Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013, everyone!

Here's wishing everyone (myself included!) a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Lawd knows we could use it!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rainer 2

Often I find myself avoiding starting portraits because the beginning is the most fraught with frustration. You spend time sketching out a rough, then add and erase continuously as a likeness forms. But the more you get correct, the more other parts become wrong and it becomes this continuing cycle of adjustment. It's frustrating especially in the beginning because I can't get a sense that I'm getting it right until the moment when I pull back and deem it looks like the subject.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Robert and his friend Heron

Robert and his friend Heron are a couple of hardcore swingers.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Runway Rowndown 6

I'm kind of dragging my heels on these... but I'm looking for that eureka moment when I feel it again, because as it is now, I'm not sure how to do what I did a couple of months ago. But erasing the scratchy lines and adding in the finished ones is starting to help...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Posed In Repose

I love the attitude of this pose I found on a blog, of a shot of model Douglas Neitzke (photographed by Dario Salamone for The Greatest Magazine #2) so I decided to sketch it and hopefully be able to draw it spontaneously later on. It doesn't look like the model, but I didn't try too hard to get a likeness, just to draw the attitude (although the model's bone structure was pretty damn interesting).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Zenaida

I realized I hadn't drawn my Venus of the Rice in a while.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Runway Rundown 5

Maligayang Pasko!

That means Merry Christmas in Tagalog. I spent so much time preparing for Christmas Eve dinner with my friends that I Forgot to put a placeholder down for yesterday's entry. This is a quick sketch of a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration, a paper or cellophane lantern called a parol. They're supposed to represent the star of David, and around Christmas time they're neraly ubiquitous throughout Manila (well, all over the Philippines, I'm sure).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sketchbook Trial Sample 2012

I was looking into new applications like Manga Studio 5, and I remembered someone in my fashion illustration group was quite keen on Sketchbook Pro. I had tried it before but wasn't too enthused about its watercolor brushes (and I had since developed my own versions within Photoshop) but I did like how Sketchbook Pro handled, so I thought Id try the trial again. I'm so unfamiliar with it that I just experimented with every brush preset there was. This looks like the kind of stuff some of the more contemporary illustrators do, stuff I don't necessarily emulate, but still, interesting experiment.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cowl 2

As I sip my Lemon MarTeani ( a new cocktail I'm trying to perfect and getting drunker as I slog through various trials!), I ad more swirls and drapes to my cowled woman, and I wonder what the hell her backstory is and whether or not I even want to dwell on it.


I missed yesterday too, for my makeup drawing from posting too late. I don't know what it is about this particular season, but I'm a bit scattered and unfocused on the holidays. Maybe it's the non-stop barrage of current events (Sandy, the Sandy Hook shooting, the Mayan not-so-apocalypse, even the recent elections) that sucked the influence from the focus on the holidays. Or the recession. Or all of the above. Anyhow, I was readin a blog tpost this morning about how an artist was irked by another blogger's article on why one art style was better than another. He mentioned early in the post that art was an escape for him, and an image of a Mucha-esque figure popped into my head. I remember loving Mucha as a child, and drawing intricate illustrations inspired by the art nouveau great. This one should count as a make-up drawing for yesterday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Night's Hazy Recollection

I was invited to join some friends for a Christmas party at a popular artist's loft in the garment district. I already knew I could get in to the party without necessarily showing up with my friends who were the actual invitees, but I decided to wait for them up front and not seem like a gatecrasher. This is my image of waiting for them in the gritty area near the loft space's building entrance. I had a great time, and ended up staying much later than I thought I would (past 12 midnight), not to mention ending up a lot drunker. By the time I got home I hadn't started nor was I able to post a drawing, so here it is, the day after. Fortunately the Mayan apocalypse seems to have been canceled, so I can post!

And that would be me in the leopard print camo trousers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ugly Christmas Sweater

It takes a LOT of effort to draw something this ugly!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Runway Rundown 4

I had a frozen margarita before dinner, so it hit me pretty hard. So this painting isn't exactly a conscious effort... more like an automatic thing. Let's see tomorrow how I feel about it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Runway Rundown 3

Still putting down the establishing sketches for the final part of the series, but fleshing out details (which I will no doubt redraw again and again later).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chris and his friend Heron

Chris and his friend Heron sometimes like to push each other around.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Runway Rundown 2

Crap, I totally forgot to update this entry last night, especially considering I finished the intiial sketch. Ah well, it's Sunday...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Runway Rundown

Even if I was doing a behind the scenes look, I'm definitely including runway sketches of my friend Robbie's show. Gotta finish a few in the next couple of weeks, so I'm making all the sketches now. Always easier to alter something that's been started (no matter how badly done the sketch is) than to start from scratch. But some people actually prefer these more immediate, gestural sketches.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pre-Exit Smile

Despite the often attitude one often expects for runway models and shows, the boys backstage at Geller often smiled for my camera, which was nice. This kid, whose name I'll have to find later, gave the nicest smile for the camera. Usually they're all sullen and serious. Anyhow, I'm getting back to my backstage menswear series, as I gotta finish it up this year. I tripled the image just for fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I figured, what better to do on 12.12.12 than work on my portrait of my dear friend Rainer again? Still in the color blocking and rough outline stages but that's part of the process. It's easy enough in this stage, because you create something close that's wrong, and then you basically edit it until it's right. At least that's my process, as I'm not one of those who makes a perfect likeness off the bat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Looking Back on Comics

I'm reading a book, Marvel, the Untold Story, and its fascinating. It's about the comic book company I wanted so much to work for as a child, and when I got my chance I felt I failed, so much so that when I was offered a book to draw, I was so scarred by my initial rejection that I felt I wasn't good enough and turned the famous writer down. Now I look back on my former favorite industry, and it doesn't resonate with me anymore... even if I am still an avid reader, and still do follow them, up to now. But both my interests changed over the years, and reading this book, with all its tales of unhappy artists and tense working situations, II wonder if I would have been truly happy? Or perhaps I was never meant to be in it...

Monday, December 10, 2012

S Curve at the gym

Just as I was leaving the gym, I saw a young man sit on the stretching mat, just sitting on his legs. I can't do that for some reason (well, not comfortably) but he just basically sank into his seat, and his relaxed form created a nice S curve, even down to how his neck craned counter to his curved upper back, with his face pointed up as he listened to his iPod. I may use the pose in a future sketch but for now I just wanted to see if I could capture the feeling ... especially since I just finished a big website, and I'm a bit bereft of creative energy for now.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

5 Minute Moment

I haven't done a sketch with a time limit in a while. I wanted to do something quick since I'm in the thick of finishing up a big website project, and as I've said many times before, I feel I only have a finite amount of creative energy, so if I use it for designing, I may have none left for drawing. This is a sketch of what I was wearing yesterday, as I took a break from designing and just walked around the neighborhood. I liked the immediacy of the gesture so much that I colored it up a bit more for another 10 minutes, so it's not quite a 5 minute piece but the original sketch is!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Richard and his friend Heron

Richard and his friend Heron have discovered what appears to be a space-time wormhole inside the bedspread.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Naturally, Done

I had to take a break from all the web work, but I still didn't have the wherewithal to do something new, so I figured, let's polish off this piece once and for all. I removed the undone bits and decided to render it fully. I'm reminded of how I saw the strokes of Frank Frazetta. Ah, if I had only known when I was young that I would grow into those strokes, and that the ease with which the artists I looked up to drew, might be seen in some of my own work. I think people take note of my line, and I never thought much of it before, but it's my own.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Caught In The Solar Wind 2

I like how this doodle looked in sketch. I wondered if developing it further will make it better or worse, as sometimes it's nice to let the simple lines speak for themselves. And as I added color, I realize how lopsided the face actually turned out to be, but that's the charm with the 'pencils': the viewer can fill in the blanks as far as the detail is concerned. It used to be a goal of mine to be able to suggest so fully with such brevity. I guess I've moved on to trying to make things look fuller fullness.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mais Oui

A friend asked me for help regarding a tote bag he had to decorate Paris-themed bag, so I suggested a trompe loeil effect.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Caught In The Solar Wind

I'm a bit dismayed with how much I've been working off photos lately. Much of my artistic life was devoted to the goal of being able to draw things without references, because that's what I believed my comic book idols did - they drew because they could imagine something and put it down on paper because they were that good. I wanted to be that good, but I was always finding out how much I had to learn. So I decided to just draw without thinking. I opened up Painter and drew an eye, and immediately the idea came to do a woman with some sort of distressed expression, her hair flowing in the wind (because I'm just on that tangent). In my head it's Jean Grey, in her gown that she wore before she died and turned into Phoenix. I was quite happy with the face. If I were drawing comics, I'd like to draw faces like this.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Naturally 5

Decided to work on the other hand this evening. What's funny is I did a rather full rendering of the hand, but in context of the whole drawing it looked better if I left it only partially rendered, with just some partial lines to delineate the path of the silhouette.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Naturally 4

Figure that while I'm on a pencil brush kick, might as well tackle this one again. For some reason this time around, I want to try and render the line work even more traditionally (well, for me) as I find myself erasing and re-rendering the lines I had put down before. This hand in particular, which is almost the whole point of the sketch, is a bit problematic. (Sketch to be uploaded)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Damir Flow

One of the themes flowing through - pun intended - fashion is the very loose, drapey and flowy, almost Middle-Eastern forms perhaps best associated with Giorgio Armani circa the late 70s, maybe early 80s. Damir Doma was one of the early proponents of the look, and this is a quick sketchy rendering of a photo of a look he did for 2010.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Without actual form. One of the things prized in fashion illustration is the ability to delineate for with a minimum of lines. The simpler, the more elegant. I've been studying current tropes favored by younger illustrators to try and dissect what makes them more desirable to younger generations, and seeing how they differ from (or are similar to) previous generations techniques...

And there are crazy made up hats!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Framed: Isauro

I went through various miniscule details but it's amazing how the tiniest tweaks make a difference to my eyes, so much so that I can feel that this portrait is done. Done! Wonder now if I should go ahead and actually do it as a series like I had originally planned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Noel, Joanne and their friend Heron

Noel, Joanne and their friend Heron huddled in closer for the shot... which, as you can see, really wasn't terribly necessary.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Framed 8

I ran into my model for this piece, Isauro, when I went to the gym this evening (well, afternoon if you discount how early the sun sets) and he appears to be growing his hair out. So I need to finish this before he doesn't resemble his portrait! I totally cheated though and didn't finish last night, and kept refining it well into the next night - I really wanted to finsih it. And it's pretty close to done - just need to stop a bit, and come back to it later and see if I'm satisfied with the progress. But for now it looks good.

Another reason I delayed was in my numbering system, this was drawing number 2000!  But that's kinda weird since I know that sometimes I have multiple entries for a day and they all have the same number, but additionally, my blog count says I have about 2190 posts, which may include notes and alerts, but I can't think I would have done about 200 non-drawing posts. Still, in almost 6 years, I suppose it's highly possible.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Beardy 2

I didn't finish it the way I liked yesterday, but I liked what I started. It was one of those drawings that you do when you have an idea, and you just decide to sketch it. If I had a sketchpad handy, this would be on it... and worked on over and over, just for fun...

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Beards have gone from ironic to fairly mainstream in fashion. Now they're just as normal as tattoos: considered edgy, but not unusual. I do like it when the man wearing the beard isn't so much a bear as a normal weight or even skinny guy wearing it as a style element. I like the fashion edge more than the fetish aspect of a beard.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Framed 7

Sometimes time passing between working on a piece is a good thing, because it allows you to see things you were either too invested in to change, or it just lets you feel less' precious' about the work you're doing. Sometimes I feel like everything needs to be 'just so, but when I opened this up again I just found myself sketching away automatically, adding more shading when I think I was actually holding back before. I think I had a particular style in mind that I wanted to mimic, but this time I just drew the way I felt like drawing, and it seemed to make things go by faster. How is this different from the previous? Well, fuller shading, and even more fullness to come, methinks.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I kept of thinking how bad this drawing was, in terms of finishing.I kept thinking I needed to go back into it and clean it up. So I brought it into Photoshop because this was drawn originally in Painter. It's funny, Painter was my program of choice but now, I'm so used to working in Photoshop and have figured out some of the brushes I want, that I didn't feel comfy in Painter the way I used to.Anyhow, I think cleaning up the linework is more than I want to do right now, so I did at least try to compose it so it was a bit more interesting as an action shot...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What A Character, v2.0

I went back to my photographs to see if there was a better photo. While the previous shot I started sketching was a good portrait, I realize that the second one made for a better action shot. So I'm testing two sketches for this vignette...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What A Character

Kenshin is an accomplished hairstylist in the NY downtown scene, but he's visually quite the character. IN some ways it's really easy to draw him because of his prominent styling, but at the same time, it becomes a challenge to get past them and draw his real features. So what I thought was a good start a few days ago? Not so much. I had to retool almost all of it, and it's still not there.

Hair Again!

Well, I was making cocktails earlier tonight and just wanted something mindless to sketch while I enjoyed my Spicy Pear Martini. Well, the second one. And before I knew it the clock had ticked 12 mn, and I forgot to post in time for yesterday.But anyhow, here's tonight's/lasy night's sketch.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hair (Again) Today

I have quite a few drawings to catch up on but certainly need to take a brief breather form the fashion illustration. Always good to take a break. And drawing in a more comicbook frame of mind, I'm wondering to myself, what happened to my line? It's gotten strangely fine back in Painter! Anyhow, I thought this might be former Hellfire Club villain, The Black Queen, Selene (from The X-men).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hiroki and his friend Heron

Hiroki and his friend Heron are fully booked this week.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Naturally 3

This nude of my friend F is turning out somewhat classical (for me) and I don't mind. After all the fashion illustration, I need to do something else as a creative sorbet.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Zipper LIne

After dinner uptown with my friends last night, I sat on the train home, and took to observing what people wore,as I usually do. A woman who stood next to me had side-zipped boots over tights that had side zippers from the ankles almost to her knee, and I liked the fact that they lined up pretty perfectly with the boot zipper. But the reality of my realization doesn't necessarily make a compelling drawing, so I'm glad at least for a flimsy excuse to practice my fauxtercolors in Photoshop.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hair Today

I've been drawing too many men, and I felt the need to just draw whatever came to my stylus... and yup, it was some super heroine figure. I rather liked how it formed (there's more, but I cropped it for now) because I hadn't planned on anything and it was all instinct. Also, I'm tipsy from vodka.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fashion In Progress: Siki Im

And here's the previous series on designer Siki Im.

And while I've posted older projects, here's a new one for today: the remarkable Kenshin,who does hair for many of Downtown's fashion elite...

Fashion In Progress: Antonio Azzuolo

I realize that while I posted the intermediary stages for my projects, I never actually posted the complete finished series. So here is the Antonio Azzuolo series on my Behance profile.