Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm a little behind to-day, I think. I'm actually not sure. I could be ahead, even. Who knows if I don't? It doesn't really matter. I lost a lot of time researching something yesterday, and finished when my researches brought me a small piece of information that deleted my need for all the other research I'd been doing.

Of all the complaints about Wikipedia, few people seem to mention how it neglects certain, tiny, very important pieces of information. Like, about a week ago, I was trying to find out the best kind of wood in which to store honey, and Wikipedia only told me what not to use; "The wooden vessels of coniferous wood are not suitable for honey preservation (honey soaks up the coniferous smell in such vessels). In the oak wood vessels honey grows black." I still don't know what kind of wood's best for honey. I guess it doesn't really matter, as there probably wouldn't be a big difference in how I drew the containers.

Ralph Bakshi at the Comic-Con talked about what a wonderful resource Google is for artists, how you can find just about all the visual references you could want with an image search. In his day, Bakshi said, you'd have to buy big art books to learn how to draw some things.

I also lost a lot of time yesterday because it was my sister's birthday. I told her and her boyfriend, Albert, Bakshi's story about Thomas Kinkade, and I'm beginning to realise I'm the only person who finds that story intensely amusing. To me, it's great because it's something like solid evidence that Kinkade's a scam. And a lot of people might say, "Well, that's obvious. Just look at his paintings." But you see, that's not obvious to an awful lot of people, which is what makes it a scam. It's often a little dangerous to assume something's obvious. I had a small argument with my mother about Kinkade; she accused me of saying people shouldn't be allowed to buy Thomas Kinkade. I said, "No, I'm just saying those people are morons."

I think I first saw one of Kinkade's shops in the mall seven or eight years ago, and I went inside to see what this dark little gallery with the gold letters was about, and I was astounded to see such obviously mediocre art so grandly packaged. The paintings barely look finished. But there's something sinister about it; people at the mall are looking to be told what to think. If you take advantage of the lazier instincts of people, you diminish the potential for them to ever take the time to understand real art.

Anyway, I'd better get to work. One of the reasons I'm not worried about Chapter 6 is that I'm using barely any of the blur effects I've been using for torch and candle light. It's really the best technique I've found for such lights, but I much prefer to go without it. It's one of the reasons I think Chapter 2's the best looking chapter so far.

By the way, in case anyone's wondering, I've been using the same shareware copy of Paint Shop Pro 5 since 1998. Here's a copy, if you want one. I've used newer versions of Paint Shop Pro, but I haven't seen any significant improvements. In fact, I've heard that since Corel in 2004 bought Jasc, the original developers of Paint Shop Pro, the newer versions of the programme have actually lost some features.

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