d357 120831 Ink Drawings II


Well, I haven’t really had the chance to draw much since the last update, but I figure I’d get this post in before the month was up (30 minutes left as of this writing!). Last time I posted what I’d consider my first “true” ink drawings, and today I’ve got two more. These are both from reference:

Both drawings are slightly disproportionately narrow compared to the original. I’m not exactly sure how I screwed them up the same way twice in a row, but it might have something to do with the translation of the photo aspect ratio to the paper aspect ratio. Hopefully will have a chance to draw more in the next few weeks.

The following comments about computing and whatnot were written at the beginning of August. As these things go, they are already out of date, but since it’s already written, I’ll post it for my future self to read.

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d344 120102 Akemi Homura 2011 R2, Love Hina sketches

[111220 – 120102]

The first illustration in today’s update was actually done before the last picture in the last update, but everything in the last update flowed together better, so I didn’t include this.

This is basically a remake of what I consider the crappiest painting as of late, the Akemi Homura 2011 painting. While this colored pencil piece is obviously somewhat less polished than its digital counterpart I think its also a lot closer to what I originally wanted. In part due to the immaturity of my colored pencil process, the lighting here is also fairly ambiguous.

There’s a less-than-interesting process photo I took a little more than halfway through too. A little bit of color testing on the side; for whatever reason it was significantly harder to settle on Akemi’s colors than it was to settle on Inori’s colors. You can also see that there’s actually a lot of “junk” lines that the colored pencil covered up really well. Overall, fairly satisfied, though. Satisfied enough that I wouldn’t attempt another in the near future.

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d330 110721 space week 2


Well, this is the backup drawing because I don’t have anything. The second drawing I was going to do currently consists of one 1/8th thumbnail and a blank page. In generally just had a lot of eBay stock to process this week, and I spent a lot of time puttering around. It doesn’t help that J’s been sick, so he hasn’t been drawing, which has definitely decreased my motivation somewhat.

Anyway, this is a Slick Wheels class locomotive drawn at the beginning of this year. The round windows are supposed to be like those found on some ships and some Japanese trains. Japanese diesels always seem to have the strangest wheel arrangements.

The rest of this post is dedicated to one year with the x200t.

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dupdate 110709


Well, a slightly different kind of fanart from me this time. I liked J’s idea of doing the character sketches, but I tried to put a spin on it. Kind of going off of what I said in d325, I’m trying something like balancing between my style, their style, and the character, but as with any of these sorts of experiments, the success or failure is debatable.

Anyway, this is Phryne from Fractale. I was going to try to be real pro and hash out a bunch of these real fast, but me being real slow coupled with an unexpected hardware failure (I suppose those are usually unexpected), has led to only this one being complete or even in progress. This is also the first non-full-page colored anything I’ve done for… well, a long time.

I last discussed equipment shuffling very recently in d313, but even the best plans of mice and men…

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dupdate 110619


Well, I told J that I would match him a sketch for every sketch he does, so this is for day two.

This is a redesign of an old design. There were a couple ships I designed back in elementary school that had propellers for whatever silly reason, but it was all very spindly and out of scale. This is a rescaling and ironing out of those designs.

Yesterday I was talking about the wildcard in my hardware master plan: the last time I talked about my storage subsystem was in d243, almost two years ago. Little has changed since then; my “important” stuff is still triplicated across three desktop drives, with the remainder of the drives being filled with less important, non-duplicated stuff (lots and lots of anime).

The best set of rules I’ve come across for backing up data is a “1 2 3” kind of rule: 3 copies, 2 media, 1 off-site location. So basically you want three copies of your stuff on two different kinds of media (ie HDD and CD or DVD) with one copy somewhere else (technically it’s like 3-2-2, but I digress). Now that I have a DVD sent taken to Hong Kong every year, in addition to the three HDD copies, I’d say I’m pretty decent on the backup front.

For the HDD subsystem, I’m currently using these hot-swap bays, which I’ve been using… since 2007, obviously. I wanted to be able to only buy bare drives, but I also didn’t want to have to handle them directly. I also didn’t want to buy standalone external drives because USB 2.0 is slow as crap relative to the size of even a 500GB hard drive, and you need a power brick. And I hate power bricks.

One issue I had considered was the need to keep buying new caddies every time I bought a new drive. It’s cost overhead (like $20 for a bay and caddy) and there’s the fear that they might stop selling this exact make and model of bay and caddy in the not-so-far future. And if I wanted to switch bay and caddy systems, it’s impossible to get rid of the old caddies and bays at anywhere near the original cost. I glossed over this issue by saying I’d only buy so many caddies and bays and just upgrade the size of the hard drive in each caddy as drives got bigger, but even for “less important” data, I’m becoming afraid of committing like a full 2TB of data onto a single drive. 500GB to 1TB seems to be fine.

Without the desktop I don’t have the bays connected to my “main” machine anymore (the T400), which renders my entire storage subsystem impractical. To access the drives, I’ll need to get USB/SATA adapters, and worst of all, power bricks. So something has to be done in this space, I’m just not sure what it is.

dupdate 110618


This month on Nonsense Wars: J makes a post!

Anyway, I have to start grasping at straws now because I haven’t actually drawn anything substantial for the past half a year(!). Hopefully that’ll change soon, but when I read J’s “one post a day” comment, I lol’ed. I’ve been able to sit down and do some doodles recently, but just not much. At all. So at least for today’s post, no real new content. Since Pieces is finally completely posted, I’ve decided to compile and post my lovely Pieces storyboard.

The above picture is a (gasp) “thumbnail” that you can click. The actual thing is 50% of the real thing and still 1.5MB, so beware 56k’ers (if there are, God forbid, still any out there). The thumbnail is 33% of 50% and still 277K. There are 24 “pages” here; while the actual story is only 20 pages, the first two pages in each *.jnt file are notes for me to keep track of what the crap I was doing.

Looking back on this it seems that, for the most part, the actual pages more or less followed their storyboard counterparts to the dot… or were completely different. Not much in the middle. The worst pages (a46 ranks among the worst if you ask me) are apparently those that didn’t have anything concrete on the storyboard and just “this has to happen here” notes. Thus in general, the storyboard seems to have helped, but I suppose it’s more of a “knowing what the heck you’re going to do” helps.

That being said, I’m not sure what I’m doing next with regard to comic, but it’s not going to have a storyboard.

Changing gears a bit; yesterday I did a major cleanup and some equipment shuffling.

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dcomic a48


This is, I think, by far the longest we’ve gone without an update since high school (about a month since the last update). I’ve more or less given up on kicking J to update, and am just updating when he does. Obviously I’m just taking the blame off me. So we’re not really officially dead yet, just very much in limbo as these sorts of things generally turn out to be.

… and so here’s the second last page of Pieces. As expected, I still haven’t actually drawn anything significant since then, so in a way I’m glad we have this “break”. Those paintings I mentioned a month ago never happened either. I’m not too sure why I didn’t have the time over break (for all the past breaks I can remember I’ve always had the time and inspiration to do at least one) – I had the sketches and all ready – but it just didn’t happen.

Instead (well maybe not outright instead of painting), I replaced my trusty E6400 with a T400 in the same spontaneous way I replaced my TC4200 with my X200T.

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dcomic a45


And in today’s comic, Dogma class SHDs. The bridge is actually modeled after that of the Declaration class airships in the older Directorate storyline, though within the context of the story, the reverse is most likely the case. Only a couple more of Pieces to go and I have to think of something else clever…

This week I finally took some pics to supplant my long delayed post about power line networking.

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dcomic a43


The slow updates lately have been somewhat regrettable, but with J updating so rarely these days, I’m not terribly motivated to do my part either. Of all the things we blabbered about at our Fanime panel, I think “doing a webcomic with someone” is probably the advice I’d be most inclined to support given all the crap we’ve been through. It has come down to the point where I need to be a little sick and a little bedridden to update…

Nothing really worth mentioning about today’s comic page, page 14 of Pieces. It’s been only four months since I wrote this now, but it feels like a damn long time. Going forward with the comics right now, I’m doing kind of a free-flowing, unplanned “continuation” of this story, largely as I feel that that route is a lesser evil than the route of working on the “continuation” of the “main” story arc. Lesser evil in that’s it’s less clunky – and less difficult, I guess – to conduct. All of Pieces was supposed to have been posted by now, as I mentioned in an older post that I couldn’t find, but as with the main story arc, stuff happens, I don’t draw enough, and the posts get delayed. Next week (or next update, really; I intend to post in less than a week to make up for the recent failings) will be a painting again.

The rest of this post was going to be about setup, as a continuation of my last post, but I’m going to throw some other random shit in there. It’s weird typing “2011” on everything…

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dcomic a40


So we’ve got page 11 of Pieces today. As with most pages, I don’t really have anything in particular to say about this one. You can see the Academy as depicted in “Pieces Painting” in the background.

As far as these mini-projects go (Starcrossed, Reflection, TIAIIS), Pieces now has the distinction as the only one with which I’m still fairly satisfied some months after completion. I’m fairly certain I wasn’t happy with Starcrossed even a month or so after I printed it, and I definitely wasn’t happy with Reflection or TIAIIS after I finished those. That isn’t to say improvements can’t be made (on the contrary, there’s plenty of things I still want to try), but given the time and skill constraints, I do think Pieces did a good job of sitting on the edge of do-ability.

In other news (as there always is), I received a figure I ordered way, way back in May (yikes, that’s nearly half a year ago now that I think about it). The second season of K-On has come and gone in that time, but I finally, finally have my damn Mio figure, and the joins the ranks of my other four figures, all of which are now back in their boxes with the original packaging pending a display case in which to display them that I may never get. That doesn’t stop me from wanting another figure, though; I’m considering this Mikoto

I like how my eBay watch list has pages and pages of broken laptops interspersed with Anime merchandise and the like.

Speaking of eBay, October was a really good month for business. Since it’s been about two years since I last spoke of this matter, I think it’s time to revisit. Somehow this buying and selling – “arbitrage”, according to my friend Steve – has become my primary hobby these days with drawing taking a distant second and anything else practically non-existent (if only because, as I may have mentioned in the past, it’s the most immediately profitable and the most immediately practical), and as such it’s grown in leaps and bounds. This is really an objective comparison because I have records of every transaction I’ve made since I officially started on August 6th, 2008.

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