morsla: (troll)
I sat down at the desk with a pack of sculpey and a plan to make Fury tokens for Hordes... and somehow ended up with bits of plague daemon all over the place. It's amazing what happens when you tune out for a moment or three :)

I haven't tried using Sculpey for detail work before - actually, I've only ever used it to coat a wire armature. It's fun to work with: brittle at first, and then like plasticene once it's been kneaded. Even better, it gets a rubbery feel to it once it cools back down - I sculpted the head (in two parts) and the bits of sword arm first, and then started mashing them together later on. The bit of resistance helps to preserve detail when I inevitably squash something under my fingertips. That's lucky, as I'm hoping to only fire this in the oven when it's all finished.

Here's what grew out of my desk...

More pictures under the cut )
morsla: (lookin)
Has anyone reading this used Corel Painter before?

I took a look at the website, and it was like browsing through an art supply store all over again... only much more expensive for the initial outlay, and I'd never run out of ink/paint/etc. Painter seems to mimic natural media much better than Photoshop, and looks like fun to play with. Of course, it's not really surprising that a dedicated image creating program would do a better job than an image manipulation one, but Photoshop is my main point of reference here.

They also have a very pretty collection of artwork made in Painter - have a look at the gallery if you want some eye candy to flick through.

The Good Things: looks like a very powerful bit of software. I want to do a lot more illustrating, as there seems to be a dearth of illustrators relative to the number of writers around here :)

The Bad Things: Expensive, especially as I'll already be upgrading my copy of Photoshop with Creative Suite 2.4. No guarantee that I'll pick up the interface easily, although I can download a trial version first.

Next year will be an expensive one - CS2 (and a computer that can run it!), plus a scanner, and a Wacom tablet. On the plus side, they now count as business expenses.

* Edited to add: I've just discovered that having Photoshop CS makes me eligible to purchase Painter at the Upgrade price. Via the Australian online store, that's $214. Not in the range of "spare change", but compared to CS2 it's a drop in the ocean. Hmmm...


Oct. 14th, 2006 11:23 am
morsla: (lookin)
So, I finally bought something off eBay without being outbid at 4am... I got tired of bidding wars, and used the buyout option instead.

Now I have about two hundred tiny brass gears :) I'll be using them in WM sculptures, and they ought to last me for a while...

It's a good incentive to finish my course: "hand in your essays so you can spend the summer sculpting." Art seems to be a powerful motivator...
morsla: (Dawn)
Two more presentations to give next week. I'm not particularly opposed to doing the things, but the class on Monday night happens just as the Communication Entrepreneur dinner is being held up the road... it's the only real chance to catch up with most of that crowd before we all go our separate ways, and I'd really like to get some contact details for people before they all vanish. I just hope that some of them will still be there by 8pm.

I'm hoping to keep the Publishing talk to about 15 minutes, as I can't stand sitting though a series of half-hour talks... The presentation covers 3k words of research paper, and if you can't cover the details in about ten minutes there may be something wrong. I'm talking about the "death of the book" - something that gets brought up every time the next piece of technology hits the market, and still hasn't quite managed to eventuate.

A Flock of Cyborgs is slowly coming together in the background, but has been pushed back by all the other work due this week. Robin's started doing full readings of the workshopped pieces, though, so I'll need to get a move on next week. At 3k each, we rarely get through more than 3-4 in a class... so, in the final week before it's due, I get my last chance to gather feedback about it.

As for paid work, Junior Horizons 9-3 needs a cover pic and an editorial, and then it's all done bar the shouting (well, barring any post-last-minute editorial changes). I've basically re-built the JH template, which should speed up production in the future.

Once I get the next couple of essays written, I really need to get sculpting before the weather makes it impossible. I tend to work with two-part epoxy putties - great for forming details, but the working time is almost nonexistent if the temperature is over 30°C. I have one commission piece to finish by the start of November, and ten pieces to finish by Arcanacon in January.

Painting is even worse, in hot weather - part of the reason why I do my best work after midnight, when the air is cool enough. I've started mixing drying retardant into the water I thin my paints with, but the acrylics still dry in under a minute. Once the last sculpts are finished, I'll be painting 37 figures for Ian... again, needed by Arc. Still, it beats working in a lab hands down :)

I want to try larger-scale relief sculpting, to make medallions and trophy plaques for the Arcanacon tournament. If they work out, I'll cast them up in resin and paint them up as aged bronze. Should be fun, and hopefully it'll give people more incentive to come to the tournament.

I'm also getting itchy fingers whenever I walk past the Riot art store near the station... they have canvas boards on special at the moment. I haven't painted 2D work for at least ten years, but I'd like to try it out again. Maybe after I finish my course...

To liquid born, from patterns formed
the sand descends with blind intent
Where the river takes me
will in time be revealed

Call it destiny, call it fate
Chose my direction: Running forward
Each life to learn anew, whatever may come

- Arena, VNV Nation
morsla: (Default)
From, discovered via [ profile] anachrotech.

Theo Jansen, artist, studied science at the University of Delft Holland. The first seven years being a artist he just made paintings. Then he starts a project with a big flying saucer, which could really fly. It flew over the town of Delft in 1980 and brought the people in the street and the police in commotion. Since about ten years he is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventually he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

I want to live in a world where herds of wind-powered creatures wander the sands. Maybe there is hope for the future, after all...

Look at Theo's site for more information - especially his pictures and movies.
morsla: (lookin)
My mind is wandering all over the place today. I want to buy things. My version of "retail therapy" is probably a bit strange, though - I don't want to buy books, or games, or music. I want to set up a space at home where I can be productive.

The wishlist, at the moment:

Macrophotography (miniatures, photos of pieces for sale)
Buy parts to make a diffused light box. I think I can build a three-panel screen for this - centre panel holds the backdrop card in place, side panels are frames filled with heavy-gauge tracing paper to diffuse the light. Fold in the sides to make a triangle, leaving enough space between the edges to point a camera through. With two daylight bulbs at about 30 degrees, I think I can kill off most of the shadows while still getting plenty of illumination. I can also measure the distance to the camera, which will help when manually changing the macro settings. When complete, it should fold up and pack away out of sight. If it works, I'll write up an article for Insurgent.

- Two small poseable lamps with daylight bulbs.
- Timber for frame
- Thick tracing paper
- Small hinges
- A3 print of a blue-white gradient background

I need more paintbrushes... my trusty #2 and #00 both died over the weekend, after a year or so. I'm half tempted to try sable brushes again, but I think I'll stick to my $4 synthetics. If I can find a place with decent brushes, I'll buy several of each size. Whenever I find a good brush, the shop promptly starts selling garbage.

- #2 brushes, for general painting
- #00 brushes, for detail work

Make the most of the limited space we have at home. [ profile] aeliel suggested getting big plastic boxes with wheels on them, so we can slide them under the stairs. If I can clear the old junk leftover from moving house there should be plenty of room for new projects. I also have a huge pile of painting & modelling bits upstairs, which need something to sort them into... at the moment, it all clusters around the side of my desk.

- Storage boxes for under the stairs
- More small drawers and shelves for upstairs

Art Supplies:
The only thing more addictive than stationery. Crack cocaine pales in comparison to the compulsion I face when passing an art store...

Things for a rainy day (or month):
- Heavy cartridge paper for painting on
- Frames or clips to keep the paper flat
- Black cartridge paper, for white inverse designs
- Sculpting medium for tackling larger (~50cm) pieces

I'd also like to get an angled desk for drawing and 2D painting, but I don't think there's space for it. I should go through my grandfather's drafting supplies next time I head back to Somerville - as a professional draftsman and a lifetime hoarder, he left many boxes of equipment behind. On the digital front, I'd like to get a scanner at some stage. It'll help to get raw images into the computer, so I can figure out how to colour them with Photoshop. I've always had a thing for maps, and I'd like to try making some for the Abyssals game I'll eventually run.

After UniCon I'll be getting stuck into a Matrix-style game, using the Weapons of the Gods mechanics. If someone can show me how to upload files to the webspace we're supposed to have with our ISP (I'm deadly serious when I say that I have no idea how it's done... I just add content to other people's websites) I'll be making Loresheets available, with all the background, characters, locations and organisations. I'll also finish Silent Streets, and put it up there too.

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