Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Four Stars Chapter Forty Nine

Previous chapter: Further Park Antics.

Chapter Forty Nine: Art Tutorial.

Days later, the housemates went back to their own routine, and Francesca was holed up in her room upstairs. She had taken to sleeping late and waking up late, since she no longer had to rush down to the SimCity Magazine house.

The Lion Twins and Hera still had more workdays than her, so Francesca was often left home alone. She didn't mind this arrangement at all. It meant that she could daydream, paint her face, her nails, and scribble as much as she liked. Nobody to complain about her liking for the Goth subculture, soft metal music, thick eyeliner, or dark nail polish.

She decided to send an email to her parents back in New York. As for her British cousin Norimi, she was busy travelling, so Francesca decided it wasn't much use blabbering in an email to her. She sent a simple one to Norimi wishing her a safe trip, then looked over some scenery photos posted on Norimi's Tumblr profile.

"Nice view of an English village, church and all," though Francesca. "Of course, my cousin is a pastor's daughter. I wonder what she's actually like in person. Will she complain about what I look like? Hope not. I won't make fun of her. Never felt the need to mock religion, though I don't really believe in it."
Fran wrote some emails.
The note for Francesca's parents, on the other hand, went into detail. "Isabel will give me an art lesson later this evening, after she comes back from work," she wrote after the standard greetings and questions about her brother Dennis. "I am going to practice drawing backgrounds, and maybe draw people if we have the time."

Once the emails were done, Francesca played Puzzle Cove. Sinopia was on the high seas again for the rest of the morning.


Isabel came back from work as an art tutor, ready to teach her cousin the finer points of painting. "I need to be patient," thought Isabel.
"Use a ruler!"
When Francesca tried to paint a straight line freehand, Isabel said, "Use a ruler!"

"Why?" Francesca asked, looking at the lines. "They look fine to me."

"You tend to paint crooked. I've seen the way you paint your nail polish. Slop slop slop. Black or purple or red, no difference. Clumsy, but nothing a few tools can't fix."

Francesca took out the wooden ruler from the easel's toolbox. She placed the ruler on the canvas and painted a straight line with it.
"How's this then?"
"How's this then?" she asked her elder cousin. Isabel looked, putting a hand on her chin thoughtfully. She then waved her hands.
"No no no, smudge up the clouds a bit."
"You should smudge up the clouds a bit. Use some water," Isabel said. Francesca looked at her painting again.

"How much?"

"Half a brush, or rather, a few drops."

Francesca dipped the brush in the water and rubbed it on the drawn sky. The blue faded slightly.
She dabbed a little more green on the grass and trees, along with brown on the chimney.

Isabel watched her cousin paint slowly but steadily. Finally, Francesca was done. She stepped back from the painting and let it dry.
"Ah, nice painting."
"Very nice!" Isabel said, and she meant it. Francesca smiled at her drawing of a cottage.

Next chapter: Sisters' Plan.

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