Eclectic Infinities

This obscurely titled blog covers my eclectic interests and occasional activities in pen-and-paper role-playing games, board games, computer games, and probably other things besides. For historical wargaming activities, see the blog maintained by my alter-ego, The Wishful Wargamer.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Lichen Photos

I'm a Zoologist by training and am currently involved in managing ecology projects.  Back when I was at school I had an interest in lichen and it's never really gone away.  I took some nice pictures of these interesting symbionts whilst I was on St Helena earlier in the year (there's one in an earlier post on this blog about 1541 banners) but here are some that I  found in Scotland and Northumbria over the summer (the latter place being in the north of England as opposed to north-Umbria (i.e. Italy), which sounds (and in fact is) much more exotic).
The picture above is from a hill (actually an extinct volcano - and it looks like one too) called North Berwick Law in East Lothian (to the east of Edinburgh).  The orange lichen is probably Xanthoria sp. or similar.  Not sure about the various grey ones.
This one was on a stone at Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall.  You can see how the various lichens are pushing up against each other like a map of central Europe a river catchments or something. They do make nice abstract patterns I think and I will be using these and others in future graphical projects, even if it's just for making new labels for my home-brew.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Another 1541 Banner

It's been a hard week this week, although with the reward of a few work-related days in Bucharest (maybe) in December to look forward to my thoughts turn to pleasing colours and shapes.  Funny that.  One of these is an image I've used on the company website which I thought I'd share.
It has tone and direction and movement and a story perhaps and is calm and I like it.  Strange to think then that it is just a random collection of paint marks on a wall that when framed and photographed looks a bit like art!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Extreme Worlds

I'm trying to improve my drawing skills and having discovered and installed MyPaint, the GIMP painting addon-on GPS and also Google Sketchup, I think I'm pretty set up to do anything I like.  I had Blender installed for a while too but removed it as it was a bit complicated for me although I think it's an excellent open source programme that I'll reinstall again and get into one day.

Anyway, I quite like science fiction and all that CG sort of sci-fi stuff and this book by Frances Tsai has some great ideas and techniques for drawing all that sort of thing.....
It gives an overview of techniques and then actually takes you through the step by step process of creating those drawings, from figures, vehicles, interiors, scenes and landscapes.  Very useful indeed and to be honest it's the best drawing book I've got (and I've got a few).  His website is pretty interesting too...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Z3TA+ ModernRetro

Much that I like my new soft synth Z3TA+, it's appearance is a little dull, and even a bit pale (see earlier post).  So, I had a search aound for a new skin that was more exciting.  I didn't have to look far as I went straight to Flavours of Lime's site and found this:
It's called ModernRetro and it has a bit more contrast and colour than the original skin. Nice.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

1541 IPA Bottles

Just evidence that I actually did use the labels I'd designed for my home-brew project.  I stuck them on with Pritt-stick so I hope they come off again when I have to re-use the bottles.
You may or may not notice that I have two types of bottles there: the outer two formerly contained Deuchars IPA and the middle, slightly more elegant one, had Harviestoun's Bitter and Twisted in it before I put them to good use.  I should add that both are excellent Scottish beers - and the bottles are quite useful too.  My beer is now conditioning in the shed and should be ready by mid-November, I reckon.