Catching-up post

Sunday, 20 November 2016 11:09 am
sigune: (Dungeon King)
Gosh. I completely forgot to share my last Inktobers... There was a reason - like, I have been working rather hard on my Christmas card :p. Which is done now. I'll make a separate post for it and, you know, ask who wants one. But here are my very Potter Inktobers. Harry and Dumbledore were Tumblr requests.

 photo 2016_day31_web_zpsshwzyvfg.jpg
(This is so me - I started drawing rather randomly on the page and so the broomstick didn't fit on anymore. *sigh* Some friends have been urging me to become a semi-professional artist, but I think you can see why I am not really convinced myself :p.)

 photo 2016_day22_web_zpsttrevyqr.jpg
(Dumbles deserves a better picture. But at least I gave him nice hair.)

 photo 2016_day23_web_zpszmgwsnsv.jpg
(This is actually A4 size, so it took me more time to finish than is practical for an Inktober. But I had such fun with it. Bearded Snape has become quite dear to me. You can tell how relaxed he is by the fact that you can see BITS OF SKIN. Originally there wasn't an undershirt, but I was shocked at quite how exposed he looked, so I drew it on. I mean, there are points of relaxation that he just won't cross :p...

My two fest entries aren't done yet. Because I want too much. I'm working on them.

The Smock

Sunday, 25 September 2016 08:57 pm
sigune: (Dungeon King)
It's funny - I used to be really annoyed with the whole Snape-and-Lily thing. I still feel that the whole 'ugly, unpopular boy loses pretty, popular girl to handsome, popular boy who is of course his arch enemy' plot is a big old cliché. But I think that, x years later, I get the dynamic between Severus and Lily better. I don't think Lily was the friend that Severus thought her to be, and I don't buy JKR's comment that 'she could have been interested in him romantically if he hadn't been into Dark Arts'. I think Lily and Severus got on like a house on fire *before Hogwarts*. They clung to each other because they were the only magical children around. For Severus, Lily remains 'the One and Only', but Lily's focus is much less narrow.

That said, I'm having fun imagining them together as children, also because I think Lily must have seen a Severus that nobody else ever saw.

The Smock photo blouse_zpsvu7exzax.jpg

(This is from the notebook I keep for the Snapefic of Doom.)
sigune: (Dungeon King)

Yes, I still exist! And I'm back!

There is good news and bad. The good news is, I have come carrying sketches. The bad news is, they are fan art. Or maybe that is good news to some?

Here is what happened: I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I went to the Harry Potter Exhibition that was on show in Brussels this summer, and - well, I'm in full-steam Potterhead mode again :/. I want to draw Snape! (Okay, basically I never stopped drawing Snape, he's just too much fun - but still! I want to draw more Snape!) I even want to write Snape again! I am seriously thinking of picking up my Epic Snapefic of Doom again.

I'm just over halfway in Prisoner of Azkaban, because yes, I need a serious canon refresh if I'm to write HP fic once more. I'm pleasantly surprised by how entertaining I find the books again; I do hope it lasts all the way until the end... My disappointment with Deathly Hallows was fairly monumental. But there are indications that I may have matured in my fandom: I am even getting to terms with Snape not being a Yorkshireman :P.

Anyway, for those who want to know what my Snape looks like these days: have a few outtakes from my sketchbook. First some old stuff...

This is the first elaborate Snape picture I have drawn in a while:

 photo snape_tea_blossoms_web_zpsllfbq3zx.jpg

This was well before my reading Cursed Child. I don't know, I just had to draw Snape with a cup of tea and cherry blossoms... Below are a few studies I did for the same picture. There is more, and recent stuff too! )

In other news, I passed my exam a few months ago, and I'm back at art school for my third year. It looks like it's going to be ... intense? I'm getting to continue work on my comic, so there will be more of that soon :).
sigune: (Dungeon King)
Here's a happy birthday to the Man Who Undoubtedly Lived!

Let's celebrate with some recs from [community profile] hoggywartyxmas - starting with my fabulous gift! It was written, compiled and provided with selected illustrations by [profile] shiv5468 who, let's be honest, spoiled me rotten. Therefore -

Get thee to Hoggywarty to read The Sweet Smell of Success (G, 2500 words), a tale of perfume, poetry and plenty of Aubrey Beardsley.

Shiv did not only gift me with a story; she also included the entire, illustrated catalogue to which the story makes reference. I don't know what I did to deserve that XD. It's such a fabulous mix of the Hogwarts Ladies; an absent but perfect Snape; one of my very favourite artists; and a number of my favourite poets. Just- just SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE is what I say.

Now, despite the utter perfection of my gift, I didn't close my eyes to other goings-on at The Hoggywarty, and I'd like to share a few more titles I have enjoyed very much:

[personal profile] cabepfir's Big Great Hogwarts Quiz (G, art and, well, a quiz of course): go and have a look to see how well you do ;).

I have limitless admiration for people with a capacity to write comical verse. I miss [profile] _vocalion_'s and [profile] _grainne_'s jocular virtuosity, and was delighted when I came across [profile] atdelphi's A Midwinter Night's Revel (Teen, 500 words). It's just ... ahahahahahaaaa!

[personal profile] therealsnape's Case of the Cat Show Corruption (PG-13, 9700 words, no warnings), in which Spinster Detective Minerva McGonagall cracks a case for Mr Filch. I am a sucker for Hogwarts detective stories - I have always dreamed of writing one, but I couldn't write a mystery to save my life - and there are so few of them around. This one is, in one word, excellent. It is so completely in character that I suspect TRS found McGonagall's diary and passed it off as her own ;-).

I usually steer clear of anything rated over PG-13 and carrying warnings like "voyeurism", but this time round I gave in to my own inner voyeur (ahem) and went to read [profile] kellychambliss's Look Not at the Things (R, 10,600 words, voyeurism). It's a sharp and unvarnished look at Snape as a recent ex-Death Eater - an astute portrait of a disillusioned, desperately lonely and cynical young man who finds himself quite lost in an environment with, well, rather more emotionally balanced people. This story really packs a punch. It hurts. But in the end there is hope.

My gift for [personal profile] albalark is this picture to accompany her Snape birthday story, Saturday's Child, so I think I can safely post it here in celebration of the one and only Potions Master (sorry, Professor Slughorn).

 photo saturdays_child_web_zps4fa16636.jpg

It's Reeves acrylic paint on cardboard, because yes, I'm going to art school now ;-)! [personal profile] cabepfir kindly lent me a hand and beta'ed the painting. The flaws are now beginning to jump out at me, but I'm still kind of proud of it as one of my first steps in a new medium and an approach that is, quite frankly, the complete opposite of everything I have been doing in art (such as it is) so far.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:28 pm
sigune: (Default)
Against my better judgement, I 'enrolled' in Pottermore. For some reason which I don't understand, I got Sorted into Slytherin, too! Just when I thought I was a stereotypical Ravenclaw - but hey, I'm not exactly unhappy to be in Snape House.


I knew I shouldn't have done this, but I've become a tiiiiny bit obsessed with house points XD. Slytherin and Gryffindor are constantly hopping over each other. I couldn't fail to note that there are very simply more Gryffindors than Slytherins in Pottermore, so a Slytherin feels a sense of duty to work extra hard for the House Cup... The only problem is that I never play computer games and I am awfully bad at them. So even though I try, I'm not exactly winning a lot of points for my house.


I'm on the Crabbe and Goyle spectrum of Slytherin!

PS: if anyone feels like friending me, my user name is (alas!) NewtFang646.

Rec: Vigil (G)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 09:53 pm
sigune: (Snape staring down)
Ack! I've been so busy doing stuff for school that I haven't been very active here - and so I have failed, so far, to rec my wonderful [ profile] springtime_gen gift fic. And I'm kind of ashamed because of my lateness, because I really enjoyed the fic a lot. It is a very quiet, reflective story. After the Battle of Hogwarts, McGonagall is beset by doubts about the way she has dealt with Snape, and she talks this over with Flitwick. It's the sort of thing I really wanted to see in canon, but which of course never materialised. *hugs mystery author*

Title: Vigil
Author: ???
Recipient: sigune
Character(s): Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick
Rating: G
Wordcount: 1098
Warnings: None
Summary: It's been two days since Severus's death, and Minerva McGonagall can't sleep.


In other fannish news, Bloomsbury wants to know who your favourite character in the Potter books is. J.K. Rowling has said that she'd love to have dinner with Dumbledore and listen to his sage counsel. You know you want to have dinner with Snape, right? Go vote for the Potions Master here and make your voice heard!
sigune: (Dungeon King)
Ever wondered what a Dark Revel looks like? If you're curious, look below...

Okay, I couldn't post a Gawain update this weekend, but hopefully I can make up for it a little bit by showing you the picture [ profile] cabepfir and I drew together while I was a guest at her home in Naples. I had a wonderful time and we were unashamedly geeky, which I guess shows in our collaboration as well :P.

[ profile] cabepfir is writing a long SS/HG fic, A Summer in York, and her story led us towards long discussions about Snape, Voldemort, Dumbledore and Death Eater business. Finally, we summed up our conclusions about Voldemort and Snape's early career as a Death Eater in a picture. We promise you that it's utterly canon-compliant.

Dark Revel! )
sigune: (Young Severus)
My [ profile] hp_beholder gift has posted! Because of an IJ outage, it got a bit lost between the folds, and that's a shame.

A Mystery Author wrote Black Knight Moves Forward (PG-13), a story set during the summer preceding Philosopher's Stone. Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall get to know each other better as they work on the defenses for the Philosopher's Stone. Initially, they don't fancy being stuck at school when they could be enjoying the sun in the south of France, but ... well, they're Snape and McGonagall, so the company could be worse :-).

Black Knight Moves Forward has everything you can want from a story on a pleasant summer's day (what can I say? we're having divine weather at the moment): Snape, McGonagall, humour, misunderstandings, fantastic beasts, Slytherin versus Gryffindor, adventure and friendship(+). Enjoy!

Art: Lullaby (G)

Sunday, 20 July 2008 08:33 pm
sigune: (Young Severus)
Whew! I had to start this picture all over - I inked it with my brush pen and then saw that all sorts of things were wrong with it :P. I redrew it with my Staedtler pens and got a much more pleasing result, also in terms of details.

I know that people like my black-and-white pictures better than the colour ones, but the scene I drew here is a nocturnal one and I thought it would look like a large ink blot if I tried to keep it in b/w. This turned into another experiment, and I'm not displeased with the final result. More important, though, is the question whether [ profile] mary_j_59 is happy with it, because this was done for her, for [ profile] snapedom's Summer Fest. It's an illustration of her story All Hallow's Eve.

Title: Lullaby
Artist: [ profile] sigune
Rating: G
Media: Staedtler pens, Chinese ink and watercolours on cold-pressed watercolour paper.


sigune: (Pink Orchid)
First off, this is for [ profile] _grainne_, to thank her for the rose she gave me on Valentine's Day :-).


*smooches [ profile] _grainne_*

As you can see, I still haven't given up on watercolour painting yet, though I don't seem to be able to paint anything decent except small and simple pictures like the one above. Mind you, I love small and simple pictures, but - I'd like to be able to do something more complex too! That said, I think I should really start working on my sumi-e, because that style of painting probably suits me better than more Western approaches, and I might be able to achieve some success there if I study enough...

In any case, I am struggling on with my watercolours. Because I have trouble mixing colours, I got myself a new (well, second-hand) book that seemed really interesting in the sense that it proposes a completely different approach to colour than the ones I had read so far. The book is called Making Color Sing and was written by Jeanne Dobie. She has all sorts of things to say that are much too advanced for me, but the basics I can understand :-). First off, Dobie uses a basic palette that centres around four colours that are normally deemed completely optional: Rose Madder Genuine, Aureolin Yellow, Cobalt Blue and Viridian. She favours them because they are pure pigments and very transparent. The colours you get when you mix them are still luminous, even the greys. Only - well, these colours aren't very lightfast, so some artists say that Dobie is insane recommending them :P. Well, I don't much care. My paintings aren't on display, so my Rose Madder Genuine isn't going to fade any time soon. I'll remember the lightfastness issue if anyone should ever commission a painting from me - but seeing how amateurish I still am, I think I still have quite a lot of time to worry about replacement colours ;-).

Anyway: the picture above, as the one below the cut, have both been painted with Dobie's basic colours.


If You Are Prepared )

Concrit & good advice are very welcome!
sigune: (Eileen Prince)
This is from Leaky's preview of ITV's Rowling documentary, which I would actually love to see but am technically unable to...

“I felt that it would be a betrayal of the character if I showed Harry doing anything other than living, what all along, he has discovered to be true, which is that love is the strongest power there is. I thought a lot of people that had been through terrible things like wars, and having to come home and rebuild normality after seeing horrors has always seemed to me like such a courageous thing to do.Climbing back to normality after trauma is much harder, it’s much harder to rebuild than to destroy.
“In some ways it would have been a neat ending to kill him [Harry], a neater ending to kill him. But I felt that would have been a betrayal, because I wanted my hero, and he’s my hero, to do what I think is the most noble thing. So he came back from war and he tried to build a better world I suppose – corny as that sounds – both on a small scale for a family and on a larger scale.”

These words of Rowling's really struck a cord with me. The reason that they did is because this is exactly how I felt about Snape. My incentive for writing stories about Snape has always been, from the beginning, an urge to create a new and viable existence for a character who has seen too many horrors. I refused to let him give up. I wanted him to show everyone - especially those people who had hurt, despised, or used him - that he could construct for himself something new, that the talents he had used to destroy could also be used to the opposite end.

That is why I wanted Snape to live, and why I wanted him to have a family. It was not going to be a sugar and spice family, because Snape is not a sugar and spice person; but after all he had been through, he would say he'd had enough and prove that he was made for other things. For me, that scenario was even more valuable for Snape than for Harry - because Snape has simply known darker darkness and deeper lows than Harry. Harry has never done anything criminal, never hated as fiercely, never succumbed to utter evil. Harry has never at any point been tempted to become a Death Eater. Ever. So what's to rebuild? The world, yes - which will always take rebuilding - but not himself. He has made all the right choices. Just how much courage does it take to live your life after having made all the right choices? But coming to terms with all you did wrong - now that is what I wanted to see. Snape - oh boy, he has been as wrong as can be. Even when he is right, he is so bitterly and spitefully. He is a good enough person to understand what a thoroughly bad person he has been. It's him I wanted to see wrestle with life. I mean, did anybody think Harry was not going to be fine at being a daddy and a useful member of the community? I didn't. But Snape- HA! That is why he is fun to fic. He is so challenging a problem to solve. Killing him is by far the easiest way out and, in my humble opinion, a bit cheap. But then again, Harry is the hero.

It was obvious to Rowling that Snape had to die in order to fulfil his destiny. It was obvious to me that Harry had to die in order to fulfil his destiny. Ah well. It is natural: everyone wants their own hero to survive. I knew chances were slim, but hoped against hope that Rowling cared little enough about Snape not to be fussed about his end, and so pretty much to forget about him, allowing him to slink off somewhere into the mist. Unfortunately he was just that bit too important, and JKR's fictional killer instinct is stronger by far than my own.

Dumbledore is gay!!!

Saturday, 20 October 2007 03:01 pm
sigune: (Young Severus)
YAAAAAAAAAYYYY! Dumbledore is gay!!!!

...I'm sorry, I should not perhaps be all whoopee about this, it's a bit childish... The thing is that Dumbledore is the one character in canon who has always given off a gay vibe to me. I have read slash with Snape, with Lupin, with Ron and Harry and Draco - just about everyone. But none of these characters ever seemed gay to me. Dumbledore did. He always did. Seriously. I'm not sure I can explain why, but it was just there.

Because I am into Queer Studies, and many of my favourite artists were/are gay, and I actually like to write about gay characters, it troubled me a little that I could never see that in Snape or Lupin or James or Sirius or whoever. I mean, it's sort of my job to detect that sort of thing. But Dumbledore... Ha! What a relief! Finally Rowling said something in an interview that makes me really, really happy. Happy because she did include a queer character, and supremely happy because I spotted it :D.

I wish I could refer you to a post or a comment as proof of my long-standing belief in Gaydore, but I'm afraid I no longer remember where to look for one. You'll just have to trust me to speak the truth :-).

Yay! Yaaaaayyy!!

*goes off to celebrate*
sigune: (Mischief)
I am late to the party, but after three years in fandom I find that I can’t just pretend I haven’t read the last book. So I review. Warning: I am trying to be fair, but it is not easy.

Note: I have read the book only once, but will reread soon.

My views on Deathly Hallows )

Lit Crit )

Morals, Snape, and Dumbledore, with Mucho Feeling )

I See...

Thursday, 12 July 2007 11:31 am
sigune: (Pensive)
Last night I dreamt that I had somehow already obtained a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows*. Since in my dream I read the book at work, I am able to share two rather spectacular spoilers! Let's see if I possess the Sight, shall we?

I See... I See... )

*For those who are interested, the official Dutch title has just been released (the translation won't be published till November); it's "Harry Potter en de Relieken des Doods" ("the Relics of Death").
sigune: (Mischief)
I did a few pictures last weekend, trying out my new (and tiny) box of watercolours. It's a Cotman set - that is, the cheap line of Winsor & Newton. The main difference seems to be that these paints are made with substitutes for some of the more expensive pigments. My watercolour handbook strongly advised against buying anything that is not the professional standard, but I thought I should get a feel for watercolour first, and I always feel guilty when I make a mess with what is essentially very good material :/.

[ profile] sscrewdriver warned me that the cheaper watercolour paints are usually less transparent than the expensive ones. Because I haven't any real comparison, I guess this is something I may see with my own eyes in the future, when I am confident enough to start using the Winsor & Newton set that is as yet stashed in my cupboard... The only thing I can say so far is that I do see a difference with my (even cheaper) watercolour pencils. The pencils' pigments appear to my untutored eye more luminous than the Cotman set's (?). But to be honest, I don't think the paint is to blame for anything that went wrong with my pictures - it might just be my lack of skill :P.

Anyway: my recent exploits are below.

Portrait of a Potions Master )

Ginny )

Snape Monochrome )
sigune: (Luna)
It suddenly struck me that I haven’t shown off my last [ profile] snapeartcontest banner yet! Well, I’ll do so now…

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

There are two contests running at the moment, so go have a peek at the rules and submit something! (I should probably take my own good advice too, but this season always leaves me woefully short of ideas. I am told that this is unusual, so you have no excuse!)

I did submit a very experimental picture to [ profile] romancingwizard’s “Amortentia and Chocolate” challenge. It is rated PG-13 (for partial male nudity), and it has James Potter and Lily Evans in it: Not That Way. The first version can be viewed here.

On a sadder note, I find that I have mislaid my lovely Eileen Prince! I thought I had added the watercolour to my portfolio, but it isn’t there, and though I looked in a few possible hiding places, there was no trace of it. I feel so bad… :(

*sigh* …Okay, maybe it’s time I went and sorted out the unbelievable mess that is my room…

ETA: Recovered Eileen without sorting out the mess! Mwuahahaa!
sigune: (Young Aloysius Crumrin)
Before I took my little hop over the ocean, some of you asked me to post my essay on Slytherin House, so this is me keeping my promise. Although I have worked on it pretty long and treated the subject with great seriousness (that's me!), I still feel that this essay is a WIP, and not just because its questions won't be answered until Book 7 has been well and truly published and devoured. I just have this annoying thirst for thoroughness and getting everything right, but in this case I'm not sure I can manage on my own. I would therefore love to hear any theories, reactions or reflections you might have, so that one day I will be able to adapt this piece and make it something with which I can be really happy.

One thing: I did my best not to judge the wizarding world by Muggle standards, and I tried to stray as little as possible from the information we have been given in books and interviews; I order myself to keep a strict divide between meta and fanfic.

Here goes, then.

The Slytherin Question

Slytherin House, many readers of the Harry Potter books agree, is a stain on the blazon of Hogwarts. Recruiting and sequestering the cunning, the ambitious, and those of purest blood, it has a singular propensity for producing villains. Nearly all of Harry’s antagonists are Slytherins: Draco and Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, and Lord Voldemort himself are the most notable. ‘And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee…’ says the gospel of Saint Mark; and in the now infamous Mugglenet/Leaky Cauldron interview, Emerson Spartz and Melissa Anelli quite understandably ask why Slytherin House is not simply abolished and its residents dispersed over the other three houses, none of which have a bad reputation at all (Part Three). Rowling replies that Slytherin must stay, that it represents the human flaws, and that ‘if only’ they could be embraced, the result would be ‘an unstoppable force’ (ibid.). It is the same message given by the Sorting Hat in Order of the Phoenix (186-7): strength is born of unity. Besides, Rowling says in the same interview, the Slytherins are not all bad.

It seems, however, that the text does not bear out her words. More often than not, Slytherins are described as unattractive or downright ugly; they are also mean, unengaging, and morally suspect on account of their association with Dark Arts and an ideology that discriminates on the basis of blood purity. Though the other Hogwarts houses contain their share of irritating or unpleasant people – Hufflepuff House can boast Zacharias Smith, Ravenclaw has the sneak Marietta Edgecombe, and Cormac McLaggen is a Gryffindor – Slytherin House does not have a single student with whom Harry or his friends are on speaking terms. Then again, there seem to be no depths to which Slytherins will not sink; they even populate the Inquisitorial Squad for the utterly awful Dolores Umbridge. Outside of the books, too, J. K. Rowling uses Slytherin students as denominators for everything young men and women should not be – recently in a rant on her website she dubbed ‘empty-headed, self-obsessed girls’ who care too much about appearances ‘Pansy Parkinsons’ – Pansy being cast as the anti-Hermione (“For Girls Only, Probably”).

With only one more book to go, it is time to wonder whether the reader is to expect anything good from Slytherin after all, or whether we are dealing with another Crookshanks – Hermione’s cat, whose extraordinary intelligence has only ever been explained outside of the novels (World Book Day Chat). Read more... )
sigune: (eyebrows)
This mini-essay is entirely the fault of [ profile] lunafish, who triggered these ramblings by half a sentence at Mugglenet Fanfiction Forums... She touched upon the similarities between Snape and Harry, and I threw Voldemort into the mix.

Read more... )

Jan Peter Potter

Tuesday, 7 June 2005 02:17 pm
sigune: (Default)
For the past days the Low Countries have been buzzing with talk about a minor diplomatic scandal: in a newspaper interview, the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht has called the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende “a mix of Harry Potter and stiff petty bourgeoisie”. Balkenende was not amused. De Gucht, who is currently on a diplomatic visit in China, faxed his excuses, but it took the Belgian PM and an ambassador to iron out the difficulties…

Minister De Gucht says he does not understand what the fuss is all about; after all, everybody likens Balkenende to Potter – you can even say the Dutch PM parades the likeness (click here for a BBC article, with photo). Maybe he has tired of the comparison by now – or would he have taken offence at the “petty bourgeois” bit?

In any case there has been plenty of Potter on the news these last days, and the incident has brought forth at least one funny cartoon which I did not want to withhold:

Image hosted by

Ah, the fabled Belgian diplomacy :-)…


sigune: (Default)

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