Fantasy Art

Friday, September 14, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ned the Barbarian versus the Giant Snake...Dragon...thing

For those of you who are paying close attention this is a very similar sketch to one I shared a couple weeks ago where Ned battles the big googly eyed tentacled monster.  The part I didn't much like about that drawing was that Ned almost looked to be tipping over to the right.  Thi sketch corrects that issue, but I'd be bored with the same costume and monster so I tried something different.


Gilead's health journal

We played Dungeons and Dragons yesterday.  Really Gil, do you Still do that?  Well no actually I don't still do that I'm doing it again after being away for many years.  All the other people in our group weren't born yet the last time we played.  In fact it's 5th edition now which is so different I've basically had to re-learn the whole thing.
Anyways, what's all that got to do with my health?  Well nothing most of the time, but on game days people bring snacks and most of them are not healthy snacks and yesterday this guy brought these Oreo mint chip brownies that I had promised myself I would resist, but I broke down and had one just before he went out the door with them.  Good lowered they were too sweet!  Everybody said so, but in the past whenever someone said that about a desert I always thought it was great and went back for thirds. 
Last night I just had one small piece and was sugar stunned for hours, I was sleepy, brain fogged and sore in my joints.  I don't really think there was anything particularly bad about the brownies but I'd cleansed my system for most of a month and wasn't used to the effect.  Nor have I ever appreciated how much effect that stuff has because I'm sure my regular diet was leaving me feeling like that  all of the time and I just didn't know it.

So on the positive side I guess it means I'm cleaning up my system?  Maybe.  Still a half pound lighter this morning so it's not all bad.  One thing we're determined to maintain is that falling off the wagon doesn't oblige you to remain off the wagon for the week or the day or even the hour so we're back on.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Before and After, Miss Abigail Strumpet Part Two

Long long ago I did this life drawing sketch which at the time I thought was super awesome.  Years later I pulled it from the closet and thought it was so awful it deserved to be crumpled up and used as a fire starter for my backyard barbecue.   The face is very rough, that far shoulder is a mess, the boobs are crooked.  Withe the left shoulder sitting higher her left boob should also be higher.  It's just a mess!
But then I thought, as I sometimes do, perhaps I can save it.

So then I sat down and got creative.  I was prepared to throw this drawing away so there can be no fear of messing it up.  Literally anything I do to it is OK.  I could give her four arms and the head of a turtle at this point and it might not be pretty, but it won't be ruined any more than it already is.
So I got this far and hung up a little on how to proceed.  Her expression looked to me like that of someone being seduced which is why I pulled the dress down off of her shoulder.  But then again she also looks like she's at a party.  There was very little paper remaining at the top of the image so having a man standing behind her was problematic.
I posted all of this to my Facebook page in a theme I like to call "After Images".  Facebook friends started offering suggestions of how to proceed: Have someone Kneeling, Put Ned the Barbarian in there, Have a goblin attempting to seduce her etc.  All of this got some ideas flowing in my brain.
If you're reading this but don't follow my Facebook page I think you'd enjoy the facebook page.  This blog is sort of an archive of stuff done in the past while Facebook is more of a real-time experience.  Whatever appeals to ya.

I solemnly swear that my Facebook page will remain religion and politics free.  It's almost exclusively my art and events I go to for my art.  I know a couple people who profess to maintain a Facebook account exclusively to follow my page, which is extremely flattering. 

 Last weekend we were at CoKoCon which is a science fiction and fantasy convention in north Phoenix nears the ruins of Metrocenter Mall.  I had a great time, met some wonderful new friends, caught up with some wonderful old friends and apparently walked right past some other old friends without even seeing them.  I describe myself as focused while others describe me as self absorbed.  Either way I felt bad knowing I'd missed a chance to see some people that I actually like very much.

So in continuation of the after images theme, taking suggestions from the audience and expressing embarrassment for my public faux pas, I sent Ned to grovel for forgiveness.  I have a bad back, I can't grovel myself.  
OK I said it would be religion and politics free, I never said it would be kinky sex free.  I had thought it would be pretty easy to go on line and find photos of men groveling which it certainly is, but my endurance for such places is low and I didn't find anything that suited my needs so I took the reference photo myself.  Trust me I don't actually look anything like this, but I'm working on it.

Once again we meet Miss Abigail Strumpett and her guardian Tenacious McFinn, who doesn't approve of these kinds of parties, but really likes the buffet.
He also doesn't approve of Ned's advances on his young ward.


All of which brings me to an update on my health.
I really appreciated the words of one panelist at the Convention who argued that taking care of your health is as much a part of your job as any other work you do. 
I've actually believed this and said so for a long time, but have always still tried to compartmentalize health, art, relationships etc as though they were separate and unrelated aspects of myself.  Leading to such behavior as "I'll get back to my exercise once I'm finished with this project."  Or something on those lines which never works.

We maintained quite a bit of control over our diets throughout the convention where there are always many opportunities to binge on junkfood.  The Con-suite is always stocked with chips and cookies so we just stayed away.  We ate at Texas Roadhouse where we had steak with salad instead of baked potato and told them to hold the bread which is delicious they always bring as much as you can eat.
Generally I'm avoiding bread, potato, rice, beans, and corn because they are high in carbohydrates which is what I've been instructed to reduce.  I've also had no sugar at all since I started and I've got a major sweet tooth. 
It's tough.  But the toughest part is artificial sweetener which the doctor said we should also avoid because the body can't tell the difference and it affects your glycemic index the same as actual sugar.
There is medical debate on this topic especially concerning Splenda which is what we use, but we decided to follow instructions to the best of our ability.  I have to admit that I drank way too much diet soda.  We always got Diet Coke if we went out and we drank Diet Rite cola at home all day.  Both of us thought nothing of finishing a twelve-pack each on a daily basis and we've done so for decades.  Now we're both down to one or two cans a day which is a drastic change.  We also take a little sweetener in our coffee in the morning, but a lot less than before and we make unsweetened iced tea to drink throughout the day.
I've also gone to the gym almost everyday even using the hotel gym during the convention.
The practical upshot so far is that we've both lost around six pounds which is remarkable considering we Always gain weight at a convention.

Aside from simply being more healthy one of my goals is to actually look more like Ned and be able to reliably pose for my own reference photos.  If I ever start feeling confident about that I may even try to model for art groups if they want me.  I can say scary stuff like that because it's a long ways away, but I'm six pounds closer so I feel good about that.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

CoKoCon 2018 Science Fiction Convention

I was at a science fiction convention all weekend at a hotel which lies in the shadow of the once great Metrocenter Mall in north Phoenix.

In my childhood Metrocenter was at the very north end of the city, the first prominent structure you'd see as you drove down from small hick towns to the north. It was the jewel of the desert, a gleaming oasis of culture and commerce in an otherwise dry and barren wasteland.

Now days there's malls where we used to live and Metro lies in ruins, the haunt of gangs, broken dreams, and giant carnivorous lizards. Which apparently keeps hotel rates low.

Fortunately we had Ned the Barbarian running security.
This is the link to the convention which is scheduled to happen again next year in the same place.
CoKoCon or ConKopelli

Elsewhere at the con you could see; Me.
I know it doesn't look like there's anyone else in the room with me, but I did in fact have a nice little crowd for a while.

Apparently I make silly faces when I do demos.  Perhaps it's part of my delightful charm.