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Entwined- Tlaloc (pt 1)

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Dr Mike 2000’s brief for the Aztec god Tlaloc aka Rain and Fertility.

She appears as a small fertility figure with large weepy eyes. To give her a vertical aspect, she’s always underneath a high cloud, raining down on her. Mopey, picked on by the others, cares deeply for her little meat puppet thing, the human biome. 

And below, one of Mike’s Inktober sketches of our friendly little god  (taken from

My visual research process followed the same steps as before- grab research images of the deity as sculptures, paintings and scrolls, and mimic them.

Here’s the first one, first pencilled lightly and then ink pens to build up lines, not too thick in this case, and then finishing with an ink wash for shadow and depth.

For this drawing I chose to go in heavy with hatching. You can see from the reference image that I made some modifications, already thinking about what aspects of this character I might like to pull out and emphasise. Love the crown of faces- drawing from reference images like this can give rise to all sorts of idea on character as well as aesthetic.

This version takes the reference image and starts to add form and depth. I started out by pencilling the reference image lightly but fairly accurately in blue pencil, taking in the details and patterns, and trying to see every little piece of visual information; bringing into all my brain, eyes, and hand, and by drawing it, trying connecting all three a little better.

The pencil stage took about 30 minutes, as I continued to go a little darker and adding a bit more roundness, as I fleshed it out from a flat image and into more an actual character.

I then followed my go-to procedure of using a 0.3 copic multi-liner pen to draw all the whole thing. Here I made final decisions on pencil marks that were not entirely resolved.

This was followed by a few passes of ink washes, going from light to dark. Once that was dry I took to it with a mixture of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8 pens, enforcing light source, depth and adding a contrast of value.

And then this little guy, which turned out pretty good, an amalgamation of the reference studies and a decent first draft leading on to what came next…. Only took about four or five hours of pencilling, inking and then painstaking Copic marker application. Good thing I enjoy it so much. 

Visit Dr Mike’s instagram and look for his Inktober sketches to see his rendition of our friendly little god  (taken from