Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eve of new year

Wow, the year has gone by so fast...

I still haven't gotten my resolution figured out, though. Too much to think about. Still pretty uncertain about my future, but I have to hold on to my faith. This year has to be the year something starts happening in my favor.

Anyway some update to my piece. Did some detail work.

Coming along nice, I think. I could still do some work on the monster.

TBC. C U next year, in about 3 hours...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas woes and more WIP

Well this Christmas was pretty interesting.

My sis and bro-n-law had come down from Norcal for the wknd and on Thurs (Christmas) there was a big family gathering that included my aunt and uncle with their Chinese friends. Well they decided to have the dinner at some Chinese restaurant in Monterey Park, and let's just say, if I ever went to China I think I prefer to eat at McDonalds. @_@
After Christmas we spent all day up at Cabazon and two big fat buffet meals at the Morongo and later to Pechanga. Came back with sick stomach and sour mood after having blown off big fat dough on the damn slot machines.
As if I didn't learn from the previous night Saturday we go out to Fogo de Chao, the infamous Brazilian BBQ joint in Beverly Hills. Having not eaten anything since breakfast I had planned to really pig out all night, only I ended up with another sick belly. Bleh...

Anyway it's finally settled down after such hectic weekend. Now I can sit down and continue my work. Some update here:

Added some textures to the tree trunks and the big lizard. Now I've bumped up the dpi and started adding the necessary details, starting with the bg. Will get more to it later.

Not sure what to look forward to in the New Year. Have to think about that. TBC...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More work

So tonight for dinner I prepared me a casserole, Korean style: ramen, dumplings, eggs, pork bacon, chili peppers, shrimp, and mushrooms. I know that's a lot of stuff; I call it 'The Hobo Stew' because in the old days the poor didn't have lavish dishes like the rich do, they just mixed a whole mess of stuff together. I'm pretty stuffed, and I'm continuing my work. After almost two hours, I got in the base details:

Now you can kinda see the images coming together and you can see what the situation is. Still have little more to do before I bump up the dpi and put in a whole mess of details and refinements.

Currently watching "The Hulk" the old one by Ang Lee. I can kinda see why it didn't do too well; though it had some depth that the newer one didn't have. And Jennifer Connelly made a better Betty Ross than Liv Tyler, imo. No offense, I like Liv also.

TBC, again...


Spent 30 min. Got the base shapes and color down.

I'm a bit nervous moving on with the next stage: background. I've never done a forest scene before and I'm sure to have lot of hard times getting the trees and the leaves down. But as they say, never be afraid to do something new and master it. So I'll just give it a go, after a few drinks maybe. ROFL.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

New project

Started up another piece. This sketch was done in less than half an hour:

Another action-oriented piece, this time trying to incorporate some creature into the scene, which until now I have not done. I'm gathering a whole mess of ref pics for this creature, which will be modeled after a mighty Komodo Dragon. Now let's see how long this will take to

Another Koi Painting

Here's a glimpse of me at work on yet another Koi painting. I've gotten fair amount of requests for them, they seem to be popular these days. Who knew people loved them fishies!

As I can't yet afford my own studio, I must settle for an outdoor patio for my working space.

My tools of the trade. Some of the oil paints and brushes I had for more than ten years!

I'm working on the underpaints

All the underpaints are done, I have base idea of which colors goes where and such. Will be posting more progress in a while.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finished Christmas Card

Merry Un-Dead Christmas!

Nuff Said

Back to old school - Oil Painting

Yes, yes I remember I said I was going to post some oil paints up here, but I kept putting it off and off get the idea. Now, finally, I am.

The first of numerous Koi paintings. I had gone down to this Japanese Garden at my former college, and they had a real nice Koi pond which I took a bunch of pictures of. Somehow I got the idea to paint out of them, and I had this old block of wood sitting in the garage, and I thought, why not give it a try. I've been working on the standard canvas most of this time, so the wood was a challenge. I was trying to go for Van Gogh-esque Post-Impressionistic style, which has always appealed to me, and you could somewhat see it in my digital paintings. I had to get custom framing for this because of the odd size of the panel, cost me nearly $400 bucks man.

This was painted way earlier before the Koi. There was a garden park near my old college which had bunch of different styles of gardens. I particularly liked this one, because it gives a sense of mystery of what could we see on the other side of this road. This was also done on wood.

Yup, after seeing my first Koi painting hanging in full glory on the wall of the family room I got couple of requests for large-scale Kois. This was if I remember correctly a 36x48 canvas. I like the vibrancy of the colors in this one. I had done another one similar but that one wasn't as good and as populated as this, and I had already sent it off before I could take pictures, so boo.

I had a bunch of paint leftover on my palette, and rather than wipe them all off with newspaper and toss it into the trash I wanted to make the most out of them. This turned out to be a speedpainting done in an hour ona 5x5 canvas, a self-portrait. I don't know why this picture came out as a portrait, and there is no picture rotate feature on this blog.

Yeah, every now and then I like to take a break away from the computer and turn to the old-fashioned way of making art. It's also better to be handy both digitally and traditionally. Now I'm working on yet another Koi painting on request, it'll be a housewarming and a late late birthday present to my sister. I'm also looking into rekindling my old love for watercolor and printmaking, and maybe even submit some stuff to local galleries. I'll keep u posted about that.


Monday, December 15, 2008

HOTD Webcomic part deux!

After much delays I finally managed to finish Part 2 of the HOTD comic. Lettering was all done in Illustrator by me. Yes, I'm a one-woman band!

Won't spoil too much of it, the full comic will soon be up on But first, man I have to hurry and finish that Christmas card.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HOTD Christmas cont.

I hardly have time to post anything here this month. I've been pretty booked on all these projects. But at least I finally got the comic done, which will be up sometime next week.

Some update to the Christmas card:

Some more brushwork and I should be able to send this off to the editor by end of this week. whew.

Monday, December 8, 2008

HOTD Christmas

Feeling better now. I'm getting pretty busy.

I've started on a HOTD based christmas card. Hope it's a hit.

The little kid on the left is suppose to say "Santa, there's something different about you..."
Yeah, he's a zombie, kiddo!

Monday, November 24, 2008

El finito???

I think I am about reached the final point of this painting. Did everything I could think of to make the overall comp work. Who knows, when my brain's loosed up again I'll work on it a bit more.

Still working on that HOTD comic. Got three of them done so far. Still have to draw and ink out the last three, and they are the toughest. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Update 3

Did some more work to the painting, did some Col Bal and Curves as well as work on the flames, so it looks like it's really coming from somewhere (like, off-screen). I also tried working a bit more on the face and added the tattoo, but I might have a change about that.

In other news, I'm trying for this coloring book project, it's a bio, which means I can't mess up on the main character, he has to look exactly as he appears. Which is kinda hard considering I never had to anything like that, drawing from a real living breathing person. But hey if I want to stay on the job I gotta be able to draw anything, real or fake. I'm also pretty behind my second issue of the HOTD comic, I really need to get rolling.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More update

I had some comments about the bg not having enough depth and that the overall tone is too monochromatic giving the whole piece a flat look, among few other details, so I reworked them over new layers. I also saw to fixing that back left arm which I felt from the beginning was pretty way off. I know I still got more stuff to deal with, but for now it's looking better. I'm still trying to see how to develop the flames. Also I had some pretty funny comments about the mustache and the eyebrow, I gotta think about that too.

TBC... :p

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update 2

Another three hours plus and this is where I'm at right now. Did some more detailing on the figure, the sword, and the swirling flames. Made some adjustments to the face with Transform and bit of Liquify, kept in check with ref pic for the anatomical issues. Starting to look real good, in my opinion. I might pass it over to a forum for some crit.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Continued - Dark Avenger 3


Not much happened, added some color layer and worked a bit on the swirling flames. I'm doing some initial detailing while still in low res, once I get the forms and shapes in order, I'll bump it up to 300 dpi and work on it some more.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Third Dark Avenger Painting

I've started up another painting of my favorite dark hero. WIP:

Base drawing done in pencil, then scanned in at low 75 dpi. Applied Variations tool for a maroon line color, then overlayed it with warm brown, because basically my hero is going to be engulfed in fiery blaze, so lots of fires around. Trying to work on the lighting.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


No pics to show today, just few really short rants:

1. OBAMA the first black president of the USA. My thoughts: ABOUT &^*#@% TIME. DEEP IMPACT and "24" both predicted it, after all.
2. Looking for more freelance work, but their answers are so slow. Am I doing something wrong?
3. Continuing my current freelance work, no pay. How can I pay my bills with only 12 hrs/wk at the shop???
4. Trying to keep my head high amid economic bombing. We all have bad days.
5. Graduate school. That's the only thing I can look forward to now in these bad times. Hopefully I can get into one with one hell of a financial aid.


Friday, October 31, 2008

HOTD Webcomic Finally UP!

It's Halloweenie time, and the day I've long been waiting for: the release of my newest webcomic House of the Dead: Resurection Men Part One!

Looked pretty good, got some pretty good feedback from the readers. This is going to be a start of something new...!

I just noticed something about my pinup/poster art though. I guess it was fatigue from the long hours I spent at the shop this whole month; my sights have gotten the rest they needed and looking over the finished piece I spotted a few fatal errors I did not note earlier:

-Rogan's outstretched arm with a shotgun was WAY off perspective. The shotgun looks more like a puny water gun.
-From where she's standing, Sophie's head looks too huge.
-What the hell is going on with Lisa's head? She's looking like a Conehead!

Not much I can do now that it's up on the site, but I can still fix it for my portfolio. I make the necessary changes quickly, tweaking the problem parts with the Lasso and Free Transform, and brushing over the cutout lines:
You can see my previous post for the before look and now. It's way better, I think.

For the webcomic, go here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

HOTD Poster cont.

Some more detailing, fixing the lighting situation, and then played around a bit with some filters. I also noticed some discrepancies in the anatomies (e.g Rogan's head was too big), so I worked on that too. About four hours total in two days, this is the result:

I kinda like how it turned out. I was somewhat thinking of Alex Ross' paintings when I put this together. Sure I can do little more work, but for now I'll just give it a rest.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

HOTD Poster cont.

Continuing with the picture. I block in the base shadow and highlights, set that layer to Hard Light so the highlights wouldn't get lost, and add the colors on another layer set to Multiply.

After I'm satisfied with the whole sketch I flatten everything and start painting over with my customized Hard Rounds. I make new layer and add a Gradient to confirm the lighting position.

Font size
I'll use some Curves and Color Bal later after doing some initial detailing. Afterwards I'll blow up the dpi and do some more finer detailing. I'm still wondering what to do about the bg...


Poster painting - HOTD webcomic

There apparently is a need of a poster for the upcoming House of the Dead webcomic from STCOnline. Which is bit kind of a last minute, since I've been damn busy this past few weeks working at the costume shop keeping up with the demands for the Halloween. They've officially set the release date of the first issue on the 31st. That gives me less than this week to complete the poster, which I think I can somewhat manage.

I've already started the layout here:

The stupid pen's kinda acting up on me here, it won't glide on smoothly, every time I make some mark it 'skips' and makes lines that I didn't want. Weird.

Working in low-res for now on a 8.5x14 canvas. Once I block in the colors and such I'll blow it up to 300.

To be cont.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dragons dragons dragons oh my

I was never really into drawing dragons. Even when I did, they always looked like crap. But only recently, I took an advice from French artist JS Rossbach on turning big blobs of scribbles on a canvas into wonderful shapely figures. Since I was at work and only had my sketchbook and a mechanical pencil, I decided to try this method. After some random scribbling of squiggles and scrawlies I observed the mass of graphite blob on the paper, and slowly like thos 3D Magic Eye pictures I saw a wonderful image appear, which I then refine with ballpoint pen:

Now, suddenly, drawing dragons isn't so tough anymore. :D

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Some sketches...

What better way to kill time while waiting for someone to buy a costume than to fill your sketchbook with lots and lots of doodles:

Nothing new, both are previous creations of mine that I'm reworking, particularly the valkyrie queen one. I can later show you the old sketch of her.
I do have lots more sketches to show, but right now it's off to dinner. Later...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Continued - Femme Fatale

Yes I did not finish in time for the challenge deadline, but that didn't mean I still can't work on it:

I realized the figure just wasn't working, so rather than fight with it, I draw up a whole new sketch of the figure on a piece of paper then scan it in and paint on it. It actually looks better, and I can comfortably continue with the overall piece. A pretty gory scene, I tell you, I don't know how I would've handled it watching the whole thing occur before me.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New IFX Challenge - Femme Fatale

I haven't done any forum challenges in forever. Just in time to catch a cool one: femme fatale. Ah, don't we all love a beautiful, sultry female with a knife in her back.

I'm taking this from the old Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes, which can only be found in the Apocrypia Bible, which is like almost nonexistent. This was a popular subject in the High Renaissance art.
Though right now I'm having a bit of problem with our lady here. The figure doesn't look, em, natural. If I cannot find a way to fix this, I'll have to go back to square one. And the challenge ends tomorrow at 5. I've been so cooped up with work and other stuff I don't know I'll make it in time...bleh.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Finished painting

From my last post up to three days ago this was how far I was, without bg:

Now, two hours later today:

It's a classic man vs. machines battle, inspired by of course Terminator, one of my favorite action movies of all time. I'm sure there's still some work to do, I'm going to call up some people for crit. So far though I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I felt like I wasn't going to get thru with it but they say patience and perseverance makes perfect.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Hot Damn, it's October already???

How time flies. And pretty soon it'll be Halloweeen.

Which is why I won't be able to do much of my stuff this whole month. The costume shop will be full of enthusiastic shoppers, young and old, trying to find the right outfit to wear to their Halloween parties and the good old Trick or treating. That means I'll be in the store FT now, probably even crunching in after hours especially towards the end of the month (you know how people love to do last minutes).

It's nice to be working, but I really need to get a job that pays more than just min. wage. Who knows, I might even pull out a second job in addition to this current one. With the economy in the dumps, the job market is sure to be in the drain as well, so I can't really get the ones that have health insurance and 401k's. It'll almost be end of the year before we know it. I surely hope something good will look my way soon. I've been waiting and patient loooong enough...


Monday, September 29, 2008

New Action Painting

I felt that most of my stuff did not have enough action kick to it, so I'm starting a new painting that will fix that. I'm basically using an old character I created and putting them into whole new concept:

For now I'm working in low-res to compensate for this computer's crappy memory chip. When I'm done with all the basic blocking and detailing I'll bump it up and add in more detail. The bg I'll be doing it on separate file for the same reason.

Lord I can't wait to save up enough money to buy me a Mac.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finished Portrait XX

I lost track of how many portraits I have. I've misnumbered them all crap. X_X

Anyway I've decided the bkg looked blah and added some interesting textures to it. Looks better now, taking care not to pull all the attention away from the main attraction:

I did a bit more Unsharp mask over the painting, and sign it with love. <3

New sketches - House of the Dead Part 2

Some new character sketches for upcoming House of the Dead part 2 webcomic. The first one will be out in few days, I'm just in planning phase for the second one. Hopefully the response for the first one will be really really good.

The second installment will feature LISA ROGAN and G, protagonists of the third HOTD game (you know the one with the shotguns).

Will keep y'all updated on the progress of this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Portrait 5 take 3

Update from last night. Another hour and this is the result.

Not saying it's done. I might work on it some more, but so far it looks all right.

Pretty beat up looking I know, well not everyone has clean face. And I ain't going for a photorealistic look either, as with all the other paintings I've done.

Saw LAST HOLIDAY last night. Nothing new, a light-hearted sweet movie about just being your self and not to live too much in a 'box' and never be afraid to come out of it. Something I still need to work on.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pixel Ty

Pixel art based upon my friend. Cute isn't he?

Portrait 5 cont.

Some update to my portrait. Took me one hour to get this far:

I can see some areas needing improvement at the moment, but as you already can tell, this is just WIP.

Painting dark skin tones isn't so much of a brain surgery as I thought...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What would You do?

I was watching DEAL OR NO DEAL last night ( I normally don't follow that show, but we were at a restaurant and I was bored stiff and the TV was on) and this nice PE teacher fellow was doing pretty good, he still had two 1Mil case not yet taken off the stage but the chance of having one of them at his side was 25%. Now (hopefully you readers know how the game works) he has been offered 12oK for his case, and on top of that, a trip to the EA Games HQ in Canada, a library of every EVERY single game ever made by that company, an invitation to the launch party of the new NBA '09 game (and probably meet some of the star NBA players featured there), and to top it all off like a fat icing on a cake, to have his FACE in the next NBA game as a referee. Now if I was in that position, I would've taken the offer in a hearbeat, given the low probability of having a 1mil in my case. And I can tell the guy wanted it too, I mean, WHO DOESN'T? Well, his wife, his brother, and half the audience. I was silently screaming at him to ignore them and take the offer, cause that's only a once in a lifetime chance and it's far too valuable to risk it off. But Nooooo, the guy gives in to the pressure and says, NO DEAL.

I'll bet he's wishing right now he had just taken the deal after all. Especially after how the rest of the evening turned out.

I feel so sorry for the guy. Throwing away 130K and the video game for what ended up to be a measly, MEASLY $110. That won't even buy an X-Box. And I'm serious, his bright enthusiastic smile got wiped off of his face, quite literally, upon opening the second case of 1mil.

Lesson to be learned: follow your heart, not someone else's opinion. Even if it's your own family.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Next Portrait

Took me five minutes. I'm loving my new Wacom Graphire *dancing*

Pixel art 2

Another pixel art practice. A little more detailed and complex.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New item for my collection of toys...

Yep, I bought this with the money I got for my b-day. About time, I say to myself. No more fighting with the cords, it's all wireless via Bluetooth!

One problem, my comp doesn't have Bluetooth!

Oh well I still have some $$ leftover to get the adapter. Trying to see where they have it for cheap.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New stuff - pixel art

Yeah, since I got started on some pixel art stuff for a friend, I thought maybe I should start brushing up on the skill. I never done anything like it before, but from the looks of it, it doesn't look like a brain surgery.

My first piece, done all in Photoshop

I kinda like how it's coming out so far. I'll keep working at it.

Monday, September 8, 2008


After a much long deee-lay, I come to the end of this piece:

I'll most likely come back to it when I see something pop out in front of my face, but for now I think it came out pretty good, just the way I imagined it.