Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gleefully, Fully Colored

Well, quickly at the very least - it took no more than ten minutes. I had used a reference of model Jessica Stam for the original sketch's undone updo, but didn't refer to it for the painting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Music can be really inspiring, and I think I'm just a gay sucker for a showtune. Home sick, and not really wanting to draw since last night, I thought I'd just sign off a perfunctory sketch. But I downloaded two Kristin Chenoweth songs from tonight's episode of Glee, and it just made me keep drawing. Not that the drawing has anything to do with the music, but it was just inspiring me to go on. Nice when that happens.

I like the way I did the lips. I learned that shape only recently, and it's still new to me.

Children's Story

I've got a ton of stories in my head, but only one that I can remember finishing. It was a children's story with my typical bizarre spin on it, and I've drawn it twice. Once when I first wrote it back sometime around late high school or early college, and then again when I first got here to New York, for my then-favored boss' kid's birthday. Now I think I want to redo it for my friends Robert and Ana, whose daughter Luna was just born. This is a sketch of the original character, but now that I look at her, she kinda looks like a fat version of Dora...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Joanne and her friend Heron

Joanne and her friend Heron watched helplessly as the diva lead singer's sudden vocal acrobatics took over their entire part.


I went out to a new Japanese restaurant, speakeasy tonight, Kyo Ya in the East Village. As usual, the Japanese staff thought I was Japanese, not only because of the way I look physically but mayhap also because of the way I dress. One waitress in particular asked about what I was wearing twice. This is a quick sketch of what I was wearing: drkshdw jacket, no name pleather (fake RO) vest, drkshdw tee underneath, Henrik Vibskov drop crotch pants, RO high tops.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I pulled up last night's sketch, and thought about revisiting the style of George Stavrinos, who was one of my idols growing up. Stavrinos died of AIDS I believe, a tragic loss to our fashion illustration community, one of my three illustration idols who died too early in their careers (Antonio Lopez and Patrick Nagel were the others). It seems like barely anyone knows about Stavrinos anymore, but my friend Greg and I remember his amazing drawings that graced the advertising of Bergdorf Goodman back in the mid to late 80s. A few years ago I searched out his work and was able to find one book on it. As I tried to remember his style and attempt his technique on a sketch, I got overwhelmed with sadness. Talent like his has been unseen since, and it's such a loss. And to think that so few people remember him, just really made me sad. He had such an effect on me growing up, just by the sheer beauty of his work.

Maybe few people remember him, but I suppose it's good that at least, I do.

Late Last Night

I was designing an html email until about 2 am, and I got into a groove, and I kept on retooling my design, as is my wont. I'm so out of practice but I knew exactly what was wrong with my first two attempts, and I just needed to immerse myself in what I was doing to get started back into my groove. And since I was designing so much, I left off the drawing til, well... 2:30. So this was a last minute sketch that took maybe all of 5 minutes or less.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

David and his friend Heron

David and his friend Heron play digital backgammon.

Tessa 2010.2

Once opened, I just kept inking... this shows the before and after (work in progress, of course) of the top panel of the last page...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tessa 2010

I did a search on my name and found my online friend Moho/Affinity's links to my old Tessa story that I did back in college and posted a few years ago. It was only partially finished, and I've been thinking of finishing up at least some of my old things that I always thought I would get to, so I pulled up the old files. There's no pressure now so I'm just discovering how to ink all over again. It's a little weird going over my old pencils from over 20 years ago, because I recognize how I used to draw but I don't draw like that any longer. I sometimes wonder while I work if I should keep the integrity of the pencils, or, since they're my pencils anyhow, and try to make it look like I inked over another artist who just happened to draw like I did 20+ years ago? Plus I think my style was better suited to comics back then, having been heavily influenced by them at the time.

I'm just going for it, I think, and doing whatever I feel looks right. But it's fun to revisit. This here's one panel from the few I did tonight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kai and her friend Heron

Kai and her friend Heron play Guess Who?... which really isn't very challenging when you only have one friend with feathers.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010


So I made a duck girl to go with the bearbaby, but I opted for a freehand style with less of an icon feel and more of a kid's story book look. I gotta say I love how it turned out, although I'm not sure it's the direction I want to go in for this series. But hey, you never know...

Friday, April 16, 2010


I spent all of yesterday and today designing invitation samples for Kate's Paperie, that I forgot to draw. So I figured I should do two different things tonight to make up for it (even if I actually did two illustrations of Lesley and Heron Wednesday, so in a way I'm not exactly remiss). Anyhow, I started thinking tonight while I was a the gym that I should do some characters for the kids invitations or birth announcements. Part Japanese mascot, part Fisher Price toy, the images were full formed in my head already and kind of easy to translate. I have a whole menagerie of kids planned.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lesley and her friend Heron

Lesley and her friend Heron go to the powder room.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Neo Pose 2

And surprisingly, after deciding to have a glass of wine, I picked up the photo from yesterday and brought up my file... and I found myself just doing whatever, not even bothering to make it look like the model. But perhaps because I didn't care, perhaps I was pretty loose from the alcohol, but I think it started to work. It reminds me of my idol Stephane Manel's line quality. I could do worse.

I stopped halfway through. I wanted to continue, but I also want to rest. Red wine always makes me less industrious. But apparently it also loosens me up... might have to open a bottle next time... it's quite a bit of progress from yesterday's scant lines.

Neo Pose

I bought an issue of Spanish magazine Neo 2 specifically for a few images form a fashion editorial, to draw from. I don't like drawing from references because I feel like the final product is the result of me adapting someone else's vision. But I also figured if I didn't try to adhere too much to it and played where I wanted, perhaps it can still come out mine. This was the start of a sketch I didn't want to do. Earlier last night, a relative posted a pic of my mother and me and some of my siblings on Facebook, a pic from back when I was barely more than a year old, if that much. And it's weird how 12 years after her death I still mourn my mom's loss. So I really didn't have the wherewithal to draw, and actually ended up in tears. I basically cried myself to sleep.

So, that's my big excuse for the crappy sketch.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jennifer and her friend Heron

Jennifer and her friend Heron investigate what people used before cellphones existed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I'm trying to loosen up, as well as draw more from life or pictures. I tore out an ad for the jeans line Adriano Goldshmied because I liked the easy stance of the female model in it. She looked long and lean, like a fashion illustration, and it was a simple thing to translate. I like that it has some subtleties, because it wasn't really an extreme pose and so the nuances were important. I didn't want to do a very close sketch, just wanted to capture the attitude and see what I ended up with. I didn't even try to keep it tight as I just wanted to see what my style would produce. It reminds me of my older fashion work (circa early 90s), but much looser with a bit more fluidity. Of course, since it's digital, perhaps it could be even more fluid if I used natural media, but I want to be able to loosen up my digital drawing while still finding some sort of polish even when it's more gestural. I wonder though if I cleaned it up if it would become stiffer looking? I might have to try it later.

The comic book style is still coming through though. That face looks like a comic book face.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I had no desire to draw last night so I drew the first thing that popped into my head - a 'mokona' from an anime series I watch, "XXXHolic" (dunno what the xxx stands for, but it's certainly not porno). I don't even recall the exact details of the creature, just that it looks like a Hershey's kiss with bunny ears.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Smooth and Puffy

I watched the finale of Shear Genius today and really liked one of the contestants' finale looks, because she really did a great combination of smooth and frizzy, which reminded me very much of the similarly geometric hairstyles from the late 70s and early 80s. Contestant Jeanine really got a good contrast between the smooth and the frizzy parts, and I wanted to see if I could reproduce that in a drawing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Man Askance 2

Last night I played with the image a bit more but I wasn't really into drawing, despite having a conversation with an acquaintance about really doing more with my drawing. I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something with all these recent ruminations on my abilities and output?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Man Askance

I saw this pose on a photographer's Flickr account and really loved it, except I wanted to emphasize the counterpoint and fluidity of the form more, mostly in the bend in the pelvis and the tilt of his torso, just to make it more fashion-y, esp. when rendered in a quick stroke. You can see the original here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Erwin and John and their friend Heron

Erwin and John (and their friend Heron, the Beast of Honor) get married.

John and his friend Heron

John and his friend Heron perform "4-handed Chopsticks". Or rather, "2-handed and 2-winged Chopsticks".

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fluidity And Females, 2

I played with yesterday's figure a bit more. I totally love the pose, but I can't seem to believe it's done until I do something really polished.

I was having coffee with a recent acquaintance, and I voiced my concerns about being an "artist." On the one hand I totally understand what drives me, and just by definition, I should consider myself an artist. As I write this, I am reminded of former posts on this blog where commenters posited that I am indeed an artist, and perhaps having the doubts are really part and parcel of that. But I do have doubts lately. Or perhaps I'm just being hard on myself about my own ability.

Fluidity And Females

I'm concerned that I've lost my touch with drawing women. I feel like maybe the advancing of my work on the male form has affected my female ones, and I feel like I make them too mannish. A friend remarked that he didn't see them as masculine so much as sometimes stiff. Using a tear from a magazine, I tried to capture a more fluid line. The pose itself was very relaxed, which I hope I captured... it reminds me of Paul Smith's walk poses which I used to love so much because he was a master at making people look like they were in motion by capturing the perfect frame. I think I'm really going to have to practice more. I think I was much more fluid with my fashion figures back when I was taking courses at FIT, but now I think I make them too studied...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back to Form 2

final version of the evening
I did two versions of the drawing I started yesterday, based on an image I saw in my head after leaving the magazine stand tonight. But there was something wrong with the way the head was tilted in the original (below) so I cut and pasted it (leaving the blank space from my lasso cut) and lowered the entire face. I feel it looks better, but I didn't draw the facial position from any reference, so I'm iffy about it. I tried to base the pose on some references I found in an anatomy book, but merging two stances to get this particular stance didn't prove too satisfying - I still feel like there's something wrong.

edit: I took an hour off and looked at it again, and realized I spent so much time trying to use the reference, I didn't add my own aesthetic point of view into it. So realizing that the more realistic shaping made her look like a feminine man from behind, I cleaned out some lines, carved out her silhouette more and removed the right elbow altogether, to really emphasize the S curve. I think she looks much more feminine and less like some queen in drag in the above pic. You can compare the 'realistic' details that didn't really read as well below.

initial version of the evening
Ah well, at least I'm practicing. :)

Back To Form

Yesterday, a friend of mine mentioned he had posed for an artist whose work I then perused online. I was very impressed and more than slightly competitive and jealous. I used to think the women I drew were spot-on, but I realize as I get more detail in their faces - as well as the fact that I seem to be drawing less from ongoing practice as opposed to doodling indiscriminately - that maybe my focus on men this past decade has made them more than a tad masculine looking. I certainly hope not. In any event, I'm gonna try and rectify that by practicing more. I started this drawing last night and constantly retooled her to make her more slight and feminine. Guess I'm second-guessing myself.