Thursday, December 22, 2011

B3 - Bumble Bee Belly

Just having fun and practicing my new approach to illustrations. I was doing good on the time until I thought he should be fuzzy....and then i undid the fuzzy. oh well. On to the next one.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bully Bot

I'm trying to explore a looser, quicker technique to my illustrations. Here's my first attempt that may or may not turn into a larger project. Expect more robots to come.

This is also doubling as the graphic for my funny new years party invites.

What do you think? Does it need more polish? More color?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Woodland Nursery gift

My coworker is having a baby soon, so for her baby shower gift, I made her nursery art!

The baby will be a girl and the nursery will have a woodland animals theme, and will include toys from Skip Hop. I had fun trying to put my own spin on a provided theme.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Belt!

Us and our awesome instructors!

6 months without art classes but with many super-intense training sessions and the hubby and I have achieved our black belts! (Although we need to wait for the official certificate.) I'm proud of our accomplishments, but I'm also excited to get back to having more art in my life again. I am going to thoroughly enjoy the upcoming holiday season, and then jump back into art classes after the start of the new year.

In between now and then, I have a couple of personal projects that I've been wanting to work on/finish, so look forward to artwork to come!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hungry Giraffe

Artwork! I had fun with this one, and I tried to push the darks more than I'm normally comfortable. The second image was my initial scan before I went back and reworked the dark areas. I'm much happier with the revised image. And this guy has already found a new home, for a friend's birthday!

And to give me a direct tie in to Illustration Friday, I'll pull in what I told my friend earlier last week when it was still in progress, "He's not finished...he just hasn't been spotted yet!" (i know, bad pun)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Upcoming testing

Hey everyone! I just wanted to send out a note about the next couple of months. I'm starting to ramp up the training for my black belt test for Tae Kwon Do in early November. Posting will be sporadic for the next 3 months. This is a goal that I've had since I started TKD 12/13 years ago. It got put on hold for a number of years while I finished school, got married, and started a career. I was able to restart training at a great studio and pick up where I previously stopped.

I'm going to try to keep sketching during this time, but I most likely won't have much complete artwork. I will post as I can, hopefully getting in as many Illustration Friday's as possible. Once my test is complete, I will be restarting my art projects and classes in full force.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Gesture

He timidly made a gesture of affection toward her.

So during my photo research at work this week I found such an awesome photo:

That trunk, with its curl, was begging to be a caricature of some sort. Out come the pens and markers and voila! Blushing elephant. I love the pink/red marker that I used on his cheeks, but it's scary to use sometimes because it is such a strong color. I did use a gray pencil to draw in the elephant originally, but tried to keep the artwork loose and scribbley.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Illustration Friday: Stay (Prehistoric Surprise)

This little guy has gone to stay in friend's nursery. Their theme is, unsurprisingly, dinosaurs. He was supposed to be smiling at whoever was in the cave, but he ended up looking more surprised than happy. Our friends were very happy to receive him as a baby shower present.

This may be a loose interpretation of this week's theme, but it is a rare occurrence for me to post finished, full-colored art.

I originally planned to crop this much tighter, but when I was at the frame store, I ended up liking the look of the panoramic matte rather than the standard 8.5x11. Luckily, I gave myself plenty of bleed area to try out different framing options.

I feel I've sufficiently mastered the dark-medium-light variant of basic composition. Next composition must be different, so I can study all 6 basic variations of foreground-middle ground-background lighting arrangements.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Happy Birthday Bella

Happy birthday to a most wonderful niece and Goddaughter! You are growing up too quickly!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Illustration Friday: Remedy

"Choose your remedy wisely."

There actually is a story behind this one: At dinner, while trying to figure out what to draw for illustration friday, we had some almonds on the table for our salad and the package read "all natural!" Well, the hubby wanted someone to make a product that markets how UN-natural it is. So I did. For more amusement, it was suggested that the side of the label read "mild side effects include death..."

It may be darker then my usual doodles, but I guess I had a bit of quirky humor going on today. Now that I think about it, "humor" would have been a good term to add to the bottles, especially when I was running out of label ideas. It was a lot of fun to lay in the shades of gray with the markers, and I got to put my toe into the steampunk craze that is quite fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Trees

So not all my sketches turn out exactly how I want them too. This one was supposed to be much more regular, almost pixelated placement of trees. I almost gave up on it a number of times, but I kept at it. It's growing on me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Illustration Friday: Midsummer Night

It started with a continuous outline of their silhouettes, some heads added Tom Gauld-style, then the wings...and a perfect opportunity for me to draw some patterns, since I've been seeing interesting patterns everywhere recently. A little bit of crosshatching for texture, a lot of blocking in solids and a touch of typography. It was very interesting to see how the natural variations with the line work of the silhouettes created a range of unique characters, including a few matrons, a few innocents, one that may be pregnant, and Titania, who happens to be the tallest of them all.

Bird of a different feather

This doodle was inspired in part by the baby birds nesting in our balcony light fixture. I went to clean out the 2 nests that were there. The first one was empty, but when I pulled out the second, there were 3 little babies inside. I didn't have the heart to throw them out, so I carefully put the nest back and hoped for the best. The parents did come back and as far as I can tell, the babies are doing well. They sure chirp a lot when it's feeding time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bad Day

I didn't have a bad day, but this guy sure is! Another quick doodle, based on a giant-mouthed fish I doodled last week or the week before.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Elephant Greetings

In the same vein as the Illustration Friday post, I did a second ink doodle. It's a lot of fun and i just keep telling myself if it wasn't what I originally intended exactly, that's fine. It still looks cool and more relaxed than some of my other stuff. It's fun too!

Plus, I doodled while I watched Microcosmos, a cool French documentary about bugs, and on a wide screen TV they are BIG!!! And since the are not crawling on me, they are coooooool!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Illustration Friday: Launch, sweep....and gulp?


I've been replaying Somorest 2 and thinking of replaying Machinarium. Somorest gets a little bit odd in their artwork sometimes, but I'm in love with the world of Machinarium. It's all scribbly and imperfect, and that just adds to the charm. I felt like drawing something with aliens, although this drawing is more about their world. I could always add a UFO in space if i wanted too...

And because I didn't post it when it was the correct week, here's the IF sketch I did for Sweep...with a hungry fishy hanging out at the bottom of the page. I'll need to do something with him at some point. He's kinda cool

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Character design class sketches 1

I'm working on stuff right now, but wanted to post some of the better sketches I did this past semester in my first Character Design class. It's almost harder than life drawing, because you have to analyze the pose and then interpret it and add personality and a story. Many of the drawings were frustrating, but after weeding out all the bad ones, i still was left with a pretty decent pile of sketches. I'll be posting them intermittently over the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Fun times and fun sketches. It was easy to find characters with personality there! I particularly enjoyed the belly dancers and flamenco dancers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The eyes have it!

Where have I been for the last month? April got a little hectic between work, classes, and visiting family. I was excited about the upcoming end of the month because I would be done with both art and tae kwon do for about a month due to a very important thing: corrective eye surgery! I was so excited to have time off in the evenings to actually work on art. I didn't take into account that I was having EYE surgery and wouldn't want to do much, even if I was back on my feet in a day and a half.

But I'm back in action and went to the Ren Faire yesterday for a grand day of sketching, walking, and feasting. More about that tomorrow.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby bug illustrations

With my eldest sister's first child on the way, I got a bit carried away creating original artwork to decorate the nursery. She was very obliging to pick a theme at which I excel: cute insects. I couldn't be happy with just one insect. I created 5! She was very excited to receive them, and they are already framed and hanging on her wall.

I think my favorite is the bee, but I really like them all.

Two of them are also doing double-duty as her baby shower invitations and thank-you cards.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Artists Help Japan

Dice Tsutsumi, an artist at Pixar, put together a fund to aid the Japanese relief operations.

Donate if you can and are interested or spread the news.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Illustration Friday: Stir

Sometimes emotional turmoil stirs within...and sometimes something tragic happens
...and sometimes it's both.

I've been feeling...melancholic...recently, not sure why. I have a lot of reasons I could list, but in light of the news about the Japan earthquake and tsunami that hit today, they just seem irrelevant. My prayers are with everyone in Japan and everyone who has family in Japan.

Our friends' families in Japan are ok. Thank goodness for small blessings.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Illustration Friday: Swarm

I couldn't NOT post for Illustration Friday when the topic, swarm, was so perfectly suited to my obsession with drawing bugs. I just don't know why I waited until Thursday to post when the drawing was finished on Sunday.

I think, perhaps, because this week has been a little off-kilter. I'm settling into the semester and realizing that I don't have enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do, particularly when I am easily distracted. I came to the decision/realization that for my own sanity, I was going to have to drop my Saturday drawing-on-location class that I have LOVED taking for the previous 2 (3?) semesters. Knowing that Will's class often has a waiting list of eager students and knowing that I would be missing 3 out of 6 classes because of traveling for work and other factors didn't make me any less reluctant or less....let down. I've enjoyed exploring my adopted hometown through these excursions, and I definitely know the freeways of northern LA much better these days. (Ignoring the fact that I still get lost on surface streets)

It didn't help that I am most definitely off schedule with the Picture Book Dummy project because I like making things complex and 2-3 characters won't do when you can have 20 (or more!). I am not stopping just because i'm behind, I'm just going to take a bit longer. I'm having a great time creating costumes for all the characters and my Gesture Drawing class is definitely helping with that.

It most definitely didn't help that I had a series of eye exams today in preparation for a corrective eye surgery I'm planning on having at the end of next month. Eye ultrasounds are SO NOT fun!

Luckily, I have a weekend with good friends, random doodling and massive amounts of silliness and junk food to look forward to! Target acquired! To the flowers!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gouache practice

I got gouache paints this past week because I made the determination that I need to learn to work with both color/value and work in areas larger than the tip of a colored pencil. So i'm going to start doing lots of little painting studies whenever I get the opportunity.

I found a photo that had the slightly atmospheric yet detailed background effect that I've been wanting to master and had a go at it, ignoring the person in it. I felt it went pretty well, although I was surprised at how dark my midtone had to go for the yellow trees to start to glow slightly. I went over areas more often than I would have liked overall, but ease and simplicity will most likely come with practice.

I set up my paints in an old watercolor set, so now my gouache paints will be portable for plein air painting.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Illustration Friday: Reverse

All he wanted to do was head off into the sunset, but for some reason the unicorn went in reverse as much as it went forward.

I had a ton of fun with this drawing! I was toying around with different ideas for baby dragons and I got inspired by the dino spring rider in Chalk. There was one at the park by my house I used to love when I was little. It was the old-fashioned painted metal ones. I think it was a red horse, but I could be confusing that with the color of the slide.

So I said, "What if the dragon was riding a spring-rider horse?" Hubby replied, "what if it was a unicorn?" and instant inspiration. I sketched it in pieces in my sketchbook, merged in photoshop and then resketched it with the wacom. Not fully happy with the sketch, because the wacom wouldn't register the pressure sensitivity today. No nice tapered strokes.

I need to correct a few things, primarily the perspective on the head of the unicorn and figure out the best overlap of the mane and dragon. I will definitely color it, perhaps both digitally and traditionally. I can't wait to practice planing in color, particularly on the unicorn body, which has very distinct top/side/bottom planes.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

In Progress

I have a couple of projects in progress at the moment. They are all in various stages from unstarted, to barely started, to under way, to nearly complete. And a new semester is about to start, which usually ramps up my drawing/posting activity on my blog.
  • I have lots of sketches of herbs and ingredients I need to start working on for my cousin's cookbook.
  • My coworker's daughter is very fond of my bug drawings/sketches and would love one to call her own. She reminds me of myself when I was young.
  • There are babies about to be born everywhere, and if I'm enthusiastic enough, I have up to 5 original art pieces I could create for friends and family. The two that are the most important: a close friend is expecting their first child and my eldest sister is expecting HER first child. Woohoo!
  • various and sundry other spur-of-the-moment stuff, including practicing more digital paintings with some of my old sketches. I've been wanting to create finished pieces on some of them for a while, and this will give me some practice before I actually take a digital painting class.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

IF: Surrender

A last minute illustration Friday entry which unintentionally coincides with the Chinese New Year: Year of the Rabbit.

This is my first digital painting with a Wacom tablet! woohoo! I'm learning new things. eventually, I'll be confident enough to work in color. But for now, this is good practice.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Avatar! (not the blue kind)

I am finally finished with a project I promised my husband many months ago. A new avatar for his online presence. The direction he gave me: a viking ninja robot. The robot got lost somewhere along the way, but I mostly got the viking ninja, in stereotyped fashion. He was pretty fun to work on, although the drawing got put on pause many times for other projects.

Like many of my pieces, I overworked the rendering and am still not completely satisfied with it, although there are parts I really love, like the folds at the waist and the belt. The rest is kind of stiff, although I felt I learned a bit more about skin tones in the process.

Hopefully the gesture drawing class will help me loosen up on my process/rendering.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sketchcrawl 30: Natural History Museum

I attended the 30th SketchCrawl at the Natural History Museum today, but only a few crawlers actually saw me. My friend and I decided to draw outside, rather than go in. I've been wanting to draw more buildings to practice perspective. Plus, it was a beautiful day outside. Once you get past the austere front entrance of the building, there is some beautiful architecture at the NHM. Some kid even took a photo of my drawing.

The only minor disappointment was that I was told there was a FANTASTIC sketchcrawl turnout for Los Angeles inside the museum. Oh well. Hopefully, I'll get to see them all at the next crawl.

All my scribble drawings of people today reaffirm the need for me to get back to my 10 minute daily sketches. My quick sketch needs help.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Illustration Friday: Deja Vu

deja vu!

Yes, your eyes do not mislead you; there are two of him. This project is over four years in the making! We went to Japan with our friends in August 2006 and while we were there I collected all my ticket stubs, receipts, pamphlets...everything! They've been sitting in a paper bag for 4 years, being sporadically relocated throughout the house. Every time I saw them, I kept thinking, "I should do something with these..."

I knew when I saw this week's IF topic that the time had come, so I bought a canvas 2-pack and pulled out my matte medium and started tearing and pasting and sketching. I had no clue if this would work, or if my colored pencils would stay on top of the matte medium, but I had hope because my friend and great illustrator, Siri Weber Feeney, works with colored pencils on top of gesso. A number of hours later, I am at a point sufficient to post, although I am not finished yet. I ran out of matte medium just short of finishing the second collage, although there was enough done in the area I was planning on drawing over. I plan to add some loose sketches/doodles across remaining portions of the canvas, and maybe add a bit more color. I just wanted to get this posted with lots of time for feedback before a new IF topic was posted.

The two guys are not identical: the legs on the original sketch looked off, so I shifted them when I transfered the sketch the first time. It still looked off, so I ended up going back to the original placement for the second drawing. I guess some times, it all depends on the angle you are looking at it.

As far as the inspiration for the drawing? Simple: we saw him in Japan! It was one of my favorite photos that we took in Japan. I would like to say that I took it, but we had 2 cameras and 4 people, so I don't know for sure. I love the juxtaposition of the modern and traditional. If anyone happens to know this random guy photographed, please tell him a couple of Americans think he's really cool!