Category Archives: sketches

Watercolor plein air landscapes throughout SoCal

Sometimes, I think about restarting my blog over fresh and new, and I never do it, because I know that I’ll just forget to post as much to it like with this one. Since I all ready have history on here, I thought I’d come back again. I considered posting also, on the new blog I created with friends: Chromatonik, but find that this is more Tannie-like and personal.

What have I been doing since my last post? Practicing much more with watercolors. I guess ever since I was given free watercolors, and that my collection keeps building, I am using them much more. But also, watercolors are easy to do plein air painting with.


This was a sketch painting at Turnbull Canyon in Whittier/Hacienda Heights in the 27th of April 2014. One of my faves from 2014.


Here’s another watercolor sketch from last year in December at Palomar Mountains Observatory. Here, I am trying to move away from using ink outlines and just watercolor paint only.


This one below is from a park near Escondido. I’m not sure which, I just asked my boyfriend to take me to a park nearby that is scenic. (He was very bored of course. It is very hard to date a non-artist, they don’t see what you see.) This was done in April of this year.


This last one is from a park near my house. Shady Maple Park. Murrieta. It’s a very large field of grass where families can take their kids to play baseball/softball, and a play area for smaller kids with swings and park benches. But this is probably the backyard of one of the neighbors. Suburban sketching, let’s call this.


There’s more to show, but can’t really upload it all right now. I have much more to learn from being outside. Another thing I would like to happen is actually more complex paints. The paints I’ve been using are color pencil watercolors, and whatever I can carry without carrying my entire supply arsenal. So my travel colors are rather dull because I use an outdated children’s palette (but I like it because if I put a color down, it lifts easily for sketching, and I can think more as I practice).

Most was done in the spring months because it’s not too hot outside, and not only bearable, but beautiful weather in California. But by summertime, it gets blazing hot, and I burn in the sunlight easily. I burned this year going to San Diego Comic Con, standing in line in an outside venue for a few hours… 😦 However, it looks like good weather is coming back to SoCal this year is 2016. Is it because of El Nino in the early winter, or the oncoming El Nina? The weather is still tipsy turvy, one week its in the 90ºF – 100ºF (plus!) and then down to 70ºF-80ºF. I think it will be like that for this week, but I’m too busy to go outside. We’ll see about October.

I keep thinking about bringing oil paints on my trips, but that is a thought for the future. There’s a lot of things to rearrange for oil paints, and drying time is different.

Art is always a continuous endeavor for me… I guess because for some reason, I feel like ever since I left to live at home and do online schooling, my skills dropped. I continuously faced critique from many instructors saying how my painting skills were terrible. It was true, and for some reason, I felt like I didn’t have enough classes to teach me even more fundamentals. So it’s been up to me to keep learning how to perfect my painting abilities. The critiques I’ve gotten over the course of my schooling still stay with me, and I guess, has been a catalyst to keep getting better at painting, and other things such as perfecting colors or shape recognition.


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Filed under Art, Painting, sketches, Watercolor

Commission order process with ArtCorgi

Recently, I’ve had 2 commission art orders via ArtCorgi. <– My referral link.


If you’ve never heard of them much, that’s because they’ve recently launched this year. The idea behind it is to gather a network of artists together to do non-commercial and personal usage artwork, and it takes out the problem of finding someone who isn’t available. One of the biggest things the founders had problems with is finding artists who were still active in doing commissions. The style ranges are quite wide and price ranges range from $20-$100 and for highly detailed works go above $100.

So I’m pretty much in the network, and you can find me here. I’ve had the pleasure of completing two recent chibi avatars of Linda and her daughter, Alison.

My background: I started off doing these for myself, I only started doing it more often last year after I had shaved off half of my head some time in the summer of 2012. My mom didn’t like it when I came home like that in the beginning of 2013, so… to stop her annoying nagging, I grew out my hair. But I wanted to record the styles that I was going through with my hair, because having half your head being completely unsymmetrical was sort of hard to style sometimes — I wore my hair like a badge though. I think only eccentric, crazy, artsy girls like me do that — and it was definitely not because I was listening to Skrillex; I only began listening to dubstep after the fact. And then started doing some avatars for a few friends. I’ve actually been doing stylized portraits for awhile now. My beginnings with selling this though, started with, but then I realized, that $4 (customers pay $5, but $1 goes into Fiver, and the $4 goes to you) was not feasible. Especially when a typical caricature costs $20 on average from a street vendor. Maybe if I drew it in 15 minutes, but oftentimes, the terms and conditions required that the seller offer revisions. So that normally drives up the minutes, because you have to put in extra time to make revisions. I usually put in a good amount of effort. So takes me time to assess first, the reference photos and then personality. I’ve since moved on and have found out that sort of website is not for me because of the amount of work I put in and the quality that people got didn’t really translate into $5 so it didn’t make sense to stay. And then ArtCorgi found me, and I was very happy.

If you’re curious on how the process is like, it starts off like this:

1) Someone finds me on ArtCorgi because they like my style. They upload the references, and provide important details. In this case, the chibis need a quick personality bio. What kind of person are you? Upbeat, friendly, angry, shy? Etc… Reference photos need to have a full frontal head shot, side shots and 3/4 quarter views, and a full body shot. Also, important to include the type of clothing you’ll be wearing in your photos. I’m not your fashion stylist, unless you pay me and tell me that I am. Plus, clothing that we wear communicates another piece of personality, so I always ask if its not provided, otherwise, I assume its what is worn in the photos I’m given. However, I don’t mind someone telling me they want their head put on top of a manticore’s body. I’m just doing my job. Lol.

2) The email comes in, and Simone, the site admin and intermediary, gives me a basic rundown and expected deadline and other details, yada yada yada.

3) After reading the email, taking notes, and looking over the references, I set up my workspace. Always need 2 monitors. I put up all the references onto 1 monitor, and the main monitor with Photoshop up. As I would like to show a set up of this, but I don’t really want to have my clients photos uploaded online without their consent. But here is an example of what it may look like:


So many windows… Music is hidden…

4) Sketching begins.


5) After sketching is complete, I send over what I got to Simone and Linda for feedback.

6) I get feedback. Mostly all right, the client says it looks like her, just need more blush, hair color, details in shoes, and minor body adjustments. Hair color was actually just a dark shade of blonde, but better to let me know first. The sketch phase here does not include the little details quite yet so don’t be scared, this is not the final outcome if you actually studied my style of art. I’m more of the sketchy inbetween artist — I do not waste time rendering in the beginning stages until I am sure the client tells me the sketch outline is good to go. My WIP almost always never turns out the like the final during reviewing.

7) Process. If you’re curious, I always put the first sketch into a 21% opacity, and draw new cleaner outline on top. But I like to keep the sketch underneath for added tones.



Building up midtones.


More details to face.


Added highlights.


Flower created with pen tool, with two shades of purple.


Created white outline swirls, and set to 68%.



Final results.

Here is another one with Alison the Bluebelle Fairy:


Final: alison_bluebellefairy_web

Closeup: alison_bluebellefairy_closeup


Interested in getting this commission? Please use my referral link: and find Tannie Duong. 🙂

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Filed under Art, Commission, illustration, Painting, sketches

42nd World Wide Sketchcrawl

Ultimately, I had a pretty great time! It was the first time I went into Olde Town Temecula. Main Street is incredible tight and busy. There is only one narrow street, a lot of street parking, and a ton of shops. It had a very old western feel to it. There was a lot of construction going on however. They are apparently building some town homes around the area.

I decided to finally whip out my Canson Watercolor booklet that I hadn’t used yet. It’s a 140lbs and it’s not a block, but there wasn’t too much warping. I also finally got around to using my water-filled brushes and watercolor pencils outside. But now, I realized that the pencils aren’t good for covering large areas quickly, so I may be looking for a mini, travel palette/tray to carry around in the future.
I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I happened to stop by a crystal and meditation shop. I couldn’t help but purchase some stones. I would have loved to have found this place earlier I think. I would have bought some smudge sticks too, but I feel like nowadays, I don’t feel any negative energy around me, so there isn’t really a use for them anymore. In any case, I didn’t want to go shopping for too long, although there was a lot of gift shops and little knick knack stores all around including a few American places to eat. There was restaurant and lounge area that I came across with a man singing some classic songs from the 50s (I think) – He sounded like Frank Sinatra! I thought it would be interesting to sketch him. He kept saying to people outside, “Yes, I’m really singing!” Although, I must say, some people are pretty dense. There was an old man who kept standing in front of me even after I moved spots…. ._. I don’t get it.

I started off painting in watercolor, but for the 2 vertical images, I went with marker because it was much faster and easier.

I think one thing I found incredibly annoying were the cars revving up and down the street. It was so very loud and distracting… I think I’ll keep that in mind for the future. The noise was disorienting whilst I was happily sketching and painting. There’s a ton of bikers who come down here with their cohorts and such. Lots of families as too. I really wanted to get a scorpion lollipop, but maybe next time… 😛
Eventually, I wasn’t prepared for the windy weather, it got too cold for me to continue drawing… so I’m a bit sorry the last sketch came out a little half-assed! But it would have been a great shot too if the sun hadn’t gone down so quickly also. I blame that on my friend who kept texting me… >_> Momentary distractions. I really can’t help my attention span sometimes. But overall, I’m glad I decided to go outside today, the weather was mostly awesome in the morning and afternoon time.

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Saturday 25 January 2014 · 20:00

A Dream in a Dream in a Dream in a Dream…..

Something I did at work:


A Dream in a Dream in a Dream in a Dream.....


I absolutely adore fractals and fractal art.

What is a fractal you ask??

Fractal:  (frktl)


A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.

Fractals in Nature

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Friday 12 April 2013 · 00:32

Life updating and One of my sketching Workflows

Is it just me or is WordPress trying too hard to be like Tumblr? If I wanted to be on Tumblr, I’d go on my tumblr… But in any case. Hi again.

I keep meaning to put a post up for Diego Velasquez… but my art books are not with me. So its been so hard to be separated from my personal library of awesomeness.. Vagabond life SUCKS. Maybe I chose this life. Or maybe it was just thrown at me, or maybe its just being young. After moving home with my parents, I moved again back to OC so I could go to work in Long Beach. It’s been interesting. Some of the glamour has faded, but I feel like my life has been repurposed just a little bit. I’ve been good at forcing myself to sleep earlier (than normal) and waking up early in the morning to either do more freelancing work with a certain client, catching up on art related thing, or working on my character designing! I’m excited to say, I’m actually drawing again. Little by little. I whine about not having enough time every day, but it actually works out in the fact that you can do so much more when you’re under pressure — because when you’re under time constraints, there’s a more likely chance to prioritize tasks and get stuff done. This is why procrastination works so well, probably! But its really better to hone that particular skill instead of letting it guilt you into work.

I used to be a night owl, but I’ve turned into an early bird after turning 23. And it works out. I remember working on certain school projects, I’ll wake up suddenly, shoot out of bed and start drawing because my brain solved my design problems whilst sleeping. And then it’ll be like, “OH MY GAWD. YESS. THIS IS HOW ITS GONNA WORK.” People have a romantic idea that this happens only when the mood strikes, but really, its a gradual process, and you have to keep working to get good. Unfortunately, I struggle with doing that sometimes still. But lately, I feel so proud of myself despite a lot of rough pathways in the road.

Sketching late night at Cefiore! I’m thinking about giving my Harpy airship an actual captain.

harpy_captain_character_silhouette_1 harpy_captain_character_silhouette_2

I dunno if anyone remembers this post on my facebook page (of the alchemy sketch below), and wondering why I’m designing demonic things. Not into devil worship or anything…

I feel bad that I haven’t finished this yet since I’ve been working on this since the beginning of January, but I’m designing the devil for my Bearskin project.

So, I’ve decided to share a bit of my process here:

I use the Alchemy sketching program, and its pretty gnarly. I love using it when I need to see shapes. It’s like looking at clouds and finding the image in the cloud.




I like to start designing the head first because I need to know what personality my character is. I always write an aside note as I’m sketching the top priorities are. For these heads, he had to be “tricksy,” “evil-looking,” “smart/cunning,” and I’m developing this with non-human traits. I was blending a bit of creature design here.

And then I start on the silhouettes. Self-explanatory. I really liked the skinny design, and it would be opposite of my Bearskin character, who’s like a bear-were-animal.


sketchbook_devil_bearskin_2 sketchbook_devil_bearskin_3 sketchbook_devil_bearskin

And my drunken animation of him walking… “gracefully.” I used gifpaint! The whole time I thought — “But I have Flash CS6!”


And this is more character sketching. I’ll actually be working on two devils, one for animation and one for video game design. So we’ll see how that turns out.

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Filed under Art, Art Projects, Concept Art, sketches

Sketchbook Project Tour 2013 – The Details

So I finished my book. I wish I had time to photograph it myself, but I sorta went to bed at 3am in the morning. And well… my brother is teaching me to drive again, but he’s only available in the morning before going to work. He dropped off my Sketchbook for me at the post office!
So I’m all set and waiting for confirmation. My theme is Androids despite the categorization that I put, which is “sketchbook.” You can find me by searching for Tannie Duong. 😀 If there was such a thing as a portable black light, I suggest bringing one!

It starts in Brooklyn New York on March 2-10th, and then tours around to Atlanta, GA , Chicago, Toronto, Canada, Oregon, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. San Francisco’s location still needs TBD, I think, but that will be in July 26th-28th. LA’s show will be held at iam8bit on Aug 2nd – 4th. I didn’t realize the days were so short! To check more on other locations, you should go to the link at the top.


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Filed under Art, Art Projects, sketches

December sketchbook pages

Updated the layout of the blog. Space Invaders, anyone? Sorry for lack of updates. I will be posting about a new artist soon enough. In the mean time, this is my December sketchbook pages.

I wish I had more finished works to show, but I’ve been struggling to finish my Sketchbook Project book and mail it in by the 15th. I’m also in the works of designing the Devil, and his design isn’t even finalized yet because I have to finish this sketchbook! So essentially, all I’ve been doing in January is drawing demons and cyborg/android stuff — which is my chosen theme. I didn’t really feel like picking what they had, didn’t work for me last year…

But if the Sketchbook Project Tour is going to your city, you should check it out. I wish I had the time to last year, but it was never in the place that I was staying in at the moment… I’d be in San Fran for a duration and then in SoCal for another, so I missed the tour. Poop. Maybe not in 2013, since I’ll be staying down here in SoCal for awhile. Tour starts in February or so. I will keep the date posted or twitter /facebook it.

I have been trying extremely hard in exaggerating my figures. It is so hard. After drawing realism for so long (not to mention the influence of anime and comics), it is difficult to break the habit. I can exaggerate gestures very well, but exaggerating my style into animation character designing seems so difficult. Aye… keep practicing is all I can do pretty much. I think I’m making progress… D: Just so very slight. I’ll get good at this! FIGHT! I suppose I just never had the initiative to practice while I was in school, but now that I’m not, I need to do it. o_O

My very last workshop at AAU! For now, perhaps.


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Alice characters WIP

I seem to have positive responses when I’m doing Alice in Wonderland inspired art. Why is that? I’m actually not into the story as much as other people seem to obsess over it. I can say though, that Lewis Carroll’s characters are pretty fun to design. I think its because its so ambiguous, its left up to the reader to determine? The story/book itself is pretty whack, if I must say so myself. Or what I have read it. I didn’t quite finish because I’m reading so many other things. I happen to have a account that I update… and I keep looking at my to-read list and currently reading list. It grows substantially and doesn’t seem to go down. Does that make me have a strong appetite for books? Or really… really slow at reading? hahaha…

That hatter isn’t really my final design… It was actually meant to be a different hatter from the Angel Sanctuary manga, which I’m sure the mangaka was inspired by Alice in Wonderland too! But I liked hers more because the hatter was a complex character. This hatter was born a female angel. The story was that she didn’t want to be hindered by her sex, so she took medicine to stunt the growth of her breasts. And of course, since it was probably considered hedonism, she/he/it as a demon created many calamities in the human world. Anyhow, she/him/it… thing? (having gendered pronouns is actually really prohibiting in this context!) had an interesting point of view throughout the story. She/He was definitely psychotic though.. And what was of course an interesting point of reference was that the demons often times seemed much more human than some of the angels. The hatter had rescued the main characters a couple of times if I remember correctly, but I don’t have access to the story anymore, so I can’t really say for sure. It’s a complex story that cannot be explained in a few sentences… Angel Sanctuary was something I read back in high school. It’s not meant for the faint of heart, because if you can’t get over incest, you can’t read past the second volume essentially… >_> Although, this author is like totally known to put that theme in her books quite a bit. I dunno what that means but it sparked a really WEIRD debate in a forum I used to frequent.

I guess I’ll be working my way through the Alice character series starting with March Hare. This isn’t final, its still being worked on.

Still playing around with the Queen of Heart’s design.

I can’t say when I’ll finish… >_> My full time job at the moment should be job-hunting. D:  Actually, I will be working on a new game project. I really can’t say what, but it’ll be an fps based on a Korean War about the 38th Parallel. This is gonna be my first time doing this kind of project, so it’ll be interesting. I hope it turns out to be awesome when it gets showcase at GDC in 2014. As for GDC in 2013, I so wish I could attend, but probably not. 😦 No moneyz.

I’ve also decided to participate on the Sketchbook Project again. I’m hoping I turn something more awesome in. I don’t think I did well with the theme I picked last year. Maybe that was what limited me… :\ It took me about a month before I figured out what I wanted to do for this one. I should probably get to it though, because I’ve had this thing with me for 2-3 months… ><

Androids is based on the fact that our society is getting to the point where it is almost hard to be without technology. It may not be in us, but it has become a part of us. Also, loosely based on the concept of the Homunculus manga (totally worth checking out if you’re into psychological thrillers. This mangaka wrote Ichi the Killer, which I haven’t read yet).

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Filed under Art, illustration, sketches

Conventions and other happenings. & Oh yes…

…It has been 43 days since I have graduated. Whoooo…. Still job hunting. Wish me luck. Sorry, I tried to keep up with the blog, however, been posting a lot on my facebook, and that has been taking up my time among other things like prepping for two anime conventions. I tried to sell; I sold my magnetic bookmarks… now I have tons… that I dunno what to do with. Perhaps I will open up an online store soon. But they did not do as well as I hoped, but in an age where iPads run rampant (even I own and use one as an ebook D: shoulda seen that one coming!!!) it is to be expected. 😦 Still… sad. In any case, selling at cons is much more difficult that it looks to be honest. I will be trying different conventions that suit my style of art better, I should say. But for now, I am so dead broke. So I’m going to retreat back to San Francisco soon. Actually, who knows how long I can actually stay there!

I will finally be posting up my EA art test I took back in May. I’m sure it will be fine to do so… So a tentacle alien worker + a retro futuristic drill rig inspired by the Venus Project.

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I dunno, I suppose what is like being a graduated art student? I’m not sure how I feel. I am conflicted. I actually like learning. I am sad it costs so much to learn so I’m happy I don’t have to take out more money to do so. However, I am feeling a tad lost. I am elated to be able to spend time on hobbies once more! Like reading… oh man, I’ve been reading so much, its AWESOME.. And I watched Adventure Time. AND THAT’S SO AWESOME TOO. Time is good, if only it were free. And I can start writing my Little Space Mermaid script. Need to do more character designs, but I am excited, maybe for once I will finish? I decided on another route for the little mermaid, keep the original story but stick it in space. Why the hell not? I’ll still be doing the comic in watercolor. It’ll work out. I dunno though, I’m excellent at starting, but bad at finishing. Lately, it’s been getting easier to do the latter however. Writing is much harder because its mind tricks that you have to deal with. Fatigue is not hard to deal with. But your mind says stuff to and drones on and on… that is why writing is difficult to finish. Reading helps me to write because it feels like I can see the other authors writing and struggling from behind their novel too. Since I haven’t been practicing with my writing, I probably suck a lot. Bite the bullet and deal.

P.S. Finally, I know that I have torn my ACL tendon after all these 3 years. Exercise is integral and important for office and desk jobs; I hope I can at least do some kind of light running to keep from getting flabby. That is all for now. Thank your for reading this far.


Filed under Art, Concept Art, illustration, sketches, thumbnails

Skin tone paint practice

I feel bad for not being able to attend painting workshops at my school because they happen to be on thursdays… on the same day as quick studies, and I kind of like quick studies better… :\ But I really wanted to practice painting skin tones, so I bought some tiny 5×7 canvas boards. Its funny because while I was doing them, I was thinking, I’m painting “skin” tones, so are these balls of flesh or meat?? Hahahah… food for thought, maybe.

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Filed under Art, Painting, sketches