Sunday, 9 November 2014

Updates and stuff.

I keep forgetting that updating my drafts is not the same as updating my actual blog.

I haven't posted goals for a while because I haven't made them for a while. July's goals were mostly done and I did set goals for August, but I spent the entirety of August and September ill with the virus from hell. I didn't get a whole lot done for those two months. At all. In October I was recovering a little still, so it was nice to spend time doing whatever I felt like doing (I read a loooooot of books). Now that it's November, it's NaNoWriMo, so there didn't seem to be much point in setting goals.

I know I quit NaNoWriMo last year, but this year I decided to do my own NaNoWriMo. I'm not doing it officially. I'm not doing 50,000 words. Instead, I'm doing 30,000 words.

I bought Scrivener at some point since my last blog post and now I'll never write a novel in Word ever again. Unfortunately, the entirety of my current novel is in Word and it's still an editing nightmare after the last NaNoWriMo. My 30,000 words covers whatever ends up in Scrivener. I want 30,000 words of a new draft. So far, it's been a total rewrite, which is fine and I expected that I guess, but I am taking the odd bit from the old one. It's certainly helping me to write it out with the old one right there that I can refer to, but the story has changed so much with all the planning that I've done that it really isn't worth just editing what I had anymore.

So, at the end of November my goal is to have 30,000 words of my novel in Scrivener. It's doable enough that I'm unlikely to go off on a tangent and write a lot of shit that I then have to edit with a chainsaw. It took me eight months after the last NaNoWriMo to figure out how to solve the mess that I had. I'd really rather not do that again (although the end result is certainly interesting).

Finally, for December, after spending an entire month writing, I will be spending an entire month painting. I aim to get 25 paintings completed. I don't care what size they are, as long as there's 25 of them. I have an obscene amount of student paint that I need to use up. 25 paintings won't even scratch the surface I don't think, but it certainly can't hurt. I am really tempted to do one of the paintings with artist quality paint, but I think if I do that I'll just be stuck with my student paints forever while my artist paints get used up instead.

I would go through and write down all the things that have been done since July despite no goals, but that involves crawling through months of my diary and none of it will really be relevant anymore, so I won't.

I had an epiphany between the last post and this one about my paintings that's probably worth a mention, though. The WIP paintings that I still have no real desire to finish off have been finally abandoned. I think it's okay (at last) to admit when a painting has served its purpose. Either I learned something and want to move on or I made a mistake (and thus learned something) and there's no point in continuing. I want to finish the forget-me-not and the deathclaw and I think one other, but the rest are going to be scrap. I'm not going to force myself to work on them when I'd be much happier working on something else, there's no point. I no longer feel like I have to finish everything for the sake of having everything finished.

I aim to have the blog up to date, art-wise, by the end of the year. That includes all the paintings for December. Also all the art challenges, which are still lying around somewhere. I'm hoping that December's painting spree will stick around after December is over. I think if I managed my time a little better, I could do 1000 words and a quick painting each day. So that's another goal, I guess. Partly to improve my painting, mostly to use up all my student paint so I can move on to my artist quality paints at last, instead of sitting and staring at their packaging.

Also, I finally have an idea for what to paint for my blog header, so with any luck that'll be one of December's paintings!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Art from January.

I figure it's probably going to be easier if I split the monster art dump post up into sections. Plus, that way it's easier for me to know what's been posted and what hasn't. I don't have much for January, but it's a start.


This was the first art thing done in 2014. It's a scribble in the A6 sketchbook (which is totally unsuitable for watercolours, but it's what came in the set), referenced from a photo I took of some flowers my mom was given. I used watercolours and white gouache.

The next two are the traditional art tutorial piece that was done for the January goals. I followed a tutorial by Wendy Jelbert, and apparently I only bothered to take one photo of the process. Mine is 10"x7" and landscape and I'm pretty sure the one in the book was bigger and portrait, so I struggled a little with that because I didn't have the same space to work with. The tutorial used artist's watercolours as well, something that REALLY REALLY ANNOYS ME, so I had to improvise with my own colour mixes in places. I flatly refused to use masking fluid because all it seems to do is fuck whatever I'm doing up for me, and I figure that I do an excellent job of that by myself, so I ignored all the steps involving masking fluid. I still can't paint foliage, even with the help of Wendy Jelbert. I kinda like the end result though.



The tutorial was finished on the 10th January - I didn't want to scar the front with the date, because it was one of the few things I've done that ended up looking "finished", so I wrote the date on the back instead. This was (I think) the first time I used a watercolour block.

I did do another A6 painting in January of a fish, but it's awful and my blog is really better off without it. Sometimes I do a quick watercolour sketch and I'm happy with the result, and then sometimes I do a quick watercolour sketch and it ends up looking like that fish.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

June goal recap and July goals.

June's Goals:
* Do two art challenges.
Done! This month's challenges were "lost" and "android". I should be able to upload them and all the others this month. I have SO MUCH ART to upload, the idea of finishing my exam seems a little bit daunting because of it. But it will get done! Probably in stages though, as I said before. It's far too much now to do all at once.
* Do 20 Japanese lessons.
SMASHED!! I reached the listening sections in my JLPT-specific books and they take hardly any time at all to do because there's a lot less for me to write by hand, so after saying that I wasn't going to set this month at 40 goals because it was too high, I've now beaten that too and almost doubled it. The final score was 79. The more I study, the easier it is, I guess. I still don't think I will pass, my vocabulary just isn't at the level that it needs to be, but it will be good for me to take the exam and see where I get points and where I don't. Plus I get to wander around where I used to live for a couple of days.
* BONUS: Completed three video games (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Game Dev Tycoon and Portal) and read a book (Before I Go to Sleep).

I didn't do any art apart from the scribbles for the art challenges this month. It's not that I didn't have time - my brain fries if I do too much Japanese for too many days without a break - but when it came down to it, games were a better way for me to relax in my breaks. I did some art at the start of the month, I worked on my little sprite, but I only finished the base for the head so I didn't count it. Chances are I'll go back to it another time, but my mind just wasn't on art this month. Art for me is still studying because I'm learning how to do it, so it's hardly a break from studying. It just means I'm studying something else. Then my brain shuts down entirely. So, I did some games instead!

I finished three games, but I actually worked on a few more, too - I progressed through FFVII quite a bit (Red XIII's hometown next I believe), and I also reached the halfway point in Deponia (the junk yard). I got myself to a critical stage of FFX (Evrae is looming) and I'm right at the end of Ys I (two bosses and then it's done). The only game on the currently-in-progress list that I didn't really touch this month was Skyrim.

Whenever I update the games post I get a sudden rush of pageviews from people looking at the last art challenge post, so just to reiterate in case anyone actually reads these: I'm not posting art challenges or any art until after my exam. My exam is on the 6th of July. The updated-every-ten-minutes post is the games post, not me adding any art challenge posts. I'm adding/removing games quite a lot lately, and I like to keep track of everything in that blog because it's nice to have it as reference.

July's Goals:
* Do two art challenges - this month has a bit of a twist to it though: the first challenge of the month also happens to mark six months of art challenges (already!). I proposed an idea to Derf and he agreed to it, so every six months the challenge will not have a word. Instead, the challenge is to redo a previous piece - NOT the word but the piece itself - to see if it can be improved. The challenge after that, towards the end of the month, will have a word as usual.
* Do 12 Japanese lessons - my exam is this month (this week, actually) so the lesson count goes back down as a result. Part of me is tempted to drop it right back down to eight, which is technically two a week, but I might do some more before my exam (I doubt it though, I'm just revising now) and as I may have mentioned previously (or not, I don't remember), I'm on a roll with them right now. Going from studying all the time to hardly studying at all might be a bit much: it would be nice if I did end up remembering some of it after my exam instead of it all just disappearing. So, the goal is twelve. Reduced, but not by too much I hope.
* Finish the owl figurine - zero shits will be given about it hurting my hands too much to study once my exam is already out the way, so hopefully I can get this little guy finished, baked, painted and varnished at last. I've been staring at it for two months.
* Play a lot of video games - I accidentally finished three of them last month, after all, and I'm at the end of another. I'm not putting a specific number on it because progress is progress whether they're finished or not, but I'd certainly like to try and get a lot done. I won't be able to go out in the sun much because with my exam in London comes tattoo touch-ups in London, so while I'm babysitting that it'll be nice to have an indoor thing to do. Plus, at the usual three-a-month rate, it will take me nearly six years to finish all my games, and that's provided I don't get any more in that time. 

Edited to add the list of games currently in progress:
* Deponia
* The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
* Final Fantasy VII
* Final Fantasy X
* Ys I
I'm not setting any art goals apart from the challenges and the figurine. I really don't at all feel like painting or drawing lately, and I don't know if I'm going to feel any different after my exam or if it'll take me a while to get back to it. I don't want to force myself to do it and end up creating a lot of crap, so whatever I do on that front is optional.