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(Re)discovering Photoshop

You may or may not have noticed so far that the majority of my artwork are in black and white (or more accurately, greyscale). There is a reason for this – I am terrible with colours. My art teacher used to say that I was one of his best pupils, but my ability to colour things was dire (I shall try to find examples of this). That was years ago, and I would like to think that I have somehow improved subconsciously over these three years, but alas, I still cannot completely “understand” colours like I can lines. Just opening the colour palette on Photoshop is enough to make me metaphorically dizzy – there are a near infinite amount of colours there, whilst with lines, there are only so many degrees of deviance say, the lines for a hand can go, before one sees something obviously funky is going on.

When a friend asked me to make a drawing of her OC, I decided that I would finally have to face my fears. Everything is still work in progress, but I think the results were better than what I expected, surprisingly, thanks to this “quick fix” I found in the wonderful maze of weirdness (in my opinion) known as Photoshop. And that, is the ‘airbrush’, which reacts to pressure. I should inform you at this stage that I live in a relatively technophobic state incongruent to my age and background (I am planning to rectify this), which is probably why I haven’t found this sooner, nor twiddled with my tablet settings to achieve this with other brushes. Anyway, the airbrush gives a darker, more opaque tone the more pressure you make on the tablet, which means that blending colours suddenly becomes much easier (rather than my earlier, agonising attempts with a smudging tool).

There is actually a second part to this quick fix, which involves keyboard shortcuts for tools such as the eyedropper (I) and brush (B). Keeping my non-drawing hand on the keyboard, I can quickly blend and make gradients by selecting colours in that area and painting with them, instead of going back and forth between the icons on the dock, which I find very disruptive in my stroke-work (if that is even a word).

The quick fix for real life painting with oils, acrylics and such still eludes me. *sigh*

Here is a snippet of the results:

Brooding Eyes

Brooding Eyes

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Schmincke Pastels & Art

A while ago, I visited London and went to the L. Cornelissen & Son shop and splurged on Schmincke pastels. I’ve finally decided that I like Schmincke soft pastels over Sennelier’s now, since Schmincke pastels seem to be more consistent in their softness than Sennelier pastels.

I bought a Schmincke 30 stick starter set, 15 stick dark tones set, and various individual colours. The 30 stick set was only £51.50, which is the lowest price I’ve seen for this item so far.

The 30 stick set and the 15 stick set.

The 30 stick set and the 15 stick set.

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I have recently been absorbed in enlarging my piggy army of polymer clay. Here they are:

Piggles 2nd gen.

Some new designs

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Colour Shapers are like paint brushes, but with a shaped silicone tip instead of bristles. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re mainly made for people to move paint about on surfaces, such as with pastels. I mainly  use them for sculpting – it’s a really nifty substitute for your fingers and get make really fine details.

..

L-R: Taper Point Firm Tip (size 10), Cup Chisel Soft Tip (size 10), Taper Point (size 6), Cup Round (size 6), Flat Chisel (size 0), Angle Chisel (size 0), Taper Point (size o)

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Of Summaries and Otters

Well, this post isn’t actually going to be shortened into a summary (as it’s already very short anyway). I, however, would like to make a note to myself that I’ve worked out how to put in ‘more tag’s! I cannot believe how simple it was, the button sitting innocuously on the left of the proof-read icon! I’m really happy, as now my blog is a lot more organised and compact, especially with my sculpting posts now having ceased to spam Sculpey head images to the unsuspecting viewer. :P

Here is a really cute photograph for you:

Look at its little paws!!! *dies from the cuteness*

Look at its little paws!!! *dies from the cuteness*

My dad had this set as his desktop wallpaper. I’m not really sure where it’s from though. I really want to make some kind of artwork based on this, it’s just too adorable!

Sculpting a Fourth Head

I’ve decided to get back to sculpting after a loonnggg break.

I don’t know why, but I’ve completely lost interest in my two old polymer clay heads (remember this, and this?). Their faces and the sculpting now just seem kind of crude and dull to me, to the point of being ugly. Although they are salvageable, me thinks. I am going to struggle on with my stone clay head though (or paper clay… I’m a little confused about this), as that’s the one that’s most near completion.

Anyway, I decided to start afresh on a new head this time, just to make matters a little more interesting. I decided to have a hollow stone clay base, just to make my life easier afterwards when I need to tweak the insides. The two holes are for putting in these little glass eyes which I’m going to use to help me sculpt the eye area.

Stone clay coated with acrylic paint to prevent dust from clay sticking onto sculpey.

Stone clay coated with acrylic paint to prevent dust from clay sticking onto sculpey.

Put layer of sculpey on.

Put layer of sculpey on.

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Piggles et al.

A while ago, I bought these arty little pigs from Germany and thought they were so cute! I’ve lost the card they came with so I don’t know who made them or what name they were sold under. :(

So then, I decided to have a go at making my own! It’s not that difficult and is really fun to make your own colour combinations and patterns. I think I should look for good online places to buy raw polymer clay canes to make the pigs more interesting, as I’m literally squeezing out my brain juice thinking of good colour and pattern combos.

The Piggy Army! (... of ten)

The Piggy Army! (… of ten)

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A Flash of Genius!

I have always been hesitant about using up things, be it ink, polymer clay, or paint. My reasoning behind this was that if I use it in the wrong way, or just casually, I could be wasting it. ‘Could’ being the operative word here, since it continued to torture me when I wanted to use something; I would have to have an all-encompassing 10-second mental debate about the pros and cons of using whatever resource for a particular task: the benefits of the ends, the consequences of depleting something and how that affects another task that I may want to do in the future, the cost of the resource and the pros and cons of using alternative, more plentiful resources.

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Update!

Yay, I’m back! I’ve been gone for ages and ages. I have updated my about page a bit (I kind of feel like I am almost actively discouraging people to read this blog lest they become disappointed, and rightly so probably, by my lack of commitment to this). I, however, must admit that this is an enjoyable pass time and useful in recording things. I should probably also change my category labels to things less cryptic.

I have a few posts planned in my head at the moment. I’ve also decided that I was just going to keep this one blog and have all the random things from my life in it, rather than have several blogs with specific subjects (because I’m lazy :P). Like I said, I’ll just have to have better category labels.

The Mystery of Morgellons

Morgellons Disease (MD), or Morgellons Syndrome is this fascinating condition I came across on the internet. Sufferers argue that it is a legitimate physical condition arising from a pathological origin, whilst critics say that it is merely psychological and that there is not enough concrete evidence to prove otherwise. It is not recognised by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a real, distinct disease (it is classified as ‘unexplained dermopathy’). 

Common symptoms reported include:

  • Itchy lesions/lumps
  • Rashes that ooze with fluid
  • Sores that take a long time to heal
  • Formication (the sensation of bugs crawling underneath the skin)
  • And perhaps, most mysterious of all, fibres which seem to be growing under the skin. On the Morgellons Research Group (MRG) website, it further states the presence of: ” Spheres, filaments (including conducting filaments), hexagons and polymorphic organisms”.
  • Mental issues, such as cognitive and behavioural problems.

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