Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!!!

I couldn't be any happier about the new year.
It's about time that 2008 ended.
Truthfully, 2008 was quite the tough year. And to end it, my trip to Taiwan was canceled.
Let's just say that I didn't realize that my passport had been missing for over 2 years until the night before we left. I think I'm more weirded about by that fact than sad.
Taiwan will happen again soon.
So I'm very much looking forward to the new year!
I'm hoping that 2009 will be a promising year :)


Happy New Years!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


I just finished my life drawing final at Irvine Valley College. This class has really led to some improvements in my figure drawing. The picture below is a portrait that I did with faber castell color pencil. My main objective was to capture the flesh on the model. I think that was kind of successful, but I was unable to make my drawing look like th model. I thought I mapped out his face correctly but in the end, my drawing doesn't quite look like the model :P
I really need to improve on drawing portraits. But maybe in the end, I like the fact that I can draw people that exist somewhere in the world :)
My master copies are done too. I was able to put them up side by side with the originals and critique myself.

This piece is by William Bouguereau. I remember having a lot of trouble with the face on the this one too. I think the eye is too big. But better than when I first started out drawing her face. That was just... scary.
uh... her breasts may be too far apart too....
I plan on fixing my master copies. Especially this one so it doesn't look like she got implants...

This piece is by a wonderful artist named Luis Riccardo Falero. I've been admiring his pieces because they really are beautiful. I can make this one a little darker because the fixative faded the charcoal a bit. Also, I made her look bald... she has a shiny spot on her head.
But other than that, I really enjoyed how dynamic this piece was.

I wanted to draw a male figure for one of my master copies so I chose one of Michelangelo's Ignudi. This one took 3 days because it was done with color pencil. I liked the way this one turned out but I need to go darker in certain areas like his cheek. This was probably the hardest piece to map out. It was very very very tricky.

His upper body was a lot more compressed than I thought it was. So it took me maybe 5 tries to map out his body because I kept making it too long. But I'm happy that I didn't give up :)
I think this piece will look much better when I make it darker.

The most appealing part about this piece was probably the male's little flowy hair :)
This piece is called Patroclus by Jacques Louis David. We were required to do a piece in pastel.
Pastel is witchcraft... and I don't quite understand the language of it.
I started with the left side of his body and it was a wreck.
Then I moved my way to the right side of his body and his arm and I started to get the hang of it.
So this piece turned out better than I thought because I can't work with pastels.
But it is definitely a medium that I would like to work more with.

Next semester at IVC, I won't be taking a figure drawing class. But I'll try to make trips to Otis for figure drawing workshops. I really don't want to stop life drawing, even though I turned my portfolio in already.
I won't be posting in here for a while because I will be in Taiwan for Christmas :)
I've been tracking the weather in Taipei City and it's been raining every single day!
I was hoping I can get some little sketches in, but we'll see what happens.

It might be 2009 when I post again!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Portfolio Contents

I got an email saying that the notification period for CalArts is March 1 through April 1.
A whole month... this countdown is the more stressful one...

I wanted to post some pictures of the drawings that I had in my portfolio.
I won't post everything because I have ALOT of drawings. I used to have almost 60 drawings in my portfolio.
But Gary helped me cut it down to 41.
The requirements for the portfolio are a least 20 drawings from life. That embodies everything.. people, landscapes, animals etc. But 80% should be people and animals.
Gary said 57 drawings would have been too overwhelming.

The first 2 pictures are of a model named Caprice.
I had her at UCI and luckily, I had her again at IVC.
She's such a good model, and it really helps to have a model that inspires :)

These 3 are gestures of another really good model named Yuko at Otis. These are for my sister. My sister doesn't really know what a gesture drawing is supposed to look like.

I also posted some animal drawings that I did. They're from the aquarium, santa ana zoo and the hamster at home. I have a lot more animal drawings but I'll just post some that I like.
The hamster's name is Dot because she was the runt of the liter.
Hamsters are hard to draw :P
She was so active, so my drawings might have a few inconsistencies . But it was good practice a
nd they turned out well.

March and April are going to come up real soon, hopefully I'll be prepared.
Until then, the next sketchcrawl is coming soon and I purchased a sketchcrawl shirt too.
Also, I've been browsing through many many paintings so that I can choose one for my master copy.
I chose some candidates but all of them are so wonderful.
I'm hoping that even after my life drawing class, I can continue to do some master copies for fun.

I found a painting done by Luis Ricardo Falero. It's called The Belated Witch. I won't be doing this for a master copy because I can't find a better picture. But it's a very beautiful painting and I wish I could see it in color.
I have 3 more master copies due on the 15th, and I'm looking forward to working on them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is no longer a countdown on top of the page
I just turned in my portfolio for CalArts today.
I was nervous just walking into the admissions office. But it's all good now.
I can relax a bit and wait for the decision's letter.
I might up a countdown for the month of April because that's supposed to be the month that I will hear from CalArts if I got in or not.
It's been quite the crazy month, and now I can celebrate with Thanksgiving.
And I have quite a lot to be thankful for!
My family, the teachers who have helped me and friends.
I remember, when I was getting stamps carved for me for my Chinese paintings, my mom suggested a Chinese quote. I don't remember the quote but translated into English it's: Be grateful for what you have.
(Something like that... I hope I didn't butcher it..)

I really hope that whatever happens works out for the best.
Though... I really do want to get into CalArts :)
We'll all be waiting.
I'm going to keep this post short

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I guess the title of this post is the description of the pictures that I posted
and my stomach...I'm so nervous
I know my CalArts countdown says that I have a week left but I'm actually turning my portfolio in on Wednesday the 26th. The schedule got a little complicated with Thanksgiving and CalArts being closed on the weekends.
But I think my portfolio has gotten a lot stronger since Portfolio Day.
I haven't exactly been neglecting my blog, I've just been doing other drawing.
I went to the Long Beach aquarium today to do some animal drawings with Gary Geraths.
I got some really good drawings that will be put into my portfolio.
I'll post my pictures of my portfolio after I send it in. Gotta do it anyways so I can apply to another art school.
But for now, I just wanna post pictures of jellyfish.
Beautiful serene jellyfish...

It's sad how bad my camera is. People next to me were taking photos of these guys with their cellphones and their pictures were much crisper. I need a better camera...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chinese blood?

I just wanted to take a short post to share some thoughts.

Mr. Lee asked me to describe myself a bit and why I wanted to take up Chinese painting.
So I told my mom to translate and write about how I have always been interested in art and that Chinese painting was a new way to develop myself as an artist. Some good honest stuff like that.
But my mom wrote something else and when I read it, it said:
Everyone must be curious as to why I like Chinese painting,
it's because I have Chinese blood in me.

Wow... I really thought that was corny. And I asked my mom if she was sure about it.
I trusted my mom because she is old school Chinese and I wouldn't want to argue with that :P
So the time came to present my speech.
I spoke to the audience and I told them the reason why I took up Chinese painting:
because of my Chinese blood.
And unexpectedly, the audience cheered. It really wasn't the response I was going for, but I guess that really appealed to them.

But in the end, it is an honor to have Chinese blood in me and have the ability to create those Chinese paintings.

On a day like this, I can't help but also think about the World Wars.
The World Wars are only history and stories now, but it is because of them-the men and women of the world wars-that we are what we are today.
I can't help but think of the Bixby Letter written by Abraham Lincoln

"Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle
... I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln"

Yeah, I read that some parts of the letter are inaccurate and etc. (and I shortened it..)
But I think Abraham Lincoln really captured the soul of this holiday.
This letter was read out loud in Saving Private Ryan... which I think the movie totally cheats because Tom Hanks is such a good actor (big fan right here!).
I also want to give a shout out to my good friend Derek Casarez who is currently in the Marines serving the country.
Indeed, it is a good time to be a proud American Chinese :)
Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chinese Painting Exhibition

This weekend was fantastic! The Chinese exhibition was a real success and it was just in general, a very awesome experience. It all started with setting up on Friday. The exhibition room was empty and we when we began to put up all the paintings, I was just in awe. Especially Mr. Lee's paintings. Him and my teacher had the largest paintings. They were monstrous, I'm guessing 6'x4' or 5'x4'. Very big, but beautiful :)
Then on Saturday, we had our opening ceremony hosted by me... x_x
But it was wonderful because I realize why my teacher and Mr. Lee chose me as the host. Since I'm my teacher's youngest student, they wanted to use me as a symbol of the longevity of Chinese painting. I am really honored to have been host. Chinese painting has been a very wonderful journey and I'm really glad that I was able to express my feelings.
Afterwards, I took my time to walk around the exhibition and look at my peer's paintings.
They really are beautiful and very inspiring. All of them have been painting for 3 years plus. My little paintings are nothing compared to them. But I think everyone of us has our specialties. My teacher wants to cancel class for this week but I will hassle the man because I can't wait to learn how to paint like my peers!!!
I'm hoping that next year's exhibition, we will achieve our goal of spreading the Chinese tradition of painting to a lot more people. I took many pictures because I want to bring the exhibition to my blog.
Some paintings were very high up so some pictures may be at a weird angle.

This magnificent painting was done by my teacher. Most of my pictures are only parts of the painting, but I wanted to really zoom in on the eye candy :)

This is one of Mr. Lee's. Mr Lee and my teacher are the only ones who paint the large birds of prey. Very awesome.

Shrimps painting by my teacher. This is one of my teacher's specialties.
This piece is done by a women named Helen Wang. I think it's one of my favorites. This picture was up high and very large. But I wanted to take a picture of the whole thing because it's very cute in a sense. The pink dot in the middle is a plum blossom and all the koi are gathering around it because they are curious as to what fell into their pond :)

This is also another one of my favorites. These purple flowers are chrysanthemums. I'm not very good at painting these, but this painting really inspires to become better. Soooo beautiful...

A signature painting of Mr. Lee's: crabs.

I did not include any of my paintings because I have done so already in this blog :P
I really can't wait to paint those large paintings like my peers..
Next time I will take pictures of the actual exhibition because I want to be able to show the scale of these paintings.
I hope that these Chinese paintings can inspire everyone. Next year's exhibition will be even better. Hopefully a lot more people will attend. Not just Chinese people! Because our goal is to share this wonderful art with all kinds of people :)
Every year it is held in El Monte at this little cultural center. I will posting information about it next time so the people who stumble upon my blog will be aware!