Video Notes: Beating the Heat at Hollywood Studios

It’s the weekend, which means we have returned to Disney World for more fun! Also Sun, which is nice in moderation. How can you get lots of Disney World without lots of heat stroke and sunburn? Click here for the video or watch it below:


We enjoyed making this video… not just because Jaime came up with a theme for the week, but because we got to check out lots of new stuff at Hollywood Studios. For example, there is a new BB-8 character experience at the Launch Bay that is in addition to the other experiences everyone already knows and loves. I was amazed at how quickly they built it.

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Sketchbook: The Barn in the Woods

As told elsewhere on this site, I’ve been working away on a sketch turned colored pencil drawing, and at long last the reveal is here!

First, the photo I worked from:


Photo credit: Olof Senestam (FreeImages)

I started with the baseline sketch:

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New Colored Pencils PLUS Another Completed Coloring Pattern

Whoa, too much for a Monday! Let me see if I can break this into bite-sized chunks.

First: I finished an actual drawing (pencil base with colored pencil finishing) but half of the files are on my home computer, and the other half are on my phone. So that story will appear tomorrow.

Second: I was pricing out colored pencils for the serious artist, and a) decided I’m not triple-digits-dollars serious, b) this is a completely unsolicited plug, but apparently Dick Blick slashes prices damn like whoa, and c) found out that Joann’s jacks their prices waaaaaay up, calling into question the “value” of their discount coupons. For example: The 120-pack of Prismacolor Premier pencils goes for about $93 at Blick, about $120 at Michaels, and $229 at Joann’s. (All the same set.)

However, I went foraging around at Joann’s anyway because 50% coupon, and found out that Spectrum Noir (of my go-to alcohol markers fame) also makes colored pencils. And! They’re actually a good value with the 50% coupon: $34.99 USD down to $19 with sales tax. Thus:


Here’s the inside of the box:

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Video Notes: Finally… Back at Epcot!

Hooray! At long last, we made it back to Disney World! Yes, I am well aware that there are people all over the place that either don’t or can’t go to Disney World every weekend, or at all. I get that. But being honest, we moved here to be closer to Disney World. We’re very fortunate to live down here and we’re very grateful. But three weeks of no Disney World was a bitter pill.

Click here for the video if it is not showing up below:


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Regarding the Drakester

My renewed enthusiasm for creating art -namely sketching and drawing – has also brought thoughts to my high school days, and my immersive interest in art at the time. So immersive that any chance I got to get back into the art room during the school day (or even after) I’d grab it without hesitation.

Now that I am much older, and those days have long passed (recent Google searches seem to inevitably end with “retired from teaching in [year]”) I’m finding that perspective wasn’t just a unit in art class.

Another one of those “All About Ethan” history lessons follows – fair warning to anyone who was here for pretty pictures. There will be more, not to worry!

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How I Paint a Room with Latex Paint

Because Mark asked, I’m providing my championship method for relative pain-free interior house painting. Or: The painting technique that starving college painters don’t want you to know!

I am paying this forward, as I used to have terrible interior painting technique and paid for it dearly with sore muscles and boatloads of aggravation. A maintenance man I used to know showed me his winning technique and I literally made at least $3000 USD painting apartments ever since. If you do the same after this, remember who learnt ya.

Here are is half of a room, for demonstration purposes:

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Sketchbook: Skills Sharpening

It was a very hectic work day on Monday and there was barely time for any sort of art-related shenanigans except strictly for breaks and lunch. Sad trombone! But that’s okay, the day job is important. I fit in the art stuff when and where I can, both home and away. Today features a little of each.

Continuing with yesterday’s theme, I did the “the item closest to you is your subject, now sketch” thing and kept at it, turning the pencil sharpener at different angles to get used to approaching the same item from different angles.



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