P.O.E. – Snake (progress)

I had some time to start working on the first painting of my Panel of Experts series. Starting with the snake-head one, since I’m most interested in seeing how the scales will turn out. I chose to use ballpoint pen this time around, with an addition of watercolor later on in the process).

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The Panel of Experts (and an update after 6 months!)

It’s been 6 months (!!!) since I’ve last posted in my blog. Been 6 months since I’ve started a new series, and 6 months for me to settle down my brain and life. But boy… is it good to get started again! I’ve been working in San Francisco since last October, and have been enjoying this new life and getting to know all the awesome people I work with. Not a moment goes by though, without me missing illustrating and jotting down ideas, all while cupping an iced mocha under the sun (summer 2010, wut?!) Slowly, I’ve been readjusting my creative workflow to fit illustrating back into my life. My illustration series are like time markers; sectioning and denoting weeks and months of my life. Without it, everything just becomes a blur. So, I’m bringing “time” back!

While flipping through some old ideas in my sketchbooks (which have, shamefully, been collecting dust), I came across an old sketch of an elephant’s head on a nude, androgynous cartoon body. I remember when I first sketched it, I thought it was a bad idea, but it is now a project I am compelled to do. I’ve been looking at animals who have interesting faces to draw, and am planning to do a total of 10 paintings for this series.

I am, so far, titling this as “The Panel of Experts”. I am an indecisive person by nature and am notorious for discussing the same issues with multiple people to get ample feedback before making any decision. I think the multiple-animal theme is somewhat a branch off of my indecisiveness and needing support from different minds. Anyway, I’m excited to be jumping back into painting again! Please look forward to the series as it unfolds :)

Polar bear series finished!

I took these babies outside last night to spray down with some acrylic UV protective fixer. It smelled terrible but the wind from this crazy weather blew most of the fumes out of my way. I’m really excited to get these displayed at Touchstone’s Diablo Rock gym this coming November. It’s gonna be really fun to be able to show an original piece rather than prints, which is what the rest of my work will be.

In this series I think my favorite piece would be the third one, with the autumn colors for background. However, since it was my last piece, I think I also painted it much bigger than the first two. The photos don’t do this series justice since I couldn’t get the lighting right to show the metallic powder I’ve used with the watercolor. It looks really cool in person, especially with the wood texture as well.

See more of this series on my website!

back to back (problems)

In early August I injured my lower back. Word was slipped disc and pinched nerves, which caused numbness in my legs and pain down to my knees. Least to say, because of this, I couldn’t do very much, and even sitting for a long time caused discomfort. But being the young and restless idiot that I am, I still went running, went out with friends, went climbing occasionally until a series of retweakings stopped me for good. When the injury first happened, I thought, “I’m too young, I’m too active, I’m still strong…” blah blah blah. Because your body doesn’t care about what you are; it just knows that its injured and it’ll take a lot of patience and time to get back to square 1 again. So here I am, having tweaked my back 3 times since the big whammo, and slapping myself on the forehead asking, “Whhyyyyy?????”

After 48 hours of lying flat on my back, I’m able to sit finally (or should I say, again) so I did some work on my polar bear stuff before my back protests. Swimming tonight to start rehabilitating myself. Sighballz.

Polarbear series – progress

Usually after starting a series, its rare that I can sit still and diligently finish the whole thing in a matter of days. Most of them, like this polarbear series, I begin with an invigorating air of excitement, and then… I pause for some time. This “some time” can stretch from either a couple of days or to weeks, and it makes me feel somewhat guilty knowing how I haven’t finished something I’ve started. Whether it looks amazing or not, I always congratulate myself on finishing a project; its my own little pat-on-the-back for a good show of effort.

Polar bear on wood

I saw the new Nissan Leaf commercial with the polar bear, and because it tugged at my heartstrings, I wanted to do a series inspired by it. It’s a three-piece series of girls with flowing black hair holding on to a polar bear. Originally I had wanted to do this digitally in Photoshop, but because of a botched attempt (and the fact that I couldn’t achieve the right “softness”) I opted to do this by hand. I had always wanted to paint on wood, so I went to Utretch earlier today to pick some up. Typically artists prefer using acrylic or oils on wood, especially oil, since you can manipulate the opacity to see the wood grains below. Alas, I never learned oil painting, so I used my next-fave paint next to water color — guache.

It’s thicker/more opaque than watercolors so the colors looks saturated enough on the wood. I didn’t treat the wood at all, and figured if I did, my pencil details probably wouldn’t be able to stick to the surface well enough. Anyway, I added some metallic powder on the polar bear, did some more detailing in pencil, and the first panel is finished!

(Better photos will come after I finish the entire series)

More Helping Hand Update

I’m really starting to like this little dude here, just danglin’ his arm around the ladder. He’s so cute with his tie <3

Dress details are done so the rest is just penciling! I’ll be in my Berkeley studio tonight to finish and hopefully get the first two paintings scanned for my website. I’m kind of running out of fresh pattern ideas though so I need to do some research before Helping Hand number 3.

Update 4:45pm
Done! But… I kind of want to add another creature, and it definitely needs to be rescanned. But for now… here’s the finished product: