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You know I'll never tire of drawing Flying Fortresses. ;) Anyway, I wanted to do something a little different this time: While my last B-17 painting, Flying Out of the Sun, was a moment frozen in time, this time around I wanted to try telling a story with little more than the objects that would normally be found in the nose, that might upon first glance seem to be simply an interior study. The "story" told by the picture was inspired by (but not necessarily based upon) those of 1st Lt Jack W. Mathis and 2nd Lt Robert Femoyer.
Read more... )

Read more... )


This picture has been something of a labour of love, painted with the help of a folderful of reference photographs, both those taken during wartime and those of restored Flying Fortresses. However, I am only human and am thus not infallible; if there's anyone watching me who is a serious B-17 enthusiast and knows their way around these birds, then I apologise in advance for any technical deficiencies, or anachronisms I may have inadvertently committed. There's only so much one can do.

MCCC 2011!

May. 10th, 2011 12:04 am
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So Motor City Comic Con's this coming weekend (13-15 May) -YAY! And Matt Busch and Alex Buechel will be making their annual appearance there - YAY! So that means there's a new tribute picture going out to them - Unfortunately, <sad> nobody else I know will be going to MCCC </sad>, so this is going to them directly, by digital means. Three days too early, because I'll be leaving on vacation tomorrow, and won't be coming home until the MCCC is over.
Artwork under the cut. Run, Matt, run! )

And of course all of this resulted in much hilarity concerning the pronunciation of my second name! Ah, the Chinese and their bizarre words, hideously unpronounceable to all but native speakers. (Although whether I even *qualify* as a native speaker is open to debate, haha).
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Proof that I never quite got over my childhood fantasies of flying a B-17... >.<

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For you Aubrey-Maturin fans. You know who you are. ;)

Serenade Before the Storm
by *DarthFar on deviantART
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Because I obviously don't know where to stop...

And because I thought it would be kind of amusing for not just the painting, but the frame and the wall behind it to be all painted as well. LOL. I am in dire need of entertainment.

At least gilt frames are far easier to paint than brass tubing?


Almost there... the frame still needs a little tuning, and there's the wall to texture. Manually. *facepalm*
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So [livejournal.com profile] abelarda  posted this Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test thing on her journal... and because I'm a fan of the Dark Materials books, I had to have a go as well:

Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...

Distant Loner Soul

A confident and independent person, you are logical and probably very intelligent. Some people think you are a little cool and unemotional, just because you don't prattle on about your feelings all the time like some people do. Outbursts of either anger or joy are both rare for you: You try to keep yourself under control at all times. You tend to deflect any really personal questions with a joke, an overly-literal reply, or even an out-and-out lie. Your few friends and your family probably wish that they knew you better. You probably wish they would just leave you alone.

The thoughts and opinions of other people don't hold much sway over you. You don't spend time agonizing over other people's feelings, and you don't much care what people think about you. Sometimes your insensitivity can hurt people's feelings, but that's their problem. If someone didn't like you, you wouldn't lose much sleep over it. You march to the beat of your own drum, and if your friends and family think you can be a little odd... well, that's their issue.

You are an introverted person, disliking crowds and strangers. Some people might think that you are shy, but really, you simply find parties and crowds to be unpleasant and tiresome. You get exhausted quickly when you are forced into social situations, and you need some time to yourself to recharge afterwards. You don't like noise and chaos. You like to keep things calm and logical.

Your daemon would represent your cool, unruffled, solitary nature and would probably spend a lot of time comparing you favorably to the people around you, or helping you work out logically complex problems.

Suggested forms:
Octopus, Manta Ray, Shark, Boa Constrictor, Komodo Dragon.

Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test at HelloQuizzy

O..kay? Aside from the quiz pretty much nailing my personality and the weirdness of getting THREE aquatic daemon possibilities (wouldn't that doom me to a life of seafaring, never to tread the ground? What if I was born on land? ROFL ROFL ROFL), can you imagine the hilarity of possessing an octopus for a daemon? I imagine it would be a peaceful coexistence like this...

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So I was finally well enough to go for orchestra practice last night, even if I coughed and choked my way through it, and ran out of breath a half-hour before it ended (and, as luck would have it, we did Harry Potter at the very end. Gah!). The orchestra's received quite a bit of money from the ministry, so we'll be doing *four* concerts this year... beginning with one on 12th March. Which means that, once again, I won't be celebrating my birthday, because you can bet that there'll be an intensive final rehearsal on the 11th. Ah well.

Anyway, we had Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol dumped in our collective lap... and, to my horror, as I scanned the piece, I found OMG  A SOLO awaiting me right at the beginning of the first variation section (with more solo and soli bits scattered elsewhere in it). Okay, so I managed to avert major disaster while sightreading that, but there was this frantic little voice in the back of my head blabbering, are you kidding me, I have been playing this wretched thing for only how long and you want me to play this in front of everyone at the concert, quite possibly at the end of the programme when I haven't any breath left in me?! [flail]. (And the irony of it is that I'm terrified of playing slow, sweet, soft passages, but I'm perfectly fine with long, loud passages crammed with notes. Go figure). Whatever other elements I may be made of, brimming confidence isn't one of them. LOL.

The practice *had* its hilarious moments... or should I say Moment: The trumpeter and trombonist showed up halfway through Alborada (the third section of the Capriccio); after we'd finished the section, our conductor said, "Now let's go back to the beginning." AND LO THERE WAS HIDEOUS CACOPHONY, WHERE THERE WAS NONE BEFORE. And I almost swallowed my mouthpiece in my attempt to suppress the paroxysm of giggles (no easy task when you're playing at the same time), because I immediately realised what the conductor did not: instead of going way back to the beginning of the *piece*, those two had gone back to the beginning of the third section. And, because the two were virtually identical, except that they were a HALF TONE APART, the resulting mash was a perfectly appalling dissonance. ... And one that went on for half the section before our conductor realised that something was horribly wrong with the music and stopped the orchestra. ROFL ROFL ROFL.

And finally, an updated WIP of that ridiculous thing I started before I went on vacation:

I still think I'm bananas for even starting it.
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I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow. So how do I prepare for the trip? By mysteriously acquiring a cough and a sore throat, and effectively losing my voice. I guess I'll have some extra buddies to bring with me after all, aheheh.

Also: What do you do when your lungs are rattling, your throat feels like it's gone ten rounds with a cheese grater, and you want to paint something but you know you haven't the time to embark on any big projects? Why, by starting *two* ridiculous projects, which thereby guarantees you'll be able to finish neither before you leave:

What started out as an exercise in low camera angles wound up becoming... this. WTF Propaganda poster? It certainly seems to be leaning in that direction.

[Oh, and that musket's actually based on Montgomery, just with a longer barrel; I haven't an actual musket to model for me. >.<]

I don't know what possessed me to even *think* of doing this. Yes, I'm quite mad, thank you. Or at least I shall be once I start painting the goddamn metals!
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THREE YEARS. Three years since I left Wilbur and Sir Aidan in the lurch in some mediaeval marketplace. >.< One does not neglect one's own OCs for that long...

Anyway, have started a new painting. To be honest, I conceived (ha! ha!) the idea about four years ago, and have made multiple attempts during that period to render the scene - without any kind of success whatsoever. This time around, I think I might actually get around to finishing it. Not that I'm even halfway done, mind. (Wilbur's only half-rendered, and the colours haven't come on yet).

[For the record: Wilbur's egg will be an ominous purple with pink polka dots - one of the unexpected side effects of an Armoured Red mating with a diminutive blue mere-dragon. I could write a whole textbook trying to explain the genetics of *that* mating, LOL.]

More pointless WIPpaging )
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Thought I'd post works in progress from time to time, in case somebody somewhere wants to see them. Like, ha.

Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent doing something utterly horrible that was only mentioned in a letter in the game:

 The pencil sketch set to multiply, with a greenish background underneath. Background details are marked in with dark brown.
 Changed the background colour to something less blah. I mean, it is a goddamn candlelit torture room, not the bloody sewers.
 What can I say, I don't care much for handsome protagonists. LOL. I do like the crazy ones, though.
 No self-respecting 1830s gent would be caught dead without his waistcoat, cravat *or* coat, but given that Daniel is doing something horribly messy, perhaps he can be pardoned.

It's still a damn sight better than the game concept art, which has Daniel wearing a coat that would've suited George Frederic Handel, and fully buttoned shirt/ belt/ zip-up pants. Did nobody do their homework?
 Um, Alexander? Stop distracting Daniel.
 Started splashing greens around because the picture was too boring in terms of colour.
  Started scribbling like a maniac on a new layer at this point. Then set layer to "Divide", which made the picture look even more psychotic than it already was.
  My beta liked the picture less saturated, so this was the final version I uploaded.

I admit to being partial to the more saturated version, but it does get painful on the eyes after a while.

Oh and yes, I lengthened the blade of the knife. Daniel deserves better than a sissy little carver.
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So Tory and I were discussing Temeraire and dragon anatomy, and moaning over how Longwing markings should look. And since she wanted to do a dragon picture and had trouble with the anatomy, we both decided to fire up Deviant Art Muro and rough out the markings and skeletal system respectively. Here's my majorly screwed up half:

I'd have made the "humerus" for the wings longer, only I ran out of canvas space at the top - which just goes to show how awesome I am at planning pictures. [facepalm]

Has anybody any idea how Longwing wings can be "tipped with orange" *and* "edged with black and white markings"??? We're bashing up desks and tablets trying to work this out.

Amnesia Diary (spoiler!!!)
Finally finished the damn game! Agrippa - whose dead husk I found hanging in a torture area in the nave, but whose essence was perfectly happy to chat with me in a sprightly old voice - had me sever his head and toss it into the portal opened by the orb. This apparently caused the Shadow to kill not only Alexander, but me/Daniel as well. Only I woke up in darkness, with glowing blue lights in the distance, to Agrippa's voice telling his student Johann Weyer that I deserved so much more, and that he was to help me. The last thing Agrippa said before the credits started rolling was, "Don't worry, Daniel, it will be all right." Eh? and just what is Weyer going to do, bring me back to life? or am I joining them "beyond the stars"?

The "revenge" ending - which I got, when I played the finale a second time - was far more satisfying: Daniel killing Alexander, and then walking out of Brennenburg Castle, apparently having been cleansed of his sins by giving Alexander to the Shadow.

Oh, and by the way, I finally found out just what had been chasing me in the darkness:

Seriously, Mr. Google-Eyed Slackjaw??? [dies laughing]

I guess it really  *is* a case of what you can't see being far scarier than what you *do* see. ROFLMAO!
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Finished my dad's Christmas present in the nick of time:

I'm getting them mounted and framed for him next week *after* he's seen them. The mounts will probably be a dark grey-blue, but I'll let him pick the frames.
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Our concert on Saturday night went... a little better than I expected, really. On my part, I managed *not* to mess up the opening for West Side Story (even if it wasn't as legato as it was meant to be because I sacrificed a little smoothness to make sure I managed to hit the notes at all), and didn't panic when the trumpets somehow missed their re-entry in E.T. The Extraterrestrial (how did that even happen...), leaving me to carry the theme on my own for eight gut-wrenching bars. Public reception was generally good, and it was nice that the people I invited enjoyed themselves, even if my mother never managed to work out which parts I was playing. (I was playing the duet with the trombone for the German Carols, mom!).

Went out and got myself two books yesterday: 

1. Andras Szunyoghy's Anatomy Drawing School: Animal. Szunyoghy's (I hate typing his name >.<) Human Anatomy for Artists is my personal bible, and sits on my music stand when there's no music on it, so I was delighted to find this other volume because this man *rocks* at anatomy. I've always had trouble drawing animal movement, mostly because I've never actually had the chance to observe said animals but also because I knew doodly-squat about their musculoskeletal systems. This book not only illustrates the complete skeletons and musculature of select mammals from various angles, but also separate bones and muscle masses as well as the movement of their limbs/bodies and the corresponding position of the bones during said movement. It's too bad the book doesn't cover avians as well; *that* is another area I know very little about, and could use an anatomy book to help me with.

2. Geoffrey Abbott's Execution: The Guillotine, the Pendulum, the Thousand Cuts, the Spanish Donkey, and 66 Other Ways of Putting Someone to Death. Probably not everybody's choice of bedtime reading, but I've always been fascinated by methods of torture and putting people to death - from a purely educational viewpoint, of course. (It's all research!). That, and I suspect that macabre/gruesome books, movies and games are a coping mechanism for when the world gets too stressful or upsetting. [Wait, I already know this: whenever I get upset, I go and kill hordes of zombies with headshots, and feel massively better afterwards.] A bystander should have no claim to distress, but it's nevertheless highly unsettling to watch chaos descend and claim casualties, particularly when they're not anonymous but have names that mean something to the observer, and having no right or business or way to do anything about it.


Dec. 1st, 2010 11:33 am
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Burning a hole in my reputation, and having a ball of a time doing it. And I can't even show the WIPs.

I'm going to have to make sure my art beta never finds this picture.

In other news, I have finished my Christmas shopping, haha. Oh, the beauty of shopping online - you never have to set foot in an actual, physical shop, and you don't have to force your way through crowds and be touched by somebody's hair by accident and wait forever in line while rude foreign tourists attempt to force their way ahead of you. *g*
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Having to run from the Tank alone *once* is not cool. Having to do it *twice* in ten minutes suggests you did something very horrible in your past life, and your karma's now biting you in the arse.

Holy Flamin' Tanks! )


My sterling ability to make plans and then completely veer off course amazes me. [shakes head dolefully]

Given that I don't even *like* plants, why in space did I even feel compelled to put so many in this picture?
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There are a whole lot of art projects I should be working on (the barricades thing has gone nowhere!), and what do I do instead? Draw zabraks.

At least it's less embarrassing than the original, which I did four years ago?


Oct. 31st, 2010 10:08 pm
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Steve celebrates Halloween with intimacy, his own way.

Happy Halloween, y'all!
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So I was going through some of my old backup CDs tonight, checking to see what was in them, when I found a number of truly horrible things that served to remind me that some things should *never* be unearthed again.

On the other hand, perhaps this will serve as a lesson for everybody else who reads this post.

Now, as anybody who's known me from the old KotOR Fan Media Forum days, I was first inspired to learn to draw properly in December 2005 after seeing all the incredible fan art by the likes of Aimo and Eji. But what people didn't know, and what I apparently blocked out for the past five years, was that, two months before *that*, I attempted to do a digitally coloured picture:

[the reference for the woman's face was Kate Beckinsale. Yes, that's how bad I mangled it]

And there's this, drawn in the same month, which I didn't even remember drawing until I found it in my old folder (another case of suppressed traumatic memories? haha):

Don't ask. Just don't.

I also found a couple of equally horrible pictures dating back to my early days of portraiture and digital painting, both time-stamped February 2006:

I'm assuming it's so bad you can't even tell who that is; it's Uma Thurman from The Producers...

[Also known as, "The time when the women Far drew didn't even look female", according to Natalie. Or, for that matter, human...]

And of course there's this truly hideous portrait that everyone from KFM knows, which dates back to the same period (and which was actually referenced from a photo and a couple of pictures, believe it or not):

[it kills me that this picture channels "Jimmy Smits" more than "Carth Onasi". ROFL!]

Mind you, it's not as if I even paint particularly well these days, but back then, if you'd told me that, in four years, I would be painting things like

Invictus by =DarthFar on deviantART


Sun, Surf and Espionage by =DarthFar on deviantART or deviantART


[my latest, not-yet-finished project for a friend]

I'd have said you were bloody fucking insane.

Which goes to show that *anybody* can learn to draw and paint reasonably enough, given enough time. Because if someone like me, who was never regarded as having *any* talent or ability in art when I was in school, can go from "sucks like a black hole" to "adequately mediocre" and learn to draw humans who actually *look* human, there is no reason why *anybody* else can't either. [And claiming, "But I have no talent!" is just a fucking lazy excuse for not working harder at it.]

Oh, and one last, ghastly picture I accidentally unearthed:

Seriously, what the hell was it with that horrible hair?! I can only thank the Force that no larger copies of this photograph exists *anywhere*. [facepalm]
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Page 4 took way, way too long to draw.

But at least I've finished the lines:

There are a couple of things to be fixed before that gets shaded and posted, but it's downhill from here. Page 5 has been sketched, but not lined.

And I've just realised something: barring a couple of small bits, it's pretty much going to be Major Action Sequences from here onward. [facepalm] Ambitious... or just plain nuts?

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