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Day 112

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dita sketch

Quick Sharpie sketch of Dita von Teese. Not bad overall, but I ended up badly screwing up the proportions and made her face so tall I had to shrink it vertically about 10%, which ... actually, wasn't so bad, compared to the original:

dita headshot

Ran across a more fetish-themed image of her as I was trying to design a waitress for a scene in SPIRAL NEEDLE; I judged said picture was too steamy for this drawing series, and the waitress ended up in a different outfit anyway, so you get a sketch of a glamour shot instead.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

P.S. 1700+ words on SPIRAL NEEDLE. Ahead of the wordcount, behind on how much I need to do to catch up, but at least, catching up is happening now.

 

 

Day 111

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troughton sketch

Super quick sketch of Patrick Troughton. Drawing every day. And wrote 1100 words.

-the Centaur

Day 110

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nielsen sketch

Sharpie sketch of Leslie Nielsen, another actor who has played a vampire (came up with Dakota mocking (in her head) a vampire she met). Roughed in non-repro blue, which was surprisingly easy to remove in Photoshop, but actually made it a little bit hard to tweak the roughs to get the landscape right (hence the tilted smile) and Sharpies, while forcing me to work quickly and helping me learn the role of blacks and whites in composition, are still doing no favors on the rendering.

nielsen headshot

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

P.S. 1900+ words on SPIRAL NEEDLE. Onward.

Day 109

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centaur sketch

Sketch of myself during the Write to the End writing group reading sessions. Eh, meh on the quick sketch, but I've got writing to do more than I need to be sketching.

centaur picture

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 108 and Camp Nano 12

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moore sketch

Quick Sharpie sketch of Roger Moore. Head's a bit squashed, but it's not too bad. I admit, I threw my first drawing away and made myself start over, rather than deal with one messed up line in his right jawline. It's interesting to me how much of the character of even a very young Roger Moore is made up not just by that whale of a jaw, but by the subtle lines all over his face. He was strangely old even when young.

moore picture

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

P.S. Only ~800 words today, which was quite a struggle. Roger Moore came up very tangentially when Dakota was snarking about a vampire looking like a cross between Roger Moore and Leslie Nielsen.

Instead of a $1000 Monitor, Try a $12 Cable

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three monitors

So, I have this particular type of multi-monitor setup I prefer - with a laptop screen abutting two other monitors, one horizontal, one vertical - but I couldn't quite do that here on my personal setup, at least not at first, because I didn't want to buy any more monitors after buying that Wacom behemoth, and eventually, the perfectly good ones from the old house will get shipped.

But I had a couple of spare old monitors from previous computers, long since retired - so old that only the DVI ports work, though one of them has an HDMI port I don't think I got to work. After lots of flickering, the oldest one of them finally gave up the ghost, but the other was able to slot into the same place. (It's on the left, above, with Roger Moore's mug from my Drawing Every Day session on it.) While can't rotate vertically like the other, it worked, at least, and I could use it.

Then it started flickering too.

Now, three or four things could be happening here. First, it could be a flaky old monitor screen, natch. Second, it could be a problem with the monitor's plug, since jiggling the software cable often fixed it; on the same grounds, I ruled out a device driver issue. Third, since it happened to two monitors attached to the same laptop with the same cable into the same port, it could be the laptop itself giving up the ghost.

So, after putting up with this for weeks, if not months, I finally started to look into new monitors. Apparently, the monitor I want costs roughly a thousand dollars with shipping, but I know I want that monitor because I have one in California waiting to be shipped here.

Then I thought back to my diagnosis.

Two monitors, plugged into the same laptop on the same port ... with the same cable.

Now, for various reasons, I can't swap the ports around much (the Wacom is SUPER finicky about what it wants it's 15,000 cables to attach to, and if you LOOK at it funny the stylus stops working) and I couldn't try a different cable because, THANK YOU, Apple and the rest of the computer industry, for changing the ports on all your laptops so my box of cables from previous setups is now virtually USELESS.

But I could order a $12 dollar USB-C to DVI cable off Amazon.

It arrived today. I plugged it in an hour or so ago.

The ten-year-old monitor? Working just fine.

Moral of the story: make sure to vary all of your variables when you are debugging, or you'll possibly trick yourself into the moral equivalent of spending a lot of unnecessary cash.

-the Centaur

Day 107 and Camp Nano 11

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apsara sketch

Quick Sharpie sketch of an Apsara dancer, a mythical spirit appearing in Southeast Asian cultures. Came up in some tangential research for a scene in Dakota Frost #7, SPIRAL NEEDLE, but decided this was too rich a mine of mythology for a throwaway line, so I ended up using something else.

apsara dance

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Oh, and on Camp Nano: just got ~1000 words so far. Not sure why I got fewer words when I had more to do yesterday than today. Perhaps I need to break more paintings?

Day 106 and Camp Nano 10

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mongkut sketch

Quick Sharpie sketch of King Mongkut of Thailand, the famous king from The King and I, and also, not a bad mathematician and astronomer. Tangentially came up in today's Dakota Frost Camp Nano adventure (2300+ words today, still behind, but catching up). The real guy's head is more egg-shaped, and the left eye has an iris placement mistake: we are near the limit of what I can do with a Sharpie, but it's still the best tool I have to keep myself drawing when it's super late and I'm tired.

mongkut headshot

Drawing. Every. Day.

-the Centaur

My Review of the Studio Decor 24×36 Picture Frame

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frame, broken

I do not like this picture frame. While the wood border is beautiful and it handsomely frames posters, the attachment is an awkwardly placed pair of hooks, roughly 1/3 of the way down the frame and an inch inside the outer edges, making it almost impossible to hang levelly, or evenly, or at the right height.

In fact, I'd say that the placement is so awkward it actively thwarts "measure twice, cut once" in that on at least three or four different occasions (with two different poster frames, apparently not having learned my lesson trying to level the first one) I have measured the hook placement twice, or more than twice - most recently, using two different rulers, including a t-square - and after double and triple checking it, finding that the hooks are too far apart, or once moved closer, are not quite level, or, once leveled, are a whole inch to the right from where they should be, despite the fact that you measured the center and the hooks both against the sides of the wall upon which it was going, so, what the hell, Danielewski?

poster, damaged

Also, this frame does not well protect posters when thrown across the room. But it does make a very satisfying crashing sound, and the remains of the frame are well suited for pulling a 2001: A Space Odyssey monkey-smashing-the-bones-with-a-club re-enactment.

Sigh. "I don't have an anger management problem, just an anger problem." Sigh. And it's not like it was a great poster, but, hell, it's impossible to replace. And I checked.

Time to find a new frame - with a proper wire or central attachment, either of which enables you to add a single central hook, and to slightly adjust the angle and centering of the picture.

"We call it living."

-the Centaur

 

Day 105 (and Camp Nano Day 9)

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capaldi sketch

Sharpie sketch of Peter Capaldi from the Doctor Who episode "The Pilot," which is lightweight in tone and stakes but stands up surprisingly well to repeated viewings, especially Capaldi's knockout speech about time in the beginning, the Doctor's amazing office, and the introduction of the TARDIS.

The sketch is ... OK. Slightly squashed, and I'm still doing eyes too big (likely a function of the Sharpie sketches, which put a minimum size on the features I can draw). But it ... kinda looks like him? His head's not turned the right way, and I still have trouble getting the "landscape" of the face right.

capaldi drawing

Still, drawing every day.

-the Centaur

P. S. Only got ~50 words on Camp Nano, but I feel good about those words, as they're stitching parts of a scene together so I can really roll with it tomorrow. 11K words behind, but I've been behind worse.