24 September 2005

Swords!

I picked two volumes on swords at Borders last night. One of them traces the archaeology of swords and other weapons while the other is detailed examination of various types. I also picked up a small volume on the Roman Army. I was browsing through something by Michael Grant which examined the reliability of Greek and Roman classics.

While I stopped by Burger King for a drink, I managed to do four quick but satisfying sketches. Three landscapes and one Roman centurion.



Flood

The waters rushed in, flooding the meadows.


Desolation

Nothing lives in this land of the dead.

23 September 2005

Frolicking and Basking in the Glow of an arbitrary Demarcation of a Unit of Time, another Nebulous Concept

Okay, that was a massively long and silly title but, WOO HOO, the End of the Week draws near. It is time for contemplation, well, not really. Time to come alive! Time to daydream. Time to let my mind drift, and perhaps, hitch a ride on the cosmic tramp starliner to Arcturus. A voyage to Arcturus. Bah!

Anyhow, I think I do a few more ambitious sketches tonight rather than thumbnail size little things.

Tomorrow, if I can douse myself from the vestiges of dreamland, I shall make my way to Chinatown with a camera and attempt to capture the windy corridors of yesteryear. Indeed I shall.

Here are two images familiar to people. Three minute thumbnail sketches. One is a sullen beng while the other is a dissatisfied software engineer. No prizes for guessing which is the beng or software engineer.
Enigma

The manse was standing on the site of an ancient burrow in the desolate country. The weathered monoliths which surrounded the manse stood in mute testimony of an earlier period where unspeakable horrors walked the land.
Figure II: Standing in the Sun

The second in a set of nine.

22 September 2005

Landscapes and Buildings

Here are the links to previously posted drawings of places, buildings, landscapes and more. They were done using ink, pencils, and by electronic means. They are a variety, some were done swiftly while others were planned. The quality, of course, varies greatly, from the mediocre to the satisfying piece (for me). I didn't put the incomplete and bad ones up.

The Cove, The Tower of the Queen, The Tower, All Roads lead to Rome, The Wilds, A Walk in the Wilds, The Lone Tree, The Road goes ever on, The Labyrinth, Clock Towers, The Desert Tower, Enigma, A Forgotten Moment, The Glade, Flood, Desolation, The Castle, Stone Bridge, Floodlands, The Trail, Landscapes, Dreams, Movement, The Wind in the Meadows, Woodland, Hotel 1929, Forest, The Hidden Path, The Bridge of Sighs, Beneath the Trees, The Pillars, The End, Loneliness, Moonlight, The Distant Bridge, Loneliness, A Verdant World, A Verdant World Revisited, Moon Terrace, The Heart of the Forest, Heart of the Forest: In Full Glory, Solitude II, The Island of a Thousand Days, Lone Tree on a Knoll, In a Lonely Place, The Tower of the Queen (Colour), The Forgotten Hall, Heartland

This page will be updated from time to time.
Figure III: Transcendence

He sees the light.
The Lone Tree

I used to wander the Yorkshire Dales quite a bit ten years back, armed with a map and sketchbook. It was, however, too cold to sketch.

This was an imaginery piece inspired by the wide open spaces.

Lone trees of that pictured here is actually a rarity.



"Your optimistic eyes
Seem like paradise
To someone like
Me"
'Black Celebration' Depeche Mode





"Dry your eyes and quietly bear this pain with pride
For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave
And promise me, they will never see, the fear within our eyes
We will give strength to those who still remain"
'Winterborn' The Cruxshadows

21 September 2005

Eurodisco

'Brother Louie Louie Louie....' I remember those early eurodisco days of the mid-eighties. Modern Talking, C.C.Catch, Lou Sern, Blue System, Michael Fortunati, Gazebo, Bad Boys Blue, Silent Circle, and lots lots more. Those were the days when Far East Plaza were filled with shops and stalls selling cassette compilations of these artistes. (Before the copyright laws were in place and thus, they were not 'illegal' then.) Those were the days of the tea-dances at the Warehouse at Havelock Road. The days of bengs in rainbow-coloured shirts and baggy pants and lians in furry tube tops (remember those?). I am certainly curious as I have not had the opportunity to venture into the dark confines of the discotheques of that era.

Of course, those pre-dates the 'eurodance' of the early nineties where you have 2Unlimited, Haddaway, Captain Hollywood Project, Culture Beat, Ace of Base and others. This time, the trendy spot was Fire disco at the seedy Orchard Plaza. It was, of course, the place where NS boys congregate during the weekends.

How swiftly time flies. It's 2005 and now there is another set of fresh-faced Eurodance artistes. 'Atlantis is calling, SOS for love...'

Addendum

Actually, that image of bengs is not too accurate. There were two types in the eighties. The first would be the type who spots a mullet, wears a sports jacket with upturned collar and shoulder pads, baggy pants and leather shoes. The second would be one who has a hair band with his mullet, tight sleeveless T-shirt, tight Levi's jeans, rolled at the bottom to expose the white socks and a pair of Nike sneakers. Yes, they would have the gold bracelet and chain. The long fingernail on the small finger only came with the bengs in the nineties.

For bengs, I think the version in the seventies would be the sum-sengs with their John Travolta look. Permed hair, large collars, unbuttoned shirt, gold chain and bracelet, Rolex, bellbottoms, platform shoes. A different world altogether.

Well, maybe, I will draw all three types mentioned here in the near future. Heheheh.
Star Wars Stationery

I dug out a stack of Star Wars stationery, circa 1977, from the warehouse. Apparently, these were made by Queen Co Ltd of Tokyo, Japan. Vintage stuff. Japanese stationery of the 1970s are extremely well-made. Even today, these files feel and appear brand-new and can easily be displayed in any department store. The quality of Japanese stationery from that era is outstanding.

Likewise, a poster and catalogue sheet appeared brand new.

I must say that I am amazed. Anyway, I am not a Star Wars fan and I will sell them soon. eBay maybe. I think I should be able to get a good bundle for these.
















A Forgotten Moment

As I type this blog entry, I have the Cure's Greatest Hits playing in the background. I have not found the music of this iconic goth group of the eighties to be compelling in any way, I prefer the Sisters of Mercy, the Clan of Xymox and Dead can Dance.

This bland forest scene was drawn a few weeks ago when I was waiting at Father's Flanagan at CHJMES for Wilson and Colin. Colin wanted to have dinner there. Irish food. What can I say?

20 September 2005















Panther

The Panther is considered by many to be the finest medium tank in World War II. During the initial phases of Operation Barbarossa, the most prevalent Soviet tank types encountered were the T-26, BT-5 and BT-7 fast tanks and these were knocked out in vast numbers. Later, the appearance of numbers of KV-1 and T-34 began to cause concern to the German army as these tanks were largely immune to German anti-tank guns like the 37mm gun.

The Panther was developed in response to the T-34, featuring a sloped glacis, wide tracks (thus reducing ground pressure), greater mobility, and a high velocity gun. The 75mm gun of the Panther is 70 calibres in length and thus, has a higher muzzle velocity than the guns mounted on the M4 Sherman, the T-34, the Pzkw IVH. This equated to greater penetration of armour for the gun. At the standard combat ranges of 1000m, the Panther is thus able to destroy most medium and some heavy tanks of that period.

The Panther Ausf D first made its appearance in Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) in 1943 though most were lost to mechanical breakdowns rather than enemy action. Improved versions which solved most of the teething problems soon followed with the Ausf A and Ausf F. The Panther soon proved to be the finest medium tank of the Second World War and it has been estimated by the US Army that it would take five Shermans to take out a single Panther.









Jagdpanther

One of the most formidable of all assault guns, the Jagdpanther has a fine balance of firepower, armour and mobility.

The Jagdpanther is developed on the same concept as the other assault guns, which is that of mounting a heavier weapon on a fixed superstructure with a lower silhouette. Like the Jagdpanzer IV before it, the Jagdpanther is based on the chassis of a Pzkw V Panther. Without the weight penalties and complexities of a turret, it proved possible to mount a long high velocity 88mm gun of 71 calibre lengths. This powerful weapon, more powerful than that mounted on the Tiger I and similar to that of the Tiger II, was capable of destroying any tank of the Second World War.

Thankfully for the Allies, less than four hundred of this fearsome tank destroyer were built and fielded.

Figure I: Standing amidst the wind

I have played around with light and form for the longest time on paper. This, however, is an electronic piece. Somehow, playing the Static Movement CD, 'Visionary Landscapes', awoke something.

Static Movement is an electro-goth band formerly based in Turin, Italy.

19 September 2005

Space-faring denizens, unite! Your time has come!

I bought an old David Bowie 1996 single, 'Hello Spaceboy', S$2.90 at Sembawang Music at Orchard Cineleisure on Saturday night. When I was lying in bed earlier, daydreaming, I was stuck by the superficial similarities in titles of S.P.O.C.K.'s 1994 single 'Astrogirl' and the Beloved's 1993 single 'Outerspace Girl'. Most curious, these space-themed titles.

Of course, these singles do not have real space themes, the only relation they have to space travel is their titles. There are other groups which have released singles with space-related themes like the Children Within and Komputer. Komputer's delightful 'Valentina' single which was released in 1997 is about the first female cosmonaut in space.

Anyway, the three singles are great fun being disposable, memorable and infectious synthpop gems.

Tiger I

The powerful Tiger I took a heavy toll of all Allied armour and vehicles in all fronts. The Tiger I's 88mm L56 gun has greater penetrative power than any other tank gun in 1942. Unsurprising, given its weight, the Tiger I has a short operational range, thus reducing its strategic mobility. A column of Tigers on a route march had always resulted in many broken down vehicles.*

Otto Cassius' 'Tiger in the Mud' is a classic account from a Tiger tank commander. He eventually finished the war with more kills than the legendary Michael Whitmann.

Wolfgang Schneider's 'Tigers in Combat I' and 'Tigers in Combat II' carry unit histories of every Tiger units and their exploits.

*As related in Otto Cassius' account.


'We're ready for a new age of innocence'
Faith and the Muse 'Shattered in Aspect'

18 September 2005


A Walk in the Wilds

An imaginery trail in the wilderness, sketched while I was sipping a drink at Burger King at Liat Towers one Friday night.


'Divine or diabolical the vacant face of youth
Powdered and rouged the Monster in its place
Playing god on stage
So talented at wretchedness search Cities of Refuge
All eyes dim past the empty seat of the honored guest'
Faith and the Muse 'Plague Dance'
Fantastic!

I was in town on Friday night and bought a volume of artwork titled 'Imagine: The Art of Imaginery Friends Studios'. This volume has the best artwork I have ever seen from Singaporeans (and it includes some other regional and American artists). A lot of the work is stunning and can easily rank with the best manga/anime artists out there. I called Kelvin and told him what I had seen and he told me that he knew of one of the artists in the book who had an oil-painted realistic style. Fantastic work.

I am very impressed.

On a related note, I was messing around with electronic oils on Painter 8.0. I have a lot to learn. On pen and paper, I can manage nice textures but on the electronic medium, I clearly have a long way. The potential is there. The tools are there.

As I tried oils, I was listening to an old Collide album 'Beneath the Skin'. Collide is a female-fronted goth band. Meanwhile, I finally heard the album from Poe titled 'Haunted'. I am not impressed.