Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chinese Masters

These were done in collaboration with Eddie "IR" Lopez  for an art history class project a few semesters ago. The assignment was to go out and take pictures of a friend around a building (specific, right?), then transform them into paintings based on Chinese masters. I was the model, and the Art Center was the building. These were all done in Photoshop, all in the styles of Gu Kaizhi, Ma Yuan, Ni Zan, and Yan Liben. I've included the write ups for any art history nerds and history buffs; I'd read them, so I figure, why deny my like-minded artists, haha. Please, enjoy. 

Gu Kaizhi 
 Gu Kaizhi used a thin, black line to outline his subjects. He worked with a landscape-oriented canvas, with his subjects appearing in horizontal bands. Unless he was doing a portrait, his composition wasn’t centered on one thing. Like most artists of the time, he worked in a flat style, with an untrue view of perspective. Architecture was drawn with a very straight edge.  Humans and plants were stylized, but were painted with the same brush, so the width of the stroke is the same throughout.  I used the same style of stylization on my human subject. Kaizhi liked to draw people and they featured prominently in his paintings.  He added stylized shading and texture with a splotchy dark ink over the subject. His colors were limited and contained shades of red, brown, yellow, and green. Skin was portrayed with a whitish yellow-green. The colors were flat and contained to the black line-art.
Ma Yuan 
 Ma Yuan was a landscape painter. He used a vertical format that allowed him to paint vast distances and large amounts of scenery in one painting. Ma Yuan used fog or clouds as a buffer between foreground, middle ground and background. The clouds add a non-realistic, but forced idea of perspective.  He moved from dark to light very quickly in his work, creating dramatic crosshatch-like effect. The contrast in his work created several areas of interest. His work feels rustic, and a bit scratchy, like part of it was done with a harder pen or tool.  There are washes of a pale black and areas that are quite green. He focuses on huge areas of space; this presented a challenge for my painting because my focus was on a foreground and middle ground, which is different from his very zoomed out view.

Ni Zan
 Ni Zan worked in an expressive brush and ink style; using stylization that was common of the time.  He painted scenery and landscapes. He seems to have chosen a slightly different brush technique for each drawing. Some of his works feel lighter, done with a simple, alive and organic line, while others have darker strokes, deeper hues and areas of shading. Ni Zan used a name seal, in the traditional red color, all over the page, to create balance and contrast. Because the red paint is so strong, the little bit from the stamp carries a lot of the back from the ink work. I chose to work with his light hand-worked style, working with a balance of thick and thin lines, with just a tiny hint of shadow with a light grey wash. I replicated the effect of the name seal with equal-sized red squares with Chinese writing inside. 

Yan Liben

Yan Liben focused on the people in his works. There were few to no props or other items in his paintings; one exception was thrones when he was painting royalty. His paintings never really had backgrounds, so for the most part the figures would be floating in space. To incorporate the architecture in my painting, I went very minimal and took inspiration from the straights and curves of the thrones he had painted; the background was left completely blank. When Yan Liben painted figures, they were outlined in a black line that was filled with a solid color. Inside the areas of color, Liben used a soft brush with a darker shade to create shadows that run along the inside ink lines; they are more stylized than a realistic rendering. He used a neutral color scheme that was punctuated with large areas of bold red. Skin was painted in a darker,
a light mocha, shade. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Commission for a very special client. Illustration of a deep-seeded, and very special dream. I really admire his convictions, his drive, and his heart; also his love for his family. I felt very special to draw this out, and I really tried to push myself with coloring techniques. ((Holy backgrounds, Batman!))

Princes and Princesses

The postcard says it all. If you can figure out who these are, you'd probably find it hilarious, and hopefully sweet. Also, for a blast from the past, may I present the boys of the "Prince Kitchen." The 'Kitchen' is an art circle that me and my buddies from high school had, where we personified ourselves as males (the four of us are girls). Dustin (Destiny), KC (Kacey), Kelvin (Katherine, Me), and Dex (Keri).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Girl, Look at that Body. (Mild Nudity Warning)

Style. I feel like every time I go to draw something, I have to think about "my style." I also seem to go through very specific and distinct phases of style. Right now, I draw very round, soft, and "cute". Last year, though, I went through a strong "anatomy" phase. Maybe it was because I was in school, and was applying what I was learning, or maybe it was because I wasn't comfortable in a style, like I am now, so I focused on bringing anatomy to the forefront (while creating little to no backgrounds...). Either way, I have a good collection of anatomy studies that I haven't yet shared on this blog. Enjoy!

"Mermother" COPIC Markers

Okapis are my favorite animal; Watercolor and COPIC

The Sketch

"Margarita" the Stripper Snail. COPIC

Roy, from Fire Emblem. COPIC Marker