Thursday, June 28, 2012

Some portaiture...

It's my first successful all digital painting, yaaaaay!
Took me a few hours today :)

I had a reference image, for the most part, but after the sketching and preliminary paint layer I put it away and only used it for figuring out lighting problems, so it ended up not really looking like the girl at all...

I need to make a habit of saving work in progress images for these. All I have for this is the initial sketch and the photo I was working from. This was just practice and brainstorming, so I pulled a random picture from the webs to work with.
And the reference image is here: link

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A new character

I really want to do some character development with this one, but I'm really not sure where to take her just yet...

Also... Legend of Korra and Brave in one week makes for a pretty epic week in entertainment. I plan on a review either late tonight or sometime tomorrow, how's that sound?

Friday, June 22, 2012

A painting

also, I can't take good photographs of paintings, apparently. Ever.
Oh well. Here's an oil painting I did very near the end of last winter semester :)

Also, I found fresh lychee! At Macey's grocery here in Utah, of all places!
I will hopefully have the chacne to get back on and make this all make more sense in the morning... when I'm a bit more awake. XD

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

fried chicken

What better thing to come back with?
See how pretty? :D

This is really simple, it's just that I've never really done this before, and certainly not on my own, so i'm rather proud of how well it turned out...

-Cut a chicken breast into small, bite-sized pieces, no thicker than an inch.
-Take an egg and beat it lightly in a small bowl.
-In a separate bowl, crush crackers (my friends use ritz crackers, which I have to say make amazing fry breading) into a rough meal. You really don't want any pieces big enough to be recognized as crackers, but you don't want a powder. Think about the breading on chicken nuggets.
-In a frying pan, heat about a half inch of oil (I just used plain vegetable oil)
-Have a plate covered with a paper towel close at hand to receive the fried chicken as you pull it from the hot oil. The paper towel will soak up any excess oil, keeping the breading from soaking it up as it cools and getting soggy.
-Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, making sure to cover it thoroughly but not enough to drip all over.
-Roll the egg-y chicken pieces in the cracker crumbs.
-Carefully arrange the chicken in the hot oil (you should hear it start to sizzle gently immediately)
-You'll be able to see around the edges as the breading starts to brown. When those edges appear a nice dark gold, turn the chicken over to cook the other side.
-You're looking for the same thing, when that lower edge starts to turn dark gold, you should be good to pull them out. The sizzling also gets markedly louder as the chicken is closer to done.
---ALWAYS pull the thickest piece from the batch and cut it open at the thickest point. If there is any pink showing you'll want to check the other thicker pieces and put the unfinished ones back in the oil for a few more moments. There's not usually a high risk of food poisoning, but you really don't want to deal with it yourself, and you don't want your cooking to be the reason someone else gets sick.

Now, the actual creative thing I tried, that in my humble opinion was a rousing success, were the hush-puppies- 

 (sorry for the change in color balance here. My camera was dying as I took these so I couldn't re-shoot... and I was huuuuungry)
The story behind hush-puppies is that dog owners, wanting to protect their own dinner from the encroaching hordes at dinner time, would take the leftover batter, roll it into balls, and fry it in the same oil as the meat so that it smelled and tasted like whatever had been fried that day, (I've only had them with catfish, and I highly recommend that) and toss those to the dogs to quiet them. Hence the name.

So, when you're done frying your chicken, you take your leftover egg and start pouring it into your leftover cracker crumbs (I have to say again that the ritz crackers worked brilliantly). Kind of mash them together until you have a batter that will hold itself in loose blobby balls. Then, toss them in the still-hot oil, and turn them over every couple minutes until they're a dark golden brown all the way around. They'll have an almost cake-y texture in the middle and be wonderfully crispy on the outside.
So what I needed today :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

An update from Saturday

Sunday at church was a pretty emotional day, since I attend a religious school and everyone in my apartment complex pretty much goes to that same Sabbath meetings. My friend's parents, several cousins, and a few siblings were all there, and there was a wonderful spirit in the room as everyone took the opportunity to bare their testimony in the Savior's love, attention, and His wondrous sacrifice for us, and the hope that these things give that we will be able to see Adam again someday, whole and happy and healthy.
The family was also incredibly kind and considerate and arranged to have a viewing on Monday night so that we could all have a chance to say our goodbyes before they left to have the funeral closer to home.
Everyone here is shaken, and there is a definite hole where Adam was, but he has also left a beautiful mark on each of our lives. He was always positive and upbeat and I never heard or heard of him saying a bad word about anyone. Always ready to serve and help in any way he could and very involved in getting the lot of us up and moving and having fun, Adam will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.
Thank you all for your prayers. We've definitely felt their influence over the past several days.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A small request

So, sorry for the absence the last few days. A bit of stress and another round of migraines... and then today.

A friend of mine was hiking up the canyon today and fell. From what I understand, he died before the paramedics could arrive. Several of my other friends were there and saw him fell, and were there giving him CPR for about 45 minutes while they waited for a helicopter to locate them.
Honestly, I know his sister a lot better than I knew him, and while I do miss him, I am really concerned for his family. If any of you are at all religious, please offer a prayer for the family of Adam Perazzo. Even if you're not religious, please keep them in your thoughts.
Please, anyone who can take the time to read this, also take a moment to think about the miracle of your own life, the friends you have, the family who cares about you. Please think about the worth of your time here and the difference you have the great opportunity to make in the lives of all those around you.
Adam made an impact in our lives here, and I don't think he ever realized just how well liked he was.
I am truly thankful for the opportunity I had to know him.