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Coloring the Lantern Festival

Hello again! Two posts in one month, but don’t expect much more! 😛 I do aspire to be like Kentarou Miura, but I think I am much worse at updating.

In any case, I made another drawing tutorial. Last year was the line art and this year I colored. I actually did this in the spring, but I forgot to video edit, so I just waited until August again since it’s about that time! At least I’m good about putting one up once a year? Here is the link to the youtube video. But it’s going to get embed at the bottom too!

So after being totally won over by Shinhan, because the owners are SOOO nice to me every time I come by their booth at SDCC — and great products of course! that’s why I keep coming back too. I brought my boyfriend, Peter, to meet them and they were just gushing about me to him. It was so lovely. 🙂 I bought myself a good set of markers. I tried my best to create a limited palette, plus, I still had a ton of Copics, so it’d be a waste, I used them together to create this final piece:


I think I really like how all this came out. I’ll be honest, I really suck at using markers. I can’t control them the way other artists seem to. It’s like much more magical when they do it, but I guess practice makes perfect.

Yes, Shinhan and Copic are practically the same type, just different brands. You can intermix them together, but Shinhan is cheaper, I suppose their production costs in S.Korea is significantly less than Japan. Quality-wise, practically the same. I specifically chose lanterns as a main subject to showcase how to create gradient effects using a “0-colorless blender.” Definitely need to frequently refill every so-often. They sell 20mL refill inks that you can just fill up through the nib. But nibs should be replaced if it starts to wear out, which I am now finding after making this video.

I tried to keep the video length and size reasonable, so I decided to speed it up by 400%. Anymore of course, seemed way too fast. I wanted it to be less than 30 minutes… but (-_-) sigh, it came out to be 46 minutes.


So normally,  I keep a palette next to me when working with creating blending. A white one is the most preferable, because you’ll be able to see the colors the best, but glass works too because you can just put a piece of white paper underneath.

The gradation technique works best on a clean nib, 2 colors, and 1 colorless blender. I actually but a refill 20mL for the 0 colorless blender by Shinhan also because the first time I tried out the technique, I was like this really awesome! But you need lot’s of ink to make it gradate nicely. I also use this technique to mix all new colors that I otherwise don’t have with the markers individually. That grey purple in the sky is the result of mixing Copic black, a tiny bit of BV08, PB69 Prussian Blue Touch Twin, and WG7 Touch.

That pink on her cheeks came from RP291 Primary Magenta and F121 Fluorescent Coral Red Touch markers. And so on. If you’re good on color theory, go wild with mixing.


Near the end of the video, I am actually using the the refill color and dropping in the colorless blender ink, the same way you’d drop alcohol onto watercolor to make the colors move around and create circular splotches.

ShinHan Art really is incredibly helpful. I actually got myself a new set of liner pens, that I can’t wait to test out in my own artwork. So you’ll maybe see a review on those a bit later. Don’t get me wrong Copic quality is nice, and they’ve been around for awhile, but I like that ShinHan has the same quality at a much more affordable option. But, I do want to say that I think the Copic ink liners quality goes down after some years. Because I still am using some, but they started to smear with the Copic, and I wish I knew why because I use good quality Bristol or marker paper to draw on, and it still smears with marker. That’s not good! Just keep that in mind that some inks don’t have good shelf life. 😐

Anyways, this is a tribute to my old childhood. The lantern festival/Harvest Moon celebration or as Vietnamese call it Tet Chung Thu, is different than the Chinese counterpart that is for lovers. Ours is a celebration for children, and most families take their kids out in the night and light up these lanterns. I just remember seeing the really cool cellophane looking ones in the shape of butterflies, bunnies, and fish, but whenever the adults in my family got us lanterns, it wasn’t nearly as cute as the animals. They were just plain accordion lanterns, and I guess it just makes me question whether they were being frugal or we were just that damn poor. The little girl in the drawing is indeed wearing an ao dai, but I have found that there’s a lot of ao dai redesigned for older women, but there aren’t any cute contemporary ones for the kids. And I’m into gothic lolita, so if China, Korea, and Japan can do it! Vietnamese can too.

The setting itself is in Hoi An, it’s the lantern festival’s main place to be if you’re actually in Vietnam. That fish is actually on a bridge in the river in Hoi An. It’s near Da Nang city, which is less urban than the 2 other major cities of Vietnam.

In any case, I hope you guys enjoy my video, any feedback would be appreciated. I’m rather new to the world of video editing, but I’m finding it quite fun when things go right… hahaha

But I have a Twitch Channel, and I may be live streaming, so please be sure I will be posting up more video content in the near future.


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Peach Month

Hey all! Did you know its Peach Month? This is my latest Girls Drawin’ Girls weekly theme contribution for this week. 🙂

I actually started out using my new Shinhan art markers, and then finished in photoshop. Unfortunately, I used Staedtler pigment liner on some areas and perhaps it did not dry? It smudged! :\ It’s waterproof but not marker proof. I should probably update my review. In any case… but on some areas that I used either Shinhan liner or copic liner, the gradient was very smooth using my colorless blender. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve used up a lot of the colorless ink. :X Hopefully not, because I just bought it, but maybe I’ll get around to buying the refill.


Eat Peach

Here’s an interesting fact: in Asia, Peaches tend to symbolize longevity and immortality, and each part of the Peach tree symbolizes something. The Peach Blossoms symbolize luck — in Vietnamese culture, its a tradition to buy a blossoming Peach branch, and the more flowers, the better, and also when they’re blooming during Tet is better. The branch wards off evil, and they make charm pendants from peach pits. The tree itself is a symbol of life and immortality.

It’s also a sexual feminine symbol. I first learned about this through a manga story; its a very prevalent symbology, I find, in Japan. Has anyone seen the character design for Sakuya for Okami?

Sakuya from Okami. Copyright Capcom.

She also has a peach-shaped butt opening in the back as well.

Also the story of how Momotaro came to be — an old woman happens upon a really big peach, she brings home the peach to her husband. He “inserts” a knife, cuts it open, and then out pops Momotaro. The rest of the story is about the boy’s amazing adventures.

In China, the juices symbolize fluids, i.e. nector drippings.

And yes, I am trying to be really suggestive here. Anyway, I hope you learned something new today!

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Garry Tan: Lessons from 2^5 that I wish I knew at 2^4


I take it that as he is 32, and an entrepreneur, he must know what he’s talking about.

I’ve often times been described as older than I look. In this case, am I a 24 year old, who acts like a 28 year old in a 16 year old body? My body parts are noticeably aging and it freaks me out. Still, there are things that I wish I knew when I was 16 too, like making money early and business management also.

P.S. This blogging before work is becoming a bit of a habit… don’t copy! and don’t be late!

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Tuesday 9 April 2013 · 09:31

More clothed figure paintings

I recently visited a long time, old friend in Stanford. And we went to the Cantor Arts Center — it was free admission! It was a very nice museum, I saw the Gates of Hell sculpture, grabbed a lot of reference photos, bought an artbook, and these little notecards because I LUV Wayne Thiebaud. He uses a lot of white paint, and his application is thick and controlled. I love his painting still lifes of sweets because of his technique, his still life paintings of cakes look so edible… but well designed… hahaha. A much needed inspiration for my paintings because I am struggling this semester.

My business cards from moo arrived! And I changed up some of the pictures.

From my figure painting class from the last two weeks. I’m still struggling with getting accustomed to oil paints again… The smell is so strong. 😦 I’ve sort of figured out one big thing about drawing versus painting: when drawing, there is more control with value because, the value that you put down is expected, and mostly constant depending on hand pressure. I feel like with oil paint, you have to gauge and mix and gauge again about the colors and tones that you put down. With photoshop, adjusting the values, hues, and saturation are only a click away. I should …paint more so I can stop my hands from shaking so often holding the brush. Or maybe its because I don’t do enough drugs that my things don’t turn out awesome.

Also a side note: I finally put together a facebook page, and I was so excited because I made an iframe tab… except facebook is switching completely over to timeline. Therefore, I just wasted time doing that. 😐 sigh. Anyway, if you like me then please like my page :), I would appreciate it:

And with this, I will attempt to update more often! Yay!

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Temporarily quit FB.

Yah. Been a week almost. I think posting this on my blog is enough. It doesn’t matter because people don’t realize your missing until, like maybe a month later or even longer. I figure this because I don’t notice this myself. Your newsfeed is spammed all the time anyway. There is people who post more than once a day or those who post a few times a week or month, which was me. But I comment on other’s profiles every now and then. There is a fine line though, of using it too much and not using it at all. I think Facebook is pretty useful. Keeps me up to date, so I want to be a part of the network. At the same time, I don’t want to be addicted to it or attached. This is one of the reasons why I disconnect every now and then.

Well, it was a distraction that needed to be cut from my life momentarily. I almost feel very empty inside… The internet is so much more than it seems when there is Facebook. I think it’s because you post links and share with others that it seems more than it is. Needless to say, I have managed to cut down much of my time. I realize that if I am procrastinating or checking email, the #1 thing I do is go to facebook. I’d type it into the url even if it’s not bookmarked.

If it wasn’t for my getting sick or Wonder Con, I think I would have been much more productive (OR looking for a roommate — which has been a success…! Yatta!). If I don’t think about the fact that working 24/7 kills me a little bit more on the inside…. >____<;

No, but seriously, it does. You go insane. And it’s proven that illustrators who freelance and work in their own studio without seeing other people become lonely and crazy (well, they become somewhat bipolar). I all ready feel it and I haven’t even been in the real world yet. But then again, that’s why I’m in SF right now. Can’t really undo being crazy either, you just kinda have to live with it and make do.

In any case, here is my latest creature design:

Guess I should have spent more time on this, but I’m so sleepy….


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Monkeys and Satyrs

I have been trying to make it a point to update more, so I just wanted to post some things I’ve done over the past week. I’m taking creature design this semester and so far, it has been good. The first week was shakey, but I’m trying to get over the fact that I’ve been in quite a slump in energy. And also, I’m extremely sensitive to critiques.. I always come to class incessantly worrying that what I make is shit. I can’t help it… I won’t lie that being an artist is extremely, extremely difficult for me when it comes to feedback — I used to be able to handle it pretty well… I am 22, I wonder if that affects anything… hahaha. I’m pretty frightened on the inside when waiting for my turn to get critiqued; my blood pumps fast and my chest heaves up and down more frequently, my nerves are not made of steel because on the inside, I quiver. This reminds me that I used to say, my hands are too soft, they are not made of steel like my dad. He seriously, reaches his hand onto a hot pot handle without gloves right from the oven. I’m soft and mushy like a riceball and could fall apart easily if the rice doesn’t stick will; I guess we are what we eat.

I’ve misplaced my wacom pen. My room is a mess, I haven’t had the energy to clean up much since I’m too busy freaking out about assignments. Driving me nuts being without it. I wish it was like a cellphone, I can just call myself and I’d be able to locate it. So I feel I shouldn’t post things right now since I cannot find my pen. In any case, I’ll just put up some things until I can locate my missing tool. :\

So basically, I took a Rhesus Macaque (me – kawk) and an ibex and turned it into a satyr. In my research of primates, I’ve learned interesting things. I think it was Barbary Macaques or any kind of macaque and mandrill/baboon — females in heat could have swollen butts and they present it to males. But monkeys are smart, Rhesus monkeys are smart. In India, they cohabit with people in the city. Oh yes, shockingly, orangutans tend to rape their females, and there are some who have taken interest in human women and are known to attack their researchers. So… this totally gave me a 360. Those simians are not as innocent as we think. 😐 And pygmy chimps have females who are known for sexual favors when they are initiated into a new group. It makes me think about humans, women, and society quite a bit.

Uh, these need to be fixed. I consider these works-in-progress. I hope to go over them later in the future, if time permits.

And I forgot to say, I’m going back to watercolor, and it’s so much more fun for me… I love watercolor more than using my tablet.

And another edit. I also did a very simple “how-to.”  It’s actually not a how-to since all I did was explain theories and concepts and didn’t very well do a step-by-step tutorial.

Well, go check it out anyways at:

This blog is a culmination of 6 active admins and talking about silly, geeky things. It’d be even cooler if we got more people there though.

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Beauty and the Beast

For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on an illustration for Beauty and the Beast. The classic version is found here. I also researched apparently it was a story about losing your innocence. Of course it can’t be summed up like that, but Beast is sort of like the choice for Beauty to make. In some countries, Beast is depicted as a snake, but mostly he isn’t described and is left entirely up to the reader. My Beast came from that information and Bahamuth, so he is a beast-dragon. I left the horns on. Beast in Disney is kind of like some kind of Bull.


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Humor me

Dog Bite

I think that my comic instructor is predjudice against anime/comic style.  Doesn’t like reducing people’s features to exaggerated shapes, likes squares and circles. Even the module said that it’s okay to have to go toward that style. Ugh… I’m a little iffy now, standard is what everyone goes for, but eccentric styling is not. I now realize, that I could be at odds with what that means…. I find it a little disconcerting that my pencil has to match exactly what a pen is suppose to do. If you’re going to erase the pencils, then the style should be how it is drawn. I kind of regret taking this class, but if I hadn’t taken it, I would not have been made to see things this way before. How disappointing.

Some of my watecolor labs from the past weeks. Illustration 2 is so hectic.. it sucks. :[ Work is neverending!

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swordsman, assassin, and an old man

I’m starting to like using Corel Painter 11. It’s less flashy than photoshop, but it’s got really neat brushes. For the swordsman, I used oil paint. The assassin I used acrylic, and the feeble old man, I used oil pastel. I also really like the color mixer; it’s like actually mixing paint. I feel a little blind when I choose colors in rgb and cmyk. It’s just not the same as real color mixing. And thanks to my oil painting classes, I like to mix up my colors a lot more, instead of a solid tint or shade. Because you can see color in everything if you squint your eyes.




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Metal Gear Solid commercial

I don’t play metal gear, but the parodies are awesome!

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