Thursday, December 31, 2009


Here is a Secret Santa painting for my dear ex-canmate from university. :)
i meant to paint her something serious, but it didn't turn out - hope she likes this anyway!
Whenever i think of Mauritius, huge turtles always come to mind...

watercolour + water-soluble crayons on paper 8x10"

If i don't manage to squeeze in a quick doodle before the end of 2009, Happy New Year!
New year's resolution: make time for non-school art!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happy holidays! :)

i was supposed to do more gradient mesh today 8D;;;'s a quick doodle with a bunch of Christmas clichés thrown together. :)
But i think i've lost sight of where i was trying to go with my art before entering Biomedical Communications, so i somehow reverted to big-eyed anime style... noooo!

Photoshop CS2

Death by gradient mesh...

i have yet to do any personal art! Studying for our anatomy exam pretty much consumed my life towards the end of term. Now it's Adobe Illustrator... i am basically doing a pure Illustrator version of this Photoshop rendition i posted back in November.

As i have no posts for December, i figured i'd better throw in a work in progress (aka i'm not slacking off on art, i swear!)
There is still tons to be done and refined! :(

i have no idea why i'm gradient meshing the entire thing...
And yes, i like my palettes messy. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

T cell migration

i noticed i only have one blog post for November, so i am here to throw in some school work before the month ends!

We've been working with immunology researchers and developing illustrations based on their research. After many iterations, i've completed the Photoshop sketch. i am currently working on an Illustrator version (which will be the final product). i've never used Adobe Illustrator before so it's been a real uphill battle. It's been especially difficult because i tend to shy away from clean, crisp, and smooth rendering/lines when i work. Deadline is on Dec. 11, so we'll see how it goes! D:

T cell migration
pencil + photoshop CS2

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

QDDR mascot '09

i really felt like drawing something non-medical/science related sooo here is my latest rendition of the Queen's DDR club mascot! i went for a more anime-ish style, as i thought it'd suit the club. i've been really abusing the purple/yellow colour palette lately... will try a new scheme next time. O: And yes, i love bendy legs that make no sense!! 8D;;;

stay cool!
Photoshop CS2

Older versions (i really need to change up the poses lol!):

i should really do a non-chibi personal drawing next time around. i also have a number of illustrations done for school, will post them eventually... Now to stop procrastinating and get studying...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy hallowe'en!

Seeing as i've never carved a pumpkin before, i decided to give this Hallowe'en tradition a shot this year. Feeling ambitious, i doodled out some designs. One of the RAs, with his highly impressive carving skills and willingness to carve essentially whatever i drew, brought my vision to life!

(So technically i still have never carved a pumpkin, though i did contribute to the pumpkin gutting... Whatever - after anatomy, pumpkin gutting by hand is not disgusting at all, lol!)

Here's the final product:

Some progress shots:

There are actually two sides to our pumpkin, but i failed to get a photo of the other side with a candle inside. :( The devil kitty would've looked better without the gaping holes in the back from the other side, but we only had access to one pumpkin. xD;;;

'Twas a fun night of non-studying...!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

carbon dust!

So i finally officially completed my first drawing assignment of the year (with the rest seriously piling up...)! Here is the final rendered illustration, originally a sketch and CG - please excuse the small size and watermark, as this stuff is for my future career (unlike my other random art xD):

dissection of lung hilus
carbon dust + labelling in Adobe Illustrator CS4

This illustration was done in carbon dust, a medium that is apparently not really used outside of medical illustration (i couldn't find any good online image galleries of Max Brodel or Dorothy Chubb's works D: ). i found it to be pretty similar to graphite powder, so i'm tempted to use it for my personal illustrations now that i have the materials... we shall see!

i don't really like how the scan turned out, so here's a WIP photo:

And for those who are curious, here are some of the tools involved in a carbon dust drawing:

(Can you tell i was procrastinating?! i swear i was practicing my layout/design skills for school! However, i did this in Photoshop CS2 instead of Indesign, which is like a major faux-pas in design?! lol)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

strummin' a tune

Here's another birthday card! This one's for my dad. :)
i tried to emulate my mom's birthday card so that they'll match when i print them out, but this one's a bit messier as i was shorter on time lol!

strummin' a tune
Photoshop CS2

The next post should be full of medical illustration goodness... That is, if i ever get my assignments done properly...

Monday, October 5, 2009

freddie the turtle

So i've been sidetracking a little bit during my studies (and am currently paying for it)... Here's the birthday card i drew for my ex-canmate (i.e. we were joined by a washroom!). She's from Mauritius, and she had a pet turtle named Freddie (who was very speedy) there. It just occured to me that perhaps Freddie wasn't one of them massive tortoises from Mauritius i keep envisioning... lol!

And i used to draw nekkid chibis of myself (i swear i'm not a narcissist) all over her stuff, and i'm pretty sure she got pissed at me for it at one point... But hey, i'm sure she misses them by now. Maybe...

the adventures of freddie the turtle
Photoshop CS2

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

birthday doodle :)

i did this super quick CG for my mom's birthday. The proportions are kind of funky (yes, i believe there can be funky proportions in chibis!). But ah well, it was a last-minute job and that's how it's going to be! i was also messing around with colours a bit, definitely out of my (very limited) comfort zone... And i actually used Photoshop CS2 instead of SAI 1.01 for this - i figured i'd better get used to the hotkeys, as it will be the program of choice in my field. :(


Photoshop CS2

Carbon dust update next...!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

open life drawing

This past Thursday, i went for an open life drawing session at the Toronto School of Art with a bunch of people from my program. It was my first time at an open session, and i've never been in such a packed (and sweaty) life drawing environment before! Everyone was really focused and engaged in their work, and i just felt so pumped to do some drawing that wasn't for school. It felt GREAT to loosen up again!

i was pretty rusty, but here they are...
(i forgot to keep track of times, i think most of these are in the 10-15 min range, except for the first one which is likely a 1 min drawing.)

charcoal on newsprint, 18x24"

charcoal + conte, 18x24"

Here's a tandem drawing i did with Shelley (i.e. we took turns drawing on the same page), a second-year student in the Biomedical Communications program. While she is an amazing artist, she totally brings out the worse in me (it's rather obvious what body part we totally kept fixating on...)!

charcoal + conte, 18x24"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

lungs and such

i'm currently in a human anatomy illustration course, and it's definitely a lot more challenging than i imagined! We have been drawing from specimens in Grant's Museum. At first i thought the observational sketching was going pretty smoothly, but there was a catch... We have to make the material look life-like, though we are drawing from cadaver material. i find this to be the most difficult aspect (so far). i've been consulting textbooks, professors, and harrassing medical students and colleagues. They've been of great help, but i still haven't found solutions to all of my problems...

But i did manage to solve one problem today! Since i am taking anatomy with the first year medical students, i also have the enormous privilege of having cadavers to learn from. i was struggling a lot with the lungs (see below), as the preserved material in Grant's Museum hasn't exactly aged well... Coincidentally, we did our lab on lungs today and i was able to reference from an actual lung in my hand. It was pretty amazing! Being able to see the lungs in real life was extremely helpful, and i think i've worked out how the lungs should look when pulled back to show the hili...

Here is the preliminary sketch i did in Grant's Museum (we weren't supposed to shade, but i cheated a little :D)

observational sketch
graphite on bond paper, 11x14"

The clean, line drawing with lots of anatomical errors! (i have a hand-labelled version, will scan that eventually)

clean lines
0.5B mechanical pencil on bond paper, 11x14"

Finally, this is my rough plan for my tonal rendering. i found it rather difficult to figure out where the light/shadows would be on all the vessels and such. There are still some anatomical errors i haven't quite figured out yet...

tonal test
SAI 1.01 + Photoshop CS2
Credit also needs to be given to a number of my friends who helped critique this (you know who you are 8D;;;)

i also have at least two other versions lying around, so not used to redrawing stuff so many times! But i guess i'd better get used to it. :P Now i have to render this using carbon dust... i will be attempting to do so tomorrow...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

filler update! 8D

i just completed my second week of school (in Biomedical Communications) and it has been insanity! Despite spending waaaay too many hours in Grant's Museum drawing specimens, i'm really enjoying the program so far. Unfortunately, it doesn't leave much time for my personal art. i'm hoping to squeeze some things in here and there once i get into the rhythm of school.

So for now, i present to you some filler items...

This is what happens when i don't have anything to do on a Friday night...

... i permanently deface my new portfolio with an uglee fish... i totally didn't realize that white china markers are pretty much permanent on this surface. :'(

Here are a couple goodies i received recently in the mail!
My Ragnarok tee (available for purchase @ Cameesa) came out really nicely! But i feel strange - almost egotistic - wearing my own creation. i also received a copy of Mugeno, the artbook i participated in (purchase info here)!

i'm really hoping i can post some of my medical illustrations from school, so my blog isn't completely dead... will check with the professors. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009


watercolour + colored pencils on paper, ~6x8"

The process:

Unfortunately, i haven't been drawing at all recently, as i'm in the middle of moving and preparing to start my Masters! So this painting is actually from a few weeks ago. i have a lot of drawings and paintings planned in my head, but there is never enough time i spend too much time playing video games and watching Korean dramas...

On a more positive note, my Deviruchi tee came in the mail! More on that next time. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Say no to shark fin soup!

say no to shark fin soup!
SAI 1.01 + Photoshop CS2
b/g textures from

Shark fin soup is a very popular dish in Chinese cuisine, but the fins are attained in a very inhumane way - conscious sharks are tossed back into the water once their fins are removed, and are basically left to die. Shark finning also plays a leading role in decimating shark populations and disrupting ecosystems. Please check out the SHARKWATER website for more information on the consequences of shark finning (as i can't seem to write properly today...) and what you can do to help stop such cruelty.

i was going for a paper cut-out sort of look with this one. i was inspired by Dric's incredible artwork that i first saw in volume 2 of Apple. This image will be used in the future sooo will probably post the finalized version then. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

hot pink!

SAI 1.01

SAI 1.01

i just drew these without thinking, letting whatever it is come out without getting too caught up with the details. i feel like these two images are along a similar thread as those from my white noise post. Weird floaty heads and nude bodies are fun to draw!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

the metaphorical body

This past week has been a productive one! i was at the Toronto School of Art for a week-long intensive life drawing class with Megan Williams. i initially enrolled in the course for the purpose of improving my technical skills, but the curriculum was more about exploring what the human body means to us and how we want to express it in our art. It was great, though. i'm really happy with how the course went down.

One of my overall goals was to loosen up and not think too much while drawing. i really feel like this summer is my last chance to explore these sorts of things, as i'm going to have to seriously tighten up for Biomedical Communications this fall. But anyway, i just wanted to write down what i did this week - mostly for my own benefit.

Days 1+2 (Mark + ? i forgot her name ><;;; ) We started off the week exploring fast (e.g. using 1 or 2 line gestures) and slow methods (e.g. blind contour of self) for depicting the body. Afterwards, we looked at ways of capturing motion in order to portray the passage of time and movement through space. i found these movement exercises quite challenging and frustrating... i decided not to pursue this any further for the rest of the week... lol!

15-20 min each + 45 min for bottom right corner
conté + charcoal on newsprint paper, 18x24"

In the afternoon, we took a look at William Kentridge's incredible animations. i found his creative process to be quite fascinating - he doesn't start with a storyboard. Instead, he goes with an impulse and feels that the physical act of working at a drawing releases new ideas. We also looked at Bruce Samuelson's incredible drawings.

Day 3 (Fiona)
We looked at Heather Graham's latest work today, which served as an introduction to the notion of subjects that are just barely there. i've always had difficulty with making things too literal (comes from doing too many anime-styled illustrations, i suppose!), so here i'd end up drawing everything first and erasing most of it after...

i tried dissolving the body into darkness and pulling it out of white fog...

40 min-ish? (excuse the wrinkles)
charcoal on newsprint paper, 18x24"

Oh, and here is one of those painfully slow blind contour exercises! :\

30 min
conté pencil on newsprint paper, 18x24"

Day 4 (Murray)
i continued to work with ghosting on a white background, but changed the materials from dry to wet media. We looked at Arikha's beautiful ink and brush drawings today as inspiration. i had a lot of difficulty with controlling the whole dry brush + ink combo... i did like the idea of addition and subtraction, though.

10 min (?)
brush and ink on cartridge paper, 18x24"

45 min
brush and ink on kraft paper, ~18x24"

Day 5 (Sandi)
i felt that the last day was the most productive of them all. i focused mostly on ghosting and making sure my drawings weren't too literal. i think i had Sophie Jodoin and Alex Kanevsky's works in mind today. i'm pretty happy with how things turned out in a single week; it was a great experience!

i think my first attempt was my best one...

Not sure why, but i struggled a lot with this one...

i tried to add more energy in my last drawing of the week! o:

~30 min
charcoal on newsprint paper, 18x24"

Hopefully i'll have time to attend some open life drawing sessions before the rustiness kicks in again!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


conté + charcoal in cartridge paper, 18x24"

This drawing was somewhat based on the sketch from my previous post. i haven't touched traditional media in a while, so this was a nice change of pace (except for inhaling all that charcoal dust and fixative spray. And i didn't know that fixative spray would make my paper all curly...). i was originally going to do this sort of thing using graphite powder on watercolour paper. It probably would've had a better, more refined quality to it. However, i didn't want to buy a massive jar of graphite powder and was too lazy to make it myself... >.>;;;

Friday, July 31, 2009


ballpoint pen on paper, 5.5x8.5"

i rarely post things from my doodling sketchbook, in which i only use ballpoint pen - so things tend to be messy and not well thought-out. But i decided to share a page. i'm planning to use this in some sort of painting with dramatic lighting. Maybe in acrylic? Digital? i haven't decided yet but i feel like i've been doing too much digital work recently!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

qi pao

qi pao
SAI 1.01
bg texture from

Here is a rather incomplete doodle that started off as a cowgirl and somehow evolved into this... It was supposed to be an experimentation with colour but it got kind of lost after i applied the texture. Ah well! xD;;;
(And yes, glasses again! But i swear 90% of the Chinese people i know wear glasses!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


SAI 1.01 + Photoshop CS2

i really like this new brush i discovered in SAI. :D

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


SAI 1.01 + Photoshop CS2

Ah, so the glasses return! i blame this on the latest Harry Potter flick. :)
i think this drawing has a bit more anime-flavour than i'd like it to...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

white noise

SAI .01

SAI .01

i came down with the flu recently (no, not swine flu). i've watched countless hours of bad TV and my brain feels like mush. So i really felt the need to do something else. i haven't worked with colours in a long time, so this was a bit of a change of pace. But oh man, i really need to work on anatomy... been avoiding that for months now...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Operation Ragnarok T-Shirt contest

Please vote for my shirt at
Camessa: Operation Ragnarok! :)

Cameesa uses crowdfunding. Basically you add $10 + shipping ($14.53 total for those in Canada) to your account and use that to support my design! If my design hits $500, it gets printed and you will receive the shirt.
(And if it doesn't, you can vote on other shirts, or ask for a refund.)

So if you'd like a spiffy new T-shirt for the summer, please support my design! :D

devilish surfin' process
Photoshop CS2

More about the design... Operation Ragnarok called for a summer-themed shirt design using characters from the MMORPG Ragnarok Online (A guilty pleasure of mine...). So I chose to use Deviruchi, which is one of my favourite monsters in the game. I was nervous about drawing waves/water using only flat colours, but it turned out to be pretty fun!

And special thanks to Geoff for design advice and Andrew for support! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


SAI 1.01 + background texture from

I started this drawing about a week ago, and it has morphed into something completely different from what I originally intended. I was just messing around mostly, seeing where it would take me. I actually drew the image backwards and was going to flip it at the end - but I just realized that the heart would end up on the wrong side! *sigh* :(

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

wandering thoughts

wandering thoughts
SAI 1.01

Here's a piece to go with subdued.
i swear this whole glasses thing is an addiction (i blame a certain somebody for fueling this). But i'm not sure how i feel about this one, i may tweak it some more later...