Why this?

14°C, sun & light showers.

Courage? (inresponse to Stormcrow’s comment)
I post these pictures to show how I go through making pictures. The act of writing about them makes me think about them too. the thinking bit is crucial- that’s why I get the pictures from the drying shelf each day just to be familiar with them. With that amount of familiarity, you can even visualise the picture when you’re out. that often goes through my mind while cycling in the countryside.Sometmes they don’t progress as I want, or they go in some direction that leaves me unsure what to do. Writing here helps me think through how I got into those kinds of cul-de-sacs. I hope in the long run to focus on techniques that work, enable results that push my understanding of the things I look at. It’s learning to see better.
This sounds a bit vague but it’s part of improving.
Having said that, the bigest fixes I get into are always due to inadequate observation. When something isn’t right, I look around, mostly when I’m out and notice things. Becareful tough, if someone thinks you are staring at their shirt, trying to work out how the colour changes in the shadow areas with translucent fabric, they may think you are *staring*.

On the left


How can you tell if an artist was left-handed?
The most obvious clue about an artist’s handedness is in shading. Keep your left elbow still, and wave your left hand infront of your across the keyboard. What diredtion does your hand move- top-left-to-bottom right? Artists tend to do shading of large areas in that difection too ( if they are left-handed). Watch out for the times they have turned the paper round, or used cross-hatching. You’ll have to judge it and come up with a probability.
It’s harder with paint if brush-strokes aren’t visible in which case you’ll have to look at the composition. Left handers find it easier to draw face profiles looking to the right. So if there are more faces looking to the left, then possibly the artist is a right-hander.
Here’s a list of some:
Appel, Karel 
Crumb, R.
Dufy, Raoul 
Dürer, Albrecht
Escher, Fuseli, Henry
Holbein, the Younger, Hans
Klee, Paul
Kollwitz, Kathe
Lautrec, Toulouse 
Landseer, Sir Edwin
Leonardo da Vinci 
Michelangelo Buonarotti (ambidextrous)
Munch, Edvard
Picasso, Pablo 
Rembrandt van Rijn
Rubens, Peter-Paul 


17°C, sun & showers, rather windy

cycling in the rain today- but it was only a shower (or two or three). 52 miles in the wind.
Regular visitors maye have heard mer ramble on about the Sprite picture. Below is a WIP photo so you can see where I am going with it. The trouble with it right now is that the liquids look like blood – which wasn’t the intention at all. It should be more like red-wine, transparent and more burgundy on colour.
3D.Full of ideas for characters to go in my animations, I have a good base mesh and they just need clothes altering to look right for each rôle; a pilot in thick winter clothes, a civilian in a hat, a mechanic in overalls and so on.


17°C, wind, sun & rain

Uploaded the Whitley animation to the Yahoo group. No responses yet but they have been quiet recently. Note: for the future, they have a 3 meg limit on files, so they need to be cut up before uploading. It’s needs a good place to host such a file, my own web-space is getting rather full, unless Claranet want to offer me some more, webspace is cheap these days and their deal is not.
I have referred to an older project insome posts, and it comes around again. A guy from The Stirling Project is interested in having a clip on his site. This I will gladly do. It’s fun animating people on the ground acting as spectators. It feels as if I have only got half-way through Character Studio though. It’s a tricky descision choosing whether to use that or the native bones system in Max. Native bones are probably best for the sitting characters.
BTW: the oil painting has taken some dramatic steps today. the red juice is started. Not posting that for a few days thoug. Not tomorrow anyway, spending the day in Bristol.

Done it!

Very windy

27 miles cycling- it’s getting dark too early.
FINISHED the Japan trip Video, it’s on a DVD here on the desk waiting to be tested on a set-top box. The last hold-up was a problem with sound at the end. Now it’s all done, though it took ages to render/process/whatever before the final burn to disk.

Found a very useful site about windows security
Techtrax. Now the pictures in my site are a bit more secure- hurrah for templates and javascript.

Missed a day

Wet and warm17°C

Had a monster animation session yesterday. I don’t know where the time went but I got so engrossed that I wrote no blog. The Whitley animation project has walking human figures. This figure uses the Editpoly method of Sub-division modelling, it means that the figure is easy tyo manipulate in the scene- but renders with a finer, smoother surface that looks better.
<goes to find a picture to post>
That picture is part of a walking sequence, which will look fine from a distance.
Got one, hmmm, thinks those hands are a bit big. And, why do the shoulders hunch up like that?

Tissue in the washing machine

Should be a nice day, 11°C, but later 16°

Yesterday was quite a fruitful painting day. I don’t know if the picture below shows it, but it’s making real progress now. I look forward to the red fluids. Why have I been struggling with this picture so much- probably "need-holiday-it’s-a-long-term" tiredness dulling the concentration.

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Wired parameters

14°C, calm

Resumed work on the Whitley animation. Onlny trouble is there’s a problem with Wired parameters. It’s like this; the movement of one object can be determined by another, move one – the other moves. But it’s not always working, the settings are all right, it works in the viewport, but the set keyframes are not saved. this is mysterious.
I still feel like a novice at this, it’s taking time to get used to editing timing in track-view. It’s better than the stirling video ( of last year)- which suffered from some scenes running too quick and others taking too long.
I’ve got 24.4 seconds done now- that’s 16 seconds added in one day- that’s a lot. I guess the professionals would look down on my working method because once one scene is added to the timeline ( inthe video editor) then I think up the next one. I’m making it up as I go along!

Version II, vI was lost by MSN’s rubbish server with the enlightening message
" this space is currently unavailable"


14°C, heavy rain

This dog is rather terrified of fireworks. Even if she hears them from in the house she hides and trembles. No point taking her for a run in the dark then. An odd deal indeed.

The current painting is turning into a real struggle. Hopefully I can post a progress shot tomorrow. It needs some strong inspiration, the lighting is all confused and so am I.
Blame this cold in my head.

One more day


that painting is hideous! The Sprite one I mean. Last night I added a much thicker layer of frotte to give the face some body, also started to blur the edges. Note to oneself- get radical with it- temple-forehead-nose is grossly underdeveloped. I hate paintings at this stage; usually doing a quick A4 picture diminishes this uncomfortable feeling.

Fireworks are bothering Bessie. She hid behind my legs today on our walk when one went off (at quite a distance). She sat trembling. That dog really hates fireworks.

I need a holiday.