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Behold, the size of mine ego!

Handwriting font. Specifically, my handwriting font.

There are many places online you can do this, many for free. They vary in the number of characters they’ll allow (special characters like ampersands and em dashes may not be included), but they all work similarly. Download a template, write the letters in the spaces provided, scan and upload. And viola, .ttf file!

I almost had a hissy fit when I realized I’d done all my work on a template that wasn’t the template of the website I had intended to work with. But as I had done a lot of the work in Photoshop, it was an easy matter to move it from one to another.

The particular site I used is Calligraphr. They have some neat features, like letting you adjust the letter spacing (my handwriting is generally crammed together tight) and letter variants (because if you get a big enough sample, the lack of variation in the letter forms sticks out).

I might even pony up the $8 for one months worth of enhanced service, so I can do a complete character set — numbers, symbols and so on. You get to keep the font when you’re done anyway, paying or not.

Behold, a handwriting crabbed by two and a half decades of communicating with engineers.

June 4, 2019 — 8:55 pm
Comments: 13



Neat article about deep fakes. You know, where they take an image and make a pretty convincing animated version of it. They’ve got it so they can work off a single still image. Watch them Facebook profile pics, everyone!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to go to Twitter to see the animated version of Mona Lisa.

Which brings us to Mona Weasel here. It’s a thing I did for a website I used to do, years before this blog. A thousand years ago in internet terms. I stopped updating it and then one day the URL got poached by Japanese schoolgirl porn, or something.

I got me an internet footprint goes back to the Eighties. I’ve been saying stupid stuff in public for three decades.

My P’shop skills have improved somewhat, anyhow.



May 23, 2019 — 8:48 pm
Comments: 10


Cannot watch Notre Dame burn. Just cannot deal.

We heard about the news from my mother-in-law before it hit the top of the BBC (I think it might have been a smaller item down the page) — process that for a moment. Drudge had it front and center, though.

Take my advice: don’t go to Twitter tonight. I’m coming to the conclusion that the only purpose of Twitter is to make me psychotically angry.

Beautiful gargoyle picture above from Peter Adams Photography. I would say “courtesy of” but I don’t think it counts as a courtesy if you didn’t ask.

April 15, 2019 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 10

My giant monkey comic book came today!

If you don’t know what this is: Richard Meyer is a guy who loves comic books. A little over a year ago he started a YouTube channel to talk about it. It quickly became all about how social justice was ruining the funny books. This made his channel very, very popular and made the current crop of comic book professionals very, very angry. And they were all like if you’re so smart, why don’t you make your own comic? And then he did. So they picked up the phone and scared his publisher off*. So then he self-published. I was one of the first few hundred backers, me.

It looks pretty good. I don’t know yet. I can’t read comics sober.

*it turns out, intefering in somebody else’s business deal is against the law. They particularly do not cotton to such conduct in Texas, where much of this happened. So not only did I get to see a neat comic book, but also a very amusing lawsuit (ongoing).

March 26, 2019 — 9:14 pm
Comments: 6

Lambs, you say?

Artist: Ed Harrington.

If you’ve never read Silence of the Lambs, you should. It’s the only book my stepmother ever recommended to me, so I felt obliged to read it (I don’t read much fiction, and I really hate fictional murder stories).

I actually stood up out of my reading chair at one point, when the plotline took an unexpected turn. You know the place.

Hated the movie.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

March 22, 2019 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 6

I like this lady

Neat idea: a crowd-sourced database of historic watercolors. It’s a British charity and they’re just starting, so it isn’t very fleshed out yet, but click the link and you can do a word search of their db.

Before the camera, watercolors functioned just like snapshots. They were quick takes, often by amateurs, usually intended to capture data rather than pretend to great art. There are millions of them in collections high and low, in drawing rooms, museums and ladies’ diaries. This could be an important resource, if they don’t run out of money.

Go have a poke around. It’s fun.

This very skillful portrait miniature turned up on a search of “North Carolina.” She is Mrs John Willis Ellis, smilin’ at you from 1846 and I love her.

Good weekend, all!

March 1, 2019 — 8:27 pm
Comments: 14

The brown acid, man

I was a printmaking major in art school. Did I ever mention that? Maybe not. I was a printmaking major for about two weeks before I dropped out. It was mostly down to financial issues; I loved printmaking.

Downside of being a printmaking major: I ended up with a big glass carboy of nitric acid in my closet that worried me exceedingly, especially when it came time to move. How do you get rid of such a thing?

As it happens, I paid a man to take it away. I have no idea what he did with it. All’s I know is, the answer to most problems in life is to pay a man to take it away.

I signed myself up for a local printmaking course today, hoping to get back into it. I then went shopping for materials (shopping for materials is the best bit of any artmaking endeavor). These days, it’s apparently murder to get your hands on nitric acid — you can’t mail the stuff and you have to promise you have a proper chemical hood and everything before anyone will sell it to you in person.

All the tutorials are saying to use copper sulfate instead, which is safer to handle and and etches metal just as quickly and well.

My question is…if it’s safer to handle and just as good, why did we ever use nitric acid?

Stay tuned.

Pictured: acid carboys from my field trip to the True Crime Museum in Hastings. They were bought from the workshop of John George “Acid Bath” Haigh. The Museum bought six empty carboys; the acid from three of them was used to dissolve the body of Olive Durand-Deacon…and they don’t know which three.

February 18, 2019 — 8:47 pm
Comments: 10

The heartbreak of fish breath







Images from the Comedy Wildlife Competition.

Given the mission statement, I was kind of hoping for a better selection of funnies, but they’re mostly fairly meh. Still, I’ll look at animal pitchers all day long.










January 29, 2019 — 8:59 pm
Comments: 5

Nailed it!

Two fingers bent over…check. Two fingers in the air…check. Thumb alongside, pointing up…check. Yep, it checks out. That’s just what a priest’s blessing hand looks like.

Some days, correcting Medieval drawings is a sad and lonely job.

January 22, 2019 — 9:46 pm
Comments: 4

From my clipfile

I don’t have anything in particular to report today, so here’s an illustrator from my clipfile: Willy Pogany (Vilmos András Pogány) (1882 1955) (full illustration here).

Pogany was Hungarian, though he took American citizenship in 1921. He was one of the great names of what is called the Golden Age of Illustration.

No doubt, there was one of those strange historical throwings-up of an unfeasible number talented people during this era, but I’m inclined to blame the Golden Age on technology.

Book illustration went from the sophisticated black and white wood engravings of the late Nineteenth Century (giving rise to geniuses of ink illustration like Charles Dana Gibson) into early, cheap color reproduction (leading to the ascendance of figures like Rockwell).

Illustrators who surfed the timeline just right — like Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth and Willy Pogany — moved successfully from one style to the next.

I admit, though, I like Pogany’s line work most of all.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I have to do my taxes this weekend, or at least get a start. They aren’t complicated on account of I am poor, but they still aren’t a lot of fun.


January 11, 2019 — 9:42 pm
Comments: 10