This 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.
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.
It’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.
Try 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.”
Soft 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.
Soft 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).
Drawing 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.
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.
Before 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.
The 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).
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.
Like 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.
But 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.
A 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).
Overall, 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)
If 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.
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.
Have 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.
Anjani turned the second chapter of “Finding my own way” into an audio comic. This time I joint Anjani in the voice-over and voiced the teacher and Yukina (I was so shy, when recording my voice). Hope you all enjoy.
This is in collaboration with thethingsiveseen ( Kelly)
So here is the second audio comic of finding my own way.
It was really embarrassing for recording the audio and I really tried by best and this time even Kelly also joined me for giving her voice.
For Akira: Anjani
For Yukina: Kelly
I hope you enjoy this second chapter.
At last, the second half of the requested simpler step by step post. I’ve had to give some serious thought, to how I was going to add colour to Finny. Between wanting to keep things simples and not overload peoples’ brains with information and fatigue (I fell asleep 3 times at my desk last week, it was embarrassing), it wasn’t easy. But I think I’ve found a solution that’s a good balance between keeping things simple and ending up with a beautiful fish. That solution being, colouring pencils.
Considering how easy it is to get your hands on a good set of colouring pencils and that they’re something most people will be familiar with and have used before, I figured they were the best way to do this post. Also compared to paint, they’re far less messy (just getting that out there, as an added bonus).
So, with that all explained let’s begin:
Step 1: Choose your colours and test your pencils
Sounds weird but it’ll save you a lot of bother later. The aim is to know what the colours look like on paper, before using them to your drawing. Personally, I like to cross the colours (as seen above) to see how they blend with each other.
Step 2: The hard part-The Scales
So not to overwhelm people, I’ve decided to demonstrate a more decorative, simple way of adding colour to the scales. Instead of a more realistic looking way, because that would most likely put a lot people off giving this little project a go themselves.
For the scales, we use a blend of 2-3 colours, which gives the scales a nice wee decorative look at the end.
First lay down one colour quite generously at the top of one scale.
Then lightly use another colour on the rest of the scale.
Go over the whole scale again with the first colour and second colour if necessary….
and hopefully you’ll end up with scales that looks something like this.
Tip: Going over scales with a white pencil can lighten areas and helps blend colours better.
Step 3: The Fins
For this you pretty much use the same method as the scales, except you start at the base of the fin, you try to keep the colours light and use darker colours for the linework on the fin.
Tip: Using the white pencil is great for keeping the colour light. Also using more than one colour, for the linework will give a better effect.
Step 4: The Head
This is probably the easiest part. The aim is to give the bottom of the head a slight shadow by colouring it a little darker, than the rest of the head. This will make it look less 2D.
Then concentrate on the little details on the head.
Step 5- Finishing Touches
Touch up the linework and sign your work.
If you’ve made it this far in this step by step, hopefully you now have a beautiful fish (if not, don’t worry. It’s probably down to me awful description skills and not your art skills).
Thanks for reading and hopefully this step by step post has inspired you to create a Finny of your very own.