Category Archives: Watercolor

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 So my travel colors are rather dull because I use an outdated children’s palette (but I like it because if I put a color down, it lifts easily for sketching, and I can think more as I practice).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

Shinhan Premium Watercolors test


Finally got around to testing out the tubes of Shinhan premium water color.

A little bit about Shinhan water colors:

ShinHan Water Colors exhibit strong transparency and brilliance. The uniform spread of our water colors leaves no hard lines at the edges of washes. Designed with accurate formulas, ShinHan Water Colors have excellent intermixing and overlapping properties that allow artists to work with a wide range of techniques.

ShinHanArt provides three major Water Color lines ­ PWC, Extra Fine Artists Water Color, Artists’ Water Color and SHAMI Water Color.

PWC, Extra Fine Artists Water Color
PWC, Extra Fine Artists Water Color is crafted with the highest quality pigments and the finest high-grade gum Arabic. To enhance
the clarity and depth of color, single-pigments have been used whenever possible and the usage of mixed pigments has been limited.
Using single-pigments, water colors are less prone to fading and the consistency of colors are improved. PWC offers exceptional clarity and transparency that artists desire, along with superior lightfastness to resist fading. PWC is ideal for spread techniques and color overlapping, bringing out the best in water color paper. The color palette offers a total of 84 colors that are transparent and subtle, yet intense and
vibrant, allowing for an even greater freedom of expression.

  • 84 very pure and exuberant colors
  • Carefully selected, fine pigments
  • High-grade gum Arabic vehicle
  • Highest degree of lightfastness
  • Maximum degree of transparency

15 mL tubes

They’re a Korean based company, and they’re specialty is color luminosity, and quality paint products. They also have a line of markers called Touch markers, which is pretty much similar to Copic — I will be doing a review of this later also.

Here’s a test page. So basically, I was testing to see the luminosity and opacity/transparency. The paper I used is Arches Natural White, Cold Press, 140lb. Overall, I’ve found them to be quite transparent able to retain good luminosity on the white of the paper. The only other test is time, which is lightfastness, but that’s really something I’m going to put off doing. But as I visited their booth at Comic Con, I met Mrs. Han, who showed me a demo of the markers, a picture from a couple of years ago – maybe 5 years? She’ll have to correct me on that… I can’t remember! 😛 — well, least to say, the colors in the markers remained the same. I think its safe to assume their watercolors, being professional quality is exactly the same.

Shinhan watercolor test page

So the top ones are the Shinhan paints. I really can’t do a color comparison it feels like, because sometimes there are so many pigment names and color variations, each company names them differently; there’s no one unified name. And sometimes one red can be totally different from another red. It really comes down to what pigments each company uses. But I picked colors to compare that best matched as much as possible. On the left side, I tested what they looked like charged together, and then when you add alcohol to it.

I think these are pretty bright paints. I can definitely see that my Reeves Pthalo Blue is the most opaque, because it shows up on top of the black line. But the rest of the other paints are rather transparent over the black line (which is India Ink). And then the Van Gogh Permanent Blue Violet is the next most opaque. This one matched with the Shinhan Permanent Violet, is a lot more blue-ish in hue. Although all the Shinhan paints were really hard to scrub out of the paper after applying a lot of water, it could just be that most of the time, cool pigments tend to stick much more. So these pigments are quite permanent, as in the paints didn’t wash off so easily; the blue was the least difficult to lift off. And the not sure because of the brand, Reeves, but the Pthalo Blue lifted off really easily. So, but this brand is normally really easy to lift off… I like it for when I’m starting out a painting and can apply colors on top gradually. (As you are painting in watercolor, the opposite method of painting versus oil applies — you paint from lights to darks. But with oil colors, you paint from darks to lights.) I know the manganese Blue by Windsor isn’t as dark as Peacock Blue, but they were similar in hue so I just put it next.

I did this chart back in 2009 and probably need to update it again, as I have much more paint colors now and want to swap out for my better quality stuff. But normally, this is similar to what I did up there. I just wasn’t as thorough — I didn’t test how each of the other paints would react when mixed together — but that is for another free weekend.



I also tested them alongside colors that I all ready own. So the best watercolor brands I had before this, currently is Windsor and Van Gogh. I started off with Reeves and Grumbacher – these were hand-me-downs from my sister’s bestie, so she was a designer, but she didn’t need them anymore. So lucky me, I got to inherit them along with some other nifty art supplies. But they didn’t really give me particularly rich colors, I started off with using them in the class room. And have since added more to my collection, so I’m happy I got these Shinhan pwc’s to add to it also. 🙂

Here is a video demo of me painting with the three colors:

Finished painting:


I made the mistake of adding too much alcohol and that made me unable to lift off anymore of the watercolors… so I had to add white back in with white paint. I did extra touch ups with the white paint after the video as well.

I think overall, I’m very impressed with the colors, really nice and really saturated. I hope they’re products get a little more attention. If you’re trying to find a retailer for the paints, DickBlick’s online store and Jerry’s Artarama online store also sells it. As for finding the retail location, you may have to get in touch with Steven Berman at and I think he’ll give you more info.

Hope this review was helpful! I hope I’m not missing anything else that people might be curious about, if so, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Thanks for reading. :>


Filed under Reviews, Watercolor

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

The Empress

So after many painful and sleep-depraved nights, I have finished the Empress painting I’ve been working on since January. Well, no, I started in January, but worked on it every so often for about 30 minutes for a day/two or three per month since January. I managed to get it done on time for spring show submissions. I think the gold paint looks really awesome up close and personal, so taking a picture does not do it justice because I wanted the Empress to glow in the light. It was hard to keep it purely watercolor, so I did use gouache and then acrylic paint. My one regret is not having used better archival paper, which I have tons of still (why Tannie, why?!)… :\ Feel like da Vinci when he might have realized that his painting of “The Last Supper” wouldn’t last long.

The Empress by Tannie Duong

I hope to have more time to update after this hell week. And really need to start job hunting for reals-ness. Other than applying for Pixar of course… which I think I probably didn’t make it…. >_> … Oh well. I tried my bestestest. I will have to try even more bestestestestest in the future.


Filed under Acrylic, Art, illustration, Painting, Watercolor

Empress WIP 2

So I think this is the longest I have been without updating and stressful things keep popping up. But, I’m finally working on painting my Empress because 1) I have time now that it is winter break (ohmygah its my last one…), and 2) she was look at me so beguilingly, how can you refuse?

I’d say another 4 or 5 hours of painting.

And, an artsy photo:

I don’t know why there is a check box in WordPress that says, “This post is super-awesome” but I always check it when I remember. 😀 hehehehe….

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Filed under Art, Art Projects, illustration, Painting, Watercolor

Yerba Buena Watercolour painting

So much for posting twice a week. Impossible! Just kidding. Not impossible, just need better management…….

This is a painting of Yerba Buena park. Guess where I sat?? Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day in mid-August… I remember because it was the only cloudy day of the week.




Filed under Art, Painting, Watercolor

My final drawing for Drawing for Film. The VOLCANO ENTRANCE. The gateway I designed looks really cool, but here you only see a 1/3 of it. Oh well. I wanted a dynamic angle. I had to use google sketchup to figure out the perspective. I guess I can finally appreciate sketchup now. It was actually pretty fun to do since I’m getting better with painting in photoshop. 😀 But I had to figure my entire comp out in pencil before I scanned it.

Incomplete model packet of one of the statues….

I think I had more fun designing the body than I did in the actual illustration. I was worried that it the illustration came out pretty muddy because of my stupid handling of watercolor. I worked from the background to foreground first, but that was a bad idea, but in actuality, I didn’t realize this is just better off to color in a medium I could control thanks to the gosh darn scales on this beast…. Anyway, it’s not bad, but probably not my best. But I need to stop fiddling so much with shadows especially since shadowed areas are better off vague. And yes, it’s latin name really is Janitor Lethaeus. I’m guessing janitor means “keeper” and lethaeus means “hell.” I couldn’t find these terms, in my latin dictionary… shhh… In any case, it’s what wiki said. .__.

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Filed under Art, illustration, Watercolor

Watercolor practice

Okay, so I’ve been dabbling with watercolor for my assignments. And I have a tendency to over render. I’m trying to get used to shape painting, think I forget that sometimes when I used it. I don’t really let things be… It might be good practice for me, but it’s something that conflicts with using mediums like digital, because I’m just not used to letting things go… Well, I over-worry about things too… like if it’s looking okay or not. But last night, I was just like, “I’m going to practice. And get better!”

I really like certain artists for being able to pull off wispy and loose, but can do shapes very well. Like even from a distance, you can see and make out what they want the viewer to look at. I was told to look into John Singer Sargent. I will have to check one of his books at the school library later…

Then there is Yoshitaka Amano, I think he’s serendipitously become my inspiration. I didn’t plan on liking him all that much, but he slowly crept on me. A little bit of final fantasy art here and there, I get a tiny bookmark with Vampire Hunter D, and then he’s done Sandman: The Dream Hunters, which I own now. It wasn’t until I reread the comic again that I realized, “Holy shit, this guy has really good compositions.” I mean sometimes it just like a blob of color or bunch scriggly lines (that was my thinking in high school) and then I see that he takes me on a trip around his paintings. Especially, in the Sandman, he can lead you around an image. I’m not sure about his other works I have seen online, they didn’t have this sometimes. I used to think he was over-the-top at breaking rules that I learn in art school, but my opinions have since changed.

(I hate to bend my books, but this was for the greater good.)

In this image, it’s like, you see two heads, they seem sort of symmetrical. It doesn’t matter that one is sort of cropped, if you cut this in half, it’d be the same, mostly anyway. It’s good that the old man was cropped, otherwise there would be competition. But then there’s a box! A black box. That’s your focal point. And I didn’t realize that. And it was like, epiphany. A simple picture and simple storytelling. Your eyes circulate between the old man, the monk, and the box. and around… The old man is giving the box to the monk while he is dreaming. I don’t think this picture would standalone by itself without the text though.

Epic picture of sandman, it spans for pull out pages in the book.

I should get more warm colors in my stuff… I think my paint sucks, it’s student grade and not professional, so I think it affects my color sometimes…. Anway, I leave with this.


Filed under Painting, Watercolor