Thursday, December 18, 2014

distractions ii

"What she wanted was to see something no else could see or would see,
and maybe that was asking more magic than was in the world."

(The Raven Cycle, Book 1)

I like The Raven Cycle.
I like colored pencil art.
I like drawing.


medium: not colored pencil.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

distractions i

I fanarted. Not sorry.

In writing (the commercial stuff at least), they say if you can't summarize your epic story in one or two sentences then even you probably don't know what your own story is about.

Given my geographical bearings, even a stodgy old lady such as myself gets to do something ridiculously cool every now and then.  Via a ridiculously cool friend, I got to attend an early screening of Big Hero 6 and it inspired this bit of ink and watercolor as a thank-you gift for letting me tag along.

To me, this is the story in a nutshell. Spoiler-free: it's Baymax softening the hard edges of Hiro.

As a social-media-stunted shame to my generation, I don't use my tumblr as a tumblr so you can go to Ridiculously Cool Friend's tumblr to get in on this tumblring action (am I even using real words anymore?) and see more great fanart from the event in question under a very official #BigHero6MeetUp tag.

(I'm the chemist!)


Friday, August 1, 2014

intermission iii

 Been a busy bee--so I entertain you with this piece from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

Not that long ago actually, lol. But I'm in a bookish mood because I just came from my first day at this amazing thing. So I share with you this bit of fanart from way back in 2011 for a book I immensely enjoyed, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

"Being dorsal was real flying - the wind in her face,
and sky in all directions..."

Even after all these years, this piece really stayed with me. I edited it quite a bit--with watercolor, of all things! It was originally in oil and acrylic, but it just wasn't catching the brightness and skyiness I wanted Deryn to be surrounded by. I loved her freedom and her solitude. It was equal parts liberating and restricting, and I found that dynamic fascinating!

The inspired Mr. Westerfeld was wonderful enough to feature it on his weekly Fanart Friday blogposts and you can see the original version here. You can also see the Broadway musical poster version of it here (lol!) as well as a few cutesy, chibi versions of the two main characters I did back when I was experimenting with photoshop.

Maybe in the third round I'll try pen and ink. There's something nice about the gesture in the original sketch I really like:

Heck, I even like the back of the sketch, roflol!

 I think that's part of the magic of illustration sometimes. You don't know why something's working, it just feels right. So you just run with it and see where it goes....

Nice memories.

medium: Started acrylic and oil. Then digitally edited to a watercolor background. World is so forgiving with computers in it. Though I guess not so much with the internet in it too....balance?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Whencesoe'er I came...

This baby we christened Octobook.

Jackie came over one day with this beautifully-engineered little thing and entrusted him into my care.

He was....challenging. Stubborn. Refused to submit to my authority. Sigh.
But I love this little guy.

You do your best to prepare the little ones for the real world and, with all your advanced worldly experience, you believe you've done what you can.

You reasonably expect your progeny to see clearly the path you've laid before them and to reverently partake of the wisdom you freely give--until, bit-by-bit, your carefully laid plans unravel and the wee little thing takes hold of his ever-strengthening faculties, dismisses your unsolicited assistance, and (by the power of his own fierce conviction) becomes a thing you could not have foreseen, could not have contrived, and would not have wanted to try to foresee or contrive if you could do it all over again because that would only ruin the delight of the surprise.

And so the artist unexpectedly finds herself a master, leading the vision, yet a servant, paradoxically, being led by it.

Whenceso'er I came / Whereso'er I go
The quote is from Moby Dick.

I pitched it to Jackie and she approved. I think it appropriately embodies the paradox of a character being led on by Fate while retaining his agency as a Hero--ever-willful and carving his own path; Fate be damned. It sounds contradictory and yet there it be. We demand that the Universe be linear, and the Universe, in turn, says "Screw you, puny human."

Who can fathom it.

We only cared to make 50, signed and sealed. You can purchase them here on Jackie's etsy shop. Object is smaller than it appears (a 3.5' square) but a warning: this is a very serious pop-up--not for the faint of heart.

Update (14.08.02): as of this week, Octobook is sold out (Comic-con 2014 was its fated last appearance). Alas! It's time has come to an end. They've all found good homes, I'd like to think, and I hope for their bright futures.

medium: watercolor scanned and re-printed to cut, folded, and packaged between two slices of book board.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

holiday vii: christmas 2014 and some miscellany

Illustrious Colleague and I repeated last year's endeavors for this past Christmas' warm and fuzzy sharing and holiday cheer and all that crap.

This year it was a holiday version of an old favorite.

Again, Illustrious Colleague did the hard engineering part and I did the fun designing part. She says she prefers the engineering over the illustrating, but, in my myopic microcosm, I cannot comprehend people not liking the things I like and liking the things I don't like.

It's an "old favorite" because this was our first version. Think of the santa card as "Carriage Pop-up 2.0: the Holiday Edition."

The reindeer also propagated.

I may or may not have slipped them an aphrodisiac.

If you want any of the above, you may go bother Illustrious Colleague about it on her Etsy shop.
In retrospect, I probably should've blogged all this before the holiday season, but I can't seem to bring myself to care.

medium: sketches mostly done in pencil. some digital. everything else i's been a while.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Once a week for the past ten weeks, I had the inordinate pleasure of attending Motivarti's summer class Story in a Picture, which was taught by one of my favorite teachers from Art Center.  

This was the final I submitted to class: a triptych done with a neat technique I picked up from another artist that the teacher dubbed 2½-D.

Ha! I like it. 2½-D it is.

medium: pencil, digital, paper (in that order)

Friday, July 26, 2013

meet the gorgons

At Comic-con, our table was in between this guy and these guys--
which subsequently inspired this:


medium: pencil and marker and some ink here and there.....