CROC ARCHER

Hello everyone. I’ve tried participating in past Splinterlands art contests before, but I wanted to create my own character this week. I think the Croc Archer would make a good Epic card with both melee and ranged attacks that shatter magical shielding and causes double damage to magical enemies.Grund.png

After looking through the list of cards, I noticed there was only one crocodilian creature, Grund, so I thought he could use a friend.

The Crocodilian Archers of Praetoria are both rare and ancient. Their raw strength allows them to shoot large steel arrows that no human could ever handle. They are also tipped with dark energy crystals that can shatter magical armor and cause massive damage to magical enemies. Their royal armor and thick skin make them resistant to ranged and melee attacks, but they can be hurt by magic. If they ever find themselves on the frontlines of battle they can also kill with their claws, tail, and deadly jaws.

-Possible Splinterlore

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I did a Google search for “crocodile warrior” and really liked this work by Anthony Argentin so I used it for inspiration. It really helped me get the head right, but I went with stumpier arms and legs.

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My first sketch was awful, so I crumpled it up and tried again.

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I liked the head on my second sketch, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the arms. If this ever got made into a real card I think him pulling for an arrow and then shooting it would make for a cool animation.

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I decided on drawing him with an arrow already out so I could show it was tipped with a dark energy crystal.

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I had a box of colored pencils that have never been used, so I decided to sharpen them and add color early on.

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In my last drawing, I thought I’d just do a bit of penciling and then do all the coloring digitally, but using the colored pencils first was more fun. I also got another drawing to add to my wall.

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I really liked this swamp photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com because I could use the leaves on the bottom to cover the croc’s feet which I was unhappy with while giving it a layered feel. Even though it’s a real photo, I thought it had a bright cartoonish look that would mix well with my croc.

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I just used the technical pen tool and the smudge tool in Sketchbook. I smudged each scale from the outside towards the center then went back and drew the dark green lines again.

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I added a picture of a dark energy crystal and used the lasso select tool to copy and paste it to the tip of his arrow. I had to smudge out the smaller crystal, but it mixed well with my drawing. The original pencil flames looked fine so I just stuck with that and blurred it a bit.

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I had a lot of fun drawing this. I spent a few hours on the pencil drawing, but it took me a few days to finish up the digital part. I don’t know why I chose a square canvas. It made it harder to share as a thumbnail, but I just cropped it to a 5:4 format and it worked fine. Thank you for reading about my Croc Archer today. Have a good one!hiveline.png

The Sacred Unicorn – SPLINTERLANDS art contest #188

Hello everybody. Today I’m happy to share with ya’ll my entry for this week’s Splinterlands art contest of the Sacred Unicorn. I usually participate in the Splinterlands weekly battle challenge, but I was inspired to do some drawing this week too.

I’ve been stuck in the country of Laos 🇱🇦 (It’s next to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China.) since one day after my 40th birthday on March 27th, 2020. I had just applied for my work visa when they shut everything down. They said it would be for just two weeks, then two months, now it’s been over two years.

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I live in the wonderful town of Luang Prabang which is a UNESCO world heritage site so I don’t have any complaints, but I’ve also been unemployed for quite a while. I was a teacher for a long time, but I started working at a hotel in 2018 and I decided that hospitality was what I wanted to do, then BOOM, Covid-19 came along. I was in the military when I was young, but I got out in 2015 so my GI Bill benefits expired a while ago, but I saw an email from the VA (The Veterans’ Administration) that I could get some job retraining so I took them up on their offer. Most of the jobs were for things like hospital work, welding, truck driving, and other technical jobs, but I noticed that they had a certificate in digital illustration so I chose that.

Most of my classes were about Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I felt that my teachers were just shills for Adobe and for buying a MacBook. Since Laos went lockdown crazy, I couldn’t find a new computer if I wanted to. I also only had an income of $285 for my disability compensation from the VA, so there was no chance in hell I was ever going to afford a brand new computer anyways. It took me a while, but I figured out how to get both programs to work on Linux on my piece of junk old PC with a little help from the Pirate Bay. I wouldn’t recommend it though. It was a total pain in the neck and I could only get 2012 or 2015 versions to work. Overall, I feel disappointed in my learning experience. Online classes just plain suck. I need to be IN the classroom. I need to be able to raise my hand and ask the teacher for help. I will NEVER take an online course as long as I live.

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One thing I did find useful from my course was my teacher saying that most digital artists still use good old paper and pencil to get started and then scan to Photoshop so that’s what I did. Since the whole NFT market is crashing I wanted to make fun of some of the other NFT projects I have tried but didn’t care for like CryptoKittiesAxie Infinity, or NBA Top Shot.

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The Sacred Unicorn may no longer be the best card for using in Life battles, but it’s still my favorite card so I thought I’d do a few rough sketches and see how it went, but I was happy with the first try and just kept on going with it…

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I felt it was time to move from pencil to Photoshop so I added my pencil drawing to my wall of inspiration. If I ever become a famous NFT artist, I’ll mail someone the original pencil drawings. (That’s a big IF right?)

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I went to Pexels and did a search for: SKY BACKGROUND and really liked the photo by Oleg Magni. I later got so frustrated with Photoshop that I gave up, quit, and decided it just wasn’t going to work out. I really miss my iPad and the wonderful program of ProCreate so I did a Google search for an alternative and came up with SketchBook. It took me all week to get used to it and to draw the Sacred Unicorn but I absolutely love SketchBook now.

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Another problem I had was that NOBODY in Luang Prabang sells or has even heard of a stylus so I had to make my own. You can read my post: DIY: Make your own STYLUS pen at home if you want or need to do the same.

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Now that I had my trusty DIY stylus and a good digital art program it was time to get crackin. I tried making the NBA ball in Photoshop, then in Illustrator, then in the Linux versions of Gimp and Inkscape but found it too difficult. The only thing I did with Photoshop was put the pencil drawing over the background image, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have used Photoshop at all and just saved the background image as exactly that in the layers menu in SketchBook. I could probably draw this whole picture all over again in a day if I had to re-do it, but I had fun drawing it which is something I haven’t felt in a long time and I also learned a lot from my mistakes so it’s all good.

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If I had been better at using layers, I would have had a much easier time doing this, but I’ll do my next drawing much faster and smarter.

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I absolutely love the predictive stroke tool in SketchBook and how you can adjust the level of AI-assisted drawing from 1 to 5. It was a better experience than using either Photoshop or Procreate in my opinion.Sacred Unicorn (1).png

Here is the original Sacred Unicorn image from Splinterlands. I used the eye drop tool and the undo tool about a million times. I used the eye drop tool to get the colors right from the kitty, axie, and unicorn, but I’m proud to have drawn this image myself without any tracing. I used to just put an A4 piece of paper over the original Splinterlands art, do a rough trace, then pencil and ink my drawing. Although it is good practice for getting your shading and inking down, it’s still cheating, right? Thanks for reading about my original drawing today. I’m looking forward to doing another sketch. Which Splinterlands card should I use for inspiration next?

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Get in the game!

PENCIL: Muscle and Anatomy Study

How is everybody doing? I’d like to share my pencil sketches of the human muscle system with you today. Last week I shared my skeleton study and now it’s time to add some flesh to those bones!

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The point of this exercise was to practice drawing the muscle system so I cheated a bit by taping some A4 paper to my TV and traced the contour lines of this guy running.

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If you’d like to do the same, you can print out this contour drawing, tape some paper to your TV and trace over my tracing, or sketch the contour lines of some other person.

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I did a Google image search for “side view of arm muscles”, “inside view of leg muscles”, and “inside view of arm muscles” for reference. Leonardo Da Vinci had dissected over 30 dead bodies to gain his understanding of human anatomy. Thank God we don’t have to do the same. Only doctors will get every muscle exactly right so don’t worry about getting everything 100% perfect. You just want to practice thinking about the human figure under the skin.

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I remember trying to get all fit and ripped at the gym when I was young, but the skin really hides a lot of the muscles. I didn’t realize until doing this sketch that the ab muscles need to be separated a bit.

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If you don’t want to be a cheating tracer like me, but still need some help getting your contour lines correct, you can draw a grid over your subject and then the same grid for your drawing.

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Thanks for reading about my muscle sketches today. I hope that you found this useful or entertaining. Have a great day and never quit drawing!

Paintings from Luang Prabang, Laos

If you ever visit Luang Prabang, Laos I recommend Lexaku Art Gallery by the intersection across from Dara Market. It’s also next to Chaleunphone Restaurant which serves the best-tasting food for the price.

ถ้าคุณมีโอกาสเยี่ยม ຫຼວງພະບາງ ฉันแนะนำ Lexaku Art Gallery มันอยู่ที่สี่แยกตรงกันข้ามกับตลาดดาราและติดกับร้านอาหารโปรดของฉัน Chaleunphone Restaurant

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Each painting sells for about $300 and captures the beauty of the local traditions and lifestyle of Luang Prabang.

ภาพขายได้ในราคาประมาณ 300 เหรียญสหรัฐฯ และแสดงความงามของประเพณีและวิถีชีวิตของหลวงพระบาง

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Here is the entrance. There are many more paintings to admire. These are just the ones we liked or could get a good shot of without too much reflection. The staff is friendly, speaks English, and won’t mind if you take pictures of every painting in the gallery.

ส่วนนี้คือหน้าร้าน Lexaku Art Gallery มีรูปวาดที่สวยมากพนักงานสามารถพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้และเขาไม่ได้ว่าอะไรถ้าเราจะถ่ายรูป

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This is a lovely painting of the sunset behind the Mekong River, but it also reminds me of Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings.

ฉันชอบรูปภาพที่มีพระอาทิตย์ตกที่แม่น้ำโขงแต่มันทำให้ฉันนึกถึง Mount Doom ของ Lord of the Rings ด้วย

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This painting looks like a road you might see in Zelda or Genshin Impact.

รูปนี้ดูเหมือนเล่นเกม Zelda และ Genshin Impact

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This Hmong lady looks, boss. She’s probably wondering why the farmers above aren’t working harder and who’s going to get her more to smoke.

ผู้หญิง ມົ້ງ คนนี้หน้าเหมือนเขาเป็นหัวหน้าและเขาคงสงสัยทำไมพวกชาวนาขี้เกียจจังและใครจะซื้อยาสูบให้เขาอีก

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There were many horses back in the day when they were used for transportation and Calverley, but I can’t remember the last time I saw one. Have you ever ridden a horse?

ในสมัยก่อนมีม้าหลายตัวที่ใช้สำหรับการขนส่งและคัลเวอร์ลีย์แต่ฉันจำไม่ได้ว่าครั้งสุดท้ายที่เห็นตัวม้าเป็นเมื่อไหร่คุณเคยขี่ม้าไหม

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You can wake up and give an offering to the monks every morning at 5 am.

เราตื่นแต่เช้าในทุกวันเพื่อใส่บาตร

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I saved my favorite painting for last. I love how this painting captures the look of wisdom on this young monk’s face. Thank you for checking out Lexaku Art Gallery in Luang Prabang with me today.

ฉันชอบรูปนี้ที่สุดเพราะว่าเณรองค์นี้ดูเหมือนอายุน้อยแต่เป็นคนที่มีความรู้เยอะขอบใจที่ดู Lexaku Art Gallery กับฉันวันนี้ในหลวงพระบาง

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Lexaku’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/L%C3%A9-Xa-Ku/100212968704571

Lao Phone:
+8562077772129

Big Tree Cafe by the Mekong River in Luang Prabang

This is a great place for coffee, food, hanging out with friends, or having a meeting. It is located along the Mekong River in Ban Vat Nong on the peninsula of the heritage part of Luang Prabang, Laos.

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It’s another beautiful day in Luang Prabang and another opportunity to explore a new restaurant. While riding around town today, I decided to post about a cute little restaurant and cafe that I’ve always passed by, but never entered for some reason. That was a mistake because I missed out on years of great meals and atmosphere with wonderful local art.

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Even though I’ve had the pleasure of living in Luang Prabang for over three years now, I can still get lost and discover its hidden gems. Maybe it’s because of all of the green vegetation or maybe it’s the lack of recognizable street names, but I always feel like I’m stuck in one of those hard to escape haunted forests you’d find in the Zelda video games. Big Tree Cafe & Restaurant is on the same side of the river as this famous temple, just farther down the street.

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This time I’ll park my bike and actually go inside for a change. I don’t know why Treks don’t usually have a kickstand. Maybe it seems childish to some riders, but I miss having one. It’ll just get stolen eventually, so there’s no use in adjusting it or getting attached to it. It was hot so getting some shade and good food was just what I needed.

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Keng, the restaurant manager, was friendly, spoke English well, and was nice enough to pose for this picture at the entrance.

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I was the only customer, but I can’t complain. It gave me the opportunity to look around at the lovely local art on display.

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The owner of Big Tree is Korean so they have Korean food down and their Lao and western food are some of the best in town, but not too pricy. I feel the choice of green paint and colorful birds, as well as funny meme signs, are an effective good mood generator.

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Plumeria or frangipani is a beautiful fragment flowering tree I see a lot of here in Luang Prabang. I don’t know enough about plants to know if this is a native plant here or if it was imported back in the day when this was a French colony.

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There are so many NFT artists and dealers making a killing these days. Most of it is very Photoshop-looking. I wonder how well this unique Siamese art would work out? At least it’s something new and fresh injected into the world of NFTs. I really haven’t figured out how to get started with the NFT world. It seems most sites require you to be an artistic star on Instagram before they let you in.

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I really enjoyed my Luang Prabang salad, Dark Beerlao, and the complimentary water. The salad dressing was so tasty that I added a whole new bowl halfway.

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I’m pleased to see that Food Panda, the delivery service here, has Big Tree Cafe. I’ll surely be ordering more breakfast, lunch,

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And spaghetti. Thank you for reading. If you get the chance to visit I hope you drop by. Have a great day!
Big Tree Cafe
67 Ban Vat Nong
Luang Prabang, Laos
https://www.bigtreecafe.net/

DRAWING: One-Point and Two-Point Perspective

One of the first skills you will want to practice if you want to make realistic-looking sketches is perspective drawing. Making accurate 3D illusions on a 2D surface was first done by Filippo Brunelleschi in the early 1400s. His technique, which we will practice here, was an important step in adding depth to Renaissance paintings.

last supper.jpgLast Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

One-Point Perspectiveone point eye.jpg

Draw a line that represents eye level and choose a vanishing point. You don’t have to put it at the center of the paper, but it’s easier if you are just getting started. Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper has the eye level and vanishing point where Jesus is.

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Now draw a square or rectangle.

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Lightly draw the lines of perspective from the four corners of your square or rectangle to the vanishing point then decide how far into the distance your now 3D shape will go. Remember to keep the lines parallel to the original square or rectangle shape.

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Add a one-inch border and a bunch of shapes. Try adding Tetris-like shapes such as L or T shapes. You can show the hidden edges by drawing dashed lines.

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Remember to sketch lightly because you will want to erase all of the lines of perspective and the eye-level line later.

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When you’re done you should have something that looks something or hopefully better than this.

Two-Point Perspective

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This time you will have two vanishing points on the eye-level line which should be out of the border at the very edges of your paper.

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Draw a random verticle line then extend the edges to the two vanishing points. Drawing in two-point perspective is actually easier than in one-point perspective because you only need to draw one line then let the edges extend to the vanishing points.

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You will know your 3D shape is accurate if your hidden edges all lineup. The back hidden verticle edge should be parallel to the original line you originally drew in the front.

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Add a bunch of shapes. You can add the hidden edges or dashed lines to some of the shapes or erase them in the end. Try to have different shapes and some overlapping to add depth.

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And that is how you draw rectangular shapes in one-point and two-point perspectives. Thank you for reading. Have a nice day. Now get drawing!

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filippo_Brunelleschi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Supper

Ode to: The FURIOUS CHICKEN

I remember when you cost a penny, but now you are a must-have NFT if you want victory in your Splinterlands battles. While you may not have any attack power or magic abilities, you save the day very often. Thank you for your selfless sacrifice and sorry for eating so many of your brothers and sisters. All y’all are quite tasty and nutritious though.

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For this Splinterlands art contest, I experimented with sketches using open, closed, and divided negative space.

Open Negative Space

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Negative space or the empty space around your subject is usually ignored but is an important part of any drawing. For my open negative space drawing, I put the Furious Chicken in the middle of the artboard, small, and in front of the text. When using open negative space neither the text nor subject should touch the borders.

Closed Negative Space

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I thought a black background would work for my closed negative space drawing. When using closed negative space, the text or subject should not be fully in frame and will touch our come in from the edges.

Divided Negative Space

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I feel that the divided negative space drawing came out best hence it is the thumbnail of this post. I divided the artboard with a brown branch which divided the sky and ground. I felt the green ground would complement the red “Furious” well.

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Thank you for reading about my use of negative space today. I hope I explained the three types of negative space well. I started off with a pencil, then inked my sketches and used Inkscape for the digital drawings.

My computer is a total piece of junk I bought at Walmart for $99 back in 2017. It can only run for about an hour before it overheats and freezes up even though I made my room completely air-tight with painter’s tape and crank the air conditioning up on full blast in turbo mode. I have always despised Microsoft and Bill Gates and haven’t touched an X-box or any Windows operating system since 2007. The first thing I do to any computer I own (and sometimes to the great distress of my coworkers with company machines) is completely wipe Windows and install Linux Mint. I never understood why people continue to use crap like Microsoft when Linux is better, faster, and completely FREE. I guess people like being slaves to creeps like Gates.

I got into an argument with a big-ass retired British Sergeant Major back in 2019. He was so mad a me that he punched me down to the floor and kept punching me in the head. It took three people to take him off me. He then took my computer and ripped it in half tearing away the screen in true WWE drama. It still works if I connect an HDMI cable to a TV, so fuck you sir!

I tried using a bootleg copy of Adobe Illustrator I downloaded from the Pirate Bay, but since I’m running it through Wine, I couldn’t save my work for some reason, so I tried using Inkscape for the first time. Inkscape runs fine on my machine but takes some getting used to compared with Illustrator. If you can’t get Adobe Illustrator to work on your PC then Inkscape is a great and FREE alternative.

DRAWING: Getting Started with Contour Lines

Are you a new artist just getting started or want to try something new? If so, then I recommend doing a still-life sketch of something focusing on just the contour lines. This means that you ignore the shading and draw like we did when we were kids.

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For this sketch, all you really need is a pencil or pen, some paper, and a subject. I used some 3M painter’s tape to secure the A4 paper to my clipboard so I could focus on my drawing and not worry about the paper, but it isn’t necessary. I also enjoyed some strawberry-flavored Korean rice wine, Soju, and a bottle of Pepsi. Why does Pepsi taste so much better from a glass bottle?

Blind Contour Sketch

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For my first sketch, I focused on the plant 100% and only looked a the paper once to place the pencil. It is important you only look at the subject and feel the surface of the paper while you slowly draw the lines. It’s not going to look great. In fact, it will look like something you drew in grade school, but it’s good practice.

Semi Blind Contour Sketch

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For the next sketch try to focus on the subject 95% of the time only glancing at your drawing for a bit. The only times I briefly looked at my paper and pencil was when I was making sure the lines were right.

Look All You Want Sketch

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You still don’t want to spend too much time on this sketch, but you can look at your paper and pencil all you want. See how much better the third drawing is? I was able to focus on the pointy parts and details of the plastic this time.

The only thing I had to take these pictures was a crappy old iPhone 5, but I lit up my room as best I could. I then used the auto-enhance and auto-crop feature in Google Photos. Still not happy with the results, I adjusted the levels, brightness, and hue in Adobe Photoshop to tweak the pictures a bit more. I constantly make grammar mistakes and typos in my blog, so I always highlight the words and have the AI extension, Readme, read the words back to me. Listening to my post always shows mistakes I’ve made that proofreading doesn’t.

TOP Post to Earn Social Medias


You may not be able to monetize your YouTube channel right away, but you can use it to advertise and get affiliate clicks or website views for free. You can also use your YouTube videos on decentralized video sharing sites which will reward good content with crypto using some of the sites mentioned below.

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LeoFinance.io is just the nicest looking and smoothest interface right now in my opinion. It’s been frustrating for me a bit. I’m not a respected or well-known finance guy, so I didn’t earn much LEO, but many of the best minds in the decentralized world post to LeoFinance, and they have a lot of wisdom to share. You will also earn HIVE and other tokens when you post with LeoFinance.

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TravelFeed.io is good if you can take good photos and write over 250 words of travel stories and advice without typos, then you can start earning both HIVE and STEEM with TravelFeed right away.

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There are many great communities on Hive.Blog I enjoy. I like to draw and play video games so I post mostly about that. You can find many other communities with helpful people from all over the world on Hive.

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While Hive is the blockchain, I mostly post using Peakd.com as the front end and check to see how it looks on Hive later. It seems that English and Spanish are the most common languages. If a quality post didn’t find much traction on Hive, don’t feel bad, because it may find success on a different chain below…

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Other post to earn sites only allow you to earn in the first seven days and rely on having luck, many followers, and or a high rank to earn anything, but Publish0x.com will continue to pay you as long as people are looking at your post making it a much fairer system for someone new to get in the game.

Steemit.png
The granddaddy of decentralized blockchain run social media is Steemit. A lot of Hive bloggers will cross out the word, Steem because some super-rich whale came along and took over and started censoring posts. It seems just the English speakers were the Steemit.com jumpers because posts in Korean and Chinese are earning the most now.

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How many games have their own social media and token which you can use to buy more NFTs? If you are playing the best play to earn crypto game,

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Splinterlands.com, where you earn DEC, a HIVE token, with every victory you can. My students who got into the game early with the $10 starter pack now have decks worth over $1,000 and beat me in battle with ease.

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Instagram is convenient because you can make a square-shaped post then instantly share it to Facebook and Twitter saving you time. It is a great way to get your small business advertised in the local area for only a few dollars an ad. There are many superstars on Instagram too. If it were up to me, I’d call it Vanitygram.


Fakebook would not even be on this list if they didn’t make it so easy to make a page for your business and get you found by your customers quickly. I have helped many of my Facebook hating friends to give up on the personal social side and focus one hundred percent on their business page.

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Read.Cash hopes to replace Facebook and reward its users with Bitcoin Cash. I’m new to the platform but will see how my top posts from Hive do in the future.

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Noise.Cash hopes to be the new decentralized uncensorable Twitter. Good luck with that. Since noise.cash is new, you could get on the train before it becomes a space-train to the moon.

What about you?

I will update this monthly as new ways to earn are learned from your comments. Which post to earn site or app is the best in your opinion? Which did I miss?

Splinterlands Art Contest: SPIRIT OF THE FOREST

She’ll heal and protect her friends while flying and shooting arrows at her enemies. She’s hard to hit and does a lot of damage while keeping the front monster alive making her one of my favorite cards.

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From the safety of the Eldest Tree, deep in the shrouded magic of the Hungry Wood, the Spirit of the Forest lives and grows. She is one of the original creators of life in the Splinterlands, and little happens without her knowing about it. She can be summoned to battle by a skilled summoner, but she loves all her children as a good mother should.

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Coming across the latest Splinterlands Art Contest, I thought I would do a sketch inspired by one of the new cards, but after looking through them all, I decided on sketching the classic ALPHA card, SPIRIT OF THE FOREST, instead. At first I thought I would have her growing a tower of protection and a tree from the ground as if she where a reverse Night King from Game of Thrones. I copy and pasted her and her healing powers from the game initially as inspiration or as a guide, but she fit in perfectly, so I moved, resized, and redrew her healing magic and blurred her into the picture. I changed her face and hair a little bit and made her boobs bigger. I changed the position of her arms to fit with my idea and had her hands blur into healing power and the tower so I could avoid drawing them. I took some pictures along the way in Procreate then stacked them all on top of each other in their own layers and exported it as an animated GIF. Thanks for checking out my Splinterlands sketch today. I know I cheated a bit with the copy and paste part, but it was fun and it came out nice.