Painting resolution

I received James Gurney’s Color and Light book for Christmas. It’s WONDERFUL.

I had to sit down and scribble this out, just to try some of the color and light techniques.

Painting this was the artist’s version of eating fudge. Visual fudge that you smear with your brush. And it tastes delicious to your eyes. Also I was eating fudge at the time.

I’ve also decided to resolve to paint one complete painting per month in 2012. My art production last year was pretty abysmal, especially toward the end of the year. I’m also going to try painting things that challenge me. Like, painting a Sonic picture, like above, but leaving it a bit rough and using color techniques from the book. I rely too heavily on the Smear and Blend tools.

Modern fantasy

I was pondering why I like modern fantasy. I’ve been reading reviews of various fantasy novels popular right now (like George R.R. Martin’s stuff). Although I see the appeal of elves, dwarves and men, that doesn’t get me excited like modern fantasy does.

Then I tried to think of some modern fantasy books that I liked. A lot of juvenile fiction is set in modern times, like Harry Potter, or the Wednesday Tales, or Fablehaven (which I want to read but have not yet grabbed). The Dresden books are modern fantasy, too, so I know it exists in the adult market.

Then I started thinking about the stuff I’ve written for eight years.

Notice how a lot of my Sonic art is city-themed? As in, modern settings with cartoon characters?

Yeah. I’ve also always had a weakness for superhero movies, and as a rule those are modern fantasy.

So yeah. I’m still writing modern fantasy. I’m off to hang out with my imaginary friends now. 🙂

Book review: Blacksheep! Blacksheep!

Blacksheep! Blacksheep! by Meredith Nicholson

One of those lovely older books they have for free on Amazon for the Kindle. I’ve only ever read one of Nicholson’s other books, The House of a Thousand Candles, and it’s a wonderful mystery. I was pleased to see that Amazon offers a jillion of his other books, so I snapped up the titles that sounded the most fun.

Blacksheep! follows the story of Archie, a young man six years out of college who has no purpose in his life. He is well off, but a hopeless hypochondriac, always watching his diet and going off to remote locations for his “delicate” health and his nerves. At a party one day, he meets a delightful young woman who tries to snap him out of his lethargy by recommending that he go on a crime spree. Rob a few people, kill a few people. It’d help him get a new perspective on life right away. This, of course, shocks his delicate sensibilities.

His tyrannical sister sends him out to check out a potential beach cottage shortly after this. Archie gets stranded there during a storm. A prowler breaks into the cottage and shoots at Archie, who shoots the man in the back as the man flees. Then Archie, horrified at what he’s done, runs away and falls in with a criminal mastermind known only as the Governor.

The Governor is the orchestrator of the underworld, completely loveable, boldfaced, never loses his cool, and tells the exact truth to every policeman. (When he soberly describes himself and Archie to a pair of cops at a roadblock, I was in stitches.)

Archie is further and further entangled in criminal behavior and the intrigue broiling in the Crogden family, seeing as he shot the father. But the ride only gets more entertainingly ludicrous as the Crogdens engage in kidnapping, prompting the Governor to call on his underworld contacts to set things to rights.

What a great read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and can’t wait to read some more Nicholson.

(If you don’t have a Kindle, or an ipod with a Kindle app, Amazon gives you a free program for your compy that reads Kindle books.)


Nothing real pithy tonight. Just some random sketches, not very good ones, of various things I’ve been thinking about. I finished reading the most hilarious book, though, and I’ll have a review of it tomorrow.

Christmas story: Candle in the Forest

This is my traditional Christmas story to read every year. I always try to share it with folks online, too, as it’s just a little short story, and so lovely. No barbed sting in its tail to make you cry, unless you cry at happy endings.

Candle in the Forest
by Temple Bailey

The small girl’s mother was saying, “The onions will be silver,
and the carrots will be gold–”
“And the potatoes will be ivory,” said the small girl, and they
laughed together. The small girl’s mother had a big white bowl in her
lap, and she was cutting up vegetables. The onions were the hardest,
because she cried over them.
“But our tears will be pearls,” said the small girl’s mother,
and they laughed at that and dried their eyes, and found the carrots
much easier, and the potatoes the easiest of all.
Then the next-door-neighbor came in and said, “What are you doing?”
Continue reading “Christmas story: Candle in the Forest”

More Sonic sketchy

Just a bit more dinking around with my Stardust Speedway chase pic tonight.

A little more tension, with Sonic stopping to wipe blood out of his eyes as Tails yells, “Sonic, here he comes!”

Yes, because Sonic CD would have been awesomer with Tails. Face it, Amy’s hardly in it, and when she is, she’s a nuisance.