web analytics

A heroin habit would be cheaper

I still buy bits and pieces from my local art store. It’s more expensive than the online, naturally, but I don’t want him going out of business so I prop him up when I can.

I dropped by for some stuff this afternoon, and he’s hosting a watercolor competition. The prizes are selections of Daniel Smith watercolor tubes. You won’t laugh when you see what this stuff costs!

It’s handmade and they use a lot of genuine minerals, like lapis and turquoise. A little 15ml tube of the lapis will set you back, like, £25. The sets aren’t much better. They also sell sheets of paper with little dots of paint on, so you can try them out, and even those aren’t cheap.

I said to the guy, it’s come to something when Winsor and Newton is the cheapest brand you stock. And it’s true — other than the student grade sets, everybody seems to be going in for fancy hand-made fru-fru colors. Me, I’ve always been a Winsor and Newton kindofa gal, but hey. Free paint.

Anyhoo, the deal is they give you a card with, like, a dozen paint dots and you paint something using that. I didn’t hear about it until today and I have to get it done by Thursday and I picked a subject with a lot of fiddly background (foreground: chicken). So, if you’ll excuse me…

Have a good weekend watching planes and boats and stuff!

March 23, 2018 — 10:55 pm
Comments: 16

State of the Union 2018

sentience

denture

 

 

I didn’t watch the SOTU. I never do. My spleen won’t take it, no matter who’s in office.

I caught the pictures of Nancy’s face, though — holy shit! Who was THAT performance supposed to appeal to?

p.s. Wow, just noticed how overcontrasty this picture is. I think my new toy needs a bit of adjustment.

 

 

January 31, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 8

I am now officially cooler than all y’all

tablet

Oh my god, you guys — I have wanted one of these since…since it was invented. That’s maybe 20 years ago now. It’s a monitor, but you draw directly on it.

Maybe that doesn’t sound all that keen, but it solves the big problem with computer tablet: you can look at your hand, or you can look at the monitor, but you can’t look at both at once. That makes it extremely hard to draw. Or write legibly.

As with other tablets, the main brand is Wacom and their monitor version is the Cintiq. And that sucker, in its 20″ form, is almost £2,000.

Enter the Chinese. I’ve bought a cheap knockoff — for all I know, made in the same factory as the Cintiq — for less than a quarter of the price. And it came with a snazzy glove. Well, part of one.

It came this morning. I was going to use it as a second monitor, but I’m awfully tempted to use it as my only monitor. It is Just That Good.

My main concern is going blind. No, really…I’m sitting with my nose practically pressed against the screen. And I’m loving it. My optomowotsit told me that my eyes weren’t deteriorating, they were just…stuck in the peasant lace-makers position from all the close work I do.

p.s. That is not my computer. It is not my hand. I stole them from here, and added my chicken. Because that’s the kind of thing you can do really fast WHEN YOU HAVE AN AWESOME MONITOR TABLET!!!

January 25, 2018 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 18

He’s nekkid!

model

I told you guys I managed to sell both pieces I put in the art show, before the doors even opened. I underpriced them, I’ve been told. As a result of which, I am now a *full member* (and I was able to pay for that frightfully self-indulgent map case and paint box).

Even better, as a direct result, I’ve been asked to join an invitation-only life drawing class. I’m having a blast.

I need this kind of eye training. Because the drawings I did in my last gig were mostly very technical, nearly everything I did was traced in some way — either the old fashioned way, or Photoshopically. Tracing is bad for fine art. Not because it’s cheating — honestly, there is no such thing in art; it ain’t football or canasta — but because it results in boring pictures.

When you draw from life, you’re forced to process what you’re looking at. You have to figure out what’s happening and then you have to figure out how to explain it to someone else. This makes for a much more persuasive and interesting picture. It’s hard as hell, though.

It also, of course, makes for more errors. There’s a classic in this drawing – his hands are way too big, especially his right hand. The human brain exaggerates anything it finds interesting but it’s a rookie mistake not to catch it and fix it. In my defense, they were all thirty minute poses today; shorter than I’m comfy with.

At least they haven’t done any 5 and 15-minutes poses yet. Brrrrr…I hate those.

September 20, 2017 — 9:33 pm
Comments: 12

First!

first

Finished my first miniature. Not sure how I feel about it. It’s not the ‘painting small’ part — most of the things I’ve painted in the past had patches of super high detail. It just feels a little cramped. Closeup here.

I liked working on vellum, though. Watercolor doesn’t actually stick to it, so you can lift the paint if you make a mistake. But to make an area super dark, you have to go over it and over it with tiny dots or streaks.

Trying to apply a heavy, wet color wash on vellum is a disaster. It rumples, then dries hard. Live and learn, but whooeee that stuff is an expensive sacrifice to the gods of the learning curve.

Anyway, for a first effort, it isn’t awful. A bit boring. I can’t really do anything with this first one, though…I was getting so wadded up with artist’s block that I finally threw up my hands, went to Google Images search and typed “crowing rooster.” Not usually how I source my subject matter!

March 16, 2017 — 9:13 pm
Comments: 21

I love this

hillaryposter

This isn’t mine. The caption, I mean. I did the artwork, but someone else — I know not who — put the words on it, and now that’s the most common version you’ll find on the web.

I cannot tell you how much that tickles me.

Sometime commenter bikeboy wrote me last night looking for the Hillary! poster I did. Turns out, the ‘steal my art’ button broke when I moved the blog. It didn’t even occur to me until that moment that NOW-NOW-NOW is the very last chance to recycle my Hillary! campaign art (and I devoutly hope I will not be making President Hillary! art, ever).

So I figured I’d gather it all together for you. Feel free to steal, alter, recaption, get a tattoo, eat a piece of cake, scratch your butt. Honestly, I don’t care. Have fun.

The original hag (there’s a bigger version of that somewhere, used in the picture above, but I can’t find it), the one for the election poster, the election poster, big and in color (this is the only one I have in a much higher res version, if you want it for anything), with a walker, derping, as Kang (of Kang and Kodos), as Queen Elizabeth I, as Humpty Dumpty, more derping, with a beard, taking a bite out of her blackberry, Hillary Clinton.Δ16, lizard woman.

There may be more, but that’s all I could find in a Google images search (anything but fire up Adobe Bridge).

sock it to me

July 28, 2016 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 9

Just for fun…

bernieche

Heh. Deborah HH suggested this pitcha in the previous thread comments. I had fun making it.

Problem is, I don’t think Che would object, I don’t think Bernie would object and I don’t think Bernie’s supporters would object. And, honestly, if a picture isn’t mean-spirited and off-pissing, it kinda ruins the game.

sock it to me

March 15, 2016 — 8:39 pm
Comments: 20

Only his hairdresser knows for sure…

Heh. I’d forgotten this pitcher. I did it years ago. There’s a story that goes with the wolverine.

Trump’s remarks about Muslim immigration are making them go howling batshit boo-boo over here. Worse than the US. If you haven’t checked out the UK papers today, do so. Then read the comments section.

We’re headed for civil war, folks. I’m telling you.

Meanwhile, we’re going to a concert tomorrow night. Might be back late. Might not. Band’s even older than we are and we all need our forty winks.

sock it to me

December 9, 2015 — 10:21 pm
Comments: 9

I’ve got a new hobby

I’ve got a new hobby: collecting old postcards of local scenery. They’re cheap and plentiful in junk shops and on eBay, especially if you buy them in lots.

The thing I love most about it is that the famous tourist spots have been done again and again, from exactly the same angle, sometimes dozens of times. And the only way you can tell the nearly identical images apart is an Edwardian hat here, a 1950s skirt there, sepia tone, hard color, a horse cart, a motorcycle. It’s like a weird time machine with an almost (but not entirely) unchanging landmark in the background and a shadowplay of fugitive humanity drifting around in front.

Spooky.

I’ve also decided that postcards are the path to artistic immortality on the cheap. Oh, you can’t make money on them — the scale is bad and the math is all wrong — but as long as you can sucker someone into selling them in a tourist town, they will be saved and collected forever and ever.

You know what, though? I have a suspicion this one isn’t really from 1650.

p.s. Cold, day 3. I am Ye Olde Snotte Monster. I’m taking one more day off tomorrow and then I really must pull myself together, unpleasant honking sounds or no.

sock it to me

May 19, 2015 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 16

Weaselface, yourself

It’s Garbage Day, callooh callay! The happiest day of the week!

Eh. Not really. Between the two of us, we’re one saved cardboard box and a jam jar from being hoarders. Just…not tidy people. But tonight we made an effort to round up some junk and pitch it. I was most surprised when this thing fell out of an envelope.

This thing. This drawing. It’s a nice reproduction of a master drawing by Charles Le Brun (1619–1690), the dude Charles Louis XIV called the greatest French artist who ever lived.

Yeah. Some endorsements are not so good for your rep. (Ask Wagner. Or don’t; he’s dead).

Le Brun’s paintings are exactly the kind of pompous rubbish you can imagine the Sun King eating up with a spoon. But his drawings had an influence on art for a century or more — mostly his notions of conveying emotion on the human face.

This thing, though, is a part of a series of drawings — a philosophy, I suppose — known as le Brun’s Physiognomy. He’s trying to relate people faces to animal faces. With absolutely no success, if you ask me. They all look like creepy genetic experiments.

Anyway, these are the weasel faced ladies. When it turned up, Uncle B exclaimed, “I wondered where that got to! I bought that for your birthday. Or Christmas. I don’t remember; it was years ago.”

It was in the current bills-to-pay pile. Ladies and gentlemen, my housekeeping.

sock it to me

November 3, 2014 — 9:40 pm
Comments: 12