Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holly Days!

The old year is ending and this will be the first year I've actually created a holiday-oriented illustration! yay!

This has been a busy year with work as usual but also with all my new classes. In addition to a half year of taekwondo twice a week, I've taken many classes at The Animation Guild:

Traditional Animation Basics 1 & 2
Life drawing (twice)
Animal Drawing at the LA Zoo
Character design

I started the year strong with my sketchbook, and although it dwindled off as the year progressed, I hope to have renewed drive in the coming months. I'm planning on posting daily sketches again as well as working on my first children's book (which won't be posted)

2009 blog recap:
82 posts
115 comments! woohoo!
40 daily sketch posts
16 Illustration Friday posts
Posts with most comments: Illustration Friday Flying and IF Germs at 8 comments each; IF Germs also generated the most visits in 1 day: 54

Goals for 2010 blog:
1. Post at least 116 posts: one for each comment in 2009 plus one (for effort!)
2. Post more than 41 daily sketches
3. Post more than 16 illustration friday posts.

To everyone who has commented this year: YOU ROCK! thank you for all your feedback and I hope to grow my blog more in 2010.

Have a happy holiday season with family and friends!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Comment Moderation

Unfortunately, I've started getting spam posts on my comments, rather than actual comments about how good or bad my work is. To resolve this issue, I've had to restrict who can post comments to my site. Now only people registered with Blogger/OpenID can post, rather than any random visitor. That may result in a reduction of comments on my site, but it is really frustrating to see that you received a comment, and you get excited then you read a random piece of crap that has absolutely nothing to do with your art.

Sorry to those actual posters who want to give feedback or support but don't feel they should have to sign in/register. I wish I could leave it open to all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monster sketch

Found this website that records your sketches as you work: Odosketch!

The limited palette makes it all the more fun because it unifies all the various styles of sketches that appear on the website.

Will have to play around with this more when i'm not on my lunch break.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

November is project-finishing month

It's been a busy two weeks, particularly Halloween weekend. I flew out to Tampa to participate in my friends' halloween/masquerade/1920's wedding. Complete with a horror movie cake. :) Fun, but incredibly hectic. The two days after I got back, I slept about 11 hours each day.

My goal for November is the completion of projects:

1. Grandfather's Memoirs - editing is coming along. about 2/3 through editing by hand (made good use of my plane flight last weekend), but I still need to enter all those edits into the digital document...and create the family tree/tables...and finalize the cover...
2. Panda animation - from my animation class last semester. I finished the backgrounds I was working on, but I have yet to make the final tweaks to my line art for the panda.
3. Dog spinning rough animation - from my character design class this semester.
4. Tentative project that I shouldn't be working on, but I couldn't help myself...if anything comes of this project, I will post more about it when I am able.
5. Possible logo design...
6. Illustration friday...since I haven't done one in a while.

As you can see, lots on my plate AND we're heading into the busy season at work.

I also want to scan some of my life drawing from the two semesters I took this year. I went through it and deemed less than a fourth of the pencil scrawls as acceptable and recognizable as a human, but it's a start.

Posting might be scant, since the major project this month is not art related in the least. But I'll try my best to start filling up my sketchbook again and posting images.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So I'm in between art projects at the moment, but it's going to be a bit before I work on any long-term projects. I still haven't finished my Grandfather's project and I'd really like to get that finished up in time for Christmas. So I will be dedicating most of my limited free time to that for the foreseeable future.

I'll still be working on Illustration Friday drawings in my sketchbook, and hopefully something Wild Things inspired. If you're creating fan music, it's called filk; if you creating fan stories, it's fanfic; so what is fan art? fart? Whatever it's called, I want to create one to get posted on Terrible Yellow Eyes.

The good news is that I have finished another sketchbook! woohoo! This one took a bit longer then the last, and technically has a few sparse pages that I probably could fill with sketches and ideas. Still, I think I'll retire this one and start fresh this Friday with a new book. I think it will be a standard journal type book, rather than the landscape one this time. I'd like to work with a larger sketchbook, but the 6x9ish size fits so nicely in my purse.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flying

Between reading about Koldo Barroso's flying fish, finally getting to read the first volume of Flight (one of the stories has a flying whale), and having a couple other whale and fish inspirations popping up on my blog reader recently, I've been motivated to draw my own variation. Originally, I wanted to take another stab at Steampunk a la Greg Manchess' rework of the logo for steampunk month.

Alas, I got as far as a basic hot-air balloon...then the whale-beta fish appeared (if the fish are flying in air, they need pretty, flowing fins and all) then the koi, the angelfish (sort of) and the salmon (I think). Finally, I knew there had to be tiny people in the hot air balloon to give a sense of scale. And if you were in a hot air balloon looking at giant flying fish creatures, wouldn't you want to reach out and try to touch one?

If I ever do a finished piece of this, I think I need to fix the background color so it is the lightest around the people in the balloon so the eye focuses on them. I may color this one more, but I have a couple projects around the house I need to work on...and some homework to do.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

IF: Germs

I immediately have to apologize to a particular person for this post. You know who you are, and why I'm apologizing. I didn't pick the topic... i am so sorry and will try to post many posts to get this past my homepage. :)

That being said...GERMS!!!

One thing kept popping into my head, over and over as I thought of today's topic: the computer game I played for many hours in college: WORMS! I loved that game, and the crazy landscapes and the worms perched on the smallest little tips of things not blown up (yet) and wouldn't it be cool to have a germ perched on a nose/landscape getting ready to attack with a big weapon?

Um...he's icky, I know. But he's silly, so that works for me. Plus, it really is perfect timing with the start of flu season.

Enjoy my spoof!

Friday, October 02, 2009


I have entered the completed Fleeting Turtles as an unpublished piece into the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles annual competition, Illustration West. It's been about 4 years since I last entered this competition. I didn't get accepted then, so I'm hoping I've improved enough to get accepted this year. I don't know whether or not I should be showing this work before the show, so I'm going to keep the finished piece a surprise until I know the results.

I will give you a teaser:

I had a lot of great feedback from friends and family on final tweaks to make my illustration as refined as possible before entering it into the competition. I thank them all for their great input and suggestions!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Character Design: homework #1

For our first homework assignment, we had to create any type of character that we REALLY wanted to draw based upon someone we know. I chose the most expressive person I know--one of our best friends, Philip. (I apologize to Phil for him unknowingly becoming my reference model and my awkward handling of any drawings resulting from his reference)

Eric wanted me to draw him as a raccoon, because of an inside joke from childhood. I tried multiple times, but couldn't get it to look right. So I turned him into a robot instead :) A gangly one, of course!

There is a character turnaround that goes with the sketchbook pages, but I'm supposed to make the legs longer and still scan it... It's late... I'm tired... Off to bed.

SketchCrawl 24: Grand Central Market

It was a beautiful day for the sketchcrawl this past weekend, and there was a great turnout! Almost double the number of people from last time. I told a bunch of my friends from the animation classes i'm taking and about 5 of them showed up. Grand Central Market was an interesting place I've never been to and there were so many things to look at. I was tempted to draw some of the neon signage (actually draw the shapes of the tubing, not just write out what the signs say) but instead I gravitated towards the GIANT gumball machine.

I drew more people this time, which I'm very proud of. I'm particularly fond of the janitor sketch, although I'm not quite sure what ended up in his left hand. It was supposed to be a lunch tray, but it just didn't work.

After sketching for a number of hours we headed over to the Bradbury building across the street. It had beautiful and incredibly intricate architecture and lots of stairs and ornate railings...and it scared me. I chickened out on the architecture and went back and added color to the sketch of one of the sketchcrawlers instead.

I stayed until about 6, although I was really done drawing around 4. I did do some crazy animal doodles during that time: monkeys, sheep, and then an awkward cow based on the Dana Lyons song "Cows with Guns". Darn you Steve and Lisa for introducing me to that song. I can't stop playing it....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Parade of Cats

I've started the next semester of art classes with my Character Design class on Tuesday. We cut out geometric shapes and put them together any way we wanted to create a cat. Then we had to do more organic thumbnail sketches based on our creation. Here is my slew of cats...and a duck.

I have art and taekwondo classes 4 days a week, so I will most likely be doing bulk postings on the weekends. Don't expect anything until this sunday. I have a concert friday, and Sketchcrawl and the Terrible Yellow Eyes gallery show on saturday. This is a very busy week for me!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Illustration Friday: Strong

It's still a work-in-progress, but i'm really having fun with this piece. My only wish is that I had scanned the pencil drawing first, but that's ok. The face matches the pencil drawing fairly closely, but the pants and the shirt are slightly different...I also didn't spend even a third of the time on those that I did on the face. I also used photo reference to help with the expression! It made things MUCH easier, and once I had the drawing done to my liking, I found I really didn't need to look at the reference again for shading, because I shaded in crucial tones, such as the brow shadow, and the puckers in the bottom lip, chin, and cheeks. I've also been reading Peter de Seve's blog, so I'm being inspired by his work.

I will finish this up later and post an update once it's done. But now, to bed!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Illustration Friday: Impatient

One month later and our house is still not back to normal. I still have no scanner/printer hookup, or webcam to call my niece and nephew. But at least our computers are off the dining room table again.

I finally did an illustration for illustration friday. It's been a while! He was inspired by my drawings of eagles from the zoo. I'm not sure if he's an eagle...he's some wacky sort of bird. I colored him with the replacement colored pencils I bought from the art store, about 7 colors in all. I just had them nearby, saw that they made a nice color palette, and proceeded to sharpen all my brand new pencils. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

23rd Sketchcrawl: Echo Park

I participated in my first sketchcrawl yesterday! It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately I forgot to bring a camera. There happened to be a festival going on in the park this weekend, so there were MANY things to sketch. I didn't draw as many people as I wanted to, but I'd been itching to practice drawing buildings and urban scenes.

There was a group of street cleaners that I wish I had gotten a picture of to sketch later. They all had identical shirts, but different tools and different body types/postures. They would have been fun to capture in the sketchbook.

Sorry for the bad quality of the images. I don't have a scanner hooked up at the moment due to chaos in our house. I had to photograph them as best as I could with the iphone.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Illustration Friday: Worn

After drawing pandas all (last) week for my Traditional Animation Basics 2 class project, I decided to draw....pandas. This little guy sums up how worn out I am at drawing pandas, but I still think he's cool. I had fun coloring him and then adding all the crazy tiny pandas everywhere. For some reason this is making me want to read Zen Shorts. hmmmm......

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What else could go wrong?

On Saturday night, I scanned my illustration friday drawing and saved it to my computer before going out to celebrate my friend's birthday. Got home really late and went straight to bed. Woke up Sunday to a swimming pool in my living room that was rapidly encroaching on our computers. One of the attachments to the bathroom sink had broken and was flooding everything. Yay.

Long painful story short, our house is in disarray and we just now got one computer back up and running. Since it isn't mine, I still can't post my illustration friday picture. Hopefully we'll get mine back up and running before the next IF post is up. Beyond that, we're trying to do our best to get back into routine after being really frustrated and bummed out the past two days.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Illustration Friday: Drifting

I don't know what it is about the Illustration Friday topics that makes me want to do the least obvious thing related to that phrase? I guess my brother-in-law is right. I'm just ornery.

This sketch was a result of a confluence of inspiration (oooo! big words!) First, I spent the last portion of my workday on friday researching urban youth imagery (aka, graffiti) for my current book cover project. The bright colors that street artists use are incredible and inspiring. Second, I was catching up on my illustration blogs and I started reading Irene Gallo's posts about the illustration masters class (which I hope to attend one day). Looking at the assignments offered during that workshop, I was immediately drawin to "steampunk wizard of oz" it sounded like fun. Third, I got slightly confused between what steampunk is, and what my husband likes: cyberpunk. At least I got the goggles in there!

Thus, the urban steamcyberpunk drifters.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fleeting Turtles: stage 1

I'm working on a finished illustration of the Fleeting turtles post I did for illustration friday back in April. This picture is about 1.5-2 hours into working on it, although I didn't include the final line art in my count. I'll post more pictures as it gets further along, but I don't get to work on this as much as I would like to because of my art classes.

I've gotten a lot looser and bolder in my work since I started working in colored pencil a few years back. For an illustration of topiaries I did a long time ago, I meticulously rendered each tiny leaf ON the trees. I ran out of time and I had to loosely lay in a background, and I remember getting more compliments on my background leaves then any of the meticulously rendered leaves. Go figure.

I'm also using this nifty invention for artists called a grayscale chart! It tells you how dark (or not) your colors are, so you can get the proper values in your work. I've had this chart for years tucked away in a drawer and I came across it again recently. Since I've long had the trouble of working too light, I'm going to try ACTUALLY using this chart for once to give my illustrations more depth and presence. So far, I've only hit a 4 in my tones--10 being white, 1 being black--so I still have further to go to push the darks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Illustration Friday: Unfold

"Little Joshua got more then he bargained for when his paper airplane began to unfold..."

I haven't posted an Illustration Friday drawing in a while, so it feels good to get back into it.

I'm not quite sure just WHAT little Joshua's airplane turned into...a paper viking robot duck? No matter what, he's kinda cute and silly...pretty much what you'd expect from me. He was fun to draw, and the airplanes were too. Except for the one at top center that didn't work as well as I hoped. I also couldn't even begin to write the technical manual for this origami robot...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zoo...week 1

I am taking a class on animal drawing at the LA Zoo (through the animation guild) and I had a pretty successful first week. The teacher wanted us to loosen up our work and try drawing without looking at the paper, use continuous linework, or draw with our off hand.

My most successful drawings of the day were partially blind...i'd occasionally look down to see if I was more-or-less on track. what I liked about them was the fact that I got in so much more detail then when I tried to use the construction approach to building the animals (think boxes and spheres to create the volume).

I also used my brush-pen a bit and enjoyed working with that too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My husband is awesome!

Yay! He got my site running again. Huzzah for the husband!

Technical Difficulties

Most likely, you won't be reading this until after the problem has been solved. There have been technical difficulties on my end...namely, my website is down. It is down for the very silly reason that the domain name registry was not renewed on time. Oops. We are working on solving the problem and hopefully we'll be up and running within a day or so.

Regardless, it sucks. (especially since I haven't posted anything since May 17th!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dragon Blossom

This is my newest piece, Dragon Blossoms, created for our very very good friends Jenny and Philip and their son Gavin. I've been promising them a piece of art for years now, and I finally made good on my promise. We gave it to them today, and they loved it and I got an "ooohh" and a giggle from 2-year-old Gavin. Obviously, it was a hit all around!

The blue pattern/color on her kimono matches a plate I got for them years ago, and this piece is a nod to my first oil painting of a little girl in a kimono holding a giant umbrella while tea rains down and turns into flowers. Philip always liked that piece and wanted it or something similar. I tried a couple of different compositions, but wasn't happy with any of them, and once I drew this little girl, I knew I had the perfect drawing for them.

If only it had a ladybug or frog....well, Jenny, maybe next time!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Illustration Friday: Contagious


I couldn't pass up using this piece I did last year as this weeks Illustration Friday. It gave me a very good reason to finally get it scanned and in my digital gallery.

I'm very happy with the irradiated tones of greens and yellows in the piece. I had a lot of fun working on this one. This was the result of a month+ of a continuous cold. I used my artwork to vent my frustrations, and I think it turned out rather well.

This is NOT the promised piece that I mentioned in a previous post, just a great reason to post more of my finished artwork.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Still to come...

I posted some of my zoo sketches, but then I felt that the image sizes were too big, so I took them down and will repost tomorrow at a better size. I might also just pull out my favorite drawings from the bunch since there are about 10 pages of sketches, 5-6 animals per page.

Monkeys and Giraffes...oh my!

I've been killing three birds with one stone with these animal drawings: 1. practice drawing animals, 2. create some fun (and simple) animals for my friend's daughter's room, 3. do some character studies for my Traditional Animation Basics 2 class. In the TAB2 class, we're going to be using the 12 weeks to create a 30-second animated PSA! How cool is that?

Since I never animated before the TAB1 class, I'm kind of nervous, but I'm going to jump right in and give it a go. If nothing else, I feel that I'm really good at brainstorming, researching and coming up with ideas/unique perspectives.

All the realistic-looking sketches are from photos off the internet, but the cartoon-y ones are my original creations. Besides for the 3 crazy giraffes, my favorite one is the mom and baby giraffe. Incredible original photo here. I may have played up the size of the baby's ears a bit much, but they make him just too cute!

Sneak Peek...

Well, I should finally have some finished art up for you soon! I'm estimating that I will be able to get finished up with my current project and have it all scanned and ready by early next week. In the meantime, here's a little hint of what is to come:

Next, I think I'll be working both on my Fleeting Turtles piece and on Onion Boy. I think I want to have them both going at the same time so I don't get bored. Also, I'm starting Onion Boy off with a LOT of sketches and studies. I want to get his face more expressive then the original images, and get him a better dog....I'm thinking a beagle, because I want one. Also, we have one that lives in our complex that I like to pet and say 'hi' to.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The paucity of posts

There is a reason for the shortage of posting artwork on my part. While I was in Florida visiting family, my grandfather gave me a draft of his memoirs to read. I read all 42 single-spaced pages in one sitting. I was so fascinated by his story and seeing him both excited and embarrassed by showing someone else his work. We talked a bit about the memoirs, and one of the things I mentioned was that I would be both happy and eager to design a book cover for his work. That is, after all, what I do for a living.

In the course of things, I also agreed to edit his memoirs, and so I have been hard at work on his project. It is VERY slow going, and it makes me have so much more respect for all the editors that I work with. They look at words every day, day after day. I couldn't do it; it's tiring. I'm going to start working on the first cover comps soon, so hopefully I'll post some of my graphic design work for once.

As much as I want to further my own art skills, I am very passionate about giving my surviving grandparents another reason to keep excited and interested in life. Luckily for them, they have a very large family that gives them many reasons.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Illustration Friday: Heirarchy

"There be only one hierarchy in the west....MINE!"

I haven't posted to Illustration Friday in a while, so it feels good to be posting again. My original sketch was about the hierarchy of siblings, but my husband rejected that. When I showed him, I got a shrug of the shoulders and "Eh..." So I tackled the concept again this morning and am much happier with the overall result. The thumbnail in the upper left was my second attempt at getting the body movement down and I used that as the study for the final sketch.

I think he'll be added to my list of sketches to turn into final pieces. Everyone who regularly posts finished color illustrations every week has my respect because all I get done are sketches.

Monday, April 27, 2009

LA Times Festival of Books

I went to the Festival of Books at UCLA on Saturday, and of course, went straight to the children's stage. I'm just a big kid, after all. I got to see a number of author/illustrators, including Robin Preiss Glasser and her Fancy Nancy series, Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame, and Anne Dewdney and her Llama Llama series. While I loved listening to Eric Carle speak and it was fun to watch him draw, I think Robin stole the show with her outfit and her 'explorers extrordinaire.' Having a better seat for Robin Price's may have helped too.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet them, as there were hundreds of people there in groups. One adult would sit with the kids and listen to the authors/illustrators, and the other adult would stand in the looooooooooooooong autograph line. *sigh* Maybe next year, I'll try to go with Jenny and her son, Gavin, or Mahta and her son.

The only person I wanted to see that I didn't get to see was Jarrett J. Krosoczka, who's blog I follow. I was just leaving class about the time I went on stage. I did get to meet a number of other illustrators and authors who were in some of the booths around the childrens area: Sunny Seki, Renee Ting, and Mark Teague. I bought their books and got autographs from them all. I walked away with 6 children's books for myself, 2 for friends, one young adult book, and a very large bag of cotton candy.

...Oh and a number of sketches I did while I was there. I'll post those seperately.

Robin Preiss Glasser and her explorers
...the great seat, which I lost because I was hoping to get an autograph.

Anne Dewdney

Eric Carle drawing
The closest I got to Eric Carle

Sonny Seki

Mark Teague drawing a dino for me!