Friday, March 31, 2017


This was probably my first proper drawing in the new/old place, somewhat inspired by "Little Wanderer" by Death Cab for Cutie.

I started drawing this on the airplane, and first heard that song when I landed, still noodling away at this, and it all just overwhelmed me--tears and everything--what a great band.

Anyway, this was mainly from imagination, but there are traces of, I wanna say Los Angeles international Airport? there.

I love music and how it just seeps into everything. One song that really popped was "California" by Childish Gambino. Both of these songs were brand new to me...been a bit out of the loop on the US scene.

Not normal,


Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Man, it's been overcast the past day or so, and then it actually started raining today (5/6/17)! It's been raining all day, in fact, complete with a chilly winter/fall vibe. Thus, I felt the urge to draw something rainy.

I've been trying get the idea of scale into my art, and so I was just sorta swirling the stylus around and this ocean weasel guy sorta emerged from the shapes.

I find I fall back on drawing oceans a bit too frequently, and I surmise that it must be because it feels pretty forgiving, and you get to be especially loose, but also tight on colors and details at will.

Anyway, I also strove to be more care-free with my adjustment layers and masks, so I'd say it was a nice, little experiment and wonderful conclusion to a wonderful, rainy day--first happy day in a while, though not without some teary moments owing to some political talk...

Not normal,


Monday, March 27, 2017


Falling back to the old comfort zone with a quick Vicky V. sketch.

I just wanted to draw something in pencil again, after going back into pen and digital only for the past month while I've been offline.

I saw this technique online where it's mainly about overpainting, and thought I could try painting over pencils, to see how that goes.

This was actually our first attempt at that process, followed by an even looser attempt in that King Falls AM piece, which of course we posted first for maximum confusion.

This was just a series of escalations, which again, is why it's dangerous to try to do daily posts: I just wanted to draw something quick in pencil, but then I decided to render it a bit, then I decided to add some flat colors behind the pencils, then I thought I could try the quick overpainting technique, and then I thought I could add some graphical elements, and here we are.

Overall, I'm ok with this, and I feel like I am more comfortable using pencils as a strict base-concept, meaning I'm much more comfortable just outright discarding the lines during cleaning (I used the color dodge line-cleaning technique) and painting.

Eager to get to Vicky, but she's got to hang on for just a bit longer, even as of 5/4/17.

Not normal,


Friday, March 24, 2017


I'm trying to force myself to paint quicker and be less precious overall, and at the same time, I have been itching to do some King Falls AM fan art, so everything converged into this concept of Emily Potter upon returning from the Rainbow Lights. It's not necessarily an illustration of any particular scene, but just a mood piece.

This "brutal" coloring technique is basically just about quickly flatting over lines and then going to overpaints as soon as possible. I recently saw these lines scrolling through my files, which kinda reminded me of Emily Potter, so everything seemed set to try this more reckless coloring technique at long last.

King Falls of course is a podcast of broadcast clips from a small-town radio station. It holds a special place in my heart because I came across it just when I moved to small town, myself, so the main(?) character Sammy Stevens' situation resonated with me quite a bit, as he too just moved to his own little, colorful town.

Man, I wanna say there were only like 15 episodes at most when I first got into the show--yeah, I remember Storm Sanders being introduced in one of my first "live" episodes, so I guess there were only 14 episodes? I vaguely remember Kingsie being discussed early on, so maybe they were up to 21? Anyway, they're now up to 49! It was so cool seeing how everything started clicking together, when at first it felt like a Ben 10 or Secret Saturdays sorta "creature of the week" vibe, which was already cool enough for me.

I started listening to the show off of an Imgur post compiling podcast recommendations, and this one landed when many others on the list didn't because the production was simply outstanding, the music was incredible, and the story hit just right given my recent move to Nowhere-shi, Japan. Plus the characters, especially Emily Potter and the hosts, were quite charming together and evocative of a larger, inhabitable world.

The trick with the show was/is that you kinda have to let episodes accumulate so you can marathon them, otherwise, it's way, way, way too easy to miss references on the normal twice-a-month posting schedule. My initial ~15 episode marathon was crucial to hooking me, because I was able to get invested in how things starting linking up beyond just the neato-ness of each episode. But realistically, I'm not sure I would have been able to engage with the show as deeply if I was waiting for each episode. In the early days, it was usually a matter of "can't wait till the next Emily episode," which then gave way to "can't wait to see how this all clicks together." So after my most recent marathon, I'm now fully caught up again (as of 5/4/17, Ep. 49), but the thing is, they just hit a really interesting twist, so now for the first time, I kinda want to be current, if only so I don't accidentally hit any spoilers...

Related, I was working on a more serious fanart piece, and wouldn't you know it, the most recent episode kinda spoiled the theme--I was kinda hoping it'd fade from the forefront of popular memory. Anyway, as for today's piece, it's prolly my very favorite character, Emily P. I was always pumped when she was on the show in the early episodes, and again she was instrumental in making me a fan of the show itself. So this was kinda inspired by her recent return to the show, hence the starry night and rainbow lights. Pretty excited to see where they go next.

Not normal,


Wednesday, March 22, 2017


It's actually May 4th, 2017 as I write this.

I decided to take some time off from posting online on my main sites and just hermit it up on practice mode. I don't know, I just felt like disappearing, really.

Obviously, it's been a depressing time here. My first night here I found myself crying after everyone else went to sleep. This song, "Little Wanderer," just hit me, everything aligned.

Anyway, it looks like I have some posts to make up for, so I'll be churning them out, but the complication is that I also want to focus on a bigger project I'm working on.

The tension with doing daily posts (Instagram/Twitter) as I was doing for the larger part of the past year is that while it gives a nice little pressure to produce "presentable" work constantly, the daily deadlines sorta crowd out and even preclude larger projects because invariably I want the day's content to look as good as it can, and inevitably I end up dedicating more and more time on the day's content and less and less on the main objective.

I still want time to study, as I feel this is probably even more important than I already give it credit for, but I also need to get my bigger project done, too. These must be my top two priorities.

If prioritizing daily content, I could always just post WIPs of the main project, but I don't actually want to post WIP stuff without corresponding finished work because that just doesn't feel worth the mental real estate for anyone.

Another solution could just be posting on the "daily" sites less. Once a week feels too scarce, daily is possible, but easily time-monopolizing, so perhaps the trusty old thrice-a-week scheme, huh? But that feels so weak, man.

I don't know.

Not normal,


Monday, March 20, 2017


Just a weird night...started with a surprise visit from a bunch of the landlady's kids accompanying her on her scheduled visit. They were clamoring for more presents (he still carries my sketch card around!), so I invited them to choose from among my Inktober drawings for a little souvenir (only had my newer sketchbook on hand, so only the latter Inktobers were available, unfortunately). They all flipped out!

I also thought it'd be nice to let the little girl of the group get two, since she was just so wistfully looking at our little angel, after earlier getting to scoop that old Pikachu when I first thought to give away some sketches. The party looted cat lady Chandra, Silvos, Squee, and even (super excitedly) Tibor and Lumia!

I felt so, so sad when they left, though. I usually feel good when I give art away, and I did feel good, but there was some overwhelming weight suffocating it. I was numb the whole day, vaguely wanting to throw up as the hours dragged by, but everything gave way to a distinct sadness at the moment they left. I just stared at the wall for a few minutes. Didn't cry. So there's that.

I haven't slept yet (since Sunday)...hopefully we can time walk the flight. Just want to sleep and cry, in whatever order.

Not normal,


Friday, March 17, 2017


A tribute to the one and only Tokyo Werewolf, who was there from beginning to end.

Most of my stuff (including rulers!) is miles away at this point, if not further, but so it goes. Kept my inking kit handy though.

The trick is not to think about it too much. But if it were easy, it wouldn't be much of a trick, huh?

Not normal,


Wednesday, March 15, 2017


I saw this old WIP sketch and thought I'd finish it since we've been having some rain lately. Love the rain. I started it because I wanted to draw Z in a rainy Yale like with Nyao, but ended up just drawing a snowy study.

Anyway, this is a much quicker line drawing. I've been a bit preoccupied lately, so it's hard to focus on anything too major for at least this week...

Not normal,


Monday, March 13, 2017


Feeling down. It just came over me abruptly and dragged everything down. It's not quite a sense of loss, but just a sense of powerlessness. I hate powerlessness. Just want to sleep. Maybe it's the lack of sleep.

At least it's nice and cloudy, even rainy lately. Love the rain.

Not normal,


Friday, March 10, 2017


Short on time lately, particularly since I wanted to go play Magic for the first time in seemingly forever for a change, so thought I'd digitally ink, then color an old Didi piece.

But for this one, I wanted to color as fast as I could, so I tried flatting then stickering the colors, intensely saturating that sticker, and then masking out non-highlighted areas.

In this way, my chosen colors, which were preemptively darker than local, would contrast with the "highlights," which would serve as lighting for the piece.

This is what just the highlighted areas looked like, so this layer atop the flats is what gave the colors definition.

I tried using a smoother brush for the inks, rather than my usual, chunkier Steve Ahn's Ultimate Brush, and I have to say the crispness this smooth brush gives is quite pleasant in its own way.

The background was a photo from a roadtrip, I believe, back in the old country. The old country...

Not normal,


Wednesday, March 8, 2017


An old study of Lady Liberty using Steve Ahn's Ultimate Brush.

Not normal,


Monday, March 6, 2017


Missed the last bus home, so I had to spend the night at a Sukiya, which is like, McDonald's : Burgers in US :: Sukiya : curry and rice in Japan. But I like Sukiyas. They're open 24 hours, and you can usually find them near enough to train stations, so I like to camp out there if I ever need somewhere to crash, like in the old days during Pre-Release weekends, or that time I helped host Rob Alexander.

Usually you just buy anything and you're able to hang out as long as you like, so I'd even spend days sketching in there after my old day job rather than have to go all the way back home. So plenty of nostalgia already of old snowy days in the warm company of cheese curry, which is the only way I can handle the spicy stuff (hate spicy food, but what else are you gonna order there? Besides the ice cream/pudding).

I even have a phantom nostalgia, it's kind of a family place, so the ad posters on the wall and the kids' section of the menu have all these happy families, so I imagine what it must be like to be a kid in Japan who gets to go to this place, so excited, with the whole family to chow down on this wacky, wonderful food. They even plant a little flag in your rice if you're a kid! I imagine myself as the dad and as the kid in the ads. As a dad, I would especially love to take my kids to this place as a surprise, just as we have fond memories of being pulled from school early on our birthday to get treated to McDonald's or Burger King, just me and the kid. As a kid, how great must it be on any occasion to come to this bright, exotic place, where the food seems endless and you get ride in the car and head into the big city to hang out with the fam. The pudding spoon even looks like Snoopy sometimes.

Anyway, this particular Sukiya I stayed at didn't let me sleep, though, so I was really loopy while drawing this. I noticed the napkins had a really ruff texture to them, so I tried smearing my pencil shades and got this neat blurry effect. Finally made it to 5am so I could head back to the station to catch the bus home.

Not normal,


Friday, March 3, 2017


Just got an urge to draw a traditional sketch after seeing one of those 100 yen pocket sketchbooks at Family Mart...I even added a new, gorgeous B99 Copic to the cheemu.

Not normal,


Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Ah, just thinking about Yale lately, so I wanted to do a study of my old homeland, with a little Zero snuck in there for better or for worse.

The animation was an afterthought, inspired by my rain tribute (love the rain), though ironically it's actually raining right now and Tokyo snow is probably done till next winter.

This is also a companion to the Nyao at snowrainy Yale number. And this spot would actually be right in the back corner of where Nyao's head is, and facing left along the path heading into Branford from Saybrook.

The concept started as an intense close up of "Zero being a coward," but after glancing at an old photo, I just got this deep, arresting longing for Yale and thought to focus on that and downplay Z. Thus a coward in snow becomes a "snoward."

It's always comforting diminishing Z...I'd always be mean to him just to make myself feel better, or at least, acknowledge that it could be worse.

I dunno...I just felt so bitterly sad today, just wanted to stay in bed and, well, cry or sleep or both...But I forced myself to get up and do some studies and then draw this. I'm glad I did it, but I know I'm just running away from things. I use art like some alcoholics use booze, I imagine.

Not normal,