Posts Tagged ‘octopus’

October ArtSnacks (and Related Thoughts)

I got my ArtSnacks last week! Very exciting. Good to try new things. And find that you dislike all of them. (I would put a laughing emoji here if I could figure out how.)

Here’s my #artsnackschallenge pic for the month (and the supplies used to make it).


Let’s go through each thing like we did last month.

Plumchester Paint Marker
It’s pink. I suspect, like the paint marker last month, that this would be great if I knew what I was doing. And wasn’t afraid of color. (At least this one is harder to drip paint on the carpet with. And you can reverse the nib so there’s different shapes to color with.) It’s thick acrylic paint.

Sennelier Ink Brush
So, essentially, this is a brush with the paint built into the handle. Mine is bright yellow. (The color’s a little off in the picture. It’s a lemon sort of color.) I have a travel watercolor set with brushes where the water goes in the brush itself, so this works the same way more or less, except with less steps and supplies. I like it, it flows nice, but it does seem like you’ll go through the paint fairly quickly and then have to buy another $8 brush pen. We’ll see!

Winsor & Newton Fineliner
Mine’s brown. It is quite fine, but it’s not waterproof, and when I was erasing the pencil lines around the octopus, I found that my eraser was erasing the fineliner as well (I used it for the sucker cups), so that’s less than ideal. Definitely going to stick with the Microns for now.

Royal Talens Indian Ink
Ah! Real ink! In a bottle! It’s very black and dries nice and quick. And doesn’t erase with the eraser, what the heck. I have hidden the bottle from the small, mobile ones, because that’s a terrible combination.

Speedball Standard Pen Nib Holder and No. 512 Pen Nib
I’ve never drawn with ink and a nib, because it’s always seemed very intimidating (and also, I am a klutz, and having an open bottle of ink is a bad idea). But it’s not bad! I have better control than I thought I would. The nib holder is pretty simple but does seem like it could hold lots of different types of nib, and the nib itself is fairly versatile, as long as you want to stay on the more narrow side.

The ink/nib combo is my favorite thing out of the bunch. It was much easier to use than I’ve always feared.

So far, when I’ve gotten a new box, I’ve done a silly page to try out the stuff before I do my official picture, so here’s the one for this box (cuz there’s a landsquid):


(It’s crinkly cuz it’s on the back of an experimental style I was trying out, where you sketch in colored pencils and then wash watercolor over them, but I think the pencils activated a bit with the water, so it’s more abstract than planned.)

I was also playing with some new brush pens (also Sakura Microns, because) last week, making flower wreaths:

black and white wreath
Colored wreath
Colored with watercolors

I like the texture the brush pens add to a drawing.

Art! Distracting me from my writing. Whoops.

I think I’ll give ArtSnacks one more month and then take a break. It is nice to try out new things, but I don’t necessarily want to accumulate a lot of supplies that I’m not really going to use in the long run.

(Although, if I get more paint markers in various colors, maybe I could experiment more with using them and figure out what I want to do with them. Maybe.)

Oh, the snack this month was a cherry Dum-dum. Good flavor. Dare I say candy is not really a snack? Candy is not really a snack. Though I suppose they are allergen free if you avoid chocolate.

Anyway! Still having fun. Hope you’re doing something to stay sane too, squider!

Of Octopi and Landsquid

You may have noticed that I have a small obsession with cephalopods.

This is actually a fairly recent addition to my favorite animals.  I think I can pretty much guarantee that no child will ever answer “Blue-Ringed Octopus” when asked what their favorite animal is.  Part of this I think is a matter of visibility – dogs, cats, birds, farm animals are all readily apparent in a child’s life.  (Also?  Dinosaurs.  My favorite dinosaurs all come from the plesiosaur family.  Except for raptors which come from Jurassic Park.)

(The blue-ringed octopus is venomous, by the way.  It does not make a good pet.)

I am an equal-opportunity cephalopod lover – I like squids, octopi (or octopodes, whichever you prefer.  I like the latter but I find that people don’t know what I’m talking about), nautiluses, and cuttlefish.  I remember going to the Seattle Aquarium with my grandmother when I was 14 or 15 and seeing the nautiluses and being like WHAT ARE THESE THINGS THEY ARE AMAZING THEY LOOK LIKE THEY BELONG IN THE DINOSAUR AGE (all things require capslock and run-on sentences when you are a teenager).

Cuttlefish are masters of camouflage.  Nautilus really do look like they belong in the fossil record.  Squid can be impossibly large (the newly discovered Colossal Squid can be almost 50 feet long) and are truly ruthless and efficient predators.  They deserve every fictional creature (kraken, anyone?) designed after them.

Octopi may be my favorite.  My sister (who wanted to be a marine biologist) told me that octopi can fit through anything their beak fits through. (She is a font of incredibly random information.)  Like, say, pipes.  Which is why they escape from aquariums and flood things.  They’re smart, they can take down sharks, slip through tiny openings, and even copy other animals.  Heck, they’re the only invertebrate group of animals to be observed using tools.

How can you not like an animal like that?

The landsquid are a little more complicated.  I saw them on a television show called The Future is Wild some years ago.  In fact, I only watched the program because I’d seen a commercial with the squid on it (which they call Mega Squid on the show) and said to myself “Laaaaandsquid.”  They also had treesquid but they didn’t catch my attention as much.

The best thing about the landsquid is, being completely fictional, you can make up whatever facts about them that you like.  Such as their great love for Cheez-Its.

Another thing I like about cephalopods is that they are unexpected.  Sure, llamas, moose, and alpacas all have excellent comedic timing, but no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition Humboldt Squid.  Or folding plesiosaurs, for that matter, but that is a topic for another time.

Midway the Grumpy Octopus thanks you for your time.

Thursday Round-up

NASA Continues Investigating Cracks in Space Shuttle Discovery’s External Tank
Ice Age Boneyard Find in Colorado Yields Treasures
NASA Discovers Youngest Nearby Black Hole
NASA Starts Thinking About Interstellar Travel
Martian Sunset
Thinking Like an Octopus
CERN Creates and Traps Antimatter

Review of Anthony Huso’s The Last Page
John Scalzi gives us Misleading Descriptions for Scifi/Fantasy movies

Misc Books
Bookstore Receives Marijuana in the Mail
15 Unfilmable Books
Books come from Bookland

John Scalzi’s plea to MFA programs and students
Strengthening Your Writing by Not Writing
Journalists and Novelists Defecting to Video Game Industry
National Book Awards Do Not Consider Fairy Tales
Why I Quit NaNoWriMo But You Shouldn’t

Fourth Annual Quidditch World Cup
Super Grandma