Ep. 21, Page 43

smbhax on Jan. 30, 2014

The last of the old news articles of potential interest from my mining of dailygalaxy.com a year or two back:
Apr 24, 2012: Mystery Objects Revealed in Saturn's Rings by Cassini Space Probe - Small moons and the like disturbing Saturn's F ring can cause the formation of half-mile-across “snowballs,” which slowly (4 mph, or 2 m/s) drift through the ring, leaving glittering ice particle trails that can stretch over 100 miles
Apr 26, 2012: Dark ‘Seas’ of Glass Hint at Mars' Subglacial Lakes –Hotspots for Microbial Life - “Dark regions covering more than ten million square kilometers in the northern hemisphere of Mars” are composed largely of small, sand-like glass particles, possibly the result of magma mixing with ice or water during explosive volcanism. “Such geological features are not unique to Mars. Iceland boasts thousands of square miles of volcanic desert dominated by glass sand.”
Apr 27, 2012: Image of the Day: A Billion Stars of the Milky Way - Talks about the gathering of data for this interactive viewer of a mosaic image of about a billion stars of the Milky Way, compiled by the Wide Field Astronomy Unit of the University of Edinburgh from sky survey data. Fun to zoom in and see what you can find! For instance there's a neat “little” pink nebula just a little to the right of the large central rectangular area.
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One of the things I realized after I'd finally made myself stop poking away at today's A* page with watercolor and ink was that my favorite parts of it–the back part of the guy's right sleeve, and the bottom of his shorts–also happened to be the parts where I'd laid down just a really thick layer of watercolor wash on the surface of the paper, and let it dry–and what happens then I guess is that you get this nice smooth, slightly speckly fill with a thin, sharp, intensely saturated rim around it, where the pigment in the watercolor has condensed along the sides of the drying puddle of water, and it looks really cool, and even does a nifty version of that dark edge shading I was talking about yesterday for you automatically, and way more precisely than you could possibly do by hand; the parts where I went in drier with the brush and tried to do various kinds of graduated shading with layered brush strokes, like around Selenis' shoulders, don't look nearly as keen and smooth. This week it's gradually become clearer to me that a key to watercolor is to go in really wet–it's just scary to do that as a beginner. Hm and now I'm remembering that I *did* go in wet at first around her shoulders on this page, only then I got scared and blotted it up. Hafta remember not to wuss out next time!
Huh and speaking of wetter watercolor, I still have some of the fancy watercolor paper I used for ink wash for a while–episode 15, page 25 was the last page where I used it; at that point I got fed up with how it would warp under a heavy wash and get hard to scan. But there are heavier versions–although these would cost $3 per A* page, just for the paper! : P–and board-mounted versions, and alternatively, spraying the back of the page with water might help flatten them out. (You're supposed to pre-wet watercolor paper, then fasten it down somehow so it will stretch as it dries (and tries to shrink)–but that's kind of a pain. : P) Anyway, the watercolor paper has an additive called “sizing” that makes it less absorbent, so you can wash the colors around more easily, leaving less of the dry streaky lines you may get otherwise; also, supposedly it causes more of the pigment to sit on the surface of the paper rather than soaking into the interior, thus keeping more of color intensity as it dries. I never actually tried it with watercolor, though! Maybe I'll run around to art supply stores tomorrow and see if I can get some heavier samples to experiment on.