Saturday, November 10, 2018

Two Years of Inktober

This year, 2018, marks the second year I tried to participate in the drawing challenge known as Inktober.  Last year was the first go at it, and I did it simply to have a reason to draw again.  I don't do it often.  Granted, its because I'm not very good, or very fast at doing it.  There is a reason I reached for cameras in the first place.

This year I did it because my son really wanted to try again.

I did "succeed" both years.  Some days the drawings weren't good, even by my standards.  The days I put the effort in I learned something.  I thought I'd put some of the ones I like the best out of the 62 drawings I've made the past two Octobers, and mention what makes me stop on them when I thumb through the sketchbook.

The lead picture is done in a style that I like.  It wasn't one I was anywhere near successful with before.  Its the lead picture here because it sums up what Inktober feels like around, I don't know, say, day 18.

This one I liked because it was the first time I tried adding a "frame" behind the subject.  This one was done the first year, and you can see my masking wasn't perfect.  I also used water color paints for the color.  I was also excited to see the description of the sketchbook was not a lie and it handled all media with ease.

This was one was one from this year.  As you can see, I framed the subject again.  This time the masking was spot on.  The color is acrylic ink.  This one I like the pose, and the closest I've gotten to drawing a barefoot correctly.  Yes, I know, its still off, but perhaps it will be perfect in some future drawing.

I like the light blue color vs the bright yellow color in this one.  The colors were provided by Dick Blick's alcohol based markers.  Think Copics, just a lot cheaper and easy to justify for a non-artist.

This one is in here because of the little white highlights that separate the figures. I think they look neat.  The color, again, is acrylic ink.

This one I like 3D feel the varying thickness on the lines convey.  I think it feels pretty cool.

Finally, this one I like because of the sense of not knowing what is next.  This is a pretty common cliche image I think.  But, its common for a reason.

Overall I learned a attempting this exercise.  Since I'm not an "artist" I felt a sense of freedom to just try different styles, and approaches for nearly everything I did.  Some were pretty awful, and others, like these had something in them that I liked.  If it is something you think you would like to try, I encourage you to give it a go!

I used a bunch of different materials, but you really on need paper and a pen.

My material list:  An assortment of nib pens, Speedball black ink, Acrylic Ink, various sized black technical pens, brush pens, a small Crescent sketchbook suitable for all media, Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes for drawing and color application, the previously mentioned markers, annnnnnd pencils.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Gaslands Cars!

Gaslands Trio

Again, its been a little while since the last post where I post up what I've been up to photographically or otherwise.  I've been doing bunch of every little thing, including making pictures, but I haven't used time to post them or write about them here.  I've been doing some modelling and I've had the chance to play a ton of table top games.  This post combines all 3 of those things.

It is going to have a bunch of pictures into how I turned a pack of cars that looked like this when I got them....

.. into the what is shown above.  None of the cars have any pre-built model bits attached to them. Everything either came with them, was scratch built, or was a "found" part.

The game they are for is Gaslands, and if you have any interest in games at all check it out.  The rulebook can be found on Amazon.  The templates and tokens can be made yourself, and the "models" are simply cheap toy cars.

The first thing I did was drill the rivets out on the bottom of the cars to pull them apart.  Unlike, say, Hotwheels these Maisto cars have no interiors.  I then stripped the paint from the bodies, taking car to leave a few flakes in on purpose.  I thought these might look like rust bubbles when I was done.  It sorta worked, but like most things I tried it felt a little out of scale.

I decided to go with one of the chunky cars first.  First I stuck some weapons made from styrene tube into the headlights, and some armor plate to the outside and inside.  I also modified the hood. I primed it up, and then painted in some dark and light areas using a dark grey on the lines, and some white to brighten up other areas.

After getting the car primed, I painted it red.  I added a few layers of highlighting to the car with an airbrush before painting in a few details with a hand brush.  After that I glossed the model, and used oil paints to add weathering effects and details.

The other cars followed similar steps.  Below are some of their "in progress" shots that show some of their process.

Finally here are the cars fully finished, individually, followed by a another shot of all 3 of them together!

Now, maybe get out there, play a game, build a model, or make a picture!!!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Married twenty years today.  I'm not sure any words are needed to describe this.  Except for the twenty written here.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Favorite Shoot of Last Year


As promised, actual photography.

My favorite single picture last year was this one.  It is my favorite for a number of reasons.  First, its a good picture, it wouldn't be my favorite if it wasn't.  But, that particular project was long term.  The fact that it drew to an end also marks a big change in my life, so that is hanging on that one too.  Its funny, this week intersects with that portion of my life too.


But, that isn't why we are here right now.  We are here to explore my favorite overall shoot.  This one was my favorite overall shoot, again, for a number of reasons.  First, I'm happy with the results.  Second, this was a HS Senior shoot, which I really like.  I've said before, it is nice to have that mixture of a kid, an adult, as well as the the wide open future looming ahead.  It was really easy for me, she has been in front of cameras before.

The only hiccup were the jerks in this car.

Pro tip ... don't stop your car in the street, roll down the window, and act like complete [expletives deleted]. Next outing I'm carrying baseballs, and I am not opposed to throwing them through windshields.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Goals (and Failure)

This photo is painful.  See the little red arrows pointing to what is about 1mm of white space?  That 1mm cost me from achieving one of my archery practice goals, which is to get 20x on a 1/2 face at 1/2 distance.  It wouldn't usually be too bad, I have gotten many19x's before, it is pretty much my average.  But this time it was painful.  I felt like I got slapped in the face.

That shot happened on the 3rd arrow of my last end. But I didn't know I missed*, the shot felt right, and its tough to judge the tiny face with fletching blocking the view. The last two shots were center punches, and I went up up to the target thinking I could check off one more goal.  But no, I'm still chasing this one.  But I'll get it.  But, it wasn't today.

It got me thinking about goals, disappointment, failure, last year, and a few other things.

The first thing I noticed when I looked back at my photo goals from last year one thing stood out.  I didn't actually do any of them.  The car one gave me a lot of anxiety, because I desperately want to do it, I just haven't gotten any timing to work!  Its one of those I need to find collaborators for and that hasn't gone so well so far.

The other one, well, that one should have been easy.  But, alas, it was not done either.

However, they were the only two goals I didn't achieve last year.  But, still, I had targets and missed them.

This year I have one photography goal.  Shoot more, shoot to have fun, and share more. I also really want to shoot cars with my pinhole camera, I have for two years.  I have all the stuff I need except the cars!

Archery.  I want to do some organized shooting outside.  I also want to get a target bow.  But, the latter is a want not a goal, so we'll see.

Bookwise, I like the pace I have had for the last 5 or so years, but I am behind.  I need to pick up my game to maintain it this year.  I have two waiting for me on my Kindle right now!

Otherwise, I'll participate in activities as the mood strikes.

Next post will be photos from my favorite outing of last year.

*I still am unsure why I missed. Which is troubling me greatly at the moment!  😄

*Update* - 1 Week Later.... I got all 20.  The last few were a bit dicey.  I was much calmer last week.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Even More Models


It has been quite a while since my last post. I will do better. I will visit last year's goals (a disaster for the most part), and discuss what I plan to do this year with this blog. One of the things I have done that was on my goal list was to build up models. You see, I ended up with a large stash (for me) of Bandai Star Wars kits. There was some concern that the Disney Banhammer was going to prevent these kits from being sold in the US, so I bought many of them. From what I understand "real" modelers are not bothered by large amounts of unbuilt kits sitting around. However, it is driving me nuts, so I am working my through them.


The latest two I finished were an X-wing fighter kit that I kept fairly clean, and Darth Vader's Tie Fighter Advanced to chase it around.  As an aside, the Bandai Tie Fighter models might be a good choice for you if you are interested in building a Star War's kit but do not want to paint it.  You could use a marker to line the panel markings, apply the kit-supplied stickers on the interior, and spray it with a rattle-can of Testor's Dull Cote to take the sheen off. It would look pretty good.  You could even decide to go "crazy" and look up on Youtube how to use a wash to accent the panel lines and dirty up the surface a little bit.

Tie Fighter Advanced

I also built another little SD Zaku II kit, to go with my first one.  I added some of my own details to his shield, helmet, and some armor enhancements with plasticard bits.  I also used some after market decals.

It is a little ironic I did the "grunt" figure much better than the hero one.  But, that is to be expected.  I was just learning how to airbrush with that first model, and I've done a few more kits since then.

Don't worry, this will not become a blog about models.  In fact, the next actual content post will be about my favorite photo shoot from last year.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More models

Alas, probably not the models you thought when you saw the title.  More on that below.

Roughly a year ago, I finished I completely finished the first model kit I had done in a long, long time.  I quickly followed that with the second kit.  That one I was pretty motivated to work on diligently because gifts have deadlines.

This year I finished a few more.  I did an older SD Gunpla kit I had lying around from a while ago.  It isn't pictured.

I painted up a starter box for Privateer Press' Warmachine game.  They are painted to a gaming standard.

I am nearly complete with Star Wars Snowspeeder kit from Bandai.  I need to matte coat it when the weather hasn't made my house as humid as a sauna.  I also built the Trooper figure from Bandai's Star Wars Speederbike kit.

I'm not much of a model builder, so this is a bit unusual.

I haven't done as many pictures as I'd like, partially because of all these things probably.  However, I want to change that.  I am looking for people that will spend an hour or two with me to work on chasing "one" picture together.  During that time, I also want to capture a frame or two with my pinhole camera -- those will be experimental, and likely feel slow and fiddly while were making them.  

I'm interested in doing portraits of individuals, no groups, etc.  Anyone interested?