31 March 2010


Finished for the AIB Jumble. As I said before it was inspired by Gil Elvgren's work. Just brought a book of his and been admiring his work. I really like how his form pops! I tried to apply that in this piece, I think its been a bit successful around her arm (the one thats held up). Its because I zoomed in on that and painted in a lot of hard dark edges to it and tried to fade it off into the form so that it doesnt look too abrupt. The lasso tool is a good friend that I should spend more time with. It was very helpful in painting the straights on the broom stick and made the process easy.
As always Ive been listening to some Chiustream :P It was nice to listen to some encouraging words every now and then. Even though I am now working as a professional concept artist I dont feel much different from when I was in university as a student. I am still trying to improve and do my studies. I still feel the frustrations and doubts I did as an aspiring artist. But doubt is a good thing. It means you are not content and wanting to improve. I think it was Leonardo Da Vinci who said something along the lines of: "That painter who has no doubts will achieve little."
Its a quote I liked and found reassuring. I remember in my second year of university 2 years ago I had a phase of doubting myself and it kept me up at night sometimes :P So during the next day when I am walking to class I would try think of solutions to how I could improve my work and then after class I would try it out... maybe I will fail again and the cycle continued but I didnt get too down about it, in a strange way I relished it because I knew it meant I was on the right tracks and that eventually I would get better. I didnt ever think I would not make art my profession really. I was confident that I would always keep drawing and painting and as long as I kept doing that I will make it in the end. I have seen many examples of beginners growing to great standards and mature beginners doing the same proving that it is never too late to get into it. Art is not like physical sports where you have an age where you peak and then dip from there on. You can start at any time and the whole journey to improve and hone in your skills never end as long as you dont stop. That is why I think you see teenagers painting to the quality of some professionals and its the beauty of it all! There is no differentiating us all, we all have the potential to do it XD
Lets share some inspirations... Im going to link some of the folks I draw with on ConceptArt.Org. I have spoken to lots of aspiring artists before and I am always more impressed and fond of those who do their talking by action. Whenever I see someone working hard and with much dedication I feel these people are the people I like to work with. When I was unemployed I updated my sketchbook every day or two and kept this up for a few months. It attracted the attention of other young and dedicated artists and because of our like minds we formed a group where we encouraged each other and pushed each other on. Check out their work: Krato, Jatherip, Dylanea Go see the last pages to see how theyve progressed!

25 March 2010

Jumbling along

A lil update on a wip Im doing for the AIB Jumble. Just wanted to let everyone know Im still around. Been keeping busy. We had some students come in for an open day a few days ago. Heres a few advices I thought of: 1) keep practicing regularly and not to waste too much time worrying rather than doing (so try to be disciplined). 2) Be critical and analytical all the time. I can get some ideas by staring at artworks and trying to decipher the techniques or the way it creates illusions of form, perspective etc. 3) Kinda the same as number 1 but... do it regularly! Theres less benefits doing it from time to time. Regular practice stacks up the benefits because you can learn from your old pieces when theyre fresh. 4) Just have some common sense! Try not to act to weird so that people will remember you... you might annoy someone :P Id much rather hear someone speak truthfully and sincerely about themselves rather than feeling they have to try sell themselves all the time.
Been down to Bournemouth to see old my old classmates too. Twas good to revisit the place :)
Anyway... Onto the art piece. For the AIB blog where this time around we have to take a given shape and manipulate it's silhouette. Ive been influenced by Elvgren's pin ups here. I am trying to replicate the way he paints form. Theres a subtle hard, crisp and dark line that surrounds his forms with the light-midtones and highlights punching out from it.
Some influences: Miles - 16 year old kid who studied like crazy and is now shit hot! In the link you can see his progression which gives me more hope and belief :D Mr.Delicious - Similarly, worked like crazy and you can see the pay off! James Jean - This guy is living the dream and is damn awesome and versatile!

18 March 2010

Red Ass

For the AIB blog.... Sorry for the hiatus! Let me explain what happened: Final Fantasy 13! I will be back soon with more art! And I'll be visiting Bournemouth again for the weekend so thats even more delays for the next update hehe.
Coming soon - Back to the usual business -

Some more inspirations: Marc Taro - I wanna draw like that!

7 March 2010

Nothing is Junk

Finished the Chow. A junkyard golem and his dog friend! This was a messy piece. The colours are quite muddy. Because the golem is a mix of lots of originally separate unique objects I thought the colours should show they were once separate but bah... it just got cluttered up! Next up.... Im thinking of giving the longer pieces a rest and do some shorter stuff. Been inspired by the Imaginism crew as usual so I want to get some watercolours done and experiment with other medias. Buuuut I dont think I brought my watercolour pad with me! Might have to purchase a new one.
Some inspirations: Feng Guo, Gez Fry, Marcel Vignali Love their drawings. I will put up a bigger list soon.
Final Fantasy XIII comes out in a few days!!!! I am waiting for my collector's edition complete with art book! Drooooooooooool!!!!!

6 March 2010

The Never Ending Quest!!!!!!

Another study. This one is after the brilliant John Singer Sargent. He definately knows his shit! This was actually quite hard to study, judging the colours of this was super hard and I had to use the picker to actually see what some of the shades are. As you can see my version on the left is muddy in comparison to the right. I also have lots of angles off but I dont think I should worry about that much as I dont want to just 'copy' the image and get everything lined up perfectly (I might as well use a grid)! Anyway... thats just my thought and I could be wrong. What I did get out of this was rendering form better especially in clothes (I seriously suck at that)! I enjoyed trying to 'pop' out the form on the face and it was great to see the little lightings involved. I am really getting into lighting... they make SUCH a massive difference! His left shoulder is in shadow and as we travel along the arm it comes back into light, it feels like there is depth there. There is a cast shadow underneath the brightly lit right arm, depth!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes the figure exist in an environment and is something I want to bring into my work more. Oh crap... there is so much I need to learn!!!!!!!!! Better hop to it! Bring it on!!!!!!! In other news... I submitted some work for the first time to Expose 8, fingers crossed I can get in :P
Also I just heard that Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera are getting married!!!!!!!! The proposal was live on Chiustream and I missed it!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats guys! Im so made up lol!
Some inspiration for tonight: Algenpfleger - Love to look through his sketchbook. He is a prime example of how sheer hard work can bring you success. Check out his progression from 2007 to the present day. It gives me hope because I can see that all you need to do is put in the mad hours like he did. You might feel like you have to force yourself to work in the beginning but when you get into a regular routine of it, its not a hassle anymore and it becomes second nature. Lets get INTENSE!!!!!!!!

5 March 2010

Junkbot and friends

First up is a new work in progress shot of my latest attempt at the Chow. Topic: Junkyard golem! Straight off I thought of doing a more cartoony treatment to the piece. We will see how that goes... I havent stuck to the styles I tell myself to use in my recent work. The previous Chow was meant to be in a brush styles linework thats painted lightly and uses lots of patterns to try emulate an oriental art style but I was tempted into a tighter render after looking at some classical paintings. Perhaps a similar thing is happening to this piece again! I was looking at some Ghibli films for the look and feel for this one but I went into my own style again :P GOT TO BE MORE DISCIPLINED!
The other two are Painter doodles. I started my digital art journey with Painter. Having worked in traditional paint throughout high school I couldnt get to grips with Photoshop... it painted very precisely and didnt have the fun randomness and happy accidents (initially) that traditional has. So Painter was my natural tool in the transition to the digital age. Eventually I went back to Photoshop and fell in love with it and Painter was left to collect virtual dust on my desktop. I decided to try it out again recently and remembered the fantastic feel of the program's brushes. I might try to repaint an old piece I did when I first started out 4 years ago so I can give a direct comparison to my old self for your viewing pleasure!
Oh... and tonights inspirations are: Janaschi, Jon Foster, Ghibli films and Richard Schmid (Ive introduced one of his books to a colleague and he loved the read and went to order his own copy but is keeping hold of mine until his arrive lol)
Also... a lil plug for my colleagues... check out the developer's diary for Dead to Rights: Retribution!

2 March 2010

Play the Game

A piece for the AIB Jumble blog. The topic was 'sport' as chosen by me :P I had a look through for some football/ sport slogans to add with the image and found some really good ones. Heres a few:
"All it takes is all you've got."
"Winning is a habit, success is a choice."
"Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best."

In a way this art business is like a sport. You have to treat yourself like an athlete. Be disciplined and exercise your skill or you will slow down and lose form. Good things dont come easy that is why I think it comes down to a question of "how badly do you want it?" If you want it badly enough, you will keep pushing and keep training. Because as long as you are improving you will eventually reach your goal. Then when you reach that first goal you set a higher standard and train to reach that.

EDIT: Been in one of those moments again where I feel daunted by how much I still need to learn and was wondering if I could ever get there :P So I went to look back at my first digital paintings from 4 years ago. OMG Im going to say 'what the hell' and go ahead and embarass myself by linking to them here. Its an odd feling looking back at these. I feel embarrassed, outraged (:P) and all these negative feelings towards these old pieces. But also... I feel encouraged to have moved on from those crap. So I hope I can keep improving and in another 4 years time I should be a lot better! Just got to keep going!!!!!!!!!!

1 March 2010

9 Tailed Wrath

There you go... Maybe I could have shown more steps in the earlier stages. I dont really save the early stages and flatten them down a lot so I couldn't show them when compiling the wips. Its a habit but I dont really like saving off too many drafts, I hate looking back at them :P
I nearly missed the deadline for this because my housemate was downloading a huge load of things so my internet was crawling at a snail pace! Erm... Ive been meaning to write out a tutorial but Im tempted into doing more Chows.
I thought I might also blog a list of some of the inspirations I find at the times too. First up is ThienBao, I got quite a kick up the ass looking at his stuff today. Same goes to this guy Zhuzhu. And check out the film Memoirs of a Geisha... I was watching it as research for this Chow and thought the composition and framing in this film is bloody awesome! Also quite a few intense scenes in there. Annnnddddd as always the ChiuStream is a place full of motivating talks! I recommended these podcasts to whoever I can, they helped me push myself and get into a positive mentality.