More variations on “Dragon City”–the runners-up, if you would. I learned a lot doing these thumbnails (“corner shots feel bigger”).
“Dragon City” practice compositions (2019 background sketchbook)Art
“Dragon City.” I’d like to develop one of these into a full-blown painting. Which one is your favorite, 1, 2, 3, or 4?
I drew this after reading some of Betsy Luntao’s tutorials over on DA. Her book How to Draw Backgrounds with Character (by Betsy Luntao, available free on Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/tTiRg ) is one of the most helpful background drawing books I’ve ever seen. These were made after following her advice where you start off with a sentence describing what’s going on with the environment you want to draw (in my case, “a dragon flies over some ancient ruins” or something like that. This was from 2019, give me a break!).
Free Christian Sheet Music – “ABIDE WITH ME” – A powerful, nature-inspired arrangement for piano and soprano voiceMusic Composition
- Get the printable sheet music from SacredSheetMusic.org and listen to a computer-generated MP3 sample.
- Get the printable sheet music from Gumroad and pay what you want (including free, but tips are very much appreciated!)
In an effort to exercise my composing muscles, I’ve asked my friends to name some of their favorite hymns so I can arrange them. This one goes out to my gluten-free bestie, Rindi. She is one of the strongest people I know, and not just because she can’t eat regular pizza. Her dedication to Christ in the face of life’s challenges inspires me.
This song (in my mind) starts in autumn by a cozy fire (set to the tune of Abide with Me), plummets into a spare and icy winter (Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King), then roars back to life as spring arrives in a joyful procession (God of Our Fathers).
Should be easy for a singer to pick up, but the piano part’s got some fanfare rhythms that might be tricky to pick up by sight alone. The downloadable mp3, imperfect midi though it is, can help my fellow pianists learn the rhythms by ear. Whew!
Learn to draw environments and backgrounds easier with this fantastic exercise for beginners!Art, Recommended Reading
I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw environments FOREVER but nothing’s ever quite stuck (looks at the various perspective drawing books on her shelf). But this! This video from Tyler Edlin (AKA BrushSauce) on YouTube has opened my eyes.
I started doing these…and then…just once…while watching something, maybe a shot of a hallway on TV? I SAW THE MATRIX!! I didn’t see the picture as hall, door, sconce, etc. I saw the big general shapes that made the depth. DING!!! I need to do this more often, but it’s really upped my confidence. So if you need help leaning backgrounds, try the exercise in this video first! It’s way fun to do with colored pens and markers (for values).
A frequent MuseScore user reviews LilyPond with FrescobaldiMusic, Music Composition, Reviews
Once I got into the flow of text entry, I *really* wanted to like LilyPond (and Frescobaldi). And when I say flow, I mean the full-on Csíkszentmihályi experience.
Never in all my years of writing and adapting music in MuseScore did note entry go so fast. The notes flew out of my fingers.
When done, I pressed the little green lily pad button in Frescobaldi to see my plain text turned into beautifully-engraved music in the tiled window just next to my text editor.
If I had never coded before in HTML and CSS, I’d say it was like magic.
That’s the promise of the free program LilyPond: beautifully engraved sheet music made with fast (text-based) input. And when you pair it with the free program Frescobaldi, the “coding” becomes close to What You See Is What You Get, once you hit that lily pad button. Plus, Frescobaldi played the music back to me.
Yes. Once I got used to it, the text input was MIGHTYFAST and I loved it and wished it would go on forever.
BUT I don’t think it’s a good tool for piano sheet music.
Because 1) setting up the right hand section in paragraphs in separate-but-parallel sections to the left hand got old quickly, despite Frescobaldi highlighting which text part corresponded to which printed notes. This was extra apparent when adding new notes and phrases in the middle of completed measures. One note gets shifted, then—bazoom!— both staves are misaligned and it’s very heard-wrapsy to fix it all on the text side.
2) Though the documentation claims there’s a way to set up staves one atop another, I just couldn’t figure it out. And folks, I just taught myself how to typeset a novel in Scribus from the ground floor. If you look up “self-taught” I’m at least in an example sentence.
While shifting notes and phrases around can also be a pain in MuseScore, it’s a nuisance-pain, not an MC-Escher-word-puzzle-being-solved-through-a-laparoscope pain. Mess up in MuseScore, you can directly cut, paste, and adjust on the score. In LilyPond, you have to go hunting through text, run the engraving process again, then pray you aligned everything correctly.
If input speed were my sole consideration, I might try using LilyPond and Frescobaldi for banjo tabs, or something else with only one staff.
But my understanding is MuseScore can do tablature too—and editing a multi-stave piano score makes far more sense to me in that program than it does LilyPond.
Sorry, folks. For this piano composer, MuseScore is just easier to handle.
Griffin flight thumbnailsArt
BLASPHEMOUS-inspired composition thumbnailsArt
BetsyIllustration has a SUUUUUPER set of tutorials on drawing backgrounds (and a free downloadable eBook!) that are inspiring me to practice backgrounds more often.
She says it’s important to have an idea of what you want to draw going in (I think she calls it a tagline? Which means something different in writing, so I’m not going to use that term)–these BLASPHEMOUS (game)-inspired compositions are for the description “A monster smiles upon its cult of worshipers in a CAAAAAAVE!!” #allhailkingjulien
THE STONE SEEKERS – Cover Thumbnails and Final ArtArt
Thumbnail explorations for THE STONE SEEKERS eBook cover. Got some great expressions out of that rabbit and rat! #Sargon #Amber
While trying to paint stupid rocks I got frustrated and tried a different tack:
Then I decided no, I had been on the right path the entire time and went back to the diamond composition. Glad I did! Here’s the final artwork, sans Emily New’s fabulous text:
And of course, the free short story is available right here on my site!