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June 30, 2023

Lavender garden

I kept starting over on this picture because coloring it was so tricky. Eventually I settled for coloring under the lines instead of on top. The sketch was very detailed and wasn't meant to be colored over, in my opinion. But I am happy to have finally found a result that works for me.

June 28, 2023

Ghost Trick tribute

A group artwork from June 2011. I am interested in re-doing this.

Description: Yomiel looking fly as hell, with Sissel at his side. A medley of characters and props appear in the background. The negative space is white, with Yomiel’s shadow cutting into it.

There was a different version which was bathed in blue-green light. It was more stylized. I’m so sad I lost it...

Background characters
  • Jeego and Tengo
  • Cabanela
  • Jowd (I bet I was too afraid to draw his face)
  • Lynne
  • Missile
  • Kamila
  • Sissel again
  • Ray
  • Crane and wrecking ball
  • Guns
  • Bicycle
  • Chicken
  • Red flag
  • Donuts and bowl
  • Car tire
  • Fish tank
  • Cogs and gears
  • Sweet potato on a stick

What would I do differently next time?
  • It would be more stylized like in the lost alternate version. (Ooh, how mysterious!)
  • Take inspiration from movie posters, especially Bob Peak
  • Include more characters. I want to include Beauty, Dandy, and Detective Rindge, to name a few. 

Other thoughts
  • It would be cool to draw it in reference to the Ghost World. O m g. An old school VHS vaporwave aesthetic would SLAP. I remember having a headcanon that the story takes place in the 1980s. 
  • The vaporwave CRT screen idea excites me, but I would also love a VHS tape box style as well. 
  • In the spirit of the original and its lost alternate counterpart, I should make two versions of this artwork. The world of the living represented by the vhs tape box. The ghost world represented by old, blurry CRT graphics.

June 26, 2023

Lavender garden work in progress

Pictured is a neighborhood garden somewhere in Chicago. I'm getting better at the sketching process by making it fun. I love making swirly lines and exploring all the hidden relationships. Using colored pencils makes it easier to differentiate the details.

I've only just gotten started with this painting but I would like to take it seriously and devote the proper time it deserves. I would love to make it look like an Erin Hanson painting.

My practice with markers is already changing how I approach my art. I started with three main colors (the blue, lime green and fuchsia on the right). The goal is to cover as much as possible. From there I can move to the in-between colors.

The goal isn't to make a realistic photograph (this would go in a completely direction) but rather it is a fun color exercise. It's very therapeutic. I suspect the next progress update will look quite different. The fun part is not knowing where it is headed!

The art of idea picking

It’s like job hunting or dating in the sense that you very rarely commit to something all the way, and it’s usually after considering a large number of options. What is worth the full commitment? The uncertainty can be an advantage. It can lead to possibilities you never even considered.

The most important things to remember: 

  1. Make it fun!
  2. References are helpful, but let imagination do most of the work! 


  • Start with an idea
  • How would I first approach it? Writing (open concept) or drawing (specific concept) first?
  • Do I like this idea enough to pursue it?
  • How far am I willing to take this idea?

Channel the creative energies into their respective outlets

  • Tier 1: I would entertain the thought of this idea
    • Write about open concept ideas in notebook
    • Doodle on scrap paper
  • Tier 2: I would like to spend some time with this idea
    • Sketches and drawings go in sketchbook
    • Reflective writing that comes after the initial sketches/brainstorming
  • Tier 3: I would experiment with this idea
    • Digital art experimentation
    • Dry mixed media on decent quality bristol
    • Small oil paintings on acrylic paper
  • Tier 4: I would put this on my wall.
    • Dry mixed media on high quality paper
    • Digital art - finished artwork
    • Gouache goes on acrylic paper or watercolor block
    • Small/medium scale oil paintings (~14” or smaller)
  • Tier 5: This idea is important to me. I would hang it above my couch.
    • Large scale oil paintings: What idea is worthy of using up valuable surface area and materials?

June 25, 2023

Marker practice featuring my OCs

Half of these were done with Copic markers, the other half was done with some very old and stinky art markers left over from college.

Copic markers are very fun, but I think they're overrated and not worth the cost. It's all social media hype. I've messed around with different brands and they're all the same. I spent way too much money on my collection only for them to dry out after the plastic cracks. Just get the store brand, trust me. There's hardly a difference. I enjoy the fun colors but I can't justify spending $6+ on a single marker. 

I take some of the blame for not storing my markers properly at first (never store them near natural light) but I'm still finding casualties despite storing away my collection in a cold dark closet like I'm hiding it from someone.

I shouldn't complain TOO much about Copic though. The colors are very, very nice. I am smitten with their pale colors, which I used for a lot of the character drawings on this page. Whoever names the colors did a good job of seducing me into buying them. 

This is my OC Weston. His tattoos make him look like a vandalized dumpster. When am I going to work on my story???

This one is my favorite. I used some of the old design markers and while they're all on their way out, they still managed to give me one last hurrah. I'm also super happy with the art style. This is how I want my art to look, but I'm not always able to pull it off.

Marker practice - limited color palette challenge

I was totally lost in my own little world over the weekend, messing around with some markers. My coworker gave me a 6-pack of Blick markers that weren't his cup of tea. Red, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black. I challenged myself to color in some practice drawings using this limited palette. I am quite pleased with the result! 

You can't depend on dark strong colors for complete coverage, but colored pencils are more than enough to fill in the blanks. Being limited to such color restrictions was a great creative exercise and I have emerged from it as a stronger, more confident artist.

I initially planned to use this drawing for painting practice, but opted for a different challenge last-minute: color this fruit bowl using only red, yellow, and blue. I used colored pencils for the more subtle details. I don't want to gloat too much, but this came out way better than I expected. It's amazing how few colors you truly need. 

This cat in the window is by far my favorite of the bunch. I started with yellow, green, and blue. Some black and purple was used as well. All other details were filled in using colored pencil and pen. 

June 23, 2023

Color matching Louis Wain


Matching Louis Wain colors to Holbein gouache using this color picking tool



Hex Code

Misty Blue 



Pale Aqua 






Burnt Sienna 



Yellow Ochre 



Ultramarine Blue 



Pale Lime 


















Leaf Green 



Cream Yellow 



June 22, 2023

Gouache practice

I recently bought a set of Holbein acrylic gouache and I'm loving it. This medium is new to me but it's a lot of fun to experiment. I'm still not sure the best way to approach things, but I'm watching videos to see what others are doing. A special shoutout to this new adventure for introducing me to pigment codes and the Munsell color system.

In addition to the box set, I also picked out some pastel colors: mint green, light apricot, pale pink, and pale lavender. It's taking a lot of will power not to splurge on more fun colors until I'm better acquainted what I already have. I've been struggling a lot with my mental health lately, but painting has been a tremendously therapeutic activity in the meantime.

June 21, 2023

Hydrangea and Bee work in progress

Laying down the basic shapes. Keep it simple! What's the most important thing about this artwork? Get that part down first. Everything else can wait.

I want the colors to be bright and vibrant, so the underpainting should reflect that. The actual paint colors should be a little lighter than what's underneath. 

This part is fun because it incorporates the joy of drawing that I cherish so dearly. My sister says I have a scientific approach. I enjoy dividing everything into sections and planning out where colors will be lighter or darker. I used neon pink, neon orange, and purple for the under painting. Then I used a light pink Posca marker for the highlighted areas.

Last weekend I spent my whole Saturday working on this painting and had a wonderful time. I listened to my favorite podcasts and had the windows open. 

Main colors used so far:
  • Titanium white (PW6)
  • Ultramarine Blue (PB29)
  • Magenta (PR122)
  • Dioxazine Purple (PV23)

I won't show the end result of this session and shall leave you with a progress shot instead - there is something so exciting about the in-between moments of painting!

Rock crystal study attempts


I colored this three separate times in an attempt to get it right. Truthfully, I'm still not happy with it, but whatever - it's all just practice!

June 20, 2023

Funky Kitty

A practice painting in my mixed media sketchbook. I'm so obsessed with these pastel colors!!

Loosely modeled after my girl Beatrice.

June 18, 2023

Flower color wheel idea

Just a small experimental gouache painting. I had a fun idea in mind after learning more about the Munsell color system: I'd love to make my own color wheel! 

The ultimate goal is to make a decent sized oil painting (~14") of a flower-themed color wheel similar to the one here. I am still trying to figure out the details, but it's an idea I'm interested in pursuing further.

June 16, 2023

Oil painting practice

Water-mixable oil on acrylic paper. I struggled a lot with the fossilized nautilus, but once the paint dried, I was able to save it by adding the little details.

I scanned these at a fairly high resolution, mainly so I can appreciate up-close the physical properties of the materials I used. One of my favorite things about traditional mediums is the texture and markmaking. Seeing each individual brushstroke, the texture of the paint left by the brush, the tiny imperfections.... I love it!

June 13, 2023


A small gouache painting of my OC, Princess. I referenced a model photo taken by Alphonse Mucha. 

June 11, 2023

Hawaii studies

Some mixed media and gouache studies from Hawaii. I took so many photos on that trip I'll never run out of reference material.

June 9, 2023

Purple rock crystal

 A lovely specimen I saw at the crystal show in October.

June 7, 2023

Tiny Baby Zoey

A small study of my sister's cat Zoey when she was just an itty bitty little kitty. She will be going away for a few days to get her hyperthyroidism treated. I adore Zoey and I hope that this is a good thing for her. I'd be devastated if anything happened.

June 6, 2023

Zoey work in progress

 Main paint colors: Dioxazine purple and naples yellow. 

Additional colors: phthalo blue (red shade), phthalo green (yellow shade), and cadmium yellow.

I used a toothpick to get the fine line effects. 

The painting is based off a photo of Zoey in my bedroom. I have a rainbow window cling that makes my room look fabulous! 

June 1, 2023

June check-in

Getting back in to painting

This month passed by in a blur. I worked on a commission that I made a special exception for. I have too much going on so it was hard to find the time. But now that I am done with the artwork I can focus on my own personal projects. I kicked it off with some oil painting! I'm working on two 8x10" canvases, just to start off small and gradually work my way to larger surfaces. 

Resident Evil 4

I got the Resident Evil 4 remake from my library after 1.5 months on the waitlist. I could certainly afford it but I don't need more clutter and would prefer to try before I buy. So far it's okay, I do find it jarring how much of the game they completely changed. I had to stop halfway through the castle before giving the game back. 

The castle is completely different other than the general vibe, characters and bosses. I guess I was expecting something more 1:1 like the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater remake that came out a few years ago. It's still a good game, and it's fun to be surprised. Just, very difficult (or I just suck) because I keep having to re-do the same sections over and over, and I have no ammo etc. I'm going to buy the game using some store credit I saved up with my local used game store, once they have a copy in. I don't think I would buy this game for $60 out of pocket. But it would be nice to spend more time with it. Plus it was a wonderful way to bond with my older sister who is a big horror fan.


Happy Pride Month! All LGBTQ+ people are valid and loved. I am queer myself and as a teenager I never felt seen or supported. It makes me so happy to see a shift in attitudes for the better. All queer people deserve to feel like they are seen and loved. If you go to any Pride events this year, please be safe. 

Goals for this month

I would like to go outside more, do more painting, and do spring/summer cleaning. I have to move out before the end of the year. Might as well get started with the de-cluttering now. 

Flower vase