How to draw an extraterrestrial👽

When it comes to world building, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is: How do the people in your story- and on your planet- look like? And why do they look like that? Are their eyes bigger because their sun isn’t that bright? Is their skin darker because their sun is very warm? Are they monsters with tentacles or do they resemble humans? Why are they wearing that cloak, or that hairstyle? You should have a story behind each of these questions. And drawing your characters might help you build your world.

I just wanted to share a little guide as to how I am drawing my aliens. This drawing does have a bit more than 70 layers, and two extraterrestrials from The Chariots of Orion.

1. Sketch

When you have an idea how the drawing should roughly look like, dedicate the first layer to make a sketch. Don’t worry about the background just now, you can add that layer later. Note that I have also sketched the body parts that are not visible in the drawing. This is to make sure that the clothing fits the outlines of the bodies.

2. Outlines

Once you have decided what your drawing should roughly look like, and sketched the shapes of the bodies, switch to black ink to draw the outlines of the drawing, such as clothes and hair. Leave out complicated parts like hands, or hair (as in this case, Arikmé’s pompous hairstyle), and dedicate individual layers to them, in case you have to redo them several times. This sketch already does have separate layers for both figures, and for body parts such as hands.

3. Faces

It is time to draw the faces! Facial expressions are hard to draw, so you’ll want separate layers for them. Now you ought also determine the body language of the characters. How’s their relation, what are they talking about? Note that Dagon (on the left) is a higher official than Arikmé, and that he is slightly shorter than the warlord, but he doesn’t seem to look up at him. Arikmé is (as the ones among you that have read the book may already know) very proud, and whilst he reports to Dagon, he will still keep his attitude.

4. Filling and clothing

When you have done the outlines and the clothing, you can start to fill. The colour of the officials is black, and a golden and a silver belt signal a very high official, so both men are wearing black. Dagon wears a white cloak, not only because he is a higher official, but because the colour white is reserved for the king. Also, his headdress indicates that he does have more power than Arikmé. Being a warlord, Arikmé wears a cap on his head. This cap does have more than five layers, each for every colour. Note that I still haven’t done the faces.

5. Faces and hands

This is the hardest part. I first did a few layers with the eyes, and later created a layer for the skin colour, and pulled that layer under the previous layer. It’s less distracting when you can draw the eyes on a plain background. The skin colour is always hard. It’s best to try several shades until you find one that fits. The Alonians don’t really have only one type of skin colour, but they all have a shade that is rather tanned (think North Africa, South America).

Now, also Arikmé’s hair is drawn.

6. Finishing touches

Now you can draw things you forgot or want to add. Arikmé got piercings, his crown, and a sword. Dagon got some outlines for his cloak and jewels for his crown. The sign shown on Arikmé’s crown and on his robes is the character Yaxal, which stands for serrated rock, strength, and cleverness, and does have the sound “y”. There is also a female form of the character with the same sound, but a slightly different form.

7. The background

Now you can draw the background. It is easier to create the landscape after you’ve drawn your characters. I went for the city of ancient Meryo in Alonia, with the river and the desert in the background.

I hope you had fun reading this guide, and that it helps you start with your own aliens👽

Aquamarine review – update

I was so thrilled by this video review of my recent album “Aquamarine”! Thank you, Audible Addixion!😘

The review can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/AmWenceslas/activity_feed/?type=mention&ref=notif&target_story=S%3A_I1075181792520823%3AVK%3A551207065282727&notif_id=1536715277412515&notif_t=page_tag

Speaking of oceans, you should check out this article about oceans on extraterrestrial planets.

You can find “Aquamarine” on Bandcamp:

https://amariswenceslas.bandcamp.com/

Drawing: View from an ice moon

Ice moon
An extraterrestrial ice world.

I wanted to share this little drawing I shared on Instagram earlier. It shows an ice moon orbiting a blue gas giant (like Neptun, Jupiter…) and another small moon in the background.

An ice world like this can be found in our own solar system, with Enceladus, a moon orbiting Saturn, which is covered in ice, and could hide a humongous ocean under its surface (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enceladus).

What the “Chariots of Orion” is about and why I started to write sci-fi

The Request – The Chariots of Orion 1 is my first sci-fi novel to be published! But why does a producer and singer start to write sci-fi?

First, I’ve always loved astronomy and science fiction. When I was little, my dream was to become an astronomer. We know that this didn’t work out. But that didn’t stop me from loving astronomy. Maybe it was because of this fervour that I wanted to create a novel about what could happen if we met an intelligent, highly advanced civilisation from outer space.

The world of my book and its countries I’d say were built on logic, rather than only fantasy. I wanted to create a completely fictional, but still realistic – somewhat believable – world for my extraterrestrial civilisation. As much as I love H.P. Lovecraft and especially the Cthulu series, I wanted to create extraterrestrials that were similar to us, not monsters with tentacles. Don’t get this wrong, I love stories with monsters with tentacles, but I thought that the message of the book, “what would happen if we met a highly advanced civilisation from outer space? What if they would attack us?” would be easier to limn when the civilisation is physically similar to us, because they’re looking similar like us, but don’t function like us.

But then, I wouldn’t dare to claim that my kind of civilisation is realistic… Who knows what aliens might look like? They might actually have tentacles, like in “Arrival”, and be terribly advanced, too. And who knows if they would be friendly inclined?

Analysis: Sunburns, evolution, and aliens

Last week I was sitting there, covered in cooling ointment, my arms (and my face) completely red. How come? I caught a bad sunburn after spending the day outside with my bro, doing research for my novel.

How is that possible? How do you get a sunburn when you actually are climbing about rocks and boulders, and you’re surrounded by fog?

It seems as though our bodies are just not capable of dealing with so much sun. But, wait- we are a species that evolved on a planet with a sun, right? Have you ever seen a giraffe complaining about sunburn? An ape? A jellyfish? So, how come animals can deal with the sun, but we can’t?

Aren’t our bodies used to the sun anymore? Were our ancestors not always outside? OK, troglodytes were supposedly dwelling in caves, but they did come out of them from time to time, didn’t they? So, what’s the deal?

Apparently, we lose abilities if we don’t train them. I for example was thrown out of ballet classes in drama school because I didn’t train enough. So, could this apply in evolution? If we only use dictation and autocorrect to write, could we actually lose our ability to write? Could our hands shrink? If we look up everything in the internet instead of learning it from books, could we damage our ability to actually learn things?

And if we were to invent devices which would allow us to communicate telepathically, would that mean that our ability to hear, and to talk would suffer?

I could very much imagine an alien species that has become so intelligent that they literally only need their brains to steer computers, which steer AIs, which steer, I don’t know, anything from administrating the society to provide food (but then, would such a species need food? Or would brain food be sufficient?), to choosing your outfit (maybe caps would be a trend).

If we had AIs doing everything for us from tidying up our kitchens to working for us, could that mean that we might lose the ability to…you know, everything? We would be nothing but brains, but unable to do anything without the help of our AIs, because we would have no limbs, no abilities left, and we would have forgotten everything about how we built all of this because our AIs are storing the information, not we. We couldn’t even talk, because we would use the AIs to speak.

So should we stop using sun lotion, to prevent evolution from taking away our ability to speak? Literature (and every physician) advises us not to. It might not be such a good idea.

And maybe, if we were composed only of brains, we would at least have become intelligent enough to invent a treatment against sunburn, because that really hurts.

Conclusion: You should really use sun lotion.

Aquamarine is out now!🌊

My new and fourth album “Aquamarine” is out now. The album is all bass & blues and water.

Decide yourself:

https://open.spotify.com/album/7MKZ7NwMoE2kAxrDCZfOka?si=jVUtNeh8Q2Wch_SBFqVi2Q

So how did this album develop? I’ll tell you below.

London Lights

Just a song inspired by my residence, and one of my favourite cities, London. Have you ever driven along the Strand at night, maybe on your way to a show, the lights around you glittering, and twinkling in the night? I actually haven’t, even though I live in London, but I have walked along the Strand at night, and it is marvellous!

Kiss It Or Leave It

A song about commitment, which actually ought have appeared on “Neon Colors”. I actually did a bit of a challenge in that song, as the main vocals have been recorded live, and I gave it only 2 or 3 attempts. What did you say? Crackpot? OK, I understand you.

Spotlight

A song about something or somebody that will make you feel great, or cheer you up, because they make you laugh, or because you just like them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a love song, but I guess it would make a great love song.

Love Under

I admit, this song was about fun recording it. It is a breakup song, with a special background. Whilst recording the new album, my hard disc with all my samples and songs on it failed, because I had unplugged it coincidentally. So I had to set up everything from the backup. But suddenly, one of my favourite virtual plug-ins wouldn’t work anymore and it was then when music production and I, the producer, really had a hard time in our “relationship”. This inspired me for this breakup song.

Beach Love

This song was obviously inspired by a beach, and by a picture of Palau.

Build Me An Ocean

Sometimes I love dramatic songs like that. It is another breakup song, and yes, it might have evolved because of that hard disc.

She Ain’t Me

This is one of my favourite songs, because of its message I bet you won’t get first. The song appears to be about jealousy, but actually is about online game addiction. And a girl that is jealous about the online game, OK, so it’s mingled both of them.

Taunt

Another nerdy song- this song was actually inspired by Hearthstone!

Every Step

This song is quite a challenge to sing live. I’ve tried. I know that this song stands a bit out because it is so experimental, but it’s just so fun creating songs like that (even though they’re hard to sing). You don’t wanna know how many hours I had to low-cut my vocals for this song.

Salt And Sand

While I’ve been called “EDM producer” even when I had started to make different music, and this album was supposed to be a step away from electronic music, I couldn’t resist include at least one song with a more electronic vibe. The song is about too much salt destroying a relationship; the gamers among you will get this.

Crazy

This song with its floating sounds was inspired by water. You will notice that this song comes without any bass (sorry, I know it’s a bass & blues album), as I wanted it to sound like water softly trickling in a beach.

Aquamarine

The breakup song that gave the album its name was of course inspired by the water, and because the song sounds blue to me, I decided to call it “Aquamarine”.