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This is a pretty cool tool for checking perspective, foreshortening, proportions, or anything else affecting the shape and composition of your paintings.

They're almost to their goal and have less than 12 hours left. I wish I'd learned about it sooner.

Check it out, and think about giving them a few bucks.

So, I'm posting my first draft of my novel at WritersCafe. It's slow going - I have about 3 times as much written as posted.

However, if you'd like to check it out and give me some feedback (here or at WC) I'd appreciate it.

You can find the posted chapters here.

As this is the first draft, I'm not particularly concerned with punctuation or spelling errors. I'm far more interested in your thoughts on pacing, story progression, characters, etc.

I have already noticed that my first few chapters had an excessive amount of passive voice. That will definitely be getting fixed.
  • Reading: Malazan Book of the Fallen
My family and I went to this exhibition of Rembrandt works owned in America at the Minneapolis Museum of Arts.

They have some really great ones, including a pair of full size portraits. There were also a lot of imitations in the museum for comparison. Works created by Rembrandt's students and admirers were often attributed to Rembrandt by over-eager curators in the 19th century.

They also had an audio tour, which included free access to the files via wifi on a mobile device. I thought that was a nice touch, and very helpful.
  • Reading: Malazan Book of the Fallen
Yesterday's writing work was mostly plotting. Coming up with events I am sure will happen, and putting them in relative order by timeframe. Possibly not in actual book order.

Yesterday's "this is tangentially related to writing and will make me feel like I'm accomplishing something" work was scour the internet for timeline management tools, which turned into finding secondary writing suites that happen to have timeline and plotline management in them. And you know what? I didn't even find anything that I liked better than Celtx anyway. :P
  • Reading: Malazan Book of the Fallen
I've been very much putting off art, in all its forms.

In some cases, I have a decent excuse. My PC is down for the count, and until it gets repaired, digital art will be a trial at best. But that doesn't affect my ability to sketch on paper, to paint, or to write.

Yesterday I actually did something about it. I have had an idea kicking around in my head for a while, filling itself out, generating and answering questions. I decided I knew enough about it to get started, and wrote the first scene that I had a full idea for. It's the first event in the story, chronologically speaking. I'm not sure if it will be the first thing the reader sees, or if that event will be related later.

Either way, it was 800 words. 800 words I feel pretty pleased with, actually.

I'm not sure what I think about sharing the story. For one thing, I don't know if I'll be writing it in order or not. On the other hand, I don't operate that well in isolation on long projects, either. Perhaps I'll just assemble a group of alpha readers. Who knows?

Either way, we're off to see the wizard.
I might be able to do something w/ the laptop for next week. We'll see.
Graphic novelist and comic artist Mike Holmes is producing a series of illustrations he calls "Mikenesses." They are self-portraits (sometimes with his cat) in the style of well known artists.

I don't think I'm ready for this sort of thing, but it looks like a ton of fun.
It was a great birthday to be studying art.

I also got more PITT markers, waterbrushes and pencils.
Apparently nostalgia is big for me right now.

I created a video year in review and posted it on YouTube.
I've only been active in dA since 2008. I like the improvement memes but they are longer than that. So I thought I'd just do a journal post rather than create yet another pointless entry in my gallery.


I really just started fooling around with the idea of starting to draw again.
Ubuntu MN LoCo Proposed Logo by Songwind Minnehaha Falls: Statue by Songwind Gwydion at fencing practice by Songwind


Lost my artist for Celerity this year, so I started to feel a bit more serious about getting my drawing chops in order.
She Loves Me by Songwind Swallowtail in Lily by Songwind Celerity - Colored by Songwind School's Out by Songwind

I also started painting this year.
Surprise Butterfly by Songwind


I continued to go to oil painting class and to practice at home. I was also experimenting with lots of digital painting options. This is also the year that I started working with Andrew on Hard Hairpin Left (Maybe)
Shaded Pond by Songwind Traveler by Songwind Still Life with Vases by Songwind HHLM No.1 - Only You by Songwind


Work, family stress and general business caused me to miss out on painting class this year, but I didn't stop. Devious-Deadlines was a major factor in keeping me productive.
Self Portrait: Depression by Songwind The Fairywood - Alternate Crop by Songwind Self Reflection by Songwind Sailors Delight by Songwind Lurker at the Threshold by Songwind HHLM - Welcome to the New Age by Songwind

I also picked up the pencils in a serious way for the first time in years.
Nap Time by Songwind

Looking Back

I'm pretty pleased with the amount of progress I've made in 3 years. I didn't start drawing in 2008 until late in the year, so what I tend to think of as 4 years is really just 3.
Posting after participating with :iconysa: Ysa

If you comment here, I will:

1. Tell you which genre fits your art the best

2. Tell you which of your drawings/works I like the best

3. Tell you which of your drawings/works I like the least

4. Tell you what I like the best about your art

5. Tell you which things you can still improve a little

6. Ask you a question about your art

7. Name a character that would look great in your style

8. Dare you to post this in your journal
For my team potluck today we have beef stew, slow cooker breakfast casserole, and tater tot hot dish. All are quite tasty... BUT

We also have delicious spicy veggie Indian fried rice, Chinese potstickers, and Vietnamese eggrolls. They are awesome.

Viva la immigration!
I have had an idea in mind for a long-form comic for a while. (Not Celerity. I think its time may have passed. Or at least, I need to completely go back to the basic concept and completely rewrite it.) I've been knocking bits around in my head, coming up with what the primary story should be. I have changed POV characters, and eventually main characters. This story also has the largest research requirements of any story I've thought about writing.

I'm pretty stoked to be this excited about it. And since it's just a personal project with no one else's neck on the line, I can go as slowly as I like. I'm about ready to do (visual) character designs.

It started with a character idea that was basically a more mature and nuanced version of a ridiculously overpowered wish fulfillment character I came up with when younger. Then I thought it might be cool to tell the story from the point of view of a helper, apprentice or friend. Just to mix things up. Then I realized that the POV character would make a better main character anyway.

Research-wise, I'll be busy:
  1. Taoist and Hermetic sorcery
  2. Chinese immigration to America in the late 19th century
  3. Chinese names.
  4. 19th century california
  5. 1980s male fashion
  6. Crime statistics

Time for a trip to the library, I think. :)
illustrated an edition of Alices Adventures in Wonderland?

I didn't! But today I got to see some of them. Pretty cool stuff.
Does anyone else have periods where they feel a draw toward using physical media?

I have no rational or specific reason for this - I just keep thinking of picking up a pencil or brush instead of a stylus.
Come over to G+ and keep me company while I draw!…
I set up a G+ profile using the email set up for my persona as cartoonist of Hard Hairpin Left (maybe). I'm thinking I'll use this account for strip-related postings, and use Google Hangouts for livestreaming that I don't care about recording for YouTube.

So, come on by, add me to your circles!

There are a few people here at dA with whom I communicate on a more personal level. If you're one of those people and use G+, let me know and we can trade "real" profiles.
Happy Halloween, my friends. And may the Great Pumpkin (and his brother-in-law, the Flying Spaghetti-squash Monster) bless you and keep you.

Lurker at the Threshold by Songwind
It's been a pretty interesting couple of weeks for art.

Dementedsnake made a casual mention of something on Reddit about keeping your hand off your tablet to avoid drawing from the wrist. I realized, I was doing that! I have started making a conscious effort to avoid wrist-drawing, and my lines have gotten much better. Both in terms of shape/flow, and pressure.

I made a few videos of my comicking process for Hard Hairpin Left (Maybe) and posted them on YouTube (and linked here). I feel like we're making appreciable progress, there.

Last night I saw Patty, my oil painting teacher, for the first time in about a year. I stopped taking classes last year because I kept missing class night due to work commitments. Shortly afterward, we found out my wife was pregnant. And of course the baby came along in July. I'm hoping to go back early next year.

Patty and a friend were having an art show in our local Performing Arts Center. It was really impressive. I left the show with the urge to buy pastels. :)
I posted a time lapse video of the sketching process for today's Hard Hairpin Left (Maybe).

You should check it out and let me know what you think.