Monday, July 14, 2014


Stopping by the old blogspot to plug a couple of links...

I started a Tumblr page where I will mostly post from now on, but will keep this blog as a means to post more in detail behind my process on a piece or whatever.

Additionally, a few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I embarked on a great journey to further our skills by doing daily sketches for the summer and posting it here:

Da Sketch Friends

Here are some examples I did!

Other than that, I'm back from my solo trip from Europe. I saw many, many amazing pieces and sights over there that I couldn't find the time to sit down and sketch! Even though I was pretty nervous about going around all by myself, in the end, it was definitely an awesome experience! I definitely prefer having someone with me to share it though.

Monday, May 26, 2014


As a part time student for Spring, my only ANI class was ANI 130B: Advanced Digital Modeling. It really rekindled a fire for me to make use of modeling in my production pipeline. For our final project, we got to choose what we wanted to model, be it a character, environment, or prop. I went with challenging myself on making a 3-D version of Helen Chen's Ygritte print that I got from her when I went to APE last October. I love Game of Thrones, Ygritte is one of my favorite characters, and she got drawn by one of my favorite artists. While I was getting advise from an upperclassman modeler on taking a 2-D image to 3-D, he mentioned to me how sick it would be to get it 3-D printed!!! This made me even more stoked to start on this project and just see the final product on the palm of my hand.

The challenge was that I had only had one image to work off so there was a lot of work to be done. Luckily I had a partner to help me out with the project, Diem Doan. We spent quite a bit of time figuring out the structure and anatomy going on within the print because it had to make sense in a three dimensional plane rather than just a flat piece on the wall. 

At first, we got off the a rougher start than I expected. I just could not get the hold of Helen Chen's style, so I handed it off to Diem, who had a much better handle on it. This turnaround was definitely a back and forth process since we both could not get the turnaround to a satisfying point for our teacher. On his advise, we just started doing a basic shape model for her proportions. 

I did the body while Diem took over the head and hair. Making the body was quicker than I expected but the biggest challenge for me were her hands. I had to fiddle with it to make it look like they were the hands of a young woman rather than a man. Another difficult task that I encountered while working on her hand was figuring out how to connect her backhand armor (with fur) to her hand because we had to make it water-tight for printing. I'm glad to say that the amount of late night hours I spent on this hand was definitely worth it.

After the hands, I connected it with the body and waited for Diem to finish her head. Sadly, I don't have progress pics for those but I can say that she did an awesome job with it, despite how busy she was with her 117B class.

Once I got the head connected, I rigged the body using Maya's human rig so I can match the pose in the print. I had plenty of fun with myself just seeing this thing that I built move! 

After posing the model, with her holding the sword, I quickly made a super basic human model shape to go inside to hollow it out for printing. That way the printers would use less ink and it would be cheaper for the both of us. It consisted a lot of refining in Maya/Zbrush and uploading to the printer website to get a print that wouldn't be too thin in some places and big enough to justify the cost. We ended up scaling it to a 4.6 inch as a 5 inch and above got way too expensive. Unfortunately, even though we ordered early enough to receive our print, the package got lost somewhere in France. We still haven't found a resolution on the investigation on what happened to it, nor have we received a very good communication with the printing company, especially after we asked for a refund. It is sad to say that this last part of the project left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

Despite a very bad ending to this story, it was definitely a fun project and it pushed me to try more modeling projects such as this. It made me realize that us 2-D artists take advantage of the 2-D plane and cheat without really thinking about it in a 3-D sense.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

figure paint

Almost done with my figure painting class!! Here's a quick summary of my progression. It was my second time taking a figure painting class/workshop, and definitely plussed my painting skills in both traditional and digital aspects. We did two portraits and two full figures under natural lighting. 
Portraits were fun to do. I already had experience with oil painting portraits before taking the class, but my first portrait did not come out well. By the second portrait, I finally started to crack into the layers of making the head feel dimensional with color, especially playing off between warms and cools of the skin against natural lighting. 

This is my second full figure painting after the second session. By this point, I just let go and painted in cruise control at a leisurely pace. As I mentioned previously, I would think way too hard on what color/value/shape to put down on the figure, and my thoughts got muddled because I would think about all these things at the same time. I kept forgetting to slow down and break things down step by step because I'm still learning.

Fifth session, where I've changed the color of the background. I felt that the background came out too bland compared to the figure, and on the suggestion from my friend, Jon, I added some color present on the figure to the background. The change definitely help pop the figure out more.

Sixth session. Perspective issues aside, I love how this one came out, especially the legs.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Uglow Study

My figure painting professor introduce our class to this artist, Euan Uglow. I really like how he paints his figures and I'm trying to emulate it with the painting I'm currently working on in class. Hopefully with more studies of his paintings I can understand the process more.

This one took 30 minutes. I took too long on getting legs "right" so I didn't even notice that the arm wasn't finished.

Sargent Study

I'm pretty annoyed that my figure painting is not coming out in the way I want it to. When I start to think about color, everything feels so muddled and I can't seem to stop myself and re-organize my thoughts. What better way to solve this problem by doing studies? So....I did a study of a Sargent portrait of Cornelius Vanderbilt in 30 minutes. I mostly color-picked but did my own color choices in some spots. It feels like a tiny step forward into grasping figure painting but I have to do more, specifically the full figure...

Thursday, February 20, 2014


This came from one of the poses I was going to use for my Zipa (more on that later) character. It turned into a doodle of Ellie because I had recently finished the The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC and it was pretty late into the night, my eyes burning from staring at the Cintiq the whole day (haha). I eventually started drawing Joel into the scene as well but decided to clean up this one more because of my almost last-minute idea of giving it to Ashley Johnson, the voice and mo-cap actress for Ellie, when she made an appearance in IGN. Just a small gift of appreciation of the hard work she (and the rest of Naughty Dog) put behind such a fantastic game.

They had a small meet and greet after shooting the Up at Noon show, and I gave her a print of this. I wish I had more time to print it out in higher quality, but that's the thing with last minute ideas: no time haha. But she looked pretty stoked when I gave it to her so that was awesome!!!

A huge THANKS to my bro, Bren, for letting me prod and poke him if anyone that worked on The Last of Us were going to make an appearance at his work. Follow him on the Twitters because he's pretty funny.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

faye valentimes

I did these last two yesterday.
I like to envision myself as a bald, muscular white guy whenever I'm raging at video games or life.

Samurai are awesome.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I love Bioware's Knights of the Old Republic. If I were possible to forget a game and replay it just to experience it for the first time again, this game would probably be it. I think it's the one of the first games I've played where I was so engrossed with the story that I found myself with the controller glued to my hands as day turned to night then turned to day again. I'll never forget the exhilaration I felt during the major turning point of the game. Plus Darth Revan is quite possibly the best Sith Lord out there (I'm kinda excluding what they did to him in The Old Republic...)

Monday, January 13, 2014


Feeling drained from a whole bunch of stuff, I sketched out Lisbeth Salander from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo just for fun, and to get my creative juices flowing again. I meant to post it in my previous entry but I was not satisfied with how it turned out, so I went back and redrew her.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I had a pretty rocky start when the new year rolled in, but I'm re-collecting myself, and pushing up the hill to get back to where I was at. For my Romeo and Juliet project, I'm still going through the process of switching story beats to fit the time/setting I wanted. A few days ago, I thought it was all smooth until I came into roadblock, but hopefully it's just me over-thinking into reality. Fortunately, I have character designs that are heading into where I want them to be. Meanwhile, I have been doing random things to get back into the flow.

Here are some studies of films I've been watching to get myself into the setting of my project:


Both of them are from The Butler, but I've also watched The Help and A Bronx Tale.
Other than the studies, I've gone out sketching with my friend, Catharina (her blog.), in Santana Row/Valley Faire.

I also went to the Anders Zorn exhibit for a second time as well. I just really wanted to take in as much as I can of his works while I still have the ability to look at them up close. His watercolors are just outstanding. Additionally, I went with a couple of friends to the Eyvind Earle Gallery in Carmel. I regret not being able to paint/sketch more while I was there but at least I saw some amazing paintings!

I also had jury duty for the second time within two months (because I accidentally asked for a postponement). I used a better part of my time working on my project and drawing the back of people's heads.