Doodle Fun

We have finally made it back to the land of the living (okay that might be a tad on the dramatic side). What I mean is I’m feeling a lot better now and nearly fully recovered. Thank you all for the lovely comments and well wishes while I was ill.
As promised I’m making a post of the best doodles I did while flu ridden. Apologies for the random writing around the doodles. These doodles were done while professor YouTube was educating me on the workings of Hangul (the Korean alphabetic system) and Katakana (one of the Japanese syllabic writing systems) and I sort of practiced a little on the page while doodling and watching YouTube videos (Had to do something to occupy my mind. Lying in bed, staring at the ceiling was dreadfully boring, so I might as well have used the time to educate myself. Also writing systems are really interesting).

thumbnail_20180918_175958So, this is the first page, I was really into doodling little men that day. If you’re wondering about the Hangul (writing) on this page, it’s mostly just random words and me using what I learnt to complain about having the flu.

thumbnail_20180918_181119This is my favourite doodle on this page. There are a few guidelines showing, but it’s still really cute.

thumbnail_20180918_181350Although, this turned out a little crooked (probably because it was drawn from a weird angle), I still really like this doodle, too.

thumbnail_20180918_181226Not a fan of this doodle, as you can tell (but in saying that, high fever me thought the speech bubble was fringing hilarious. God, I must have been delirious, at that point).

thumbnail_20180918_180448The second page is a little busier. I’m a little more familiar with Katakana, so was listening more than watching the screen (meaning more doodling). Katakana is phonetic and is used for translating non-Japanese words into Japanese. This includes names, so I decided to give my doodles names using Katakana (boredom was very strong at this point).

thumbnail_20180918_182422I’m extremely proud of this little dog, Tobi. I doodled him in under 2 minutes and he turn really good. (If you’re wondering what the fox and fish are called, I named the fox Toboe and the fish Tuna.)

thumbnail_20180918_182936 (1)A little close up of the stick people tree. Stick people are a hell of a lot of fun to doodle. If you’re feeling stressed or horrible, I highly recommend doodling stick people. It’ll cheer you right up.

So that was my doodles. Hope you enjoyed them. I have to take it easy for the next while (don’t want to get really sick again), so thanks for your patience and…
As always Thanks for reading.

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The Dreaded Lurgy Attacks

ciel 1Just a quick wee post to explain why there was no post from me this week. Unfortunately, the dreaded lurgy got me and now I’m rather ill with some type of flu-like sickness. I get sick kind of often, so would usually soldier on and create some type of little post for that week. But this week soldiering on really isn’t an option, feeling like a mangled zombie has greatly impaired my writing ability.

Reading blog posts makes me happy and helps me forget before feeling like the Grim reaper is stalking me. So, you’ll still see me around reading posts, however I’m not sure when I’ll be well enough to post properly. But, so this blog doesn’t go dead, I might make a post of the little doodles I did this week.

Anyway, hope you are all doing well and thanks for your patience.

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Hmmm… maybe demon butlers have a soft side.

Finds of the Week

This week has been kind of crazy, everywhere I turned someone wanted my help with something or was looking me to come somewhere in the car with them, to keep them company. Pretty sure at this point, I’ve travelled the length and breadth of the country. But sure, I’m not going to complain, it’s nice to feel useful and although it was a busy week it was also kind of fun.

Unfortunately, this has meant I haven’t had a great deal of time to work on stuff for this blog. So, instead of posting nothing this week, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to try something I’ve wanted to do on this blog for some time. This little venture is called “Finds of the Week” and will consist of some of the cool, interesting or just plain weird things, I’ve found on YouTube during the week.

So, without further ado I bring to you this week’s, Finds of the Week:

Finger dance: BTS- IDOL

This is kind of strange but one has to admit it is rather cool. I have no clue how these people are able to bend their hands like that, but it really impressive.

Chickenpella – Disney

Man plays songs with a rubber chicken, while people sing. Sad thing is this guy can play the rubber chicken better than I can play any instrument.

Tokyo Ghoul – Unravel (cover by Big Marvel)

For all the Tokyo Ghoul fans, I’ve included Big Marvel’s cover of Unravel I found this week. Here he plays the rubber pig and duck, as well as the rubber chicken. (Also, that person in the background staring at him, eating a sandwich is hilarious)

The Life of Death

A beautifully drawn short film about the sad life of death. It would be pretty awful if everything you touched died. I found this film quite a while ago, but found myself re-watching it this week so put it on the list.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – Rewrite The Stars (#WITHOUTMUSIC parody)

Really didn’t want to overload this post with K-pop, so was only going to share Rewrite the Stars without music. However, the Fake Love without music was too funny not to share.

BTS – Fake Love (#WITHOUTMUSIC Parody)

If you’re really into K-pop, there’s also BTS- Idol without music (and a few other BTS songs) and BLACKPINK- Ddu-Du Ddu-Du without music. There both pretty strange but funny.

As you can tell this week’s YouTubeing was a little on the strange side (it can be a lot stranger). I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and if you’d like me to make more posts like this, let me know in the comments below.

As always, Thanks for reading.

Finding A Little Animation

While searching deep in the memory of my computer trying to retrieve lost drawings, I came across something kind of funny that I had completely forgotten about. It was a little animation I created well over a year ago, when I had gotten really curious about how animation worked and decided to try it myself. Granted this animation is only 4 seconds long and the art work isn’t spectacular (my art skills have greatly improved since then). But, I remember making this little animation and it taking forever (several hours) to create just 4 seconds. Then being all chuffed, when it was finally finished and played through smoothly.

To make it easier to watch I uploaded it to YouTube, but don’t worry I’m not leaving you all to become a YouTuber. Videos just upload nicer on YouTube and load a lot quicker, making it the better option.

It might not be that pretty, but it was my first attempt at animation and I thought it would be cool to share with you all. Looking back on this, it’s rather funny because I made it just after watching Cat Soup and was inspired by the wee boat the cats sail in. All I can say is that it could have been worse, I could have made an animation about that Mickey Mouse impressionist from Cat Soup. Which would have been creepy and messed up on so many levels.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little find and if I ever find the time, I’ll try to make another little animation like this one (hopefully it’ll be a little better).

As always, Thanks for reading

The Wailing

00ba897d-bbf6-4493-be80-b0b3a78f181cThis week something terribly unfortunate happened. I was in the middle of creating some digital art for this post, when suddenly the app crashed and stopped working. After a few panic-stricken minutes, I finally got the app to open again to be met by the horror that the app had wiped itself clean and deleted everything, including the piece I was working on (literally could have cried). Over 200 digital drawings gone and all the brush settings reset. The only thing to remember them by is thumbnails saved on my computer and the saddest thing is there where pieces I hadn’t completed yet. They’re just thumbnails now that can never be finished or opened on the app as a digital drawing again. They will forever be incomplete. So, what has this got to do with this review? Well, it mostly affects the art work for the review, because now all the brushes have reset back to their default settings, which makes them kind of awkward to use. I will eventually get the brush settings back to the way I like them, but that’s going to involve a lot of trial and error. In the meantime, I hope you still enjoy my more resourceful approach to digital art.

Getting back to the film, The Wailing is a South Korean horror movie about a police officer (Jong-goo) who is investigating a series of strange violent attacks and murders, that all involve the offender falling ill with a mysterious sickness before committing the crime. Soon into the investigation Jong-goo hears rumours of witchcraft and a terrifying naked man attacking people in the woods and eating raw flesh. Things rapidly go downhill for Jong-goo when his young daughter contracts the mysterious illness and doctors tell him they can do nothing. This leads to Jong-goo enlisting the help of a shaman and things take a bit of a demonic turn. Will the shaman be able to cure Jong-goo’s daughter or will it all end in tragedy?

The Wailing completely took me by surprise, I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I went into this movie expecting it to be just another demon horror movie. The sort of film where a demon shows up and torments a family then possesses someone. Everyone freaks out and they call for the Padre or a paranormal fighting duo to come exercise the demon. You know, the type that are filled with jump scares and clichés and sends your heart racing. Luckily, The Wailing has a little more to it than that and is not your run of the mill demon themed horror movie.

You may be thinking now, what does this film have that all other demon movies don’t have? The answer to that question is suspense, breath-taking scenery and a rather unique storyline with one hell of a plot twist. The Wailing is a bit of a slow starter, but when it gets going glob does it suck you in. Between wanting to see if Jong-goo solves the mystery and finds the true cause of the sickness and sitting in suspense, waiting to find out if the daughter survives, this film gets you totally invested in the plot. The amazing scenes of greenery and countryside on top of that, just really holds your attention, keeping you glued to the screen.

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 My face after losing all those drawings. It also aged about 20 years in that moment.  

The brilliant twist and mind screw at the end, truly puts the cherry on the cake. I for one certainly didn’t see it coming and while viewing the last part of the film, I was in a state of confusion, wonder and awe watching the tale spin and mystery unravel. At one point, I was completely baffled over who was actually the evil one and really couldn’t tell. Both possibilities seemed equally as untrustworthy and both were creepy as fudge, with a presence that screamed evil.

Which takes me to my next point, like all good horror films The Wailing was incredibly creepy and really leaves a lasting impression on you. Meaning it could quite possibly keep you up at night, checking and rechecking that all the windows and doors of locked and secured. There’s just something about a naked demonic feral person, running around, eating raw deer and attacking people, that’s pretty terrifying. Not to mention, the horror of being attacked by a possessed extremely violent 9-year-old (you can’t punch a child, so not sure how you’d defend yourself against that one). Making this film pretty scary to watch at times.

The Wailing isn’t without its flaws, the biggest flaw being the excessive use of foul language (in the subbed version at least). This may seem like an overreaction to a bit of swearing, but it really isn’t the case. Truth be told I usually wouldn’t care about swearing or even notice there was swearing. However, this film goes a little too far with the strong language, like even the kid was swearing obscenely. It seemed as if they couldn’t even make it through a sentence without swearing, which really killed the atmosphere of certain scenes. Maybe in the subbed version someone got a little carried away when creating the subtitles and the actual version it isn’t as bad. But glob that amount of swearing really wasn’t necessary.

There are also a few strange bible references throughout this film, which may put off some viewers. But considering the ending of this film, those references are more like well hidden clues to how the film was going to end and who was actually the evil one. So, you can’t really cringe too hard at them. However, you could probably cringe rather hard at the acting from some of the minor characters. Their overacting is quite comical at times, but mostly it’ll have you holding your head in your hand and shaking your head in distaste. In saying that, the acting of those in the main roles more than makes up for this.

Overall, The Wailing is quite a good horror movie. It does have its shortcomings, but in whole it’s an interesting and very exciting watch. With its plot twists and interesting concept of how demonic possession works, The Wailing will really grab your attention. If you fancy a change from your typical demon horror movie like The Conjuring or The Exorcist and don’t mind reading subtitles, I would recommend giving this film a try. It quite the creepy watch and will please the lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

Suffered for Art and Learnt So Much

thumbnail_20180816_175727It’s not just a dramatic title, in this little art adventure (more like misadventure) I actually did suffer trying to better my art. But more about that in a bit, I’d first like to tell you all why after working so hard to master acrylics and Gouache paint, am I now messing with soft pastels. Well, kind of for sentimental reasons. Firstly, away back in the day my mother was really into art and her main medium was pastels. So, I thought it might be nice to try my hand at pastels and learn a little more about it. Secondly, my mother gifted a set of soft pastels for my birthday a few months ago and I wanted to use them before she started to think I didn’t like them.

As helpful as having a parent that also into art sounds, sadly I can’t ask my mother for art tips. Our styles are miles apart and so very different and we draw completely different things. My mother creates mostly things with flowers or landscape pieces (which I’m terrible at) and as you all know, I mostly draw characters (which my mother is rubbish at) and animals. So, as you see it would quickly become an exercise in futility. Therefore, I teach myself by experimenting (messing around) with art supplies and learning what works or by watching YouTube and to be honest soft pastels had a very steep learning curve.

So, getting back on track I give to you what I learnt from suffering for art:

Don’t breathe in the dust and soft pastels are probably not suitable for asthmatics-
This wasn’t the first thing learnt from this experience, but was the most important lesson and explains why I suffered. So, to emphasise the point, don’t breathe in the dust that’s created by soft pastels. I wasn’t aware of how dusty or dangerous this medium could be and accidentally breathed in the dust and near coughed a lung up (but luckily, I always keep an inhaler close by). So, art responsibly and don’t half kill yourself like me. It’s probably best to wear some type of dust mask while using soft pastels.

thumbnail_20180816_150530Try not to drop the case of pastels-
If dropped the pastels break into pieces. Looking on the bright side, I will repeat what I tell my nieces and nephew when they accidentally break their crayons. “Hey, at least there’s 2 of those colours now, which makes sharing so much easier.”

thumbnail_20180816_151344Soft pastels are really hard to control-
Due to their unusual shape it is incredibly difficult to draw even the basic shapes or thin lines. Not to mention it’s also rather difficult to predict what will happen when the pastel is blended or rubbed. Drawing a character with these would be way beyond my soft pastel skills, so instead I decided to create a bit of an abstract nature themed piece.

thumbnail_20180816_152103Soft pastels are incredibly messy-
Merely holding a pastel and applying it to paper will cover your fingertips in pastel dust. Also using your fingers to blend or rub in the pastel is a really bad idea. Your hand will quickly become unrecognisable (I would share a photo of what happened my hand but it was too gross. It looked like old mouldy cheese).

thumbnail_20180816_153450Drawing with pastels is a little like painting with acrylics, except it’s a lot harder-
You can lay down the basic plan and colours of your drawing like acrylics. However, unlike acrylics you can’t prevent colours mixing or looking muddy, by waiting until the paint is dry before adding another colour. With pastels the colours always have the possibility of blending and muddying. Making working with more than one colour really difficult.

thumbnail_20180816_175338

Keep trying until you create something you like-
Despite choking half to death on rainbow coloured dust in the beginning, I kept going and eventually made something nice. Not bad for a first attempt, though if I hadn’t feared choking on pastel dust again, I could have keep going even longer and made something better.

Pastels are actually very difficult medium but they’re also a hell of a lot of fun-
I have a new-found respect for pastel artist, soft pastels are so hard to work with. It must take so much time, skill and effort to create something amazing with soft pastels.
Pastels are a lot of fun to mess around with, so I would like to try to master them. However next time I’ll use better judgment and wear some type of dust mask.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little art adventure and as always,
Thanks for reading.       

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 5)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eBefore I start this review, I’d like to say Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the best anime I’ve watched in a long time and has won a well-deserved spot in my top 3 anime series. It’s so great in fact that I was rather heartbroken after finishing the entire anime and left wondering what to do with myself. Now that I can’t unwind to some alchemy and homunculi getting their butts whipped. But sure, it’s not all bad. This gives me the perfect opportunity to find another great anime to get my teeth sunk into. So, without moping over anime heartbreak any further, I bring to you the last in this series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reviews.

Providing a spoiler free description of part 5, is kind of hard to do. So, all I will say is a lot of arse kicking and deaths occurred in part 5 and a few awesome Armstrong moments. As for the ending, you’ll be happy to hear it was very satisfying, unlike a lot of anime that are ruined by very poor no-questions-answered and everything-in-the-air endings. Though, the ending is a little sad (Glob Envy nearly broke me) it still leaves you with a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

7557043a-3782-4dc6-b0bc-3b0efe467880The best thing about part 5 and the whole anime in fact, is how the plot unravels, twists and turns right in front of the viewer’s eyes. It’s extremely hard to be bored while watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It completely captures your attention, while having you on the edge of your seat, screaming for more and dying to find out how everything will end. For me at least the plot wasn’t that predictable. Although I could predict somethings (final correct prediction count-24 out of 46 predictions), there was a lot that took me totally by surprise and when making prediction it was very hard to pinpoint exactly what was going to happen. Making this anime a truly exciting watch.

Second to the plot, the characters are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood next greatest aspect. Despite it incredibly large cast, most characters are very well put together. Some have very unique personalities and/or design, that makes them stand out from the others. Some also have little quirks that make them very entertaining and others are just so relatable, that you couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in their story. At times, your heart will break for certain characters, at other times you’ll find yourself cheering them on and on the other side of this, you’ll also find yourself wishing for a horrific death to be brought upon particular characters (*cough *cough Kimblee).

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Glob, I hope this isn’t too dark to have in this review.

Even the villains, you can kind of feel sorry for and relate to, at points in the show. Though, they are still monsters, they have very understandable motives for their actions. Some just wanted to please their father and are like lost little children and others just wanted to fill a void in their heart and feel whole. Things most people can at least sympathise with. The point I’m trying to make here is, that on top of its great storyline Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood characters make the anime a real emotional roller-coaster to watch.

In addition to an exciting plot and excellent characters Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a lot of little tiny things that bring the anime to whole other level of enjoyment. These include its very cute chemistry references, clueless and hothead Ed moments, a great soundtrack, dramatic Armstrong moments and fun little animations that provides comic relief. The voice acting is also something that rises this anime to other level. However as good voice acting is something that is expected from an anime as popular as this one, I won’t lengthen this post any further by going into great detail. All I will say is, that it really sucks you in and can cause you to be captured in the moment, quite often in the anime.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07Like all well balanced reviews, we’ve come to the negatives of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To be honest, I really had to put on the surgical gloves, get out the nit-comb and start some thorough nit-picking, to come up with some negatives for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One these being, that in the English dub version Al is very obviously voiced by a woman. Considering he spends most his time as a suit of armour in the anime, this could become annoying or confusing for some viewers. Personally, I had no problem with this and thought his voice was very sweet and made him very loveable. However, some viewers might not feel the same, it really depends on personal taste.

While we’re in the business of nit-picking, I suppose you could class Colonel Roy Mustang as a negative. He’s a bit of an annoying, arrogant character. Although you can admire his daringness and awesome fire alchemy, for the most part his character is a bit too full of himself and a tad self-centred. He didn’t seem to give much thought to what would happen to his men, if he got caught snooping and seemed shocked when they were punished for his actions. In true blunt Irish fashion, one could say his head was a little too far up his own backside, making him a rather dislikeable fellow.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1But wait we’re not finished yet, there is still more nits we can pick in this anime. A little juicy one being, we don’t see enough of that cute little panda Shao May. Shao May just suddenly fades into the background and we don’t see anymore of their adorable panda Kung Fu (hmm… wonder if Shao May is related to Po the Dragon Warrior) or hilarious, yet mildly evil panda logic. Considering how intense this anime gets at times, some Shao May cuteness could have been put to good use and eased the heaviness.

Speaking of heaviness, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood can be really sad, at times and hit you right in the heart. Especially, part 1 of this anime and when it comes to characters background stories or their deaths. It can be incredibly heart wrenching to watch and may be enough to make the more sensitive of us cry. However, this anime uses comedy very well to keep the show becoming extremely depressing and never really leaves you feeling gloomy for long.

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4A few other things you could argue as negatives, is the length of the anime and gross giant Envy’s animation. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is 64 episodes long, so is a huge commitment to watch from start to finish. I finished this anime wanting more, so in my opinion its worth it. As for Envy’s animation, it is kind of poor when he mutates into giant gross monster Envy and his movements look very unnatural. However, considering how long ago this show was made (2009-2010) you can somewhat forgive this. Also, you never really find out what that thing made from performing Human Transmutation actually is (or maybe we do and I’ve forgotten, because the show is that long. Let me know in the comments, if you know what that creature was. Not knowing is kind of bugging me).

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an absolutely unbelievably great anime. It has all the features that make an anime incredible and then some. It’s the kind of show that will remind you why you love anime in the first place and why you got into it. Great storytelling mixed with amazing characters, really cool action scenes, shock and tragedy, topped with a sprinkle of comedy to prevent things getting too much, makes for one hell of a show. Unless you really nit-pick (like I did. Apologies for that, I really went to town on this anime), there isn’t much you can fault the anime for. So, for those reasons if you haven’t seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood yet, I would highly recommend placing it on top of your to watch list. Although, it is on the long side it’s completely worth it and you’ll most likely love every minute of it.

Rating: 5+/5 (It’s just that good)

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Yeah, I wasn’t going to end this review series without Chibi Armstrong.

Collab Opportunity

thumbnail_b761ea5d-9b43-4330-b7a0-f82f053b4bd8If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you may know about the comic strip collaboration (Finding my own way) I’m currently doing with Anjani over at My Utopia. You may also have noticed that Anjani is working hard to turn the comic strip into an audio comic for her YouTube.

Well, I’m here today to offer you the chance to join Anjani and I in voicing the characters of Finding my own way. At this minute, we’re looking for people to voice Momo and Reiko, however there are still a few other characters that will need voiced a little later in the comic.IMG_20180618_185644_448.jpgIMG_20180618_185647_206.jpg

We are also seeking help with editing videos, so if you’d like to Collab with us but don’t fancy doing voiceovers, there is also that.

If you’re interested in joining this audio comic Collab, you can either contact Anjani over at My Utopia by clicking here or tell me in the comments below or find me on Instagram. It’s a lot of fun and we’d love to have you.

As always, thanks for reading.

Quite Possibly the Darkest Thing I’ve Ever Drawn

thumbnail_94c85aad-a778-45c9-95c8-f411abb1694eHave you ever had an idea, that at the time seemed great but later realise it wasn’t so great and might actually have been quite a bad idea? It’s safe to say we all have at least once in our lives. So, let me introduce you to my bad and rather morbid idea, Ninander (Glob, naming it really doesn’t help).

So, what possessed me to draw just a dark thing, you ask? Well, I was having trouble coming up with something to draw for the last Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood review and decided to draw the first thing that comes to mind, when I think of FMA: Brotherhood. Sadly, this was the little girl, Nina and her dog being blended together by her disturbed father, to make a human animal hybrid. At the time, this seemed like a great idea but after drawing it, I realised it might be a little too dark to include in the review (or even add colour to). It took a lot of time and effort to draw and I’m kind of proud of it, so I’m sharing it now in a separate post in case it isn’t used in the last review.

Although it isn’t coloured, I hope you’ve enjoyed one of my darker drawings
and as always, Thanks for reading.