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Jun. 6th, 2017 04:44 pm
amyvanhym: (cover)
William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Poor Hemingway. Did he really think big ideas come from big emotions?

I read the first two chapters of A Farewell to Arms today. Hemingway's drivellingly passive circular paragraphs and embarrassing run-on sentences put my mind out of breath, so I put myself out of my misery by throwing the book across the room. What an empty load of nothing to say.
amyvanhym: art by Mark Salwowski (lightheaded)
"So [Jim Hopper]'s arc for season 2 in my mind becomes more about butting up against the places where his hero fantasy can't take him. The places where that hero complex may force him to make the wrong decisions. It's a satisfying, completely different journey in season 2."
- David Harbour


"Hero fantasy."

"Hero complex."

Huh? You mean his heroism? Hopper did objectively heroic things in ST season 1. Why call it a "fantasy" and a "complex," as if his heroism is some kind of unhinged delusion?

It's a little worrisome to see it talked about in this nihilistically subjectivist way, suggesting that Harbour believes the character's actual heroism is based not in altruism or a sense of justice as the show demonstrates, but rather in a hubristic self-centred egotism. Can Hopper do no right? It's as though Harbour feels duty-bound to personally degrade the character he plays. I would hope that a man playing a hero might also believe in heriosm -- and even extend that capacity to any type of character, including Straight White Males (TM).
amyvanhym: art by Mark Salwowski (lightheaded)
I am a woman who plays a lot of video games. I completed a survey on women in gaming for Ryerson last night. Because so many of the questions did not allow me to give my true answers, I typed out my true answers and emailed them to gamerstudy@psych.ryerson.ca. The survey has by now been taken down and the link to it no longer works, but here's a link to Sargon of Akkad's video on it, which I have not watched.

Before I share the email I sent, I have written an introduction:

The Survey as a Propaganda Tool, and my survey responses )
amyvanhym: (cover)
PitcherLifeDrawing.jpg JulianAssangePencilPortrait.jpg

There's a point in the early middle of every one of my drawings in which everything looks wrong, I can't see properly, I lose hope and I get very frustrated. The day I drew the pitcher was a gym day, so I was really tired -- tired enough to cry over it like a silly baby. I'm not proud of this, but I'm reminding myself of it so that the next time I feel that way I'll remember that it's not the catastrophe it looks like. Pitcher on DeviantArt.

I love the overall composition of the Assange portrait. The stark contrast at the bottom, the relative midtone-grey at the top, the circular shape. It didn't really happen on purpose -- my intentional mind was busy trying to get the facial structure and details right. I wish I had given it a little more detail. I also got myself into some trouble with the mouth: didn't realize 'til the end that I'd drawn it too far back in the face, so that he looked like his teeth were missing, and I had to move the whole thing forward. Assange on DeviantArt.
amyvanhym: (themist)
NataliaDyerStrangerThingsByAmyVanHym

Full-size | Progress shots | Tin Cup

I've been called crazy for this, but I don't like it. I spent too long, six hours, and didn't learn much. I didn't apply much comprehensive or three-dimensional thinking, I made her hair look like worms, she's not very lifelike and the likeness is lacking. Some of this may be because the source I chose did not have dramatic lighting.

I also tried an experiment: before starting, I altered my source image to black and white and increased the contrast. I thought it might make it easier, and in a way it did: it stopped me from having to think very hard. And because I had to digest less in translating the image onto the page, I think I lost something. I should redraw it sometime later, from the color source image, and see what changes.

All of this really makes me want to get back to work on my YouTube lessons. The last one was really hard and scared me away, but I need to do it. I am not satisfied with where I am and I'm hitting walls when I try to improve on my own.

I've also been browsing through DeviantArt's best pencil artists, so I'm more aware than ever of the breadth of the gulf between myself and serious skill. Some of these people are tear-jerking, jaw dropping masters, the artists who do what I wish I could: their drawings look more beautiful and more real than photographs.

It's trendy to coddle aspiring creatives by saying "Don't compare yourself to other people." But you know what? Fuck that. I see beauty and skill, I see admirable work, and I want to emulate it and grow to sit beside it by improving my own style. Comparing oneself to others only hurts you if you're a pessimist.

Music: Listened to more Nightwish off-and-on.

Room for Improvement:
~ Do moar Proko lessons.
~ Study hair. I hate it because I don't understand it.
~ Study facial expressions, the skull, facial musculature, anatomy.
~ Get better tools. Blending stub, dry brush, white pencil.
~ Vary the subject matter. Draw objects, draw from life. Take a break from photo-portraits.
amyvanhym: (butterflies)
Charlie Heaton portrait by Amy VanHymFinn Wolfhard sketch by Amy VanHym

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Amy VanHym

June 2017

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