Christmas painting & wallpaper

I badly wanted a good Christmas wallpaper for my desktop, but I couldn't find one that I liked. Plus, I have a full-screen, and that made my choices even more limited. So I decided to paint a speedy one in Photoshop for my wallpaper, and it turned out nicer than I thought ... if I do say so myself, of course.

Also, I've never done a Christmas-related painting, not even a doodle. It's Holiday-themed, but nothing blatant :p

About the wallpapers: plug them all you like, but please do not redistribute them elsewhere. Thanks :)

Wallpaper preview:

Happy Christmas!

♣ Doris

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It's been dead for a while ...

... but now Disanthus.Com has been resurrected. There are new paintings in the gallery, of course, including a few that have been posted here, then disappeared, but now they've finally made it to their new home ^_^

The ninth version of Disanthus is relatively simple, and we've truly trimmed down on all the excess stuff we've had with the previous designs, and this includes all the codes we didn't really need. In fact, I think this is actually the first time that we are managing with a single CSS file O_O Amazing.

I would like to create some kind of mini site for all our old stuff eventually. But that's for another time. It's December, you know.

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New painting ...

But only a wee preview ^_^;

It's about 90% done. The original isn't in black and white, though, but after saving the WiP image, I desaturated the file to check on light, shadow and midtones (something I really should do more often). But now I like the B&W image a lot more than the coloured version!

Anyway, Annette and I have been working on version 9 of Disanthus, so the current site won't be updated until 9 is ready to go. I reckon it won't be that long before it goes online :)

♣ Doris

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Wow! That fish is smelly!

I wanted to blog about this because it's something that really gets my goat.

So, there's this author who has published her fourth book, an author I've been very loyal to. I have three of her books (one paperback, two hardcovers), with the fourth on its way. Apart from these, I also have three digital editions of the same books, which I bought because it takes about a week for my orders to arrive from Amazon and I simply could not wait.

Now, her first two books were great reads, especially the first. But then comes the third book and something about it seemed off. After reading the book several times, I had to be honest with myself and admit that the quality of writing wasn't the same as the previous ones.

Then came the fourth book and this one was even worse than the third: I can never enjoy a book with an unlikeable main character. And I rarely, if ever, review books, even ones that I like! Mostly because I'm shy that way and I'm not very good with words. But since I enjoyed the first and second book so much, I had to write something about this decline of quality. My review of the third book could be taken either way (good/bad) because it takes a LOT for me to turn my back on an author that I like. (If you are JKR, it took me five books before I realised that there was no light at the end of the tunnel.)

But I couldn't bring myself to give the fourth book the same treatment, this time I was critical of the main character, which can be summed up in a few words: Honey, get off your high horse.

That done, I take a look at the other reviews, and there was something about it that I couldn't put my finger on. There's always something suspicious about too many 5-star reviews that contain little variety in its praise. But I just shrug it off because these things do happen.

Then I come across one of the critical reviews, a review which sums up most of my feelings about the book (though my review focused on a different aspect). I saw that there were a lot of comments on this particular review, so I click on the link ... and , wow, this reviewer takes an awful beating! And from no one rational, mind you.

If there is one thing I hate about these kinds of attacks, it's the irrational behaviour of a group of people who are not at all open for discussion--they simply want you to agree with them. They may claim otherwise, but who are they fooling?

There was someone else who thought that there was something suspect about this rabid mob, and after digging around, found some interesting links. It turns out that one of the pack is a published author, who happens to be on friendly terms with the author of the books I just reviewed (though I've had no nasty comments on my review so far).

It's safe to assume who the rest of the rabid bunch are: the author's BFF.

Now, the author whose book I reviewed may not have joined the pack in this case, but the links that one poster provided shows that she is about as blindly loyal (which differs from just being loyal!) as the rest of the pack of bullies she runs with.

So it doesn't take me long to add my comment, too, saying in no uncertain terms that I will not spend my hard-earned cash on this author's future books. One can only hope the author is wise enough to call off her dogs before she loses more of her readers.

Edit: This is a good read about an author going apeshit on an Amazon reviewer.

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Brisbane is a wallpaper. No, really.

**November, 2009______Edit: Wallpapers are no longer available**

Before I move on to other stuff, I'd like to post these wallpapers I made, featuring the lovely Brisbane.


Below is the original version. A bit boring, but I like my wallpapers with a 'clean' look :)


Note: The wallpapers we post on this blog will be uploaded to Disanthus, but only for a limited time (because we don't like leechers). These wallpapers belong to and they are for personal use only. Thank ye.

P.s. You might want to listen to Antonín Dvořák's Měsíčku Na Nebi Hlubokém (no, don't even attempt to pronounce it) while you're at it ^^

♣ Doris

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Digital Painters book

As you may have noticed, Annette and I are crappy bloggers, but we're working on our blogging skills. Honest! Anyway, I wanted to post this link to the Art Squared Digital Painters book by Rage Publishing.

There is a book previewer so you can browse the content, and below is a screencap of mine ;) The second image is a tutorial I wrote, which I didn't think they'd publish, so it was a nice surprise for me. They've made a nice layout for it, so I'm really happy.

♣ Doris

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Heathcliff, I am come home ♥

Well, a new home, at least ^o^ We (as in, Annette and I) were completely disenchanted by LJ forcing fugly ads in our journal ... unless we paid, of course. So, it was time to find ourselves a new blogging home (because we're cheapo's at heart), and what better place than the original blogging platform right here.

It's been very quiet at Disanthus.Com as of late, and we're leaving the site as it is for now, but we hope to update regularly on this blog. There are a few paintings I have finished since the last update on Disanthus, and below is one of them.

(Image deleted)

The painting is one of the main characters in Deanna Raybourn's Silent On The Moor book (the final one in the Silent trilogy); I'll not wax lyrical about Nicholas Brisbane because there simply aren't enough words to do him justice. So I've painted him instead. This was originally a speed painting I did based on Richard Armitage in North & South (The BBC mini-series), but Brisbane kept nudging poor Richard aside until he completely took over the canvas. He is a force of nature, my lovely Brisbane is.

It's also been posted at Deanna Raybourn's blog, and there have been some lovely comments there :)

More to come soon!

♣ Doris

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