Thursday, 31 July 2014

Goliath (life size!)

Last week my church did a Holiday Club about the life of David, and they wanted a life-size Goliath for the children to see - and get their pictures taken with.

Here's how we did it (sorry the pictures are a bit pale):

Plan First I drew Goliath on A4 paper and added a grid of squares on the computer - each square to be 6 inches when scaled up. I also added some faint lines half-way across the squares to help when copying.

(You can get the template free if you buy the David & Goliath PowerPoint from Lamp Bible Pictures -

Grid I drew a grid of 6-inch squares on the wall in pink chalk. 

I needed a tall step-ladder and even then I was worried I'd not be able to reach - 10 1/2 foot (top of spear) is higher than you think! And I'm not tall. But I managed to reach - just.

We situated him at the bottom of the stairs as it's the only suitable place with a high enough ceiling.

Pencil I copied each square from the paper to the wall. This picture was as high as I could reach without the ladder.

The pencils finished. It was hard to get the lines smooth when drawing this big.

Inking I used black acrylic paint and a flat brush about 8mm wide. I think I used another pointy brush for the finer lines (details on armour etc). Interestingly, it was easier to get smooth lines with the paint than the pencil - for which I was glad. 

And then I had to wash the chalk off the wall - I used a furry dusting thing with a long handle I found in the cleaning cupboard.

From chalk lines to this point took 2 hours, and my work was done.

Colour Finally, the talented Jenny Hamill did the colours (acrylic also) - and here's the finished result.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Language quote

"Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.

I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.

If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.

This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction."
- K. David Harrison, The Last Speakers

Guddle, guddle

Toil and trouble.