Temperature is dropping in the northern hemisphere again. With the looming energy crisis, some people worry about heating. It's not that dire, though. Ireland is not reliant on the rest of the EU's infrastructure and the temperature oscillations are mild, too. There are no reductions, but the costs are rising. The situation is such that people keep warning the politicians against allowing so many datacenters in Ireland because the infrastructure can't support it. There's a concern this might lead to potential black-outs.
Cuply project was written about so it's time for me to take a short break from it. Even though it's hard for me not to come back. I believe it not to be finished so I will keep revisiting it to make sure it works properly. The bad weather keeps me at bay. Winter is approaching and we aren't on the balcony anymore so no hardware bits are done at the moment, only what's on the desk in front of me. I'm thinking about having a PCB for it, but need to figure out how to approach it. With the winter, again, we're slowly going into hibernation as well, so most of the things we do will happen indoors.
It is high time for me to kick myself into drawing and painting again. I guess it was a hectic beginning of the year and I cannot catch a break. We traveled (and still travel) a lot which I'll mention in the recap. I can tell that with all the travel, it was difficult to carry out things I had planned out, like Cuply. We did minor fixes in the apartment and rearranged priorities. So many things to do, so little time.
To kick off the painting, I decided to write this article. I got to have enough time this year to do things in spite of the distractions. The following paragraphs will describe my drawing setup.
I do things at the standing desk that goes up twice a day for an hour and a half. I automated that with ESP32 board. I can say that more focus comes from sitting, but I can't afford sitting all the time. I am not getting any younger and seldom do exercise (aside from the wall climbing which seems to be getting more frequent). This is at least countering the sedentary way of living. On the desk there's one 24" DELL U2413 monitor on the monitor arm so I can move it around should I have to. There's the standard keybord-mouse combination and a set of speakers on the desk, but they are not that important for drawing. The monitor arm is important since I have more space to work with.
The traditional drawing happens with a set of pencils (usually on the dark side with B2 being the most common), blending stumps, regular and kneaded erasers, some technical pens for inking and a small sketchbook. Sometimes I go for a specialty charcoal pens, but they're not used often in my repertoire. I can always display references on the big screen and, when done, scan things in with the scanner system behind me (HP 4130 doing a vendor lock-in) which is enough for home use.
I also hope to start with traditional painting of minis and I'll have more to say on that topic once I actually get to it. I'd need to use a spray paint primer, which is impossible to do indoors, but for the brushwork, I'll pretty much spend most of the time at the same desk. The only difference being one silicone mat so the paint doesn't spill on the desk surface.
When doing things digitally, which is my preferred method, I use a small Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet. It has all the usual pen gestures, from tilt (which is invaluable to have) to pressure. I also have a bluetooth keyboard for hitting all the keyboard shortcuts from wherever it's comfortable. I use a combination of Corel Painter and Krita applications of which I had a guest article on a slicing Python plug-in on Krita's blog. There are also Lazy Nezumi Pro and PureRef to help me out with the workflow.
There's one more thing and that's the ImgRef browser extension that I had Vesna do. It helps immensely with finding reference images for the finished work. A multi-page search. I'll have to poke her to publish the code.