Friday, November 30, 2012

Playful Critters

This one is for you Chloe!

Every now and then my thoughts clear and my hand just starts scribbling lines and forms. Determined to draw my cousin's daughter a dragon of her own, I got to work. 

This part (the idear think'en) took about 3 hours. I looked up a few images of some dragons and chose a few that really caught my attention. I really liked the web-like design of one image and the facial structure of another. I already had a few images on the dragons' general body structure. I started with the head- meshing the webbed ear-like part (I really don't know if those are supposed to be ears or what :/) with the facial structure of another dragon image. Added big eyes...because dragons have big, glassy, marble eyes. That's how they can see so well from so high up. Then I worked my way to the body, playing with ideas of how I want the dragon to pose. the final head posture may change, but for now it is as it is. 

Why this pose?..

My half husky, half corgy? pooch is always stretching her little body like a cat. She makes this little howl that is adorable. I sometimes watch and wait for her next stretch to hear her. Maybe I'll catch her on camera next time and insert into this post later. Anyway, downward facing cat/dog (google image that "downward facing cat"'ll see what I mean) is my pose of choice. The pose is very playful and has a lot of movement. Rather than a static profile position. I need to work on making the position MORE lively, so the dragon really looks like it's going to pounce. 

Now to add some shading, texture, and COLOR!...or not.  Depends on what Chloe thinks ;) 

9"x 12" B/W sketch

9"x 12" prismacolor markers/color pencils on trace paper


I really like the translucency of trace paper. That's probably why most of my recent works have been on trace paper. I used it a lot for my Landscape Arch. course. Maybe it is just habit. The trace paper allows me to play with colors before actually marking down on the drawing. Which is awesome. I also love the way the prismacolor markers settle and blend on the trace paper. 

As far as the head position changing, I just changed the dragon's gaze downward on the little bitty caterpillar crawling ahead. The whole body position makes more sense. Else the dragon just looks like it is gazing downward at nothing. I don't know what else to say about this drawing. If anyone has any questions regarding the how, what, why, etc. making of this drawing feel free to ask away. 

I admit I have lots more to learn about shading techniques, texturizing, and giving more realistic qualities (movement), but I'm learning slowly. Constructive criticism welcomed!

Now, on to some landscaping!!
Buonanotte! <3

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Swan Nouveau

This little fella started off as an 'S' doodle. If you haven't already noticed, I take a great interest in the feathered animals and animals with wings. I'm just drawn to their beauty! It may have started with a California Wildlife and Invertebrate course back in college. I got to touch preserved animals. Way COOL! 

The class was divided into lecture and lab. Lectures were interesting, but lab was the coolest part of the week. My inner kid sort of took control of my body. When the instructor brought out all the birds my eyes nearly popped out of my sockets. Their feathers are soft and gorgeously colored. The birds' anatomy are fascinating. My favorite had to be the pygmy owl. It's small size and cute face are almost too irresistible to hug so closely. 

Anyhow, birds are amazing creatures and I learned a lot about California species in that course. It was a great science experience that just about pulled me into a science major. Sadly, my brain finds it difficult to grasp some of the material in a college bio course. Well, maybe it was just the way the test were designed?....

Well, I know for a fact that I do good in the arts. Writing, reading, and visual creations are more my forte. For this drawing I added something of an armor around the bird's neck. That may be the Steampunk 'Industrialization' influence or the need to guard such a beautiful creature. Ha! It works. Added a body, color, shading, and presto! My drawings typically start with head doodles and I work my way to the body last. I work my way from the top, down. Just my drawing style. I find the body the hardest part of the thought process. Somewhat like an essay. 

6" x 8" prismacolor pencils & charcoal

As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather, flock together"...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Ok, this is a piece from my Landscape Architecture class. Was the longest and most tedious assignment for that course. I enjoyed playing with the axionometric view though. This is when drawing becomes exciting! Imagine making a model for this. I miss the Shield's Library courtyard. I spent many hours reading, studying, observing, thinking there. It was most beautiful during fall and spring. The best views are on the third floor-sitting in the window ledges looking down at the courtyard. That library is has the best niches...especially to sleep ;)

I miss you Davis and all the wonderful memories you provided me <3

Fairies of the forest

I've wanted to draw a hummingbird or a dragonfly for a while. Finally got to it. I got to play more with the colors-blending the yellows and greens. Adding some texture where needed. I'm still working on drawing bird wings; well, wings in general. I don't have much to say about this drawing. I was thinking of my High School Counselor when I thought of it. 

Prismacolor pencils

Another Dimension

Assignment 4 of 4 for my Sculpture course. I was at wits end trying to come up with ideas for my final project. Saw an old door with a small square cutout and decided to turn it into one of those "playful perspective" pieces. Didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, being bogged down with my Landscape assignments, readings, and essays. However, I got it completed just in time for grading and finished my quarter with an experience I'll never forget. Sculpture class is one of THE BEST courses I took. Too bad the art courses are so difficult to get into. Most of the students in the class half-assed the assignments which irritated me. Why be in an art class if you're not going to make the effort? Easy pass? Shut the front door!

Seriously though, I learned a lot from the T.A., from learning how to weld, and I learned that successful  ideas come from a series of trial and error sketches and miniature models. 

My dad calls my room a "girl cave" because I practically hide out and hang out and live in the place. Well, that is kind of the reason I spruced up the place. The walls were all green prior to the paint project. I love the green color, but blank walls are so 10 years ago. After my sister moved out and I, recently graduated, moved back in I took the liberty of making MY SPACE a nice little place to retreat.

 I love being outdoors and looking out at the critters playing among the branches. Yes, although these trees have no leaves I didn't want to overwhelm the walls. I wanted something more simple. Also, the leave-less trees work well for adding little details here and there to the branches. I have since added some pressed/laminated flowers and pictures in place of the leaves. Not too many though. I don't want my trees to look like the Bead tree in Florida :/...

The trees were drawn completely free hand. I drew the trees with chalk first and then splashed on some paint. They came out pretty good! 

Refashion, Upcycle, and Trend

I get bored easily, so sometimes I play with my clothes. Yes, I still play dress up, and I will still be playing dress up when I'm 80. My dad had a few work shirts that he was going to get rid of, but being a newly d.i.y. mood I nabbed them and decided to put my sewing & design skills to the test. It has been a while since I've designed myself some clothes. Besides upcycling/Refashion is the new trend, haven't you heard. 

Upcycling: is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. (wikipedia)

So anyways, I had 4 shirts and four ideas. This is what I did with 3 of the 4. 

Old work shirt, leftover green material, and sewing machine


The Last one I just use as a paint frock! :) YEAH REFASHION

Live figure drawing

Figure drawing I can say is the most difficult to accomplish for many beginners. I think my fellow artists would agree. Nature is made of many geometric shapes that can easily be broken down and understood. The human rather difficult to see the geometry. There are so many curvilinear lines and grooves that can overwhelm the viewer. 

I have to say the female body is much easier to capture in a sketch, than a male body. That's my opinion. The female body is so curvaceous that there is hardly any effort once you gain control of your drawing utensil. The male on the other hand like a rock -there are rigid edges, sharp points, nooks and crannies and somehow still has a smooth surface. I know drawing a man is not as hard as I'm probably describing, but it sure seemed difficult. Then, it may have been the pose. :/

Well, here are a few sketches from my live figure drawing session for a drawing course. Pretty good eh! least for someone who can barely draw a decent human body. 
 Charcoal sketch (male)
 Charcoal sketch (female)
Charcoal sketch (figure)

Bats and Beats

If you don't know me already, you should know I am a HUGE fan of Batman. I believe he trumps all the other superheros. He has no mystical/magical powers, and still kicks ass using his wits, technology, and some trusty sidekicks. He's basically old school badass! 

Anyways, during high school I had a huge crush on the guitarist for a band called FALL OUT BOY. The guitarist's clothing line symbol (or one of the symbols) was this bat with a heart in the center (Left). For that, I thought that me and Pete Wentz shared a love for the most kick ass superhero ever created. Let me tell you, I was googly eyed for the dark mysterious brunette with the side swept hair, manliner, and bad boy persona...But I was a naive teenager haha. Now I've grown out of the I guess teenagers call it "emo" look of past days. I could go on about the many conversations of Fall Out Boy and seeing them in concert with my friend, but I'm sure you're just interested in my photo :) 

Long story short, took up some skateboarding back in H.S. so me and my little brother could have something to do together. I took one of his old boards and sanded down the fading spiderman decals and put on a coat of red and my version of a bat signal. Sadly after one drop-in (boarding term) and a messed up wrist later I gave up boarding and opted for another sport. Now I can hang it up on my wall to recall wonderful memories of my Fall Out Boy adventures :D
Right: sand paper, spray paint, cardboard cutout 

Steampunk Cultural Design

Part of a Fashion Studies Course I had to create a visual that illustrates my paper. Challenge: presentation based all on images and design NO WRITING (with the exception of titles and labels)...some students took the easy way out and did a PowerPoint visual. Pffft! Eat my Steampunk shorts! 

I have long since been curious about Steampunk culture since Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century became a popular cartoon. Don't know what I'm talking about?...check this out
The idea of past meets the future technology, fashion, and what not is super fascinating. There may have been other cartoons and what not that caught my attention, but I mainly remember this cartoon. 
Now I present to you my design for my folder of Steampunk Culture Research!!

Washers, plastic cd shield, string, coffee, various small metal pieces

Sketch n Etch

Another page of my portfolio. These are some sketches I included that were ...decent enough to present. I'm really proud of my trees and the coloring! The watercolor painting of Lake Berryessa is pretty awesome for being done in 15 min. :)

Top: watercolor on paint paper
Bottom (left): pencil
Bottom (right): prismacolor marker

Abstract Concepts

Taking courses in Landscape Design was absolutely exhausting, exciting, challenging, and fulfilling. However, the execution of presenting one's ideas is the worst part of it all. The prof. kept telling me "more abstract, more abstract!"...So I made my trees wiry. I still don't know what I would do to make the clay model "more abstract." Anyways, this was a bitter sweet assignment that I have to remind me that I need to learn how to "be more abstract" in my designs. hahaha...ugh. 

Top: med-thick card stock, trace paper
Middle: clay, wire, cardboard
Bottom: Prismacolor markers/pencils

Metal of Beauty

Yet another assignment from my sculpture course in college. I really love working with metal and learning how to weld. This material is tough as hell, but once the vision is finished it's all a piece of cake :)

Maybe one day I'll have a studio of my own to continue making metal sculpture. I already have a few ideas. Meanwhile, check out this artist's work:
He's got mad skills, and one day I hope to create something as spectacularly intricate! 

Sheet metal, wire, cement, metal rods

Bird of Dance

Metal, cement, cloth

Kitten LOVE!

9" x 12" charcoal on paper

Look at this guy! Isn't he just snug-able!?

Underwater secrets

9"x 12" charcoal on paper

Another assignment from a college beginning drawing course. The lesson was to focus on not outlining and creating forms using shading. 

First Attempt to Challenge Myself

6" x 8" pen on paper

One of my first drawings I did in Middle school - an attempt at something less cartoon-y. The original image is a tattoo drawing in a magazine my dad had lying around. I also tried out some shading. This drawing was probably what got me really excited to continue drawing. 

Cut & Collage

Large Poster charcoal on Poster Paper

Detail of figure in collage

For a final in a drawing course, I was to create a collage of figures with different expressions, insert my face into each figure (using original expression), and draw on large poster paper. How'd I do?

Figures in Motion

9" x 12" pencil on paper

Feeling Frisky

Playing with color/ B&W charcoal (9"x 12")

Playing w/Color and Form

9" x 11" color/B&W charcoal on paper


9" x 12" pencil on paper

Challenging a Daily Sketch

9" x 11" pencil on paper

Feeling Devious

9" x 11" pencil and charcoal on paper

Feline Armor

9" x 12" pencil on paper

Learning Shapes without Outlining

9" x 12" color chalk on drawing paper

Sea Horse

Pen, chalk color pencil on trace paper

Practicing Facial Features B/W

9" x 10" pencil on sketch paper


 6"x 8" copy on print paper
 6" x 8" color copy on print paper
 leg sketching (hard copy) on trace paper

Leg detail (hard copy) on trace paper