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Ngggh, does the day ever end?!

Thu Feb 23, 2006, 8:49 AM
In a desperate attempt to waste some time, I'm just going to ramble.  Besides, that other entry is way out of date.  I've had my account here tidied up for weeks now.

Looking at my art, I realize that I really need better contrast.  Deeper shadows.  Definitely.  I'm looking at the artwork here on my front page, and thinking it looks awfully boring, really, because the shadows just aren't bold enough.  And then, I'm frankly terrified of bright highlights.  I have no idea why; I've tried using them, but I have no confidence whatsoever, and invariably end up erasing them because I think they look stupid.

So tired.  Sleeeeep.  Neeeeeed sleeeep.

Edit:  Woof!  Went hunting for some Photoshop tutorials to pick up some new techniques, and have found excellent stuff.  I shall have to try it out and see how it goes.

ShadownEssence--the best WoD site on the web!
Look me up. I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu avatar.

Oi, it's a club for Changeling! :iconthe-motley:
Oi, it's a club for Mage! :iconmage-club:
  • Reading: Litany of the Long Sun

Cleaning up around here

Thu Jan 26, 2006, 2:46 PM
Sorting things out around here.  Isn't it odd how you can wander off from an online space for a while, and when you come back, you honestly feel as if you've returned to a house left too long empty?  Truly, I feel as if I'm dusting and straightening things up.

I've chewed through 3/4s of my Deviations backlog, which is good since I've added quite a few more people to my DevWatch this week and things will be getting awfully cluttered.  To the Mysterious (Now Named) Benefactor, THANK YOU!  I didn't mind not having a subscription, but it makes this a lot easier.

Hum, more than 1500 views.  That's very interesting.  I feel proud.  I truly don't expect to many views, as I'm honestly not all that great an artist.  Before you flip your lids at me, my friends, I'm not disparaging myself.  It's simply that I have little patience for the color, detail, and polish that produces an attention-grabbing piece.  I lose interest too quickly, moving on to other things.  Mostly, I'm happy that way--I'm only a hobbyist, after all--but I would like to create a couple of those impressive pieces...I know I can, if I can only find the interest.

Backgrounds.  I really need to learn the patience for backgrounds.  And how to draw something besides people.  I used to be quite good at horses, you know, but boy, it sure has been a while.

ShadownEssence--the best WoD site on the web!
Look me up. I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu avatar.

Oi, it's a club for Changeling! :iconthe-motley:
Oi, it's a club for Mage! :iconmage-club:
  • Reading: Vampire Hunter D vol 3


Wed Jan 25, 2006, 11:17 AM
Did...uh, did someone buy me a subscription?  Because I just logged in and realized I've got thumbnails and everything else, here, and I didn't a couple of weeks ago.

Anyhoo, I want to welcome all my friends from SnE who've added me to their Watch-lists.  *waves*  You know who you are.  And for anyone else who follows my account, and who likes both World of Darkness and common courtesy, I highly recommend the place:

I've neglected this account since before Christmas, since I was busy then and am now intimidated by the incredible amount of backlog I've developed.  But I'll try to get through it...oh, so slowly.

Me :)

PS:  What I meant to say was, if you bought the subscription, then thank you!  It's terribly kind of you, mysterious benefactor!

ShadownEssence--the best WoD site on the web!
Look me up. I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu avatar.

Oi, it's a club for Changeling! :iconthe-motley:
Oi, it's a club for Mage! :iconmage-club:
So, I let my DA subscription expire.  Not because of any protests or disgust with the pettyness of the site or anything like that, but just because I've already spent more money than I should this month.  I figure, I can re-subscribe next month if I feel like it.

But it turns out...I kinda like non-subscription DA.  Other than the loss of the Search function, there's not really any downside with this.  In fact, I almost like the way the non-subscriber DevWatch and comments and things are set up *better*.

Does my subscription make anything on my page display differently to others?  Or is it all just about how it's presented to *me?*

Just realized something...

Fri Oct 7, 2005, 9:57 AM
...that ticks me off.

All this time, my monitor's calibration has *sucked.*

I foolishly assumed that it couldn't be *too* bad, because it wasn't that far off the calibration of the monitors at work.  Which, you know, we use for graphics editing and things, so one might expect them to be properly adjusted.

HAH hahahahahaha!
^ That's God laughing at me for thinking such stupid things.

Now I have a burning urge to go back and redo all my colored images. *sigh*

ShadownEssence--the best WoD site on the web!
Look me up. I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu avatar.

Oi, it's a club for Changeling! :iconthe-motley:
  • Reading: Vampire Hunter D, it's been a long time.

Thu Sep 15, 2005, 9:15 AM
I honestly don't know what to post, but whee!  I still exist!  Er...yay for editing!  I've gotten on my feet regarding the freelance editing, which you probably didn't know is what I want to do for a career.

The summer has passed so quickly, and yet it seems like forever.  Which is a good thing, mostly.  But now the leaves are changing and the weather is cooling, and my allergies are going haywire.

You know, yesterday I thought, "Gee, I ought to update because I have something to say."  And now...nuthin'.  I've forgotten it all.  But rest assured that something significant is happening with me, in a good way, even if I can't remember what it might be!

I want cookies.

ShadownEssence--the best WoD site on the web!
Look me up. I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu avatar.
  • Reading: Some vampire story

Hey, I'm alive!

Wed Jun 15, 2005, 5:25 PM
Yes, I am indeed alive.  I have somehow managed to forget to check DA on a regular basis for the past few weeks (I've been busy, okay?!), so I apologize to anyone who feels I disappeared.  I just spent a few hours wading through the backlog of journals I had, and soon I will go on to tackle the 280+ Deviations I want to look at and comment on.

Now I know how people like Saimain and Xaotl feel.

In life-ish news, I have just gotten a commission...job...whatever you call it to create a website for someone--a guy who runs his own photography business.  This is kind of exciting for me, because it's the sort of thing I really want to do with my life but don't (yet), and it's one more concrete step on the way to gainful self-employment.

Also, I've been raising hell over on Shadownessence &… you don't play World of Darkness RPGs, then you probably won't care.  But if you do...then go!  See!  Join!  It is God!  :D  Seriously, it's good stuff like you don't believe exists on the internet.  Polite and friendly people, intelligent and beneficial discussion, creativity and enthusiam fountaining out like the blood of my, I mean, like...soda pop!  Yeah!  When you shake it up real good and then have to open it over the sink, except that doesn't save the white (why is it always white?) shirt you're wearing.  :D  Really, I know you don't believe me.  But go look, and you'll see.  It's all true.  Seriously.

If you go, say hi to me.  I'm the girl with the plushy Cthulhu icon.  I'm hard to miss. :)  I frickin' rampage all over the place.

Thazz it.  Oh, yeah, and I haven't drawn much in a while, except for the past couple of days.  So there are new doodles in my Scraps, if you care.

Me :)

Shaking the blood of my enemies over the sink since 2005. ...No, wait. I mean soda pop.
  • Reading: A Farce to be Reckoned With
My goodness, what a to-do.  I don't get around on DA that much, to be honest, so I hadn't noticed the implementation of a new User Agreement, let alone the vigorous discussion revolving around it.  I know how people get, though.  So, once I found out, I figured I'd investigate for myself.  

Being in no way a lawyer, I've turned the whole thing upside down and looked it over closely.  In my considered and completely non-learned opinion, what the new UA says is essentially this:

"Please don't sue us if anything happens to any of your stuff because you put it online using DeviantArt.  Also, we do a lot of stuff with your work, and if something goes wrong, please don't sue us over that either.  In fact, please just don't generally sue us."

Now granted, that can also translate as:
"We can do as we like, and we take no responsibility for our own actions or anything that might happen because of them."  

Now, it's true that this doesn't leave a whole lot of protection for your work if you put it up on DA.  It seems to me that, IF you are an artist who relies on your art for income at all; or IF you are sensitive about protecting the copyright of your art for any reason, then it might be worth your while to give this some thought.  I really don't think DA means any harm, but that doesn't always count for much when you're talking about your living or your future.

As for me, I don't care.  Even assuming DA goes mad with power, what are they going to rip off from me?  A few sketch drawings that I doodle in my drawing pad when I'm bored.  That doesn't hurt me.  Heck, if it happened, I'd put it on my resume and take the hardcopy drawing with me to my next job interview.

In other news, IT'S GORGEOUS OUT.  Why do I have to be at work?

In other other news, I'm thinking of going to Origins this year.   If anyone else around here will be there, I'd love to meet you.
  • Reading: The Treasured One
Geez, I've had that other journal entry up for weeks.

Um, there's no real news.  I'm just updating to get that blizzard journal entry off my front page.  Things are okay, except we're getting the office painted at work on Monday and Tuesday, and guess who has to help move equipment?  Yeah, technically our facilities people are the only ones allowed to move anything, but since they don't know how to disconnect or reconnect computers, let alone the necessary precautions to move some of our $50000 equipment...  Well, let's just say we're not trusting them to donate enough of their budget to replace anything they might break.

I have posted no art lately, because recently I've been in more of a reading/writing mood.
  • Reading: Deathstalker Return
Yep, time for the once-a-decade Nor'easter.  Looks like it won't be as impressive as usual, though.  Normally when we get this sucker, we get 3 to 5 feet of snow, but this will probably only be about a foot.  In Pennsylvania, anyway.  Poor New England will be drowning in it.  On the other hand, these things often surprise...

Anyway, I mention this because I LOVE BLIZZARDS!  Yes, that's right.  I think they're wildly cool.  But the stupid news media thinks that every time we get more than 4 inches, the world must be ending. :P  It really takes the fun out of it.  I want a *real* blizzard so that everyone knows how embarrassing the faux blizzards are.

EDIT next day:  Eh, well.  Not a blizzard, but lots of snow.  We've got about a foot here.  I can live with that. :D
  • Reading: Wizard of Earthsea
You know one of my favorite things about DA?  No, of course you don't.  You're probably not psychic.  It's the 'recent visitors' fuction.  I love visiting people who've come to my page recently, poking around their galleries, and commenting on their stuff.  It's my way of thanking them for taking the time to stop by, and it's such a random, fun way to connect.

In other news, as you can see I went to see the Constantine movie over the weekend.  Since I'm a fan of Hellblazer, I was profoundly skeptical.  Having seen it...I am now only somewhat skeptical.  It's acceptable, I guess.  

Actually, standing on its own merits alone, it was pretty cool.  I can get into the whole blowing-up-demons thing.  I like fantasy occult movies, but I don't like horror, and this walked that lovely fine line between.  Keanu Reeves wasn't great, but he was quite a bit better than he usually is.  He even had some moments of excellence.  He just REALLY needs to work on his 'intense moments.'  They suck.  Hard.

I could complain that he's not British, or blond, and his trenchoat's the wrong color.  Chaz is not a 40-something London cabbie.  John would never, ever stop smoking, not even after having lung cancer.  He's a bastard that way.  But at least he flipped off the Devil.  And that's really what counts.

The novelization is much better, though, and the guy who wrote it knew the comic well enough to add in some other things.  It's got, like, background and exposition and stuff.

Oy, if you see the movie and decide you want to try the comic, start with the 'Original Sins' or 'Dangerous Habits' collections.  The first is the first 10 issues.  The second is the storyline the movie is loosely based off of.

Edit:  You know what would make Valentine's Day cool?  If more stuff like this (…) happened (credits to ott01).
  • Reading: Constantine: the novelization
  • Watching: Constantine: the movie
That's right.  It's not Valentine's Day; it's Freezing-Rain Day!

God, I hate Valentine's Day.  All around me is nauseating mush and adowwwabalness, tee hee!  :P  The fact that it is sleeting outside with a biting wind and I had to walk a mile to get to work does not improve the situation.  Makes me glad to be at work with a cold, so everyone will leave me alone.

On the bright side, the boss brought in cookies.  Yummy, wonderful homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They are still warm.  I swear, he must get up at 6 AM in order to bake first thing in the morning (that's right, it's a man who bakes.  What's more, he's a roleplayer, he's reasonably cute, has social skills, and he's not married due to his intrinsically geeky nature--but I can't take a shot at him because he's my boss. C'est la vie).  And I have loads of hot tea, which helps my throat.  Things are looking up, after all.

Join me, brothers and sisters, in scorning the slushy celebrations and instead partying in the name of sleet!
  • Reading: Lord of the Rings (again!)
Er.  Not a lot to say, really, but I figured I should put up something other than the Christmas post I had on here.  So...uh...

Just as a heads-up, if you're interested in seeing more of my stuff, pay attention to my Scraps Gallery.  I drop some of my pencil art in there when I'm too lazy to primp or color it.  

I'm mostly over that weird fanart kick I've been on.  There's one more Shadow Hearts piece I still want to do, but it's somewhat daunting and I don't know when I'll get around to it.  Fanart will probably still turn up from time to time, mostly as requests from people.   I'm very susceptible to suggestion.  All you have to do is say, "Wouldn't a picture of XX being YY be pretty cool?" and I'll say, "Yes, it would...dang it."  And then sooner or later I'll almost certainly draw it, and possibly color it, especially if there is some neat swirlyness or magicky-glowy or something going on (you can, in fact, try this trick with original ideas as well, and it will probably work).  

Anyway, for the most part, I think I'm back to original stuff.  Although the fanart is probably more interesting.

So, I'm an amateur artist.  No training, no mad skillz like some of the folks around here.  I totally suck at painting, and marvel at the ability some people have with ink, because if I can't erase, I'm doomed.  I've just putzed around with pencils since I was little, and once I discovered the joys of Photoshop I started playing with that too.  Art is relaxing for me.  It's a nice way to avoid boredom, and sometimes to relieve stress.  It's fun to try to improve myself with every piece I draw or color.  I endeavor to make each new artwork look visibly better than the last.  You can probably see my recent path of evolution right in this gallery.  For the near future, my goals are to improve the quality of my shading/highlights, to make my characters' poses more dynamic, and to (this one's a pipe-dream) start doing decent backgrounds.  Just something to keep in mind, should you feel like leaving detailed critiques on any of my work.

Incidentally, have any of you heard of encaustic?  If you haven't, you should do a Google on it and take a look at some of the results.  It's this fabulous way of working with colored wax, and it creates the most amazing, almost mystical quality in the finished art.  I think I'd like to make my work look a bit more like that.  So bright and almost 3D from the contrasts.  Just stunning.
  • Reading: A Night in the Lonesome October, by Roger Zelazny

Wonderful Holidays!

Wed Dec 29, 2004, 8:55 PM
Well, Christmas is over.  Mostly.  I still consider it the generic 'holiday season' until after New Year's. :)  I like the old Medieval idea about loads of excuses for mid-winter parties.

My Christmas was absolutely wonderful.  Not much in the way of goodies, but that's alright.  I got to see EVERYONE!  And my dad gave me a cool, useful gift, which is great because it means he's actually thinking of us!  (I love my dad, but he's...not the best at fathering).

I guess that by now, everyone has seen the thing about the gigundus earthquake out near Asia.  8.9 magnitude, 5th largest quake ever measured.  That's HUGE!  As of today, the death toll is at over 117,000 people.  Definitely go donate money, or give blood, or knit a blanket and give it to the Red Cross.  Whatever you can manage.  Those poor people need a lot of help.  Entire islands worth of people were uprooted.

On a more scientific note, that actually was something of an aftershock!  A few days earlier, there was a 9.5(!) magnitude quake off the coast of Antarctica, but as no one was really hurt in that, it only made science headlines.  Between these two, the Pacific plate has moved 68 miles in the past week, and the Earth's rotation was wobbled so that we are now 1 second off on our clocks.

Wahoo!  I have finished coloring the picture for xaotl.  I'm proud of that because I'm very bad at deadlines.  If I think I'm 'just about finished,' it may well mean that I have a couple of weeks to go because my mind wanders.

Anyway, Cheers and a Happy New Year!  Start it out the right way by being generous to others.  I'm sure that's good luck.

Okay, time for snow! Where is it already?
  • Reading: A Night in the Lonesome October, by Roger Zelazny

Yaaa, Christmas time!

Wed Dec 1, 2004, 2:52 PM
Oh yes, I do love Christmas.  Presents are nice, but more, I love having an excuse to buy things.  I love the lovely lights in all the evergreen garland.  I love staying up late at night and reading by the light of a Christmas tree (try it sometime, it's incredibly warm and cozy--but make sure you've got loads of lights).  I love all the decorations that make my normally bland, boring home come to life, looking fresh and new to me.  I love the smells that remind me of being a little kid at my grandparents' house.  I start being Christmasy as early as possible (right after Thanksgiving if I can manage it), so that I can wallow in the spirit of the holidays.

So a Merry Christmas to all!

Okay, time for snow! Where is it already?
  • Reading: Chronicles of the Lensmen, by 'Doc' Smith

I am lazy.

Tue Nov 16, 2004, 8:34 AM
Hey, check it out. The header and footer stay where you put them. (You probably already knew that.)

These people who have the patience to paint each delicate blade of grass and glistening strand of hair amaze me.  Myself, I'm afraid of detail work in my own art.  Thus, when I see it in someone else's, I sit there going "oooh, ahhh!"

I have no patience.  I get partway through the picture, think, "Gee, it'd look nice if...," and then laugh at myself because there's no way it's gonna happen.  Most of the time, I get too lazy to even do a proper background.

But I wonder...some of the artists on here are so prolific!  I see people like Pu-sama posting these fantastic, intricate pieces, with a comment like, "Took me 6 hours."  It takes me days to do something that's half as complex!  It makes me wonder if there are tricks I'm missing, but I'm sure it's just a matter of skill and familiarity.  I'm self-taught, so I lack a lot in the way of technique that probably makes life easier for professional artists.  

But still.  You guys are marvellous.  Hear me?  I am in awe of you!

Edit:  It's weird.  I usually do my own stuff, but lately for some reason I've got all these ideas for fan art for a game no one else has ever heard of.  I hope you don't mind.  There are just a few more, and then I'll be back to normal.

Okay, time for snow! Where is it already?
  • Reading: Chronicles of the Lensmen, by 'Doc' Smith

Yay, 100 Hits!

Fri Oct 29, 2004, 9:16 AM
Hey, check it out. The header and footer stay where you put them. (You probably already knew that.)

Ooo, 100 page views already.  Yes, I know, it's not that big a deal.  But I'm easily impressed, and it motivates me to do some kind of celebratory artwork.  Except...uh...well, I don't have any with me at the moment.  I do have a half-done colorized Knight of the Faith on my drive at home.  Of course, since I was working on it anyway, I guess it'd be kind of cheap to use that.

Maybe I'll have to settle for polishing up Yuri until I can get something better.

That's done, anyway.  Have I mentioned that I frequently have nothing to do at work?


I want a vampire smiley-face.

Well, now that that's done...

Fri Oct 22, 2004, 6:59 AM
Oooh, cool. Wonder what I'm supposed to put here.

Just joined DeviantArt, and am now settling in.  I doubt I'll have much to say in this journal in the future, but who knows?  Like most people, I enjoy talking about myself more than I probably ought to.  And it might make a nice space to keep notes to myself...

Edit:  So, I have a question.  Does the thumbnail server ever work for more than 10 minutes at a stretch?  Or did I just come at a bad time?

??? >:)

I want a vampire smiley-face.