My photo for me, art and photography.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Tablets, Cupcakes and Emotional Blackmail

I got my graphics tablet yesterday and I'm now attempting to write this blog entry with the pen, because I'm currently drinking tea and am not very good at one hand typing.

Today has been a bit of a disaster. I overslept, waking up at half past one (!) so that basically meant all my plans for the day went totally out of the window, I found a 2 year out-of-date (!) Betty Crocker carrot cake ready-mix in the cupboard which mum said to use rather than go to sainsburys to buy flour today. TWO YEARS?! I really wasn't sure about it, because I'm 100% anti-ready mix stuff anyway, so I stuck it in cupcake tins so I wouldn't waste too much electricity, as it takes only 8-12 mins to cook cupcakes and 35 mins to cook a regular cake, so it's better news for the environment/credit crunch, so ideally, smiles all round.

It would have been if I'd made the stuff myself from scratch - this stuff just tasted wrong to me, incredibly artificial - mum and dad like it but I think it tastes dodgy.

Probably as a result of me baking with bad grace, the whole thing was a disaster from start to finish - curdling, then sinking in the middle. I stuck some chunks of chocolate in them to kind of make them taste.. less dodgy, and burnt my hand on the oven, then when I turned them out (after leaving them in the oven for 15 mins to be on the safe side), the guts fell straight out through the top, through the mesh and all over the kitchen top, so I spent the next 10 mins scrubbing.

I am GOOD at cakes. This stuff is just ridiculous - I mean, who puts 200ml water, 75ml VEGETABLE OIL and 3 eggs in a small cake? this is the last time I use this prefab nonesense.

Anyway. Brighter things. Graphic tablets. I'm finding it quite hard and extremely weird to use. It can handle thin lines just fine, but putting pressure on it to do fat lines (this is in corel psp x2 btw which is crud generally because it keeps freezing) it's very tricky to use, but I just need to practice - the wierdest part for me is drawing with a pencil and not looking at the thing I'm drawing on - having to look up to see what it's doing - my brain associates pen with looking down to see it- drawing without seeing where the pen is going to judge distances is odd - I'm talking about this from the point of view of an artist's relationship with a pen - it may be different for people who associate drawing and colour etc with a mouse or trackpad etc... I'm getting more accustomed to it every minute but it's still hard to get used to actually maneuvering the thing because I can't use it the way I use a real pencil - if I adjust my hand on the pad, it's not like a mouse where you can lift the mouse up (or your finger up) and put it down further up the table and the mouse will pick up where you left off - the drawing bit on the pad is very rigid - this point on here is THIS point on your screen and there is no negotiating with it for the sake of comfort.

Anyway - here are the three scribbles I've done to play around. The first one was on corel paint shop pro x2, and the second and third ones were on corel Painter.

yeeeah it looks 'ok'ish - I know I've only had it for a day so I'm not skilled enough with the pen thing or the software to really make an informed decision, but I can't see this ever replacing a paintbrush, an old army shirt and white spirit high. I don't think anything computerised will ever even come close to tell you the truth. it's good for practicing techniques though, I think - don't really need a sketchbook to play around with colour, but again - it's nothing like the real deal so.. when I find its merits, I'll judge it based on those, I think. Other than that - my wrist gets tired from using a mouse and a trackpad absolutely kills it because I got repetative strain injury as a teenager from having to copy up 2 years worth of science exercise books in 3 days, because I lost mine and had an exam coming up (genius at work, eh?) so this thing is a mixed blessing in terms of pain threshold.

As far as emotional blackmail goes - I check my junk inbox from time to time to make sure nothing has been filtered into there that wasn't supposed to be filtered into there, and I keep getting emails from people with arab names like aayad and sayeed_barjas saying 'I am giving you a surprise' as the subject heading. I'm one of these insanely curious people - I hate surprises - I'm the kid that was always up at 4am on xmas eve, shaking my presents under the tree, tryin to figure out what they are - In this case, I KNOW that if I open it, it's blatently going to be some form of virus that nukes my computer, or something that hacks my computer and steals my identity, or something trying to swindle me out of every penny I have... but it's the pandoras box thing - I want to know!!! it's terrible, isn't it! total emotional blackmail! it's not right!

1 comment:

The Prodigal Tourist said...

All carrot cake recipes use oil because it's a 60s concept when everyone was against butter for who remembers what reason (cows?). We changed the oil to creamed butter in our recipe--much better.
Like the mother/daughter child picture very much. Did you really do these in one day? From scratch (so to speak)? If so, very impressive.
PS: Left you an Anne Frank note.