AUTOCREATE: Visual Diary, Creative Writing, Thoughts

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DANIEL SMITH PRIMATEK SWATCHES: As mentioned in the previous post, all these watercolour paints are all made from precious or semiprecious stones! Daniel Smith is the only commonly available watercolour brand to do this, and they have a good variety, as seen below. Also, I have an interest in what pigments are made out of, so this is for my own general interest as well. I've never ever heard of some of these stones before.










tiger's eye








green apatite


hematite burnt scarlet




hematite violet




kingsman green turquoise






mummy bauxite






red fuchsite (aka. red muscovite)






sicklerite (lithiophilite)


sleeping beauty turquoise


sugilite genuine


Sedona (This is made from iron oxide from Sedona rocks)


Minnesota Pipestone (this is catlinite, and was used by Minnesota Native Americans to make their pipes.// aka. peace pipes)



yavapai (/spirit stone)



smalt (This is ground cobalt glass, apparently.)



blue apatite



Edited by modmyth
Daniel Smith wouldn't tell me what was in some of these, so they're probably blends.

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PLEIN AIR KIT 2: (+ Essential watercolour paints) So, continuing the post that was a few posts back on the other page, here are some other possible editions. You can also do the Altoids paint kit for a more minimalistic palette if you're so inclined made with Sculpey (or any high quality airdry clay). The underside of the lid also works as a mixing space, although it's really not a lot of space if you want to use multiple colour mixes simultaneously. 


Any small tin works obviously. It's cute; it fits in your pocket!

Oh, I guess I should list the colours that I use the most and see as essential:

1) Burnt sienna (medium brown), ultramarine blue (dark blue, cool) new gamboge (alternatively, hansa yellow, cool and warm yellow respectively), rose quinacridone (cool red).  Most colours that you need to paint natural objects you can do with these few colours, or do most of the work with them. The benefit of using a limited colour palette like this is that almost by default, all of the colours you mix across the spectrum will be unified, so everything looks like it goes together visually! (this obviously too presents its own set of visual limitations). For what it's worth, I learned this from a professional watercolourist who is much, much better than I ever was, haha. It's a noob mistake to buy mostly every single colour you think you need and only mix a few; as a relative beginner, your colours tend not to harmonize together well at all when you do this.

2) viridian green, phthalo blue(very useful for water), raw sienna (pale orange), raw umber (grayish brown).

Ivory black can be useful, which I just use gouache for (it's just thick opaque watercolor anyway).

I do have other colours, but I don't use them quite so much, like some of the colours that I have from the Daniel Smith Primatek line above. I mostly use it for accents, as they tend not to be that translucent/ transparent. Again, it depends on what effect you're going for. You lose a certain effect of painting in many layers when you paint with opaque paints; of course, it's helpful to remember that all paints have some degree of transparency when painted in layers, unless you're really gobbing it on with heavy body acrylics (it's just extremely thick acrylics) or oil paint, and then it becomes more sculptural, like this:


Small clips like this are useful if you wet your paper a lot and you're painting in a notebook/ watercolour journal. Keeping the paper flat is essential for wet-on-wet painting; this is when your paint onto wet paper and you get a range of effects that are impossible otherwise. Without something to hold the paper down the paper bucks and curls at the edges, and then it's impossible to paint on properly. (Maybe more on watercolour techniques later, although I'm a bit rusty ATM; it's been over a few years.)


If you want to experiment with nighttime plein air painting, you can use a clip-on book light. So this might be stating the obvious, but you need to make sure your palette is properly lit up when you're mixing and selecting paints, as well as your paper... Also, you might draw some attention to yourself.


Here's what James Gurney puts in his watercolour palette; he has a different set of essential paint colours, but you still need a proper red, a blue, a brown, and a yellow no matter what.

Edited by modmyth

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9pm FREEWRITE: Feeling my way through this, what comes spontaneously to mind.  There is a space where you must have no concept of judgments, particularly good or bad. Here is such a space.

Stupid Lil' Pomo Heart Sutra + A Collapsing of the Circus of Current Thought:

Too much time. Too much imagination. Too many open-ended questions weighted with expectation, like deadened lead. Too much hope. Too much cynicism. Too many thought projections as intentions, as the self is split and displaced in increments across time; follow that up with amnesia. Not enough of any of that stuff. Reverse, compress. Collapse. Start over.

Too much deadening of the nerves, of associating openness with this or that. Too much self-consciousness about openness and what it means. Too much splitting at the root of the heart, in ways which have apparently become invisible. Too much noticing what's wrong with yourself and castigating yourself. Too much judgment. Too much judgment against judgment. Repeat this process until you exhaust yourself.

Too much feeling sorry for yourself (or telling yourself not to, because it's wrong/ bad/complete waste of time). Do all of the above and then ask yourself why you did that. Engage in too much dialogue intended to function as anti-dialogue. Too much blame or antiblame.

Too much orientation of the self in psyche or work. Too much displacement and displacement. Too much turning away. Too much turning into something or another, to not be whatever you are now. Too much Martin Heidegger circa “Being and Time”. Too much of a concept of space or here vs. there. Too much psychoemotional myopia period. Too much of a sense of self (or not). Too many sieves through which raw perception and sense experience filter through, too many lenses, whether looking through one or juggling many, as if viewing them through a turning kaleidoscope. Too much myopia towards the lens in use, whether one or many. Too much perspective on those lenses, and now you've split again into pieces. Oops. 

One moment, it's intriguing, it's intellectual, it's aesthetic. You're charmed. You're submerged. Another moment, you want to stop looking, lie down, and never get back up. You're ready to step back forever. You've seen enough. Enough for twenty lifetimes. No more.

When all consumption starts to feel the same, like tiny cuts or lashes in your skin crawling along the continuum of consciousness.

Too much talking. Too much narrative. Too much myth. Too much information, nonfiction. Too much grandioseness; too much-loaded intent. Too much-shunted modesty and minimalism. Too much intent that is by design, gonna crash itself. Too much aestheticism. Too much style and in the intent of doing a thing in one pattern or fashion or another... TOO MUCH GENRE ORIENTATED THINKING which is split at the root.

Too much asceticism.  Too much silence which turns out to be absolutely deafening. Too much minimalist fucking pretense. Too much fidgeting in absolute silence by yourself, or in crowded, busy places. Too much circularity of thoughts. Too much stopping of thoughts. Too many feelings; medicalize them, spiritualize it, put it in the dictionary, put it in the DSM, put it in Schrodinger's infinitesimally reoccurring lockbox of thoughts, each box wrapping another box in infinitely shrinking layers.

Too much fetishization. Too much fixation. Too many dead ends in the labyrinth. Too much fixation on addiction which morphs into an addiction about not being addicted. Too much tasting the pains and pleasures of preoccupation and then turning away from that. Stop. Start. Stop.

Too much self-love as an alien concept, a thing outside the self just conceived. At its root, it splits away, it diverges. Dissolve it. Who knows. Who remembers? What is there to fix? Too much feverishness, not enough of it. Too much effort, the cutting sensation and freshness of effort. Too much effortful effortless and playful contradiction, running around in circles; one day it's all got to end and we gotta move on. The party in the mind is over.

Too much staring at the self, or trying not to. Too much discipline; too much of a chokehold on the self. Too much freedom and not enough orientation. Zigzag. Stay still. Have a strategy don't. Stop thinking, don't. Stop feeling, don't. Exhaust yourself. Strategize. Reorient. Track your intent. Plan your trajectory. Succeed, fail, get disorientated. Discover something new, something unexpected. Amuse yourself, laugh at the absurdity at it all. Hold a funeral for your former sense of self. Be utterly unamused. Start again. Exhaust intent. Crash.

Too much fatigue. Too much effortsomeness. Too much trying to convince people of your narrative for this or that. Too much self-reflection being used as a splitting mechanism. Too much effort spent falling apart or falling apart slowly, or falling apart elegantly in an artful way, gotta crash gracefully. Die beautifully or respectfully. Or at least, dramatically and in a noteworthy way. Die in a way worth writing about. Please, think of the future narratives. Or don't. Die invisibly. Subtract yourself.

Pick a strategy.


Subtract, subtract, subtract.

Negate negate.



I am possibility. Lo and behold.


Neither fiction or fiction. ( )

Speak to me.



The universe gives birth to itself again. So does our human world; collective culture.


Edited by modmyth

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VISUAL LANGUAGES// RANDOM SHIT AT 2 AM// 20 MINUTE FREEDRAW: seems lately the more I sketch, the faster I get. Just like anything. Once you have a sort of visual language down, pulling from bits and pieces of it is relatively easy. Introducing new aspects: much harder.

So I have been meaning to use this as a meaning of encouraging and developing more in certain ways, visually as well as with the freewriting thing. I keep putting it off even though I've been drawing almost daily. One thing is that I keep meaning to post in this journal is still the 'actual rough sketches' or idea processing stuff that I turn out really quickly. I haven't. For the ways in which is not a polished whatever, but I don't do much of that anyways lately.

Suppose I will also post I will post my watercolours I've done outside lately here too very soon. Is it done? Not quite. It's a bit more effort, especially if I'm intent on not posting what I've done on the previous page where I rely pretty heavily on the use of fineliner pens for visual articulation.


Edited by modmyth

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WORLDS: ...Cause we are living in a torus world, and I am a torus girl! On a serious note, I do have "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" stuck thanks to Rachel Bloom's retelling of it (The Math of Love Triangles; different subject matter, similar persona). The original song is the most upbeat song about a depressing subject: golddigging for survival purposes, because of the 50s and presumably options were limited. Also, sometimes I think about Marilyn Monroe's life and get very sad.

Yea, so I did these a little over a month ago; I did not bother to date them. Keeping myself in the habit of posting regular sketches here, ideally daily. Some of my daily sketches lately have been kind of suck; but I try to keep up the habit unless I'm absolutely, totally dry or fatigued. I only really bothered to colour the water for the sake of visual distinguishment (Acrylic Ink, Liquitex brand, Cerulean). Some  of the abstract swirly stuff is actually trees/ plants, which would be more obvious if I coloured them, probably. Also, this is cheap sketchbook paper, it's not of a heavyweight/ thickness. That means when I scan the paper, you can see whatever I had drawn on the other side. Normally I scan the paper and then edit out the marks from the other side, but I'm starting to think it's a better investment of my time/money ratio to stop buying such cheapass paper, especially if I'm going to just do one sketch a day... but I used to do higher volume back in the day.

By the way, if you're an artist and you're posting your stuff here, please please consider posting whatever media you're using! Even if it's just "basic" stuff, like what kind of pencils or pens you're using. I've found that artists are usually incredibly specific about this stuff the longer we've been doing it, and it's always interesting to learn about what brands/mediums people prefer and why.

I've had at least a few dreams where I've seen sections of worlds, neighbourhoods, and larger and smaller swathes of landscapes inside toruses like these, all stacked on top of each other. Sometimes there was quite the massive size scale between the toruses, with the toruses at the top being so tiny, that they are practically immaterial. The smaller toruses tend to be rooms or even smaller sections of material space. Then it keeps shrinking upwards from there. At the bottom, large tracks of forests, often from a bird's eye, or even extending into a satellite perspective. I have thought with one of the dreams, it was actually a representation of the 7 chakras (the visible ones), and the smaller invisible toruses are actually the energy centres above that...



Edited by modmyth

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So, I think I posted all of these on Instagram originally, which I then gave up on. This was back during Inktober which is where you post at least one piece of art a day done in pen or ink, or you try to. I started over halfway through the month, and after that I lost the motivation to post there. Here is where I spent way too much time on editing the backgrounds, and then it was like.. still my sketches completely lack polish compared to everyone else's sketches which are essentially finished, polished work. Probably I should have not drawn it on such crappy paper.

I know it's a matter of patience when it comes to Instagram, but still. You need to have something extra to compete in that market place of hyper ADD eyeballs; I feel like these casual sketches didn't have what it takes. Do I think what do is intrinsically worthwhile? Yes. Two separate issues.

These are almost entirely drawn with just a standard black, Cristal BIC pen. I find that it makes a noticeably smoother line than regular BIC pens, and it does do that horrible unintentional dotting when you're crosshatching. This had been my regular go-to pen for at least 2 years. Although, how many brands of black pens have I tried ever?

So when I do these daily sketches, I am in the habit of taking a pen and just going at it, so every line either comes out perfectly or close to as intended, and either way I just deal with the result.

Another variation on the '3 Graces' theme, but mroe claustrophobic. And with questionable company.


Crouching yam, flying dragonfruit! Appreciating the visual arrangement a sense of both flow and claustrophobia in these drawings below, in retrospect.


Three graces, one brain. IIn some of the original sculptures I've seen, the heads were broken off. Did you know that almost all Ancient Greek and Roman statues used to be painted? So that sort of smooth stone surface in one color that we associate with the Classical Art of Antiquity? It's a lie perpetuated from the Renaissance! I've seen recreations of such painting on sculptures. We might consider it a bit gauche, actually.


Aka. demon harp, a random pillar. Which is also somehow a harp. And a popular addition: there are always more faces.


Do you believe in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster/ Pastafarianism? This is like the heavily discounted brand = flying noodle monster (no caps).


Edited by modmyth

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Posted (edited)


MULTIUNITS: I was taking a lot of inspiration from Siphonophorae and these amazing underwater colonial organisms at the time. So I was building them up as often these more complex structures.


I have a lot taken a ton of inspiration from architectural type books and modern forms. This is probably one of my biggest visual inspirations go, as far as sheer structure.

I also went through another phase of being super preoccupied with different fungal forms in a sort of structural way.


>insert surrealist/ horror-like whatever<


A point of horror: Those creepy jellos people used to make and serve at dinner parties in the 1950s. Honestly what were people thinking?! They looked so disgusting, like something that would come out of a can in a Frankenstein story (growing up in the 90s for my early childhood... I was told that apparently kids today still do read those books, by one of my former students).


Again with the creepy ass brain looking jellos, and the things which are sort-of-arms-sort-of-not, sort-of-tentacles.


Edited by modmyth

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MORE NORMAL SHIT: Random casual and quick portraiture of students and also people at coffee/ teahouses, from last year.

The crappy thin MUJI paper really showss here, and you can kind of see the underside. Also yes, I was very obsessed with fingerprint type lines at the time.


A kid that whined a lot, the more as time went on.


Ever the studious one.



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So this is experimenting with adjusting the brightness and contrast functions while doing the scanning, as opposed to adjusting it in Krita.

It was done with pen, watercolour, and acrylic ink.

So I did this last year (around this time last year, actually...) based on a handful of doodles that I had done at work. Done on Arches Watercolour (Hot Press). Personally, I wasn't a particular fan of using this expensive paper for this purpose. Maybe I should have went with the cold press which has a finer grain, or just regular old mixed media paper which is prepared to take some watermedia, as to true watercolour paper which is actually made of 100% cotton, and so it can take indefinite amounts of water (if you ruin your painting completely though with too much water application, that 's a completely separate issue.)

One problem with true watercolour paper is that it really doesn't take any kind of pen well. I remember trying to use one of my micron archival pens on this and it really didn't work, so probably I ended up using a black pilot or uniball pen instead for the finelining. Also, it didn't do an amazing job with the acrylic ink, but it was manageable.

This is the original as scanned, and as I mentioned in an earlier post; scanning tends to really wash out the vibrancy of water media.

Image (11).jpg

Adjust to +15 +15 Contrast/ Brightness, which makes it closer to the original.


+25/+25, to oversaturate and sharpen it, just to see what it looks like.


Yea, I definitely prefer the one in the middle, but there is something to appreciate about all of them. The first one brings it more down to a neutral palette, like closer to a Renaissance-era painting with all the earth tones (minus the heavy purple), the last one saturates heavily, bringing it closer to the sort of saturated palette that's used in game art a lot. It's a matter of preferences;  I suppose.

The end result? Well, I'm not exactly completely unhappy with it all, but I'm not unhappy either.

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QUICKDRAW// NO EDIT: Also, RIP one of my favourite pilot pens.

Image (17).jpg

Image (18).jpg

It's been a good handful of years since I've done a refresher on hands anatomically. Yea, I could use that again. I've always found hands and feet super instinctive to draw, hands especially. Maybe because they're so constantly exposed and visible. The human torso and back sometimes? Not so much.

Image (20).jpg

The iconography of the Buddha of the Thousand arms/heads has been stuck in my head since childhood.

Edited by modmyth

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@modmyth  I can't imagine what it must be like. To be able to draw like that. I can't even draw a natural looking stick man.

My artist ability is arrested at the 2nd grade level. Drew even validated that notion once when I displayed my creative expression.

Youre a damned Genius, you know,,,

"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Zigzag Idiot  Thanks, you. A high compliment, and totally the way to my heart. :x

I actually wrote about this in this journal earlier, on the first page. Most of my drawing skill was learned as an adult, actually, after I graduated uni! I'm a fast learn, I guess. Growing up, it was always my brother who was way more talented/ with natural aptitude in this department than I had (but more in a technical, more linear way, more architectural way; a bit like a Syd Mead drawing); a completely different aesthetic. Still, I was super jealous. I've always had a lot going on in the imagination department though?

I am a supreme optimist when it comes to teaching people stuff. I bet I could teach you.


Edited by modmyth

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NEW PENS: To add to my eternally growing black pen collection. So I'm not a hoarder, I do go through a number of pens (enough where I am concerned about my plastic/ synthetics consumption), through both drawing and writing. Mostly drawing these days, when I have been, as quarantine has meant that I mostly type on my computer.

So I just received two pens. Both of these brands I have not seen anywhere else except sold on Amazon, through my many years of browsing for pens, but it's been a while since I've searched through a Staples or something.

Pilot C-Tec-C4 (0.4mm). These two pictures below I drew freehand (which is without any other planning or forethought; it's just straight drawing with the pen, like a doodle. It's a good price 2, for $5 Canadian :D) These are normally used for writing, I believe. It feels really natural to be doing drawings with more a tightly structured feel, with these pens; it is one of those pens that feels more like using a pencil. I'm happy with them.

Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica (0.5mm). It's a 5-6 dollar pen, about standard price for an "art quality" pen, which is filled with archival ink (so it lasts for years and years and the ink quality does not degrade over time) and also is smudge-proof. This has more of a flow than the pen above, and it has much more variation in line responsiveness, which is generally a positive thing.

Recently, before that, I had been using:

OOLY fountain pen: It's a 5 dollar fountain pen I found on Amazon, that comes with two refill cartridges. You can't really complain at that price, right? It's pretty good, all things considering, but I am not that used to fountain pens. (Some artists are a big fan of fountain pens for sketching; so I have been meaning to give it a go for years.) I might get used to it with a little time. Or not.

Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5 Grip (0.5mm): It's one of the better black rollerball pens I've tried. I've burned through a couple packages of these within the last year.

Uni-ball vision (0.7mm, I believe): J bought a pack of these for me when he heard I ran out semi-recently (it's a crisis over here). It's not my favourite in terms of line thickness and responsiveness/ sensitivity; as in you can't do that much with it even if you have a light touch, but I have been drawing with it still anyways.

Image (23).jpg

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Let's play a game, how many black pens do I have on my desk? 8, apparently. I need at least 3-5 anywhere I go, haha.

Edited by modmyth
If I had a youtube art channel or something, I totally would do a 'pen haul' or something where it would be just me trying 30+ black pens. I wonder if anyone would want to even watch that, haha.

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CASUAL MULTIPERSPECTIVE// ELEMENTAL COMMUNION: I just tested out the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica pen, as mentioned two posts before. I'm thinking of just doing these drawings onto mixed media paper and just painting and inking over them. It's been a while.

 Image (25).jpg


Edited by modmyth
RETROSPECTIVE NOTE: I'm very obsessed with skull fractures in archelogical digs apparently, due to my reading.

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DAILY SKETCH// IN LOVE WITH THE BLANK PAGE: I just love having absolutely no idea where a sketch is going to go.

I'll be picking up the paintbrush/ watermedia/ mixed media paper for this stuff again very very soon.

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Don't you hate it when your inside body parts end up on the outside? (Dammit, not again...)

Tree, pinecones.

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Side Note: Stupid quarantine. I really miss watching my rope master tie (see first pages for sketches of that, if you haven't seen it and are curious.), but I hear they are moving. :(

Edited by modmyth

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