Thinking Outside the Box

Jul. 29th, 2014 10:27
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Dan

-By Dan dos Santos


Oftentimes, I'll get a client that tell me to paint 'whatever I want'. As good as that may sound at first, it's actually quite intimidating. There are a limitless amount of things I could paint, and without some sort of direction, I flounder, usually resulting in a mediocre piece.

I've realized in recent years, that from a creative point of view, I flourish under restrictions. Maybe it's a restrictive subject matter, or a difficult template, or even something as simple as a specific palette choice. However simple, or complex, the restriction... I like having one. The inherent problems immediately causes me to come up with solutions, and ideas begin flowing quickly from there.

After all, you can't think outside the box, unless someone puts you inside a box first.

Artist David Jablow recent completed a series of drawing that I feel capture this sentiment perfectly.

David took a vintage doodle pad with an adult theme, and rather than going with the most obvious solution, he came up with literally dozens of alternative solutions... all of them surprising and wildly creative.







The drawings are fantastic in their own right. But I suspect that David wouldn't have been half as creative if he allowed himself to just draw 'a woman doing whatever'. Having that difficult restriction gave him something to push off from.

The next time you're stumped for something to draw, try challenging yourself. Limit your options a little, or give yourself a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. You'll surprise yourself with the great solutions that come out of it.

You can see dozens more of David's solutions at his Tumblr page:
http://doityourselfdoodler.tumblr.com/

Or check out his Flickr page which also contains a lot of his preliminary sketches too:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidjablow/

(no subject)

Jul. 29th, 2014 16:24
astridv: by <lj user="inkvoices"/lj> (Default)
[personal profile] astridv
My internet is back! Internet, I missed you so!
Last night we got the rain of the century. Another weather record broken, sigh. I'm immensely grateful we're living on the outskirts of town on what passes for a hill in Westphalia... half the city was underwater last night.
Hope all my fellow Northern German flisters are okay, with hopefully dry basements.
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Daumier, Riders on an Omnibus, 1864

Chuck Klosterman, ethicist for the New York Times, ponders whether it's OK to sketch strangers on the subway. His basic point is that:

"If you’re in public, people are allowed to look at you. This can be creepy and annoying, but it’s not unethical. If the individual scrutinizing you starts sketching your face, you can say, “Don’t do that,” and the person should stop (out of normal human courtesy). But the act is not inherently unethical."


Here are a few excerpts from the many comments after the piece:
  • "I am amused in this day of pervasive smart phone cameras that someone is concerned with the "invasiveness" of a hand drawn sketch."
  • "It's always best to ask permission if the activity is obvious or intrusive."
  • "I am a stealth sketcher. The way I do it, although they know I am drawing, they can't tell who I am drawing. I draw them when they are distracted, sleeping, reading or on the telephone so they don't notice."
I believe it's helpful to consider what might be going on in the mind of of the person being sketched:

Why is the artist interested in drawing me? 
Should I hold still?
Will he make me look good? 
How long will it take? 
Will I get to see the sketch afterward? 
If I like it, can I put it on Facebook?
Are they going to try to sell it to me? 
How are they going to use it? 
(Young woman's perspective might be) Is he hitting on me?

If the person being sketched is preoccupied with their phone or their book and doesn't notice the artist, the artist is under no obligation to tell them they're being sketched, and doing so could make the person self-conscious. But once the subject and the artist lock eyes, all the questions start playing in the subject's head. 

The artist can alleviate all the anxieties by addressing the questions in a friendly opener, such as: 

"Hi, I'm just getting some practice sketching people, hope you don't mind. Keep doing what you're doing. I'll be done in five more minutes and I'll show you when I finish." 

If they look annoyed after that, I'd probably try someone else, but nine times out of ten, you will have erased their worries and perhaps made a friend. 

Sometimes you're sitting too far away to make such a friendly request, or you're dealing with a language barrier and in that case, I have held up the sketchbook to face them, smiled, and raised my eyebrows, and pointed from the sketch to them, which helps clear the air a bit. That gives them the opportunity to decline politely nonverbally, by waving a finger or frowning.

If you're in a waiting room where you might wish to do a portrait with a lot more commitment, rather than stealth sketching, it's best to get permission and set the terms at the outset. Then you can say something like, "Hey, are you going to be around here a while? I'm an artist traveling around here, and I'd love to sketch your portrait while we talk." Asking permission up front from parents is also a good idea if you're a man sketching children in public places.

Many times people line up, wanting to be drawn or painted. In this case, I was painting a street scene on a rainy day, and a father and daughter came up to look at the painting and chat for a bit. Before they walked on, I asked them, "After you cross the street and get to the blue sign, would you mind holding a walking pose for a minute or so?" They did so, very willingly, and then turned around afterward to give me a happy wave goodbye.

Medical beta?

Jul. 29th, 2014 00:04
sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
[personal profile] sholio
I used to have several people on my flist with a medical background of whom I could ask medical questions. However, I think most of those people have wandered away from fandom/LJ over the past few years, and for my [community profile] marvel_poc fic (rough draft is finished, yay! \o/) I really need to run a medical scene past someone who has some kind of medical knowledge -- nurse, paramedic, doctor, something like that. It's a field surgery/paramedic scene. I can either ask you questions or send you the scene to look at, and I'd be happy to reciprocate with my own beta-reading assistance, writing you a ficlet if we share any fandoms, something like that.

Help?

Books!

Jul. 29th, 2014 00:55
[syndicated profile] daniellieske_feed

Posted by noreply@blogger.com (Daniel Lieske)


While I'm working on the launch preparations for Chapter 6 I've got some news about new Wormworld Saga books. The second volume of the German book edition has just been released. Above you can see a picture from the Wormworld Shop where you can buy a signed and stamped "Artist Edition" of the book. On the right menue strip of the blog you will also find a link to Amazon.

And then I visited my publisher last Friday and got my hands on one of the books from the second edition of the first volume which has received a new cover artwork:


On the left you have the old cover and on the right the new one. Another destinction of the two editions is that the first one comes with a small collector's print of "The Journey Begins". This print is not included in the second edition. The first edition is not longer distributed but you'll might be able to find some of the first edition books at selected book stores. Currently we also still have a dozen of those available at the Wormworld Shop.

And to all international readers: there soon will be the chance to get an English book through the kickstarter campaign that's going to be launched together with Chapter 6.

Nimona

Jul. 28th, 2014 23:26
sholio: Colorful abstract tree art with "friendshipper" text on it (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
Does anyone out there read the webcomic Nimona? (Okay, I know at least one of you does.)

BECAUSE I REALLY NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF UPDATES.

Spoilers up to the current page can be assumed in comments.

Hiiii.

Jul. 28th, 2014 22:31
killabeez: (Default)
[personal profile] killabeez
Tired. Frazzled. Life stuff. [fill in blanks]

Hey, does anyone remember a comm from a few years back where people watched vids in fandoms they knew nothing about, and then wrote commentary on the vids? Like, using the vid as a fandom interpretive lens? I remember that as being very amusing, and I would like to find it again. Any help appreciated!

so you think the world is weird?

Jul. 28th, 2014 23:38
seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
In case anyone missed this:

Satanic Temple seeks Hobby Lobby-style exemption from anti-abortion laws

Thank you, yahoo news; I can state with perfect honesty that I didn't see this coming.

you glow inside my head

Jul. 28th, 2014 21:48
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I got the monthly "heads up your period's due in five days" email. Today, I got my period. THERE WERE NOT FIVE DAYS BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY. I MUST PROTEST.

*

[livejournal.com profile] chicklet_girl is visiting our fair city, so we met up for dinner tonight. It was a lot of fun. And now I think I'm ready for bed.

*

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2014 19:48
nestra: Uhura at her console with the caption "Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am" (Uhura old school)
[personal profile] nestra
Thoughts on recent media reconsumption:

Oh, Star Trek V. What the hell. In a sort of objective sense, it could be a worse movie.

Okay, no, I just got to the part where God showed up. I don't actually think it could be much worse. But the part that really chaps my ass is the complete assassination of canon about Vulcans. No, Sarek was not married before Amanda. A Vulcan who rejects Vulcan teachings does not then act exactly the same as a human. No, Spock was not BORN IN A CAVE, WTF.

Almost worth it for the bit where God starts shooting people with fricking laser beams from his eyes.

I'm also in the middle of a Harry Potter reread. In retrospect, it's really obvious how much of Harry's bad behavior and poor decision-making comes from the fact that he's fucking traumatized. Poor Harry.

I also am nursing my little theory of evolution. Goblet of Fire is where we find out about Neville's parents, and it's the first mention of the Unforgivable Curses. I think Neville does a lot of growing up in this book, really confronting what happened to his parents. And when Voldemort comes back, Neville's got the chance to fight that same battle. And he fights that fucking battle. Because maybe he's not the smartest, maybe he's not the most talented, but he can be the one who just keeps fighting.

I look forward to Neville Longbottom, leader of the motherfucking resistance.

Segler am Abend

Jul. 28th, 2014 19:14
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
A sailing boat in the evening light, on the Müggelsee…

Ein Segler im Abendlicht auf dem Müggelsee…



5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

If you would like to purchase this daily painting, please send your bid by email. Startprice 150 Euro. End of sale July 29th, 2014 at 6.00 pm (local time Berlin Germany). Terms of Sale and Right of Withdrawal.

Wenn Sie dieses Tagesbild erwerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihr Gebot per email . Mindestpreis 150 Euro. Ende des Verkaufs gegen Höchstgebot am 29. Juli 2014 um 18 Uhr. Beachten Sie bitte die Informationen zu den Verkaufsbedingungen sowie die Widerrufsbelehrung.

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

OTW Fannews: Global Fandom

Jul. 28th, 2014 11:34
otw_staff: Janita OTW Communications Staffer (Janita OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW Fannews Banner: Global Fandom

Conflicts occur while fans try to pursue their fandom, whether due to copyright or because of gender: http://bit.ly/1qHmDJR

Rec(s) of the day

Jul. 28th, 2014 16:47
astridv: (Simmons)
[personal profile] astridv
Maybe you will, maybe you won't (one day maybe you might) by [archiveofourown.org profile] SmilinStar
Simmons/Ward UST; future fic/mission fic/undercover; teen; 4453 words
Summary: She can feel his heart thumping away under her fingertips, remarkably steady, unaffected as she whispers, “I don't trust you.” “I know.”

And here's a particularly cool thing I've found on YouTube: Parkour meets cosplay!
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney


Here's a complete list of materials for plein-air watercolor painting or urban sketching. This is a supplement to my instructional video "Watercolor in the Wild."

I carry this portable of materials practically everywhere. It includes a sketchbook, paint box, brush set, and watercolor pencils, listed in detail below.


Watercolor Sketchbook
• I've been using a Moleskine Watercolor Album (5 x 8.25 inches)  I like the fact that it opens flat and I prefer the landscape format. The paper is 90 pound weight (about as stiff as card stock), a bit on the light side for watercolor, and 36 pages.
• I also recommend the Pentalic Watercolor Journal (5 x 8 inch), which is priced about the same but has better paper than the Moleskine — 140 lb cold press, 100% cotton paper. With the heavier paper, it has fewer pages (just 24). It has extras such an elastic strap, a back pocket, an elastic brush-holding sleeve, and a placeholder ribbon.
• The Global Art Materials Watercolor Book (5-1/4 by 8-1/4 inch) is a similar alternative with a linen cover.
• Or the Stillman and Birn Beta Hardbound Sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5 inches) This is a vertical book, which has great paper but doesn't open flat.
• Or the Pentalic Watercolor Field Book (7 x 10 inches), for those who prefer spiral bound. It's bigger, so check to make sure it fits in your belt pouch or purse.

To decorate the cover, I use One-Shot Lettering Enamel, which is very opaque. Paint markers also work fairly well, but they tends to wear off faster. I usually title the sketchbook with a phrase taken from the first page of the sketchbook.



Watercolor Set
There are complete sets available, such as the:

You can save money and get exactly the colors you want by buying an empty metal box and filling it with colors that you choose. Then you can refill empty pans with tube colors.

Large size empty box. I'm using an old Talens box from the 1960s. You can get a similar large empty metal watercolor box, which holds 24 half pan colors or 12 full pans. It opens up to 9 x 8 x 1 inches.

Small size empty box. The smaller box opens up to about 5 x 8 inches, which fits the left side of a Moleskine or Pentalic sketchbook.

Colors--Basic set of 12

Additional colors that are nice to have



Water Cup and Rags
I use a Nalgene 2-Ounce Jar with three 1/4 x 1/16 inch Neodymium Magnets, held on with Magic Sculpt Epoxy Clay. You could also use a generic epoxy putty instead of the Magic Sculpt. I

I keep a second jar with clear water handy, and often just a regular drinking water bottle, and I use an old plastic Tupperware cup for a brush cleaning bucket when I'm painting with the tripod easel.

I cut up old cotton T-shirts for paint rags, or use paper restaurant napkins or paper towels.



Brushes
Here's a good inexpensive starter set of brushes: Richeson Sable Hair Watercolor Brush Set/5

I like sable flat brushes, such as:
1/2-Inch Sable Sable Brush
3/4-Inch Flat Sable Brush

I also use a 1/4-Inch Synthetic Watercolor Flat Brush, which work well for architectural detail.

And for laying bigger washes and wetting the paper, a Cat's Tongue Wash Brush, is a good tool. It has a flattened ferrule similar to a filbert brush.

Round Kolinsky sables (note: some brands may become discontinued in the U.S. as the Kolinsky ban exhausts existing stock):
Winsor and Newton Series 7 
Richeson Siberian Kolinsky brushes
Escoda Optimo Kolinsky
Da Vinci Maestro Series Kolinsky Red 



Water Brushes
I always try to carry four Niji Water Brushes with large round tips. They're the best brand I've found, and stand up to a lot of hard use. For info about colors and refill tools, please scroll farther down this post.

I also carry a tube of white gouache. I happen to be using Holbein Permanent White GouacheWinsor and Newton is also good. I sometimes I bring a whole set of gouache colors to supplement the transparent colors.

Plastic clamps
Here's a 2-Inch Plastic Clamp and a 3.75-inch Clamp. Of all the clips and clamps that I've tried, these seem to be the most versatile for holding the book open or clipping the watercolor kit to the rig.

Sharpener
I use a Kum Pencil Sharpener, which not only catches the shavings, but also has a little flap that covers the hole, so the shavings don't leak out and infiltrate the pages of your sketchbook. 

Eraser
I carry two erasers, a Kneaded Eraser and a White Latex-Free Eraser

Water-Soluble Colored Pencils
These add a lot of options and variations to traditional watercolors. I recommend trying a few pencils from several different brands to see which ones you like. My favorite are Caran D'ache Supracolor, but I also like Derwent Inktense Pencils for rich, saturated colors.

I started with a Caran d'Ache Supracolor Set of 18. Over the years have added and subtracted individual colors from the standard set. Below are the colors I take with me most often. It emphasizes colors needed for portraits and animal drawing.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils
#001 White

I also use a standard graphite pencil (HB, B, or 2B) for the initial drawing.


Pencil Box
The pencil box I use was customized by armorer Tony Swatton. It began as a metal box I bought at a Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya in Los Angeles. (I painted the Apple logo as a gag.)

Tony then added the hammered brass piece with rivets and I aged it with paint.

A comparable sturdy pencil box might be the Vaultz Locking Pencil Box, which is big enough to hold a sketchbook along with other tools inside, a good alternative for someone who would rather not use a belt pouch.
Three legged stool
Tripod Stool is something I carry in the car or in a backpack when I plan to sit. Sometimes I bring an extra to use as a gear table.


Waist Pack / Fanny Pouch / Belt Bag
I'm using Black Diamond Spring '03 Waist Bag (Unfortunately it's sold out, so the photo is for comparison.)
[The Explorers] Multi-Purposes Fanny Pack looks pretty similar. I recommend that you buy the pack at an outdoor store after you select the contents to make sure everything fits. A quiet zipper and minimal Velcro is a consideration when you're sketching in places where you don't want to draw attention.


Tripod
I use a Velbon CX-444 Tripod because it's lightweight, folds small, and reaches up to a reasonable standing height when fully extended.

Plywood Base
The simplest sketchbook holder is a piece of 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch thick plywood cut to the dimensions of the sketchbook open flat. Into the back of that is a hole for a 1/4-20 Tee Nut, which will attach to the tripod and securely hold the plywood. The sketchbook attaches to the plywood base with rubber bands or plastic clamps.


Homemade Easel
I made this slightly fancier sketchbook pochade easel to hold the paint set and water below the sketchbook. I also use this one for gouache and casein. The diffuser frame attaches to the top, and it uses White Rip-Stop Nylon Fabric that I sewed onto an old aluminum Pendaflex frame.

Here's a clearer shot of the base rig. It also attaches to the tripod with a Tee Nut, and uses a Southco SC-773 Adjustable Hinge 1.44 x 1.69 inches and a furniture slider to hold the parts at the proper angle. The "camera bar" for holding the video camera angles out from the front, held at a constant position by a piece of brass furniture hardware called a Friction Lid Support.

The palette area is made from the lid from a pencil box, painted with white enamel, and held on with Velcro. That way it can be removed for cleaning, especially when I use it for casein or gouache.




Refilling Water Brushes and Fountain Pens
I use a Waterman Phileas Fine Point Fountain Pen for written notes. The ink in this pen is water soluble. Some people prefer to use waterproof ink for their line work. For them, Micron Pens give a constant indelible line, and the Pocket Brush Pen is a waterproof brush-tip pen with replacement cartridges.

To refill the fountain pens or the water brushes, I use a Syringe with Blunt Tip Fill Needle.

I normally carry three or four water brushes. One is filled with water, and the other two with Higgins Eternal Ink(black), and an old bottle of Sheaffer "Scrip" ink (gray-blue), which I believe is no longer available.

The ink should be water soluble, such as Waterman Fountain Pen Blue Bottled Ink. For a brown color, I also have a pen with Higgins Sepia Fountain Pen Ink.
----
That's pretty much it. 
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney


Here's a complete list of materials for plein-air watercolor painting or urban sketching. This is a supplement to my instructional video "Watercolor in the Wild."

I carry this portable of materials practically everywhere. It includes a sketchbook, paint box, brush set, and watercolor pencils, listed in detail below.


Watercolor Sketchbook
• I've been using a Moleskine Watercolor Album (5 x 8.25 inches)  I like the fact that it opens flat and I prefer the landscape format. The paper is 90 pound weight (about as stiff as card stock), a bit on the light side for watercolor, and 36 pages.
• I also recommend the Pentalic Watercolor Journal (5 x 8 inch), which is priced about the same but has better paper than the Moleskine — 140 lb cold press, 100% cotton paper. With the heavier paper, it has fewer pages (just 24). It has extras such an elastic strap, a back pocket, an elastic brush-holding sleeve, and a placeholder ribbon.
• The Global Art Materials Watercolor Book (5-1/4 by 8-1/4 inch) is a similar alternative with a linen cover.
• Or the Stillman and Birn Beta Hardbound Sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5 inches) This is a vertical book, which has great paper but doesn't open flat.
• Or the Pentalic Watercolor Field Book (7 x 10 inches), for those who prefer spiral bound. It's bigger, so check to make sure it fits in your belt pouch or purse.

To decorate the cover, I use One-Shot Lettering Enamel, which is very opaque. Paint markers also work fairly well, but they tends to wear off faster. I usually title the sketchbook with a phrase taken from the first page of the sketchbook.



Watercolor Set
There are complete sets available, such as the:

You can save money and get exactly the colors you want by buying an empty metal box and filling it with colors that you choose. Then you can refill empty pans with tube colors.

Large size empty box. I'm using an old Talens box from the 1960s. You can get a similar large empty metal watercolor box, which holds 24 half pan colors or 12 full pans. It opens up to 9 x 8 x 1 inches.

Small size empty box. The smaller box opens up to about 5 x 8 inches, which fits the left side of a Moleskine or Pentalic sketchbook.

Colors--Basic set of 12

Additional colors that are nice to have



Water Cup and Rags
I use a Nalgene 2-Ounce Jar with three 1/4 x 1/16 inch Neodymium Magnets, held on with Magic Sculpt Epoxy Clay. You could also use a generic epoxy putty instead of the Magic Sculpt. I

I keep a second jar with clear water handy, and often just a regular drinking water bottle, and I use an old plastic Tupperware cup for a brush cleaning bucket when I'm painting with the tripod easel.

I cut up old cotton T-shirts for paint rags, or use paper restaurant napkins or paper towels.



Brushes
Here's a good inexpensive starter set of brushes: Richeson Sable Hair Watercolor Brush Set/5

I like sable flat brushes, such as:
1/2-Inch Sable Sable Brush
3/4-Inch Flat Sable Brush

I also use a 1/4-Inch Synthetic Watercolor Flat Brush, which work well for architectural detail.

And for laying bigger washes and wetting the paper, a Cat's Tongue Wash Brush, is a good tool. It has a flattened ferrule similar to a filbert brush.

Round Kolinsky sables (note: some brands may become discontinued in the U.S. as the Kolinsky ban exhausts existing stock):
Winsor and Newton Series 7 
Richeson Siberian Kolinsky brushes
Escoda Optimo Kolinsky
Da Vinci Maestro Series Kolinsky Red 



Water Brushes
I always try to carry four Niji Water Brushes with large round tips. They're the best brand I've found, and stand up to a lot of hard use. For info about colors and refill tools, please scroll farther down this post.

I also carry a tube of white gouache. I happen to be using Holbein Permanent White GouacheWinsor and Newton is also good. I sometimes I bring a whole set of gouache colors to supplement the transparent colors.

Plastic clamps
Here's a 2-Inch Plastic Clamp and a 3.75-inch Clamp. Of all the clips and clamps that I've tried, these seem to be the most versatile for holding the book open or clipping the watercolor kit to the rig.

Sharpener
I use a Kum Pencil Sharpener, which not only catches the shavings, but also has a little flap that covers the hole, so the shavings don't leak out and infiltrate the pages of your sketchbook. 

Eraser
I carry two erasers, a Kneaded Eraser and a White Latex-Free Eraser

Water-Soluble Colored Pencils
These add a lot of options and variations to traditional watercolors. I recommend trying a few pencils from several different brands to see which ones you like. My favorite are Caran D'ache Supracolor, but I also like Derwent Inktense Pencils for rich, saturated colors.

I started with a Caran d'Ache Supracolor Set of 18. Over the years have added and subtracted individual colors from the standard set. Below are the colors I take with me most often. It emphasizes colors needed for portraits and animal drawing.

Caran d'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils
#001 White

I also use a standard graphite pencil (HB, B, or 2B) for the initial drawing.


Pencil Box
The pencil box I use was customized by armorer Tony Swatton. It began as a metal box I bought at a Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya in Los Angeles. (I painted the Apple logo as a gag.)

Tony then added the hammered brass piece with rivets and I aged it with paint.

A comparable sturdy pencil box might be the Vaultz Locking Pencil Box, which is big enough to hold a sketchbook along with other tools inside, a good alternative for someone who would rather not use a belt pouch.
Three legged stool
A Tripod Stool is something I carry in the car or in a backpack when I plan to sit. Sometimes I bring an extra to use as a gear table.


Waist Pack / Fanny Pouch / Belt Bag
I'm using Black Diamond Spring '03 Waist Bag (Unfortunately it's sold out, so the photo is for comparison.)
[The Explorers] Multi-Purposes Fanny Pack looks pretty similar. I recommend that you buy the pack at an outdoor store after you select the contents to make sure everything fits. A quiet zipper and minimal Velcro is a consideration when you're sketching in places where you don't want to draw attention.


Tripod
I use a Velbon CX-444 Tripod because it's lightweight, folds small, and reaches up to a reasonable standing height when fully extended.

Plywood Base
The simplest sketchbook holder is a piece of 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch thick plywood cut to the dimensions of the sketchbook open flat. Into the back of that is a hole for a 1/4-20 Tee Nut, which will attach to the tripod and securely hold the plywood. The sketchbook attaches to the plywood base with rubber bands or plastic clamps.


Homemade Easel
I made this slightly fancier sketchbook pochade easel to hold the paint set and water below the sketchbook. I also use this one for gouache and casein. The diffuser frame attaches to the top, and it uses White Rip-Stop Nylon Fabric that I sewed onto an old aluminum Pendaflex frame.

Here's a clearer shot of the base rig. It also attaches to the tripod with a Tee Nut, and uses a Southco SC-773 Adjustable Hinge 1.44 x 1.69 inches and a furniture slider to hold the parts at the proper angle. The "camera bar" for holding the video camera angles out from the front, held at a constant position by a piece of brass furniture hardware called a Friction Lid Support.

The palette area is made from the lid from a pencil box, painted with white enamel, and held on with Velcro. That way it can be removed for cleaning, especially when I use it for casein or gouache.




Refilling Water Brushes and Fountain Pens
I use a Waterman Phileas Fine Point Fountain Pen for written notes. The ink in this pen is water soluble. Some people prefer to use waterproof ink for their line work. For them, Micron Pens give a constant indelible line, and the Pocket Brush Pen is a waterproof brush-tip pen with replacement cartridges.

To refill the fountain pens or the water brushes, I use a Syringe with Blunt Tip Fill Needle.

I normally carry three or four water brushes. One is filled with water, and the other two with Higgins Eternal Ink(black), and an old bottle of Sheaffer "Scrip" ink (gray-blue), which I believe is no longer available.

The ink should be water soluble, such as Waterman Fountain Pen Blue Bottled Ink. For a brown color, I also have a pen with Higgins Sepia Fountain Pen Ink.
----
That's pretty much it. 

[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney


Two weeks from today I'll be releasing an art teaching video all about plein-air painting in water media called "Watercolor in the Wild."


The 72-minute HD video will cover all the nuts and bolts of materials, including watercolors, water brushes, and water-soluble colored pencils. I'll show a few basic tricks and techniques, and then I'll bring you along on six outdoor painting adventures, demonstrating both beginning and advanced techniques for urban sketching.


The six paintings include two architectural subjects, a figure in landscape, two animal drawings, and a spontaneous location portrait. Since you asked for videos that show the whole process from start to finish, I made sure to document all six paintings from the first pencil lines to the final touches, along with detailed, helpful commentary and plenty of closeup details.

If you're an experienced artist wanting to try more water media, or if you're a beginner interested in trying out watercolor or taking your art out "into the wild" for the first time, you'll find this video practical, inspiring, and entertaining.


Here's a photo from the episode where I paint Rosebud, a baby miniature horse. She took a 15-minute nap, and I did a painting while she slept. I documented the whole thing on video from start to finish in real time.


I worked hard to make this one of those art videos that you'll want to watch again and again, because it's both entertaining and informative.

The video will be available as an HD download and a DVD. The DVD will have the addition of a slide show of my plein-air watercolors.

SDCCI

Jul. 28th, 2014 05:30
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by Arnie Fenner


by Arnie Fenner

The celebrities' limos have returned their charges to Hollywood, the exhibitors have palleted up their wares and entrusted them to the Freeman to ship, and attendees have returned home, either happy or sad but most definitely with significantly lighter wallets than they started out with. The dust has started to settle on another San Diego Comic Con International, the biggest, glitziest, and gaudiest "pop culture" convention in the US. Lucca in Italy is bigger (with over 264,000 attendees in 2013) and perhaps more prestigious, Comiket in Japan is certainly much larger (with over a half million attendees), but when it comes to buzz, when it comes to media attention, SDCCI is second to none. Sure, the New York Comic Con has quickly grown to match San Diego in attendance, but…no convention can take over NYC, especially not the way that SDCCI invades and occupies San Diego for the better part of a week each year.

I like to refer to SDCCI as Nerdvana, but my friend Heidi MacDonald prefers Nerd Prom, which was really popular for awhile until it started to be used to describe the President's annual Washington Press Club Dinner. And while I use the term with fondness, it get's annoying when the morning news anchors say it with a smirk to describe all the fans and cosplayers (as if they'd never seen a fantasy film themselves or read a Stephen King novel). Anyway I think I attended my first Comic Con in 1991 or '92 (my memory is fuzzy) and I admit I was a bit overwhelmed. I'd been to World SF and Fantasy Cons, I'd been to various regional shows, but they were positively quaint church socials in comparison. It's only gotten bigger and more crowded and overwhelming (and expensive) ever since as the movie, TV, and gaming industry moved in and came to dominate the con. What started out as a modest little SF & comics get together has evolved into a gargantuan multi-million dollar corporate event that the network news covers, A-List actors line up to appear at, Cosplayers clog the halls at, and which everyone now wants to attend—and relatively few can. Now you might think that 130,000+ give or take is more than a few, but when you consider that somewhere around 300M live in the country that's something like 99.75% (or less if someone with better match skills runs the figures) of the population who'll never darken the convention center's halls.

 

Above: George R.R. Martin and Donato signing the new calendar at Comic Con.
Photo by Lucia D. Correa.

Even with the heavy presence of the entertainment corporations, there are probably more fantastic artists from around the world under one roof set up, showing and selling their work than anywhere else in the country, perhaps the world. Anyone who says otherwise is saying so with their pants on fire. Illustrators, painters, animators, comic artists, concept artists, sculptors: you name it, they're represented. In spades. Mix in the vintage illustration and comic art dealers and we're talking Artpolooza. My fellow Muddies have been/are regular exhibitors at SDCCI: stories about Donato leg-rasslin' all-comers after hours in the hotel lobby bar are now approaching legendary status.


Above: A group signing in the Spectrum booth. Back row l-r: John Fleskes, Gary Giani, Allen Williams, David Palumbo, Travis Lewis, and Matthew Levin. Front row l-r: Donato Giancola,
Todd Lockwood, and Daren Bader.

Is SDCCI for everyone? No. Most certainly, no. It's incredibly crowded, particularly on Saturday. It is horribly expensive—to attend, to exhibit, to stay, to eat. And by it's very nature it's stressful—and if you're an exhibitor, there's never a guarantee that you'll make a profit, regardless of the number of people in the hall. You can't do everything, you can't see everyone, and half the time you can't even get from one side of the convention center to the other. But you know, there are islands of calm in the maelstrom, opportunities to converse and network and make friends. Besides, there's something to be said for going to a 3-ring circus, at least once: and if you do, regardless of the experience you have, you'll never forget it.

If you've ever wondered WTF's the deal about Comic Con, I found the nifty brief history video at the top of this post. If you're intrigued, well, the next SDCCI is only about 360 days away, give or take.


seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 2/11
Author: Seperis
Series: The Final Age of Man, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay. The series name will be changed, literally, the moment I think of something I like. Untitled bothered me even more.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - The Final Age of Man
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2
DW - Chapter 1

it's the stars that lie, 2/11 )
seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 1/11
Author: Seperis
Series: The Final Age of Man, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay. The series name will be changed, literally, the moment I think of something I like. Untitled bothered me even more.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - The Final Age of Man
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1

it's the stars that lie, 1/11 )

asf;lasjdf;alskdjfs;

Jul. 27th, 2014 21:29
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
[personal profile] kass
We're back to watching Breaking Bad -- S4 x 11 at this moment, our third one tonight.

I am seriously all a-flail. I just -- cascading awful decisions for four seasons now and I am still boggling.

Also I have a distressing fondness for some of these appallingly morally ambiguous characters. Not sure what that says about me.

Also also, the show is so fucking pretty that I really want to vid it. And I'd vid it to Calexico, too. I'm just not sure I have the spoons to rewatch all of this gruesome and devastating stuff.

I so do not have the appropriate icon for this. *wry grin*
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Breakfast-Time, Hanna Hirsch Pauli
Breakfast-Time, Hanna Hirsch Pauli

There is an often overlooked sub-genre of painting that I particularly enjoy; for lack of a better term, it might be called “outdoor still life”.

I’m hard pressed to think of a better example than this stunningly beautiful painting of a 19th century breakfast table in a sun-dappled garden by Swedish artist Hanna Hirsch Pauli.

Richly painterly, with color that is at once understated and vibrant, it catches that magical difference of presenting still life subjects in the colors of sunlight.

The link is to Google Art Project. There is a high-resolution downloadable version of the file on Wikimedia Commons.

The original is in the Nationalmuseum, Sweden, but their version of the image seems over-saturated. I haven’t seen the original, but my feeling is that this is one of those examples where the Google Art Project got the color right and the museum got it wrong.

A world of touch and motion

Jul. 27th, 2014 22:44
[syndicated profile] tomp_feed

Posted by theothermurdockpapers@gmail.com

I’m going to state right off the bat that, as I’m sitting down to write this, I don’t have a proper title yet for this post. Which is rare for me, since I usually have an idea for the main theme of every post (even when it’s not just as straight-forward as “Review of…”) and always type in the title before I do anything else. If you’re reading this, I obviously must have settled on something eventually, but suffice it to say that things might get a little philosophical – more so than scientific, thought there is a little of that too – and I’m just hoping I can string this line of reasoning together. And then give my thinking-out-loud-in-writing an appropriate name. Randomness ahead; you’ve been warned!

Let’s start at the top. Or rather, the starting point of this particular line of though: Matt’s new public life. One thing I wanted to return to after my Daredevil #4 review (before I found myself drowning in work) were some of the consequences of Matt’s recent decision to come out of the superhero closet, once and for all. In Daredevil #4, we saw Matt and Kirsten draw stares from curious onlookers on their date, and Matt was even asked by two teenage girls if they could take a picture with him. On the next page, he has his picture taken by a paparazzo. Instant fame is an obvious consequence of the new status quo (even though Matt Murdock would have been a reasonably well-known local celebrity in his own right for years, back in New York), and in the scene below, you can almost hear the gears turning in his head as he wraps his brain around the demands of the Instagram era while trying to be a good sport.

Matt poses for a wefie, in Daredevil #4 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

There are things that are more threatening than teenage girls and ending up in the gossip columns, however, and we get a riveting taste of that in Daredevil #5. And of course, the threat to the hero himself and the people in his life (because supervillains are generally insane and incredibly vindictive by design) is the most obvious consequence at the top of everyone’s list when a superhero exposes himself. It’s the main reason these characters bother to keep a secret identity in the first place.

With Matt Murdock/Daredevil there are other interesting things that are exposed, which I touched on in this recent post, namely: With the final decisive outing, his peculiar physiology also becomes common knowledge. At least to a certain extent. While his medical history may be floating around (though not likely as a matter of public record), I doubt he’s ever had an audiogram made describing the extent of his super-hearing, and – apologies to Brian Michael Bendis – the notion that someone, unbeknownst to Matt, has measured the extent of his radar sense seems a little flaky. What is known, however, is that the famous protector of Hell’s Kitchen is indeed blind, and that he has a set of other abilities that allows him to be a superhero.

This makes Daredevil more vulnerable (see Daredevil #6!), but it also raises potential questions about Matt Murdock. One thing I was curious about was whether Matt would continue to use a white cane, even after people know that he clearly has other means of sensing his surroundings. Six issues into volume four, and a move across the country, and it’s clear that he has no intention of giving it up. I have no way of knowing if this was ever even a consideration, and thus not something anyone on the creative team actively made a decision on, but in my book, keeping things the way they are makes perfect sense. Both in terms of pure character recognizability and for in-story reasons. Here’s why:

  1. Matt and his cane go together like Daredevil and his billy club

    Okay, so the cane is his billy club (I’ll return to that below), but that’s not really what I mean. The cane – along with the dark glasses, the head of red hair and a nice-looking business suit – is what makes Matt Murdock recognizable as Matt Murdock to someone who might pull a random issue of a Marvel comic off the rack and flip through it. It also reminds potential new readers who may know very little about the character, or even the Marvel Universe in general, that this is a blind character. While the heightened remaining senses complicate matters, this is no less true than it was before Matt’s courtroom confession. And, since people in general seem to have a hard time making sense of even real life people who fall in between categories (i.e. are hard of hearing or have low vision, as opposed to being totally deaf or blind), keeping the cane in the comic may be necessary to get the whole “blind superhero” point across.

  2. The cane is a billy club in disguise

    The most obvious in-story reason for Matt being so attached to his cane is that it’s obviously also his billy club in disguise. And since he could be called upon to perform his Daredevil duties at any time (and in fact appears to always wear his costume underneath his civilian clothes), the billy club needs to come along for the ride. On the other hand, he could easily keep it concealed and strapped to his body the way he does in costume. One has to wonder what the police might think of his carrying a bludgeoning tool around (though I suppose there are no laws against it), but it’s hard to argue with his right to carry a white cane. In many states, it is illegal for someone who doesn’t have a visual impairment to carry a white cane (though if you own one for the sole reason of cosplaying as Matt Murdock, you don’t have to worry), but Matt certainly has every right to it.

  3. Matt complains about having his cane taken from him at the Owl's mansion, as seen in Daredevil #3

    From Daredevil #3, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

  4. A white cane has uses besides mobility

    A person obviously doesn’t have to be totally blind to use a white cane, and there are points to using a cane aside from making sure the user doesn’t step into a manhole or get himself in serious trouble. Canes used by blind people have a particular look to them for a reason, and that is to signal to other people that the person carrying them has limited (or no) vision. White cane users have the right of way in traffic situations, for instance. And, in the case of someone like Matt, it probably takes a lot of explaining out of situations like asking the person next to him at a bus stop which particular bus is approaching, or stopping someone on the street to double-check an unfamiliar address (to name just a couple of situations that his heightened senses don’t really cover). Even with Matt’s recent fame, far from everyone would know who he is. You will always find plenty of people who can’t identify a photo of the president. Or Lindsey Lohan.

    Another thing that would actually be useful to the normally crowd-averse Daredevil is that people tend to step to the side if they spot someone with a a white cane. Being able to clear a path to give himself some space during rush hour is something I’d imagine would make it easier for him to concentrate on other things happening around him, and not feel like he’s drowning in heartbeats or offensive body odors. And who really wants to drown in offensive body odors?

  5. For when the radar gets a little sketchy

    There has been no dearth of situations that have been known to mess with Matt’s senses, the radar sense in particular, over the last fifty years. I already mentioned crowds, and another well-known complications writers like to throw at Daredevil is excessive noise. Then there’s pain, the common cold, and a long list of other major and minor threats to Matt’s ability to use his senses fully.

    Interestingly, except for big battle scenes like the one we saw Daredevil engage in – and complain about – in Daredevil #6, it almost seems easier for Matt to avoid general commotion in his Daredevil guise. After all, he prefers to operate at night, away from the streets and when he’s up against a dozen goons, he at least knows they’re all bad guys, and doesn’t have to make an extra effort distinguishing one from the other. Allowing for the highly probable scenario that occasional disorientation or general radar crap-out is as much a part of civilian Matt Murdock’s life, the cane might actually be legitimately useful every now and then.

    I’m not suggesting he can’t safely walk past an active construction site in pouring rain, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that doing so might require an extra dose of concentration that he would rather spend elsewhere. In fact, one nice thing about the cane generally is that it might allow a more sensible allocation of attention. Maybe he’s concentrating very closely on someone suspicious behind him, and not having to “look” where he’s going actually makes that easier.

    Just because the radar is 360 degrees doesn’t mean that he can actively and fully attend to every location in space at the same time, because that’s not how the human brain works (something Waid & Co. actually touch on in the scene below). Imagine that you’re walking while checking your phone a little too closely at the same time. In this case the cane would be Matt’s equivalent of having a little signal that goes off when you’re about to step off a curb that you missed because you were paying too much attention to your Twitter feed. Or something like that. ;)

  6. From Daredevil #3, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

  7. As a poking device

    This will bring me back to a more fundamental point about Matt Murdock’s sensory world that I wanted to make (this list is by no means the main feature of this post, I warned you it would be a meandering mess). Anyway, in Daredevil #5, when the upgraded Leap-Frog suddenly pops out of the water, Matt calls out to Foggy to “Be my eyes!” This might strike some readers as weird. After all, Matt “saw” this one coming before Foggy did, before the big robot had even surfaced, and we would expect him to have a pretty good sense of the massive thing in front of him. Or would he?

    Matt asks to have a large robot described to him, in Daredevil #5

    From Daredevil #5, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    One thing that the creators manage to capture here is that Matt may not be spectacular at actually recognizing what he’s “seeing” when that something is either completely novel or has an ambiguous shape. I’ll get back to the details when I’m done with this list; for now, let’s just agree that the world is full of ambiguous shapes. Matt doesn’t have access to any real color or texture information and the radar sense does not have the same ability to discern fine detail as vision does, even when controlling for the absence of color vision. This would logically drive Matt to rely on touch more than the average person in order to learn more about an object. In this kind of scenario, the white cane can be an extension of the hand. Not necessary to avoid random object on the street, but possibly helpful in learning at least something more about it.

    He could even pair it with his sense of hearing. A light tap against a big garbage can, and he might learn whether it’s empty or not. The pavement changing texture (though this can also to some extent be felt underfoot), might be an interesting piece of sensory information to associate with a particular location. It would be like just another device for gathering information that might otherwise, literally, be out of reach. Is this information strictly necessary then? Probably not. But for a character who is all about attention to detail, and being in tune with his surroundings, one can at least see the psychological satisfaction this might bring to someone so naturally meticulous.

What this sort of brings me to are some related general thoughts on the key differences between how Daredevil experiences the world and how (most of) the rest of us do. This is something I’ve tackled in a myriad ways since I started this blog, and I’ll try not to cover too much ground that’s already been covered. It’s just that I obviously spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about Daredevil’s senses and, hey, where else would I share these thoughts? ;)

As evidenced by that scene from Daredevil #5 I’ve already mentioned, one thing Matt is likely to fail miserably at is to size things up with a “glance,” they way sighted people do. Note, I didn’t say size up situations. That’s something our hero is obviously quite adept at, often noticing things beyond the realm of the average senses (although this too would depend on the circumstances). When I say things, I mean just that: static objects.

The way we humans have built the world around us caters perfectly to the way our senses work. We, along with our closest primate relatives, have better color vision than most other mammals (we are “trichromatic” rather than “dichromatic”), and we see in fine detail. Our visual acuity doesn’t rival that of birds of prey, but is far better than that of a cat or a dog. We also have a massive amount of neural real estate devoted to vision, which the visual areas of the brain accounting for around 30 percent of the cortex. And this is where it all happens. To quote a 1993 Discovery article on visual perception (emphasis mine):

“Vision, of course, is more than recording what meets the eye: it’s the ability to understand, almost instantaneously, what we see. And that happens in the brain. The brain, explains neurobiologist Semir Zeki of the University of London, has to actively construct or invent our visual world. Confronted with an overwhelming barrage of visual information, it must sort out relevant features and make snap judgments about what they mean. It has to guess at the true nature of reality by interpreting a series of clues written in visual shorthand; these clues help distinguish near from far, objects from background, motion in the outside world from motion created by the turn of the head.”

It naturally follows that removing a number of features of all the objects around us, leaving only shape (and possibly some sense of differences in density), would greatly interfere with this ability to make snap judgements about unfamiliar objects, or objects that cannot be discerned based on shape alone. Daredevil obviously has access to sound and scent information (and touch, if he’s in a position to touch the object), but not all objects can easily be identified by sound and scent alone. And, to make a sound, an object has to be in motion.

Before you start thinking that I’m suggesting that Daredevil makes for a pretty crappy superhero, I can assure you that’s not the case. Quite the contrary. As is so very typical of this unique character, what he lacks in one domain, may exist in abundance in another. The way I see it, it makes sense that Matt would be highly sensitive to the motion of objects. Vibrating objects make sound, but objects moving across a scene may also stand out more clearly to him. Research on visual processing has arrived at fairly well-established hypothesis that the brain deals with “what” and “where” information separately, along different processing streams (this logic may apply to other senses as well).

Since the radar sense, whatever it is, functions in ways that are analogous, at least in some respects, to vision, it makes sense that the Matt’s brain would handle this information as “vision-like” (and hey, he’s a fictional character, so we’re free to speculate), and process much of it in visual areas of the brain. While the “what” areas of Matt’s brain have relatively less to work with than in the average person, the areas which handle “where” information might be able to become more prominent. It’s easy to see why quick reflexes combined with being especially attuned to even slightly movement anywhere in an over-sized “visual” field would be extremely useful for someone whose hobby is fighting supervillains.

The very fact that Daredevil notices signals that few other people are quite so attuned to is really a huge strength when you think about it. It’s a little like being a southpaw boxer (and hey, he’s that too) except no one he fights has ever fought someone quite like him. He might be missing the obvious, the things that are right in front of him – and that might come at a high prize – but when no one knows to take care to eliminate the signals he is most attuned to, that’s a huge ace up his sleeve. Or at least it was, until he gave it away by coming clean…

That’s it for this long train of thought. Thanks for riding along! I’m just surprised I ended up reasonably close to where I started. ;)

The post A world of touch and motion appeared first on The Other Murdock Papers.

how can i be sure?

Jul. 27th, 2014 19:07
musesfool: Tony & Pepper having 12% of a moment (get lucky sometimes)
[personal profile] musesfool
I ended up staying over at my sister's last night, since the party was still going late into the evening. I guess that's the difference between having little kids and having kids who are in their early 20s - the games all suddenly involve alcohol. (I never played drinking games when I was their age - we just went out and drank - but they seem to have a lot of fun, and none of them were going anywhere so...)

So did Marvel not announce any of the mystery movies on their slate? I was really hoping for a Black Widow &/or Captain Marvel announcement, and a Black Panther movie, and maybe Oded Fehr or Alexander Siddig as Stephen Strange. (I also continue to be unimpressed with everything about Ant-Man - a movie nobody wants about a guy nobody likes. Why not a Wasp movie instead? Ugh.)

We did get a lot of Chris Evans grabbing his male co-stars boobs, though, and a James Spader-RDJ reunion, so that was okay. How are they all so adorable?

Today, I came home, did grocery shopping, spent way too much time on tumblr (see above re: CEvans and the ubiquitous boob grab), and then made lemon lemonies (pic), which are like brownies, except lemon flavored. They're not like regular lemon bars. Luckily, I had white chocolate chips hanging around for some reason, so all I really needed to buy were lemons, which I was going to buy anyway because I've decided that I'm not supplying my coworkers with salad dressing anymore. I don't need it, so I'm just bringing half a lemon with me each day for dressing purposes (my salads are very unexciting - I only put raisins, croutons and fresh mozzarella in them, because I always forget to buy walnuts).

ANYWAY. The glaze calls for 2 cups of powdered sugar. I used 1/2 cup, which I think is probably still too much. Ugh. WHO NEEDS THAT MUCH SUGAR IN ANYTHING? Every time I see a frosting or glaze recipe that requires more than, like, 1/2 cup of sugar, I cross it off the list of things to try. This is also why I can't eat buttercream. So disgustingly sweet, and I say that as someone with a massive sweet tooth.

***

June 2014

M T W T F S S
      1
2345678
910 1112131415
16171819202122
232425 26272829
30      

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 29th, 2014 14:44
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios