A Day without Drawing

Tuesday, 19th October 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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books and pen8 p.m.
A day writing: now I'm desperate to draw!

'Shall we catch up on a video?' asks Barbara.

'No, I'd rather draw.'

Even this little stack of sketchbook, letter, paperback and glasses case on the coffee table seems to be saying 'Draw me! Draw me! Draw me!'

Baby woolNew Neighbour

The baby wool is out again. It's a neighbour's baby that has inspired Barbara to take up her needles again after many years.

We heard them setting off at 11.30 last night and our new neighbour - Alice - was born at 1.30 a.m..

The Golden Egg

eggs in Vue 3After creating a pen and sketchbook in Vue 3 yesterday I found I had an urge today to create a plate of egg and chips in the program. The plate, consisting of a highly squashed cylinder and an equally squashed torus (donut shape) is easy enough, as are the slightly too symmetrical eggs (Vue provides an eggshell finish as one of its rendering options) but when it comes to the fried egg I'm struggling: the best colour/texture I can find for the yolk is pure gold.

Squashing and stretching a couple of spheres has given the egg a rather regular shape. I'm not familiar with the modelling potential of Vue yet so perhaps there's a way around this.

pebble I remember that Bryce 3D, which, like Vue, I found on a cover CD, had more potential for modelling, a greater range of textures and the possibility of creating your own textures. It's still on my computer so I start it up and in a few minutes create this pebble. I like that sandstone banding.

I found Bryce complex when I first tackled it but, having got familiar with Vue, which I think is a friendlier program for a beginner, I feel ready to have another go at Bryce.

November's 3D World (which, paradoxically came out in mid-September) includes a full modelling program Amapi 3D 6 on the cover. Perhaps I'll be able to cook up the perfect fried egg in that program.

'Think of landscape-creation packages,' says Mat Bromfield in a review of WorldBuilder Pro 4 in 3D World, 'and you think of a continuum from real-world accuracy to artistic accessibility, with World Construction Set at the near end of the scale, Bryce and MojoWorld at the far end, and Vue and World Builder somewhere in the middle.'

'Bryce and MojoWorld are much more immediate, inviting you to start creating fantastical scenes instantly. However you wouldn't want to use either of them when you're planning how close to a cliff to build your house . . . '

Sounds like I'll enjoy Bryce.

Awakefield Diary

Awakefield Diary by John WeldingI've mentioned John Welding's Awakefield Diary before. I met John at the weekend at the Readers' Festival in Wakefield and did a trade with him (I came off best from the deal) of my latest Sushi Sketchbook for his three latest Diaries.

While I was writing today I read these three latest installments during my tea breaks; it's great to have such a swathe of strips to read through, to get immersed in the rhythms of the story. The drawings have a strong graphic quality, like energized woodcuts, which John is quite puritanical about maintaining; he'll agonise over which pen to use and cycle ten miles to stock up on his favourite calligraphy pen but there are a few glimpses into the darker recesses of his psyche with an unintentionally devilish self portrait and a migraine-inspired gothic view from the bathroom floor. It's a tough life being an artist/journalist.

A favourite page for me is his bird's eye view in issue 3 of the coal yard where his house is situated. As I've probably said before, the house could have come from the pages of a Raymond Briggs story.

Barbara and I make a brief cameo appearance, blink and you'll miss us, at the start of issue 4 but you won't miss me later in this issue. Do I really look like that in shorts?!

John doesn't draw like Curt Swan (the Superman artist) and when it comes to my legs he doesn't need to.

It's probably absorbing John's everyday scenes that made me so keen to draw this evening. Next Page

Related Link

John Welding

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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