Oh, America

30 06 2012

There is so much hate for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (the new movie) that I think is uncalled for. I mean, firstly, it’s about Abraham Lincoln…fighting vampires. What exactly were they expecting? And it seems like most complainers don’t like it because it’s not like the book, or they misunderstand the tone, or they think it’s disrespectful to the namesake. (How? It’s a ridiculous but really positive depiction of him.)Or they assume it’s got Twilight-style vampires and are “tired of romantic vampires.” These vamps are about as far from romantic as you get. Well, I liked it. I thought it was funny in a play-it-straight way with a totally over-the-top premise and crazy action scenes.

Anyway, I wanted to know how many kids Lincoln had, so I started researching him, then Mary Todd Lincoln, then Harriet Tubman, then Frederick Douglass. I never knew Douglass was (to a degree) an advocate for women’s rights. He was handsome too in that stern looking way.

I drew his daughter too but didn’t get a good scan:

Douglass and daughter, R. D. Sprague

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Just go with it…

22 06 2012

Not gonna lie – I am way too tired this week to put anything decent together. And then I lost my mind and spent tonight making the unhealthiest thing: rice krispy treats, wtf. :/ The best I can do is some random stuffs:

Quick still life from college. Man, I hated still life paintings/drawings/anything. Just look at the ladder legs and see how sick of straight lines I get.

Happy little horse

Cute (silly?) mini horse in Gainesville back in January. His smile makes me smile.

famous Memorial Park statue – J-ville

Memorial Park in Jacksonville near 5 Points about a month ago. The bird statue lurking in shadows has a hungry look I think.

Went to the Jacksonville Zoo for my b-day and caught this guy walking right over me. More zoo pics to come.

And lastly, this…because it’s been a duck-butt kind of week:

Swimming: you’re doing it wrong!





Awesome hair at the fashion show

13 06 2012

Overdue for some sketch paintings. I’d been wanting to do quick watercolors of these two- I feel like they’re mother and daughter. Watercolor’s something I almost never do and is a lot more challenging than acrylic when it comes to portraits. You make white by leaving unpainted space, which is weird.

Patriotic Chick

Hate how different on-screen looks from the real thing. You can tell where I get bored. Everything below the chin is a hot mess.

Killer hat. Man, look at that bad cropping job. Got to find a better way to get these online.





The Macaron – Behind The Scenes

8 06 2012

Working on two paintings. Been uber lazy, so lots more to do, but here’s a sneak peak to uphold my “post a week” rule:

Early WIP stages of giant animal painting #1

Ok, honestly I just want to talk about food. I’m pretty sure macaron-baking counts as an art, because all you hear about it how hard it is. But really, it’s not! You don’t need to let your egg whites dry out or buy a digital scale. They’re just trying to psych you out. Here is what you do (with pics): 

1) First – the most important thing is to know…that this is a macaRON, not a macaROON. Macaroons have coconut and look different. Don’t believe me? Ask the French. 

2) Mix 1 cup almond flour and 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar in bowl. 

3) Mix 3 large egg whites with electric mixer in their own bowl until frothy. Gradually mix in 5 – 6 tbsp granulated sugar. 

4) Beat egg/sugar mix until glossy, stiff peaks form. If you lift out the mixer, the residual “peaks” should not completely fade back into the batter. Optionally, add a few tsp vanilla extract or some food coloring. 

5) Fold in the almond/sugar mix using a SPATULA. If you use an electric mixer, it will overmix. Do this weird thing – I think they call it “macaronage,” but don’t quote me on that – where you punch the spatula down into the batter’s center, then scrape from sides back into center, then punch it again. Repeat until you get a molten lava/magma consistency:

 

“Magma” consistency…I think

 

 7) Pre-heat oven to 280 degrees F, with the racks low. 

8) With the bag, pipe 1 inch rounds, pouring vertically, onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. 

9) Rap sheets on the counter a few times. This helps form the “feet.”

Uncooked – now rap that cookie sheet!

 

 11) Cook ’em for about 15 – 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

 

Cooked macarons – see, they have “feet!”

 

 12) After cooling, match cookies and sandwich together with icing or jam.

Ta-da!








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