The Field Where I Died is widely considered one of the worst episodes of The X Files. It’s also one of my favourites.
It’s forty minutes of unadulterated aesthetic joy. Golden hour light, velvety shadows, dark wood and stained glass windows. Wet-plate collodion prints of guys named Sullivan. A swelling Snow soundtrack and a Browning recitation. Mulder and Scully traipsing around the tall grass in heavy boots and riot gear (be still, my heart!). And through it all, we have our dynamic duo doing what they do best.
They’re constantly violating each other’s personal bubble, whispering into each other’s mouths, hovering and touching and passing notes. Mulder has a great little tantrum - you were THERE, Scully - and she accuses him (rightfully) of endangering people with his selfishness. They wrestle and butt heads and tug at their own ends of the rope, but when shit starts to go down, Scully sticks by her man. She doesn’t sell him out to Skinner. She supports him during his regression. She listens to him. Dana Katherine Scully is, as the kids say, ride or die, and it’s part of why I love her. Despite the plotline, we’ve got that subtle MSR we all thrive on coming out of the ears.
But despite my adoration for this episode, I understand why it gets so much flak. Kristin Cloke’s acting is jarring and strange. Her accents are janky. We have a hard time caring about her, because she cuts such a ridiculous, distracting figure. Duchovny is doing The Most - and, if I can make a confession here, I find his cryface kind of hilarious rather than heartbreaking. And Scully just finds those goddamn photos too easily.
But I think the real reason for all the hatred hinges on one thing - there’s a strong implication that Mulder and Scully are not, in a romantic sense, soulmates.
We’re all inclined to want to believe that there will only ever be Scully for Mulder, Mulder for Scully. But what I adore so much about these two, what keeps me coming back for more, is the fact that their love transcends romance. They have a deep respect, a profound friendship, a sacred, supernatural connection and dedication to one another. They are soulmates in this and every life - even if it doesn’t manifest in romantic-sexual entanglement.
I also have an inkling that Carter perhaps thinks of romantic-sexual love as base, as something somehow below his virtuous Scully and his heroic Mulder. Their cerebral pursuits are far more interesting to him than their physical ones, which, I believe, is why their love at this point has been almost courtly - “a love at once illicit and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent.” (Francis Newman’s definition). And let’s be real here. We love that shit.
My headcanon has room for a Civil War romance with Sarah Kavanaugh. It also has room for Scully as Mulder’s father, as his Sergeant, as his lover, as his partner. The subtext of this episode is that, in every life, Scully is a necessity for Mulder. Their connection isn’t dependent on romantic and sexual involvement in every lifetime. In whatever life they’re living, she is his constant, his touchstone. And Mulder is hers. They are cosmically pair-bonded in every possible way, through all time, regardless of whether they’re actively making the beast with two backs. And that’s why this episode one of my favourites. I think it strengthens their relationship, instead of weakening it. Affirms it while trying to deny it. And that’s that.
James van der Beek became the Lenny Bruce of his generation so slowly barely anyone noticed. That van der Beek shares little of Bruce’s epic talent and insight doesn’t help, but that Dawson’s Creek cryface, the embodiment of the show’s perplexingly awful Nice Guy serial-killer-in-waiting lead character, is the single greatest comedic triumph of the past 20 years. That it was entirely unintentional makes it even greater. It’s the face that launched a thousand gifs and established a whole vernacular of snark on the internet. And for that, we salute it, because that’s maybe the most trivial achievement in the most trivial age known to man and an everlasting monument to the crapsack world we endured in the 90’s and the gold we’ve all managed to spin out of it against all odds.
Van der Beek gets props from us for fair play though: while he was trying to position himself as a leading man in Hollywood things went awry - there was no separating van der Beek from his douchey wimp of a character, and it turned out that his real talent was as a comic actor, especially when in self-deprecating mode (Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 just ran and ran with it to the point they made a whole show of it). The rest of the Dawson’s Creek alumni have salvaged some respectability back from those days (I mean Katie Holmes married Tom Cruise and got embroiled in Scientology and somehow she doesn’t get dumped on to the degree van der Beek does). But van der Beek has become genuinely funny and seems to mean it these days, which means we’ve got more time for him than we ever imagined we would.
how does one cell shade cryface esp cryface feather pls help i beg
EDIT// a lovely person pointed out that anon was actually asking about shading crystal and facet genes and I was just too daft to realize it at the time (////v////)
hello there! i suck at teaching anything but i made a really bare bones tutorial on how i usually go about doing cell shading. i don’t know if it’ll be of any help but bear with me
1. after i’ve laid down my flat colors i start the shading process by deciding a clear light source. remember to stick with it through the whole picture!!
2. once i’m set on a light source i create a new layer and do some crude guidelines to tests to determine where my shadows should be. my layer mode for shading is always MULTIPLY.
don’t be afraid to shade with colors. multiply makes it really easy and different color shading looks a lot livelier than plain black or gray one.
shading itself is something you have to learn by just studying how shadow and light act in real life.
3. i just fill my earlier guidelines and add more shading where needed. i try to apply my shading so that it adapts to the shapes of the creature.
i usually add only one shading layer but you can of course use as many as you like. with bigger works i also lightly airbrush the edges of my shaded areas to make them look a bit softer.
4. when i’m done with the basic shading i add the reflective lighting. i do this on a layer that is above the shading layer. my layer mode for this is usually SCREEN. i lightly airbrush the base for the lighting and also define it a bit more with the brush by making a clear line right next to my lineart (like the jaw and horns in this one)
5. then i just finish it off with higlights that gone on their own layer above the shading. i use SCREEN and LUMINOSITY to do these.
and that’s pretty much it! it’s so simple that i don’t really know what else to say about it. if you have something even more specific to ask about the process go ahead! i hope i can help even a little bit (○´3｀)ﾉ
btw i’m pretty sure it’s not actually called ‘reflective lighting’ hahaaa
I gave a present to my friend that I also want… but buying two of them would make my wallet go :cryface: so I only bought the one for my friend. As I was walking home I suddenly thought to myself… what about everyone else? I’m always receiving so many presents from you guys. Everyone, if there’s something that you want, buy it for yourself and not for me, okay! Your happiness is definitely first! That instead will definitely give me more strength to work hard! Thank you so much for always supporting me~
I have a serious backlog of reader submissions, and I’m getting through them little by little and in no particular order. This one came in awhile back, from Emma, and I’ve been meaning to put it up. I love the description. Thanks, Emma!
This is the Where’s Waldo of Claire Danes crying faces because you know it’s there but you have to look hard to see it. It’s also on my Tumblr page here.
And Congrats to Ms. Danes for taking home the Golden Globe for her excellent (crying and otherwise) work on Homeland.
“What are you doing?” / “People are worried about you, Mike.” / “Yeah? Are you one of those people?” / “You know, there is something in play. Most of us, like me, we just pick a dogma. But you? I’m thinking you got answers.” / “I have answers. I just don’t know what the questions are.” “I was home…foothills of the Adirondacks. I had this sense that I needed to get to the tree line, so I started running. But before I got there, these birds just…took off.” / “Red ones?” / “Yeah. I didn’t even have to count. I just…I knew how many there were.” / “47.” / “When the birds cleared, there was a tunnel. At the mouth of it, there was a grandfather clock. 10:10… And then I saw you…” “The doctors…and I was back. They mean something. And I was sent back here to figure out what.” / “You think you’ll find it in there?” / “I hope so.” / “Well, you chase those birds, if that’s what you’ve got to do. But maybe try not to do it while you’re getting shot at, you know?” / “Yeah.”
Very Abridged Gifland3.03: And Then I Saw You (A Fanfic by Me) Except a fanfic by me would involve more…hugging. Yeah. Hugging.
let me be the first to say im no expert on how crystals refract light. my method is kind of a hack method but hey, it looks good
1. lines, flats.
2. one of the things that helps with cryface is having hard, geometric edges to your shadows. here the eyebrows are treated like fat, rounded cubes, with a very distinct shadow edge
3. likewise, the highlights are all triangular, and overlap the shadow layer to give an illusion of depth- one facet catching the light, but the shadowed facets still visible below it
4. another highlight added, as well as little “flecks” of light, done on a luminosity/dodge layer. keep in mind where your light is coming from, and concentrate the highlights around that spot, add some sparkles and thats it!
my main advice is use hard edges and geometric shapes w/ a good amount of contrast. hope this helps!
After spending most of the night working on them, I’m sure that CryFace are the most time-consuming genes (okay partially it was because I haven’t painted them before) for the blep Tundra baby adopt base and that none of the others will take this long to do. :’D
(The top one is the monochrome template, and the bottom is Steel/Steel/x with Water eyes.)