Archive for the ‘General’ Category (feed)

How Twilight should have been done

I’m not a Twilight hater. I love the first movie/book, but I dislike how the story progressed. It became unnecessarily convoluted.

The story needed to be only 3 films/books long and had a more traditional story structure with real stakes, and not that laughable things that happened at the end with weddings, and children that reach maturity at the age of 7. I mean, come on.

Instead, the end of the first film/movie should have been Edward and Cullens leaving Bella in order to protect her, seeing Victoria telling the Volturi, and Bella going to the prom by herself all alone (or with Jacob after her dad arranges that with the school). No Arizona trip either, the James attack could just as easily happen at Forks.

On the second film we see her relationship with the werewolves, and their fight against the Volturi sent force of 4-5 vampires, with Edward coming back after he’s hearing about it. On the third film, there is the final battle against the Volturi with the help of the werewolves, Jacob DIES in the battle, and Bella has to be turned to survive. She lives happily ever after with Edward, but with the occasional sad thought about Jacob. The end.

Instead, we got a super convoluted story about imprints, weddings, children, abortion politics, and other such stupid off topic themes that are not central to the love triangle of Jacob-Bella-Edward.

An even more more interesting approach would be to give us 6 books overall, 6 months apart. 1 from the PoV of Bella, and one from Edward (as she did with the recent Midnight Sun book), but for all 3 books. Then, the films would be filmed as such too: one film release in May during blockbuster season, and the Edward version for Christmas release. The films would be shot together and then split during editing. Especially for the second film, it would be very interesting to see Edward’s story away from Forks, where 75% of the story would be different than that of the Bella 2nd film/book! This would have been a great innovation IMHO and provide a richer universe building.

Later on, she could release 1 book, encompassing the whole story, from the point of view of Jacob. Maybe a film too, if it was deemed a good idea.

I think that would be the best way to do this series.

To appease the boys and the haters, the vampires could have fangs when they would drink blood only (they would retract otherwise), and when in the sun, we should be seeing their corpse or demonic face, not sparkling diamonds. Having Bella seeing Edward like this, it would have a real conflict to actually making a decision that she STILL likes him, rather than having a teenage love situation kind of falling onto her without being able to fight it off. If Edward looked like a corpse or a demon under the sun, there would be some decision time for her, raising the stakes in the series, and making the Jacob option more likable and realistic.

I have no trouble with Edward stalking her btw. If we take his PoV, where he’s being alone for a century, then stalking someone he suddenly falls in love with, is only natural (creepy, but natural behavior).

In conclusion, great first film/book 9/10. It went downhill from there on. It could have been a bigger classic than it is in both literature and film mediums. And they should have never fired the first woman director, because she really captured Bella’s romance perfectly. Both the books and the subsequent male directors made a mess out of it.

Wide gamut video colors

I was always jealous about how cinema cameras and film was able to render an image. High dynamic range, amazing color separation. But no matter what I tried with 8bit dSLRs, it was not possible to reproduce that look. When the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k came out, I thought that it would look like that, since it could shoot in RAW 12bit. Unfortunately, the look that was coming out of it was anemic, and it had a weird yellow cast. Finally, a year after purchasing the camera, and days after thinking of selling it, I found a workflow that transforms its problematic color science to Linear, and then transforming it again to ARRI LogC. Suddenly, all the color magic unwided and became available. Watch in 4k if you can, on a TV.

Anamorphic look

Getting back to my video hobby, and bought a bunch of vintage modded lenses to have cine-gears, declicked apertures, and most importantly, an anamorphic aperture, to make them look like Hollywood movies. Subscribe to my Youtube channel if you’re interested in my upcoming tests with these lenses.

The state of instant film cameras

I invested quite some money on instant film cameras in the last few months, trying to get the right vintage look for an art project of mine. After buying a few of these cameras, and testing them, I could never get the pictures I needed, because they are not as full featured as a 35mm film camera, for example, which allows different lenses, or filters etc. Here are the negatives I found on some of these models. I won’t list their positives, because anyone can read a feature-list on their respective web site, this is only about what I found annoying in them.

TL70:

– No manual shutter speed.

– Shutter is not faster than 1/500th (overexposes at f/5.6, even with the strongest ND filter that Mint provides separately. It also overexposes at maximum f/22 if no ND is used).

– Proprietary filter thread, so you can’t add fun filters or more ND.

– F/22 aperture has massive vignetting.

– No flash sync.

– Can’t use the sun hood while using the filters.

– Instax Mini is tiny.

PROs: Good all around camera for artsy pics with nice bg blur. Lovely, large screen.

RF70:

– Fixed lens, with no possibility of wide, or tele. For that price, I would have liked some choice, or at least add-on lenses.

– Shutter is not faster than 1/500th (overexposes by 1 stop at f/5.6 under sunlight, even with the ND8 filter that Mint provides separately).

– Proprietary filter thread limits the use of other filters or add on lenses. This is really, really annoying, because it’s what really limits this camera from expandability. If they had gone with a standard filter thread, this camera would actually be useful for most photography cases.

PROs: Full manual controls, flash sync, wide format.

SLR670-s:

– No support for the Mint Flash while using the Time Machine. It’s one or the other.

– Proprietary filter thread limits the use of fun filters.

– No flash sync (more expensive -X model supports it though).

– No frog tongue is installed by default (Polaroid Originals film requires it, or it will come out washed out).

– Camera was modified to have fixed aperture at f/8 (not great for macro or for most landscapes, but great for portraits).

– No internal meter (requires phone app, or professional light meter).

PROs: Fastest shutter speed than anyone else, ensuring it won’t overexpose. SLR finder, easiest to compose. Focusing guide.

Lomo’Instant Wide:

– No aperture or shutter control (it almost never gives you a good bg blur, despite its rather big aperture at f/8).

– Slow leaf shutter makes the camera overexpose by 2 stops in sunlight, while it only provides a -1 compensation.

– Provided wide lens flares a lot. And I mean, a lot.

– Add-on lenses don’t have a filter thread.

– Focusing with it is (almost) a joke.

PROs: Add-on lenses, double exposure and compensation, wide format.

Polaroid OneStep+:

– Proprietary filter thread (which doesn’t even provide you the right color filters to compensate for tungsten lights).

– Manual controls, light painting, and double exposure available only via phone app, so it requires a tripod to operate it (or an assistant).

– Shutter too slow at 1/125th max.

– Aperture just f/12.

– Weak flash. No flash sync.

– Focusing with it is a joke.

– Firmware bugs! I need to press 3-5 times for the shutter to activate (I’ve been hearing about this bug by others too).

PROs: Great battery life, manual controls when possible.

Fuji Instax Mini 90 NeoClassic:

– No aperture or shutter control.

– Slow leaf shutter (1/400th) makes the camera overexpose in sunlight often.

– Focusing with it is a joke (deep field of view every time).
– No filter thread.

– Instax Mini is tiny. Fuji doesn’t have an equally powerful camera for their square or wide formats.

PROs: Double exposure, exposure compensation.

Fuji SQ6 Square & Wide 300:

– They’re toys.

My opinion is this: If you’re shooting portraits, or objects within 2-3 meters, or landscapes (except for the SLR670), then these cameras are good. If you want to shoot precise macro, or have a very precise framing of far away objects that require a zoom (e.g. architecture geometry, city photography where you have to be far away-enough to not spook people), then you should shoot digitally and then buy an Instax or a Polaroid Lab printer to give these pictures the film/vintage treatment.

What each manufacturer needs to do to get one step ahead:

– Mint: Stop making proprietary filter threads. They ruin everything.

– Lomography: Decide if you want to be serious, or a toy. You can’t have it both ways in the instant world, as you can in the 35mm film world. The choices here are so few, that you could be a serious player.

– Polaroid: Be less toy-like with your more expensive model.

– Fuji: Stop making, essentially, just toys.

Regarding honor killings

“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.

A terrible thing, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.

YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.

It was primarily social pressure.

You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).

As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.

I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.

Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.

So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:

– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).

Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost

So there you have it.

The Six Pillars of Health

After many years of research on the subject, I found that these are the six most important points for one’s health. In no particular order, but sunlight is probably the most important of them all.

– Exposure to Sunlight

Two hours of early AM sunlight, as minimum. Without sunlight, our mitochondria don’t work.

– Exposure to Clean Air

Extra oxygenation via walking, breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi and meditation. Vigorous exercise is not needed, and especially if you’re already sick, it must not be pursued. Sitting too much or not knowing how to breath deeply, creates lactate acidosis in the body, which is the beginning of the end for health. This is what Chinese also call “Qi liver stagnation”.

– Exposure to Clean Water

Spring water, non-fluoridated, alkaline if possible. And LOTS of it! The water, along with some salt and DHA, will act as the electricity in your body, to carry out the needed functions of what some people call “detoxification” (although that’s not the right word for what’s going on).

– Exposure to the Right Diet

Plant-based Paleo, also known as Pegan (some offal, some wild fish and eggs, but mostly plants/fruits). Removing grains and sugars from the diet, we assure that the liver will have enough B vitamins to do its job: releasing away or converting the lactic acid. Otherwise, you end up with a non-alcoholic fatty liver, and everything starts breaking down in the body. More explanation of the Pegan diet here.

– Exposure to the Right Sleep

No sleep, no bueno. Circadian rhythms is our clock, and without that clock, things fall apart. Sleep when the sun goes down, or at the very least use blue-blocker glasses at night.

– Exposure to the Right Frequencies

This might be seen as quackery, but it’s not. Non-native EMF signals, are detrimental to our health. Avoid wifi, cellphones as much as you can, and anything of the like. Walk barefoot on the bare Earth to get the right frequency to heal your body.

Reactions of aliens landing

If extraterrestrials were to land on Earth, here is how five types of people, based on their soul evolution, would react:

Infant souls: “Ugly m0therf/ers. Kill ’em and steal their tech.”

Baby souls: “They’re demons! Pray, pray to be saved! Oh Lord!”

Young souls: “Gentlemen, let’s do business! Coffee?”

Mature souls: “They’re different than us, but we accept diversity.”

Old souls: “Aliens? What aliens?”

Sunday Morning Dream

I had an interesting dream this morning.

In the dream, I was married to a man I don’t know in real life, and he owned a pickup truck, but its engine was on fire. He was trying to fix the problem, but he couldn’t.

Suddenly, a bow, an arrow, and a plastic deer fell right out of the sky. The consensus among everyone in the scene was that God sent these items, for us to somehow to fix the truck. But no one knew how to use these items to actually fix it. It was a bit of puzzle.

Finally, my “husband” felt that he needed to do a sacrifice to God to fix the truck. Instead of using the supplied plastic deer, he caught an alive fox, and he placed it on top of the engine, and then he aimed at her with the bow and arrow. The fox was being tortured, was in pain and was it screaming.

As he was ready to shoot at her, finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I shouted at him that this is the wrong way to go about it, and that we must not kill the poor animal. I remember clearly telling him that it makes more sense to throw away that truck and buy a new one, instead of killing the fox.

He listened, and the fox was freed and cared for.

Immediately after, I saw my father cutting down a cherry tree. I started shouting at him too, telling him that I need the trees so I can eat their fruit.

Pretty much right after that, I woke up.

I immediately realized what this dream was showing me. This was an intervention, a call, or simply further proof that I need to stop eating animals. My “engine” (my body) is still hurting, years after I went Paleo that freed me from my main problems. But the problems didn’t go away completely, neither I was able to lose weight as other Paleo people have managed to do. Also, only recently I found that given my genetic makeup, I’m more suited for a low-fat/medium-carb diet, rather than a low-carb/high-fat diet.

In the last few months I have tried to minimize animal meat consumption with mixed results (e.g. eat it once or twice a week only), but it’s now time to double down on my efforts. I will not eat muscle meat (or offal) ever again, and after my current batch of wild buffalo bones are done, that would be it for me.

I will still be eating pastured-only eggs, fermented dairy (mostly from goat/sheep which are always pastured), and some seafood (2-3 times a week, mostly shellfish, just to get enough B12 and DHA). But veggies and fruits now become my staple, and the majority of them will have to be raw too. I still call my new diet itself “Pegan” (since it also removes all the things Paleo removes, e.g. grains, sugar, seed oils etc), but I guess, a longer descriptive name would be “High-Raw Paleo-Pesco-Vegetarian diet”. It’s time for me to live the way my direct ancestors did: very little meat (seafood in my case), and lots of veggies & fruits. Minus the grains and sugar.

What the Mediterranean “Diet” really is

I’m Greek. I’ve lived both in rural, mountainous places of mainland Greece (I grew up near the supposed entrance to Hades Underworld no less!), and near-sea towns.

Now that I live in the US, what kind of grinds my gears is when I read about how great the Mediterranean Diet (MD) is. Don’t get me wrong. The Mediterranean Diet is better than most other regular Western diets out there. But the health benefits researchers had seen prior to 1970 in these regions is only partial to the diet. The rest, is lifestyle. It’s a logical fallacy to separate the lifestyle of these people from their diet. Western researchers like to pick and choose elements, so they can easily make their case, but in this case, either they have to represent the whole lifestyle of Mediterranean people, or they need to shut their holes about the MD diet.

And what was that lifestyle? Well, take a peek:

Prior to 1970s, before the Westernized diet also took hold even in rural Greek places, here is a typical day for my grandparents, and my parents (my mother lived 15 years in that lifestyle, right until electricity finally came to these villages in 1971, and my father for 22 years):

– Morning
Wake up in the crack of dawn. Open the chicken’s coop door. Eat some sour milk (similar to kefir) or yogurt (not strained yogurt like FAGE, that’s not truly traditional Greek), or boiled eggs, or cheese & olives and home-made (well-fermented, with OLD variety of wheat) bread for breakfast, along Turkish-style (unfiltered) coffee. In the winter, they’d eat “trahanas”, which looks similar to porridge, but it’s made out of lacto-fermented wheat.

Kids get ready to go to school, father (or older son) will go up to the mountains with the goats/sheep (usually 150-250 animals) and the dogs (usually 2-5), while the mother (& older children) will go down to the valley to work in the fields, or the trees, or in the house’s vegetable garden (each house had one). Going up the mountain is steep, and it takes about an hour to reach the top (they could climb up real fast! — my grandfather was impossibly fast up to the age of 80). The village itself is usually situated in the middle of the mountain, so it takes the same time to either go down to the valley and back up again, or up to the top and down again.

– Midday
Father would go from pasture to pasture with the animals, and at around midday, the goats/sheep will find some shade and sit around at the hottest time of the day. He would eat largely the same thing he ate for breakfast: eggs, feta cheese, olives, bread. After he ate, he’ll sleep for 1 sleep cycle (1.5 hours) under a tree. The dogs would take care of any potential wolf problems.

The mother in the fields will do the same. Eat and sleep, and then restart work. Here’s a picture from National Geographic from the 1940s Thessaloniki wheat fields, eating lunch:

The younger kids would finish school by 1:30 PM and come back home. They’d eat some lite lunch at school (it used to be free up until the early ’80s) and then they come back home and eat some more and then start working around the house: do the laundry by hand, prepare dinner, make some yogurt from scratch, bake bread if required (usually they’d bake bread twice a week), do some homework if they have time etc.

– Afternoon, after 6 PM in the summer, 3 PM in the winter
Father and mother would start to come back home. If it’s the season, and there are young goats/sheep, one of the kids will have to take these out of the stable (usually up to 50 younglings), and go with them to a nearby pasture so they can eat. Young animals can’t make the trip yet with their parents all the way to the top of the mountain, so they get limited pasture-time, nearby only. While at the pasture, the kids will also gather wild vegetables, including dandelion greens, purslane, mustard greens, chicory in the winter, asparagus in April, and amaranth greens in August (in Greece, we never eat the quinoa-like amaranth seeds, we only eat the greens, and ONLY before the plant has flowered/seeded!). In the even older days, there would also search for wild parsnips and other types of veggies from the wild (e.g. centaurea, goosefoot *greens* which is nothing but a European version of quinoa, nettles etc), but since the 1950s and later, when cans/pasta/flour became more available, these were stopped getting picked.

Upon coming home, some food are given to the chickens, and then they will be locked in their little house.

– Evening
The animals are now in the stable. It’s time for milking (in the near-dark, no less). Mother & father will go through the female goats/sheep one by one, while leaving some milk for their babies too. The kids will help by allowing the animals to pass through one by one, so they can be milked.

Then, it’s dinner time. The biggest meal of the day.

It’s usually greens year-round with bread. There are garden veggies & potatoes in the hot months, and (pre-soaked) beans in the winter. Fruits when in season only. Honey a few times a year. In general, all grains & dairy products that consumed are well-fermented. Some would drink raw milk directly from the animals, but this stopped after the 1960s, because that’s when their animals would get mysteriously sick (even if antibiotic shots didn’t start by law before ~1975 — maybe pollution was catching up from the rest of the world in the ’60s in these rural places?).

There will be fish, crawfish or eels twice a week, either by the nearby river, or from salesmen from the nearby sea towns who come with their donkeys once a week (salted fish and shellfish in that case). Sea town people would eat fresh fish from the sea 3-4 times a week instead.

There might be chicken (from their own chickens) once or twice a month or so only. BTW, look below how a TRUE pastured chicken from my grandmother looks like — it looks like duck meat!

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When you cook it, the bones are so incredibly white because they have so much calcium! And the meat looks, and tastes like red meat!

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There will be red meat, but only once a month. That would be goat mostly, sheep a bit less, pork less often than sheep, and beef very rarely. Because they didn’t have fridges, when someone in the village would slaughter an animal, they would share with other families, so they don’t go bad. When the other families would slaughter one of their own animals, they would share back. In village/religious festivities there would be a bit more meat going around too (usually boiled goat, or lamb on a spit for Easter day). The whole animal was eaten, head to toe. Most of you are aware of liver, heart, kidneys, brains and tongue, but that’s nothing compared to how we eat these animals: we’d also eat the stomach & intestines (in an incredibly good soup, called patsas), the spleen (which tastes something between liver and boiled oysters), thyroid glands, eyes, testicles, and lungs (I’d say, “mushy” lungs are the least yummy part of the offal, with spleen being the yummiest for me). Occasionally, in the winter when they had time away from the fields, they might catch a hare, or a small bird too, with traps. Greece used to have deers, wild boar, pheasants, and many more hares, but these now are mostly gone (over-hunted).

Nuts & seeds were eaten periodically, but not religiously.

Everything was cooked with olive oil, or butter (which was white btw, not yellow).

After dinner, they’d throw scraps to the dogs (and some to outdoor cats), and then everyone would go to sleep. Dogs are sleeping in the stable with the animals (goats/sheep, often donkeys too), chickens in the coop, and cats, only god knows where. And the day starts again anew the next day, even on Sundays (only people who had older children to take care of business they’d have time to go to church). The animals need to eat every day, you see. There was no such thing as “day off”. If you had to leave for a few days (e.g. to visit a doctor in a town), you’d have to ask others in the village to take care of your animals, water the vegetable garden, feed the kids etc.

But fear not, they did have fun, daily. It’s called gossip.

Now, here’s the twist!

Greeks are/were religious. The Greek Orthodox fasting was observed by all. Fasting in Greek Orthodoxy (and in old Catholic church) does not mean “intermittent fasting” (IF). It means: no animal products (except shellfish that were allowed because they contain no blood — although most people would not eat them anyway). Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the most religious would be vegan (mostly women, men would remain vegetarian).

However, the whole family would fast without exception, in the three biggest religious celebrations of the year: Christmas, Easter, and Assumption of Mary (August 15th). This means that people would go vegan for 40 days before Christmas, 40 days before Easter, and 15 days before the Assumption of Mary. This means that for 26% of the year, everyone was vegan. For the women who were also fasting weekly, or periodically, that goes to over 40% of the time. And let’s not forget that when they were NOT fasting, they were mostly vegetarian anyway. This means that these people were vegan ~30% of the time (as an average), 55% of the time vegetarian, 10% vegetarian/pescetarian, and only about 5% of the time land meat eaters.

The only Greek people eating a bit more meat (mostly in the form of fish instead of land meat) were the more affluent people in cities.

Most interestingly, in the final week before Easter, olive oil & butter were not consumed either (which means no bread either, since it requires some oil in the recipe). They’d basically just eat veggies (often raw, with raw garlic), fruits, and soaked beans cooked in plain water & sea salt. I guess that part of the fasting is the closest they ever got to raw veganism (minus the cooked beans).

Q: But why was this lifestyle healthier in the Mediterranean than other parts of the world?

A: The lifestyle mentioned above was NOT unique for Mediterranean people. But it proved to be healthier there because of various reasons. Lots and lots of D3 due to being a sunny place, with both seafood and land food in good balance. Civilization thrived from ancient times there because simply, the geography, food, climate all helped out. Not to mention that because of the closed sea and proximity to both Asia and Africa, merchants could bring over fruits or foods not available directly to their region (something not as easily done, as let’s say, in Northern Europe – the fruits would spoil before they could reach these countries). The only other place where people lived a similar lifestyle with plenty of field work, D3 and circadian rhythms, and ate similarly-balanced foods, was Okinawa. And we already know how well these people did before the Western Diet caught up with them too.

Conclusion:
If you want to get the Mediterranean Diet effect, then you need to change everything about your life. It requires huge changes to how you sleep, work, being out in nature all day long away working on your own garden and animals, and be away from pollution/cellphones etc. It’s not just the diet.

I’d go on a limb here and say that if you can’t do everything as well as they did, but you want to come close to their results, you might get some extra push if you ditch grains (except some rice), particularly modern wheat. Their (low gluten, old variety and very fermented) wheat had nothing to do with modern wheat and flours.

How to lay smooth gouache and watercolor paint

For the kind of illustration I’m interested in, the style requires some very smooth, matte, single-color backgrounds. Traditionally with watercolor people would do large washes of 2 to 3 colors (e.g. for a sky), but for the kind of illustration I do, which has a lot of details, traditional washes are not a way to go. I could not find a single article or youtube video that shows how to do large, non-square areas of matte, smooth painting, so after a lot of tries, I found this technique:

– Get some paint on a plastic palette. About the size of a raisin for a small area.
– On a separate palette hole, add thrice as much water as the raisin size of paint above.
– Use a size 8 “pointed-round” soft brush (Kolinsky sounds good).
– Mix the paint with some Titanium White.
– With the tip of the brush, get some paint (just a little bit, maybe about 1/6th of it), and mix it well with the water. It will create a very pale color, but it will still have a color.
– Strain away as much water as possible from the brush. It should not be full of water when you lay it on paper.
– Start laying the pale color on your paper. Use as large brush strokes as possible, and move the pools of paint towards a single direction.
– Let it dry for a minute or so.
– Add 2/6ths of the paint (basically, double as much as before), on a bit more water than before (maybe about 1.5 times as much as before).
– Mix well, strain the brush, and paint over, the same way as before.
– Let it dry for 3 minutes or so.
– Add the rest of the paint to about 2x more water as in the beginning, strain the brush, paint over again. The consistency should be that of a melted ice cream.
– Let it dry for 5 minutes before you decide if you need yet another hand on top, or add details on it.

That’s it. Basically, you need multiple layers to get a smooth, matte finish.


My illustration “Divorce Papers”

Another way to do it with gouache, is to lay gesso+medium in the paper before painting, just as if you were using acrylics. The 2-3 gesso hands would then serve the same way as the multiple hands of paint. Personally, I prefer the first method.