Sunday, April 29, 2012

That's Just Ducky

Dale knows what I mean. ;)

Male Physique Model Sketching

Instructor Steven B. holds a regular Sunday night salon at F.I.T., that sometimes features fashion models, other times male physique models, and other times still, a combination of both. It's basically up to you what you decide to draw, he provides the space, the models, and the art direction. I'd been doing a lot of fashion illustration lately and felt like doing something less flow-y, so I went earlier this evening. Two really fun-to-draw male models with two completely different looks.


I spoke earlier with my old friend Senen about my tendency to just render, and not do finished pieces. Granted, I do have a few finished pieces here on my blog, but I suppose in relation to the sheer quantity of work I have here, it doesn't seem that much... especially since a lot of them are digital exercises that I don't necessarily labor over and reeeally clean up the details. I reasoned that as an art director, I may have compartmentalized my sensibilities, keeping design on the work side and just pure illustration on the other. So tonight, I made a conscious effort not only try and render as much as possible but to lay out the drawings in a way that each sheet could be deemed a finished piece. I think, all things considered, I got a few nice pieces out of it.

Sans scanner, I will upload more pics when I can take clear photos tomorrow during the day, but for now he's a shot of my fave of the evening, of male model Omar.
edit: updated with all the drawings from the evening.

Peekaboo 7

I'm all up in arms!  After spending some time away from this piece, I once again open it to finish it off a bit more, and once again, the arm doesn't look right. Granted, the pose isn't supposed to look 'right' but there's a right way to show that wrongness! And so once again, I retooled it. I succumbed, though, and instead of posing in the mirror or in front of my cam, I looked for actual models in the Broken Doll pose (I try to really draw something without copying a reference, but sometimes, I just don't have the knowledge to do so extemporaneously). And the right references really help, believe me - getting that almost gangly model arm is important to capture the look. Yes, it might not be your cuppa tea, but I'm trying to get a feeling across...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bobby, his family, and their friend Heron

Bobby, his family, and their friend Heron finally completed their migration to Canada... which in Heron's case really just involved flapping into town.

Friday, April 27, 2012

P is for Prince

I think I've completed this portrait!I had to work with another pic to get his ear right, because the original photo I was working with was cropped off. Hopefully my friend will like it, and the person he's gifting it to will think it looks like him. Fingers crossed!


This isn't technically a new drawing post since it was completed yesterday, but I wanted to post the full image of the "After July" series, so named because this was a commission for August magazine out of Asia. Working from a photo taken by my friend Chunky, here's the complete view of my digital portrait illustration of top male model Noah Mills.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shape Up: Society of Illustrators Workshop

Dior's resident artist Bil Donovan held a workshop earlier this evening at the Society of Illustrators' mansion on the UES. As I imagined, he provided valuable insight into how he works when he creates fashion illustration. His wonderfully reductive style is something I've admired, and while I'm not sure how it may incorporate into my own style (well, such as it is) Bil's certainly someone I can learn from. Since it ended late, I'll upload some sketches from the session later tomorrow, including the many shape sighting exercises, that really gave me insight into how the masterful Bil works.

(as you can see, I've edited this entry as I've already uploaded a series of pics)

This is the drawing Bil didn't like. I like that he had a strong enough opinion about it, and it's certainly not as distinct as the simplicity of the style he advocates. But it's more my style (albeit a bit wan, because I was using colored pencil and not very aggressively). Bil thought it was weak, and as a composition, the light pencils don't give enough gravitas. One great takeaway from the evening is the need for me to think of my illustrations as graphically laid out pieces. I used to do that, but now I seem to be satisfied just rendering... I don't know when that happened, but it needs to stop! Perhaps I'm too reliant on digital editing and page layout programs that I think I can compose the images later...

This one Bil did like, but I am not as convinced. I do see what he means, but I dislike my use of pencil. I should have used ink, or watercolor...

Testing, Testing...

Another attendee at the Fashion Illustration Meetup I recently attended was very keen on a particular program she seemed quite enamored of. SketchBookPro, she opined, was the best illustration program ever! Well, I don't know about that. It certainly handles fairly well, more responsive than Painter in my opinion though not necessarily any better than Photoshop in CS5, but the lack of different brushes and media styles, leaves me a bit unconvinced. This was a sample sketch made in the program to test things out. I must admit the pencil tool looks very 2B pencil-like, and it handled really smoothly.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

After July, Part 4

Ear's to you! I spend most of the evening trying to make the ear match the rest of the painting. I wasn't seeing the right colors in the ear to match the rest of the face, so I kept going back and forth to make sure the techniques had similar color treatments. I may still change things but for now, I suppose I'll let it sit and look at it fresh tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

After July, Reboot 4

I worked on this all day Monday, but unfortunately there was an outage in my internet service, and I was unable to upload anything. I suppose in a way it was good because it allowed me to focus, but an, we are SO internet-reliant nowadays, I felt like I had lost a limb!

Anyhow, this got cleaned and detailed and polished so much I wonder if I should leave well enough along. But I like some of the changes I effected. I'm especially proud of how solid (and slightly manicured) the nose and lips are looking.

I can't really post the full image until I submit it to the magazine that may use it, but will certainly do so after they decide what to do with it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

P is for Portrait

My friend's portrait was pretty close to done, I think. Since I was working on a similar digital portrait for a male model recently, my friend's request to finally get a file of this piece caused me to take a critical eye at it even if I previously thought might be finished. But with the new Photoshop that I didn't have around the time I last touched this painting, it ended up getting smoothed over a lot, not unlike previous pieces I've done before. Now it's almost done now. Heh.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Face Study

I had a few drawing ideas pop into my head while I was watching music videos while doing the elliptical trainer. Looks like I have a coupe more drawings to make a series, to add the other series I have yet to finish. ugh, I wish I would just finish them all already! This one I might get a friend, a Japanese model, to pose for, for me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pear Thing

I didn't want to work on the complicated portraits I've been doing lately, so have a pear thing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Post-Op Treat

After an afternoon spent at the doctor's having a minor procedure done, I'm all woozy and still have a bitch of a headache. So I'm just posting a quickie. Which is also a cookie, which resembles but doesn't look exactly like the cookies I had after I came to. But drawing it makes me want a cookie now!

After July, Reboot 3

When I finish a piece in a certain style, and then really love it, I tend to keep it by itself and never repeat it, moving on to newer styles I'd like to try. It might be the fear of failure, that future pieces will never be as good. Unfortunately that doesn't allow for a body of work viewers can say is mine, or so I imagine. Fortunately, I have a tendency to paint the same way, with daubs of color that look haphazard and somewhat natural, despite being digital. This is one of my favorite styles I've done in recent history, and it seems to be popular as well on Facebook judging from the comments. And I've decided to revisit it for this portrait.

I can see equal parts movie poster painting (Filipinos will recall the giant painted movie posters that touted upcoming releases all over the streets of Manila, each poster painstakingly hand painted by artists), as well as what I remember from a paper doll book on weddings that I brought home from my father's supermarket. No one else knows this, and they probably thought I was being the effeminate gay child wanting a bridal paper doll, but what I remember from it, several decades later, was the painting style that seemed to be either acrylic or gouache, and its highly realized technique has influenced my work all my life. I wish I kept it, but that would have seemed too weird for a kid who was probably all of 9 or 10 years old.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

After July Rebooted, 2

Thank goodness for digital daubs of color - you can keep reworking a piece without ruining the medium. I think one of the best things about digital painting for me is that I can keep adjusting something without worrying about overworking the color. For example, I keep redoing these lips, but there's no real worry of changing them completely. Thank goodness for multiple undos!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I've been thinking of doing a drawing of my friends' daughter as a gift, but I'm trying to decide whether it's more important to get a likeness, or create a character that I can actually draw going forward. I suppose that will have to evolve like any of my characters... they never look exactly the same after I've drawn them a while...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fashion Illustration Meetup 04.15.12

My favorite piece (and last) of the day
 I attended the monthly Fashion Illustration Meetup once again, and today was one of those days when things just seemed to work. The model was great as usual, but the clothing this time around was clean and simple, mostly black and white. It made creating illustrations simpler, as then I could use the time editing my shapes versus trying to create detail. Christopher, one of the moderators, took photos of my pieces for me, and since his camera is much better than mine, I'll just wait until I get those shots in my email so I can upload them.

Didn't love my angle, but I wasn't about to shift places and lose time.
Not my favorite since the angle was pretty odd and detail-free,
but I liked my brushwork, as it helped get me to the final one above.
I was thinking this is very Miguel Angel in style/color ;)

Ozzie and his friend Heron

Ozzie and his friend Heron both wanted a memorable shot in front of the Berlin Wall, but Heron clearly had other ideas.

After July, Rebooted

Seems like the direction I was going was too simple for the intended client, so I'm redoing it in an older, more painterly style not unlike one I did for model David Gandy years ago. Let's hope this turns out as well! These are just the initial tones daubed on to my pencil sketch, and hopefully it will revert to looking like the model again once I get them more refined.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Shower

This is another terrible drawing, but I'm suffering from lack of sleep. My downstairs neighbor's bathroom apparently had a leak coming from the ceiling, and our super somehow traced it to my bathroom, but he wasn't sure how. Enter the plumber, whose appointment was inconveniently scheduled for between 8 and 11 in this morning. And because I had bought tickets for and scheduled to see Cabin In The Woods at the midnight screening the night before, I ended up having barely 3 hours sleep before he arrived. My super kept suggesting it was my shower head, but the plumber took one look at the bathroom fixtures and called the issue in less than 3 minutes: one of the knobs just needed a newer nut or something like that. My super still insisted that I should change my shower head because it was leaking, but I don't know if he was just doing that to save face.

Cabin In The Woods

I don't recall what I did all day yesterday but I know that it was all leading to a midnight showing of Cabin In The Woods, the much delayed, much awaited film from my geek deity Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. So I was out late - after making dinner for me and my friend Kevin - to go see a midnight screening. It was amazing. I didn't get to draw anything before or after that, so this is a makeup drawing. Not much of one, but it's all I have the energy for.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

After July, Part 3

More obsessive portraiture. I'm not even sure I should do it this way but I guess I am - it's just me drawing without necessarily planning, which I suppose is good. Being obsessive like I knew I would, I'm constantly niggling and adjusting lines and shadows and shapes... I'm not even going for realistic feel, but I do want it to resemble the photo I'm basing it on.. Interestingly enough, the 'feeling' of the model is more important than getting a realistic likeness. I don't recall that ever being the case with me before.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

After July, part 2

I'm enjoying this drawing - it's just basically penciling in the model's features and not worrying about color. I'm hoping it turns out well...

After July

Trying to get together a sketch I was asked to do on spec for a photographer friend. I normally don't do spec work ever, but this project is fun for me and work a shot to see if I can get it done to my liking. I'm hoping to get more of a likeness of the model as I go on but this is the initial sketch that will no doubt go through multiple rounds of revision... and that's even before I show it to the photographer. I'm hoping I can refine it to my liking...

edit: It occurred to me today that I should probably not reveal the drawing too fully even if I'm not really saying who or where it's going. Still, if I've achieved any likeness, it would be obvious. So I'm gonna err on the side of discretion and merely post a crop.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pencil Experiment

Does this look like pencil/graphite?  Because it's completely Photoshop. I'm trying out new brushes to see if I need to work in graphite for a project I want to do. This was just done quickly, no references for realism.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Color Blocky

An illustration in a Japanese magazine inspired a very blocky, minimalist approach that I like very much, especially after I put my own spin on it. Not exactly seasonally apropos with the half nudity, but then again neither was Zenaida, and I'm already imagining a series based on it. Hopefully the ease with which it can be rendered will mean I actually get to do it quickly (and finish it).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Men's Croquis 2012, colored

I didn't really try to do my own thing save for the technique - I followed what was in the photo. I think it turned out okay nevertheless. It looks to me like he has a very au courant, Japanese attitude. Considering I got the reference from a Japanese fashion website, I would hope so.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bunny Zenaida

Clearly I'm mixing my bunny metaphors, but I thought I'd go for it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Men's Croquis 2012

I noticed in my blog stats that the most views I get are for my croquis. I suspect that there are a few fashion illustration students scouring the net for free croquis (does anyone aside from fashion people use the term?) In fact, I did oblige a viewer a request in a former post, but that drawing was in 2009, and I think that I've gotten a bit more back into my fashion illustration. So here's a croquis with an updated men's pose with a longer, more modern lean body type, suitable for younger menswear looks. If anyone finds this and decides to make use of it, do let me know. I'd love to see what people do with it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hares More

Continuing the rabbitfest that is this Hare series...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Silly Bird & Friend

You know what happens when you get caught up designing all day?  You don't have any energy left to draw. Well, not seriously at least. Case in point.