Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Bathroom Sink Installation

So I had originally intended to replace the seals in my bathroom faucet because it was dripping, but I also noticed that I was getting barely any hot water pressure, so I decided to just go ahead and replace the faucet, shutoff valves and supply lines. I went to Lowe's and purchased new shutoff valves, new supply lines, and a new faucet to fit the 8-inch spread on my sink.

I also figured out I needed a basin wrench because there is no other way I could have loosened the lock nuts from underneath. No big deal, just $15 for one of those. I got the old faucet out and saw that the new one came with a new popup assembly. So I decided to take out the old one. Unfortunately the old one was very corroded and the only way to get it out was to cut above the T-junction that houses the ballcock (I laughed too) assembly.

Halfway through I realized my hacksaw blade was dull and I didn't have a replacement. That stopped the project for a week because I had an insane deadline at work for a big client. So I was brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink for a little while.

Once I got back to the store and got rolling again, I finished cutting through and was able to put a wooden block underneath the drain flange and knock it out with a mallet. It popped out with a shower of rust flakes everywhere and I realized that the sink itself was badly corroded. Might as well replace the entire sink. Back to Lowe's.

They had a big selection of sinks, but unfortunately they don't make bathroom sinks with a 4-inch spread anymore. You can get them, but they have to be special ordered and the're a bit more expensive. So I just decided to buy a 4-inch spread faucet while I was there and return the 8-inch faucet later. The good news is the 4-inch faucet was a lot cheaper ($85 compared to $150).

After cutting the seal around the old sink I lifted it out. Being made of cast iron, that thing was HEAVY. I applied a new bead of plumber's putty around the rim of the counter hole and installed the new sink with the faucet already attached. Then it was just a matter of installing the new shutoff valves and supply lines, and applying a bead of silicone caulk around the edges of the sink and faucet. Done! I am officially a plumber. You can check out the complete photo gallery here:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Someone is illegally selling my plans on eBay.

Several years ago (i.e. 2002) I designed and built a drafting table and posted the instructions and drawings on my website, free to download. Earlier this month someone brought it to my attention that some douchetard from Hollow Rock, Tennessee is selling a pdf of my plans on eBay:

I sent a Notice of Copyright Infringement to eBay and a message to tabd123. Here's the exchange so far:

From: petersen1973
To: tabd123
Subject: You've received a message from an eBay member
Sent Date: Dec-16-09 10:27:44 PST

Dear tabd123,
I am the copyright owner of the drafting table plans that you are selling on this site, in violation of U.S. Copyright Law. I am sending a Notice of Copyright Infringement to eBay and am considering legal action against you.
- petersen1973

From: tabd123
To: petersen1973
Subject: You've received a message from an eBay member
Sent Date: Dec-16-09 10:55:14 PST

Dear petersen1973,
i went and search yr plans on net and the plans that are here
are not the plans im selling,as a matter of fact my booklet has a ISBN number that is well documented.yr copyright has 2007 on it i have been selling these over 5 years now.
- tabd123

From: petersen1973
To: tabd123
Subject: You've received a message from an eBay member
Sent Date: Dec-16-09 11:09:12 PST

Dear tabd123,
The pdf on my site is a modified, updated version of the original plans I made in 2002, to which I still own the copyright. I still have the original 3D models and high-resolution rendered images. The text in your advertisement is taken verbatim from my previous html files, and the image in your posting is identical to my original as well.
- petersen1973

From: tabd123
To: petersen1973
Subject: You've received a message from an eBay member
Sent Date: Dec-16-09 11:22:55 PST

Dear petersen1973,
u seem to be giving away yr plans anyways not sure what yr argument is that u are losing could still sell yr plans legaly and mearly charge a fee for printing them out and shipping them,as long as they still gave aurther the credit for writing.
- tabd123

Dear tabd123,
That is incorrect, and the fact that I'm not selling my plans is beside the point. You are making a profit from selling someone else's intellectual property. Copyright ownership means the intellectual property may not be mass-distributed or sold without the owner's written consent under any circumstances, profit or no profit. I gave you no such consent, and you are therefore in violation of the law.
- petersen1973

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More from the BPMI co-op.

Not much to say about this one, apart from attempting a more interesting composition. Again, Photoshop CS4.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More figure drawing

Last night's pose was a bit easier because I didn't have to worry about attaining a facial likeness, and her arms and legs were out of view. I could just concentrate on the back muscles and hair mass. Not a bad session.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BPMI Figure Drawing

We had a three-hour pose on Monday night . One of the Figure Drawing classes had to make up a studio due to a model being sick, so they overlapped it with the BPMI coop. So I had some extra time to refine the proportions and facial likeness adding a few more details.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BPMI Figure Drawing

Another two-hour Photoshop sketch of Valerie, an excellent model. She held this pose like a statue with only a 10-minute break. I like the result; I wish I had more time to detail the legs & feet more. I'll have to work faster next time. Like I say, a great exercise in working fast.

Friday, October 30, 2009

BPMI Figure Drawing

I brought my tablet to the figure drawing coop at the design center last night, and was pleased with the results. I had forgotten what a good exercise live figure drawing is because with a two-hour limit I'm forced to work fast. I started painting in color but I don't think it was working out very well so I desaturated everything and went to grayscale. That enabled me to block the values in faster. I also cropped the composition so I could pay closer attention to the head and torso. With 15 minutes left I wanted to see what some color would do, so I created a layer with an overlay blending mode and quickly laid down some skin and hair tones.

I have been sketching, but I haven't had time to scan my moleskine and post to the blog. Next week I'll try to catch up.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daily Sketch: upset on the phone

Another idea for the pinup series of females I have planned. She's on the phone and somewhat unpleased. I'm anxious to get working on these, but I move into my new house this week and am going to be busy moving, painting and cleaning carpets. Hopefully I'll have a little time to sketch.

Daily Sketch: Arm Proportions

I was messing around, constructing a new pose for a female in my Moleskine. I was having trouble remembering the arm proportions so I looked up some photographic images of a human skeleton.

Bringing some images into Photoshop and using the Measure tool I figured out that if you consider the length from the shoulder joint to the elbow as one generic unit, then the distance from the elbow to the wrist joint is 0.8 units. In turn, the distance from the wrist to the tip of the longest finger (if the fingers are extended) is roughly 0.6 units. That's a handy ratio to remember. 1 - 0.8 - 0.6. I should do the same for the legs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Daily sketch: dressed up and bored

A sketch out of my Moleskine this evening. I realize her head is way too big, but I wasn't quite going for absolute realism. I think I have an idea for a new series. I've recently been inspired by the work of Jack Vettriano and am in need of art for my new house. I plan on making a series of vector art pieces depicting beautiful women in a manner similar to this one. Perhaps with smaller heads.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Daily Sketch

I've decided I'm going to try to do at least one meaningful sketch per day, either digitally or traditionally, and post it to this blog. I do not sketch nearly enough, and it is time to change that. This is a ten-minute head color and value study in Photoshop CS4. Dark environment, one backlight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guns and Political Rallies

William Kostric, the man brandishing a pistol outside Obama's town hall meeting last week in Portsmouth, N.H. also carried a sign that read "It's time to water the tree of liberty!", referencing Thomas Jefferson's quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Consider we have progressed, as a nation, in the last 8 years. Can you imagine, shortly after September 11 carrying a firearm to ANY political rally, much less one anywhere near the president? Don’t think for a moment that you wouldn’t have been shipped off to Guantanamo in a heartbeat.

Why has this man not been arrested and charged with threatening the life of the president (18 USC Sec.871)? I realize he wasn’t technically breaking any local firearm laws, but we all know that’s bullshit. Gun-rights advocates everywhere are praising this man as a true patriot exercising his 2nd Amendment rights, yet if Bush was still the president they’d be calling this guy a terrorist. The slogan he was displaying was nothing less than thinly-veiled provocation of armed insurrection.

Would this man have received the same courtesy from police if he was of Middle-Eastern descent? A muslim?

Argue all you want to me about his constitutional rights, but my point is this: when you bring a gun to a political rally you are sending a very clear message indeed.

This has also created a disturbing trend, as now more people are bringing firearms to public events with the president, like the wingnut in Arizona carrying a goddamn assault rifle among a crowd of protesters. Reportedly there were over a dozen people in that crowd carrying firearms. Does anyone realize how pants-on-head INSANE this is? What do you think is going to happen when tensions escalate and one person decides to actually use his weapon, or a car backfires? Picture it. You’re in a crowd of angry protesters, all armed. Suddenly there's a loud bang. Everyone scatters, everyone pulls their pistols and starts aiming them in all directions. You don't think anyone will get hurt or worse? A safer nation indeed.

And all this because Obama wants everyone to have equal access to health care. Oh, what an evil concept! What tyranny! Where were these "patriots" when Bush was authorizing warrantless wiretapping and suspending habeas corpus? Fight the power, brothers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Infiltrators finished

I forgot to post the final version of this piece. Basically I added layers of detail to the building and grass.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some CD/Logo artwork.

I created this logo for a band I was in recently, until we went on a hiatus. I had fun playing with these guys; hopefully we'll get together again soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Concept Art: Infiltrators

This started out as a quick speedpainting exercise but it's quickly turning into a worthwhile portfolio piece. I have 10 hours into it so far. The only thing I need to finish up is the structure in the background and maybe mess up the grass a bit to make it look not so much like it was painted with a scatter brush. I might noodle on the guy standing to the right a bit more, give him some more detail.

I like how concept art changes as you work on it. Originally it was just the one guy sitting on the ground, meditating on the mission before him, which is to quietly infiltrate this big, heavily-defended structure in the distance. Then I thought it needed more people, so I added two companions. All three people were going to be roughly the same: ninja-type intruders all with the same blade weapons, but as I worked I thought it would be neat if each person has his own specialty, i.e. the silent ninja type, the ballistic weapons/sniper expert to the left, and the tech/computer specialist to the right. Maybe their mission is to enter and grab data undetected. The tech guy is holding a device that could be a communicator, waiting for the go-ahead text message or something.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taught myself some more Flash today.

So I wanted to figure out how to make a navigation bar in which an indicator would move in a fluid fashion toward whatever you just clicked on. This could be for a website, interactive timeline, game menu, etc. This particular example I wanted the arrow to just move to the same horizontal (x) position as the mouse at the instant of the click. I also wanted to constrain it to a range of x values, specifically, to the width of the navigation bar. So when you click anywhere to the right or left of the bar, the arrow will only travel to the bar's edge.

Just for shits I also made a dynamic text field that constantly refreshes the pointer's x position as a percentage of the width of the bar.

Here's the code:

import fl.transitions.Tween;
import fl.motion.easing.*;


stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, comeHere);

function comeHere(event:MouseEvent):void {
var xTarget:Number=mouseX;
if (xTarget>navBar.x+navBar.width) {
} else if (xTarget < navBar.x) {
var xTween:Tween=new Tween(trackerMC,"x",Quartic.easeOut,trackerMC.x,xTarget,1,true);

addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, refreshXPos);

var xPos:Number;

function refreshXPos(event:Event):void
xPos = Math.ceil((trackerMC.x - navBar.x)/navBar.width*100);
positionTxt.text = xPos.toString();

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Prius!

I finally got fed up with driving my 12-year old pickup truck on long road trips and bought a sensible, reliable car this week. I've been looking at the Prius for some time now and couldn't hold out any longer. Work started to pick up again last month and I decided I had waited long enough. I rode my bicycle to Wilson Toyota and test drove a 2009 Prius Option 6 Touring Edition in Spectra Blue Mica. After driving it for a week I couldn't be happier.

It it's got Vehicle stability control (which is good because my rear-wheel drive light pickup handled like ass in the winter); backup camera; smart key system; Anti-theft system; Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink garage door opener. Not that I have a power garage door, but I might eventually.

Its interior features are leather trimmed seats and steering wheel; Voice-activated DVD GPS navigation system; JBL AM/FM 6-Disc CD/MP3/WMA changer with 9 Speakers, Aux audio input miniplug, Satellite radio capability, and hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth. It didn't come with a peeing Calvin sticker though.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 7: Finished!

The lighting on his left leg was bothering me. With the sun at that angle, his right leg would be casting a shadow on his left so I painted it in. I added a curves and hue/saturation adjustment layer to make him pop just a little more. I moved to the background layer and adjusted the levels to a cool violet. Then I painted in the colors and clouds into the sunset.

I started in with the boulders, as the subject of this illustration is the idea of some kind of destroyer angel/demon being unleashed from a stone prison or cocoon in an explosive manner. Lots of loose brushing at various opacity, with some scatter brush texturing. I wanted to avoid using any photographic textures for this and keep it 100% Photoshop painting.

I took the layer with the smallest stones and ran a radial zoom blur filter at a value of 10, then took the medium-sized rocks and ran the same filter at 5. I really like the energy this motion blur gives to the painting.

I painted the shading and wrinkles on the (tunic, I guess?) and gave him a waistband with a kind of wizard-language gibberish written across it. I added some blue flames to his sword by painting a jagged shape of blue, burning and dodging it, then using Filter > Distort > Wave, and then Edit > Fade Wave at 50%. I did this several times, airbrush erased here and there, then set the layer blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add). After minor tweaks here and there, shuffling stones around and some color and level adjustments, I think I’ll call this one finished.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 6: Details and Effects

After some more futzing around with the deltoids and general torso area I started adding some detail. I realized I didn’t quite allow room for the sternum, so I separated the pectoral muscles and added the serrations. It is quite amazing to me how I can walk away from this for a while, come back and find something so obviously wrong.

I worked a little with texture brushes just to break up the smoothness and apply a more painterly style. I think I FINALLY have the anatomy in a pretty solid place. If not, screw it; I’ll get it right on the next painting; it’s time to move on and finish this thing.

I detailed the hair and more of the anatomy, refined the left foot (thanks Teresa), then I started adding some special effects; I wanted some sort of glowing rune etched into his chest, and gave him glowing eyes. I repainted the sword at an angle that works better than the old one.

I desaturated the background because it was bothering me a little and I wanted to make sure the values were good above all else.

Monday, February 23, 2009

3D Stereoscopic Test

I've been tasked with creating some marketing animations at work. We're trying out a 3D stereoscopic rendering technique for a particular client. I've been producing some test images and movies using a 3D anaglyph process of rendering a scene with 2 cameras and color processing each image in Photoshop. Here's a little test image I made today of a disintegrating teapot (Note: You will need a pair of red/blue 3D glasses to see it properly).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Exposure doesn't pay the bills.

I've been spending a lot of time on freelance websites lately, in particular, and I am baffled by the number of potential clients who want artwork but don't want to pay for it. I've seen several project postings asking for full-color, detailed illustrations and budgeting $250 for artwork for which any decent artist would charge at least $1000.

Here's a typical example of this sort of posting:

Hi, I’m creating a series of kids books for ages 3-7 and need a very talented artist...each book will have roughly 16 illustrations per book, and I’m talking about full spread large illustrations... [etc. blah blah] As you can see... I would certainly keep you busy full time job, so please give me your best pricing you can do. The pricing is extremely important for me as this is a high volume venture and I can’t afford a lot per illustration but on the other hand I need excellent quality. I need 50 books illustrators over next 2 months alone and then 1-2 per week which will eventually grow to 3 books per week. I look forward hearing from you.
In your response, let me know if it’s just you or if you have a team of artist and if so how many. Also how long will it take to do per illustration on the level I’ve given above and are there any styles you can’t do?

Estimated Budget: Not sure/Determined by bids

"I can't afford a lot per illustration but on the other hand I need excellent quality" seems to be the mantra among most of these clients. I realize the economy is in the toilet, but that doesn't change the fact that professionals ought to be paid appropriately for their services.

Another common phrase I encounter is "this will be great exposure for you". As far as I know, exposure doesn't keep the lights on. One of the first freelance jobs I got was designing a website for a local startup company: a secure off-site data storage facility. They bought an old underground Cold War-era government command bunker and converted it into huge rack space. Their concepts are security, isolation, and protection. The owner asked me if I'd be interested in creating some paintings for their facility; corporate art stuff. He told me that he couldn't pay me but it would be great exposure for me.

Great exposure?! You're an underground, impregnable fortress designed to keep people out! What the fuck is it going to be exposed to?! Fortunately I handled it more delicately than that. Footnote: for a complete 5-page html site, with layout and links, I got paid $150. This was long before I knew what I was doing.

Imagine this pitch: "I'm an entrepeneur with a small start-up company. We need a lawyer to help us draft an agreement with investors, one that would be specifically tailored to our needs. Unfortunately we can only afford to pay what amounts to $20/hour for attorney's fees, but we have a great product and it's going to be really popular and we're going to blow up and be the next and we promise to tell everyone we meet who our attorney is and you're going to get a ton of work from this." Any self-respecting attorney would laugh them out of the room. Why should artists be any different? We have a skill, and we've worked hard to develop it.

That's not to say I've never worked for free. Three years ago I submitted artwork for a contest held by Random House to have an illustration published in the paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller World War Z. The contest terms also stated $800 prize money. I won the contest, and was published, but they somehow forgot to send the $800. I contacted the publisher about this, and never got a response. At the time I didn't care much; I was just happy to be published in such a popular book. I figured the jobs would start rolling in, and they would more than make up for getting fucked out of $800.

Well, that didn't really happen. I did have a few people give me props on deviantart, but otherwise I haven't gotten any work as a direct result of that "exposure".

So from now on, when somebody offers to pay me with exposure, I literally start laughing. Especially now that I've become familiar with the notion of speculative, or "spec" work, which is the completion of a body of work with no guarantee of payment for said work, or even that the work itself will be used. Before I entered the World War Z contest I had never heard of spec work. Now that I've done some more reading on the subject, I'm almost ashamed of myself for entering the contest in the first place.

At any rate, spec work itself deserves another post, and perhaps I'll write more about it later (especially how it relates to my day job more each day). For now I'll just say that if you want art, bite the freaking bullet and pay for it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 5: Almost ready for detail

I decided I didn’t like the position of his right arm, so I bent it back a little and rotated the forearm up a notch so that the arm is in a more relaxed position, but still powerful. I thought his left upper arm looked a bit squat so I extended it some. More refinement of the shoulders and left elbow and started adding details and blending the open hand and face.

I haven’t had much of a chance to hit this painting all week since I’ve been tasked with busywork at my day job. Work is still slow so they’ve got me on marketing stuff, which is always hard or me to get motivated on, especially since I know we’re not getting paid for it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 4: Refining again and again

More work on the arms and neck; I just couldn’t nail down those deltoid muscles. I paused, took a step back and thought about anatomy basics; where does the muscle insert, and where does it wrap around? After some more re-evaluation I think the neck and shoulders are at a good point.

I’m really noodling on this guy’s anatomy (that’s what she said). I repositioned the left arm by extending the humerus and tilting it down a bit. I lengthened the torso a little, re-sculpted the abs and repainted the neck again. I’m doing a LOT of repainting to get this right. I’m pretty happy with the face at this point (see inset).

I’m discovering that painting skin tones at sunset is quite difficult. There’s a lot of subtlety in tonal variations, and it’s easy to go too far with shadows and highlights. Dropping the opacity of my paintbrush has given me more control. I also deepened the red hues in the skin.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 3: Reworking the Anatomy

I started in on the sword and probably went into too much detail, but oh well. I decided the abdominal muscles needed some refinement, so I referred to some photos for reference. I’m starting to build up a library of photoreference images, both anatomical and architectural and every subject in between, something I should have been doing years ago.

I added the right foot, something I temporarily overlooked. I also tweaked and repainted the serratus (rib) muscles, lats and obliques. The torso is really starting to come together. The arms and legs are still going to need some refinement, and I’m still not sure about the deltoids. I’ll refer to my anatomy books...

I started getting a bit frustrated with this painting tonight because I’ve spent 13 hours on it so far and I feel like it should be farther along by now. At times like this I think about artists like Marta Dahlig and how much better she is than me, and ten years younger. I look at a painting she made for Corel Painter Magazine that supposedly took her 6 hours and looks like it took weeks.

Okay, with that out of my system, my frustration came from having to repaint the head because I felt it just looked awkward. I’m glad I did, because this new angle works much better, and my proportions are much more solid.

I also reworked the legs quite extensively, looking at more photoreference images to identify corrections to the muscle groups. Runner’s World is a great resource for leg muscles. Weightlifting magazines are rather useful too. I also reshaped the left foot and hand. A couple good digital painting habits I’m developing:

1) Ditch undo. If you make a mistake, paint over it unless it’s something really destructive. It makes the work more interesting and gives it more texture. Thanks to Marko Djurdjevic for giving me this idea.
2) Constantly evaluate your work and don’t get too attached to it. If something’s wrong, it’s wrong. Repaint or redraw it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 2: Initial color and blocking

I started with a dark blue gradient, and then with a large airbrush started filling in the yellow glow of the sunset. Then I established the horizon line with a low-saturated brown, getting darker as I approached the foreground. A little more airbrushing and I have my very basic background; I'll use this as the foundation for now to set the light source, tone and color palette.

I began blocking in the figure’s silhouette, using a standard round brush, and again paying attention only to basic proportions at this stage.

I made some color adjustments to make the figure warmer, as the sun is low in the sky. I roughed in some shadows and highlights, thinking about where direct light would hit the figure. I’m still not sure about these skin tones.

After refining some of the inner forms by overpainting and using the liquify filter, I used Image > Adjustments > Color Balance and adjusted the shadows to a more blue/cyan. I think I’m happy with this overall skin tone palette, but I’ll still mix in some purples and greens here and there to mix it up a bit.

I then added the basic shape of the hair just to get away from the flesh for a minute. Some more refinement here: I noticed some problems with the deltoids; both were a bit out of place and too small. If nothing else I’m getting better about not being so “married” to the art and painting over something that isn’t right, starting over if necessary.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 1: Rough Composition

This week I started a new illustration. I’m trying a couple new approaches with this project. One is that I’m drawing and painting entirely digital, with no pencil or ink drawings to scan in, and the other is that I’m documenting the entire process, capturing still images along the way and describing my method. This should be fun!

I have a rough idea of my subject matter, and that is of a winged character in mid-flight, holding a sword. This could be an angel or demon, or just perhaps a superhero-type character or even an alien; I don’t know yet.

My software is Adobe Photoshop CS4. I start off with a blank 480 x 640 canvas. This phase is strictly a composition and value study and I don’t want to get caught up in the details yet. I’ll create a much larger canvas for the actual painting. I lay down a couple gradients for the sky and establish the horizon line with a large airbrush.

On a new layer I start blocking in a silhouette of my character, mindful of only basic body proportions for now. Again, avoid details. At this point I know my character will be some sort of winged person in mid-flight, so I think of what would make an interesting pose; is he ascending or descending, or somewhere in between? I’m thinking about triangle shapes in my composition, and energy in the pose.

Here I added the wing shapes and decided he needs to move up and to the right. I also decide that our main light source will be the low sun in the horizon and thinking about how that will light the figure; which areas of the body will receive direct sunlight and which will be in shadow. There will also be ambient sky light from above, reflected off clouds.

I decided to move the horizon line up so we can see more of what type of landscape he’s flying over and to possibly add some sort of building or battle scene below. I also thought his foot in the previous version was “resting” on the horizon. This composition is more interesting and gives us a stronger sense of vertigo. The sun hasn’t really moved that much in relation to the figure, so the direct lighting remains about the same.

I refined some of the figure’s inner shapes, roughed in some hair and clothing, gave him some flaming eyes and changed the pose of his left arm, as I didn’t care for how it was reaching off-canvas; it looked like I was trying to avoid painting his hand, or he could have been hanging on to something. With this pose, there’s no question that he’s floating in air. And if he’s a magician as well I can paint him holding a ball of energy or a lightning bolt or something. I also bent his right leg further back; this gives the pose just a little bit more energy. The composition is starting to come together. I think it’s about time to start laying down the actual painting.

Monday, January 5, 2009

You should see the other guy.

Alright, so I've been a lousy blogger. I could list many reasons why I haven't updated, but they're all lame.

Anyway, I got a nice little wake-up the other day from my cat. I like to keep a glass of water by the bed at night. It's usually in a bottle or other spill-proof container because my cat Vincent likes to drink out of people glassware, even though he has plenty of his own fresh water.

I felt him climb up onto the pillow to get at the glass, which was on the windowsill behind my head. Not wanting him to knock over the glass, as he has been known to do, I lifted him up and over my head. I'm not sure why, but it was 5 a.m. and I wasn't thinking clearly.

He squirmed and overbalanced in my hands, kicking out with his back legs and accidentally planting a good one across my right cheek. He still has his back claws, so it was quite painful. I yelled and tossed him away, cursing. I chugged the water in the glass and laid back down on the pillow.

Lifting my head up, I noticed a big streak of blood on my pillowcase. I ran to the bathroom mirror and discovered I had a huge gash on my cheek. Not deep enough for stitches, but it was significant. I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and applied a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding.

"Well, I'm up," I said as I shuffled into the kitchen to make coffee.

The good thing is that it looks kind of bad-ass, so I've been telling people I got into a knife fight over the weekend, in a story involving multiple attackers and a damsel in distress.