Track Day at Buttonwillow Raceway

Driving fast and doing it legally is one of the favorite things I love to do when I'm not painting or drawing. Last weekend, my buddy John and I went to Buttonwillow Raceway to attend a racing school. The weather was overcast but it didn't rain as forcasted. Overall, it was a really fun day. We were really tired after a whole day of intense driving. It finally did rain when we drove home.
There was a photographer that took some really nice shots of the event. I used a sample that he took of my car turning a corner in the first photo above. The rest of the crappy ones were from my camera. His photos are really good and his website can be found here:




Imaginary Spaces Art

Here are three images from the Imaginary Spaces show.


Sketch Tutorial

Hello again. Here's a sketch I did in value for fun and practice. I actually feel more comfortable sketching in black and white because you can really pick out subtle changes in tone. This is a favorite excercise I like to do. I should really do more of these after looking at Robh Ruppel's blog. Damn he's inspiring!

Above are images of various stages of how I usually start a sketch. The idea here is to block in the the big shapes initially (A). In PhotoShop, I usually do everything in a single layer. Don't worry about getting everything perfect. Just keep it loose. "Loose as a goose" is a good thing to tell yourself I guess. However, you're still in control with where you place things except with wider scope if that makes sense. The important thing at this stage is to establish composition and perspective if you're dealing with a complex scene. Like Mr. Mullins put it, "it's a controlled fall."

Once you're happy with the composition, you want to establish the light source. In this example, I established it early on from the left. (B) From here on details will gradually come in, but make sure to keep your comp in check. One thing I like to do is to flip it horizontally often to see if anything is off. Comp D places more detail into the scene and refining some areas. At some point, the comp will have to be readjusted (in my case) because I painted over too much in an area or I needed to fix the composition.
A good analogy to getting a sketch like this down to the end(subjective) is like fishing. You want to keep the line loose when you get the initial bite and then reel it in slowly into the net. Better yet, it's like waiting for a polaroid photo to come into focus. Nonetheless, take your time to observe the details and relax.


Japanese Tea Garden

I started making stuff up not remembering the exact details. I think it'll hold up though. Perhaps I'll do more with those trees on the left later. This is a fun excercise for the night. Got to sleep now. Nighty night


Imaginary Spaces at Gallery Nucleus

Gallery Nucleus wil be hosting another show from December 16- January 8, 2007 hosting a myriad lineup of artists. The subject matter will be involving environments.

A few of my friends and I have been invited to participate in this show. It's definitely an honor to be part of this show. Please come by on December 16th and see what's in store. See you there!


Stow Lake - Golden Gate Park

Color Study of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park using various brushes( 1 hr).


The New De Young Museum

This is a sketch from behind the De Young Museum. This was quick and dirty (30 min). I'm experimenting with different brushes this time around.

Here is some more info on the museum: http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/de_young/

Blogs of San Francisco

Hello, I'm back again from 9 hours of driving in traffic from my hometown San Francisco. I can't believe how amazing this city is everytime I go back home. The city has new renovations which I recently discovered this weekend. I definitely want to move back when the time is right. There is something about the Bay Area that has "soul".

Well, I couldn't wait to sketch this first piece because I thought this building was something out of those concept paintings that Sparth drew out. It's the new De Young Museum. The building is a sculpture itself which I think sticks out in the Golden Gate Park area.

I will be doing blogs based off my trip up there last weekend. Some will be from memory and some will be re-interpretations from reference. Enjoy.



Here are a few candidate images for an upcoming show.
I will not be posting this week since it's Thanksgiving. Posting will resume next week. Have a good one.


Identity Crisis

This photo deserves its own post( no compositing was done to this photo). It speaks for itself. Ummm...it's a Geo Prism BMW or wait...BMW Geo Prism! We caught this during the rush hour home...classic!

Fishing Trip Photos

These photos were taken at Lake Irvine this morning around 6am on our fishing trip. These pictures cannot justify the beauty of the early morning light. Unbelievable!


Sketches from observation

I went to downtown L.A. Warehouse District to do some quick sketches today around 4:30pm when the sun was about to go down. I also took a whole bunch of reference photography for future projects. Being in a scary area near the warehouses, I didn't take my time to do these sketches, but spent like 10min. to do them. I went home to finish them out in color. After visiting Mike Hernandez's site, I was inspired to do these. Very inspiring.


Another Fun Sketch in Progress

Here's another sketch that I've been doodling around with today. It still needs some work here and there, but this is one of the few sketches I'm satisfied with this week. I'll keep you posted on this one.


Sketch in progress

Here's another image I'm starting on. It's still an early block in, but I think I have it down to the direction I want. It'll probably change significantly when I'm close to finish.

I plan to keep this loose as possible.


quick sketch

This sketch took about 30min to finish. Since I'm on a long vacation, I constantly have images popping in my head when I'm driving, sleeping, eating, etc. I'm trying to make a habit of sketching these ideas down ASAP so I won't forget. I'll have more of these soon. Enjoy.


Color Study from Memory

My wife and I celebrated our second year anniversary tonight at Koi Restaurant. My friend Roland suggested this place to me and the man has good taste(no pun intended).

The restaurant is a piece of art in itself. The interior was tastefully decorated with warm overtones in the deep reds and oranges. We were sitting at the end of the sushi bar and a beautiful bamboo set piece was lit directly in front of me. In the back was the private dining room with its deep burgundy wall that perfectly complimented this bamboo setpiece lit in a deep yellow-orange light. I took a mental snapshot and quickly did this as soon as I got home. This took about an hour to do. The colors are probably more exaggerated since my memory is poor. Bon Appetite!

Oomasa Sushi Downtown L.A.

My wife and I went to Little Tokyo for dinner tonight at Oomasa Restaurant. It's a great place for sushi. I was looking at the sushi bar and noticed the ornamentation of the overhang. The lighting exploited the beauty of the laquer finish of the wood. I couldn't pass this one up with a sketch. Woop here it is!


'Spirited Away' Palette Study

As I mentioned in the last post, I personally find that the environments created in the film, 'Spirited Away' was rich in color and choice in palette was very well used without being oversaturated. To help me become better in color, I did a study on a color plate from the film which grabbed me. This study kicked my ass and I most likely did not get all the colors right. However, I learned a lot from doing it.
One thing I love about the environments in Miyazaki's films is they evoke emotion and the environments retain a tasteful charm which makes you want to be in it.

Hazel Color Study

Here is another cat sketch I came up with today. This was a good study because Hazel is a mix of many colors within the yellow-orange- brownish red hues. As far as capturing Hazel's persona, I think it failed because she looks a bit bloated. This study got out of hand as my cruel sense of humor kicked in.

The story here is that Hazel perches on the window sill everyday on the lookout for other cats, particularly that black and white one on the previous post. Unfortunately, she gets excited and scratches up our screen. In an ideal world, they should make laser screens to prevent us from replacing one everytime. Of course, the animal rights will come after me for frying the cat. Anyways, here it is.

The Cat Sketch

This cat has been coming around to visit my two cats, Pepper and Hazel. I'm not sure if it's a male or female, but Hazel gets really ticked off when she sees this cat. I caught an opportunity to take a snapshot from my backyard today. This study was sketched from a photo. It took about an hour since there were lots of subtle colors that the camera caught. There are lots of nice subtle blues eminating from the cat's coat.


Environment Painting

So here's where I'm going with this one so far from the previous sketches. A derelict factory sitting in the middle of a harbor on a hazy day. A big thanks to those who gave me feedback and suggestions on this.

Following Through

The comp from the previous post were derived from these 2 early sketches. These were done for a personal project to improve my painting skills. Also, as I have more time now, I am going to improve my colors as well. I usually tend to paint in the mid-grays with accents of color, but little of bright saturated color. That will be another lesson for me. A great example which I came across for "tasteful colors" is the 'Art of Spirited Away'. The background environment colors are saturated, but very controlled and looks naturalistic without looking gaudy. I'm not a too fond of using oversaturated colors, however, I think it's good to experiment with it to learn what and what not to do. I'll come up with some studies in future posts.


food for thought

This is one of the few comps I've been messing around with that has potential for a final piece. It is inspired by our trip to Hong Kong. I'm still experimenting at this point naturalistic lighting and hues out of my head.


charcoal studies from school

Charcoal was the medium of choice back in the day for me at school. It was messy though. This was for an Alice in Wonderland entertaiment design project.

Humble beginnings

I found these old paintings I did in school about four years ago. Looking back at these, I really miss the feel of plein air painting. Also, I like to document my old stuff just to see where I've grown. It's painful to look at your old stuff at times.

I do most of my stuff in digital these days. Ironically, I was very much against digital painting coming out of Art Center because I felt it robbed the spirit of painting (not true). Second, I didn't know jack about painting in Photoshop nor the many uses of it. Now I'm a convert. Currently, I am spoiled by digital painting because you take mistakes for granted with a touch of a keystroke. I will get back into analog, but for now, digital is king.

Hazel and Yam

This is a picture of my cat Hazel and a puppet that one of my coworkers made for a Kris Kringle present. I must say that the puppet has an uncanny resemblance to me.