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12th August 2014: Blue Ridge Mountains

I recently watched a Youtube tutorial by Ekaterina Smirnova about painting the Blue Ridge Mountains, and as it looked like a good one for a noob I thought I'd give it a go.
Rather than paint along to the tutorial, I decided to try it later in the day from memory, which was pretty fun to do. Definitely made a few errors mixing the paint and didn't get the transitions right, but oh well.
After that I downloaded a program called PaintTool Sai that looks like good software for line work and inking, but I found it has a mode called watercolour, so I tried the picture again using that. Certainly looks better as it was easier to get the colours right, but I didn't get the sky right at all.
And I definitely need more practise drawing tree branches...

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

10th August 2014: Well, It's A Start

For a long time I've had the desire to try and learn how to create interesting art, and I'm adding this option to my blog in an attempt to push me into it. In this first entry, I'm including the initial artworks I've created using a variety of different techniques. Hopefully as I create and add more there will be at least some indication of progress, but as I want to try as many different kinds of art as possible, I expect the progress in each area will be slow.
Still, it will be better than none at all...

This was the first time in my adult life I actually tried to create some art of any description. It is of a Dark Jedi character from my Star Wars story The Dark Side Of Do'Naar. I'm using this as an indication of my starting skill level for digital artworks:

Dark Jedi Karynna

Dark Jedi Karynna

In 2012 I dabbled a little bit in a program called Daz Studio. This is my one and only attempt so far to create artwork using it. It is a very basic re-creation of Morgana's splash art from League Of Legends. I'm using this as an indication of my starting skill level for CG style artworks:

Morgana

Morgana

This is my first attempt at watercolour, following a tutorial by artist Frank Clarke. I'm using this as an indication of my starting skill level for watercolour artworks:

Path in a forest

Path in a forest

This is my first attempt to create a simple pencil drawing, following a tutorial by artist Mark Crilley. I'm using this as an indication of my starting skill level for pencil sketch artworks:

Armour

Armour

Here I've tried to copy an old photograph from the 1980s of Ty Mawr Caravan Park near Borth in Wales, where my nan and grandad used to have a caravan. I'm using this as an indication of my starting skill level for coloured pencil sketches:

Ty Mawr Caravan Park

Ty Mawr Caravan Park

7th August 2014: Ending Stauf

It's been nearly twenty years since I first played the 7th Guest with my mate Dave on my very first PC. Hours and hours we sat there, putting up with the annoying doll maker Stauf and his bizarre house of horrors, bashing our heads against the screen in a vain attempt to get through all the puzzles. Somehow we got up into the attic, and on to the last puzzle, which we could not finish. I don't think we could even figure out what we were supposed to do to complete it, and the game went unfinished for nearly two decades.

A little while back, we started playing it again, but it was on Dave's iPad version and we didn't get very far. This did however reignite the desire in me to finally see this damn thing completed, so I booted up my GOG version at last.

I'm still kind of hazy on the whole plot of this game. You seem to play as the spirit of a little kid who broke into Stauf's mansion years ago only to be hunted by the six guests who were staying there, as Stauf has promised them all their desires should you be delivered to him. You go through the building solving Stauf's puzzles, and witnessing ghostly flashbacks showing what happened in the past as all the other guests began to turn on each other.
By the end of it, it seems that your puzzle solving skills as a spirit in present day somehow save the kid when he was alive years and years ago.
I think. I could be wrong.

Well, I guess a rock solid plot wasn't what people were looking for when this originally came out in the early 90s. I think people were more interested in the freakishly weird mood of the game, and its technical aspects. It's considered to be quite revolutionary due to its cut scenes, 3D exploration and its CD-ROM release, and a lot of people on GOG are still giving it good scores. For me, despite enjoying it years ago, I would now struggle to recommend it to anyone that's not played it before. In fairness, it barely even deserves to be called a game, as it's just an array of puzzles, some that are very similar to each other, with very cheesy story bits in between.

Whatever I think of it hardly matters now. It's done, and gone, and I'll never have to think of it again...

Stauf sure likes his dolls

Stauf sure likes his dolls

Cake or death? Or cake of death?

Cake or death? Or cake of death?

Ha ha, goat face

Ha ha, goat face

Such wonderful acting

Such wonderful acting

Missing your chess pieces there dude

Missing your chess pieces there dude

Go on, stroke that tongue, I dare you

Go on, stroke that tongue, I dare you

The other six guests

The other six guests

This bastard actually scared us when we were kids

This bastard actually scared us when we were kids

You should see a doctor, seriously

You should see a doctor, seriously

Bye bye Stauf, at long last

Bye bye Stauf, at long last

8th July 2014: Weird Green Things

And so the wheels are still slowly turning. I actually managed to do some painting a few weeks back, finishing my Marine Scouts at last, as well as a few Guard characters.

I decided to try a new trick so I could use some of the other Battle Sister models I had in the loft. Poor girls had never had backpacks since I got the models second hand. So to get them up to speed I bought some Oyumaru compound to make some moulds, allowing me to make some crappy green stuff replacements. They look pretty lame, but painted up I might get away with it.

Actual painting and stuff

Actual painting and stuff

Making new backpacks

Making new backpacks

What are these weird green things on our backs?

What are these weird green things on our backs?

Though I wasn't planning on buying any more stuff, I couldn't help but round my Blood Bowl teams up to 10 (should not have made it 9 with those Lizardmen I tell ya) with the purchase of Impact's Amazon team and a Willy Ramtut star player, who looks freaking bad ass. I went looking for a good model for Bertha Bigfist, as I like the idea of a female Ogre star player, but all the ones I could find looked either too pathetic or were far too large. I'm wondering whether my old Tifa keyring can be converted up, but that would require skill which I don't have. But she is scaled quite perfectly for the task...

I wonder if Tifa wants to Bigfist someone

I wonder if Tifa wants to Bigfist someone

We've been managing to playtest our 40K-S ruleset a little more, even getting to use some armies that didn't really see much play when we used to play 5th edition.

The Necrons sweep into 40K-S

The Necrons sweep into 40K-S

My Nidz actually see the tabletop

My Nidz actually see the tabletop

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