Murky Lioness

It’s amazing what you find under cats.

That sentence may or may not be relevant in the second half of this post. It’s kind of relevant to the first half of the post, too. Given that she sleeps on my art desk quite often and I keep all of my old sketchbooks under it. But that’s okay. Every cat owner knows that everything they once owned now belongs to their cat. Including, but not limited to: expensive brushes (that they nuzzle), pencils (that they also nuzzle), paper (that they sit on), and erasers (that they knock off of desks).

I say this like I mind- but I don’t- it’s one of the joys of having a cat.

Just focus on the mouth. It'll be okay. I promise.
Just focus on the mouth. It’ll be okay. I promise.

The first of the two is one of the rare acrylic painting attempts from before this year. This was one of the first I had finished, as there was only one before it and I didn’t get too far with that one before realising I had no idea what I was doing. One thing that I noticed about this piece is how similar (yet equally different) it is to what I’m currently doing. It has strong textures, good attention to detail, and an emphasis on layering colours. That said- it is amateurish at best. Especially around the eyes. But it’s not without some degree of merit. Especially when you consider that I want to illustrate my artistic journey, which this piece contributes to by showing I always had some understanding of how acrylic painting worked.

It’s hard to recall exactly how this piece was painted. I don’t think I would have been painting from dark to light, as I currently do, as I likely would have followed a similar technique to the one I used with watercolour painting. It is interesting how there are slight hints of my current style in this piece, though. Just less refined than it currently is.

Which is one of the reasons that I like to refer to older pieces on a regular basis. More often that not you’ll notice slight hints of things which have come into play much later, almost as if you were always capable of doing those things but you weren’t able to bring them out just yet. On the other hand, it’s equally interesting to see how some things have evolved in ways you would never have imagined they would. Like with my pencil style. I’m definitely leaning much harder on a smoother, blended, less graphic style than I ever expected I would.

It's not like anyone has ever been eaten by a murloc before, right?
It’s not like anyone has ever been eaten by a murloc before, right?

This is where the second piece comes into play.

Those who know of Heroes of the Storm will know of Murky. The adorable, lovable, somewhat slimy murloc who would never consider eating you. Not for a second. This piece refers quite a way back to the adventures of Ol’ Hooty, who was featured in Aquatic Owl. The marriage of Faber Castell Polychromos and ink.

Blessed by fluffy bum cheeks, Murky came into this world with the same indistinct gurgling that he is known for wrapped in a style quite unlike any I’ve used before. It’s only because of the sketchy nature and size of the piece that it isn’t featured somewhere on the site. He’s well loved, too. It’s probably one of the best received pieces I’ve done in some time. The only slight drawback to this entirely consensual (and in no way shotgun) wedding is that I have limited colours. Which, unlike watercolour painting, or even marker illustrations, is actually a limiting factor. I can always lean towards subject matter that suits the colours I currently have, though. So there’s hope for more in the future.

Have a nice week, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Heroes of the Storm, Mgrrglgrgl, Murky, Octograb, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

First Impressions of… Heroes of the Storm

You know those days where you sign up for a Beta and then forget you did it? You do? Me too!

Though, that’s not entirely true- I do remember signing up for this Beta as I know a few people who play it and love it. So, naturally, as I never get the Betas I want, I decided to sign up as what were the chances? Hilariously I once got into the World of Warcraft Cataclysm Beta and I’d only just returned to the game with Moggie at Lvl 40-45 or something.

So, what is Heroes of the Storm? Well as best I can tell it’s kind of in the MOBA genre. Which, for someone like me, who has played no MOBAs ever, is pretty unnerving from the first click into the game as I don’t really know what you do. I mean, I get the PvP elements- but I don’t know what a Support is or a Warrior or an Assassin. While these titles mean things to me in other games it’s something I’m not quite sure of here. Is the Support a healer? Are they someone with a great amount of utility? Do they literally support and buff other characters? Is there a holy trinity where a number of Warriors, Supports, and Assassins are required? What’s a Specialist? Can they sell me insurance? Why does Tyrael ride a horse when he has wings?

The good and the bad news is that it seems to be that you don’t necessarily start with any Heroes whatsoever. So, when you first load the game, which I’m assuming holds true for release, you start with a blank slate. However, I do believe the free Hero rotation will also hold true for release. Which is a weekly selection of four-six Heroes (depending on your level) that you can play for free.

Additional Heroes can either be bought with real money or with gold. Gold is accrued fairly consistently as you finish matches, level your profile up, level your Heroes up, do daily quests, and generally as you play the game in any shape or form. I don’t know if it is entirely possible to get every hero with gold and no real money purchases but I would assume with enough time and effort it would be.

Speaking of game modes you have quite a few. Practice (where you can play and level Heroes to test them out), Quick Match (where you play against other players with other players), Cooperative (where you play with others against AI opponents), Hero League (where you do solo or group play for a rank), Team League, and Quick Match.

Not entirely sure what Team League does yet. In Quick Match it seems you just match up against differing levels of AI ruthlessness but it doesn’t seem to contribute gold, experience, or just about anything else. So, yeah, lots to do and you don’t necessarily have to play with others straight away. You can get used to the different roles, maps, Heroes, and so on at your own pace. It does seem to have quite a lot of charm, too. Not sure if it’s something I would continue playing well into release as I’m not the greatest PvP fan. But, for now, it offers a great little distraction and quite varied gameplay despite the broad umbrella of Warrior, Assassin, Specialist, and Support.

I’m certainly having a lot of fun playing it on and off and it does get a lot more interesting as you build your Hero roster into something stronger, more varied, and ultimately more fun.

Have a nice weekend, all!