Humans in the Forest

I’m really getting the hang of acrylic paintings! Here’s another one that I did. It’s meant to be humans in the forest. It’s a change from my usual illustrative style.

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Also, some important news: I’m moving to the US to start college! I’m kind of happy (and nervous, and excited, and scared?) to finally be returning to the US!



Oil Paints!!!

Amazing news alert: my wonderful aunt just gave me an almost unused set of oil paints! Along with some beautiful brushes and tins! This is my first set of oil paints ever and they work so well! I am amazed… It is so good that I must show you:

Oil paints!

Brushes, thinner, cans

And I was so excited that I tried painting this as soon as it arrived:

First try

It was my first time actually setting up a composition:

No one is allowed to touch!
No one is allowed to touch!

Oh my goodness I am so happy and hyper and *cries tears of joy*. Please excuse my girly grammar.


The Shadow

I have sadly realized that my last post was at the beginning of this month. Time sure does fly when you’re… busy, to say the least. Well, just two more weeks to go and I’ll be free! Free at last!

Also, in some related news, I am actually returning to the U.S. in January for six months, so I hope my stay there will be an artsy one! I have a long-term project planned, but will not say anything yet, for fear of jinxing myself.

This week’s IF theme: Shadow. I did this one on Illustrator on a mouse (cheers to me for persevering!) Here it is:



You can definitely interpret it as you want, but the message I wanted to convey was “it is possible for you to backstab yourself.” Which I find very common, either through our own faults or ignorances.

Well, this post ended on a very depressing note…


Happy 2013!

So, another year has passed again, and another one has started. Lots of things happened in 2012, like the U.S. Presidential Elections, the (not) ending of the world, and, personally, my starting of high school! For my blog, I’ve also undergone many big changes, like turning it unofficially into my art blog and joining Illustration Friday. At the end of last year, I made a few resolutions for this blog. Now it’s time to check out how many I fulfilled!

  • Get 100 views in one day. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do this one yet again. However, I did make a new personal record with 76 views in one day with this post! That counts as something, right?
  • Write travel guide for America. Check!
  • Upload more drawings. Definitely checked!
  • Make better header. Check!
  • Collect more subscribers. Check! In fact, this year I have gotten 18 more subscribers! Thanks so much everyone!

Now, for my new resolutions:

  • Upload Illustration Friday posts regularly
  • Write travel guide for Niagara Falls
  • Continue book reports
  • Draw things unrelated to Illustration Friday and post
  • (Get 100 views in one day: I shall never give up!)

So, these are my new resolutions. Have a great 2013 everyone! And let’s start fresh like this little sapling!


New Record!

My record for most views in one day for this blog was 75 views, set on January 2009. But that record is now broken! On October 19th, I got 76 views for this blog. Thanks to everyone who helped make that happen. 🙂

As for updates, I am currently working on Illustration Friday’s new theme: Sky. I’ll probably post it in two days, but that depends on how much free time I have. I won’t give out any spoilers about the piece… yet. 😉


Leopard, Lion… what next?

I recently got a new mac! Goodbye Leopard, hello Lion! It’s two years since I’ve seen a new mac, and four years since I’ve used a new mac laptop. The new sensation of pressing the buttons on my keyboard, instead of whacking them in the hope that my computer will recognize the pressure, is delightful. And I can actually adjust the volume with my F10-12 buttons! (Translation: I can quickly kill the volume if I’m doing games instead of homework and my mom comes along!) Miraculous!

In addition to doing the functions that my old computer should have done, it also provides some new functions. Like swiping horizontally with three fingers moves between apps. And swiping with two in Safari goes between pages. I’m not sure what I think about the first function (as it only works when the app is full-screen?) but the second function is certainly useful.

On Photo Booth, there are lots of cute CG effects. Like hearts erupting from your head and birds circling above you, always following you, trying to peck you to death.

In regards to the appearance, the Lion seems rounder than my Leopard, which I think is cuter. And it looks thinner too, though I’m not sure how that affects the weight. The magnet installed at the edges of the base allow the laptop to close without making a small but apparent ‘tick’ sound. Thank goodness, because I was getting tired of that.

On the other hand, there are some new updates on the Lion that aren’t as useful as I thought (or not useful at all). For instance, there’s no key repeat. None. Nada. Like, I can’t say NO~ (with many ‘o’s) because I’d have to type every single ‘o’. Good for proper English, bad for FB slang. Apple says they have a reason for this, and say it’s for use of accents like à, è, or ç. I got these accents easily by holding on the letter in question and selecting the accent I wanted as I would in Pin Yin. But I think I’d use key repeat more often than accents. There were shortcuts for the accents previously too, anyway.

And the Mission Control isn’t organized neatly. Pressing my F9 button on my previous computer laid out all the current applications and programs I was using, spread out evenly. The Mission Control lays things over so that sometimes a program is hidden completely behind another and I forget that I ever opened it. This is especially worsened by the fact that I forget things every 5 minutes if I’m not reminded.

Nevertheless, I’m grateful that I have a new laptop, more so that’s it’s a good one. Keep on rocking, Apple!

Timeline – why FB should change the design back

First of all, I’d like to say that I’m sorry that it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted some nonsense. The only time I seem to be on WordPress is when I a) check my stats and b) browse through the humor section in Freshly Pressed. But enough of that!

I’d like to talk – or rather rant – about FB today. (For those of you who live in the 80’s, FB stands for Facebook. (My computer must live in the 80’s, because right now it is underlining Facebook in red, saying that it is the wrong spelling.)) FB has recently created a new design for people’s profiles/pages. I’m fine with that: it’s always good to have some choices, right? But, in fact, this new design limits your choices. FB is now enforcing this new design on everybody, regardless of preference.

I was fine with the new chat design, I was fine when they made pressing the key ‘enter’ publish a reply. Those modifications were actually quite useful. But this new design – Timeline – is just plain confusing. First of all, you need a ‘profile cover’? I already have a profile pic, what more do you need?! Now I need to browse through my camera, find a picture that won’t embarrass me, and edit it to fit the size requirements. That’s just plain tedious!

Secondly, Timeline is supposed to organize my posts better. But it doesn’t. All the dates are mixed up so I don’t know which one I (or anybody else, for that matter) posted first. For instance, I posted these two posts one after the other. Which one did I post first, a or b? (Roll over the pic to see the answer.)

This is why I don’t like Timeline. I suppose I’ll have to live with it, but if there’s ever a petition going on, I’m in!


Why World War I Broke Out in 1914

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m not really a World War I fan, nor am I a historian (yes, it is ‘a historian’, not ‘an historian’, I checked), but I did write a really good essay on this topic for History. It seemed like a waste to throw it away as homework so I thought of putting it up here on my blog. Also, for more ‘educational purposes’ it shall help those future students out there who need to write this essay and are lazy. So, without further ado, my essay on why World War I broke out in 1914:

On 28th July 1914, World War I (WWI) broke out involving all the world’s great powers who were assembled in two opposing alliances.  There were both long-term and short-term causes for this war that would last for four years and kill more than 9 million people. This essay will discuss the significance of each cause in starting the war.

Nationalism was the biggest factor of WWI, making people become very warlike. Nationalism is the belief that one’s country is the best and that all people of the same nationality are one and the same. Before the 1800’s, nationalism was not adopted by most countries and therefore people were not interested in their country’s affairs. However, in the beginning of the 19th century, nationalism spread rapidly around Europe and people became more proud and involved in their country’s activities. Nationalism contributed to the outbreak of WWI in two important ways. Firstly, it provoked people to engage in war due to patriotism. In Britain and France, civilians actually celebrated when war was declared on Germany, claiming it was a matter of national pride. If the population had not been so intent on war, the countries may not have engaged in it in the first place. Secondly, two historically important ideas sprang from nationalism: imperialism and militarism. Many people believe that the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the most significant cause of WWI. However, without nationalism, the assassination would only have been a small, local incident—as people would not have been interested—and soon forgotten. Therefore, without this ideology, WWI would not have broken out.

Imperialism was directly stemmed from nationalism and a relatively major factor of WWI. Imperialism is the policy of expanding a country’s power by military force. The politician’s nationalistic ideas that their country was the best allowed countries to find justification in invading other smaller or weaker ones—mostly Africa—and colonizing those countries. Imperialism was an important factor in starting WWI in two ways. Firstly, European countries gained rising tension due to the competition to own most of Africa. Alliances were broken and hatred born when one country took over another country’s colony. Consequently, opposing countries were eager to enter the war to beat their opponents and regain their colonies. Secondly, colonies under a country’s rule were forced to go into war in the event that their ruler did so too. As a result, WWI involved more countries than the ones immediately involved. Therefore, without imperialism, a war might have broken out, but it would not have been on this large a scale.

Militarism was directly caused from nationalism and imperialism and was a minor but vital factor of WWI. Militarism is the desire to own a large army and use it aggressively to promote or defend the nation’s pride. In 1870, an arms race between most of the European countries—especially Britain, Germany and France—started. Britain’s navy was by far the best but Germany tried hard to make theirs the best, creating a fierce competition and rising tension in Europe. By 1914, Germany and France’s armies had doubled in size and all countries were eager to use their military to show off their strength and gain respect from other countries and loyalty from their own citizens. Also, Germany thought that through the war, they would be able to become a world power. Therefore, militarism made countries capable to go to war and created rising tension between countries. Militarism is also the root of two factors of the war: alliances and the Schlieffen plan. Hence, it is doubly important.

The Schlieffen plan was a major factor of WWI and one derived directly from militarism. It was a military plan for Germany to defend itself should the need arise for Germany to go to war with both France (on the west side) and Russia (on the east). The idea was to quickly defeat France and then concentrate all of its efforts on Russia, the slower of the two. Generals in Germany believed that the country that attacked first would win. However, this idea was common—but false, as proved later—knowledge. All countries thought that those who were not on the offence would lose in a war. As a result, when WWI started, all countries immediately engaged in the war, thinking that if they hesitated, they would be invaded and conquered. Without the Schlieffen plan (or rather, the knowledge that those who attacked first would win), countries would have taken their time to decide whether or not to engage in the war and might not have entered at all. Yet with this plan, countries made the hasty decision to enter in it when many countries may not have had to. Therefore, the Schlieffen plan is an important factor of WWI.

Alliances were a major factor of WWI and were directly stemmed from militarism. Alliances are, in this case, agreements between two or more countries to protect each other in times of danger. During WWI, there were many intertwining and complex alliances. The main two were the Triple Entente—consisting of Britain, France and Russia—and the Triple Alliance—consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. There were also smaller alliances such as the one with Russia and Serbia; the one with Britain, France and Belgium; and the one between Japan and Britain. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia got involved to defend Serbia. Germany then got in to help Austria-Hungary by declaring war on Russia. France was drawn in due to its alliance with Russia and declared war on Germany. Germany retaliated by attacking Belgium, pulling Britain into the war in the process. The war enlarged to such a scale that it became known as the ‘war to end all wars’ and the ‘Great War’. Without alliances, there would have been a war (between Serbia and Austria-Hungary), but it would have been another small European one and not on such an enormous scale. Therefore, alliances are a major and important factor of WWI.

Many consider the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to be the largest factor of WWI. However, it is actually the smallest factor. On June 28th 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by a Serbian terrorist. Austria-Hungary was outraged at this and declared war on Serbia, starting WWI. However, rather than being the cause of the start of WWI, the assassination was rather an excuse to start the war. At that time, a war of this size was bound to happen, due to nationalism, imperialism, militarism and alliances. Countries used the assassination as a pretext to show off their military power, gain respect and obtain colonies. Therefore, though the assassination did spark off the whole war, it was not that important a factor.

In conclusion, there were many causes of WWI, some more significant than others. The largest factor of WWI was nationalism, as it provoked countries into engaging in war and, more importantly, was the root of three other causes of WWI.

Thanks for reading!