Monday, December 28, 2015

A Psychochronography in Chrome

Well, this is a little awkward.  Usually I write these posts and time them to coincide with the launch of the book they're about.  In this case though the good Doctor Sandifer released it on Boxing Day (That's December 26th for those of you who don't know), which is also the day after Christmas, so I forgot.  Sorry.

Anyway, we're here now, so lets get on with it.  As ever you can catch up on the previous Psychochronography posts by clicking here and working your way back to the beginning.  You don't need to do that though; the short story is that I do occasional book covers for Philip Sandifer, who writes critical analysis of (usually pretty geeky) things.  This is one of those.  The explanation for using the word Psychochronography I'll let you dig out for yourself.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fumbling the Speed Ball

It's been a while!  Over a month since I last posted I think, which means I never posted the Speedpaints for October during November.  This is not caused so much by laziness on my part (though as ever, it's a contributing factor), so much as I usually post on weekends, and the weekends were full.  Obviously Thanksgiving was in there, but also two weekends of travel (to St. Petersburg) - the most arduous trip I've ever been on in terms of actual travel, but the most surprisingly pleasant time once I got there.  Not the best trip I've ever had, but perhaps the one I'd most want to repeat, if I could do it without the jetlag.

So that's three weekends accounted for, and I can't honestly remember why I didn't post on the other ones.  Some form of busy or other, I'm sure.

So, since the following were mostly quite some time ago I'll write what I can, but it might not be much.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sketching - October to December '14

It's a bit ridiculous that I simplified posting sketches so I could more easily keep up with it, and then haven't posted any for 5 months.  I shall post now, although this still puts me a year behind.  Same rules as last time - Scan page, adjust levels, post image.  Edits allowed for rotating something so you can see it better, or cutting something out you're not supposed to see (for work or whatever. Not because it's bad - you get to see the terrible stuff, or there wouldn't be much to see). So, let's see what I was up to a year ago...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Not So Innocent

Well, this has been an odd month.  Not the number, obviously October is an even month numerically (but with an odd number of days... why am I typing this?  You know this).  No, it's been odd in a "things that I have done" sort of way, which is that I've been really quite busy, but don't have a whole lot to show for it.  I dislike that - if I'm going to be busy I like to have something at the end to say "Yes, I was busy, here is what I did," Instead this month has been "I've been really busy, but I'm not entirely sure what I was busy with."

Still, I'm finally managing to write a blog post, and it's Halloween!  Fortunate then that I have a creepy picture to share today.  That I finished a month ago, but haven't had time to blog about really (and may not today - there are halloween things occurring outside the webosphere of course).  Let's start; see how far we get.  You can, as always, click the images to see them enlargerized with Embiggen-O-Ramavision.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Speed of the One Inch Punch

I had a lot of options for today's post, but finally decided to go with the good old Speedpaint roundup.  There are a fair number of them, but strangely almost all of them were done in the first half of the month, as the rest of the month was taken up with other projects (the last post being one of them).

Despite this, I've reached the goal of painting the equivalent of one speedpaint a week for this year.  48 of them.  Some of them were pointless of course (there's one of those this time too), but since I'm unlikely to not do another one before New Year I think the end result will still be a positive one.

OK, enough yapping, let's look at some painting.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Psychochronography in Blue (Part 6)

I think, by now, you probably know the drill.  On the chance that you're a newcomer to these here shores you can read the previous entries in this series by clicking here. You don't need to in order to follow along, but the option is there if you need it.

So, new cover for a new Phil Sandifer joint, this one being the 6th of the main series of TARDIS Eruditorum, 'The Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who' (because Phil loaths a short subtitle).  To see Phil's post on the subject, click here.

By all rights, this should have been my personal favorite of the series to do, as it lands smack dab in the middle of an era I hold dear.  Oddly though that very fact made it less satisfying, as nothing I could do would ever live up to the memories of the ridiculous gaudy graphic excesses of the mid-80's (the prime example of the theme being the 6th Doctor's much maligned coat).  I did my best though, in line with Phil's preferences, and quite like the result.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Bumper-Fun Summer Speedpaint Special

"You only posted once last month you lazy bugger."  I know, I know, I'm just not as committed to this blogging lark as I should be, but in my defence last month I messed up my back, had a vehicular breakdown, bought a new car, had two family visits, did (a lot of) things at work I can't divulge, saw a meteor shower, had a kid that couldn't sleep (this is not a new child, the old one is just now having issues), had my wedding anniversary, did five speedpaints, read three books, taught my son to play Chess, and made an omelette.  Given all that it's amazing I managed the (fairly wordy) post that I did.

Actually, it was six speedpaints I guess, but one of them was more like a speed sketch page (I did almost no actual sketching this last month - busy, see?), I'll show it anyway.

But in addition to that, since I didn't post about it last month it's actually eleven speedpaints I need to cover this month, plus a bonus guest one from my brother, for reasons we'll get to below.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Musing 7: 10 Tips for Digital Beginners

I was asked yesterday if I had any tips for digital painting I could share.  The answer to that is "Yeah, I do, but it might not be much help to you." Which isn't terribly useful, but is potentially true.  My way of creating art isn't necessarily your way.  I can give helpful advice and tips, some of which may work for you, and others won't, depending on your style, chosen subject matter and so on.  Use what works for you, ditch the rest.

So the following are some tips for those just starting out at digital painting (as the person who asked my advice was). For more advanced things... well, see point 3 below.

There are no images in this post - I might rectify that at some point.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Speed of Warm Molasses

I'm a little late getting to this speedpaint post.  The most sensible way to do them would probably be the first weekend of the following month so that what I did, and why, is fresher in my mind.  This is of course the last weekend of the following month, which is less ideal.  Still, at least I'm not falling into the next month as I started to do with my sketch posts a while ago, and look how that ended up (hint: months and months behind).

Still, last month was actually pretty good when it comes to speedpaints, with 6 to show, except it's actually sort of 14, for reasons.  I'll get into that below.  This month on the other hand I've done 4 so far to show next month.  I might get to doing another, but maybe not.  With the exception of the sketches though I think this brings me back up to date again (finally).  I may be forgetting something though, but if I am I've forgotten (obviously), so I have no idea what it is.  Okay, enough preamble, lets look at splotches of colour that look like things!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pink Petals

Another way of catching up on the blog a bit is to just post more, so two in one day (if you missed the previous one due to my posting twice in a day being an unusual occurrence, it's this one here). Like the last one I'll be saying as little as possible in order to get it done in one go. This post's subject has been seen in a lesser way before, in the last speedpaint post. I said I'd get to the results soon; this is the post about it, so let's see the result.

Robots Under Lighting

Well, I certainly missed a couple of weeks there.  One of them was the July 4th weekend, so of course nothing happened that weekend except alcohol, grilled meat and small sparkly explosives (a winning combination!).  Last weekend... I have no clue - obviously last weekend occurred, but I could not with any certainty tell you what occurrences happened during it.  Possibly I did some art, I'm really not sure.

So, anyway, hopefully today I'll get some catching up done.  I think this will be done by just saying less stuff - most of what follows is basically stuff you've read before about other pieces anyway, so this one will focus on things that were slightly different.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Even More Board: The Hunters

As predicted, nothing got done last week. We had friends over for the weekend, and a BBQ on Saturday with lots of friends over. A lot of fun, but exhausting (so many kids!). This weekend was a little more relaxed, so new post, even if I should have written it yesterday (I actually did write it yesterday, but Blogger had an issue so I couldn't post). Today's subjects are actually from a while ago. Fortunately my wife is building a TARDIS, so that allows us to head back to the end of April for a recap*. Told you I was a bit behind. So behind in fact that this post will cover three things at once, though they're all related. This post ties in with the previous one regarding "The Most Dangerous Game", which you can recap on by clicking the title of it. That I just wrote. Back there.

All up to date? Good, let's go look at the "new" stuff.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Speedy Like Sunday Morning

Speed wise, last month was a good month.  Eight paints in a month!  Now, to be fair, some of them are rather rough, but that's generally the case even when I just do the one a week, and it was also a 'long' month with an extra weekend, but still, I'm pleased - and you know how rare that is.

This month my intent, blogwise, is to post about two of the three pieces I haven't written about yet, and post another three months worth of old sketches (which should bring me up to this year).  Oh, and this post of course!  We'll see if I can manage a post every weekend then; next week is already looking iffy in that regard.

For now though, on with the speed.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

All New Year Old Sketching: July to September '14

Despite having quite a lot to post about, I do seem to have fallen behind on the actual posting bit.  This means that for the first time in a while I have quite a few pieces that need posting about, rather than just a handful of speedpaints.  I'm not going to be doing much catching up today though, instead I'll be doing some catch up a little on the other posts I've fallen behind on - the monthly sketch update.

From here on things will be done a little differently.  Usually I scan the sketchbook pages, and then cut out things of note for the month and compose them into a new image.  This has two disadvantages though.  Firstly, it takes bloody ages, and I don't think there's really enough feedback to warrant all the work I put into it (this time sink aspect is the main reason I've fallen behind so badly).  Secondly, it means that consciously or not I end up cutting out a lot of the stuff that's crap.  This gives a false impression of my current progress (actually, my progress about 11 months ago because I'm so far behind).

Monday, May 11, 2015

5 years at speed! 2010 - 2015

As promised this post will be a brief recap of the Speedpaints I've been doing over the past 5 years.   Some confusion has occasionally come up because of my use of the term speedpaint though, so before we review let's first define.

A speedpaint is a painting, usually digital, whereby the piece is created in a limited amount of time. It's a painting, done at speed. Simple.  Sometimes the time is decided upon before starting, sometimes there's a general maximum time beyond which it's not considered a speed painting, sometimes it's just the frame of mind the piece is created in.  Sometimes these are termed as Studies (and I do so myself in some places to reduce confusion), except a study can actually take a really long time, yet remain a study.

What they aren't, in my useage at least, are timelapses.  This is where someone records themselves painting and then they play that back at an accelerated rate. So you can see someone painting something that took 20 hours in a mere 5 minutes (or whatever).  Sometimes those are timelapses of speedpaints, and I've done a handful of those myself.  I think it's because of this that the timelapses have also become popularly known as Speedpaints (seeing someone paint, at speed),  but that's not what I mean by it.

OK, so now that's sorted out, lets go look at some, small ones, briefly.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Missing Month of Speed

You may have noticed a distinct lack of posts last month.  I have no real reason why that occurred; last month was one of those strange ones that seemed to last a long time but also go by extremely quickly due to my being really busy.  Odd thing though, I don't actually remember particularly what it was I was busy doing.  Never mind, such things are bound to occur occasionally (the last time was 4 years ago), and as a result of some of that busyness (this part I remember) I have plenty to keep me busy with posts for this month, and possibly next month too.  Which is good, because it's anniversary time!

Technically the blog's anniversary was the end of last month, but that post was just saying I was going to do a blog. It wasn't until May that I actually posted any art, so I consider May 2nd the blog's birthday.  Also, even though I didn't start speedpainting for a few months after that, I count the same day as the tickover day between one year's speedpainting and the next, because I suck at remembering dates, so may as well collate them.

So today I'll go over the speedpaints I did this last month, and in the next post do an overall review of the last 5 years (actually 4.5) of speedpainting, unless I don't because I decide to do something else instead (5 Years!  Where'd the time go?)

Monday, March 30, 2015

All the speed, none of the finesse

Well, it's been a heck of a month, and somewhat exhausting.  I'll spare you all the little details, but they are much the same as ever, with the addition of three bereavements.  Again, I'll not go into details, this being more a reminder to my future self as to what I was doing when they left us than any seeking of sympathy.

In other areas things have been going better.  I did a portrait that I can't show you for some time (for reasons murky and unfathomable - I don't really understand them myself), and managed, with a bit of modification, to keep up with my New Years resolution.

This modification was simply to change the goal from one speedpaint a week to the equivalent of four speedpaints a month.  This has the advantage of requiring fewer speedpaints (3 less, since I'd already excluded the first week of the year), and also meaning that if any were missed I could catch up on them at another time, something I have had to do, somehow managing to miss one in January I made up for in March.

All of which is to say, there's a bumper fun packed* collection Speedpaints to follow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

For Psychochronography, Turn to Page 5

Well, I'm writing this at the last minute because of things and stuff.  Not going into details, though I will say I'm writing it with cold hands because our furnace is out for the second time this year.  Fantastic! It's been that sort of week (as in the last 7 days, not as in the week beginning on Monday, because it is Monday, so I would say it's been that sort of day instead).

So, since it's so cold, and I'd like to go and do warmer things than type a blog entry I'll try and keep it short (Ha, like that ever happens!  Well, it did last post, so there).

Oh, this is a Phil Sandifer cover post, if you hadn't already guessed from the title.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Feeble Sketching - April to June '14

Far from catching up with my sketch posts, I appear to have fallen further behind given that the last one was in August <shudder>.  That's inconvenient, and not terribly well planned.  So in an effort to catch up, I'm just going to post some from the next three months (April through June last year), because there's really not that much to say about them (or, if there was, I've long since forgotten).

On the plus side, I did do a marathon scanning session recently, so I have everything up to last month scanned, I just need to compile them (or, if worse comes to the worse, just adjust the levels and post them as is - eek).

Though based on my current track record, I'll get the next batch uploaded sometime in July...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just a Little Board With Pulp

No, that's not a typo in the title, I mean board, not bored.  I work, as you may or may not recall, at a videogame development company.  What you may not be aware of is that a shocking number of game developers are also lovers and designers of boardgames.  Not only that, but the city in which I live has an annual board game design competition, which is obviously popular with the staff.

One of my colleagues mentioned before Christmas that he was planning on entering a game, and would I be interested in doing a cover for the box?  Sure, sounded fun. And then I forgot all about it because Santa coming has that effect on me (or perhaps it's the copious alcohol).

Obviously I did end up painting the cover (or this would be a very short post), and you can see it, and the rest of this tale after the break below (unless you clicked through already, in which case it's right there, probably on screen already,  Look!  There!  Right there!).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gimme More Speed!

So my New Years Resolution was pretty simple - do a speedpaint a week.  There were some more details in there, but the rest of it was just icing - the important bit was actually doing the painting. One a week should be easy!  I know one guy who does one a night!  I've said that before though, and you'll note that in all the time I've been working on the blog I have yet to crank out 52 speed paints in a year.  Time will tell if I can keep the resolve and get it done.

I did say I'd be away for a while didn't I?  I've not been idle though; mostly I've been sick, or on vacation, and at one point both at once.  I did get a speedpaint done each week this month though - except the first week, but it only had three days and I was away for most of them, so the resolution came into effect on the 4th.  I had one left over from December though, so you still get 4 in this post.