Thursday, November 10, 2011

Centaur Finished!

Ta da! Things will probably still be finessed, but I need some fresh eyes. This is 98% final. I like it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Centaur Progress

Just so everyone knows, those centaurs are battling it out! Still. Trying to make this puppy look awesome. So here's just a little tidbit. I'd give you more, but I think any other shot will give too much away. But I have been taking lots of progress photos so you can see the progression once it's done. So hold your horses! - er half horses (does that mean you're a centaur and you're commanding the lower half of your body to remain still? I don't know. Like maybe this clip from Fantasia where the girl centaur has to whip her behind to jump the fence- fast forward to 3:32), and we'll see you all again here soon for the reveal!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh Fortuna! Centaur Battle!

It's either a man's choir, or that Mortal Kombat voice, but you can't deny... CENTAUR BATTLE! Forgive me, it just cracks me up. I've finally come up with a color study (with the prodding help of my sister to make it dark and twisty enough) and I think I've landed closer to epic awesome centaur battle, and have ridden safely away from wolf-howling-at-the-moon-with-lightning tapestry. The battle begins tomorrow... in oil, on gessoed canvas if you'd like to know. I'm all set to go, and everything is drawn out. I'll try to be more diligent about taking process photos as well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Centaur color studies

I've settled on the far right composition from my last post, the moment where the centaurs are about to strike. Here are some color ideas floating around my head, still not sure what direction I'm going to go in, but I'm leaning towards anything heat lightning-y. Anything that outwardly depicts the inner fury of these warring man horses. Haha! My job is ridiculous. I love it!

Centaur studies

Ah, I'm much less impulsive, more calculating, and smarter about my studies with the morning. So, here is where we should have begun, little value compositions to help me decide which direction to go. The starred ones are the ones I'm considering, and I'm really leaning towards the one on the right. It's right before the moment of impact, and I think although there are nuances to a fight like this, this is probably the most interesting moment.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Centaur Battle!

I mean, how can you not read the title of this blog post and imagine "Centaur Battle" being said in a Mortal Kombat voice? And I promise to make it bad ass. They're batting it out like wild mustangs over leadership of the herd. And here is my brain, trying to make tangible some of the color ideas, and composition ideas in my head. It may change a lot from here, it might change a little. But the morning always brings a fresher outlook on these things, so we shall see.. in any case.... CENTAUR BATTLE! GO!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Do your best.

I've been trying to "do my best"- a lovely phrase my old Korean roommate, JeeHee, liked to use that I have since adopted and especially use when I need an extra kick in the butt when I'm working. Hence the title of the post. I'm going back into some previous pieces and really trying to make them the very best I can. I still think both of these could be finessed even more, but... I got excited to show them off. I promise though, I'll do my best.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Goldilocks Progress

It's coming along. I'm not a fan of it completely yet. Maybe because it's a little more "cartoon-y" than I usually do. We'll see. As my dad always said, "You can always save a painting". While I maybe not really believe that (I think you need to know when a bad idea is just a bad idea - kind of a "you can't polish a turd" situation), his mantra must be more true for digital painting! God bless "Ctrl + Z"! (Edit, undo!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

I decided I needed a couple more child friendly pieces in my portfolio, so I'm working on this digital Goldilocks piece. It's kind of tricky re-learning how to paint fur digitally, but it's a good challenge. I'll just keep on keepin' on with this, and look back for further progress and the finish!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Moby Dick Finished!

Mocked up like a book cover and all. He's comin' for ya! I like it! Website worthy, I say. I might check back in day or two with fresh eyes to see if there's anything I'd like to amend or change.

Next up! Goldilocks and the three bears!

Um, I think we found him

This freaks me out. I ended up choosing the green color study, and I think it lends a really good, freaky, sickening feeling about the whole thing. About every five minutes though, when I really bother to look at it, I get the shivers! Who knows, maybe this will help me get over my fear! Honestly though, if I got to see a whale up close, I'd be so excited.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moby Dick Colors

Whoohooo hoo hooh oooo! Gives me the jibblies. I know I posted "willies" earlier, but I feel like we've really gotten to know each other, so I think it's time you know that I actually say jibblies. Now, picture these with a little more dimension of color, a little less monochromatic. But you get the feel of the thing here (remember to click on it to see it better!). Huge animal + tiny people out of their element = "OMG. OMG OMG That thing is huge." I only say this because... biggest fear. Things coming out of the gloom of the water. Let it be known though, that Moby Dick was not a ferocious, man eating whale. Really, it was that crazy Ahab that was the bloodthirsty one. Poor old Moby was just being a whale.

Look back for progress on this one! Haven't completely settled on what color I'm going with, but I'm leaning towards the green and the brown, actually.

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is one of his most famous poems. In it, a raven drives the narrator crazy by only repeating, "Nevermore" which rhymes with the narrator's lost love Lenore. The raven is perched on a bust of Pallas Athena (only referred to Pallas in the poem). Done in Photoshop CS5 featuring, again of course, the lovely Wacom Intuos 4 tablet and pen. This only took me about 5 or 6 hours from concept to completion.

Next up for big projects, I think I'll be traditionally (with oil paint) tackling Moby Dick! Think about it... white whale, coming up out of the gloom of a dark green sea.... aswdvielbws!!! It gives me the willies! On a side note, giant squid coming out of the gloom of the ocean is one of my worst fears. Actually, anything coming out of the fogginess of the water. But, at the same time... mmm glazes of dark green over the whale... could be cool!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sci-Fi Final

She is sexy. And bleeding. But she'll pull through, you know she's one tough girl!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sci-Fi Progress

Did some color studies, selected this one. She's progressing! Click to see the detail.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logan's Run

But not really Logan's Run. But this sci-fi girl is running away from someone, and she's just hit the door close and lock button just in time- but it seems she's suffered some sort of cut on her side. I'm having fun with this and I intend to take it all the way! No color yet, but here's as far as I've gotten so far. It's funny what interesting images pop in your head at 5:30 in the morning... As artists, we are constantly thinking. Constantly. Constantly running images, concepts and compositions through our heads. Constant. Good and bad, all the time. Did I mention that it's constant and that you can't turn it off? This ain't no nine to five job kids, ho no. You live with it. (By the way, remember to click the image to see it larger!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mountain Home

A new digital piece. I came up with it in my head while visiting the Grand Canyon on my way to California. I don't think it's done, I'm still learning a lot about Photoshop to help take my pieces to the level I want them to be. But here's some progress anyway!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dirigible Finito!

Yep. I like him. There's something still missing, but for now, looks good, and I've got to keep moving forward with the portfolio building. But I really do like this one. I think I could go further with it given the enormous storyline I concocted in my head just for one painting! Remember to click on it to get a larger view.

The Digital Revolution

Well, in order to stay competitive, I've decided to make digital painting a regular tool in my arsenal. I just got a brand new Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, and I'm lovin' it! It's a lot of fun. So, here are just a couple of master studies from John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla (respectively). Neither took me very long, and I didn't bother to texture them or get too fancy, and I'm still happy with the results! So, look forward to some digital pieces from me in the near future!

By the way, for those who don't know, digital painting is not any easier or better than traditional painting. I don't trace anything: I still draw and paint and make creative decisions like I would otherwise. The upside is that digital does expedite my process, because I can "Edit, Undo" and change colors at the click of a button. The speed and the act of being "paperless" is what ultimately makes it more desirable in certain situations.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dirigible Days 4/5..?

Days 4 or 5. No more anyway. Something feels missing. I'm not sure what. Maybe it's just a matter of rendering out the ships in the sky a little more, or adding another one, but I don't know. Lovin' my little dinghy though. You like the gold eagle there? Yeah, me too. Make sure to click on the full picture so you can see everything better than in this tiny view.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Drawing Club in LA

First, here's the progress of days two and three of the the dirigible piece. It's coming along, and there is still a lot of the day to go on this day 3/4 ish... I kind of lost track because stuff was happening, like...

The Drawing Club
! The Drawing Club is based in L.A. It was a themed three hour long session of poses with a model. I was surrounded by professional animators and illustrators doing what we love to do best! It was fun. If you click on The Drawing Club link (the words "The Drawing Club at the beginning of this paragraph), a couple of my illustrations are sitting there with the others'. It's fun to see everyone's different take on it, and it's great have all of these opportunities to participate in my industry's community while living here in Cali.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dirigible Day One

Here's what I got done yesterday. I'm liking it! This one should progress very quickly!
Oil: tit. white, cad. yellow, permanent rose, cad. red medium, cerulean, pthalo blue, burnt sienna (so far).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Study-o

Well hello again! It's been forever since I've updated the blog, but a lot has been going on recently. I just moved to California to live with my sister while her husband is away on Navy duty. I'm writing this new post from the "study-o": part study (for my sister), part studio.

See that canvas? He'll be our little boy in the dirigible dinghy. Starting it today as soon as the gesso's dry.

And would you believe it, I finally got myself that new camera I've been thinking about for a while! An Olympus XZ-1. It's a point and shoot (because, let's not fool ourselves, I know close to nothing about SLRs) and I am just amazed by the results. It looks fantastic. So, I have no excuse anymore for lack of quality photos of my work. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen: paintings from June to beginning of August. Go ahead, click on those puppies! The file sizes are probably way huge, but I don't care!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Colored Dirigible

Color study

Dirigible Revamped

I've found out recently that talking about your ideas for a piece out loud to someone else can have great repercussions on your work. For instance, I was explaining my dirigible piece to my very best friend (and boyfriend), Chris, who happens to be a mechanical engineer. He wanted to know all about my little made up world, and because I needed to give him answers to it, he helped me to cultivate a more interesting, well rounded illustration idea.

So the story now is that because this is a little cloud, flying civilization boy, he is much more interested in the ground he has never been able to touch rather than the clouds that constantly surround him. So he sneaks away in a little hot air balloon dingy to go see it for himself. When he arrives, he accidentally happens upon one of the ground natives that he's been warned against his whole life - in fact, it's one of the reasons he's never touched ground and part of the reason his people have never left the sky they had ventured to many many years ago. They didn't flee the natives, they just have lost so much time with their land bound cousins that they have invented all sorts of crazy beliefs about them. The natives are equally as wary of the boats in the sky, and it's been hundreds of years since they've seen the people that man them. The boy and the native are at once shocked, and in awe of the other, and that childlike wonder will probably win out and the two will become friends. Anyway, this is their meeting. And it might look something like this. (Ps, the contrast to help my focus characters stand out will be in the color, and less in the value. I'm referring specifically to around the boy's head)

Are you more interested?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Steampunk Dirigible

Hey there, thought I'd update all-a-ya'lls on what I'm going to work on next. Nothing is seriously finalized yet, just some sketches and some ideas floating around in my head. It's going to be more of a children's piece in a sort of a Russian, steampunk, dirigible/wooden ship kind of way. But at it's core it's going to be something more simple: kids just want to catch clouds in a bottle. I mean, I always wanted to. I would imagine being allowed to stick my head out of a plane window so I could gather up the fluffy stuff in a jar, and just keep it there like cotton candy for the eyes. So... I'm just exploring my own ideas from childhood for a children's piece.

Anyway, this is a page from my sketchbook (ha! like I'm devoted to just one at any given time. There's seriously about 10 lying around), which is typical of my thought processes for any piece. Also, I know for sure I'm using my brother as a youngster as reference. Seriously there has never been, nor ever will be, a cuter kid on the face of the planet. Look well readers, you are looking at the cutest human ever. I hope I do him justice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aloja finished!

Here she be. By the way, the colors are pretty darn accurate to the original. All in all, she probably only took me 3 days to complete, because the final day I busted out a bunch of work in a short time.

So, grand total, not counting the couple of days to brainstorm, gather reference, draw and do value and color studies: 3 days.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Aloja - Day Three

Day three of progress from yesterday. One more session and she should be good to go. Sorry for the differences in color between days. One day it's sunny, one day it's cloudy, yada yada. I'm trying, and I plan to scan this puppy for perfection when it's done. This is fairly close in color, but perhaps slightly more yellowy green in the sky.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Aloja - Day Two

As promised, day two of work. Day three may be delayed due to some other project deadlines (and I'll be able to show you these projects later), but the updates on Aloja here will keep coming. In any case, I only estimate maybe two more days to finish up the water and the birds and those last details.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Not to worry

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten to daily update. But due to some prior obligations that happened to coincide this weekend, I wasn't able to work yesterday (I was judging a llama 4-H show, no kidding) or this weekend. I will show you Day 2 of my progress which happened today, but I've gotta go! Look back later Monday or Tuesday for days 2 and 3 of the progress!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aloja - Day One

Rather than a big reveal, I thought I'd show my day by day progress. Might be more fun, or a different kind of fun anyway!

Day 1
(I'm excited!)

Color palette (oil): Titanium white, cad yellow med., raw sienna, burnt sienna, permanent rose, cobalt violet hue, ultramarine, sap green, payne's grey. Stand oil as a medium.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Nope, not the Hawaiian greeting, that's the name of our foxy Catalonian, water nymph, bird conjuring girl! I've worked on some color studies here in Photoshop, and I'm already sold on which colors I'm going with. Can you guess? Will it be:
1. Dusky twilight, green pond water with purple goodness?
2. Magical, mystifying teal and purple? Or...
3. Sultry red lady with tumultuous grey blue waters?

no peeking

no peeking


If you guessed "Dusky twilight green pond water with purple goodness" you guessed correctly! I just think it's the most interesting of the three, the least expected. And Lord knows I've been painting things blue for a few too many projects now. It is settled! Expect some crisper edges and darker darks in places for the finish though.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finished Stepping Stones and new painting

So here is the finished Stepping Stones piece! I'm going to let it sit me with me for a couple days and then decide if there is something else that needs to be done to it.

In the meantime, here is the next piece I'm starting. It's a Catalonian (Spanish) myth about a water nymph type creature who lives in fresh water and can turn water into blackbirds. Now, magical or otherwise, I have no idea why you would ever want/need to turn water into blackbirds, but it sounded like a cool illustration! This is a value study. But I'm telling you- I need a bigger scanner! It took me 10 scans to get the whole 28x36" drawing!

Monday, July 18, 2011


What would happen if Disney's Pocahontas and Megan Fox had a lovechild that then became famous enough that a Bratz doll was fashioned after her? It's a question I'm sure we've all asked, but finally- finally, here is the answer... in the form of "Oops! This first attempt at this painting is not working". Go ahead, click on the image to really understand the horror.

I said to myself, "uh oh, does this look like Pocahontas?" and then, "Oh no... there's a bleeping willow tree too!" Had I stumbled upon gold, John Smith? No, it was just lowly corn... shucks!!! (you see what I did there with Pocahontas, my upset feelings, and the title of this post? Huh? Huh?) I had never planned a Pocahontas painting. But our subconscious can have a funny way of creeping up on us. Well, the damage had been done and I needed to do some serious damage control, which I've been doing today. I did everything I could to make this new girl as much UNlike "Pokey" as I could, including redoing the face to be less Bratz like. I give you... red haired girl!

Still work to do, but we're on our way. I also got rid of the glowing pink plant. I figured there was too much foreign plant life to concentrate on, so I just eliminated it. It was also just a poor compositional choice, so I'm glad he is outta there. It should be all done by next week, and I'll do my best to get the best reproduction I can. A lot of the light lights are washed out in this one.