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The Scratching Log - Honoring Contest Fan Artists - Michelle Bryant

By rath8325 - Posted on 06 October 2011




Michelle Bryant says that her interest in art began when she started drawing the Named clan cats. Again, I am amazed and honored to have inspired such creative talent. She also shows as well as tells us how she developed this piece. Seventh up on the sunning rock is Michelle, with “Tamer of the Red Tongue”, a stunning rendition of Ratha and her creature in digital media, developed from a hand-drawn sketch directly into Photoshop. This, I believe, was the First Prize winner in the contest. /CB


Your name:  Michelle Bryant

Your age: 21

Title of your entry:  "Tamer of the Red Tongue"

What media did you use for this artwork?   Digital media (Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and a digital drawing tablet)


Tell us a little about your process for creating this work.

First the sketch was drawn directly into Photoshop. I start off using basic shapes to define my picture then I slowly work towards details. My sketches are often pretty loose and messy, so I use a lot of different colors to help keep the different part organized.Ratha sketch by Michelle Bryant



After I have everything the way I'd like, I outline the entire picture with a line black like and add color, shading, highlights, and background after that. In total, my entry took nearly 8 hours to complete.

Ratha's Creature final art by Michelle Bryant



What inspired the work, and/or what were you trying to convey?

My inspiration mainly came from the first book, "Ratha's Creature" but since Ratha's fire is a reoccuring theme throughout the other four books, it could fit for any of them too. From the beginning, I was drawn to Ratha's fierce determination at not only taming 'her creature' but going a step further and risking everything to bring this creature to the rest of the Named. Even after loosing her fire and banished to exile, she still kept her head high until she could regain the Red Tongue, return home, and become leader. Ratha's spirit is defined by fire, which is a symbol of courage and power, and I wanted to show this in my image.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about the entry?

This picture took me nearly 8 hours to complete spread out over a 3 day period. The longest steps were the fire detail and the shading, which were also the most challenging.


When did you first read the Named books, and how did you discover them?

I first found the Named books through my highschool's library back in 2004. I loved reading stories about felines and I happened to come across "Ratha's Creature", which I read and loved! I checked out the rest of the series (at that time only books 2 through 4) and instantly fell in love with those too. I started drawing fanart from the books after reading them all, so you could say the Named books helped me along the road to becoming the artist I am today, to which I'm truly grateful.


What's your favorite book in the Named series?

My favorite book of the series would have to be "Ratha's Creature." The way Ratha rebounds from losing everything to the new leader of the Named is inspiring.


Coffee or hot chocolate?  Hot Chocolate!

Ereader or print?  Print

Firekeeper or Herder?  Firekeeper

Thakur or Bonechewer?  Bonechewer

Ratha or Thistle-Chaser?  Ratha

Do you have a link where people can view more of your artwork?

You can find all of my artwork online at



Random image

Clan Ground Firebird cover

Join other Named Series fans on the Ratha Series Forum.  Hunt up information in the Fire Den, read the new Twitter creation, "Ratha's Island", or strut before the clan to introduce yourself in the Fire Dance.

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