sweep up the lathes; but put the kvas on the table when they are sitting round together without saying grace.”

“Then I went to sleep on the corn-kiln, and I heard a cry: ‘Sister! Sister! come and fetch me!'”

“That means that my sons never put the brush back into its place and say the proper blessing.”

“Then I went to lie under the fence, and I heard a cry: ‘Pull me out and stick me in again!'”

“That means that the stick’s upside-down.”

“Then I went and lay under the cauldron. And I heard a cry of ‘I am hanging on the cross-beam! I am falling on the cross-beam!'”

“That means,” said the master, “that, when I die, my entire house will fall.”