Jun 25, 2009

~ Cats & Cradles ~

= Regarding the Prehistoric History of Britain =

Where are the British countries, anyway?

When did England and France begin as nations?

A lot of pondering (and some fun with character designs) going on his afternoon.

I could spend hours just reading about history on Wikipedia. :) More on that when it's scan-ready.

- - -

Wartime Uniforms - Great Britain WWII

Since I dedicated a significant part of my holidays to APH-fangirling, I've become a good deal wiser (and more well-resourced in terms of wonderful art-sites) and expanded extensively upon my uniform fetish.

- - -

= Fortuitous Forged Talismans Aplenty =

Another thing that's passing the long hours at home away from work and school is playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2. I'm naughty and haven't finished the first one yet plot-wise, and this next one is bugging me in various ways that I'm sure will improve as I get further in the game.
  1. I need recruits and can't get any. I have a finicky habit when it comes to FFTA, and that is good name hunting. I want good names for the members of my party, the only thing I can't change.
  2. You can play the game any way you like but you always play it KNOWING what you SHOULD do is plan out carefully what abilities & jobs each party member will cover. A party with the maximum number of members should just about cover every job available, if each party member masters 2 jobs. Complicated? Sure, but us Otaku like the finicky details. Annoying? Hell yes, especially when I'm bogged down with the first 6.. and... can't... accept... bad names....
  3. Unlike the older game, I can't powerplay. I don't do it on purpose, but I find the plot tends to come second to training and mastering abilities when I play. So I tend to bog myself down with silly side-missions when I could punch through the plot and get those items that I need to make the tools that I need to get the jobs that I need... for the crew I don't yet have.
ARGH games. They're supposed to be for fun, aren't they??

- - -

The most awesome bit of miscellany today.

I washed the blanket that my cats love to sleep on (soft and light wooly Pokemon blanket, would you believe), the one that usually lives on my carefully crafted and perfected layering of sheets and blankets and quilts. It invariably gets gunked up by their frequent visits and is covered in cat fur and dust and bits.
I added wool softener and my bathrobe for kicks and it smells like the best of clean cuddly laundry.... and the smell is so strong (maybe I didn't dry it properly?) that it has rubbed off on my cats.
So dear Genya cuddling up to me while I was eating dinner in front of the TV with my little DS Lite (Spicks and Specks was crap the other night, btw ;/ ) smelt like wool softener.

So... so delicious a smell for soft wooly cuddly cats.

This made my day.

- - -

By the way, both Shiina and Genya are very muscly cats... their strength surprises me sometimes. True their father was definitely a feral tomcat and their mother from the lineage of a feed store cat (where country people buy food for horsies and things, you cityfolk!). My cats are quite large.
When Genya was cuddling up to me the other night and doing that claw-kneading thing kittens do to their mommies, I noticed how his arm (leg? paw?) was all sinews and one big chunk of hard muscle. Crap, kitty, you are strong...
No wonder he pushes me around when he shares the bed. Shiina, you are getting too big for my lap!!

- - -

Jun 16, 2009

Character Sketches Galore~!

A build-up of Character Development at HQ

I've had these lying around for quite a long time, so I thought I'd dump them with explanations.

The first drawings.

On the top right there's a list of all the characters in the "main party". Ken guy = Wizard with pink hair.

- - -

The hero is Blonde.... Because I guess they don't come in blonde anymore.

Action Shots.

Hero Mc. King is the heir to a small fiefdom distantly related to kings and queens of old. He goes on a crusade presented to him by his Aunt and Uncle, who take over the castle & succession while he is gone. He travels with his cousin Princess Mc. Queen, who goes on a "diplomatic mission to the far lands". His mission is to find the 7 oceans of the land and collect water from them, apparently.

He becomes a fighter, then a Paladin as the story progresses. And he gets an eyepatch. :3

- - -

The kindly wizard has pink hair, which he keeps under hat. It's because each competing order of Wizardry marks its students with an unchangeable, unmistakable colour of the "proud colours" = neons nonexistent in the natural world. To keep the freaky deekies away he keeps most of his long luxurious locks under his wide-brimmed Gandalf Hat.

His quintessential expression is a kind of apologetic philosophical smile.

But he's really a legend, especially as he clocks some travelling hours in. As part of his post-graduate studies at his Order he goes in an extended "placement" with the hero's Party, from which he learns immeasurably. His habit is to pull out his book and pen and write magical theory in it at inappropriate times.

When one of these volumes fill up, they fly away (by flapping their covers, of course) and return to the Order, and a clean blank one is sent out. :)

- - -

Cat boy & Dog Girl

You can hardly tell them apart.

Cat girl can become a cat, and the constant loss of clothes and inability to transport them means she wears very little. I guess it's culturally acceptable where she comes from... she is on a mission of revenge against a Swamp Witch that wronged her in the past. Her brother is a normal pooch for most of the series until they figure out how to turn him back.

- - -

The Story of King Fritz

This is just a random drawing though. Lol.

King Fritz is a distant heir to the throne in his country but prefers to sing, dance and joke about. He meets a mysterious man with an edgy sense of humor down on his luck, and adopts him as the "king's Jester". They travel and have fantastic adventures together, and quite often switch places.
On the border of Hero's nation Fritz's Fool declares that he is a prince in disguise while drunk at a local inn, leading people to assume the Hero is well on his Quest, while the real hero hasn't gotten nearly as far.
This leads everyone off the scent :) They help Hero & Princess throughout the story and bring news of home.

- - -

There are others, namely: The Lie Detector guy, the Bandit, the Sword guy and the Princess, whose character sheets I've not done yet.

The Princess is my favorite ;) because she's a know-it-all. She follows the Hero on his quest under the guise of diplomatic missions. She is also deprived of her right to the throne a few months after leaving her principality (neighbouring the Hero's). Though she knows little about the ways of the world she is surprisingly shrewd and good in disguise.

The Lie Detector is a Mysterious Traveller with a Mysterious Past who is A Few Years Older than the rest of the party. Not sure why he joins up yet, but his secret ability is that he can tell the truth and lies apart. He is good at all that campy travelly stuff and dislikes the dishonest members of the party on principle.

The Sword Guy is a Registered Swordsman whose Old Master Father taught both him and the Hero how to swordfight. He travels as the Princess's protection. Kind of dull and simple strong kinda dude.

The Bandit is either grotesque or young n' genki, I haven't decided. He has history with the Cat Girl, cuz She's Morally Ambiguous Like That. He joins them on the quest for treasure and coz he's tired of Being Stuck in This Town.

- - -

There ya go!

More when I make it.

Jun 13, 2009

~ Magic Mushrooms and Ships Sailing in the Snow ~

Or in other words...

I wish my projects were that impressive. I have the feeling they would have been MUCH better had I not left myself with 1 week (or about 2 days) in which to produce the both of them.

These are the final projects for Photoshop & Illustrator class.
For my final hand-in, I chose to print them at the library since I had a Library Print card but not an Arts Design Computer Lab print card, and wasn't interested in organising the latter just for one assignment. And therefore had to print graphics files through computers with no graphics programs....

Basically using Windows Printing Wizard.


At least I managed A3 and Colour, but only AFTER the prints did I realise there was a resolution setting. Having only enough left of my last $10 (each print is $3 for A3 Colour) to reprint once, I chose to up the resolution in the Digital Alchemy print on which I'd spent more time anyway....
Meaning the Mushrooms I handed in for the product design brief were amazingly orange, and showing subtle signs of bad-res printing when I deliberately kept the box images smaller than needed to comfortably fill an A3 page... just so I could keep resolution crisp. Just hoping here that the teachers will check out my digital files and see what a good girl I've been.

I hate that the subtlety of colours on your monitor is just never going to translate to ink, or anyone else's monitor for that matter.


After a good 7 years of working and playing in it, I am through and through a Photoshop girl.

More amazing weekend projects of wanton illustration coming up in the far-near future!

- -

Jun 7, 2009

~ Cupped Hand of Glory ~

« Tough Love in Italian Families »
My bud tells me a little about life in Italian families.
Everyone is so fired up and lively, it seems like it would be really exciting.... but it's also pretty intense.

Italian Grandmas have developed this amazing technique of punishing their kiddies and putting them into place. The cupped hand, swung at a curved angle to meet the back of the head and cause the victim to nod forward - the cupped hand of glory.

North & South Love

- - -

Doumo! Making dolls & clothes this afternoon... nothing like dressing up. :)

Jun 5, 2009

~ Sloops and Buccaneers ~

« Progressing for over a week now... »

Is this picture I put together at the completion of Treasure Island, the original book by Stevenson. I love some of the stuff you can find on our old bookshelves.
If you don't know this story, chances are you know this story. Everybody does, it invented just about every pirate trope you could think of from peg legs and parrots to treasure maps with "X" marking the spot.

I never realised, having experienced this story umpteen times through the way culture tends to recycle good stories that capture the imagination, that Doctor Livesey was such an awesome guy. Not only does he not even blink when that old pirate is having a drunken fit at the old Benbow, but many times after he proves to be cool and collected through 7 kinds of hell.
It's kind of exciting to read a book of "coming of age" that involves a kid fixed squarely on his moral path, going about his heroics with self-conscious bragging and positioning at a minimum. What a not-cringeworthy guy!

Anyways, I got carried away enough to fill a whole page and thus far I'm at the lining stage. The colouring just seems too daunting to start (lol). Note the missing leg and cross-eyes!

+ Ode to Treasure Island +

- - -

And on a finer aesthetic note, when the 1750s are discussed mention must be made of the lovely fashions of the time. Breeches with socks tucked underneath, jackets and knee-length coats and most importantly those fine silver wigs!

Surprisingly enough, they still have to wear those in court in most Commonwealth nations, including expatriate Hong Kong. Just so you know.

Lorem Ipsum is a revered legal text...

In that vein, here is Phoenix Wright & Miles Edgeworth talking in full legal Commonwealth Barrister attire. Hard to tell without their signature hairstyles, but You get the idea.

Judges get a full-length curly mop, too! Our bald judge would love that, I'm sure.

- - -