Saturday, May 14, 2016

They Might Be Giant Pictures

During this semester of teaching, I've been making some large-scale demo drawings during my Fantastic Figure class. The idea here is to composite together multiple poses from the model into a single big illustration. I started off relatively small, with single sheets of 25x30 inch paper...

 Then I tried covering an entire chalkboard with paper, giving me an image area of about 60x45 inches.

For the school's twice-annual Costume Carnival, I tried using a bunch of acrylic paint pens on individual 25x30 sheets.

The next logical step was full color on a 60x45 canvas, which ended up taking ages - I had to stay a couple hours after class to finish this one up.

So the last couple weeks, I've gone with either smaller canvases or less color.

One way or another, I'm going to try to keep working big. It's challenging, but a lot of fun!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Muse Workshop, 03/05/2016

About a month ago, the Academy of Art's Illustration department hosted a special weekend workshop with costumed models. Model coordinator Sarafina always comes up with clever themes for these events, and this one was a celebration of artist's models through the ages.

That's Sarafina herself as a Toulouse Lautrec-style demimondaine.

And animation instructor Sarah Barrie Fenton achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a Mucha-style Art Nouveau goddess. Other setups paid homage to Josephine Baker, Audrey Munson, and Virginie Gautreau (Sargent's scandalous "Madame X").

I switched to acrylics for the last couple of pinup-style poses.

At the Asian Art Museum

Earlier this year, San Francisco's Asian Art Museum had a great exhibit called "Looking East," which traced the influence of Japanese arts and crafts on Western arts in the later part of the 19th Century. Lots and lots of Japanese ceramics, woodcut prints, etc, plus a lot of prints and paintings by Western celebs like Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, and Otto Eckmann. I ended up taking a lot of notes...


There was too much to cover in one day, so I had to go back later and complete the survey.

There's always lots of cool stuff in the permanent collection, too. I always love the gallery of Ganeshas at the entryway.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hong Kong Surprise Trip, 01/2016

Back in January, my wife and I set off to Hong Kong to visit my excellent great aunt Nguyet. We haven't been world-traveling in years, so there was a bit of a learning curve!

We met Aunt Nguyet for a luxurious lunch, and then wandered around downtown Kowloon in the rain.

We were staying at a hotel in Mong Kok, and got pretty familiar with the surrounding area.


We visited Sai Kung with my aunt and her friend Phuong, lunching at a choose-your-own seafood restaurant and then shopping for some new year's flowers.


Afterwards, Phuong took us to a lovely flower garden next to the Chi Lin Nunnery, where I was kicked out for "making pictures" without a permit.

Phuong and Marc even invited us to dinner at their lovely place on Victoria Peak. I documented these delicious cheeses for posterity.

By this point, it had begun raining pretty much nonstop. We took shelter at a temple in Yau Ma Tei, where the rainwater poured in through the open roof.

Museums are always a good fallback for rainy days. I was particularly keen to visit the science museum, since I couldn't visit China without seeing some fossils.

The next day, Phuong and Marc took us to Lantau Island, where we rode the glass-bottom cable car up to the mountain peak to see the Po Lin Monastery and the famous Big Buddha.

The day after, Yuichi Endo of Sunrise took us around Hong Kong Island. This turned out to be the coldest day in Hong Kong in six decades, but officially we were just seeing "frozen rain" rather than actual snow.

A couple of final memories: Yummy congee at the Fa Yuen cooked food center, a quick pub stop in the Soho district, and a parting view out our hotel room window.

Goodbye for now, Hong Kong! We'll be back to draw everything else!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Winter SF Sketching

It's been a while, but I was able to fit in a couple of expeditions with Laurie Wigham and the SF Sketchers meetup group this winter. A great bunch of people, and always interesting locations!

January 9, 2016: A visit to the lovely San Francisco Fire Department Museum.

February 7, 2016: At the San Francisco SPCA in Mission Bay.

February 20, 2016: Drawing the floats and marchers setting up for San Francisco's annual Chinese New Year parade.