I’ve always struggled with painting landscape. But here are some things that make it easier:

  1. Work in layers. I literally took a blue pen and very roughly sketched out the painting. Then I took acrylics and used them with a lot of water to make an underpainting – at this point you don’t have to be careful, just put down colour where it’s supposed to be. And then I added oils, which is where I could actually start blending things, and get the exact shades, details and depth. The first steps are easy, because there’s no pressure when you know you’re gonna paint over it anyway. And the last step is easy, because you have the guide of the paint you’ve already applied.
  2. Choose a reference photo with a lot of contrast. This might be personal preference, but I can’t deal with painting full meadows with a thousand different colours in them. I might just need to learn the right techniques, but for now it’s easier to paint something with contrast. That means the dark parts are just dark, and there are big blocks of basically just one colour. That makes it a bit easier to grasp for me, and when a picture has clear shapes it’s easier to know where to begin.
  3. I actually only have two points, but it just looks better with a third.



Reverse ’To Watch’ List #1

You know that list in your head, of movies you want to watch but never do? And if you do watch them, you forget about it. So, these are a few movies that used to be in my ‘To watch’ list but I’ve now seen! And they were all so freakin’ good, several are new favourites.

  • Kill Bill
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Bird Man
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Interstellar
  • Fight Club

My NaNoWriMo survival kit!

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m gonna do NaNoWriMo this year! (Don’t know what it is? Check out http://nanowrimo.org/about). And for this month, there are a few things I’m definitely gonna need to survive, so I thought I’d share them with you. Without further ado;


NaNoWriMo survival kit

  • Coffee, if you like coffee.
  • Other stuff, if you like other stuff. Like tea, hot chocolate.. because writers DO NOT HAVE TO BE OBSESSED WITH COFFE. Seriously you guys.
  • Kindness. This is why telling people about NaNoWriMo is a good thing. I usually don’t tell a lot of people, simply because I always have a thousand projects going on and I’m not the type of person who feels the need to share them all. But you want people to support you, people close to you, and obviously people in your home. Nothing beats an unexpected food tray on late evenings when your writing has made you forget the concept of eating anything else than words and sentences.
  • Links to all the amazing writing tips and inspiration there is out there. I’m gonna write a post with all of my favourite links in a few days, and I’ll link it here, but for starters here’s at least my writing board on pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/eiriaan/writing/
  • Tools. Where will you write? In word? Scrivener? Maybe on actual paper? And even if you’re oh so modern and prefer everything digital, make sure that you actually own paper. Yes, that can still be useful, even in this day of age. I keep my journal, a simple, moleskine thing, with me everywhere I go. Seriously. I might take it with me if I’m just going upstairs, turning halfway up the stairs because I forgot it. Also, art stuff can be fun if you’re into that, if you like to for example draw your character designs.
  • Music. If that’s your thing. Compile a few playlists, maybe different ones for different moods? Personally, I prefer silence. I can’t even study while listening to music. Sometimes, with very particular songs, it can work. Or if the volume’s so low I can barely hear it. Or maybe if it is the song that inspired that certain paragraph. Some things I like to have on low volume though, or maybe listen to while thinking about the story, is the playlist Creativity Boost from spotify, and this video on youtube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShI_fv38qYQ
  • A cage. Where you can lock away every part of you that screams about grammar, structure and actual good writing. NaNoWriMo is not about that, and the faster you realize it the better. It’s about getting a rough draft out on paper. To find out what your story is actually about. Remember that you’re.. what is it they say? Let me google it.. right, this: “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” -Shannon Hale

Happy writing!

Rules and tips for attending a big concert

So I went to the One Direction concert when they were here in Sweden.. (shut up.) And I just thought I’d share a few of the things I learnt along the way of going to a concert this big, standing in line for hours and so on. Now, most bands do not have fans as fanatic as One Direction, so these things might not be relevant to everyone, but if you want to be prepared for fangirl attacks, here are some things to go by!

1. Be clever when it comes to packing for the day. If you’re going to stand (or sit) in line for a long time, make sure to bring things appropriate for that. I brought card games, which was a mess amongst all the people and the wind. You want something that is quick to get out of your bag and then back in, a book perhaps, or maybe a notebook.

2. Bring the right food, and make sure to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you, and perhaps some soda. You want your food and your snacks to be easily accessible, maybe a salad and some chips, chocolate and a few cookies.

3. Battery. Your phone might very possibly die. So make sure to charge it as close to the concert as possible, and even if it’s a good way to pass time, try to do things not involving your phone while standing in line. Also, make sure you’ll be okay if your phone does die. Memorize the numbers to the friends you’re there with, or write them down on a piece of paper so that you can borrow someone else’s phone and call them. You could write down the numbers on your arm, but make sure your pen is good because on me they had faded before the concert was over!

4. Actually be there. There are plenty of people there to document it and you can spend hours looking at their concerts on youtube later. But you’re just there once (probably) so make sure that you don’t spend the entire night looking at them through the screen of your phone. Of course you can record them, and maybe you want to show everyone how good your seats were, but make sure that you also spend some time just being there, seeing them with your own eyes and making some memories that are just your own.

5. Be kind. Come on, people. This especially applies to One Direction – or other equally fangirlish – concerts. Pushing while standing in line is not going to get you far, it’s first when the concert actually starts that the war about the places begins, and be respectful then too. If someone is fainting or feeling sick, let them pass. We get that you want to see the band, but don’t let that turn you into an egoistic brat. Just, you know, make some fiends instead. Get to know the people you’re standing next to. And make sure that you enjoy your night!

The 30 second habit with a lifelong impact

I read an article recently, I’m gonna add a link to it at the end of this post so you can go read it, cause well, it was a good freakin’ article. It spoke about this man. this man whose friends were the top politicians and artists in the world, this man who wrote novels on his spare time but destroys them when they’re finished. this man who had the talent that when he sat in a meeting, he would keep quiet except for a few questions. But those questions, those perfectly times words, would always lead the whole discussion back on track and to what was relevant. He was almost the silent leader, the silent conductor. And when he got asked what his secret was, he answered that when he was young, his grandfather had told him this

Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, said his grandfather, and even if youonly do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.

And as the writer of the article put it, He did. And he was. Now, in the article, a few of the benefits of this method are listed. It’s not taking notes, but it’s a way of sorting out what was actually important. A way to change the way you listen. In our world there is so. Much. Talking. So much attention seeking. People shouting out their opinions through Facebook and twitter, begging the world to listen. Or, well, through blogs. I’m not calling myself different. But this is a way automatically start to hear what’s beneath all the words. The underlying patterns of the world. Sorting out the base code of the human mind and not just listening, but then actually hearing. Go read the article, it’s amazing! https://medium.com/sonra-oku/2c3f948ead98

The best 3 TV-shows ever

1. Doctor Who. Having had it’s 50-years anniversary last year, it’s the longest running and most successful science fiction show in history. Amazing, beautiful and heartbreaking. You’ll love it if you’re a sucker for beautiful sceneries, creatively thought out cultures and the most beautiful quotes.

2. Sherlock Holmes. If you have not seen BBC’s modern day version of the classic, you’re missing out. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you’re missing out. It’s smart, unbelievably clever. Entertaining, funny, dramatic, anything you could ever wish for. An episode is 90 minutes long and more well-produced than a lot of movies. If you do not love it, the fault does not lie in the show.

3. Supernatural. This is different, because unlike Doctor Who and Sherlock I can’t objectively say that it’s one of the best. Man, sometimes I don’t even know if it’s good, I just know that I love it. It’s the type of show that effortlessly drags you in, and you fall for it, completely, without really knowing why, it just has… something.