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Got cover picture, yay!

11 Jun

Okay, my painting is still a bit shaky, the damn hand gets tired fast, but I have managed a few generic landscape things. So I think I’m going to use this moonlit mountains one for a cover. I’ll play with it a bit, first, and maybe then.

EPSON scanner image






That is about as generic as can be, I might as well have gone and found some free to use photo, but I do prefer using something that is all mine. As said, I’ll play with it some, let’s see if I can add something which looks sort of magicky (well, magick is a word, so that should be too) to it.

Man and hiisi

30 Jan

EPSON scanner image





Right. So still something else. I’m trying to get the hang of acrylics so I’m painting a lot right now, but lots have ended up in the ‘this is not quite working’ pile. Some are probably salvageable, some not.

Reasonably happy with the colors. The color gradations look smoother on the painting than on this scanner image, the process heightens the visibility of the brush strokes, and even slight differences in color become noticeable. I really have to learn how to use those damn graphics programs, it would be nice if I knew how to make the scan represent the painting better.

Hiisi has no completely accurate English translation, although I suppose goblin isn’t too far off if we are talking about the small devil or troll like creature the word can also mean. Originally it seems to have meant a place of worship, a holy grove or a holy tree or rock, but with the coming of Christianity the word gradually got the meaning of a sort of a devil. There is no single idea of what they were supposed to look like, but horns and tail seem to be rather usual, as well as hairiness. Perhaps something a bit like a satyr, or a cross between a satyr and a dwarf, with a bit of a werewolf thrown in as claws and sharp teeth are also sometimes mentinoned – usually they are described as small in the stories, although there are occasional giants too. They pester people in the woods, and they can kill, although usually they attack only from behind, if you turn to face them fully they are supposed to retreat. As is usual for Finnish folklore, they often are also rather stupid and easily fooled. So perhaps the best idea would be something like Gollum, only a scarier and hairier and more animal like version, something that when confronted will pretend to be small and scared and possibly beg for mercy, but will jump you and tear your throat out if you make the mistake of turning your back to it.

And now I’m getting the itch to try to tell a story about that picture. Well, maybe… after a few weeks, right now I’m still a bit too scatterbrained to write well. But I’ll make notes.

Stone angel

26 Jan

EPSON scanner image






I got tired of fighting with the skin tones, so ended up, instead, finishing this cemetery angel painting I had started several weeks ago. But I’ll keep playing with that more colorful painting too. I still think I can make it work, but I need to go slowly with it. I have this bad tendency to start messing things up if I get impatient with failing to get something exactly the way I’d want it, that is if I keep on going after things start to go wrong. But if I have a break and then try again, well, then I have a much better chance of getting it right, or at least getting something good enough.

I have one story for which this might be suitable as a cover. I’m not sure how good fit this would be, but I don’t particularly like the cover it has now so maybe I’ll try using this instead. Have to say that one thing I love about self-publishing is this – I can fix things and I can try different covers. I have no intention of trying for traditional channels anymore, I’ll stick to indie/self-publishing. You put the stories out there, and maybe sometimes fiddle with them a bit afterwards, but otherwise, well, they are there, and there is no worrying whether they sell or not or how much or when – selling or not would be a concern, at least for me, with traditional because that dictates whether you can get anything else out, now it’s just money which isn’t that big a concern for me right now. Not that it wouldn’t be nice, I am living on a wage which falls under poverty line now, but  it’s still a wage I can live on so no hysteria over things like not being able to pay bills if I don’t get money from the stories. I can concentrate on writing, and painting, and putting things out, and if something happens then it does, if not I’m still enjoying the writing and painting. Perhaps that does not count as a professional attitude, I don’t know, but it’s suitably stress free for me. I’m afraid I don’t handle stress all that well. I worry a bit, perhaps, about how good, or not, what I produce is, but even that is, at least to some extent, a matter of opinion. There have been several bestsellers I was unable to finish, and some stories and writers I loved which seem to have sunk without a ripple during the years I have been reading, so I guess I pretty much do go by the adage ‘ there is no accounting for taste’ nowadays. If I get enough readers there will be people who love my stories, people who hate them and everything in between. And if enough fall into ‘love them’ end, or close enough, who knows, perhaps I might even, some day, get some money from it.

Oh yes

17 Jan

the two paintings I’m working on seem to be coming out just fine. Acrylics, on paper. Since that dries a lot faster than oils I think I can show at least one of them, maybe not in a couple of days but at least sometimes by the end of next week.

And a few more

25 Dec

These three I’m not quite that happy with. I also have several nudes I do like, but since I haven’t actually tried to find out what WordPress thinks about putting something like drawings of nude people up I’m not going to use them, not right now anyway.

Ah, Christmas. It’s noon Christmas Day where I live, and this year I did not go to visit anybody, I’ll do that on New Year, so since I live alone I’m mostly fiddling my thumbs here. I don’t watch television, I haven’t rented any movies and am not in the mood to do that, I have read for several hours already and I’m getting a bit bored now, to tell the truth. Maybe I’ll start cleaning some of my closets, I should do that anyway. Generally I’m not all that social so living by myself usually suits me just fine, main problem can be these big holidays when I don’t feel like I could, or should, start doing anything major, especially nothing which might disturb the neighbors like rearranging my furniture or building something which requires the use of something noisy like a drill – I moved to my present apartment nearly four years ago, problem being I moved from a slightly bigger place, and trying to get rid of the excess stuff which doesn’t quite fit anymore is still a work in progress. And that has included periodic rearrangement sprees.

Yep, I know, should have done it before and during the move. Problem being, the furniture (and a lot of the small stuff I have too, like my dishes) I have is mostly inherited, old rustic pieces which have been in my family for either over or very close to a century, and I have been having a really hard time deciding what I’m willing to give up. And then there are the books. Lots of books. Same problem, I sparse them one book at a time and that is rather slow going. And half of the time I realize I would really like to reread that one I sold six years ago right now anyway, even if it was one I thought I would not miss back then… So I rearrange things, and have build a couple of somewhat unusual shelves in order to fit them in places like the wall over a big chest when I don’t want to drill too many holes on the wall (this is a rental, and the firm disapproves of that) and you can’t really find anything that would work ready made. Besides, finding bookshelves which actually go all the way to the ceiling seems to be near impossible, they all stop within reaching distance of a shortish person. And I need ones which go all the way to the ceiling, the lower ones just aren’t enough in a place as small as mine.

I like the location, and I like the rent, but I could use something a bit bigger. Oh well, maybe if I keep on getting rid of things one small piece at a time and rearranging the rest periodically, maybe there comes a point when, magically, what is left finally seems to fit here comfortably (and I have managed to forget most of the stuff I did get rid of, well enough anyway that I won’t suddenly start missing something… and if I ever move someplace bigger maybe I can find replacements which look similar enough? Oh hell, one shouldn’t get attached to mere things like that, unfortunately it can happen when we are talking about things you have been living with practically all your life, especially when there are quite a lot of nice memories connected to those things).

Pretty people

23 Dec

So I have been practicing drawing people again. Well, the guy isn’t technically ‘people’ since I gave him those wings, but since it’s Christmas and all one angel might be appropriate, I guess.

I used a very soft pencil so these are rather smudged.

Background sketch and monsters

3 Dec

Okay, these worked out a bit better. I’m trying to figure out cover paintings for a couple of vampire stories, and been sketching ugly ones – I started writing that series of stories in a moment when I had gotten tired of reading about sexy ideal boyfriend hero vampires and felt like going back to the roots a bit. Meaning the folklore versions, who weren’t usually particularly attractive, often resembling the modern movie zombies more than what we now get in vampire stories. Hence this guy who seems to have found his clothes dumpster diving and should actually look like he is starting to decay a bit, but I think I will try to do that, in the painting, by giving him a thoroughly unhealthy skin color.

And since I had been doing vampires I figured I’d try a werewolf too.

The colored rock formation is musings about what would make a nice background for another painting I’m planning, an explorer on an alien planet. I think I will go the easy way and use a desert landscape, maybe with just a hint of plant life in some cracks, and with the suited up individual standing looking at the scene with her back towards the viewer. Or not. We’ll see.