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TIPS, TRICKS, TECHNIQUES
(Rick’s GUIDE to everything I’ve learned in my first year)

Disclaimer: These are simply things I have learned, and what I personally do for each of my drawings. There are many ways to draw, such as line drawings, cross-hatching, non-blending, etc, but my chosen area is one that strives for Realism. I am 100% self-taught, meaning that I never went to Art school. I drew for maybe a total of maybe 5 hours since I was a teenager. Then in October of 2008, I decided I needed a hobby. I’m just as surprised as others at the results? I also wonder why I just NOW discovered I that can draw? Now, almost 1 year later, I have completed over 91 portraits, which is a total of between 400 and 600 hours of practice!!! Later, someone suggested I call a local college and offer to teach a course on portrait drawing. They actually created a course for me, which I get to design the class 100% start to finish. As PART of that class, I am making this TIP GUIDE to give the students. So far, there are 8 people who signed up. I’m excited to see if teaching artists get better, is my calling, or if I will even enjoy it? We shall see?? In the 10 hours together, I am going to take them start to finish through the same celebrity portrait, using the steps outlined below.

1) CLEAN HANDS: I always start by washing my hands of any oil or dirt that would damage the drawing surface area. NEVER touch the area you are drawing on and NEVER use your finger to blend. That’s what I’ve read AND experienced. I also use copy paper to lay over parts of a drawing I don’t want to lay my hand across. Some say to work from upper left to downward right, if you are right handed, but I don’t always WANT to work that way.

2) PHOTOS: I have gotten really good at finding good photos on the web! There are lots of sites, but I find plenty at Google by using “images of _________” in the search box. There is SO much I could type about photos, but the main things I do, BECAUSE I crop the photo to use only the head, is to only use a photo that has a file size large enough not to become blurry and pixilated after I print it to THE SAME SIZE I’m going to draw it. There are reasons for that, but mainly because I want my eyes to draw a 1:1 ratio of what I see. I use a photo program to crop the photo, to remove color (saturation), which makes it a Black and White photo, and to improve Contrast (making the lights lighter and the darks darker). If you are in to taking your own photos, use natural light, so that shadows define the facial features. I also crop the top of the head off, if you’ve noticed, for two reasons. ONE is that it gives the illusion that the subject is closer to you. Grab a newspaper and notice now how most all of the columnists crop the tops of their heads off. It’s for this reason! SECOND, I hate drawing hair, and this is the side benefit of cropping. Note: you do not have to draw every single detail in a photo. If there is an area that looks strange, it will look strange when you draw it? Create something else.

3) SIZE: Yes, size does matter in drawing! I read that if you make a drawing just 20% larger, will take up to 50% more time to draw. I have personally found that the IDEAL size for ME, is to keep the total face size between 5 to 6 INCHES from the hairline to the bottom of the chin. If it’s TOO big, there are too many details to ignore, and I find it affects the motion of my blending. If it is too small, obviously you cannot get enough details. For ME, it is about finding the balance between the level of details and how long it takes me to draw, because I get bored fast and want to move on. I have my total AVERAGE drawing time down to somewhere between 3 to 5 hours.

4) PAPER: Much can be said about types of drawing papers, and I have tried many. The main types I tried early on, were Strathmore and Canson MEDIUM tooth “Drawing” papers. I have SINCE moved on to using ONLY “Strathmore’s Bristol Smooth 300 series, for many reasons. It is THICK paper. Its “tooth” is not easily destroyed and you can get DARK darks from it. It is PERFECT for blending graphite; it forgives easily and has excellent eras-ability! If you notice now, my Chevy Chase was the FIRST time I used Bristol smooth, and all drawings since, and you should see a difference in contrast? It took some getting used to, because it draws darker, meaning the pencils you use show lighter than you may be used to, so I use a lot more B and 2B pencils now. View or buy it here: [link]

5) PENCILS: I have also tried many types, but will now ONLY use “Staedtler pencils, made in Germany. They are excellent, and have predictable and consistent” results. I find them at [link] along with everything else I need!!! Always make SURE your pencil is SHARP!!! There many ways, the obvious of which is an electric sharpener, which I use, but I sometimes fine-tune the point with fine sandpaper, or by rubbing the point sideways on a scrap piece of paper. I have also tried “Clutch Pencils” or called “Lead Holders”. I use BOTH but for different reasons and parts of the drawing. The advantages of using Clutch Pencils are that their weight and length remain consistent, unlike pencils that are constantly shrinking in size and weight. It’s also cheaper to buy just the graphite refills than whole pencils. Staedtler make both the holders and the refills. Go to [link] There are a wide range of darks and lights, but I use only the middle range. Rarely 2H and H, a lot of F, HB and 80% B and 2B. I have the following, just in case (light to dark) 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 9B

6) OUTLINE: I START with an outline. You want to get a feel for the layout and perspective. Once I draw an outline, I move on to the border.

7) BORDER: After I finish my outline, I take a ruler, and establish the framed sides of my drawing, so I know where it ends. I do NOT ever (maybe I should?) draw to any frame specific size that can fit a standard frame. I have not framed any of my drawings, but if and when I do, I will have it custom matted, which will then fit a standard sized frame. I store all of my drawings in “Display Books” which are clear plastic sleeves that protect them. I also seal each drawing with a spray “workable fixative” (more on that later)

8) EYES: I ALWAYS start with the eyes!!! They are the “windows to a soul” and if you don’t get them write, why waste time finishing the drawing. (That’s just how I feel). I usually just finish one eye, and move on to start the first layer on other areas. I never finish the first eye 100% at first. The important things to remember are the “key highlights” or spots of light in every photo, and person you see. One basic rule that I read and remember as to eyes and feature placement is this: Eyes are approximately in the center of the face, about half way between the top of the forehead and the bottom of the chin, and are approximately the same distance APART from each other as the width of a single eye (not always). The bottom of the NOSE is then about half way between the eyes and bottom of chin; the mouth is about half way between the bottom of the nose and bottom of the chin. These are obviously rough guidelines. Remember, eyes are NOT pure white! I use a light touch with a blending stump around the corners of the eyes, on MOST drawings. The same goes with teeth.

9) CONTRAST is always been just obvious to me, and I believe is one of the main things that take a drawing to the “next level”? I have learned to select a photo that has a wide range of contrast and as many variations in between! I discovered that I am FIRST inspired by a dramatic photo with lots of contrast, NOT so much the celebrity, but when you find BOTH, it’s magic!!! One way I have trained my eyes to see Contrast, besides printing the photo in Black and White, is to sometimes, TURN the DIRECT light you are using, AWAY from you. You will be amazed at what you see in darker lighting conditions! I use a drawing desk now, with a combo swing-arm light/magnifying glass. I USED to, and sometimes still do, use a Lap-Desk, which is portable. Another KEY thing I do, is to CONSTANTLY walk away from the drawing, and come back with “fresh eyes”. Things I could NOT see or notice before, become obvious to me. Especially, first thing in the morning. In the 4 to 5 hours I invest with each drawing, I may start and come back 10-20 times!!! This keeps giving me fresh perspective.

10) TONE RANGE: I have also learned to establish the RANGE of tonal values early in a drawing. What I mean is, after drawing one eye; I look for the darkest areas of the photo, and start laying down some graphite in those areas. Another reason for starting some of the darkest areas first, is that I often get some of the graphite from those areas on my Blending Stump for use in other areas of the drawing. I don’t always start an area with a pencil, but sometimes with the graphite from an old Blending Stump, Tortillion, or Torchillon.

11) LAYERING: I find it takes many “layers” of graphite to build up certain areas. Shadows of course, lips, hair, etc. After I draw the eyes, and establish tone range, I may lightly color the lips? All lips are different, but I start with something light, like H, F, HB, or sometimes B. I look for key highlights and I’m careful to preserve those areas for later. Other areas that I layer are, eyebrows, eyelashes, hair, eye pupils, lips and of course shading.

12) SHADING: The type of shadows that are in the photo, obviously determine how dark I start? I usually start around the eyes, just after I do the first layer of the eyebrows. I take my pencil of choice and hold it lightly and sideways, so that the side of the tip is rubbing the paper, NOT the point. This makes for a larger coverage area, and can also be used to create certain effects of the skin. “Hard Shadows” are the toughest I think? Like my Sean Connery portrait. I never start the shadow or darkest part, AS DARK as it will later become. It’s something I build into, in case I need to erase.

13) BLENDING: I am convinced now that it’s ALL IN THE BLENDING!!! I use Blending Stumps, Tortillions, Torchillons, Paper towels, and sometimes Q-tips and make-up sponges. Many of the techniques would require me showing you, rather than describing them, but I will try a few. For one, I am always mindful of how much graphite is already on the stump, which determines how much pressure I apply when blending? I have many different sizes for both tight spots and large areas. Again, layering is the key. When a Blending Stump gets too much graphite on it, it tends to get slick and shiny, and stops blending. To extend it’s life, I will scrape off the excess graphite by turning it while scraping it on sandpaper until the fibers are useful again. Whether I am Shading or Blending (Rendering) I most Always blend in the SAME direction that the skin is going, in order to build the illusion of dimension and shapes. I also turn the stump as I blend, if more graphite is needed, it is usually on the other side of the stump. If not, I lay down some more with pencils, or rub it on a dark area, to get some. Keep in mind that you will need to go back over the dark areas you borrowed graphite from. More on the key to dark darks later. I do NOT always blend EVERY area of the drawing. For some effects, a light touch with a pencil only may do? But I do blend about 95% of the entire drawing (NEVER BLACK AREAS though)

14) NEGATIVE SPACE: One great trick I learned, was to use a small nail, duct tapped to an old pencil, as a stylus for scratching out whiskers, white hairs, highlights, etc. IMPORTANT: PRACTICE this before you ruin a drawing. Get an old piece of drawing paper, and practice the procedure. What I do, BEFORE (key) I put any graphite on the area, is hold the paper sideways in the light, so I can see where I am scratching, and I make the needed lines, hairs or whiskers in the paper. THEN, I rub a pencil SIDEWAYS over the scratch mark, to Expose the white lines. I can then draw between them, or what ever, but the effect is amazing to me! It’s a PERFECT tool for creating white whiskers, white hair (against dark back ground), etc. You will find many uses for this! The MAIN concept of “Negative Drawing” is that you create what you are trying to draw, NOT by drawing it, but by drawing first what surrounds the object. Hair is a perfect example (hair type depending). Hair should NOT be many pencils lines, but the shadows BETWEEN the hairs, which by default, will create the ILLUSION of hair. The same with teeth. I draw the dark areas AROUND the teeth, which as a result, forms the shape of teeth.

15) HIGHLIGHTS: They can REALLY make a drawing come to life. From the “Key Highlights in the eyes, to the glimmer on the lips, and anywhere else that either the photo shows, or you THINK it would be realistic? Highlights are best saved for last, mainly because you may be blending over the same areas beforehand. I use 3 tools for highlights. The first is the Kneaded eraser. View or buy here: [link] It can be molded into many shapes you need. A point, for small areas, a knife-edge for lines next to wrinkles, or as a blunt dabbing tool. I also use a TUFF STUFF stick eraser by Papermate. View or buy it here: [link] It is firm and rigid, and looks like a pen. I use a razor to cut an angled point for fine line, where a soft kneaded eraser may flatten and remove graphite where I don’t want it removed? The third was recently discovered when I went to an Art Workshop in August, and is called BLU*TACK found at [link] It is stretchy like a kneaded eraser, but is very sticky. I do NOT use it to rub, like a kneaded eraser, but to blot up excess graphite. It is an adhesive used to hold posters on walls, etc but an artist showed me its artist uses. One of the best tips I’ve heard and use, is that IF you want to make something lighter, like a highlight, then make what surrounds it, DARKER!

16) OTHER TIPS:
a) One of the last things I do is add fine, stray hairs, if applicable, to the edges of the hairline. I also take a sharp F or HB pencil, and make very small and short hairs along the forehead, where the hair meets the forehead (sometimes).

b) Whenever I think I’m done, I sleep on it. Invariably I notice something I swore was not there before.

c) Most every artist signs their work, in some form or another, but my dad gave me the idea to DATE each one as well, so that I could remember the order that I drew them, in case you don’t use a Display book.

d) I also use a “workable spray Fixative” to seal the drawing when it’s complete. It prevents smudging, keeps them from yellowing and also takes down the shine from the darkest areas of graphite. Here is the one I use: [link]

e) To get REALLY dark black areas, I generally use a SHARP 2B and go back and forth in small areas, expanding outward. I keep TURNING the pencil in my fingers, SO THAT the point digs deep into the TOOTH of the paper. When that area is complete, I use a harder pencil, like F or H and go over it again. IF I had used that area to grab graphite from with my blending stuff, during the drawing, I go back over it with 2B again, then F. The spray fixative will tone down the shine.

f) When I use clutch pencils, I no longer use a hand sharpener, which I used to string around my neck. I use a “Lead Pointer Tube” sharpener, which also holds the shaved graphite. View or buy here: [link]

g) I use an old paintbrush to remove dust, etc from a drawing in progress. It keeps me from rubbing it off, or spitting on the drawing when I blow it off. I didn’t notice one time, and accidentally spit a minute amount on the surface, and when I rubbed over it with my blending stump, it smeared, and I could not remove it!!

h) 7 months after discovering my passion for drawing, I bought a Drawing Table. Actually, my folks got it for my birthday. It the sports car of drawing tables! To view the one I got, go here: [link]

i) Taking Photos of your work. After a drawing is complete, I use a digital camera to take a photo of it. I first used scanners, but they lighten the drawing, and you cannot see as much details. I take the photo in the daytime, in natural lighting, on the floor in front of a window, careful NOT to put it directly in the sun. After I take several shots, I upload them; pick the best one, which is usually the one where my name and date are IN FOCUS. Then I crop out the borders, and I also REMOVE the SATURATION, which removes any color that the camera picked up, turning it back to pure black and white. THEN I use a feature called Auto Enhance, which lightens it up and makes it look as close to the drawing as possible.

j) I NEVER show someone the photo next to my drawing, no matter how much it looks like the photo, because then it becomes a challenge for someone to see how many mistakes someone can find, and it takes away from the drawing.

k) The brain can be fooled to believing that what it THINKS it sees is real. One of the best illustrations of that is when I noticed that blurry, out of focus backgrounds, in some portraits, made it look like a photo.

Hope this helps my fellow artists!!!
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It was a Saturday night and Emily, was of course, sitting in front of the TV. Her favorite program was on, Saturday Night Live. Tears welled up in her eyes as she realized it was another lonely night, without John. The lads had been on tour. She missed her silly mop topped man. She grabbed a pillow and held it to her chest. It seems as though the usually hilarious show wasn't working at all. Tears started to roll and she wondered how many more nights John was going to be away. The tour was supposed to be over two weeks ago. But you know, weather, fans, things just happen.
The next thing Emily knew was that it was 3:00 in the morning, and she had fallen asleep on the couch. She got up and turned off the TV and headed into her bedroom, crawling into bed. Despite her recent sleepiness, She just couldn't fall asleep. She thought about John calling her Em. He always called her Em. Then she thought of his laugh. She just couldn't sleep. Emily gave up. She crawled out of bed and went into the kitchen. She grabbed the soup can and pulled out the pot. "Soup." She said through the sniffs. "I want soup." She made the soup and sat down in the living room, in the dark, and ate it. It was nearing 4:00 and she was beginning to get droopy eyed. "John." She whispered. "When the bloody hell are you coming home?"
As if to answer her question, a couple minutes later, the doorknob turned and in walked John. "John!" Emily squealed and jumped up. John dropped his bags and ran to her with open arms. John held her close and took a deep breath.
"Oh Em." He sighed. "Oh my sweet Em." They both were crying. When they sat down, John grabbed her soup. He dipped the spoon and collected some noodles. Then he took the handle end and put if in his mouth. He put it towards Emily who laughed and gladly sipped it up.
"Weird way to eat soup..." She laughed.
"Great way to start making love!" John kissed her. "Besides! You think I'm weird for feeding you soup....Your eating soup at four in the morning!" John pulled Emily on his lap. She glared at him.
"I missed you." She whispered. John started unbuttoning his shirt.
"I missed you too, baby."
A little story for :iconkoffee12345:!!!! Just for being a really nice/cool person. lol I hope you like it girl!!!!!!
I don't own the photo or John....or the spoon!
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</i>


[Ten moments of silence.]


</i>
I

I fell in love with the full,
fluffy heaps of white on sidewalks,
the icicles that clung
to gutters and railings.


II

My mountains changed;
They’re blue and ridged now.
The summers bleed the pavement
like steaming gray socks.

Shade does not offer solace
from moist, viscous air. In the afternoons,
if luck chances by, the humidity lofts
into thick purple clouds
and rain slaps hot pavement.

I can breathe.


III

The carrot leaves
fell from gold foliage
like drops of sunset.

I closed my eyes and saw twelve wild turkeys
gaggle cross the yard, a doe freeze,
framed by the window, ineffable
bright-lined spiders in the bathtub.


IV

Is it the hoar-frost winters that bring to mind
poetry? There is no Parnassus in Virginia,
only weed-filled fields and roads
that twine like filaments through mountains.

White-blossom dogwood and poison ivy
have me of two minds; Could I have one
without the other, please?


V

No, no thank-you. I'll come back
some other time.


VI

Winter betrays me. It rains wet ice
as if to ask "What did you
expect?" I wanted
frosting on the railings and jagged edges
hung off trees. I wanted silence.


VII

The brown trees stir, naked, drab.
Winter forgot to tuck in the covers
before retiring. I would make
some witty comment but


VIII

leave me alone.


IX

I do not look forward to summer. I tore
a branch and picked the new leaves to pieces
before letting it go.


X

Sunlight is too bright. They call it
global warming, I call it perspective.
I did a bit of editing of this poem. Re-submitted it since I like my new version better. This will likely be the final.

Edits from the first version [Version1 found here :pointr: [link] ] Shifted part one S2 to Part III. Changed last line of S1. Cut X stanza and down-shifted original part III. Cut last lines of VI (the current VII)

How is the ending?
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Streets of Gold
"You're way too young to fall apart...„
Chapter 4

The house was empty. Quiet. Dark.
Just how I liked it.

But I trusted Tom on his word, he'd be back. I know he would be. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy to let you into his heart then forget you... He seems different. In a good, kind way. Not the bad, bitchy, douche bag way. If he was like that, I wouldn't even have gotten near him, much less kissed him.
Hell, did I really kiss him? A boy? I've never even kissed a girl! But a boy? My God... I've changed too much just by meeting him.

I sighed deeply and sat down in front of the couch – yeah, you heard me. In front of it. I stared down at the floor for the longest time. What was I thinking when I asked him over? What the hell was I even letting run through my damn mind. Ugh... But what if I was right, what I thought of last night? What if he is cheating on someone, with me? Of all people in Germany, Europe, the WORLD. Me? Why me? Am I that special? Am I really needed by someone that much; that they feel the need to cheat on them, with me? Crazy, that's so crazy. Nobody likes me that much, not a soul does. I have a face only a mother could love, nobody else does. I'm hideous. I'm creepy. I'm scary. I'm weird.

I'm so different from Society.

My hand twitched, as it does when I'm too deep in thought. Way too deep; I'm a thinker, a dreamer, not a maker, a creator. I'm a nobody. I'm Bill. Bill Kaulitz.

Wait... What the fuck was his last name? Shit! Did he even tell me? I don't even think I told him mine... Ugh. I'm such a fucking retard.

"Biiiillllll,„ a voice called from behind my front door. "Billiam, you in there?„ then a knock. I got up quickly and swung the door open, only to be tackled by a heavy Gustav. "Hey Bill! Long time no see, eh?„

I squirmed slightly under his weight, him being more then 50 pounds heavier then me. "Yeah.. It's been a while.„

"It has! Where you been? What happened? Anything new?„ he asked while he crawled off of me and sat upright on the floor, in front of me. "I haven't been anywhere... And nothing really happened. I met someone last night,„ shut up voice. "And nothing is really 'new.'„ Gustav's eyes lit up with enlightenment. "Oooh who are they?! What's their name? Is she hot or what?„ he beamed at me. I looked up at him, sitting myself up. "Well...„ I started "He's okay looking, I guess..-„ "He?!„ Gustav leaned towards me as if I was insane, he had that look about his face that said it all; shocked and wanting to know more. "Yeah.. he. His name's Tom... I don't know his last name though.„
"Well how did you come to meet him? Or do you know him already?„ I hesitated. "Well he really kind of approached me when I was standing outside that gas station down the street. Weird, eh?„ I looked at him with an eyebrow raised slightly. Gustav leaned back so he wasn't so close to me anymore. His face still had a quite clear look on it, as before. "Yeah... Did he try anything? Do I have to beat his ass?„

Gustav, I thought, You're too over protective of me.

"No, Gus, you don't have to 'beat his ass.' He said he'll be back, sometime...„

"When?„

"A few days, a week maybe.„

"Oh... Okay.„
Gustav peered down at the floor for a second before standing up. He held his hand out to me, as an offer to pull me up too. I grabbed his hand and he jerked me up off the floor to standing. "So how's everything been, besides what you said already?„ "Good, I guess.„ "Did you.. Draw anything else?„

Yeah, I lied to Tom. I can draw better then anyone I knew in high school. I just kept it quiet.

I lingered over what words to say next. "...Yeah. I did actually. I'll show you.„ I grabbed one of Gustav's hands and pulled him into the back room, to the small closet in the corner. I slid one of the doors open and knelt down on the floor, crawling back into a small space under the shelves. I felt around in the dark for the sketchbook I had laying on the floor until one of my hands ran onto the smooth, cold surface of the top cover. I pulled it out from under the shelf, sitting up. Gustav had already sat down next to me. "Who is it this time? Just someone you thought up? Me again? Or one of your parents?„ he watched my hands slowly lift the cover up and over, flipping through pages of portraits and scenarios, charcoal drawn and pencil, pastel and light paints, this and that from page to page.

"You'll see.„ silence possessed us then.

My hands started to tremble looking through all of them, though, because I did draw a lot of pictures of my parents. Black and white sketches, detailed pencil and charcoal portraits, things like that. I had canvases with paintings on them slid under the same shelf all my other work was under, just to make sure I knew where they all were.

I stopped at one specific page, where the lightly drawn portrait of a boy stood alone on the page. I held it out to Gustav. "This... This one.„ I said the words slowly, as he took the drawing from my hands. He peered at it, from every angle, trying to get good light on it. He looked up at me after about five minutes, I looked back. I read his expression, yet again. Confused and slightly dumbfounded; a small hint of amazement in there.

"Billiam...„ he started.

"Yes?„

"....Did you draw yourself as a child?„

I stared at him, long and weak. I did. I drew myself for the first time. A sick, horrible attempt it is. I know. But I chose one specific picture for it, one from when I was only 6 years old. The facial expression fit how I was feeling at the time I drew it, a few days ago. Deep and detailed, thoughtful, with a small crease of a frown in the brows that were drawn together, and on the forehead. Eyes slightly black, appearing from the picture, heavily shaded with the black rings of makeup, that yes, I wore at age six. Jet black hair, spiked in all different ways, shaggy and un-kept, slightly styled with hairspray. I didn't like it, one because I didn't take time to really finish it, and two because I don't like myself from back then. I was dumb, young, ugly, and just down right idiotic.

"Yeah..„ I said after a while. Gustav peered down at the drawing again before I slid it out of his hands, closing the cover of the sketchbook. He then looked up at me. "Why?„

"Because I felt like I looked in that picture.„

"Billiam... tell me what happened.„
Gustav sighed slightly as he said that. I looked at him, frowning a bit. "Nothing happened. I just felt down and wanted to draw that... is it bad?„ Gustav shook his head. "No it isn't. But Bill you've changed. A little too much.„

I glared at Gustav, hard. "How dare you say I've changed. I've been the same since I was born, don't even say I'm different.„ Gustav frowned slightly, standing up. "Well I wont then, even though it's true.„ he walked back across my apartment and I followed. "Where do you think you're going?„ he looked back at me. "Oh, I'm leaving. I don't want to disturb you anymore. Sorry, Bill. Didn't mean to.„
He pulled the door open and left.

"Stupid bitch.„ I muttered as I went back and sat down on my smaller couch. He was weird. Automatic, more like. I don't know, I never had the right words for anything.

Now, nothing to do again.

I looked around mindfully on what to do. Draw, maybe? While I'm alone. Go somewhere, maybe finally go talk to one of the people who lives around me. Bah. They don't want anything to do with me so I wont bother them.

~*~

Days passed. Weeks.

A month and a half, to be exact. I hadn't gotten contact from anyone. Not Tom, not Gustav, nobody. Absolutely nobody. I got fired from where I worked, now all I had left was the fund I had in my savings account in the bank.

I knew this would happen.

My house was just how it had been the day after Tom left. Everything in the same spot, I didn't even move much around. I wanted everything exactly the same as it had been. I don't know, I just wanted it to look the same, exact same, as it had when he left. I'm just a creep like that.

I didn't try to call anyone, I waited for them. But what if nobody ever called? Or tried to contact me? I don't know. I don't know anything.

I laid back on my bed and stared at the ceiling. The white, empty, cold ceiling, staring straight back at me. I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, again. Actually, it's been like this for a long time. I didn't mind though.

Hell, I didn't seem to mind about anything. Heh, I was dumb that way.

Every so often I would look out one of my windows like a creepy stalker. I dunno. Waiting for Tom to show himself again, I guess. Maybe he forgot me, maybe he didn't, maybe he was just a fag, maybe not. Who knows. I don't, that's for damn sure.

I kept my focus back on the ceiling, I was still laying on my bed. It's too blank, I though. This room needs some life.

I got up, looking over to the corner where my closet was. Should I? Or should I not... I don't know. I got up, opening the door to my closet. I slid four buckets, sealed, full of paint. One neon green, one bright and vibrant red, one electric blue, the last one was just brown. I had others, but I didn't feel like reaching for them. I crossed my legs and reached for the screw driver in which I pried open the lids with. The colours stood out fantastically against the white background of my floor as I looked down into each bucket, rim-full with the designated colour. I also got out a set of brushes, large, medium, small, each with a different texture of them. I looked back over to my walls and ceiling, which had nothing on them. Bare, clean, boring white. Bright. It was too much, my OCD for making anything look like art had been building up since I moved here, it's so empty in here. I hate it. It makes me wanna take all the paint I have and throw it on everything naked of colours.

I know, I'm weird that way. An OCD of "Art„ isn't exactly so normal.

I picked up the paint buckets, two in each hand, taking them over to the first wall. The one that had not a single thing touching it. I looked down at the red, cautiously and slowly dipping the medium-light-texture brush down into it, slowly pulling it back out and looking back up at the wall. I didn't need a basis for where to start, I just knew. I dragged the brush with paint on it across the wall for about four feet, making the line curved down slightly. This made me smile. I did the same, one line above the other, none of them touching, for the next colours. And it was a pattern, red then blue then green then brown. Red then blue then green then brown. To the ceiling and down to the floor. Up the whole wall in front of me. Then, having that part finished, I dragged out the next few colours. Yellow, white, orange, and black. I did the same, but instead of making them next to the original lines, I made them go over them. Only, the second ones, went down the wall instead of across. I did this about 12 times, making them layer up on each one and another, making them thicker and thicker each time. Soon enough, I had the whole one wall covered with colour. In a criss-cross pattern, one set across or over the other. But I didn't use the white, not yet.

I'm saving the white for the effects.

I picked up the smallest brush, dipping it into the black and staring at the wall I had been focused on for hours. "What to do, what to do next...„ I crossed my arms, holding the wooden part of the brush between my teeth. This is what an artist should do. Not keep himself hidden in the fears of embarrassment all the time.

I got it.

I had a perfect idea. I painted the outline of a circle, in black. Thin, delicate, black lines. Then, the inner part of the circle. Same black lines, only on the inner part of the circle. Then, inside that circle, I drew a straight column. Then a sideways column on top of that one, like a block letter of a "T.„ I tilted my head slightly as I did so, just so it didn't come out looking squiggly. Then under the first sideways column, I did another, only smaller and a little further down. Then under that I did the same as I had on top. Same size, same shape. Just under the smaller one. Now that I had that, I painted the lines around the outside. The effects. It made it look like it was literally "Smashing through the wall.„ but, around the inside of the circles and the symbol, I covered up the original pattern colours with white. I finished up the effects of the area around the circles and symbol and stepped back a little to see it all. Perfectly in line... I thought to myself. Now to paint it black.  

This all humored me. I'm not quite sure why, but this just made me happier.

I took the black paint bucket and studied the wall once more. I still needed to make it a lot more different. More effects.

I dipped the large brush in the paint and filled in the empty circles, the symbol, and used the smaller brush to make it look like it was smashed in some parts. I covered up part of the circle on the left with white, then took black and made it look like part of it was actually "Falling out„ for lack of better words. It looked kind of three-dimensional. I intended for it to look like that. I set the paintbrush down and stepped back to examine my final work. Goddamn...

It looks too perfect. My eyes shifted down to the bottom though. I picked up the smallest brush again and painted my name in black. Cursive, perfect black cursive. Right under the symbol. The whole thing topped off with the "Bill Kaulitz„ at the bottom of it. I don't know, it just did.

I loved it.

All of a sudden, I heard a knock on the front door. I looked at the paint-covered watch on my wrist. Fuck. Seven hours? Damn! Took a while. But who the fuck could that be at 12 midnight?

I ran down the hallway to the front door, opening it.

Tom beamed at me, his face looking at appalled as ever. I looked just as surprised.

He looked me up and down. "Uhm...„ he was staring at my hands. "Why are you..-„

"No reason. Just taking care of a few things. Come on in, Tom.„ I said, smiling and standing away from the door. He smiled back, walking past me and inside. He wasn't wearing a coat, much less a long sleeved shirt. Just simple pants and a tee-shirt. "So how have you been?„ he looked over at me as I closed the door. I looked back at him. "I've been okay. Actually, I've been way better. Getting fired and all-„

"What? How?„

"Long story.„
I sat down on the couch and looked down at my hands. They were splattered with every colour of paint I had. Tom sat next to me, also looking at my hands. "What were you doing? With... Paint, I mean.„ his expression seemed empty, like he didn't know me. Bitch. I looked up at him. "Oh.. Hm? Nothing. It's just paint- ...That's all.„

"You were doing something, Bill.„

"Just drop it. Where the hell have you even been? You broke your promise and I'm not happy about that.„ my mood changed completely as I choked those words out. Tom looked at me in utter disbelief, his brows pushed together slightly forming a frown. "What do you mean, 'Where have you been?' I've been at work where I said I was.„ I grunted after he said that. "You said, what, a week at the most? Two. Okay, two. How long ago was that? Oh, right, a month and a half, Tom! A month and a fucking half!„ I raised my voice slightly and shot up from where I was sitting, still staring down at Tom. He stood up also. "It's not like I'm your fucking boyfriend Bill! I barely fucking know you! Just back off, okay? Back the hell off.„

"Bitch.„

"Desperate faggot.„

That crossed the line.
I pulled my arm back and back-handed Tom as hard as I could have. "LOOK WHO'S TALKING, ONE-NIGHT-STAND PLAYING BITCH!!„ I shouted as I kept my eyes set to kill on Tom's. His jaw had dropped, his hand over where I slapped him.

Oh Lord...

What had I just done.
FINALLY :la: CHAPTER 4, FINITO~

Hope you like :D

*Cover picture made by :iconhilf--mir--fliegen:*
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you know what hurts?
filling your head with ideas and fantasies of a perfect love and dreams come true...
and finding out that just because you wish on stars, doesn't mean those burning orbs of gas even hear you.

what hurts is knowing that your world is falling apart.
that it is crumbling away, piece by piece...
and no matter how hard you try, you can't put it pack together, because the "fix instantly" glue won't stick.

what kills me is this need to be someone, to change something...
but never knowing exactly where to start.

wait.

i know where to begin.

i need to change myself before i can truly accomplish anything else.
the problem is, i'm so used to being me
that i'm unsure of how to be someone else.

or maybe i got that all wrong.

perhaps i'm so used to being someone else,
that i don't know how to be "me" anymore

it's almost a habit to pretend that the girl i see in the mirror every day is me.
she has my eyes, and my hair
and sometimes, she even wears my smile.

but there's something missing.

her eyes seem so hollow, and cold
i often wonder, if she has a soul at all.

and her smile,
the corners of her pretty mouth lift,

but smiles indicate happiness--and i know she's not happy.

the real me is always happy.
her genuine smile brightens everyone's day
her laughter resonates in their ears,
like joyful music without words.
she is beautiful.

maybe i am both of these girls.

or neither.

perhaps somewhere in between.

or maybe i am someone else entirely.

i live in such a mad world, that i don't know how i'd ever know.
maybe i'm just as mad as the rest of my world.
and i find it kinda funny
i find it kinda sad
the dreams in which i'm dying are the best i've ever had
~gary jules "mad world"
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Streets of Gold
"You're way too young to fall apart...„
Chapter 5

I was still laying on my bed sobbing, holding my right arm as tight as I could so the bleeding would stop.

My face was stained with tears and the usual black eyeliner I wear was running down as well. I felt horrible. Tattered. Torn. Smashed.

Betrayed.

My head pounded as I sat up, still clutching my upper right arm. I looked over at the mirror across my room, seeing the fist-sized bruise that now made up my entire left cheek. I then looked down under my hand, on my arm. The same, deep, long wound was dragged into my skin. Just enough I could faintly see the muscle of my bicep. I hate my life. So fucking much. Why didn't he just get it over with and kill me? No. Instead, he makes me suffer. That stupid lying bitch makes me suffer like... Like... Like a kicked kitten.

Actually, I was kicked. Not a kitten, but I was kicked. My right side actually was pulsing and cringing itself with pain, along my ribcage. How did I not see this in Tom? I knew he was this kind of person. I knew it. I always seem to get caught up with the wrong people.

But never like this.

I stood up, almost falling back down, and limped into my bathroom. I fell over the sink, to what I could get a hold of. I turned my head slowly and shakily up towards the mirror to look my beaten self in the face. My right cheek, up closer, was more red and black then it was purple and blue. A mess of colours. My hair was everywhere, but I didn't give a shit about that. My arm looked worse then it had less then a minute or so ago. I pulled my sleeve up more so I could get a better look at it.  Was weak, so keeping myself standing was difficult. I peered down at my arm and saw something – in my skin. Fucking bastard. I reached over with my shaky left hand and moved whatever it was slightly, I screamed and lost myself over the sink again.

I had to gather up enough of my own non-existent strength to do this.

I pushed myself back up and reached my hand over again. I grabbed it, lightly, with my pointer finger and thumb. I tried to slide it out without killing myself with pain. Fuck it. I pulled it out as fast as I could and screamed, blood-curdling, terrified, loosing myself once again.

I slipped down from the sink and lay on the barren white tile floor, whatever I just pulled out of my arm still in my left hand. I looked over and cringed. A razor? How the hell did a razor get in my arm? I knew I got thrown around and beaten, but a razor blade? Jesus fucking Christ what did I get myself into.

I curled up, right there on the floor. I didn't want to look at myself. I just wanted to die. That's it, I should just lay here and bleed to death. Yeah... That's what I'll do.

I smiled slightly through my tears and pain. The end was near, but why am I still standing here?

My mind all of a sudden started racing with thoughts of everything I could have pop into my mind right now. Fuck... What if I did die? How long would I lay here, before anyone found me? Would I just be here forever? Or would someone sure and come find me, if they noticed I was missing? Would I just lay here and rot? Oh God... Probably. I wouldn't be found. I'd just lay on the floor here until the end of time. Tom probably is out having a good time right now, I bet. Happy that he ruined the only person who ever saw anything in him. Happy that he ruined the only person who ever saw anything in me. Happy that he ruined my life.

Happy that he probably committed first degree murder and wont be caught for it.

Shit. Shit. SHIT. What if he does this to everyone he's ever loves, or liked? Dammit! I got myself met up with a murderer... God mother fucking dammit! Why? Why doesn't this happen to someone else? I'm stupid. God, I'm so fucking stupid.

I gathered up enough energy after a while and dragged myself out of the bathroom I'd been laying in. I lied on the carpet, instead. I wasn't crying anymore, just shocked and in pain. So much fucking pain.

"Into the dark, back to the blue...„
I sat myself up and wiped my face with my left hand. I looked at it, then. Blood-stained from the gash on my right arm. Fuck my life, I though, standing myself up while taking a tight hold of the wall and door threshold that lead out into the hallway. I was still weak as shit, but I could manage.

All of a sudden, someone was pounding at the door. I stared forwards, waiting for them to yell something.

"Hey in there!„ they shouted after they pounded on the metal door once or twice more. "Are you okay?„

I wasn't able to make noise, I tried speaking but couldn't. Instead, I fell forward and dragged myself across the apartment with my left arm and pushed myself with my legs. Struggling like a run over dog, I thought.

I finally made my way to the front door and reached up to the knob, slamming a grip onto it. I twisted it weakly and pulled the door open a bit.

A man, a little on the stocky side, looked down at me, then making a surprised expression. I just lied there.

"Oh.. My God! What happened? I heard you screaming...„ he bent down and lifted my head up, so I was looking at him. I did, looked right at him, his dark green eyes stared back at me in amazement. "Hello? Uhm...„ he lifted me up and carried me inside my own apartment, not caring about closing the door. I was limp and so weak I could barely move.

He walked over to the slightly larger couch and lied me on it, sitting next to me on the floor.

"What's your name?„ he put a hand on my forehead and moved my messy hair out of my face. I looked over at him weakly and didn't open my mouth to speak, since I couldn't. He looked at me still. "Cant you say something? Uhm...„ he sounded as worried as a mother for her child. I shook my head slightly, looking away and shutting my eyes. His forehead creased with a line from him frowning, worried as ever for some reason. "Hey...„ he said. "Don't die on me here, try to cooperate...„ he got up and quickly pulled a small towel out of my kitchen, sitting me up. He took light hold of my right arm, slipping my sleeve up and tying the towel tightly around my wound. I cringed slightly, dropping my head down. He got another towel and started wiping the blood off of me, from my face to my left arm and hand.

"Now,„ he said, setting the blood-covered towel over his shoulder. "Try and say something. Anything, please. I wanna know who you are.„ his voice was as soft and quiet as ever, he looked at me with those green eyes. Mysteriously, I wanted to know the story behind those pretty eyes.

I looked at him. "Bill...„ I said, quieter then a whisper. "You're Bill? Your name is Bill?„ I nodded, turning my head back down. "Okay...„ he slipped my shirt off and started wiping the rest of the blood off of me. My chest and stomach, it was everywhere. I didn't mind him doing this, though. Was nice of him. Really.

"What happened? Who did this to you?„ the guy said after he had put the towel over his shoulder again, looking at me once more. I shook my head. "Nobody...„

"Are you sure?„

"Positive...„
I choked out the word like it was water coming out of my lungs. I still felt horrible, it was hard to breathe because of how many times I was kicked and punched in the chest and ribs. "Okay...„ he pushed me back down onto the couch so I was laying again. "Don't move... Just rest. You're beaten.. Bad. It's best if you just stay still for a little, okay? I'll take care of you, don't worry.„ he got up and went into the kitchen, seeming to know what to do instantaneously. I closed my eyes and exhaled sharply, wishing I had just died in my bathroom. Wishing this guy hadn't heard me screaming in pain.

Hell, I would have been better dead anyway, right? I'm not that great of a person. Nobody would have missed me.

The guy came back out of the kitchen and handed me two pill capsules, he was holding a glass of water. "Can you swallow? You need to take these...„ I sat me back up and I nodded slightly, taking the glass of water and swallowing both the pills, then drinking the water.

"Thank you...„ I said quietly, giving him the glass of water back. He nodded once in reply, setting the cup on the table behind him.

"Are you sure you don't want to tell me who did it? I could tell the police...„ he put his hand on my left arm, looking at me with those eyes again.
You, it seemed his eyes were telling me. You.

"I'm... I'm positive..„ I choked out once more. "But thank you...„
"It's nothing, Bill.„

Dear God... Who was he? Why did he come here to help me? Yeah, I had screamed pretty loud, and I'm sure the whole building heard me, but was he the one who lived next door to me? The guy in 484 who plays what sounds like guitar all the time... The one with the sleek brown hair and well-built stature that I barely saw but once or twice. So this was him, huh? Well... Not a bad guy to be living there.
Yaay... Chapter five.. :cry:
Such a twist in this series, ja? Huh... Poor Bill.
Who's the one from next door, hm? :trollface:

Hope you like, though:heart:
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p 7
b ,



early valentine submission.
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The accounts of losing yourself were as follows:

i. The voices of the people around you started to sound like a cassette tape in fast forward. You couldn't understand why they were talking that way.
Alltheirwordsstringingtogetherinunrecognizablehighpitchedgarble.

ii. When you saw your reflection in the looking glass, you began to see someone else.
You couldn't recognize the face in the mirror. you reached out to touch who you thought you were, and your hand slipped through the surface like a hand submerging into water. And that was the last you saw of your face (or at least, what you thought was your face)


iii. So now, you became a faceless creature. You saw without eyes, hearing only static and white noise. You walked on abandoned sidewalks, tripping over broken glass and getting tangled up in withered weeds. It is there where you completely lost yourself. And no one saw you slip through the cracks into the crevices of shattered dreams and empty promises. No one saw you fall through paved over lies and stomped out wishes.

Somewhere along the way, you misplaced what it was to be human.
You became something else entirely.

You became a writer.
i became a writer, nothing was the same after that.
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On long drives, I like the sound of tires moving over pavement
It's like a soft humming, barely distinguishable if you've got the radio blasting,
or if the people around you are talking up a storm
I especially love the low whistle while passing over a bridge,
it breaks the monotonous humming for a few seconds

In silence, I can hear things so much better
Like now as I am sitting here at my desk:

I hear my computer,
it hums too, but in a different way than wheels over roads
It's a constant humming, unwavering

I hear my hand,
brushing across the paper as I write
It's a somewhat jerky sound, random and fluctuate in volume
depending on my speed (or lack thereof) as I form these words

I hear birds,
greeting one another just outside my open window
Their chirps and calls repetitive
(I wonder what they are trying to tell me over and over)

I hear my clock,
the continuous "click" as the minutes pass by,
giving the silence it's very own heartbeat

Right now I'm screaming inside, but no one can hear my cries
Not even in complete silence
Because there are some noises that aren't meant to be heard

Some noises are better off noiseless
I stay silent because any words I say are meaningless, not because it's easier to listen..
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Could it be that because you cannot see my face that you find me beautiful?
I can only imagine how it is to live life in darkness
To not be able to observe the world as anything more than shadows
[What is it like to be blind?]
I should tell you now that I am many things, but not perfect—not beautiful
[So, why do you persist in calling me so?]

I think it is because you are perceptive in ways I can never be
Unlike me, you are beautiful in the light and the dark
You see what most are blinded to
The inner loveliness that others somehow overlook
You say the best way for me to see a person is to close my eyes
[Will shutting my eyes really change my perspective?]

I wonder, why can't all of us be like you?
Why is it that we identify a person only by how they appear?
The outside is what one sees, but it is the inside that truly means something

In a literal sense, beauty eventually fades
At least, outward beauty
But you told me the beauty that you have come to notice—the beauty that you say lies within me—lasts forever

[Why then, do I only feel beautiful when you are looking at me—and you can't even properly see me?]
In the dark, I suppose I am pretty
And in the light, I only have to close my eyes to be beautiful
the best way to see a person--is to close your eyes
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