Artist Challenge Day 1: Colored Pencil Realistic

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.

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藝術挑戰第一天:色鉛筆寫實風

我在一兩個月前就被 Flora Chang 和 Artwork by Allyn 點名參加這個挑戰。拖到現在我才終於開始回應。不過我想我的畫家朋友們大概也都被點名過了,所以我就不再點名其他人,想要一起來玩的朋友,歡迎自動加入。

這裡是三幅很久以前畫的色鉛筆作品,那時候走的是寫實風,目標在於畫得像。即使現在我的插畫幾乎是完全用Illustrator來創作,色鉛筆仍然一直是我最愛的媒材。今年開始我的目標是多用傳統媒材,現在我用色鉛筆和其他如水彩、代針筆等來創作個人的作品和手繪日記。

Trying New Sketchbooks

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. 

泰式椰奶蝦湯

Colored pencil has been my favorite medium and I love to draw(and cook) food! I used to do realistic pure colored pencil drawings. Now I like to mix some other mediums like ink, watercolor pencil, and light watercolor wash to my colored pencil drawings, to make them more vibrant and interesting. Here is my food journal page created with 90% colored pencil on S & B Alpha sketchbook . All the letterings and subtle outlines done with ink. And light watercolor wash over the soup and cilantro. 

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昨天收到Blue Apron寄來的新鮮食材和食譜,感謝愛做菜的Kathy推薦,Blue Apron提供了免費的兩人份三道菜讓我試用。送來的食材裝在一個Eco-Friendly可回收分解的紙箱,底下鋪了兩層保冷乾冰袋。每樣食材都按照份量分別裝在小袋子裡(袋子都可重複使用),上面標示著食材名稱。另外還附了一份料理指南和每道菜的食譜,搭配料理步驟照片,彩色印刷在紙卡上,可以收藏。

今天試做了泰式椰奶蝦湯,由於食材份量都由Blue Apron事先量好,我只要洗、切、煮就好,省下不少麻煩;再加上食譜的步驟寫得很好,只要照著進行,就不會手忙腳亂。我沒完全搞懂的一點是檸檬草可能外層剝掉得不夠多,或是切得不夠細,所以還吃得到較木質的部分,口感不夠嫩;除此之外,這道菜的完成品非常美味,可媲美餐廳水準了。

值得一提的是,Blue Apron提供了很多特殊食材,不是我平時會買或懂得買的,讓我可以嘗試料理不同的菜色。又因為食材配料都是按照所需分量提供,不需為了做一兩道菜而去採買一整罐或一整袋,用不完的最後放到過期丟掉,因此可以避免浪費食物。

雖然是兩人份的分量,但是其實我一個人大約可以吃三頓。Blue Apron一星期的費用是$59.94(三道菜兩人份,另有小家庭的方案),乍看不算便宜,但是食材新鮮免費送到家,設計的食譜又兼顧美味和健康,可以算是homemade的餐廳水準美食吧,其實還蠻適合對吃和健康講究,忙碌卻又不想常常外食的單身族或小家庭的。

advent calendar in progress

I have to admit, it is hard to keep up with this daily project. I am a few days behind but I'd like to show you what I've created so far. It's a good exercise for me and helps me to work/draw faster. I also experimented some techniques.

Which day is your favorite? 

If you are interested in following along, please check out my Facebook Page, or visit my website. I will update both pages whenever I get a new one done.

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我必須承認,要持續不間斷每天一幅插畫,不是容易的事。這個插畫降臨曆計畫,我已經落後了幾天的進度,不過把目前完成的作品排在一起看還是挺有成就感的。這也是個很好的練習,讓我加快畫圖與創作的速度,同時也讓我實驗了幾種不同的畫法。

哪一天的插畫你最喜歡呢?

如果你有興趣追蹤我的進度,可以造訪我的臉書專頁或是個人網站,一有新作我就會同步更新這兩個網頁。

advent calendar day 2

Day 2. Winter village. Inspired by vintage Christmas cards and illustrations.

插畫降臨曆第二天。冬季小鎮的靈感是從一些舊時聖誕卡和聖誕插畫而來。

countdown to christmas - day 1

It's December, my favorite season in New York(other than Fall)! I am doing an advent calendar challenge this month. Will post a Christmas image a day until December 25th. Here is it for day one. 

十二月了!這是我除了秋天之外最愛的紐約的季節。這個月我在進行一個降臨曆的挑戰,從12月1日到25日,每天畫一幅跟聖誕節有關的小插畫。第一天的任務達成! 

christmas01.jpg

It's time to order holiday cards

I can't believe it's October already! This year seems passing very fast. I am glad to say that it is probably because I have been so busy! I have accomplished a lot, and have made a several licensing deals. I will share them once they are ready for sale. 

I got two holiday cards are hitting the shelves this Fall. One is for Trader Joe's, one is for Minted. The Minted card is already for sale. It has three color options, can be personalized on the front and back. I've got some sales today! So happy!

If you'd also like to order my cards for your family and friends, please visit my Minted shop here.

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

green anjou

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I got a box of Holbein artist gouache. I am playing with it and thought I could add colored pencil on top of gouache paint. The result was, when I put colored pencil marks on it, I created dents instead of colors to the painting. The gouache paint also works differently than watercolor. I am still learning how to control it. 

Color-mixing is a challenge, too. It's much easier to pick colors from color swatch panel in Adobe Illustrator, or render with colored pencil. Apparently, I am more of a drawer than a painter. My goal is to paint more and combine drawing and painting together in my work. I got to practice more.

I have missed my "year of creative habits" project for about a week. I have been busy with work deadlines and other pressing projects. I wanted to keep up with it though. Maybe I should just scale it down, and start it small. So instead of finishing a "full page" drawing daily, I would just make "a small drawing" a day—A fruit, a dog, a flower, etc.

Autumn is here. It's the season to harvest pears. I am going to draw/paint a series of pear study for the next few days.

One pear at a time.