Friday, October 30, 2009

Eye Shadowed

I am somewhat enamored of the chalk tool in Painter. Chalk pastels were always one of my favorite media way back when I was younger and in high school in Manila. I always liked the rough-edged quality of its line...well, so to speak. It's smudge, okay. Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to do the shading for yesterday's eye in chalk, to counter the rather 'spiny' linework I did yesterday (must have been a rather narrow brush size when I drew it).

Eye Got By

Wasn't too enthused Thursday night so I did what I used to do a lot when I was young... draw an eye. I was always fascinated with drawing eyes, dunno why... maybe because they have so many components and avenues for expression, despite being disembodied.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shoulder Pads

I was watching a video by some artist named Lissy Trulie, and I liked one of her dresses from the video, which had really strong shoulders. It inspired this very loose, fashion illustration sketch. I like the looseness, and as per my usual way, I put a very 80s spin to it (not ironically, more like... uh, my being a throwback? I can't help myself sometimes).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Project Runbird

I completely forgot to watch Project Runway this past weekend (I watch online on Saturdays) so tonight I put it on and while watching starting fiddling with the chalk tools in Painter. They were talking about St.Tropez as an inspiration, and for some reason this thing came to mind... and apparently, to screen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bookend, pt. 2

I like the original sketch, but I spent today looking at illustrations online. I tend towards clean, realized work in my head, but when I sketch for the fun of it, I just go with the flow. And some of my online friends seem to like my rougher, more natural linework. Anyhow, I just played with this one... not loving the shading, butI'm sure it will evolve further in the next day or so if the last drawing was any indication.


A bookend male profile for the woman's profile I'd been toying with for the past few days.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Okay, one more

Did a tiny bit of fiddling with the drawing but it's more of a color change than anything - brought the file into Photoshop and manipulated the layers and shades. I seem to be going much simpler and neater as each version evolves.

Background Work

I opened up my files from the last couple of days just to use as a base, but I ended up playing with the layers and adding a totally different background ... kind of the mindless sworl work one can do while listening to Mika (such as it were).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Struck, Redux

I wanted to see what yesterday's piece looked like neater, with starker swashes of color. I like the more definied features and blacks, but I feel like if I'm going to do this, I might as well reeeally clean it up. Except I dunno if I want to...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I started something really simple, then just kept going when I was encouraged by the strokes I put down. What can I say, inspiration struck.

I'm not even sure it's that' great, but it's something different for me, and I like it because as that, it works for me. Let's see if this style goes anywhere in the future.

Here's the fuller image, but when I saw the program preview when I was saving it, I really liked the tighter crop, so I'm presenting both here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New School, Can't Leave It Alone

Just a few new details on a closer crop.

New School, colored

The finish on this sketch is a bit rougher than I had planned, but I just did it while talking on the phone with a friend, which is the best way for me to work on autopilot. I do like some of the techniques - I suppose I could have made it even rougher to go for it, or cleaned it up considerably. Maybe I'll play with it later, but for now it seems pretty finished.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New School

Thought I'd try and update my Mom's design for today. Not sure I like the bustier idea (I don't seem to like them much nowadays - they seem a bit dated and uncreative) but I like the shorter length with the tights... more later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Old School, done

This is more than a tad nostalgic. It's so not forward sketching nor design, but it's an exercise in revisiting my history. I wonder if my mom would have approved of the rendering, or if she would have had some corrections for me still (as she always did!)? There was always something that could be improved.

I didn't know how to accessorize this in any way that would have made it more palatable to the present day, and it's definitely in the vein of a Butterick or Vogue Pattern style illustration, as opposed to any particularly editorial fashion illustration. But ironically, that was always the gold standard for me when doing these renderings way back when -- Mom used to say my figures were too made up, or too stylized, or had huge breasts (ha!). It was always about being so clean and demure back in Manila, in a way that made it more understandable for Filipino sensibilities. And it's not the best sketch by any stretch to my mind now, but it's Old School... and that's cool, I guess. :)

Intermediary Pig

I took the night off from the croquis, but decided to do a Stupid Grin piggie pic since I was listening to Dragonette's song, Stupid Grin, all throughout the evening.

Old School, pt.3

Cleaning it up a bit more, and now fleshing out the details a bit more. Trying to keep it more Filipino looking, esp. since back then, we tried to have as much fun with the illustrations as possible, usually glamming them up in very American ways. Having been a real New Yorker for over two decades, going back to my roots seems much more fun and appropriate.

Old School, pt.2

For some reason I saw my mom's dress design in a saffron yellow. It's so dated, and I can imagine a specific one of her clients in it, that I have a bit of trouble rendering it in a way that I would like, some 30 years after the fact. We'll see where this goes.

Old School

My mom was a fashion designer back home. Dresses were seldom off the rack in our salon, as the biggest part of her business came from made-to-measure outfits. I wouldn't call it couture technically, but it was definitely made-to-order. Customers often would bring in yards of fabric and consult with her, and mom made a sketch and it would be attached to the yardage. The next step involved the house fashion illustrator creating a more realized sketch based on mom's headless sketches, to present to the customer. I always wondered if Mom could truly draw, but beyond these croquis, she never needed to. She was definitely one of the top of her field in her day, but she never cared for the spotlight, which always frustrated me a bit since I wanted to see her shine.

I always looked up to the women and men who drew for her, as they made her rough-looking ideas into things that customers could much more easily understand. Mom was always very critical of her artists, a point of view that extended to me when she would ask me to do the drawing for her. I think much of my doubts about myself came from her being so exacting, which I knew stemmed from a place of teaching. I knew she was proud of me, but she always pushed me to be better.
Anyhow, I found one of her old sketches, perhaps the only one I have left of her. It's a very 80s matron's dress, very typical for her clientele. But it has her lines, it has her energy, it's her. I thought I'd do a fashion illustration of it, for old times sake. This was the typical croquis I would do to start with, although my lines are a little less confident I think than at my fashion illustration peak.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Very Zenaida Birthday

A friend's birthday is today (well, in Manila) so I posted this image on her Facebook page.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Frozen Margie

This is a representation of one (I think I had three, I can't be sure) of the frozen raspberry margaritas I had tonight. And the reason why I'm not really drawing somethinng very detailed (although I have to say, I like the chalk tool for it).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fabric and Flare, 2

Refining my swirly fabric. I always liked drawing furling fabric - I think it was my Dave Cockrum and John Byrne training - all those capes and sashes on the X-men... with a bit of Alphonse Mucha thrown in.

Friday, October 9, 2009


OMG, I was actually falling asleep last night while trying to sketch this out, which is why those cheek "blushes" are so haphazard! haha. Well, it was a long day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fabric and Flare

I'm working on the third installment of the Mass series and it's gone in a direction I didn't anticipate. It's so much lighter, and there's a lot more photomanipulation, but I think it will be a nice piece. I just wonder if it will work well with the first two.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Watching, 2

I filled it in while listening to God Watch Over Me. Again.


I've been obsessed with an old 90s song of Prefab Sprout that they just released this past month. God Watch Over Me hits me right where I live because of things that have been happening to me this past two years. I can't stop playing it (all the versions I can find, and I've found at least 4) so I've been a little distracted while drawing.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I just wanted to do a quick sketch for the evening, and as I put down one line and another, the drawing that formed as a result of my stream of consciousness linework reminded me of Anti-Lad, a character designed by Mike Grell for an age-old issue of Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes, my favorite title of my pre-teen years.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cowled and Cloaked

I based this on a photograph I found on my blogrolls, although in the original the cloak was plaid. But I liked the shot and the pose, so I wanted to sketch it out without much fanfare.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


There was no exercise in technique or anything with this sketch, it was just an image that popped into my head.

Friday, October 2, 2009


No, I don't know why I drew this.