Wednesday 27 February 2019

Orange Saboteurs

 Not much to say here really - I was asked to paint these using very bright, vivid shade of orange on their robes so that's what I did.

Sunday 17 February 2019


Wow, this miniature was fun to work with on so many levels. The model itself is part pewter, part resin. While working on it I started with a basic blue sketch and applied some very basic blue highlights and shades. After that I divided the model into three thematic sections (main body, crystals, Rasputina) that would use the same basecoat, but be different in saturation of blue. It's hard to describe specific steps at this point as I was going back and forth with highlights, shades, and glazes. 

The base (Gadzooks gaming transparent crystal base insert) meant another challenge. Paint wouldn't adhere to it so after some experimentation I basecoated it with a thin layer of Army Painter matt varnish and that did the trick. Before gluing it to the base I added a Frozen Lake (Mats by mars ) base inserts. This ensured that the surface beneath the transparent insert would have a nice, bright and realistic look. I painted the stone parts using light blue ink and the crystals with a turquoise one. The river area between the rocks was tricky to work with as I wanted to have some floating ice in it. Fortunately, I had Vallejo crackle medium. Here's a quick tutorial on how to achieve this effect.

1. Take Vallejo crackle medium and throw it away (literally, it is just useless. I've spent hours experimenting with thickness, order of secondary/primary paints). It just doesn't work.

2. Apply a thick layer of GW Agrellan Earth.

3. Highlight it with mix of light blue and white, followed by pure white.

4. Apply 2-3 layers of Vallejo still water mixed with some light blue ink.

#4/2019 The Norsemen: Understanding Vikings and Their Culture

A fascinating series of lectures by Professor Michael D.C. Drout. He goes through the history, society, religious beliefs, as well as myths that we've come to associate with the Vikings. Hi account of how these people conquered most of the Northern Europe offers amazing insights into their organization. He does that with a very down-to-earth approach. He is appreciative of their achievements but at the same time offers some criticisms of factors that held them back.

#3/2019 The Neuroscience of Mindfulness

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: The Astonishing Science behind How Everyday Hobbies Help You Relax confirms what I've found to be true myself. Simple, repetitive tasks performed everyday have concrete benefits. They help us relax but they can also improve our attitude to life in general and help us deal more efficiently with various problems and health issues. Mindfulness is a kind of tool that potentially allows one to direct thoughts in a certain way to make such tasks more beneficial. These theories are supported by numerous findings in the field of neuroscience. The author presents everything in a coherent way that is easy to follow, even for a person without specialist knowledge in the field.

#2/2019 Bring Me Back

I read the literary debut of BA Paris a while ago and enjoyed the way she told that story. Very intense, filled with extreme emotions, solid plot. "Bring me Back" starts with a cliffhanger. A man narrates a story of how a woman seemingly gets kidnapped during a foreign trip ends with a statement that the man didn't tell the whole truth to the police. 12 years pass and as the protagonist seems to be finally at peace with his life, the past catches up to him.

The dual narrative is a neat device as there are two completely different views on the events as they develop. While at some point I began having certain suspicions, the ending didn't fail to surprise me. Perhaps not brilliant but definitely a solid read.

#1/2019 Becoming

This autobiography caused some buzz way before its release. Getting to know more about life of Obamas from the inside perspective seemed like a unique treat. I'd be lying if I wrote that learning about Michelle's life was the main incentive here. Like many other readers, I was keen on finding out more about Barack. And while he plays a major part here, the story his wife tells about her upbringing in Chicago is quite interesting in itself. I was surprised to learn that they actually met while Barack was Michelle's mentee during his internship at a law firm. She presents a fascinating background to their mutual stories, her struggles with career decisions and learning how to make positive impact as the first lady; his constant striving to do more for other people. All of this is filled with anecdotes and insightful observations that would be otherwise impossible to learn about by an outside observer. I also appreciated the author's honesty in talking about problems (miscarriage, her both daughters being born as a result of IVF, marriage counseling, etc.). Despite major Geo-political differences there were many things I could relate to, especially connected with family and set of values she believes in. Also, the fact that this audiobook is read by the author herself brings a lot of authenticity to it as well.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...