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26 August 2008 @ 11:51 pm
New toy syndrome - artsy fartsy edition  
The toy in question is a Wacom Intuos3 6"x8" graphics tablet. I'd had a Graphire years ago and buried it somewhere after switching to Linux and not wishing to bother with getting it up and running. I've been doing enough regular hobby work that a mouse isn't great for, like cutting character pictures out of their background, to justify the purchase. I also thought the tablet would help me get back into drawing practice.

Oh, did it ever.

I set up the buttons as fox-orian's awesome guide suggests. As a refresher, I finished extracting a picture that I'd been slaving over with the silly mouse. Then I got to sketching. Of course, Cao Ren has to have the squarest head on the planet and facial proportions different from the rules of thumb on tutorial websites, and he's always wearing a helmet. It took me at least two hours just to make the basic guidelines for his face. I went through the initial phases without using guides so I could get practice eyeballing. After dropping test guides that verified that my lines were straight and correctly marked, I figured I had enough practice and I'd earned Git-R-Done(tm) privilege. It was like getting to a new platform in the pirate ship in Gex and having the game put up a ladder for you so you don't have to start all over from the beginning if you die.

Sketching face structure on the computer is more encouraging than practicing in a sketchbook because it's easy to make an actual project out of the structure you worked so hard to get right. There's something to be said for quick repeated studies of shape and shadow and whatnot, and I've done some of those on pencil and paper as well. BUT I WANNA HAS PERTY PITCHERS

First I must has break and food. I've been staring at Photoshop all evening.
 
 
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: Tori Amos - Cloud on My Tongue
 
 
 
The Heavy Metal Matador: Kuribo's Shoerydain on September 19th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

I kept meaning to reply to the kickass review you left me because it made my week. This story has been way fun for me to work on, and I'm thrilled that you are enjoying it so much. Plenty more brain candy is on the way. ^_^

Being that you're also a major Cao Ren fan, I'm glad you like the Ren / Meng pairing. With the key traits they have in common - prudence, level-headedness, good leadership skills, a history of self-improvement - I figured they would at least be friends if given the chance. Between that and general brainstorming about what different characters would be like in the modern era, the squeeing part of my brain went OMG CUTE and ran away like the gingerbread man. I love to write, and I can always dig the sort of happy romance story that you would expect from two intelligent and easygoing people. And there you have it.

I also started this fic to add some detailed character development to the collective fanon of my two favorite guys. As you said, Cao Ren is usually overlooked or poorly represented. I remember one fic in the historic timeline that characterized him well. Normally I'm not impressed with how people misinterpret Ren or make him generic. It's a pity because there's so much that can be done with the nuances of his character. Heck, he's great in humor as a straight-laced foil to those you would expect goofiness from. Lu Meng shows up more often, but he's not worked much with either.

I began a general historic fic with Cao Ren as one of the main characters, but it's going to be a while before I can even start posting it.

Cao Ren's cat is a cross between both of mine. The climbing into everything behavior is totally Cookie. He's going to be shy like Chester when Lu Meng comes to visit. (And later, when Shadow warms up to Meng, he will not leave him alone.)

BTW, I added you back. ^_^
naralove on September 21st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
I posted way more in that stupid review thing on FF, but I spaced it to wide, and it cut off a bunch of it. D: That damned box has always hated me, and I didn't get to gush as much as I had wanted too, over how excited this story had made me.

Ren/Meng has most likely moved it's way up in my otp's, taking it's very own special spot, I never had considered the possibilities but I am always up for a different pairing, and there personalities are so intuitive, and they are amazing characters all on there own. The only regret being that I have fallen deeply in love with them now, and you are to blame. <3 I won't be getting much Ren/Meng fix. You drug lord you.

It's so hard to find writing that makes my brain feel none-mushy, and so focused, my art books can't keep me as in tune as your beautiful characterizations did.

Lu Meng gets a lot more 'screen time' then Ren, and it's such a shame, but I always take into account, they have to cover so many people, and give so much character development as they can in such a small amount of space. I think I much love how you perceived them, and your kitties sound so adorable. <3

My cat Bloo would probably love spending time with Cookie, she's a nut for small places. Cabinets, draws, underneath beds, and bookcases. She likes to get her white fur everywhere.

I hope everything I put made sense, it's nearly 12 at night here. xD

<3 Thank you for adding me, I'm glad you accepted!