Some more paintings from my week off

November 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm (acrylic painting, Art, Colored Pencils, painting) (, , , , , , , , )


Here are some more paintings I worked on during my week between jobs. The following is a brief description of each:

Deep Tractor Ruts: This was my first attempt at using a gel medium. The photo doesn’t show it, but the tractor ruts are actually textured. 8″x10″.

Flower in Watercolour: This was my first usage of watercolour pencils. I wanted to give them a try, so I picked a copyright-free image of a flower to use.

Sunlit Woodland Path: This was a quick painting I did to play with more expressive styles. 8″x10″.

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Arkham Horror in Coloured Pencil

November 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm (Art, Board games, Colored Pencils) (, , , , )


This is my second attempt at using coloured pencils (Prisma Colors). It’s a picture of the cover art for the board game Arkham Horror. I’ve only casually been working on it while watching tv, so I have no idea how long it really took, but I spent more time on it than I should. Eventually, I got bored and realized I didn’t center it properly, so I stopped working on it. It is roughly 7″ by 4″ on mixed media paper.

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Autumn Birch Trees

November 19, 2016 at 3:37 pm (Art, painting) (, , , )


I recently completed a larger painting of a photo I found online (free license). I finished half of it and liked where it was going, but I’m not really happy with how it ended up. It’s acrylic on 9″x12″ canvas.

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Afternoon Projects

October 1, 2016 at 4:44 pm (Art, painting) (, , , , )


I had some coffee this morning and then was itching to do something productive, specifically something art-related. I ended up doing almost 3 full pieces (acrylics on 8×10″ canvas). I used a couple YouTube tutorials for the first two to get in the mood for the style I wanted to play with and then did the third as an original based on a photo I took in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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First time using colored pencils

September 30, 2016 at 8:44 am (Art, Colored Pencils, Sketches) (, , , , )


I found an old set of Prismacolor Scholars in my mother’s basement when I was cleaning out old highschool and college stuff, so I figured I’d try my hand at that. I found a YouTube video of an artist’s timelapse of finishing a picture and decided to try to do what he was doing. I have mixed feelings about it; I think I’ll need a few more tries before I like what I do.

The long version of the story here is that I also discovered that I bought my wife a set of Faber Castell colored pencils a while ago. I was a little excited to try them out because of what I’d heard about them (they’re oil-based vs wax-based). I started drawing the same picture as you see above (which was my first attempt at it) and I got part-way through before I realized my mistake. It turns out these were Faber Castell “Classic” colored pencils – meaning they’re not much different than typical Crayola ones. The big deal here is that they don’t blend at all; I had just assumed I was doing it wrong and trucked on. This is what that partial looked like:

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Niagara Falls Painting

September 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm (Art, painting) (, , , )


I recently finished an 8″x11″ piece of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It’s done in acrylic paint on canvas. My first finished piece of this size and the first use of my new easel. I don’t think the colours really look great in this photo, but it was just taken quickly using my phone in non-ideal lighting.

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Found old artwork

September 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm (Art, Sketches) (, , , , )


While visiting home to go through all of my old boxes of junk from highschool and college, I found a lot of old artwork. I took pictures of most of the stuff I thought was decent or okay for its time. I thought I’d post a few of them here (I’ll post more eventually).

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Salt and Pepper

August 20, 2016 at 5:09 pm (Art, painting) (, , )


I recently cleared out some of the stuff I was working on that was taking most of my attention. I wanted to get back into painting but wanted something small and quick to work on. This piece was done on 6″ by 6″ acrylic paper based on a photo I took.

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BioHive: Bioinformatics blast from the past

July 7, 2016 at 10:30 am (Computer Science, Processing, Programming) (, , , , , , , )


Lately, I’ve been combing through some of my old projects so I can index and archive them. Among these old projects was my BioHive code; a bioinformatics visualization tool I wrote years ago. It was an attempt at exploring genome comparison data sets. It was actually the first non-trivial Processing (P5) app I wrote.

Different genomes would get organized into layers (indexed using colour) and nodes would be joined together based on similarity strength. Thickness of the lines would indicate connection strength, and filters could be applied to reduce clutter. Selecting a node in a layer would show information on the genome it represented as well as the top similar genomes.

These are a few screenshots of the app. In this example, Syphilis is the point of interest and they are just different views of filtered results.

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Latest Project: Node.js + Bootstrap + D3

July 3, 2016 at 5:07 pm (Computer Science, JavaScript, NodeJs, Programming, Rant) (, , , , , )


I’ve started putting together an app I’ve been planning for a while. I’ve been trying to select a tech stack that would allow me to focus on the “meat” of my idea instead of spending too much time setting up boilerplate stuff. In the past, I’ve ended up wasting days just setting up technology stacks and libraries just to find a limitation that would eat up even more of my time or even flat-out block further progress. This time around, I think I should be okay; I’ve selected Node.js and Express for my launch point.

I’ve decided not to bother with MEAN.IO right now since I won’t need MongoDB right now and I’ll be using D3 (the visualization library) instead of Angular. Express provides me with the basics for routing and serving web content (more stuff I don’t have to do). I’m still not really a fan of Jade/pug as a template engine, but it’s workable.

I’ve also added an REST API on top of it for accessing my Trello account (via it’s own REST service). I’d like to do some sort of interesting visualization of my content using D3, so now that I can serve up the data I’ll need, I can actually start building the good part.

One of other boilerplate tasks coming up is to set up a client-side package manager (Bower) to manage my dependencies. I will likely also need a task-runner to build my project stuff, although I’d like to consider using NPM for that instead of Gulp/Grunt.

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