September 24, 2010

and so, the compulsory comments;

Jacqueline’s silk painting from London

three cheers for london trip, yay.

Same as Jeza, I like that you let the chips continue to fall, it adds a sense of movement to the piece(: I think you did a very good job with the colouring! like there’s alot of attention to detail, and everything looks very real. Its nice that you swirled the icing, and not just went with a flat colour, it makes it more interesting too. I think the background’s mildly distracting though, but it still works cos the colours complement the brown of your cupcakes :D

Meizhen’s Europe photos


I remember the silver lady! It was the day we had ice-cream outside the National Gallery(: yayyy. I seem to be commenting on alot of london trip related posts. Anyway, I like your photos alot(: I agree with Sihui, the skys are all damn nice O: I miss London ):

My favourites are the 7th and 8th one. The one with the wine shop thing I like because it has alot of colours? but it isn’t like cluttered, and you used a good exposure so the red wasn’t too bright and overpowering(: its cute, the colours are like little blocks, heh. The one after that I love because of the lighting, it has a super romantic lighting(:

Shaole’s post on her painting

I like this one :D

I think that you have a very vivid imagination + childhood x) anyway, I quite like the composition of this piece, especially the way the roller coaster kinda wraps around the front of the picture and disappears. It adds a sense of depth to your painting. The bubbly words and bright colours also make it more child-like and dream-like I guess, it a non-puffy-white-clouds kind of way(: I love the stripy socks btw(:

The background colour is mildly weird, I think the gradient was a good idea but perhaps not to red? I think red gives too strong a feeling of sunset-ish and it clashes a little with the blue of your whale, heh.

Yijing’s photograph

hey yijing(:

I don’t have very pretty words to describe this cos my vocab fails but I like it alot(: the legs create this kind of diagonal line across the picture but doesn’t break the composition so its quite pretty(: when I look at it, it kind of guides my gaze to the shoes. I really like the lighting too, it has a little bit of a vintage touch.

I thought the hands at the top right were a little bit extra though, heh (:

Yuxin’s Statue of Liberty drawing

Firstly, I think sepia works way better than green, good thing you didn’t know how to change it x)

I like this one! Actually I like almost all of your work -.- cos you’re awesome yay. Anyway, I like the angle you took for this, like slightly upwards-ish, it gives it a chin tilted up kinda thing, looks prouder, befitting of this statue(:

Your editting made the picture more effective I think? The sepia tone and blurring around the edges plus the shading gave it a very monumental feeling, like it’s very important, which it is. The spikes could have done with a little more detail though cos they look a little flat right now, yep


#31 Photo-realism?

September 24, 2010

ffnana is a traditional pencil medium artist, and her work is so high up on the technical skill factor she’s probably one of those artists whose existence is the reason why art standards keep growing and getting better x)

I love her work because it’s simply breathtakingly beautiful. The first time I saw a pencil work by her, I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t a photograph -.- I actually sincerely thought that it was until I saw the category it was under on deviantart. She is able to replicate a drawing so accurately and so realistically you would have no problem believing that is real.

One thing I find really amazing about her work is the smoothness of her blending, as well as the detail she has in the hair and eyes of her figures. In the picture above, one can see that the eyes literally sparkle. I think its because of the very pure white highlights she includes, and the clean cut shading she has around that area when necessary. The detail in the hair is exquisite and just well, unbelievable. I am super in awe of people who can draw like that ): especially since observational drawing and pencils are my best medium and form of art, and my work is nowhere near halfway of the halfway to her work -.- I’ve a long long way to go to becoming awesome ):

One thing is, she draws a lot of Ayumi Hamasaki, and although I know she can sing, there are better people to draw uh :/

While we’re on traditional medium artists, another one to watch is asiajunkieasia, but not so much for technical skill but more for choice of subject matter. A lot of the times, children is the subject matter and this artist is particularly skilled in this age group, and is able to illustrate the fragility, yet strength in the figures, as well as accurately portray and give off the childish feeling that someone from that age group possesses, all the while bearing in mind the emotion of the picture and the technical aspects.

sigh, but yeah, seeing works like that makes me wanna pick up a pencil to draw so that one day I’ll be at that standard too (:

#30 Artist Inspiration~

September 24, 2010

Sweetmoon is another artist I follow on deviantart, for different reasons than the artist in the previous post. She doesn’t do vector but does photoshop painting instead. Like many other artists out there, she draws her own characters, characters from anime and all sorts of things like that. There are probably a hundred million other people out there with better technical skill than she does, I mean, 一山总比一山高 right, but I really like her style which is why I’m mentioning her here.

I like the fragility that she is able to present in her work, yet at the same time her works do not lose impact as well. She is not very clean with her lines or extremely detailed, but it works to her advantage and gives her pictures a kind of impression that they are fleeting images capture in a moment’s time. She manages to pull off a scratchy feeling with some of her works, as seen above, without seeming slipshod, and gives a certain charm to her paintings.

Her style of drawing figures is slightly more realistic than others. They have pretty rounded forms as compared to sharper edges in manga style drawing. I like the soft look her characters possess, she also chooses to draw her noses round(yes it’s a weird thing to notice but I got sick of pointy noses after awhile -.-) which I think is cuter x)

I would like to learn and try out her style of drawing and painting in PS and improve my skill from there. From my past (not so good) works in this area, I’ve been paying very close attention to detail, but from her works I can learn that sometimes an impression of something is good enough, and not everything has to be spelt out, or in this case, drawn out. Another thing I love about her work and would like to learn from is the way she draws her eyes. As many people say, there’s no right way to draw, or wrong way for that matter, but she manages to capture a kind of light and life in an expression which I have not been able to do, so her work is one I can model after to learn and start off from.

#29 Vector Artist

September 24, 2010

OwaikeO is one of the artists I watch on deviantart. Okay, so not really, since I don’t have a deviantart acc -_- but he’s one of those whose gallery I have on my favourites and I check periodically, which I guess, is about the same thing(: He’s a vector artist, and only does vector art, none of the traditional work, or the increasingly common photoshop painting. I find that really cool, vector art isn’t all that popular yet, compared to painting in photoshop, CG-ing, manga style work and things like that. I really admire him, because it’s hard to produce art when few people appreciate it well, when the community doing it is rather small, and also because vectoring is so freaking hard.

There are many people who don’t see vectors as art; they think it takes no skill, just put a picture in the background, toggle the opacity, and trace. I really disagree, and reading such comments just pisses me off cos some people are so ignorant -.- but anyway, vectors more than just tracing, if it was that easy, everyone’d be awesome at vectors and this post wouldn’t be here. But the truth stands that some people suck(usually the people who disapprove of vectors) and some people are awesome(like this guy) and we need to appreciate them!

One of the main points why I like his work is the amount of detail in each piece and the time and effort he spends in creating them. He uses many shades and highlights, about 3 of each for each plane of colour, which really is a lot of work. I can’t even block out shadows nicely once, he does it thrice, and thrice again for highlights -.- this is also why I’m not good at CG-ing, better at painting in photoshop(: afterall, you can’t go wrong with blending, but lots can look strange in vector if you don’t get the basic shape right. Nothing in his pictures are flat, even the tiniest detail such as a droplet of water has highlights and shadows. It’s this attention to detail that I find very fascinating, and I can apply it to an extent to my work. I’m usually a rather detailed person, but I do get lazy rather quickly and then it’s obvious when my work goes haphazard, but this guy’s work is always detailed and neat, so I need to learn to persevere and keep an eye out for detail(:

A lot of his work is done with celebrity reference, and he is able to reproduce the photos with great likeness. It’s almost like observational drawing but in vectors, there are so many similarities, really, you have to find the light source, identify shadows, highlights, positive and negative space and what not. It’s just a simplified(for lack of a better word) version. My favourite is the one he did of Angelina Jolie as seen above. Apart from these, he also does original work, and my favourite is the image above of an original character he created. He also posted up a walkthrough on how he created the whole thing which can be found here. It really amazed me to read about how long it took and how much effort it took to create just one piece of work, and his dedication to his craft inspires me to work harder in mine.

#28 Cross-Hatching Exercise

September 24, 2010

cross hatching exercise
A4, pencil
2008, ~2h

This was a cross hatching exercise back from sec2. It’s got one of the lowest grades I’ve ever received on an assignment I think. It can totally fight with this one already ):

The main complaint Mr.Gan had for this piece of work, was that the shading was not intensive enough. You can’t really tell from the image cos its scanned and therefore corrected, plus its been corrected in PS too -_- but yeah, dark parts weren’t dark enough, and its quite obvious irl. I think I was kinda adamant about refusing to darken the image too much, me and my lousy pride LOL. Proportionally wise, it also has some issues, I had problems seeing the whole positive and negative space thing.

On the whole, I don’t think this was a very effective exercise for me, cos I didn’t really get out of my comfort zone to give the extreme shading that the assignment called for. I’m happy to saw I IS BETTER NOW 😀 yay, haha, I’ve learnt to be more extreme in my light/dark and colour schemes in my work, cos it works to good effect and its way more shocking and effective compared to a very pleasing to the eye one, but I think it depends on what you’re going for.

I don’t really like cross hatching. I prefer simple shading and smudging. I found it rather hard to make the cross hatching look natural, as although we were told to avoid right angles, which i did, it still looked very angular, as in, like very obvious lines and stuff and I didn’t like it, wasn’t used to it, and couldn’t really make it work for me. I’m not particular good at cross-hatching, I think i need to work more on it, but I have my own style of shading stuff so I’m usually too lazy to break out of it and try and improve this aspect.

#27 Notebook Headers

September 24, 2010

varying sizes, varying medium incl pencil, marker

So like most teenage girls, I used to love drawing borders and headers on my notebook pages, pretty pages make me want to write down homework more. Writing down homework’s annoying because then you have no excuse to say you forgot.

Above is a collection of headers and borders I did over the years, I just selected a few out of my sketchbooks and notebooks to put up. Some of them aren’t really borders, but more of little images I drew at the sides to complement the writing I guess. This is especially so for the images from my sketchbook during the 6week Shanghai GCP trip last year, lessons are boring if you don’t doodle, and when you’re an exchange student, teachers don’t really mind, they just stand behind you, unable to read your english, and admire your drawings LOL.

Most of my headers are done using markers, and there are alot of floral designs. I was very in to floral things last time, haha, and they’re easy to draw, pretty to look at. I’ll just pick one or two to talk about here.

My favourite one is the one on the lower right, with the yellowish paper. I think the design is one of the nicest, and the colours complement each other so it was quite nice. As you can see, alot of the times I never could bear to use the pages, so yeah. Some of them (this one incl I think) were originally drawn for letter writing for Angel-and-Mortal in lower sec, but I ended up replicating them anyway cos I wanted to keep the original(: This one has a flower as a main icon, but made use of swirls and dotted lines on the horizontal and vertical strips so it was a nice variation, but not too much swirls as in the one next to it, which I felt was abit too much detail on the vertical strip.

I like the one on the lower left too, it’s very minimalist. I think I just bought new markers the day before and was doing an inventory, therefore the coloured boxes 😀

Just so you know (in case you don’t, and yes, that was so Jesse McCartney), the 2 on the top right are small excerpts from the drawings I did in my notebook for entries written while I was in China last year (: There are cooler ones, of tsunami-flushing toilets and xiaolongbaos but I didn’t take photos of those, so make do with castles and streets, yay.

#26 Abstract designs

September 24, 2010

compilation of abstract designs
varied sizes, varied medium incl pen, marker, pencil

So, back in lower sec when I actually had time to draw, I was pretty in to these abstract design things. The swirls, and curls, circles and squares and the works.

Most of the pieces above were probably done 2007-08, with some in 09, I gradually stopped drawing as the years went by because NANYANG IS SUCH A KILLER SCHOOL, okay no, but I had too many commitments and workload was too heavy to make time to draw, and spare time in class was used to catch up on sleep -.- I basically went through a few phases. I had the swirly stage, and then the geometric shape stage, and then the simplified designs one. There are too many above to talk about all, so I’ll just pick a few to mention.

I like the 2 lotus flowers in the first image, the black and white and the colour one. I don’t even remember dooding them, but I chanced upon them while looking for work to put up here and I quite like the look. It’s very simple yet not boring, rather zen too, considering the subject matter. I like the coloured one more, I’m more into colour anyway (although so much above is black and white -.- cos pencil is less obvious when you’re doodling illegally in class), and it frames up nicely compared to the black and white one I guess. The b&w has a more interesting angle though.

The one under the lotus is also one of my favourites. I think it was done on the plane while I was flying to China in 2008 to visit my mum who was working there then. It’s not coloured very well, although I think that kinda adds to the fleeting effect. It’s meant to symbolize wings, and I quite like how the shapes fit together not forcefully to create that. The best work is done when its not all that thought out, like how best things happen when you least expect them to (:

The piece with the heart shape was pretty cool to do. I came up with this logarithm thing, like I just randomly drew intersecting shapes, then when I coloured them, I just alternated black and white at the borders so that no two adjoining shapes were the same colour (duh) yup. I added the heart in red to make it more interesting and I think its a good centrepiece, kinda like the queen of all shapes or something, haha.

There are a few larger ones, that could become desktop background, maybe after exams I’ll work on vectoring them (: 

sec2 D&P paper: juxtaposition
A3 watercolour
2008, 3hours for final

I think this piece of work really fails.

The theme’s on juxtaposition, so its meant to be rich bedroom versus poor bedroom but it fails majorly. I didn’t manage to bring across the theme well, its a very weak attempt with poor concept, I honestly do not know what I was doing at that point of time. The watercolour skills are also FAILZ.

sigh, I don’t like this piece of work.

I really like my sec3 one, but sadly, I can’t find it. If I do locate it, I’ll scan it in.


#24 observational drawing

September 24, 2010

observational drawing: girl on swing
A4 pencil
2010, ~1h


I did this drawing on one of my late nights up doing math or some other horrible homework. It was meant to be a short break, but I wanted to do pencil drawing for so long with shading and stuff that I just picked something I liked and sat down to draw. I miss pencil drawings ):

I’m quite satisfied with this piece of work, I don’t usually draw humans, but I think alot of those that I’ve drawn are of children, I like their cute round faces and its just haha nice to draw la, more interesting than boring teens and adults. I realised children have different proportions, so I had to adjust abit from the proportions I was used to from drawing models for coursework prep. It’s drawn with reference to an image I found on the web, on deviantart i think? yup.

It’s not very finished, the background, but the girl and stuff is pretty much done. I liked how her hair came out, even though it was the most worrying part, the face didn’t turn out that bad either. I had problems with the profile view but well, trial and error then okay. The creases were easier to do after practice with coursework, although I think greater contrast could have been better.

#23 The Swan Lake Ballet

September 24, 2010

So, because I didn’t really get to present this proper on my prep boards (screw deadlines D< ) I’m gonna do an inspiration post on this, because this is like my most favourite ballet ever. I think maybe Nutcracker tops this, but idk, I haven’t seen the 2 ballets back to back so I can’t judge but I’m so gonna rent HD quality Bolshoi Ballet performances to watch after EOYs 😀

The brief story of this classic tale goes;

The story begins with a prince and the queen. As most tales begin, the queen offers up an ultimatum to her son, to marry someone or lose his claim to the kingdom. The prince is very angry that his mother has forced his hand in a matter such as this, and his advisor suggests to him that they go hunting in the forest nearby as he saw a flock of swans fly by in the night sky. As the prince walks in the forest, he comes across a beautiful girl by the lake, some say more swan than girl. He is mesmerised by her beauty, and falls in love with her at once. She, Odette, tells him that she has been cursed by the evil wizard, Von Rothbart, and is a girl by night and a swan by day, only true love (how typical) can break the spell. The wizard appears and tells the Prince that only if he pledges his love eternally to Odette can the spell be broken. The Prince, moved greatly by her plight, promises to do so, and invites her to his coronation ball.

At the ball, the Prince awaits the arrival of Odette and is overjoyed when “she” arrives with Von Rothbart. However, he does not know that the girl with the wizard was actually the wizard’s daughter, Odile, “the black swan”. He pledges his love to her, unknowingly, and curses Odette to a lifetime bound by the spell, never to be broken again. The Prince realizes this too late as the wizard gloats in his triumph, and Prince chases the wizard all the way to the forest. At the forest (multiple endings possible, I’ll just use the tragedy one), the two battle it out and the wizard loses the battle. However, the spell is unable to be broken, and the two lovers commit suicide at the lake in order to be together forever.

I’m a sucker for fairytales, people who know me well should know. I used to be pretty crazy about them, haha, recently I’ve grown up abit and realised the more you believe in fairytales, the more reality seems to suck, so I’ve grown out of them abit, but I’m still very much in love with fairytales(:

As you can see, the story of swan lake is a love tragedy. I was very much inspired by the ballet itself, which was choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s music, one of my favourite composers of all time. I loved the many unique ballet steps within this ballet, such as the famous pas de deux between Odette and the Prince, the dance of the 4 Cygnettes (a super cute piece, really), and of course, the most famous of all, the 32 fouette pirouettes of the black swan(amazing, you have to youtube it). The ballet encompasses many themes such as the meaning and very idea of faithful love, originating from Russian folktales and folk dances, as well as the battle between dark and light, good and evil, a common theme in stories.

As a ballet dancer, I grew up watching and hearing about swan lake, I’ve seen it performed by ballet companies, live and on screen, read the story everywhere, and seen many artworks about it. It’s a story quite close to heart, and has one of the most beautiful sets and costumes amongst all the ballet stories. Sadly, not everyone appreciates ballet, or dancing for that matter, and too many people just think ballet’s gay. I know, how is that possible right? but the truth hurts, ohwell. Anyway, so I decided to do my coursework on ready-to-wear fashion design inspired by the swan lake ballet. I wanted to bring this story and the beautiful art form closer to the hearts of people who don’t dance, don’t like dance, or look down on dancers and ballet as a 花瓶艺术 where girls just look pretty on stage. Ballet really is something of so much substance, of so much concept and meaning and such a deep rich history, and dancers have so much more to them, its the strength and depth of emotions a dancer possesses that makes watching a ballet performance so entertaining, amazing, and moving.

So, that’s what inspired me. I won’t go into details on what I decided to do for coursework and the specifics and such since that’s all in my prep boards, mostly, but yeah. In retrospect, fashion design might have been a bad idea si