I’m in the midst of working through my annual sketchbook and the subject matter this time around has me musing on rocks and how to draw them. More so than usual, it would seem!

You ever just get something right and feel like you’re forever chasing it again?

I know I do. This kind of thing, in fact:

My sketchbook collection Wanderings retells a Swedish fairy tale, Bella’s Wanderung.

A princess leaves her castle, wanders around the woods for a while, and bumps into different creatures. Finally, an eagle comes along and says, listen, we got to get you home, ok?

The end. No discernible moral or even a real point, just a wander through the woods and see what you can see. My kind of story!

Back to getting something right and forever chasing it. Check out those mossy rocks. I got ’em. Especially the two just to the left and right of the big bear’s shoulders. My favorite rocks I’ve ever drawn, probably.

You’d think that I’d have mossy rocks on speed dial at this point. That I could order them up like chicken wings. Nope! Each one is a puzzle that I feel like I can just barely solve. No idea why. For me it’s not kill your darlings it’s more why can’t I reliably draw my darlings?

Well! I’m aiming to solve that riddle and somehow answer the question for myself with this new series I’ve been calling the Stone Troll Forest.

Nothing too fancy, mind you. I’ve got a set of three pieces featuring big creatures made of stone and sat down in the woods somewhere.

The first of which I’d like to share with you here in three stages: rough sketch, in progress, and the finished drawing.

Decent rocks! Not half bad! But what going on with the one that’s completely blank?

Well! We’ll take a closer look at that one next time and talk through uncovering those little hidden passages as you find your way through a piece.