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Weekly Art Dispatch, No.2 🎨

20 December 2020 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Here goes my second Art Dispatch. Hooray!

Study Art

This week's exercises:

  • Knocked over 50 boxes for the 250 Boxes Challenge in Draw A Box (DaB) - the art course I'm currently doing.
  • This week's "art drill" was figure drawing studies of heads using the Loomis method, which I learned from Proko.com last week.  Through them, I've gotten a handle on perspective -- though extreme foreshortening will always be a beast -- so I've achieved my goal of nailing down a head-construction method.  Facial features still look rather flat and off-proportion, however.  I plan to work through Proko's videos on facial features one day.

Heads figure drawing practice, in pen. (references: Croquis Cafe)

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Site update.

18 December 2020 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Moved a few things around the domain. My commonplace book, Canto, is now at its own site, so some posts have disappeared from this blog. Canto really needs to be its own thing, it's more of a curated gallery than a workaday blog like this one. One day I'll take my enormous archive at Tumblr and migrate it over here so I have all the content on my domain, but that's a (very big) task for another day.

This blog, velivolans, will continue to have art updates, game and book reviews, and other bloggy stuff.

I'm very pleased that I discovered Bludit from another blogger/artist.  It's a simple, lightweight and fast CMS oriented towards static site generation (SSG) and small websites. I've always liked the idea of SSGs but messing around in code is quite beyond my ability or interest. Now that Bludit is powering all the backend and I can bounce WordPress into the dustbin, I'm actually motivated to produce content for my domain.


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Weekly Art Dispatch, No.1 🎨

13 December 2020 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Welcome to the inaugural volume of my weekly art dispatch!

I'm going to document my journey of improving my drawing and lifting my skill level out of self-taught, amateur doodler to something more purposeful and professional.  I plan to send out this dispatch every weekend, as a showcase of what I'm learning and what I've produced.


Study Art

This week's exercises:

  • Finished a two-week round of tracing studies of the human body, using nude models from Croquis Cafe. Traced over photos of models, then drew them again by observing and then constructing.  I think I have a better handle on male and female proportions. I'll come back to this exercise again someday.
  • Abstract linework (straight & curved) warmups continue.

Current study focus:

Drawing human heads the Loomis way, by way of the free video library at Proko.com.  A big hole in my self-taught skills has been filled in!

I learned a kind of simple head construction method when I was learning to draw back in the depths of childhood, which I'd used all throughout my life. Problem is, I didn't learn it fully and so I ended up applying it randomly, and that was insufficient for drawing proportionate human heads.  Now I know that I'd learnt an abbreviated form of the Loomis head, and there was more to the construction technique when applied to humans.  Now I've learned how to do it properly!

I'll post my progress on human heads in the next Dispatch.


Fun Art

Apropos of other artists' "Before and After" progress drawings, I decided to revisit an old sketch.

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Well, here we go again.

13 December 2020 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I am starting over with a new blog, and this time I might have better success with consolidating the rat's nest of my website and online presence. But I have Plans this time, Big Plans.  Here's to something new for 2021.


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Game review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 🎮

23 November 2020 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Ah, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.  I like this game but it keeps defeating me!  Every few years I pull it out and attempt a run through the Palace of Azad, only to be whipped by Sand Creatures along the way, and end up ragequitting.  With the recent news that Ubisoft is remaking this for a 2021 release, I thought it time to give it another spin.  I still can't beat it, but I progressed farther into the game than I've ever progressed before!  Enough to make a review.

You, the Prince, were betrayed by a treacherous Vizier into unleashing the Sands of Time upon a hapless world.  The Palace of Azad has been transformed into a death trap filled with traps and hostile Sand monsters.  Now it's up to you and the plucky Princess Farah to battle through the Palace to reach the evil Vizier and reverse the damage you've done to the world!

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Game review: Horizon Zero Dawn 🎮

7 November 2020 - Reading time: 9 minutes

I usually don't follow game release hype and almost never pre-purchase games. But I made a special exception for Horizon Zero Dawn's arrival to PC (Steam). It had a lot of my favourite things: epic story, strong main character, science-fiction setting, great combat, crafting and exploration -- to say nothing of hunting robots with a bow and arrow, how badass must Aloy be to pull that off?? When I first heard the acclaim from the PlayStation community I resolved to avoid all media and spoilers until I got to play it. I pre-purchased it on Steam, updated my PC with the officially recommended drivers, and loaded in on release day. (Trust me, no other game I've played has received this kind of red-carpet treatment!) So, was this going to be my game of the year?

The verdict: Horizon Zero Dawn is an outstanding game. However, it frustrated me in ways I didn't expect, there were parts I didn't enjoy at all, and I nearly abandoned the game partway through. I'm surprised to say that no, it is not Vega's game of the year, and it may not even make my Top 5 played in 2020. Why not? Let's find out…

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I'm Vega.

Welcome to my blog.

My Weekly Art Dispatch 🎨 is posted every weekend, usually on Sunday.

I also blog about writing and other creative projects; review books and video games; and may mention real life stuff from time to time.

Commenting is not available, but I like receiving email! Write to me at: vega{at}greatskyriver.net