Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Kite Runner

I must confess that I don't read novel or fiction book nowadays except for graphic novel or art related books. The last "book" in general I fully finished was Diary of a wimpy kid 3 by Jeff Kinney. (Yes, I know, they are at book 7 now...geesh) But if you ask me what the last novel I read was actually "The Kite Runner". (I have 30ish pages left, almost there.. woohoo..)  I love the story thus far and kinda feel sad in heart a bit. Don't know why. Maybe the way Khaled Hosseini describes the story was so close to real life that not everything has happy ending or is perfectly stated. But, that's also the beauty of the life, isn't it?  Let's embrace it. :)

I am glad he lives in San Jose and is willing to do a lot of FREE public speakings to inspire people here or around the world. Luckily I attended one of them and got his kind words and autograph! I'll keep up the good work. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gnome Gnome and Gnomes

This pass weekend I got a chance to revisit friend's grandpa grandma's house. Last time when I was there I haven't started my sketching yet. I always admire their decorations in the house, yard, and kitchen. I'm usually just taking pictures around the house, but this time I asked if I can sketch their back yard. 

There are so many gnomes around the front and back yards. I tried to fit as much as I can in my sketch........ and luckily they just repainted them.... love the vivid color. Feel like living in the fairy tales.... :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Last Saturday late afternoon. An hour before San Jose Art Museum was closed. 

Took a quick look at the level 1 and 2 exhibitions and at second story there was an artist drawing hell illustrations that caught my eyes. Pretty scary and surreal.

All the backgrounds are in major big cities: New York (time square, Brooklyn bridge), San Francisco, Los Angelus, and Tokyo. It's called "To Hell and Back: Sandow Birk's Divine Comedy". Well, apparently not a "comedy" for me, but the drawing skills are just spectacular! 

Went down and quickly drew the Mexicanisimo through artist's eyes, a tradition Mexican-senor and a street vendor cart. The Nacho man is quite interesting. I should go again at Bank of American Free Museum Day. Watercolor the nacho man might be fun too. Hmmm.

Photos of reality:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Little Practice at the Hood

Last saturday, looking around and see what I can draw from my neighborhood. 
Started with this awkward, disharmony scene right behind the busy Ranch 99 Market plaza. 

I named it....."the truck and the bulldozer"

2012 USK SDQ Symposium V

V Improvising with line and color: The Urban Sketcher as a Storyteller
Instructors: Orling Dominguez and Inma Serrano

This is a really interesting workshop, you kinda have to put all the techniques you learned in previous 4 together. Here are the 3 steps that taking you into the "Orling & Inma illustration world":

1. Yes, again, starts with thumbnails:

The two little dominican brothers are in everyone's drawing that day. They are walking around and ask to be sketched. :)

2. Put your stories together, even includes some thumbnails.

I started with the Columbus statue on the top left and walked around decided to go with the side view of the statue so that I can draw the beautiful dome in the back. Inma suggested with the people in front of me and make them bigger, so the whole drawing would look more layers and more diminutional. The 2 thumbnails on the bottom are suggested by Orling. I like the result a lot. Took me about 45 mins to finish it.

3. Add some colors and words in your drawing. Don't write your thought or words after, make it part of your drawing.

We had like a little less then 40 mins to draw this assignment. I immediately know that I won't be able to finish a cathedral or something too complicated. So I look around and see the faces on the cathedral gate, so was thinking if I can put them in the drawing will be pretty awesome. 

Here is how it looks like:

The closer look:

Here are some results of the workshops, everyone has their unique way of seeing the scene. It's interesting and very inspiring.

SDQ USK news:
We made it to the Dominican Republic local TV!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012 USK SDQ Symposium IV

IV The Decisive Moment 
Instructors: Veronica Lawlor and Jonathan Schmidt

The workshop started with lots of wonderful good examples of lines sketching. complete and incomplete. That actually helps a lot when we actually on the street to search for the drawing subjects.

Start with the thumb nails stories like this: (sorta like a screen play that either the camera is zooming in or out, depends on each storyteller...)

If you enlarge the drawing, there is a very useful tip on the second left.....

It shows a simple but very useful principle for your drawing:

1. things you draw that are closer to you, should be bigger, vice versa.
2. try to include both close to you and far from you elements in the same drawing. So the drawing would looks more like what people actually see.

Then go into the details with your thumbnails story (or other things else, no obligation).

Saw a couple were using their own gadgets for like 15 mins straight. No single conversation exchange.

I just love their lamp poles, can't keep my eyes of it unless I draw one. :)
Also, figured that I should put something, maybe activities around the area to make the drawing more complete. So I add some loose lines chess competition that are very common things you can see at the Santo Domingo.

I still had not tried the completely loosen lines yet at this point. Just go ahead did this drawing: (I am not that satisfied with it but Veronica said she actually like this one then the previous one, coz she can see I am actually loosen up in the drawing. Hmmmm. ok.)

Last try for the workshop b4 everybody wrapping up theirs: (sakura brush pen, brown color)

After the workshop, I was starting feeling loosing up of my drawing, but it was already the 4th workshop of the whole symposium... I wished I could learn faster and had more energy to finish more..... 

It was just so exhausted and the humid weather made you got tired so easily.... I guess I am so used to the nice sunny california weather that I totally forget I was actually live in the same sub-tropical weather of my earlier 25 years of life. :P 

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 USK SDQ Symposium III

III Architecture: Personal Viewpoints with Frank Ching and Liz Steel

The plan was draw at the back of the Cathedral Santa Maria then go inside to try the gorgeous ceiling. I was a bit overwhelmed with the gigantic architecture and have no idea where should I start. I just used my comfortable ink pen and started with the outlines shape of the cathedral, couldn't resist to joggle back to the details sometimes....  

Here is the result :

Frank's suggestions: try to see your subject as 3 dimensional. (mine is very 2D looking) Liz: draw from the top and with the outside shape, then the details. 

Everyone's work:

Everybody was so into it and some people were even do 2 or 3, very quick and with vivid color, too. Awesome! we only have a little time to go inside the cathedral.... 

I was having hard time drawing the cathedral, even Liz demonstrated it so well (you can see her notes in note 1note 2, and 3). She can do it like 10 secs and show you the perspectives, eye levels, etc... accurately. Unfortunately, we got kicked out by the security guard like 15 mins after we went in. I was unable to finished not even 1 drawing, but there are lots of good ones that posted at SDQ USK blog, if you are interested. 

I guess it does take a lot of practices and thinking to get the look and feel right within a short period of time. (more mathematically?) (I tried again the other days when I come back. I should say some tips does really help!)