study practice

* Study - Cullen’s Eyes *

The first installment in a series of studies intended to make me better at drawing Cullen by actually forcing me to understand his facial features, rather than just replicating a screenshot. \o/ These are mostly for me, but I also wanted to share them in case someone else finds them helpful. :)

For the first one, I decided to start with my favorite feature - eyes. I love drawing eyes so much; a lot of character lies in the eyes, and it’s important to get them right, or that character is lost.

As far as I can tell, Cullen has classic “hooded” eyes. In these types of eyes, the lid may be partially visible or almost completely concealed, either by sagging skin above the brow or by the brow bone itself. In Cullen’s case, it’s the actual bone, as his eyes are deeply set into the sockets, and his skin is pretty tight.

You can tell this by seeing how the line of the lid merges with the line of the brow bone not far from the inner corners of his eyes. The space between the bone and the top of the lid on the inside corner forms a sort-of sideways “V” shape, and then the rest of the line delineates both the lid and the brow bone.

Do note that he doesn’t really have “downturned” eyes, it just looks that way due to the downward arc of his eyelid. If you were to draw a line from the outer corner to the inner corner, you could see that his eyes are actually turned up very slightly.

Cullen does have faint squint lines at the corners of his eyes, one in line with the eyelid and the other slightly below. His bottom lid also protrudes a little bit, with a distinct downwards-sloping line under his eye. The rim of the orbital socket itself is also noticeable, especially close to his nose.

His brows are arched, almost  so-called “S-shaped,” and this is made more prominent when he raises them. They’re thickest right above the eye and at the inner corners; the outer corners taper and become less dense fairly quickly. They’re not super thick or thin. They are also fairly low and close to the eyes.

As far as placement, Cullen’s eyes are pretty much right smack at “idealistic” proportions, with approximately one eye width in between them. As a matter of fact, his whole face is pretty much in line with idealistic artistic proportions, which explains his attractiveness to many. :P

All my drawings look insanely similar to me, so I’m taking some time to practice and study different face shapes, facial structures, facial features, body types, and so on. With these doodles I wan trying to get definitive and unique faces for TheAssholesTM, although I got lazy with the eyes. Hopefully eventually not all my drawings will be identical,,,,

idiotflowerex  asked:

Hi Holly! So I've come across this sort of issue a couple times now where people who study or practice fine arts seem to look down on others who study illustration like almost as if it's less "arty" if that makes sense? Or I guess just less respectable? Alway, personally I think that's a stupid mindset to have, but I was wondering if you've ever come across this sort of thing and what your opinion is on it?

Fine artists for a long time have tried to make the distinction between their art and illustration, claiming that because its for a huge market it cant be “real art” which is just plain bullshit.

I personally find most fine artist to be pretty pretentious and try to undermine the hard work of illustrators and comic artists because it’s either too simple or too “generic”

but seriously screw people like that, just look at other illustrators for help and inspiration, not a bunch of fine artists.

Approaching Vajrayana – Part Four: A Tale of Two Sciences
By Jakob Leschly

This final installment in our four-part series “Approaching Vajrayana”* addresses an issue common to all of Buddhism: how its science is perceived, and how it stands apart from our familiar modern science. This comment is not so much about which science is more valid, but more about appreciating their differences. Finally, a comment on the practical situation of studying and practicing Buddhism in modernity.


Nowadays Buddhism is approached outside of its traditional cultures, and we might want to appreciate how the great science of enlightenment stands apart from the modern science most of us have grown up with. Very briefly, we can say that Buddhism and what we loosely call modern science share a common epistemic premise of empiricism. But in the case of Buddhism, this empiricism is based on the subjective rather than the objective dimension. As a result, these two sciences end up with very different ontological views. Suffice it to say that the objectivist thrust of modern science results in information and data, while the subjectivist thrust of Buddhist science, Dharma, results in wisdom. This is not really about better or worse, good or bad. The author of this article would rather fly in an airplane constructed by modern scientists and engineers than by Tibetan lamas and yogis, yet for the important issues of life, he chooses to consult the latter.

The Buddha’s objective was to remove suffering, and his teaching has continued to successfully serve as a remedy for the cause of suffering — confusion. In that the Buddha’s teaching addresses the nature of consciousness systematically, logically, and rationally, there is no reason why the modern, analytically trained person should not appreciate what the Buddha taught.


And yet … the domain of what the Buddha taught, the concept of enlightenment, the path, and the subjective experiences of eliminating confusion are entirely unknown to modern science, and as a result, to the average modern person. Modern science has no unanimous or unequivocal understanding or explanation of consciousness and the nature of subjectivity. It is what the Australian cognitive scientist David Chalmers has termed “the hard problem of consciousness” (Chalmers 1995). As such, there is little common basis for the modern scientist to understand the science of Buddhism, and as a result, the wider community of educated modern people, brought up exclusively with the ideas of modern science, have few qualifications for gaining a logical appreciation of Buddhist insight. Unfortunately, this also applies for a large number of the cultures where Buddhism once thrived as a science, but where it is now, due to the influence of modern physicalist science, classified as religion and perceived as based on blind faith.

Although the rationality of Buddhism is not unknown to the modern educated person, it is still assumed that Buddhism is essentially a religion, not a science. While religions traditionally represent values and compassionate action, and in principle are deserving of the highest regard, the problem with directly linking Buddhism with religions is that, as venerable and important as religions might be, they are also seen to operate with blind faith and superstitions. Most modern educated people have little time for religions, and see them as invalidated by science. A Harvard professor puts it quite bluntly: “The findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures — their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies — are factually mistaken” and “… the worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science” (Pinker 2013).

One could wish that modern persons approaching the study and practice of Buddhism would appreciate not just the humanity and goodness of Buddhism, but also the epistemic validity of its science. While Buddhism operates with empiricism, the findings of direct perception, it does not merely operate with the third-person perspective of observing what is thought of as objective phenomena. Buddhist insight in particular is founded on introspection, engaging an awareness of what is experienced by the first-person subjectivity, effectively cultivating the conditions for a wiser and greater individual consciousness, with greater epistemic capacity. Modern science has a very different project, which is about data. While on one hand the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines wisdom as “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning,” wisdom on the other hand as “being wise” generally exists as a rather vague notion.** The Buddhist science of wisdom could well be a non-starter in modernity, but again, this is not entirely the case either.


Despite the increasingly dominating materialist views of modern science, there are groups and cultures that continue to value and pursue the theory and practice of Buddhism. These include on the one hand pockets of survivors of the ancient Buddhist civilisations who study, practice, and uphold genuine spiritual lineages, and on the other hand modern freethinkers who, despite their upbringing in modernity, have sufficient education and resources to think out of the box. The latter are not necessarily Buddhist, but are exploring the domain of subjectivity studies.

As for the first groups, these include sages from the old Buddhist countries, as well as monastics and laypeople, who train their minds on the path of enlightenment. These persons might not master the language and vocabulary of the modern analytical traditions, or be able to engage the modern worldview, but they embody a universal quality of insight and its accompanying manifestations of compassion, wisdom, and strength that are naturally attractive. They embody and exhibit the brilliance and warmth that celebrate the highest human potential. These persons inspire others with their qualities, and are often beacons that provide vision and guidance.

The educated freethinkers initially comprised individual seekers and philosophers in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including the recent spiritual trend that was native to the various countercultures of the 1960s and ’70s. In the last decades, numerous modern academics and neuroscientists have engaged in dialogue about the nature of human consciousness with Buddhist scholars and practitioners, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These dialogues have extended into provocative discussions between Tibetan and modern experts in fields such as quantum physics, green politics, human rights, ethics, philosophy, and so on, a direct outcome of which has been the Mind & Life Institute with its 30 years of annual symposia. Their mission statement includes “… fostering interdisciplinary dialogue between Western science, philosophy, humanities, and contemplative traditions, supporting the integration of first-person inquiry through meditation and other contemplative practices into traditional scientific methodology.” So, in a few such cases, the earlier perceptions of Buddhism as entirely faith-based are changing.


The actual transmission of the lineages of study and practice are still taking place in the traditional cultures of Buddhism. Also in Western countries, or countries subscribing to the discourse of modernity, there are well-organised centers which facilitate Buddhist study and practice. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are even non-Tibetan students who have mastered the considerable rigor of Tibetan academic training and achieved the Geshe degree, graduating from recognised institutions in India. Countless persons practice Buddhist meditation, with and without guidance from authentic lineage masters. Training in mindfulness and compassion is now mainstream, even though some of the popular modalities avoid mentioning the Buddhist origins. The religious stigma still hangs over Buddhism.

There are still many traditional teachers of Buddhism who dispense with engaging the culture and language of modernity and opt to just give essential instructions, almost as they would to traditional laypeople. Yet, there are masters like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939–87), an accomplished teacher from the Tibetan tradition of Vajrayana, who embraced the modern world wholeheartedly. Possessing the skillful means of mastering both paradigms, he taught as an educated insider of modernity. And increasingly, Buddhist masters attempt to embrace the modern condition, with a growing knowledge of its language.

The essence of the Buddhist wisdom in the past spread throughout the societies of Asia. Although originally communicated to Indian students, the essence of Buddhism was gradually communicated within the native parameters of the cultures of Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, and Tibet. Similarly, the essence of the Dharma is now being communicated in ways that will eventually enable practitioners of modernity to attain realisation and to manifest compassionate action. As much as modernity presently is new to the notion of a systematic, logical, and structured science of wisdom, there is dialogue. As long as intact lineages of transmission and realisation remain, this science of Dharma with its vast scope will still be with us, and available.


🌲62/100 days of productivity 🌲
🌸04/03/2017🌸  I know I’ve made a similar post in the past but this is the complete revision that I’ve done an upcoming bio test! It’s so satisfying to see how much work i’ve done..

Language Mistakes | Etiquette Mistakes

Hey guys, first off Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already 2017. I had a pretty great year last year, but I’m much more excited for what this year will hold for me! Graduating from university, moving to Japan, etc.! It’s all very exciting.

My first post for 2017 is going to be on common mistakes that foreigners make when speaking Japanese and when they’re in Japan!

Language Mistakes:

  1. Particles - I think a lot of Japanese learners struggle with particles and more often than not, end up using the wrong particle in their sentence. は and が are often misused by non-native speakers. When は is used the meaning depends on the context that it was used in (it usually has multiple possible meanings and you just have to figure out what the meaning is depending on the type of situation it was used). For example: 私は魚です can mean “I’ll have fish” when speaking to a waiter or “I am a fish” in response to a question about yourself. As for が, it can be used to exclude other possibilities and to lock in your answer so 私が魚です means “I am a fish”. Another example is the overuse of と which means “and” but it can only be used to connect two nouns together. If you wanted to connect multiple nouns together you would have to conjugate and use て form not と.

  2. Using the word ‘あなた’ for “you” - in Japanese they don’t use pronouns such as 'you’ when addressing each other, this concept is a little hard for some Japanese learners to grasp and they use あなた in Japanese, just like you would use “you” in English, but actually it’s kind of rude to refer to someone as あなた in Japanese so please try to refrain from using it.

  3. Intonation and Nuances - intonation and nuances are important in Japanese, for example there are some words that have different meanings but are pronounced the same. 箸「し」means chopsticks and 橋「は」means bridge. If you want to say chopsticks you should place more emphasis on “は”, and if you want to say bridge you should place more emphasis on “し”. Another example is “ええ”, depending on what kind of intonation you use it in, it can mean “yes”, “what?!”, or “must I?”. Some Japanese learners speak in a monotone voice but it’s important to use intonation to properly convey your message across.

Etiquette Mistakes:

  1. Taking a phone call on a train or bus - making or answering a phone call and having a conversation is a common mistake that foreigners make in Japan. Being loud in public transport is rude in most countries but Japan takes this especially seriously, so don’t get caught out committing this social faux pas!

  2. Blowing your nose in public - this might seem strange to us foreigners who are quite used to openly blowing our noses in public and hearing others do it (all throughout my schooling life I’ve had class mates blow their noses in the class room so I’m quite used to this), but in Japan you won’t see this happening. So try to avoid this as much as possible.

  3. Not removing your shoes - I think a lot of people know about this by now, but when you enter someones home you have to remove your shoes. They’ll usually have quest slippers for you to use so you don’t have to walk around barefoot. Some Japanese restaurants might ask you to remove your shoes too, so make sure you’re always wearing matching socks ;)

The SAT was created by a noted racist and anti-immigrant activist who had previously written difficult, biased exams intended to prevent immigrants from becoming citizens. Happy test day!!


-21℃ 🌬❄️🌨
34/100 days of productivity
Doing more hangul exercises! I learned some new words and decided to practice.There were mistakes, but that’s proof that I’m trying!

Using Buzzfeed for Reading Practice

I just recently found out that Buzzfeed has different websites for different countries, WHICH ALSO MEANS THAT THERE’S TONS OF READING MATERIAL IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES! This is really really good for reading practice, since the articles are short, the genre is familiar, and the topics are relevant and interesting. At the moment, there are only 6 languages available (including English).

Brazilian Portuguese

English (US) / English (UK) / English (AU) / English (CA)




Spanish / Buzzfeed Spain / Spanish (Mexico)