a family portrait

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!

Artist Challenge: 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.

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.