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Blog

a family portrait

Anais Lee

In October, I had a vacation and visited my family in Taiwan for 3 weeks. Now I am back! While I was recovering from jet lag, I completed this family portrait for a friend/client. 

Alice hired me to do an illustrative wedding invitation 5 years ago. Since then, I have illustrated family portraits for her when they had a first baby, bought a new home, and this year, had a second baby (and three gold fishes). It's a amazing feeling that my drawings as a record for their family; and as their family grows, my skills and style evolve. These drawings are a record for my own growth as well.

I am so honored to create this portrait for Alice and her family.

Thank you Alice!

Pattern Tuesday // No. 1 Summer Beans

Anais Lee

I received some summer beans from Blue Apron subscription. I love the varieties of color of these beans. The dark purple ones are "Royal Burgundy Bean", the cream ones are "Yellow Wax Beans", and the green ones are, green beans.

Summer beans are delicious, also fun to make a pattern.

Blossom Time

Anais Lee

I created this collection as a demo project for the online class I was teaching. In this class I shared my creative process from brainstorming, sketch ideas, ink my drawings, to color and finalized the artwork in Illustrator.

This online course is hosted at an online learning website called "School of Creative" which I co-founded with my partner, a surface designer Feng Liang. We collaborate with illustrators specialized in various illustration markets–art licensing, editorial, advertising, and children's publishing. Our courses target Chinese speaking students and artists from all over the world. 

100 Days of Tiny Drawing

Anais Lee

I've been participating The 100 Day Project since April 6th. Each day, I will create a tiny drawing on a 6" by 6" paper with colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, or any other traditional art media. I didn't set a particular theme for this project, I just started with the subject I love–food, and anything related.

From the first week's drawings, you can tell how much I love coffee and desserts. I also drew the famous rice cooker that every Taiwanese family owns one. This is a good chance for me to get back to simple drawing. I don't need to worry about whether or not I am creating art that's commercial viable. I just simply enjoy the drawing process and the traditional media. 

If you'd like to participate this project yourself, here is how. I post the photo of my tiny drawing on Instagram and update my project page everyday. If you are interested in what I draw, please follow my Instagram or my project page

Happy creating!

Artist Challenge: Colored Pencil Realistic

Anais Lee

There's an artist challenge going on on Facebook recently. The rule is that the participating artist to post 3 old artwork each day for 5 days. Then tag an artist to do the same.

I was tagged by my artist friends Flora Chang & Allyn Howard a long time ago. Now I am finally doing the challenge.

Here are some very old colored pencil work, probably from 10 years ago. My goal then was to draw as realistic as possible. Colored pencil has always been my favorite medium even though I work in Illustrator almost exclusively nowadays. This year I want to get back to traditional media more. I've been using colored pencil and other traditional media for my personal projects and illustrated journals.

New Artwork - Woodland Tales

Anais Lee

woodland_tales_wall_art_revised.jpg

I've been taking several art classes simultaneously in the past two months. Taking classes helps my to create more, try new techniques and mediums. Here is the example how learning inspires me to make art.

This project was for both Trend Workshop and MATS Bootcamp's assignment (yes, kill two birds with one stone). The assignment for MATS Bootcamp was to paint (or compose an art) on wood slice. Although I would love to paint on the real wood slice someday, I just didn't have enough time to do it for this assignment. At the same time, I created this illustration for Design Garden's Trend Workshop 2015. In this project, I mixed Woodland Fables and Minute Impression trends with my own drawing style. I thought it would also fit well for a wood painting. So I composed the illustration on the wood in Photoshop.

Here is the MATS gallery where you can view all the beautiful wood art submitted by MATS "Bootcampers".

I would like to recommend Design Garden's courses. The tutor and founder, Sabina Radev, is also an illustrator and design. She is also a great teacher! She's so generously and patiently giving feedback to students' projects. I like her method of mixing trends to make my own style of art. I am so inspired by her classes and enjoy the assignments very much!

If you are an artist or designer and want to know more about trends and how to use trends in your creation, I highly recommend Sabina's Trend Workshop. I am still on the week 3 of the workshop. I might write a detailed review after I completing all four week's assignments.

 

Trying New Sketchbooks

Anais Lee

I've heard many artists loving Stillman & Birn sketchbooks, so I wanted to try it. I like Moleskine but sometimes the paper is too sleek for colored pencil. This Alpha series sketchbook from S & B is perfect for pencil work! (The food drawing from last week is an example of using colored pencil on this paper)

The Moleskine journal is still good for pen and ink drawing (below), and now I use it mainly for writing.

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

I tried pen and ink on S & B Alpha book (below). The book has medium grain surface so the pen doesn't run as smoothly as on Moleskine, but it still works well.

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

Although it's for dry media, light wash and ink, it doesn't buckle too much when I applied multiple layers of watercolor wash. It actually takes watercolor pretty well. I really really love this sketchbook and want to try other series by S & B.

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

I also got Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal. The paper is 90 lb. but feels thicker than S & B Alpha book. I have used Strathmore 500 series single sheet paper for colored pencil before, and I liked it. This book uses the same paper. I did a colored pencil and light watercolor sketch of Punchy in this book (below) and it didn't disappoint me. 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

They both work very well with the media I use (colored pencil, pen and ink, watercolor). S & B comes with more options in size and paper though. These two books have become my favorite choices for sketchbook now.