variation of hues

the mutable quad, gemini, virgo, sagittarius, and pisces have the most difficulty with self identification and expressing the needs of the ego, their shapeshifting ability spins the inner self core like a marble, their personalities are streaked in a new blend with any change of scenery. these signs also have difficulty attaching to people, because they are unsure of what they really want and need. the under developed mutable can try extremely hard to create personalities and fake interests in the attempt to find their ‘true self’, the developed mutable understands that they are a variation of shades and hues, able to stay spirited and young because they can slip into a new body whenever they become agitated or bored, floating and free

Some pixel art thoughts...

So I’ve been receiving messages and asks here and on my other blog (the Wishgranter) from some artists trying their hand at pixel art for the first time. BIG DISCLAIMER : I’m by no means an expert in the medium but I’ve been studying and working on pixel art for some time and I thought I would share some things I’ve learnt for other beginners. I will be using the following image (with permission) as an example to give tips - done by @yatagansaber​ and sent to me for feedback.

First of all, for me what defines an image as pixel art is not it’s small resolution or the fact that you can see individual pixels, but it’s the way that it’s made. The art of ‘pixel pushing’ differs from other digital mediums by the fact that each pixel - or at least most pixels - in the image are hand placed by the artist and have a purpose.

What I mean is that regardless of the size of the canvas, the artist probably went in at some point with the 1px brush and hand placed most individual pixels. For me, I usually start with a larger brush to define forms but then I switch to 1px brush very early in the process all the way to the end.

Point no. 1: Canvas size
So for this case, the canvas here is pretty large and the artist is going for an armor clad character which means the canvas was probably going to get larger. So here I would strongly suggest going for a much smaller canvas especially since the artist is just starting out with pixelart and it is much easier to grasp the concept on a smaller canvas. I usually start with a 60x60 canvas and then adjust as I go, but I very rarely go over 100x100. In pixelart you will not be blending with giant brushes, so for the big flat areas you will either end up with a single flat color or do a lot of dithering which might take away from the final image.

Point no 2: Defining curves

Define your curves better. When working with pixelart, curves need to be defined properly or it will end up looking very jaggy in the end. Referencing the image, The neck area of the armor for example could be defined better to have a more presentable effect. Focus on having the lines gradually decreasing in pixel width alone the curve of the object you’re drawing.

Point no 3: Coherent Light sources

More of a general art tip. The image doesn’t seem to have a coherent light source. On the shoulder pad to the left it seems to indicate a top left art source while the neck area completely ignores that light source and indicates one to the top right. Another light source is indicated to the bottom right in the torso area. Although having multiple light sources is totally acceptable it needs to be done coherently. Artists usually stick to one main light source and maybe some back lighting for effect.

Point no 4: Light and Forms

Also a general art tip. Make sure you use lighting to define your forms. The lighting on the shoulder pad seems to suggest a flat, sharp surface while the general form seems to suggest a cylindrical object. This very important as it will help the viewer understand what they are seeing. To help with this, try to find references and see how the lighting hits specific objects.

Point no 5: Contrast

When drawing metal objects such as armor you must think about it as a very reflective surface. The light source should be much brighter and stronger then the rest of the palette to create a good contrast. Again, this isn’t exclusive to pixel art, but to art in general. The best way to get used to these things is to watch a lot of real life references and other artist’s work.

Point no 6: Color Palettes

Choose a more interesting color palette. When drawing pixelart you’re not going for realism, and even in real life, it’s very rare to see something being completely one color. Don’t simply stick to one color and increasing/decreasing brightness. Try messing around with hue variation and saturation as well to create a much more pleasant image. For this case I didn’t have time to create a new color palette so I simply added some hints of color to the shades. Ideally before starting a new piece you decide on a color ramp with different hues and stick with it till the end.

Final Thoughts

So after applying those points (except the canvas size point) to the armor piece I ended up with the result below:

It’s obviously nowhere close to being perfect since I do not have the time to keep pushing it to a good finish but it should give a good idea of how those several little points can help make your pixelart look better.

That’s all I got for now. I hope this can help someone out there with their art! All feedback appreciated and feel free to ask me anything.


Check out part #2 of 2 here.

A few initial stages of progress on this piece.

1. I scan the ink drawing, which was on two pieces of A3 copy paper. The scanner warps a little at the join, so there’s some manual reconnecting of lines using the pen tool in Clip Studio Paint, on the G-pen preset.

2. I lay in basic flat colour areas to consolidate the main masses and shape relationships, again using the pen and eraser tools.

3. I begin sculpting out some form detail in the hand. This is still with the pen and eraser tools. At this stage, I use the gradient tool to throw some hue variation across certain areas of the skin. I’m also constantly changing the hue of the background—this activity will continue right up until the final stages of development.

4. Further detail in the form, trying to communicate the masses accurately while following what the ink work is suggesting.

I’ll post another progress update soon :)

Proposed by @abbyforth92​:

Cybertronians using their alt-mode’s headlights/tail-lights to silently communicate with each other. In extension, using their biolights in much the same manner as deep-sea animals use their bioluminescence, or cuttlefish use their skin patterns.

To elaborate:

  • Grounders flickering their headlights at each other in a Cybertronian version of Morse Code (something like the way Knock Out signalled Breakdown in TFP)
  • Bots flashing their biolights when they are agitated, the rate growing faster and faster as they become more upset/annoyed
  • Biolights ‘rippling’ when a bot is happy
  • Seekers signalling each other with the lights on the tips of their wings, even while in bot-mode, and adding that as another layer to their wingspeech
  • Bots dimming/brightening their biolights according to their mood
  • Bots having a slim spectrum of biolight colours, almost undetectable, but the variation in hues is enough to convey emotion or even serve as a warning to observant bots
  • Grounder bots turning off one headlight in a ‘wink’
  • Bots’ biolights flickering or dulling when they’re hurt or sick
  • Bots with service vehicle alt-modes getting so startled/surprised that their emergency lights turn on and they turn the place into a discotheque
  • Bots flashing and flickering and twinkling their lights just to pester each other

Getting a variety of questions about bone staining….
You can use anything you want to stain bone, old coffee grounds and tea bags, to spices you have tucked away in
your kitchen cupboards…. from dried flower petals to boiled vegetable skins…. the possibilities are endless.

All you need to do is find a container you can soak your bones in ( i use old mason jars)
make sure bones are fully dry before you start the soaking process ( wet bones will not absorb color as much) and know that the outcome of the bones will vary heavily on each individual bone and each batch you do.
Sometimes things turn out deep and rich in color, other times its a light coated hue… Variations of bones, bone cleaning process,age and environment all have a sway on coloration and staining.

Personally i never measure when staining, i just boil water, throw a bunch of dried herbs,grounds,teas or spices in a container, throw in the bones and cover with hot simmered water…. the larger the container and amount of water… the more ‘stain" i throw in.
Then, you distract yourself and leave the bones to soak anywhere from a few hours to a couple days.

If after a couple days your bones are still too light for your taste, air dry them ( over a night or 3) and re-soak with a fresh batch of water and stain.

It is important you let the bones fully dry, just because the bone feels and looks dry on the outside doesn’t mean its dry on the inside, so its best to let them dry for a longer time rather than short, the larger and thicker the bone, the longer the drying period .Another thing that helps stain, is sun.
I have found than sun bleached or sun dried bones tend to absorb color much more intensely than others… no clue why.
I am guessing it has to do with the sun wearing on the smooth natural finish that bones have, leaving more texture for the stain to attach to….. i just pulled that out of my ass
so there is a very good chance that is not technically why sun bones stain better, but thats what ive got.

Another common question lately is why teeth wont stain when staining skulls…. i am going to blame enamel for that, teeth have that natural gloss and coating of enamel which ends up acting like a shield against stains, one thing you can do to increase your chances of tooth staining, is to gently sand away some of the enamel coating.

Sometimes you will get different coloration on the same piece of bone, this is usually due to grease or moisture, if your bone was not fully dry when thrown into the staining concoction, chances are that a section was still wet which lead to less stain absorption… if that makes sense. The other reason is grease, sometimes bones retain a bit of grease after decomposing, the grease is some what repellent to stain, so make sure you check to see if there are any darker grease stains on your bones before throwing them in a batch of stain.

Personal recopies for stain are hard to share since i literally  grab handfuls of whatever i have around and throw them in a jar…

Coffee grounds are always a great 'natural stain’
teas offer a nice rustic/lightly antiqued stain
Dried hibiscus petals and lavender offer a rich deep purple blue stain
just lavender can stain purple or even at times a deep grey color
turmeric and cinnamon create a really potent nice deep yellow/orange color
Blackberries are a vibrant purple/blue
cherries are a pinkish sometimes red color
coffee and blackberry re a deep bluish black-ish

Mix a little bit of everything, and you will come out with a dark strange brown our blackish coloration….. just have fun with it

Hello! It’s time for eevee!Lloyd’s introduction! (i’m really sorry it’s long and will mess your dashboard completely…) You can find the introductions of the other characters from <here>

Full name: Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon

Lloyd is 11 when the first season starts and he will turn 12 during it. Originally, I wanted him to be 7 and turn 8, but after fighting with the timeline of this world for ages, I realized that he must be older for my future purposes. (My headcanon of Lego Ninjago still is that the little guy is 7-8 in the first season though.) He is quite average size to an eevee of his age, about 125 cm. He is a shiny eevee, but not the color that shinies are in the Pokémon World. In PW all shiny eevees are grey, but in PNGo there are two possible colors: the ordinary grey, and then an auburn color. They both may have variation in hue, saturation, and brightness. These are called as ”silver shiny” and ”golden shiny”. Lloyd is a latter one, with glossy, blond fur. His eyes are dark like almost all eevees’. This is because they have a protective pigment on their cornea, that intensifies in bright light (… don’t you look at me like that, I have studied biology and I like to use fancy terms!) and work like inborn sunglasses. You can see through this darkening color if an eevee has been in shadow and a light suddenly hits their eyes in the right angle. Lloyd’s iris color is bright green, which is a rare eye color for an eevee, even though not an unusual one. However, his eyes turn red when he gets angry or if he’s feeling malicious pleasure or plotting something nasty. This again, has nothing to do with biology and is purely based on magic, since red eyes are completely without pigment, like the ones that albinos have. (… What am I, your biology teacher? Uh, anyway,) Lloyd’s green pigment doesn’t just vanish away when he gets angry, but the hate kind of pours into his eyes, drowning out his eye color. It also shines through his cornea pigment faintly.

Lloyd is not as chubby as he should be for an eevee of his age. He is a bit too thin, but not unhealthily skinny. He is susceptible to sweets and treats, but otherwise he doesn’t eat much. He was left-handed before, but was then taught to be right-handed. He is digitigrade and quite in the middle of animal and human by his body. It’s easier for him to walk on all fours though, and he wears special sneakers that help him to keep his balance while walking upright. He likes all kinds of games: video games, ball games, board games, pretend… He even learnt to like fight games in school.

Lloyd is hasty, imaginative, and quick-tempered. He acts all mighty and is very precocious. He gets easily puffed up if he feels superiority over someone. However, he is actually just trying to hide his insecurity most of time. His inborn nature is timid, thoughtful, and playful. If he had the chance to live safe, normal family life, he would have grown into a polite and a bit shy kid, who still would be jolly and adventurous with the people he knows and trusts and sometimes become proud with his successions. However, destiny had another path for him.

His mother, Misako, left his husband and son when Lloyd was one year old. She was an archeologist and she had to go to explore Ninjago’s oldest secrets. It was vital, she said. So, the family fell apart already before the little boy could understand what happened. He lived with his father and uncle in his grandfather’s monastery. This would have been good enough, but as his dad was affected by a venom of a demon snake, his moral lessons were maybe not the best. He was always gentle with the boy and no physical punishment were ever used at him (not that there would have ever been a reason to), but he taught Lloyd that violence was acceptable, revenge was right and displaying negative emotions was a good way to get attention. Misako could have balanced this, but without her, Garmadon had to rise his son the way he saw best. Wu looked at this from aside. He didn’t want to interfere with his brother’s pedagogical methods, but when he felt like he had to correct the ways Garmadon had taught the boy, he tried to do it behind his back. They had arguments about Lloyds upbringing, but Wu was afraid of losing his brother and nephew, so he usually backed down so that they wouldn’t leave the monastery (the poor man was lonely).

When Lloyd had turned 3, his whole world was thrown upside down. He lost his father. He saw how a lightning struck him, and he fell into a ravine that had opened on the monastery’s yard. He couldn’t comprehend what had happened. All he could do was ask Wu where his dad had gone. He didn’t have a decent answer.

After that his uncle took care of him for a while. Wu was devastated, even though he tried not to show this to the boy. He was also restless, slept very little and prayed a lot. He had sent a word to Misako so she would return and take care of Lloyd because the man needed to do some important maneuvers now that the balance was in great danger and some alarming prophecies were seemingly becoming fulfilled. After a few months Misako came back. She was shocked and terrified, because she knew exactly what prophecy had just come true. However, Wu couldn’t stay put any longer. He made himself sit for one cup of tea so he could tell Misako what had happened and they could share comforting words, but then he dashed off. Lloyd didn’t remember his mother. Even if Wu had introduced her, the boy was a bit suspicious and very reserved with her as she took him with her and left the monastery again.

Misako couldn’t take Lloyd to her expeditions as they were dangerous and boring to a small kid like him. The work also demanded great precision so she could not have taken good care of him and he would have been in the way of the research. Therefore, she had to find a place where Lloyd could live and gain education while she was looking for answers from the ancestors. However, every day-care place, boarding school, and children’s home gave her all sorts of excuses of why they couldn’t take Lloyd in. First, she was surprised but compliant because she thought it was just a coincidence that this happened, but when door after door was closed before them, she started to feel like she was missing something. Finally, she got fed up with this and pressed for a proper reason from a childminder lady who led a big house. The answer made her fall silent in outrage: “Well, to be honest, I would be very surprised if you found a place that would accept that demon child anywhere near their children.” Garmadon’s notoriety had spread wide and rumors had cast an even darker shadow to him and his family. Misako of course argued this and tried to defend her son, but the lady was adamant. After this, Misako was a bit unmotivated to find a home for Lloyd and as expected, all the places she asked turned them down. One possibility was of course to leave him into a public children’s home, but that would have meant that she would have lost custody of him.

The last hope was Darkley’s School for Bad Boys. It was a boarding school for 7-15-year-old boys, and it had a bad reputation, but she couldn’t think of anything else. In this school she got quite an opposite reception. The headmaster was delighted and flattered that Misako asked a place for Lloyd from there. The boy was indeed quite young to be a pupil, but there was a day care system for teachers’ children in the school and many of them even slept in the school for some nights. So, it was settled. Lloyd would learn about life in that miserable place. And unfortunately, it taught him to form his nature towards aggressive and impulsive rather than cautious or polite. He learnt to harden his heart, drown out his timidity and be a loud, fierce character, who wouldn’t flinch if he was attacked verbally or physically. He had already learnt from his father that revenge was always rightful and that violence was a very good answer in every situation. In school he had to put those lessons in practice. The only possible good thing about this was that he gained confidence and wasn’t so afraid of social situations anymore. Or rather, he might have still been afraid, but he learned to stand that fear and be confident regardless.

First years weren’t so bad. The other kids didn’t pay much attention to Lloyd, except for the first day, when everyone made fun of him and one kid put fire ants in his bed. They still played pranks on him sometimes, but most of time they ignored him. Yet he managed to befriend Brad, the one who put ants in his bed – or he could almost have called him a friend, at least in the scale of that school. The other kids weren’t yet close enough to start a fight with him and they didn’t consider him as a threat to their prevailing hierarchy (fighting was local form of playing and at the same time the kids were ranked among each other). But as he grew older and the kids got to know him and his background better he was sucked into the violent culture of Darkley.

The first real battle he was in was awful and he got trashed quite badly. Everyone laughed at him later and called him weakling, chicken, and whatnot. Brad, his almost-friend, told him what to do and how to take revenge. Lloyd hated it all at first. But as he found the cruel satisfaction of defeating someone and getting his revenge, he started to get a grasp of the lifestyle. Yet he never felt like he fit in. One essential lesson he learned in the school was to never show tears or fear. If he did, the danger increased radically. On the contrary, if he hid all his “weaknesses” he wasn’t targeted as easily. He had to wait until his roommates were all asleep to cry in peace and sometimes during daytime he escaped to some safe hiding place to regain his mental strength. Even though life in that building during all those long years made Lloyd really grow tougher and more careless, he was still sensitive, and very lonely under his made-up exterior. He hated everyone and everything in the school. He couldn’t see the twisted friendships and alliances between other pupils. For him they were all his and each other’s enemies and he felt alone, scared, and angry. All he wanted was to get away and find his father of whom he had blurry, but happy memories. He had never betrayed him or let him down, unlike the mother and uncle who had abandoned him.

The teachers were hopeful about the son of the famous Lord Garmadon, but they got to come to the realization that he wasn’t like they had thought he would be. This seemingly wasn’t his place. Lloyd rather avoided conflicts than searched for them. He didn’t advance in the hierarchy among the kids in the way they had expected. When he turned eleven, only few of his peers bowed before him, even if most of them didn’t practically walk over him either. They had hoped that at this point he would have showed signs of leadership and thirst for power. But the boy was just a grumpy, hasty, and goofy little thing, and they knew he couldn’t spend four more years in there. Not only for his sake, but they didn’t want to keep a pupil who didn’t have good enough potential. And so, he was expelled.

Lloyd didn’t want to go to his uncle nor his mother. He wanted to go and find his dad. The only thing that had given a glorious halo to the boy, a great reputation even before he started to fight for his honor, was a father whom everyone knew and whose name could silence a room full of noisy brats. He wanted to find him and to become like him. Respected and feared, strong and fearless. The problem was that the headmaster would call his mother to come and pick him up again. To avoid this, he called back to his mother as soon as he managed to sneak alone into the headmaster’s room so he could use his phone. He said that Wu had offered to come and take him to live in the monastery. Misako was relieved as she was in a difficult place and on the verge of very promising discovery. She trusted Lloyd to speak the truth so she never called Wu to check the information.

Lloyd packed his few belongings into a backpack and left. He said his mum was picking him up from the next village. He had no actual plan, but he was excited about his new freedom. Misako had left him some money and she and Wu regularly sent him money into the school. Now he could finally spend it on something! He came to the village and spent some money for food (basically sweets) and a bed. There was also a fancy-dress shop from which he bought a black cape. He also purchased some white textile color with which he painted ribs on his shirt (he had heard rumors about G’s appearance after his fall).

He went intuitively from village to town and to next village, searching for answers. He heard many stories about his father (well, the people who told him the stories kept in mind his young age and didn’t tell the goriest stories and smoothed out the edgiest parts). Most of them were not true, and he heard many mentions of his return. He had been seen here, he had been seen there. So, Lloyd thought he should just follow the flimsy tracks. But eventually he ran out of money. He got some food out of pity, when he asked, but he knew he’d have to get money. He sold almost everything he owned except for his clothes. He thought about stealing and tried it once, but it was too scary and he got a guard Houndour after him (it couldn’t catch him tho). He also tried to avoid police officers in general. He was afraid they would catch him and send into child welfare center.

He kept on wandering and subconsciously drew nearer to the Monastery of Spinjizu. He slept his nights outside, tried to hunt a little during the days, but couldn’t catch anything. Fortunately, it was berry time, so he could gather something from the wilderness. He was still awfully hungry and tried to come up with something to get more food. He had only a small trick box filled with rubber snakes with him and he knew it wouldn’t give him many meals. But then he got a grand idea. He was the son of the fearful Lord Garmadon! So, all he needed to do was scare people into giving their food for him. And the more sugar the food contained, the better.

This was a lot of text again, and you’d deserve a whole bunch of cookies if you made it this far~!

An Experiment By Any Other Name

Summary: Sherlock conducts an “experiment” that involves giving John a rose every day. The results could change the dynamic of their relationship forever.

Chapter 1/15

John should be used to finding unexpected things on the kitchen table. It’s an occupational hazard of living with Sherlock Holmes. He’s gotten used to the severed heads in the fridge, eyeballs in the microwave and toxic chemicals on the drainboard but this is different. Less hazardous, yes, but also more…confusing.

The usual clutter of Sherlock’s experiments is absent from the table. In its place is a single rose. Granted, it’s in a graduated cylinder instead of a vase, but still. It seems almost ordinary, which is unusual in 221B.

The rose is a glorious shade of orange, the color of sunrise, or flames burning low in the fireplace. John reaches out to run his fingers across the petals which are only just beginning to open. As he looks closer he sees the many slight variations in hue, ranging from a deep reddish tinge at the tips to a honey-gold center, as if the flower itself is a flickering flame. It’s unusual - he can’t remember the last time he saw an orange rose, but somehow the color is familiar, comforting. It reminds him of the fire dancing low on late winter nights, of sitting in his chair and pretending to read while watching as Sherlock plays a haunting melody on his violin. 

The rose fades from his vision and in its place he sees Sherlock, framed by midnight London beyond the window, the faint glow of streetlamps and the flickering fire casting him into dramatic shadows, the fabric of his shirt stretching across the rise and fall of his shoulder blades as he draws the bow across the strings.

Continue reading on ao3

I’ve been using a Flemish dead color technique for digital painting and it’s super efficient.

I start out with a value layer.

I add in a dead color layer for highlights. This is usually a complimentary, largely desaturated hue.

I paint flat hues lightly, transparently, and build them up gradually on a semi-opaque layer set to Color above the dead color layer. Some of the underpainting showing through allows for broken color and subtle hue variations. A heavy hand while flatting these hues obliterates the dead and value layers, which I don’t like.

One final, opaque layer has the brightest highlights to model form and push values.

anonymous asked:

re: your reply to prev anon ask. Could you do a post about the general principles that one teacher taught you that you 'could actually use to improve my skills'? Also I'm struggling to establish a regular practice, I want some system, like: start with portrait, pr details like hands etc. but can't decide how to build up skill efficiently so that it comes together in the end. I'd be so grateful for some practical advice.

Of course! There are probably heaps of them depending on what kind of drawing we’re concerned with, but I’ll try to cover several of the major things.


Leave more room “in front” of the subject you’re drawing, and less room “behind” it. That means more room in front of a face than the back of the head, more room in the direction something is heading than where they’re moving away from, and so on. This applies to people and animals.

Use the rule of thirds, avoid perfect symmetries or coincidences. The rule of thirds is pretty self-explanatory if you follow the link. It’s related to avoiding perfect symmetries, where you want to place your elements on your page in a way that isn’t centred. Coincidences are where lines just happen to meet or touch. This makes things look unnatural. Overlap them, vary the sizes of things, create differences.

General accuracy when drawing:

Focus first on position and size. This relates to composition, as mentioned above. Mark in where you want your elements to go and how large, before you even worry about drawing any shapes.

Draw large to small. This means drawing larger shapes first and smaller shapes later. Larger shapes are easier to establish on a blank page. Once that’s done, smaller shapes can be added in on the basis of the larger shape.
Draw outside-in. That is, make sure your outside lines are accurate before moving onto any smaller details inside those lines. This is because outside lines determine important things such as the position and size of your picture overall. There’s no use drawing details first only to find as you go along that you’ve been doing it all too small or in the wrong place. Of course, with digital art you can move and resize things, but you don’t want to be wasting too much time doing that when instead you can be drawing.
Compare everything. Drawing is about comparison. Something is only large or small, left or right, round or flat, in comparison to something else. Use what you’ve already drawn as reference points to help you determine where and how you should draw the next area.

General black and white shading:

Start with black, and go lighter. This is what I’ve been taught, though I’ve heard of other people going light to dark, layering everything as they go. If that works for you, great. However, the reason to start with black is because black is easy to get right. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re going too dark or too light. Black is just black. 

Use the whole range of tones when shading. Once you have black (or the darkest tone in your picture if there is no black), you immediately have the two extremities of the range of values you need to shade with. You know exactly what the lightest tone is, and you know exactly what the darkest tone is. Everything else goes in between. A good work of shading requires a full range of tonal value, i.e. good contrast. This is another reason to start by putting in the darkest tone, so you don’t shy away from them. Starting light and going dark means you have no idea how dark you need to go until the very end, by which time people usually realise that they didn’t go dark enough the entire time and have to go back and re-shade everything. This is because:

Everything is relative. Compare everything. This is similar to what I was saying about making comparisons earlier. A tone only looks dark next to a lighter tone than itself. Next to a darker tone than itself, it will look light. The illusion above (found here) shows this at work. This is why, when shading one area, don’t just compare the tone with those around it, compare it with the entire picture. Just limiting yourself to how light/dark something looks compared to what’s immediately around it makes it easy for you to exaggerate the lightness/darkness of that tone.

Given simple lighting, the boundary between the light and dark side of an object is likely the darkest, not the place furthest away from the light source. This is because the dark side, while not directly illuminated, is still interfered with by reflections from its surroundings.

General colour:

The hue is where a colour is, or is closest to, on the visible spectrum (above image found here). The hue is the “purest” form of a colour, if you will. Every single colour possible is some kind of variation of a hue.

Saturation is how pure the colour is, or how much hue there is in it, compared to how much grey is in it. High saturation leads to a very bright, pure, vibrant colour. Low saturation leads to a dull, grey-looking colour. No saturation means the colour is greyscale.

Tonal value, or lightness/darkness, is simply how light or dark a colour is. In other words, if you stripped the colour of all saturation and turned it black and white, how light or dark would that grey be?

Every single colour that is physically possible can be obtained by a mixture of hue, saturation, and lightness. For example, pink is a variation of a red hue, but lighter. Brown is a variation of an orange hue, but darker. Khaki green is a variation of a lime hue, but with lower saturation.

The colour of the light source affects the colour of an object. The sun, for example, is a warm light, which makes the illuminated side of an object a warm hue, and by contrast, the shadowed side of that object will be a cool hue. If the light was a cool colour, for example pale blue, the light side would be a cool hue and the shadowed side would appear a warmer hue by contrast. This is in addition to the colour of the original object itself. Therefore, “warm” does not necessarily mean it must be red or orange or yellow, and “cool” does not necessarily mean it must be blue or green. One hue can look warm or cool depending on what it is compared to. Purple will look cool compared to pure red, but it will look warm compared to pure blue.
The purest colour is between the illuminated side and the shadowed side. This is because the illuminated side is contaminated by the lightness and colour of the light source, and the shadowed side is contaminated by darkness and reflection from surroundings. The light side is less saturated and lighter than the original colour, and the dark side is also less saturated but darker than the original colour. The bit in the middle retains most of the original colour.

I realise this is a lot of theory, so I’ve tried to illustrate them with images as best as possible, however the best way to learn this kind of thing is to go out, observe, and try it yourself.

I also have a portrait-specific tutorial here and an oil painting-specific tutorial here.

Hope this was helpful, and thanks for reading :)

“Abstract Painting”


Oil on canvas

108 x 40 in (274.3 x 101.5 cm)


Ad Reinhardt


In this work, subtle variation in hue creates a discernable grid, an effect intended to be neither symbolic nor referential but purely optical. Reinhardt argued for the elimination of sentiment from art. “I don’t understand, in a painting,” he said, “the love of anything except the love of painting itself.”

Gallery label from Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010-April 25, 2011


laurel lance weeks – colors

the psychology of the color black: you may be looking for protection from any negativity that surrounds you; you’re methodical and disciplined in your work, making sure everything is completed as required. this color is required for all other colors to have depth and variation of hue, and is commonly associated with power, fear, mystery, authority, formality, death, aggression, authority and even rebellion. black can be linked to control, is sometimes an intimidating color that shows that the person wearing is setting themselves apart from others. it’s a color that indicates strength and comfort, but it can also be associated with depression and grief, concealing emotions rather than showing them. black sometimes expresses sophistication, is considered to be elegant and simple at the same time. this color affects the mind and body by helping to create an inconspicuous feeling, boosting confidence in appearance, increasing the sense of potential and possibility. black can also refer to endings and, with that, new beginnings.

Girlishly Charming

Based upon this imagine.

Imagine Legolas flinching in surprise when he hears you sneeze for the first time, because elves do not sneeze, but then laughing at you because it’s so cute.

Word count: 1,395

Warnings: None, just adorableness. 


You could not have been sure how far you had traveled today, but it felt like an ungodly amount, and the sun had not even barely began descending into the west. Your feet were sore, and your legs ached from your calves all the way to your thighs, but you had never felt so alive. Upon reaching a reasonable age of maturity, you had fallen under the ‘spell’ of on satiable wanderlust, and here you were, traveling across Arda with wonderful company. You were an odd group, the four of you, this much was for certain; a dwarf, an elf, a human, and a man of the Dúnadan. Sometimes you felt as though you lot should be walking into a tavern somewhere. But in all seriousness, your journey was of the utmost importance, for Boromir’s death would not be in vain. However, in honor of the Son of Gondor, you refused to become downtrodden by the circumstances and reflect upon the good the journey had done you, and the good the quest would eventually bring about. That is what Boromir would have wanted, and you were certain of it.

Somewhere behind you, the faint grumbling of Gimli reached your ears, and it prompted you to glance over your shoulder. He was a fair distance behind you and the other two, eyes trained upon the ground. More specifically, on his feet, as if he were willing them to keep moving. You faltered in your step for a moment, studying his hunched figure before turning towards Legolas and Aragorn. The dark haired Man was still pressing on, but Legolas had halted the moment you had, his seemingly endless variations of sapphire hues training upon you with unasked question.

A ghost of a smile curling the corners of your lips, you gave a haphazard nod of your head in Gimli’s direction. His gaze followed yours to the, quite obviously, fatigued Dwarf. You knew very well that if either of you asked if he needed to rest, his pride would always get the better of him; he and Legolas had been bickering the whole journey, as Elves and Dwarves had a tendency to do, but you had a feeling he did not wish to appear weak in your presence, and that was the testosterone of the male gender. Men and Elves with their long legs would forever pass him up, but he always insisted that Dwarves had great endurance. You never teased him on the matter, and never would. Knowing Dwarvish pride as a… sensitive, thing, you gave your resident Elf a knowing smile, reaching out to clutch the cloth of his tunic as you leaned against him. “Uhg,” You uttered, making sure it was loud enough for Gimli to hear. You put your full weight against Legolas’ shoulder, and he stood as strong and still as a young tree, supporting your weight. “I’m so exhausted, can we stop and rest for a little while?”

Aragorn gave a pause, turning to study your features, as if surprised by the request. However, after one glance towards the slowly approaching Gimli, warm realization touched his rugged features and he inclined his head upwards in a slow nod.

“Aye, we should stop for the poor lass,” Gimli practically wheezed as he caught up with you and Legolas, throwing himself to a nearby boulder and sitting against it. “This terrain is certainly not the kindest, oh but Dwarves, we Dwarves are accustomed to such travels, it runs in our blood! My father traveled fourteen months across mountains and plains with the Company of Thorin Oakenshield, during the quest to reclaim Erebor!” You listened with a small grin as Legolas ‘helped’ you over to the same rock the Dwarf sat upon. His expression was thoughtful as Gimli spoke upon his father, but you could not bring yourself to ask why. There were so many things you did not know about Legolas. His past was a delicately woven, intricate pattern, and he could not seem to be able to fully explain the full depths of his experiences within Arda, but you found that for many Elves, this was true. Whether it was because there was so much to tell, or so much they did not wish to remember, you could not decide. As it was, you did not need to know the Elf’s full history; the present and the future was all that mattered to you, and you suppose that was a very Human outlook.

Flaxen hair lifting off his shoulders to join the breeze, Legolas turned his eyes towards the horizon, squinting in scrutiny. You took a moment to admire him as he was distracted, as you oft did. Stealing glances was a habit of yours, something you felt you were rather sneaky about, though you supposed it was silly to be so coy about something so innocent. Your gazes weren’t carnal or anything near it. Rather, you had a heart to appreciate the beauty of everything, and everyone, around you, taking pleasure in the simplest of differences between everyone you met. Your mother use to call you “elda elwen”, which meant “elf heart”. You never knew that Legolas noticed your gazes, and never realized that he would study you just as earnestly when you were not paying attention.

Feeling as though if you looked any longer that you would be caught for sure, you shifted your [y/e/c] hues to your hands. Without warning, a tickling in your nose caused your lips to twist, your features contorting and eyes watering. It felt as though it lasted forever, before suddenly, your body jerked forwards and you released the anticipated sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Whole body flinching, Legolas turned to fully face you, irises widened. You had never seen such an expression of overwhelming confusion on any one being, and the fact that it was on Legolas made it worse. A fit of laughter wracked your body, your shoulders trembled and your body doubled over so that you were hugging your knees to your chest.

This only served to cause Legolas’ confusion to grow, and he turned to Aragorn. “Mani nae tanya?” He asked the Man, then repeated it to you in the Common Tongue. “What was that?” But you were still laughing, unable to answer. When your giggles had lessened, you still could not give him a proper answer, for another sneeze rippled through you into the bend of your arm. Aragron, at this point, was quietly chuckling to himself, but Gimli was full out guffawing.

“Listen at her, I never knew sneezes could be so dainty!” Gimli roared with laughter.

“Sneezes?” Legolas repeated, brows furrowed.

After you were certain that you were not going to sneeze again, you blinked your eyes several times and grinned, your cheeks feeling warm suddenly. “Have you never heard a sneeze before?”

“I do not think we Elves… sneeze.” He mused slowly.

“… But what if someone tickles your nose?” You asked, your head canting just slightly to the left. He only continued to stare at you, his lips parted to from an ‘o’ shape.

“Why would anyone tickle my nose?”

Although you were not sure exactly why, the question caused you to giggle, and you pursed your lips into a thin smile. “.. I… do not know…? I suppose because it is funny?” You were suddenly aware of how silly it sounded, but also, you were very tempted to find a feather and tickle the Elf’s nose to see if he would sneeze. Before you could even think to follow through with your haphazard plan, another sneeze shot out of you, and you once again had to cover your mouth by shoving your face into the curve of your arm. A wide smile played across Legolas’ fair features, a form of amusement finding its place within his eyes, and his shoulders quivered with laughter.

“I must say, your sneezes are quite…. girlishly charming.”

“Adorable,” Aragorn agreed through a toothy smile, and Gimli agreed from his place at her side.

Feeling oddly bashful about your smile, you waved your right hand towards the three of them, unable to disguise your blush or your smile. “Oh, shhh, you three, they are just sneezes.” You shake your head at their antics, but find yourself oddly enthused that Legolas found you ‘charming’. Girlishly charming, but charming all the same. 

The Dancing Lesson. James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903). Oil on canvas. Museums Sheffield.

Whistler emphasized strong silhouettes, elegant contours, and beautiful surface patterns. The placement of the figures in relation to the edges of the canvas was carefully calculated. He was skilled with delicate variations on neighboring or contrasting hues.

You know I’ve been thinkin’ 

(uh oh here comes another speculation post. hold onto your butts)

Since “The Answer” everyone has been calling Pearl, the one we’ve known throughout the show, “PINK PEARL”. This obviously implies that she was Rose’s Pearl. Which, may have ended up being the case at one point but, you know… I dont think she always was.

Let’s take a look at that fight scene again.

Everyone in this scene is colored very specifically to invoke the colors of the 4 diamonds. Every character is colored in varying shades of a single color. It was only after Sapphire pulled them both away that they gained any unique color schemes and variations in hues. Even Rose’s dress, which we know is WHITE was colored in pink. Very clever but obviously VERY intentional.

So what’s my point? Well, look at the fandom’s new darling.

A blue Pearl. Her hair covers her eyes just like you cannot see her Master’s. and her outfit is very bare, just like her Master’s… And the placement of her gem… Just like her Masters.

Same with Yellow Pearl. Pearls are made FOR their owners. Made to look LIKE their owners to mark them as territory and property. Our Pearl? “Pink” Pearl?… She doesn’t look anything like Rose. And you’ll notice that in the fight scene in the sky arena she isn’t colored the same as Rose meaning she wasn’t made to serve the same alliance.

She’s in shades of grey with just a hint of blue? My point? Well, look at her. She’s silver. Her gem placement is on her forehead while the pearl’s of the two diamonds we’ve seen are on their chests to match their masters. Also notice she’s not a very fair skin color even now. 

Our Pearl? She couldn’t have been made just for Rose. Rose as we know her would never have commissioned a Pearl servant be made for her… But she would liberate one that was treated poorly, wouldn’t she?

There’s only one other Gem we’ve seen with a forehead gem who is important enough to own a Pearl and who shares this unique color design. Who also has swept back hair.

What if, instead of her being “PINK PEARL”

She’s actually