Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to cut pizza

I cannot believe I never thought of this before:

The dainty hand of F wielding the sacred pizza-scissors.

Saves the precious, precious edge of your knife. Doesn't scratch the backing tray. Doesn't make a mess. Thought to me by my ingenious girlfriend F.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More adventures in watercolour

For three days now I've been painting watercolour sketches of myself with my new waterbrushes. I use a small hand-mirror, and give myself about 30 min after lunch. Here are the two most recent results:

A good way to get more comfortable with a new medium, I hope. I really like how you can't dither endlessly using watercolour - you make your stroke, and it's there. Erasing is nearly impossible, so you have to get it right the first time, or at least make the most of your mistakes. Or not, as is the case with the nose on the right portrait. Urg.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My new girlfriend (and more on this most excellent subject on a later date) gave me some waterbrushes recently. These are brushes with a small reservoir behind them, which feeds a regular trickle of water or ink into the brush. They are excellent for sketching on the road, since you don't have to fool around with pigment and open containers and whatnot. I filled one with water, another with burnt sienna, and together with my pentel brush they allow me to make two-tone sketches.

Last weekend we had a Vo-Vietnam training-camp in Bern, and during lunch-break I used half an hour or so to sketch my friend Phong. It even looks a bit like him, if you squint a little.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Mi tresora F. and I spent yesterday in Luzern, with my friend M.

M. on the right. Myself on the left. Photo by the talented F.

Luzern is a very, very pretty city, on the shore of the Vierwaldstättersee, or 'lake of the place with four forests'.

In the background on the right the third of the four forests. I guess.

A famous sight is the newest bridge of Luzern, built in 1993 out of wood, which does not even carry cars or trains:

Seriously. You'd guess the bridge was a historic landmark or something, the way they carry on about it.

Frankly, I don't get why it is so famous, since it is only a copy of another wooden bridge, which coincidentally, burned down in the same year. Also, ware the attacking birds! Birds in Luzern are a constant threat to the unwary visitor, here is one on an attack run:

Look into its empty eyes and despair.

I hope you, gentle reader, will appreciate the photo I took instead of trying to safe myself! Thankfully my life was spared, since the birds of Luzern are also known to be myopic - a boon to all ugly men, or so it is said. I wouldn't know about that aspect, of course, since I had only eyes for the lovely F.

Luzern - lovely but lethal, at least for me.

Whether she wanted to or not. Did she manage to strangle me? Tune in next time to find out!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Concerning UV filters

The UV-filter is an anachronism in the digital age, the chips in modern digital cameras are insensitive to UV-light. Yet the humble UV-filter is still sold - I have one on every one of my lenses. Why? Behold:

The front of my nifty full-range lens, after I slipped on ice shortly after Christmas. What looks like a major catastrophe was just a minor set-back - the cheap filter had given its life to protect the lens. Its noble sacrifice will not be forgotten, and I also ordered a new one immediately...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alien & Liane

Last year my big sister gave me a set of charcoals for my birthday. It took nearly a year, but I finally managed to draw something major with them - the assignment was 'Morphologies'. From a list of different body types I chose the extraterrestrial and the pregnant woman, since I hadn't drawn either so far.

It was really fun to draw with charcoal, and even if I did kind of mess up the poor girl's face, which looked much better in the sketch, I am quite happy with the result.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lac de Tanay

Last weekend I and F. (who may very well be the reason there have been so few posts here lately) went up from Le Flon to the Lac de Tanay.

View Larger Map

The weather was amazing, hence my state of near-undress (which had nothing to do with wanting to impress F. by my manliness and general imperviousness to the cold. Ha! Which cold, I ask you?).

We found an excellent spot for a pique-nique,  under a southward-facing overhang heated by the sun

The lake was frozen, and exploration of the surrounding peaks will have to wait until the snow has receded a bit, but we'll be sure to return!