Monday, March 31, 2014

Websketches 4

Another one on the list: trend reportage. I think I've committed to too many items/figures on each drawing...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Websketches 3

Old guy reading a book with reading glasses (that was basically the entire brief)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Websketches 2

Took on a new drawing project that won't pay much, but will be on a beautiful website (I know and trust the designers' taste levels). This week might be all about rough thumbnails.


I have to make a few very simplistic illustrations for a website so while I get my bearings (because I have quite a few projects all tumbling together this week/weekend) I'm starting with the thumbnail stages whenever I get a moment.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Actual Doodling

I spent 2 hours on a stultifying conference call, and I did what I could to best pass the time - I doodled.  And on actual paper with a pen, no less!  What struck me as interesting is my default doodle was a fashion illustration. I tried to draw Phoenix of the X-men (who used to be my favorite subject) but, well... I was bored. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter's Still Here...

... and fuzzy too. I was chatting with my friend Kyle and he was looking at this blog while we talked, and he liked the cartoonish sketches I did with the fuzzy renditions of the last menswear shows. So I was thinking, Russian Asian woman in fur...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014


I wasn't going to draw anything of import, so it kinda morphed into this possible sportsman with an intense expression on his face. And a giant toothpick for a javelin.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Good Hair Day

Starting a piece that has been in the planning stages (along with at least 2 others in a series) since 2011.

Sidewalk Past Midnight

I was walking home late (also the reason this post is late) after watching the second Hunger Games movie at my friend's boyfriend's place in the East Village and I saw a guy standing talking to his girlfriend, and I just liked his stance.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Slope Shouldered Coat

I've been obsessed with this style all winter, and have been looking for a men's version to wear since last year (albeit in a more oversized version back then). I see many a version when I walk to the gym, but this one Asian girl struck me with what she was wearing, as I had an image in my head to draw her. Granted, the drawing I saw in my head was a lot less fashion illustration-y, but what I like about doing it sketchy like this is it allows me to finish as quickly as if I would do it with natural media. Or in other words, in about 15 minutes or so.

It's interesting how comfy doing these watercolors feel, and how much more natural they feel to me. Compared to how I was illustrating before (when I was just drawing from my head), it's looking and maybe feeling much, much looser.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gibson Gal

I've been watching the series Mr. Selfridge, and while I can't stand Jeremy Pivens' acting in it, I am intrigued by the period setting. Not my favorite looks, but still, interesting. I kinda hate Lady Loxley, but I can't seem to get her hairdo out of my head. Not that this looks like her, much older in fact. But fun with more of Kyle Webster's brushes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brushworks 8: Brush Roulette Experiment

A little pressed for time because I'm straining under a couple of deadlines, I decided to do a brush roulette: I would close my eyes and select one of the Kyle Webster Watercolor brushes and work with them that way. I did this several times and just played. I kinda like how the drawing looks, but that can happen when I explore new media. I kinda like two of the brushes here - might have to incorporate them more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Draw anything

... but no erasing. That was the idea behind the linework. I wasn't pleased with the final image, but I was going to go with it. It looks like some sort of ethnic character in a myth or religious story. Don't ask me why, I just did whatever seemed right to draw. The colors I started with one stroke and then erased it, so that was the only erasure in the entire process... not that the final result is in any way desirable, haha! But it was a good experiment.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

AA14.11 Wide-Eyed

The model for this sketch had a very wide-eyed expression on her face. I kept fighting changing it and losing teh likeness, versus making it more to my liking. In the end I hope I kept her expression but softend it enough that it wouldn't be the first thing you read from the sketch. Granted, I think the sketch should be printed fairly small, so it gives a different perspective on the sketch as a whole. Up close as you can inspect it here, the irregularities that make my watercolor rendering look so natural can look downright raw and unsettling if you stare at them too closely...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Gray (Re)Done

That's better.

I lied. I couldn't leave it alone as I thought I needed to get more definition into the shading of his neck - it just looked so flat (well, flatter than I want it to be, considering all the flat color fields in this series).

Friday, March 14, 2014

AA14.10 Ladylegs

There's a female component to this project, and while it's fun to do portraits and faces based on real models, sometimes you just have to play with the figure when the pose isn't to your liking. So instead of the stock, shock-still robotic stance preferred in most presentations right now, I went for a bit more movement and contraposto. I like the way I draw legs, and I enjoy rendering pants. And I particularly enjoy these cropped loose layers over cigarette slim pants - shows more body.

Although the model has this shocked expression on her face, so I'm cropping that out until I know how to deal with it...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

AA14.9 Idea

Well, it wasn't hard to execute, in fact it was pretty much just like the initial sketch... mostly because it has to look sketchy. There's more to it since there'll be actual photography faded in and out of it, but I'm only including my illustration part of it, the rest is more graphic design.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kaluta Eyes 4

I'm going for some crazy (and what appears to me to be) 90s hair experimentation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kaluta Eyes 3

Piece by piece... she's got a more current face (reminds me a bit of Stam), but that hair is all me in the 90s!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Gray, Done

I think it's done!  On to the next one in the series...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kaluta Eyes 2

I have to draw more, without using references. Like this one. Well, no direct references. although Mike Kaluta will always be an influence, however particular that is.

I like how intense yet slightly wall-eyed she is. Banlag, we used to call it back home. Or maybe it's just the fact that my drawing is assymetrical and needs to be fixed, but every time I've done that in the past, it's resulted in a lifeless sketch. Need to fix without removing any expression from the strokes...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kaluta Eyes

One of the most enduring influences on my work is one very specific rendering by comic book artist Mike Kaluta. He drew a cover for a comic book entitled Doorway To Nightmare with a character named Madame Xanadu. The way he drew her eyes, staring straight at the viewer, but with a wry little smile across her lips, made such an impression on me that I always remember it whenever I try to draw the same expression. Even my male model Max is probably a reminder of Kaluta, because he looks like a male version of Xanadu, with those large, lidded eyes.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Unfamiliar brush effects with seldom used colors and random application can sometimes bring about great surprises. I like how this turned out. If I have the wherewithal, I'd love to see if I can develop this style further...

AA14.8 Idea

I was speaking with Antonio, the designer with whom I'm collaborating with on this sketch project, about the ideas he wanted, and there was something about a sketch that blended into collage. I took out teh other collage bits and just kept the sketch part for my blog.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

AA14.7 Washes

Well, I finalized the washes on the jacket. It's not as intuitive as with my last brushes, but I do think it looks more like a strong watercolor style. Now I'm worried people will expect me to paint like this in real life! Ooh, they're in for a letdown. These are painstakingly manipulated over a few days to achieve that effortless look, haha!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

AA14.6 Washes

I did about 6 different washes on this jacket, and still have to find the right combination of detailed and undone. With real media, the media does what it does. With digital approximation, you have to fake it. All the randomness is contrived to look juuuust right.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

AA14.5 The Bleed

One of the things I really love about natural watercolors is when wet on wet painting produces veiny, bleeding washes. It was something I couldn't approximate very well (or at all) in digital media. Well, it seems Kyle Webster's brushes and smudgers can allow you to do just that! They won't have the really complex network of spiny fingers spreading out, but you can get a softened version. I'm going to try this on that jacket I couldn't figure out the other day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

AA14.4a Suddenly

I got new photos to work from and one in particular that i had requested, and the silhouette just made it so easy to render and.. uh... finish. I just finished it. I'm kind of in disbelief, because I did it more like I do a natural media watercolor, as in I finish the piece then and there. Of course, it's so immediate looking (which is what I want) but now the initial one looks a bit labored.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

AA14.4 Washes

This is more about testing techniques. I'm not quite sure how to go with this to properly finish it... and I think the scale of these washes is a bit wrong for this piece. Dunno how to proceed, esp. after yesterday's seeming triumph at getting the face right...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

AA14.3 Benjamin

I'm starting to get a groove. :)

And with an actual piece as opposed to a practice sketch, I'm a bit more particular about how I want the effects to look, so I'm learning to apply Kyle Webster's brushes more specifically. Lots of nice bits here and there, although still not satisfied with the whole left side of the jacket (hence the "Work In Progress" overlay, because I don't want this version reblogged without anyone knowing it's not done!). But more importantly, I'm having fun! And I'm rather happy with how his face turned out. Benjamin is kind of a cross between Keanu Reeves and Cate Blanchett (with his platinum blond locks at least).