PaintBlog: Project Telephone Girl, April 2007

Here’s how Telephone Girl looked around the end of October, 2006.


After that, NaNo started and occupied most of my time, and to be honest most of my painting desire kind of attrophied until recently.   At which point, I decided to fill in some more background stuff.  That’s probably because I’m not looking forward to working on the main figure, being pretty certain I’ll ruin it.  Oh well, I’ll always have photos!

Speaking of photos, below we’ve got the various stages of details as they worked out.  In the last section, you can see how the whole thing evolved from tiny detail to tiny detail.  See if you can spot the differences!  Last but not least, we have the work as it stands today, still far from finished, but a bit closer to that elusive goal.

So, enough with the words already, here are some pictures.  Thanks for you patronage, as always.



We Interrupt this Interruption…

I’m still working on various stuff, including organizing another paintblog entry (for Telephone Girl).  This one is much larger than the last, but I’ll use smaller pictures or something.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Logan giving me a hug. 


He was a very affectionate kitten.  More soon, and thanks for stopping by.

PaintBlog II: April Work

When we last left Paint Blog II (the oldest of the still extant Paint Blogs), it looked like this.

It looks a bit like it could use something in the lower right.   How about another structure of some kind?  Let’s start with a vague horizontal bit.

Now, let’s add some vertical bits, through the usual method of painting over masking tape.


That gives us a bit of a structure to work with.

How about a dome?  Even better, how about an obviously ruined dome?

Here’s what we have so far:

Now, through the miracle of flash photography, we can see an oversaturated image.  I started adding some details to the dome.

A close-up of those details.

Some more cracks, and some highlighting of the various broken bits.


Let’s melt it up a bit.  After all, we don’t know what caused any of this, right?

Or maybe we do know.  How about some tentacles? 

Let’s add some more elsewhere, while we’re at it.  As well as some shadowing and highlights.

Some further on up?  Why not.  And some more at the bottom as well.



Finally, here’s what we’re left with in the canvas as a whole. 

Is there more to be done?  Well, I have to take better photographs for one thing.  Other than that, I’m not sure.  The triptych as a whole is vaguely hinting that it might be done.  Only time will tell.  PaintBlog II’s been around since early 2005, so there’s no rush on this sort of thing.

Next, progress on Telephone Girl.  See you later, then, and thanks for stopping by.

Friday the 13th

I’ve got several painting updates to post, but I can’t find the “before” photos (as in, photos I took since the last posting, but prior to this one).  I know I took them, and I know I kept them, so it’s just a matter of scouring through all the possible hiding places they have and flushing them out into the open. 

In the meantime, I also did some painting on this one you might recall from a while ago.  Click it to open in a new window.


As you can see, the ground nearest us has been changed quite a bit.  I rather like the effect, to be honest.   And yes, before you ask, that is an Akai S950 visible to the right.  Later, I’ll post progress pics of Telephone Girl and Paint Blog II.

Thanks as always for stopping by, and happy Friday the 13th.  Break out those hockey masks!


Do YOU Know About Season Fairies?

I think Sugar got herself a bit lost the other night.  Here’s what the landscape ’round these parts looked like, around 12:30 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning.  Bear in mind, this is April 7th/8th in North Carolina.

Snow in April!

The next morning, we had this.  Also bear in mind, I’m “on call” this weekend, so this sight didn’t cheer me at all.

Much as I love Sugar, I hate snow.  Fortunately, by the time noon rolled around, Salt had popped by and done his bit for Season-Fairy-dom. 

Thank you Salt!

Who knows where the snow went, and so quickly?  (Organ sting) Mwa ha ha ha ha, the Shadow knows!

So that’s the weather report for this first weekend in April.  I’ve actually got some painting updates to post, so I appreciate your patience while I bore you, and thanks for stopping by, as always. 

I’ve Seen The Saucers

Well, I finally gave in to the voices in my head and bought the last volume of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie.  And I have to say I remain pretty unimpressed.  (In contrast, I went back and watched Pretear for the third time; man I love that show.  It just keeps getting better and better.)

As for Valkyrie, yeah, the sight gag at the very end was very funny, probably the funniest thing in the series, but was it worth the trip?  Not really.  As I mentioned before, there’s nothing so bad about the show that one can genuinely hate it, but one (at least the one sitting here) can’t work up much enthusiasm about it either.  It’s the ultimate marshmallow show:  you can eat it or not eat it and it won’t make any difference.

The only one of the characters I liked was Akina (the girl who can do magic with pieces of paper).  And I guess I liked Hydra in a kind of evil way–she at least had some personality, bad though it was.  The dog-thing (Marduk) was kind of fun in the latter episodes (he got to do more than just suffer abuse). (UPDATE: As Mr. Den Beste points out below, his actual name was Shiro; Marduk was a friend and rival.  Good thing I didn’t use his dub name–“Spot.”)

But Valkyrie herself, and male protagonist Kazuto, remained non-entities.  I think it’s a fairly sad state of affairs when your main characters are so…blah.   As a kid, Valkyrie was a hyperactive, thoughtless (hell, brainless) brat.  As an adult, she was boringly goddess-like, high-minded and all whisper-sweet. 

Kazuto, for his part…well, I found him so boring I can’t think of how to describe him.  Except for the fact that he had a work ethic, he could have been perpetually stoned.  I cannot see the attraction, why both Valkyrie and Akina want him.   Especially since the series seemed to set out, explicitly, to break Akina’s heart over this guy.  I’d say it was sad that the series wanted to do this to Akina, except for this one fact:  she’d be much better off with some other guy.  (Yeah, I know, the heart cannot be bargained with, it can’t be reasoned with, it doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.  Tell me about it.)

As for the others, the nearsighted princess (Raine) sure became convenient, and Miss Sanada’s devotion to Valkyrie started to seem more like a neurotic disorder than an admirable loyalty.  She provided a lot of the laughs on volumes one and two, but by three she was really getting on my nerves.

The only really remarkable thing about the series was the name “Ryoe Tsukimura” in the screenwriting credits.  I haven’t watched enough anime to recognize names right off the bat, but that one leapt out at me:  this is the guy who wrote Noir, one of the deepest and most profound series I’ve seen.   Seeing his name in the credits of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie was as startling as “Directed by Alfred Hitchcock” would be on a Three Stooges short.

I thought I read somewhere that there are four seasons of this stuff.  According to Steven Den Beste, season two is quite good, but I can’t imagine how they could stretch something so thin without it snapping back and hurting someone.  But then I can’t imagine a lot of things.  Four seasons of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, but only one episode total of GrrlPower?  We was robbed!

Pipe Dream

Apparently there’s another rumor floating around that I’m dead.  Well, damn it, I’m not dead yet.  One of these days, though, I will be and you’ll be sorry that you laughed with me all cold and blue and rotting and starting to stink and hungering for brains.  Better shovel me into the trash when you can!  HEY WAIT STOP I MEANT WHEN I’M DEAD.

Anyway, here are some photos from the half-pipe that I built all by my lonesome.  The first photo shows the five pieces after they were cobbled together, but before they were assembled into one monstrous organism.   

Each of the end pieces (the two curved sections) is actually made of two parts, that haven’t yet been shackled together into oneness or something hippie-esque or equally unpleasant and in need of bathing.

In the shot below, the plastic covering has been put under the wooden bits, and they’ve all been assembled into one coalescent being.  The plastic is there to prevent moisture, grubs, worms and HORRIFYING ZOMBIES from damaging stuff that shouldn’t be damaged.  Mostly I like the angle on this one…

…because the picture below pretty much shows the same thing. 

Below, you can see the plywood flooring applied, as well as the plastic tubing stuff that goes at the top so, um, the, er, plastic tubing stuff can work.  And stuff.  And like that.

Finally, below is the finished product with the back fence-things applied.  AND IT WAS DONE AND FINISHED AND THE LORD DID SPAKE AND SAY YEA IT IS GOOD, THAT THING YOU DID, THERE.  AWESOME DUDE.

And I am still amazingly sore in all available limbs.  But not that sore GET THOSE SHOVELS OUT OF MY SIGHT!

So, I built a half-pipe.  And I lived to tell the tale.  (Soon to be an epic poem by Coleridge.) And yeah, sure, I’ll build one for you, too.

For fifty thousand dollarsHeh heh heh.

Just kidding.  I wouldn’t charge that much, and I’d never build another one anyway.

Speaking of anyway, next we’ll have more anime stuff!  Thanks for visiting, as always, and as always, GET THOSE SHOVELS AWAY FROM ME YOU OVERZEALOUS GHOULS!  Can’t a guy rot in peace?