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It's been a while since I had an art project. I kinda miss having you know, personal goals.

I'm supposed to be in some horrid suburb of Houston at someone else's Christmas party right now. And I really don't want to go but I should. I guess I'll take a sketchbook, or something.

You guys let me know if this keeps on showing up on your friends page... :/

Rules, Regulations, & Conditions:
1// You must create one artwork for each of the themes listed.
2// Pictures are only to be done by traditional media or paint programs/ e.g photoshop.
3// These must be your pieces of art that you made, and abide by all d.a policies.
4// There is no time limit, enjoy.
5// Keep the list updated, when you complete a piece of art, put a strike through it and a link next to it.

Completed: 21/100
In Progress: 0/100

THE LIST...............Collapse )

Note: to see all at once click on "the list" tag.

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3/13/09: new use for this thing - illustration ideas.

black bile (a la spirited away). Juxtapose against light colors, of course.
Traps - asn, of course. DUH.

health/fitness stuff

Just a quick note because I've been doing completely unnecessary calculations since I'm at work and therefore am willing to do anything aside from actually work and also hate to calculate things and then not write them down for future reference:

If I wanted to lose 5 lbs and I wanted to do it by July (4 months) and I continue my regiment of light exercise (See, that's so subjective. I think I exercise quite a lot, thankyouverymuch, but apparently not according to _their_ descriptions.) then I should consume no more than 1,738 calories a day. Given that and what I actually had today:

Half a subway's sandwich: 665 cals
Slice of cake for my boss's birthday: 232 cals
about 16 girl scout cookies: 520

which is 1417 total which means for dinner I should have something equal to or less than 321 calories or about a quarter of a subway's sandwich.

...eh heh. Wow 1738 calories really isn't a lot of food at all. I'm pretty sure if I had had a soda (170 cal for a coca cola) with lunch and then another soda at any other time today that would take care of all the calories I should be able to consume right there.

Although none of this math actually means anything without knowing one's basal metabolic rate, of course, which my boss says is the real important thing in terms of energy balance. I guess he would know since well, researcher in the field and all.

Lazyman's stuffed peppers

This is a lazy variation on stuffed peppers that takes out the stuffing and the baking, so you can realistically get this done in maybe about 15 mins prep time, 15 mins cook time instead of the 1.5 hrs that stuffed peppers usually takes. Well, assuming you have leftover rice you need to use up.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
1 lb beef
1 onion
2 bell peppers
a few cloves of garlic
1 egg
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 tsp salt

1. Open and simmer diced tomatoes (liquid too!) with chicken bouillon.
2. Dice up the following: 1 onion, 2 bell peppers, garlic.
3. Brown 1 lb of beef, salt, drain, and set aside.
4. Heat up 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp olive oil.
5. Cook onions and garlic until translucent, set aside.
6. I'm too lazy to heat up my rice properly, so at this point I just dump cold rice into the wok and let it heat up.
7. Add the simmered tomatoes, bouillon cube should've melted by now.
8. Add bell peppers, onions/garlic, beef.
9. Remove from heat temporarily and crack 1 egg into mixture - stir until everything's well coated. Try to avoid the bottom of the pan, as that will prematurely cook the egg.
10. Cover and allow to cook for a few more mins, until peppers are tender.
11. Eat.

Drawwwwwr!!!

So over the last few weeks it's been my goal to finally make myself bored enough to draw again. I think I'm starting to understand that drawing's not something I do when I'm depressed; it's something I do when I'm bored of everything else. It just so happens that depression makes one unable to enjoy things, and things become boring easily. Anyway, if this is true... then I don't have to be a fucked-up artist! I can be a happy, well-rounded artist. :D

I cancelled my WoW account some time back, and that's kinda like a heroine addict swaddling themselves in kevlar to avoid the temptation to shoot up, and my flash games and books and TV shows are finally (thank god) starting to feel routine and boring. Since then, I've managed to produce a few (crappy) sketches here and there but nothing substantial, and certainly nothing rewarding.

Then about a week ago I picked up Corel Painter XI. You can d/l a free 30-day trial at their website; I highly recommend it because the program is AWESOME. It's pretty clunky like any imaging program but unlike Photoshop with its myriad filters and cloning stamps and workflow for designers, photographers, etc, Painter is actually for painters.

Not, of course, that there isn't a learning curve, but I imagine that it's a lot less steep if you're already used to Photoshop. Many of the keyboard shortcuts are the same (although annoyingly, many aren't the same at all.)

I've spent the better part of this weekend fucking around in it, and I really mean fucking around. My first few sketches were awful. They made me want to puke just to look at them. But just now, I've finally figured out how to get a painterly brush in painter, at least the way I want to paint, anyhow... and it feels great. Ahhhhh... this is the kind of high you can only get through drawing, I think. God, I'm such a junkie.

Anyway:



I've decided that I've outgrown anime and manga. Don't get me wrong - the stuff is awesome - but like American comics, the artwork is shorthand in order to tell a story. The images are composed of rather simple shapes and defined by linework, and while naturally many people have taken it upon themselves to significantly expand the repertoire of shapes and lines that are allowed within the genre, the whole process is still much less intensive than realism, which I think is much more difficult, and therefore deserving of my focus.

Oh, and the brush I like: It's under pens, the Thick an' Thin brush. In its natural state, it's wonderful for linework, but if you enlarge the tip and drop the opacity down to about 20%, it's awesome for painting! The irony is that a pen tool is a better painter brush than... well, any of the painting brushes I tried out.

Okay, midnight, and time for bed. Work tomorry, after all.
I can't get excited about cataclysm but I'm totally psyched about Gemcraft: Labrynth.

It's a flash TD game that, like Disgaea, takes grinding to an epic level.

*sigh*

Well, at least my hobbies are cheap.
So my new thing lately is beans.

Advantages:
  • Provides plenty of protein (better for your body)
  • Costs fewer resources to produce than protein from meat (better for planet)
  • Cheap! (better for wallet)
  • Unlike meat, keeps extremely well in both dried & canned forms (better for laziness)

    And so long as you keep enough meat in your diet to get enough B12 or take vitamin supplements, you won't have any deficiencies.

    #1: I found this recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/black_bean_croquettes_with_fresh_salsa.html

    And it sounded really good, and uses primarily ingredients that we keep on hand anyway. But yesterday I had already cracked open and drained a can of black beans when I realized - no tomatoes, no cilantro, no avocadoes! Crap. But we had some diced tomatoes in the pantry so I used that instead and just skipped the cilantro and avocados. The mixture turned out a lot more watery, so if using canned tomatoes, drain really well! Mine didn't hold their shape and ended up more like cookies, but if the liquid is drained better I'm sure they'd be easier to form.

    Anyway this thing was totally delicious, and bakes easily. 20-25 mins at 450 is perfect. Highly recommended.

    #2: Mung beans like Dr. V makes

    Mung beans have to be picked up at an asian store. There's just no way around it. But the excellent part is that one small, inconspicuous packet makes a literal TON, and they don't go bad in the dried form, so you can stock up a 6 month supply and it doesn't take up that much room in your pantry. The kind I get comes in little square packets about 6" x 6" and HALF of one makes a wok full.

    The beans have to be soaked for at least a day at RT. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.

    Ingredients:
    Mung beans (.75 cup dried, soaked in water)
    Onions (1-2 large)
    Garlic (5-6 cloves)
    Cumin (2-3 tsp or to taste)
    Salt (2 tsp)
    +whatever chopped veggies you like - I added mushrooms and the other half can of diced tomatoes left over from the black bean recipe.

    Dice onions and slice garlic.
    Heat oil in wok on high
    Fry until onions are lightly carmelized
    Add mung beans
    Add ~1/2 cup water
    Cover, simmer ~30 mins to 1 hr or until beans are soft.

    If you forget about it and let it simmer for several hours (like I did last night) you'll end up with a similar product but in a different color - the beans turn brown after that amount of time. But are still yummy!

    #3 Apple crumble:

    This I didn't actually know if it would work since I didn't get it from a recipe but the concept is really simple so I didn't see how I could screw it up - it's basically apples, sugar, cinnamon, and crumble - butter/flour/sugar/salt on top. But because I'd never made it or anything similar before, I didn't know what to expect from the intermediary stages.

    Anyway so first you cut up some apples into little chunks, and then you take all those chunks and you dump them in a pot, add about 1-2 tbsp brown sugar and then ~1 tsp cinnamon or to taste, a little bit of water, and then let it simmer. When the apples are soft and the sharp cut edges are rounded, you can stir in a little water/starch mixture (~1-2 tsp starch in enough water to dissolve it in) and that will thicken the sugary sauce. Alternatively, you can also use lemon juice to thicken, but be prepared to be cleaning sticky crap off of practically everything - lemon juice + sugar is also a recipe for a type of adhesive.

    The resulting apples are SOOOO delicious. They are a million times better than that canned crap that you usually get with pies.

    Then you prepare the crumble (soften 1 stick butter in microwave, add to 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup oats + 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp salt, mix until crumbly) and then sprinkle on top of apples; bake at 375 until topping is golden brown.

    Top with vanilla ice cream and serve.

    Yum!
  • So it's 9:46 and I'm done with my work for the day.

    *yawns*

    7 hours a day of pretending to be busy sucks!

    Maple sausage patties

    Up until yesterday, I thought that sausage patties were some immensely complicated arcane creation achievable only through Jimmy Dean or equivalent.

    Sooooo not true. Sausage patties are the easiest things in the world.

    The most important thing is to remember to taste some of the sausage while you're making it to make sure it tastes how you want it to. I made meatballs once without tasting them and they turned out really salty.

    Anyway, maple sausage patties:

    1 lb ground pork
    3 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tsp+ salt
    2 tsp ground coriander (I only had whole coriander seeds so I just stuffed them in a plastic bag muffled by a paper towel and crushed them with the back of an ice cream scoop)
    pepper to taste

    These turned out great. They tasted like they could use some heat though, so the next time I make them I'll crush some red peppers and try that out. A few notes on making sausage patties:

    If freezing (an excellent idea) you should use wax paper.
    To cook, heat pan to sizzling, but then dial the temperature down to med-high or medium, since this is pork and you want to cook it thoroughly to inactivate any pathogens that may be in the meat.

    Tags:

    the bug's bit me.

    :/ Someone's gotta analyze the link between "urge to draw" and "time to sleep."

    It's not nearly ready for public viewing yet. (by a long shot... a long, long shot. The length of the shot would be hilariously comical if it didn't make me want to cry.) If I didn't suck so much I'd be much further along but uh... mistakes and experience and learning and blah blah blah.

    This should technically count as like, 4 pictures since I keep reworking the framework. And the saddest part? I don't have anything else but the main focus nailed down. No background, no supporting props... which means another several hours - maybe days - maybe longer - to figure out what the hell I'm going to do with all that.

    Why can't I just be amazing now without having to work for it? *whine*
    Life's good.

    I'm currently doing jack diddly squat at work, but at least that's soon going to change once we get our mice and we can start doing experiments. Doing nothing at work creeps me out. I feel like someone's going to get mad at me for doing nothing but play on Kongregate all day. (Getting loads of badges, though!) Meanwhile, biking twice a day and yoga 3 times a week is completely awesome. I always feel so much more balanced when I'm working out on a regular basis. I'm just hoping that Adrian and I don't move too far anytime soon, and that the lady who's teaching our yoga class (incidentally one of my ex-student's mom - small world) doesn't quit teaching it.

    Actually another mom in our yoga class had a kid in one of my art classes too.

    I miss teaching! I had so much power over the young and it gave me a great chance to rub shoulders with the Chinese community.

    Anyway the job's great, I feel swell, I can afford dick around a bit with money now, and attempting to be social is not wearing me down too much. I think this has to do with the fact that there's at least one person I genuinely like here. She reminds me of Flor (Sofia's mom) in a lot of ways. There's also one other guy who's here who reminds me of Eric and that's... creepy. I try to not think about Eric. He was interesting to learn about since he's so different from me but he didn't really inspire me as a person... quite the opposite actually.

    But on the whole people are real nice and friendly here and it's nice that I get to see my mom regularly.

    It's weird but I really like my mom now that we don't have to live together. She knows all my favorite foods and brings them for me! Like dates - I'd never had a non-dried date before but fresh dates are soooooooooooo good.

    Time to head home.