Winter fun


Bicycles -  Our main mode of transportation! But with the enormous amount of snow they were abandoneden masse. By the by, the last picture of the lone bicycle with the saddle bag is one of my favourites.












Lovely Street I - A nice view of a quaint little street with a lovely facade. This area used to be a factory community long ago, so the houses were originally built for the workers. When the houses were rebuild again from the ground up , they kept the architectural style of the original homes.



Lovely Street II: More images of this lovely little street. As you can see from the first image with the two ladies - these homes are tiny! More 'cottage' and less 'house'.





 Can't linger, so we're moving on.


At Streets' End:





Having Fun In The Snow: A boy running around in circles, mesmerized by the snow and sometimes just a blur in the distance. You might be wondering why I'm stalking this kid: he's my nephew. As you can see, he didn't mind the constant stops for some more (crappy) picture-taking!




Snow-Covered Trees: A picturesque scene of trees covered in snow. The scene was a lot lovelier than I was able to capture with the camera, though!


Time To Go Inside: My nephew started complaining about being tired, so we were heading back. Good thing, too, because the weather was starting to turn for the worse. One boy was brave enough to attempt making a snowman in the worsening weather. Haven't seen him since, though ... I wonder ...


So, what does it look like in your neck of the woods?

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New Painting: Romance


I've finished a new painting titled Romance. This one took quite a while before I managed to finish it a few days ago. Click here to see the full painting in my deviantArt gallery.

I started this about three or four years ago, but it was on the shelf for a long, long time. I wasn't really confident about my painting techniques in Photoshop, which was my biggest obstacle. Of course, I knew how I wanted it to look yet I hadn't a clue about how to achieve it.

As I learned new things about painting in PS, I started experimenting with some ideas about achieving a certain look and feel of a painting: Tomorrow Today was the first step in the right direction.

Later I started painting Olivia, which had the same overall theme, and I feel that Olivia is a more finished version of Tomorrow Today. Below the cut are the three paintings together (at last).

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Winter Road


A new painting that was done in a day or so. I was actually finishing a painting I've been working on for a really long time (but more on that later), and I was listening to a track of the Snow Storm concerto by Sviridov called Winter Road so I got sidetracked because I love the track so much and I had to do this painting.

It's more of a doodle than anything else, due to the fact that I wanted to finish it quickly rather than linger over every little detail, which I tend to do a lot ... unfortunately.

Something that's interesting to note is that the main theme of the Metal Gear series sound a lot like Sviridov's Winter Road; coincidentally, MGS 3 is one of my favourite games ever :) The original "Snow Storm", or "The Blizzard", is one of five short stories from The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin by Aleksandr Pushkin. Snow Storm is the story of an elopement that ends tragically during a winter storm in Russia ... with a bit of a lemon twist in the end, of course!

Something old, something new

Click to view larger image

Site updated with new stuff: I've added the Collage page to the gallery. There are ten (digital) collages, some of which you might recognize if you've visited our site over the years, but there are only three of these, and the rest are new.

Three in particular are a set, the Paper Angels, and they were inspired by a regency mystery I've been rereading.

As for new paintings, I'm currently finishing something I've been working on for quite some time now. The painting is huge! It's the final part of a theme of paintings which include Olivia and Tomorrow Today. Hopefully I can show it to you soon :)

Painting process: Julia

Click to view larger image

And here is the full painting process of Julia, a character from Deanna Raybourn's wonderful Julia Grey series.

I doodled with several Julia's because I wanted to paint a companion piece to Brisbane, but that didn't really work for me in the end. Although this Julia ended up looking younger than I wanted, it still felt right to me.

Click to view larger image
Speaking of Julia: the latest book in the series, Dark Road To Darjeeling, was out earlier this month. I thought I had pre-ordered it, so when I checked my Amazon account to see when it would ship it turns out that I didn't pre-order it. So I had to wait longer than I thought, also due to Amazon being slower than usual this time around.

I was so happy when it arrived, and found the cover so pretty that I wanted took some pictures of it. I also remembered that my aunt gave me this beautiful Indian sari years and years ago, so I thought, why not?

Also, I'm in absolute Brisbane heaven as we speak *floats*

Painting process: Gaia

Click to view larger image

Here are some images of the painting process of Heartbeat of Gaia.

I worked on this in the summer, which may be obvious by my choice of colours. I used some texture brushes I made a while back, but never really found a chance to use them. In this case, they worked surprisingly well.


View the full painting Heartbeat of Gaia in my deviantArt gallery.

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Melting in the sun ... even indoors


So ... I'm not happy with the long rant I have for a tutorial, so I've been experimenting with a different way of presenting one that is easier to follow. Much easier. But first the Disanthus site needs to be redone.

Yes. Again.

The current version (no.9) is a bit of a pain (for me), so it needs to go. The v.10 layout is pretty much done, but we're still contemplating on codes. It used to be easy and fun for me; slicing up the images, opening notepad and writing the codes, sending it to Annette for approval and improvements. But now it just takes time away from what I really want to concentrate on, which is painting. See, I like to keep the layout fresh, because I often get bored with it after a while, which means a new site design and doing the process all over again. I know it's a pain, but I'm like a kid that wants to get it done now.

In the meantime, Italy has been booted out of the World Cup (after France's demise), so it's not all bad >:)

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Of 'net woes & zombies


I've been having major 'net connection problems lately, so I haven't been online as much as I used to, so updates have been incredibly sporadic. Although I do have stuff I can upload on the site, it will have to wait until the new design is ready.

Also, my order for Resident Evil 5 has finally arrived. Good grief! This thing was sold out everywhere! I will definitely work some more on the site design this weekend, but I must prioritize: RE5 comes first. Oh yes, Steroid Chris and Shevalicious will be mine to play with all day ^___^

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Yep, it is as I have foreseen ...

Assassin's Creed II owns my soul.

As I've been telling Annette: this is the most fun I've had with a game since Metal Gear Solid 3, and I was obsessed with that game!

---------S P O I L E R---------

I think I'm making pretty good time in AC2; Ezio's arrived in Venice with Leonardo, and I had to save this brutally ungrateful chick. So far, I've acquired four of the six assassin's seal and completed the renovations at the villa (which means I have money to burn). I've been able to buy the best armour and weapons that I could get at this point in the game.

The only time I was actually stuck was during the Altaïr sequence. I was at it for nearly an hour before giving up and looking for answers on Youtube (what?!). Fortunately, that was the only time I got frustrated, although looking for the assassin's seal in Forli had me cursing quite a bit.

Other than a few hiccups, I've been amazed with this game. It looks superb, the controls aren't bothering me a bit and exploring nearly every nook and cranny in each town has definitely been rewarding. I fear that Venice may be Ezio's last stop in the game, so I'll definitely be taking my time because I don't want it to end :(

---------E N D -- S P O I L E R---------

Oh, and this is my current desktop wallpaper, edited with my own brushes because I don't like white backgrounds in my wallpapers. I think it's pretty cool. I've re-sized the image, because with my original screen size it's rather large.



I've also started writing (and re-writing) the tutorial I promised, so I'll upload that (hopefully) before the weekend. I probably won't publish everything at once, though ...

♣ Doris

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Digital Painter 2 available for pre-order


And guess who's one of the artists?

I admit I completely forgot about the book until I saw ArtSquared's tweet this morning. Anyway, I wrote a tutorial which was published in the first Digital Painters book, and I wanted to write another one for the latest release, but I kept postponing it until there was little time left and I still had to do some last-minute stuff for the paintings I wanted to submit for publishing.

Also, I've been talking about writing tutorials for ages now, but I will post several here. To start with, I'll be posting the edited version of the tutorial I wrote for the first Digital Painters book. I hope that will help me get over my tutorial-writing nerves :p

UPDATE 2012: Sadly ArtSquared and Rage Publishing have closed up shop.

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HULK SMASH!!

I have just updated Disanthus with new art, but it has resulted in my wanting to do a serious HULK SMASH!! *fumes* As I was saying to Annette this weekend, the gallery codes really need to be redone. Hopefully this will happen in the near future, and I believe Annette has a few ideas. Oh, yes, Annette does exist. She is not a figment of my imagination. It's just that I'm the Drama Queen in the Disanthus realm.

Anyway, the portrait is another character from Deanna Raybourn's Silent series. So for those who haven't read the book, Valerius March is the youngest brother of the main character who appears in the first book (Silent in the Grave) and the third (Silent on the Moor). Hope you guys like it :)

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O, Engrish ... how I have missed you

Years ago, this site was one of my favourite places to visit. I found them on Twitter recently and I'm so happy that I did. So whenever I need a good laugh, this will be the place to go for some hilarity. Go and check out Engrish . Com

Here are a few examples:

Nokia ... Asian style

Need to escape the office? Here's a way

The things you can buy these days ...

This lunch just might be your last meal

And many more LOL's to be found at Engrish.

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I'm on Twitter ... Yay?

I have recently made a Twitter account, so I'm a total n00b. It's typing micro-messages and sending them into the void. I feel like I'm trying to establish contact with the paranormal. Weird, but fun.

Also, Bengals were quite soundly beaten by the Jets, which makes me want to smash my head against the wall.

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