Archive | March, 2010

Art & Story podcast in the podcast section of the International iTunes Store

31 Mar

I wanted to know what people in other countries have to say about one of my favorite podcasts, Art & Story, by Mark Rudolph, Kevin Cross and Jerzy Drozd. So, using iTunes, I changed the country setting to all 90 available countries and searched for Art & Story, but only 23 countries had a podcast section. The other countries only had an App Store and an iTunesU section.

Here are the links to the Art & Story podcast page in the iTunes Store per country:

New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

If you click on one of the links, it will open in your web browser, which will launch iTunes if your web browser is set up to do that (the website contains code that will try to open iTunes). You can temporarily disable JavaScript in your web browser to avoid iTunes opening.

Of course, the above trick will only keep working as long as Apple doesn’t change the naming scheme on their web server.

To modify the urls for another podcast page, go to the podcast page in the iTunes Store, right click on the podcast logo, and copy and paste the url in a text document. Replace the “id263032109” in the above urls to the corresponding value in the url you just copied. It is a bit of work (but not much if you use search and replace in your text editor), and you may want to view the source of this web page you’re now reading to copy the html code. In most browsers you do this by selecting the text, right click it, and select “view source of selection” (or similar).

I’ve looked into scraping the iTunes Store through a script, but Apple keeps changing the XML format on us, so it’s a lot of work to keep things working over time. It seems to me that the web interface will remain the same for a longer period, because it’s a public web interface, and not some private interface the iTunes application uses to communicate with the servers of the iTunes Store.

Note: **) Does not seem to have a web interface as of this writing.

Warm-up sketch for March 31, 2010

31 Mar

I did another daily recording of my warm-up sketch on my Ustream channel Draw, draw, draw!

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about "Warm-up sketch for March 31, 2010", posted with vodpod

watch on Ustream

Cute kitten sketched live on March 31, 2010

Dr. Chaotica

31 Mar

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Dr. Chaotica“, posted with vodpod

I drew Dr. Chaotica from Star Trek Voyager from the above YouTube clip. He is an evil villain in a holodeck novel written by the ST character Tom Paris, who plays Captain Proton, Defender of the Earth. The drawing was traced and inked with a Pentel color brush pen on water color paper.

Dr. Chaotica

I promise I’ll do an original sketch some day of people in the Star Trek universe. Even so, this technique of tracing and then inking is an excellent way to learn how to ink.

Warm-up sketch for March 30, 2010

30 Mar

I did another daily recording of my warm-up sketch on my Ustream channel Draw, draw, draw!

This time I also inked the sketch, loose and rough. That is why the video is a bit longer than usual.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Warm-up sketch for March 30, 2010“, posted with vodpod

watch on Ustream

Rough sketch in ink, drawn live on March 30, 2010

Chinese brush painting

29 Mar

I base these instructions on an art book written by Pauline Cherrett.

Chinese brush painting is nothing like how Western inkers handle there brushes. Western inking artists pull their brushes mostly towards them –with some sideway movement for expediency– by resting their elbows on a table (and even more of the lower arm, up to the outside of the hand to have more control). It could be called “control by restriction”.

Chinese brush painting, on the other hand, is much more based on movement. How you hold your brush and how much force you apply on the brush, and how that force varies during the movement is suddenly very important. You want to restrict your hand as little as possible, but instead use your shoulder joint and wrist to guide the brush, fast and precise. The idea is that you “float” with your brush over the paper in any direction you see fit. You may support the wrist of your hand (e.g. with your other hand), but in no case should you restrict the movement of your brushing hand by supporting the side of that hand.

I like to see as follows: artists tend to ink like they are used to write.

Now for some detailed description how to hold the brush for Chinese brush painting.

Grab hold of the brush as you would a an eating stick. Put the brush between your middle and ring finger, with the handle against your ring finger’s nail. Support that finger with the little finger, and use the index finger to support the middle finger. Put the point of your thumb on the handle. Between the handle and the palm of your hand there should be enough room for an egg. Don’t hold the handle too tight and start by holding the handle at the halfway point. You’ll gradually get used to this grip.

Chinese inking brush grip 1
For firm strokes, keep your brush upright.

Chinese inking brush grip 2
For soft petals use a slanted position. You should be able to stroke the brush in both vertical and horizontal direction. The wrist and grip on the brush should be flexible enough to make a circular movement.

Chinese inking brush grip 3
To be able to move the brush in any direction, the arm should not rest on the table.

Chinese inking brush grip 4
For a successful painting, it is essential to hold the brush in a proper manner. For thin lines, keep the brush vertical like an eating stick, and apply little pressure.

Chinese inking brush grip 5
By moving the brush while increasing pressure, you start with a thin line that gradually gets wider. How fast that happens depends on the applied pressure.

Chinese inking brush grip 6
Use the side of the brush for broad strokes. You could use the entire length of the brush, but it is best to keep part of the brush as “reserve”.