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Thinking too Hard? by smygba Thinking too Hard? by smygba
This can be used for three things
One Help an artist plan a project that requires a certain style
Two Map an Artists Range
Three Map An artists Favoured "Style"

This is more about the Technique behind a drawing.
For the design and idea behind a drawing, read my thoughts here: [link]

Quick Guide

Realistic/Animated - Realistic is trying to capture what reality looks like (Anatomy, objects, buildings etc) and probably highly detailed in the work, Animated is simplifying Reality (the act of cartooning!) I called it animated, rather then cartooning as some artists like Mike Wieringo can draw the same character in multiple places/positions within a single frame, indicating a form of motion and passage of time.

Examples of the extremes
Realistic Artists - Alex Ross / Greg Land / Frank Quietly
Animated/Cartooned - Mike Weiringo/ Khary Randolph (I'm told there's much better examples for this field, however I haven't seen enough of their work to comment) I'll make the point that someone like Mike Weiringo adds stuff like stars and lettering to aid get their message across.

High Contrast/Low Contrast - High Contrast is literally black against white, Low contrast is gradients done through feathers, hatches, stippling and lineweights etc which cause the impression of grey tones and the start of shadows.

High Contrast - Jae Lee and Mike Mignola
Low Contrast - Scott Williams inking Jim Lee is a good example as he uses core shadow, form shadow, halftones, reflected light etc in his inking. Likely he keeps an awareness of how colour will add the midtones and highlights too.

Accurate/Distorted - Accurate is if it is of realistic size, proportion, and looks like a real object, Distorted is literally everything else that you mind can think of.

Accurate - Alex Ross/Greg Land
Distorted - Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo. Sam Kieth To an ultra extreme [link] before finally moving into the area of Semiography.

THIS IS A MODEL. A SIMPLIFICATION OF REALITY. IT IS NOT 100% THE END ALL OF ART. THERE ARE MANY EXOGENOUS VARIABLES IN THE CREATION OF ART, AND FOR ME TO IGNORE THAT WOULD BE STUPID, HOWEVER THIS FUFILLS THE ROLES I HAVE WRITTEN ABOVE.

A good example of an exogenous variable from this model is creativity. This model focuses on the technique side of drawing.

Another one might be time. I myself draw to a 'Deadline' style. I set a time limit and draw. Whatever comes out in that specified time is my style. Not everyone is necessarily picking these factors intentionally. Creating a style first applied to their drawing. Just drawing can create the style.

Finally, some accidents are "happy accidents." Or to put it a better way some mistakes are intentional/become intentional. Either because someone chooses to consistently draw a mistake, they consistently draw a mistake because of artistic deficiency, or they make a mistake, like it the result (regardless of whether they know its right/wrong) and they leave it. Its like Glenn Fabry or David Finch say. If it looks cool or 'right' even when its not, it can better than being accurate and looking weird.

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If you found this interest, Pro Comics genius Scott McCloud has something called the Big Triangle. I didn't know about it when I made this, but it has it's own unique manner in handling these issues.
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:iconforesteronly:
foresteronly Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist
Firstly, I'm sorry for my English. Sometimes what I type is hard to understand even for myself.

There's something I can think of. This diagram (if I may call it) visualize where is me in it.
One question: is the background have some sort of meanings beside of the circle and lines?
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The aim of this tool is not to put you into a specific category. Its to help you achieve your goals. Help you to plan and understand your range and execute an aim.

You see, all the examples listed stereotypically fall into one those sides. But they can do the other side too and know when and how to use them.

The background really means nothing. Plain white however was too 'boring.'

This is perhaps a useful addition to help people understand the difference between this (the Technique of a drawing) and what is design/an idea: [link]
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:iconforesteronly:
foresteronly Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist
When you tell me that the proper of the tool's existence isn't to put myself into a specific category, a thought popped out from my mind. You were right about they who attempting other side which isn't his/her side and in conclusion they can do every side when it's possible to do.

The diagram itself, by the way, is clear enough to understand for me. Planning a project, mapping range and style are something I've never thought till now.

About the background, I agreed with you. This one deserves other than plain white.

Thanks for your explanation.
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:iconupsilon400:
Upsilon400 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Student Interface Designer
I doubt there's such a thing as thinking too hard.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
true say. read it/any thoughts?
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:iconza-zen:
za-zen Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2007
it's too early in the morning to actually try and write a decent reaction to this (....waaiiiit, it's almost noon, *%^$) but i love the concept
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cheers. :)
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:iconclick-snap-taken:
Click-Snap-Taken Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007   Photographer
Hmm, I find it interesting that realism and accurate arent exactly on the same side of the spectrum/continuum. Any particular reason for that decision?
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well this is in no way finished. A good theory is always being refined until it can be proven/disproven. So I accept that there is perhaps a hard to see distinction between the two. To further the problem, I know what I mean in my mind, but it's sometimes hard to expose this to the wider world.

I'll try provide an answer here though (or maybe a couple). Drawing realism is more based on the manner in which the outer contour or holding line would be portrayed in illustration. The level of detail and rendering much involved here also. So it's very much an issue of stylistic choice. If it really helps, just think of someone who draws anti-realism as someone who draws things which go so far beyond the imagination that they could never exist in the real world, such as Superheroes with 52" biceps insted of the just hard to believe 24" bicep, or futuristic armour that has no possible scientific or technological explanation ever.

The accurate and distorted axis is based on the bare bones of proportionality. Basically, if it existed in real life, it is drawn as it would have to be. You'll probably think there is still some overlap here because I haven't used the best example above. So lets that the anti-realism part but combine it with someone who draws accurate. If you have someone who draws 52" biceps and isn't accurate, that's all they'll draw (ala Rob Liefeld with the cover of X-Force #50). But someone who tries to keep it accurate will think: "If this person has 52" biceps, they've probably got big shoulders and forearms to match." And thus you end up with characters who look like the Hulk and Thing insted. Because despite they're not realistic, they're somewhat accurate and proportional for their unrealistic sizes.

One person has posed to me the concept that Realism being the opposite of Animated is the implication of a static feature. In animated drawings such as the type Mike Wieringo would do for Spider-Man or the Flash, he'd portray movement through speedlines and other details, and also draw in "ghost" Spidey's/Flash to show where'd they had moved within the panel. Realism may also be the idea of trying to capture a photo, while animated hits upon a moving picture.

Thanks for the brilliant question.
smy :)
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:iconclick-snap-taken:
Click-Snap-Taken Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007   Photographer
Woa... I won't lie, I'm way too tired to give you an answer fully explaining how brilliant and well thought out that was, but trust me... it was=) Keep up the WONDERFUL work on this, my friend.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you found this interest, Pro Comics genius Scott McCloud has something called the Big Triangle. I didn't know about it when I made this, but it has it's own unique manner in handling these issues.
Reply
:iconclick-snap-taken:
Click-Snap-Taken Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007   Photographer
Sweet... I'll have to check it out.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I'm glad I was able to address your issues. It's was quite useful for me.

smy :)
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:iconmommaphant:
mommaphant Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Interesting ideas. That definitely made me think.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for looking.
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:iconthereseldavis:
thereseldavis Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Okay, I may be missing the point to this... I get the circle graph thing....but am I supposed to see something in the background that corresponds to this graph? Maybe I am over thinking this....
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No. But you're meant to read the accompanying text that explains how it works.
I just thought it'd look too dull if I did it black and white. So I threw in a cloud b/g and some medigrid lines.
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:iconthereseldavis:
thereseldavis Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
I did read the text and that does make sense...but I think Iwas trying too hard to make the background part of the explination ;)
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fair enough.
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:iconyscribble:
yScribble Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
i don' think that realistic and animated imply opposite ends of a spectrum. animated signifies motion. perhaps you should substitute 'tooney' or 'fantastic'

other than that, i think this is an interesting way to map styles of art. neato skeato.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cheers. The words I use always seem to get people. That's why I provide a definition, because no matter what word I pick, someone will disagree. I might replace it at some point.
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:iconwinstontong:
WinstonTong Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
I think, you made this for drawings...
But the way I like to make photos and photomanipulations would fit, too.
I would like to have a vertical circle, and than it is
really interesting, that you can put most of my works in a certain x,y,z-description..
Cool.., I never thought about my pictures in THAT way... :-)
You made me busy for a while.. :D
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well use it as you want. Modify it as you need. Or if you become enlightened, say it's a pile of cr*p and dump it!
It's only meant to be a tool to help the art process after all.
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:icontroll--zaya:
Troll--zaya Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007
Wow... How long did that take you? This is awesome.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I've updated the model a few times. such as adding that z-axis for one. so it's always changing. the orignal idea was put up here back in my first year at college and im a finalist now!
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:iconsnapperz:
Snapperz Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007   Writer
Huh, well that's very interesting. Nice thought process that's gone into it. I can't say I've ever seen anyone put a sort of universal art analysis into a graph before . I can't see myself using it for any particular reason, but I'm sure it would be helpful to someone who knew what they were doing. :|
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol, okay.
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
You might find Scott McCloud's "Big Triangle" to be interesting. [link] - but his explanation of it on the web is very cursory; most of a chapter in his book Understanding Comics is dedicated to it.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have his book. Although I created this matrix before I finished reading his book. I found his model satisfactory, though not sophisticated enough to deal with some of the artistic nuances I see today, or my method for analysis. That's primarily because he caters to a mass public who calls the industry work as cartooning, and has allowed it to influence his thought process too easily. If I ever see Scott McCloud, I'll probably kick the shit of him for that. :paranoid:
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I'm just not really sure 'contrast' deserves its own axis, yknow? I range back and forth in how contrasty my art is a hell of a lot, and with a few exceptions of people who're specializing in hyper-contrasty work, I think most artists do. (And even ones you don't think of as ranging much in contrast do it; have you ever seen any of Jack Kirby's paintings? They're pretty ethereal considering how proto-Pop his comics work was.)

But if this model works for you, then that's what really matters.

(Googling your examples of 'animated' reveals art that looks terribly representational, to me - putting Khary Randolph at the right end would put actual animation people like Mary Blair or John K. or Grim Natwick in mid-air about a foot to the right of my screen!)
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As for contrast, to me it does make a difference, because I can't use feather, cross hatching etc anything like many of the people I know and work with. I also have very little talent with colour. So I am limited to the very high contrast end of the scale. You could also easily take someone's work which has numerous gradients, and ink over it with a simple high contrast goal in mind. Apparently this is the method used by Frank Miller when drawing Sin City before going over the work in black and white paint.

I haven't seen Jack Kirby's paintings, but I also find his glorifactation sickening. If anyone else attempted to draw as inaccurately as him (or as I've seen some people try mask it "abstract,") they'd be heavily criticised today. I find it a joke that inking books give examples of modern pencillers and are happy to correct issues in the work, but when they move onto the example of Kirby, nothing short of tracing will do.
Either the principles you learn in such books apply for everyone, or your book is bullshit. I don't think the books are bullshit, but the logic and respect given to some artists work flawed.
I do respect Kirby's use of gestures however, in case you think I'm anti-Kirby.

I also find it distressing that people are so limited in thought today that they assume you need to rely on someone elses work to build a philosophy on how things work. More so when original thought cannot be credited as someone has previously done the same, even if the modern worker had no idea.

Art isn't a quantifiable thing, so yes what you consider animated may differ from me. Also the model outer boundary is infinity, and the centre is the best of everything. I should add that line if it currently doesn't exist in the text. The examples I used were of people I have had alot of exposure to. I've seen Jim Lee draw a freakishly cartooned/animated style once, but on the majority, I know him for a more technically semi-realistic style. Adding someone like Sam Kieth who I've seen maybe 6 issues of might skew how people think I constructed the idea. As long as you get the general idea of what falls at each end of the spectrum, that is the important thing. It's actually much harder to explain those who fall mildly into one end of the spectrum. Also, as I pointed out, it's best not to think of the model as static (ie an artist falls at one point,) but more the range thay can pull off. If you've ever seen a 3 dimensional polygon graph, you'll understand what I mean.

Hope that all makes sense
Dave :)
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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:iconnewepoch:
newepoch Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006
Working out the dynamics of this matrix could take years :)
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No doubt, but all models tend to simplify matters. I already admitted that a number of exogenous variables effect the outcome of the piece. This takes into no account things like composition, creativity, even materials. It does cover though some major things I noticed people tend to comment on about illustrations.
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:iconnewepoch:
newepoch Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
That is the great strength of models. No one in their right mind expects a model to cover everything, but they do cut through the detail and provide valuable insight into complex phenomena.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep, it's why I enjoy the study of Economics so much. I enjoy criticising the models, and all the various matrix that exist to cover an aspect of economic concepts.
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:iconnewepoch:
newepoch Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
Yeah... I did two years of economics at senior high. I found it rather frustrating until I realised economics was an art form and not a science.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's sort of what all social sciences are, they're not quite measurable, so it's more about a style of reasoning really.
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:iconnewepoch:
newepoch Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
Yeah. I found many of the basic assumptions behind economic theory hard to swallow, eg humans make rational decisions most of the time.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well that's where the evaluation comes in and you criticise the modelling assumption.
One of the more silly things about the method of exams is that they're down over 2 yrs. In the 1st year you learn the basic theory. then in your second year you learn the opposing theory. However if you point out the oppossing side in the 1st year of exams, you get no additional credit, and essentially waste your time in the exam room. Most frustrating even when the oppossing answers are obvious.
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(1 Reply)
:icondisco-logic:
Disco-Logic Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2005
interesting idea. Quite true for a lot of things too I reckon. Certainly for comic and illustrated art. Perhaps for more traditional art like impressionism/surrealism it might fall down a little but I suppose you can still apply it. Also could be a good tool for people thinking about starting a project which need a coherent style
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well the only thing I can do is draw, and pretty much standard things at that, so much of my thinking was down that sort of mindset. Not sure what impressionism is, but I hope i covered surrealism in there, even though I'm not entirely sure what that is either. I have very little art background, I'm basically self taught through my own observation for the most part. I like the idea that you feel it could be used for planning purposes.
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:icondisco-logic:
Disco-Logic Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2005
Im in a similar situation of not having an art background. I know a little just from watching art programs on at silly times in the morning. Im actually thinking about going back and doing another degree (I do electronics atm)

Im just not sure if it would be much help considering the cost. I thought about doing one in 3d or something
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You wanna do one of those courses insted that run at colleges. Much cheaper, and you can pick the stuff you'll be doing. Many come with a qualification at the end. I was thinking about doing one, but i couldn't be asked to commute to London
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:icondisco-logic:
Disco-Logic Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2005
they must do them outside london tho?
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeh, but the only time I'm free to do them is when I'm based at my house in kent, and so London is basically the nearest and best place to do those courses
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:iconbinkgrass:
binkgrass Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2005
I had a nice little paragraph typed out about how you'd probably have to add a Zsub2 axis to account for the 'imagination' versus 'reality' argument because not all things are based on reality and can't simply be put into the distorted category because they weren't based off of anything realistic in the first place.

But then it hit me. The greatest thing about art is that anything can be art. Anything at all. It can't be tacked down by mathematical charts or graphs. It can't be explained as having a 'right' or a 'wrong' idea behind it because everyone can have a different interpretation. You can't group all art into categories, and essentially there's no real way to tell why a piece of art was created unless you're the artist yourself. But then some artists don't even know why they create what they do. Art is so completely free and open to discussion that it's impossible to try to create a chart which accurately categorizes it all. Just like people. You could go all day trying to place people in categories but there's always people who either simply don't fit into a category or who span multiple categories at once.

I think it's neat that you tried to create a visual chart for different styes or categories of art.
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the interest binkgrass.

The fact that I had you almost submit a Zsub2 Axis shows that I did a fairly convincing job in writing this.

The important thing to remember about this is that it is noting more then theoretical. Just as all other matricies are theoretical. If you look at modern polittics today, alot of parties are classed as center ground insted of Left and Right because their policies have become too varied and complex for such a simple model like that. Yet Newspapers and political commentators still attempt to place them within such a spectrum almost pointlessly.

This was just an attempt to do something different with art, and of course its open to interpretation and analysis.
As I opened this piece I even stated the following:
One Map an Artists Range
Two Map An artists Favoured "Style"
because I couldn't think of much use for such a tool anyway. Its like those pointless studies that show how many people drink pop insted of soda _
There probably are many exogenous variables I haven't accounted for, but then again, I completed the writing of this "theory" within the space of a couple of hours.

I'm glad you read it, and took time to think it over. I got alot of "Headache" responses about it.
And more importantly, I'm glad you disagree with it, because No model is ever perfect. They're merely a simplification of reality.

Dave :)
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:iconrabidpanda1:
rabidpanda1 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah my head hurts too
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:iconsmygba:
smygba Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol.

I need to show this to some scientific types. they'd help me more then all you artists. i mean theres a reason you lot do art and not maths _
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