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BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS DEAD, I'm not I've just been spending too much time on tumblr.

Is anyone still here? If so drop me a note, I miss my old DA friends. :(
  • Drinking: Dr Pepper
If just barely. This semester is kicking my butt and I'll be glad when it's over...

I'm still drawing too, but sporadically ... mostly Fallout stuff since that's my current obsession. I really should post them here at some point...
  • Drinking: Dr Pepper
Sorry for not really being active here at all lately, I've been absolutely overwhelmed the last couple of weeks with life stuff, mostly getting ready for the start of a new semester at a new school (transfers, fun) with a new major (computer science, because it seems the natural marriage of my interest in computers, problem solving and esoteric math and unnecessary suffering, though I've also considered just pursuing the last three and majoring in mathematics.)

I'm dreading the first few weeks 'cause I have multiple early morning math classes, and the data structures & algorithms class is using Java, for some reason. So now I have to un-brain damage myself after months of working primarily with PHP and re-brain damage myself slightly into remembering how to use Java. I'm probably going to make a fool of myself, hopefully not excessively so. 

I have some older and mostly-finished things I'm going to post here, hopefully soon, just because I'm not sure I'll finish them anytime in the near future and don't want them to collect dust on my hard drive, so watch for that! 
  • Listening to: Air conditioner sounds
  • Playing: Fallout 3
  • Drinking: Water
How long have you been on DeviantArt?
Since March 2007 (8 years)

What does your username mean?
"Beautiful sky" in Italian, which makes sense given my preoccupation with painting them.

Describe yourself in three words.
"Only three words?"

Are you left or right handed?

What was your first deviation?

OS-Tan battle by BellaCielo

What is your favourite type of art to create?
Non-realism figures and portraits, landscapes, skyscapes.

If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?
Although I wouldn't necessarily want to master the strict realism, I'd probably choose romantic or neoclassical-inspired painting. Or impressionism.

What was your first favourite?

<da:thumb id="49743068"/>

What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?

Works with lighting, color and composition that catches my eyes, cute things, pretty girls, fanart.

Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?

There's a lot, but everything considered probably cptlfrghtr.

How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
Many — in the broadest sense, anyone who's provided me support, advice or ideas, but more specifically my fabulous friends and watchers here, some of whom I'm happy to say I've known for almost as long as I've been here. :aww:

As far more specific examples, C-quel, Kattlanna and siya are some of the first artists who encouraged me to learn more about drawing and character design way back in the day. Later on NejinOniwa inspired me to get more serious about writing,
cptlfrghtr and Samantha-Wright have supported me in my pursuit of drawing obscure historic OS-tans, yuri and encouraged me to grow a lot as an artist in the time I've known them. PentiumMMX, Choco-la-te, and all my regular viewers and commenters as well, and hootalex whose lovely prints are still up on my wall — I am forever grateful and appreciative to all of you!

If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

Any of the above, who I haven't already. :)

What are your preferred tools to create art?

Wacom Intuos 3 and Photoshop CS4

What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

My room ... because that's where my computer is...

What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?

Probably meeting my various friends here, I remember the circumstances for most of them! Also lively comments discussions, and all the interesting things that used to go on back when I was more involved in fandom stuff. 

  • Listening to: Computer sounds
  • Reading: PHP documentation
  • Playing: Fallout 3
  • Drinking: Water
Hello my friends, contrary to evidence otherwise I'm still among the living and (marginally) productive. The last month has been very hectic — planning, preparing for and going on a trip across the Eastern Seaboard, and now getting ready to go on a trip to the Midwest tomorrow morning. Of course I've fallen very ill, making this 5/6 times my body's decided to flip the fuck out before a trip to Michigan. (I still blame the wrathful mitten-state deities.) That being said, hopefully my trip will inspire me to draw something half as amusing as this masterpiece...

As well, I've been preoccupied by attempting to put together a personal website (still) except this time I'm putting my new-found Javascript ([sigh]) and PHP ([pained groan]) skills to work. Expect something loosely resembling an interactive image gallery and a small storefront. And maybe even user login capabilities ... my abilities willing. 

Tonight I think I'm going to try to get a few old (and not-so-old) sketches posted so I don't have to leave you all hanging for another week or so. If I don't get distracted by finishing up my packing ... wish me luck!
To all my lovely friends and watchers, I assure you I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but rather been buried under an avalanche of homework and midterms terror. I feel guilty over the huge backlog of comments I have in my inbox and will be responding to as many as possible during Spring Break! 

As a token of my appreciation for your continued support in the face of chronic busyness-related neglect, enjoy this sneak peak of a painting I've been (slowly) working on:

Whirlwind Family -Color by BellaCielo
I'm not married to anything here though, so if you have any suggestions, critiques or criticisms please let me know!
  • Listening to: Computer hum
The month of February is upon us and with it unreasonable amounts of snow, anxiety-inducing stacks of homework and — art and yuri goddesses willing — f/f shipping artwork. That's right, I'm considering observing the old tradition of "Femslash February" as an excuse to draw more of my favorite yuri couples. (Considering my usual shipping fare, it could almost be synonymous with "Shipmas", the Valentines Day-inspired excuse-to-draw-shipping-artwork holiday I invented last year.) Alas I'm extremely busy between a half-dozen classes, including math, database management (uuuuuuhgggh), web programming (PHPPPPPPPPPP), geology (it's the third best science) and [random sociology requirement I have to write too many papers for], so perhaps I'll just aim for a brief speed-sketch a day (or so) or something. Perhaps some shipping charts or a revival of whatever the hell these were ... anything could happen at this point, maybe even nothing. Hopefully not that though. We'll see! 
  • Listening to: Röyksopp - I Wanna Know
  • Watching: The Grammys, previously
  • Eating: Too busy
  • Drinking: Tea
The photographs look absolutely great, hootalex! I put them on the wall right away...

(The duck print isn't pictured but it's hanging out on my desk right now.)

As a little pay-it-forward type deal I'm considering having a print giveaway of my own — would anyone be interested in such a thing? a Unix workstation. Technically. ^____^ 

Still smoothing everything out (boot time has been as slow as molasses ever since I migrated my programs over ...... though it saved me the pain of having to reinstall them one-by-one) and I've yet to install an extra hard drive (I'm looking at a triple-boot between OS X, Windows 8 and some flavor of Linux), but she's treating me well so far! I even managed to calibrate my monitor to a point where it's no longer giving me headaches ... I just hope the color of my art isn't way off now.

I named her Lilith because 1) My other computer's name is Eve and I'm a sucker for themed names, 2) a famous daemon seems like a fitting namesake for a computer running an OS descended from BSD, and 3) I can't see the potential danger/irony of naming a creative computer after a mythological figure best-known for destroying shit and eating babies (or something like that).
Sorry for being so absent, my dA friends! Life has been exceptionally busy and I've had little time for art. That ought to change once the semester is over. 

So ... how're you all holding up?
  • Drinking: Coffee
The shot answer is "a lot". Getting caught up on overdue homework mostly. (In hindsight taking two programming courses, a class on software requirements and web design in a single semester was probably a bad idea.) I'll put this in bulleted form 'cause I'm too lazy to type actual coherent paragraphs at this point:
  • Math class is unexpectedly fun! Everyone gets along well. I daresay too well since study sessions tend to veer off into unrelated discussions about anything/everything on a far-too-regular basis. By her own admission, our professor would be furious at us if we weren't all keeping up with the material relatively well. 
  • It's also bringing out my inner perfectionist. So there's that. 
  • I could do with less software requirements homework and more programming. Even though the later is probably more important, the actual coding is so much more fun... 
  • I'm now an officer in our Women in Technology club. (Somehow — I got elected without even knowing I was nominated). Anyway, I'm in the midst of organizing a field trip. Hopefully I don't lose anyone in Cambridge. 
  • I also got nominated to teach basic programming to middle schoolers. [breathes into paper bag]
  • We're using Objective-C in mobile software development, another language to confuse me while I'm being confused by learning other languages! Though we do get to play with Macs now. So it's not all bad. 
  • I wanna draw more often but I don't have the time.... *cries* 
Hey, at least I'm trying to be creative with my weekly "I haven't gone away, I'm just busy" update-journal titles...

Math class continues to eat up much of my free time, but I feel like I'm starting to overcome my comfortable mediocrity at the subject. (Or so it would seem — I've had good performance ever since those first two disastrous quizzes.) I've also discovered the joy of explaining mathematical topics to less mathematically-inclined people and am becoming something of a team-mother to my study group, what with my constantly bringing them healthy snacks and giving pep-talks and whatnot. Probably helps that we all get along with each other. Hooray friendly study groups! 

The Java class is alright but at this point I mostly want to explore the concept of object orientated programming more thoroughly, in a not-necessarily-language-specific context. Any recommendations for books/websites/other learning resources on the topic would be greatly appreciated. 

Contrary to my lack of uploads, I'm drawing somewhat regularly, but have been too lazy/busy to post much here. A sketch-dump is in order ... perhaps. 
  • Eating: Soon!
Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive. Sorta. My life's pretty much been taken over by my math class for ... a variety of reasons, including two truly ego-shattering quiz performances. Our professor is both really tough and vaguely uninterested in teaching the actual topics we're covering so there's a lot more self-instruction than I'm used to. I'm like a week behind of half my (non-math) homework, ffff. 

Mobile application development is unexpectedly fun and utterly time-consuming. Still have to come up with a project proposal; I want to make a color scheme generator, but I don't know where to start either. And don't really have any time to. (See above point.)

I keep meaning to draw in my spare time, but I can never decide what to make. Maybe I should just draw something regardless, since I've always found sketching to be very relaxing and therapeutic and I could certainly use both right now... 
My dear dA friends, it seems I am currently facing a dilemma finding a suitable Java development environment. My only viable work computer is a Mac running OS X 10.6.8. Our class is going to be working with Java Development Kit 7, which is only available for OS X 10.7 and up. I've already attempted to shoehorn JDK 7 onto OS X 10.6.8 using these instructions; I followed everything to the letter (complete with using the JDK 7 version specified in the post) and it still didn't work. (I didn't press the point further because I was concerned about screwing up JDK 6, currently installed.)

Right now I'm faced with this set of options:

  1. Upgrade to OS X 10.7 and risk losing my rather impressive software investment in OS X 10.6 (the thought of losing Photoshop alone makes me want to cry); 
  2. Partition my drive and dual-boot with Windows or some JDK 7-supported flavor of Linux or Unix and be faced with having to reboot constantly to switch between tasks;
  3. Install JDK 7 on a Linux/Unix/Windows virtual machine and risk poor performance / completely decimating my system resources, or;
  4. Attempt to work on my Windows 7 laptop and not get anything done, because I loathe using that computer (it's about as loud and vibrate-y as a blender and has a really, really bad screen) ... OR
  5. LIVING DANGEROUSLY BONUS OPTION — The textbook we're using proclaims that most of the lessons and examples are compatible with JDK 6, so just use that until I run into work that requires the use of JDK 7, at which point I decide between options 1 — 4. 

Of the options I'm leaning most toward #3, simply because it requires the least amount of risk and monetary/time investment. But I'm wondering if any of my (undoubtedly smarter) friends / watchers have advice because they're all on the table at the moment. 

As for potential OSes to use — I've been kind of out of the Linux/Unix/thingsthataren'tspecificallyOSXorWindows game for awhile (not on my own volition, mind you), does anyone more knowledgable in this particular area have any suggestions? If I'm going to be running it in a VM, I'd rather use an OS with a small resource footprint. The only other requirement is that it can run JDK 7. 
  • Eating: Kettle corn
So things have been kind of quiet here. There's a little over a week until classes start, I guess I'm just quietly contemplating with my impending doom (by which I mean having responsibilities and a three day a week early morning commute). Hopefully C++ will have girded me for work with Java. Also, some things happened and I ended up getting into a web development class, so that ought to be fun. Hopefully. 

I've been doing a little less drawing than usual for lack of ideas/motivation. But I also got struck by the urge to do some world-building type stuff, including work on "my" OS-tan universe (quote marks since it borrows from/is related to the worlds developed by cptlfrghtr and NejinOniwa among others). I'm trying to write some in-universe texts but it turns out I'm poor fictional-nonfiction author. I guess the fact that some of the most basic questions about the OS-tan universe have been left intentionally unanswered, fundamentally thwarting any attempt to properly describe them. Maybe I'll just stick to writing what we do know.

Also, a parting question to my visual artist friends. Do any of you have trouble capturing your own physical likeness in drawn form? I'm working on a self-portrait thing and let me tell you, I might as well have never seen my face before. I just can't translate the features into my own art style — it's bizarre. Is this an actual cognitive phenomena or are faces just easier to draw when they aren't your own?
Might as well hop on the bandwagon, no? 

My story started when DeviantArt was around half its current age. I had recently started drawing "manga-style" artwork and wanted a place to share it. It wasn't very good, but I found it quite liberating learning to draw in a new style.

Dy by BellaCielo

For a variety of (obvious) factors I never got much attention and my art was never well-received. I grew dissatisfied and left not long after joining. While gone, I ended up on OS-tan Collections, a small forum, gallery and wiki where I met many welcoming people who helped me grow as an artist. The departure of my friend C-quel from the site and his (and Kattlanna's!) subsequent move to DeviantArt motivated me to revive my account and start posting my works here again. I'd become more technically-skilled as an artist, but my works were still riddled with a variety of anatomy, posing and color/lighting issues. 

Multics-sama and Unix-sama by BellaCielo  A Very Unix Christmas by BellaCielo  
Fig. 2.1 — 2.2: Vector art from 2008

I became more experimental in 2009. I began working with watercolors, paying more attention to traditional art and attempting to branch out into new styles. However I continued to neglect fundamentals like proper anatomy. And posing. And lighting. I also fell into this rut where I drew everyone's head way too big? And was plagued by borderline Moon Over June-style expressions. Whoops. 

Checkerboard Caren by BellaCielo  LOST: Daniel Faraday by BellaCielo  THE Constant--June 7-- by BellaCielo
Fig. 3.1 — 3.3: Faces are hard

Interesting things happened toward the end of 2009. I became more serious about watercolors and produced many large paintings. I finally fulfilled my childhood dream of owning a Mac. I developed renewed interest in OS-tans and returned to OSC after spending about a year away. I was welcomed (back) warmly and I became friends with many members there, including the infinitely rad cptlfrghtr, Choco-la-te NejinOniwa and PentiumMMX (later on), all of whom engaged my mind and helped me grow as an artist. 

Livingstone by BellaCielo  SAGE-tan by BellaCielo   Island of Misfit Toys by BellaCielo
Fig. 3.4 — 3.6: A brief respite from awful anatomy

2010 was a very busy and productive year for me. I bought a Wacom Bamboo and experimented with a variety of tools: Inkscape, GIMP, Photoshop, watercolors, pencils. This was the year that laid down the foundation for my later works, especially 2013 forward. But more on that in a moment.

Unix and Linux-tan FINAL by BellaCielo  DevID: I Love You Both by BellaCielo  Two Sisters and a Tagalong by BellaCielo  01: Gullman by BellaCielo
Fig. 4.1 — 4.4: Mediums galore!

If there's one thing I remember about my artwork in 2011, it's the color schemes. No idea what happened, but they're pleasing to my eyes to this day. I also feel this was the apex of my anime-esque coloring style, which went steeply downhill and became quite plasticky and lifeless by 2013.

Spring by BellaCielo  Bday Gift - Eleonore and Celia by BellaCielo  LINC-8 Colored -v1- by BellaCielo 
Fig. 5.1 — 5.4: Look at those colors.

I don't want to talk about 2012 because it wasn't a very good year, personal-life-wise or art-wise. Anyway, here are a few of the better pieces, even if I hadn't yet discovered how to draw body types besides skinny-ish and leggy (I was possessed with malevolent CLAMP spirits, sorry). 

Ubuntu-tan Portrait by BellaCielo  Mittans by BellaCielo  Request: Trefoil and Steel Innocence by BellaCielo
Fig. 6.1 — 6.3: Good enough.

2013 was strange. The first part of the year was more-or-less a continuation of 2012's works ... 

  LINC-8 Family by BellaCielo 
Fig. 7.1: Still sufficient.

...but then something happened around the half-way point of the year and my art ended up looking like this: 
VMS-tan Bust by BellaCielo  MTS-tan Portrait by BellaCielo  Linux Glow by BellaCielo 
Fig. 7.2 — 7.4: Who are you and what have you done with the Real BellaCielo?!

It was a culmination of events: cptlfrghtr encouraging me to learn to draw a wider range of body and facial structures, Samantha-Wright helping me get a better handle on lighting and coloring, and the matter of my body finally developing the hand-eye coordination to sketch directly on a tablet. I also got much better at conceptualizing 3D objects and understanding 3D forms (which I secretly suspect is related to me getting back into gaming for the first time in ages, even though that's probably not the actual reason). 

So far 2014 is a continuation of the skills I developed in 2013. I'm completely obsessed with dramatic lighting schemes, learning the mysteries form and light and color theory and drawing characters of a wide variety of body types. Also shipping. And Valve fanart. There's a lot of that. (Sorryimnotsorry.)

The Little Princess by BellaCielo  The Cave by BellaCielo  One Fine Morning by BellaCielo
Fig. 8.1 — 8.3: How about that lighting?

Finally I want to thank all my wonderful friends and watchers here. Your comments, advice and critiques have been absolutely invaluable to my development, and I'm not sure I'd have progressed this far without your support. Thank you for making DeviantArt such a fantastic community. :heart: out my replies inbox. I have things there from two years ago. Literally, July 2012. Granted that was the year I developed borderline-crippling anxiety over (what turned out to be far less serious than expected) medical things and was all but inactive online, because who has time for the internet when you're incapacitated by low-grade psychological disorder? (It subsided for awhile after I had dental surgery in the fall, but then came back with a vengeance when I got fairly badly ill in the spring of 2013. And really hasn't been a problem since last spring, for what it's worth.) But I digress. While most of the replies are thank-you messages and other courtesies, others are conversation threads concluded or lost under heaps of other messages, some of which I'm tempted to reply to for ... various reasons. Even if it would confuse the hell out of the original posters, in all likelihood. A few are from old friends who've since left dA ... as trivial as it may sound, there are so many bittersweet memories, it hurts to just think about. 

On a totally unrelated note, I survived the New England Tornadocalypse. Even though it was more of a eight-hour-thunderstormegeddon where I live. 

Also I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. And have blood drawn for usual testing things. Should probably stop simmering-panicking over that and get to sleep...  

Llama Emoji-06 (Depress) [V1] 
Not a whole lot's happening on my end. I've been tasked with taking care of the family dog in my father's absence, which has resulted in my sleep schedule pretty much going to hell because she's decided to channel the spirit of a colicky baby/nocturnal animal and wake me up repeatedly during the night, every night. And bark at me nonstop if I try to take a nap during the day. Which I think is technically a form of torture under international law. Luckily I found a way to soothe her to sleep, but I have to leave the TV on all night and sneak into bed without her noticing ... 

In less terrible news my website is coming along slowly (and hopefully "surely"). I think I have a basic layout figured out, now I'm focusing mostly on making it look good and not like something designed by a 12 year old on Geocities or an atrociously flashy tumblr theme. On a related note, do any of my readers know if there's a simple way to scale down images by percentage that ISN'T dependent on window size? Or is it just easier to scale them by width/height? I ask because I'm making an image gallery and I'd like to code the gallery stylesheet in a way that automatically scales the pictures to whatever-percentage of the original image size, rather than resize the images one by one in the HTML. (Hopefully that question is decipherable — idk if I explained it well.)

In other news ... I really want to put something together for the first anniversary of me getting my shit together art-wise (since that happened about this time last year), maybe I'll do one of those massive art-improvement-over-the-years memes (pictured below), some more redo pieces or perhaps I'll just write about it here. Dunno yet. Unrelated, but I'm ALSO still deliberating throwing together an art/ask tumblr.

...actually, I'm starting to think I'm not unmotivated, I'm just motivated in about a dozen different directions at once.
  • Listening to: News
  • Playing: Portal 2 community chambers
  • Drinking: Coffee
In sets of three, as usual:

1) Noooooooo, MORNING MATH CLASSES. WHYYYYYY. I can barely remember how to tie my shoelaces at 8AM. HOW AM I EXPECTED TO SOMEHOW GET READY, DRIVE TO CLASS AND NOT PASS OUT WITHIN THE FIRST FEW MINUTES. AAAAH. Also I'm a pathological night-owl, I'm extremely lucky if I can get to sleep by 2AM. So I have to do ALL THIS ON 6 HOURS OF SLEEP ... and that's a generous estimate.

2) My computer's HDD is neeeeearly full, which means I have to start moving some of the bigger files onto my 1TB drive (current Time Machine drive) and set up the not-yet-opened-3TB drive as the new backup drive ... OH GOD, TEDIOUS FILE-SHUFFLING WORK. HOW DO FIND THE WILL?

3) Doctor's appointment tomorrow. OH GOD. Possibly shots. And/or a blood test. AAAAAAH. I mean I should really go because I haven't had a checkup in ages, not to mention I accidentally cut my leg awhile back and I'd like to have it looked at by a medical professional ... but I'm still scared, white-coat panic and all. 

Llama Emoji-56 (Hiding) [V3] 

On a happier note I want to thank everyone who offered me help and advice on the website-building front!  I had no idea where to start before, but I feel like I can actually get this done now! If only I can decide on a theme / layout for the site ... 

Pretty sure the hunt for a suitable set of fonts alone is gonna slow me down by a few weeks. (There are just so many nice fonts out there, how do I chooooooose?)
  • Eating: Kettlecorn
So a couple things have happened and I'm considering trying my hand at website-creation. I've made websites in the very distant past so most of what I know is woefully outdated. There are two different projects I'm considering: a portfolio-type website for my works and a webpage for my dad's business.

Considering building a personal website because there's been an uptick in interest in my art (photography in particular) among friends and family and other people I don't necessarily want snooping around my dA and I'd like to be able to refer them there. Plus it'd be good for future freelance work opportunities. As for a website for my dad's business, he's offered to pay me to build one for him, and that's really all the motivation I need. Both would be fairly simple, I suppose, but the problem is I'm not really sure where to start.

To my dA friends who have done stuff of this nature, do you have any recommendations for learning resources? Decently-priced web hosting? General tips/things to look out for?
  • Drinking: Raspberry kefir