19°C, rain then sun

Kefalonia: tomorrow we take-off at 8am for the Greek island where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was set. It’s quite a small island near Corfu To get to the airport on time we have to get up at 02.00 am then drive north. The flight is over three & a half hours because it’s over 1,500 miles assuming a direct route.
I have packed drawing and painting materials but don’t count on it- often I take such things away but they remain unused.
Expect some photos when I get back. Hopefully some can inform painting for the next month or so.

Steam off

15°C, rain

Poser: eFrontier Poser 6 isn’t any more stable than previous versions. I’m trying to finalise lighting for the next painting which has a bloke with faces where one ought not have a face. We can’t help the weights we are burdened with can we?
That wretched program still crashes, locks up or just behaves very strangely even with the services packs installed. Crashing out using Program manager doesn’t always work either, chosing End-task just does nothing.
Turpentine: despite the annoyances above, the ground is now painted; ready for some proper underpainting. This one will probably be really low key- I quite fancy the main figure being almost indescernable from the inky dark ground. then it can show the slight shine from the lustre of the skin.
Last Saturday I picked up those cheap 3 pack of ready-made canvases. Since then, they’ve had three coats of Gesso each. The texture is now less coarse and unexpectedly much tighter on the wooden frame. It seems the way to make cheapo canvases usable.

Graphite powder

13°C, rain

Graphite powder: below is an in-class drawing made to teach the technique ot Year 12 last winder. Finally it’s home and scanned. It’s a technique that I like a lot, it’s quick and can cover very large areas of paper with smooth shading  that has a slight grain like in a photograph.
Euros and ID: this is a why question: on Saturday, I bought Euros for next week’s trip to Greece. To pay with a card, they wanted to see my Passport or a driving license (the type with a photo). But why? I don’t need ID to buy anything else with the bank card, even if I spend two or three times as much money- so why?
PhysX: a game dynamics accelerator, it’s suggested on the site that the PCI card handles more than real-time dynamics like gravity and collision behaviours. The best bit is it handles particle effects, which may well render fluids as well as the inevitable smoke and explosion sequences. LINK . Itsounds rather like a few years ago when maths co-processors were introduced, they eventually merged into the main cpu. Perhaps the same will happen with dynamics co-processors merging into the graphics cards once they have enough bandwidth. All the titles scheduled to release are kid’s chooters right now, but the benefits are obvious to flight simmers for the futre too.


13°C, same…

United States of Europe:
Eurovision Song contest: a contest to find the worst music in Europe. It’s justified with pseudo-arty words like "kitsch", "camp" but worthless pap would be better. It relies on a voting system that’s full of corruption and nepotism.
May as well watch Dr. Who though.


17°C, sun & showers

Dullfull: no invigilation, just marking all day. I was interested to tears. However, I did made a useful (Access) database with my classes included – all ready for report writing next half-term. It even has pictures of the kids – useful for those that I get mixed up with.
Canvas: Not started the next painting, tomorrow I am getting some more canvases and have an idea for the next one. Hopefully- Kefalonia will fill my head with more paintings.
Oh well.


14°C, rain.

Fingers crossed: typo’s are getting excessive here. My fingers seem to disagree about the order inwhich they press keys. It’s a shame that msn spaces are blocked at work- I used to log on in th emorning to spot typing errors.
Did you know: Americans think "disinterested" means "Unbiased"?
Picture comments: read them! there are a few really positive ones there. Very encouraging- so a big thankyou to the authors: Kong’s ring,
Big number: well it seems like a lot to me:

Streaky printer- the sequel

20°C, sun

830U: still needs a heart bypass operation, it has bad veins which seem partly blocked. Adding the spirit-cleaner has triggered the error light which has not gone away for a few hours. the printer driver claims that the colour ink has run out- hard to believe since it was half-full before.
Laterz: it’s working now, except the yellow is still blocked. So an improvement.

Linseed: posted the Handprop picture in the "Finished" section of the photo galleries.

Epson 830u

14°C cloudy

Unreliable printer: in one last desperate attempt to get this infuriating printer to work, I’ve ordered a set of cleaning heads. The cleaning routine doesn’t work at al now, in the past it has needed 6, 8 or even a dozen runs to get rid of the white streaks in the page. Usually it still has streaks in the printout up to time the self-clean routine has been run so many times that the ink cartridge has emptied. There are plenty of references to this problem on line, so it’s not just me.
Hope isn’t all lost yet though: here is an interesting tip


Try the Windex trick… I tried it on my Epson Stylus Photo 890 and it worked great:

1. Open up the printer cover.
2. Get the print head into the center: you can do that by starting the cycle to change the ink cartridge.
3. Now, turn the printer off (with the catridges unseated in the centre) from the mains (to prevent the printer from automatically returning the heads before power-down).
4. Look to the area where the printer head usually sits when it is not printing (it’s on the right hand side on my 890). There should be a pad/sponge there.
5. Using a dropper, transfer 6-7 drops of Windex cleaning solution (those blue ammonia liquid that they use for cleaning windows) onto the pad/sponge. Try not to touch the sponge (according to some websites, this sponge is spring mounted and touching it may damage the springs). Try not to overspill the Windex solution as well.
6. Turn the printer on again so that the print heads are reseated onto the pad/sponge.
7. Now turn off the printer the usual way (the printer will reseat the print head properly before power down).
8. Leave the print head to take up the Windex for 1-2 hrs.
9. Do the usually print cleaning cycles/nozzle check.
10. Your printhead should be unclogged by now.

For the really stubborn clogs, you might want to leave the print head overnight for soaking in Windex.

Finally a more detailed suggestion is here: InkjetArt
Who knows what Windex is, but there is a bottle of cleaning solution up in the cupboard there *points*.
 Printers at work are quite exaspirating too.
Anyway it’s Sunday, so time to get the bike out and ride off….

Greenfly and greenpollen


The air is full of pollen, the car is covered in a powdery dust. Even the weather forecasters have been showing off satellite photos of the cloud of pollen blowing over from Holland & the low countries.
Yesterday I gave a lift to a Greenfly from Shire Oak to near home. It enjoyed the best seat – on the rim of my glasses.

Linseed: Almost finished, it only needs about 15 minutes, miostly on the right hand & elbow.
This update skips a day, but still there is onl;y about an hour’s work since the last photo.
what next…

Leaving Cards


Drawings: those cards hinted at over the last few days can now be posted.


Each drawing took about 15 to 20 minutes, some were re-touched after these photos and others worked right the first time. Generally they were well received- as much as they would admit.