(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)
Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse
( Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )
I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.
 I had this great idea about the heptarchate's founding but.
NOTE: I make no guarantees.
What *existing* characters would you like to see more stories about?
mystery POV #1 from Revenant Gun that Yoon evilly refuses to divulge
servitor POV #2 from Revenant Gun
someone else that I will mention in comments
ticky the tookie tocky
Thank you for the copy of All Systems Red, which I am really stoked about getting to read. (For the curious, my local bookstores didn't stock it.)
I have turned on anonymous comments for the moment, which are screened. If you'd like me to write you a thank-you flashfic, please feel free to leave a comment to this post. I'm probably going to turn off anonymous comments by week's end (sooner if I start having problems with spam comments).
Yesterday's sketches are on the left, in Robert Oster Maroon 1789; today's are on the right, in Platinum Carbon Black. I would have liked to do more but it just wasn't happening today or yesterday.
I am maybe not having the best couple of days ever for reasons I can't yet get into (not health-related) so reassuring comments (not on the art, necessarily, just life in general) and links to cute things would be much appreciated.
There would be something beautiful and healing about this except...this is Louisiana. This entire lake is STANDING STAGNANT WATER. In other words, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. I don't think it was an accident that the entire lake/park was deserted and I was the only one walking around during prime bugs-chow-down-on-humans hour...
- Relearned how to do layer masks, which are a thing I have to look up every damn time.
- Did some sketching for a Thing.
Unrelatedly, in the department of flamewars waiting to happen, the Dragon is reading X-Men but can't tell whether they're DC or Marvel...
Waterman 52V wet noodle, Diamine Eclipse.
Continuing basic face and eye practice. Next up will be reading the two pages of pointers on drawing the eye (eyebrows, eyelashes).
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Blending Paint (did worksheet)
- Temp Layers
- Faster Layer Shortcut Keys (now I know how to record Photoshop actions!)
- Brush Technique: Blending
- Blending Practice (worked on worksheet, not done with it)
Eh, I need to work on actualfax symmetry and this is something that will only come with practice and development of hand-eye. Also, I totally do not understand hair--I'm roughing things out based on eyeballing some of the example sketches in Jack Hamm's book but this book is also ©1963. Fortunately somewhere later in this book, if I make it that far, is a section on how to draw hair...
Drawn with a Waterman 52V wet noodle. Ink: Diamine Eclipse.
Today was mostly a loss not because it was a bad day but because my sleep was unavoidably wrecked. Such is life! On the bright side, my cat loves me. :3
I have bipolar disorder, and when I'm depressed it's hard to get out of bed. It's very easy to beat myself up for the days when I don't get a lick of writing done. I can write when depressed. I can usually eke out even 250 words just to have something down, and I won't lie that getting something down makes me feel better in the way that doing the dishes makes me feel better: because I have this thing where I have to be doing something useful or I'm worthless. That's not exactly a mentally healthy place to be and I rather disrecommend it.
It is okay to have off days. To have days where there are things more important than getting the words down. To have days where you just have some tea (or beverage of choice) and be kind to yourself and pet the cat.
Writing can frequently be miserable and neurosis-inducing. Or anyway I often find it so, mainly because it's hard work and I'm already walking around with mental illness. It's hard not to feel that everything has to be brilliant or it's worthless, that I'll never catch up with people who write more than my plodding 2,000 words/day (which I don't even make some days).
But the truth is that writing shouldn't be punishment, and that it's healthy to do things that are not-writing because they make you happy. I can't remember what writer gave this advice but she said to schedule your social activities first, then your writing, because the social activities would keep you grounded and happy--modulo whatever level of introversion you have, I guess. I'm fairly introverted but I do like a certain minimum of getting out of the house and doing things that aren't writing, just because.
Seriously, be kind to yourself. You're the only yourself you have. Writing can happen after.
Watch as I continue to struggle with wavy hair. :p I think tomorrow I may see what's next--I think it's drawing basic eyes, which should be fun.
(I know it's beginner stuff but one has to start somewhere?)
After the Dragon goes to bed I'm going to snatch the tablet and work through the next couple Ctrl+Paint tutorials. :D
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Brush and Eraser
(most of this is review but some of the keyboard/mouse shortcuts are things that are useful to refresh and some are just new to me because I am still a Photoshop n00b)
I used to have a lovely set of expensive artist-grade pastels but flood. One of the reasons I don't buy art supplies anymore? It feels like I spent so much money only to never get to use everything. :( Still, I have Photoshop and a tablet and two wet noodle fountain pens, so hey! :3
- In hilarity, I gussied up my ramen-with-egg with additional "Cajun coleslaw," which involved red? purple? cabbage. Y'ALL IT TURNED MY RAMEN BLUE. I was...a little alarmed when the timer went off and I returned to the stove! Tastes like perfectly normal ramen though. *snrk* That'll learn me.
ETA progress report!!!
- I was at this for something like six hours. I don't even feel tired, exhilarated rather. I'm sure it would be different if I had to do this for a living, but writing for six hours usually has me completely wiped even if I last that long. Doing music for six hours has me energized. I wonder if that's a sign I'm in the wrong profession.
Joe has this thing where his lowest energy state is gaming. My lowest energy state is...okay, really it's lying in bed with a purring cat (if the cat deigns to come to me, haha), but the next lowest energy state is making music. Maybe it would also be different if I had to do this to a professional standard as opposed to screwing around (although I do try to improve!). But I don't think there was ever a point in my life where six hours straight (well, modulo food breaks) of writing would be energizing.
(Writers on my reading list [fanfic or other, either way], how do you feel about this? After six hours of writing, do you want to go back for more, or do you want to veg? Am I doing this completely wrong?)
- I can't tell whether it's the patches or Reaper or just my aging system that are buggy but my keyswitches were starting to misbehave after a few hours, which was the point at which I decided to call it a day. Like, if I can't hear the correct articulations then there's no point, you know? I have to judge the actual sound. Although it did give me a story idea, so not all is lost.
- Oh! Komplete 9 provided me with some basic cymbals and I put them in and right there and they sound ACES. =D
- Basic tempo mapping is surprisingly easy, although I record at 70 bpm (because of sixteenth notes vs. my laggy system) and then speed up to 100 bpm, and because I forgot to reset to the proper tempo, my export is borked. I'll fix it next time.
- Admittedly I would be more willing to reboot if it didn't take in excess of twenty minutes to load my project. *sigh*
- In case anyone was looking for a free Kontakt cello--haven't experimented with it yet but will do so tomorrow. If it can do basic legato I'm set for a while. (I don't need virtuoso solo cello for a while.)
- Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure: a couple of practice heads (ruler/compass construction, measuring by eyes, equilateral placement of key features)
- Ctrl+Paint (watched first two intro videos, need to watch more after the Dragon goes to bed so I can steal the Wacom tablet back :p)
- Attempted an Environment prompt from Artprompts.org and rapidly realized that I need more perspective than I actually have. I'll keep it in mind for future exercises if I ever get that far. :]
A sample from tonight's doodling. I hate how shaky my hands are but such is life.
Prompt: Liozh + entrance exam
According to records held like stunted chrysalids in the vaults of the Rahal, the Liozh demanded a practical examination as well as the written examination. We can guess what both components contained, even in those days, heresy-seeds waiting to fruit into the later rebellion. We know, empirically, how long it took the other heptarchs to recognize and act against the Liozh heresy. The delay between recognition and action remains a puzzle to this day.
Of particular interest, despite their fragmentary nature, are records of the assessment of the woman who would become the final Liozh heptarch. We retain the following notes: a jeng-zai spread featuring the card combination called the Web of Worlds, after that ancient signifier; a receipt for a meat pie, dated not only to the final day of her examination but to what would have been an auspicious time; and, most confusingly, an old-fashioned romance novel with several dog-eared pages. The significance of the romance novel has not yet been deciphered.
It is claimed that the written portion of the exam was taken on paper recycled from other factions' written exams. Occasionally, given the process used, faint distorted shadows of text surfaced, hinting at the laws of the Rahal, the rigid codes of the Vidona, the games of the Shuos. Scholars debate whether this practice helped lead to the downfall of the Liozh, or delayed it.
In a certain Vidona museum, one display shows what is said to be a Liozh cadet's flayed skin, preserved. They had gone into a heretical settlement as part of their practicum, bringing with them food, and water, and the comfort of the heptarchate's ideals. The heretics returned the cadet's skin, tanned, tattooed with high holy days in their own calendar.
According to the display's plaque, the Liozh failure to retaliate on their cadet's behalf was just another sign of their unfitness to rule.
One of the most famous entrance exam questions goes like this: If you had to destroy a single faction for the good of the heptarchate, which would it be, and why?
One portion of the exam was taken in groups of seven. Prospective cadets had to play through a scenario in which one of them played the role of a Liozh ambassador and the rest played heretics being brought into the heptarchate. Frustratingly, the scoring rubric does not survive, nor do we know how the "ambassador" was selected.
Some have suggested that this particular game was introduced by the Shuos in order to hasten the Liozh's fall, although surely even the Shuos wouldn't be that obvious about it.
Those who did not pass the exam were barred from trying again, or applying to other factions. This was contrary to the practice of the time among the other factions, who were more lenient in their policies. That being said, the Andan and Shuos were both known to defy this rule if they felt some advantage could be gained by scooping up some candidate and giving them a new identity.
Reports differ on what happened to Liozh candidates who had not yet passed the exam during the final purge of the faction. The Rahal claim that the Vidona reeducated those who could be salvaged. What the Liozh themselves would have said about this, no one now will ever know.