White Death

Finished drawing from the weekly drawing meetup. That week’s theme was menacing forest spirit.

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Death comes to us all.

The forest is alive, and it will eat you alive, until you are dead. It will eat all your romantic ideas, your dreams, your ideologies, your morals, your thoughts, until all you can afford to think of is this one choice: do you want to die today, or do you want to live today? Because once inside the forest, you’re nothing but an animal.

The forest is alive. It spreads its tendrils out ever further, ever discrete. They curl around everything they touch, spreading, thriving at any sensation of warmth, of life. They overwhelm and consume the warmth, countless tendrils disintergrating it down to the very particles. And nothing is left.

Death comes to us all.

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Haru the Hare Samurai

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Weekly themed drawing meetup Imaginative Illustrators of NYC. Theme of that week was “Rabbits”, which we all thought was going to be so easy. We were so wrong… People were like, “…how many fingers do they have again?” or “Where exactly do the ears go?”, and everyone who’s got their phone was scrubbing Google Images for answers! I had sadly just my swiss-cheese-memory brain, so Haru the Hare Samurai only had a nice head on top of a stick figure with 2 rectangle “shoulder pads”… until I stayed up late one night and finally polished him up at home with my own set of image search results.

“Haru had an unusual dream for a hare – to become a samurai. His family and friends were both bemused and horrified. “You’re too small and skinny to be a samurai! Those big guys will totally destroy you!”

But Haru wouldn’t listen. He was rejected by samurai trainers, and was more than once almost caught stealing samurai lessons up in a tree or from a hole in a wall. But every time he escaped with hare-like speed and reflexes. Well, he _was_ a hare! He honed his samurai skills by grabbing any lessons from anywhere any way he could, and by practice fighting with sticks. Finally, he did become recognized as a samurai, and served and fought as equals with other samurais.

Haru the Hare Samurai fought skirmishes and battles alike, using his speed to fight in a world of giants, gaining victories after victories. Eventually, fate and age turned against him, and he was killed after being cornered by 3 tiger samurais. While many would say, “I told you so, bunnies can’t be samurais.”, history will not forget the fact that Haru had one of the longest serving/surviving record in this kingdom.”

Dragons

This is more of a post for my own amusement, where I took dragons from my sketchbook folder, from ancient times to the most current, and compile them together. Just to see what’s there. Conclusion: I need more dragons.

 

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Flightless Pegasi Fun!

Haughty Sonny is the son of Fara, the Ostrich Tribe chieftain, and he is proudly touting that lineage today in front of the ladies. A pegasus needs all the advantage he can get during mating season, and cheating is not uncommon! But of course such cheap tricks like putting on make up to bolster his colors is quite unnecessary for Sonny, what with his noble blood line, and stunning good looks. He even has a bird butler to preen that hair curl he is so proud of – no other ostrich has it! He’s totally killing it!

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I came up with the idea of drawing or painting some flightless pegasi one day because that would be funny, I thought. Why the gold font? Because I want to, and I can! My girlfriend made it, and it makes everything looks awesome.

Sci-fi sketches of machine thingies!

Now I’m working on projects again, and attending the weekly drawing group Imaginative Illustrators of NYC. Here are some idea explorations and practices on topics I’m not the most familiar with – vehicle, robot, and sci-fi themes.

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This week’s theme is to take one of the Chinese Zodiac animals, and make a sci-fi fighter mecha, cyborg, or vehicle inspired by that animal. I chose the Dog for a mech guard with samurai and Anubis visual theme.

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Sketch dump – inktober and digital still life

These are from Inktober attempt this year. I made it into the 2nd week before losing track and stopping. This year, I drew them on blank cards bought from art supply store, and gave them all away to a family-ran café.

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Back home once more, I started doing more digital studies to get more practice in. I still lean towards studying from life, even though that limits my range of study somewhat, but all are one, and one is all, *serious nod*

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Sketch dump – zoo animals

After finishing Creature Anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch, I was out of country for a spell. While out and about, I had access to rather cheap but humongous and new zoo. I often did zoo sketching, as well as life model sketching. I didn’t like how fuzzy and blurry pencils sketches often are, nor how they easily smudged over time. I later colored some of the animal sketches to define them better and thus making them better visual notes. For coloring, I used reference photos, except one of the Swinhoe’s Pheasant, which was done on site with the bird peering curiously at me painting it. These flamingo sketches were confusing to look at, and fuzzy and loose to remember what I saw by. I decided to clear them up by adding colors. The Swinhoe’s Pheasant, like many other birds, has such dazzling feather colors, that no painting will ever do a live one justice.

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Sketching live animals is certainly challenging, but much more than that, a lot of fun! I called upon every strand of knowledge of animal anatomy and form previously collected, and just did my best to capture the spirit of the animal I’m sketching.

Seeing a lion 3 feet away for the first time gave me feels that no amount of BluRay documentaries on large, wall screens ever gave me.

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I also sketched nude models again since years ago. Doing so always feels refreshing and challenging in a good way! Much more interesting and informative than sketching from photos of nude models. On most days, I prey on unsuspecting folks who had wandered into my sight…

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Creature anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch!

So, in continuation of the last post, here are the rest of my drawings for the Creature Anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch course from Schoolism:

 

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Creature anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch! pt.1

I haven’t posted in half a year! It all started with the beginning of an online class called Creature Anatomy with Terryl Whitlatch, provided by Schoolism. The course was intense with lots of work, and really put some anatomy knowledge into my head – so much so that I could listen to an episode of Bones and knew which body part they were talking about without looking at the screen! *ahem*, but that’s not the point of this course. Doing the work to above and beyond the requirement is always the best way to learn – the work always teaches, but the instructor guides you to the max learning route. These are what I did for the course. If I can do it over and change something, I would definitely be less elaborate with the skeleton and muscle drawings, and redirect the time and effort into do more action poses as well as color and surface texturing.  I would also check my library for animal anatomy books right at the beginning of course to buffer the request transit time. I would also start with silhouette and surface page right away, because that really does save a lot of time and grief.

 

Starting off with human anatomy, and I learn some new things! Such as boobs are not attached at the base to the chest muscles.

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Usually each assignment starts with doing study sketches of the animals I will use in my hybrid. Then, it’s time to start thumbnailing:

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Once an idea is set, it’s best to start with the surface drawing, then work down to these inside view drawings. I’ve omitted the surface view drawing for this hybrid because… I really don’t like how it turned out. scan063scan065

 

The mentored version of Schoolism courses are indeed on the expensive side. If you can discipline yourself, or find buddies to keep you accountable, and to give you constructive and honest crits on your assignments, the assignments you’ll do are designed based on each instructor’s massive experience to really teach you something.

Demons in my mind

Last week was a bit preoccupying for me, and it felt good to not plan but just draw instinctively for a change. I still planned, and will see what fruits bear from that.

No internet for a week

The internet and landline at our place has been down a week, which made several things rather inconvenient but all managed somehow. Recently I have been trying to adopt the D3 style. These are two drawn tests. Now I need omove on to making painted, color POC. 

Secret Spot

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Nothing beats a nice seaside view with your partner from a secluded corner in a forest.

Relax painting, round 2…

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The flat wall of shades of white blending into brick was a good challenge. The grass was meditative. I painted this one while listening to a Dharma Master speak.

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I think I painted this while having a serious discussion with my girlfriend over Skype. It’s important to let each other know it’s safe to speak out even about uncomfortable topics. I love her for that, among many things ^_^

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Even though I’m home already, I continue to paint from my travel photos because I bought these watercolor postcards for this exact purpose a year or two ago. Now that I finally got it started, I want to fulfill that little dream. It feels good to have done something I have been wanting to do for myself and myself only. I rarely have time to paint plein air, on site, during any travels, so this will have to do.

Returned from IFCC

I went to this year’s IFCC, with my girlfriend, who’s a great concept artist, and put extra 2 days before and after the conference. Now I’m not sure what I was thinking when booking that, maybe to sleep off jetlag or something. It means not a whole lot of sight seeing beautiful Croatia, but just enough time to see something, while catching up on rest. The first thing we visit after landing was the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It was the most crowded scene I have ever seen besides the sakura blossom in Washington D.C. We didn’t have much a chance to sketch until the very end where we sat near a shuttle station’s bathroom building.

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During the event I was not in the right mode to sketch anything, but I did took some photos in my smartphone. While waiting for my flight home and while in the plane flying, I drew and painted a few from those photos. I’ve had these watercolor blank postcard for a long time, and wanted to do exactly this. It feels good to finally have done it, although being stuck waiting in a plane for hours is about the only justification I can find for spending time doing this.

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Furry creature design

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After another round at trying to clarify the bandit design, it still wasn’t visually clear what the character is about. I’ll not post those attempts. After that, I think I started to avoid designing the bandit, and instead went on to design the hounds that inhibited the same environment as the bandit, some of which were kept by the bandits for reasons. I even designed the vegetation and the hound’s prey… all to avoid the painful character design, like I would avoid the pumps and fall back to the familiarity of treadmill for days after a painful training session on the pumps. … not that I’ve been back to the gym, just a good metaphor. I’ll have to decide soon on fur shape and color. I don’t know if this is good, running away from something hard to do to something more familiar. Not that this creature design was a walk in a park. It took days, and I had great trouble twisting it from profile to 3/4 view. It’s much easier to design a creature in profile, but I need to learn much more anatomy to confidently design a full creature.