Monday, January 21, 2013


In almost all books about oil painting, two methods are mentioned: “alla prima”, which formally means finishing the whole painting in one session, thus painting wet on wet for the whole piece (which is made up of only one layer) and...non-”alla prima”, where you let the paint dry at different stages, working in multiple sessions and layers, which may include "glazing" (applying thin layers of transparent pigments or color mixtures) and "scumbling" (applying thin layers of non-transparent pigments or color mixtures, which often include some amount of white). Multiple layered methods are sometimes associated with the generation of a monochromatic underpainting, which is let dry and "colored" at a later stage. The whole story about “fat-over-lean” refers to multilayered approaches. 

Now, unfortunately, this is just like saying that there are two ways to cook pasta: either with or without meat...I am Italian, so I can think of at least 100 different spaghetti sauces without even bothering to open a cookbook.

The AAU teaches a very specific approach, which is one of the many types of "alla prima" painting, though you can use it also for paintings spanning multiple sessions. It is a very easy and very effective method, and I will describe it in more detail below. However, I am sort of a compulsory collector of painting techniques and I scan today´s massive information ocean searching for the painting approach of different artists and then try them out as good as I can. It is easier if the artist is generous enough to provide a tutorial, more difficult if you have to decipher it from books and at the most challenging when you piece together fragmental information from anthologies and commentaries. So I came out of this semester with at least three different approaches which I consider successful and two which are undoubtedly successful for the artists who patron them, but I found them very challenging for the least for this particular beginner. 

When I try to make order in the many different ways to apply paint to canvas, the elements  that make a difference for me are two: a) whether you work on the whole painting at once or only a piece at a time and b) whether you mix the color on the palette or on the canvas. I will try to make sense of these distinctions and their implications by looking at both my experience and the work of different artists.

The AAU tutors insist on the necessity to work on the whole painting at once, and they have good reasons to do that: it requires an enormous discipline to keep a painting consistent if you complete it one piece at a time. Completing a piece at a time on a painting is called "window shading" - and it is actually my preferred way of working. So I had to hide my WIPs most of the time, because they looked something like that:

The Norns - Window shading in progress

There are very prominent "window shaders" out there who do marvelous paintings. David Gray (who offers fantastic tutorials on his website) is a "window shader" and also a "canvas mixer" - he mixes smooth transitions on canvas, using very small brushes, and achieves and incredibly smooth rendering. Sometimes he does a monochromatic underpainting, sometimes he does not. This approach is wonderful for children´s skin or any other surface that needs to be completely atextural. Another "window shader", though to a lesser extent is Donato Giancola: he works on a very rough acrylic underpainting and finishes one section of the painting at a time. Donato Giancola, is also a canvas mixer: he dabs different colors and values in different areas of, say, a face, then works the transitions on the canvas as much as on the palette. If you feel inclined to learn more, check is fantastic video tutorial about Joan of Arc. It is a very powerful and fast approach and I have used it extensively. Rather than mixing a million different hues, you can just work out the extremes and then make the transitions on the fly. This really exploits the power of oils, as it is only possible with paint that stays wet for a reasonable amount of time.

You can also avoid mixing the transitions altogether - the master of the masters for this approach is Gregory Manchess. His highly painterly and impactul pieces avoid overmixing and overrendering and use brushwork to the most of its potential. Loomis called this method the “blocky approach” in his masterpiece “Creative Illustration”. Colors are not mixed on canvas (thus avoiding the always present risk of muddying them), only the edges are controlled. I have studied his work for hours and humbly tried to imitate his approach in my work. I did not manage in full (no surprise you need years of experience to do that properly), but the closer I came the more I liked my paintings. Here are some details where I think I managed to achieve something similar. 

I do not know whether Greg Manchess is a window shader or not, but I do not think it makes much of a difference. When you magically get the handle of it and you are in flow on mixing colors, this approach is so fast that you can finish a whole painting in one day. I actually painted my most ambitious and biggest painting, The Norns, mostly in a continuous 2-day session. It is also an "alla prima" form, because you finish each part of the painting in one single even if you go on the next day it is always a single layer. Gregory Manchess also stated once that he never does any glazing.

I have tried monochromatic underpainting followed by both opaque and transparent glazing. This experience was defeating. Maybe it is just not my way. Adrian Gottlieb makes absolutely stunning paintings with this method. Actually, his underpaintings are so beautiful that he sometimes calls the job done at that stage. Here are two of my monochromatic underpaintings and the final results:

Learning to Fly - WIP and final

Self Portrait - WIPS and final

In the first, I managed to keep it to a semi-glazing approach on the figures, but worked on the background with a standard wet-in-wet approach. In the second case, i really tried hard to keep transparent glazes throughout, but had to repaint the face three times and the hands twice and it is still not finished. It was enormously time consuming, difficult, frustrating and definitely not in line with my way to enjoy painting. However, I did learn a lot about opaque and transparent pigments and about dry-brush scumbling (the best way to underpaint), which turned out to be extremely useful for other paintings. Glazing and scumbling are very powerful ways to refine a painting at whatever stage, and it is worth spending some time to familiarize with the behavior of thinned transparent or opaque pigments on a dry underpainting. This work below was glazed over two times: once to get rid of the "blotchiness" on the skin and the second to cool down the skin color which had got too warm with the first glaze. I do believe the work improved on both occasions, and it was less than 1h work in both cases.

Spring Giulia

And finally, the best method I can contribute for the beginner is the "AAU method". I got so bored with it after a while that I felt the urge to explore other methods (and I am really glad I did so), but I came back to it in the end as it is really easy and powerful - almost a guarantee for success. They initiate it as "alla prima", but in reality you can let the work dry at any stage without loosing anything and sometimes actually gaining control, so it is totally stress-free. They really insist on the need to work on all the painting at once, and it does really express its full potential that way. I would break it up in six stages:
  1. Apply local colors in shadow
  2. Apply local colors in light (midtone or slightly lighter)
  3. Adjust edges
  4. Apply lighter lights (and or midtones, depending on how light was step 2)
  5. Apply darker shadows and/or reflected lights
  6. Highlights and accents

Stages 1-3 go very fast and at the end you have what I call a "poster statement". Each area of the painting is expressed as a two-value statement with a soft or hard edge depending if it is a form or cast shadow. Here is a painting after stage 1-2 and the final:
It is advisable to go through to stage 3 before letting the paint dry too much. This painting got to stage 3 and a little beyond on the face and then was left to dry completely before going forward through the other stages

Winter Giulia WIP and final

Notice the poster statement on the folds and flower in the WIP.
It is not necessary to let the paint dry at that stage but I do prefer to do so. Stages 4-5 can be handled in any order or all at once and they are the most time consuming. I mix in stage 6 as well as I go along, to get a more complete feeling of where the painting is going, as adding the highlights can really make the painting "pop". Human beings tend to overestimate the reflected lights, that is why stage 5 is both about darker shadows AND reflected light - sometimes what you need is not a reflected light but a darker core shadow.

Richard and Winter Giulia, two of my more successful paintings in my eyes, were painted this way.  Mark was painted as a mixture of this method with Gregory Manchess method, leaving paint unblended on canvas - though it actually achieved more of a Sargent-like appearance. 

Mark WIP and final
And here is for me also the greatest win from my first experiences with oil: the fact that I can actually blend and mix the different approaches to find my perfect cocktail, and changing the proportion both between paintings and whitin the same painting. You can use one for the background and a different one for the figures, or, if you are not in figurative painting, you can paint the foreground elements with a different style than the background.

It bears reminding: no matter what technique you choose to use - technique alone will never make a painting. A painting is carried by composition, design, value structure and color, not by medium or technique. Without the basics of composition, color and form, no magic trick or knowledge will create a successful painting. Something I need to constantly remind myself too.

Friday, January 11, 2013


My second course this past fall semester was also an oil painting course: "Situation and Environment" under the tutorship of Warren Chang - an impressive artist who worked several years as illustrator and then turned to fine arts, specializing in autobiographical interiors and field worker scenes - basically genre paintings. The title and course description suggest also this type of painting, with a treatment of the figure in setting, atmosphere, mood, narrative and the like. In reality, unless you are prepared to go the extra mile of inventing the environment for your figures (which is optional), this is basically a figure painting course, not very much different from Figure Painting or Sustained Figurative Concepts. Every week you had a choice of 4-5 model poses to paint from and you could create an environment fitting the figure if you felt thus inclined. For example by doing something like this:



The fun part were the three extra big projects that you had to plan, design and reference yourself - that was a  fantastic learning experience, and my first shot at calling in a model. I finally gathered the courage to ask a friend of mine to pose for me - with instruction, direction, lighting, etc....I was very surprised by how willing and flattered she was. Not only that, but many other friends who caught wind of this asked if they could pose too. So, what Jeannie Brunnick was telling last semester is right: it is easy to find models among your friends and aquaintances! For the second and third projects I used myself and my family as models, mainly for time reason. Stil, it was great fun to direct them and to organize mock-up costumes, props, maquettes, lighting schemes, etc...I could fully enjoy my passion for drapery by designing each scene to include unusual materials and a variety of textures. The stressful part was that these projects, although they span four weeks each, were on top of the weekly figure paintings, which used beween 8 and 12 hours studio time. The last project I painted during a lonely weekend, basically without interrumption for 40 hours or so.
The course itself is incomplete in that nothing in the course material really prepares you to the task of fitting a figure in an environment, especially if you are making it up or combining different references, as I chose to do most of the time. There is nothing on determining the horizon on the figures, nothing on consistency of light and color scheme, very little on mood and narrative, nothing on shadow consistency, etc.. etc. In fact, I relied on several of the topics I learned in ILL - 625 "Drawing from Imagination" (now called with understatement "Perspective for Illustrators"): so much that I think it was the first time that I really understood the power of what I learned in that course. So my advice is, if you want to be able to create full scenes using multiple unrelated reference, take "Situation and Environment" after "Drawing from Imagination". If you are only interested in an advanced form or figure painting, then this course is fine as a standalone.
Warren Chang´s critics are on the succint side and sometimes I missed the answers to specific questions. He is a knowledgeable painter and a tough but fair grader and I have learnt a lot from his comments - yet, not what I had expected to learn. It was a similar experience as with Jeannie last semester - I really understood her only after the semester was over. 
Overall a useful course, though not for the reasons I thought. And I feel myself a big step further in the direction I am aiming at, which is realistic fantasy illustration.

Here are some of the weekly exercises - all oils in an approximate 16" x 24"  (40 x 60 cm) format. 
I will discuss two of the three big assignments in a future blog on technique.

We also had exercises on the environment only: this was for exterior environment. To  my utter surprise, it was the only piece to make it into the Winter Show. Fine Artists are strange.... (the winter show is a purely FA show).
This was my first 4-week assignment, for which my friend generously posed. It took me 7 hours just to paint the window, but it was a great experience. The clothing, books and dragon came from improvised maquettes and one of my daughter's toys. I got a B for this one, on the accounts that is too dark and the figure is a bit overworked. Indeed, the original (and the first photo I sent in) are very dark. But then, thanks to Photoshop, I changed it to this version, which I actually somewhat like. Oh, it's nice to be an illustrator in the 21st Century!
And then, should not dungeons at night be dark places??!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


In the weeks just after Christmas, many bookshops dump the prices on a wide choice of books to try to get rid of the unsold “gift books”, that typically have a market just around Christmas. These lavishly illustrated volumes on anything from dog breeds to cake decoration are sold at a fraction of the original price - a treasure trove of reference material for sometimes ridiculously low prices. I typically gravitate towards the sales tables like a fly to honey and go from one delightful discovery to the next. It is now quite evident that in terms of photographic books, I am irresistibly attracted by certain specific topics: people, unusual settings or light effects and anything that has to do with fabrics, costume, patterns or textures. In this spirit I scouted a couple of bookshops yesterday and came home with a number of wonderful and wonderfully cheap coffee-table books. Only when I unloaded my crates, I realized that there were two books rubbing covers in the same bag that represented the most outrageous contrast in content, worldview and ethics that you could possibly think of. 

The first was “Fashion - a history of the 20th century”, a compilation of items from the Kyoto Costume Institute edited by the well-known German coffee-table book magnate Taschen. These books are already fairly cheap when they are sold full price. This was to be had for the equivalent of 7 dollars and is a feast for the eyes. I am not particularly interested in fashion, but I am in costume (if you get the difference) and very much so when it is combined with the most unusual and luscious fabrics that designers can access, and tailored with the highest level of skills. Page after page of brocades, golden lace, diaphanous silks, furs, wonderfully designed combinations of shape and pattern, trims, sewed textures, and, in the latest pages, op-art fabrics, high-end punk, “fabrics” made of metal, plastic, paper and wood. Almost every page offered either an element for a picture I am already planning or an idea for a totally new one and some of the textures and light effects will come in handy in a variety of unrelated situations.

The text accompanying the pictures is very slim and yet informative, offering some precious insights in the fashion revolutions that characterized the century and the modus operandi of the major designers.

The second book is a slap in the face of so much sophistication: under the iconic title “The places we live”, the norwegian photographer Jonas Bendiksen has collected photographs of the slums of four major world metropoles: Nairobi, Mumbai, Jakarta and Caracas. The book has a very unusual format: each spread opens up to a four-pages wide landscape photograph, each page isolating one wall of the typically one-room dwellings and depicting the inhabitants (very often large or extended families) in their own “houses”. I got caught up by the book after a very cursory examination because the photographs are just stunningly beautiful and, given that the rooms have mostly just one door and no windows, the lighting is extremely moody and directional, sometimes literarily sculpting the features, attitudes and belongings of the subjects. The images are sometimes really breathtaking. Then you start reading the accompanying texts (short testimonies from one of the family members, generally the man of the family when present) and the breath remains away. It is the kind of sentences and images that you know will haunt you for quite some time, make you think and rethink about your life, the world you live in and the nature of happiness. When you listen to people praising their homes (these homes!) and how they are attached to them and how they worked to improve them and their lives, you start thinking: who is really the privileged here? When you see a mother sleeping with her 9-month-old on a bench in the street and happy because she has work enough to feed her child, you wonder what will become of our children, whom we fret upon because they eat with their elbows on the table or because they refuse to close their jackets...and who occasionally get sulky when they are refused the 100th toy....

The photographer generously makes available a free link to a slide-show of the photos, which can be found here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


After years of nosing in Spectrum volumes on the bookshelves of specialized stores and being awed by the fantasy art of so many great artists, I have just tremblingly closed the envelope on MY very first Spectrum submission... I cannot believe I found the courage to really do it. This moment is the anticlimax of weeks of thinking about it, planning the art during the semester with this goal in mind, trying three different printshops (alas, Spectrum only accepts submissions in printed form) and pondering hours on the merits and drawbacks of each printed variant - selecting one first, than changing my mind by the minute and finally actually shipping the one I thought at the beginning to be the worst... Getting endlessly angry at Photoshop color management, the printer's color management, the obtusity of printshops clerks, the costs of anything in Switzerland, etc, etc, etc....
This is a very emotional moment for me, as getting into Spectrum is one of my short-term goals. Many new fantasy artists got their first commission or at least their first agent after publishing in Spectrum. I promised myself that I would make it by 2014, so this is my first shot at it of two that I have available to meet my goal.
Honestly, I do not really believe I can make it this round, and I probably would have chickened out if one of my instructors had not correctly pointed out: "what do you have to loose?". An interesting question. The answer is not "nothing", as you may think. At stake is a little piece of self-confidence, some unuttered hopes and a real, cruel world judgement on exactly how good you are....or are not yet. But I do think I can cope with that.
In my eyes, the thought that Mike Whelan and Irene Gallo (both in the Jury this year) will actually see my work with their own eyes (even if just for 1/10th of a second), maybe even step closer for a second look, is interesting enough.

Spectrum entries are juried in a very peculiar way - the art is spread out on endless rows of tables and the jury members snake their way slowly up and down the aisles and give their votes. An awkward, time-consuming, paper-consuming and space-consuming way, but I guess it has its merits.

So, after much pondering I am submitting four works....probably only one of them has a narrow chance, but since they are very different from each other is worth giving it a try, I think.
Now off to the post office... 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year to all!
This will be the second part of recording my experiences with encountering oils.

The choice of materials seems to be an obsession for included. I am always trying to find out who is using which make of which colors, which brushes, which canvases, etc...Also, I am a sort of art-store junky, which does not help a bit. But I am starting to recover from this illness and can proudly report that at least five days have passed since my last material acquisition....thanks also to the season holiday!
I still do invest a lot of effort in tracking down what kind of material my reference illustrators are using, but for different reasons. Now I begin to grasp what makes one type of material different from another and how it influences your art, so I am interested on what Mr Famous Artist is using to know in what sense it supports the specific look of their art. 
Oil painting materials can be overwhelmingly complex and mining the internet or art books does not make things easier, as you will find a zillion different media, mixtures, palettes, pigments, make of pigments, types of canvas, etc.., each and every one praised as the best and only one....enough to go to your head and make you abandon the whole endevor altogether. So here are my two cents of advice to beginners:

  • Materials is going to have only a very limited impact on your art for a very long time....until you are good enough not to need any advice on that. So do not bother with the pros and cons of any piece of equipment. The only exception is colors: it pays to buy the best colors you can afford, considering that at the beginning you can make do with no more than five colors. But honestly, the hand-milled, over-expensive, fully natural old-master pigments is a total overkill until you have burnt your 100th canvas (I do possess one of those - a gift from my art store...and I find it too stiff for my taste)
  • There is big discussions about permanence, yellowing and the like. Yes, some varnishes and media do yellow, and some pigments do fade.... in a time span of decades. And honestly, do you expect to make art that needs to last the centuries? If you are just starting, chances are that you will destroy your own paintings a couple of years down the road, to avoid having your name associated with your early attempts. Look what happened to Van Gogh, who carelessly left around this.
  • The perfect choice of materials is a highly personal thing. So is the color palette. Do not bother to study the material choices and color palettes of an admired artist - it may not be the one you favor in the end. I grow hair in my ears by going through lists of color palettes of artist X or artist Y...there is plenty of those in the internet, in books, etc... The thruth is THEY do not use the same colors for each painting, YOU will not use the same colors for each painting and you can mix exactly the same colors from such a variety of different pigments that it is almost pointless. As for brushes and canvases and media and make of paint: try as many as you feel comfortable with to find the one you You may change your mind tomorrow. And anyways, none of it is going to make a bit of a difference until you have sorted out the basics of painting.
  • Keep it simple and environemnt-friendly...I mean your environemnt, not the rivers and forests. I know for example that I cannot use turpentine. I have an open space living area, part of which is my study. If I open a bottle of turpentine, my family comes in arms and throws me and my painting on the January. If you have to prepare your media by cooking Dammar varnish and Venice turpentine in a pot for 30 min with gentle are not going to enjoy painting half as much. The same is true if you have to prime your canvases with rabbit glue and five layers of oil priming and then let it dry for five weeks. So, keep it simple and easy going - there is enough choices out there in modern media and pre-primed canvases. Many people out there strive to paint like the old masters did 400 years ago..I find it more interesting and clever to try to divine what would the old masters use if they had lived today....
  • So, if you really still want to have a specific advice on materials, here is the ones I came to favor after this semester...that amounts to 35 paintings of experience, which is not the world but enough to have a good idea about what I like to use at this present moment.
  • Media: I use almost exclusively W&N liquin original - a fast-drying, practically odorless synthetic medium made by long chain alcohols and oils. Traditional oils take a long time to dry to the touch (depends on the oil, some more than others), liquin is dry within 12-24 hours, depending on the pigment.
    Solvent: I use little to no solvent, and when I do I use OMS, Odorless Mineral Spirit or Odorless White Spirit. I do not wash the brushes with solvent (OMS is too expensive for that) but with liquid soap and plenty of water.
    Brushes: I find I need lots of different types of brushes. My workhorses are standard filbert synthetic brushes for acrylics of medium stiffness, but I also use sables, bristles, mongooses and the like. Brushes will influence the look of your art enormously, so it pays to experiment with different ones. If I had to recommend a first choice, I would say medium-priced synthetic brushes in 4-6 different sizes would do. The Filbert shape (also called Katzenzunge in this part of the world) is the most versatile. Brushes are not immortal - they live a happy life painting and at some point they go to brush paradise - some earlier some later and of course depending how good you are to them.
    Canvas. There are a million choices here. Not many people know that you can also paint on paper with oils. Actually, paper for oil painting manufactured by Canson or Fabriano is a cheap and practical alternative to stretched canvas. Many illustrators work with gessod illustration board, but I have no experience with that. Canvas panels are also a practical and usable alternative, especially those that are glued to woodchip. Personally, I used either canvas board or the cheapest unstretched canvas I could find, a cotton student-grade that cost less than 6 USD per sqm. I cannot honestly recommend it, as it does need to be gessoed to be usable, so my two-cents wisdom would be to go with canvas panels or paper, especially if you have space problems, like me. If you can afford it, artist grade linen canvas is a fantastic support, but very pricey, so maybe it is worth waiting for your skills to match the investment. And of course you can paint on wood, but this needs extensive preparation of the surface. What I did at one point was to ask my art store for samples - thus I god hold of a couple small pieces of different type of canvas to try out. And no, canvas does not need to be stretched to paint on it: fixing it to a solid support like a piece of cardboard with some pegs is perfectly sufficient.
    Palette. The standard in art school is not the traditional wooden, thumb held palette you see in every artist hand, but glass. A usable glass palette with a neutral background can be easily and cheaply made from a ready-made frame: just invert the glass and the back of the frame and glue both to the frame itself. These are very practical as they can easily be cleaned...while the paint is wet. Personally, I gave them up after the first few paintings for one-way palettes: much more practical - you do not need to clean them at all, just throw them in the bin when you are finished. Do not bother to buy the art-store palette pads for 12 USD each....a roll of baking paper does the job wonderfully. You can even buy it tan, which is better for judging values.
    Colors. Everybody´s headache. In Situation and Environemnt we painted the first few weeks with just 4 colors: Ivory Black, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre and Terra Rosa. Ivory black and white make a bluish gray that can easily substitute for blue. This palette is wonderfully simple and extremely powerful - you can paint almost anything with that.
    Here is a color wheel made with these colors - the yellow on the top is yellow ochre in three values, the red at 5 o’clock is terra rosa and the “blue” at 7 o’clock is just gray. The green is a mixture of black and yellow ochre and the “purple” is a mixture of terra rosa and black. Orange comes of course from terra rosa and yellow ochre.
A color wheel made only from black and 2 hearth colors

    Needless to say, I have many more colors now (including four different types of white), mainly W&N and Rembrandt makes of paint, but the lesson sticked: I rarely use more than 6 colors in any one painting. Sometimes I am down to three. This is a safe and powerful recipe for guaranteed color harmony, simplicity in mixing and pure and singing colors. So my advice is: try to use the 4 colors above for a while and then expand your palette according to your own instict and preferences. You may be surprised. My favorite colors for example are not on the standard list of any artist I know: Indigo and Brown Madder. You need really a lot of time to learn how pigments behave, in what ways transparent and opaque pigments differ and where is the strenght of each, how much tinting strenght each has in mixtures, and so start very simple and learn two or three pigments well before moving forward. The palette we started with this past semester is as powerful and challenging as the most complex artists´s palette. if you need convincing, Rembrandt also painted with a limited palette, including mainly hearth colors..
    If I can give another piece of advice is to avoid the cadmiums. Cadmium yellow and cadmium red of one sort or other is present in each standard starters set for oils. The fact is, these colors are very opaque and extremely strong, so it is very tricky to use them in mixtures as just a tiny amount too much will make any mixture go to the red or the yellow. Plus, they are very saturated, so they are difficult to tame - there is almost nothing this red or this yellow in nature, if you exclude Ferraris and London telephone boxes. You need to mix in lots of their complements to get them to a chroma you can use. All of this makes them very challenging for the beginner and I simply do not understand why they are considered the standard choice. Personally, I avoid them as much as I can, although I set myself the goal to master them in this painting, which was painted with cadmium yellow light, cadmium scarlet, ultramarine blue, titanium white and alizarin crimson.

    Sometimes they are necessary, if you have an element in a painting you are planning that needs this kind of chroma power, but I would approach them with extreme caution.
This painting used a lot of cadmium red light

    And finally: varnish. I did not varnish any of my painting, so i can give no advice whatsoever on that. A coat of liquin after the painting is dry to the touch does the same as varnish, and one of my instructors recommended using only that. Will it yellow? Will it crack? I have no idea. For the moment, I never painted on commission, so I guess i do not particularly care if my modest attempts will last the centuries. As an illustrator, the originals are sometimes just a space problem. Parrish paintings are apparently falling apart (unofficial information from a lady at Winsor and Newton) because he used so many layers of varnish before the paintings were fully dry...and a team of restorators is running to the rescue. So I guess if my paintings will ever matter for somebody in 200 years from now, they will find a way to correct whatever material mistakes I made today....