Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Holy cow, now THAT was a proper storm ... I only just barely managed to return from the shopping mall where I bought a new sketch pad - it takes 25 minutes to walk to the mall and the air was so thick it made me dizzy - when the rain came down and then some. It blew and poured so heavily a piece of concrete tore from the skyscraper at the end of the street and hit the shingles on the building opposite of me. Soon enough we had to unplug all our toys from the grid and I sat on the window sill, reading Blades of Grass, on the look-out for any signs of hail, so we'd re-park the car. It was too dark to do anything else; the sketch pad had to wait. But I later sketched ten pages of test material, choosing 'Last conversation between Kay and Goose' as the subject. It should be an easy trial, as the two mainly just walk around and talk issues thorough the English midnight landscape. 

Ironically, now that it's just drizzling, the rain also brought the air back and the world is breathable again.

Learning to illustrate a web comic - the importance of STEPS

Aaaarrr... My head's gonna fall off from all the tutorials I've been watching... The switch between watercolour illustration and Photoshop illustration is so complicated that if you don't know the basics of your tool, you're buggered. Example, I didn't know about FLATTING. I suspected there must be some sort of flatting procedure, process to make things easier, but I didn't know someone's already thought of it before me and made the whole thing a lot easier if you know where to look for......

In watercolours, it's: brush, ink, water and colours. Maybe some t.paper for soaking up the puddles. 

In photoshop... fuck. 
First you need to sketch the damn thing by hand. (Or Illustrator but for now we're ignoring it since yesterday.) 
Then you photo the sketch and clean it. 
Then you FLAT it. It takes for ever to lasso all the little details, but, so worth it.
Then you colour
Then you add effects.

Right now I'm at staring at the blank pad with half a pencil broken off, wondering what to draw......

14 hours later...

Keep practicing. You'll get there eventually....


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Just realised it is ten times easier to illustrate in Photoshop than it is in Illustrator (making a comic)...

Cutest non-puppy-romance moment occurred yesterday, against all odds and I simply cannot explain the massively important timing…

So, yesterday, Monday morning, after his nightshift, G grabs me and Starbark, who is in season for the third time since her birth seven years ago (shy bitch, like me), we go to his parents' place to help with hay-stacking. Though one of my favourite farm tasks, it's a pain in the ass, because it has to be done in the dead of sub-blaze and even today I am super careful not to overheat and keep my core temperature level. (because you do get very, very warm.)

All in all it was an awesome day: first G and other tractorists (the day was such EVERYONE was outside with their tractors) turned the tall grasses to dry them out completely and I drove his mum to the field (test drive in the new car – first time I was allowed to use it. G is SO happy to have a terrainer again, so he can ride around off roads) where we did the finishing touches with rakes. Then the others offed for lunch and I followed on foot with the camera, chasing plants. Found some super huge dandelions. After lunch, after the nap, mum-in-law and I followed G who lined the grass, ready for the harvester and she and I waited for the neighbour to come collect the hay and drive it to their barn. The men then got the hay to the space under the barn roof and mum-in-law and I were supposed to rake the remaining few bits of hay into piles to be collected later. I told her to go home; I’ll handle it on my own. Well, I managed to get half of the field neat, before I nigh passed out and was relieved to no end when G drove up to me to say we’re done for the day. Fuck but that’s a loooong fucking field.

Anyway. To the funny story.
    For the most of the afternoon, from before three till the end at nigh eight, Starbark was with me in the open. I had her tied to the tree in the shadow while tractors and harvesters were roaming about because she’s not used to them and I don’t want her to die of stupidity, but after they left, I released her and she played all over the vast estates (there are many stripe-shaped fields belonging to different farms, having different stuff on them, though this year mostly grass..)
     So, for over five hours we were there, in the middle of nowhere, having a good time on a beautiful day. When G drove up, I was on one end of the stripe and when she saw him and he called for her, Starbrak sprinted to greet him. At the exact same time all three of us noticed GINORMOUS German shepherd at the edge of the field. G and I both started yelling at Starbrak (because she is the kind of a dog to always get into fights), who CHARGED the huge (100 pounds at least) male, who was so shocked by the crazy horny pussy he started running away. But Starbark then luckily veered back to G and he put her in her carrier in the trunk. The large dog came to us to play, dragging two shoestrings of saliva from his head as male dogs smelling females in heat usually do. He peed on every spot she lay or played at.

Now imagine that dog arrived not five but ONE minute before G. What would I do? How would I stop two dogs from either fighting or, cuter, making puppies? One was the size of a wolf, there would be no way to get them apart if they decided to murder one another. Luckily, very luckily, he was an extra friendly dog and if he only came to make sweet sweet love, maybe I would be able to use the leash on him, tie him to the tree and get Barky home, then return to release him… Of course, that is if she obeyed me.

But so. Impossibly, impossibly lucky timing. It didn’t occur to me a in a hundred years that a humongous male dog might catch her scent and come check out this new hussy in town. Because I’m naïve.

Or maybe I just want puppies – there’s always that subconscious desire to play with a whole horde of yapping little barrels with tails and ears again. Gods I miss those days. We used to have puppies all the time back home. There is nothing cuter than getting 9 six-week little gremlins to all sit down at the same time while you’re training them with a single cookie split ten ways :D

 Then we had cheeries for brunch :D

Monday, 29 May 2017

Last coneversation between Kay and Morphei

.. Not to brag or anything, but I've managed to edit and shorten the 19-page conversation between the dying god and his most ardent critic into 41 pages of pompous banter. Good job.

Ah, my beloved ode to philosophy, ethics, art, loyalty, judgement, courage, bias and adventure, with tits and teeth in it. You make me so proud.

Alien: H.R. Giger's beautiful creation

... hey, guys. The Alien movies? They're not about the monster. It's not the animal that's making the movies horror. Learn to watch movies.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Off to the lake

G offed to hunt in the wee hours and I stared at that majestic Venus though the window while I peed, thinking I'm not really in a mood to sleep anymore and want to go out. Though I was forbidden to leave the house until it gets a bit brighter, as it's Sunday morning and the streets are full of drunks and G was worried someone might hit me with a car, it was just pleasant enough around 4:40 and so I grabbed the idiot dog who is always excited for an adventure (and resented us grievously yesterday when we returned from a bike ride WITHOUT her...), the photo bag and headed in the direction of the lake outside the city. 

The camera bag is not really made for trekking, especially if you're wearing short sleeves, because the straps rub against the inside of the arms where the skin is most tender. But nobody cares about stuff like that: I had music in my ears, Barky was tied to one of the bag until we reached the outskirts where it was safe for her to run around unleashed and G texted me from time to time, so paved road passed quickly. 

There were two very old oaks just at the edge to town which I've never noticed before, and of course didn't photograph because it wasn't bright enough yet, though I will some day. There's a plaque describing the pair as remnants of the old forest which used to stretch out here before people. Right behind them is a Lidl store: it was the first time I noticed an odd anxiety going into a Lidl that is not the one I always shop in ... It is arranged in the exact same way, but it is not the same store. This unsettles me. If I had entered an identical Lidl while I was abroad last year, but walked out of it and found myself too far from home, it would make me cry, so I avoided them.

A few minutes later we passed this thing in now someone's garden: an old roads mark. Another first for me. What road reached out at this part of town I don't know, but it was probably busy. It was too weather-worn to show any marks anymore. I wonder if anyone knows what the faces used to say?

As soon as the sun rose I started shooting anything that didn't escape me :D Mostly cause it's pretty.

This lake, made by an artificial barrier and sometimes the end for some shitty swimmer who knows too little about mud, silt, algae and currents, was built in the seventies to stop three very small, but awfully fickle rivers from delivering a too vast supply of storm water to the main river when it was the least bit needed. It's some 15 meters deep and some over a hundred square kilometres spread. You can't really go round and round, but you can crescent it, as many dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists do, and me and Bark. Though fish jump around, so Barky wasn't too happy when I called her out to piers to pose. 


On plus side as soon as the sun touched the surface mists rose dramatically and it was glorious. On minus, high puffy cloud carpet followed and I lost the fucking sun in half an hour - the time it took me to reach one end of the pier :/

We came upon several small bands of fishermen with their many sticks stuck in the edge, wrapped in sleeping bags and napping gently on their lying stools. I've no idea what kind of fishing such a lake - not that clean, muddy and too close to industry for my taste - may offer, but then again I don't know anything about fishing and they seemed to be having a good time, so ...

Slowly we turned and walked back to the other side where a parking lot is and where we waited for G to pick us up on his way home. All meadows were mowed, so we didn't find any new grasses.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Bike ride part deux

We are making great progress. We made twice the route in the exact same time today. Okay, so I am a lot more tired and at some point I only barely noticed my front wheel screw was completely loose, which would have resulted in a crater, but we are doing great. The weather was ideal, we met plenty other cyclists, dog walkers and a lady with a horse on a leash. Now we'll either have angry sex or pass out. Haven't decided yet. Or pancakes! Pancakes are also yummy..

Friday, 26 May 2017

General's line of the week

Me: A long LONG time ago, when I still hung out with dDaniel, he once slept next to me, but was bored and not really in the mood to sleep, so he braided tiny braids over half of my head. He didn't do it particularly well, so I looked kind of stupid when I had to go to work in the morning. Adorable, though.

G: Do you still hear from him at all?

Me: No, not at all.

G: Why?

Me: Would you, if you liked me and asked me to marry you, but someone else liked me and asked me and I chose the other guy, ever speak to me again or speak to that other guy?

G: Now that I know you I would not only speak to the other guy, I would take him out every weekend and buy him a drink.


Oh nouh hee dind.

85 % of my itinerary drawing

Okay, so, this is the itinerary of Paper's trek alongside the river from easy Mountains to the Islands. It's not finished, most details are still in need of corrections, I'll add the text later and parts of it are missing altogether, because I got bored and have better things to do. But it was fun. I'll tell you a little bit about her route of this unusual footpath along water, based on my favourite foot road from Ljubno to Zidani most...

It actually only got as far as the "Hiye Marketd" in the original story of the road on a rainy night .. But then Paper found out about the Hiye Marketd and met with smugglers who rode a boat down around it. She stole the boat and ended ... dunno yet. Somewhere. However, the Orchard where the orgy takes place is down the same stream and that slowly slides into a swampy delta, where not much grows, but there's lots of river traffic. Further still you reach the ocean and the Archipelago, where coincidentally (although they move in from the other direction) Paper and the Great Orc have their final adventure together. I was also bored during a wait for ma coffee date the other day and designed a primitive aqueduct, leading to an unusually important site... Of what i don't yet know.

Oki, so in the original story, Paper has found that if she follows a small river source off the Easy Mountains (which are a natural gateway between stories), in a week's or so time, she reaches the valleys and villages. In that snipped she has just been chased away from her mini camp by rain and she comes upon a hunting lodge where a human and Elf ranger are cotting and the three get into a discussion about Elf cruelty, Orc cruelty ("I've never heard of an Orc prisoner leaving with their life intact." "I've never heard of an Elf prisoner living with their sanity intact.") and making maps. The two then offer to take her to see Hiye Marketd, which they assumed was her original destination.  

Though the region is known to be rich in ore, Paper marks the mines on the map, but doesn't investigate it just yet.

While she roves, Paper always investigates old ruins, specially castles, their dungeons and whatever towers may still hold any lore. She also marks locations of unusual plants for Fidi to know where to look for her medicinal materials, and unusual animals or mystery locations.

There's a watchtower marking the end of the fertile valley and beginning of the mountain land, which is still being manned. 

This is a farm region, with wide roads, road stops and a lot of bee-keepers. Like all beggars, Paper also marks the farms which are welcoming and offer food and lodging to vagrants. 

This is also where boat traffic is becoming frequent.

The "Hiye Marketd" or High Market, is a castle upon a very steep rock formation, which once served a military purpose but has since become a merchant Mecca. Paper is only able to enter the 'art market' part of the castle and even that only after she procures merchendise of her own. The bigger, higher yard of the fort is accesible only if you are a soldier or adventurer for hire, and there's a lower, village-based fair for trade in produce.

Asking three dubious boatmen to take her along down-stream results in Paper stealing their boat and unloading their wares on the other bank to buy time (and bridges and ferries are scarce), sailing slowly with the current for a few days.

(At this point the orientation of the sky has also changed so much an additional compass had to be drawn.)

Towards the end of the river run is a delta and a marshland, where the soil is less worked, too salty and most of the economy is based on wares-exchange: fish and salt and exotic goods coming in from the  sea and honey, ore, crops and wood coming down from the west. There are more watchtowers here to make sure water traffic behaves.

I'm calling this misterious castle Paper sees in a distance Castle Carmenic, because I love that name, but of course it is from I Roved Out by Rupert Everton, I'm only borrowing it..

The moorland is full of abandoned boats ...

and decrepit, poor farms, making the most of a shitty terrain.

The sketched-only archipelago will include some mythical marine fauna with stories of their own..

The end of the delta and start of the Islands.

The desert area eventually becomed dense jungle again, but that's from another story, from the other direction, with a forlorn holy mountain in the distance and an old tall wall which you can't see from here, but it's there.  Orc and Kay explore it, using the kite, and time travel.

 This aqueduct, primitive though it may seem, was an indication that wherever they seemed to need to travel drinking water was emportant enough to inspire engineering, so, though it is hard to maneuver a sail boat under it, Paper offs to investigate. But that's another story.