I'm not actually taking part in NaNoWriMo as such - instead I'm making use of the "write something daily" aspect to finally wrap up "Cut The Rose", the final part of my Dragon Age 2 fanfic series "The Apostate Chronicles".
I seem to be putting in about 1.5K-2K words a day at the moment. Not quite the same amounts as I tally when on one of my manic upswings - quite often I've been known to clock 3-5K words a day when the mood is on me. But still quite respectable, I think.
Thursday 1st: Chapter 23, 1428 words
Friday 2nd: Ch. 24, 1490 words
Saturday 3rd: Ch. 25, 2311 words
Sunday 4th: Ch 26, 1838 words
Monday 5th: Ch. 27, 1932 words
At this rate I'll probably have it all wrapped up and finally finished by next weekend if I keep it up at this rate. And then that will be me pretty much finished with the DA fanfic, barring maybe the occasional vignette here or there. Maybe I'll be able to actually get properly stuck into my own original fic - though I must admit the feedback I get every time I post up a new installment does help to keep me motivated to carry on writing, and that's not something you get when you're writing your own stuff. (Unless it's a webcomic. And no, I am so not doing that.)
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1296324.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Shooting stars and astronauts
This evening I looked out my back door just in time to see the International Space Station pass overhead - at the same time as a perseid meteor passed over in the opposite direction. I waved.
It was pretty cool.
(Yes I made a wish. On the shooting star, not the ISS - we all know it's wrong to wish on space hardware....)
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1294389.html"; you may comment either there or here.
<lj-user="naamah_darling"> has a gorgeous little customised My Little Pony up for auction <a href="http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/585615.html">here</a>. He's a handsome little thing with a marvellous paint job and fully rerooted. She's very talented - go look, admire - and hopefully bid!
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1293655.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Doing a face-up: Volks Syo girl
( Click for more images )
I tried the blonde wig on the Syo girl about a week ago and suddenly realised that with the blue glass eyes, she was in fact the reinresination (reincarnation in resin) of Ayame, my first ever BJD, who started out as a vinyl open-eye 60cm Obitsu back in March 2005. I was never entirely happy with the Evenstar face-up she came with anyway, so I took advantage of the warm dry weather to wipe her and redo her properly as Ayame. She fits in with the crew much better now, and it's good to have her character back in a form I'd always wanted her to have anyway.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1293090.html"; you may comment either there or here.
[dolls] Perseus Renewed
I've owned Perseus for 6 years now - it was his anniversary last month - and had never updated his face-up since I first did it back in April 2006. As I had to redo Marius' face-up anyway (I had him in my arms when I had a seizure in the street a couple of months ago and his nose got chipped, neccessitating some careful sanding and reshaping), I figured I might as well redo Perseus.
I'd been putting it off as, whilst my face-up skills are far superior these days, I was still nervous of wiping his old, familiar and very much loved face and not being able to make him Perseus. But whilst the new look isn't quite the same, it's undoubtedly him, thankfully!
( A few more pics. )
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1292555.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Percheron Dreams by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Percheron mare in full gallop; 2 hours speed-painting.
This morning I learned that a friend from the local BJD community had lost her long fight with cancer last Tuedsay. Anja - known as d.ark on Den of Angels & other fora and @ddotark on Twitter - was only in her 20s, and very few of us knew she was ill until the news broke today. She will be very sadly missed by friends, family and the BJD community, and our thoughts are very much with her husband Robert at this difficult time.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1292184.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Tigress by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Female bengal tiger. Painting 28 out of 30 - nearly at the finish! Saturday will be the last painting.
This one was just a quick 1-hour speed-painting job because I'm feeling decidedly mediocre today.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1291903.html"; you may comment either there or here.
White Wolf by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Today's effort is just a quick 1-hour speed-painting piece. It probably looks more impressive than it actually is. Speed-painting animals mostly comes down to knowing how to use layers and brushes. I sketch in the basic features & shape on one layer, then put in a base layer where I block in the colour and blend it, then another layer over that where I add the fur texture with a hair brush in several different shades. Then another layer just under the sketch layer for the eyes, and a final layer right at the top for the white highlights in the eyes and on the nose, and adding whiskers. The shadows behind the wolf are just a simple cloud brush on a base layer under everything else.
Pretty much any painting program will have a selection of suitable brushes; I'm using MyPaint, but there's a huge range to choose from in PhotoShop, Corel, GIMP etc. It basically comes down to exploring your brushes, get used to how they react as you move the stylus, and then practice.
Once this "30 in 30" project is over I might put a basic tutorial together.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1291393.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Today's (unfinished) painting
WIP - fae creature by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Just an hour with the tablet. This morning's restoration efforts don't count as today's 30-in-30 painting; this is unfinished but at least it's something new for today. I could probably finish it with another hour but David & I are both heavy with colds so we've opted for an early night.
Inspired by a rather pretty Cerberus Project EL I saw a little while ago on DA.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1291174.html"; you may comment either there or here.
The Magic of Dance by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
This painting caused me so much stress last night. I got it completely finished and was doing the final save and conversion from a raster file to PNG for resizing in GIMP when MyPaint crashed - taking both ORA and PNG files with it and corrupting them as it did so. (The fact the final file is 12MB was, I think, the main cause for this in retrospect - Dell 10" netbooks have many advantages, but with a max RAM of 2GB they're really not a high-power graphics machine.) All I managed to salvage was an early save file with the first 15 minutes of sketching.
Losing over an hour's worth of work and being unable to post the day's painting due to a software glitch was incredibly infuriating and I swore quite a lot. It was pushing midnight so far too late to start faffing around and attempting to recover something workable - or to come up with something in time. I'd completed the day's painting; I just had no evidence or picture to show for it.
Today I was able to find a temp save file elsewhere in the Linux file structure whilst looking for something else - and with a bit of work I was able to recover almost the whole painting barring a couple of background layers and the top layer of highlights. So I was able to restore and finish the painting again and this time save it safely and upload it. The final painting is, I think, well worth the effort to recover it but it's been very much an excercise in frustration.
The answer is going to be a decent desktop with plenty of RAM, but right now that's not something I can afford (unless I start getting far more commissions or actually start selling prints). So I'm just going to have to be more cautious when saving and take back-ups far more frequently.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1291006.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Red Kite by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
I did get this fijished and uploaded yesterday; I just didn't get around to posting it. Anyway, the painting for day 23 of my "30-in-30" challenge was this red eagle. I don't hve the same affinity for painting birds as I do for painting mammals; the beak in particular gave me a lot of rouble. It's highlighted another area I need to work more on.
4 hours' speed-painting on Wacom Graphire graphic tablet.
On a related note, I'm amused by how many people refer to their "faithful old Intuous tablet" - the Intuous line superceded the Graphire line, but my tablet is still going strong. :-)
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1290751.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Ocelot by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1290263.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Caracal Cub by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Opted for "quick 'n' cute" today - a 2-hour speed-painting of a caracal cub.
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1290107.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Today's (unfinished) painting
Unfinished piece - close-up by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
Today's been rather busy so I didn't get a chance to start on today's painting until gone 10pm, so you get a close-up of the most complete part. I'll be going back and finishing it after the 30 in 30 project is finished.
IN other news (seems to be a lot of that lately) I applied for a job today. £30K PA with TfL, essentially doing my old LUL job at Earl's Court only for London Bus information. Having been out of work for over 6 years, it's all a bit nervewracking....
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1289738.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Today's painting - and good news!!
Pink Rose by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
An hour with the graphics tablet. This one is available as a print on deviantART - and also on coasters and mugs. An ideal housewarming gift for someone perhaps...? ;-)
And there's unexpected brilliant news concerning Frances. This time last night I was sadly resigned to having to say goodbye to her this evening, but to the surprise of everyone she has made an amazing recovery. The anti-emetic jab she had stopped the vomiting, and this morning she actually managed half a sachet of sensitivity-control wet food. She had the other half at lunchtime, and improved so much on the IV fluids that at the point this evening when I thought I'd be saying goodbye to her, instead I was bringing her home!
She's not completely out of the woods yet; we don't know what will happen when the anti-emetic wears off. She could start vomiting again; we don't know. We still don't know what caused it in the first place either; it could have been a delayed reaction to the thyroid pills, or any one of a hundred different things that can go wroung with a 15-year-old cat that's been starving on the streets for who knows how long.
But the main thing is that right now, she's home and safe and alive and as well as can be expected, given her age and condition.
I think Bast must have been smiling on us today. A happy Beltane for us indeed. :-)
Many thanks to everyone who kept their fingers crossed, prayed, and offered good wishes. And Frances says thank you too!
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1289231.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Pinkie-Cav by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
cavalorn is a brony. I've threatened on more than on occasion to paint him as Pinkie-Pie; today I made good on that threat.
Apparently he's tickled pink by his portrait. *ahem*
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1288761.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Tiger In Repose by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
It's another tiger. And now I'm exactly at the halfway point for "30 in 30"!
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1288450.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Today's painting - Day 14
Lion by *ArkadyRose on deviantART
I think I'm getting quicker. Another speed-paint job - this time only 1½ hours.
Tomorrow I'll be halfway through my "30 in 30" project, and thus far despite migraines, an asthma attack and the most gods-awful indigestion I've ever had (seriously - we're talking "unable to move, barely able to breathe" levels of pain, and this from someone with a stupidly-high pain threshold who doesn't notice fractured fingers & toes until they turn black and purple a day later), I haven't missed a single day and have managed to come up with at least something every day, and only failed to finish a painting on one of those days. It's definitely a challenge, but one that thus far I've met pretty well I think. And nearly all these works are available as prints on the deviantART print shop.
So. Anyone want to offer me any paid work and commission me to do a portrait of themselves, partner(s), children, pets?
Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1288333.html"; you may comment either there or here.