Tag Archives: design

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 Fiver.com, 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: http://artcorgi.com?referral=23 and find Tannie Duong. 🙂

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Filed under Art, Commission, illustration, Painting, sketches

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Artbook

Artbook review time!

I don’t remember if I have ever made a post about the Starcraft 2 art book I had before, but now I am because I just beat the first expansion of the Starcraft 2 game series. Honestly, I did not appreciate it as much as I do now. I bought it because I found it on Ebay for a really good deal. And I always thought the artwork Blizzard produces has been some of my most inspirational and contemporary influences. I even have a very old Warcraft artbook from the first games, and you can see how much Blizzard has improved since.

There is a lot of irony in all this simply because back last November when I had gone to CTN Expo, I met a really cool artist there and he told me NOT to play games. Like, I’ve been told this countless of times, but actually, I didn’t listen. It’s not because I don’t value their opinions. I really didn’t plan to play. They told me that there are videos online that you could watch on youtube that has other people playing. However, sometimes, I get these urges that don’t go away till they are satisfied. I blame it on my genes because I think that my family may have addiction problems? And these are my addictions…? hahaha… I actually did stop playing a lot of games, and I only began to play again after graduating from college. I didn’t own any of the new game consoles, and I almost feel ridiculous saying this to a gamer as much as I hate telling bacon lovers or anyone that I hate bacon. (I know, I can hear the gasps from all around even through space.) Can’t really be called a gamer anymore if one stops playing??  There was one occasion a good friend of mine lent me his DS to play The World Ends With You, which is an all around fun and very interesting fun game to play! The mechanics on that is pretty neat not to mention good music. And I love good music!

But overall, I feel like I should start understanding games again, because I am too out-of-touch with the current games now. Like, what does a gamer actually look for when they play a game anyway? Maybe this is a bad thing that I think too much. I analyze too much. But actually, I would rather work for a company that thinks about its consumers a little more instead of creating stupid games that are just all design and no content. This is almost all too apparent. I appreciate good design, but I’d rather it have some quality in other areas too. But it also goes a lot to say, that at least companies know how to market and so they invest in good designers.

Also, a side note. I finally got a taste of Far Cry 3 and its really interesting..!

In essence, though, as I flipped through the book, I had a revelation, that although this book may have a lot of artwork — it is completely filled, front and back with art, this is probably only a quarter of the art they had to produce. Why? Well, as I played this game, there were so  many units to memorize, so many building constructions to remember to build (not to mention, you need to remember what comes out of those constructions), and there are upgrades for almost a lot of those units and constructs. Plenty of characters, we all know Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan, and new additions like Tychus — who is helping me develop a southern accent, Arcturus, etc. Concept art for those guys!

The comments inside the book did say that the main focus of this first expansion was the Terrans. So there was more Terran art than there was Protoss or Zerg. I have yet to play the second expansion of this game, but I can only imagine the main focus of the next two games are going to be about each of the other two races. I’m guessing, but I need to play the next ones, ey?

My appreciation comes from the fact that since I now know these units better, such as what their role in the game is, the artwork makes more sense to me. The book itself has very little captions for all the pieces in here, in fact, it only gets wordy at the very beginning with the ‘foreword’ and introduction. Concept art is not about pretty art like regular fine art. Concept art is a solution to a question. What is this thing’s purpose? How does it function, and how does it serve the story? One should always ask this when one decides to create concept art. It’s just not all about the pretty little gadgets that you think makes it look cool. It’s aesthetic and its good design at the same time.

Anyway, here’s some pretty photos from the book to look at.



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Filed under Art, Artists, Concept Art, Games, Reviews

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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Reading Symbols and Color Meanings

Hello again.

And once more, I have not updated my blog in awhile. I am still sorry to myself and subscribers, but in all fairness, I update my facebook page pretty regularly! I was flipping through a book of mine just now, and I have some input about color. Actually, I’m always still learning about art, and color all the time. Despite having graduated from art school, I’m still learning about color and value. It’s not that I didn’t learn the concepts and ideas, but there’s always something new that can be put into words or refreshers. And even then, I do not think that a course can teach us everything about one subject, though it is a start. With that, I’ll tell you that in my early life, I had no concept at all about color theory and I very much sucked at it. I can’t tell you how many times my siblings called me the 7 colored fish. I dressed with more than 2 colors and back in the late 90’s through mid 2000’s it was considered bad fashion… Quite frankly though, its fine to coordinate 7 colors, if done properly, I’ve seen an art teacher do this! I’ve always liked saturated colors — I think it is because I’ve spent a majority of my childhood with Seseme Street and kiddy shows. And of course, this is deliberate. Kids respond well to high intensity things. The reason why colors clash is because there is no harmony between the colors and they fight. Fighting is not compromise. No balance.

One way to harmonize colors is to “mute” them, which in terms of painting means putting in one color into the other. This may bring down the intensity of a color and turn it a little more greyer than before, but in effect, it harmonizes two seemingly clashing colors, like complimentary colors. There are usually many ways to do this, but always, it means adding one color into the other. I suppose it is like a relationship with a friend in a sense.

So Colorist by Shigenobu Kobayashi is a very technical and theoretical book on colors. I think graphic artists and Americans are more familiar with the The Color Index by Jim Krause.

It’s a very good book also on color, and is much more about CMYK and RGB and digital application/usage. This series spans to several other books.

Continue reading


Filed under Art, Color, Random Talk, Reviews

Watercolour facets and Fighting Gladiators

Week three works. Sigh… I’m tired of the constant work… so very tired. It must be why I have a headache. My ice cream design color roughs need to be redone because its dull, but I got a good grade… it just needs more work… Blargh… 24 Hour Comics Day seems out of reach now. Now I know how Cinderella feels about completing all her chores. If it weren’t for a jury duty call, I wouldn’t be thinking too much about all the work. Stupid… -__-

As for the comic page, I didn’t know what my teacher meant by “Ningia” in the assignment: “A Motley Band of Gladiators Fighting the Vatican’s Secret ‘Ningia’ Army!” Someone comment and thought it might have been the Swiss Army that is the Vatican’s official army and goes back a long while. They’re garb is a little outdated, it’s way too colorful…

But everyone got a different genre, I’m glad I didn’t get the armed cheerleaders one…

Well, I’ve decided to do a magazine. I wonder how it would go? I’m really wanting it to succeed, in the sense that I and a group of people collaborated and did one. I’m not promising though, that it is going to great, just that we made a magazine together. I think some people miss the point sometimes when I ask to do group collaborations and give me excuses as if they cannot do a thing in the world when that’s entirely not true. The only reason starwardblocraft.com is dying right now is because of a lack of direction and leadership. But I’m not the peoples in charge and it’s not like I can say much to convince them. I think that everyone does have some time. I have time… I just waste it on playing games like Typing Mania, which I’ll have to say is improving my DVORAK typing abilities. That’s a productive and useful skill to have anyways, so I don’t think it’s a bad investment this time around… haha… I’m hoping to find more artists for the collab since I have found 4 writers and then myself that is 5. I am thinking, the more the merrier, for such a project. I feel quite passionate about it, I feel like I have to get it done, and I want to take people with me. I realized that I won that $5k scholarship 2 years ago because I had put in the commitment and effort. It also wasn’t coincidence that exactly 8 of us wrote the same ideas as each other because there were hundreds of people who applied to it. I’ve always been very lucky and thanking God for all of the things I’ve been given even if the first years of my life didn’t exactly have good experiences, but they were things I learned from none-the-less. Apparently, Oprah has had worse problems having been raped and miscarried, but she’s now living a luxury life. I always feel so otherworldly while everyone else is standing on the other side of a plane,  I suppose it’s time for me to cross that border.

In the coming week, I’d like to do these:

  1. Finish painting my canvas bag
  2. start learning Indesign
  3. Finish scripting LM
  4. attempt 24 hr comic day, but only if I have allowance time for it.
  5. write a short story
  6. start learning dreamweaver
  7. read

And also, my memoir draft sux….

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Filed under Art, Art Projects, illustration, In general, Painting