Dancing & Pictures

Long time, no post!

Some newsworthy stuff:

1. I’ve been leading in swing dancing a lot and ended up winning a Jill & Jack competition!

You can see me dancing in the clips below:

2. I’ve finally bought a dSLR of my own! He’s a Canon EOS 550D. I figure I’ll start off with an entry-level camera and see how often I use it and whether these settings are sufficient. I decided to invest in a dSLR when I realised that my phone was overwhelming being used as a point n’ shoot (that could post updates online immediately), and when I brought an actual camera to an event I wanted good photos.

An errant thought: photography was probably a lot harder back when you couldn’t immediately preview a picture.

3. Speaking of photography, I totally hopped on the Instagram wagon.

Splicer Mask

Making bunny masks. That is something I do.

I also do hipster filters now.

Splicer Mask

My Frank mask taught me A LOT about papier mache (one of the cardinal rules is “wait till it dries”) and I was able to use those skills here to create my Splicer mask. I aged it also using the stuff I learnt from my plasma ball gun.

Also a hot glue gun is magical and is essentially cheat-resin.

Social Justice League

Some of us masked crusaders are now blogging over at Social Justice League!

I’ve got a new laptop and I’ve been sketching in OpenCanvas!

Original Illustration: Down, down, down

I signed up to originalbigbang again as an artist and did art for a reversebang (ie. artists draw the picture first, then writers compose a story to go with it).

Still coming to terms with making art on the tablet. This illustration was primarily an exercise in colour.

Click for a larger version!

Chickpea Bake

If you are in Melbourne or ever come to Melbourne, you should go to the Moroccan Soup Bar and get the chickpea bake if you haven’t already. A few months ago I stumbled across this recipe that supposedly would recreate the heavenly dish and I finally set about making it today.

What I got wasn’t the exact dish but it came fairly close (it was less creamier/buttery than the one at the MSB) and with a bit of experimentation you could probably figure out how to remake it exactly. I also improvised on the baharat because I could only be bothered going to Safeway, so ended up mixing up some spices to make an approximation and it turned out fine.

Some notes:
1. As it says in the comments – less tahini, more yoghurt. I’d say half the amount of tahini and twice the amount of yoghurt.
2. Serve with extra (fresh) yoghurt and maybe some paprika.
3. This might be obvious to those who’ve tasted the dish but the almond and crisped pita bread topping is really really important. It’s what makes the dish go from fairly average to GETINMYMOUTHNOW.


Life Drawing

Today I bumped into a couple of friends at the train station and they convinced me to attend a life drawing class. I was nervous at first because I hadn’t done any life drawing for a few years, but once I started it all came really easily. Then I realised that while I hadn’t done any life drawing with proper models in a long time, for the past year I’ve been carrying around a small sketchbook with me to doodle and sketch in if I had a spare moment outside the house. Public transport, lunch breaks, the odd lecture – I hadn’t been to formal classes but I had been constantly practising and improving my skills. My grasp of anatomy has much improved and (funnily enough) also my understanding of how clothing is worn, draped and falls according to gravity.

I’ve had people compliment me on a number of my artistic endeavours; I’ve had people say, “I wish I had your talent.” I don’t think a lot of people outside the creative community (and I use both terms loosely) realise that creative “talent” is a lot hours spent improving your skills over fairly mediocre works. Obviously drawing (swing dancing, sewing, crafting, etc.) is something I love to do and love spending time doing, but I’m always constantly working to be better at it in little increments.

The following sketches range from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. I used graphite, charcoal and pastel.

Shanghai and Hong Kong

I recently returned from a trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong where I acquired a whole heap of stuff, including some calling cards that match the decor of the website, tailored suits, and an iPod. I also went swing dancing in both cities and experienced some markedly different styles of dancing compared to the Melbourne scene.

I sadly don’t own a SLR camera (I borrow a friend’s when I can) so these shots are just from my little Canon point-and-shoot. I tried my best!

Original Illustration

I recently entered a project where writers wrote 10,000+ words of original fiction and were paired up with an artist who illustrated the story. I felt I couldn’t commit to a word-length like that and signed up to be an artist instead.

It’d been about a year since I last used be tablet for anything significant and I am still very much learning the ropes when it comes to digital painting. The art isn’t perfect by any means, but it was great to devote a couple of hours to visual art again.

The story is a cyberpunk-comedy-mystery. Click to enlarge.