Bringing on the Green Knight

I have long been a fan of Arthurian legends. I really enjoy getting into the roots that prop all of these tales up, from ancient Welsh mythology to old tropes that different cultures would trade about in their oral traditions. It’s a lot of fun for me, and I’ve been wanting to do my own book of Arthurian tales since I was about 20.

With David Ayer directing the new Green Knight movie for A24, I was able to geek out a bit about the story of Gawain and the Green Knight, one of my absolute faves. It has just a little bit of everything peppered into the story, from impossible contest to ridiculous trading games. And woven throughout is the concept of honor, and what honor, or a life without honor, would mean to any knight of the Round Table.

I drew my own rendition of the Green Knight, which you can watch with the video I have attached to the story. I also tell the beginning of the story, which finds Gawain rashly choosing to agree to a game with an obviously supernatural being.

The AMAZING On Again, Off Again Art Blog

Hi. My name is Leigh. I run Grimmleighs, and have been for the better part of a dozen years been trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

The fact that I am nearly fifty-two is making this hard to deal with.

I have spent a lot of time either developing Grimmleighs as a art site to show off my monster creations, which can be popular and makes me pretty happy.

The rest of the time, I try to make Grimmleighs a place to showcase my love of miniature painting, which can be popular and makes me pretty happy.

I’m like a freaking pendulum in this regard.

Over the last two-ish years, though, fate has treated us to a pandemic, and life has treated me to a scorched esophagus from an ulcer that has been percolating about in my guts for most of my life.

The pandemic lit a fire under my ass, it seems, while the scorched esophagus has chosen my path. With my guts damaged, I can’t paint miniatures for very long without ending up in excruciating pain. I also can’t lay on my right side very well, but I’ll survive.

That pretty much kills the blog space as a place to post miniatures that I have painted.

So, welcome to my AMAZING on again, off again art blog.

I hope you enjoy my monster creations, they make me pretty happy.

He’s late for a date.

With my newly rekindled love of sharing monsters, I have also launched a YouTube channel and have been posting stories and time-lapse videos of my art. Here’s the first one, it’s a fun little story about a forest princess:

She’s going to be late for everything.

I hope you enjoy! This is a challenge for me as I am easily distracted. But I really like drawing monsters, so I hope they make you as happy as they make me!

Cheers!

Your friend Leigh.

Zombicide: Green Horde is Here!

I came home today with a surprise on my stoop, a whole bunch of new Frostgrave figures!  ORC ZOMBIES!!! WOOHOO!!!

Okay, first things first: Cool Mini or Not is NOT messing around. This campaign wrapped just a couple of months back, and having the core box in hand this early was a bit of a treat. The main box looks great, nice and sturdy, too. Inside, there is another box with the real goodies tucked away…

The top tray has the hero figs, a trebuchet, the stat card holders, dice, pegs, and one of each zombie type with their Orcish Necromancer. The tray underneath? How about another 54 zombies? Hehehehe…

The heroes look great, too, with a lot of cool characters that will most likely find their way onto my Frostgrave table. That dwarf, for instance, doesn’t even know he was the missing piece in my dwarven warband. Speaking of Frostgrave…

ZOMBIES! Okay, I KNOW the board game is supposed to be cool as hell. I can’t wait to get in to it and play a few scenarios. I’ll even open up the components and do another post showing off the non-mini coolness that’s in the big box. But these zombies in Frostgrave? Oh, man. I cannot wait. Just having some different shufflers to put on the board makes me goofy in the goomba.

This is only the first wave, too. The next wave ships later in the year and has giants, more heroes, and more baddies. As Kickstarter campaigns go, this was a solid win.

Lionfish Finished

About a year ago I drew up a sweet little mer-fish, and she was happy. For a while, at least, but she grew sad over time since she didn’t have anywhere to swim or play. So, here she is with her happy little sea home, with plenty of room to play tag and box with seahorses.

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These drawings are meant for coloring, so please, feel free to print here off and add some color. If you really love what you did, send me a copy, and I’ll share it with the fiends around the lab!

Hide Your Skyr! Here Comes Skyrgámur!

Starting on the 19th of December, Skyrgámur descends from his mother’s volcanic cave and wreaks havoc on the poor, humble folk that leave their Skyr unattended. Skyr. Mighty cultured dairy product of the gods. It’s like thick yogurt, but less intensely flavored.

skyr

Skyrgámur, like all of the Yule Lads, loves to menace the common folk. His prefered brand of menace seems a little passive compared to, say, Stekkjarstaur, who loves to harass sheep. Skyrgámur just likes to break into people’s houses and eat all of their skyr. His name literally means Skyr-gobbler. I’m starting to think old Gryla was running out of ideas for terrible deeds for her sons to commit by the time Skyrgámur came around. Then again, he does have a brother who licks spoons, so maybe Gryla just has a skewed sense of menace.

Still, I imagine if Skyrgámur came calling with his assembled brothers and that infernal Yule Cat, things might get a little freaky.

skyrgamur
Image from Brian Pilkington’s the Yule Lads

The Wax Statue

During the earlier part of November I was able to fulfill a long-standing, bucket-list level personal wish and spend a few hours wandering through Guillermo Del Toro’s collection of monster and comic book ephemera. It was, to put it mildly, a life changing experience.

We arrived at the LACMA early on a Saturday morning, and were greeted by a statue of this fellow:

death-deltoro

That was just the beginning. A whole wing of the museum had been set aside to showcase the collection of my absolute favorite director. I saw props from movies going back to the beginning of the art form. Wax statues wearing actual costumes from movies like the Bride of Frankenstein, Crimson Peak, and Hellboy.

frank

I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. It was like something was following me around the building, but I couldn’t put my finger on it…

mother

There where original pages from comic books going back to the 1960’s, and statues of genre giants like Ray Harryhausen, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe statue was pretty cool, and the room he was in was full of Victoriana. And a really weird wax of someone I couldn’t place. He was propped up against the wall, like some sort of diminutive, vaguely Asian Tor Johnson wannabe. He was also one of the few standing waxes, and the only one propped against a wall.

poe-wax

I got a little closer to the Poe, trying to figure out who the dude against the wall was. I needed to be a little sneaky, since there were super cool film nerds all over the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was let on that I didn’t know who this guy was. Just look at him, though: He had to be someone

poe-wax-2

I got closer to the guy, and right when I was about 5 inches away, he reached up, scratched his nose, and went back to sleep. I choked back a scream, and tried to act like my sudden ability to levitate was perfectly natural.

My wife pointed out his ID badge, and really, it should have been a pretty strong clue to his being a real, live human being. Then again, he looks like a freaking wax statue, and if there is anything I have learned from Westworld, I really shouldn’t take any chances, right?

Regardless, it was the visit of a lifetime. I wish we had more time, and that the building had been empty. It was really hard to stand and gawk at everything for the appropriate amount of time. I could have spent an hour looking at these guys alone:

toothsome

the Lionfish

I was working on a mermaid concept for the mythology book last night, and realized that I didn’t want your standard fish lady to represent the Undersea Realms. So, I looked up a bunch of different fish and got really into the lionfish. They are pretty amazing to look at, and have some really neat spines, patterns, and colors. I decided that the lionfish would be the basis of my mermaid design, and here she is:

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I still need to work out a background image for her, it’ll probably be a shipwreck of some sort or another. My grandfather loved old sailing ships, and I inherited a little of that. I love the haunted mystique of a wrecked ship on the sea floor.

the Vodyanoy

A friend of mine recently remarked that some plumbing problems we were having were due to Vodniks; my confused, vacant-eyed response led to a really fun story about some Czech friends of hers that blamed Vodnik on any plumbing problems that came up.

It’s been a few months now, and as the resident Cryptozoologist of Salt Lake City, I decided to do a little digging on my drippy little house guests.

The Vodnik is the Slavic cousin to the Russian Vodyanoy, a far more sinister fellow (they are all males) that haunts lakes and rivers. The Vodyanoy are frog like creatures, with aged bodies, froggy faces, fish tales, and long, stringy beards and hair. They paddle about on half sunken logs with their webbed hands, looking for unwary locals to drown. They seem to like wandering about without any clothes, too. Sound familiar?

gollum

The Vodnik, by contrast, seems more human like in features, although they are a greenish tint and tend to be covered in moss. They wear tattered, cast off clothing, and also loiter about lakes and rivers. Unlike the Vodyanoy, which are mostly malevolent, Vodniks can be beneficial or dangerous, depending on their mood.

One area that Vodyanoy and Vodnik overlap is that they keep little ceramic containers with them, in which they store the souls of people who have drowned in their domain. The crockery is considered currency to these folk, and a large collection of souls is a sure sign of wealth and influence. If the crockery is opened, however, the soul escapes in the form of a bubble, leaving the vessel it was in worthless.

Fishermen and people who make their living on the water will leave offerings of tobacco to the vodnik, in hopes that they will leave them alone or help them in their industry. A vodnik who feels slighted may attack local water features, such as dams, well, (possibly plumbing) and locks. This behavior has also been reported with Vodyanoy.

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artwork ©2016 L.G. Kade