More character sketches

During the last weekend, after a planned family meetup that partly fell through due to Covid, I started working on a couple of new character sketches. All the characters here have come up in some of the short stories I’ve posted under the Connacht Disaster Zone project.

The children in the yard

This was lying around for a while and was originally just the two lads in the centre (Seamus and Diarmuid), but then I added the girls (Maebh and Siobhán). Diarmuid was the very first character I created for the series; in the early stages, he was a Solid Snake-type character that almost everyone feared. In the current iteration, he’s just a kid (with an admittedly unusual eye colour) who was kidnapped and experimented on. What hasn’t changed is that being the village freak has left him cynical and bitter, with a low opinion of people in general.

Siobhán was originally an orc-raised human who became his (probable) girlfriend, but when I shifted Diarmuid into his current form, I did something similar with her. She went through a few iterations – the daughter of a doctor exiled to the edge of the disaster zone for blasphemy/heresy/whatever the Dwarven Inquisition deemed him guilty of, then an exile herself, and then another test subject. In contrast to Diarmuid, she’s more willing to trust authority figures – or at least is less openly hostile towards them.

From left to right: Maebh, Seamus, Diarmuid and Siobhán.

Maebh and Seamus aren’t viewpoint characters yet, but it’s something I’d like to do. Maebh has only come up in one story so far (Night Shift), and is the daughter of a pair of slavers. I’m considering a story wherein she discusses the disaster zone from the Fomorians’ perspective. Seamus has had slightly more page time in Fomoritis Confirmed as Diarmuid’s only friend apart from Siobhán, and in Nightmare by commenting on how the Fomorians’ green skin fungus dies if you stand out in the sun long enough. Both he and Maebh are intended to be more functional than Diarmuid or Siobhán – they were born as orcs and are used to it.

The marriage painting

I drew this on the Saturday evening and finished it on the Monday. The two characters here are Aidan and Gráinne O’Rourke (neé Ní Bhriain). Aidan is part of a family of smugglers based around Letterfrack; Gráinne married into the family.

In the earliest days of the series, Aidan was a very cynical half-orc who was transplanted from an old Halo-esque series that I abandoned years ago. Over the various iterations, I decided that Diarmuid was misanthropic and jaded enough for both of them, and began to rework Aidan into a more pleasant, well-adjusted character. So far, he’s the main viewpoint character of Infiltration, and a major supporting character in two others (First Date and Receiver).

Gráinne has had different names, quirks and special interests throughout various iterations, but what has remained constant throughout is that she’s autistic. She’s the viewpoint character of First Date (basically, where she meets Aidan), and she’s also a major supporting character in Infiltration and Receiver.

Gráinne (left) and Aidan (right). Gráinne is stimming by rubbing her hand against her scarf; it relaxes her. The painting behind them is a slightly earlier sketch of Aidan that I haven’t completed.

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