Thursday, April 30, 2015

Strawberries

One of my favorite plates at home has a strawberry pattern printed on it. This is sort of loosely inspired by seeing that pattern almost every day.



I used a mixture of regular watercolor and metallic watercolor pencil. For Day 14 of #100daysofwatercolor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Metallic Flower Doodles

Just playing around with metallic watercolor pencils. They don't really look metallic. They're like regular watercolor pencils, but with the colors just a bit desaturated.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Giant Flying Dog

Book cover for a story about a giant flying dog who drools all over a quiet suburb, causing chaos and evacuations.



The story doesn't exist yet, but it will soon.

Day 11 of 100 days of watercolor.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Scoops of Ice Cream

Another fictional book cover. This one is a parody of a real book that you may have heard of :)



Day 11 of 100 days of watercolor.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Garden of Feelings

A book cover for a story is about a garden where all the plants have feelings.



The book doesn't actually exist. But I may turn this into another Wattpad story if I can come up with an interesting plot for it.

I really like how this one came out. Day 9 of my 100 days of watercolor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flying Dog Sketches

I started writing a short story about flying dogs awhile back. The story is a work-in-progress, but I hope to finish it soon and post it on Wattpad. 

In preparation for its book cover, I had to first practice sketching and painting flying dogs. Here was the result of my practice. This was not solely from imagination; I relied on a number of reference images.



There are certain objects that I'm good at drawing from imagination, because I've drawn them over and over. Ice cream, trees, architecture, rainbows, and flowers come naturally to me without much effort. I consider these objects and more to be part of my mental library of easily-drawable shapes.

There are also things that I lack the skill to draw confidently without a reference image, because I haven't drawn them enough times to commit them to memory. It really is just a matter of practice, though. I'm hoping that with time and daily study, I'll be able to expand my "library" significantly.

Dogs are one of those things that I require reference images for, but hopefully that will change soon. If I rely solely on my imagination, there are a couple of default dogs that I can depict repeatably on paper, but none of them are flying dogs. This practice session hopefully fixed that problem, though. We'll find out when I try to draw the final version.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Endless Food

This is a draft of a cover for another short story about food teleportation. For some reason I'm stuck on that idea. Not sure why.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Simple Garden

I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I work on my paintings for the 100 day project, I do them at night right before bed when I'm completely exhausted. My state of mind in these situations is wanting to get the painting over with as quickly as possible so I can get to bed.

On those days, I end up drawing the first thing that comes to mind, before the critical part of my brain can veto it and tell myself not to draw it.

Normally that critical voice would say, "Don't draw flowers! Other people already draw flowers! Draw something else!"

But last night, as with the other nights of exhaustion, the critical voice was asleep. Only the tired voice was still up.



"Hey, just draw flowers if you really want to," the tired voice said. "Just draw whatever makes you feel happy and warm inside, so that I can go to bed."

So I started drawing. I drew and drew without thinking. I was probably even asleep while drawing part of this. And then I painted it as fast as possible before climbing into bed.

It came out rather nice in the end. I realized afterward how much I was subconsciously inspired by my friend Annanda's project to do 100 days of coloring in a flowery coloring book. That was a nice surprise.

I remember being less self-conscious like this, back when I was in my 20s and had my art studio in San Francisco and then Oakland. I made lots of rainbows and didn't care because they just made me happy.


Friday, April 10, 2015

The Greatest Cheese in the World

Awhile back, I wrote a humorous story about Danielle and Andrew, two cheese connoisseurs who set out on a pilgrimage in search of the world's greatest cheese.

Here is the cover art. The story is called The Greatest Cheese in the Whole World and is now out on Wattpad.


It's the first time I've put a fiction short story out on Wattpad. If you enjoy reading it, your vote there would encourage me to write more.

Spring Garden

Abstract art is deceptively hard to create. It always looks so easy that a child could do it, yet it practice it's one of the hardest things.

I'm still a beginner when it comes to abstract painting, but I'd like to improve. I'll try to make some of my 100 Days of Watercolor paintings abstract or semi-abstract just for the practice. To start, here's a semi-abstract spring garden.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Typography for Into the Brambles Paperback

Lately I've been working on the inside design for the paperback version of Into the Brambles. 

Here's the inner title page.


A sample of a chapter. (For some reason the footers aren't showing. I'll have to fix that.)


I like it when books are pretty inside. It makes the reading experience more pleasurable. It's the difference between a book that's fun to read and one that feels like the author didn't care about the visual reading experience.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ice Cream Cake With Starfish


Everyone has a default doodle or two that they make when they can't think of what to draw. Sometimes when I can't think of what to draw, my default is ice cream. I blame Two Scoops of Django for this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Waves From My Dreams



When I close my eyes and picture waves, this is what I imagine. The shells are intentionally oversized because they are giant shellfish.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Moon Over the Waves



I tried to make the light appear foggy and iridescent, with sea sprays glistening in the light.

I also left space in the middle in case I decide to use this as a cover for a short story. I've been writing some surreal short stories and need covers.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cover Design for Into the Brambles

I did the cover design for Into the Brambles, the first book of Daniel's forthcoming epic fantasy series The Brambles.


The explanation below of how the illustration works contains spoilers. If you haven't read the book yet, don't scroll down. Come back when you are finished reading it.

(spoilers below)

...









  1. The illustration is an optical illusion. First, you see a goblin just inside a cave. There are trees overhead.
  2. Then you see that the tree leaves overhead are the outer edges of a giant black bramble in the middle. 
  3. The bramble appears to be just a giant bush, but then you look at it more closely and realize that it has evil eyes, just like the goblin below.