Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick Sketches

A few quick sketches.
Gracie was holding her tail funny over the weekend. We thought her tail was broken but it turns out she has a condition known as "broken wag" from swimming too much. She gave us quite a scare!

I used one of them there water brushes for these sketches. I really don't like them as much as regular brushes but they're fun for just doing quick washes when you're short on time. It's also nice to cut loose and not be so picky.

Anyway, I hope I can give you guys more sketches. I'm too busy to do anything more finished lately!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steel Penny Game's Puzzling Paws

Dear Readers,
Last year, I worked freelance for Steel Penny Games and got to do a lot of character animation and art for their now released game Puzzling Paws. It is one of the best jobs I have ever got. I got so much creative freedom to do character designs, animations, and even a watercolor painting  for their office space! They're a really great group of people to work with.

The game itself is awesome. Great brain exercise. When you solve a puzzle, you really get the feeling of being smart and clever. (some of the puzzles get REALLY hard.) When's the last time a game made you think? Problem solve? They don't make games like this anymore! The game is download-able for only 5 bucks. A real bargain. Please check it out! :) Another plus is the game is very casual, Pick it up, play a puzzle or two, and come back later. It doesn't have to eat up your time. OR, you can get addicted and play it for hours like I did.


PS. If you're playing the game, remember from the tutorial that the level wraps around itself, if you push a block off screen, it will come around the other side. Make sure you remember this! It's a key to solving a lot of the puzzles!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Week's Still Life - Cabbage, Carrots, Portabella

Here's this week's still life! :) I'm going to have to skip Illustration Friday this week though... picked up some freelance work over the weekend. Too busy for personal work. Will post more art as soon as I can :)

Hope you likey,

Portfolio Rebuild Part 2 - Girl meets Boy meets Fish

When I draw or paint, I try to invoke parts of my life to fuel the painting. It makes it less boring for me to paint ideas of people I know.

The inspiration for the kids in the painting are Penny and Mark (my sister, who is Chinese, and my brother-in-law who was born in the UK) I like the idea of East meets West, and the girl is like... Let me show you my world!!! There's lots of opposites going on too. Girl and Boy, Country person and city person, East and West, and uh... Fish and Frog? Hehe, that probably doesn't count.

And a closeup in case you are interested:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Week's Still Life - Rose and Cup

I know... it's a cup and a rose on a chair. What the heck is the meaning of all this?! I just like the palette of greens and pinks :)
Until next time :)

Illustration Friday - WARNING

This week's word is "Warning". This is what my immature mind came up with:

Didn't have time to color it because I had to go to my still life session. But next week I will manage my time better and color it. :) I hope you laughed!!

I Was So Angry With Myself ! ! !

because I settled. I was overwhelmed at thinking that I had to rebuild my portfolio from scratch so I only put half a heart into my first piece.

After I wrote the words, "I think this is the limit of my skill level at this point in time." in the last blog post, I soon got  angry with myself. How could I expect so little of myself, and how will I expect anyone to want to pay me to draw and paint if all I could give was something half-assed? (I mean, look at the wildflowers I painted last blog. Those are clearly half-assed!!!) I couldn't sleep afterwards. I need to shoot for something higher than my current comfort level. I am not good where I currently am. I need to strive. I hope this re-painted version shows that. I will try harder from now on; I owe my readers and future employers/clients the best I can deliver. I can sleep better if I know I did my best.

a zoomed in view...

It's now 3:00 in the morning and I still have to get my Illustration Friday piece for tomorrow! I will try to post something late tomorrow night. For now I shall crawl into bed and collapse.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Portfolio Rebuild Part 1

OK I think this is the last update unless someone has anything glaring to critique I added the dark rocks on the lower left to solidify the composition, but kept it far enough away so there's room for text. Thanks for the suggestion, Matthew! I think this is the limit of my skill level at this point in time.  Please stay tuned for part 2 of my portfolio rebuild!! (I'm hoping to get 10 pieces by december 31st, then I'll be ready to beg some publishers to work with me) :) Thanks all for the help! If you have ANYTHING more to say, please critique. I may not post it up here, but I will still consider any suggestions. If anything, it will give me things to look out for in the future.

*OLD POST--------------------
 UPDATE!! Adding more darks (darker rocks) really helps! It feels more finished. I added more horse rump form, added an eye sparkle, and added the saturation back in. Does this look ok? Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for the helpful suggestions.

I'm rebuilding my children's book portfolio from the ground up this year. My portfolio last year lacked finesse and focus, and so, taking some constructive criticism from some people from the children's book illustration meetings, I've decided to completely redo my portfolio. Anyway, this is my first try since going to the meetings. Tell me, can you see this image in a children's book? What would you do to improve it?

and here's a bit of detail:

I'm really looking forward to hearing some constructive criticism.

With the few critiques I just got, thought I would try some quick changes to see how things read. Wow, flipping the image looks weird to me. Possibly because I'm so used to seeing it the way I had it originally. Does this look weird to you too? Also, I applied an auto-levels to the image. I worried before that the saturation makes it hard on the eyes, which is why i toned it down in photoshop. I have one of those stupid monitors that changes the value depending on the angle you're looking at it, So I'm never quite sure what you out there are seeing.
Thanks in advance,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Watercolor - Colorado River, East of Lady Bird Lake

When I paint outdoors, I struggle with two things that often contradict each other, and that is value vs. depth. The hill that the blue house is on was really a dark value, much darker than how I painted it. But darkening the value decreases the perceived space between the viewer and the hill. So which truth do you express? That truth of the lightness/darkness or the truth of the depth? Today I went with depth. Sometimes I go with value. I really don't know what is right or better. How would you solve the problem?


Friday, March 4, 2011

This Week's Still Life - Circular Saw

After doing my weekly still lives in oil, watercolor started to feel a bit weird... Even though principles of design are the same, application and technique are so different between the two mediums. People have told me that jumping between mediums is good because "some things carry over." Frankly, I don't notice if I suddenly get better at one medium after messing around in another. Is it because improving is just so incrementally minuscule, or is it because the theory is bullarky? I'd be interested to know how you weigh in. :)

Until next time,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Illustration Friday - Bee-ber Swarm

OK, I'm now on the Illustration Friday bandwagon. I go to these Children's Book Illustration meetings, and everyone and their mothers do these. Well, I guess I have to act like a real illustrator and do what they do. :) This is my first one. The word is "Swarm" I kept trying to think of a clever and funny way to illustrate this, like my friend Ted Blackman did, but all I could come up with was Justin Bieber in a Bee costume being swarmed by little girls. Did you at least chuckle?? I hope you did.

Here are the pencils for the illustration. I think I like pencils more than the final. That always happens to me. Something gets lost in translation, no? Sometimes inked lines get robotic, whereas pencils still show the artist's hand in it. Maybe I just need to learn to be more expressive with ink :)
Until next time,
please keep visiting me :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Immature Me - (Stories of a Kid in a Woman's Body) - The Wasted Wish

(This all happened on Tuesday in the car, but I didn't feel like drawing cars because I'm so slow at it. Wanted to get the idea down quickly.)

Until next time!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

my kraft paper sketchbook

Some pages from my kraft paper sketchbook. These pages aren't random. They're hand-picked because they're halfway decent and wont make your eyeballs melt. (I'm considerate like that). The rest of the pages are REALLY BAD, like staring-into-the-Arc-of-the-Covenant bad. . But that's ok cos its a sketchbook :)

 These are from today. Sped to the Witte museum in San Antonio as soon as 5:00 hit to visit their free-on-Tuesdays-and-open-late natural history museum. These were some of the taxidermies.
 these were from the live exhibit. poison dart frogs are flippin adorable!! I would want one as a pet but I dont exactly feel like winning a Darwin award just yet.
I have a new story to tell you but I'm not done drawing it yet. Hope I can post the story tomorrow! So please visit me again :)