tctk0017As a child, I was always fascinated with clocks. Back then, of course, the satisfying ticks signalled all the good stuff – home time, TV shows – like Bernard’s Watch  and dinner. Later on, of course, those hands brought about things like the dreaded school bus and homework, but still, the appreciation and wonder of such a device has remained. I could tell the time at quite a young age, and am often reminded of the time in the supermarket when an old man, spotting me enjoying my new watch, approached my buggy and asked for the time. When I told him it was thirty-seven minutes past ten, he was, well, rather shocked!

Before long, I had acquired quite an array of watches and clocks from car boot sales and junk shops, but occasionally brand new; most notably for me, a Thomas the Tank Engine musical watch and some snazzy back-to-front clock cuff-links. I’m not sure what became of my collection. I had a habit of taking them apart to look at the mechanisms, so perhaps they were broken. Perhaps my parents just got rid when it seemed I was no longer interested.

So, in another bid to turn the clock back, here are some random and speedy attempts at clock modelling – one more traditional and the other rather more modern. Once the clock face had been put together, it was a relatively easy job making the modifications; this being said, I’m not sure the refraction levels of the glass are all that:

I originally went without the Batman-esque decorative pillars on the case, and tinkered with the finials somewhat:

These are more than a little basic, aren’t they – I’m hoping that this will allow for a more satisfying progression; at least, that’s my excuse for posting these quick models! It would be fun to, one day, try and model a clock from front to back, coding it to actually work. There are certainly lots of interesting and intricate timepiece designs out there, so inspiration abounds even out of the realm of memory. I do have some things in mind. Time will tell!

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dutch-mill-2I thought I’d have another crack at the painting technique touched upon with Wet Edge Mill – namely, the wet edge brush. Naturally, this meant another windmill, but we’ve leapt over to the Netherlands again – where the landscapes are almost exactly the same, yes, but hey, the sky’s different at least! And the mills there are rather pretty, as I’ve doubtless mentioned before. This one is drawn from reference, too, so it’s invited greater detail if not feeling quite so free. I’m afraid I know nothing of the actual location, so we’ll have to forego the usual history lesson. Hear the internet weep! I would rather like to live there, though…

With two wet ones down, perhaps I ought to aim for a ‘medium’, being a bit more daring with colour choices; I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, as the dynamics of the brush are fun to play with, and it has coaxed this out of a seemingly endless dry spell. Yay indeed. Vaarwel!

thurne-motorI’ve put my windmill models into action before, using keyframes to bookend the motion of the sails. This time around, however, I’m playing with some of the software’s simulation tools and sticking the sails onto a Motor object. As you’d expect, this works rather like a continuous supply of energy, allowing objects to move or spin, depending on your configuration. It seems silly that I’ve not thought to use this before now, but then, I never have been one for the simple route!

With that constant power, the controls simply allow you to moderate and determine how much it provides, making a smooth start and fluctuating revolution speeds a breeze to animate. Not a ground-breaker, perhaps, but satisfying, and a very useful thing to have discovered.

Our subject for this experiment is Thurne, which stands on the outskirts of the village of the same name and beside the river of the same name. It was built in 1820 and worked for over a century, shutting down for the last time in 1936. By 1950, and like many of its peers at the time, the mill was lying derelict and under threat of demolition, but fortunately rescue came at the hands of Bob Morse, a windmill fanatic, and soon the Windmill Trust took it on. Since then, it has been kept in good condition and, with its splendid white coat and pretty vicinity, enjoys a reputation as one of the most popular on the Broads – I believe recently it has even been restored to full working order, an accolade that can’t be boasted by many broadland mills and one which makes it even more worth a visit.

A short time ago, I posted a clip of the motor power on my Instagram gallery.

 

rhcpflea-2c“No matter what level you’re doing it on, playing music is an opportunity to give something to the world.”

While there have been several artists that have been with me since childhood, I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers were one of the first that I discovered myself, with a hunger to learn more and track down new material – the eclectic mix of hard rock, funk and soul makes them a truly alternative act, and one with proven longevity. Being that first major stop in the pursuit of musical discovery, finding my way back to their material is always a tremendous nostalgia trip.

Though all are hard to ignore, it was always the bassist, Flea, that grabbed me the most. The origin of the nickname is clear to see, for he bounds around the stage – typically wearing next to nothing and/or doused in neon paint – with such enigmatic vigour, all while slapping the guitar and making it sing. He’s a skilled multi-instrumentalist, but his work on the bass is quite rightly acclaimed as some of the best ever. A proper rock star.

All of that surely explains the rather pedestrian portrait of our man dressed up in a snazzy shirt. I just found this particular reference quite cute, and wanted to focus on that. Perhaps I’d better do another, more animated attempt which can do justice to the showman…

 

dominicthorburn-2aWell, it is the blog’s second birthday, I suppose – and, with any celebration, one should look both back and forward, old and new. That’s actor Dominic Thorburn, whom we have apparently sat in the corner to think about whatever it is he’s done. Hmm! I feel as though I should be doing the same, but, in my defence, I can say that I don’t currently have any more naked men left to share.

Currently.

He was actually quite a challenge, the angles of his legs and feet proving particularly tough; I can’t remember the last time I attempted to sketch someone sitting down and was rather caught out! It’s probably not my best facial likeness either – I keep getting a vibe of somebody else whose name I can’t place! – and some parts still look a bit off, but I thought it best to stop here lest I go the other way. A very fun subject, regardless!

davidpevsner-5-4AThat’s my David. An excited silver fox – what’s not to like?

I guess he’s a little perked up by the whiff of jubilation pervading this corner of the blogosphere. It’s two years to the day since I set this blog up and began wittering on to anybody who’ll listen. Yes, that has to be it. I’m stunned. It’s gone so quickly!

Within the first month I’d garnered inspiration from David, on a bigger (and nuder) scale than most that had come before. It began travelling, to my surprise, and reached him via social media. He was not only generous enough to drop in and pass comment, he also shared the work with his own followers. A simple click, but I was impossibly flattered, and it certainly encouraged me to keep going, to trudge through that rather awkward infant phase and press on in the pursuit of something worthwhile. With all that I’ve learnt and developed since then, I think it’s been a success!

I shouldn’t wish to make a tremendous song and dance about this date, but thought it correct to use it as an opportunity to return to Mr. Pevsner with the suitable gratitude. Of course, this feeling extends to you, too; whether you comment regularly or read silently, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or have only today hopped on board, thank you for all your inspirational art, your support and friendship but mostly just for continuing to put up with me – it’s no easy task, I know. Long may we continue, and sorry there’s no cake or fizzy.

(Party horn)

Last night I set out with the intention of building yet another windmill, but that ended up on ice, for something lazier a little simpler took my fancy. Nothing brand new, but I thought I’d have a crack at a follow-up of the windmill figurines I made last year, drafting in the models I’d made since. Perhaps I missed the opportunity to experiment with redressing them in some fashion, but I rather like them as they are. They look like they belong with one another.

More shelf space required for this next batch – we’ll have to throw out another load of books!

windmill-ornament-clyrck1windmill-ornament-stolaves1windmill-ornament-horning1windmill-ornament-cottage1For bonus fun, I included the adjacent cottage I made last autumn. I’m now wondering if I could take the Chrismassy version and give the concept a bit of snow, perhaps of a globular nature? Now that could be interesting…

It was nice to revisit this format as I had planned. It may take thirteen months, but I am a man of my word!